I recently ran "Slugs of Vapula," an adventure seed that was posted here. Thanks to Maya for the seed. Here's what happened:
The Angels I run for are a Cherub of David, and Ofanite of Michael, A Kyrio of Jean and a Mercurian of Jean. They had just finished dealing with some business in Washington D.C. and had spread out to do some good deeds, when the Cherub of David and the Ofanite of Mike both received "celestial pages" to report to the tether of Laurance and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. They did, and were both surprised to be greeted by both of their superiors, Mike and David, and them looking none too happy, at that.
The PCs were quickly relieved to find out that it wasn't their fault that the AAs looked upset, but they weren't pleased with what they were told. Michael (the first Seraph) informs them that his tether at Menjalte stone field east of Oakland (CA) has been destroyed by a Malakim of David, Pyrite. David informs them that they will investigate and report back with an explanation for this unacceptable occurrence. Michael turns to the Jeanites cowering in the back of the tether (not really sure why they are there) and hands them a half-melted lump of what used to be some technological device. "This was found at the scene," he announces, "perhaps you can be of some help."
The Angels are transported across Heaven to a Tether of Michael's that is some distance from the now defunct one. It turns out to be Fort Tejon park, south of Bakersfield. They converse with the Seneschal, the park ranger there, and learn several things. First, the tether destruction was so loud that it was heard here. They also get a brief history of Menjalte Stone Field. Apparently the Stone Field used to be a gigantic monolith, and was actually a Tether of David for a few eon. A glacier smashed it, however, and then it was just a stone field for a long time. After the dawn of Man, nomadic peoples fought the first major battle of North America in the area, and the victors called it "Menjalte." While the name and the history have left human consciousness, Michael, and the Symphony, remembers. It was not a well known or popular tether, and the Seneschal was none too impressive. Armed with this information, they head north.
They arrive in Oakland, and by following the echoes of the destruction, are able to find the remains of Menjalte Stone Field. At the scene they find a crater, burnt grass, police tape, three chalk outlines, and two burnt out cars. The only person on the scene is "Steban, The Angel of Higher Consciousness" out from Berkeley. (Unknown to the PCs, actually the Demon of Higher Consciousness, a Habb of Kronos serving Fleurity). Steban is singularly unhelpful and leaves after he gets "bad vibes" off the PCs.
Not getting much clue sauce on location, and having forgotten the clue Michael handed to them, they decide to check the Morgue for the identities of the chalk outlines. It being late at night, they break into the Morgue (easily accomplished by the Cherub of David just walking through the wall of the brick building). The three John Doe's are all badly burned, and two of them appear to have been thrown quite far by an explosion. All are quite clearly racist skinheads, and the Cherub of David surmises (correctly) that they were servants of Pyrite. In addition to the three from the field (whom they expected), there are two more John Doe's, both also skinheads, both time of deathed much more recently, both killed by being shot twice in the forehead. They break into the affects locker, and recover some charred clothing, $42, and half a receipt from Denny's for breakfast foods totally $72. They close up the morgue and head for Denny's, a perfectly reasonable thing for Angels to do at 3am.
At Denny's, they are waited on by Marge the waitress (secretly Estes, Lilim of Haagenti). They start asking questions about the skinheads, and, based on their questions and their unusual dress relative to each other, Marge guesses they might be celestials investigating the recent tether pop. Before she can act nefariously on her deduction, the Mercurian of Jean uses his resonance on her and gets a Holy Spirit Intervention. His resonance works so well that it reveals to him not just the social networks her vessel and role are involved in, but the full extent of demonic connections as well. He holds it in until she goes to get their orders. He informs his colleagues, and, to MY surprise, they toss a $20 on the table and bail before the food comes. [Players! Go figure.]
The Angels sit around stumped for a while, and then decide to cruise some unsavory areas or bars looking for skinheads. While cruising, they hear a disturbance to the Symphony. On a perception roll check of six, the Mercurian who is driving recognizes it as the sound of a human being shot in the forehead. They roar down the street, track the source of the disturbance, turn a corner, and see the man who must have been the shooter getting on a Motorcycle. Risking dissonance, the Mercurian driver heads the car straight at him! The man whips out his .357 revolver and pastes one through the windshield, stunning the driver. He then leaps out of the way of the onrushing car. Seeing the driver get nailed, the Ofanim in the back seat tries to steer the car, but fails. The car crashes. Airbags save the forward passengers, but they have an un-seatbelted Ofanite tossed at their heads. By the time they recover from the stun of impact and debark the car, the shooter is ready, and grabs the Mercurian driver as he exits, throwing him up against the side of the car, pointing his gun at his head, and demanding to know what they think they are doing.
