The Secret World: Season 2

7/09/2017 - Session 2, Season 2
Rico no es suave

Following the revelation that a Grigori-possessed (Castiel), Mr. Ablewhite, or an Illuminati mage, Michael Winthrop, were behind leaving a copy of A Good Harvest to ensnare the missing Sofia, the group new it needed new help. It arrived in the form of Templar alchemist, Terees Mereau.

finding out the intentions and strength of the new Templar incursion seemed to be the first order of business. On the way there, an attempt at vehicular manslaughter, turned into a riveting chase ended by excellent driving by Alex, and some chaos magic.

At the old navy base, Terees talked to the Nordic commander there, discovering that the Templars were there to monitor the hotel and the extra-dimensional beasties called the Ak’ab burrowed beneath it, and the return of the Phoenicians. Terees got him to agree to a moratorium of violence with the Phoenicians of two weeks, and backup, if needed. Terees agreed to keep him updated on the investigation.

Using Terees’ and Kaisen’s previous relationship to her, they approached Paz, younger sister of Phoenician leader, Rico, and made sure she was recovering from her ordeal from last year, and helped set a meeting with her brother at local Spanish restaurant, Casa Loco. Also, they warned Paz that עֲזָאזֵל was nearby, but “contained.” That sent her running for the fastest way out of the time zone.

At the meeting at Casa Loco, the group met with Rico inside, except for Azariah watching the back door. A tense agreement was reached after posturing and veiled threats.

1) He would hand over details about the Ak’ab beneath, and Izette’s leaving the Phoenicians.
2) The Phoenicians would have a cease fire with the Templars.
3) The threat of Azazel to his sister must be dealt with once and for all.

Meanwhile, Azariah was watching the back door and thinking about the mandragora plants that caused earthquakes, and the Ak’ab trapped underground, and it seemed like too uch of a coincidence. עֲזָאזֵל sensed his name mentioned repeatedly, and decided to take advantage of Azariah’s distraction to take over control. He sneaked inside and placed a note into Rico’s pocket without anyone’s notice, particularly his host’s.

A templar isolation team was place around Sofia’s greenhouse with much concern about them getting too curious.

After much discussion on the next point of action, they went to confront Izette about her knowledge of the mandragora and the Ak’ab, and her motivations around this, and withholding information.

With a little pressure she cracked. She acknowledged that her former cabal summoned the beasties, and she was the one that reported it to the Council of Venice in exchange for giving her the hotel as a safe haven for the secret world’s misfits. She manipulated Sofia to plant the mandragora to act as a potential trigger for releasing the Ak’ab as a deterrent for the factions trying to muscle in on the hotel.

Sofia’s green thumb had the plants growing much faster than anticipated. She also had read A Good Harvest by Sutter Caine, and it is likely her reading that led to the portal in the elevator.

Sofia’s notebooks likely hold the key to the mandragora, and potentially where and how she was taken.

6/11/2017 Session
Season 2, Episode 1

The Glencairn Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa is one of a handful of hotels and resorts around the world owned by one Izette, a practitioner of nearly 300 years, but she appears as a smartly dressed middle-aged business woman. These places function as a neutral ground for the wayward of the Secret World, and the Glencairn is her home base.

Following the disappearance a groundskeeper named Sofia, who was transporting plants in an elevator, Izette called for aid.

  • Alex, dream shaper extraordinaire, is on retainer with Izette for his “transportation services” and currently between assignments.
  • Josie, the still learning shapeshifter, found herself at the hotel as a student of Izette, an old friend of Josie’s mentor.
  • Azariah, fresh from his hermitage-with-an-unwanted-roommate, deciphered one of his many tattoos as the shape of the Cape, with a mark in approximately the position of the hotel.
  • A constable with an obvious alias with the power of investigation and mathematics.

There is also a rumor of Templars poking around this former Phoenician territory, and of Phoenicians returning to Capetown. Rico is their representative in the area.

First, Sofia’s house was investigated, where a number of books, including her journal, and some magical and dangerous roots were found.

Then, the elevator was found to have a portal on its back wall, and Alex attempted to rush through it. Azariah sensed much unknown danger there and stopped Alex from rushing through on his own. This portal had signs reminiscent of the book Good Harvest by Sutter Cane.

Then, Izette and the other groundskeepers were questioned, narrowing down her activities for the past two weeks. Finally, a target day was determined, and narrowed down to a morning. Three of the five rooms were occupied: one by an innocuous eco-tourist; one by a Mr. Ablewhite, who is also the host of the Grigori known as Castiel; and the last, a mastermind from the past: Michael Winthrop, Illuminati Agent.

9/18 Session
End of Season 1

The escape from the ranch house with the newly discovered Paz was greatly complicated by the appearance of a great evil: a horrible spirit of cannibalistic hunger. Set the watch over the secrets of John Dee secreted away by Sir Francis Drake, the Hunger had been disturbed by Van Elkins in his mad quest, and now sought to consume Paz and the group. Only a combination of will, magic, and high caliber firepower were enough to turn it away, and only for a time.

