Scion: Whom Gods Destroy

Irish Brockavich (part 2)
Session 5 - 15 May 2014 (Game time - Saturday)

The fallout of the trial collapse continues to affect the Band and their actions:

Marley continues to dig into Korolev, looking at his previous history for similar incidents, and whether it was the same company. She begins to mind-map Korolev’s activities, checking his court dates and associates to see the scope and scale of the problem, looking at company names and checking for shell companies, and checks EPA reports for similar incidents.

Ben – a de facto but not actual leader in his company – tasks EDI into looking for evidence of a new operation through water sampling. He looks into obtaining photographs and water samples from the original investigation, and checks with the EPA to see if EDI can do anything to assist with reversing the problems caused by the pollution.

Brendan checks his occult library, looking for rat associated deities, and eventually realises they are looking for a Scion of Inari. He also goes to The Happy Burrito for an overview of the regulars and the staff, checking for odd behaviour. Coincidentally this means he gets to see Aileen; he tells her he’ll pick her up for the date at 5.00 and to wear sensible footwear.

Kendra assists with the occult research, checking online resources. She then goes to The Happy Burrito to become better acquainted with Aileen, pumping her for information on the regulars and praising Brendan (in his hearing, much to his embarrassment).

Having gone home to change, Brendan picks Aileen up and takes her to an island nature reserve on South Oyster Bay. He drapes his jacket around her shoulders and they walk, hand in hand, along the beach as he gives her a guided tour of the wildlife, and how much he likes it as a place to escape the city and be calmed down by nature. As the sun sets, they reach the restaurant – a seafood place called The Snow Crab. They have a relaxed evening meal, talking about family, St Patrick Day parades (as that’s coming up), and a brief discussion about The Shamrock and quality irish establishments. Aileen also reveals she likes rock climbing, and she and Bren agree to go to an indoor climbing wall the following week.

Kendra, Marley and Ben gather at the girls’ flat for wine and takeaway.

Experience points

Darren6 (4 basic, 1 extra for pretending to be on a speeder bike on Endor when cycling, 1 extra for environmental work)

Eleanor5 (4 basic, 1 extra for thinking of shell companies)

Emma5 (4 basic, 1 extra for finding Susano-o’s creation myth and making a link to Ben’s green cape)

Julian7 (4 basic, 1 extra for actual maps, 1 extra for finding out about the messenger squirrel in Norse mythology, 1 extra for planned romance)

The Rats of Nemean (part 3)/Irish Brockavich (part 1)
Session 4 - 8 May 2014 (Game time: Friday)

Kendra had previously investigated water pollution (through ammonia – around the Hunts Point area of the river, and discovered it was caused by an illegal distilling operation run by the Bratva (Russian Mafia). Currently, Marley is covering the trial of Serge Korolev, who was in charge of the distilling operation, and various others. She gets a call early Friday morning and attends court to find that the trial has been dismissed because of jury intimidation – Korolev, now free to go, winks at her as the defendants are dismissed.

Whilst this is happening, the others are preparing for the showdown with the Rats: Brendan has an early morning delivery from one of his contacts, Tiger – four shotguns with shells. He then checks the shotguns and sorts out head-torches and waders. Ben gets Elliot to run another missing person check; this turns up nothing. And Kendra tries to divert attention away from the storm drains by writing a non-sensational piece about alligators in the sewers.

Marley comes home to post a story about the trial and previously collapsed trials, including a comment style piece about how the justice system needs to address this. The Band then while away the day – Ben goes to his employers, EDI (Environmental Defence Initiative) to help plan the next fundraiser and discuss the next protest point. Brendan browses bookshops in the afternoon looking for books for his occult library, and picks up a book of basic flute lessons for Kendra. He also talks to Irish Joe, who may have a job for him in a few days. He also turns up at the Happy Burrito to find that Aileen is incandescent about the whole thing; she has family who lives in that area who were directly affected by the poisoning. Kendra finishes work early so she can have a nap before going to the fight.

The Band meet at the Shamrock (and sneer at the shamrock motif on top of the Guinness). They then head out to the storm drains and carnage ensues. The rats are completely powerless against the flute, so the heroes are able to just walk up to them with the shotguns and shoot them. Looking around afterwards, Brendan notices something out of the corner of his eye. Chasing after it, the Band realise it is a King Rat – and it’s intent on escaping them. Eventually it eludes them and, coming out a street level, they see it vanish into a pipe at the back of the Burrito.

Marley and Kendra then dump the gear on Brendan (who ends up with all the shotguns) and Ben (who ends up with three sets of waders), before going off to get drunk on Desperado beer. They also incinerate the flute, despite some private qualms on Kendra’s part.

Experience points

Julian4 (basic)

Darren4 (basic)

Emma5 (4 basic, 1 bonus point for conning the boys into having the gear so the girls can go drinking)

Eleanor4 (basic)

Who Pays the Piper?
Session 3 - 14 April 2014 (Game time: Wednesday night/Thursday)

In The Burrito, Aileen and Brendan are chatting and arranging a first date, to go and see a superhero film the following night, and the others are kicking back. When the set ends, the lead singer of Back to Bayou makes his way over to the table, attracted by the group of Scions.

He introduces himself as Jim Crow; carefully circling around the issue reveals him to be a Scion of Baron Samedi. He comments on the Band’s appearance, and guardedly they tell him about what happened.

Jim thinks he has a solution – a flute which gives control over one variety of any living being at a time – the person playing the flute just needs to concentrate on what they want dominion over. He agrees to tell them where the flute is if the Band will destroy it for him, which he has been charged to do by his Father, who views the flute as an abomination as it takes away free will. It can also be used to control scions, so would be very dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands.

