The Bloody Path to Truth
|The Bloody Path to Truth|
|Casualties and losses|
In which Mara celebrates her birthday by delving deeper in the shadows after a disturbing dream.
Mara having struggled recently with many personal revelations and the struggles of her past catching up with her. In addition, after the trials of a recent metaplanar journey, Mara has garnered the attention of the Mentor War, who wishes to see if she is worthwhile to take on.
Dreams of Prophecy and Battle
On a cloudy afternoon, Mara is reading a book in her hobbit hole when she feels an intense pain in her hand, the same one marked by her spirit bane. Looking upon it on the astral, Mara sees several veins that are pulsing painfully and running up her arm. Her hand feels like it's on fire and the pain in nearly unbearable. She goes out of her lodge and finds that there are bloodied footprints on her floor within the astral leading outside. The mage's pain is intense, but the drive to find whatever is causing this pushes her on as she spots the familiar astral signature of Mortimer, the Free Spirit of Man that she wronged which granted her the Spirit Bane that's struggled
Stepping outside, Mara discovers that the area around her hut is surrounded by blood rain in about a 10 meter radius. She wanders out and deeper into the forest, finding Mortimer in a clearing, hovering over the corpse of Dave, the human clerk that Mara killed. Mortimer is also warped and changed, seeming to be some kind of Blood Spirit, and reaching out to try and destroy Mara with a Hemorrhage.
Mara awakens back in her lodge, the events having been nothing more than a dream, but her hand still throbs.
The Detectives and The Rage
Curious about if the dream has a greater meaning, and struggling to just put it aside, Mara goes to the Leaking Oak Tavern, a bar & grill in Snohomish before the lunch rush and contacts Informer. While the Free Spirit attempts to help Mara to figure out her dream and what it may mean, they simply let the mage know that it might tie into a case that they're on, and informing her that if she needs real help, there is a better detective than Informer to call. The Free Spirit disappears and Mara gets back into her vehicle, calling Delphi
Delphi has been busy at work, both exploring her new magical powers as well as making some traditional Tir na nOg pastries for Mara's birthday. The seer receives Mara's call and asks her what's up, to be informed that there was something mysterious happening that Mara needed help with. The two of them meet up and go to Mara's home, sitting and discussing the dream. As soon as Delphi arrives at the hobbit hole however, she immediately feelings the sickening vibes of Blood Magic, which Mara seems immune to from the effect on her hand. The effect is physically painful, but the seer pushes through and the two begin to talk.
Mara summons a Guidance spirit to channel and they assist Delphi with her divination, spreading the tea leaves and reading the portents around them. They can see that Mortimer has been captured by some kind of Blood Spirit and has been dragged into the tunnels near the Aztechnology Pyramid where leylines have been redirected towards. Before the two set off however, they go to a marker that was left by Mortimer that absorbed leyline energy. Delphi reaches out to try and use her abilities of psychometry, but Mara snaps at her, the rage building up in the dryad, between the bad dreams, the investigation and the pushing of War, Mara is done with the bullshit and is taking much of the effects personally. Delphi manages to calm her slightly and touches the marker, seeing a battle between Mortimer and a Blood Spirit and a female Blood Mage. Mortimer appears to have the upper hand until the blood spirit appears from below and sneak-attacks the Free Man spirit, dragging him down into the tunnels beneath Seattle.
Delving for Truth and Vengeance
Mara and Delphi go to the abandoned garage in the Redmond Barrens called "Lucky's". The place is just as abandoned as it was when Delphi found it in late January and the two runners descend into the tunnels, seeing the glow of the leylines and descending into the caverns. It's clear that the leylines have been more and more corrupted by blood magic, and eventually the runners stumble across Corf who is just trying to move along the leylines. Delphi and Mara ask Corf about what's going on, and ask if he can take them deeper into the mine for some karma. Corf agrees to take them to "The Bad Place"
Getting into the minecart, the two runners arrive at the scene of the ritual that Delphi disrupted during Noir Days and Bright Nights, and move forward to where the leylines are beginning to discolor into a dark crimson. The runners run into a Blood Spirit that is guarding the tunnel, who explains that they should turn back. Mara angrily asks if the hand is the Blood Spirit's doing, which is just answered with a sinister "Soon..." The runners managed to intimidate the spirit who retreats back to the ritual grounds where they have Mortimer pinned in the center of the circle while three mages work on the ritual.
Through clever planning, the runners manage to get the upper hand in the conflict, Mara managing to disrupt the ritual and force mana backlash across the mages, while Delphi uses her ability to understand mechanical devices to disable an Astral Flicker Device in such a degree that it acted as a bomb, disrupting the blood spirit that went to try and return the lynchpin of the ritual to it's circle.
After freeing Morty, the ritual leader who has managed to survive the backlash, sends a massive Firewater spell towards the free spirit and dryad mage. Mara valiantly protects Morty, taking a harsh burn and falling to the group, badly injured. Delphi rushes in, trying to slap mage cuffs on the blood mage and narrowly avoiding being stabbed with a blood athame. Mortimer heals Mara and the dryad mage stands, hurling a bolt of lightning into Vasquez and causing her to start bleeding out.
Mara makes a hard choice, instead of simply letting the Blood Mage die, she decides to save the woman so that they can get answers towards what is going on with the leylines, these Blood Magic rituals, and the abduction of several free spirits recently.
After the interrogation, Mara and Delphi leave the ritual space with Corf and return to the Barrens, and then swiftly to Snohomish to try and enjoy the rest of Mara's birthday with pastries, tea and pleasurable company.
- Mentor Spirit (Either War or Oracle, Mara's choice)(5 RVP)
- Can buy off Spirit Bane at Chargen Price (Morty's Forgiveness)
- Can buy Chain breaker at Chargen Price
- 6 Karma (6 RVP)
- 10 CDP (2 for run, 8 for 4 RVP)
- Perceptive II (5 RVP)
- 6 Karma (6 RVP)
- 10 CDP (2 for run, 8 for 4 RVP)
- Optional Contact: Corf(1/3 Friend) (2 RVP taken from Karma or 4 CDP)
Corf, happily: "To the bad place!"
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Happy Birthday to me. Very nearly my last, hopefully many more to come. I descended under the city to save Mortimer from a fate worse than death, and managed to die slightly less than I could have. In the end it was he who marked me and Delphi that carried me back to the light of day. It seems the portents of my dream were one possible outcome and I was glad to keep him from being subsumed into a monstrous form. I do hope he feels some solace that, despite our differences, I value him as the being he is.
My hand has stopped pulsing, the burns on my shoulder mend. Delphi comforts me whether in silence or conversation. There is much to discuss and much to think about. Much to learn.
Fragging. Aztechnology. Of all the spirits to target and all the days to target them on... I defenitly don't blame Mara for being so upset and angry about what happened, I was pretty mad myself that blood magic drek like this messed with her birthday. That spirit following her, and then the stuff with Oracle... curiouser and curiouser... at least we managed to rescue Morty in time, and the two of them seem to have started the process of patching up the bad blood between them.
Despite everything that happened (including Mara nearly being killed by magic and me almost getting stabbed with an athame!) I'm glad that she didn't end up killing that blood mage - not the least because this way we can try to find out what they know about all this stuff with the lay lines. Hopefully Informer can help figure out more.
I guess now all that's left to do is figure out if these pastries I made are any good.