Sock It To 'Em

By Vaughn Romero


The Demon of Sock Puppets has a problem. The Dot COM pet store for which he was the company mascot has gone bust. After years of TV ads, pet store openings, and interviews on Good Morning America, Ishmakiel is a media meme that has outlived his usefulness. Faced with the prospect of word death, Ishmakiel is ready to find a new line of work, and he has a dark idea who would appreciate his services.

PC Briefings

Demonic briefing: Ishmakiel, Demon of Sock Puppets, has gone renegade from the Media. Players who serve Dark Humor will know that Ishmakiel contacted a local seneschal with a proposition: He wants to become a servitor and is willing to prove his worth. Ishmakiel has promised to prank the Game, and to get it all on film, in exchange for a meeting with Kobal. If the players are members of the Game, then their mission is straight forward: track down the renegade Word bound and drag him (or some recognizable pieces of him) back to Hell as a lesson for all other upstarts who abandon their Prince and refuse to accept the place they were given. Servitors of the Media will undoubtedly also want to get into the action here as, success or failure, Ishmakiel's efforts will make good TV. Any servitor of Valephor's who specializes in bank robberies may also find a reason to get involved or at least exploit the chaos.

Angelic briefing: The angels have been sent to investigate a sudden outbreak of bizarre bank robberies. Three local banks have been robbed by a group of men who use sock puppets to issue their demands and quite entertainingly control the bank crowds. Each of the sock puppets bears a remarkable similarity to the mascot of a failed dot COM venture (only these puppets wear rather silly robber masks around their eyes). No one as of yet has been injured during one of these robberies, but the Host feels that it is only a matter of time before something goes wrong. A bizarre wrinkle to the case is that The Robbin' Socks Gang (as the press has dubbed them) has evidently been purchasing large amounts of pet supplies with their ill gotten wealth and leaving them at animal shelters. The result has been that the almost forgotten mascot has suddenly gained a large following of children and animal-loving well-wishers. Is it possible that a rogue ethereal spirit has decided to cash in on its fifteen minutes of fame for some badly needed Essence? Well, its the angel's job to find out. Angels of Dominic could possibly be helping the Game track down their bizarre Renegade, and could therefore skip the "Is it an ethereal?" red herring. Servitors of Jordi may also want join the action because of the association with pets. Other servitors may have simply been called in as the nearest angels to the action.

What's Going On

Ishmakiel wants to change superiors to Dark Humor before his word dies from lack of exposure. Using his now infamous sock puppet vessel and the power of his word, he has convinced a band of human bank robbers to commit the Robbin' Socks crime spree. While he has three successful robberies under his belt, he knows his time is running out and that he needs a big encore to impress Kobal. Ishmakiel's showy antics have all but guaranteed a visit from the Game sometime very soon, but that is exactly what he was hoping for. What better way to impress your would-be Prince than by socking it to the Game?

Ishmakiel wants to create a media event where he can make someone do something stupid on camera. Preferably, he wants that someone to be a Game servitor (who will naturally be wearing a sock puppet when the cameras are rolling). To pull off this prank, Ishmakiel has solicited the help of the local Dark humor tether. The Dark Humor servitors will keep track of any Game agents that are looking for Ishmakiel and when an opportunity presents itself, will nab one or more with the help of some sock puppet artifacts.

Once Ishmakiel has a Game patsy in his thrall, he'll send out the Robbin' Socks for one last heist. Ishmakiel will of course tip off the Media and the cops (in that order) to the impending robbery and generally ensure that some kind of standoff or showdown ensues. True to his Media training, Ishmakiel has decided that when the cops show up, the robbers should take hostages, demand 10 million in some dot COM stock, and then refuse to negotiate with anybody who isn't wearing a sock puppet. Ideally, the patsy Game servitor(s) will be gunned down on live television during some daring rescue attempt. Of course, ensuring that there will be a daring rescue may be part of deal Ishmakiel strikes with the seneschal or could be the result of more sock puppet magic.

Playing it Out

Unless the PC's are servitors of Dark Humor, they shouldn't start out knowing about Ishmakiel's intentions to prank the Game(1). Angels and demons of the Game should probably start investigating the various crime scenes and animal shelters where the Robbin' Socks Gang have been seen.

