New Order

Playtest/Prologue
Murder in City 8

In City 8, a mysterious body appeared in a back alley. Upon examination, he was discovered to be a member of the Royal Courier Service who had been killed for unknown reasons. Aging police officer (Karen), up-and-coming Royal Service Investigator (Keenan), and unpredictable PI (Devin) are set to investigate the murder in utmost secrecy. A trip to the Royal Courier Service’s office revealed that the victim had been primarily assigned to renowned local noble General McKenna, hero of the Lycan War. Further investigation at the house of the General and his friends quickly revealed evidence of a plot to overthrow the monarchy. The three escaped unscathed, but not unnoticed, and rode as quickly as they could toward the City 1, seat of the monarchy. About a day’s ride out, they were beset by a team of surprisingly well-armed men clearly on a mission to stop them. They fought off the group, but in the chaos, (Devin) swiped the evidence from (Keenan) and destroyed it. When confronted about his treachery, he fled with only a few choice remarks. (Karen) was left unsure where she stood, while (Keenan) failed to shoot him. The pair chose to continue to the royal palace with their news rather than chase him down. Following their reports, arrest warrants were release for General McKenna, his compatriots, and (Devin), but the General was thoroughly hidden by the time the King’s men arrived to arrest him.

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Character Creation
Crossing Paths

A young man inheriting his father’s tailor business after his father’s death, Dez Graves searched the Human lands for the best cloth with which to outfit his father for the funeral. Gypsy (Devin) enchanted some cloth to provide the illusion of life and sold it to him as normal cloth, forever convincing Dez that clothes were a form of magic.

Traveling the world in search of patrons, Dez provided the wardrobe for noble mage Rosalind Stanton Luna. He was the first tailor to make Rosalind feel as though her clothes reflected her true nature.

Meanwhile, some of (Devin)’s caravan got themselves in trouble with a noble and found themselves imprisoned. When he broke them out, he also found and rescued (Amy), an odd loner who can fix anything. She joined his caravan and they have traveled together since.

Willing to go to any lengths for the best cloth, Dez journeyed all the way to Far Camp. While there, unbeknownst to him, a Lycan-Wolf cub crawled into his wagon. Furious about the kidnapping, the local Lycan pack raided the camp with Alec Vourkan as their leader. When the mistake was discovered, Alec offered to travel into the Human lands with Dez acting as his bodyguard as recompense, disguising his ulterior motive of joining McKenna’s revolution.

Upon arriving in the Human lands, Dez received a message that he had been selected at the request of the bride to outfit the wedding of Rosalind to Lucas Fairchild. Dez and Alec immediately went in search of the most appropriate cloth. After some travel, they were able to track down (Devin). Together they traveled to Rosalind’s seaside manor.

On the way, (Amy) fed on Alec and deduced his true race. Additionally, (Amy) and (Devin) together created a loom that would weave enchanted cloth for Dez, though neither expected it to last forever.

Upon arrival, (Devin) discovered Rosalind counterfeiting money for her parents and requested that she do the same for a nearby destitute family who was struggling to eat. Rosalind agreed, a sympathy for the peasantry growing in her heart. When the money was discovered, however, (Devin) and (Amy)’s companions were picked up by the police for counterfeiting money, leaving them on their own.

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First Session
Escape from a Wedding

During the final fitting session for Rosalind Stanton Luna‘s wedding, she burst into tears and fled the room. Concerned for his dress, Dez Graves sent Alec Vourkan to fetch her back. Upon their return, it quickly became apparent that Rosalind had no desire to marry her fiancée, and had agreed only because her parents had insisted. Together, (Amy), (Devin), Rosalind, and Alec hatched a plot to spirit her away that night, thereby preventing the wedding and freeing her from her parents’ control. Dez, on his own, decided to influence the chef to change the wine for that evening’s rehearsal dinner to something stronger, causing the entire wedding party to get raving drunk. (Devin) helped Rosalind successfully escape, and they and (Amy) fled north with plans to meet Dez and Alec later.

