This session is a flash-forward. We left off on Saturday, with the mages planning to move into their new Sanctum on Sunday and start going after the book Monday. The players were up for starting later on in the story, and then playing the lead-up to that point next time. I gave them a choice: they are chasing the SS operatives, the SS operatives are chasing them, or they are in a standoff. They chose standoff!
Tuesday, July 10, 1934
Three mages are crouched in a dirty kitchen. The two young women wield pistols; the man brandishes a set of brass knuckles. A rough voice echoes through the hallway of the house. “Just give up the book, Hellman!” A feral growl issues from somewhere in between the mages and the commanding voice.
Matilda looks at Madeline for reassurance.
Madeleine looks wildly at Evan and mutters under her breath, “You just had to stop for more tobacco, didn’t you?” She peers around the kitchen counter that she’s squatted behind, glaring into the cloud of dust settled in the air. “Now what do we do?” she whispers. “Can anyone see?”
“We’ll cover you,” Matilda mouths quietly at the Russian while motioning to the sleek pistols in the women’s hands.
Evan nods to the ladies and moves to peer out the window to check the surroundings for Nazis, or Hellman.
Wits + Composure roll for the Russian.
The Russian peers above the counter through the decorative opening into the dining room. He doesn’t see Hellman, though he heard the man’s response from the next room. He DOES catch a glimpse of three heavyset men, the front one armed with a short revolver. “Last chance, Hellman, or we’re coming in, and this time we won’t stop with a broken bone!” the man shouts.
Madeleine peeks out the kitchen window, looking for a good way out – the airshaft between this house and the next is empty except for a narrow wooden stair and a few pigeons. The only exits are a door into the first-floor garage and a wooden ladder to the roof.
Madeleine looks at Evan and Matilda and gestures at the back door. “We need to get him away from them. The back is empty, I can see from here. We can go into the garage.” She looks at Evan. “You should go get him.”
Matilda chants softly focusing on Evan’s brass knuckles. She feels a reaction from the weapons as Evan is working other magic
Alter Accuracy on the Russian’s brass knuckles.
“This should confuse the hell out of them," Evan adds with an evil grin.
He attempts and illusory sound…
Evan tried to cast his voice from afar, producing only a garbled whisper coming from the area behind the three men.
Well THIS time should work." Evan muttered, brow furrowing. Madeleine tries to help Evan by attempting to control his luck but unfortunately, she senses a failure as well.
Two failed attempts at the Mind spell to make an illusory sound, and 1 failed attempt at bestow luck later…
“Maybe, I’ll have better luck impressing Hellman with my winning personality.” Evan hoped making his was toward the man, knowing this isn’t just his night.
…and a failed Dex + Stealth roll…
Madeleine rolls her eyes violently as Evan fails blatantly at sneaking out towards Hellman. She gives a meaningful look to Matilda. Matilda rolls her eyes then shrugs at Madeleine.
Madeleine sighs, “_Chacun pour soi et Dieu pour tous._”
The Russian crawls into the dining room and sees a disheveled man crouching in the corner in the small space next to a large cabinet. “That’s all the time you get!” the large man shouts, and one of the other toughs moves ahead into the dining room, hooks the table with the baton he’s holding, and flips it on its side. The piles of papers, books, boxes, and old remains of food go flying as the hired thugs are surprised to see a man in a suit crawling between the kitchen and the ragged man, Hellman.
Matilda gives a side glance at Madeleine while thinking, speak English you Frenchy bitch, but keeps her comments to herself.
Evan grabs Hellman’s un-casted arm and tries to drag him back to where the ladies are crouched.
Opposed Strength + Athletics rolls. Again, the Russian (who’s not an athletic person by any means) biffs it, while the crazed Hellman gets several successes.
Hellman pulls his arm back and shrinks further into the corner. The Russian can see a dark, leather-bound tome tucked in the man’s arms.
