Monday, December 25, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Session 3

Dresden Files Accelerated: Hollywoodland Session 3 Write-up

Played Friday, May 12th, 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 N, not present)
  • Ted Summers aka The Dazzling Dante, White Court wizard (played by S, not present)
  • Maeve and entourage
  • Darlene Merrit, Daniel's nemesis
  • Some mobsters, dead and alive
  • George McJiminy, of the East Coast McJiminy's, getaway driver

Sammy snuck out of the back of the theatre and hot-footed away from those Unseelie goons. He went to Darren's church, figuring that would be the last place his pursuers would look.

As he crossed the threshold, he heard the clatter of hooves on the street behind him and knew he'd been found. Turning slowly, he saw Her astride a beautiful but slightly otherworldly horse, surrounded by an entourage of Fae, mounted on lesser but still beautiful and slightly otherworldly horses.

Banter was exchanged. She wanted what he was hunting, not for herself but for the betterment of everyone. It would go a long way to overcoming his debt to her (Compel Trouble: "His Father's Debts to be paid"). He promised either to bring it to her or to tell her where to get it, which was pretty foolish on his part as that put him indebted to her to at least find it. His escape clause of "where to get it" might save his bacon.

She and her entourage rode off, but not before she dropped a small cloth bundle onto the street. Sammy retrieved it, knowing that he was safe (for the time being) since he was ostensibly working for Her. Her patience, however, was not infinite.

The cloth bundle was small, about the size of a hand holding an orange, tied with a dark ribbon. When he opened it, he saw it contained a severed and bloody ring finger wearing a well-recognized ring -- his father's. His father's finger, too. Freshly cut off. 

That's when Daniel and Darren walked up and saw him staring at the severed and bloody finger.

The threat of "one piece at a time" was present, but She didn't do just the obvious. There was more purpose to Her actions than merely a pound of flesh. No, Sammy figured that the ribbon and the finger would lead him to where they needed to go (Aspect: "My Father's Finger will Point the Way").

Darren and Daniel were disgusted by the grisly trophy Sammy held and Daniel started asking questions. Sammy revealed it was his father's finger and ring and it would help them find what they were looking for.

They piled into Daniel's '33 Dodge and Sammy sat in the rumble seat in the back, focusing his energy into the finger to find the ghostly kid they spotted earlier.

As Daniel was driving away, a bicyclist ran in front of his car, causing him to screech to a halt. A pretty redhead dropped her bike and walked up to the driver's side door. It was Darlene Merrit, Daniel's nemesis at the Paper.

She smiled and asked what they were up to. She propped herself through the window, over Daniel and shook Darren's hand, then jumped into the rumble seat with Sammy. Darlene asked Darren to grab her bike and secure it to the back of the car so they could get going.

Daniel argued with her, trying to get her out of the car. She told them that some people say that a bunch of folks, including a big-time reporter, got $10,000 each from Vaughn Owen to find something for the Warner Brothers. She also said that these folks were present at Mick's Bar when a known fence was shot and that a later investigation into the fence's shop turned up a large pool of blood but no bodies.

Who could those people be? Darlene asked innocently. Daniel managed to entice her out of the car with a possible lead then escaped, jumping into the car and roaring away into the Hollywood Hills.

Sammy used magic to invoke the finger (Aspect: "The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on"), which pointed at him as if to accuse him of failure, then he managed to get the finger to point towards the leader of the Princes (named Eddie) and they followed the finger around the mansions, until they found one that was large and had a large yard, enclosed by a 8-10 foot wall. The mansion was dark, no light was visible there.

While driving around it, casing it, Darren noted that the name on the mansion gate was "York" and that at one corner was a dark car, idling, the driver only visible with the bright ember of a cigarette. Sammy noted a ladder against the back wall.

Suddenly three gunshots rang out. Then another four, then one, and finally two more. Ten gunshots in the space of a minute or so. Then silence!

Daniel was convinced that the story was in the mansion, so he parked in the back. They noticed that the driver of the idling car was gone but the car was still idling, so Daniel stole the keys and monkeywrenched it.

They climbed the wall using the ladder and saw that the other side had another ladder (someone was thinking). Once on the grounds, they cautiously approached the house and found their way into a room.

They went room to room, looking for the kid Eddie and following the finger. In the great hall, a severed head rolled down the stairs at them. Darren went up to investigate and found a decapitated mobster and a medieval axe stuck in the wall, on the opposite side of the room was an old set of armor, the previous owner of the axe. Darren continued to explore the upstairs.

Sammy found himself in a library, where there were two more mobsters, frozen and dead. He recognized them as some of Legend's men. Legend is a new faction in the area, had barrels of cash and well-trained goons. This is a first for Legend being involved in this sort of situation.

Daniel went through the gallery and a sitting room but wasn't paying close attention and found himself with a gun in his back! Another mobster was holding it to his kidneys and talking blather about getting the kid in a snatch-and-grab. Half his face was bleached white, including the hair.

Darren found a terrace looking down into the house and spotted Daniel being forced through a door by the mobster. The mobster took a shot at him (2 Stress to Darren) as he jumped down and knocked the mobster out (taken out with 4 Stress to mobster). Sirens meant police were on the way.

Sammy caught up with the others and, from the three corpses and the knocked-out guy, deduced that the frozen dead, the axe and the white face were the result of ghosts and poltergeists removing the heat from a room (frozen guys), moving objects (flying axe decapitation) and fear (white face and hair). The frozen guys would have caused a ghost to discorporate for a while until it got it's mojo back.

The knocked out mobster had the bloodmark on him and they presumed that the rest did, too.

The finger started pointing all over, meaning their quarry was either not here or out of range. They quickly escaped, noting an old 1900s painting depicting Eddie and (presumably) Dicky in medieval dress in a dark tower room.

They dashed to the wall as the police arrived and climbed the ladders. They dropped the ladders against the wall so that they were hidden for a while by tall grass and bushes then ran back to their car.

The mobsters' car was still there and the last mobster was trying to get it to work. Daniel stopped and offered him a lift, which he happily took.

He said his name was George McJiminy (of the New England McJiminy's) and they thought it was a fake name. He asked to be dropped at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel.

Daniel convinced him that they were mobsters, too, (Aspect: "The Boss sent us.....") meant to make sure his group did the job right. He was completely fooled. They got everything out of him, that he was the driver and they were just supposed to go in there and grab the kid and bring him to their boss. Sammy dropped Legend's name and George nodded.

They dropped George off, telling him to be scarce for a while since the boss would be sore about his gang's screw-up and headed for the Biltmore.

Darren realized that he had seen the painting before, in England and it depicted King Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, imprisoned in the Tower of London. The painting was by John Millais, painted in 1878, and titled "The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower, 1483" and that the princes disappeared and were supposedly murdered by their uncle, Richard who became Richard III.

Daniel realized that Darlene was tipped off about them by someone with inside info and was probably being followed so that they were followed. He dismissed as rubbish the obvious culprit, Persephone, (Compel: "Pretty Face") and figured it was her boss Vaughn.

Sammy figured info about Legend. His name is Arthur Legend, he's probably a mobster from back East but Legend is not his real name. He's in conflict with the Black Court vampires and this is the first time, as far as Sammy knows, that he's involved in black magic, with the bloodmark tracking spell. Legend's company is called "Legend and Son" and he's got a mansion of his own in the Hollywood Hills, so why would he be at the Biltmore Hotel?

The session ended with some questions answered but a whole bunch more unanswered: Where's the film? Who all want it? What do the Princes have to do with this? What does Legend want?

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