[Mage: the Awakening Actual Play] Endangered Species Episode 7

Posted: May 7, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Actual Play, Articles, Mage: the Awakening, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness

This week’s session was something of a shift from the norm, as it dealt a lot with the external changes in the Tokyo Consilium, some of which might not involve the player characters directly just yet, but could have repercussions in the future. Sadly, I wasn’t able to run a scene for Sheimaruen (who was playing Reimu) as he arrived a little later than I had expected, but I’ll start off with him next week in order to make up for it.

The session began with the team cleaning up after the Yakuza / Jorogumo incident from the last session. They’d used Death and Matter Arcana to clean up as best as they could to hide evidence of supernatural conflict. A very distressed Amaya (Silver Countess) finally broke down due to the exhaustion, and stress and frustration at having gone against what she felt was her duty as a Shaman.

Amaya took off without the group to drown her stress away in a local dive, spending two hours getting as drunk as she could. One of her mentor and her family’s greatest emphases was on their traditional role as a mediator between mortals and the supernatural, be they ghosts or spirits. Deliberately starting a vicious massacre between humans and spirits felt WRONG in her mind, and she gave in due to pressure from her team.

While Amaya was getting drunk, Melon Pan (Mappy) made a quick call to his own Yakuza contacts, giving them an insider tip that one of their rival bosses was dead and that they should capitalize on this information. His allies moved in, swooping down on holdings owned by the now leaderless family, resulting in a few shootings and violence in now-contested terrirtories, even before the bodies were cold.

He’d visited the station to file his own report as the first officer on the scene, and blew his roll, leaving in some rather odd inconsistencies that might come back to haunt him later.

Upon leaving the station, Melon Pan was then invited by his Yakuza contacts to celebrate their victory in a posh upper-class restaurant. He regaled them with a (much better) account of his lie, and promptly got drunk as well.

He was making his way home when he got a call from Omoikane, a fellow member of the Mysterium, that worked for the ruling Amatsu-Kami Cabal. Melon Pan was slightly ticked at being called for more work at this hour, but Omoikane seemed to be particularly insistent, saying that Melon Pan was the only Obrimos from the Mysterium awake at this hour, and that his skills were needed.

Flopping into a taxi, Melon Pan rode to the Amatsu-Kami cabal’s headquarters, to meet with the senior Mysterium mage. Omoikane met him there, and upon smelling his alcohol laced breath, cast a spell to nullify the effects of the alcohol through Mind. Meaning that the alcohol was still well within Melon Pan’s body, but his mind was at last relatively clear.

Together they proceeded into Omoikane’s vaults, where the older mage presented Melon Pan with a curious artifact, a strange mempo carved of an ancient laquered wood. Melon Pan activated his Prime sight and noticed that it had a very strong resonance, and also had strong associations with the Space arcana. Omoikane added that his own analysis revealed that the mempo also carried some connection to the Mind arcana.

Melon Pan studied the artifact further, using Prime to discern how to use the artifact. He realized that it was some sort of mind control device, where the wearer could essentially hijack a pre-conditioned mind upon activating the artifact.

Omoikane then revealed that this was an artifact that was submitted for study by the Negoro-gumi, and that the Adamantine Arrow cabal retrieved it in their earlier raid of the Seer sanctum. It was not an artifact that could be replicated using the kind of magic that the Awakened wield today, and was worth a lot to the Seers.

Omoikane warned Melon Pan to be careful. If the spirit that they saw with Mister Lao was reporting back, then their Cabal could very well be a seer target.

That sobered Melon Pan quite a bit, even as he sent a text message to the rest of his team to be careful.

Masamune (Hikkikomori) was busy at work, catering to the social needs of a gaggle of ladies when he saw his mentor, Ebisu in his club. Masamune knew that something was up as Ebisu would never visit him, it was always the other way around.

Excusing himself a moment, Masamune slipped out into the back alleys using the employee entrance and saw Ebisu there.  Ebisu apologized for the interruption, and informed Masamune that the Shichifukujin were on the trail of something big.

Ebisu explained further that their focus on the study of Fate revealed that a destiny-altering event was about to take place sometime in the near future, and the Shichifukujin as a whole have decided to pull away from Consilium politics for the time being to focus their efforts on determining the nature of this event.

Ebisu confessed that he was hoping that it might be something related to the Awakening Crisis, and that in knowing, the Shichifukujin could do something about it. But until they could find out more, they would have to cease or limit communication with everyone else.

