Good intentions have their own Price (IC writeup of the 7th Seattle Demon the Fallen session)

Three demons, an abusive housewife and a confused young woman walk into a diner, sounds like a joke doesn’t it? Sometimes I wonder whether God made the world as a joke, if he did then I hope it looks funnier from the outside than it does when you’re living it.
Helen was obviously confused, hell she’d just been pursued by killers and had been rescued by demons who’d ferried her away in a ghostly train; I did my best to explain that we were kin to the tribal spirit known as Fallen Eagle and that we were trying to help her people, but that we needed to know what evidence her father had possessed. She said that it had been an old Salem newspaper showing an unreported meeting between Stevens and the Duwarmish prior the Treaty of Point Elliot where he’d promised to respect their claims, now we all now that didn’t happen, the Duwarmish got screwed and had been struggling to fight back ever since. She told us the newspaper was in a safe in her fathers fallout shelter; leaving the diner and moving to a place where we wouldn’t be observed, Nardy produced the bent biscuit tin that held the Chariot of the Dead and with a hiss of otherworldy smoke we soon found ourselves racing through the night sky towards Noah’s house.
Now we might not always be subtle, but you can’t just go flying into the middle of a town with your ghost train, besides it was getting light so it dropped us off on the outskirts in someone’s garden, we slipped around the side of the building and Frank tried to use his know how to steal a mercedes, I think that recent events must be wearing on him because he set off the alarm and then in his frustration ripped it out before hotwiring the car. Good enough.
As we sped towards Noah’s the radio bought us the news that race riots had broken out in Seattle and that the streets were teeming with rioter, looting was widespread and the police were out in force; this did not bode well.
Screeching into the street we quickly located where the fallout shelter was, hell, Frank had lived next to Noah for years and it turned out the fallout shelter was next to some berry bush that he was particularly fond of; the safe inside quickly yielded to Frank’s tender ministrations and I pocketed the plastic sealed newspaper, there were also loads of other cuttings about people disppearing covering a number of years and a map with lots of points of it, shrugging I also pocketed some of them thinking that if we got caught I could hide the real newspaper and palm off our opponents with the other clippings.
We needed to get the paper carbon dated and identified, a quick tap on my smartphone told me that Seattle-U had the facilities, upon arrival after fighting our way through the streets the academics seemed flustered and unwilling to move our project to the head of the queue, but I can be quite persuasive when I want to be and they were soon taking a small sample of the paper.
Now all we need to do was get the story out on air and the truth would be out there for all to see.
Like I said, pride goes before a fall.
“Might I have a word Mr Price” said a voice as we ran past my office, I turned and saw Mr Christmas standing there a look somewhere between worry and smugness lining his eminently smackable face.
“Frank, get Helen to the booth and get her on air” I shouted, “I’ll deal with this. Okay Christmas, let’s talk.”
A few moments later I was joining Frank in the booth and starting the show, introducing Helen Siall.
“You may recall that recently we were due to have a local man Noah Siall on the show to talk about the plight of the Duwarmish people, unfortunately he passed away, and now we have his daughter Helen joining us,” I waited for Helen to introduce herself and then turned off the microphones.
“I’m sorry Helen, you’ll hate me for this, but at least you’ll be alive to hate me – I did this for you,” she looked confused as I finished speaking and turned back on the mic.
“Unfortunately, as a journalist you have to go where the story takes you, even if it’s not a place where you want to go; recent evidence has come into my possession that connection Noah Siall with the disappearances of numerous people during his long life, evidence discovered in a fallout bunker that Mr Siall hid in his garden. When this broadcast has finished I intend to turn this evidence over to the police.”
Helen’s eyes had widened and a look of fury come across her face, she stormed out as the vulture-like paparazzi had already begun to gather, all I could hear was the sound of my career tumbling in ruins around me – the evidence that I had was circumstantial at best, but it would bury the story about the Duwarmish in scandal for years.
Frank looked like he was about ready to pitch a fit as I stepped out of the booth, he stammered “But we were going to… all that… Max, what the…?” 
I just shook may head and though back to my conversation with Christmas:

“I know that we will never be friends, there is too much spilt blood between us, but I appeal to you to do what is right, I have killed people to hide this secret, but I have made sure to kill only those necessary. If you bring Fallen Eagle into the light then it’s anger will be terrible and many people will die over a patch of land, Helen will be among them, how many more have to die over an old grudge?”

I walked outside to find that the crowds had departed, I could hear the police getting closer, for a brief moment I looked at the newspaper that could see the Duwarmish realise their dream and heard a voice echo in my head ‘how many more people must die?” I grimaced and felt the anger of my situation, of the trap that my good intentions had lead me into, the paper smouldered and burst into flames, falling to the floor as so much ash, along with all my hopes and dreams for helping the Duwarmish; all sacrificed for the life of one person, I hoped in my heart it had been worth it.
Frank appeared, apparently he’d caught up with Christmas and had been offered a well paid job at Heartstream, I nodded numbly and said that he should take it; all I could see was the burning remnants of my careers and my hopes falling around me, a gray wisp of ash dropped from my hand, danced briefly in the wind like a dimmed star falling, and was gone. 

The Price of Innocence (IC writeup of the 6th Seattle Demon the Fallen session)

