Wednesday, December 14, 2016

And Where We Go We Will Go There With Purpose

It's all I'm saying.

I'll tip my hand here, there's not much I am creative about.

But if anyone has any interest, I made a little pamphlet of the setting my campaign is currently running around in. Purely content that my players have or could run into, mostly locations, people, rumors, secrets, other things.

Here it is.

I don't think I should charge for it right now, but if anyone thinks otherwise do say so.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Stay Outside And Fight Two Hundred Birds

Eigth session. A complete mess but an entertaining mess.

People of Interest:
Dom Poe, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny thief who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a runaway princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.
Sariell Akilo, an extremely fashionable recluse.

People Met:
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.
Father Felux, a blind priest with melancholia.
Sister Miche, an absolutely huge French muscle nun.
Jackson De La Sangue, smug and loud leader of Cobra House.
Jenny Bones, noseless and unlucky leader of Viper House.
Zitia Chrime, tall, long haired woman who is being followed.

Gains:
One wooden lockbox, containing:
A picture of Jenny Bones and the mysterious assailant, her brother, dated five years ago
Pearl earrings and a pearl necklace
Two notes saying "I'm sorry", "It's okay."
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade
Donation records to the Heterodox Church of St. Felicissumus, mostly from Deep.
Lots of stolen money
Really cool fashion!

Losses:
The patience of many, many birds.

When the party split up again it was just before noon:
Dom went straight to Viper House, passing by the familiar duo of families insulting each other via signage, and attempted to enter the business. However, the door had been replaced with a well-sealed metal one, complete with eye-level slot; this slot opened and demanded Dom explain what he wanted, and subsequently what kind of gift he intended to return to Jenny when he stated his purpose.
Jenny herself came by a short while later, clearly having been weeping, and was hostile to Dom's very presence near her business—even when he passed her prosthetic nose through the slot. She thanked him curtly and told him to never come near her ever again, and called him a fucker as he departed.

Aria and Sariell limped together towards Croixsing's Twenty-Four-Hour Clinic, sat in a waiting room with five other people in various states of disarray. While he was filing his reason for the visit, Sariell asked the nurse on call what happened to one man with a lot of blood coming out of his nose and mouth; the man himself responded that he got in an alley fight the night before, and had gotten his face stomped in twice. Unfortunately, he couldn't remember anything else.
Sariell eventually was treated by a curt, tired doctor and aided by Sal'anglii Chancre herself. He got some painkillers for his trouble, an ice pack for his cracked ribs, and a warning not to overexert himself.

Aria left to go scope out her target: the weird wharfside chapel she suspected one Slow Asp could be found at. Built isolated and away from the rest of the southern bay, at the end of a docks over the water, the chapel had exactly one window and two bolted doors. No-one but Aria had gone near the place, so no-one commented when she failed a climbing attempt and fell hard on her side. Discouraged, Aria then went back to Father Felux's church while making sure she wasn't being followed or watched.

Alice, still hiding up in the attic, decided to make paper cranes to keep herself occupied during her vigil.

The party gathered again. Dom got the idea that he wanted to capture one of the bell tower birds as a pet, which just so happened to coincide with two of said—a rook and a vulture—breaking off from the flock to circle low around both Dom and Alice. Dom took the remaining rope from the improvised high wire and created a lasso, and successfully punched the vulture out in one hit when it swooped at him. He tied up his new 'pet', proud of the capture. The rest of the party was pretty nonplussed about this for a bit, until Aria herself decided she also wanted a pet and attempted to scope out a single crow from the flock.

In quick order, Aria crept through the church—past Father Felux who was muttering to himself—and up the belltower—past Sister Miche who was at her little shrine deep in prayer—and onto the roof. With some improbable acrobatics, she captured her crow in a smooth motion.

In response, every other bird on the roof started screaming as one.

Aria fled back to the safety of Miche's shrine with a mass of hundreds of enraged birds on her trail. The party, who had been keeping an eye on these shenanigans, noted that Aria was probably completely fucked, and that Dom's captive vulture had woken up and was struggling to get free.
The Sister was alarmed to see Aria had snuck past her before, and was even more alarmed to see how the latter had a crow in hand;  accusations were made, bad stalls for time were made, and Aria ran away yet again.

While this had been happening, Dom and Sariel were unsuccessful in calming down or feeding the vulture; it gave them looks of utter, complete loathing and tried to peck their fingers off for their efforts. As a last resort Dom wanted to intimidate it into behaving, then just punched its head so hard its neck snapped when he felt there was nothing left to be done. Collectively, all the swarming birds shuddered as if in pain. Then Aria got back to the attic stakeout, passed off her crow to Alice, and half the party made the decision to fight the swarm off—the other half sealed themselves inside to wait it out.

The enraged, screaming swarm engulfed them. Dom, with his leaded gloves, used his martial artistry to attack multiple birds at once; Aria borrowed Sariell's staff to do the same. It was not a very successful tactic. A bit of a fight went on, with Alice and Sariell actually getting their crow to settle down on the inside, until Aria decided it was hopeless and jumped to the ground. She had intended to use her switchblade as a buffer so her fall would not be fatal, but the blade snapped under her weight and momentum, and she fell hard again. This did not deter any of the swarm, who followed. Then Aria thought throwing coins as a distracting tactic would have been useful, for some reason. It didn't work very well. Don instead feigned a heart attack and played dead, which worked better.

Impatient, annoyed with the birds, and wounded, Aria made the decision that a pet crow was not worth fighting off two hundred more. She snatched it from Alice and set it free.
In response the swarm swirled as one, took off, and migrated east across the city's skyline. Feathers, blood, bird shit, and dust were all that was left of the conflict.

Father Felux emerged, confused, asking if there had been some kind of storm. The priest puttered around the churchy courtyard while the party scattered again, picking up feathers, getting no answers.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Honestly

A question: what kind of content do you want this blog to continue with? More play reports? More weird locations and gross shit? No content at all?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'll Give Her The Nose But I'm Keeping The Money

Seventh session, short but sweet.

People of Interest:
Dom Poe, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny thief who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a runaway princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.
Sariell Akilo, an extremely fashionable recluse.

People Met:
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.
Father Felux, a blind priest with melancholia.
Sister Miche, an absolutely huge French muscle nun.
Jackson De La Sangue, smug and loud leader of Cobra House.
Jenny Bones, noseless and unlucky leader of Viper House.
Zitia Chrime, tall, long haired woman who is being followed.

Gains:
One wooden lockbox, containing:
A picture of Jenny Bones and the mysterious assailant, her brother, dated five years ago
A latex nose
Pearl earrings and a pearl necklace
Two notes saying "I'm sorry", "It's okay."
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade
Donation records to the Heterodox Church of St. Felicissumus, mostly from Deep.
Lots of stolen money
Really cool fashion!

Losses:
Alice's propriety.

In the midnight streets of Croixsing, Dom returned to the motel the party originally rented out, only to see that the proprietress and a cop were both discussing the matter of a room's questionable payment. Dom was asked if he had met Hypatia Muldoon yet, to which he replied no, to which she told him she would be kicking them all out if the issue wasn't resolved by tomorrow. He went to sleep anyway since he wasn't the one who paid.

Aria returned to the church and fell asleep on a pew, curled up in her clothes. The day turned to Friday, and at six in the morning the church bells began to ring.

Sariell was the first to awake, going to his usual seat in the church to pray for his fashion.
Alice woke up next, going to the belltower where Sister Miche was ringing all three by herself: a rope in each hand and swinging the third to every unused hand. It visibly took strength and concentration, so Alice decided to wait.
Aria woke up next and harassed Sariell about his faith, then broke off to go sleep in his bed.
Dom continued to sleep.

When the Sister was finished with her bell-ringing, she was surprised to see Alice just standing there. Alice complimented her on the sound quality and learned that it happened every day at six in the morning, noon, and six at night. Supposedly to bring people in for Mass, but obviously there hadn't been anyone who wanted to come in the past five years.
Alice then asked if Miche knew about the 'highest rooftops', because the group was looking into a kidnapping; the Sister was confused, then tense, then hurriedly left after letting slip that the church's bellower was in fact the highest point in Croixsing. Sariell had come by then, and commented that this was the first time he had ever seen Miche do her bell-ringing and then immediately leave the tower. Alice thought she was concealing some information.

They two made a plan wanting to get a better viewpoint of the belltower, scoped out a small locked building in the churchly courtyard with a sloped roof and a roof access hatch, and Alice decided to improvise a gripping hook from some rope and her arrows. First she would need some rope, and asked Sariell to accompany her—since he was established to be the one who kept her out of trouble—while she goes to the wharf. They go there, and on their way they encounter Dom, who had abandoned the motel and advised them to do the same.

Aria woke up once more, rifled through Sariell's things, found nothing, and went off to wander around the church's back rooms until she ran into Father Felux at the chapel's podium, muttering to himself. When they talked his voice sounded much better since he had cough drops, and Aria promised she won't threaten anyone else in a house of God. A sudden loud noise, echoing throughout the whole building, startled the priest momentarily. Aria then went off to take a shower, found there was some blood on her clothes.

At the wharf, the group scoped out a swimmer, a sailor, and a fishing person on the docks with a few boats moored. Dom suggested they steal some rope, Alice denied this vehemently and instead went off to make friends with the fishing person. That same person had a very wide-brimmed hat that hid most of their face, shiny teeth, and a strong southern accent.

