Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets.   Posted by Artemis.Group: 0
Artemis
 GM, 828 posts
Wed 6 May 2015
at 13:37
Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
The bar isn't quite as nice as the one you left but it is tidy and well kept, if a bit small. New York is a great deal more expensive than Nebraska it seems. Still, it made up for it in sheer number of customers. People in this city liked to drink apparently and tonight seemed even more crowded than usual.

Your mother mans the counter, pouring whiskey for grizzled men who are forgetting their problems in the bottom of a glass. A few of them flirt with her, she is a well preserved woman, but she evades them with the expertise of one used to the attentions of men. You've received many an offer yourself but so far nothing too aggressive. As you set down a pitcher of beer at a table you notice a man enter the bar and start to head towards the counter. He is a middle aged man, rough looking and worn. He stops suddenly when he sees your mother, paling as though he's seen a ghost. What's more is she looks right at him and to your surprise nearly drops the bottle she'd been holding. You've never seen your mother so rattled. They stare at each other a long moment, eyes locked. At last she calls to you. Jo? Please take over for me. Her eyes never leave the stranger's.
Josephine Hartley
 player, 3 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Wed 6 May 2015
at 16:30
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
"Sure thing mama..." Jo said aloud at her mother's words, wrinkling her brow at the request. As she finished setting down her pitches, she slid smoothly towards her mother's location, surprised to see her so thrown off.

Despite her own familiarity behind the counter, she was a bit distracted by her mother's own worry at the man's appearance. He must have been someone important. Still, she knew mama needed some help, so she did her best to work into the rotation without messing things up, as that wouldn't do anybody any good.
Artemis
 GM, 829 posts
Thu 7 May 2015
at 13:13
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
You watch as your mother leaves the counter and leads the stranger into the back room. She looks visibly upset and the stranger only slightly less so, which you find confusing and concerning. As you man the counter, Billy approaches, his dark eyes flicking back to the retreating couple with a look of mischievousness. You've only known him a month or so but when your mother hired the man to help at the bar it was clear he was an entertaining fellow to say the least. Immensely likeable, jovial, friendly and not bad on the eyes either. He puts down an empty pitcher in front of you to be filled and nods at the back room entrance. Well that looked intense. Do you want to go listen at the door or shall I? his dark eyes gleam with curiosity and you wonder if he's joking or not. Who is he?

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:13, Thu 07 May 2015.

Josephine Hartley
 player, 4 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Thu 7 May 2015
at 19:09
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Grabbing the pitcher from Billy, Jo rolled her eyes,

"Mama knows what she's doin', you stop bein' so troublesome!" she softly laughed as she filled the pitcher for him, topping it off with a good amount of foam. It was obvious from her vocal pitch that she didn't have as much faith as she was trying to portray, but hopefully by now, Billy knew better than to question her faith in her mom.

After another second, she bit her lower lip,

"I'm not sure who he is, but I've never seen Mama like that. She asked us to watch out here, so that's what we'll do, right Billy?" she asked, sending him an unspoken message. She would love if Billy would listen in and gather some information for them both, but she wasn't able to say it, and he knew it. The look she was giving him, however, said all he'd need to hear. She could cover for him, after all, for a few minutes...
Artemis
 GM, 832 posts
Fri 8 May 2015
at 13:27
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Billy looks surprised by your hint for a moment and then breaks into a huge grin. Oh that's what we'll do alright Miss Jo he winks. He takes the pitcher again. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I have some thirsty customers near the back... with that he strides off nonchalantly towards the back room. From your angle it is difficult to see him well, not to mention customers are starting to overrun things a bit. Soon you are so busy covering for two other people that you almost forget about Billy and your mother. Several minutes later though the man finally returns, almost rushing back to the counter, his face a bit stressed. A moment later you realize why for the pair emerge from the back room a second later. The middle aged man gives her a nod goodbye and leaves the bar without ordering. Both Billy and your mother look shaken though Elizabeth's face quickly hardens when she sees how busy it is. Looks like it is back to business as usual for her. Thanks Jo she gives you a tight smile as she takes her place behind the counter again, waving you off to man the tables with Billy.

