Eye of Chaos: Saving the Universe by Committee
Now with more smirking!
. . . is this a kissing book?
A RolePlaying game run by StephGrush, using a heavily-modified version of Mage: The Ascension. Meets on Saturday evenings (or whenever the players can actually get together, due to certain schedule conflicts), in various dorm rooms, at Brighton Park, outside on the EastDormGrassyKnoll, in the West Virginia countryside, at a Platt table, over AIM, or whatever is remotely feasible at the time.
The campaign has its 2-year anniversary last February (2005)! (And to think our first combat was only last semester . . .)
- We've only had, what, two or three? Mostly the problems have been dealt with using stealth, research, and squirrels...
Update: As of 06/19/05, the campaign is not over. Yes, that's right, 4 of the 5 main players have graduated, and we're poised on the brink of our heroes' last climactic stand. I hear that AIM is looking really nice this time of year . . .
- And other ways to know you're truly addicted....
As the campaign is a story of discovery--only two of the original six characters began as mages, the other four oblivious to the existence of magic--this page refrains from mentioning any details about the characters that aren't party knowledge. Players are invited to add what information about their own characters that they wish.
The campaign web site can be found at http://www.willworker.net/~sithjawa/eyeofchaos/
In-Game Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2002
- The summary of events is so not caught up. Working on it...
- Wait . . . are we sure that it isn't Wednesday? I thought we spent all of Tuesday discussing the tower, calling Darethor, buying cell-phones, and the like.
- I thought it was Tuesday and we did that stuff on Monday after getting back Sunday night. Steeeeeph?
- Steph has been asked: it is, in fact, Wednesday. -Will
- EliBogart - plays Professor Meredith, teaching philosophy (primarily epistemology) at the University of Athens.
- ClayHambrick - plays Edward Reid, a grad student in late ninteenth-century occult literature. His background oddly resembles that of a Lovecraft protagonist. A Reid Turambar turun ambartanen.
- WillShipley - plays [Michael Rett], a swim coach at the University of Athens and sensei of the local dojo; also, Umi ga kureta Yume, the ancient immortal water dragon who shares his existence. It is safe to say that neither particularly understands how this is going to work long-term . . . only that the journey will be an interesting one.
- LoriThomas - plays [Professor Amundsen], a Textiles/Post-Apocalyptic Survival professor at the University of Athens. Usually quite mild, though Survival students would disagree.
- JulieWortman - plays [Cylene Richards], a frosh untimely ripped from the hopping Athens U. social scene to put her manipulation skills to practical use. Also, apparently, the chosen avatar of an extremely powerful but enigmatic elven mage. Yay?
- ReginaCarns - aka Joseph, a grad student convinced that the government is everywhere, out to get him. Carries firearms, to deal with aforementioned conspiracies. This is not good. "They" may have finally gotten him.
- PomonaSteve - plays [Dr. Evans], a liberally trained trauma surgeon. He teaches PALS/ACLS/Medic?-refresher/etc courses through the local hospital for EMS professionals, and can occasionally be persuaded to teach more basic first aid and CPR to reasonably bright students. Does not tolerate fools, but respects skilled, intelligent people. Left in a hurry to go somewhere with fewer fools. Sleeping better these days.
: Board Quote archive
Herein is contained the exploits of the party; the short version.
Fri, Sep 20 2002 - Wed, Oct 9 2002
Chapter 1, Part 1 (Summary)
- David Magus Knight gathers party to deal with stoners causing trouble before football game.
- Cylene is stalked by some wacko with red hair.
- Meredith gives many powerpoint presentations, sometimes aided by a koala-seraph-chair.
Chapter 1, Part 2 (Summary)
- Kramer, one of the stoners, goes into a coma. There are many hallucinations. Men in black come.
- There is an earthquake, transforming a warehouse into a portal to the ruins of the Silver City on the primal plane.
- Road gophers attack Rett and the sensei of the local dojo, freaking Rett out and killing the dojo master. Rett becomes the new dojo master. Oh, and there's a dagger.
- Reid recovers another dagger. It's a planar weapon.
- There is a spider-elf. Don't listen to it sing. Also, there is something called a General. It possesses Ambassadors. Eernt. The party avenges itself on the zombie elf who killed the dojo master.
- Party sneaks into Silver City, steals some artifacts, flees.
Chapter 2 (Summary)
- Party visits the Cult of the Serpent; Reid has his shoulder bitten and wins another planar weapon; Darathor of House Valorian doesn't like elves any more and definitely isn't one himself.