After trekking for a number of hours we finally came across sign of civilisation, the black iron line of a railway stretching across the otherwise barren landscape and in the distance the soft chuffing of an approaching train that squealed to close ready to take on cargo; grabbing what we could we dived onboard one of the cars, I have to admit that, had we been in other circumstances, I might have laughed at the ‘american dream’ unfolding in front of us, but after our time in the wilderness I was in no mood for it.
We had decided to seek out Helen Siall and see if we could find out what the information was that her late father had possessed, that he was so certain would see the Duwarmish claim on downtime Seattle ratified; we knew where she was, now we just had to get there.
There was a bump as the heaving ponderous bulk of Frank scrabbled into the car, plopping down next to his wife; as the train started to pull off, oblivious to our presence, Pauline looked over at Frank and said the words I know he’d been dreading hearing, “I think it’s about time you levelled with me Frank, what the hell is going on?”
Frank began to get fluster and blabber something, stammering and falling over his words, I couldn’t help but smile, Frank had once been an angel, like all of us Fallen, striding across creation, and then a demon brooding beneath the soul of the world; in a way he still was, but he was also so very human, I think that might be the greatest gift and also the biggest curse that humanity has given us. I began to talk about angels and spirits, hoping that Frank could get himself together.
Whilst he started going through his explanation, allowing his form to ripple slightly and show some of his angellic glory, I turned my attention to where we were going, after all a man deserves some privacy in a delicate moment like this. I could hear Pauline talking about her dream of two beings dancing in the grass, but my ears really pricked up when she mentioned a meteor and one of the figures being drawn to it, over the course of the next few minutes she talked about successive meteor strikes, seperated by many years, all in the same spot. Is it possible that she was talking about the Fallen Eagle’s lost partner and that somehow the black rock was a trap for our kind? If so how was Pauline connected to it?
Nardy also mentioned that Stevens had met one of our kind before and that he was one of the people from Pauline’s dream, he had apparently come into possession of a means of conveyance called ‘The Chariot of the Dead’ presumably some sort of Slayer artifact from the time before.
Frank had finished his explanation and Pauline had turned an ashen grey as her mind struggled to process everything he’d told her; I told Frank to take care of her, the train was pulling to a stop and we needed to get some supplies. Jumping down from the train into the shitty little town I quickly went to a store, but realised that everything was priced in Canadian dollars, luckily I had my American Express card and about maxed it out buying food, water and some warmer clothes.
When I got back Frank looked a bit flustered, apparently he’d been trying to get water from the rail tower and had got his foot caught in the track, it had only been thanks to his powers that he’d escaped before another train hit him; guess we know why Pauline was stressing about him going near the railways now don’t we?
A few moments later a scream echoed through the cabin as Pauline sat bolt upright, after she calmed down she said that she had a terrible dream, there were other men after Helen Siall and they were going to kill her at the university near the clock tower; in Pauline’s dream we had gone their and attempted to confront them physically, she said that i’d turned into a horned horror (my stomach turned as I recognised the physical manifestation of what I had been in the abyss), Frank had died being hit by a subway train and I had died with my hands locked around the throats of one of the killers.
As our train reached it’s destination I finally got a signal on my mobile, it seemed from Pauline’s dream that the physical confrontation was a one way ticket back to the abyss, but there were other ways to achieve our aims, I tapped in 911.
“Hello… police… I’m at the university… i’ve just seen two men with guns headed across the campus, they said that they were going to kill someone Helen Siall at noon near the clock tower”
I hung up before they could ask any further questions and then I followed the others towards the campus grounds, but things didn’t pan out exactly as in the dream, the police were already there alerted by my call and I could see Helen about to enter the nearby subway, two suspicious looking figures broke from the crowd and began to pursue her, firearms bulging conspicuously beneath their coats. By the time we got there the train had already left, “Damn it, we’re too late” I shouted
“We’re not too late yet” said Nardy pulling a battered old biscuit tin from her rucksack, she opened it and a thick cloud of smoke coalesced into the outline of a spectral coach driven by an expressionless cadavar.
“The Chariot of the Dead, you found it” I started, but any further questions were cut off as she gestured for us to get onboard and the spectral coach set off at full gallop in pursuit of the subway train.
Drawing near, Frank reached across the gap between the two vehicles, his fingers brushing the metal of the door, I felt a spark of electricity as his powers forced them open and we jumped inside, the chariot dispersing behind us. Finally, hear in a train surrounding by the minds of mortals, I was in my element, spotting the killers (and recognising one as the demon who had killed Noah) I reached out with my soul, forcing power into my words as I gestured at the killers
“They’ve got guns, they’re trying to kill that woman WE MUST STOP THEM.
The coach exploded into a near riot as my power raced through the minds of the people onboard, amplifying the people’s natural desire to help the victim and their indignation towards the killer; one of them was pulled down by the baying mob (humanity at it’s finest as the weight of simple people pulled down a demonically enhanced murderer) but the other advanced on Helen Siall who was backing herself into a corner. I attempted to sway him with my voice, but it was clear that his master had proved him against such attempts as he drew a gun and pointed it at Helen, reaching down inside myself I felt an echo of the bile & hatred that had engulfed with within the abyss and a part of my soul darkened once more as I spat an acidic ball of hate at the murder, he screamed as it hit his flesh and hissed.
“We’re here to save you” I said, reached out and taking Helen’s hand as the mob surged passed me and we headed for the door where a reformed Chariot (now in the form of a steam locomotive) waited for us; Frank was holding the other killer to the floor trying to prevent him drawing a sword made of the strange meteor metal, I could almost feel it’s hatred for our kind.
“Get on, i’m right behind you!” shouted Frank, punching the guy attempting to draw his sword.
The giant malefactor hurled himself across the gap between the train and the Chariot, I grabbed him and pulled him aboard as we came out of the tunnel; seeing him onboard Nardy made a gesture and the train soared into the air carrying us away from danger.
I couldn’t help but feel proud of what we’d achieved, but what it is humans say about pride…?

Paying for the Past (IC writeup of the 5th Seattle Demon the Fallen session)

As Nardy spoke her voice seemed to fill the cabin of the old truck, as though her word transported us back through time and we actually witnessed what she saw:

It was the 1860s, the frontier times and a small expeditionary force sent by Brigadier General and (former Governor) Issac Stevens made it’s way through Alaska to a remote location rumoured to have been supplied from his dealings with Red Skins. The Force, led by Captain Ronald Rayner was supported by Issac’s own Negro Freeman, Henry Christmas and a small academic and Prospectors corp (the United States Army Corps of Engineers) Amidst the 60 odd men  were two brothers, Willard McCabe, the elder and Academic geologist and prospector, the other, the younger, Douglas McCabe, enlisted man and Corporal; together, they had travelled for months up into the North western mountains and into Alaska.

Winter was drawing in as the party moved through the coniferous forests and into the rocky crags of a small valley lead by their Sergeant, a gruff New Yorker called Raynor, food was becoming scarce as the group reached the valley and game seemed unusually scarce in the area; eventually they set up camp near a stream and Douglas began to oversee the setting up off watches and posting guards around the area so that the scientists and geologists could do whatever it was that they did in relative safety. Henry Christmas with pride in his voice lead the group over a rise in the valley and smiled as the ground suddenly plunged away into a huge crater with a tiny stream winding through it, this was what they had come to find, he beamed and in a wood-smoked voice said “There’s a prominent vein of silver runs through their i’ll warrant and we’re gonna tap it.”

Later whilst patrolling the area (after all there were rumours of wolves and bears in the area), Douglas came across what appeared to be two strange obelisks jutting from the ground near a rock face, the obelisks were adorned with strange writing and the rockface itself had a crack or cavern penetrating deep inside it, the smell of rotten meat wafted out of the dark entryway. Running back to fetch Mr Christmas and his fellow soldiers Douglas pointed out that there were a number of wolf tracks in the area; as Christmas sketched the obelisk Willard moving into the cavern and began exploring it whilst the soldiers remained outside on guard. Inside he found the crumbling remnants of tribal wall paintings that seemed to show strange giants with lines beaming from them receiving worship from human tribes; when he reported this Christmas implied that it should remain a secret between them and that, in exchange for his cooperation, Willard would receive an extra share in his pay packet.

Whilst Christmas left to collect some more gear Willard carried on his explorations and was astounded to discover, after scraping aside some of the dust and grime coating the floor that the cavernous corridor burrowed into the rockface seemed to be made from a single piece of smooth silver alloy; his eyes lighting up with thoughts of profit and discovery he smudged the dirt and soil back over it and did not mention it to Christmas upon his return.