Masamune understood why that was the case, as having more people aware of that fact meant that there would be more fluctuations in the skein of fate, making it harder and harder to pin down as more variables are introduced. He assured his mentor that he would be well.

Ebisu seemed to be relieved at that, and left his apprentice for now, as the rest of the Shichifukujin were waiting for him to get back to their project.

Mikaboshi (Paulo) on the other hand was busy tending to his hotel when one of his staff, Mariko, informed him that there was a rather strange incident happening in the lobby. A rather haggard looking japanese man was demanding to be allowed to book a room using cash, while not having any luggage at all.

Mikaboshi would normally have let such a thing bother him, but at this point he figured that it wouldn’t hurt. He came down in the guise of the hotel manager and introduced himself to the distraught man. The man spoke in a strange accented form of Japanese, and it was only through some reassurance (and an offer of tea) that the Mikaboshi was able to calm the man down enough and offer him a room despite the strange circumstances, as long as the man showed some ID. The man pulled out a United States passport, showing that he was a U.S. born Japanese.

Mikaboshi allowed the man to book his room, and sent a scan of the passport to some of his shadier hacker contacts. Nobody books rooms in hotels using cash alone, and without luggage. Something was fishy, and he deployed Max to keep an eye out on the man.

Two days later, his surveillance paid off as Max called in to tell him that the man was running away from three caucasian men, one of which had a gun. Mikaboshi was about to brush the matter off as none of his business when Max quickly added that he thinks that the man was a Mage.

Mikaboshi told Max to hang back, and went to the scene immediately. It was something to be a fugitive, but having a dead U.S. citizen mage on their watch was something that could bring the undue attention of foreign mages to the scene. He called (the now much more sober) Amaya, as well as the others asking them to back him up. Amaywa was the first to respond and the two proceeded to try and get there in time.

They were en route when Max reported that the man had died, sending images of the incident, where the man was cornered inside a small alley courtyard, and one of the caucasians (the one with a gun) fired several shots into the man’s body to make sure he was dead.

Mikaboshi and Amaya arrived later, opting to give some time for the heat to die down before checking out the crime scene.  They returned later in the afternoon, where Mikaboshi summoned the ghost of the dead mage.  They were about to ask about the assailants when the three caucasian mages walked in through the alleyway, leaving Mikaboshi and Amaya trapped inside the courtyard.

Mikaboshi heard them speaking in english, and understood that they were complimenting each other for springing a trap, just in case other mages would drop by. He realized then that the mage was being pursued by a cabal of Banishers, crazed mages who made it their life’s work to kill other mages, believing that magic was unnatural and evil.

The fight that broke out was brutal, with Mikaboshi having been shot twice. The banishers were apparently quite experienced, with a rudimentary tactic, of dispelling defenses while two others piled on to the victim.

Masamune called them back, having just gotten the message, when Amaya quickly told him that they were in a fight with the Banishers and their location. Masamune told them to hang on as he tried to get there, and call for backup along the way.

Amaya was able to distract the banishers, wrapping shadows around their eyes to blind them as the two made their escape. There was no sense in getting killed by banishers in a dark alley.

They reached the car where Max was waiting, and Mikaboshi saw that the banishers were about to pursue in their own vehicle.  He used Matter to transmute the gasoline in the car to some other inert substance as they sped away.

The banishers got out of the car, frustrated at the loss of their quarry when Masamune arrived in his own cab, watching them to see if they could do anything.  The banishers double-checked their vehicle, trying to find out what had happened, buying precious time for Masamune’s backup to arrive… in the form of the Justice Knights.

The Justice Knights cabal were relatively young, but they were reckless and daring. Outnumbering the banishers, the team went into an all-out drag out fight, with many of the Justice Knights incurring paradox, but finally eliminating the Banishers. One of the knights, Bancho, was unconscious, but so were two of the Banishers. The third Banisher was dead.

Masamune called in for a cleanup crew, and was not really suprised to find that Yomi moved in first, taking away the two unconscious Banishers while the Justice Knights retreated as well to bring Bancho to the hospital.

The session ended there, with a lot of back and forth between multiple cabals. The game had a lot of things happening, and I will admit that I was glossing over a lot of detail when I ran it, something that I will have to pay attention to fixing on my next session.

That said it’s good to see the other cabals already moving, whether as friends or foes or doing their own thing. It gives the setting a certain kind of dynamism as players realize that they’re not the only mages in Tokyo, and that sooner or later they’ll be asked to either do a few favors in turn.

  1. Hikkikomori says:

    The encounters really prove that striking first gives Mages a huge advantage.

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