City of the Damned

City of the Damned, Session #1
People Are Strange When You're a Stranger

Session Recap

  • Kaylen (Aestu Es) and Damien (Core) enjoyed a meal and discussed one of Damien's clients and the strange symbol he had been drawing, an Atlantean rune representing the cycle of life and death.
  • Lux had been on the run for months and Sun had found her once again. She used the crowds of Bourbon street to hide and slipped into an old library across the street with Cerin (her wolf familiar).
  • Kaylen and Damien noticed Lux breaking into the library and investigated. Inside, they could not find the girl but stumbled upon Cerin trying to find a way out of the library. They backed off from the wolf and Lux came out of hiding.
  • While trying to gain Lux's trust, they are interrupted by a knock at the door to the library. Outside they found Mr. Gibson, a member of the Mysterium whom Kaylen recognized. He had been magically tracking Kaylen in order to deliver to her a package and an assignment. Completing his task, he left.
  • Kaylen convinced Lux to stay with her for the evening and Damien escorted the ladies to Kaylen's home in the French Quarter. The ladies got to know each other while Damien retreated to his own estate.
  • While researching, Damien is visited by a ghostly entity. He tried to examine the entity discreetly with his Mage Sight (dramatic failure) and the entity lashed out at him, knocking him across the room. Not wanting to risk another attack, Damien opted to speak with the ghost and she told him she had been sleeping and men had woken her up. She also informed Damien she was from Storyville (which Damien knew to be Iberville today).
  • Kaylen opened the package and found a meager amount of information about an abnormal number of bodies which had been discovered during demolition in Iberville, which was being rejuvenated by the city council. Mysterium had noted the mystery of the bodies and Kaylen had been selected to investigate.
  • The next day, Damien decided to disguise himself as a jester to hide his identity while he investigated the ghost, starting in St. Louis Cemetery #1. The ladies decided to do the same and they ran into each other at the entrance (although the ladies did not know the jester was Core/Damien).
  • Kaylen and Lux slipped away from the cemetery tour group after visiting Marie Laveau's tomb. Core tried to use a bit of magic to slow the tour group but failed and made Kaylen and Lux aware he was Awakened.

End of Session

City of the Damned, Session #2

So the fool has found the golden key
So it's waiting there for you and me
Just a fool, a street jester
The hero

"The Fool" by U2

Session Recap

  • Exploration of the cemetery continued until the troupe realized the construction was occurring west of the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Core, trying to maintain the facade of the Jester, tried an acrobatic leap over the west gate and failed spectacularly (dramatic failure). He then darted out the main entrance (only to come back over the wall and to leave again, causing the security guard and tour guide a great deal of confusion).
  • The cemetery was filled with ghosts (as expected) and occasionally one took notice of Lux but seemed to ignore the rest of the troupe. It grew angry and attacked her, forcing the troupe to drive it away.
  • Approaching the construction site, they found members of the New Orleans Police Department and forensics teams had closed off the site while they collected the bodies. Construction workers were gathered around a foreman who was telling them to go home until the cops were done with their work.
  • The troupe could see the recovered bodies were being transported a short distance to an unused section of Paul Piazza & Son Inc factory in the northeast corner of Iberville. Piazza & Son Inc. was a popular shrimping company but the economic recession had forced them to limit production, lay off a large part of their workforce, and close parts of their facility.
  • Needing more room to work, Core used a bit of magic to make the crowd feel uneasy and they began to disperse. Only a single police officer, one forensics team, and the foreman remained although he retreated to his work office trailer.
  • Taking a look at the bodies, Lux spotted a symbol which she did not recognize. The site was filled with ghosts which kept moaning about someone called the Slayer.
  • Kaylen realized ley lines were crisscrossing the site but it was hard to examine them from the ground so they found a nearby apartment building (one of the new ones being built by the construction company for the city) and examined it from above. From there, the troupe could see the ley lines crossed in such a way as to create a triangle and all of the bodies being dug up were located within that triangle.
  • They also spotted hundreds of ghosts milling in the area, also constrained within the triangle. Using their Mage Sight, they detected a powerful spell interlaced with the ley lines and she slowly began to pull apart the mystery of the spell. She eventually learned not only were the ghosts trapped within the barrier, but they were being used as an energy source, like a mana battery. Kaylen could not discern the purpose of the source of power being created, a storm was quickly approaching, and night would soon fall and Nox insisted on being indoors when the sun went down.
  • The troupe left and stopped at a coffee shop before retiring to Kaylen's home to continue their research.