Afterwards, the group brought Paz to a secure location for debriefing. A combination of Alchemistry and Illusion allowed them to perform hypnotherapy on Paz, accessing her memories and discovering the location of Van Elkins – he had fled to London, seeking the source of Enochian mysticism. Before they left for England, an Illuminati called Michael Winthrop tried to offer his services to Teres, but was firmly rebuffed.

In England, Teres and Blue met up with Bishop, their chief contact with the Templars. Bishop provided them with information and objectives, leading to Blue moonlighting as toe-cutter to find out some of Van Elkins’s network. This led them north, to Scotland, where they infiltrated a manor and accessed Van Elkins’s communications through a cleverly planted bug. From there, they narrowed down Van Elkins’s location and discovered that the Queens Head Pub upon the southern bank of the Thames was built on the foundations of John Dee’s house. Below lay a hidden labyrinth, leading to a secret library secreted away in Roman catacombs and unnatural tunnels.

The Templars and the Van Elkins Group circled one another. Teres and Blue made preparations for a trap, plotting to draw out the Grigori with a Bacchanalia and exorcise them away from their support. Van Elkins and his possessed made various plays to try and weaken the Templars and harm Teres and Blue. Cruel hexes, alien big cats, pill burglaries, and invisible supply lines were all employed to try and turn the tide.

The night of the party, Teres and Blue successfully used a particular bash to lure in the Possessed. Unfortunately, they also attracted the attention of Bacchantes, ancient spirits of the revel. A three way fight ensued, ending with the Council of Venice team exorcised of their Grigori and the Bacchantes dis-incorporated. The Templars seized the Queen’s Head Pub and prepared to descend into the darkness.

The Roman era catacombs had become intermingled with other tunnels of a paranormal providence. A foul sign on the wall cost a Templar his life as they traveled to the secret library. After solving the challenge of the Seven Lampstands, the team entered the library proper and defeated the last of Van Elkins’s fighters. Accessing the library proper, they found the ritual chamber of John Dee and solved the lock puzzle on the door to John Dee’s alchemy chamber. There they raced Van Elkins in an alchemical duel, with Blue blinding and disfiguring Van Elkins before he was finally defeated.

Back stateside, the crew hatched a plan to deal with the Hunger and exorcise Azazel from Paz. They allowed the Hunger to approach Paz, urging Azazel to flee her for a more suitable and secure host. They intended to have him possess a captured Van Elkins, but he instead chose to possess Blue. Teres then dashed in to retrieve Paz and escape the trap, but was injured in the deed. The Hunger is now locked behind a magic barrier in a mission turned farmhouse, under the watchful eye of the Council and Illuminati.

7/10/2016 Session

The day began with a simple job; drive a deuce and a half white truck from Oakland to the southern regional airport. A job complicated by the fact that their employer, Rico, had set them up with a dummy cargo and a tip-off for their foes. Kaizen’s magic glamoured their truck into a new vehicle, but a lost right-view mirror gave them away to their foes. In the southern hills, Blue managed to lose the pursuit car with the help of a rockslide, but the pursuit found them again just before the airport. Nine proved his worth behind the wheel, battering his way out of a trap before disappearing through a Hole in the World, leaving his rivals wrecked and befuddled.

After their success, Rico reassessed his opinion of the group and met them in The Drunken Barnacle, a bar owned by Rico’s cousin. Rico was wary of the group, sensing magic in the air, but Kaizen played his hand well, and with the right emotional promptings managed to ease Rico into detailing what he knew about the situation. His sister Paz, a member of the Council of Venice team originally tasked with the Van Elkins situation, had asked him for some help in gathering some unusual supplies; high caliber anti-material rifles and human flesh, both cadavers and tissue samples. After that, she had vanished, longer than it usually took her for a job.

Rico had managed to almost track Paz’s couriers back to the source, but was missing the last link in the chain. He gave the party the information, and hooked them up with supplies and equipment for their venture into the Sierra Nevada mountains. While their orders were being fulfilled, Briana Lee arranged for Kaizen to meet with one of her field team leaders responsible for investigating the recent flare up in paranormal phenomena.

At the coffee shop, the Illuminati team leader proved to have a wealth of knowledge and quite the appetite for biscotti. While he merrily racked up triple digits on Kaizen’s tab, he explained that the chief expression of the weirdness had been wildfires cutting a strange pattern in acreage up in the Sierra Nevadas. The ashes of these fires had strange, microscopic inscriptions of seemingly random data: weather satellite transmissions, Netflix streams, all of it encoded in binary. The people in the area were mostly unaffected, but a few exhibited signs of abnormal medical conditions and extreme paranoia. Exhibit A: the agent’s broken arm.

