SF Dresden Dicemasters

The Disappearing Sorceress
Where did she go?

A few weeks have passed.

Ling Pei is gone

Scott is chilling in his neighborhood as he runs into an old acquaintance, Chung Sook, from Chinatown. “Ling Pei is gone! We haven’t seen her in days. Her shop is closed down since Friday.”

Her shop in Chinatown has herbs & a dojo. The assistant is there, Susan Chan. “She was here last Friday, everything seemed normal. She had had appointments I had to cancel at the last minute. Nothing serious with the triads recently, so it’s hard to imagine them behind this.”

Chung is an advanced student in her school of bagua.

In her office, Hoffman can see that her aura signature is on a bunch of mundane things … plus a particular book. It turns out to be at least a hundred years old, leatherbound, with an eye on the cover but written in an Asian mystery language. Thai maybe?

A drawer with a false bottom reveals another book with a lock on it. Hoffman looks at it with the Sight. There’s a cloud around it. Laughter & chanting. A seven-pointed star around the lock. Ivan cuts the strap, doing an end run around the lock. The book turns out to be her journal. She’s doing work around Chinese energetic magic. The other book is about the magic of the Khmer Eye; some kind of old battle magic.

Susan: “Hey, Sonny is Cambodian, one of the key students. His uncle came in to talk to Ling Pei.” Indeed, there are numerous appointments in the her calendar, and in the diary it seems they’ve been using dragon blood.

Scott calls Sonny. “My uncle talked to Ling Pei several times. He lives in lower Polk.” We take her journal and the Eye.

Trouble

Some Chinese guys in suits come in. They look scary. “Where Ling Pei? She promised to meet us now.” Susan is scared, tries to keep them from going into her office. One of the thugs says to Scott. “I don’t like the look of you. Let me look in your backpack.” So Scott force rings him in the face, knocking him clear across the room. Ivan spits in the other guy’s eye. Hoffman blinds the third guy. We make short work of the thugs.

“I suggest you state your business with Ling Pei.”

“I’m here for my boss. She was supposed to deliver something to him, and she’s late.” We now have hair samples.

Hoffman: “We would like to meet with your boss.”

The thug calls the boss, and Hoffman arranges a meet. The thugs leave, and we have another word with Susan.

“These shady characters come by twice a month, have a quick word with Ling Pei. I don’t know more than that.”

Ivan borrows a sword.

Dim sum with Victor Wong

Hoff and Scott go into the dim sum place, while Ivan hangs back to act as the cavalry.

The boss, Victor Wong, says, “Ling Pei came to me six weeks ago, looking for people resources. From the underground. We’re looking for the Eye of The Dragon, we loaned it to Ling Pei because she does things for us. We have our disagreements but things have been good between us. Last I heard she was looking around Bernie’s Market in the Underground. I’ve got a bad feeling.”

“It’s not just an emerald.”

“No, it’s not. It’s been in my family for generations. Supposedly it gives visions and guarantee success in business. She was interested in it being the Eye of the Dragon.”

Ling’s apartment

We got to Ling’s apartment.

We take one of her hairs from the brush. A few addresses in Chinatown Underground. Notes on her magical researches.

Uncle Joe’s

Lady tries to hit us with a frying pan. “Joe is dead! They came asking for him. Three Cambodian guys in purple pinstriped suits, looking for Joe and a book. He had a horrible accident at the butcher shop where he works.” “Something about Cambodian history and the ‘Eye of the Dragon’, sorcerers who worked for one of the old kings.”

The place has been ransacked. But Mrs. Joe is able to find some notes.

The butcher shop

Scott leads by asking. “I’m a friend of Joe’s nephew Sonny Som.”

“There was a freak accident with the slicer, the blade came lose and cut off his arm, when he fell he hit his head. Everybody loved Joe.”

Hoffman looks at the slicer with the Sight. Signs of magical tampering on the bolt holding it together. There’s an echo of the blade flying out. Ivan pockets the bolt.

We ask about the guys in purple pinstriped suits. The shopkeeper says they came by before Joe’s accident and had an argument with Joe.

Making plans at the Hoffcave

Scott tells Sonny about the purple pinstripe suit guys. Scott finds an Asian-language bookstore on google. There’s an exhibit at the Asian Art Museum about the Treasures of the Khmer Empire. So we go.

The exhibit

Scott tracks down Lucy Liu, the curator of the exhibit, who is planning a gala tomorrow night.

“What do you know about the Eye of the Dragon?”

She blanches, but fakes ignorance and blows him off … and now he has security guys tailing him.

