Fire and Brine

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven

Welcome back! We start this session at two time frames, following John to the Storm Lord Gathering, and Ethan and Lorcan hunt under the cover of the storm.

_This is the first real glance we see at the wider Uratha culture in Dublin, namely the Storm Lords. We also get to see a couple of spirit courts large and small in their territory. The player start spending some banked XP._

We join John who travels to the meeting point suggested by Ocean’s Fury, a crappy diner near the docks. Fury is a weathered and scarred woman with hard grey eyes and is dressed for the stormy weather outside. She sits in front of an stained, empty coffee mug. Fury was the Iminir that encouraged John into the Tribe – and despite John’s oft naivety she secretly thinks John could be a breath of fresh air in the Tribe.

The two catch up, with John explaining what he’s been up to – describing the spirit cult that the pack have come across, the fight with the guys with guns where he ran at them alone, the black mold the pack found in St Mary’s and the fight with the Claimed that seemed epic. Fury narrows her eyes at the mention of the Shining One, and suggests that they should bring it up at the Gathering. She seems impressed by John taking down the Claimed at St Mary’s, she explains that the ‘epic’ feel might have been the Eye of the Storm – sometimes when a Storm Lord faces a Claimed or a personal challenge Skolis-Ur is said to observe.

“It’s a great honour, you should be proud”, she smiles across the table.

She pauses, and explains how the Gathering tends to occur.

“So it’s general a meeting of all the Storm Lords, we tend to gather under the blanket of a storm if we can for obvious reasons. There’s meeting points that the People use, kinda neutral grounds call Tur. There’s one on the hill in Howth that our Tribe uses, come on – I’ll drive.”

Meanwhile, Ethan and Lorcan are standing in the Shadow of the middle of the main street of Rathmines – standing over the dissipating corpus of their hunt. Around them, in a break of the storm the spirits of the elements and the few active city spirit stare on at the predators, flushed with energy. Several spirits hang back, watching – notably a pair of spirits drawing up from the gutter to form heavy set humanoid shapes from the water and debris in the gutter. These spirit stink of brine, and they watch Ethan and Lorcan who drawn closer, curious.

Not sure who they are, Lorcan tells them to get lost out of their territory. At that the two spirits meld into one that looms over the two in Urshul form, it wetly chuckles and discorporates into the briney water than flows into guttering of the street.

Weirded out, the two decide on what’s next. Lorcan wants to learn that trick that Old Bones could do with a story and figures out he needs to find a spirit of Knowledge that could teach him. He decides on the local library and heads there. Ethan follows out of curiosity.

At the Rathmines Library, the two enter and as the doors close behind them deafening silence falls onto the pair as they walk in, shifting into Dalu and looking around the place, which is empty other than the odd brush of movement in the stacks, just out of sight. Lorcan walks in, trying to find the spirit in charge. Ethan goes to the nearest stack, and opens a book on it’s shelf, but the book is empty, blank page after blank page.

Lorcan, searching the stacks, notices that books quiver stack after stack, like a wave. Almost as if the shelves are the gills of a creatures. The two realise that the building is the spirit of the library. Lorcan whispers out, “hello?”

There is a brief pause, and steps ring out in the silence. As they descend and hit the ground floor all sound is sucked out of the room. A tall, slender figure of a man, with long spindly arms and legs and a small withered head who only has a gaping hole acting as some sort of mouth. Is jerkily walks up to Lorcan and extends a pale spiders finger at a sign above them, one that reads in first tongue, Me, or “Silence”.

“I just nee-” Lorcan starts, but the spirit stops him as it reaches out with it’s finger and lightly touches Lorcan’s forehead. Lorcan goes to finish his sentence, but finds he can’t.

“!” He gestures to Ethan, as the Silence Spirit retreats into the stacks and out of sight.

On the other side of town, and several hours ago, John gets out of Fury’s car and the two walk up the Tur, the rain is pouring off the stone steps, and thunder sounds in the distance.

At the top John finds about six individuals met around in a rough circle. They seem like an intimidating look, back lit by the lightning – some of them seem barely affected by the storm at all.

All of them seem to be enjoying the fury of the elements crashing against the hill.

Introductions are made, John is introduced by Fury to the others, a couple he recognises – namely Wind’s Whisper who he met earlier in the week. The others include; ‘Roar’, a fellow pack mate of Fury who is a loud blunt young guy clearing enjoying every lightning flash, Memory’s Howl, a young woman from the Last Line pack who has a hard, sad look to her eyes, a small woman dressed in blacks introduced at Night’s Silence, ‘Cliff’, a tower of a man completely unaffected by the Storm and another new guy of the Tribe who John doesn’t recognise from his initiation ceremony. John learns that the guy is a Garda, who turned under the Half Moon.

