Posted by: markfender | April 28, 2015

C:tL – Eyes on Fire – Session 15


The stain on the door is spreading. Until The Jack emerges from the door. He appears changed, his mien taking on the greyish-hue of the sycamore. He seems more coherent and smiles a cruel smile. When the PCs ask him about the Hedge, he tells them a long tale:

When the PCs first arrived in Portland, Nettle didn’t trust them. She asked Shimmer to look into them, but Shimmer didn’t find anything. So, Shimmer asked The Jack. The Jack stole into Arcadia and the PC’s Keepers domains and discovered the Keepers’ plot to come to Portland. While there, The Jack stole various items that he hoped would betray the PCs place as pawns or accomplices. When the PCs encountered those items in the Hedge (oh so many sessions ago), their reactions convinced him that they were unwitting pawns. Unfortunately, before he could return to Shimmer and Nettle and let them know, the Keepers came for him. He placed his shadow/soul/seasons into his knife and stabbed it into the PC’s Hedge door on their Hollow, to distract the Keepers from finding him. That plan worked, except by doing that, The Jack lost his mind. All he had to do was hide out in Portland for a bit and then return to the Hedge and reclaim his sanity hidden in the knife. Unfortunately, then the Keepers invaded and shut off access to the Hedge. So, he was stuck knowing the truth of the whole situation, but with the inability to articulate it.

Every fairie story has to have a trickster. The problem is that I dislike tricksters. They just annoy players. So, in order to fit that idea in, I decided to create the trickster who was too clever for his own good and managed to trick himself. I was aiming for a Constantine-esque trickster, willing to do desperate things that didn’t always work out for the best.

Darby doesn’t believe this story. She and The Jack exchange words with The Jack promising that he has thought upon her words and that she probably won’t like his answer (This was an echo of an earlier conversation between the two of them). The Jack presents Paul with a key he found in the Hedge, the final part needed to create his dybbuk box. Then, The Jack promises to visit the others and that they probably won’t appreciate his visit. The PCs are left in the desolate remains of Portland.

Darby has a talk with Matthew. She believes that Uile is in love with his Keeper and won’t strike the final blow needed. She’s decided that the only way to get Uile to kill his Keeper is if she’s put into danger. Matthew disagrees with this idea, but has an alternate idea. He talks with Uile and tells him Darby’s plan, figuring that would incentivize Uile enough to stop any foolishness about not killing his Keeper. Promises are made.

The Jack returns, stepping out of shadow. He tells the PCs that Nettle and Shimmer have found Paul’s Keeper. He leads them to where Nettle and Shimmer are – the Portland docks. Nettle and Shimmer have set up an observation post and have been keeping an eye on the great fiery, metal lion as he prowls the shipping containers.

They are also dressed like Mad Max warriors because it’s a post-apoclyptic game – someone should wear some makeshift armor at some point.

Of course, this was all Nettle’s idea. Even if the PCs have been banished, that doesn’t mean that these Keepers don’t need to be killed. Shimmer reluctantly agrees, but insists that they do it right. Hence, the football pads.

The groups plan on trapping Paul’s Keeper in a warehouse. They then will attempt to wrestle him to the floor and shove him the box, trapping him forever. The first part of their plan works well as Dani leads the lion into the warehouse. Unfortunately, he almost immediately begins moving at blazing speed around the warehouse, knocking stuff around and prowling through the catwalks. A terrible banging noise is heard on the warehouse doors as Hail the Ash breaks in. The tattoos he received last session are glowing as he declares his intent to destroy the Keeper. He causes a forest of vines to grow out of the floor, tearing into the catwalks, knocking Paul’s Keeper to the floor. Unfortunately, some of the vines head straight for Nettle. Shimmer leaps in front of them, shifting her form at the last instant to cause the vines to avoid Nettle. Shimmer ends up impaled. Nettle lets out a haggard cry and falls to her knees. There is the sound of breaking porcelain.

The Lion Whose Roar is the Dawn leaps upon Hail and they both go tumbling through the air. The magic tattoos the PCs gave him create a glowing vine that anchors him, throwing their arc through the air off. The Lion crashes into a support beam and lands near the dybbuk box. Paul is able to get him inside the box and lock it. The box whines and shakes and then goes still.

The PCs check on the survivors. Hail the Ash has been gutted and asks Uile, “What will I become?” before dying. Nettle is in shock. The Jack leads her gently back home, while the others carry Shimmer back to the apartment complex. They are greeted by their old allies. Nettle mourns the death of her best friend and the PCs leave once again to find Uile’s fetch and his Keeper.

This one was probably too NPC heavy, but I have an excellent excuse: Paul’s player didn’t show up (and also didn’t tell me he wasn’t showing up – grrrr). I shifted some things around on the fly, which unfortunately meant the NPCs took more prominence. But, it’s probably their last appearance on the game’s stage also, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

The song is a call-and-response between the members of the “other motley.” Nettle and Shimmer alternate verses, while The Jack is the chorus.


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