Upon the discovery that Rosalind was missing, the Luna house shut down, preventing anyone from leaving. Furious at Dez’s interference, Wanda Luna swore to ruin his good name forever as well as not pay him what he was owed by their contract. Though he said he’d take her to court, her laughter forced a realization that she was noble and he was not: he would get no retribution. When everyone was finally allowed to leave, Dez and (Amy) traveled to meet Alec, (Devin), and Rosalind.

Within a few minutes of being reunited, it became apparent Dez had been tracked, for a squad of policemen and Rosalind’s fiancée Lucas Fairchild burst into the clearing. Rosalind decided to use her magic to show the police that her parents were the source of the counterfeit money polluting City 2’s economy, at which point they chose to return to City 2 to deal with that, especially as she clearly had not been kidnapped. When Lucas refused to leave, Alec threw him up a tree and the group absconded.

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Second Session
Kleptomaniac Birds

Upon arrival in City 7, Rosalind Stanton Luna tested her counterfeiting chops by sending (Amy) to buy a loaf of bread with fake money. The baker happily accepted the money, and while (Amy) fed on her, she bemoaned the loss of her family heirloom, a magical breadpan. The group chose to stay at the local inn, with Alec Vourkan minding the wagon. Chatting with the customers revealed several other missing magical items, and a customer for Dez Graves. During the night, Dez woke up to find a sparrow-sized bird stealing a piece from his new loom. He screamed, alerting Rosalind, (Amy) and Alec to the bird’s theft, just as it flew out the window. In two jumps, Alec scaled the nearest building and chased the bird. Sheltered by the dark, he shifted forms to follow it faster and managed to keep up with it for nearly a mile. In another leap, he knocked it out of the air and to the ground.

After Alec returned to the group with the bird’s corpse, an examination revealed that the bird was not flesh and blood, but rather both magical and mechanical. The next morning, they set off in the direction that Alec had tracked the bird, keeping an eye out for anything unusual. Close to the outskirts of town, they found a shop that purported sell magical and mechanical knicknacks.

They entered the shop together. While the proprietor, Oliver, showed them around the shop, Rosalind snuck down a hidden trapdoor into a basement. In one corner, she found a huge machine with a glowing center. From all around she heard the twittering of birds. When she fled back upstairs, she alerted the rest of the team that this was the person behind the thefts.

(Devin) reacted immediately by stabbing Oliver. He took the hit, then made a dash for the door. With a click, he shut and locked it behind him as the trap door flew open, releasing flocks of mechanical birds upon the team. Alec jumped on the door, blocking half the flock, but he couldn’t protect Rosalind from the ones already out as they dive-bombed her. (Amy) grabbed one of Oliver’s wares and, in the space of a few heartbeats, had re-formed it into a bomb. Damaged, but alive, Rosalind dove under the stairs for protection.

Infuriated, Alec leapt across the room and through the door. (Devin) followed closely behind him, and together they knocked Oliver unconscious, Alec shrugging off the spell he flung at her. Dez grabbed Rosalind and (Amy), pulling them through the door, and (Amy) threw her newly created bomb upwards into the flocks of birds, easily killing all of the birds in the explosion.

The immediate dangers addressed, (Devin) tied up their unconscious captive and they raided his shop. In a bowl downstairs they found the more recently purloined items, and in a chest upstairs they found a variety of helpful magical and mechanical trinkets that they each pocketed. Anxious to escape before the police arrived, they left a note describing the explosive potential of the steam engine in the basement and an account of Oliver’s theft and the stolen goods next to his tied-up form before absconding.

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Third Session
Nefarious Acquisition of Blueprints

After a few days of rest in City 7, the travelers decided it was time to move on. Both Alec Vourkan and (Amy) seemed quite determined that City 1 should be their destination, urging Dez Graves to consider the patrons he could clothe, and reminding (Devin) that in the central city, there were sure to be many people in need. It was agreed, and they stuck together for the two-week-long journey.

