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ZEITGEIST Zeitgeist re-mixed

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aka skotothalamos
After the Coaltongue was saved, Kind Aodhan held a ceremony where he gave medals to Joe Actual, Zamfir, Joe Virtual, and Geoff Massarde for saving his life.

The constables took that day off after the ceremony and came back on Wednesday to make plans for the future. They hadn’t been able to follow up on any of the von Recklinghausen leads yet, but decided getting a meeting with Gale was more important, so they made preparations to go to the Cloudwood and see Nevard Sechim, as he seemed to know how to get ahold of her.

The trip would take about eight hours, so they decided to wait until the following morning and head out early, so as not to be traversing the rainforest at night. The trip was easy enough, and they met with Nevard at his mountaintop skyseer commune on the evening of Thursday, the 12th of Summer.

Nevard divined that they were there to talk to him about seeing Gale, and he said he could do that favor for them if they could do a favor for him. He had foreseen his own death this year, and wanted to be able to go up on Cauldron Hill one last time for a clear view of the night sky. He would need the constables’ help with this as the area is under tight government control through the mayor of the Nettles, Reed Macbannin. Further, the mountain was haunted and he would need protection.

The constables agreed to partake in a ritual that would bind their life-force to Nevard, giving him the strength to make the hike, and protecting him from injury for 24 hours. They stayed the night at the commune and did the ritual the following morning, each donating a small amount of blood to a cup of milk that Nevard drank while he asked the constables about their visions for the future.

The clock had begun. They now had until morning dawned on Saturday the 14th to get Nevard to the peak of Cauldron Hill. On the way back down the mountain, Joe Actual suffered numerous bites from the various wildlife of the Cloudwood (Giant Spiders, swarms of hummingbrids, etc.), but everyone else was fine. When they got back to Flint, Dr. Aubrey and Nevard and Nevard’s entourage headed to HQ for final preparations, while Joe and Zamfir headed up to Mayor Macbannin’s mansion on Cauldron Hill to gain the proper permissions to guide the old man up the mountain.

And so it was, just after sunset on Friday, the 13th of Summer, in the year 500 After Our Victory, that Joe Actual and Zamfir found themselves halfway up the most haunted site in all of Risur, idly chatting with a horse courier as he smoked and looked out over the slums of the Nettles.

The courier, who introduced himself as Nic, busied himself with prepping his horse and smoking a cigarette. He idly mused to the constables about the “chaos” in the city below: the fires in the factory district, the riots, protests, and lock-ins in Parity Lake and the Strand, and just the general chaos of scraping by a meager existence in the Nettles. He asked them what they thought of it, and Zamfir engaged him in conversation along these lines.

Zamfir, clearly going with the mood of the day, asked Nic what his vision of the future was, and Nic asked Zamfir to imagine that there were no countries. Zamfir said “no religion, too?” and Nic nodded enthusiastically, adding that he thought it would be great if all people were equal and knew exactly where they fit in the world and knew that they had a purpose. As Zamfir seemed interested, Nic expounded on these ideas, saying he knew a lot of like-minded people who were hoping that the current chaos in the streets could be used to help tear down the current structure of society, so that it could be rebuilt in a new and better way. Nic asked Zamfir where he could send more information, and Zamfir shared his home address.

At that point, it was time for the constables to see the governor, so Nic hopped on his horse and left. The door was opened by Macbannin’s butler, who had the same face as the shadowy man they had fought a week ago at the apartment of Lynn Kindleton and Xambria Meredith. The man did not react to the sight of the constables, so they assumed that he thought he had not shown his face to them. It had only been for an instant, but Zamfir and Joe knew that face and now knew that they were in much deeper than they expected.

They had a conversation with Mayor Macbannin, during which Joe was able to sense that the mayor was under the effects of a similar bonding spell as they had done with Nevard that morning. There were faint arcane connections between Macbannin and his entire house staff.

Macbannin went over the logistics of the rusted-iron amulets the constables would need, and the four buckets of goats’ blood they would also need to keep themselves safe on the mountain. The two constables said they needed to get back to HQ and retrieve their guest. Macbannin promised to have everything ready for them when they returned.

Joe and Zamfir left in a hurry, worriedly cursing all the way down the mountain…
 

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roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
This might be my first group to seriously consider becoming obscurati themselves. That meeting with the courier is always one of my favorite moments and I knew Zamfir's player would go for it in a heartbeat.

I'm trying to condense things and just hit the highlights of the campaign. We might have a one-two wild combo of raid on Macbannin Manor followed by a trip up the mountain, all on Friday the 13th!

The Rian and Glim-Glim/Thor players have been officially removed from the group and we are continuing on as a group of three players. I have instituted the "sidekick" rules from the Essentials kit to give each of them a Junior Constable for bigger fights. Those guys will level up as they do, always staying 3 levels behind. We may graduate them to full PC builds around 4th level or so, if they survive...
 