Wits + Composure for the gunman to react. He fails, the first good turn for the PC’s.
The gunman tries to react quickly and brings up his weapon. He’s hampered by surprise; with his compatriot in the way, he has no clear shot. “Who the hell are you?”
The man in the dining room with the club moves forward and tries to kick the Russian away.
The Russian takes a point of bashing damage and is pushed back into the kitchen…but we forgot to add armor.
The third man can’t get past the leader; he moves back into the main room.
Matilda takes a stance to shoot some one in the room moving her focus between the three thugs in front of her. “You might want to lower. Your. Weapons. We are stronger than you are probably willing to admit.”
Presence + Intimidate – the tough’s Resolve to get them to stop and talk. Great success!
Madeleine casts a spell quickly.
The Perfect Moment. Why not?
With surprisingly good timing and grace, Madeleine stands from behind the kitchen counter. “And I think you know that there are easier ways to come to an agreement than violence.” Her gun glints, but it is at her side, lowered, and non-threatening.
Evan get to his feet brushing off dusts and tries to get a connection going with Hellman, still face to face with the club wielding thug, but the spell fizzles. Again.
Emotional Urging to try to instill trust in the PC’s onto Hellman. He’s got terrible luck!
The leader of the thugs points his gun off to the side and raises his hands slightly at Matilda’s threat, and then lowers his weapon entirely to his side when Madeleine pops up. “How many of you are there behind that counter?”
The man with the club grabs Hellman roughly and tries to pull him and the book out from the corner he’s jammed in.
Contested Strength + Athletics rolls. The baddy wins handily.
Hellman is jerked to his feet by the thug and pulled back to the now table-less center of the room.
“The hell do you want with this loser?” the leader asks.
“I suspect the same that you want with him. But I also suspect that it’s not really that important to you in the grand scheme of things,” Madeleine says as she looks to Evan and Matilda for backup.
“He has something we want, something that you wouldn’t be interested in, I’m sure.” Evan added hastily.
Matilda does not lower her weapon and instead cocks it while still pointing it at the leader. “Hands off the goods,” she says cocking an eyebrow and glaring intently at the man. “Don’t make a bad decision.”
The Russian pulls off One Thought, Two Minds…though I think we were using it wrong.
“Did that Kraut bitch hire you to get that book too? Think we couldn’t get the job done?” The leader asks, waving his gun about. “Or is there more than one interested party?”
When Matilda cocks her weapon, the thug with the club pulls Hellman up as a shield. “Whoa there,” says the leader. “I’m sure we can come to some agreement.”
“Gives Hellman and my friend there won’t shoot you and you can still save yourselves.” Evan added, as he mentally split his mind in two.
“Don’t blow your wig, I’ll only use the bean shooter if you make me.”
“Pretty tough from two girls and a fancy-suited man.” he replies. “You want Hellman?”
The leader nods to the thug holding the poor man.
Another contested roll to rip the book out of Hellman’s arms and shove him towards the PC’s…but Hellman holds on! Didn’t see that coming…
The man pushes Hellman towards the counter and tries to simultaneously rip the book from his hands. Hellman has a madman’s grip on the tome, though, and both end up falling to the ground, wrestling over the book.
The leader begins to raise his gun again.
And back into initiative…
The Russian throws the spell and then brings his brass-guarded fist down on the thug wrestling with Hellman.
The Russian manages 2 Lethal with a Mind spell of Fraying (pretty much the only covert direct damage) and 1 Bashing on the thug on the ground. Now I REALLY don’t think we were using the Two Minds correctly, but hey, go with it during the sessino and look it up later.
The gunman grasps his head in pain but then brings his weapon to bear against Matilda and fires a deafening shot. The bullet throws splinters into the air as it plows into the counter in front of the young woman.
Between Mage Armor and cover from the counter, they’re safe for the moment.
Matilda jumps in surprise. She quickly regains her composure and returns fire at the leader.
The gunman takes a graze to the hip and grasps his side.