- Rett survives the Babylon Five Tribute
- Three squirrels, a skateboard, a pastede on crown, and a cat statue. Oh, and many explosives. And some planar weapons. That's how you save the world.
- A Champion of Reality shoots the remaining zombie elves on the Real Plane, but possibly gets his brain eernted in the process. Kramer wakes from bad dreams and decides he wants nothing more to do with magic.
Chapter 3 part 1 (Summary)
- Meredith's cat is kidnapped. In the ensuing drama, a man called the Kinslayer attacks the party, and they flee to the astral plane....
- ...Where they arrive in the kingdom of Xelatha, one of Meredith's contacts, who is being visited by the Emissary from Mount Reinat. Meredith recruits said Emissary as a guide.
- Many days of travel and intrigue later, the party arrives in the Elven Vale, where they are welcomed warmly... too warmly. They abandon their overly intelligence-minded hosts, House Thoril, for House Lorashi.
- Reid is addicted to necromantic dust, by the way.
- Nolorian of Lorashi exposes the Emissary as an ally of Nightmare. The party decides it's time to go into the Wastes.
Chapter 3 part 2 (Summary)
- The Vassen Wastes are scary.
- The search party is scattered but generally doing okay.
- The Second Ward turns out to be Meredith's cat.
- Reid frees Kaiel from the grip of a necromantic stasis brought on by a shadow-dragon's gaze.
- The party is kidnapped by shadow-dragons and brought to the Lord of Night's castle, where they see two members of the Hunting Party. They are not in good shape.
- The Lord of Night is less than happy to see Kaiel. Kaiel is put into solitary confinement; the rest of the party is thrown into a cell and tortured by the Lord of Night's advisor.
Chapter 3 part 3 (Summary)
- The Lord of Night asks the party to solve a moral dilemma. As a result, one potential hijacker loses his mind.
- By the way, Volen is sometimes seen without his cloak of shadows, and acts very different.
- The Lord of Night gives the party their weapons back, allowing them to kill Dr. Matison and escape. He is amused and not very concerned.
- Over the course of a few days, the Lord of Night grows less and less amused.
- The party convinces Volen to reveal himself and get them their stuff back. The Lord of Night is in the process of mindraping them all in retribution when he decides to take them to watch the Vale be destroyed instead.
- The party returns to the Vassen Wastes at the head of a Nightmare army.
- First Rett, then (I think) everyone except Reid begin praying to Night. The Lord of Night is headbroken. Volen returns.
- The party convinces Volen to sacrifice himself to save the Vale. The Nightmare portal is blocked. Reid is awesome.
- On the way back to the Vale, the party plus Nolorian are very nearly eaten by a Shadow-Dragon. Lorashi Himself appears to save his son.
- The Vale is, by the way, under attack by forces brought there by the Emissary.
- There's no place like home!
Chapter 4 [Shadows Within]
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
- Party finally returns to the Real Plane...on a dock in Monterey, wearing Elvish garb, at 2:30 am. Eep?
- Some investigation reveals the following: Amundsen and Meredith are crazy terrorists (or possibly high-level government agents), Reid is a loony cultist, Rett an even higher-level government agent, and Cylene an innocent hostage. The party wisely decides to go into hiding for the time being, and nominates Cylene for Public Face whenever it is they reappear.
- Meredith calls up an Illuminatus and everyone works on a (more) plausible story.
- Coach Rett goes for a walk; Amundsen, for a stalk. Rett gives confiding in her another go, with acceptable (but vaguely unsettling) results.
[Insert summary of recent events here, if I could remember what damn day it was in campaign or what happened in the intervening days. Crappity.]
- Some dude with a magical Aura of Eernt has taken over the dojo. Then Rett kicks his ass.
- Meredith's and Amundsen's jobs have been taken over by a Scary Guy.
- Reid and Cylene are contacted by the Guard of the Line, whoever that is.
- Party receives a rather hasty and ominous message from the Serpent. After making yet another road trip to Sacramento, they discover that the local chapter of the Cult of the Serpent has gone AWOL. Oops.
- Said ominous message included a mention of something called the "Peter Pan phenomenon". Further research shows that it involves a widespread magical contact leading to mass Awakenings...that can be carried by a radio signal. Hey, we know a radio guy!
