Friday, April 15, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Second Session - The Full John Wick

Warning: This post has not yet been edited and was written late at night. Grammar goofs and typos probably abound.

This session involves three characters:

  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), Psyche Raised Succubus who grew up adapting to the ideal of Perfect Lady of War with an Anti-Van Helsing Assault Kit.
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary, an Virtual Apex Predator and Dark Net Denizen with Establishment Blues.
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who tends to feel that if she's Annoyed, then Your Feelings are Irrelevant.
The day after headlines.



Wasps Among Butterflies Campaign Index

The session started with bringing in Kiki Himiji and the dryad, Thomas "Tomie" Rhett from their earlier near thing with the bousouzoku Van Helsing gang. Their supervisor took a few moments to ream out Sophie and Aria for respectively causing attention getting explosions and leaving dead Van Helsings that are bound to have the local forensics department freaking out. While he agreed that lethal force was warranted in this case (otherwise he likely wouldn't have sent them) he instructed them to be more subtle about it next time. The last thing anybody wants is lingering horror stories for when the supernatural goes public. Aria responded that "[the Van Helsings] were the real horror story."

Afterwards, they were given an assignment while a counselor spoke to Kiki and Tomie. Apparently, the Kimato yakzua family is encroaching on Community territory. This is usually not a problem since the Families (and criminal supernatural elements) tend not to tolerate outsiders very well, but these yakuza are proving stubborn and seem to be making gains. The team has been instructed to investigate and put the pressure on the yakuza so that they back off before the Shimizu or Moruishi families decide to fully mobilize. Basically, Psyche is going to try a spec-ops precision assault in order to hold off the Families from taking the nuclear option. Sarah quipped that it sounded like the difference between World War II and the Anglo-Zanzibar War

The team started by researching local yakuza movements and seeing where they overlapped with Community areas. Then Sophia tracked down public records to locate an area that the Kimato already fully controlled nearby the threatened area. Finding such a neighborhood they identified three Kimato properties: a meth drug lab, a nightclub and an office used as a front for collecting extortion takes. After some discussion over the options, they decided that they wanted to hit the nightclub first on the idea that the other two would be sheltered from the higher ranks while the nightclub was likely to have some important people in it.

After this, the team discussed whether or not to stakeout the club and follow someone important looking home or else to "go full John Wick" on the nightclub itself. Due to the potential for the presence of innocent spouses and children at a home, they decided to take on the nightclub. 

Sophia set herself up to watch the cameras on the site and relay information on positioning and layout to the other team members. Aria went in first, though her beauty and the dangerous vibe as a perfect lady of war caused her to bring along an unwanted civilian watching her. Fortunately, the eyes she drew helped Sarah get in despite throwing a fit over being carded and having to prove how old she was (due to her being so short) the guards were too focused on Aria to pay much attention to her tantrum. 

Sarah was further annoyed on getting in to see two college aged girls with clear animal ears, one with an actual wolf-like tail. Her sense of smell pegged them not as supernaturals but as rich kids able to afford cosmetic gene-mods which had been made legal in Japan already while other countries are still considering them. One of the girls even smelled of muddled faux-Asian gene mods. So with mutterings of "don't pull her tail, don't grab the ears" the legitimate werecat moved off to the dance floor.

Meanwhile, Aria was quietly getting her unwanted hanger-on drunk and injecting him with a poison to fill his system with melatonin: the chemical produced by the body when night falls and it's time to sleep. This sets him up to be a sleepy and easily diverted distraction later.

Once in place, they waited for Sophia to do her thing. Sophia managed to change the password on the nightclub's illegal armory, lock down the mag-doors leading to the VIP upstairs area and then convince the nightclub computers that a fire had erupted in the nightclub spraying everybody with non-toxic fire-retardant.

