Fascination Street: the first session.   Posted by The Master of Ceremonies.Group: 0
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 24 posts
Sun 9 Dec 2018
at 20:03
Fascination Street: the first session
It's 3am in Amsterdam. Barges move through the fog across the IJ; the water laps against the hulls of houseboats docked along the canals. Young people are thronging in front of the Sugar Factory; the throb of techno spills out across the street, the strobe light flickers in puddles on the brick of Lijnbaansgracht. A bachelorette party of tourists swirls through the Red Light District, whooping; vagrants slip out of the way. Elsewhere, the music and shouting dissipate through quieter streets. Townhouses loom in darkness. A few lone bicycles slip through the night in front of the great glass office boxes of the financial district. In the Bijlmer, a siren lilts, police lights flashing.

In the shadows, of course, there are other things moving.
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 26 posts
Sun 9 Dec 2018
at 20:07
Opening moves

Jan: Your Web currently contains Terry and Soraya, each of whom owe you a debt. Choose one of them now; you learn a secret about them that they'd rather keep buried. Ask them what it is.

Everyone: Tell us which character your character trusts the least. Then:

If someone picks your character (as the one they trust the least): tell them which Faction to spotlight. That is, pick Mortality, Night, Wild, or Power, for them to get mixed up with now; tell them which it is.

Once your least-trusted tells you a faction: Mark that faction on your character sheet. Then tell me about a rumor or conflict that you’ve heard about that Faction. (A lot of the characters are somewhat ignorant about the supernatural -- that's fine. You don't need to fully understand the ramifications of the rumor or conflict.)

Then roll, using the dice roller: 2D6 plus the stat you have in that Faction. Tell us what you got.
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 27 posts
Sun 9 Dec 2018
at 20:10
Opening moves
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 2):

And along with that, tell us where you are. Why are you awake at 3am tonight?
Claudia Horst (Aware)
 player, 12 posts
Sun 9 Dec 2018
at 22:27
Claudia Least trusted....
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 2):

One day I witnessed Hassan show up and demand Estie drop what she was doing and talk to him.and afterwards I saw she was distraught.

I trust him the least.

In fact what I’m doing up at 3am is sitting at a hashish bar drinking hot chocolate accross from Soraya’s book store because I found a book there that details the kinds of spiritual energy phenomena that might be having that effect on Estie.  I was supposed to return the book before the shop closed at 10pm and I don’t want to buy it, so I’m wondering if I can get away with slipping it through the letter box, or whether I shouldn’t just suck it up and buy it.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:00, Mon 10 Dec 2018.

Hasan Shirazi (The Fae)
 player, 6 posts
 Hasan(Fae)
Mon 10 Dec 2018
at 01:40
Claudia Least trusted....
Claudia, highlight WILD.

Hasan least trusts Claudia. She keeps showing up where she doesn't belong and sticking her nose in what he considers his business.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Tonight, Hasan is stalking back and forth in the living room of his apartment, unable to sleep. Fatima was always so much better at the maintenance habits of being in human form; she made some of them pleasant, like sleeping beside each other. How is Hasan supposed to sleep now besides collapsed in exhaustion on the couch when he can't pace any longer? The clock ticks over to 3am and Hasan steps onto the balcony. It begins to rain, soaking his satin robe and sticking it to his skin. Is he crying? Who would know in all this rain? Who would care? The rain on his face feels like home.
Claudia Horst (Aware)
 player, 13 posts
Mon 10 Dec 2018
at 01:59
Hassan highlight
In reply to Hasan Shirazi (The Fae) (msg # 5):

POWER
Soraya Tavalokian (Wizard)
 player, 8 posts
Mon 10 Dec 2018
at 02:40
Soraya least trusted...
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 2):

