Nephilim – “Suspicion”

(Disclaimer: This is for my Nephilim RPG players, if it read´s like a random part from the middle of a story…. that is correct, because it is just that.)

Suspicion

Berlin, 3AM CEST, Joris arrives at Bergmannstrasse 57.

I approach Yxdri´s office, hoping that the newcomers have left by now.
I watched them fight, and they seem to be decent folk, if a little confused, but right now, I need to talk to him alone.
The light is still on, and their cars are gone.

Good.

I slip in through the unlocked back door, and make my way to the ‘waiting room for exotic animals’. He still thinks this joke is funny, even thought everybody knows it´s where he goes to smoke.

As I press my ear to the door, the veterinarian´s soft voice announces: “Enter, they are gone.”
I abide, and find him sitting on the worn out leather sofa. A smoky haze and the smell of marihuana fill the room.
Temperance1.png

Sitting down on the other couch, I remark “You are quite perceptive, for a stoner.”

“No, You just have become quite predictable. I knew you´d come back to talk. I´ve been waiting.”
He takes a puff from his joint, and leans back his head, smoke slowly rising from his mouth. Of course he is right, I have spent the last four hours driving through the rain, trying to calm the thoughts racing inside my head.

The Templars´ return, the new arrivals, the leak, so much has happened today.

“Earlier, you became quite agitated when I mentioned Skaro´s name. You even called her a traitor.” he continues.
I´m surprised he wants to discuss this. “That´s not at all what I wanted to talk about – ”

He sits up abruptly, his dizziness replaced by an ire I didn´t expect from him. “Really? You brought this up earlier. When they were here. You wanted them to hear it, why not me?” He is becoming louder, “It´s getting worse every time. What was it you told the last group that came here? ‘She is not to be trusted.’? What´s next? Will you hand them a gun, tell them to shoot her?”

“I…”, I start, but he interrupts me again. “This has to stop. At this point you are basically just slandering her. You´re helping no one, not even yourself.”

This is where I finally get a word in, “It´s not slander if there is truth to it. She could have helped. Instead, Khavesh died. Perhaps worse. It is her fault!”

The elf sighs, slumping back into his sofa. “This again. We talked about this so many times, you just can´t let go. You´re the most stubborn Nephilim I´ve ever met. 1600 years is a long time to hold a grudge.”

I really do not want to talk about this right now, I try to derail the conversation a little, “Have you ever met Theseus? I think he has me beat by a few centuries. Besides, 1600 years is also a long time to mourn a dead friend.”

“No, I haven´t met him, but I can´t believe he is as persistent as you are,” he ponders. “Maybe he´s at least working towards settling his grudge, whatever it is, instead of just being angry at the world? You´re just dragging her name through the mud, and that serves no one, the least of all Khavesh. You are so full of energy, but you are wasting it on being angry instead of productive! Maybe he can be restored? But you don´t even try!”

I stand up rapidly. He´s really pushing my buttons now. “What the fuck am I supposed to do? I stand alone against two secret societies, maybe even three! I can´t just run off to seek out his stasis?! I wouldn´t even know which continent to look on!”

A thought pushes itself to the front of my mind. The secret societies , the Templars!

Focus!

I snap out of my anger. Try to calm him down as well.
“We have no time for this. The Templars are back in Berlin. This is why I came back, what I wanted to talk to you about. We´re in deep shit.”

Yxdri looks puzzled at the sudden change of topic, “Yes, of course. You already told me that.”

“No”, I reply, “They are back, yes, but that´s not the real problem. It´s the timing. Ten years of silence, and now they just happen to stumble back into Berlin, steal the stases that we wanted right from under our noses? This can´t be a coincidence.”

He strokes his chin, the anger forgotten momentarily, uncertainty, perhaps fear, in it´s stead. “You think someone tipped them off?”

Back to familiar territory, this is what I am good at.
“I´m not sure, either someone tipped them off, or we have some kind of information leak. They might have infiltrated the CT, and they in turn might have shadowed me, ” I pause for a moment, ” or Skaro has a traitor in her employ.”

His glares at me, the agitation resurfacing, “Again with this traitor nonsense. You -”

This time it´s me who interrupts him. “No, I mean someone who betrayed her. It has happened before.”.

He shakes his head. “No, that´s impossible. You wouldn´t know, but she now let´s the brothers have everyone swear an oath, a magically binding one, to not harm her in any way. Nobody gets to even see her before that.”
“Smart.” I say, “Hmmm, It´s obviously not the new guys either. Wouldn´t make sense for them to tip off the Templars, only to then slaughter them like cattle.”
BlastedTower1

My mind is working on full speed now, juggling ideas on how to handle this situation.

Step One. Find the problem and eliminate it.
“You should ask her who was involved in this museum stunt. All of them could be the leak. And all of them are in danger.”