Once their lodgings were settled, the friends parted ways, each with his or her own goals. (Devin) was surprised to discover that, though there was a large poor population, few people were in dire need of help. Additionally, there seemed to be a large population of people like himself – those at risk of being accused of “gender malfeasance.” Through a friend of a friend, Dez was able to get information on all of the upcoming balls, along with names of people in need of a tailor. Alec and Rosalind Stanton Luna stuck together at the inn, neither impressed with the city around them. (Amy) set off on a mission of her own, but bumped into (Devin) on the way. Reluctantly, she agreed to let him accompany her to meet “an old friend who needed her help.”

Upon arriving at the doorstep of the manor of an extremely wealthy merchant, (Amy)’s “friend”, Aurelia Falco revealed that she had a set of blueprints she needed technologically-savvy (Amy) to analyze. When she tried to produce the blueprints from the safe, however, they were missing. Eager to help, (Devin) and (Amy) immediately volunteered their group to find the culprit.

Aurelia was unhappy to consider that a member of her organization might have betrayed them, but was smart enough to accept outside help. She told them the full story about the plans: Aurelia’s organization had stolen them from a local scientist, a dwarf who lived just outside the city. She suspected he might have found a way to retrieve them, but she nevertheless provided the group with a list of everyone with access to the safe.

The team together decided to check out the dwarf’s house the next morning after he left on business. Instead of him leaving his house, however, a recognizable nobleman from the Turner magical lineage knocked and was invited inside. Alec snuck up to the window and, with his keen hearing, was able to pick out the sounds of an argument. The nobleman was accusing the dwarf of secreting the blueprints away, breaking their bargain, and the dwarf kept insisting that they had been stolen from him. On the basis of this evidence, the team decided that it was unlikely that the dwarf had recovered his property.

Dez decided to stay behind in order to convince the nobleman to purchase his wares while the rest of the party returned to Aurelia’s manor. She was distraught to learn she had probably been betrayed but let them examine the safe. Rosalind cast a spell upon the safe that caused the hands of anyone who had touched it since the night the blueprints had been stolen to glow.

When Aurelia’s hands did not, Rosalind confronted her about the odd inconsistency. She revealed that she regularly wears illusions to protect her identity as a high placed member of the criminal syndicate. Satisfied, they asked her to bring everyone who had access to the safe to her house for investigation. Immediate inspection of the guards’ hands ruled them out, so Aurelia called in the thief who had stolen the plans to begin with.

When she arrived, her hands were also not glowing. Shocked, Rosalind accused her of also wearing an illusion, but she fervently denied it. With a little convincing, she broke down sobbing, admitting that, while she was loyal to the syndicate, she also had wanted to advance the cause of the revolution by copying the plans and delivering the copy to them. She hadn’t counted on not having enough time to finish copying them before Aurelia found someone who could examine them.

From the other room, an imposing woman entered, whispered, “I have a use for her,” to Aurelia, and then stepped back. Aurelia immediately began to sympathize with the crying thief, reassuring her that she was not going to be expelled from the organization or punished. Alec and the thief retrieved the plans from the thief’s home, and (Amy) analyzed them, finding that they were the plans for a steam-powered gun that could reload and fire bullets extremely quickly on its own.

Her task completed, (Amy) and her crew left the house. When they returned to the inn, Dez had just finished sizing a suit for the nobleman they had seen before, Simon Turner. Rosalind hid her face as he passed. With the exception of Dez, who was frantically sewing Simon’s suit and a dress for his date (a disguised Rosalind), the group spent the week relaxing. (Devin) in particular had a wonderful time with the plentiful men of his persuasion around town.

The ball came off wonderfully, with Dez’s suit for Simon a beautiful hit. Towards the end, though, Simon got pushy with Rosalind, encouraging her to ride home in the carriage with him and have a little fun. When she refused, he left in fumes. Upon revealing this conversation to Alec, Alec decided to teach him a lesson about pressuring girls. Alec broke into his house, bit his leg, and escaped, leaving no trace of himself behind besides the blaring sirens.

The next morning at dawn, the group awoke to a surrounded inn and a man declaring the arrests of (Devin) for gender malfeasance, Dez for incomplete contract, and Alec for assault on a noble. Frantic, (Devin) cast illusions on himself and Dez, but could not cover Alec as well. When they tried to sneak out with the crowd, however, Simon was with the officers and pointed them out as magical. They were both immediately arrested, despite some attempted sympathy plays from (Devin). Alec took the more direct route and jumped onto the roof. A particularly sharp officer spotted him and yelled, and the military men that had accompanied the group fired upon him. He got two buildings away before the bullets defeated him, and he fell to the ground unconscious.