End of Session

City of the Damned, Session #3

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter

"In The End" by Linkin Park

Session Recap

  • The group meets at Kaylen’s to discuss and research the symbol that was carved into the bodies at the work site.   Kaylen recognizes the symbol as the one Damien had shown her over dinner.  She recognizes the symbols for life and death but realizes the symbol is more than just those two Atlantean runes.  The limited resources in her home reveal nothing further.
  • Lux determines with her mage sight that the symbol represents the cycle of life, death and rebirth.  These symbols are carved into the collarbones of the dead bodies.    No one is sure what would invoke the power of the runes or what purpose they serve.
  • Late that night,  the storm subsides and Core, in full jester regalia,   departs before Kaylen offer other wise. As he returns home,  he sees a missing persons poster for Talia Campbell.  The girl in the poster bears a startling resemblance to Lux.
  • Damien/Core  goes home and settles for late night left overs.  As he checks his messages, he receives a number of panicked messages from Dr. Kanaga at the asylum about his patient, Jack Campbell.  The good doctor reports that Campbell is getting violent with the orderlies and screaming for Dr. Nocht.    Dr. Kanaga is requesting that Damien come down immediately and assess his patient so Campbell’s meds can be adjusted.   Damien  can hear his patient screaming in the background of their phone call.
  • Damien arrives at the asylum.   The amount of asylums for the insane have grown in the city in recent years.  Publicly funded asylums suffer more than most. The building itself should have been condemned years ago.   Damien is greeted at tattooed security guard,  Mike.   As soon as he arrives,  Dr. Kanaga greets him.
  • Dr. Kanaga indicates that issues with Campbell started yesterday morning screaming for Dr. Nocht.   As a safety precaution,  he has cleared out any surrounding patients and staff.
  • When Damien steps into Jack’s sell,  he sees that Campbell is wounded.  In his padded cell, Jack has managed to chew through the cell’s padded walls and pound his head against the exposed wall.   Damien is furious when he sees that Jack has managed to split his skull open and will require medical care once he is sedated.   Damien sends Kanaga to fetch orderlies to sedate and restrain his patient.
  • Finally, the screaming quiets.  Jack stares at Damien.  Damien casts read the depths to determine what is wrong with his patient.   Another force around Jack’s mind prevents Damien from examining  him further.  The spell fails and results in a paradox.  Damien releases the paradox. As he does violet lines shatter the reality around him before snapping back to the “normal” world.  He had drawn the attention of the Annunaki.
  • Soon enough the orderlies return with Dr. Kanaga.  As they sedate him, Jack Campbell begins to shout.  “Dr. Nocht! The Slayer! The Slayer.”   Early the next morning,  Damien, dressed as the Jester,   visits the asylum with the intention of cheering its occupants.  He then hears Campbell shouting about the Slayer once again and screaming for Dr. Nocht. 
  • Dressed as the Jester, he then proceeds to Kaylen’s residence to share what he learned.  
City of the Damned, Session #4

Smoke don't rise, fuel don't burn
Sun don't shine no more
Late one night, sorrow come round
Scratching at my door