Aria pushes her unwanted date onto the staff while Sarah sheds her dancing-kimono to reveal her cat-suit body armor beneath and gets out of sight. The succubus uses her biokinesis to accomplish a quickie body hardening, but the strain causes her Life-Force to corrupt enough to cause a number of overchannel bruises across her body. She then picks up her briefcase and physical body armor letting the door close ahead of her while the staff is distracted by drunks. She then adopts her scorpubus illusion as she heads upstairs and Sophia locks the outer doors against people getting back in.

Sarah and Aria get up to the top floor and listen to the thugs on the other side trying to open the door which is soon thrown open because nothing says hello like a breaching charge. With a quip of knock knock, Sarah dives in and severs the achilles tendon on one of the thugs. Using the element of surprise, Aria then lashes out with her tail to send a massive hallucinogen through the body of one of the thugs. 

Softbank's mascot: Otosan
One of the VIPs in the back room tries to call out for reinforcements but Sophia reroutes his call to a Chinese restaurant in the CRCMP (Cultural Republic of Chinese and Mongolian Peoples). While she successfully reroutes the call the action garners the attention of Softbank who start tracking the hack in their network. One of the guards screws up the attempt to get past Sophie's armory hack so badly that it causes him to delay getting in the armory an extra round.

One of the guards tries to run for the backroom while the guard with the severed achilles tendon struggles back to his feet. The hallucinating guard manages to keep hold enough on his senses to make an attack but only bruises his knuckles against Aria's various layers of armor (body hardening, telekinetic and tactical gear) while the fourth guard tries a stab at Sarah but she gracefully ends up redirecting him so that his knife gets put in the wall.

Aria moves forward and uses her wrestling training (a style she refers to as "Surprise Death Cuddles") to toss the man that just tried to stab Sarah out so that he tumbles into the guard making a run for it and they both end up tangled up in the hallway. The hallucinating guard tries again to fight Aria but fails and the poison builds up to full out hallucinations. Sarah meanwhile knocks the man whose achilles tendon she severed into unconsciousness. One of the guards tangled up manages to stand up from the ground after distangling himself, but the other is still trying to get to his feet. 

Sophia tries to redirect the Softbank security team into tracing her to an NSA hub in American Okinawa and is successful but manages to acquire attention from the NSA as a result. Now Softbank and the NSA are both trying to trace each other and her. 

Aria darts out hustling past the two guards in the hallway, ignoring one opportunistic attack that cruises off her armor, she hits the next room using Sophia's positioning reports to put herself between the armory and the four men in the back room. She doesn't manage total control of the guard at the door but keeps him as a human barrier for a little bit limiting the actions of the other guards. Sarah moves into the hallway to take down the standing guard by slicing into his thigh to ruin the muscles there. 

The hallucinating guard slips into the worst trip ever and drops into a gibbering mess as the hallucinogen floods his system. The guard on the floor in the hallway tries to stand but fails miserably due to Sarah's interference. The other makes an attempt to punch Sarah, but the ruin of his leg and her agility causes him to fall to the ground. Meanwhile, one of the VIPs in the back room continues to yell into his phone while another heads to grab a decorative katana. One of the guards tries one more time to get around Aria to the armory door and fails while the second tries to grab her but instead finds himself unbalanced.

Sophia stubbornly decides to remain connected despite all the attention she garners and also notices that several civilians outside are calling the fire department. Slightly panicking she has a moment of epiphany and contacts some dark net friends about an excellent hack she's about to perform and anybody that wants in needs to jump in now. She gets some help and starts setting up hacking into the Playstation Network ("I need a large bundle of easily hacked computer networks. So, of course, the PSN.") while defending against the probes from Softbank and the NSA. While Softbank is able to get some data on her, she keeps well out of NSA sights.

Sarah slams her feet, wearing far from dancing shoes, down into the head of the uninjured thug on the ground with her combat boots. She delivers the concussion causing blow with a cry of "Down Boy!" In the next room, Aria uses the off balance manner of one of the thugs to toss him away slamming him hardily into the wall while turning to the other and using her wrestling skill and leverage to perform some knee deconstruction on the one that was trying to get to the door. 