- Party has a quick planar jaunt back to the Vale, is lauded as heroes, gets free stuff and booze, &c.
The Planar Jaunt, whenever that was
- The cat (remember him?) brings the party to the Vale. They are brought up to speed on the current political and military state of Dream.
- The zombified elves that the party recovered from Nightmare are put in stasis and entombed in a great ceremony.
- After lunch, House Vassen is reinstated with Kaiel as head in another great ceremony.
- The party receives goodies from all of the twelve Houses in -- you guessed it.
- Goodies include a metaphysical reference book for Meredith, spiffy darts for Amundsen, a battle staff for Rett, a new violin for Reid, some kinda amulet for Cylene, as well as some stuff for everyone to share. And booze.
- That night, everyone in the Vale gets a message from the Guard of the Line in a dream. It's all inspirational and stuff.
- Nolorian, Umi, Cylene, and Qualath assemble the next morning to fight the now-Shadowed Emissary. The communication stones they were planning on using as a connection to him are now seething with malevolent energy, so their original plan is scrapped. In the effort to destroy the stones, Nolorian expends most of his strength and Qualath is killed.
- A quick backup plan is made, and the three enter a mindscape created by the Emissary. Heated discussions of Astral politics occur (but, fortunately, no parallels to RoomDraw are drawn). Then there is fighting.
- Much back-and-forth between Shadowed!Emissary and the three. Misspellings and BawMahNowable lines abound. Eventually, the Shadow is purged from the Emissary's mind...and flees into Cylene's. This is speedily and forcefully Dealt With. However, the Emissary is now pretty much brain-dead and is being watched over by said sentient foxbear. Attempts to have it bring the Emissary to safety are met with confusion. Everyone kinda shrugs. Umi puts Nolorian down for a nap. Awwww.
- people should add more stuff
Sunday, November 3, 2002 (assuming I remember the dates right)
- Party returns to the Real that night.
Monday, November 4, 2002
- Professor Amundsen gets a panicked phone call from Coach Rett. He lets her know where his head's been for the last several hours; the results are less "unsettling" than "utterly terrifying."
- Magus is contacted and calls in a favor so that the party can get access to the Athens radio station. The party decides not to press their luck and have him also deliver them a pizza.
- A small-scale version of the Peter Pan phenomenon is attempted using the Athens University radio station. There is a decent response from the people in the near vicinity, as well as a fun conversation with a senile cat-lady mentalist. Still, it's clearly Not Enough.
- Also: Coach Rett shows up smashed (...of Valorian!), having sampled elvish booze to his extreme satisfaction. Amundsen is Concerned. She and Rett have Words. Rett stomps off. There is much confusion in the party, which Amundsen does her best not to allay.
- Cylene and Amundsen go out to a diner to discuss what's making Rett so angsty. They proceed to not say things at each other. A lot. In an unprecedented display of respect for the coach, Cylene suggests Amundsen let the poor man figure stuff out for himself. Amundsen, predictably, cannot leave well enough alone.
- Amundsen decides stalking Rett is a good idea. She only has to ignore the advice of 4ish astral beings, 2 party members, and gale-force winds to attempt this. Guess what she does? Attempts this. Maybe astral alcohol will help.
- In the midst of railing drunkenly at the sky, Michael Rett is contacted by an astoundingly unexpected ally, who defuses his angst in record time. He then makes his first acquaintance with a very old friend.
- Please note that "astoundingly unexpected ally" translates roughly to "Will's jaw disconnected from the rest of his skull."
Tuesday, November 5, 2002
- Everyone's favorite elven copy editor is contacted. He is asked about the dubious feasibility of getting simultaneous access to enough transmission towers to reach the entire world. His estimate? "I'll get back to you."
- Amundsen picks up some stuff from Radio Shack, and the party plays with whether or not a magic'd radio signal keeps its magicness after being passed through a series of relays. The answer: not so much. Looks like we'll need a whole bunch of mages manning said transmission towers in order to preserve the important part of the signal.
- Said magical personnel are acquired. Meredith definitely didn't not have nothing to do with not-this. Nor did his vast network of mage associates. Nope. Nothing to see here. Don't not move along.
- Darathor calls back. The ETA for a worldwide radio network has been somehow amended from "I'll get back to you" to "Tomorrow". He wonders what badasses the party has working for them. So does the party.
- They actually start doing stuff! Wait. By doing stuff maybe I mean editing ad copy. Yeah. How about that one instead.
