“She took out our glass eye / put her false teeth in the tumbler / cork up the bottle of dye”
~ After the Ball
Cio woke up to the dull, red light of Baltimore’s mid-morning sun. The nitrogen-filtered light had finally crept in through the low-lying warehouse’s windows. The band’s PA hummed with anticipation, but the air hung low and damp and salty.
- MC: Cio tell us about the state your parties tend to leave the revellers in. Do you normally crash at the venue, or is this your home, or is something else altogether going on?
Cio’s head was swimming. Last night had been wild. It was crowded, too many people showed up, well, maybe not too many, but more than they expected.
I guess that just shows the state of the world, Cio thought. Everyone wants an escape, and what better way than to get lost in a night of dancing and music.
That was a strong dose, they thought. I'll have to talk to Lisbet about toning down the concentration. Giving feedback on something someone else has created, is always a delicate dance, especially so when the person is the one making your drugs.
They pulled themself into a sitting position, and scanned the room. Revelers were strewn about the floor amongst cast off food wrappers and drinking vessels. Cio stepped over bodies to the sound deck, connected a mem stick, and started the playlist. Ocean waves crashed from the speakers. Although soft at first, they would build up over the next 30 minutes.
They nimbly stepped over cables and sat on the outer edge of the elevated DJ platform, moving with grace and care a casual observer wouldn't expect of someone their size. Cio was only 5' 10", but was also stocky with a big protruding belly. Their big brown arms looked soft, but hid a deceptive amount of muscle and grace beneath them. Now sitting, they untied their hair and let the long straight black hair tumble down to their waist. They pulled an old wooden wide toothed comb from the inner chest pocket of a tattered brown overcoat. They ran it through their hair a couple of times, clearing any debris that might have taken hold. Tying their hair back up in a bun, they sat and watched all those that remained slowly start to stir, and make their way out.
- COMMUNION: Using your Enlightenment, your surplus and want all depend on what your Faith bestows upon you. At the beginning of the session, it is assumed you spent time to get in touch with your Faith. Roll+Enlightenment in order to see the outcome of this Communion. On a 10+, your Faith has surplus. On a 7–9, it has surplus, but manifests 1 want. If their surplus lists Cred, like 1 Cred or 2 Cred, this is your personal share. On a miss, you only generate the want of the MC’s choice.
- Enlightenment (2): 2d6 +2 = (6+2)+2 = 10
- Surplus: 1 answer, insight, stupor
- Want: Violence, obligation
- MC: For this scene, did you want to have the ocean waves be a part of The Veil? Do you want to have that filter in through the other aspects of the local Veil?
- Yoshi: I initially thought that the sound coming out of the speakers would all be in reality, and not in The Veil. It could easily be both, but I like the idea that it’s in the real world and not easily dismissed or snoozed. I even like the idea of someone waking up and trying to dismiss the audio in the veil, but after a couple of motions realizing it’s coming from the real world.
- MC: Yes, excellent.
The former revelers slowly began to stir in batches. A few stretched and got back to life immediately, but most awkwardly fumbled around looking for their interfaces to turn the audio intrusion off. The woofers, of course, did the lionesses’ share of the work. It’s hard to ignore an alarm that shakes the floor beneath you.
Cio’s interface told them that the first batch of coffee was done, and that the brew was started manually a few minutes ago. They heard the clink-clink-clink of several mugs being set down on the counter. “Seems there’s a little trouble bringing the tide in today,” commented Lisbet. Her rich baritone stood well above the cresting of the next wave. She was a slight, reedy woman with angular features. Most people would assume she was being sarcastic, but Cio knew her well enough to sense the concern and the unspoken question beneath it, Why are they waking up so slowly?
- MC: Saving this bit of description for later, “[Lisbet’s] eyes, like any street merchant’s, could turn from warm to venomous in a heartbeat.” I love noir descriptions maybe a bit too much, lol.
- MC: I’m going to call for a LINK roll here, since we’re bringing a new, named NPC on screen here.
