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Dresden Files Accelerated» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The Dresdenverse Boston: Sessions 11 and 12 rss

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Michael Lavoie
United States
New Hampshire
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Here's the report on the latest session of my DFA campaign set in the Boston of Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels.

Dramatis Personae:

-- Selena, a were-cougar (mortal mantle: criminal), played by Mike M.
-- Ivy, a focused practitioner (healing) and provisional Special Investigations cop, played by Allison
-- Bernie, elderly rabbi and White Council Wizard, played by Steve R.
-- Annie, Wyldfae changeling and reporter for college newspaper, played by Jennifer
-- Mickey, pure mortal medic (local sports doctor of some repute), played by Steve O.
-- Noah, Boston University professor and focused practitioner (defensive magic), played by Rick
-- J. Henry McMasters III, pure mortal one-percenter, played by Bob

Actually, since I've been on a brief hiatus from RPGG (as well as from the gaming group), we'll combine two session reports into one here.

Not much was actually accomplished in the first session, which was devoted mostly to investigation. Oh, and to surviving a siege of Bernie's brownstone by hellhounds. The group learned that the wizard whose botched summoning started the whole thing was most likely a known warlock from Montreal named Francois Beauchemin. The White Council report made it quite clear that he was to be considered extremely dangerous and that Bernie was to apprehend him alive but to take no risks as help would be on its way. That evening, the group holed up at Bernie's home (a place with a good, strong threshold) and waited out the howling beasties roaming the grounds outside.

After sunrise, they went off on some explorative investigation. Their efforts directed them once again to the area of the Lechmere station, the end of the Green Line of Boston's subway system and the place where they had found a Way to the Nevernever. This time they tracked the rogue wizard to a long-disused maintenance tunnel while the hellhounds seemed to be holing up during the day in a forgotten side tunnel of the subway. The PCs returned to Bernie's home to plan their next move.

After several weeks of no play, we returned to the Dresdenverse version of Spenser's Boston. While waiting for sunset and another anticipated assault by the hellhounds, Our Heroes were visited by Boston's young White Council Warden, Michaela Edwards. With her was an older man, a scarred and grizzled veteran of many campaigns carrying one of the increasingly-rare special Warden swords. This man was Sylvain Leveille, formerly Warden for Montreal and now covering all of French-speaking Canada. In heavily accented English he gave the group an account of the history of the warlock Beauchemin. The salient point seemed to be that Beauchemin (a powerful manipulator of fire and lightning) had recently fled Montreal and had been holing up in Quebec City. Not long afterward, he had apparently started a fire on an island in the St Lawrence River (through the reckless use of magic) that had resulted in the deaths of a couple of those fighting said fire. Warden Leveille quickly took up his trail as the warlock fled south from there, through Vermont and New Hampshire and into Boston.

The PCs filled him in on what they had discovered, and the discussion (in which Warden Edwards took little part, obviously intimidated by the veteran Leveille) led to a plan in which the group would seek out Beauchemin's lair the next day and try to flush him out so that Leveille could capture him. The French-Canadian Warden then offered to patrol the grounds of Bernie's house that night, which the group readily accepted. However, no supernatural activity was detected that night. The hounds apparently had other business.

Next morning, Leveille went to his hotel room to get some rest. The plan was that the PCs would get themselves ready and then pay the rogue Wizard a visit, notifying the Warden when they made their entry so that he could be waiting nearby when Beauchemin bolted. By mid-day Our Heroes were as ready as they would ever be. Loading up into McMasters' limo (whose driver, Phil N. LeBlanc, has become part of the billionaire's stunts) they made their way to the familiar grounds of Lechmere Station and the mysterious underground. Selena morphed into cougar form and took point with Annie (whose Fae heritage gives her excellent dark vision) close behind. On the way through they found skeletal remains of numerous large rats and at least one human, the bones of which wore recognizable gang colors.

