Episode One, Prelude
The Episode Begins with each character investigating the Murder of David Stutler, each for their own reasons. Each Character was compelled, as per the rules. What follows is each character’s Compel and Setup Scene. It includes text provided by the players prior to the Episode’s commencement.
Compel: The Knife Is Not The Only Thing I Inherited From Helen Of Troy
You step out of the shower, early in the morning, and slip into a robe. As you are brushing your hair, your eyes fall upon Katoptris, and seem to be drawn closer into the blade. Suddenly, you find yourself standing in an alleyway, staring at the back wall of a building. Looking over your left shoulder you see and hear the sounds of late night/early morning Times Square. You sniff the air, and over the scents of the city (diesel fumes, sewage, hot dogs, people) you smell…death. You look down, and lying at your feet, is the body of a young man, his chest slashed open, his hands missing, and his face torn off. You hear a noise and look up to briefly see a female form leaping onto the nearby fire escape and up onto the nearest roof, even as two male forms on the rooftop run away out of view. The vision ends to the sound of your phone ringing.
You quickly pick up the phone. In response to your abrupt greeting, you hear a scared and emotional woman’s voice. A voice you recognize as Becky Barnes, a friend of yours from your one year in college. The two of you have remained close, and you were supposed to be in her wedding party in a few months. “Romy?” she says, you can hear her holding back tears. “David’s been murdered….I know I shouldn’t ask you this…I mean, well..his teacher is missing, and well…you are the only other person I know, who deals with this type of thing…I know it was something spooky that did it…I shouldn’t ask you this, but, he’s gone and I have no one else to turn to. Please, would you look into it and see what you can find out?”
“By the gods Becky, I am so sorry. No words can accurately show how I feel for your loss” you reply, trying to keep your own demons at bay, “and of course I will look into it, I will use anything in my power to help you my dear friend.”
Before diving into the questions, and knowing it wont be easy, you try to calm your friend down enough to actually be able to answer your questions. You do your best, keeping sorrow, and sadness in your voice, wanting to help your friend, but trying not to color your own feelings into it
“When is the last time you saw David, and what was his state of mind”, you ask.
Becky replies, "“I saw David last night before I left for work”
“Did you notice anything strange in how he was acting? Did he seem worried or scared?”
“He was fine. Kept talking about his Tesla Coils…I really wasn’t paying much attention.”
“Did anything seem odd or strange, was anyone following you or David the last time the two of you where out”
“”No. Nothing strange at all. He’d been working hard, between teaching and working at Arcana Cabana since Balthazar disappeared, but, still, nothing weird.” Becky then takes a deep breath,
“Thank you Romy…I…don’t know who else to turn to.”
After speaking with Becky, you quickly dress, modestly for you, and head out to the alleyway from your vision, positive the two are connected. You arrive at the Alley just as the other members of the group arrive.
Compel: Professor of the White Council
You have spent the past few hours in a White Council Meeting, held in the secured tunnels beneath Edinburgh, Scotland. The meeting was fairly standard. It detailed the current status of the Vampire War, which is becoming more of a set of skirmishes lately, than the full out war it has been. The Council is taking a deep breath and recovering it’s losses, all the while, looking for allies. More importantly, there was a final review of the sate of the traitors, Senior Warden Daniel Morgan, Warden Alexandra Ivanova, and Wizard Peabody. Morgan was executed as per Council Policy, Peabody was slain fleeing Council HQ (where you are) by Warden Harry Dresden, but Warden Ivanova remains at large, whereabouts unknown. Further information was provided regarding the curing of the programming Peabody had placed on both the Senior Council and the Wardens, the report issued by Senior Council Member Listens-To-Wind, who headed up the curing process. It was also announced that Warden Captain Anastasia Luccio had finally healed from her body transference and would be resuming her duties as Commander of the Wardens. The rest of the meeting was fairly dry. Someone again tried to start a vote to remove Dresden from his status as Warden, this time the notion being violently shouted down by most of the Council, a report was delivered by the Fellowship of St. Giles (council allies) regarding the status of a recently discovered Red Vampire Stronghold in Havana, Cuba, and finally a report from Warden Ramirez (Commander of Western US) regarding the final expellation of the Red Court from Hollywood.