Soraya is walking on a crumbling road. The road is time. It moves against her like a conveyor belt going in the wrong direction. With every step, she loses ground. Her sisters skip rope in a nearby courtyard, singing a melody Soraya has not heard in decades. Baba taught them that song. Tears stream into Soraya's temples. Her sisters fade into the horizon ahead. A young, roguish-looking man comes into view. He sits on a park bench beside the road. Soraya waves at him but he does not respond. A woman joins him on the bench and they hold hands, sweetly. That is when Soraya knows that the man is Jan. He takes Jan's form. The couple shrinks into the horizon ahead. Soraya continues on. The edges of her world become dark and soft like velvet. She feels her cheeks flush and her knees buckle. Something warm and delicious rises inside her. She lies back on the rocks to make herself more comfortable. A slow rush is ascending. Soraya arches, tilting her head back. Behind her, a maw as big as the world, rimmed with rows of teeth, dripping with a musky, thick saliva that smells of myrrh and molasses. Its throat ululates as it releases a warm breath and Soraya inhales its intimacy. Soraya leans further back so she can melt onto its ancient tongue like butterscotch candy but her skirt is caught on a rock. She tugs at her skirt. Something tugs back. Distraction. Frustration. She pulls again. It pulls harder, dragging her now, away from the honeyed depth. She looks down at her assailant. It is the young woman from the bench. She is Ima, in her twenties. How lovely she was then. Her jaw is clenched and her lips pursed as she hauls Soraya to the side of the road. There is a ditch there. It smells like sweat. Ima shoves Soraya into the ditch before she can protest. Soraya falls. For a moment she is weightless. She lands with a shout on damp sheets.
I sit up in my bed. That was not my voice. It was Ima's. I throw on my robe and walk down the hall. I pass Mercedes' bedroom door, then Mandana's. I can tell they are awake but neither of them will bother to check on Ima. The fuckers.
I open Ima's door. She is sleeping, as always, but her arms are stretched upward, toward the ceiling. Her palms are open as if she just pushed someone into a ditch. She twists her head to one side, her expression defiant. Her hands drop to her side. She whimpers. I do not know what the DreamEater is doing to her, but I know we need more opium.
I hurry back to my bedroom for my phone. It's 3AM - I don't dare text Terry at this hour. If I piss him off I lose my only supplier.
Why was Jan in my dream? Perhaps Ima was trying to tell me that he can help. He's probably awake - he always jokes about being a night owl. I text him instead. "I need your help. It's for Ima. Can we talk?" Send.
Wait. There was a passage on the "road of time" in that book I was discussing with Claudia earlier tonight. Probably just a metaphor but I won't be able to sleep now anyway so I might as well check it out. I go downstairs into the store. The book is not on the shelf or in the return bin. I check our log. It's supposed to be in stock.
Fucking Claudia. Can't trust her for shit.

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:44, Tue 18 Dec 2018.

Claudia Horst (Aware)
 player, 14 posts
Mon 10 Dec 2018
at 03:30
Soraya least trusted...
In reply to Soraya Tavalokian (Wizard) (msg # 7):

You should highlight WILD.
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 28 posts
Mon 10 Dec 2018
at 05:52
Hassan highlight
In reply to Claudia Horst (Aware) (msg # 6):

So Hasan, tell me about a rumor or conflict that you’ve heard about Power. Then roll 2D6+1.

Claudia, tell me about a rumor or conflict that you’ve heard about Wild. Then roll 2D6-1.

Soraya, tell me about a rumor or conflict that you’ve heard about Wild. Then roll 2D6. (Also, note:
quote:
If I piss her off I lose my only supplier.
Terry's a guy.)

The dice roller should be linked to up at the top of this page.
Hasan Shirazi (The Fae)
 player, 7 posts
 Hasan(Fae)
Mon 10 Dec 2018
at 23:25
Hassan highlight
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 9):

Hasan heard that an ancient Wizard of great power just arrived in the city.

He rolled a 4.
Claudia Horst (Aware)
 player, 15 posts
Tue 11 Dec 2018
at 18:56
Opening moves
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 2):

There's a weird passage in the book (The Veiled Vale: How otherworldly emotions can color your life) about how 333 years ago all over Europe that bedlam broke out in cities all over Europe.  The author claimed to have found a manuscript written by an otherworldly noblewoman (Fatima?) who claimed that the insanity was a side effect of a demonic plot to destroy "the crumbling road" which is the road that the faeries (What?!)  use to move back and forth between the "veiled vale" and the dream centers of human consciousness all over the world.