As you start clearing a table Billy approaches you, eyes shifting back to Elizabeth warily. He looks surprisingly grim, an unnatural expression for the usually cheerful man. I-I'm sorry Jo, that turned out differently than I expected. I thought he was just an old lover or something he shakes his head. But it's something else. I couldn't make out everything they said and some of it doesn't make sense but they were talking about your father and who killed him. From the sounds of it that man knows what happened and who did it though I didn't catch who it was. His name is Michael Hudson and he's staying at the hotel a couple blocks over if you decide you want to ask him about it yourself. Sounds like your mom plans to meet up with him again tomorrow. I didn't mean to be eavesdropping on something so personal Jo, I hope you can forgive me.
Josephine Hartley
 player, 5 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Fri 8 May 2015
at 14:05
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Seeing her mother's expression, Jo was shaken slightly, but she stood her ground and smiled at her mother's thanks.

As she was sent off to work with Billy again, Jo shook her head and placed a soft hand on Billy's shoulder/neck area, and spoke softly,

"It was not your fault, Billy, maybe neither of us should have poked our noses where they didn't belong. I appreciate you helping, and being honest with me. I will take care of things, and Mama will be fine. She's strong. Now let's focus on work, while its here, and make the best of it." she said, smiling at him and letting her hand droop away from his neck as she turned back to work.

At her first opportunity, Jo already had her mind set. She was going to get some answers from a Mr. Hudson, whether he was willing to share them or not!
Artemis
 GM, 838 posts
Mon 11 May 2015
at 18:45
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Billy blushes a bit at your touch and looks relieved that you are so understanding about it. Thanks Jo, you're pretty swell you know he smiles and with that he turns to his own work though you can tell you affected him.

The night passes quickly, being busy helps keep your mind somewhat focused on what you are doing at least. Your mother tends bar as if nothing strange happened and you can't help but wonder how she can be so calm after hearing the news she apparently did. Just one more thing to ask this Michael Hudson. By the time the bar closes it is late, or early depending on your view. A little after two in the morning actually. This Hudson fellow is probably asleep but since Billy said your mother was going to see him the next day your window of opportunity is narrow. Finding out about your father's apparent murder is perhaps more important than sleep. After cleaning up your mother starts up the stairs to the apartment above the bar. It's small but for the two of you there is more than enough space.

You comin sweetie? she calls from a few steps up. Before you can answer Billy does for you. Uh-actually Mrs. Hartley, I was hoping to bend your daughter's ear about a few things if that's alright? he looks at you nervously and after a moment of confusion Elizabeth starts to smile. Ah...I see...well that's fine by me if it is by Jo. I'll be headed to bed but wake me if you need to talk about anything honey she smiles at you before disappearing up the stairs. Once she's gone Billy turns to you and pulls you by the arm towards the door, his nervous demeanor completely gone, an act it would seem. I think that bought you some time now hurry! he hisses, still looking back at the stairs suspiciously. She thinks I mean to woo you and she'll expect that to take a bit so you have at least oh...forty minutes I'd say before she gets supicious. I bet you money she's not going to sleep, she'll stay up and wait for you to gossip about me. When she comes back down I'll tell her you slapped my face and stormed out or somethin, get her off your back a little while longer. Now, hurry to this Hudson fellow, wake him up and question the daylights out of him as fast as you can!
Josephine Hartley
 player, 6 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Mon 11 May 2015
at 22:05
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
After a split second of being surprised by Billy's actions, Jo smiled, a genuine happiness creeping over her face, before a coy look appeared as she slapped his cheek, ever so softly, leaving her hand there a split second before pulling it away,

"And who says I didn't slap you, Billy?" she laughed softly, turning, excited by the opportunity, and she threw her thin coat on real quick before heading out the door, not wanting to waste a single second.

Traveling down the road, Jo was intensely focused on getting to Michael Hudson's hotel, to ask him some questions. Jo wasn't ready to wait around, and miss her chance, not when Mama was involved.

...plus her curiosity was getting the best of her. Deep down, Josephine knew that, on some levels, she was just itchin' for some adventure, and nobody would ever let her have any! It tickled the back of her mind, just how easily and quickly Billy swapped from 'nervous and humble' to 'commanding and decided', but she didn't pay it much mind. After all, what was the worst that could happen?
Artemis
 GM, 842 posts
Tue 12 May 2015
at 15:54
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Normally this time of night you would be loathe to go out by yourself. Elizabeth wasn't able to afford to buy the bar in the best side of town and though this is by no means the slums it is not exactly ritzy either. Fortunately at two blocks away the hotel is quickly arrived at though the person at the desk is half asleep when you enter. It is a middle aged man and he looks grumpy at the possibility of a customer at this hour.

