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Ethereal

WoD: 13 Nights in Pleasant Glen

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"Well, who would have guessed? Perhaps my old lucky coin might work as a touch piece as well. Perhaps I should go get it from my room when I get back, just in case. Now, I guess I'll go take a look around at Asean relics before I head back. Perhaps there are some interesting artifacts there as well."

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Very hungry." I agreed, "I'll have your best pie; whatever is most popular around here." Might as well try whatever the locals are into while on vacation. The nagging hunger here is annoying, I wonder if the food is just that good or whether there's something about the environment here. In fact, maybe I'm just dehydrated, one can feel as if they're hungry when dehydrated. "And a bottle of water, if you have that." I added.


 

 

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Jaegar

"You're not fooling me, thug! I come in to find my restaurant in a mess, your female accomplice breaking into my office and you manhandling old Jhui! Get out before I clobber you!"

 

[Well, at least he's talking now and not swinging that hunk of metal at you. It seems that you'll have to resort to either intimidation, empathy, persuasion or subterfuge. Decide on what you'll do or say to him and make the appropriate roll.]

 

Marissa

The door itself has a rectangular slit of glass. Peering through it, you can see that Biggerson's moved a rather heavy-looking potted plant to jam the door with. Perhaps he has underestimated your strength. You might try bashing against the door time and time again to edge it open slowly.

 

Alternatively, you might smash the glass, and reach through it with an arm to grab the plant and tip it sideways. Common sense tells you that you'll likely cut yourself quite badly this way though.

 

Your investigation reveals that there's a loose panel on the ceiling of the room. By standing on the table, you might be able to hoist yourself through the panel and access the rest of the restaurant through the ducts. One thing that you're certain though is that it'll likely be very, very dark and claustrophobic in there. Not to mention dusty.

 

Stevens

'Asean relics', or rather, 'Asian relics' is a gallery that is twice the size of the previous room you had visited and houses several ancient-looking suits of armor and oriental weapons. Unlike in the Talisman room, sunlight does not reach this room. Instead, harsh, red spotlights create a menacing atmosphere that contrasted with the shadows of the unlit areas.

 

You sense multiple latent energies in this room, and decide that it wouldn't be wise to touch anything in here. You do, however, pick up the New England Society for Supernatural Research text that you spot near the entrance to browse through. 

 

You briefly notice mention of the Hyaku-monogatari, a Japanese game of 100 ghost stories that are told while extinguishing one of 100 lit candles after each story.

 

There is also an illustration of the I-Ching, and you notice that the Chinese markings are clearly similar to the yellow talisman Jiri held. Your interest piqued, you read the section in detail and learn that the I-Ching not only predicts the future, but also has an addition occult power as an agent of exorcism as well. 

 

Before you can read further, you hear someone speak behind you.

 

"Ah, a fellow fan of the occult."

 

You whip around and see a middle-aged man smiling at you. Something tells you that this is Mr Warrens, although he seems to be in better health here than Lora had suggested.

 

"What do you think about the decor of this room? I was the one who wanted it to be set up this way. So that it's reminiscent of the Chinese diyu or the Japanese yomi. Lora found it quite unnerving, to tell the truth. But like I tell her, 'unnerving' is probably an understatement for the underworld, considering that even demons try to escape from there!"

 

He smiles at you weakly, but sobered almost immediately.

 

"Demons, however, are not our concern today. Ghosts are. We have an epidemic. Someone disturbed an important ritual last night, and kept them from eating their-"

 

There is a deafening crash behind you and you jump. A helmet has fallen off its stand and is spinning erratically on the floor. When you turn back to face Mr Warrens, you find that he has mysteriously vanished. Odd.

 

You decide that you've seen enough. It's time to leave this place.

 

Jiri

"One of Malcolm's Special, coming up! Won't you make that two? The big man must eat more! Else he'll be hungry again reeeeeeeally soon!" 

 

She giggled at some hidden humor as she hands you not one, but two of the pies in a small paper bag and takes your money. There's a spot of red left on your hand where her hand touches during the transaction. Is it… blood?