- There is much wanking about the exact wording and intended audiences of the proposed radio messages. Philosophical discussions abound concerning, for example, whether mundane mortals should be directly told about the existence of magic at all. It would be more interesting if we weren't trying to finish the campaign, which is a bummer.
Wednesday, November 6, 2002
- Apparently, both the Kinslayer and Nuclear Columbine Man are on their way toward the party. Hooray!
- Rett has something to tell us. Ooh, shiny. That may come in handy.
- Meredith is reminded of the importance of a personal touch, and little courtesies like mints on the pillow and showing up to help when you call for a hit on someone. Well, not the mint. To the party's knowledge.
- Amundsen is impatient. There are weapons to purchase, radio towers to fortify and Illuminati to pester.
- The party learns that the bad guys are coming. The call is heard, "Let's split up!". Rett and the 3-person pirate radio crew ascend the tower. Amundsen, a machine gun, some explosives, a 5-gallon jug of water, and a pile of assorted firearms wait at the bottom.
- Trouble appears on the horizon. At least, a Champion of Reality, mysterious gentleman of foreboding and thought-to-be-destroyed Serpents' Haven, all covered in a crispity crunchity shell of Nightmare and Shadowy badness. Amundsen reasons with them. Read Snow Crash? That kind of Reason. Who'd have thought a Champion of Reality would ooze that much?
- Message transmission begins. Message transmission halted. Radio tower to astral, we've got a group of pissed off elves who'd like to "chat" about that whole destroying-of-their-city thing. Our pirate crew decide to do some home renovation.
- More trouble appears on more horizon. Mmm...shadow-drake. Rett assumes his true form. Now with more poetry. Now we have two dragons fighting, a radio crew building primal aquifers, oh, and the Kinslayer is hitting Amundsen with a sword of necromancy. Where'd they come from? Good question. More importantly, will more necromancy unnecromance something? Also, who wants to see Amundsen turn to the Shadow while she retains access to a giant pile of explosives at the bottom of a very tall radio tower containing the only known batch of mages that might be able to un-Shadow things? The answer appears to be "the DM". How comforting. Don't worry, a wrench is coming.
- State of the party as of the end of the visit to Clay's:
- Amundsen is on the ground outside the tower, fighting Greenfield and Kundare with a necromantic shoulder wound.
- Umi is fighting a shadow-drake in midair outside the tower.
- Cylene, Reid, and Meredith are in a mindlink with Lorashi, Volen(?!), and the Will of Koreth:
- In an attempt to appease the now-stranded elves living on the Real Plane, Lorashi is channeling huge amounts of magical energy from the Astral through Cylene, who is using it to revive the ruined White Plain. Presumably the broadcast can resume after this is fixed. We hope.
- Nice!Volen is shielding the people in the mindlink.
- Reid is converting the mental broadcast into a radio signal, while Meredith is acting as an anchor for the interplanar bridges. Since there's no broadcast at the moment, they can do other stuff right now as long as they stay in the link. "Other stuff" at the moment involves transporting a wrench down to Amundsen for her use. No, I don't know either.
- The eernted Champion and the remnants of the Sacramento Haven are still quite dead (except for Melody, who is unconscious).
- Helicopters are approaching. We don't know who's in them.
- Current state of the party as of 10pm EDT 6/26/05 (before main session):
- Amundsen is firing an AK-47 at the Kinslayer. She has yet to hit him.
- The Kinslayer is crashing helicopters. By looking at them funny.
- One helicopter, piloted by Dr. Evans (who doesn't so much know how), has snapped one guy wire for the transmission tower and is spiraling toward the ground.
- A second helicopter is headed directly for the Kinslayer.
- The Guard of the Line has been half-blinded by the Kinslayer's sword and undergoing psychic attack from the shadow-drake. He is being incorporated into a mindlink already containing the remainder of the party, the Will of Koreth, Lorashi, and Volen.
- Greenfield is unconscious and tied up, bleeding from a head wound.
- Cylene is simultaneously trying to help fend off the shadow-drake in mental combat, shield the whole party from Nightmare and Shadow, and come up with appropriate terms for a geas to bind pissed-off immortals from treating the Real Plane as a game preserve.
- And stuff. Cliffhanger much?
- During the final session...
- The Will of Koreth announces that Amundsen and Umi have to be included in the immortal-binding process. He also announces that Umi is dying. Um; that can't be good.