Outside, one of the soldier Rollins was complaining that the place gave him the creeps, Douglas agreed and then, as the curried bean rations began to take their toll, grabbed a shovel and made his way to the makeshift toilet area; it was only after he had sat down that he noticed the strange absence of normal animal and forest noises. Crossing himself, Douglas finished his business quickly and returned to camp.

Two days passed in the blink of an eye.

Willard managed to clear a caved-in portion of the cavern and revealed more of the tribal painting, he also discovered a huge door that appeared to have been crafted from metal and be worked by some form of cog and gear mechanism; Christmas had directed the soldiers to begin erecting more permanent structures in the area, but again reminded Willard that they should keep the contents of the cave secret, implying that what lay beyond the door was not for mortal minds to comprehend.

The following day there was a wolf attack on a hunting party by no casualties were sustained.

Unable to contain his curiosity any longer Willard called for his brother and showed the bewildered soldier into the silver floored cavern, advising him that the two of them could make a fortune if they handled the matter right; a little shell-shocked and bewildered Douglas agreed and returned to his patrol duties. Dying to see what lay behind the door, Willard discovered a series of five glyphs that seemed to act as a sort of control panel, theorising that they may represent the four elements plus some unknown fifth substance he pressed them and was rewarded with the clanking of the cogs and the door grinding open. 

Outside one of the other prospectors working in the crater shouted in delight, he’d discovered a small ball of a strange opalescent black metal, but the excitement was dampened when a wolf howl sounded nearby putting all the soldiers on alert, however, there was no sign of the animal (presumably the guns and shouts from the soldiers had scared it away).

Back in the cavern Willard moved through the door, something lay in the dust on the ground, it appeared to be a suit of old cloth armour, crumbling and falling apart with age.

Later that evening Douglas was on patrol when he came across the body of Rollins lying dead on the outskirts of the camp, he shouted to raise the alarm and the body was taken away as the camp went on high alert, although Rollins bore no visible injuries.

Christmas meanwhile had discovered that Willard had opened the door and, having seen what was inside, said that they may require some additional help, Willard recommended his brother, saying that they could rely on his discretion, Christmas called one of his men to fetch Douglas. When the two brothers were both in the cavern Christmas began to speak:

“Gentleman we have a situation, this place was revealed to General Stevens and it contains a power that could re-write the history books.”

He went on to talk about how a race of beings from the heavens had built this place, educating early man and bringing him technology beyond that of simple savages; Christmas explained that he was building a permanent outpost here and that he wanted the two brothers to help guard and protect this place. Continuing he described a secret organisation of men who helped protect humanity against the things that lurked in the darkness, apologising that he must leave the camp soon and report to his superiors he handed a ring bearing a strange triangular sigil to Willard and said that he should show it should he every really be in trouble. Somewhat dumbfounded the two brothers agreed and wished Christmas a speedy and pleasant trip.

Christmas had been gone a few hours and two brothers still stood in the cavern, Willard showed Douglas the crumbling cloth armour and, as the soldier poked around in it he found a small pendant, without thinking he reached out a hand.

Instantly the two of the them collapsed in agony and experience a vision of a different place, the past of the creek when it had been little more than a field with the two obelisks standing in it, a huge silvered citadel rose above the field, storm rains lashed down and the skys were full of huge birds… no wait… they were people, people with wings. Balls of fire arched down from the sky setting fire to the grass and causing the tower to crumble, it began to sink into the ground as screams rent the air, twin jagged peaks of rock blossomed from the ground, dwarfing the now sunken citadel and forming the valley that the explorers would one day visit.

A ball of flame landed in the creek and then the years rolled passed like calendar pages and, sometime in the future, a man wearing hide armour walked along the creek, huge black wings grew from his back and he glanced down at a piece of black rock in a small crater; suddenly the sky was filled with a roaring sound and a huge fireball from the heavens struck the figure creating a giant crater and throwing the figure into the nearby rockface, dust and rubble rained down on the winged man, burying him. 

Waking from their shared vision the brothers agreed not to discuss it lest they were thought insane, but it quickly became obvious they were thinking the same thing; if they could find the rockface from their vision then perhaps the body of the winged man was still inside. They were easily able to locate it and, over the course of the next few days, they tried several times to excavate the rockface, but each time they were scolded and told to stick to their patch by Sergeant Raynor; eventually when Willard was making a solo attempt at further excavation he grew tired of Raynor’s constant interference and, thinking there was nothing left to lose, pulled out the ring given to him by Mr Christmas.

Nodding Raynor lead him to the cave and asked whether anyone else knew about what they had discovered, shaking his head Willard said that only him and his brother knew about it.

“Do you know that once the Fallen gave up everything they had to look after man?”

Willard barely had time to register what Raynor had said when he found a small pistol pointed at him, the gun barked twice and Willard felt his blood and breath fleeing from him as he collapsed to the floor.

“It’s nothing personal but he wants to remain hidden, you’re going to be a loyal servant for the angel of death, I envy you… don’t worry, your brother will join you shortly.” 

Over the next few days Douglas was sent out several times to hunt, each time bringing back precious supplies, although as the days went on they lost more and more hunters in the woods; there was not sign of Willard, but it was not unusual for him to lose himself in his studies and so Douglas thought little of it.
That was until he was dropping off a brace of connies in the cookhouse when he happened to glance in the offal and refuse bucket and saw, amongst some stomach churningly human looking pieces of bone, the shining ring with it’s triangular sigil; pocketing it, Douglas crept behind the cook, placing his pistol against the cook’s skull he spoke in an emotionless voice:

“Where has all this meat begin coming from?”

Cook began to babble that he’d just been following orders, but didn’t get halfway through his sentence before Douglas squeezed the trigger and blasting his head across the inside wall of the tent.

Drawn by the sound of the gunfire a crowd gather outside whilst inside Douglas hunkered down behind a wooden bench, lining his rifle up aimed at the door; outside Raynor shouted for the men to stay back and that he would deal with the matter personally. As he entered Douglas repeated the same question that he’d asked the cook, this time allowing his subject to make an excuse about Willard having died of natural causes and supplied being short before the gun barked out an answer.

Collapsing with blood pouring from his chest, Raynor laughed and began to babble that he could not be killed, he had been blessed; not really understanding anything other than this son of a bitch had killed his brother, Douglas placed his rifle against Raynor’s head and fired at point blank range.

Incredibly Raynor continued to laugh in a burbling voice saying “This vessel is already dead, but I have tasted the flesh, you cannot kill me.”

Douglas continued firing until he had emptied both his rifle and pistol of ammunition, but somehow Raynor still moved with unholy life, grabbing a cleaver and a lantern Douglas emptied the scant amount of oil onto Raynor’s body intending to burn the godless fiend but, realising their wasn’t enough oil, began pouring through the cook’s supplies. As he located a barrel of oil, he turned to see Raynor rise to his feet, wounds closing and bullets falling from his mending flesh.