As you were leaving the meeting, heading to the Way back to New York, you were stopped by Senior Council Member Ebeneezer McCoy.
“Chuck, a moment of your time?”
You grimace at the nickname Ebeneezer refuses to stop using (I assume you do anyhow) and turn to look at him.
“There’s something in New York I need you to look into. As a personal favor to me. A boy’s been murdered in New York. A very special boy. You see, I been tryin’ to get us more allies against the Vampires, and I came into contact with one of Merlin’s last apprentices. Her name’s Veronkia. Veronika Blake. Her husband Balthazar was also an apprentice, but, his…unreachable for now. Anyways, they had an apprentice named David, who she says was powerful enough to help them destroy Morgan Le Fay. Don’t know how much weight I give THAT, but, here’s the rub. David’s the boy who was killed. I need you to look into who killed him and why. His body was found at this address” (He hands you a slip of paper with an address of an alleyway off of Times Square.
After speaking with Ebeneezar, you return home, make your way to Manhattan and head out to the alleyway. You arrive at the Alley just as the other members of the group arrive.
Compel: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours
You’re recovering blissfully from your previous night with your latest girlfriend. You still consider yourself lucky to have hooked up with someone like Serena. There’s a quality to her, you can’t define. She’s beautiful, graceful, and VERY imaginative. As you open your eyes, you hear the sound of the shower running and can hear Serena’s sweet voice as she sings a song, a song unlike any you have ever heard before. You certainly don’t recognize the language. You listen to her voice, even as your remember you are in her apartment, not yours. You slip from the bed, even as the water stops running in the bathroom. You head to the door, just as Serena emerges, her lithe body wrapped in a towel. You move to wrap her in your embrace, but she nimbly dodges, “Not now David. We need to talk.”
You look at her for a moment, confused, as she sits down at her desk, and opens her purse. She pulls a cell phone out and holds it up to you, a picture of an ornate Dragon Ring on it. You have a bad feeling about what is to come.
“You’re fun David. REALLY fun, but, I have a job I need you to do.” She brushes her wet hair from her eyes, and for the first time, you notice, as her long blonde tresses move from the side of her face, that her ear is pointed, like Mr. Spock on Star Trek. She takes a deep breath, which is nice to watch, and smiles at you, “I wish it didn’t have to be like this, and maybe, after this job, it won’t have to be, but, I need you to recover something for me. This ring, is the Dragon Ring of Merlin. Yes, Merlin as in King Arthur. Don’t look at me like that. Not after all you’ve been through and done in your life. And I know you can find this for me. If you do, I will be ever so grateful, as will those who work for me.”
She smiles sweetly, her blue eyes shining, “There’s only one catch. The person who wore this ring, well, he was a strong magical practitioner, and he was murdered last night. The NYPD found the body in an alleyway off of Times Square. Here’s the address” she hands you a slip of paper with an address on it. I suggest you take a look at the Crime Scene. They’ve already moved the body, so, you shouldn’t have to worry about the Constabulary too much. And stop staring at my Ears. Yes, they’re pointed. That’s normal for an Elf. And no, not a faerie elf, leastwise, we haven’t been THAT for a very long time. I was totally honest with you when I said I came from Washington State, just not where from exactly.”
After speaking with Serena, you return home and change, then head out to the alleyway. You arrive at the Alley just as the other members of the group arrive.
Compel: Sassy Young Immortal Agent
You sit at your desk in Agency HQ, finishing your morning coffee, when your phone buzzes.
“Agent Blue, Please report to my office” comes the voice of Senior Agent Alexandra Ivanova.
You quickly make your way to her office, knock on the door, and enter.
Agent Ivanova looks at you, and gestures to a seat across from her desk, “Please, sit.”
You sit and wait patiently, glancing at the manila folder sitting in front of your seat.
“I have a new assignment for you, Jane. One which Director Moskavina herself picked you for. In the folder before you, you will find several Agency reports on some rather interesting persons living here in New York, Balthazar and Veronika Blake. They are the last surviving Apprentices of the magician Merlin. You will also find information on one David Stutler, their apprentice. This is provided only as background information. You see, Mr. Stutler was murdered last night. A rather grisly murder, as you can see from the Police Report we’ve included.