- Cylene (very carefully, in Umi's case) brings Amundsen and Umi into the mindlink. In the meantime, the Kinslayer dodges some more bullets and Reid performs some necromantic eye surgery.
- Meredith somehow causes the Kinslayer's sword to go away. The shadow-drake is brought to the brink of death as the Kinslayer takes cover under its wing. There is wank about who gets to kill it.
- Umi gets his very own shadow-drake. Unfortunately, it doesn't know anything situationally useful. A shame.
- The helicopter with Dr. Evans on it makes a decidedly graceless landing, taking out yet another guy wire. Ominous!
- Life and Death meet in the Guard of the Line. The shadow-drake dies. (Finally!) Reid can now use the necromantic Eernt caused by its death.
- The Kinslayer's uncanny good luck has apparently run out; he manipulates another helicopter in mid-air...just in time to get a bullet in the head from Amundsen. That takes care of everyone, right? Right?
- Everyone works to prevent the second (now pilotless) helicopter from hitting the tower. Amundsen does something to the guywires, saying it'll make them more stable. The helicopter's engine is cut, and it crashes far from the tower. Yay! The tower is kept extra-stable, and Umi thoughtfully prevents Greenfield from dying.
- So. Anyway. The geas! Amundsen makes it clear that she doesn't want Reality overly messed with. And lo, the wank is brung. Again. This time, the Will of Koreth is grumbling about having to hold all the immortals' minds. You can guess whether or not this speeds things up any. It certainly contributes to Will's nervous breakdown--all's fair, folks! I lived.
- After much wank (again), there is a geas: While you are present on the Real Plane, you will be hereby restricted: You will harm no mortal, nor through influence bring a mortal to harm. You will not reveal your nature as a magical creature to any mortal that does not know of the existence of magic or magical creatures. There is an exception to these terms: They do not apply to any who persecute you, who exploit you, or who have fallen under the the influence of the Shadow or some other destructive supernatural force. You will battle the Shadow, in all of its forms.
- Aaand finally, a quick transmission to the mortal mages: "Hey, there's a Shadow. It's bad. We should do something about that." And the radio crew prepares to come down from the tower.
- Amundson trys to kill everyone.
- Remember those guywires Amundsen helped fix? Well, now she can snap them by pointing at them! While 60% of the party is still in the elevator, no less!
- She gives an awesomely freaky speech to Rett about how she doesn't want to see the Real Plane messed with, either by the Shadow or by lots o' relatively benign magic all over the place. Yes, that includes the party. And her. A mind scan shows her to be 28% evil; the snark is beautiful and terrible to behold.
- Cylene ganks Amundsen's shield and causes her to pass out, not a freakin' moment too soon.
- There's some kinda shiny thing in the sky heading toward the party really fast...
- Meredith, Reid, and Cylene chug the Booze of Valorian, teleport out of the elevator car, and fall more-or-less gently into a nearby swamp...
- ...just in time for the radio tower to crash entirely.
- That shiny thing flying toward the party? Turns out it's a newly-awakened immortal: a dragon who spent the last 10 years as an airplane. No, really. (There is much OOC snark, and Steph comments that it's the most gruntled NPC in the campaign.)
- 60% of the party arrives from the swamp on dragonback.
- Hey, this dragon really wants to fight the Shadow on Amundsen! The geas is working already!
- Amundsen is very cranky at the dragon, just because it wants to follow her around invisibly until she's not Shadowed. Now she has a pet immortal who follows her everywhere and interferes with things. Sad Amundson.
- The party has a message from the Primal! Turns out they did in the last Realplanar representative of Avalon back when Amundsen was machine-gunning some Shadowed people. And now Avalon wants us to give 'em a replacement. Everyone sniffs at their sheer nerve, or something. Oh, except Meredith. He'll go for it.
- Reid has some extra necromancy to get rid of! He makes the Champion and Serpent corpses get up and do a little dance around Amundsen, then walk into the swamp. Unsettling!
- Amundsen lays some additional snark on Rett; Cylene and the dragon decide simultaneously that her Shadow-purging cannot wait.
- And then, there were epilogues.
- It's over!! (barring appendices, epilogues, ShadowStorms? lead-ins, and the inevitable DM-grilling chat.)
[the chronology may be pastede-on, especially for the last couple of days; feel free to edit and add stuff, please.]
To be Continued . . .
In conclusion, PomonaSteve really needs to get willworker.net back up. You should bug him about it. Yes, you!