Somethin I can help you with miss? If yer looking for a room we're full up. Unless you are here to see a tenant...his suddenly lecherous smile implies some rather scandalous things. If yer the business type I might just be interested in acquiring yer services myself. The grin widens.

ooc: Be sure to roll diplomacy/bluff as needed ;)
Josephine Hartley
 player, 7 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Tue 12 May 2015
at 16:38
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Walking through the streets, to reach her destination, Josephine kept her jacket pulled tightly around herself, to keep a low profile, and keep unwanted attention off of herself. Although she often knew how to draw such attention in the bar, she didn't exactly want to out here.

When she arrived, however, and saw the man's lecherous smile, she knew exactly how to deal with him, and she smiled pleasantly in return, allowing the man's mind to assume what it wanted,

"I am here to visit somebody, actually. An old friend, goes by the name of Michael Hudson." she finished, smiling and glancing towards his paperwork expectantly. "Its a bit of a surprise, my showing up here... its been a long time. I'm sure you understand?" she asked, wanting the man to give her the room number, and not a horribly pick-up line.

Still, she spent time with him, if necessary, as she didn't want word getting around that she'd been here either. She knew better than drawing the wrong kinds of public attention.

09:34, Today: Josephine Hartley rolled 5 using 1d20. roll + I dunno.

Not sure how to add modifiers, unless its just 1d20 + skill or whatever (do we add relevant attributes too?). I rolled a 5, haha.

Artemis
 GM, 843 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 13:19
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets


The man seems to believe your story easily and after a moment's hesitation grudgingly nods. Alright, I'll tell ya, provided you stop by here on your way out he grins. Should you agree he informs you that the room number is 23 and points you in the right direction, one floor up. Luckily avoiding the man should be easy as there is another exit on the upper level.

Soon you find yourself at room 23. As you step towards the door you can't even begin to think of knocking before the floorboard gives a creak. Instantly the door opens and you see the stranger on the other side looking ferocious, a large dagger in his hand. Who's there, what do you want? he demands accusingly. Apparently he is on the paranoid side, though what he fears you do not know. Seeing a woman he softens only slightly but after a moment appears to recognize you. I saw you at Elizabeth's place...he frowns. Did you follow me? What do you want?!
Josephine Hartley
 player, 8 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Wed 13 May 2015
at 13:31
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Smiling warmly at Mr. Hudson, Josephine slowly moved closer to him, her hands up, palms towards him,

"Please, Mr Hudson, I came only to talk. No reason to be rude now, is there?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. She knew her skills were mostly oriented around her silver tongue, and she tried to use every talent she had. The man had answers she needed, after all.

If he allows her to close the distance, she will try to move the conversation into his room, so they may speak in private.


I'll wait here, in case you'd like me to roleplay this out, however, since we're approaching a potentially "monologue" moment, where Jo simply keeps pressing him for info, I'd like to point out, I don't mind if you assume what she's doing in this situation, so that I can most efficiently get my information out of Mr. Hudson :P

If you'd like me roleplay each step, however, I will be glad to

Artemis
 GM, 845 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 13:44
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
ooc: I appreciate the go ahead! Some players hate to have things assumed for them so I'm glad to hear you are so flexible. Alright, the monologue shall commence!

He hesitates and lets you enter though he watches your every move like a hawk. Upon hearing you are Elizabeth's daughter (assuming you tell him such) he relaxes greatly. If questioned about your father he hesitates, looking irritated that he was being eavesdropped on. That's really your mother's right, not mine. She'll have my head if I tell you. he frowns. After passionate insistence on your part though he finally gives in. Alright alright, you should know what really happened I guess. Look, I've known your family for years. Grew up with your father, even introduced him to Elizabeth. I imagine you don't remember me but I was around when you were little. Kept away since then for your own good. Elizabeth wanted to keep you safe see, and one hunter in the family was enough. Well, I guess I should explain. he sighs then. Look, you've heard stories about folktales of vampires and demons and all the other nasties used to scare children into behaving right? Well you'll probably think I'm crazy but you may as well know they are real. They just keep well hid until it's too late for you. Well, the world is full of hunters like me and your father who actually go and do something about it. That's how he was killed. Now, go ahead and have a fit if you want. Laugh at me, call me crazy, I've heard it all before but you deserve to hear the truth, even if you don't believe it. He waits for your reaction though to your surprise his face is very calm and serious. He seems to mean every word he said.
Josephine Hartley
 player, 9 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Wed 13 May 2015
at 13:51
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
:) I joined your game because you're well written, friendly, nice, and from what I can tell, a solid GM. I wouldn't join the game of somebody I didn't trust to tell a good story, and it'd be silly for me to demand hand-holding at every point of a good story! You can ALWAYS assume anything for Jo that makes sense, as long as you're in pursuit of telling a good tale. This is your story, I'm just a character in it. I can't say I appreciate the work you put in for me to enjoy myself if then I don't trust you to do anything on your own :)