It jumped out at Claudia because last time this happened the epicenter in Amsterdam was in or about the Jood's historical museum, where there was a mass hysteria event, culminating in unnamed badness.

The other thing that jumped out was that Estie mentioned offhand that an unusual number of people in Amsterdam are reporting troubling feelings with mysterious origins.

The last thing that jumped out was that the author claims that this demonic plot can only come to fruition every 333 years which seems like more than a coincidence.

Holy crap, once you see this stuff, you can't really unsee it.  And I can even text Estie about it because then I will almost certainly reveal how much I've been practically stalking her.  Plus, won't she have to have me committed?  Fuck, I wish I never read this book.

I guess I better buy it.  I ask the clerk for an envelope, it’s got a little canabis stamp on it.  I put 40 francs in it and scribbleva little note to Soraya telling her to keep the change, and I start across the street to the Eye, to drop it through the mail drop.

I rolled at ten (11-1).

This message was last edited by the player at 02:58, Wed 12 Dec 2018.

The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 29 posts
Tue 11 Dec 2018
at 19:37
Opening moves
Excellent.

(I'm going to give Jan and Terry another little bit to pick their least trusted person, and Soraya to tell me her rumor of Wild and her roll... and then we'll put together what we have...)
Soraya Tavalokian (Wizard)
 player, 9 posts
Fri 14 Dec 2018
at 02:38
Opening moves
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 2):

I rolled a 7.

A few days ago, when Soraya was on an opium run, Mercedes took a fortune-telling session with a new customer. He was clearly from out of town, but not the usual tourist fare. He wore aristocratic, vintage clothing and his rings featured large gemstones. The moment the curtain was drawn, he started asking her questions about her craft. Mercedes asked why he wanted to know. He said that several like-minded colleagues were converging in Amsterdam for “the gathering,” that there was talk of a powerful practitioner at the Psychic Eye whose attendance could be critical to the outcome, and that he had been sent to make inquiries. Mercedes clucked her tongue dismissively and grabbed his hand (to read his palm and get a better look at those gemstones) but he pulled away. He dropped money on the table and left without another word. Or at least, that’s the story Mercedes tells. You never know with her. Sometimes she just likes to start WILD rumors.
Jan Groenhout, the Vamp
 player, 4 posts
Fri 14 Dec 2018
at 21:35
Opening moves
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 12):

(Sorry, folks, something about this format isn't clicking for me. I'm struggling to keep everything in my head and engage creatively when it's play-by-post. I'll bow out. Please use my character as an NPC as you wish! Thank you for the offer of play; I hope y'all have fun)
Terry Lodewijk (The Veteran)
 player, 3 posts
Sun 16 Dec 2018
at 05:29
Opening moves
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 2):

Terry has just gotten back from a coffee house in the Red Light District, where he met Diwan and Rasheed for a couple of beers. Now he's feeling pretty good with a couple of pints in him,  and starts tinkering in the garage, because he doesn't really want to go to bed by himself. He's been feeling really antsy lately, and can't quite put his finger on why. But he tries to keep himself busy and focused.

Terry trusts Jan the least, because Jan is a vamp, but if Jan is out, he picks Claudia. She seems a little sneaky.
Claudia Horst (Aware)
 player, 16 posts
Sun 16 Dec 2018
at 15:59
Opening moves -terry’s rumor domain
In reply to Terry Lodewijk (The Veteran) (msg # 15):
Terry is getting mixed up with wild

This message was last edited by the player at 16:29, Sun 16 Dec 2018.

The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 30 posts
Tue 18 Dec 2018
at 08:52
Opening moves -terry’s rumor domain
In reply to Claudia Horst (Aware) (msg # 16):

Terry, tell us a about a rumor or conflict that you’ve heard about Wild and roll 2D6 (you can use the die roller at the top of this page).


(It's kind of funny that 3 out of 4 people chose Wild!)