Alice managed her small-talk friendliness incredibly well, and got the woman with the large hat to ramble extensively about her own life while getting the rope they wanted. She told that she only fished and sailed in the morning, worked at a clinic all night, and felt she would never run out of energy even though she was around eighty, having worked three decades in collections.
Specifically, Viper House.
The woman knew Jenny Bones, Orrin Valdecar, and Zitia Chrime all from her past, was pleased that Alice and co. had an interest in working there, and mused about how much safer the business had gotten. Collections, back in her day, were very much more like bounty hunting than accounting. The woman said her name was Sal'anglii Chancre, and would be very pleased if they four could meet again.

Now with rope, Alice and co. returned to the church to wait for Aria and enact their plan.
While they waited, Sariell talked with Felux some more: the priest seemed more melancholic than usual, distracted, expressed he felt like a useless figurehead. They talked about the status of other religious buildings in the city, Felux revealed the church doesn't get much support from the Vatican, but there are some other big structures for Judaism and Islam. When specifically asked about the tiny wharf-side chapel and if it had a name, Felux said even if it did have a name everyone would have scrubbed it from record; in his thirty years of religiosity, Felux had heard many rumors about esoteric ritual from that place. Nothing verifiable, but certainly a lot of rumors.
Felux then asked Sariell if he had seen Sister Francesca, or any of the other clergy who were supposed to be showing up for an event on Sunday. Sariell admitted it slipped his mind since he really didn't go anywhere save his room and his pew, but he would tell Felux or Miche if anything happens or anyone showed up.

Due to a mistake in order, Aria had long since left her shower and wandered around more, passing by Miche at least three times and pursuing the sister into whatever room she kept disappearing into; it turned out to be a storage room for communion wine and the eucharist. Aria was disappointed.

Alice and Sariell then went to the courtyard building to test out her improvised grappling hook, and it stuck itself into the wooden room frame pretty deeply. However, Alice was not strong enough to lift herself up the rope. Sariell, on the other hand, executed a perfect parkour climb up the building and landed solidly. He went into the roof hatch, through rooms apparently for records, and unlocked the door for the others.
Alice set up an attic stakeout, Dom and Aria went to go get food, and Sariell glanced through some records to see that they were all donations to the church. On a personal hunch, he looked for the name of Deep, and found three whole pages of donations from the man—uniformly huge donations, seven thousand to fifteen thousand a month, with little addenda for what the money was intended for. In recent months the donations had dropped to just hundreds of dollars, or even nothing at all. As well, he found a donation of fifty-thousand dollars from thirty years ago, sourced from Felux himself.

Suspicious of why all this money was going to a single church, Sariell went to the roof and joined Alice in the stakeout. The day went on, but a few hours in small migrations of birds thickened into a mass of sparrows, crows, magpies, rooks, pigeons, all which landed on the belltower's roof as one. Alice wanted to get both closer and a better view of the city, so she shot another rope-arrow across rooftops to the church and made a sort of high wire.
Unfortunately she fell quite painfully, and decided to stay on her own roof. Sariell did his parkour again and made it. This attracted the attention of the birds, who all began to stare at him as one.

Aria and Dom returned with food. Alice threw a roof tile to distract said birds from her friend, which scattered some but also had them land around the princess to also stare at her, watching her face. As if studying it. Dom joined Sariell and scoped out that someone else was standing on Viper House's roof: someone bald and noseless, looking around as if expecting company, then sitting down with head in hands.

Alice, freaked out, began murdering the birds with her bow, one by one. This did not scatter them, and they continued to examine her face as they died.

Feeling like nothing was getting done, and motivated by Jenny Bones' sadness, Dom resolved to do the second nice thing he had ever done in the past week and return Jenny's stolen prosthetic nose. Sariell followed, but slipped on the low-quality high wire and fell hard.
Hard enough to put him into a dying state.

Aria rushed in with her stolen medical kit and stabilized her friend, but didn't patch him up fully. Sister Miche, alarmed by a scream, rushed out to see what was the matter; she took in the high-wire, the birds on the belltower, the blood and corpses of the birds on the ground, and Sariell all in turn. There was an accusation of why they all wanted to know about rooftops, if it was some new kind of sport, if Sariell needed an ambulance. He said no, and said he would call if he got worse, which was just sufficient enough to make the sister go back inside.

The session ended with Aria helping Sariell limp to Sal'anglii's clinic, Dom going off to return Jenny's nose, and Alice hiding in the attic continuing her stakeout.

Monday, October 10, 2016

It's What We Do

Sixth session. A mess.

People of Interest:
Dom Poe, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny thief who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a runaway princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.
Sariell, an extremely fashionable recluse.

People Met:
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.
Father Felux, a blind priest with terrible laryngitis.
Sister Miche, an absolutely huge French muscle nun.
Jackson De La Sangue, smug and loud leader of Cobra House.
Zitia Chrime, tall, long haired woman who knows something.

Gains:
One wooden lockbox, containing:
A picture of Jenny Bones and the mysterious assailant, dated five years ago.
A latex nose.
Pearl earrings and a pearl necklace
Two notes saying "I'm sorry", "It's okay."
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade.
Really cool fashion!

Losses:
Anything like a coherent plot.

Jumping ahead slightly: Dom, Sariell, and Alice have been driven some distance away from the dense core neighborhoods of Croixsing while being collectively held at gunpoint, and Aria had fled the alleyway where she had stabbed a man for information after taking his phone.

Dom tried to unlock the car door to escape, prompting Zitia to ask whether or not they had contacted he for a reason; Dom ignored this and then successfully rolled out of the car onto a dim coastal highway without being hit by other vehicles. The party fractured even further, Alice tried to pick up the thread of conversation while Sariell made himself comfortable in the blanket-lined back seat.
They talked some, still with a revolver between them. Zitia asked why they knew about Viper House and her in the first place, why they knew about the people on rooftops following her around, and why they had contacted her. In short order some things were cleared up:

  • Alice had been kidnapped by the same mysterious assailant that had also broken into Zitia's apartment some years back. This assailant was confirmed to be Jenny Bones' brother, Zallen, by the footwear he had and the picture Alice had seen.
  • Zallen and at least one other had also been following Zitia around at the time, and for the past five years the woman had been living in her car to keep them off her trail, and was relieved that someone took her worry seriously.
  • Zitia only felt safe at her workplace with Mr. Deep, who evidently never left the house and could possibly be an addict.
  • Zallen also likely had been at Viper House in the first place to kidnap the secretary, though Zitia could not say why and was ashamed that she did not think other people could have been followed as well. She couldn't see a reason or connection, though, beyond herself being a narcoleptic and the secretary being a possible insomniac and the fact they worked at the same company. 
  • The secretary's name is actually Orrin Valdecar, and is maybe in a relationship with Jenny. 
While this was going on, Dom decided to hitchhike back to the party's motel while being as charismatic as possible; he was very successful, and got the attention of a very glitzy sports car with a very handsome man with thick eyelashes and a braided beard inside. The man offered a ride back to the Ward of The Sleeping Fish, because coincidentally he was also going there for some late-night work.
They had some awkward small talk.

Back in the city, Aria attempted to discretely clean the phone she stole of fingerprints and toss it into the wharf; this didn't go entirely unnoticed, and she attempted to make up for this by rushing back to Cobra House to petition her new boss for legal protection in exchange for information about the Slow Asp.

She saw Dom and Jackson emerge from the same car just outside the collections building, the former heading back to their motel to sleep and the latter surprised to see her so late in the evening. Aria informed him she had something that would interest him, and he was very quick to point out there was probably a catch. They two went into his office to discuss the Slow Asp case and how it could be connected to a film called "Slothful Snake" being shown at a tiny waterside church. Aria also said she found this out after she stabbed a guy and maybe killed him.
Jackson was both skeptical and smug, not wanting to follow a lead that might just be an indie film festival, and a little annoyed Aria had gone through his papers and had taken the most pricey-looking one. He explained an agent would only get a commission of the total value—a total value that was an unspoken sixty-thousand dollars, rather than the ten-thousand down payment.

When Aria mentioned that her hunch was legit because of all the secrecy, the possible code names, and the fact the dude she stabbed said he would get Mr. Deep to vouch for him, Jackson told her Deep was a bad man with weird taste in collecting stuff. The Slow Asp had been something that everyone wanted, and collecting on it to stick it to Deep would be exactly the kind of thing Jackson would want for personal gratification. Aria got the case and limited legal protection on the condition she succeed in getting the Asp. Otherwise, murder charges up the ass.

Dom woke up from a short sleep and wanted to go get a drink at the Yellow Sign; on his way down the proprietor asked if he was with "Hypatia Muldoon's" group because her credit card company had called about a few recent purchases. Dom lied he would tell her, and left quickly.

Sariell and Alice wrapped up their drive with Zitia on a calmer note, with the promise either would call each other if anything happened. Zitia promised she would look into placed called "rooftops" and thanked them for believing her. She dropped them off at a train station in the suburb of Yellow Watch, and aside from Alice being a little more cautious about followers they were back on their way home.

Dom went to the Yellow Sign and started talking to his new coworker, a bartender named Ung-Mora Cthulaga who remembered Dom not order drinks two days ago. It was college night and bad decisions were being made.
Aria went to the bar after her ordeal with Jackson, followed by Sariell and Alice. They convened, sort of shared information, bugged Dom as to why he bailed on them, bugged Aria on why she left in the first place, bought drinks and stole cash from people.