After a few days, the party set out. In the rolling hills of the Sierra Nevada, the group found a small ranching property that was seemingly abandoned. Marched by scorch marks from recent fires, an unnatural quiet pervaded the scene. The branches were heavy with strangely silent ravens. Teres took one of his prepared substances in order to get more in tune with the flow of magic in the environment and found everything around them was afraid, and in the grip of some sort of hollow silence, sliding toward the center of a well in the world. That well was located in an isolated tourist ranch house.

Inside, they found the object of their search. Paz was in a strange state of mind, speaking strange hints and terrible allegations. She spoke of “those who speak with voices that shine like gold,” hearing one’s voice in her own head. There was the terrible book bound in human skin, the true work and testimony of John Dee, and the beast that hungered and hated, whom they had found much meat for. She babbled about the Golden Hind and how it left the book there, long ago. It became apparent that danger was imminent, and the quickly bagged Paz up and climbed into the truck.

The session close on a startling image; as Blue turned the key to start the car, Teres felt a spike of fear from Paz, and turned to see that her hood was clinging tightly to her face, revealing a rictus scream of fear.

5/22/2016 Session Log

After a long, long night, seemingly almost a month, Blue Nine woke to another day on the job of being an amnesiac paranormal secret agent. His first task this morning was a puzzling bit of chess notation, placed strategically on a fast food wrapper. Teres Moreau also received a matching set of notation from his contacts. They met in the Oakland Library and after playing the scripted game found a note hidden in a pawn which led them to a series of books and articles adding more context to John Dee, his work as the Queen’s court astrologer/wizard, his contact with Edward Kelley/Talbot, and the product of their collaboration, the Enochian language. After leaving a message for his would be puppeteer, Nine dove into the YMCA and back into Elias Blum, while Teres returned to his daily schedule thoroughly confused. Nine re-examined the business cards from yesterday’s meetings and discovered one was cheap fake belonging to one Leo Frank.

Meanwhile, Midsie set about to discover who had taken his place at the Van Elkin meeting, uncovering the name Elias Blum and the description of Pete Geyers. Catching Kaizen using the Pete Geyers phenotype again, and using one of the Van Elkin meeting members to acquire a lead on Elias Blum, Midsie tried to arrange for a “meeting” between the group and Brianna Lee. Using alchemistry, quick thinking, and some illusion magic, the group turned the tables and left Brianna on the back foot. Finding herself led into a trap by her own lackey’s incompetence, she decided to treat the group as friendly and fairly as possible. Mistaking them for a formal Council of Venice strike team, she turned over everything she knew, including the names Rico and Paz, a Phoenician smuggler and his Venetian sister, who was part of the original Council team.

The group decided to try to get into Rico’s circle by posing as muscle looking for a job, but Kaizen’s probing alerted Rico, who decided to set the group up with a trap. Either they would die as a decent distraction, or prove themselves of a higher grade than he thought…

4/10/2016 Session Log

The next chapter of Blue Nine’s life – if you can call this living – began with yet another dead drop, this one more literal than most. A stranger approaches Blue and intones, “Hello, old friend,” seconds before being swiped by a passing vehicle and killed. In his hand were coordinates to a dead drop, containing a new false identity, Elias Blum, and instructions to go to a meeting Martins Van Elkin was hosting in his home. Also included was a paper with the phrase “It was always about control” and the name John Dee, 1577 inscribed upon it.

Meanwhile, Kaizen’s network of contacts informed him about the meeting, and with a little magical trickery he managed to insert himself using the identity of a private security contractor named Pete Geyers. At the meeting, Martins Van Elkin presented a new artificial limb prototype. Van Elkin looked… strange. Facial recognition software would detect no difference between this Van Elkin and the man who had appeared before the public before, but living things have an instinctual sense that this is a different being. He also exhibited noticeable personality differences, like a new pro-security political enthusiasm for the Israeli state. Furthermore, the limb was no ordinary prosthetic; Blue managed to figure out through trickery that it was not being controlled by the interface, but by Van Elkin’s mind, and Kaizen was able to deduce that it was a magical artifact related to the theory of homunculi.

Afterwards, Blue found the best tree branch in southern California while Kaizen arranged for one of his agents to observe the Van Elkin house. Both observed a van marked “Bodhi’s Plumbing” that didn’t seem legitimate.

Later, Blue went to Club Albion, following up an invitation that Kaizen had manipulated into the group of security consultants that had attended Van Elkin’s meeting. Blue recognized that Kaizen was a wizard, remembering that magic is real, and also having a mysterious vision of Seoul triggered by certain words spoken by Kaizen. They came to a working relationship after some maneuvering.

The session ended on some research, during which Blue 9 found out John Dee’s background and was presented with a new mystery: what does a 16th century adviser to Queen Elizabeth have to do with a maverick technocrat in the 21rst century?

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