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
The constables regrouped at RHC Headquarters, where they met up with Dr. Aubrey, Nevard, three junior constables, and an entire squad of backup and headed back up the mountain. During their meeting with the brass, another earthquake struck, and Dr. Aubrey wondered aloud what it all meant. Saxby had indicated that they did not have enough evidence to arrest anyone, but they had her okay to bring in the butler for questioning.

Macbannin met them in the fron garden of his manor, with his whole staff arrayed around the perimeter, except for the butler, who was missing. They asked after him, but Macbannin told them it was the butler's night off and he did not know where to contact him. As the constables readied themselves to go up the mountain, yet another earthquake struck and black oily fluid began erupting from Macbannin's lawn.

Macbannin shouted to a nearby window "Creed, get to the basement! See to the reservoir!" and dropped all pretense. He and his staff threw themselves at the constables, but they easily overpowered Macbannin and put him in mage cuffs, while eight of his staff died in the fray.

The constables sent Joe Virtual and the backup squad to escort their detainee back to headquarters and headed into the manor to find this basement reservoir. Inside, they found a powered-down engine, three undead jaguars that appeared to be powered by the strange oil, and a lab tech named Kaja who seemed to have been caught in the middle of stealing some valuables. With time running out on their mission with Nevard, they now found themselves in a position to stop a flood of this strange oil if only they could figure out the machinery.
 

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
DM notes: man, a session full of combat and dungeon-style exploration makes for a super-short writeup!

I have inserted Kaja Stewart and her stolen gidim artifacts into the Witchoil lab. She has them tucked into the pockets of her Lab Coat of Holding. They've already arrested her and confiscated the coat. I have no doubt they will take on an item or two and then they can be the ones to accidentally unleash thoughtbeasts when they use them... maybe on Axis Island while they're putting down Duchess Ethelyn's rebellion...

Current plan is to have everyone on top of the mountain share in Nevard's visions and then have Nilasa arrive to escort him across the threshold. It will be up to them what they want to do with that info. If they arrest Creed in the lab fight, their time on Cauldron Hill will be much easier. If they kill him, well, I already have ghost-Creed stats ready to go...
 

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
With the help of Kaja Stewart, the constables and Dr. Aubrey stopped the mayor’s witch oil reservoir-refinery-basement thing from overflowing. As reward for helping them avert disaster, the constables helped themselves to all of Kaja’s stolen artifacts and had her charged with multiple homicides for, I guess, being in the basement while they were actually killing Macbannin’s staff. Seems lawful good, so I’m sure Zamfir is fine with it.

During the disaster-prevention operation, Cillian Creed emerged from the shadows and tried to kill everyone. At this point, Father Joseph Macauley, a “junior” constable with more years on the force than all three of the others, came into his own and spammed heal after heal to keep everyone alive while also burning Creed with sacred flames to keep him from hiding. Without Father Joseph, Creed probably kills everyone and dumps their bodies in the reservoir. With 13 hit points between them, Zamfir and Joe Actual slapped the mage cuffs on the unconscious Creed and locked him up.

With that disaster averted, the group headed up to the top of Cauldron Hill, taking Macbannin’s buckets of goat blood with them. The ghosts of Cauldron Hill provided a spooky backdrop for Nevard’s skyseeing, but with no one to interfere with their activities, the constables and Nevard were able to stay safe through the night.

Thanks to the Bonds of Forced Faith ritual, each constable shared in a portion of Nevard’s visions. When the vision was over, a red curtain appeared, and out stepped the ghost of Nilasa. She thanked them for catching her murderer, asked them to avenge her, and stretched out her hand to escort Nevard across the threshold. He took her hand and made his parting from the world.

The next day, the constables had multiple suspects to interrogate…
 

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
I'm going to see if I can get them to write up what they learned, as I am always afraid of giving away secrets that they didn't actually learn when I recap mystery findings.
 

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
After nearly two months of being unable to have sessions, we are taking a step back from the long-form mysteries of Zeitgeist and focusing on one-off adventures elsewhere in the world of Zeitgeist. We ended up at a cliffhanger in the underground church and then could only get two of our three players to show up at every session. No one wanted to continue without the full team.

By now, everyone has more or less forgotten the main mysteries (they're already not a great group for tracking the complicated story of Zeitgeist), so we're going to turn them into the B team while the main events progress in the background.

They dispatched a constable to Arrovia to check on the state of Dr. von Recklinghausen's wife. They are going to check on what happened to her, conveniently hitting some sandboxy Curs of Strahd content there. Then Saxby is going to reassign them to the farthest RHC office she can, in distant Mirsk, where it is very cold and it's possible an Ob experiment has made the sun disappear...

They have left a feather with Gale, so I can recall them when they seem more able to deal with Zeitgeisty events.
 

COMING SOON! Halloween Horror For 5E

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