“I whispered such sweet things to your brother as he died, such pretty words; you cannot burn me” began Raynor, but his sentence was choked off when Douglas hurled the cleaver through the air, it embedded itself in the creatures face; before Raynor could recover the soldier kicked the lid off the barrel, sending it rolling into Raynor, splattering a wide trail of oil across the tent.
As the Raynor-thing began to curse and scream, Douglas lit a handful of matches before shouting “All the pretty words in the world won’t save you from me!”
The burning matches tumbled through the air, striking the oil and the entire building burst into flames.

Gasping as Nardy finished the story that she had got firsthand from the spirit of the dead brothers we all looked around the inside of the cabin, she looked at us, “So what now?”

When Someone else Pays the Price (IC writeup of the 4th Seattle Demon the Fallen Game)

Disclaimer: Please note this is a fictitious in-character write-up of a roleplaying game session.
I was quite surprised when I turned up to work the next morning, my producer Sue looked flustered and the clip notes that had been prepared for the morning show were rushed and shoddy, nowhere near the standard that i’d come to expect for the team; it appeared that Eric my young student had failed to turn into work in the morning and so Sue’d had to rush the notes through herseld, he’d given no explanation and nor had she been able to raise him on the phone. I was forced to improvise a lot of the show but oddly enough it was one of the best i’ve done yet, perhaps i’ve been letting myself get a bit lazy and have just been coasting along? Maybe I need to knock things up a gear?
Worried about the uncharacteristic behaviour from Eric I grabbed his address from Sue and then spoke to Frank on the way out of the station, i’d managed to get him some small techy jobs around the station, nothing major but it beat the welfare cheque and would hopefully keep his wife off his back for a bit. Frank agreed to accompany me and, as we drove to the avenue where Eric lived, we chatted about his wife and how he was going to tell her about his change of circumstances; I warned him that it was going to put a major strain on his relationship but that he owed his wife the truth, hell, who was I to talk about relationships, i’d be married once and it had ended badly, she’d got the kid and i’d got death and then this.
Frank used his abilities to get us inside the appartment, place was a damn mess, looked like it had been turned over; when we eventually found Eric I felt a brief surge of an old and familiar rage as I looked down at the beaten body of the young man, an innocent whose only crime had been to try and assist me down at the radio station. He tried to speak through the pain of broken bones and bloody lips, I motioned for him not to speak and knelt down beside him
“Eric, don’t be afraid, I can heal you and make you well again – but before I can do that I need you to believe and to have faith in me, do you believe Eric?”
As I spoke a smouldering ember of my previous celestial majesty burned in my voice and I saw him nod slightly; words were not needed to seal the pact only his agreement, I took his face and returned a part of it to him, willing it to knit flesh and bone back together until (aside from some slight bruising) he was healed.
Now healed Eric was able to describe his attacker, it was clear from his description that our “friend” from Connor’s TV repair had paid him a visit; I cursed and felt the flames of my anger grow higher as I realised that all this had been my fault, I offered to ring the station and claim that Eric had been ill and couldn’t use the phone, Sue was also one of my thralls and would understand, it seemed the least I could do given the circumstances. Realising that our associated my be in danger Frank attempted to ring his wife but their was no answer; fearing the worst we leapt into our vehicles and sped down the highway to Frank’s house, the place seemed unusually clean but otherwise it all seemed fine, until I noticed the red light flashing on the answerphone and pressed the button.
“Frank… Frank… I don’t know where I am… Frank… please come and get me”
Whilst Frank raged at the message, venting his considerable (and understandable) anger on the nearby furniture, I went and checked the mail, the accumulated pile of bills and papers told me that she’d been taken in the last 12 hours. A small piece of yellow paper was sticking out of the mail pile and I felt my stomach lurch as I turned it over to reveal the inevitable Connor’s TV repair leaflet, the address of the warehouse that we had visited previously was circled in biro.
A few moments later we pulled into the warehouse, not in a mood to mess around Frank virtually smashed through the door but the place was empty, empty besides for a TV set with a camera attached to it; on the TV screen was a picture of Frank’s wife tied to a chair and gagged, but it was soon replaced by the smug face of a man I recognised, Leeroy Christmas.
“You’ve been interfering in my business, if you continue to do so there will be unfortunate consequences.”
Leeroy continued to outline how those we cared for would never be safe unless I let the matter with the Duwarmish tribe drop; for a moment I considered defying him, after all what was the life of one human compared to the glorious truth we could bring to their race, but then I remembered how before we had given up our world for little more than a handful of primitives who showed great promise and I knew then that I couldn’t let Pauline die for my ideal. I agreed to cease my interference in return for two things, Pauline’s safety and (thinking back to what Kulikov had told me) the location of the Russian bunker containing the serum that would enhance the human condition.
Christmas agreed and told us that his man was on the way and would take us to Pauline and that from there we would easily be able to locate the bunker; the TV went blank. Quickly I pulled out my mobile and told Nardy to meet us at the warehouse but to hold back a bit so she wasn’t seen by Christmas’ flunky, she agreed and said that she was on her way. Sure enough a few moments later the TV repair murderer walked in, unrolling a scroll covered in angelic script and placing it atop the doorway; I bit back my urge to deal with the murderer, both Frank and myself stepped through the doorway and instantly found ourselves plunging through blackness into freezing cold water.
Pulling ourselves out of the water it appeared that we had been transported to some sort of abandoned mineshaft, it didn’t take us long to locate Pauline who was tied up on a chair nearby; in response to her sobbing enquiries about events that had occurred Frank began to talk to her about the Fallen (it seemed he had decided to come clean) but he began to babble and tumble over his words, eventually resorting to transforming into his demonic form to illustrate the point. Although clearly terrified Pauline showed impressive strength of will in holding herself together at the sight and with my natural way with people I was able to calm her down.
A sudden voice sounded coming from near the top of the shaft, it appeared that Nardy had followed us through and had been able to climb out of the mine, she swiftly located an old winch and was able to get us all into the upper levels of the mine. The mine was filled with a jumble of old 1940s structures and stuff that looked like it had come straight out of an old west dime novel, but eventually we found what must one have been a foreman’s office and inside a map, showing that we were now apparently in a place called Aggie’s Creek in Alaska. Frank shouted that he had found six bullets, a rifle and a wolf pelt in one of the storage lockers and, not knowing what perils we might face, we decided to keep them with us.
Eventually finding our way out of the mine we were in what looked like a small, crumbling ghost town, Nardy seemed to recognise it and said that she believed it had been mentioned in her researches on Isaac Stevens; a large crater occupied the center of the desolate place but the sight that took our breath away as we moved closer was a perfectly preserved fossil of an eight foot tall man with huge wings extending from his back. Even at this distance I could feel an older and purer faith emanating from the corpse of the angel (for what else could it be?) and I snapped a few photos.
There were wolf howls in the distance, both Frank and myself glanced nervously at the treeline and then at the silver bullets.
Moving into the town further we discovere da small log cabin in an overgrown area, inside were some ancient supplies and a mattress, bones and skins littered the floor; lying on the table was a photo of a man that I recognised from the history books, Isaac Stevens. Nardy looked excited as she sensed death energy in the room and pulled back the sheets from the mattress to reveal a skeleton; she reached down to the bones and concentrated for a moment before looking at me with panic in her eyes.
“We need to go, now!”
“Why?” I asked
“This isn’t Stevens, i’ve spoken to the spirits here and the wolves are coming for us, they protect this place, we need to leave!”
Frank had discovered an old truck nearby and was working on gassing it up from the remnants of the old generators and repairing it as only he could when we heard numerous wolf howls amongst the trees and glowing eyes started to move in on our position; lifting Pauline and Nardy up onto the truck I handed Pauline the rifle and silver bullets telling her shoot anything that moved before leaping into the driving seat.
The howls were closer now.
I screamed for Frank to hurry up.
Furred shapes moved just beyond the treeline.
Frank swore as he dragged the remnants of the fuel to the car.
A huge wolf (bigger than any i’ve seen) emerged from the treeline.
There was a zinging sound as Pauline fired the rifle.
The wolf was joined by more and seeming to grow as it ran forwards, becoming something primeval and terrible, lashed out with it’s claws.
Then Frank leapt into the back of truck.
“GO GO GO!”
I floored the accelerator and the truck screeched into motion, blasting forward powered by the alchemy of the malefactor, we drove until we had left the wolves and the ghost town far behind, until the diesel ran dry and the engine died, coughing and spluttering.
After a few moments had passed and we dared to breathe again I looked over at Nardy.
“So what did you see?”