- LINK: When you introduce a new NPC to the game by name, look, and outlook, decide how you know them and feel about them and roll. On a 10+, the relationship is in good standing. On a 7–9, it’s strained or frayed in some way and they have 1 Obligation on you. On a miss, in addition to what the MC says, they also have 1 Obligation on you.
- Scared (+0): 2d6 + 0 = (1 + 5) + 0 = 6
- MC: Mark one Obligation that Lisbet has on you.
There had been a lot of demand on Breath lately. Volume isn’t always something that smaller suppliers can handle with grace. Lisbet always broadcast grace and poise, but she was clearly bothered. She knit her eyebrows as the pause expanded into full seconds.
The first of the revelers broke then tension by pouring themselves a cup of coffee. They offered to Lisbet, and she politely accepted asking for it black. They do the same for Cio.
Cio takes the offered cup of beige liquid. Taking a sip, they hold the cup to their face breathing in deep and trying, but failing to hide to slight cringe of too much sweetener. They nod, thanking the reveler, before turning to Lisbet.
“I’m sorry,” she said, after the groggy partier staggered away. “That’s no way to talk to a friend, and especially not a friend who called for a favor.”
She poured a very precise volume of cream into her cup, apparently not trusting the reveler to get it right, and continued, “I had my doubts about the purity and efficacy of this batch. I ran some tests and found that I needed to up the concentration. It was a rush job.”
“I don’t know exactly what they cut it with, either. Didn’t have time to ferret-out the fillers. I only had time to verify that it was safe at the doses I distributed.” Her accent made all her t’s and d’s pop, giving them an odd sense of finality.
There’s safe and then there’s safe. She meant her test subject didn’t have a seizure or a violent episode, not that it wouldn’t erode your heart muscles or worse.
Cio nods along with everything she says, as it's all matter of fact. She already knows all the criticisms. Waiting till she finishes, “Thank you for the last minute job.” The “I owe you”, left unsaid. Lisbet doesn't usually show up the morning after, it must be urgent.
- LIFT THE VEIL: When you try to pierce the constant illusion of The Veil, search for information, or recall something you may already be privy to, roll. On a hit, the MC will tell you something new and interesting about the current situation. On any roll the MC will ask you a question or two; answer them.
- On a 10+, the MC will give you good detail.
- On a 7–9, the MC will give you an impression.
- On a 10+, the MC will give you good detail.
- Peaceful (+2): 2d6 + 2 = (1 + 5) + 2 = 8
- Yoshi: I am recalling what trouble Lisbet might be in and why she is coming to me. This might be related to the COMMUNION of last night. This might be what I spend my answer and/or insight on too (so feel free to call for spending those.
- MC: Your Pierce the Veil gives you a lot of her history over the past few days. Nothing concrete, but it paints a gnarly picture.
Cio began to see that Lisbet’s trademark perfect poise and posture was reduced to a mere imitation. Her activity tracker showed that she'd been active for 47.61 hours straight, and had accumulated several times the typical movement for that time span. 7.18 hours ago, she removed DYVR--a low-level stimulant--from her shop. A bad swim wouldn’t cause this reaction. A tiff with a supplier prompts immediate action, but not this frenzy. She was hunting.
She was in crisis mode, and fraying at the edges.
- MC: Who does Lisbet usually go to when shit hits the fan. Why How do you know aren't they willing to help her now?
- Yoshi: Murmur's Grace is a fixer for hire, she's very good, and when she takes your case you can be assured it will be taken care of quietly and with great skill. But, this affords her to be selective and demand a premium fee.
Cio glances at Lisbet's hand as she absent mindedly plays with a steel grey ribbon. That ribbon along with the double visit to Greenmount Cemetery means she tried to both acquire Murmur's Grace's services and was rejected.
“It's OK, the waters may look turbulent to you now, but here from the shore, I can see calmer currents. I can and will help.” Cio glances at the the back of their palm and the smudged temporary tattoo, clearly indicating the repayment of the recently acquired debt.
Lisbet grumbles at the metaphor. She gets to the point, “This batch was tainted. All my customers were affected, some of my some of my competitors’ clients as well. I do not know what is going on, but I--we--cannot afford another bad batch. Please find the source, my friend.”