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Fourth Session
Breakout

Following their capture last session, Alec Vourkan, Dez Graves, and (Devin) all woke up in secure prison cells. After an adequate though unappealing breakfast, Dez and (Devin) socialized while the infirmary nurse set and bound Alec’s shattered hip. A few pain meds and a crutch later, Alec joined them for lunch. They discovered that there were four other prisoners in individual cells. Discussion revealed two murderers, an identity thief, and a scarred man convicted of treason who had clearly been tortured. The man looked familiar to (Devin), but it wasn’t until they chatted longer that (Devin) placed him as the subject of several Wanted posters awhile back. He introduced himself as Raymond Flint, Private Detective. In their private conversation, he hinted that he expected to break out sometime soon, but wouldn’t say more. Dez had refashioned his prison outfit into something more stylish than anyone else was wearing, and upon seeing it, the guards asked him to do the same for their uniforms. He requested materials with which to do so, and was given a sewing needle and a sheet.

Meanwhile, (Amy) and Rosalind Stanton Luna debated the easiest way to break their friends out of prison. After some consideration, they decided to use the favor owed to them by the Lady of Crime. While waiting for a meeting with her, Lucas Fairchild found them at the inn. In conceited language, he indicated that he had been the source of all their recent troubles, and offered to free their friends, no questions asked, if Rosalind would simply return home and marry him. When she flatly refused his offer, he told her he would be back in a day, and that she should spend some time thinking about it. After all, who knew how long her bard friend had left? He then hit her with a spell that rendered her mute and left, saying that if she changed her mind, he could be found at Simon Turner’s villa.

Furious, but aware of her own limitations and the needs of her friends, Rosalind patiently awaited their meeting with the Lady of Crime. Though hesitant at first, the Lady of Crime eventually informed the pair that they were in luck: their friends were housed with a high-profile target, and an escape plan was already in motion. Relieved, they stayed with her until that night, when she instructed them to meet their friends.

In the prison, (Devin) was doing his best to charm one of the guards into freeing them, but despite his success in making the guard like him, it didn’t seem likely that he would help (Devin) escape in time to save himself. That night, however, he found a note under his pillow saying only: 330am. Be ready.

When the time came, (Devin) expected to see the guard he had charmed. Instead, he heard quiet thumps followed by snoring, and the main door to the prison opened. A dinner-shift guard opened his cell and beckoned him out. In hushed whispers, she explained that she had been sent to help him and three others escape. She opened the cells of Dez, Alec, and Raymond Flint, bidding them to hurry, and be quiet about it.

Determined not to leave behind his cock-enhancing ring, (Devin) demanded that they break into the warden’s office to retrieve their personal items. After some manipulation of the lock with Dez’s needle, Dez and (Devin) were able to get into the room and steal back their stuff. Dez’s loom was a lost cause, however, as it could not be easily carried during their escape. Rather than let the warden have it, Dez broke it and left it behind.

Despite their efforts to be sneaky in the dark military encampment that surrounded the prison, a particularly alert guard heard their movements from inside his tent and came out to see what was happening. When Alec’s silencing punch missed, (Devin)’s quick thinking saved them, convincing the guard that they were other guards just out for a drink. He went back inside his tent. Their rescuer guard left them on their own after showing them to a rope that had been prepared for them to help them over the wall. The four of them scrambled neatly over, but the noises attracted a contingent of guards who has been patrolling the camp. Desperate, (Devin) cast a spell that created the illusion that they were part of the wall. Finding nothing, the patrol left them alone, and they made it safely out of the camp.

They met (Amy) and Rosalind on the other side, who lead them back to the mansion that was the Lady of Crime’s residence. Maria Giovanni was waiting for them, and she showed Raymond to his room with an excited air. Before he left, Alec pulled him aside to ask about the Revolution meeting the following night. Raymond said that if Alec knew about the meeting, he was welcome to come.