Then, out of nowhere, Dom stood up and said he would fight people for money. This got the whole party kicked out with no safe place to go, until Sariell suggest they go back to the church with Father Felux. He and Alice did so after unsuccessfully trying to move Dom, while Dom ended up fighting a guy while Aria ran crooked bets with the intention of stealing all the money.

Dom nearly got knocked out and beat the guy's face in, then stumbled off half-aware of things while an ambulance was called. Aria tried to patch up the other guy, but fled into alleys and back streets while sirens whined in the small hours of the night.

Two party members scattered and unsafe, two sleeping comfortably in creaky church beds.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Why Oh Why

Elsewhere, something happens.

In a dim and stony chamber, one Jagharun Jahard awakens on one of five stone slabs in a mysterious room. There are tables of clay jars and trash to one side, a stone archway with a severed forearm to another, a padlocked wooden door to another, and two sleeping figures beside him. First thing the Cleric does is draw an eye in the dust, to sanctify his deity.

He takes a mace from the severed forearm and tries to smash the wooden door's padlock, fails, then goes to wake up the other people in the room. The first, a large man with long hair named Ragnar Wraithraiser, wakes up and immediately starts screaming at Jagharun to see if he knows what's going on. The second, a tiny cloaked woman named Luna Voile Grace, is confused by basically everything while she searches for useful tools on the tables of junk. She finds a scalpel and some suturing supplies.

Ragnar takes the initiative—and Jagharun's mace—and successfully smashes the door open. Previously there had been some wet, dragging sounds from behind said door and the thing making them was finally revealed: a fucked up dog-human chimera too thin to stand, with hands and no feet and no eyes, crawling around. Ragnar stomps on its skull to kill it. Luna is alarmed. Jagharun smashes some pots in frustration, and finds each are filled with a honey-mixed-with-sweat-smelling concoction.

They go into the next space, a hallway with scarred and rotting floorboards. Ragnar clumsily steps through a weak spot in the floor and shows that the hallway is suspended above an abyss; fortunately he climbs back up. The other two consider jumping the gap before just shimmying on some support beams.

They come across a locked door, this time without an obvious padlock, and Jagharun kicks it in so effectively it comes right off the hinges in one piece. Ragnar then claims the door as his own.

Inside is a poorly-lit, L-shaped space. The floor is absolutely covered in crunching solid things, ankle-deep. Luna examines one: it turns out to be a fucked up combination of grasshopper, mantis, and spider with a distorted human face. All of them are long-dead and dried to the core. Along the walls of the room are lanterns, the whole party gets one while Luna and Ragnar go closer to a set of six long desks and six matching metal cylinders attached to the ceiling. Jagharun instead goes to the room's darker part and hears gentle, soft breathing.

The party reconvenes behind the Cleric as Ragnar throws a chair towards the breathing's source; this only causes said source to drift closer. It turns out to be a person, or at least a person at first: their neck and head are set too high on their shoulders, which are too broad, and their chest is too swollen, and their arms hang too low and too thin. The floating human skin drifts around, and Ragnar borrows the mace once again to smash it. It tears and bursts and coveres Ragnar and Luna in honey-with-sweat-smelling fog.

Further into that corner of the lab reveals a circular frame would, if fastened, have a person stand with arms outstretched in a Y-shape.

Luna wonders what the fuck Ragnar is doing. Jagharun plays spin-the-mace to determine with new doorway they should collectively go into; it turns out that of the two he selects a locked one, but Luna insists they at least see what the other has to offer before they break more doors. They go into a pitch-black semicircular hall and end up breaking the first door off its hinges anyway.

Inside is a sort of waiting room with some papers on a table; these papers are dry and reveal the space they are in was used for research projects, however someone has scrawled 'keep it locked' on the top page. Ragnar uses them and some wooden fragments to make a fire for their lamps, ignoring their message. Luna wonders what the fuck Ragnar is doing.

After getting much better lighting, the party sees that another hollow skin is floating above them. Ragnar throws his door at it and gets the whole party covered in more reeking smog. They see the waiting room leads to a T-intersection, left to the other half of the semicircular space, right to a locked door.

Another dog-chimaera is in the semicircular space; Ragnar stomps its head in too. Sick and worried, the party goes back to the room they woke up in to check out the stone arch they promised to look at before, where Luna burns her only safe cast of magic missile to destroy it. It sort of works.

Then Luna decides, with Ragnar's backup, to re-explore the lab lined with dead chimerical bugs while  Jagharun communes with his deity, the strange Eye That Watches, to reveal secrets of the room.
First, Luna goes along the desks and reads of their research: studying the influence of a new gaseous element, or element made gasseous, and how it interacts with living flesh to create hosts for new organs. She takes this research.
Second, Jagharun completes his communion but rolls just poorly enough on his Test of Faith* to have some unintended visions: he is struck with a second sight that shows afterimages of inhabited labs and researchers bringing his, Luna's, and Ragnar's unconscious bodies onto the slabs, followed by a mass panic and fleeing of the space. One person gets their arm caught in the sliding track of the arch's stone door, then the vision disintegrates into a sense of falling, limbs dissolving, eyes slipping into an abyss that is the pupil of the Eyes That Watches.

Ragnar and Luna find Jagharun unsconscious, weeping.

They wake him and escape confinement. The corpse of the armless researcher, very rotted, greets them. They loot it for knives and rings and an armethyst-lens and move on.

Past two arches marked 'main reception', the party enters the largest room yet: a hall with a vaulted ceiling and filled with bags, furniture, and supplies abandoned in a hurry. At another exit stand four skeletons, watching the party.

Jagharun rushes said skeletons and intimates combat. In short, Ragnar does the most damage to silver-wire-wrapped skeletons, Luna overecerts herself magically and develops thick pustule growths like a beehive on her right arm, and Jagharun heals himself in times of danger but in doing so releases a thing like a fleshy pyramid with twelve wings and a single eye.

Luna loots the skeletons of their silver and Jagharun communes with The Eye That Watches to understand the appareition's purpose; he gets a very strongly-worded response: 'It is me.' He then starts wearing the apparition like a hat, and that was that.

*Using Logan Knight's rules for Clerics here.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Same Same Same

Literally just the old 'law contrasted with chaos' shtick.

Anyhow.

Faith, and by extension God, and by extension Law and Organization and Domination, is represented by and often takes the form of a swarm of flies.
God is the Saturn Devouring His Child, God is the He-figure without being a patriarch or progenitor of other deities or even male-gendered, God is the penultimate dictator who craves for everything to be under his control, God is the uniform swarm operating with a collective will and singular purpose, God wants to be everything so as to keep everything in order.
Faith is the atomized culture where the individual is illuminated like nuclear light, contributing to a glow alongside but separate but grouped to infinite other individuals.

People who have faith can do some of the following things:
A prayer to consume spirits with nuclear flame.
An invocation to call swarming, biting flies.
A chant to disorient everyone under the sun.
A chant to still movement and halt heat.
A hymn to imitate another living person.

Doubt, and by extension Lucifer, and by extension Awareness and Indecision and Agony, is represented by and often takes the form of a colorless white head with a hole where a face should be.
Lucifer is the fever-dream of morals and ethics, Lucifer is the Neuter-figure at a distance and never fully believed, Lucifer is the gentle Superego that craves nothing but well-reasoned balance, Lucifer is the monolith with a hundred thousand sides to explore and get lost inside, Lucifer wants everything so as to know what things are and what things aren't.
Doubt is the collective self-aware infinite that mutually supports itself because there is nothing but itself because all things are it.

People who doubt can do some of the following things:
A dance to drive spirits into frenzy.
A compact to link distant locations together.
A song to dissolve memories into liquid.
A rite to inflict endless terror on a person.
A ritual to hide oneself from any detection.

Disbelief politely and surely says fuck all to the above options.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Let's Take A Ride

Fifth session, and what a session it has been.

People of Interest:
Dom Poe, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny thief who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a runaway princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.
Sariell, an extremely fashionable recluse.

People Met:
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.
Father Felux, a blind priest with terrible laryngitis.
Sister Miche, an absolutely huge French muscle nun.
Jackson De La Sangue, smug and loud leader of Cobra House.
Zitia Chrime, tall, long haired woman who knows something.

Gains:
One wooden lockbox, containing:
A picture of Jenny Bones and the mysterious assailant, dated five years ago.
A latex nose.
Pearl earrings and a pearl necklace
Two notes saying "I'm sorry", "It's okay."
One cleaver and one boning knife.
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade.
Really cool fashion!

Losses:
Any sense of safety.

After Sariell received a text about where to meet Zitia, she actually calls the hostel and tells them the when, which is nine at night since she works late.

This gives the party quite a lot of time to go about their business for the next eight or so hours. Alice decides to make proper arrows for her bow with the sharp pile of bones they have while Dom and Aria prepare to go to their respective job interviews; even so, there's a consensus that Sariell should remain at the hostel to make sure Alice doesn't get into trouble, since she wants to also investigate where that corpse disappeared to later.

