Smoke and Mirrors Campaign

First Session (Poorly Formatted)

February 24, 2012
This took just shy of forever to start. There was sadness.

AND THEN ZACH OPENED HIS DOX. AND THINGS BEGAN HAPPENING!

Hanging out at the U, fuck classes, mid afternoon on a Tuesday. All of a sudden it smells like burnt ozone. Like science. Like I’m unconcious all of a sudden. What? Visions? I didn’t take drugs today? Why does it smell like rust and dirt? What happened to science smell??!

Why on earth am I in the hospital? Again. At least I’m not intubated this time. None of that violated feeling. And someone saw my junk probably. No pants. Hospital gown. And it’s Sunday? Well bye bye week.

Letter on the foot table. Has my name on it. Some dude named Hephaestus apologizing for this and inviting me to his house for compensation. And he lives where the money at by the river. Seems like an advantageous situation so far.

Some role playing happens. Jokes were had. Meeting was called for role playing opportunity.We deduced that he was apologizing to 7 of 150 that passed out randomly during a “chemical” leak…that affected 6 different buildings all across the University campus…. Yaaaa… Something is fucking going on.

As we pull up to his house… House is not quite the right word. Small estate? It has wings big. We buzz at the gate and are let in by a butler. And the house looks even bigger from the inside! Heph is loaded! We’re led into a meeting room. Spacious, classy, chairs for 7 +1. The plus one is an overstuffed, red, comfortable looking abomination of a chair. The 7 are just fancy comfortable wooden affairs. Steve goes for the big chair. Which when he sits into it, turns into a “normal” wooden chair. Steve began plotting how to make the chair stay the same until we hear steps in the hallway. Everyone sits down.

Hephaestus enters the room. Stark white hair, prim, proper, clean pressed suit. He looks about 60, but you can’t help but think this man can only be 40 at most. Like a hair sporting Patrick Stewart. Michael is making the inception bwooooh noise. As he looks around the room at us, I can’t help but feel that he knows way too fucking much about me. After he passes around the room, his stoney demeanor collapses into a smile. He seemed to have been looking at Jon…
As he starts talking, the one thing that stands out about his voice is his accent. Not even Cathryn can place it. Mike can’t remember the day it happened on. He thinks it’s Wednesday. Turns out that it’s 49 people that have recieved notes and that there is a trend of people waking up in groups of 7 and visiting him in groups of 7.

This all was an experiment for them to see if they could “create the trigger.” Mel asks what’s a trigger, Jon asks a trigger for what, I’m writing the chronicle and not asking questions because of it.

“Everything you know is a lie.” OUTRAGE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE. “Reality can be bent to somebodies will if they know what to push. To answer your question Steve, you are all mages. We, as in my organization, the people I associate with, and now you, are all mages, wizards and sorcerors.”
He explains to us about what the basis of awakening is. And then explains that we were a part of an experiment to see if they could force an awakening. Of this group of 150, only 49 awakened. Why just us? Most of us don’t have much life trauma which is why we were picked for this. Apparently they skipped over the whole me dying part when they arbitrarily selected me for this :/.

There is immense skepticism met to all of this. He gives us time to talk. We deduce 2 tests for him. Produce either haggis for us or NPH.

We can’t get NPH because he’s a sleeper ):

To prove magic to Mike, he freezes us in the middle of a heated argument and has words with him and then lets everything else resume. Mike leaves in a fluster. He comes back pretty fucking shaken.

I stick around. People start asking random “WAS/IS (CELEBRITY) A WIZARD??”

J.K. Rowling is wrong and full of shit.

Explains Towers and makes it known that we may join orders.

Offers up free room and board, sizable accommodations, everyone accepts.

Main people in house are Heph, Butler, and a representative from each tower for tutelage.
Acanthus: Tarot Mastigos: Dominus Moros: Kether Obrimos: Chains Thyrsus: Savham

Tutelage happens, After a few months Hephaestus calls us all together.

He breaks his usual warm fatherly demeanor to ask us a favor. He acknowledges that he is compensating us for our troubles, but asks us to help him.

It’s to find a book of his, that went missing while he was researching leading up to their experiment that culminated in us. He is certain that book is in…RUTHERFORD BOOK STORAGE! DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNNNNN!!!!

We came up with a wonderful plan. KilledByDeath and Obscure would impersonate people who would have access to Book Storage. I would make the lock brittle as Brick fiddles with the door (rejecting our invalid one card) which ExParrot would cover up. Once we’re in and have found the book, I will apportate the book back to my room. Then leave. And whatever prof we’ve impersonated gets thrown under the bus because of missing book.

