03.01: The Moonrise Cafe (All)   Posted by Narrator.Group: 0
Narrator
 NPC, 47 posts
Sat 6 Jan 2018
at 02:47
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Moonrise Cafe was a cafe on the northern edge of Pike Place.   For three years, it had offered some of the best sweets Seattle had ever seen, boasting all natural ingredients.  It's coffee was ethically-grown and imported, and the owners took pride in selling a wholesome agenda.

It was modeled after a classic 1950s diner with the long bar, and booths evenly spaced throughout.  It was a classic vibe with muted reds and browns, lots of polished chrome accents and a large glass window.

The back room afforded a lot more privacy.  The previous owners had run a Japanese restaurant.  The new owners had replaced the back wall with wall-to-wall bookcases.  They'd encouraged people to exchange fiction regularly.  Recently, more and more people had been dropping off board-games, and the Moonrise Backrooms had become synonymous with games.

While it hadn't been accorded neutral territory or anything so grandiose, Moonrise Cafe had been used often for Paranet meetups.  The Seattle paranetters were hesitant at first, but eventually came out of the woodwork.  It was an amazing panoply of people.  From uptight business-men to dreadlocked granola-munching hippy-chicks.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:22, Sat 13 Jan 2018.

Willa
 NPC, 26 posts
Sat 13 Jan 2018
at 04:30
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)

Inspired by Gordon's call, Willa had contacted a small group of people (coincidentally, the PCs) and arranged a meeting in the back-room of the Moonrise Cafe.

To anyone familiar with the Moonrise Cafe or the Seattle Paranet, it was business as usual.

Willa was dressed in black jeans and a black turtleneck, looking either like a beat poet or a movie-parody of a seventies spy.  But she didn't look excited or aloof.  She looked furious, actually.
Gordon
 Player, 155 posts
 Psychiatrist/Psychomancer
 White Counsel Wizard
Sat 13 Jan 2018
at 04:43
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Gordon strolls in with his usual ease.  Dapper as usual, with his nice suit, over coat, brief case and walking stick.  The walking stick, for those who know him, is a little unusual but it does go with the outfit.

"Hello, Willa," he greets politely, "I am not surprised to see you are here first."
Willa
 NPC, 27 posts
Sat 13 Jan 2018
at 12:52
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Willa nodded and smiled, obviously relieved that Gordon had come.  "It's always good to be prepared.  Since I called this thing, it would look real bad if I was tardy.   And some things are better said in person, you know what I mean?  I've got some good news and some bad news.   And a decision to make that I'm really going to need some help with.  You guys are going to be my conscience."

She stopped for a moment, lifted her coffee and took a seip.  "That did sound melodramatic, didn't it?"  She laughed a little.  Nervous laughter.  "It's probably not that bad.  Doug used to help me with the hard decisions.  That's all.   How have you been?"

This message was lightly edited by the player at 00:05, Mon 15 Jan 2018.

Gordon
 Player, 156 posts
 Psychiatrist/Psychomancer
 White Counsel Wizard
Sat 13 Jan 2018
at 23:17
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
"The same, but I did meet a gentleman who shed a little light on the Fomor situation," he frowns, "That came with more than a little bad news, but with a possible solution as well.  Two possible solutions," he adds as if remembering something.
Mona
 Player, 81 posts
 Fate Points: 3
Thu 22 Feb 2018
at 21:25
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
"Coffee, please."

"Sure thing. Just plain coffee?" The young woman ordering gave a quiet nod, and the barista gave a nod and rang her up once she was sure. It was rare to have an order of coffee less than four words long these days, but apparently some people liked to keep it simple.

Once the drink arrived, Simona thanked her quietly, took the coffee over to the table with all the fixins, and poured in plenty of sugar, cream, and chocolate. Maybe it wasn't about simplicity. She discreetly dropped a couple dollars in the tip jar as she passed by and headed for the back rooms. Though she was nervous about being asked into a group meeting of any sort, she rationalized that these were her friends, or at least the closest she had outside of her brother and Niimi. After a sip of the real liquid courage (alcohol be damned), she strode into the room the others had set aside for this meeting.

As casually as if she'd called the meeting herself, Mona set the coffee cup onto the table, then slid herself into the seat with a lazy smile. Whatever tension she may have had, it wasn't bad enough to escape onto her face yet.