What is the Price of Truth? (IC writeup of the 2nd and 3rd sessions of Seattle Demon: the Fallen game)

Disclaimer: This is a fictional in-character write-up of an RPG session.
“Given how old I am you’d think that i’d not be surprised at how layers of lies and deceit always obscure the truth, building up as time passes; we learned that trick from you, oh and Angel can refuse to tell you the truth but they can’t disassemble and pretend one thing is another, well, we never used to be able to. The gravel crunched under the wheels of my car as myself and Nardy pulled up outside the offices of Connor’s Cable Company, Frank’s huge van accompanying us into the parking lot; in my mind I had already skipped ahead and started rehearsing the following mornings show, call it the perils of an over-active, high pressure career. The powers that be (I smirked at the thought) had handed down the word that due to my implying that the mayor’s office had deliberately obfuscated the facts surrounding Noah’s death I would have to make an on air apology and that the deputy mayor himself was coming down to be on the show and to receive the apology, good, right where I wanted him; being handed down orders from a higher authority and being expected to just follow them without asking didn’t sit well with me and I felt a faint stirring of the hatred that had kept me warm for all those millennium in the abyss. 
I was bought back to the present by the sound of Nardy and Frank discussing the best way to get through the door of the cable company; not having time to spare and eager to get to the truth of this mystery I ordered my large companion to put his shoulder against the door, he did so and we were rewarded with a satisfying thunk as the door came off it’s hinges. Looking around the dusty office it looked like the place old machinery and computers go to die, but it looked as though someone had knocked through from the TV repair office (obviously a front) into a building next door, they were a number of monogrammed pieces of what looked like geological equipment bearing the logo and name Geoserv. I retrieved a book of matches that had the name “The Devils Dice” on it (i’d heard of it, some kind of club down in the bay) and also a post-stik that had the name Coolikov written on it, I was remembering where i’d come across the name before (some king of arms dealer or shady underworld type) when Frank shouted across he’d found some sort of sample cabinet that held a number of dirt or rock samples in them. Glancing through them none of the samples held much interest for us until we reached a drawer labelled “Edenite”, as soon as it was open we could all feel that the substance inside was not for us, it’s very molecular structure screamed out a silent hatred for those escaped from the abyss.
We hastily shut the drawer containing the Edenite when we heard the sound of someone entering the building, a tall figure whom Frank identified as the TV repairman who had visited Noah entered; immediately Frank went on the offensive, shaking off his mortal form like a (large) garment, twisting upwards into a behemoth of metal and smoke, he slammed the person against the doorframe and we demanded answers. After the veiled threats i’d expect from a scared flunky we managed to get the names Q’why Temoch and Heartstream out of the man before cutting him loose (we’re not the cops after all), I had no idea what Temoch was (although it sounded Indian) a quick Google search on Heartsream though, using my smartphone, revealed that it was a medical company in downtown Seattle.
Next morning I settled into my comfortable chair whilst the deputy mayor sat opposite me, you didn’t have to be a demon to sense the righteousness that fairly rolled off the mayor’s deputy in waves; I smiled, the mayor was obviously a shrewed opponent, why risk exposing himself when a minion who sincerely believed in the rightness of his cause would be a far less bitter pill for the public to swallow? Deputy Daryl Smith looked at me with a contented smile on his face as I issued my public apology and read through the list of pre-prepared everything was going his way and any initial tension slowly drained from him, he’d already won after all; gradually so as not to draw any attention I gathered strands of my faded celestial power around me, pulling them to me, although weakened I was still Sitri the angel who made men and women weep, laugh and fall in love, in ages past my word had caused people to kill and to die for their love. Pushing my power towards Smith I felt my celestial will tighten around his and then asked my question, “Deputy, what do you think has prevented the Duwarmish tribe from regaining their rightful land.”
After the broadcast the deputy left without a word, he had waxed lyrical for a number of minutes about how the Mayor’s office used their knowledge of the legal system to frustrated the Duwarmish efforts and how they had been unjustly conned into signing the original treaty by Isaac Stevens that had been used to deny them their heritage; I smiled at the worried look on my producer’s face as I left the booth, with one fell swoop the Mayor’s deputy had caused more damage to his own office than I could have ever done. My producer Sue looked more than a little pale as she started to protest about me having gone of topic and having lead the Deputy along, I hushed her fears with some platitudes about all publicity being good, all that really mattered was that the truth was out there; Sue was a woman who had witnessed the faded glory of my celestial presence and her faith fed me, she had given me that most precious gift in return for my help in finding love, I knew she could be relied on to help should I need it.
Meeting up with Frank an hour a later we decided to visit a local Duwarmish Lodge and enquire about the name Qwhy Temoch, despite some initial resistance we were eventually directed to a man named old Bob Redwood, a retired tribal storyteller who drank most days in a bar called Jackie’s. Old Bob didn’t seem too keen to tell us the story of Qwhy Temoch, seemingly surprised that we even knew then name and advising us to refer to the tribal spirit by the name ‘Fallen Eagle’ lest it hear us, I raised an eyebrow at the mention of the word ‘fallen’ and the notion of someone or something hearing when it’s name was used; every syllable Old Bob muttered went further to confirming to me that Temoch was in fact a demon that had someone escaped from the Abyss many years before the rest of us. 
Bob was about to leave, I could feel the truth slipping away from us, and I thought of how we had been lied to in the first days, how if we had just asked for the truth so much pain might have been avoided, I felt the lie of Max’s, of my wife as she promised to love me forever and couldn’t allow this one truth to disappear from our grasp. Following Bob out of the bar I pulled back the veil of my mortal appearance and bright light burst from the radiance of my soul; it is an odd thing to show your celestial appearance, it feels both bad and good, kind of like pulling a bandage off a wound, it stings at first as you look and are reminded of the original injury but you know the only way for it to heal is to let the clean air get at it. Words poured forth from me, I spoke about the truth and how, if mankind could shed their lies and schemes that, although heaven was lost to us, we could make this earth into a new paradise and we could all dwell in it forever; reflected in Bob’s eyes as he fell to his knees I could see his thoughts reflected, he saw the glory that I was promising and I knew, in that moment, that he was a good man and would tell me what I wanted to know, as I let my glowing aura fade I reached out a hand towards him and raised him to his feet.
“Be not afraid.”
Bob told us the tale of the tribal spirit Qwhy Temoch who, with his mate, had lived in harmony with the Duwarmish tribe, dancing amongst the grasses with them (I thought back to an earlier dream/vision of Frank’s wife) and sharing much knowledge with them; then one day the Fallen Eagle’s mate disappeared and, despairing, he forsook the tribe, the land fell out of harmony and began to suffer. Much later a white man called Isaac Stevens came asking many questions about Temoch, but the tribe were unable to give him any information, having long fallen out of favour with the Fallen Eagle, in his rage Stevens set out to make the tribe pay, forcing them into all manner of unfavourable treaties and giving up their lands. A neighbouring southern tribe called the Squarmish believed that Stevens survived the battle where records say that he died and came back to these lands looking for the Fallen Eagle.
Thanking Old Bob for his assistance we left him as he headed back into the bar for a drink, a flickering reflection of the vision that he had seen still dancing in his eyes.
That only left the Devils Dice, the warehouse conversion club that was apparently owned by the infamous arms dealer “Papa” Coolikov; after gaining entry we circled the dancefloor for a bit before noticing a VIP area, I was forced to use my abilities on the bounce near the curtained off area to get him to tell us how we might gain admittance, turns out it just required the right application of funds (I might have known). Unfortunately it seems my use of my celestial powers tipped someone off inside, myself and Frank were quickly ushered through to a meeting with the club’s manager John Hamish (a known felon) who apparently ran the club for Coolikov; following instructions from his boss he had us taken to what he called the “Final Offer”, a battered old ocean liner moored at the docks, it seemed “Papa” Coolikov had a taste for the theatrical and we were quickly shown into a private office onboard the liner whose decorations reminding me of vaudeville.
We listened to the Coolikov, who projected a mercilessly business-like aura, as he unveiled a tale of soviet experimentation, a project to create a chemical weapon that would “enhance the human condition”; the project had been scrapped and Coolikov had been searching for it, without any success. A rival of his knew where to find the soviet research station, a demon named Leeroy Christmas (I recognised the name as belonging to man who had been attempting to borrow books on Duwarmish mythology at Seattle-U when this business first began), although Coolikov admitted to having supplied the knives that killed Noah Siall, if we located the soviet research station for him he offered to help us discover more of the truth.
I paused for a moment as I felt the disquieteningly familiar sensation of standing on a precipice looking down into an Abyss well up within me, then something of the proud Angel I had once been stirred within me, reminding me that there was no evil in the truth other than that lying in the hearts of men and angels.
Nodding, I once more stepped over the edge.

