Session notes: 07-01-19
After dinner conversation with Cearan turns to the subject of shadows and powers. There are some powers available to those not of the blood - if they have the stamina, power, and drive to use them and to survive acquiring them. Sorcery, spellcasting, and Trump - for some.
There are options of greater power too. Broken pattern - patterns with gaps where lines should be. Some people can traverse these, at great risk, to gain the ability to shadow walk or to rack spells.
Powers at certain levels draws predators. Pattern power draws strong predators, but they'll only attack when you're weak. Make sure to have a bolt-hole. Using power draws attention, the more disruptive, the more attention it can draw. Hellrides are dangerous for that. Broken pattern is another risky operation. Both of them together is like cannonballing into a still pond, repeatedly.
At higher levels of power, the limits are those of the imagination.
Logrus functions by changing the user. Shadow shifting is done by changing the rules for the user to allow them to shift. That may be because their minds have been disjointed enough to conceive of anything.
Ted tells us some of his background - a general feel, not too much of giving details away. Broad strokes, really. He hasn't seen a lot of shadow, so he's not too certain what sort of details might let someone find it.
Ted had an unhappy orphanage upbringing. He had it sort of pounded into him to not stand out, which is part of what made Tyler's training of him difficult. He had his own business, which is a loose end he'd like to clean up. He avoids much mention of rivals or enemies. The technology level he talks about is probably around Earth, pre-1970. Heavy on the vacuum tube and transistor technology - not so much for integrated chips.
Wu Fang has been seeking out the billboards. We find ourselves at a rather militarized port. Docking is a bit of a pain, but we can cajole and bully and bluff our way in without too much trouble. And there are billboards. Seems that the Wu Fang and Helice analogues are big movie stars and have just gotten married with great fanfare. Wu Fang disguises himself to avoid excess fuss. Annoying, but necessary.
We also have to do some work to make sure that our outfits aren't too out of the ordinary for the location. We can modify them with fairly simple shadow shifting. There's some discussion about self-modification. Without shapeshift, it's going to be difficult to change a real person. Technology or magic can overcome some things, but those solutions won't last long across shadows.
Clothing here is highly regimented. Janitors have different clothing than street vendors. Dockworkers and sailors are different too. Everything seems to be uniform within each group, with minor variations distinguishing each group. The caste system is so highly defined that we need to try to find a coffee house to match the uniforms we're wearing.
We get our research material and head back to the ship instead.
One thing to check is if the shadow has been tampered with. Ohanzee may be able to find that out using the Logrus, but she's not sure what to look for. Tyler suggest making a Trump sketch of the Hotel from the first High Speed Training Montage, popping out there with Ohanzee and practicing making and detecting changes.
Everyone else reads up on the current events. The celebrity wedding seems to be a cover for something else big and political going on. Very much the bread and circuses effect.
This is good background for here, but in-depth background on one place may not be what we need. We should see if there are commonalities between the events here and the events in other shadows with the billboards. We prepare to depart, once Tyler and Ohanzee finish up with her experiments.
Ohanzee scopes out the Hotel shadow and gets a feel for it. The Logrus is kind of odd for that - very sensitive at a distance, very dense close up. Tyler concentrates and tries to alter the local rules. "If you drop anything... painted lavender... it will fall upwards... one out of every ten thousand times!" It's a huge effort to get the change moving, and it'll probably roll back over time, but it's done.
Ohanzee concentrates and can see the stretching and shaping of the rules. Like fingerprints in a ball of playdough.
Ohanzee prepares to give things a try using her powers. She takes a poke at a small shrub outside, trying to change the red berries to a slightly pink color. They do change color, but now the floor seems kind of... sticky. Like a deep mattress. The people in the hotel lobby aren't disturbed by this.
While the two of them experiment, Wu Fang's ship does some exploration in the area. The reasons are different in each shadow, but everywhere they go, Wu Fang and Helice are celebrities. The major common point is that their status is due to the easiest path to fame in each location.
The relationship isn't always romantic. In some cases, they're presidents of formerly rival companies, thrown into the spotlight by a corporate merger. One thing of interest is that the shadows seem to lie along a easily shadow walked path, suggesting that the perpetrator is using Pattern instead of Trump or Logrus to get around.
A discussion ensues after Tyler and Ohanzee return. The possibility exists that if this person is using Pattern, their path could be predictable in some sense. If we travel by land rather than by sea, we may have better luck in finding something.
We make landfall and begin exploration. Some of us find bicycles to help with mobility. Tyler and Ted have rather different concepts of what exactly a bicycle is. Our explorations take us across a couple shadows before we find something interesting. We're attacked from ambush.
The ambushers aren't prepared for people of our caliber at all. Helice and Cearan go to work with swords, Ted grabs a heavy rock and goes to town. Tyler uses his BMX Stunt bike as a combination of battle transportation and weapon. Ohanzee parks herself in front of Pierre to keep him safe, while her bodyguards fan out to protect her.
The human attackers don't last long. Three of them are not from around this shadow. One Treant, a Darth-Maul looking person, and something that looks like an evil Elmo. They last a little longer. The Treant is incinerated by Wu Fang's dragon form, Darth Maul drops after a fight, and Elmo tries to get away with Darth's body using some kind of magic smoke grenade. We manage to get Darth away from him, but he seems to melt away into nothing, leaving his belongings.
Tyler finds that Darth is not quite dead yet, and tries to stabilize him. Wu Fang goes through Elmo's belongings. There's a signet ring, an amulet and four unidentified Trump cards.
Once Darth is stabilized, Megumi takes over treatment while Tyler scouts the perimeter for any reinforcements or their means of approach. Keyne has a leg wound, and will need some other form of transport than walking. Sarenah is treating our wounded.
Wu Fang shows the Trump cards around to see if anyone recognizes them. Nobody did, but Helice thinks one is vaguely familiar. Luther asks if everyone could see the cards, since we all have very different backgrounds. Wu Fang suggests somewhere not in the rain or the dark, so Ohanzee uses the Logrus to seek out transportation for our injured, and we set out toward a little village that Wu Fang is sure is just over the next rise.