The NYPD has assigned the investigation to Homicide, and it is being headed up by Detectives Briscoe and Curtis. Given the victim’s background, we are surprised this case was not assigned to Detective Mazza and the UCU. That is beside the point however. A person of some magical power, was brutally murdered, and we want to know who did it, and why. That is your task. Find the killer, discover why they killed him, and then contact us for further instructions. Any questions Agent Blue?"
After speaking with Agent Ivanova, you head out to the alleyway. You arrive at the Alley just as the other members of the group arrive.
Compel: Winter Court, Court Investigator
You spend the morning sipping coffee, munching on a Danish, and listening to Executive Assistant DA Michael Cutter speak with Detectives Briscoe and Curtis, regarding the body of a brutally murdered 20 something male found in an alleyway off of Times Square. Your eavesdropping is interrupted by a blast of arctic air from a window that somehow comes open. As you pick up the papers that the blast blew off your desk, you notice a sealed envelope with your name written in flowing script, on it, sealed with wax. You know who this is from, and open the letter.
“Terri. You will meet me outside your office in 5 minutes.”
Sighing, you quickly grab your coat and head outside. You can’t miss her, standing at the Coffee Cart, smiling as she orders a cup of coffee, a large dog standing beside her, leashed. Her red hair flows down freely, over an expensive looking white fur coat, which covers an expensive pants suit, blue diamonds on her ears and in a bracelet on her wrists. She turns as you approach.
“Ah, child. So good of you to come so swiftly.”, she takes your left arm in hers, the leash on her other, and you, her, and the dog, walk down the street.
“I require your services yet again child. One in this City has called in a favor. A favor I had long thought would never be called in as she was imprisoned…well, never mind. I am to repay this favor, by finding who killed someone important to this person, and punish them for this killing. "she smiles. “And you, child, are to be my means of carrying out this repayment. Mortal affairs, even those of Merlin’s Apprentices, are so…strange sometimes. La…that is why I conceived you after all, is it not? You will do this task for me.”
After speaking with Lea, you return to your office. You use your position in the DA’s Office to access the Initial Police Report of the murder, and after reviewing it, head out to the alleyway. You arrive at the Alley just as the other members of the group arrive.
Compel: Everyone Comes to the Flame (of Knowledge)
You have only just arrived at The Flame of Knowledge, when you hear the phone ringing. It is still 2 hours before you open. You arrived to finish reading a new book on the Olympians you had received, and are a bit disappointed it will be interrupted, as you answer the phone.
“V.S.?”, you easily recognize the lilting European accented voice of Veronika Blake. You hope she doesn’t have another demon she needs you to imprison, the last one was messy enough. “I need your help and assistance. You remember David? Balthazar’s apprentice? The Man who freed me and helped destroy Morganna?,” she pauses, “Well, someone has murdered him. I have my suspicions as to whom, but because of those very suspicions, I cannot look into his death myself. I need you to do so for me. I need you to find who killed him, and why, and more importantly, what happened to Merlin’s Ring. According to the police, no jewelry was found on his body. I can give you the address of where his body was found. That might be the best place to start looking”
“That is terrible, " you respond, “He was a nice kid. Are you sure it was him and not someone or something that looks like him? Are you okay? I know that you and Balthazar were close to him. Becky is going to be devastated. Who do you think did this and why? Can that entity use the ring?” you ask.
“I have a few suspicions. Cannot discuss them now until I trace down some leads and see what comes of them. I’m alright, though I wish Balthazar were here. I know Becky was informed, she is the one who called me. Poor girl. The two of them were engaged. As for the ring, it contains all of Merlin’s power within it, the power that was passed to David. I do not know if anyone else could use it, but think its best if such power were located, don’t you?” she responds
“Yes, Veronika. I’ll do what I can to find David’s killer and locate his ring. Do you need anything else?”
“No…I’ll be fine. Thank you for offering.” she answers.
After speaking with Veronika, you call your assistant so they know they will be on their own today, grab your coat, lock up, and head out to the alleyway. You arrive at the Alley just as the other members of the group arrive.
To Episode 1 Session 1