The Menace at Macy’s (conclusion): Gaming summary for 5/9/04

This week's session was a bit disjointed, but I think that was more a result of the players finding their footing in the characters and the milieu than any fault of the GM's. Or it could have just been me, because I was very tired. As a result, the summary may be fractured as well, but here we go…

When we last left the party, they had managed to fight a bunch of mannequins and a little girl to a standstill (sounds less impressive when you put it that way, doesn't it?). Before they had much of a chance to do anything, the little girl turned into a ball of burning gas, although she was still paralyzed by Chucky’s prayer scroll. Obediah used another previously unmentioned power to banish her from this plane, and she went poof. At that point, balls of light came out of all the previously animated mannequins, and vanished. Macy's reverted from its mock-1920s appearance to a more modern one at the same time. Fitz searched for the mannequin who resembled the woman from his dream, but didn't find her. Fitz came to the conclusion that the souls trapped in the mannequins were now free, and the party's work was done. The others were less confident, but didn't see what else to do. Most of the party was also nervous about suddenly being in a store with working cameras and security systems, except for Obediah, who wanted to go in search of a five-finger discount. Chucky convinced him otherwise, and the party dispersed to their various dwellings to sleep the sleep of the just.

The GM noted at this point that the party had entered a building, stayed there a while, and departed, and not only was the building still standing, but only minimal damage had been done to the premises. He thought this might be a record for this particular group of players. I can only blame myself, since I'm new to the group, for not following the modus operandi.

The next morning, Fitz slept in, Tamsin and Chucky went to their respective places of employment, and Obediah went to check on his manhole cover, only to find it rotated 90 degrees clockwise (or 270 degrees widdershins, if that makes it more spooky for you). He went to tell Chucky about this.

Tamsin arrived at the office to discover that her boss was in, and required her assistance. We haven't met her before, so a quick description: Victoria (or possibly Veronica) Savage is a large woman — around six-foot-four — but perfectly well-proportioned, and one might even say striking. Tamsin wasn't expecting Ms. Savage today, but that's hardly unusual. What was unusual was that Ms. Savage had a crossbow bolt lodged in her arm, which she required Tamsin's assistance with. Tamsin was obviously concerned, but Ms. Savage wasn't, simply stating that “You shoulda seen the other guy.” The bolt was removed with relative ease, and Ms. Savage went home to get some rest, instructing Tamsin to hold her calls. Tamsin passed on the message from the Fishy Guy of two sessions ago, but Ms. Savage didn't know what to make if it.

Chucky, meanwhile, was approached by a tall, European-looking, extremely well-dressed man with slick blond hair, by the name of Mr. Hill. (As an aside, the players agreed that this guy might as well wear a sign that says “Demon!” on it.) After another dose of Chucky's Engrish accent, they got down to business. Mr. Hill represents an employer who wishes to develop the block that Chucky's theater stands on, and wishes to buy Chucky out, inviting him to name his price. Chucky is a man of simple needs, as it turns out, and was quite unwilling to sell. Mr. Hill tried, but eventually gave up, leaving his business card.

Obediah interrupted at about this point, and informed Chucky that the manhole had been disturbed. If there was more to that conversation, this recapper doesn't recall. Obediah went off to make popcorn.

Back across the street, Tamsin was trying to get some work done when two gentlemen in long coats, with dead white faces and black eyes, entered, announced that they were from “Customs,” and asked if Ms. Savage was present. When Tamsin replied that she wasn't, the Creepy Guys locked the door and drew the blinds, then advanced on Tamsin with evident malice. Tamsin beat a hasty retreat into Ms. Savage's office and slammed the door. She was fortunate to discover that Ms. Savage keeps a gun in a hidden compartment in her desk. Unfortunately, the gun proved to be too large for Tamsin to handle comfortably. She gave it her best effort, though, and gamely challenged the Creepy Guys as they bashed through the door (sorry, Wendy; I can't remember exactly what Tamsin said). This earned her a point of Mojo, which she spent using the “Nick of Time” shtick to summon Fitz in, well, the nick of time. Quickly figuring that the Creepy Guys weren't regular customers, Fitz drew his pair of faux-pearl-handled handguns (earning a Mojo point for his two-handed cross-body draw) and filled the Creepy Guys with slugs. The Creepy Guys began dripping black ichor from their wounds (we know it's ichor because Tamsin said so), but otherwise were only somewhat irritated by Fitz, and turned on him.

