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.

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!

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.