Tuesday, 11 March 2014

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.