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"I-it'll be dusty indeed," I said, agreeing with nobody in particular. I looked down at my hands, then looked up at the dark abyss again. Then I went back to the door.

 

I wondered how thin the glass was. Perhaps, perhaps there was a way. I grabbed the English-Chinese Dictionary and tried hurling it against the glass, making sure to stand some distance away. Would the glass break from this impact?

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Marissa

Your aim is true and the paperback dictionary sails through the air swiftly to strike the glass at an impossibly precise angle… only to create a dull thud as it flaps and flails frantically to the ground. You recall that to break an item, you need to strike at it with an material of higher toughness than it.

 

You spot a rather heavy-looking ceramic ashtray on the desk. There is also plastic ring-files in the file cabinet. Or perhaps that metal bar that was used to lock the file cabinet might do the trick?

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Picking up a pan and slamming it on the counter to shut him up, I glared angrily. "Listen buddy, I don't know what you think is happening, but you're not listening to a fucking word I'm saying. Now pipe down and listen."

 

Intimidation + Strength

http://sheetgen.dalines.net/wiki/WikiDiceRoller?hash=34951f5d

2 Successes

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Jaegar

[biggerson's roll to resist intimidation: Stamina 3 + Resolve 3

Result: 0 successes]

 

Biggerson's anger abated into wariness. He lowered the fire extinguisher slightly and struggled to keep Jhui propped.

 

"Oh yeah? You have one minute to explain yourself."

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In a fit of embarrassment (fortunately nobody was watching!) I replaced the dictionary with the ashtray and repeated my action.

 

[any dice rolls?]

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"The doors were open, we assumed you were open. When it looked the way it did we thought it would be best to go look around to see if there was a break-in or something and we split up. I found the old man here and he stopped breathing when I checked him so I was resuscitating him when you came in thinking I was roughing him up. I dunno what the little girl was doing, but that's my case. So let's just all calm down alright?" I put the pan down onto the table, simply holding my hands up a little. "Alright?"

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Jaegar

"Arrrr, if you say so. I'll know once I've had a moment to check your story with Jhui. For now, go retrieve your lady friend in my- blimey!"

 

A loud crash of glass is heard from the hallway, interrupting Biggerson mid-speech.

 

[You should do as he says and check on Marissa.]

 

Marissa

You've done it! Freeing yourself now is a simple matter of reaching through the crack and pushing the plant sideways without getting yourself cut. Then, you can check on Biggerson and Jaegar. 

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I gingerly slipped my hand through the crack in the glass and pushed the plant away, quite a challenging feat with one hand. It was with some determination that I managed it and walked out of the room, feeling refreshed at the fresh air once again. I quickly walked in the direction Biggerson had gone, half hoping to find a washroom on the way.

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"Ghosts, you say? My attention was piqued when Mr Warrens mentioned the term. However, strangely enough, even though he seemed like he was in a good mood to talk, he vanished a moment after my sight was diverted at a fallen helmet. Where did he go? Was he a ghost as well? Perhaps I should ask Miss Warrens about him.

 

I made my way out of the museum, looking for Miss Warrens at the same time as I hoped to ask her about her husband. If she's really hiding something about him, it would possibly shed some light on this whole bizarre matter."

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"Oi, Mari. You alright?" I make my way out of the kitchen, still a little wary of Biggerson, whose name really does suit him now that I look at him more. 

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Well, there went any hope of staying undercover. I smiled nervously at Jaeger and wondered if I should ask what was going on. Mr Biggerson was looking rather friendly -- I had expected to see the two men fighting -- so I hoped my appearance had not spoiled any mutual camaraderie or trust that Jaeger had fostered. I looked uncomfortably at the man who seemed to be dead. I didn't want to be an accomplice to homicide.

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I head outside and check the pies before I eat them. If the insides seem weird I'll go elsewhere, otherwise I just eat them. I suppose once I'm finished I'll go for a walk and explore the town.

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Marissa

Roll for Dexterity + Stamina to avoid cutting your hand on the glass. Minimum of 1 success required. Upon failure, you cut your hand badly on the shards of broken glass (1 Lethal damage). There's a -2 penalty to your dice roll due to the narrow width of the slit.