Hoffman keeps an eye out for an item with magical mojo. Sure enough, there’s a sculpture the size of two refrigerators of a dragon … missing an eye. The description is “this depicts the great dragon which laid waste to blah blah blah”.

Bernie’s market

Bernie pointed to the Khmer tattoo parlor.

The Shadow Corridor is a Chinatown Underground area which has recently been revived. “Be careful.”

So we go to the tattoo parlor. They do Cambodian magic tattoos. There’s a tattooist marked up with actually magical magic tattoos.

“Can you help me? I’m a student of Ling Pei’s.”

“Last time I talked to her she was going to the Shadow Corridor.”

Stopping to think

The purple pinstripe guys are “new on the scene” in the last six months. Making moves at the docks, smuggling.

The Shadow Corriodor

An actual corridor, very shadowy. Homeless people’s nest. Big metal doors. We get past the doorman with the password, “Eye of the Dragon” … then KO him when he goes to call it in.

At the end of the corridor there are three purple pinstripe guys torturing Ling Pei in a magic circle. Scott zaps the circle, and breaking it produces a big boom. One of the guys demons out. We fight. Ling Pei, liberated from the circle, starts kicking ass. We escape with Ling Mei and a hostage.

Bernie’s

It turns out he had the Eye all along!

Unpacking at the Hoffcave

We arrange to meet up with Wong tomorrow night at the gala.

We tie up our hostage. And sleep.

At the gala

Ling Pei convinces Wong that it’s best to restore the eye to the dragon. Wong owes Hoffman a favor.

We stay after hours to restore the dragon. It transforms into a man, and departs with his thanks.

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Getting the Eye of Mab

Saturday

…. coming from last game, Hoffman, Ivan, and Scott are at the Inn.

Ivan tries to Jackie Chan up to get the Bear’s Head. Doesn’t work. The proprietor of the Inn is a goat-headed fae with a glamour! She yells a loud alarm, and Ivan grabs the bear head. We run for the car. Scott zaps the floor of the corridor to stop the fae from giving chase. The goat lady falls in!

We run for the car. A man-goat with a gnarly spiked club chases Scott. He misses and the hit shakes the earth! Then another blow knocks the bumper clean off. Our heroes get away.

Three goat fae in total: the one with the club, one with a machine gun, and the proprieties. But we get away.

Regrouping at a donut shop, a couple of witches turn up: a big hippie-ish dude and a baby goth girl. She pulls a gun, but Ivan moving at super speed gets her gun hand with a sword. Nate shows up … just in time to take a punch from the big thug, which bangs him up but turns him into a walrus. Hoffman blinds the thug … and we are driving out of there to the Temple of Hermetic Light.

Scott calls Fr. Bota. We get to the Temple around 4:30 am, bang on the door. Fr. Bota is there, in his robe. Nate borrows a spooky robe. Bota reports that they won’t be able to track the Eye in the Temple, and needs to check the authenticity of the Eye and break the ward before we get paid.

Hoffman and Scott nap, Ivan steals a couple of old books. Scott (but not Hoffman) is awakened by loud chanting in a Weird Old Language. In the ritual room, the circle is glowing … and the ward is now visible on the bear’s head … and then the ward is dispelled. Bota pulls out the Eye of Mab.

And we get paid.

Back at the Hoffcave, Sam drops by … and then Thor shows up, surprised that Bota hasn’t contacted him. Thor warns that trouble may be coming.

We split up to hole up at Sam’s office. Hoffman gets made by a woman watching from across the street. He hexes her cellphone, then gets zapped by her with magic wind. Scott spots what happened and zaps her. She’s banged up badly enough to need medical attention, so we call Moon and tell her to pick up her injured soldier.

When we regroup at Sam’s office, we call Tabitha the Wizard’s Council big gun. She tells us to meet at the Temple. When we get there, we missed the party: a bunch of cultists are dead and messed up from a powerful force. (But not Bota.) Confused ghosts. Ivan robs the safe, finds a little money and an avarice demon in a box. Tabitha says, we’re going … to Crystal Grove, the witches’ shop.

But the front door is kicked in that there’s disarray. The wards were blown. Scott calls Lily, she says she’s on the way to the ritual in Marin. (We can wardrive for the Eye again!) We find a blonde hair which is full of charge … that matches Tabitha. She’s craaaazy and gonna kills Hoffman pulls the leaf, and Thor sweeps in on a warm wind.