He takes 2 lethal. Meanwhile, Madeleine makes a successful Wits + Composure roll…
Hellman wrestles himself and the book away from the big thug and begins to crawl away on the floor. Madeleine hears footsteps at the other kitchen door, which is currently closed.
Madeleine raises her gun and aims for the leader’s shoulder. “And it isn’t just us who have extra people hiding. There’s someone behind the door!” As she says this to Evan and Matilda, she fires the gun at the leader. “Someone grab the book!”
The leader takes 3 more lethal and is NOT in good shape, at all.
Evan fights with the thug on the ground trying to work his way over to Hellman and the book.
Who takes 3 lethal damage from Psychic Fraying and 1 more bashing wound from the knuckles.
The leader puts his free hand on his shoulder and takes a wild shot with his revolver as he backs out of the room. The bullet chips plaster from the wall next to Matilda and Madeleine
The thug on the ground tries to push the Russian off as he reaches out for Hellman’s leg, but can’t shift the mage.
The side door to the kitchen explodes inwards – the third thug appears, holding a knife.
“This is not going to be a trip for biscuits if I can help it,” Matilda climbs up on the counter and spins over to hop down into the dining room. She skitters over to Hellman to protect him.
Madeleine attempts to shoot at the newcomer but her shot goes wide and she curses in French.
“Stay down you bastard! Don’t make me enjoy killing you!” Evan enjoyed this tumbling around on the ground much less than the last time he did the same thing.
And does 2 more Lethal and 3(!) bashing wounds to the club-wielding thug.
The gunman is out of sight. The thug on the floor is bleeding profusely from the nose from the Russian’s combined psychic and physical assault, but he seems the type who is not unused to a fight. He pulls back a fist and takes a swing at the mage, having lost his baton in the scuffle.
The Russian takes 3 Bashing.
The knife-wielding thug advances on Madeleine, but she dodges his thrust.
Matilda sighs deeply in frustration and shoots the psychotic Hellman in the leg.
8 successes, and Hellman is full Lethal with one Aggrivated, and is bleeding out. Oops!
Blood explodes from Hellman’s thigh as the bullet hits him. He cries out in pain and falls to the floor from his knees unconcious, dropping the book. Blood begins to pool around the man’s legs.
“Where did all this blood come from?” Evan said as the spray coated his bruised face.
Madeleine readjusts her aim at the thug with the knife, and fires again at his shoulder.
The Russian continues his assault on his foe. The man on the ground’s eyes start rolling back in his head as he struggles to stay conscious.
“Don’t make me hurt you further, stay down!”
He brings a fist again at the Russian’s face, but without as much conviction as before.
The third thug reels from Madeleine’s bullet as it raises a line of blood across his shoulder. He reacts quickly, trying to bring his knife into the woman’s stomach, leaving a hole in her clothing and a stinging scratch on her skin.
Matilda grabs the book and runs through the doorway to the living room in hopes of escaping quickly. A trail of blood leads through the front room and out the partially open door to the stairway. She tucks the book into a football, intent on keeping anyone else from taking her prize.
Original a Heisman Pose, but darn it, the Heisman award and its signature trophy didn’t start until 1935! Anachronism’d!
Taking the hint from Matilda, Madeleine bolts after her into the dining room, yelling back to Evan, “Come! She has the book, let’s get out of the place!”
Evan grabs Hellman and drags his towards the front door. “My god Hellman, they got you in the leg! Let me help you, once we are away from here.”
“I’m sorry son…they got us!” Way to shift the blame.
Matilda fully opens the front door as frantically as she can to sprint out the front door. “Madeleine! Evan! Are you coming?!”
As she rounds the stairs to leave the house, Matilda comes face-to-face with a short-barrelled revolver. The man behind the gun is holding a cloth against his bleeding shoulder, smiles, and fires.
And with that we’ll continue next time and see how they got to that point, and then continue from the shot.