 

Steven

Lora emerges from her room as you pass by it. You notice that her eyes are moist and rimmed with red, as if she'd been crying.

 

"Oh, you're still around. I thought that I heard you two leave earlier, but I must have been mistaken… or was that only your companion? I'm afraid I have to ask you to leave immediately. My husband… he's just passed away. I've notified Dr Brundle and Mr Mort. They're on their way here now, and I've preparations to make for tonight. Please leave me be."

 

Jiri

The pies are stuffed with some kind of minced meat. The type of meat isn't clear to you based on sight and smell alone. Sensing no harm from it, you take a bite and is instantly amazed by how delicious it is. It's rather familiar too, hm...

 

[Reflexive roll of Intelligence + Composure with -1 penalty for the memory recall.]

 

You think that this meat has the same flavor as what you had at Biggerson's Restaurant yesterday. You're not totally certain of this, but the next time you dine at Biggerson's, you should be able to tell for sure.

 

You decide to stick to the western side on town to avoid straying too far into unfamiliar territory. Murky clouds have gathered ominously overhead, and the sky has grown much darker.

 

There are a few places that you might visit, based on what you've come across so far: the Clock Tower Mansion, the Carmody Cathedral, the Dungeon Bar,

 

Marissa, Jaegar

"Alright, woman, let's hear what you were doing in my office," Biggerson demanded as he tends to Jhui, who is awake now but still groggy. 

 

1pm

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[i forgot about the -2 penalty but er can I just count the first 2 dice then? XD

 

1 Success: http://sheetgen.dalines.net/wiki/WikiDiceRoller?hash=0b6c0eb8]

 

Oh, the fellow was still alive. I heaved a sigh of relief and instinctively headed over to the sink, then stopped myself as I was about to turn on the tap.

 

"Well," I said uncertainly, not sure what excuse Jaeger had given, "it really looked like a burglary, you know, because you didn't clean up and just left the mess all around. And we could get in so easily, but there was nobody around. So we split up to investigate and possibly find people who may need help. The office had so many things, you can't get a good view of it from outside, so I went in to take a closer look, see if anyone's trapped there or something."

 

[Fast-Talk: Manipulation + Persuasion contested roll

Roll result: 3 Successes

http://sheetgen.dalines.net/wiki/WikiDiceRoller?hash=b2be1ab2]

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Marissa, Jaegar

[Resist Fast-Talk: Composure + Subterfuge roll

Roll Result: 1 success]

 

Biggerson snorts dismissively and says, "Hmph, if you say so."

 

By this time, Jhui has recovered well enough to talk. With Biggerson acting as a slow, but reliable, translator, both of you listen in intently as Jhui speaks animatedly. He makes alternately threatening and panicky gestures. This can't be good.

 

"Eh, so this old geezer is saying that last night... some dumb idiot ate the food that was supposed to be offered to the… ancestors? Ancestors' spirits. Some kind of nightly ritual, Jhui's said all these before. What? Guy needs to speak more slowy... Ehhh, he says that they're… what? 'Vengeful ghosts', he says, of those that died in Pleasant Glen ever since… the 1800s. So, there'll be some kind of rampage tonight. Stuff about the descendants of this town being punished. Poppycock, if you ask me."

 

Jhui grips the hem of Biggerson's shirt urgently, and utters a smattering of words in English,"I exorcism! But need… protection! Get protection!"

 

Biggerson looks at you two skeptically,"Well, that's enough for me. I have to clean up the restaurant and start cooking. Look, my staff's here already."

 

He leaves you two with Jhui, who clutches at Marissa beseechingly.

 

"Exorcism… must! Angry… at children! All suffer!"

 

The three of you leave the kitchen and sit at a table even as Biggerson and his staff - two lanky, bored-looking teenagers - busy themselves about the restaurant.

 

With the aid of the English-Chinese dictionary which you borrow with Biggerson's gruff permission ("You searched my drawers? Who were you hoping to find? A pixie?"), you learn that Jhui is a descendent of a group of Chinese prospectors that had settled in Pleasant Glen in the early 1800s to seek gold. When they arrived in the town, they brought along with them their religion and beliefs about ancestor worship.