Mornings with Max Price (IC writeup of 1st Seattle Demon: the Fallen session)

Disclaimer: This is a fictional in-character write-up of an RPG game.

“We’d just wrapped up another show, people wouldn’t believe the amount of work and preparation that goes into producing and recording a two hour morning show, normally I wrapped up a show and was straight onto researching and reading up on the next subject for discussion; it was a lonely life with not much room for anything else, family or friends, i’d found this out the hard way when my wife of five years rang me to tell me that she couldn’t put up with this life anymore and that she was taking our daughter, I tried to reason with her but she told me that i’d left them both years ago, every since i’d starting working for the station. I’d been out drinking with a friend at the time, one of my rare breaks from the show, trying to comfort him and tell him that he didn’t have to worry about the big presentation he was giving (I was lying, anyone could see he was nervous as hell) when my wife rang me; an hour later I was convulsing in one of the lavatory cubicles as a noxious mixture of recreational drugs and alcohol killing my body as surely as the news of my wife’s departure had killed my heart.

Five minutes after that, I was Sitri, the once Demon Prince of hell, he who makes men love women and women love men; my friend was shaking me and asking me if I was alright.

Ten minutes later we were both leaving the club, my friend had seen a little of my new self (although it was a vague and flickering candle flame compared to the celestial being I had once been) and had the confidence that he needed to pull of his presentation and have his business partners hanging on his every word, and I had what I needed, his faith and belief.

The voice of Eric, a promising young gruaduate from Seattle-U who was getting some work experience on the station as a researcher, caused me to start out of my reverie, “Mr Price, Sue says that we’re running with the Duwarmish story tomorrow, i’ve taken the liberty of putting all the material I could pull from the net onto this CD and have catalogued it for you so that you can do some background research, but you’ll need some music for the segment as well.”

“One of the elders of the tribe, a Mr Noah has been booked to speak on the show, apparently he had some new evidence or information that’s gonna force the government to recognise the Duwarmish claim to their lands” continued Eric.

I smiled at Eric, the kid was a great researcher, young and full of enthusiasm for his job, “Eric, you’re an angel, i’ll get this read this evenign and will swing by Seattle-U to see if their library has anything on it; as for the music, tell you what, since you’ve been such a big help around here recently why don’t you put together a playlist i’ll have a look at it and make some selections, maybe even slip you a credit in the show, how’s that?”

Eric beamed at the thought of getting mentioned in the show, his role had been strictly backstage so far, but hell (yes I know that I use the word ‘hell’ a lot but once you’ve been to the Abyss, it’s like a part of you never leaves) he’d done such a good job it was about time he saw some sort of reward, and it cost me nothing to give him a hand. This was one of the things I like about being Max, he genuinely believed that mankind could be better than it was, they only needed to be told the whole truth and shown the way, and I was Max now, even since i’d climbed into this body and his hopes and dreams had baptised me, washing my soul clean of the hatred and anger that had engulfed me during my time in the Abyss.

An hour later I was sat in my small office reviewing the information that Eric had given me on the Duwarmish tribe, turns out that were a native-american indian tribe who historically had settled land now occupied by a huge chunk of downtown Seattle; despite the Duwarmish signing the Treaty of Point Elliot with the US Government in 1855 they were not recognised as an official tribe and it seemed as though they’d been pretty much conned out of their land, ever since then the leaders of the Duwarmish tribe had been looking to ratify their claim to their historical land. I flicked through a couple of pages on the document, seemed to me that the Duwarmish had been playing entirely by the rules, going through all the appropriate legal channels and such-like, but everytime their claim got to court it was thrown out because of some bullshit legalise or loophole; I could see a picture forming in my mind, it looked like someone with knowledge and influence within the political system of Seattle would find it very inconvenient if the Duwarmish were to reclaim their land and was doing their damndest to make sure that it didn’t happen.