Also: are you working on something specific? (When you go into your workspace to work on something, the MC tells
you what it will take to complete.
)

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:12, Tue 18 Dec 2018.

The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 31 posts
Tue 18 Dec 2018
at 09:49
Claudia at the door
In reply to Claudia Horst (Aware) (msg # 11):

You drop the envelope through the mail slot, but as you do so, the door swings open, creaking slightly. The door was ajar. Oddly, the deadbolt is extended. Why would someone put the deadbolt on and not close the door?

Oddly, someone's chalked something on the bottom of the door and the bricks of the sidewalk you're standing on. Like a sigil of some kind on the threshold. In blue chalk. Also on both windowsills of the store's display windows.

There's a piece of blue chalk by your left foot. In a puddle. It's raining. You didn't actually notice the rain -- given how worked up you were about the book and 333 years and the veiled vale and "faeries" and "demons" (are those some kind of code?) and, let's face it, Estie -- until you saw the chaotic surface of the puddle, pelted by raindrops.

You're pretty darn wet though.

The blue chalk is oddly luminescent. Or are you just tired?

Through the open door, the front desk with the cash register is empty and dark, and bookshelves worm there way back into the depths of the store. There's some kind of light on back there -- actually, the light is moving. A flashlight?

What do you do?

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:03, Tue 18 Dec 2018.

The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 32 posts
Tue 18 Dec 2018
at 10:02
Soraya on the stairs
In reply to Soraya Tavalokian (Wizard) (msg # 13):

You were heading back upstairs, cursing Claudia and her unreliable bullshit book-stealing, when something made you turn back.

There's a guy in the stacks, looking at the books. With a flashlight. He wasn't there five minutes ago. He looks totally calm and unhurried. Young guy, with blond dreads and a leather jacket. He's got his back to you.

Oh hey, I was about to ask you "what do you do?", but just then your cell phone buzzes with an incoming message. The guy turns, smooth as silk, and looks you in the eye. Handsome fellow, but very self-satisfied, particularly for a burglar. There's something odd about his eyes: they're not actually red or glowing, but you sort of feel they ought to be.

What do you do? Check out the spoiler box here for one option:


Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
In Urban Shadows, when you meet someone, you can put a name to a face. (Also, when you hear of someone, you can similarly put a face to a name). You could do that now. To do it, roll with Wild (in your case, that's a straight 2D6), and mark Wild (if you could actually edit your character sheet in the wiki -- http://wiki.rpol.net/?edit=72380/soraya -- and put an X by the "Wild" stat, that would be amazing because I wouldn't be doing all the housekeeping). Once you've marked all Factions, you get to advance; that's the game's xp system.

quote:
When you put a face to a name or vice versa, roll with their Faction. On a hit,
you know their reputation; the GM will tell you what most people know about
them. On a 10+, you’ve dealt with them before; learn something interesting
and useful about them or they owe you a Debt. On a miss, you don’t know
them or you owe them, the MC will tell you which.


This guy's faction is Wild.


The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 33 posts
Tue 18 Dec 2018
at 10:10
Hassan on the balcony, in the rain
In reply to Hasan Shirazi (The Fae) (msg # 10):

You're sitting on the balcony in the rain, observing certain tremors (humans call them sobs, if you recall correctly?) moving across your torso, and tracking their path, when you look across the street to the balcony opposite and realize someone is watching you. It's a woman, or something appearing as a woman -- fifty or so, perhaps, if she were human? -- dressed in a manner similar to what you recall Greta Bradshaw, a partner at your firm, once referring to as "Cyndi Lauper, aged badly" style, in a similar case. You're not sure what she meant. You like the colors.

Please put a face to a name, following the instructions above in Soraya's post. The woman's Faction is Wild. (You can also mark Wild, under stats at http://wiki.rpol.net/?edit=72380/hasan .)

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:14, Tue 18 Dec 2018.

Claudia Horst (Aware)
 player, 17 posts
Tue 18 Dec 2018
at 15:48
Claudia at the door
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 18):

I retreat back to the coffee shop, and I text the the only person I know who's not the po-po, or part of the bureaucracy, that I think would take me seriously at one o'clock in the morning: Terry.

