Chapter 34: Florence
The game continued from Chapter 33: The Time Machine.
game session #204
played on February 2, 2017
The time machine brought the group to a walled garden at night, where the statues came to life and attacked them, along with a creepy old man. The group defended the time machine for as long as they could, until an armored car arrived to rescue them and they were forced to abandon it. The driver took them to meet the Phoenix, an important historical qabal that knew the group was coming and needed their help. Their members included Galileo, who could see anyone on Earth at that moment; Will Shakespeare, who could speak any language including 1899 English and dog barking; da Vinci, engineer of fantastical contraptions; Paracelcus, occultist and potion master; Christina, who used a magical disguise to flee the Swedish throne and could disguise others; and Nostradamus, the seer who knew they were coming. The Phoenix used their lavish hideout to plot against the Red Death and its local host Machiavelli, who was known to associate with those in government and the church, along with his henchmen Michelangelo the living-statue maker, and Richelieu the plague carrier disguised as an old man. The Phoenix's first assignment for the group was to learn everything they could about Machiavelli, who was mostly a mystery despite living in Florence his whole life. Gao possessed a historical book about Machiavelli that said that he had died under unknown circumstances in Florence in this time period, and Caleb argued that it was historically safe for the group to kill him if necessary.
Caleb for arguing a reasonable case for killing Machiavelli
Elise for protecting the time machine
Gao for the idea to disable the time machine before abandoning it
game session #205
played on February 9, 2017
The group decided to stake out Machiavelli's palatial house and walled garden. They observed the comings and goings of several staff members and associates over the course of the day, and got into trouble with Gao being spotted by a police officer, Elise being caught by the living statues, and Nannuraluk (as a bird) being snatched up by a larger bird, each one forced to flee. Elise followed Richelieu on a few errands before he went to the lair of the Phoenix; she interrupted his attack and drove him away, but not without injuries in the brief battle. Elise convinced the Phoenix to abandon their lair and meet the group elsewhere in town while they plotted their next move.
Nann for dedication to the surveillance plan
La tragedia della Fenice
game session #206
played on February 18, 2017
Helping themselves to some of da Vinci's inventions, including a gyrocopter, the group fled outside of town with the Phoenix, staking out a safe place to hide on the top of a large hill. After a prolonged discussion of strategy, they decided to leave the Phoenix behind with Rose and Hartdegen while the rest of them attacked Machiavelli's palace to reclaim the time machine and, if necessary, kill the villain. Caleb started in from one side of the building, disguising himself as a moving statue, but lost his stone form ability and had to use an invisibility potion. He found Machiavelli inside a second-floor room, himself a statue. On the other side of the house, Marmaduke befriended local dogs to help but got one killed by the guardian statues, while Gao and Nannuraluk broke into the ground floor of the house, getting into a fight with two bodyguards, one of whom had his throat ripped out by Marmaduke. For her part, Elise responded to Gao's premonition of the Phoenix in danger, and returned to them to find that Richelieu had killed them, aided by a traitorous Nostradamus. Elise pinned the seer to the ground while she killed Richelieu with holy water, barely saving the lives of Rose and Hartdegen in the process.
Elise for defeating Richelieu
Marmaduke for defeating the bodyguard
The Enemy Within
game session #207
played on March 2, 2017
Elise learned from Nostradamus that the Phoenix had long been a secret tool of the church, and Machiavelli had used the Cardinal to control it. She was able to resurrect all but Paracelsus, and convinced them to join her in the future since history considered them dead. She then flew back to the house, where the intruding group was met by the Machiavelli-resembling statue. It grew in stature, then battled them while their powers failed one by one, hitting hard enough to knock several of them unconscious. They eventually retreated, giving up on this large statue in hopes of finding Machiavelli in the house. Caleb found the time machine surrounded by tools as if someone was trying to get it to work, and found Michelangelo hiding in a closet, pleading for his life. After Machiavelli turned away police at the door, Elise followed him back inside and saw him turn into the large statue and teleport upstairs. He stalked the group invisibly until Nannuraluk threw itching powder in his face, enraging him and exposing his position. The group continued to attack him, despite the quills growing out of him, and they realized that he was stealing away their powers for himself. While Elise prepared to detonate nitroglycerin on him, Caleb and Marmaduke pounded away with traditional attacks to damage him further, and Nannuraluk tried to persuade Gao to touch him and take away his power to steal their powers, or at least to take away the stone form protecting him from harm.
Caleb for finding Michelangelo
Nann for using itching powder to expose Machiavelli's position and irritate him
The game continued in Chapter 35: Krakatoa.