I frowned and felt a vague flicker of the old anger and darkness, but it was quickly drowned in sadness, the world was so big, this country was so big and all humans were originally of one tribe (I should know), there should be room for all the tribes of man; I couldn’t remember what had happened to divide them, was it something they had done, or was it our defiance that caused them to still be punished to this day. Still, being Max had it’s advantages, using my renewed confidence and the social talents of Sitri I had been able to pull my show out of the tailspin that it was locked into and had made it popular enough that I had become something of a local celebratory, and more importantly I was able to tell people the truth; for a couple of hours while they were listening at home or in their car on the way to work, the human population of the city listened to me, it was just what Max (and Sitri) has always wanted.

Folding my laptop up and tucking it under my arm I waved goodbye to Eric and the show’s scheduler Sue before jumping in my car, i’d read on the CD that the original Treaty of Point Elliot was on display at Seattle-U, they also had a great library when it came to native mythology and history, seemed like a good opportunity to get some more research so I sped over there and quickly found myself looking at the historical document (behind glass of course). Whenever I go anywhere or look at anything, as well as taking notes, I like to snap a couple of photos with my smartphone, most of the time they don’t come out particularly well (hell, i’m no photographer) but they work as little memory aides; well I was taking some photos when a young girl (probably no more than 16 or 17) who was sat reading nearby snorted, telling me that I wouldn’t get any decent pictures because of the glass. I’d been going over my plan for the radio broadcast in my head and hadn’t noticed the young girl, she looked to be of native-american indian descent but her clothing was distinctly modern, goth I think they call it, all brooding blacks and velvet, that sort of thing; thanking her for the advice I explained that I was going to be doing a radio show with one of the tribal elder of the Duwarmish, at which point she began to reveal her thoughts that a conspiracy of freemasonic nature lurked behind the continuous denial of the Duwarmish claim to their lands. Now a couple of years ago Max probably would have scoffed at that notion, but I have to admit that it did seem odd how these legal loopholes always appeared to block their claims in court and, having been given a chance to walk amongst manking again, I had swore to myself that I would always take them seriously (no matter how ridiculous the claims sounded).

I was starting to sense a vague feeling of otherworldly energies at work in the library, seemingly centred around a waste paper bin but I didn’t want to alarm the young woman, so I attempted to make conversation about her theories and asked whether she had a personal interest in the Duwarmish; she revealed that she was searching for the grave of Isaac Stevens, the person originally responsible for compelling the american-indians to sign the Treaty of Point Elliot (along with some others), I had always wanted to help humanity I think, even at the start, so I offered to have some of my contacts look into it, the young woman seemed initially suspicious but relented and gave me a mobile phone number before leaving. Let alone I scooped up a couple of books on local mythology and history before wandering over to the waste paper bin, inside was a book, crumbling to dust as though the weight of hundreds of years bore down on it, but the binding looked new – perhaps the energy I had sensed had acted on this book, unfortunately the smallest disturbance caused it to collapse into illegible dust; I raised an eyebrow, was the girl like me? It seemed unlikely but possible, I resolved to try and keep her close.

Whilst standing at the checkout desk waiting for the librarian to scan my books out a tall dark skinned man came in asked for a book on Duwarmish mythology, it just so happened that it was the only copy in the library and I had just booked it out, I apologised to the man (who introduced himself as Mr Christmas) but said that I would have the book back tomorrow; he seemed to accept this and expressed a knowledge of the Duwarmish, thinking that he might be useful should we get any more shows out of this subject I gave the man a business card and bid him farewell.

Back in the office I was surprised to hear from Sue that apparently the news had just come in that our guest for tomorrow’s show Noah had been murdered at his home (a small village outside of Seattle proper); I didn’t want to cancel the show, after all the injustice done to the Duwarmish wasn’t any less due to this unfortunate event, and I felt sure that the tribal elder would want his people’s voice to be heard. Thinking that perhaps this show could be done as a memorial to the memory of Noah I decided that a bit of firsthand research was in order and, taking one of the vehicle from the car pool drove out to where my research notes indicated that Noah had lived; there seemed to be no-one about besides a couple of neighbours twitching their curtains and a very large man who was welding some sort of metal sculpture in his garage. I called out to the heavy-set man who told me that his name was Frank Chapelacre and that he’d been a neighbour and friend of Noah’s for years, I took the opportunity to get a bit of a feel for the deceased man’s character and was about to ask Frank whether or not he’d consider recording a few respectful sound-bites for us, giving us a bit of local interest in the matter, when we were interrupted by a young woman shouting at us. The woman was wearing baggy clothes and, it was soon revealed, was Frank’s wife, her breath smelled of cheap lager and her glazed expression screamed “alcoholic” at me in this same way her manner towards Frank shouted “abusive relationship”; it always struck home when I saw the gift that humanity had been given squandered in this way but I turned on the charm and (along with the promise of money to re-imburse Frank for his time) soon had her eating out of the palm of my hand.

Following Frank’s mention of a TV repairman from Connor’s Rentals and Repairs visited the house earlier and the police bafflement at Noah being found dead in his locked house with no sign of forced entry we decided to explore the house, with the profit-minded wife of Frank’s waiting on look-out outside; it was easy to force the door (after all the police had already broke it down once to get into the house), nothing seemed unusual at first besides for a pile of magazines that were extremely damp. A chalk outline of a body was drawn on the floor near to a crack telephone that appeared to have been pulled from the wall, we had a look at the new TV aerial and Frank seemed quite interested in it; as we continued to explore I started getting the feeling that some sort of celestial energy had been used and decided to explore the roof, I was surprised to find that the old aerial cable had been cut deliberately. Back inside I following the new cable and found a piece of silken fabric bearing celestial symbols tucked behind it, Frank touched parchment and I felt a flare of demonic energy from him, that explained the sensation that I had been feeling whilst exploring, after a few tense moments I decides to take the risk and asked Frank who he had been before he had been Frank, his real-name Gadriel was not familiar to me, but he seemed to have heard of Sitri.

Two (possibly more of us) getting drawn into this affair could not be coincidence but I had precious little time to ponder it before I got ready for my show; re-iterating my promise of monetary compensation to Frank’s wife and pressing some money into her hand (it was easier and quicker than a long conversation) myself and Frank sped back to Seattle-proper, given our ‘mutual interests’ I offered Frank my couch for the evening.”