Nodding her head at his tales, Josephine's head stopped nodding when he discussed demons and vampires. Her expression was locked professionally into one she often used at work, but she couldn't really fully digest what he was saying.

Reading his face, however, she knew he wasn't deceiving her. He was either insane, or telling the truth. Considering her mother's reaction to him, she decided that, as difficult as it was, she would believe him, based on her mother.

"Alright, its difficult to believe, but my Mother knows you, and I believe you." she said, visibly forcing herself to accept what she'd heard, "Now fill my in as much as you can. I am not going to let my family suffer and have nothing to do with it." she said stoically, setting the floor for him to inform her of everything.

During the conversation at some point, if possible, Jo would ask about these 'hunter' types, and how she can become one.
Artemis
 GM, 847 posts
Thu 14 May 2015
at 13:57
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
ooc: Well thank you so much! I really appreciate everything you just said! I guess I'm just paranoid because once when I tried to skim through things I had a player freak out and it caused a giant mess so I tend to err on the side of caution now. I'm really grateful for your trust and easygoingness! I know that's not a word but it should be ;P

He looks surprised at your acceptance but quickly recovers and starts to delve deeper into his tale. Apparently your father was introduced into the world of hunting (as he calls it) by a run in with a werewolf back when he was a teenager. He barely managed to escape with his life and after tracking down a silver bullet he was able to kill the thing. From there he delved into the world of the supernatural, running across Michael Hudson at the age of twenty where they met clearing a vampire nest. Inseparable after that they hunted together for years until your father met Elizabeth and started a family. He still helped me on occasion after that but your ma was having none of it, saying it was too dangerous and she needed her child's father alive to raise his girl. Can't really blame her for that can ya? Well you know Elizabeth, she tends to get her way. I will admit your father and I had a falling out over it and it was some time before we saw each other again. I heard that he still wanted to help though so they made their bar into a safe haven for hunters. They would offer hot meals, first aid and information to any hunters in the area with a need. Kept it all secret from you of course for your own good but they found their way to help how they could. As you got older your father started getting more involved, like he used to but only on occasion. He and I made our amends secretly, didn't want your mother to get involved again. Guess I was still mad at her for taking my friend away. Now though, I wish I'd never let the fool come back his voice shakes. He would say he was out helping a friend or going to get supplies for the bar, you probably remember his excuses. But he would be away with me on a hunt, usually something not too far away and I always tried to keep the threat low, he was rusty after all. Well, recently we were hunting a ghoul, simple stuff for us, when we ran into a demon. Turns out the demon wanted the ghoul! Why I still don't know, almost seemed like it was capturing the wretch. Now we have heard plenty of tales of demons, some of the hunters we've run across have dealt with them and usually not well. But this was out of our experience, we didn't have any way of fighting the thing and though we tried to run...his face crumples at the memory and it takes a long moment to regain his composure. I couldn't face your ma. I barely managed to escape and I tipped off some other hunters about your dad so they could bring him back to Elizabeth. She didn't know until tonight about my involvement. Needless to say she's not happy with me though we're meeting in the morning to talk about what more I've found out. I've been trying to track that demon ever since he escaped and I finally have some headway. When he hears about your interest in becoming a hunter he slams his hand down on the table, startling you. Absolutely not! he barks. I already got your father killed and now you want to follow in his footsteps?! Do you want to deprive your mother of all her kin?! Look, you deserved to know the truth but I never dreamed you would be fool enough to try to do something about it! Besides, your a woman, what do you think you would be able to do anyway?
Josephine Hartley
 player, 10 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Thu 14 May 2015
at 14:13
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Absolutely! And I think its a word :P

