2nd Session (Nov 12):
Picking up right after the last session the characters continue to help the city. They discover that many of the mages employed by the city have put areas of the city into a paused stasis. This allowed the limited number of rescue workers time to clear a section without having to worry about neglecting other areas. Some of the sections of the city returned to their original positions but many other sections did not. Over the next week the party began hearing various rumors including:
- Pumpkin Killer being called Hallowe’en Jack
- Pumpkin killer is an agent for The Seer (an unknown being or device)
- Pumpkin Killer is the ghost of a deposed king
- The Seer is in contact with the Wyvern
- The Noble House Mau’di was responsible for the shield dropping in order to weaken the queen
- The Crime Syndicate Upper Quarter has a way out of the city, but the price is the soul of a pure child
- The Ruin Loded woman, Hectate, foresaw the attack and disappeared but has now returned, her house was somehow undamaged despite the rest of the neighborhood being affected
- The Noble Houses have decided to get all of those who showed some prowess during the attack and send them out to battle the entity.
Jace/ Virdane wanted to follow up with some of these. He was especially concerned about the rumor of innocent children being taken. He and Otis/AJ decided to go talk with the strange woman named Hectate. Hectate was discovered to be a fortune teller, gypsy-type women who sold ointments, potions, and other non-traditional remedies. During this meeting they discovered that she really knew nothing about innocent children showing some disbelief that any such rumor could be true. She read Vidrane’s fortune and then asked Otis if he wanted his read. During this time she began speaking in a strange language, that only AJ could hear, that he thought were just equations and mathematical formulae. Otis then froze and to Virdane it appeared as if everything was in slow motion. He tried to move towards them but found his movements were slow and it felt like he was trying to walk though water. As she spoke Otis began to see strange images and at the very end began screaming uncontrollably. Afterwards he said that he had seen the Pumpkin Headed killer running towards him and then cut off his hand, which wouldn’t respond for a short time. The woman also kept a strange notebook in which she wrote in numerals and other mathematical symbols as she spoke.
The party then began hearing more and more rumors that the noble houses were gathering large groups of people to create a giant army that could go out and confront the Entity. After hearing this the group initially thought this was a good idea but after examining the plans realized that this was probably a way to kill those people who could resist if the noble Houses were planning on staging a coup to overthrow the Queen. House Mau’di as the most militaristic and second most powerful was recruiting the most, and eventually confronted the party to get their commitment to help. Virdane spent some more time talking with various people about the missing children rumor but came to believe that the rumor was mostly true in that this Underworld gang had a way out of the city but didn’t need children as a payment.
During this time the party continued to help with relief efforts. During one such mission they came across a woman dressed in Aeon Priests robes, that appeared to be several centuries out of date. She thanked them and began telling them that she was in the city to find help for the village she oversaw, but shortly after she arrived the city became under siege and she had been stuck here. She asked the party to help her find someone who could help her village Gisaku and gave the party a slightly damaged artifact. After repairing the artifact the party was able to view a message recorded within it. It was a woman from Gisaku who said a powerful artifact that the village used for farming had been stolen. The artifact made the area around the village especially fruitful, it allowed the farmers to harvest extra crops each year, it replenished much faster the nutrients in the soil and water, and allowed the farmers to plant any crop they wanted without having to fallow the fields between harvests. This area was very prosperous but with the loss of the artifact the land was reverting back to its natural state, which was not a very fertile area. The village needed a group of people to come and discover who had stolen it and retrieve it for them. They were willing to pay 500 shins as well as offer a few choices of minor artifacts that they had in their possession.
The party began to realize that they were being set up and that they needed to get out of the city before it was too late and the offer of the village in need also gave them a place to go. Going on the rumor they found out that a gang called the Upper Quarter had at least the possibility of getting out they began to try to figure out how to contact them. They discovered that the name of the leader of the gang was James White. But as a wanted man he was also very cautious about where he could be found. Unless you had a way to introduce yourself to him then it was impossible to see him. But the party did manage to find out that James’ main lieutenant Ryan Stephens had been recently captured and was being held by House Al’Thor. A House whose main business is trade and mercantile (with consistent rumors with ties to smuggling). So in all likelihood Ryan had been snatched as a way to curb their competition. He was being held in their main house, an old tower, several floors below the surface. The party went and scouted the location managing to find a secret entrance in the wall surrounding the property. Scheduled guard shifts could be observed as well. After sneaking into the compound they hid in a tool shed and happened to notice that there was a secret entrance in the floor of the tool shed. They snuck in and began working their way down the stair to the 9th sub-level. As they descended the environment became increasingly colder until it was almost unbearable (did damage after so many rounds). When they got to the level they first encountered a group of automatons that carried large rifles. After the fight ensued Virdane managed to convince them that he was actually an Al’Thor member. This tripped up the guards but they still attacked the other members. They were finally defeated and the party began to move farther into the level.