One week later, our players gathered to get the first full session of the Dresden Files Accelerated Beta in. (Almost three weeks, and one session later, yours truly finally gets around to writing about it!)
When we last left our Monoc Securities hit squad, they had been ejected from a White Council intervention and given firm orders to continue with their mission. We were each working on an approach to take the next step when the GM put on an evil grin and dangled some Fate Points in front of us.
In D&D, one of the first rules is “never split the party.” In Fate…well, it could honestly go either way. Driven by compulsions to move the investigation forward our way, each of the team ran off to find some cogent piece of information.
Solara summoned her wyldfae ally–a London Fog obsessed fae we tended to call “Foggy.” The orders given to the little one were to find the Whitestaff.
Sadly, Foggy wasn’t able to find the Whitestaff–he was missing. In a place no Fae dared go. What possible place could that be?
Solomon–err, Han–was the dutiful military man. He went to the local constabulary to register his weapons, then reviewed their files for signs of the information he needed. Finding no love there, he found a local church and started praying…which is when he discovered quite a few new things.
After placing his hand in the holy water, he noticed there was a pattern that tended to absorb the water. This led him to seek out the priest, who was shortly revealed to be a former four-star general! Han noticed a few other things–in this sacred space, his hand could burn objects away. The general was able to identify the symbol on Solomon’s hand, indicating it was the ancient sign of the Counterbalance. What fate this held for Han is uncertain.
Erika, bookworm that she is, went straight to the local Monoc office after digging into the records to locate an ancient tablet that referenced the Whitestaff. The mute Guardians of the Archives “questioned” her about her presence, to which she simply replied: “I have access. Go ahead and ask the Boss if you want.” She settled in for a good read and translation session, as the tablet was written in a language she understood, but was a bit rusty with. As she stroked the runes etched into the tablet, it sprung to life, transporting her to a dark cave.
The cave was rough-hewn, and lit by coarsely created candles. There were signs magic had been used to carve out portions of the cave, but in general, the technology involved was low-level. Somehow, the tablet had transported her to the past. Three staves lay upon a table, obviously both magically prepared and incomplete. As she reached out to touch one of them, her hand slipped through the staff, revealing she was incorporeal.
She was also unnoticed by the three magi that entered, who argued about the most potent power of magic. The Black mage maintained that Destruction was the greatest of all. The Grey argued for Mind over Matter. The White held Creation was supreme. Each ancient wizard argued their case, but all save the White grew tired of arguing a perspective that wouldn’t be adopted, and withdrew with their staff to complete its creation.
The White, now alone, addressed Erika directly.
Erika decided she had no reason to withhold information or dissemble, so the two held a candid conversation about the creation and the future of the staffs.
Thusly did the ancient Valkyrie learn of the founding of the Great Wizard Staffs.
Returned from her memory-stone induced trance, she found Donar Vadderung looming over her. The Valkyrie had done what no others had been able to succeed at–activating the stone and learning the history within. She reported on the status of her mission before departing to rejoin her team.
Meanwhile, back at the Unambiguously Branded Coffee House(Not the real TM), Puck was concocting a plan.
His thoughts: no-one likes a copycat. Therefore, he’d make a mockery of the Whitestaff using a flash mob!
Although slightly past its prime as a meme, a variant of Gangnam Style–Wizard Gandalf Style–would be the perfect bait for the Whitecloak. All he needed was the signal, and the performance would begin!
The signal, of course, being Han shouting in exasperation at Hobs–Solomon’s pet name for the hobgoblin that continued to vex him, teammate Robin Goodfellow.
With the insane scene before them, the team retired to the coffee shop to watch for their quarry.
This is where the next compel came into play, from one of the Whitestaff’s aspects. The team’s orders arrived without having been placed! All save Erika, who was overlooked for some reason. After taking a brief swig, Solomon offered the beer to the Valkyrie, gentleman to the end.
Which led to the team being knocked out, a vision for Solomon which revealed he needed both angelic and demonic contact to perform his Knightly duties (which Erika shared in by accident,) and a taunting visit from the Whitestaff–who got away, again.
Analysis – System
In this session, we finally got to see the system come in to its own. One of the frequent aphorisms that I use in regards to Fate is that each player (including the GM) has one duty: make everyone look awesome. We saw a fair bit of this, supported by the Approaches that addresss *how* we do things, rather than what we can do.
Even separated, we all got to enjoy each others’ scenes, and it became clear that our mantles (see the previous post) helped distinguish us in subtle, yet undeniable ways.
Analysis – Game Style
With a trickster fae in the mix, we’re bound to always have a bit of irreverence. The GM is starting to catch his stride, though there are still occasional hiccups. (For example, it seems to me Solara could use a little more spotlight time. But maybe that’s just my opinion.) This session was high on information and low on pulp action, but I’m betting [okay, spolier: I already know] we’re going to see some real conflict kick in shortly.
Session four is tomorrow. No, I didn’t mis-count. I’m actually behind by a post. But this one will have to serve for now.
See you next time!