First, Dom goes down to the Yellow Sign bar and sees Brady Katz again, who is happy to see him. Yan Selken, who in the light looks like a neater version of Danny Devito, is also pretty happy to have a new bouncer on the premises. It all goes over very quickly and easily, with Yan talking a lot.
Afterwards, Dom reluctantly returns his borrowed apron to Brady and wanders around the side streets and back-alleys of the Serpent's Nest neighborhood. He comes across a wellspring-fountain that people seem to collect water from.

Second, Aria ventures up to Cobra House, early to the event but very sure of herself. Behind its liquor store facade she is sent up to a fourth-floor office complex, which has a lot more windows than Viper House and is in much better shape. A man with a long braided beard and thick eyelashes greets her in a pleasant, deep voice; he introduces himself as Jackson De La Sangue, owner and leader of the collections house, and asks if she is Aria Noir.
They head into his office while he prepares coffee and asks her about herself, why she wants to get into the collections business, if she knows anyone in the city. Aria reveals she's very confident in her abilities as a thief, blatantly, and after some cajoling admits she did interview at Viper House but that interview went very poorly. Jackson gets excited at this, and disappears for about fifteen minutes. During this time Aria goes through his papers—commissions and jobs—and sees that something called the 'Slow Asp' has been stolen and popping up all along the seaboard, and might show up in Croixsing. It's worth ten thousand dollars as a job, and Aria keeps that information.

Jackson comes back with a large mug saying 'best boss', a smug expression, and the company of one Jenny Bones. She very unhappily expresses that Aria seems to show up only when her life goes to shit.

While this is happening, Sariell leaves Alice to her own devices and wanders up and down the Ward of The Sleeping Fish's streets. He's looking for weapons to round out what the rest of the party is carrying.
So too, Dom finds that aside from being a free source of clean water, nothing much up is going on with the fountain, so he goes back to the hostel.

Back in Cobra House, Jenny gets laughed at by Jackson as the extent of how badly Aria fucked up her day. Jenny lets slip that her secretary is gone from the middle of her lunch, food still on her plate, and that she suspects Aria for taking her over to Cobra House. Jackson says he knows nothing and wouldn't want to intrude on the 'little thing' Jenny and her secretary have going on. Aria doesn't know either but suggests the secretary left because Jenny is a horrible person.
Overall the whole thing sucks for Jenny, but both she and Jackson agree it would be good for the competition between the two houses to have a possible "spy" visibly work for one. It turns out that the collection house conflict is mostly for business and mostly artificial. Then Aria gets the job.

The party reconvenes at their hostel and talks a bit of the jobs they got and what they need to do next.   Aria reveals that the secretary is missing, Alice thinks it has something to do with her kidnapping and the larger mystery of the rooftop watchers, Sariell has only a vague idea of what's going on, and Dom doesn't care.
With a little time before they have to meet Zitia, they all decide to get new phones and minutes to consolidate their communication network. Sariell also buys a collapsible bo staff. However, when they all try to purchase the phones, none of their stolen credit cards work. It appears that the original owners have all cancelled their plans, leaving the party with little money. They flee, get drinks at the Yellow Sign bar to pursue more information about the corpse that washed up, but find nothing. Brady Katz is nice, though.

Then, as a whole they realize that none of them have eaten anything all day, but remember they do know about one place to eat—the Soft White Underbelly. They go there and eat and wait for Zitia to show up.
There is a quiet few hours and the characters begin to actually talk to each other, sharing a little history. It turns out Sariell, before he lived in the church, was at an orphanage most of his life. Aria admits to a hard life in a shitty town called Greyhall. Alice conceals that she is a runaway princess. Night falls on Croixsing quietly and slowly, and Aria leaves the party—to pursue information about the Slow Asp.

In the night, she follows someone very deeply involved in a phone call, mentioning that something called the "Slothful Snake" was being shown at a tiny church on the water, and that Deep would indeed vouch for him. It's mentioned that the phone call is using a voice modulator.

At the Soft White Underbelly, a sedan pulls up as Sariell receives a text telling him to look outside. They pile inside, Sariell in the backseat lined with folded clothes and bedding, Alice and Dom in the shotgun seat with a cooler at their feet. Their driver is a tall woman with longer hair than anyone has ever seen; one Zitia Chrime.

Aria, certain of her suspicions, trips the man into an alley and threatens him with her knife to tell her about the Slothful Snake. He tearfully tells her it's an exclusive film with a group of friends, who want to know he's legit. She guts him, and takes his phone while he lays dying in a pile of blood.

Alice asks if Zitia lives in the car, or if she wants to take a drive. Zitia pulls a gun on Alice, and affirms that she does in fact want to 'take a ride'.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

We Agressed a Priest

Fourth session!

People of Interest:
Dom Poe, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny thief who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a runaway princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.
Sariell, an extremely fashionable recluse.

People Met:
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.
Father Felux, a blind priest with terrible laryngitis.
Sister Miche, an absolutely huge French muscle nun.

Gains:
One wooden lockbox, containing:
A picture of Jenny Bones and the mysterious assailant, dated five years ago.
A latex nose.
Pearl earrings and a pearl necklace
Two notes saying "I'm sorry", "It's okay."

One cleaver and one boning knife.
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade.
Really cool fashion!

Losses:
The respect of a priest.

Starting immediately from the previous session's ending, the party is interrupted from going into the back rooms of a tall, grey-spired church by a terribly hoarse voice. This turns out to be one Father Felux, a very small bearded white guy with drifting milky-white eyes, who just is a little sick and does not normally sound like hell itself. Alice introduces herself and explains that she just wants to see the top of the bell tower.

Meanwhile, the sole person in the church aside from the religious staff, Sariell, is quietly praying for his fashion. Aria stealthily goes over to him and they have insulting banter about his fashion, her height, the nature of fashion in relation to expressing the soul, and how terrible some comebacks sound. Aria then goes back to the party just as Father Felux says he will go back to get the bell-ringer to show them up.

When Sariell himself goes up to confront the party, asking why Dom and Alice can't control their child, Aria pulls her knife on him. There is a tense moment. Father Felux then comes back and exclaims that the church is a house of God, and demands to know what Aria intends to do. This kind of defuses the situation, and while Alice, Dom, and Sariell are led up to the belltower top by an absolutely hugely muscled nun with a soft French accent, Aria just sulks in the pews.

The silent sulking goes on until Felux decides to sit beside her and ask if something in her life is bothering her. She replies she's completely fine, which the priest does not believe at all, offering if she ever needs anyone to listen, the church's inhabitants are there for her. He then goes off to fill the holy water.

Meanwhile, Alice has been using her high vantage point to look around the city for any suspicious rooftop personages. She finds none but notices that a bald person that may be Jenny Bones is standing outside Viper House, that there is a mansion on the far eastern part of the city on a steep hill, that the church's roof itself has missing tiles as if people were climbing up on it. Sariell asks why exactly Dom is on his journey; Dom responds that Aria ruined his job interview in the first session. Then everyone starts talking about the weird stuff that has been going on, like the 'house fire' at Viper Street, or the mysterious body that washed up in the southern wharf and disappeared later. Exactly the same body Alice heard from a drunk fisherman last night, though she doesn't mention this publically.

Alice then wonders about where Zitia Chrime actually lives, and in a moment of strange synchronicity, Aria rushes up the tower while they bring Sariell up to speed on their bizarre adventures and look up as to where Chrime could be found: turns out she was listed as living on 171 Street of The Squid.

Alice is way more interested in the mansion, and insists the party goes there. After a meaningful departure from the church—we learn that Sariell has been the only visitor to the church in five whole years and decides to pursue his fashion—everyone goes to the mansion and meet a gardener who lets slip that the place is owned by one Mr. Deep and family, whose assistant has an awful name. Like Chrime.

Deciding to call her directly, the party goes back to their hostel and calls her once; at the mention of Visper House she yells she doesn't know them, but after a text insisting they know something was up and just want to help they're told to meet her at a cafe called the Soft White Underbelly.

Monday, August 29, 2016

And Another

And a third session.

People of Interest:
Dom Poe, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny thief who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a runaway princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.

People Met:
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.

Gains:
One wooden lockbox, containing:
A picture of Jenny Bones and the mysterious assailant, dated five years ago.
A latex nose.
Pearl earrings and a pearl necklace
Two notes saying "I'm sorry", "It's okay."

One cleaver and one boning knife.
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade.
Really cool fashion!

Losses:
The assailant's fingers.

After Aria tried to fix Dom's damaged shoulder with vodka before Brady intervened with proper medical equipment, they decided to figure out exactly what is inside the mysterious wooden lockbox they stole from Jenny Bones in the first session; it turned out to be a lot of suggestive stuff. A nose that's obviously Jenny's, an old photograph of her and someone wearing the assailant's distinctive spiked boots, money with attached apologies. Sinister. The party felt temporarily bad about stealing a disfigured woman's prosthetics, then they moved on with their lives.

What followed was a lot of shopping in faux-Goodwill and faux-Cabellas. Aria ended up trading in her ruined cape for "a modest shawl in gold-trimmed black with matching veiled hat, leg armor done in dull steel: sabatons with false clawed toes and a talon heel; thighs, calves honeycombed with metal hexagons"; Alice went for "a flouncy plunging collar and sleeves of delicate periwinkle lace over a sort of silvered chainmail leotard;" Dom got pants and shoes, keeping the bar apron he got.
Then they got weapons: a recurve bow and archery training set, a switchblade, and lead-lined gloves, respectively.