Tamsin abandoned the gun as too awkward to use, snatched up the discarded crossbow bolt from earlier, and stabbed one of the Creepy Guys in the back as he moved toward Fitz. The stricken Creepy Guy promptly dissolved into a puddle of black ichor. Tamsin decided that if something works, you go with it, and tried to stab the other Creepy Guy. Unfortunately, Creepy Guy the Second was faster, and snagged Tamsin's wrist, generating feelings of such terror that she was immobilized. Fitz, following time-honored tradition in this situation, dropped his guns and shoulder-tackled the Creepy Guy, sending them both sprawling. Creepy Guy tried his terror trick on Fitz as they grappled, but he managed to resist, although just barely. Tamsin wasn't able to compose herself for another attack, but did manage to send the bolt arcing through the air toward Fitz, who caught it out of the air with the “If I can just reach…” shtick. (In this recapper's mind, that particular maneuver took place with the camera in a tight shot on the bolt as it flipped end-for-end in slow motion, with the soundtrack swelling in the background. One suspects that most Mundane Shticks happen in slow motion.) Fitz immediately stabbed the Creepy Guy with the bolt, and he also dissolved into a puddle of black ooze. Fitz turned to Tamsin with a jaunty “So, how's your morning been?” earning another point of Mojo. Tamsin and Fitz searched the Creepy Guys' clothes, but didn't come up with anything other than a pair of obviously fake badges. Tamsin saved some of the ichor for later in a flower vase. They decided to cross to the theater to see if Chucky or Obediah had seen anything.

Chucky and Obediah had not seen anything unusual, in fact, which prompted some musings about the sort of neighborhood they all live in, if gunshots at 10:00 in the morning aren't unusual. Each group caught the others up on the morning's activities, and Chucky and Obediah examined the crossbow bolt and the ichor. Chucky didn't recognize either, but Obediah experienced a rare moment of clarity, and announced that the ichor was the remains of a Goblin construct, used as an assassin, and that there would probably be more of them. Fitz (possibly cutting a bit too deep with Occam's Razor) surmised that the assassins were related to the Fish Folk, although he wasn't sure if they were allies or enemies. Obediah didn't think much of Fitz's hypothesis, but wasn't able to explain exactly what he thought was going on, so he took the vase of ichor, went off to find a mop, and then proceeded up to the roof.

Exiting onto the roof of the theater takes you to the 1930s Manhattan that the characters saw in their first encounter. Obediah and Chucky took this in stride, but Fitz and Tamsin were a bit shaken. The other party members noted that Obediah seemed more lucid and less scruffy up on the roof than he normally does. Obediah quickly captured a pigeon, on the grounds that pigeons “return home,” and asked Chucky to come up with some way to track the bird. Tamsin wasn't sure what Obediah's plan was, but she had a feeling it wouldn't be good for the pigeon, and she objected vehemently. Obediah, frustrated, demanded that Tamsin come up with an alternative, so she left to find one. Obediah took advantage of the pause to warn Fitz that his mail-order sword wouldn't be much good against Goblins, and suggested an organic weapon, like a mop handle, or a celery stalk (the celery thing was Fitz's idea, not Obediah's, by the way). After some more discussion with Chucky, the original pigeon plan was discarded. Fitz went to fetch Tamsin (who didn't have a salad for lunch, or any kind of celery that Fitz could use), while Obediah and Chucky descended the fire escape to street level, which allowed them to stay in the 1930s version of New York.

Fitz brought Tamsin up to the roof and down the fire escape, and the two noted a number of elves, dwarfs, and centaurs in this version of New York. Eventually, all four party members met at the manhole, and announced their intent to descend. First, though, Obediah and Chucky laid out some ground rules for the two mundanes:
1. Don't do anything you wouldn't do when time traveling, such ask killing your own grandfather.
2. Don't eat or drink anything, or you won't be able to leave.
3. Don't stray from the path, or you'll be lost.
4. Fitz, lose the coat…it makes you look fat.

The curtain fell with Our Heroes poised to enter the sewers. Will they find friends or foes? Find out in two weeks!

2 thoughts on “The Menace at Macy’s (conclusion): Gaming summary for 5/9/04

  1. So that's what the celery thing was about. I thought maybe you were trying to prepare a stuffing for the pigeon…

  2. For the life of me, I can't remember how we got from mop-handles to celery. I loved Paul's explanation for an apparently crazy action; it's perfect Obediah. I know we tossed some other vegetables back and forth, but I don't remember who crossed the line into “crazy” first. And asking “You don't happen to have a salad, do you?” of the one character who wasn't around for the initial conversation felt very genre to me. Then again, I was very tired, as I said.

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