"Terry, sorry to bother you.  Aeysha said I always could count on your if I'm in trouble.  I went by the Psychic eye and it looks like somebody broke in there.  I'm afraid my friend Soraya and her family might be in trouble.  I can't call the police.
 What should I do?"

I'm reminding Terry of my relationship with Ayesha to cash in a debt to get him to lend me a hand

 I'm able to sit still for about three seconds and when I don't hear back,  I decide to investigate.  Before I go, I turn on the "share my location feature" of my iphone and I share it with Terry

I sidle up casually to the door, casing the street and looking for anything else unusual.  I drop the money through the slot, and and take out my phone and snap quick pictures of the blue chalk markings, the luminescent puddles, and the deadbolt/door ajar, and anything else that seems out of place.

I'm using my snoop move.  I rolled an 11 so I'm going to spend my  3 hold to answer these questions:


What is the best way in for me and out for Soraya of the eye?
Who or what here is not as it seems?
What is the greatest danger to me (and Soraya and her family)?

ASSUMING THAT Soraya, her sisters, her mother (or I) do not appear to be in immediate danger


I go back to the coffee shop where I can watch from the window and I text the photos to Soraya with a note that says:

"S, I swung by to pay for the book I borrowed and your door is open, and there's weird glow in the dark chalk everywhere.  (see pics) ARE YOU OKAY?  Should I call the police?  I know you don't like the police.  I've called for help.  Call me, okay???"

The move is "lend a hand" to whatever problem Soraya is having in the Eye.
I rolled a six.  Ruh Roh.

My intention was to  put Soraya in my debt, some more. (Warning her; not going to the police while she's got a junkie in the house)
 but since I failed to lend her a hand I suspect I just put her and/or myself in danger.

Hasan Shirazi (The Fae)
 player, 8 posts
 Hasan(Fae)
Thu 20 Dec 2018
at 00:21
Hassan on the balcony, in the rain
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 20):

Hasan rolled a 10 to put a face to a name.
Soraya Tavalokian (Wizard)
 player, 10 posts
Thu 20 Dec 2018
at 17:32
Soraya on the stairs
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 19):

This intruder looks familiar but I do not immediately recognize him. Perhaps I have passed him in the streets or interacted with him in the dreamlands. It does not matter. He is in our home and he is unwelcome. Should I attack him? His demeanor suggests that he could easily overpower me. I could Teleport away, but that leaves him alone with Ima and the sisters. This is no random thief off the streets - he is looking for something specific.

I roll a 12 for mislead, distract, or trick. I get to pick 3
1. You confuse them for some time
2. You create an opportunity
3. You expose a weakness or flaw


I look him in the eye. "Honestly, sneaking through my shelves in the middle of the night like a common rustler only wastes your time and insults my intelligence. Tell me why you want it and perhaps we can discuss mutually agreeable terms. After you apologize for tracking rainwater onto my rug."
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 34 posts
Thu 20 Dec 2018
at 20:39
Hassan on the balcony, in the rain
In reply to Hasan Shirazi (The Fae) (msg # 22):

Hasan! Your memory is sharp as always. You know this woman -- or this being, appearing as a woman, in any event. When you last saw her, she had the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle, a mane of porcupine quills and eyes of emerald: something of the eyes remains. She has many names, from irreverent ones like Popswallow to more august ones like Emerald Presence of the Unseen Dune, Orchestrator of Evensong, but she is one of those who are known as Chamrosh, and indeed, you usually call her Chamrosh.

Chamrosh steps over the railing and walks across the air between your apartments. It doesn't look as though she's walking on air. When you look right at her, it looks as if she is walking on a path strewn with flowers, in the gentle breeze of some languid afternoon. When you look just a little bit away, you see night and rain and Amsterdam.

You're not completely sure how she does this. It's not astonishing or anything; it's the sort of thing she'd do. But, stuck as you are in an almost fully mortal body, you would be entitled to feel a twinge of jealousy at this display, were you so inclined.