Tabitha and Thor trade a few blows. She knocks him out the front door then wards the back doors, keeping him out and us in. Scott zaps her, knocking her back and disarming her. Ivan runs up and spits in her eye. Sam blasts her with wind. Thor gets through the door. Hoffman strikes her blind. Ivan spits her again. She’s KO’d.

Thor finds the Eye on her. “I’ll take care of this.”

Ivan asks Thor, “What would you like to be called?”

“The Knight of the Dawn.”

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Looking for the Eye of Mab
We are underprepared

Hoffman did a job with Frater Bota of the Hermetic Temple of Light back in the day.

Tuesday

Frater Bota is a well-dressed man with a ponytail. Has a file of a missing purple jewel, the Eye of Mab, an artifact of the Winter Court. “The people we think have it — the Witches — are likely to use it at the next New Moon for nefarious.” Main lead is MoonEagle ShadowWolf, leader of the Witches.

The Crystal Grove is a witchy store. Moon and Lily Nightsky (goth girl).

Hoffman starts creating a grounding device.

Finding Lily on Facebook, Scott learns that she lives in Oakland and is going to a talk on ethnobotany by Wade Davis.

He goes to visit the shop and cases the joint: Easy break-in points are the back door and flimsily secured windows, no electronic security system. So he buys a Wade Davis book from Lily. “Oh, he’s giving a talk tonight.” MoonEagle takes over the register, and they go to the talk. She runs her mouth. They go to Zeitgiest after the talk; she’s flirting a bit. They have a big New Moon ritual coming up, to clear away the dross. This one will be big, but not especially special, somewhere in Marin maybe.

Ivan tries to break in to the Crystal Grove but it’s warded. He tries coming in by way of the second floor, breaking in to an apartment and pulling up floorboards to get access to the shop from above. Steals Moon’s rolodex, the stuff on her altar. Hears spooky whispers.

Ivan returns to meet with Patch. He examines the altar materials with the Sight. Her athame is scary looking, an implement of cold. All of it well used, but the athame is the most powerful. Ivan goes and distributes her altar stuff to the homeless, drops the athame off of a pier.

Wednesday

Hoffman works on the tracers for Lily and Moon and the artifact grounder.

Scott researches Mab. She’s a scary old fairy.

Hoffman goes to Golden Gate Park to summon up a pixie: a circle, a tin of condensed milk. The pixie doesn’t know much that we don’t.

Thursday

Hoffman visits the Crystal Grove. Moon is not forthcoming.

Hoffman goes to follow up with the pixies. Mab’s knight, Johnny, visits Bourbon & Branch. The witchy people visit with Johnny.

Scott has dinner with Lily, scores a few hairs from her hairbrush. What would she want the Goddess to take? “Before tonight, I would have said my loneliness.”

Friday

Jamie the arborist is a half-dryad, Hoffman knows him. “I’m looking for the Eye of Mab.” Makes plans to meet at Bourbon & Branch with a heavier hitter that Jamie will turn up.

Meanwhile Scott wakes up with Lily the gothy witch, then returns to Hoffman’s place with hair for tracking.

Big Thor-ish guy at the door. There’s something off about him, unreal, a glamour. “The Eye is a powerful tool of destruction, bringing cold.” Hands Hoffman a business card for a troll that can make a fake Eye, and a summoning leaf.

Scott goes to visit Ingmar Trollblood, who’s not protected by a glamor. Four hours’ work.

Ivan and Hoffman go to the Hermetic Temple. Vestibule leads to a beautiful inner door. Robed guy shows up. Fr. Bota informs us that Mab’s influence will affect anyone handling it, eventually driving them mad. The Order will have soldiers ready if we have to make a move on Monday (the new moon). Losing the Eye is acceptable, so long as it’s denied of the witches.

Scott asks how convincing the fake Eye will be. Not a strong enough glamour to fool a magician, but very effective.

Scott also checks in on Lily.

Saturday

Bike messenger delivers the Eye tracking compass from the Thor Guy. Hoffman has trackers for the eye, Moon, and Lily. Ivan has the magic item neutralizer.

Hoffman and Scott get a Zipcar and go looking for the Eye; Ivan follows on a motorcycle. Lily and Moon are both at the store, the Eye is not. We kill the afternoon finding that the Eye is not in San Francisco. We spend the evening in Marin, and it starts pointing vaguely to Mt. Tam. As we get closer, it becomes clear that the Eye is at the West Point Inn. We get two rooms.

Triangulating, we realize it’s in a bear head mounted on the wall. Using the Sight, Hoffman can see the gem in its mouth, with wards on the bear head. And an ice palace, suggesting maybe a portal into the Nevernever.