Rattlin' Bones by Kasey Chambers

Session Recap

  • Kaylen’s day starts when a New Orleans Police Detective knocks on her door.   Detective Jim Sloan asks Kaylen if she noticed any unusual people in the area.  According to the detective, there have been reports of a rash of break-ins in the area.    At the same moment,  the Jester arrives at her door.     Suspicious,  Detective Sloan asks him for identification.   The Jester  shares this information  with the detective and, as he departs, the officer says “Have a nice day, Doctor.”  
  • The Jester reveals his true identity to the ladies.  Kaylen looks at Damien, tells him he’s shit and proceeds to go make breakfast for the group.   When Damien reveals his identity,  the bond between the three of them grows.
  • In the background of the morning discussion,  the morning news reports rising waters along the Mississippi,  citing heavy rains as a cause.   “Despite the weather,   festivities leading into the Carnival continue for the city.
  • Damien goes on to ask Lux if she knows the name Talia Campbell.   He goes on to explain that the reason he asked is due to his patient, Jack Campbell.    He tells the ladies of his experience with the man the night before.
  • Lux indicates in stories of the old vampires,  that one of the oldest and scariest of these vampires  is called the Slayer.  She insists that this is a fairytale.
  • Over breakfast,  Kaylen recognizes the name of Jack Campbell.  The man had a reputation among the occult community as a quack and among the magic community as a sleeper.   Rumor in the research community had it that he ran in disreputable circles, even among those who delved into the occult.   Jack Campbell had a fondness for vampire legend and lore.  He was known to accompany tours through the quarter fascinating tourists with his so-called expertise.  A year ago, the rumors about Jack Campbell stopped.
  • After breakfast, the power goes out.  Kaylen grabs a flashlight and heads into the basement to check the breakers. When she arrives,  she finds the breaker box open and her breakers deliberately turned.  Upstairs,  Damien and Lux here footsteps on the second floor of Kaylen’s home. Cerin informs the group that something dead is upstairs.   When Lux and Kaylen go upstairs, a creature known only to Lux as Beef,  greets them as he thumbs through Kaylen’s belongings.   “Hello Cherie, it is time to come home.”
  • Lux refuses and yells to the others that it is time to go.   Beef swings and punches at Lux.  To aid their escape, Kaylen attempts an invisibility spell, fails and suddenly everyone is surrounded by fairy fire.      Lux is able to negate the failed spell or all three of them.
  • Another creature shows up.   Both vampires want Lux.   Beef says they have been watching her for the last few days.  He says Moon is full and needs to feed.    After  taking claws to the chest,  Damien manages to cast isolation on Simon, the second creature, to confuse him.
  • During the scuffle, Beef manages to crash through one of Kaylen’s walls and a failed spell from Damien creates a localized earthquake that causes  additional damage to Kaylen’s home.    This infuriates her but she can do nothing about the damage until everyone is safe.
  • The trio manages to escape Kaylen’s home.  Damien suggests his residence on the opposite side of the Quarter as a place to hide.  All agree and take the back alleys to his home.  Once they arrive,  Kaylen treats Damien’s  stitches and bandages the good Doctor’s wounds.   While Kaylen is taking care of Damien,  Lux and Cerin try to figure out how the vampires got into Kaylen’s house.   She remembers that vampires have a skill called obfuscate that can hide their presences.
  • Kaylen’s cell begins to ring.  The caller is  Mr. Gibson from the Mysterium inquiring about her progress with her assignment.  He asks if she has a drawing of the symbol that was discovered.   Her contact urges her to turn in her reports and the drawings “within the next couple of days.”    Mr. Gibson also requests that she deliver this information in person.  Kaylen agrees to meet him within the next couple of days. 
  • The session ends with the trio holed up at Damien’s home trying to decide what to do next.
City of the Damned, Session #5

Dead men don't walk
They only decompose
When I count to three you close your eyes and keep 'em closed

Its nightmarish to think you might perish slowly fear it
Or pray to your chosen holy spirit