Rocking out with Max Price (IC background to Seattle Demon: the Fallen game)

Disclaimer: Please not this is a fictional write-up of a fictional character’s background in an RPG game.
“It’s an odd thing to be two people, well, not really, you see there are these layers to existence that… oh never mind, I can see i’m getting ahead of myself, besides that bit’s not really important for now.
I don’t really remember a lot of what happened before I was Maximillian Price (or Max to go by the name I use on my early morning ready slot), I do remember one thing though, wherever we were it was dark and cold, colder than you can imagine; when poets and writers talk of hell they always picture it as lakes of fire and brimstone, it’s not like that. Hell is being left on your own in the dark with only your own thoughts and failures, your only company being others lost in their own darkness; like I said, it’s cold down there. I remember waiting for what seemed like forever, at first blaming Him, then blaming myself and finally blaming everyone else for my incarceration; it’s easy to start lying to yourself in the cold and black, what else can you do for comfort? Then one day there was a crack of light and I remember surging upwards, looking for something to anchor myself to, anything I could hold onto to prevent the abyss pulling me back.
Something called out to me, a soul leaving the mortal world, but one that spoke to me in particular; a human who genuinely believed that his kind could make the right choices and could do what was best if only they were told what was really going on, if only they had the right information, a man who had struggled to get as much of this information out to public as he could. As I moved closer the mortal soul opened up to me like a book, he has sacrificed everything, his wife, his health, all for his career and this idea that he could help make the world better; looking at this man some of my own darkness fell from me, I remembered a time when I had felt the same, when I believed that the world could be changed and I reached out towards the body, feeling myself sink into the strangely comforting flesh as the original occupant left for whatever waits beyond.
And then I was Maximillian Price, I must admit that the feeling was odd, although I wasn’t him, I sort of was; if you’ve ever been to an old house and it feels like some part of the owner is still there then you might have some idea of what i’m talking about, that’s what taking a body feels like to us. Although I had never known Max before his body became my vessel, all his memories and feelings mixed in with my own, his optimism and belief diluting my own bitterness and anger in a way that I would not have believed possible. For a brief moment I remembered the way I had been, a shining figure of light welcoming the dawn, and then the vision was gone and I felt a warm tear run down my cheek; for a few lingering minutes I was no longer Sitri, the demon prince who makes men and women lust and love, tearing their flesh in their desires, I was merely a man, and that was enough.
Someone was shaking me and shouting Max’s, no my, name and asking me if I was alright; I opened bloodshot eyes and immediately the input of my new sense rushed in and I smelled the vomit staining my shirt, I almost laughed (trust me, if you’ve been deprived of everything but anger and hate for untold years, anything is welcome). Slowly memory filled in the blanks, of course, the man shaking me was my friend, he was nervous about giving a best man speech and a big presentation, I could almost see the black thread of his nerves twisting inside him like a serpent; Max, no i’d, received a call during the evening, it has been my wife, she was leaving me and taking our daughter, said I spent all my time at the radio station and that I wasn’t the man i’d married.
I closed my eyes again, I could see the whirling tableaux of new memories in front of me, countless nights and days sacrificed to try and make something of the show (“Morning with Max Price” jingled a quick soundbite in my head), days spent researching for a couple of hours air time; I also saw what the show had meant to me, for those precious couple of hours, I could talk to people, tell them what was really going and part the veil of lies and misinformation that lay over the world like a shroud. The world was a divided hostile place, but it didn’t have to be, with the powers of Sitri, I could open people’s eyes, I could make them listen, if we could not regain heaven then this world could be a new heaven for all of us.

My friend was still talking, I opened my eyes and shakely rose to my feet, still unused to the heaviness of my own body; he was asking questions about my health. From my memories I had taken the news of my wife’s departure badly (although now it seemed just like one more sacrifice in the pursuit of a greater goal, what was one or two people’s lives against the salvation of an entire race?) and had overdone a number of recreational drugs; reaching back into my mind I could feel Max’s panic as the drugs mixed with the booze in his system, turning quickly to poison and snapping the thread that held his soul to his mortal body. But thanks to me, Max’s dream didn’t have to die, and I would start with my pride and joy, the radio show, I would make it into everything that i’d ever dreamed it would be – a vessel for the truth.

I smiled warmly and re-assured my friend that I was okay “Probably too much to drink, no need to worry, tell me are you still worried about that big presentation? I think that I might be able to help you with that, but i’m going to need something from you first.”

As we walked out of the bathroom I glanced at my reflection in the mirror and noticed that my once baby blue eyes were now a burnished red colour, there was a lot of work to do.”

Character generation: starting at the other end

I don’t know how you guys out there in internet-land prefer to generate characters for the various different RPGs that you play in, I suspect everyone has their preferred methods and ways of approaching this, whether it is banging all your stats down first or coming up with a personality and building the stats around; it only really occurred to me recently how easy it is to slip into one method of character creation because it is familiar and comfortable, but that trying something a bit different can be an interesting experiment.
So what made me think about this?

Well recently I had the good fortune to be invited to participate in a Demon the Fallen game being run by a friend of mine (anyone interesting in the gameline can find more here), the game is taking place in Seattle and we will be playing the roles of demonic essences freed from the abyss where they have been consigned (with some possible brief intermissions) since the Fall; now freed to return to earth, these monstrous demons protect themselves against the spiritual gravity of the abyss by anchoring their spirits into a vacated human body. Some of the demons find that remnants of the humans memories and personality remain, acting as a bulwark against all the years of hatred, giving them a second chance for redemption.
When it comes to character generation in the World of Darkness I generally start with a broad idea of the character’s personality, then I start working out the stats and refining the idea as I go, starting with their attributes, skills and finally moving onto the supernatural elements of the character (ie. what they have become) before rounding the character off with a few merits and flaws if I think that they are warranted. This is pretty much the standard order of things in the World of Darkness rulebooks and it’s how i’ve done most of my WoD characters in the past.
However this time, I still had an idea of what sort of character I wanted to play, since i’d played a physical character in the last Demon game that my friend Simon had run I wanted to do something different and had set my mind on a more social character; I had a vague idea that he’d be some sort of radio or talk-show presenter, possibly a cunning Devil or Defiler. Instead of starting with attributes and working my way through the sheet, this time it occurred to me that as someone with skills in networking and contacts throughout the business, I would instead start on my characters backgrounds (ie. resources, contacts, influence, etc) and build my character from the outside-in. I found that doing this still resulted in a very playable character at the end, but the mere act of approaching it slightly differently caused me to consider my choices more carefully rather than just banging a load of dots down.
So what did I end up with?

Before he became host to an infernal spirit Max Price was a struggling radio DJ, trying (and failing) to balance the demands of his career as he fought to keep his ailing show on the air and his wife and child. Things came to head when one night he was out with a friend, the friend was nervous because he had to give a best man speech and help organise the wedding and lacked the confidence to do the job justice; trying to be helpful Max had taken his friend out for a drink, they’d done some light recreational drugs (nothing too heavy), when Max received a phone call from his wife saying that she couldn’t take it any more, she had moved out and taken their daughter.
Despairing Max threw himself into the evening, consuming alcohol and drugs without thought or care for the toxic mixture brewing in his stomach; only an hour later as, shuddering, he vomited profusely into the latrine of a sleazy club did Max have time to regret his choices, and then only briefly as a darkness fell over his vision and his heart began to spasm. A few minutes later, She who draws shadows on men’s heart looked out from behind the now burnished red eyes of Max Price at the concerned face of his friend, willing the heart to beat anew; with a new confidence in his honeyed voiceMax said, “I think I know how to help you with your speech.”