After shopping, they wandered back to The Yellow Sign bar. The party then broke up to do different tasks.

Alice worked the investigation angle, actively listening for local rumor that might be pertinent to their investigation. This kind of worked.
A duo who got increasingly drunk were one-upping one another about unsettling body parts: the first was claiming they saw someone throw fingers into the bay while a girl in red ran away, while the second said he saw a bloated body with a face that had collapsed in on itself and was covered in smoking sores. Alice asked a little more about this, found out that the guy saw the body before dawn, and also saw an ambulance that was the wrong shape showing up before he could get a call out retrieve the body.

Aria worked the criminal angle, going after people's money. She flirted with a dude first, then subtly picked wallets on her way to the women's restroom. She got a couple hundred dollars total, four credits cards, and a driver's license. She apparently didn't feel bad at all stealing from an activist.

Dom worked the employment angle, going to the bar's co-owner Yan and mostly listening to the guy talk while getting a job application. It was revealed that Dom does in fact have a last name, and that last name is Poe.

The party then reconvened after spending hours in the bar and only buying one drink, much to the non-Brady Katz bartender's increasing impatience. They left and ended up getting an inexpensive hostel room to stay at, using a stolen credit card to pay for about two weeks.
Alice decided to get up early at dawn to take a winding walk through the streets of The Ward of Sleeping Fish. It was a beautiful dawn, spoiled only by the fact she went right by Viper House collections and tried to follow an agent who went out into the early morning city.

The agent then ran back into Viper House after recognizing Alice from being around the day before, around when that false bomb went off. She fled back into the collections house, yelling about spies, and Alice was left with no resort but to go back to her friends. Aria, however, was intrigued by the possibility of working for another collections agency, decided to go to the only non-residential space on Cobra Street: a liquor store.
Any mention of collections agencies greatly upset the salesperson, who asserted everyone in the business was ruthless and a bunch of assholes, but said he could get her a meeting later.

While the session was winding down, with both lodging and employment accounted for, Alice wanted to check for feasible places that could be the 'rooftops' mentioned by her assailant. Reasonably the party thought a belltower in a really old church was likely, and went there before being stopped by a croaky-voiced individual.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Ew

In a town center, off a side street just barely around the corner from bustling productivity, there is a house at the end of a tiny alleyway. This house is huge, rambling, creaking, made of clay bricks and cyclopian stones and huge heavy tiles and dark-stained wood panels. It has a hundred windows and two dozen chimneys, three front doors and a veranda that counts as a street on its own. It has doors that go into other buildings, but only open one way. It is the size of a whole district but does not take up significant space. Its belltower blocks out the sun in daytime and the moon in nighttime.

At night this house is lit up like a furnace. Cats bask on its roofs and windowsills for warmth; moths flutter around its chimneys, chasing light; a corps of Kanalsknechts in waterproof oilskins slosh in the house’s waterways; twice as many staff in clay masks maintain the house’s integrity. Everything smells like woodsmoke and coalsmoke and ash.

The house takes in three whole carriages of food every dusk, and exports a dozen tightly-sealed steel barrel every dawn. These drums are sold at a midnight auction, always to the same twelve people. Subsequently, the barrels disappear.

There is exactly one map detailing the house’s layout. It goes unused and sun-faded in a glass case in the vast attic.

The owners of this house are nine smoke-sorcerers of ill repute:

Haunt, may or may not be Forgiven in disguise. Unforgivable asshole, fair and blonde and blue-eyed, hands sewn together at the palms in a mockery of sanctity—this does not impair them, they have a bubbling belt of flesh at their hips that can form limbs and swells whenever they speak. It may burst one day. Dotes on Apathe in hopes of kindling love.

Isolat, deceptively quiet. Keeps constant sheets of smoke underneath their skin and between their body parts, able to fold themselves into essentially taking up no space. No one can explain how this actually works. Missing their left-hand middle finger, their right big toe, both their ears, portions of their scalp, and at least half of their teeth at any given time; they are wagering these parts against Toothchild in a high-stakes bet.

Forgiven, may or may not be Haunt in disguise. Very particular smoke-sorcerer, all kinds of sustaining wards and scented bandages to cover rotting putrid fetid body-horror and a very active brain. Their smoke is their cells and every instance of sorcery strips away more tissue layers, but they have inconceivable prescience over what that smoke experiences as an extension of themselves.

Toothchild, all smog-oozing sores and huge pores and a bare back like a toad’s. Youngest but the most hateful. May split their limbs into thinner, weaker ones; the same goes for their eyes and their teeth which are too numerous to count and crowd all the way down into the child’s guts. Knows every possible language, is very smug about this talent. Is wagering their heart against Isolat in a high-stakes bet.

Brine, like a wet cat made to walk on its hind legs: bandy-legged, stringy, glaring. Crusted over with foul stinking salt, eyes red-rimmed. Stolen mouths and throats adorn their forearms and talk all in unison and belch heavy clouds of smoke as a medium for sorcery. Survives only on a diet of tears—in desperate times saltwater will suffice.

Bittern Bitten, sold their peace of mind at a bargain price, then sold their future for a premium. Routinely writes up extensive information about themselves only to promptly burn it in a cage in their lungs; this is extremely convenient since the ink is purloined magic and the information itself confusing for the things tracking them down. Has running bets with Spittle.

Spittle, carries a lantern made from his own skull and carries his eyes and desiccated brains in a free hand. Stomach enchanted to carry oil rather than gastric acid, able to expectorate messy gouts of flame. Has the best memory out of all the smoke-sorcerers but extorts favors from them in exchange.

Apathe, who sleeps and in that sleep conjures up hopes in the form of oily, pungent smoke. These hopes inevitably take the approximate shape of Apathe themselves, forget their purpose, and continue maintaining the sleeping body that dreamed them. Fairly harmless.

Heckser, the most terrible among them all. Majordomo of the Lodge of Death, dabbles in poor decision-making and excessive drug consumption. Is actually a hollowed out skin filled with a stew of different smoke sorceries; this has led to Heckser becoming bizarre, present in different forms in different places. A sort of ur-magic user, an essential notion present in smoke itself.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Unclean Things

I write about the devil a lot.

THE TREE
In the approximate center of a flat heath or bog, there is a tree. This tree is bent and coiled, growing down towards the ground then upwards again, strangled with a persistent leafless creeper that visibly grows from inside the tree. Its bark peels off in patches and dissolves under sunlight; its flowers are delicate pearly-pink and pop open from their buds every gentle night; its roots are deep and tangled and can be found all across the heath in knots piled over themselves.

Beneath this tree is The Devil. 

The tree was recently planted as a flowering stake in The Devil's neck, pinning the creature into a hasty grave while it was being buried alive. The Devil is now broken up and scattered along the tree's roots in a dozen dozen forever-rotting pieces, leaking ambient sin instead of blood or lymph and getting waterlogged with acidified groundwater. The Devil is still very much alive, but immobile.

As a consequence of containing The Devil, the tree's seeds and trunk extrude a pungent vegetable oil if pressed down on; in fact, the whole tree’s interior is spongy, sodden, almost mushy. No seeds from the tree will grow anywhere, and branches cut from it will putrefy in hours, but the oil remains stable.

There is a family who live on the edge of this heath or bog, who go down to the tree and take its oil and mix it with caustic potash burned from the bog-salt, who make soap by the pound.

THE SOAP
The soap is plain, scentless, vaguely blue, and lathers nicely when used. It has a mottled texture like large pores, or marrow.

Washing with it physically cleanses you from past sin: a whole layer of skin blisters, hardens, goes opaque and splits away from your body in a solid layer. Tiny, worm-like fibers on the inside of the skin writhe and die as they are exposed, physical filth crystalizes and freezes in bubbles on the surface.


The soap making family insists that these skins must be torn apart with sharpened salt and burned, as they will move of their own free will—notably, always back towards the tree, to become agents of The Devil and commune only as sin made physical can. One skin has already done this, endlessly scratching at the ground to break roots apart. The family calls it Toad, for its scuttling movements, cramped body, and the layers upon layers of cauliflower growths that cover it. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

And Another Thing

I have a bad habit of being too taxonomic in my thinking, while also being very wishy-washy and vague. I like to go for 'feeling' when making a thing, pin down why that feeling does what it does, and give as much explanation to back that feeling up as possible. Sometimes I go too deep into trying to justify why things feel the way they do.

But usually I just run solely for feel and a little explanation.

It's why Mister Pig is very obviously a shallow composite between the biblical demon Legion, and a particular gif of a silent French film from 1907. Because pigs and swine have so much negative cultural association in the modern day—being dirty, disgusting, greedy, used as a negative term for police or capitalists or nasty men—to me, that gives a blatant reference to demons a sufficiently nasty feeling.

You've got the biblical demon and its own possible reference to Roman occupation, the modern baggage of pigs being horrible and associated with exploitation and brutality, and the below image all coming together as a thing called Mister Pig. The name is so plain as to seem innocent, I think. So overall Mister Pig is gross and comes across as gross just as a concept.

From 'Le Cochon Danseur'.
I also happen to think giant swine with fangs, the ability to speak, and coiled vipers for a tongue is also a cool thing to see described. The knowledge of how biologically wrong and weird and gross such a being is has the right feel, because it's got that visceral knowledge that pigs and snakes are both real animals even as Mister Pig is not real.