As night wore into early morning, the team of fugitives decided that they couldn’t stay in City 1, but that they also couldn’t leave with business finished between them and Lucas. They formulated a plan, and implemented it immediately. (Amy) and Rosalind entered Simon’s house on the pretense that Rosalind had changed her mind. When (Amy) told Lucas that Rosalind wanted a minute alone with him, he immediately took her into his study, leaving Amy alone with Simon. With no one watching and Simon’s romantic advances, it was the perfect opportunity. (Amy) reached out with a tentacle and slowly began to feed. Simon’s life-force was nearly completely gone by the time he realized what was happening. His last act before falling unconscious was to cast a quick spell releasing a loud warning gong.

At the same time (Amy) was sucking Simon dry, Lucas attempted to kiss Rosalind. Enraged, she bit the tongue he was trying to shove into her mouth and pushed him backwards. As planned, Alec crashed through the window and knocked him to the ground, hitting him so hard his head was spinning. Dez followed through the window with a blunt sword and stabbed Lucas in the side, though as far as anyone could tell, it had almost no effect. (Devin) was the last one in, and his sharp little knife cut a nasty wound on Lucas’s shoulder. Rosalind took the chance to hit him with a spell of her own: less finessed, but just as effective, she completely closed off his throat, preventing him from breathing. Lucas pulled himself up and pushed his back against a wall, trying to prevent himself from being attacked from all sides. Alec grabbed his head and smashed it against the wall. Dez tried to stab him again but missed and poked Alec instead. (Devin) cut his arm. Dizzy though he was, Lucas finally managed to get his wits about him enough to cast a spell, making the air around them feel like sludge, dampening all momentum. Rosalind turned the wall behind his head into a spike, and Alec tried to push his head back into it, but was hampered by the movement of the air. Dez and (Devin) were equally ineffectual, and Lucas took advantage of the time to turn the air poisonous. The entire group took one sickening breath before Rosalind had the presence of mind to lift the poisoned air into a cloud above their heads, the open window allowing pure air to rush in and fill the gap. In one final hit, Alec slammed Lucas’s head back against the spike, breaking his neck and rendering him unconscious. As soon as he was out cold, (Devin) proceeded, to the horror and awe of all around him, to castrate Lucas and put his genitals in their owner’s mouth. Rosalind did the final deed, using her dainty little belt knife to slit his throat. With Lucas dead, the spell binding her vocal cords dissolved, and she could speak again.

Just as they were finishing their battle, Simon’s warning peal from the other room sounded, and the group fled, (Amy) following their retreating forms out the window. A quick discussion resulted in the decision to hide outside the city until nightfall, at which point they would all accompany Alec to the Revolution meeting that night.

At the meeting, Raymond Flint was presented as a hero before General McKenna, leader of the Revolution, took the stage to deliver some important news: in City 2, a prominent noble magical family, the Lunas, had been lynched by angry townsfolk, following the charges of counterfeiting that had been brought against them being dropped. Though unpleasant, he said that this incident was exactly the kind of thing that the Revolution needed to act as a catalyst for the war to come. He urged all current members to double their pace, and new members to find something to do, someone to help, or simply spread dissent wherever they went.

This news stunned the group, leaving Dez viciously happy, but leaving Rosalind with an aching heart. Though she wasn’t as displeased to hear of her parents’ death as she might have been if they’d been better parents to her, the news hadn’t mentioned her brother, leaving her unsure of whether or not he had escaped the townspeople’s wrath. Together, though, they agreed to embark on a new journey together: aiding the Revolution’s aims however they could.

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Fifth Session
Blow Up the Rumor Mill

After a chat with General McKenna that convinced Alec Vourkan that he could be trusted, the team reported to a brisk librarian-looking woman for assignment. After assessing their abilities and their status as a team, she decided to send them to Josef, City 7’s revolutionary leader. On the way, however, she requested that they do their best to turn a printing press to the Revolution’s side. She explained that the merchant who had first developed printing press technology now had a widely profitable business in City 5, and that the Revolution had tried multiple times to turn him, but his enviable economic status made hims reluctant to risk his comfort for ideals. They needed the power of the written word, however, so Dez Graves was sent to use his skill with the disparaging word to bring the merchant down, preferably convincing him it was a noble’s fault in the process.