The katana wielding VIP charges in and manages to draw blood on the succubus smirking a little bit at the success (he managed a boost). While the other VIP gets off the phone and tries unsuccessfully to flank and hem in Aria to give the guards a better chance at fighting her. The thug she tossed spends the round clearing his head while the one with a broken knee tries to punch her and fails. The guard in the hallway manages to stand up.

Sophia manages again to stay out of NSA, and this time Softbank, sights by distracting them with a link to Twitch Plays Pokemon.

Sophia manages to pull off her hack and completely escapes NSA and Softbank attention by diverting them to a combination of Twitch and the PSN. Meanwhile, Softbank is still clueless about what they've gotten wrapped up in while the "hacker" (the NSA) completely infiltrates their systems and the American government starts calling Kyoto.

Sarah decides she has had enough with the guards in the hallway and decides to attack both slamming one into the next by knocking them unconscious with the hefts of her knives. The man who managed to get to his feet is absolutely destroyed and serves as a projectile in her attack on the the man with the ripped up thigh, sending both unconscious.

Aria meanwhile reaches up to the small injury and creates an illusion of it healing while staring down the man with the katana and calmly commenting that he was "Only Human." The illusion and attitude send him into a deep terror and he steps back trying to recover his morale.

The other VIP makes an attempt to grab hold of Aria and manages to grab hold of her elbow while the kneecapped man takes advantage of the situation to punch her, but between his injury and weaponless state he doesn't have much chance of hurting her. The dazed man continues trying to shake his head clear.

Sofia decides to help out Aria by setting all the rhomba automatic cleaners in the room to wandering about under the feet of the bad guys. Sarah makes use of this by dashing in and traveling from rhomba to rhomba until she's one one traveling near the knee-capped man and, despite still being in human form, does a good cat on a rhomba impression before slashing into the back of the man's other knee. He passes out from the pain and they'll be needing to amputate that leg later.

Aria tries to scare the man into obeying her and uses her empathy to project obedience as she does so. Simultaneously, she stabs her tail into the other VIP who had grabbed her before and injecting him full of something like brown recluse spider venom. Aria demands that the katana-wielder go down and wait for the fire department in order to tell them to leave before coming back upstairs to receive a message. To his credit he responds by stuttering out "screw you."

Necrosis starts to set into the other VIP and Sarah takes out the last guard with a pin before he can get back to his feet while Aria repeats her orders and empowers them with an impression and verbal promise that he could end up like his friend now suffering necrosis because she already has survivors to relay a message. This time the man breaks down. 

Sofia then arranges a traffic jam to slow down the fire department while they knock out the last guard and the second VIP dies due to the venom in his veins. They interrogate the remaining VIP and learn that he was ordered specifically to expand into that neighborhood from orders "coming down from the top." But he didn't know why because the people in that neighborhood barely seem to drink much less do drugs (because supernaturals, even human ones, have to be careful with chemicals they take in and thus don't as often get into drugs and when they do can as often end up dead as high on their first try).  Aria tells him that she's giving orders from The Top, not just the top of his organization, to stay the hell out of that neighborhood.

Sofia searches the computer files of the nightclub but finds nothing. Sarah performs a physical search turning up a ciphered ledger. Aria looks for some money to confiscate but fails to find anything significant. Then they inject all the survivors with the hallucinogen so that they're uncertain about the supernatural elements of the attack and she and Sarah slip out under an illusion of Aria seeming to be one of the guards escorting the small woman out saying that she "had been stuck in the bathroom."

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Full John Wick roll20 Play Grid

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These characters are beasts in physical combat. I used slightly more robust baddies and they were a little bit better at causing the players issues, but in general, average antagonists are going to need to perform maneuvers to support each other as well as be well-equipped before they have a chance. Given this was a well-executed surprise attack they just didn't have the chance to get there.

Wasps Among Butterflies Campaign Index

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