So it's taking known things and making them more unknown.

A thing that does this badly is Genasi, and the aesthetic and feel of Genasi. Daniel Dean over at Basic Red  said it better about how Genasi are taking the unknown and making them known, or at least getting the feel of a creature inherently tied to some element entirely wrong.

The art in particular annoys me, with most examples having fire Genasi have flames in the place of hair, or some art just having them as bald humans with glowing marks on their bodies. And that's not taking the known human form and making it unknown and strange, but just grafting fire onto a human model without thinking of how extensively biology would be changed by being partly made of a combustion reaction.

Like, think of how desiccated they would look, or how melty, or how they wouldn't have skin because meat tissue would literally cook unless the fire was cool or manipulatable. Maybe they wouldn't have fire on their heads near their brains, but across their backs, or maybe their heads are hollow and they have no faces but instead large holes to spit damp ashes and smoke, and their brains are somewhere else in their bodies or spread out down their spines. Because we know how fire interacts with meat and a meat head covered in latent flames just doesn't capture the feel correctly. Have a fire Genasi design built on how we know to contain fire, or feed fire.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Progress

So another session!

People of Interest:
Dom, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny figure who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.

People Met:
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.

Gains:
One wooden lockbox.
A bag of femurs, still bloody.
One cleaver and one boning knife.
One bottle of vodka.
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade.

Losses:
Aria's fancy cloak.
Dom's pants and Alice's dress.
The assailant's fingers.

Now where we left off Alice had been kidnapped, and Dom and Aria had fled and come back. After a short discussion, it was planned for Dom to go into the sewers with knives to pursue the assailant while Aria conferred with the woozy and worried secretary about the locked room they tried to open last session. It turned out to be records for Viper House.

Alice awoke and feigned unconsciousness for a while, observing that the assailant had a head wound and was stumbling, and attempted to escape to little effect. The assailant replied to 'not even try it'.

Dom headed into the sewers. Aria and the secretary conferred about why the records were locked—because Jenny Bones is secretive about it—and Aria explained that she needed to know if the assailant was possibly a former employee. So the secretary got the key with a great deal of nervousness.

At this point Alice actually successfully made an escape, only to be overtaken by the assailant; they explained why they were capturing her at all: since she interrupted the task the assailant was given, Alice would be taken as a sort of substitute to the rooftops. Mysterious rooftops.

In the records, Aria discovered that out of thirty files from previous employees, only three fit the profile of someone being over six feet to approximate the assailant's height. Of the three were:

  • Fernando Du Sade, who left most recently, due to having lost two fingers to a heavy door.
  • Sal'anglii Chancre, who left due to old age, being seventy-five years old at retirement.
  • Zitia Chrime, who left the longest time ago, due to 'other' reasons. A long postscript explained that Zitia reported constantly being stared at by a mysterious person from atop rooftops.
Thinking that Sal'anglii would be both too old and the incorrect gender to be the assailant, Aria stole Ferdinando and Zitia's records and left Viper House. Back in the sewers, Dom's direction actually took him to the south bay rather than the north wharf, so he scrambled back up to the street and passed by two neighboring houses who appeared to be having an insult-off via signs. Dom also abandoned his pants and shoes at this point.

While Alice and the assailant approached another way out of the sewers, Aria went shopping for vodka, bandages, and painkillers along the streets near the wharf, correctly assuming that the assailant would come out towards the wharf.

Alice then bit his two front fingers off, running off as he screamed in pain and drew the second large crowd of the day. She also screamed for help, which came in the form of one Brady Katz, who threw himself into the water but was otherwise fairly direct about helping Alice run away. However, the assailant had disappeared.

Alice—covered in blood, water, and sewage—then made friends with Brady—covered in water and running mascara—through sheer force of charisma and friendliness. Brought together by the crowds and screaming for help, Alice, Aria, and Dom gathered back together as a group. Aria found that the assailant had likely fled back into the sewers and left his dismembered fingers in the wharf.

With some awkwardness, Brady offered them some respite at the bar he tended and ran, the Yellow Sign. The party took of this offer gladly, and gathered in a booth to decide what to do next.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Here We Go

Well I ran an impromptu game and the campaign is starting up already.

People of Interest:
Dom, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny figure who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.

Gains:
One wooden lockbox.
A bag of femurs, still bloody.
One cleaver and one boning knife.

Losses:
Aria's fancy cloak.
Alice.

So these three gathered in a waiting room in the Viper Street Collections House, each having applied for employment as agents there. During the waiting period Aria sat in a corner and knocked over a potted plant, Alice tried to make friends with the plant, and Dom decided to punch out the room's single lightbulb.

This naturally alarmed the secretary who came in to check, but the partly collectively brushed her off. Not wanting to attract further attention, they barged into the office of one Jenny Bones, the hiring agents and main operative of the Viper House.

Jenny went into the spiel about responsibilities of collections agents, but began floundering when an unexpected detonation went off somewhere on the lower floors. Alice took this opportunity to see what was up; Aria took this opportunity to steal the lock-box on Jenny's desk and hurl it through the window. While Aria and Alice fled to adjoining neighborhood rooftops, Dom began demanding to know what was going on even as their prospective employer was ranting about how they were all spies.

Smoke began to fill the building, and the party regrouped in front of Viper House through different routes. Dom took the lead in investigating what was going on and rushed headlong towards a locked door to break it open, while Aria prepared an impromptu facemask and Alice decided to bring along the worried secretary by managing to win her over completely by the power of friendship alone.

While other employees of Viper House fled, the party went down into the basement where all the smoke was coming from. It was revealed that even in when confronted by thick smoke and the prospect of coughing her lungs out, Alice doesn't crawl anywhere. Dom then ran into a mysterious masked person with armor-piercing sabatons.

When questioned, the masked person explained that their presence was intended as a simple task of espionage and vandalism; unfortunately, since the party had observed them, the task became more violent.

There was a fight. Dom got a toe-spike through the shoulder in addition to his fistful of lightbulb glass and Alice was quickly knocked unconscious after trying to stab the masked person with a splintery bone.

The other two fled—leaving Alice and the secretary to their fates—towards a butchery across the street to borrow knives, cleavers, and fresh bones, and rethink their tactics. By this time a fire brigade had appeared and the party joined them going back down into the basement to face their assailant and rescue Alice.

Neither Alice nor the mysterious masked person were found, though the secretary was found unconscious. However, Aria discovered the remains of a homemade smoke bomb and a large open drainpipe in the basement bathrooms, suggesting as to where Alice had been taken.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Birds Superimposed Over The Moon

Check it out here are some more cool competencies from your favorite horrible people.

The Fuckbird
  1. By reaching your hand up towards the sky, a bird of some local species will land on your hand. It can carry one small object and place it in a location you can clearly describe, but is not necessarily more intelligent or perceptive than a normal bird.
  2. By staring at someone in your direct line-of-sight and rolling your eyes back, you afflict them with a sense of falling from a great height for as many turns as you have Vim.
  3. If you lightly polish any surface, it becomes incredibly shiny, reflective, and attention-grabbing. The surface cannot be larger than roughly the size of your palm, and the effect ends when another person touches it.
  4. You may easily remove an eye and place it anywhere for as many hours as you have Charisma. Your eye being outside of your body does not affect your balance whatsoever, but not replacing it after the time limit is up causes permanent severing.
In exchange for these competencies, The Fuckbird will accept:
Your face,
Someone else's face,
Maps and atlases and stellar maps,
Gliders and hot-air balloons.

It will also send you to define, map out, and reconnoiter known and unknown locales in The Dream, as well as report on patterns you observe.

Goodnight Moon
  1. By passing your palm over your eyes at someone without blinking, you induce one to two seconds of micro-sleep on them.
  2. By looking at someone’s face between a circled thumb and index finger you afflict them with constant, feverish nightmares. The next time they fall asleep, they will be unable to awaken until you yourself sleep.
  3. By pressing your thumb to someone’s throat, you take air from their lungs; this requires you maintain a hold.
  4. You can expectorate or weep as much black ink as saliva or tears.
In exchange for these competencies, Goodnight Moon will accept:
Penitence,
Peace of any kind,
Stargazing spots,
Lullabies.

They will also want you to not talk to them. At all. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pluck, Tuck, Tack, Slack, Track

Since you woke up, you woke up into a place alike to a dream.

Every 1D4 is a nexus of interest.
1 - Oddment
2 - Tower
3 - Building
4 - Tower

And the other points of the die indicate surrounding things.
1 - Path
2 - Path
3 - Path
4 - Oddment

Towers have 1D20 Floors.
Buildings have 1D6 Floors.