When questioned as to why he hasn’t got the flute himself, Jim says most people believe it to have been lost in medieval Europe and he didn’t want to draw attention to it once he’d found its location; also, he and his Band don’t have the skill sets to retrieve it. It’s held in the private collection of a wealthy human interested in medieval instruments, Alexander Grayling. The collection is held at Grayling’s house, a three-storey brownstone which has sensitive alarms and motion-sensitive cameras. Extra security on the collection itself includes alarmed cases and pressure pads under the artifacts.

Agreeing to take on the job, the heroes buy a CD of the band from Jim and then head back to their homes via Grayling’s house, scoping out any additional security (two patrolling guards – one inside and one outside with a dog). Discreetly they take photographs and head off, debating how to overcome the guards, and are particularly concerned with how to carry out the job without hurting the dog. It is agreed the best way would be to somehow disable the electricity, which would turn off the lights and the alarms, and perhaps tranquilise the dog.

The following day, under the pretext of arranging an interview with Grayling, Marley and Kendra visit the house to check for any surprises. Brendan spends part of the day planning ahead – he has parked his own truck near the Grayling house, but not near enough to rouse suspicion. He’s also stolen a vehicle to use later. He and Aileen go on their date (and it turns out Brendan has no sense of style); as it’s a success, they arrange a second date for Saturday.

The Band meet up afterwards and travel towards Grayling’s house in the stolen vehicle. The rest of the Band get out early and Brendan drives the vehicle into a nearby pylon, cutting off the electricity to a large chunk of the neighbourhood.

Ben and Brendan mingle with the crowd that gathers to discuss what’s happening, which includes both guards and the dog at the front gate; Kendra and Marley sneak in through the back by unlocking the back door. They lock the front door from the inside (just in case), snatch the flute, unlock the front (so as not to prematurely raise suspicion), lock the back door, and exit to join the crowd. (Kendra waivers about using the flute to help others, but Marley helps her keep to her chosen path).

Experience points

Darren5 (4 basic, 1 extra for unwittingly introducing the next plot by asking what the trial is that Marley’s covering)

Eleanor5 (4 basic, 1 extra for guessing the flute belonged to the Pied Piper of Hamlyn)

Emma5 (4 basic, 1 extra for playing her character’s conflict as a Scion of Loki)

Julian5 (4 basic, 1 extra for the stolen vehicle plan)

The Rats of Nemean (part 2)
Session 2 - 17 April 2014 (Game time: Wednesday night)

At this point, Kendra and Marley contact the boys to find out what they’re doing. On hearing of their discovery, they get on the subway and make their way over to the boat. The four of them head into the storm drain, and find that it slopes gradually upwards, out of the water and accumulated muck.

Further in they find a human skeleton, one of the missing homeless people, and scrape marks in the filth made by large claws. At a convergence point for several tunnels, they find their quarry – not the giant alligator Kendra has been predicting, but half a dozen Nemean rats.

Engaging the rats in battle, the Band soon find they are completely unprepared, having only come into the storm drains with the handguns they usually carry. They retreat, using Ben’s power over water to wash the rats away from them.

Battered and bloodied, they make their way to The Happy Burrito Concerned by their appearance, Aileen Dexter gives Brendan (the most hurt), warm water and antiseptic ointment so he can doctor himself. Nursing beers, they settle down to watch the band playing The Burrito that night, a swamp rock group called Back to the Bayou. Looking at the lead singer, it gradually dawns on them that he is a fellow Scion.

Experience points

Darren4 (basic)

Eleanor0 (unable to attend)

Emma4 (basic)

Julian4 (basic)

The Rats of Nemean (part 1)
Session 1 - 10 April 2014 (Game time: Wednesday daytime)

It’s Spring. Prior to the story beginning, New York has experienced unusually bad weather – hail, bad storms. The storm drains are flooding and reports of rat sightings have risen accordingly.

Midday, midweek: all the PCs are at work. Marley’s in court covering a big trial, Kendra’s at her desk at the Daily Tribune. She gets a tip from Bob on the newsdesk that the homeless population sheltering in the subway station have been alarmed by … something. Coincidentally, court has gone into recess and Marley’s grabbing a coffee. The two meet up and catch the subway to the appropriate station.

Brendan’s in a bar, The Shamrock, tailing a bounty. He’s waiting for Irish Joe to appear so they can corner and apprehend the felon. He gets a call from Benjamin, who’s looking into the rat sightings; whilst trying to fob him off, Brendan’s location is outed by the bar staff greeting somebody with “Top o’ the morning to ya”. Benjamin hops on his bike (in his bright green waterproof) and rides over to the bar, arriving at the same time as Irish Joe. They head out to Brendan’s boat and set off to investigate the storm drains.

At the station, Kendra and Marley interview Maggie, a local homeless woman. She’s frightened to the point of incoherence, and can only mutter about claws, teeth and dark, pitiless eyes. It turns out that two of the other homeless population, Gloria and Jim, are both missing. Kendra gives Maggie a coffee and tells her to take care of herself.

Out on the boat, Brendan and Benjamin pull up to a storm drain, where Benjamin tests the water by drinking it, but only detects dilute rat urine. Catching a glimpse of something white, they investigate further, and find the scattered bones of an alligator. Assembling them on deck as best they can, they find it was 18 foot long – and the bones have been gnawed by something with large teeth …

Experience earned

Darren6 (4 basic, 1 for making storyteller laugh by bulldozering into somebody else’s job, 1 for returning campaign sheet)

Eleanor5 (4 basic, 1 for returning her character sheet just before the next session)

Emma4 (4 basic)

Julian6 (4 basic, 1 for storyteller helper, 1 for returning campaign query sheet)

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