Monday will be the new moon.

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Deciding what to do with Lucy's pendant
A tiger by the tail

At the park

The Masked Mage, who is evidently a wizard, shimmers into view with a robe and a mask, shimmering into existence.

He explains that the pendants are like batteries that soak up the suffering of the people in the tenements. The Skavises had killed his sister, so he’s gunning for Victor.

We make a plan: meet Victor in public — at the alley of the killing — so the Masked Mage can kick his ass.

We call Victor and plan to meet with him at 3 a.m., summon Scott back to bring us the pendants, and get ready.

At the alley

Content Not Found: nate_ hides on a fire escape with Patch’s shotgun. Content Not Found: ivan_ stealths in. “Patch” Hoffman and Content Not Found: scott approach normally.

We make the exchange, but then Victor vamps out, throws Patch against a wall. Ivan swords the vamp. The Masked Mage de-cloaks and hits him with the blasting wand. Scott walrus-izes and drops right on the vamp. Hoffman: “This could have been business.” A bunch of fighting …

… and the Warden of the White Council de-cloaks and goes after the Masked Mage.

In a hard fought battle, we kill the vamp.

Meanwhile, the Warden says, “Jonas, you need to stop this.”

We collect the cash, vampire head and fingers, and pendants.

Jonas, the Masked Mage, says, “Tabitha, you know I cannot do that.” So she kills him.

She explains that he wasn’t just going after the vampires. We give her the pendants.

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Looking for Lucy's pendant
Looking for lust in all the wrong places

Meeting Victor

“Patch” Hoffman is at the Red Room and is approached by Victor von Lonio, a White Court vampire and slumlord. Victor von Lonio reports that is his sister Lucille was murdered — killed in an alley in the Tenderloin with a sword — and her silver necklace was stolen. The necklace, he says, is an artifact, but only useful to his family.

The scene of the crime

“Patch” Hoffman & Content Not Found: scott go to the alley where she was killed. Path gets a vision of what happened:

  • shock and terror on the girl’s face
  • the sword has the matched crescent moons hilt of a Thelemic ritual sword
  • “never again” written on the wall in white blood
  • impressions of vengeance, loss, and satisfaction

“Old Joe”, a homeless guy, is usually to be found in the neighborhood, but has disappeared since the murder. But he has friends named Roger and Wally, and that leads eventually to finding Old Joe in another part of town ….

Old Joe’s tale

A man in robes argued with the woman, telling her, “You knew I’d find you.” She was horrified but didn’t fight back.

At the morgue

“Patch” Hoffman and Content Not Found: ivan break in “invisibly”. Her blood is weird, and we got samples of both her blood and her hair but could not find her autopsy paperwork. Ivan licked the coroner during their escape.

At the bar in the Tenderloin

Content Not Found: nate

Next to the alley. Site of her last drink. Witness says that she was there and walked out with a guy.

Victor’s office

“Patch” Hoffman

She was working with Kitty of Wraith (White Court house of lust). Victor revealed that his house, Skavis, rules despair.

Talking to Lucille’s secretary

Talking to Content Not Found: suzy, the secretary, we learned that Lucille was short-tempered, cruel, and demanding. She was getting threatening letters: “your time is coming, the scales must be balanced”. Victor is also the last of the locals in his family; in addition to Lucille, two enforcers have been killed.

Taking leave

“Patch” Hoffman secured a matching pendant, the letters, a printout of Lucille’s calendar, and bruises from Victor.

At the dungeon

THe whole party. Content Not Found: scott did most of the talking.

Kitty is, of course, a babe. She evidently knows what it’s all about but will not tell what it is. “This could be bad for my business.” She recognizes that the man with the cloak and sword must be (of course) a wizard.

Recovering the pendant

We finished making a detector for stuff related to the pendant: Joe reveals that he is a total creep and yes, he knows about the pendant … and pawned it.

So we go to the pawnshop and recover the pendant; the pawnshop guy won’t recognize us.

The plan

  • Nate runs with the pendant and a burner phone. We have signals for “run”, “come back”, “we’re in trouble”
  • Old Joe gets shipped off to LA
  • The rest go to meet the wizard

Trying to find the wizard

Rental place has someone connected to the letter writer; it’s a little one-story tenement with a FOR RENT sign.

We lock pick our way in and encounter an invisible dude. He has a scary zap wand, a robe, and a mask. He runs, Ivan chases. He seems anguished.

“We need to talk.” We plan to meet at the park.

Tools we now have

Pendant detector. Letter detector. Knowledge of Lucille detector.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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