 

By the 1950s, the Chinese enclave had been established in the town and the descendants of those early prospectors had become relatively affluent. This generation's religious faith, however, had been significantly eroded by this point and they've stopped worshipping their ancestors and making offerings to them.  This culminated in a particular July when the angered ancestors, who were unable to pay for their passage in Hell, entered the realm of humans and possessed all firstborn sons. They then drove the sons to kill their parents for failing to teach them to respect their ancestors and religion.

 

The only parent they spared was Jhui's great-grandfather, who was a devout and the only one who still observed the seventh month by that time. The ancestors had warned him to ensure that they were fed every night and the seventh month observed henceforth, or there will be another massacre again. And that is what Jhui's family line has been dutifully doing ever since, up until last night.

 

The exorcism is a specific rite that Jhui's father had learned from a traveling monk who had passed through the town three decades ago and sympathized with the town's plight. It supposedly summons the guardians of Hell to restrain errant spirits who were causing trouble in the mortal realm.

 

"I… do it here… tonight! But they… will interfere! They… scared of... 牛头马é¢! Protect me!"

 

It is now 2PM. There are 5 hours left before night falls. You will have to find ways to best protect Jhui and yourselves by that time.

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"Need a protector, huh? I can offer my services. As for the rest of my group, I don't know about their...prowess in dealing with people who would interfere with things, but I'm a professional gunman. If you'll excuse me, I'll go get my equipment." I was honestly interested in the plight of this geezer. I may be a more...dexterous murderer to some people, but I'm at least honest about what I'm good at. I'll leave it to the rest of em to figure out the spiritual side of this shit, for now, it's time for "The Hunter" to hunt.

 

"Oi, Mari, you gonna come with me and find the quack-detective and his majesty?" I laughed a little as I stood up and bowed my head to the old man a little. I respect people's culture, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let innocents die because of my inactivity. Oh shit, I need another lollipop. Now's as good a time as any.

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I yelped and leaped to the side as Jhui tried to clutch at me. It wasn't a very nice thing to do to someone who had just fainted, but the idea of him lying on the kitchen floor for ages, and then trying to touch me, was a little too much to bear.

 

Also, something Biggerson said was nagging at me.

 

"Poppycock?" I said to him. "Who says this kind of thing in real life? Are you British, by any chance?"

 

"Oi, Mari, you gonna come with me and find the quack-detective and his majesty?"

 

"Oh yes, sure, coming!" I replied. "That Professor Uetz might know something about ancestor worship and spiritual protection. At the very least, he can look it up."

 

I followed Jaeger out, hoping Steven and Uetz would be easy to find.

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"Let's go back to the hotel first so I can get my equipment and see if the two are there. If they aren't, I'm sure the front desk knows where they headed."

 

I sighed. I could probably use the professor, but the detective so far has proven to be more of a comedy routine than anything else I've seen out of him.

 

"Oi...why did you come here again? Did you really just come for vacation, or perhaps...something else that you feel might've...called you here? I may just be goin' on off the top of my fuckin' head, but...I dunno, you can probably ignore me."

 

I pulled out my bag of lollipops and offered the bag to her. "It's clean, so you can take one if you like."

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I decide to check out the Clock Tower Mansion for potential inspiration for my own (surely inevitable) future mansion.

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Marissa, Jaegar, Jiri

The streets of Pleasant Glen are as gloomy and deserted as ever. The two of you start on your way back towards the hotel, and encounter a rather distracted Jiri along the way.

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"Hey, isn't that Jiri? I'd recognise that tall figure anywhere," I remarked to Jaeger. We went up to him and Jaeger and I took turns relating the incident of Jhui to him.

 

"You should help us protect Jhui for tonight! You're hulking enough that no demons will dare to cross you. The clock tower mansion can wait," I said.

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"Indeed, I do intend to depart for my lunch shortly, Miss Warrens. Before I leave, however, is something happening tonight? My friends were assaulted by spirits last night, and I'm concerned that something similar might happen to them tonight."

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