"Hey, good to see you. This a business call or social?"
Willa
 NPC, 28 posts
Fri 23 Feb 2018
at 02:56
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
"Hi  Simona." Willa said, offering a slight smile.  She seemed quieter, somehow, more controlled.   "This is business, this time.   I've got some news.  Something that I don't want on the net.  Not yet.  Nothing on paper yet.   But I want it wait a little bit until we've got others."
Gordon
 NPC, 159 posts
Fri 23 Feb 2018
at 02:58
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)

"We were just discussing the relative merits of having a social conscience."  Gordon offered.  "And the need  for community.   But what about you?  Everything okay?  Nothing bad happen to you since last night?"
Marcus
 Player, 96 posts
 2 Fate Points
Fri 23 Feb 2018
at 19:05
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Continuing with his usual habit of using the backdoor in a lull of the staff's movement Marcus entered the cafe, strolling in calmly and heading for the back rooms. Spotting the only one with a closed door he headed up, barely breaking pace, before rapping on the door as he opened it. Looking over the assembled people within with a serene expression he nodded to each person present before speaking, "Lady, Wizard. Mona. Good to see you all."

Taking a seat carefully he looked over the three, noting some tension in the room but nothing excessive at this point, before allowing a brief smile to pass across his face, "And how does the day find you?"
Mona
 Player, 83 posts
 Fate Points: 3
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 22:05
03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Mona nodded to Willa's brief explanation, then took a deep breath as she glanced to Gordon. It took another sip of coffee before she was ready to let out the breath and then answer.

"Checked out that Strauss guy our friend told us about. I think he's stuck his face somewhere it's gonna get ripped off, but got some stuff that might be important. Another thing to bring up with everyone. How's Lydia?" She gave a smile as Marcus made his way in, and gave a nod.

"Your majesty." It had a bit of a playful tone, but certainly none of the sarcasm that it might have had from someone else. "More curious about the Tsing't than usual. How've you been?"
Gordon
 NPC, 160 posts
Sun 4 Mar 2018
at 13:45
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Gordon raised an eyebrow at Mona's words.   Lydia's rider had told them to find Sebastian Strauss, but hadn't really told them why.  Or what to do once they'd found him.   But she did say that Strauss had information they needed.  And if he was in deep with the Tsing't, then he'd need to do some serious research.

Researching specific groups of indigenous peoples wasn't always easy.  But there was a chance that Listens-to-Wind would have some insight.   Marcus wasn't convinced, though, that it merited going to one of the senior council.  Yet.

"Well, nothing's changed with Lydia.  She hasn't had another episode, but she's safe.   I talked a bit more with Natalie, provided some initial resources on Vodoun.   The manifestations seem to be most consistent with Haitian lore, but there's still a lot to investigate.   I'm just trying to build up trust."  He shrugged  and smiled.  "It's a bit of a long process, but it'll make everything easier in the end."

"I did have a visitor the other night, though.   Used the name Gundram.  He claimed to be a Corax, a raven shape-shifter.  He's apparently been hired to sully my name.   From some of our conversation the other night, I think we might all have been targetted.

Gordon unfolded a piece of paper and passed it around.  a photo-copy of the letter Gundram had left for him before departing the wizard psychologists' domain:


Doctor Ericson;

It was an honor and a pleasure to make your acquaintance.   You are a stranger to me no longer.  One day, I truly hope to call you friend.   Until that day, however, we are fated to be otherwise engaged.

Morg is a leader of the Fomori.  He is large and ugly but shrewd and clever.  He claims to have my brother.   I have been hired to "frustrate your efforts and sully your name" as you have done to him.

Please know that I bear no malice nor ill-will to you, but that I will take every effort to meet the letter of my contract.

It is my hope that when this is over, I will have the opportunity to make amends.  I will save the remains of the bottle until that time.  I hope that my brother and I will drink with you then and you may decide which of the four we are: strangers, friends, allies or enemies.

My contract lasts until the new moon.

--Gundram.

Marcus
 Player, 97 posts
 2 Fate Points
Wed 7 Mar 2018
at 19:57
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Inclining his head to Mona at her greeting, though at her question a brief flicker of anger flashed across his features. What Marcus would have hidden in the courts of the fae he showed more easily in this company, putting his face back to a calmer one a moment later before replying, "Problematic though I hope to soon have someone to hold responsible for that."

