Posted by: markfender | February 25, 2015

C:tL – Eyes on Fire – Session 8

“Feral Love”

The world is over. Portland is covered in snow and spiderwebs. There are howls in the night. The forests have sprung back into life, pushing through asphalt and concrete to emerge fully formed in the ruins of the town. Things are on fire. Hobgoblins roam the streets.

The surviving changelings, holed up in their walk-in medical clinic, include: Nettle, Shimmer, Reiko Reedwitch, Boss Hogg, and Genesis P. Froggington the Third.

As a porcelain doll, Nettle managed to lose an arm in the initial violence. Also present is Matthew Hinton, who’s just a human, and some minor Changelings from a few of the Courts. In total, sixteen people are crammed into this tiny medical facility.

Of course, the initial moments are spent barricading doors and windows and keeping an eye out for looters. There is violence in the streets between Portland’s panicked citizens and the hobgoblins. Eventually in the night, the power dies and cell phones stop getting signals.

The changelings, of course, have a lot of questions. Nettle quickly rises as leader, seeing as it is her Season (even if the weather doesn’t seem to back that up). In fact, the Court system is remarkably intact with three Courts having their Queens survive. Nettle suggests that one of the two Spring PCs, Dani and Darby, decide which of them wants to be Spring Queen. Dani takes the position.

The players made this decision between themselves so fast that I wasn’t even paying attention. I asked the question, turned to another player to say something, and when I turned back, they were celebrating Dani’s new reign. So…uh, I guess it was unanimous?

The first order of business is finding food, weapons, and other essentials for survival. Boss Hogg knows of some food trucks near their location that they could probably steal and the group knows of a nearby Lowe’s they want to raid for supplies. The food truck isn’t too hard to find, but it’s a bit of a nightmare driving it back through the broken streets. The Lowe’s already has survivors holed up inside of it, as they’ve blocked the doors and threaten the PCs when they arrive (It doesn’t help that their Masques no longer work so they look like monsters). Matthew, with the power of a police badge, approaches the Lowe’s and talks with the people inside, but they’re not budging. The PCs decide to try again later, perhaps when the people inside the Lowe’s run out of food.

Back at the headquarters, Paul starts to build some essentials for survival, but finds that he’s gonna need some more tools. Meanwhile, Matthew quietly takes the PCs aside. He wants a new Pledge with the surviving changelings, but decides to run it by the PCs first as he hopes they’ll help him sell it to the others. For one, he’s worried about himself and his sanity. As the only human amongst a group of changelings, he’s the only source of Glamour, and doesn’t want to end up crazy with the constant emotional tugging-and-pulling he’s sure is going to start happening. He also thinks it’d be a good idea to get everyone some much needed Survival skills. The PCs agree with him and start to lay the groundwork with the others on signing a new Pledge.

The PCs are pretty protective of Matthew, so this agreement happened pretty quickly. I think they all quickly saw the precarious position he was in, even if they hadn’t quite realized the implications of having only one human to “feed” sixteen changelings. This becomes more important later as the PCs use their Contracts more and discover that 1) they’re really expensive and that 2) most of their Catches don’t apply anymore.

Darby and Matthew go out into the city to try to find more humans that might want to join their group (to take some of the burden off of Matthew).

They go because Matthew has a badge and a gun, which gives him some minor authority, and Darby has a Contract that prevents her from being attacked by people that oppose her.

While traveling through the city, the snow grows more fierce. Darby turns around to find that she is separated from Matthew by a glass wall. Sounds don’t penetrate and even bullets don’t do much to it. Darby’s Keeper emerges from the clouds and descends to confront Darby. She talks about how she hates this place and everything that exists here – that humanity is a disease that she plans on wiping out. Darby loses it and begins to cry and beg with her, promising to turn the others over to her. Slightly mollified by the fear she’s engendered, Darby’s Keeper releases Darby from the snow globe-like shape they’re in. Darby, fearful of leading her Keeper back to the group, takes off running. Matthew attempts to follow her.

I was expecting Darby’s breakdown, but I wasn’t expecting her running off into the night.

Darby runs through the abandoned streets of Portland. She finds herself entering a suburban neighborhood that has had temporary walls erected around it. Cars and other detritus have been pushed into a semblance of a barrier, guarded by people with shotguns. The snow is melted here and the sun seems to be shining. She meets Tom Bramble, who has created the Green Zone. With his Spring Mantle, he was able to banish the winter and start to build a community.

Meanwhile, Matthew has tracked Darby to the Green Zone. He returns to the other PCs and tells them where Darby is. They set out to retrieve their errant Motley member.

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