The Mercurian explains that he is a servitor of Jean, and is seeking answers for the destruction of the Tether. The man with the gun informs them that he is Pi-Joh, Vassal of War, and that he is taking vengeance for the destruction of the tether by slaying the destroyers servants. The Cherub gets out the other side of the car, and Pi-Joh switches to covering him. He introduces himself as a servitor of David, and is promptly shot in the face. He then calmly explains that they are all looking for an explanation for the Tether's destruction, in which he had no part. Pi-Joh (a Malakite) uses his resonance and decides that the Cherub is decent, and he will listen to what they have to say. They dissuade him from his vengeful path, at least until full evidence can be collected. They realize they have accounted for the extra skinhead bodies in the morgue. (I really enjoyed this whole sequence; I had tried, unsuccessfully, to play up the Michael/David tension implicit in this event in the party, but the Michaelite and the Davidian in the party already had each others' full trust. The average Michaelite on the street, however. . . I really appreciated that the Cherub's player was not the least bit upset that he'd been shot in the face. He realized it followed perfectly, and that he'd introduced himself and explained his mission in the wrong order.)
The Kyriotate used Corp Song of Healing to get the car back in shape. With Pi-Joh, the team went off to find someone to give them some information. They wanted to interrogate a skinhead, preferably a witness. They cruised around for a while, and then decided that they'd look for skinheads at Denny's, and talk to "Marge" if they couldn't find any.
Upon arriving at Denny's, the Ofanite of Michael noticed a skinhead watching them from behind a dumpster, hiding in an alley when he realized he'd been spotted. Being Ofanim, he ran offer to talk to this guy, and ran smack into the ambush of skinheads (possessed by slugs and shedim) that Marge had called down for extra security on the Denny's.
They battled the possessed skinheads. Pi-Joh was killed when a knife wielding thug managed a Lucifer intervention with a 666. They killed 7 skinheads and captured 1. In one of the last blows of the fight, the Ofanite of Michael managed to roll a 666 while trying to shoot a skinhead who was grappling with the Cherub of David, and so missed the skinhead and ended up shooting the Cherub in the spine, paralyzing him from the waist down. Dragging their prisoner and their paralyzed Cherub, they fled the extremely noisy scene.
The fled to a Motel where they hid for, oh, about ten minutes before 4 Hippies with shotguns burst in on them. Nelapa, Master of Peace and Angel of Non-Violent Protest demanded that they surrender and explain themselves. Nelapa's Seraph arrived soon in her flower delivery van, and they soon finished admonishing the human killing Angels (though not forgiving or failing to keep an eye on them) and joined forces to solve the mystery.
A Song of Corp Healing roused the captive skinhead. With a Master of Peace present, everyone was surprisingly calm. They spoke with him briefly, and Nelapa's seraph furnished them with the information that his faculties were not fully his own. They puzzled briefly about how they might get him unpossessed (assuming he was held by a shedite). Finally, one of Nelapa's Malakim used Song of Possession on him, possessing the body and discovering that he was still not in control. Perplexed, they sat around until someone noticed the strange subdermal puffiness around the nape of the skinhead's furless neck.
They took their prisoner to the med school at UCSF where a soldier of God of Nelapa's acquaintance works as a Dr. They were able to discover the slug and remove it alive without harming the skinhead.
While at the hospital, they did several things:
So, now they think they have it pretty much figured out. They Kyrio of Jean possesses a lab technician and sets about repairing the clunky melted technology given to them by Michael, at least enough so that it's purpose becomes clear to him. Sure enough, it is an anklet binder thing that prevents a soul from leaving a vessel easily. Now all they need to do is find Pyrite and figure out who's slipping people slugs.
They start looking for Pyrite urgently and systematically, and, since it was the right time in the adventure, they find his poor crazy remnant ass wandering around in an alley. He isn't much use, except in confirming deductions. A burn on his ankle matches the shape of the melted anklet binder. The now freewilled skinhead captive confirms his identity.
They return to Denny's, only to find that Marge didn't come to her shift today. They fast-talk the manager into giving them her address. Arriving at Marge's, they find indications that she left in a hurry. The Mercurian hits '*69' on her phone, and finds that her last call was to Sundial Technologies, Inc. They find empty styrofoam bio-containers, with suspiciously slug shaped apertures, embossed with "ST." They head for Sundial Technologies.
On arrival, they realize that this building is on a direct line with the exact direction the Shedim fragment left the hospital. They lose their element of surprise by trying to trick the Demons into coming outside by setting off one of their car alarms. By the time they finally break in, the Shedim is using a lab technician and Numinous Corpus wings to escape with a briefcase full of plans and the mother slug. Having dowsed the place in gasoline, a bold Balseraph of Vapula armed with a "Mars Attacks" style ray-gun holds them off until the building blows up.
A few Songs of Corporeal Healing later, they go to the Presidio and invoke Michael and David. The AAs listen to their story, and David takes the remnant Pyrite and disbands his forces back into the symphony. The Angels are thanked for their work, and David suggests that the Jeanites inform their superior about the existence of the various infernal and unpleasant technologies that they have uncovered.
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Elizabeth McCoy <email@example.com>
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