Gordon's information earned polite interest until the mention was made of a shapeshifter at which point he leant forwards with notable eagerness. When the paperwork was produced he read the copy carefully, frowned and then passed it on before resting back in his seat. Giving it a few moments to consider before he spoke, "Well, I suspect I too have been targeted. Of course I have already come up with an extensive list of potential culprits so far but given this one has called attention to themselves it seems the most likely." Nodding to the paperwork he continued, "The message there is fairly clear. They want their brother retrieved. That done the contract is null and void and the trouble stops. Of course it could just be a trick or trap which seems just as likely. Perhaps we could instead run down the shapeshifter currently causing us issues and pluck and roast him instead?"
Luke
 Player, 78 posts
Thu 8 Mar 2018
at 04:59
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Luke lumbers in and orders a large coffee. He's squinting, wincing, and touching his fingers to his temples as if he has a bad headache. He joins the others.
Willa
 NPC, 29 posts
Fri 16 Mar 2018
at 10:16
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
"Morg." Willa crossed her arms and tapped her fingers, her eyes distant for a moment.  "Not ringing any bells right away.    But I'm not up my Welsh mythology.  Fomori were--are--Welsh, right?"

This message was lightly edited by the player at 00:08, Fri 08 June 2018.

Gordon
 NPC, 161 posts
Fri 16 Mar 2018
at 10:52
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)

Gordon shook his head.  "First literary mention of them.  They're water-dwellers.   If they are the ones from Celtic mythology, then they're not a single race, per se.  More like a bunch of ex-pats taking a draught together in a foreign bar."

At the sound of Luke's voice, Gordon poked his head out into the front room. "Luke!"  he motioned for Luke to join them in the back.
Willa
 NPC, 30 posts
Fri 16 Mar 2018
at 11:19
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
"So, we have a name, at least." And this letter fits with what I'm seeing. "And It might segue with what I've got."

Willa pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and laid it on the table.  It was a newspaper article from the Puget Sound Business Journal.  The title read ROSENCRANTZ BULLISH AFTER BLACK COD ASSAULT.

"I went to school with Nathan Rosencrantz."  Willa said.  "He's old money.  One of the backbones is the import/export business.  He wouldn't give it up, but Black Cod Enterprises is buying out control of the Puget Sound.    On it's own, it's just business.   But I know Nathan.  And he's angry."

"Black Cod Enterprises has only been around for a few years.  It was small--not even a blip on the radar.  Until a year or two ago it started buying up property and businesses all over the harbor, from Port Townsend to Fort Casey the long way around.  Absorbing Rosencrantz is a big coup. Like, possible regional monopoly big."

"So.  I called in a favor and had someone do a little discrete digging for me." Willa smiled.  "Black Cod Enterprises is a shell corporation.  Half of it's board of directors don't actually exist.  And the ones that do...  at least two of them have no idea that they're even associated.  Since both of them are in a coma.  Mysterious coma.  sickly pallor, hot sweats. low-level brain activity and serious metabolic changes...  Just like my husband."
Nicole
 NPC Medic, 6 posts
Sun 18 Mar 2018
at 02:07
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
I'm going to retcon Nicole into this, if you don't mind.

Nicole snorted. "Well, that's a fancy coincidence."

She'd come in moments after Luke, shoving the car-keys into her pocket.  She wore a black shirt with ancient denim pants that accentuated her curves.  There was metallic orange paint on the edges of her sleeve, flecked up the side.  It caught the light at random times and twinkled...

She glanced at the others,  "Like, probably not at all.  So, what are you thinking?"
Willa
 NPC, 31 posts
Sun 18 Mar 2018
at 02:22
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
"Nothing yet."  WIlla said. "But if this is tied in to Doug's condition, I want to know why.  I don't buy into this 'he's king arthur reborn' bullshit.  But if someone is doing something that screws with my family and my friends, I want to stop them.  Period."

She took a breath and let it out slowly.  Her rage was a curious thing, lurking barely beneath the surface.  "But I need to know who.  I need to know why.  I need to know what I'm up against.  Vanessa* is good, but she's an employee.  You are my friends.  Will you help me again?"


* Vanessa Genovese is a NPC who barely manifested in a intro character thread for someone who dropped out ages ago.  Vanessa is a courier... one who has a natural facility with The Ways of the Nevernever.   None of you have been exposed to her (yet)...  But I'm naming her so that eventually I'll be able to bring her in.
Mona
 Player, 85 posts
 Fate Points: 3
Sun 18 Mar 2018
at 09:05
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
For her part, Mona let the others handle suggestions on how to deal with threats. Duck and run was more her speed, and it didn't sound like an option for Gordon. Willa's problem, however, was the kind Mona could respond to.

"Don't stress, Willa. Or do, but not about whether you need to handle this alone. Count me in. Need a snoop? I can put an ear to the ground and pick up on who's running the shell game."

Mona nodded to Luke and Nicole with a grin as Gordon led them into the booth.