They quickly reached the door to the maintenance tunnel only to find it torn off its hinges and laying on the floor. Suspicious-looking claw marks were evident on it. Slipping carefully into the tunnel, they proceeded along until they found another door treated the same way. Behind this door was a room that showed signs of recent occupancy: a sleeping bag, a backpack or two, cans of food and the remains of a fire among them. It appeared to be uninhabited, but Selena smelled a rat. What she actually smelled was a human hiding behind a Veil. With Bernie and Noah's help, said human's location was eventually pinpointed. As the group closed in, the trash on the floor began to move, spelling out "Help me." The PCs agreed to a parley if Beauchemin would bring down his Veil.

When he emerged, Mickey recognized the injured Wizard he had treated at his clinic a few days before. The Warlock gave his version of his story, making it clear that he had no intention of submitting to the White Council. He swore that he had never deliberately injured anyone with his magic, but was unconcerned about collateral damage; if people in the wrong place at the wrong time were hurt when he used magic to defeat a supernatural menace, he viewed it as a price worth paying. Several members of the group (interestingly enough, the ruthless businessman J. was among them) were uncomfortable with this attitude but on the whole Francois did not seem to be as nasty as the Council portrayed him. And as he continued his story, they began to feel more sympathy toward him.

Somehow, he had attracted the attention of the Fomor. A colony of the amphibian sorcerers lives in the St Lawrence River. He was researching them in Quebec when a message lured him to the island. A band of their turtleneck-wearing minions attacked him. The deadly fire was the result of his desperate self-defence. He fled the place at once and began to move south, stopping at various universities on the way to do research. His destination was Boston, to meet with a group of people that had, according to the Paranet, defeated at least one Fomor plot. This of course would be the PCs, and in addition to getting help from them he wanted to warn them that the Fomor were kidnapping low-level practitioners and others with minor magical talents.

In exchange for this, he wanted their assistance in escaping from both the Fomor and the relentless Leveille. He would also assist them in battling the hellhounds, which had appeared while he was trying to summon some supernatural help so he could survive long enough to meet the PCs. J. agreed to use his resources to get Beauchemin out of town and to a safe place, and for his part the Warlock pledged to continue his research and to keep the group informed of anything he learned. The story for Leveille would be that Francois escaped during a battle with the hounds.

That being agreed to, they all went to the disused tunnel and found the supernatural beasts sleeping. They mounted a surprise attack and completely routed the four monsters. Selena's cougar form was particularly effective, while J. put his fencing lessons to good use. Ivy shot the beasts with a tranquilizer gun, which didn't seem to have the desired effect. Francois blasted the hounds with a force attack, while Bernie used an ingenious plan involving his sword cane's sheath, a Thermos of liquid nitrogen (procured courtesy of J.) and his magical specialty, wind, to blast the alpha hound in a nearly fatal way.

As the group closed in to finish things off, things went off the rails. Theatrical lights came up, a musical fanfare filled the cavern, and a curtain appeared at the back. From behind that curtain stepped a Faerie, a Sidhe of surpassing beauty and power. It was the creator of the hellhounds, a creature of Winter second in power only to Queen Mab herself. It was none other than the Leanansidhe who now entered the cavern and took over the situation. By way of explanation, she said that she had intercepted Francois' summoning and sent some of her hounds instead as the best (read: most entertaining) way to bring him together with the PCs. Not even the White Council as yet recognizes the threat posed by the Fomor, and the Winter Court wants allies to fight at the front lines against them. It seemed a good idea to have the Warlock and the PCs working more or less together in this. She spent a lot of time running her fingers through J.'s hair and teasing him mercilessly (the power he wields due to his vast fortune and business acumen interests her) before taking her hounds and leaving the way she came.

Stunned by these developments, the PCs sent Francois on his way and left the cavern to present their story to Leveille. He bought it, hook line and sinker (except for the part about what a great threat the Fomor are). He too was bemused by the appearance of the Leanansidhe, and the way that Beauchemin used the resulting confusion to escape only confirms the level of danger that he represents. He left to continue his pursuit as the session came to an end.
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Michael Lavoie
United States
New Hampshire
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Edited several times to fix several annoying typos. Sigh.
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