The journey to City 5 involved successfully navigating City 4, however, home of the nation’s military arm. Most of the team made it through successfully, but Alec and (Amy) each found themselves distracted. Alec couldn’t help but defend a small boy whose drunken father was beating him, and (Amy) wandered across the abandoned gun of a soldier engaged in lewd activity with a woman. With the help of some disguises and a well-placed knock on a guard’s head by Alec, they managed to flee out of the city through a hole between the houses that made up the city limits.

Reunited with their companions, they continued undaunted to City 5. Once in the town, Dez and (Devin) went to work scouring the community for interesting rumors, while (Amy) and Rosalind Stanton Luna scoped out the shop as interested buyers. By the end of the day, Dez and (Devin) had both discovered that the City Lord’s daughter was entangled with the merchant’s son, and (Devin) was more than a little drunk. While the group discussed plans, they missed (Devin) vanishing, only to return with the two thugs that he’d thought were necessary to fulfill Dez’s plan. While all of the group stared at him, aghast, he proceeded to reveal their entire plot to frame the City Lord for the vandalizing of the merchant’s shop. Finally, Alec had the sense of mind to cover (Devin)’s mouth, and they dismissed the very confused but greedy-eyed thugs.

With that plan lost to them, they decided to dig a little deeper into the budding romantic relationship. Upon further inspection, it appeared that the girl was quite infatuated with the merchant’s son, but he didn’t share her interest. Complicating the matter was a servant girl’s whispered confession that her mistress was “throwing up every morning, if you get my drift.”

With this information, the rumors nearly wrote themselves. Dez successfully spread the news around town that “The City Lord’s daughter is pregnant, and the merchant’s son means to marry her.” They sat back and watched as the City Lord actually destroyed the merchant’s shop as a warning to stay away from his daughter, leaving the merchant ruined and furious as the Revolution had desired.

Taking advantage of the situation, (Amy) introduced herself as a scientist and offered to fix the merchant’s printing press. She did as promised – but stole a critical magical component that made the press run itself to build her own for Dez.

With no further complications, they proceeded to City 7 and reported to Josef for direction.

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Interlude
Solo Adventures

When the adventurers arrived in City 7, they were surprised to discover that Josef thought they would be more effective as teams than a group. He immediately put Dez Graves and (Devin) to work as traveling propagandists, encouraging their travels throughout the cities to (subtly) spread dissent. Their first stop was the merchant city; there they were open about their motives, encouraging the newly-monyed to fight for new rights. They met with little opposition there. They spent the majority of their time in City 4, subtly nudging younger military members towards the revolution’s way of thinking: Did they really want to fight the deadly Lycan menace? Throughout their travels, (Devin) negotiated with locals to provide safe houses for anyone who would be helpless in the fighting: the young, the old, and the handicapped. At the end of their two weeks, they returned to City 7 to prepare for war. Dez rented a loft in a barn on the edge of the city and built an underground escape tunnel in case things got too scary.

Meanwhile, Alec Vourkan and Rosalind Stanton Luna traveled to the university in City 6 to gauge the disposition of its people. Alec found one of his Lycan contacts and used him to send a message to his people: General McKenna was sincere in his desire to help their people. Rosalind finally found her brother, but he had taken their parents’ deaths hard and would hear no talk of revolution. He seemed to be in the minority in the city, though, and Rosalind worried for his safety in the coming weeks, Finally, she made him promise to hide if anything out of the ordinary happened. He agreed to humor her, but it was better than nothing.

Finally, Josef set (Amy) up in the shop where they’d once defeated four flocks of birds and a magical scientist. It had both tools and materials at hand, and (Amy) quickly began to build devices for the revolution. Over the course of the next two weeks, she built ten messenger rats with one power charger per city and five machine guns. She also began work on a robot bodyguard but ran out of time to armor it. It was mobile but nothing more.

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