"You look like you lost a fight to a bottle of something cheap, Luke. Hey Nicole, how's doing? He didn't get into any fights, did he? Because we met someone who really wanted to."
Marcus
 Player, 99 posts
 2 Fate Points
Wed 21 Mar 2018
at 07:23
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Nodding at Mona's words Marcus answered Willa's question with similar certainty, "Of course we will assist. Even if was your husband alone affected any leads on who it is should be followed up on. That more are in the same condition merely means more will benefit when we find the solution."

"That said if they are staging that large a buyout that is a lot of backing in the...let us say more mundane world. Approaching it through those channels likely would be a difficult process. Hence where talents like Mona's will shine." Leaning back he frowned for a moment before asking, "What about those directors who are not incapacitated, do you have any details on them? Or failing that whoever normally handles negotiations for them to make these acquisitions. Somewhere amongst the senior level of the company there must be people fully in the know about what is going on and it is them we need to find."
Willa
 NPC, 32 posts
Mon 2 Apr 2018
at 11:21
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)

"Okay.  Then, here's what I propose."  Willa said.  "First, can one of you make it difficult to listen in?  I don't mean putting an ear to the door."
Gordon
 NPC, 162 posts
Mon 2 Apr 2018
at 11:22
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Gordon nodded.  He got up and fished around in his pockets.  He stood up and moved across the room to the doorway to the front, poked his head out and spoke a few words to the barista.   Then nodded and came back.

He moved one of the free-standing tables and shuffled around a moment before finding a latch on the floor.  Gordon stamped on it, and the dust shook slightly revealing the outlines of some sort of offset. It looked like a big square trap-door, about three feet across.

He hauled on the latch and rather than revealing a door to the basement, he pulled open a hinged panel with a silver-colored circle inscribed on a painted-black surface.  The circle took up the entire surface of the panel--so just under three feet in diameter.  The silver was inscribed with all sorts of markings that looked like it pulled from Ogham, Futhark runes and possibly angelic script.

"I convinced Jake and Megan to let me make a few modifications when they agreed to host the paranet meetings here."  Gordon shrugged.  "It's not exactly a secret, but it's still not widely public.  I'd like to keep it that way for now."

Gordon retrieved his bag and fished out a handful of items.  A tiny mirror, a tiny piece of barbed-wire, a small white crystal and a small plastic figurine of a knight with a shield, and his own empty coffee-cup.

He placed all of them in the center of the circle and touched the circle with two fingers.

The circle lit up briefly with a bluish light, then the light died down.

He mumbled low and quiet, his eyes closed, as he knelt down and touched each of the items in turn, calling upon the intrinsic forces within each to bolster the natural defences and reflect unwanted attention...  Then, with a long sigh, he placed his foot over the circle.

There was a brief pah, like the sudden releasing of breath.

Gordon nodded and picked up his coffee-cup.  He handed it to Nicole.  "Take the coffee and brush it along the doorways into this room.   a few dabs is all that's needed.  It's all symbolic, anyway."


--
OOC: Gordon is Creating an Advantage:
Gordon rolled 4 using 4 Fudge dice with rolls of 1, 1, 1, 1.  Create Advantage: Flair(+2)
Woot! 4dF(+4) + Flair(+2) = Create Advantage(+6 vs 0) == Success with Style.  Creates new Situation Aspect:  SECRET CIRCLE.  He then did the ritual and tapped that Situation Aspect--twice, since he got the success with style--to help create a ward vs scrying.

Nicole
 NPC Medic, 7 posts
Mon 2 Apr 2018
at 11:23
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
Nicole did as she was bid, then came back.  "You're that worried?"  She asked, her attention very very focussed on Willa.
Willa
 NPC, 33 posts
Mon 2 Apr 2018
at 12:02
Re: 03.01:  The Moonrise Cafe (All)
"Yes."  Willa said.   "Because this is magic, we're dealing with.  And this Morg person has targeted us.

Rosencrantz met with a Black Cod's legal counsel at a spa in Madison Park, at East 43rd and Newton.  Right on Lake Washington.  He said there was a lot of activity that didn't seem very spa-like.  But I think Nathan was trying to hint that it was a brothel or something like that.

"I need information on the City Sweats Madison Park and on Martin Kildaaw, the Black Cod legal counsel.   And I'm not at all above blackmail." Willa said, her voice icy and controlled.  "If you want it, I can put you all on payroll to cover liabilities.  I'm rather certain I've got access to better lawyers than Kildaaw."


OOC: The "City Sweats Madison Park" is a real place.  Feel free to look it up.