The group were all of varying levels of experience with the World of Darkness, and no one had played Mage before, so I decided to go back to the start. I gave out the characters in a random fashion, with the following results:
- Shaun = Benjamin Kent/Ogma, a psychologist
- Josh = Cody Gunn/Jack, a chancer
- Alex = Cecilia Arthur/Morrigan, a mortician
- Lee = Anthony Licavoli/Tyrrhenus
- Steve = Lira Hennessy/Niamh
There were a few questions, mainly about keywords (such as Sleeper) and how to pronounce Niamh (Neve, by the sounds of it).The premade information was kept, but the following facts were added:
- Cecilia is called Cece by Niamh, who is her co-founder. The money of one and the property of the other went together like a glove.
- Niamh’s mother didn’t like her wild, youthful ways so she hung out with her uncle, whose house this is. They got on and time’s tempered Niamh, so she’s less of a reckless party girl. In theory.
- Niamh is scared of spiders. She once used her Life magic to sense all life in the house and not just humans. The sheer amount of spiders terrified her.
- Cecilia is good at what she does, but quite lazy, not above summoning zombies to run errands (not actually seen in this session).
- Jack’s only been with the group a month, he Awakened in Quincy and by chance found his way to the cabal. Also by chance he has a man’s soul in a stone, keeps up with each month’s issue of Batman, got his second set of clothes and has only half a deck of cards (not a metaphor).
- Anthony cooks, not a huge amount, but it gets him by work-wise as he’s no longer directly affiliated with his family. They work in Boston and are well-known there (but not anywhere else).
- Benjamin only responds to Benjamin, is blatantly gay although he doesn’t admit to this. He’s a foodie by a long way, and discussed fashion with Niamh.
- Benjamin and Cecilia worked together on a case once (being a psychiatrist and a police mortician, it must have been an odd case) and discovered each other that way.
- Anthony and Niamh were f-buddies for a while and they still hang around as friends. Anthony’s also been sleeping with Fran, the PA to the Boston Consilium, but not recently.
- Jack was an army brat who refused to go into the family line of work and travelled after then. He shifts accents regularly.
- Benjamin has a dog called Samson and a brother, Carl Kent, who is a radio show host, an actual doctor, and more popular. The girls both love his voice. Benjamin hates him with a passion.
The first bit of time was just gathering more and more facts like that. Getting the group comfortable in their new skins. Not everything went smoothly, like having to add my own bits of information on the Orders and trying to quickly mention the keywords without having the group more baffled by the stat side of the sheets.Then came the tutorial level. Mainly as a reminder to the whole group and an introduction for Lee.
- Morrigan rolled an Int + Occult to study the undead and demo a Skill Roll.
- Benjamin and Jack rolled a contested Gambling check (Man/Dex + Larceny/Subterfuge) to show a contested roll. I also had Benjamin use Willpower, then also mentioned about him taking the last cookie to get the Willpower back.
- Then onto the magic. Niamh improvised a Covert Life spell to see who was in the house.
- Finally Anthony made a vulgar Forces Spell to ‘click on’ the television with a spark of electricity. Sadly no Paradox, but that’d come later.
Gazing Into You
It’s a cold night in April, a Monday. The weather’s become worse since the weekend stopped. Still, the group didn’t care. Anthony and Benjamin were cooking in the kitchen, Jack was reading a comic book, Morrigan was on the porch reading a large medical book and Niamh was getting her makeup ready to go out.
The familiar, haunting, singing noise from the Hallow outside Niamh’s beach house suddenly stopped. The group made their way outside and checked out the resonance. It had gone all freaky and strange blob-like shapes were tethered by a kind of spiritual umbilical cord to the Hallow. Only Niamh could see them as they started taking on humanoid form and rushed into the group. Jack saw a car full of happy, rich people. Morrigan was revelling in raising the dead. Benjamin was widening his belt after a lovely meal. Anthony was accepting rewards for lying to the police, from his own uncle. Niamh was on this very spot, waking naked with unknown men either side of her.
The spirits tried to wrest control of the Mages’ bodies and only Anthony succumbed at first, then Benjamin. Niamh chased after the fleeing Anthony, Benjamin ran to the house for food and Morrigan stressed about not being able to physically help despite all her power. The spirits became physical with the features of their opponents. Jack’s demanded the cap his original had been wearing. Anthony’s was thrust out of his body and attacked, too. Niamh’s wanted only sex with her original self rather than fighting, although the original used her keys to make the spirit uglier than her .Morrigan hit her copy in the head with a book, before running to her SUV for a gun. After a fracas broke out, the Morrigan/Pride Spirit shrieked, signalling that they should all leave. They vanished, leaving a confused group. Niamh tried to seal the Gauntlet to make sure the Spirits wouldn’t return, but Paradox struck and she sealed the Hallow in the spirit world for a day or so.
They thought about what to do and started using their abilities to sense where the spirits originated from. A nice, small house in a suburban neighbourhood. They drove there by random thanks to Jack, with Anthony acting as a ‘weird stuff detector’. During the drive, the group turned on Carl Kent’s radio show and Jack tried to use Forces to make the radio say different things. He also hit a Paradox and broke Morrigan’s car radio. Oops.
At the house, the group started thinking about magic use to get in before Niamh broke in through a window and Anthony booted a door open. In the basement was Adam, who had been seriously wounded, while his apprentice, Allan was dead in a secret room in the house. Before Adam could respond, Morrigan called an ambulance and started removing evidence so it looked like a failed burglary turned into a stabbing. Benjamin found out Adam was a goetic Mage and trying to summon his demons to fight them. After years of doing this, he tried one last push to purify himself and it turned out his demons were just repressed, hidden until now. They tore Allan apart and near fatally-wounded Adam. The group worked out under their own steam that Sloth and Wrath were the missing pair of Vice Spirits after the five who attacked and imprinted themselves on the Cabal. Adam insisted that they find the pair as they could imprint anyone, especially people far less prepared. Jack took Adam’s wallet and discovered he was called Paul Kresham. He also now has a wallet, probably for the first time in years.
The ambulance turned up, Morrigan lied about the burglary and the group left. They followed the trails and found their way to Faxon Park, where all their magic seems to be sucked into. We left at the edge of the treeline, where the group’s magical shields have just been plucked off them and deeper, deeper into the park.