Listening intently, Josephine did her best to apply everything to her memory. When he spoke about her father, Josephine swallowed, doing her best to keep her emotions hidden, and not succeeding entirely at it. When Mr Hudson raised his voice, however, Josephine knew exactly how her father would react in this situation, and she assumed Michael would act the same way... so she played him like she would have manipulated her father for something she really wanted,

"Fine. You can have your opinions about me. I'll do it on my own then." she said, backing up her words by turning, and heading towards the door, "I'm sure nothing will happen to me, teaching myself while hunting these things solo." she said, her voice trailing off at the end, as she approached the door to leave.
Artemis
 GM, 854 posts
Fri 15 May 2015
at 15:02
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
He makes a strangled noise of protest and moves to block the door. Are you crazy woman?! he gasps. Do you even know what I just told you? Demons! What in the world do you think you can do against those? Your father and I have dealt with this rubbish for years and we didn't even stand a chance! Be smart and honor what he would have wanted, what your mother wants. Get married, have children, live a long and normal life. Please, I beg you! he looks desperate, you've clearly shaken him with your intentions and he's near a panic which of course means you have him where you want him. Suddenly there is a loud pounding on the door and to your horror you hear your mother's voice! Let me in Michael, I know she's here! she snarls. The man goes white as a sheet and it's almost tempting to laugh, your mother always could put the fear of god in people. He shakily opens the door and she bursts in looking livid. Thought you'd sneak out and find answers did you? How much has he told you? she demands. Do you have any idea of how dangerous it is this late?!
Josephine Hartley
 player, 11 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Fri 15 May 2015
at 17:35
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Her expression whitened itself slightly, when her mother's voice came through the door. She'd had him right where she'd wanted him too...

"Ma...Mama, no...nothing!" she stammered, somewhat thrown off by her own mother's presence. Normally she would've tried to sweeten the situation, but her mom often saw right through it.

After a second, she recovered, and placed both hands on her hips, a clear sign she was no longer backing down,

"I should know this stuff, Mama, this is Daddy we're talkin' about! You can't hide this from me forever!" pausing, Josephine's attitude suddenly shifted,

"Wait... how did you know I left?" her mind shot back to Billy, the little backstabber.
Artemis
 GM, 857 posts
Sat 16 May 2015
at 00:01
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Elizabeth rolls her eyes. Billy held out as long as he could but I'm not an idiot Jo, when you didn't come up I went down to see why. Don't worry about him, he's in almost as much trouble as you are! she snaps. Then she rounds on Michael. You TOLD her?! she slams her hand on the table and he jumps involuntarily. That's just what I need, you getting another member of my family killed! He holds his hands up in protest. I've been trying to convince her NOT to be a hunter Liz! I'm just as upset about it as you are but I thought she had a right to know the truth of what's out there. I never dreamed she would want to hunt herself! Elizabeth's eyes narrow in fury. What?! You put the idea of hunting in her brain?! He claps his hands over his mouth and turns several shades paler. She turns back to you then. Get it out of your head Jo, right now. I know you're mad, hell I've been in a fury about it myself but trying to get revenge will only get you killed you get that? I...forbid...it. she says each word with extra articulation. You've never seen your mother so scary.
Josephine Hartley
 player, 12 posts
 HP 53/53 AC: 18/18/16
 Every bar needs tendin'
Sat 16 May 2015
at 00:34
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Hearing her mother's words, Jo was terrified that she was going to receive a thrashing, but when her mother inadvertently confirmed Michael's words, her eyebrows rose, and she stamped her foot,

"You can't forbid it, Mama, you can't!" her tone was a combination of the pleading that she knew would have worked on Father, and a more confidence-filled one that she knew would appeal to her mom, "This is my family too, and Daddy was important to both of us! How can you ask me to avoid this, and act like it didn't happen?" she asked, carefully laying the guilt trap in there so her mom couldn't fire back.
Artemis
 GM, 861 posts
Tue 19 May 2015
at 16:11
Re: Chapter 5.2: Family Secrets
Elizabeth sighs in frustration but she does see the passion in your face and knows you have a point. No, I suppose you can't just forget it can you. If you want to help you can help the hunters like I do. You don't know this sweetie but many of our patrons are hunters and our bar has always been a  meeting place for them to regroup, exchange information and sometimes just take a load off. Now that you're in on it I suppose I can give you more responsibilities on that front. But you are a support only understand? You are not a hunter and you never will be. You can be a kind face for the poor boys out there. That is how you will help.