Saturday, October 22, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Diplomacy Narrowly Averted - Session Twelve

This session includes four characters:
  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
  • Katherine "Katie" Lally, a Psyche Vampyr with a Sensitive Side who is a Former Police Officer exhibiting Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity and has troubles with Things with Buttons. 

Wasps Among Butterflies Campaign Index

Regrouping after their encounters with the three rogue Gods and a stubborn ghost, the Psyche interns return to the barricade that they had set up around the Himiji shrine and went about contacting the Psyche headquarters and talking to the refugees. Katie offers to attempt some amateur psychiatry via hypnosis to help Sarah deal with the mental issues that developed out of her fight with Tlazolteotl but Sarah decides she'd rather not risk it.

Kiki's parents show up and identify themselves as Haniyasu and Miku Himiji and relay to the interns what the situation is. Apparently something that was integral to maintaining the truce between Gods and Demons ceased functioning, but surprisingly the attack that occurred immediately after this came out of rebels within the realm of the Gods which they referred to as Nirvana. Among other things, the prisoners of Tartarus were released and some of the biggest villains of the Gods were free to do whatever it was they wanted. 

As they were continuing their explanation, Sarah and Aria showed up with the defeated bodies of the rogue Gods Houyi and Kratos. A medic was called up from the Gods; an obvious death seer by the coloration of their skin, hair and especially eyes; and it was immediately apparent that Kratos had been so thoroughly thrashed to the core of his being that he'd lost his domain. To which Katie noted that he had seemed very insistent about metaphorically punching himself in the everything. She minimized her own part in that.

Sophia contacted Mr. Ryujin and gave a rundown on the situation. He confirmed that this phenomenon was occurring worldwide and that they had one of the larger instances in Japan. The capital at Kyoto was dispatching aid, but that could take a while. In the meantime, the initial invasion seemed to have been dealt with but there was still a lot of chaos throughout the city. With Sophia relating that they were only seeing fringe elements of the hostiles, Mr. Ryujin grew concerned, but he promised to send some non-combat help to the shrine as soon as he could. He warned that the public officials might soon be sending people out to see about things and also cautioned keeping an eye on their Faerie Court neighbors.

In the wake of that phone call, Sophia decided to do another instance of on the spot crafting by creating The Thousand Eyed watcher. Like the Eye of Ar, it was a software program that seemed to defy the understood limitations of modern programming. The focus of this Visionary inspired piece of software was on keeping aware of thousands of pieces of information and data and filtering things down to just the most relevant and important details. Before she set down to do the heavy coding, however, she became aware of police vehicles coming into the area.

Aria, Sarah and Katie set about to greet the cops and hopefully get them to peacefully turn away. Given the confusion of the situation, they didn't want to upset the police or have to explain matters to them. They'd rather wait for people higher up Psyche's hierarchy to do the actual diplomacy bits. When the police showed up, Sarah hid herself in a tree while Aria stepped forward to talk to the cops. In order to keep them feeling more comfortable, Aria tried to use her illusion abilities to conceal her tactical armor with the typical button-up shirt and black jacket of a Japanese detective. Unfortunately, in her hurry she didn't quite get the illusion correct and the fake clothes kept passing through parts of her body, exposing the armor and just generally looking odd.

Katie and Sarah watched Aria's problem with her wardrobe's clipping and braced for bad stuff happening. Indeed, the initial stages of the conversation between Aria and the cops, staring at her ill-made illusion, weren't going very well. The vampyr decided to step forward and help out the issue, but unfortunately, with the cops riveted to Aria's clipping clothes, she couldn't get them to look her in the eyes and thus let her use her power.

The frustrated former Edinburgh investigator drew her gun then and got ready to fire. Fortunately, Aria saw this coming first and managed to grab the gun before Katie actually fired. This did break the focus on the succubus's illusion and allowed Katie to make eye contact with the lead cop of the group that was there. Fairly soon afterwards the Edo Police were leaving with the impression that they had been talking to Detectives Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks, two striking young women apparently named after American movie stars.

Sophia meanwhile had started to set about crafting her program and connected to the Visionary network as she did so. In doing so, she found herself accidentally drawn into a mindscape discussion between two other Visionaries, a Goddess and some other entity that she was later told was a Demon. This relayed a fair bit of information to the Visionary hacker, including some hints about the connections between the leaders of Avalon and the leaders of Psyche. She also learned that Edo was an official evacuation point for the Gods but that they had been warned against using official evacuation points due to the traitors in their ranks.

Most interesting to Sophia, however, was the fact that all the other four women she was speaking two (three of them actually seemed more like teenagers) had experienced something like she had when she had initiated contact with the Yakuza technopath. They relayed that one method to make that connection safe would be to have the Yakuza woman become a God or Demon, but it was both a slim chance and the current rebellions going on meant that it was unlikely to be something anybody had access to. The elder Visionary said she might have something that Sophia could try, however, and Sophia did glean an impression that the woman was much more stable in her Visionary status than any other Visionary the hacker had met, herself included.

With this bit of information Sophia returned back to physical awareness and crafted the Thousand Eyed Watcher. Unfortunately, the program did have something of a glitch in the form of having grabbed the audio files for its notifications from a particular Legend of Zelda game. The notifications were also somewhat frequent, with sounds of "Hey, Listen!" occurring every few minutes. The actual visual element of the program, and how it manifests in Sophia's mindscape, is a mass of frothing eyes everywhere one looks.

Session 12 Roll20 Playgrid

This was a somewhat short session that mostly involved the combat characters having to deal with something diplomatic. They dealt with this by getting the people to go away for now. This is basically a SWAT team set to defend a bunch of refugees. Psyche and the Community sort of consider the Japanese government their government, but in many ways they are still separate. Even in Asia where the secrecy of the supernatural was already thin. In addition, the Japanese government is unofficially aligned with House Omikami, Amaterasu Omikami in specific. Though the Goddess herself is not present in Japan and is currently emotionally and physically twelve years old. As such, they didn't want a confrontation with the police.

There was some out of character issues involving explaining just how severe the gun laws in Japan were and how few guns even the police had. But we've gotten past that. By and large, Katie's gun has been an invaluable game aid and actually deserves to be an aspect a lot more than her armor does.

Sophia also wants to eventually move her Visionary to being a more stablized form, very much similar to what the Gods and Demons are. The experience point cost for this is relatively low, but there needs to be an in story explanation for such matters. The encounter with Gaetana Trolleti in the mindscape, along with three of the teens from the novels, was mostly to provide a lead toward that story explanation. By this time, Tana has successfully stabilized her own Visionary nature, but she has yet to try it on another person.

This could lead to Sophia being the second Ainur of this game's timeline. (I have plans for who is the actual second Ainur, so we're officially non-canon now.)

Incidentally, the succubus also indicated that she'd like to go towards the path of immortality as well. This is much more problematic because there isn't any in-fiction justification currently existing for this being possible with a succubus. However, this is largely because the Gods and Demons have never bothered to do the research necessary to apply the ascension devices to a species other than human and Tana's device is based primarily on the Gods' and Demons' devices. So there is a clear path to getting in-fiction justification. It will just take more work than it will for Sophia.

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