Monday, 27 May 2013

Ebon Eaves: Chapter III

It's been a few weeks, but we finally managed to get together for a decent session! We actually played a tiny bit a week or two back, but it only went for an hour and not much actually happened, so I've saved it for the start of this post.
  • +Paul plays Father Aaron, a Devout. He is a Presbyterian priest, sent to Ebon Eaves for being difficult and asking too many questions. He wears formal vestments, has an open face with bright eyes, and is of slim build.
  • +Annette plays Amy Hearst, a Librarian. She's recently come to the town of Ebon Eaves to open a new library. She wears a nice suit, has an open face with clever eyes, and has a lithe frame.
Previously, our intrepid pair investigated Manley Manor, and discovered it was being used by the town electrician. Just as they thought the whole "haunted house" thing was a ruse to scare people away, they narrowly escaped the house pursued by two apparitions under the electrician's command!


Amy checks the library, and digs through old civic records. She finds some more information on the men who went missing eight years ago; they were all pillars of the community, their religious affiliation had been glossed over, and the coroner had listed the deceased as "death by misadventure" with no details or specific causes, which smacks of a cover-up.

Father Aaron meditates on the revelations of the previous night, realising that the ghosts are more likely to be warded against with the strange seven-pointed star amulet his mentor gave him than with his cross. He goes through the church records, but can't find any information on the vanished men, as they were apparently not members of the congregation. He does notice that, starting about 50 years ago, there was an increase in both the number of births and the number of deaths. Most of the deaths were of newborns or young children.

On her way to lunch, Amy sees a small truck driving past with "Clark Lewis - Electrician" painted on the side. 

This is about where our first mini-session ended. The start of the next session was a re-cap of all that had gone before, and a reiteration of everything they'd found out about the town's history. I also suggested that in small-town 1920's America, the library hours probably didn't need to be 9 to 5 Monday to Friday, thus hopefully freeing Amy up to do more investigating during the week.

After lunch, Amy muses on the ghost problem. While she figures that the seven-pointed star is probably a ward against them, she also reasons that the Church of the Seventh Star may have books of rituals that might be used to banish them. Mystery enthusiast Marjory Debnam visits after lunch and volunteers to be a library assistant, thus freeing up a little of Amy's time. 

The two investigators compare notes at the church, and decide to go talk to the mayor's son, Johnny Wilson, who saw Old Manley's ghost. He recounts his tale, and Amy says he must have been very brave to approach the haunted house.  Father Aaron asks if he's ever seen a book with a seven-pointed star on it. He doesn't have much to do with books, but he recalls such a star used to be on the front of the big building in town when he was little, before it became Rain House. He's also seen similar stars hidden among the eaves of the Manley Manor.

Next, they go to talk to some of the locals at the pub. For a bottle of single-malt liquor, Julian Marlow the cobbler opens up and tells them tales of Ebon Eaves' dark past - how fifty years ago, the town elders sold the population out to be the subject of government experiments. They poisoned the water supply, which changed folk; they had more babies, but the children frequently died.

Eight or nine years ago, the local Rain twins Taylor and Maximilian, who had become big-name lawyers, returned to the town. They'd uncovered the government conspiracy, and led the population on a crusade against the town elders. Without saying as much directly, Marlow heavily implies that the Rain twins instigated lynch mobs that were responsible for the disappearances.

After that, the twins went on to win a class action suit against the government, and about five years ago they returned to the town and settled in what is now Rain House, from where they administer the fund that pays benefits to all the families affected by the experiments.

From what they've uncovered so far, it seems that the Seventh Star members of 50 years ago were responsible for selling out the town for government experimentation. The pair theorise that the Rain twins deliberately targeted the Seventh Star members, possibly in order to take over the community. They now have many more pieces to the puzzle, but still don't have the whole picture. Still, the outlook is very bleak - it looks as if the Seventh Star and the Rain twins may be two sets of evil at each other's throats.

They return to the church. Father Aaron calls on his faithful Church Fellowship members, led by Anne Vale, to find out if the Church of the Seventh Star is returning.

As Father Aaron leaves the church to return to his cottage, he sees the electrician's truck parked in the street just near his house...

Amy returns to the boarding house as evening falls. She hears Mrs. Partridge address her strange and disturbing neighbour as Mrs. Rain...

Another all-in-town session, and once more I felt the system's gears weren't really engaging. The players made no dice rolls at all (I suppose I could have suggested Read a Person once or twice).

Most of my work was in simply trying to provide as much information as I could through the channels available to me, to help them gain a better understanding of the situation. I'm not even sure if that's a Keeper Move; the closest it comes is "announce trouble elsewhere" (with "elsewhere" being mostly "in the past") or "foreshadow future trouble" (by letting them know what they're dealing with). Without enough information, they've been feeling a little lost and unsure what to do.

The only moves I consciously made were "offer an opportunity, with or without a cost" (Marjory offering to be a library assistant), and "make them buy" (Marlow requesting a drink to loosen his tongue). Actually, I did make a couple of other moves right at the end, which will hopefully set things up for a more involved next session.

On reflection, I should probably come up with more immediate "deal with this" stuff to put in their path if they spend too much time investigating or can't figure out what to do next - give them situations that demand an immediate reaction and may lead to their own revelations. Some dark thoughts are already bubbling to the surface of my mind for next time...

>>> To be continued!

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