With informalities aside, Wind’s Whisper gathers all of them together, leading the call and answer in First Tongue, stating they have gathered under the storm, children of Winter Wolf. That the Gathering finds two new members. Fury notes that John has done a deed of Glory, recounting the time that John waded into a firestorm and took the attackers down on his own. The Tribe howl his deeds into the sky, and a flash of lightning hits the centre of the group’s circle, leaving a shining figure accompanied by a haunting musical tone. It turns to John and with elegant claws, carves shining blue light into his corpus, marking his Glory. These marks shine into the mark left by the Gift of Strength, and John feels faster. The group join in her in the celebration of the Storm, dancing and cutting themselves in the rain the beat of the lightning strikes.

The Tribe just did their special Tribal rite. Buffs ahoy!

She then asks the assembled if there is anything they feel the Storm Lords should know.

Cliff rumbles into speech, “I’ve noticed more A’raghna around the shores than usual. The Drowned Men seem to be wandering further in shore than I have ever seen, these strange things should be kept an eye on. Somehow water spirits are Claiming the dead bodies of the Drowned, this cannot bode well.” At this the Gathering murmurs in agreement, and John makes a mental note.

Waiting their turn, Fury finally gets a chance to speak, “John has found a spirit Cult, one that is using Claimed”. This gets the Tribe’s attention and Whisper asks John, “please explain.”

John explains, with hand gestures, the story of the Shining One, especially the ‘epic’ fight between him and the Claimed in St Mary’s. After he is finished describing the how the thing died, the Tribe stare back at him.

Whisper blinks, “if this Cult is as advanced enough to Claim we may have an issue to deal with. An auspicious hunt even, considering the chance of running into more of these dugithim . It sounds like this is a problem in your territory which the Tribe can help with. We can hunt tonight, as a Tribe if you allow it.”

John thinks and then agrees. The Tribe are led into the Siskur Dar by Whisper, who performs an exceptional rite, and the Tribe shift into Urhan and thunder down the hillside towards Rathmines in the distance.

Meanwhile, in the silence of the library Ethan and Lorcan figure out a plan, with Lorcan using the paper corpus of a muthra to write communications on to speak to Ethan. They search for books related to their interests, Lorcan finds a A Thousand and One Nights and Ethan a book on {{DURH}}. They take their empty books to the front desk, stamping them with a strnagely ornate stamp and take them up to returns, on the first floor. The two then hand the tomes back, but as they hand them though the hole in the wall, an edged stamp carved a mark into their hands, and the strnage patterns left behind settle into their skin, and the two unlock Knowledge.

Lorcan unlokcs the Gift of Knowledge, and Ethan unlocks a new Insight facet. I really enjoyed running this scene, fleshing out small spirit courts like these and coming up with strange (but weirdly logical) rules to abide by is bizarrely quite fun.

With this task done, Lorcan then decides to head to the Shadow of the Church of the Immaculate Mary. It’s by far the biggest Court in their territory, and Lorcan feels like it needs to be dealt with. As they get there, Lorcan still in complete silence, Ethan waits outside as back up and Lorcan enters the building, with the doors shutting ominously behind him.

As Ethan waits, giving Lorcan 15 minutes before he comes in, the lights of the fires found within the Church Court fade out, leaving the building in darkness, Several tense minutes later the lights burst into life again, and Lorcan walks out of the Church sightly tanned.

“What happened?” Ethan asks. Lorcan scribbles onto the weirdly subdued paper muthra that he’s found out where the Shining One is, the Spirit in charge of the Immaculate Court would be inclined to whomever took it out. A game plan sorted the two head out of the Hisil through their locus, which is filling up with Essence thanks to the storm’s bounty and back to the Chase. They pick up Jack, gear up and head out.

The three pack-mates head towards where Lorcan was told to go, a small, disused Chapel suspiciously and partially repaired. They are standing in the street coming ip with a plan when they notice an eerie fog from the way they just came from, and from the other side the fog looks like a spiritual manifestation. The three begin drawing their weapons when John, and 7 other Uratha appear out of the fog.

“Uh, I brought back up?” John says.

And another session done! I particularly enjoyed this one with the first big NPC scene of the game (which was sorta half-assed – at the time of actually writing this actual play I have a better handle on the Forsaken of Dublin) and the awesome little scene in the Library.

You may notice what happened in the Immaculate Court happens ‘off screen’. Partially to add mystery, as well as partially because the scene was amazingly underwritten by this session spcial guest star the paper spirit Lorcan start to use now he’s a mute. Basically it adds it’s own little messages onto the conversation. Que an amusing, and often silly conversation with quite a big spirit. So I’ve left it to be a little more dramatic. Apologies!

Anyways, as I write tomorrow is the next game, and a massive combat with lots of NPCs. We also get to find out the fate of poor ol’ Jackie. I look forward to keeping you updated!

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EdGilbert

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