She hops over your railing and stands before you on the balcony. "Hasan," she says, "what are you doing? What game are you playing? Tell me the rules, and I will play too."

You don't know Chamrosh that well, but there has never been any hostility between you. She had some sort of intense interaction with Fatima at some point in the past, you think, before Fatima and you were together, but you don't recall if it was more of a pleasant or unpleasant interaction, or whether (as is perhaps most likely) it wouldn't have fit easily into those categories. Chamrosh is formidable, celebrated in certain circles, and very independent, but not so independent as to annoy the Court. In fact, she may be a favorite of the current Winter Queen. She has never displayed much interest in the human world before, to your knowledge.

You have no idea what she would be doing here.

What do you do?
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 35 posts
Thu 20 Dec 2018
at 20:53
Claudia at the door
In reply to Claudia Horst (Aware) (msg # 21):

Hmm. I'm not exactly clear how you will discern whether Soraya's in immediate danger from just looking at the door. I'm going to assume that, if you want to know the answers to these questions, you're willing to at least creep across the threshold. Let us say that you put one foot over, and lean into the shop.

There's definitely someone inside -- you catch a glimpse of them, and a snatch of Soraya saying something stern,  presumably to the person with the flashlight. She sounds in control, but with an edge of tension: it doesn't sound like the intruder is welcome. It sounds as if Soraya has been awakened, and is handling the situation... but she is also a single person, alone in her house with an intruder. She might be in danger.

The greatest immediate danger, you think to yourself, is clearly the intruder. And this thought seems... not wrong exactly. But only part of the picture. On some level you know that there is a deeper danger here -- you've known it every time you've been in this shop. You catch yourself sometimes imagining that there is something old and terrible beneath the building. Maybe Estie would say that that's a metaphor -- for some baggage and history and trauma in Soraya's past, which threatens her, and threatens you as well. Maybe this intruder is part of that. In any event, the intruder is a threat -- that seems clear. Maybe not as big a threat as whatever terrible thing hangs unsaid in the air of this building. But a more immediate one.

You ease back out the door to think for a moment what to do -- whether to barge in, or to retreat to the cafe and text as you first considered doing. And there's something -- difficult about doing so. Like a vertigo, or an unpleasant sense of disassociation. Is it just a spasm of guilt over not immediately rushing to Soraya's aid? If so, it's a very strange one. It feels more like it's hard to leave the building -- physically hard. Like you're moving through glue, or through unbeing, or through loss. Which is a very strange thought. You catch yourself thinking that you're glad you kept one foot outside the door, because you're not sure you could have gotten out if you had entered fully. Of the situation, you correct yourself. That you could have gotten out of the situation -- not physically through the door, that's silly. Again, metaphor -- your subconscious dramatizing at your fear of getting involved, or of abandoning Soraya.

But if you didn't know better you'd say something about the door is not as it seems.

The best way in is the door -- unless you want to try to climb up the rainpipe into a window on the second floor. The best way out for Soraya? That's less clear. Sometimes the best way out is through.
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 36 posts
Fri 21 Dec 2018
at 10:52
Soraya on the stairs
In reply to Soraya Tavalokian (Wizard) (msg # 23):

I've been mulling this over and I don't really get why your move triggers. What you say to the guy seems pretty direct and straightforward. Is there something tricky, distracting, or misleading about it that I'm missing?

To do it, you have to do it. What are you attempting to mislead him about, or trick him into, or distract him from?

For the moment I'm not firing that move; I'm going to assume you're just actually having the conversation with him that you appear to be having. Feel free to bank your 12 for a moment when an opportunity to mislead, distract, or trick arises. (Other useful moves if you're just conversing with someone non-trickily: figure someone out; persuade an npc through seduction, promises or threats; put a name to a face; drop someone's name).


He puts the book back on the shelf and looks you up and down. "Huh. You're not quite what I expected." He sniffs the air. "My information is that there's a seriously juiced-up practitioner in this house, and that's who I'm meant to be negotiating with. But you're not... quite... her, are you?" He tilts his head to one side.

What do you do?

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:52, Fri 21 Dec 2018.