  1. Variant: the Game knows that Ishmakiel is out to prank them, but plays ignorant long enough to try and catch some Dark Humor servitors conspiring with Ishmakiel. The Game might even be willing to add an ironic twist by having the Dark Humor servitors be the ones who end up being the final sock-puppet-bearing patsies.

Investigation will reveal that the gang consists of 6 men who wore ski masks and sock puppets during the robberies. Witnesses will also recount that all dialog from the Gang seemed to happen as if by ventriloquism -- the men's voices clearly came from the sock puppets.

The animal shelter donations should mostly be used against angelic players as a red herring to delay finding out that they face a word-bound (albeit minor) demon. If you want to send the PC on a snark hunt, have them track down the actual Ethereal who is the sock puppet mascot. When they find it, it should be obvious that the Ethereal is not behind the Robbin' Socks.

If playing angels, the PCs shouldn't actually find Ishmakiel until he has a patsy and perhaps not until the final heist/standoff is in progress. An easy way to ensure this is to have the watching Dark Humor servitors nab an angel, mistaking the PC as part of the Game, and let the angel play Ishmakiel's patsy.

If playing demons, the PCs can have the choice of helping or hurting the impending prank. Those who help rub some sock in the face of the Game should be given a challenge. The sock puppet artifacts will control the patsy for a time, but the effects do wear off, and PCs may have to find a plan B if their stooge wakes up too early. Those opposing the prank should probably have a member grabbed as a potential patsy and hope their fellow demons arrive before he or she is used as a bullet catcher on live TV.

In either case, the course of events should lead the PCs to some standoff between the Robbin' Socks Gang and the police. Ishmakiel's primary concern, of course, will be to convince the patsy to go down in a blaze of glory on live TV. If all goes according to plan, Ishmakiel will have his shootout, and he will need to run to the Dark Humor tether afterwards. If the PCs take out Ishmakiel before the shootout, you can have them try and diffuse the truly bizarre hostage situation that he left behind.

Possible outcomes

If the PCs were helping Ishmakiel pull off his prank, then they will need to get him to the Dark Humor tether for a review of his work if he succeeds. If the action survives to the Dark Humor tether then it is left up to the GM whether Kobal approves of the prank and accepts the upstart as a new servitor.

If the PCs opposed the prank, then the outcome will depend upon whether a PC was the chosen patsy and how the final showdown concluded. Best case for Game servitors would be nabbing Ishmakiel and exposing some traitorous Dark Humor types. Angels who opposed Ishmakiel will probably be rewarded for socking it to him for the greater good and/or learning about a new demonic tether. If Ishmakiel escapes, then the PCs can have a new favorite enemy or ally as appropriate.

Dramatis Personae

Ishmakiel, Renegade Balseraph of Media, Demon of Sock Puppets

Forces: 13 (mostly for the unlucky number, adjust as necessary) Suggested Word Forces: 3

Corporeal 4 Strength 8 Agility 8
Ethereal 3 Intelligence 7 Precision 5
Celestial 6 Will 12 Perception 12

Vessel: Human with Sock Puppet/3, Role/5 (The Mascot), Sock Puppet/1, Role/1 (Some other puppet)

Attunements: Balseraph of the Media, Soundtrack

Distinctions: Knight of Influence, Demon of Sock Puppets

Demon of Sock Puppets: Ishmakiel can posses any sock puppet within 100 yards and use it as a vessel for CF minutes. While in possession he can sing an improved Celestial Song of Charm for 2 Essence. The effects of the improved song last for CF minutes.

Artifacts: Sock Puppets of the Sap, given to cooperating servitor of Dark Humor. Relic/6 (Celestial Song of Charm), Reliquary/4(only for Celestial Song of Charm), Use Enhancement (anyone can use Celestial Song of Charm), Visibility (user must wear sock puppet on hand), Vulnerability (celestial artifact destroyed with corporeal form)

Songs: As needed

Skills: As needed

5, Force 5 humans with weak Wills. The Robbin' Socks Gang.
Seneschal of Dark Humor tether (optional).
Confederate Servitor(s) of Dark Humor, standard 7-9 Forces.


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