Each Floor can have the following 1D12 Purposes
1 - Ritual
        1 - Temple 
             1 - Etymol All-Bones
             2 - The Eye That Watches
             3 - UZ
             4 - Lordless Os
        2 - Sacrifice
        3 - Awakening
        4 - Deepening The Dream
2 - Storage 
3 - Empty
4 - Laboratory 
        1 - Astral Observatory
        2 - Chemical Lab
        3 - Cancer Lab
        4 - Surgery Hall
5 - Empty
6 - Legal
7 - Economic
       1 - Vault
       2 - Business Venture
             1 - Single Vendor
             2 - Specialist Artisan
             3 - Dream Druggist
             4 - Body Modifier
             5 - Restaurant
             6 - Other
      3 - Hoard
             1 - Worthless and abandoned.
             2 - Priceless and trapped.
8 - Empty
9 - Residential
10 - Empty
11 - Personal
12 - Empty

Paths can contain 1D8 Places
1 - Courtyard
2 - Bridge
3 - Connecting Wall
4 - Pedestrian Walkway
5 - Garden
6 - Aqueduct or Canal
7 - Alleyway
8 - Statue Garden

Oddments can be 1D10 things
1 - Statue of an Old Idol
2 - Portable Ikon Alcove
3 - Fountain 
        1 - Flowing, waxy marble in a swirling cylindrical pillar in the middle of a bowl-like
        depression. A floral fragrant slime drips regularly into the bowl. It is deadly toxic.
        2 - Pile of cherub-faced worms covered in copper and lead, spitting clear bitter water.
        3 - A bouquet of stone, mostly roses and lilies and orchids. Absolutely dry during the
        day, but overflows into the street at nighttime.
        4 - Honeycombed elongated fingertips like a wasp nest pressed together in prayer or
        reverence. Living wasps swarm around it and melt into water at the end of their lives.
4 - Ankle-twisting Staircase 
     1 - Leading up.
     2 - Leading down.
5 - Unstable Portion of The Dream
6 - Artificial Waterfall
7 - New Manifestation of The Dream
8 - Reflecting Pool
9 - Offering Shrine
10 - Open Space

PEOPLE IN THE DREAM, if they're like people, always cover their faces with something. Flowerpots, bouquets, masks, hats, their hair, their hands. They're sort of inconspicuous and move around without making footsteps or moving their feet, talk without using words, emote without showing their faces.
There are usually three to ten people in any location, passing through one another. Most operate under the approximations of where they are: people on stairs run or breathe heavily even though they make no noise, people in cafes drink pale water from pale cups, people in temples or shrines offer coins that look like faces that you cannot get sufficient grip on. They lack definition unless expected to have definition. Everything looks like bad stop-motion.
Most just ignore you. Some smile at you without smiling.

SOME TALENTS PEOPLE HAVE:
  1. By holding your mouth shut with an index finger at someone, you take any sustenance they would get by eating. You may only do this to as many people as you have Vim, and it stops when you yourself eat anything.
  2. By burning someone’s hair or nails, you afflict them with a debilitating fever, and deal 1D12 damage per day.
  3. By sticking a pin painlessly through your eyelid into your pupil, you may see through the eyes of the nearest living being for as many turns as you have Charisma. You cannot control what the being does or looks at.
  4. If you break a bone, one person in your direct line-of-sight also breaks that bone; their wound will not heal if yours does. This does not work if there is no comparable body part.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Clack, Stack, Stuck

In addition to skills you have Competencies granted by the weird people you more closely align yourself to. Here are some. It's kind of like magic, kind of like imitating or borrowing power from the people in question.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Mister Pig
  1. By putting your hand over someone's mouth, you steal their voice and can use all the languages they know for as many turns as you have Charisma. This requires you keep your hand on their mouth.
  2. If you silently mouth a sentence at someone within your direct line-of-sight, you force them to speak it aloud. The sentence must be short enough to be said within a single breath, and does not force the speaker to believe what was said.
  3. If you hold your tongue between thumb and forefinger, everyone in a ten-foot range can only speak in glossolalia for as many turns as you have Charisma.
  4. By writing down and erasing a single word in front of someone, they are prevented from saying that word. This relies on the person and writer being able to read the word in question, and can be reversed by writing it again. This can only be done for one word at a time.
In exchange for these competencies, Mister Pig will accept:
Bottled ghosts and salted demons, 
Pages taken from the Library Tower,
Fragments of the old weapon-languages,
New linguistic developments and habits.

He will also send you against the gatekeepers of language, who he deems fascist and unjust.

OR:

Rotte
  1. Extending the fingers together and folding the thumb will act as a sharp knife. There cannot be two knives.
  2. By flicking the tongue against the teeth, or dragging the index finger across a reasonably rough surface, you create incredibly hot sparks. These sparks do not harm you but do start fires.
  3. By snapping your fingers you make the sound of a pistol shot, by whistling you make the sound of a fire.
  4. When you hold your breath the surrounding five square feet of air turns into and generates opaque smoke. This lasts as long as you can hold your breath; when you stop the smoke dissipates immediately.
In exchange, Ex-Corporal Rotte wil accept:
All weapons: physical weapons, social weapons, economic weapons, emotional weapons, informational weapons,
Rumors about the others.

She will also send you to spy, or at least observe, the other people you remain in contact with. This includes your friends.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Make, Break, Fake, Slake, Slick, Tick, Click

Anyway. I said that making rulesets wasn't my best decision so I'm going to be a hypocrite right now.

Since this blog is basically a dredge of Gloomtrain and gameswithothers without the good ideas or innovation or grammar skills, here's a stolen thing:

Resolution is 2D6 + relevant attribute + relevant skill:
10-12 is a success.
7-9 is a success with a cost or complication.
4-6 is a failure.
1-3 is a failure with a cost or complication.

Attributes—Charisma, Dexterity, Intellect, Strength, and Vim—are 1D6:
6 is a +1 modifier
2-5 is a 0 modifier
1 is a -1 modifier

You start with three skills at +1. These skills can be anything: Lying, Gambling, Staring, Tantrums, Card Tricks, Stoicism, Insults, Compliments, Research, Forgery, Bushcraft, Languages, Organic Chemistry, Being Rich, and so on.

You have D6 + VIM HP.
You can carry 3 + STR items and sprint; 6 + STR items and run; 9 + STR items and jog.

If you have to hurt or kill things:
Small or subtle weapons do D6 damage.
Martial or large weapons do D6+1 damage.
Huge or horrifying weapons do D6+2 damage.
Also: Serrated edges disrupt distorted fleshy creatures, doing +1 damage.
Also: Silver surfaces disrupt dreamy ghostly creatures, doing +1 damage.

You have equipment from real life. You at least have clothes.

NOW:
You woke up with long fingers clasping yours that slipped away under your bed just as you opened your eyes. There are livid blue-purple-gold streaky fingerprints all over your forearms and hands that smell like honey and acid and do not wash off.

OR you felt a prickling on the back of your skull like a flowerbud splitting into bloom while your backbrain went liquid and poured out from the skull-flower. Your brain is mostly there but something else has taken residence amongst visual processors and brainstem.

OR your sins and virtues turned solidus or superfluid and flowed up and down your spine and into your ribs then into your lungs. You breathe misty sin or smoky virtue in turn, your teeth are flowing soft and runny and tooth-shaped pearls are growing in their spaces.

OR you found in place of guts a grasping gaping lightless hole right above your navel that can fold your belly-skin closed like curtains. Your breath smells like formaldehyde and your voice sounds so very far away like it's deep within a hole somewhere above your navel.

OR something.

PEOPLE:
You're not totally alone, there are people you can contact by stimulating the small bones in your ear by technology or parasites or ghosts. You can somehow also see their faces, perceive their expressions in your minds-eye when talking to them.

Ex-Corporal Rotte is nasty, practical, direct, an accomplished tactician and seeker of ends at the cost of being a people-pleaser or having ethical means. She has an almost encyclopedic memory about weaponry.
Informs you about equipment use; wants weapons and esoteric books.

Mister Pig is crafty, smirking, good-natured and jovial at the worst of times. May or may not be a gestalt, teeming, hundred-bodied demon forced into immortal pigflesh; either way, Mister Pig has acquired a vast repertoire of languages and competence over them.
Translates things; wants a steady diet of ghosts, demons, new language, new words, old words.

The Fuckbird hates you and hates everything and cannot fly, but is at a higher point than everyone else and can observe the movements of nearly everything.
Informs you about the area and inhabitants; wants to fly and wants your face.

Goodnight Moon is mostly silent and listens to your every word. They look like the pallid, pockmarked moon and have a bullet lodged in their right eyesocket. Their teeth are bullets and their spit is blackpowder or ink and their tongue is flint and pyrites.
Makes things die; wants equally weighty down payment for this service.

Keymaker Mass is disgusting and blobby, tender, attentive, and made of thirty people and a cow and a goat and a lamb.
Makes keys of all kinds for all kinds of locks; wants attention and gossip and gospel.
A thing.
Keymaker Mass (I drew this)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Mess

Just to get this off my computer.

THINGS TO SEE ON THE CANALS OF COLCVIIC
1. Platform of crooning singer-boatmen in their traditional tin masks, harmonizing to an old peacetime tune of ‘O Idol Ikon’. They are disheveled, wandering.
2. Drug-ruined river-dreamers who float on their backs amidst layers and layers of gaudy golden cloaks, streamers and sashes trailing underneath them like jellyfsh stings, thin opiate smoke issuing from their toothless mouths.
3. A rotting pier collapsing into a canal, seabirds scattering into the air, someone splashing amidst the sprinters and foam and filth, screaming.
4. Disinterested submarine giants standing around, the tops of their palid, mottled scalps just barely touching the water’s surface. They’re watching surface-dwellers and frowning deeply.
5. A merchant houseboat breaks away from its moorings during exchange. The merchant herself is aggravated but willing to wait until the exchange is completed as per custom. Just below the waterline, diminutive Guild agents affix hooks to the houseboat and prepare to swim it out to sea.
6. Shrouded, silent watchers with muskets monitor you from the highest rooftops, their footing sure on steep, decaying shingles. 