"Dead Men Don't Walk" by the Sebutones

  • Damien asks Lux if she recognizes the name Talia Campbell.  Lux indicates she does not and knows nothing about it.  When Damien mentions his patient, Jack Campbell,  Lux stares at him and says firmly. “I am doing anything to help that man.”  Lux explains that Jason Campbell is the reason her family is dead and the vampires are after her.
  • When pressed about staying with the group or continuing her journey alone,  Lux asks Cerin what he thinks.  The spectral wolf responds.  “We cannot run forever. We need a new pack to protect us.”     Lux shoots back.  “Your pack was so helpful.”   Cerin adds that he is not like his pack and she knows it.   With Cerin’s endorsement, Lux decides to stay with the group.
  • Suddenly, the air gets heavier and the ghost girl that visited Damien before reappears.  Lux greets the ghost and the ghost waves in return.  At this time, Damien explains his first encounter with the girl.  She chides him.  “You never did understand what I was trying to tell you.”  She turns her attention to Kaylen and Lux.  “They have us in a big building that smells like fish.”
  • The little girl goes on to inform them that she was original from Iberville and that she was taken by “people like you.”  She insists that the party left too soon to find what she was originally trying to tell the good doctor.  She tells them that the people in blue moved their bodies.  To clarify, she blows onto a window pane and draws the symbol for New Orleans civil employees.
  • Lux asks permission to use mage sight on the girl.  When the child agrees,  Lux focuses her active skill.  Atlantean runes spin around the girl and the group sees a circle identical to the rune of life, death, and rebirth.   Lux states they branded her.  Cerin adds that the magic would have been performed while she was still alive.
  • The girl died of exsanguination in 1915.  She remembers that there was a woman who drew the symbol on her chest and said she was The Slayer.  All the child remembers was that she was tired, went to sleep and never woke up.  Between the girl’s statements and the group’s knowledge of New Orleans, they deduce there is only one place left in Iberville “that smells like fish” and would be large enough to house that amount of bodies —  Paul Piazza & Son’s Inc.   
  • Before the trio sets out, Damien attempts to accelerate healing his wounds.   He causes a paradox but manages to absorb most of the damage.  He succeeds in the acceleration.
  • Using an imposter spell, Damien deceives the guards on the main door and the group is able to enter the warehouse.  He also manages to convince the cop assigned to the body bags that he needs a break. 
  • Hundreds of body bags litter that portion of the warehouse. Whatever mass grave the city dug up from Iberville was far from small. As the party investigates the bodies, they determine that each body had the same rune carved into them.  Lux is able to tell that the bodies were all drained of blood.  They leave the factory because the sun is going down.   This makes Lux want to be indoors and protected.
  • The party stops to pick up dinner on the way back to Damien’s and discuss the day’s events.    Chinese food is the order of the evening.  Once they return to Damien’s apartment,   Kaylen receives a text from Mr. Gibson expressing his concern.  The man stopped at her home to find the place in tatters.  The old man wished to verify that she was all right and demanded not only an immediate meeting but that Kaylen turn in any reports she had regarding her assignment from the Mysterium.
  • Kaylen agrees to meet Mr. Gibson at Bien Aliments in thirty minutes.   Damien, in an effort to help Lux understand, attempts to alter her features with magic.  Lux rebels and refuses.    Kaylen intercedes and explains to Damien that he should never use his power on another magic user against their will.   The team reaches an uneasy understanding and sets out to meet Mr. Gibson.
  •  After some banter with Gibson,  Kaylen surrenders her notes to the Mr. Gibson.  She deliberately leaves out any information about Lux and her vampire problem.     Her notes indicate their discovery of the run and its meaning as well as the symbols carved into the bodies.  She also excludes any information from her reports about the good doctor.  She does this in an effort to protect them both.  Neither one of her companions is aware of her deception as she wished to convince Gibson that they were not directly involved with both her research and her mission.
  • Gibson demands to know both her companions names and credentials.    Damien and Lux gave their names and nothing more.  Gibson reviewed Kaylen’s report and suggested they backtrack their research to 1915 and see if any major event occurred that would account for the mass grave and a number of bodies located in Iberville.   Gibson shafts Damien with the check and departs.  The trio leaves the restaurant and the old man to deal with the dine and dash next time he visits the restaurant.
  • The group begins to head for Damien’s apartment or someplace safe when Lux rounds on Kaylen and demands. “ You told them about us?!”

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