We head on in, Obscure successfully facing for us. I pre emptively weaken the lock, down to no durability whatsoever. The attendant at the desk then unlocks the door. This ends disasterously with a broken lock and the door swinging open. When we get into storage, KilledByDeath and Obscure watch the room light up in their mage sight. They focus on the hellfire. We eventually find 3 books matching the description, only one with the Atlantean Rune to identify it. To verify that it is the book, KilledByDeath opens the book and passes out. Having the book, I scry back to my room and drop the book off.

Book: Virtues and Vices: An Investigation of the 7 Deadly Sins and 7 Glorious Virtues

We get back and Hephaestus calls us to a meeting. He tells us that all of us except one have passed. He sets the book down on a table. The book fades to red, the title changes to “How to Trust Your Pupils 101” and reveals the first page, a picture of KilledByDeath in shock and surprise. Similar to the exact face he had when he opened the book.

“There will be no punishment for this failure. Merely experimentation for me.” No one defends that KilledByDeath is trustworthy, we do defend that he was not trying to read the book and we had told him to look inside the book.

As punishment for failure, KilledByDeath had his image permanently embedded in a wall in his room. Even though there was no punishment for failure.

Blah blah blah Maguffin’s are revealed, off to Paris and they kidnapped my girlfriend to boot! I kinda ran out of steam at the end there if you didn’t notice.

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Second Session

Things are starting! Distracted by french cuisine. Because we’re going to France!
Hephaestus doesn’t seem pleased. Theory break through in mage science! Remain ignorant for your own sake. It is better this way as war is about to be were declared. Apparently there will be no war. Apparently we’re the result of mage nuke level technology. Forcing awakenings is apparently serious and heavy shit. Zach also wants this to be a bit more serious. He gives us the run down. 2 opposing sides with Heph being an independant party. The opposing sides want to utilize this knowledge for their own ends, but Heph wants this to be recorded and never used. BTDUBS, this conversation takes place after about a week of us being in Paris.
We go to see the guy he told us to see (Meuri.) He’s a Sleepwalker! He explains the gist of sleepwalkerdom to us. Reminds us about the maguffins we’re here for. An object that helped Stalin, Hitler and Napoleon accomplish everything that they’ve done.
Meanwhile Obscure and Ailoria are at the Louvre, looking at art and things. Brick is updating them via text message. As Meuri starts to delve a bit more in depth on the maguffin Obscure starts feeling a weird pull towards a certain exhibit. Just a knowledge that something was there for a half second before the sensation disappeared. With that update, the rest of us wrapped things up with Meuri and left for the Louvre. As we were heading towards the Louvre, Obscure and Ailoria went towards the exhibit that was pulling at Obscure. It turned out to be Napoleon’s bedroom set. Being blocked off to keep people from sleeping in Napoleon’s bed, Obscure scried the bed to try and figure out what it was that was magically resonating. It turns out to be a small polished, silver hand mirror.
While Mike was scrying the mirror, the rest of the group showed up at the Louvre. As we walked in the PA went on. In french the only thing that we’d understood was “Mona Lisa.” And most of the people ended up congregating towards the Mona Lisa. Weird. Oh well, we move on to meet up with Obscure and Ailoria. AND WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO OBSCURE’S FACE. IT’S GONE! EVEN HIS GLASSES! HE’S GOT A FREAKY MANNEQUIN HEAD. But apparently he can still see, which is good. And he can talk. Ok. We ask what had happened and Obscure mentioned that he had peeked in the mirror and felt compelled to. Welp. None of us are looking in the mirror just to be safe. We went into the bathroom to try and sort out a way to get Obscure out of the Louvre without people freaking the fuck out over mannequin head. On the way in run into another mage who stumbles and asks us if it’s a witchmark. We go along with his story. After some creative application of hat and telling him to just hide his face we try to leave without raising a fuss. Success in leaving without raising a fuss. While hiding the mirror in a jacket.
We boogie on back to Meuri pretty quickly. We’ve made the assumption that the mask ate Obscure’s face. When we get back to Meuri 2 things of note happen. Meuri is astonished at how quickly we found it (hour at worst yo. Best maguffin hunters around) and he comments on how Obscure’s face is kinda superimposed over a mannequins. Like if you’re looking at an old hologram picture and it shifts. He chalks it up to that he’s a sleepwalker. Sleepers won’t see Obscures freaky mannequin head, they’ll see his normal face. It’s just the Awakened who can see what’s wrong. To protect the mirror I excuse myself and wrap it in toilet paper which I transmute to titanium. Because it’s all sealed up Obscure starts to demonstrate difficulty breathing. Oops, my bad. Back to toilet paper, shaped for breathing and pouring drink and food into it, back to titanium. Then Obscure actually tries to drink. And it works. What the fuck is going on here? We also checked and can’t feed him through the mirror. To cover up his facelessness Obscure just puts up an illusion to avoid putting everybody off.
Also note that Napoleon had some weird faceless mentionings in various peoples diaries near the end of his life. and stuff. yeaaaa.

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