POWERS THAT BE
1. The Variegated Guild—also known as the Guild On High, The Face, The Guilt, the Practical Associates. They have faces in opium trafficking along the river.
2. The Damned Clan, sprawling, teeming, legally-bound but not blood-related family. Mercenary-inclined, tattoo fingerprints on random parts of their bodies but scour smooth their original ones.
3. Sun-Eaters, representatives of Resplendent IV. They're trying to eat the sun.
4. Of The Polyp Genesis, mutagenic dabblers, butchers, and a significant source of food for all Colcviic. All butchery and disposal of the dead is overseen by their members. No-one questions the fact that some meat has to be plucked free of teeth during the winters.

THINGS YOU CAN START WITH
1. Polyp Renegade—Oilcloth bag full of terratomas, rimfire shotgun with 6 shells, 6 oil flasks.
2. River Rat—Ratcatcher pole, 5' twine, thick leather gloves and collar (AC 1), bitter lozenge (re-roll v. Poison once), work orders.
3. Canal Showboater—Ornamented brass kidney-belt (AC 1), slashed-and-puffed shirt, stale soporific powder in a handkerchief, petrified wooden club, loaded dice.
4. Damned Initiate—Padded jack (AC 2), 3 long bronze knives, fingerprint tattoo.
5. Sailor—Salt-stained overalls, blue-striped shirt, whistle, boarding spear, offering to an ocean deity (burn to calm local weather).

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

While The Night Away

So I improvised this last night, let's see how it reads after a little thought:

A banquet hall, feast hall, particularly large dining room or well-appointed kitchen dependent on where you are. Several tables are arrayed in the space, and a group of ten to twelve people migrate from one to another in a regular clockwise pattern, spending about ten minutes at each before collectively standing and moving to the next. Every time they go from table to table they will 'set' into a specific period of time during the day, and 'reset' after those ten minutes to move.

Aside from this movement, they are able to step away from the table to about eight feet, with increasing distress every foot.

Any food or drink taken from the tables and consumed will be incredibly delicious and aromatic, confer wonderful texture and mouthfeel, and provide no nutritional value or satiation whatsoever. If taken out of the space, or kept alongside normal food, it will putrefy everything. If observed, the tables themselves will never run out of anything, there will always be more food taken from where one is not looking.

D10 Tables, Their Spreads, and Their Events
1- Huge, spiny fish gutted, fried, sautéed in its own juices and lemon and salt. Its head is still intact, dominated by seven rolling eyes and vestigial horns, and gapes repetitively when cut into. The table is topped with marble, beads of mercury are collected on its surfaces.
The group will be set to nine at night,  and engaged in an excited practice of exchanging grotesque masks, always returning to the one they originally wore before resetting. They do this by ducking under the table. Each mask speaks with a different voice, superimposed over the wearer's. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Device or be compelled to wear one of these masks; when taken off, the wearer's face will also come cleanly off.

2- Sharp cheeses, olives, pickled vegetables of all kinds, crispy sourdough loaves wrapped in soft cloth to keep the heat in. Light herbal oils and alcoholic sauces available for dipping. All the glazed dishware is styled as coiled worms eating one another, all the silverware engraved with eyes. The table stands on knotty humanlike legs done in brass.
The group will be set to seven at night, taken over by light conversation and shy greetings as if first meeting. They will regard anyone standing with quiet discomfort, and make every suggestion of it being disrespectful. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Device or be lulled into introducing themselves and revealing otherwise painful or harmful secrets.

3- Hunks of roast goat and zucchini cut apart with tiny, viciously sharp knives and drizzled with pear cider. Personal dishes of spice are scattered all around the table, some knocked over. The table's surface looks like hundreds and hundreds of fused molars, uneven but uniformly polished.
The group will be set to ten at night, contentious and amorous in turn. A couple will be exchanging veiled comments and euphemisms, the rest will be increasingly sour. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Poison or be poisoned by taking a glass not meant for them.

4- A wide variety of spiced wines, vodka, gin, hard cider, cocktails, mixers, chasers, and aperitifs clustered in tin tubs of ice. Glasses are always large and at least half-filled. The tablecloth is stained with tears, booze, spit, and bile.
The group will be set to three in the morning, all intoxicated and maudlin, weeping to one another or in the process of passing out. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Paralysis or pass out drunk until the group resets and moves away.

5- Massive crustaceans, their legs removed and stacked to one side of the plate, their bodies riddled with wriggling parasites that smell and taste of roses. Steaming hot alcohol and tepid brine stand in tall bottles like dancers elongated and twisted into a single mass. No utensils, everything is hand-eaten.
The group will be set to midnight, and be more focused on eating than anything else. Conversation will be short and utilitarian. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Poison or join eating; only the parasites were 'real', and whoever eats is now completely infested.

6- A blank table, unadorned.
The group will be set to the hour between midnight and one in the morning, totally aware of their cyclical behaviors and ravenously hungry, riddled with sickness, poison, addiction, parasites. Cannibalism is an option to them. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Device or be permanently made a member of the group.

7- Minuscule dishes piled high with caviar, diced celery, raw egg yolks, aniseed, dried pitted cherries stewed in alcohol, and salt. Long-handled spoons available for each and every taste, and flutes of white wines to cleanse the palate. There are knives taped to the underside of the table at every other seat, like half-smiles with embossed brass teeth on the fullers.
The group will be set to one in the afternoon, weary and workworn, adjusting sweaty collars and peeling off uncomfortable gloves. This is pretense, for a single word beyond tired greetings elicits a suspicious and hostile response, which escalates to table-wide argument. Immediately before weapons are drawn the table will reset and move on. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Magic or be the target of violence, and will have a 3-in-6 chance of having a knife available to them.

8- Three large tureens, one full of mushroom soup, one full of onion broth, the last full of savory rabbit stew. The silver tureens and their platters have been shaped as a human in the fetal position, or possibly prostrating, and the solemn face of the moon respectively.
The group will be set to eight at night, jovial but impatient, bored and provoking each other into excess and risky consumption. A handkerchief or cloth will be passed around, its contents taken in pinches. Effects will vary. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Poison or be intoxicated and develop a terrible disease.

9- Sliced fruits and complementary flavors: peaches and honey, apples and caramelized sugar, rose hips and blackberries, bitter green tomatoes and salt, strawberries and cheese. Tinctures of camphorated opium. Everything sort of lodged into the irregular mounds of candles atop the table, a dozen dozen wicks lit with flames in every color, running wax pooling on the floor and on diners' legs.
The group will be set to five in the morning, collectively exhausted but motivated by camaraderie and a persistent whispered question passed between each member. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Magic or be told the question in full, causing Wisdom damage until answered.

10- Dense pastries, almonds worked into the crust, slathered with butter and bitter jellies or sweet glaze. Baked bumblebees and honeycombs, live bees gently orbiting the table. Flowers of spun sugar in false bouquets suspended in tonic water. There is nothing on the table that isn't modeled after parts of insects: veiny locust wing patterns on the glass tabletop, segmented centipedes holding up furnishings, distorted spider legs for fork tines, weevil bodies for spoons.
The group will be set to two in the morning, mostly docile, having broken up into small factions. Each will insist anyone standing should join them. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Magic or be physically subsumed into the person they are sitting closest to; not violently, just a gradual decrease in distance until the two people are overlapping at the same point in space.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Devil Devil Devil


Some gross devils, or things like devils, or just gross things.


The Fuckbird
Flayed, fallen and charred, feathers half-melted onto its flesh, filthy and flaking off as it becomes covered in calluses and skin tags. Its has teeth, which no bird should have. Eyes like an unseeing milky constellation across its face, neck, and chest.
Extremely knowledgeable about emotions, psychology, and neurology; is able to make a person loved by all by physically extracting ambient bad feelings about them and placing those bad feelings into itself. Kind of an asshole about this talent, demands to be held on high in exchange for its services since it cannot and could not ever fly. Insists that it is The Fuckbird, not merely a Fuckbird.


That Old Time Religion
Pontifex regaled in stories as a gentle guide and storyteller, always offering sympathies and applicable parables to whatever troubles burden a listener. Has never once led a wanderer astray. Instead asks if they would be able to place a nickname upon their companion, a name between friends, a personal signifier that the pontifex can remember in their growing age—there are so many similar names in the world, after all.
They have been doing this for some time now, and have only ten names they need to shed that remain.
Despite the title, this being is not solely a withered pontifex, but can also appear as such: the pontifex regaled in milky robes and holding a candelabra, the goat-priest adorned in woad and untanned skins, shrieking from constant STIs and foodborne parasites; the pilgrim full of pestilence and sunburned flesh, eyes milky and useless; the lamplighter prophet with flame behind their teeth, toes rotten from gangrenous boots.


Toad-Killer Tracker
Valet and majordomo to The Devil Himself, The Betrayer, The Tempter, The Opposition to God. Maintains an underhanded series of contracts with every devil in existence to funnel every single sinning soul towards Hell; this is not to torment them, but to relieve the strain on all the heavens from containing so many virtuous souls. Hell is spacious enough, and the souls are kept sleeping until they may be sent to their just rewards.
May or may not be an actual toad, or every toad in existence that has ever been. Was recently pinned to a tree and is impatient for the nail to rust away so it may continue organizing the dead.