Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Session 2

Dresden Files Accelerated: Hollywoodland Session 2 Write-up

Played Friday, April 14th, 2017

Dramatis Personae
  • Father Darren O'Connell, Catholic priest and holy sword bearer (played by C)
  • Daniel Ehrlichmann, hot-shot reporter/wereleopard (played by F)
  • Sammy Wesson, Clued-in Mortal/Changeling (played by R)
  • Raymond Sanders, monster hunter/Changeling (played by D, not present)
  • Ted Summers aka The Dazzling Dante, White Court wizard (played by S, not present)
  • Lawrence, a fence on First Street, deceased
  • Five animated corpses
  • Donny Torrez, a street kid contact of Darren's, now on the straight-and-narrow
  • Persephone
  • Some Unseelie goons

Laurence the fence is shown locking up his shop and walking towards Mick's with a jaunty air. He lights a smoke and a passerby asks for a light himself. As he lights the stranger's cigarette, three shots ring out and Laurence's cigarette falls from his mouth, he drops the lighter and looks down at blood rapidly spreading across his shirt. 

The stranger steps back in shock and turns to watch a car speed away, as Laurence stumbles into Mick's and falls dead at Darren, Sammy and Daniel's feet.

Darren starts giving him Last Rites as Daniel rifles through his pockets and Sammy runs out the door but doesn't see anything.

Police sirens are rapidly approaching, so Sammy goes back inside. Mikhail calmly says that no one saw nothing and asks the bar occupants, none of whom volunteer any info. Mikhail suggests that they move on before the police get there.

Daniel takes the keys and the betting slips but leaves the wallet and they pay for their drinks (with a hefty tip) and Mikhail points them to the back door.
They reach the back door right as the police come in the front, and make their escape into the back alley. A few blocks down is Laurence's shop, so they hoof it down there to break in before the cops get there.

They look onto the street and see that there is a police-and-bar-patron brawl going on at Micks, with more police in paddy-wagons showing up to break it up, so they know they won't get disturbed breaking into Laurence's.

The shop is called "Laurence's on First, a boutique". They go around the back and Daniel uses the keys to get in. Daniel leads the way in and Sammy follows. Darren immediately smells blood and lots of it but Daniel and Sammy walk into a pool of it and get blood drips on them.

They immediately step back and see that there are five bodies hanging from the ceiling, dripping blood into a pool on the floor.

Darren sees that the bodies were cut with precision to let out as much blood as possible and that they died around the same time as Laurence. 

Sammy figures out that this was part of a ritual called a Bloodmark Tracking Spell (Aspect with 1 free invoke) that requires 5 to 12 people to do. 

Darren recalls that Laurence had his own Bloodmark ("Laurence's Bloodmark" Aspect with 1 free invoke) which he saw while performing Last Rites. Daniel finds the shops account books and grabs them while Sammy uses his Unseelie Magic to follow up the evil ritual with another to track the 5 to 12 people with the Bloodmark ("Tracking the Trackers" Aspect with 1 free invoke).

Then the dead bodies start moving. The corpses animate, which Sammy later reveals was the end result to the ritual normally but may have been brought earlier by his spell. Daniel and Sammy start to leave but Darren feels compelled ("Mission from God" Mantle condition) to end these undead and free their spirits and bring stop this evil.

He draws Durandal and uses the holy sword to bless the corpses, causing them to finally rest in peace. The heroes realize that they need to find more clues about the kids involved with fencing goods with Laurence.

Darren knows a former street kid named Donny who might be able to help. He's working at a nearby theatre, the Bijou, and sweeps up after the late show.

They head over to the Bijou and watch the late movie, with Donny getting them into the projector booth for some privacy. Daniel goes over the books and figures out the simple code for the real account book that covers the criminal side of the business. In addition to a list of customers ("Laurence's List of Customers and Buyers" Aspect with 1 free compel), he discovers that both Vaughn Owen and Persephone are in the book and tells the others about Vaughn but not about Persephone (Trouble "Sucker for a pretty face" compel).

Sammy notices some Unseelie goons watching the movie and they are actually watching him. His use of magic attracted unwanted attention (Trouble "Debts to the Unseelie Court" compel).

Darren is stressed due to the death, undead and pool of blood so is out of sorts and doesn't enjoy the film (Trouble "Sleepless nights and nightmares" compel).

When the movie is over, they get a chance to talk with Donny as he sweeps up. They ask Donny about the kids and he tells them about the Princes, what he knows. 

He knows that most people call them "The Princes" or "The Princes of Tower Street" but they don't hang out near Tower Street, so he knows that is fake. He knows that Eddie and Dicky are brothers (Eddie is 12 and Dicky is 9), and that the "old man" that they claim run the gang is a fake, he doesn't exist, it's Eddie and Dicky that are in charge. 

He was there when the Princes met up with a rival gang and recalls that Eddie said specifically that they were "The Princes in the Tower" but everyone thought the tower meant Tower Street. He knows that they have safe-houses all over the city in their gang members' homes but that Eddie and Dicky live in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills and they speak with a posh English accent.

He is evasive when Sammy asks if Eddie and Dicky have killed anyone but he does say that both Eddie and Dicky are creepy, that they don't act like 12 and 9 year olds. Darren describes the ghostly kid he and Daniel saw to Donny (without the ghostly details) and Donny confirms that was Eddie.

Daniel goes to the lobby and, although it is late, calls Persephone to discuss an in-person meeting. She picks up and is delighted to hear from him but can't meet tonight as she has dinner guests over. Daniel hears someone on the line say "help me" which he takes to be from a radio program or maybe Persephone is watching a Warner Brothers movie. They arrange to meet the next morning.

Sammy goes out to the lobby and hears someone calling for help on the phone line as Daniel finishes up his call with Persephone.

Sammy is nervous about the Unseelie goons. The theatre manager is cleaning the concession stand bar and tells him that his friends are waiting for him outside. Sammy offers him 5 dollars for the back way and the manager shakes him down for 5 more before pointing him to the exit in the movie theatre. Sammy beats feet and escapes.

Darren and Daniel step outside and encounter the Unseelie goons. The goons ask them to remind Sammy that he has debts and She's going to collect. Daniel insults one of the goons and the other pulls his pal away, saying they'll meet again.

The session ends with Darren and Daniel standing outside the dark theatre in the early morning with more questions than answers.

Who is using Blood magic to track and what are they tracking, the film? How many are there, with Laurence dead, there could be 4 to 11 more out there. What is it about the Princes? How do they figure into this? The body count has risen to 6 in such a short time and it seems more death is on the horizon......

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