Doubt creeps into his look, “But you know how she is, with her secrets, she won´t just tell me the names of all those people.”

I interject, “I know how she is, secretive, cryptic, obtuse. But she´s not stupid. Explain the situation to her, and she will understand. After all, what use is her high tower, when every one of her agents on the ground is murdered by Templars.”

Step two. Secure the perimeter. “Oh, and also get rid of all your mobile phones, get new email addresses and everything, maybe even move. Talk to people in person, so that you can´t be monitored that easily. Also tell that to her recruits, they are new to the twenty-first century, they might not be used to this yet.”

“Right. I´ll see what I can do. What will you do?”

Step three. Counter-Intelligence, Counter-Attack. “I will lay low for a while. Watch from the shadows, see if they are setting up a stronghold in Berlin. Wait for them to make a mistake. We have driven out of Berlin before. We can do it again.”

“I hope so… “, he changes the topic, ” ‘Slaughtered like cattle’ you say, so the new ones are powerful? Maybe they can help?”.

I think back to the skirmish for a moment, “Maybe. They seemed to favour raw force and physical combat instead of magic or stealth. But yeah, they made quick work of the Templars without me. Caught them in a pincer movement, sent the armored girl in first. So at least one of them has an idea of tactics I guess.”

His eyes light up, and he voices an idea. “Perhaps one of them can help you find Khavesh´s stasis afterwards? There are two more of them than usual.”

“Perhaps. One step at a time.” A yawn escapes my lips. ” I´m tired, let´s speak of this tomorrow. Can I crash at your place tonight?”

“Always.”
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Nephilim – Prologue

The sky is almost clear today. A good omen.

After the incident in Japan, I am left with little choice, I must find help from outside.
Of those available to me, a careful selection has been made:
The alchemist, the centrepiece of my strategy.
I would have preferred someone a little more predictable, but alas, I am not spoiled for choice.
The spearhead could prove to be the creative, driving force for this operation. The symbol seems quite appropriate.
And last, but not least, the scholar will be necessary to acquire the proper tomes and formulae. I imagine them to be the thinker in this trio.
All of them were alive in recent times, so they should not have too much trouble adjusting to the new millennium.

If my information is correct, they even had prior contact, in the 19th century, this should maximize the chance of cooperation.

All the preparations for their release have been made:

By careful manipulation of the museum administration, the three stasis objects are in place. 

Harvey has set up his devices; This was very expensive for me, he actually demanded two favours for this.
I reluctantly agreed, on the condition that he name his first one right now.
To my surprise, he demanded money, an obscene amount of it, but still, only money, an easily fulfilled request.
In turn, he offered to contact the spearhead himself and put in a good word for me.

He stands to gain even more out of this deal, if his new machine works, which I do not doubt, the Merkabah will make him an initiate immediately.

And finally, Akim, he resides in a hotel near the museum, just waiting for my signal.
His task will actually be the easiest, the casting of a single spell, but such an important one.

I think I will call him personally, just this one time, for the sake of old times.

An endeavour of this magnitude should have a bit of a personal touch.

The board is prepared, the bets are placed, the pieces have been selected.
Time to place them on the board.
 

Awaken.

– Journal entry from the private archive of Skaro, Sunday, second day of April in the year  2017 AD, translated from handwritten Adamic script.

Force Post

So, this space has been quiet for a few weeks.
This does not mean I have been lazy, on the contrary, I have been writing a lot, but nothing I can post here (details below).
(Looking at my evernote “blog” folder, I actually have 23 partially finished articles. Oops.)
So instead, have a little Smörgåsbord of things:

Synthwave / Electronic concerts

A few weeks ago, we went to a Perturbator concert, and I´ll have to say it was a bit of a strange experience.

Never having been to an electronics/synthwave concert of any kind, I was expecting people to stand in front of the stage like a crowd standing in front of an altar. Some people dancing/moshing.
Like a heavy metal concert, except replace the 3-5 musicians on stage with James Kent tapping away at a keyboard or laptop.
99% of my expectations were met. (There was no moshpit.)
This is very weird.
The music was great, obviously.
A whole lot of songs were played within the ~60 minutes (!) the concert took and some of them were shortened harshly, but that didn´t matter. I think it takes guts to slice such huge chunks out of a piece of music and still have it work, without the sense of something missing.
But still, weird.

Nephilim RPG

“Nephilim – Occult RPG” is the reason I haven´t been writing on here recently. It´s a pen&paper RPG from the 90s, and I am currently writing a campaign for it, which will start soon.

The cliff notes on what it is about:

The player characters are so-called Nephilim, magical energy beings that incarnate into living human beings (Think of the Goa’Uld in Stargate, minus the disgusting worm.).
Their golden age has past, and they are forced to live amongst human society, in the shadows. Their goal is to reach Enlightenment and leave behind the mundane human world, and each of them must find their own path for doing this.

The cool thing is that it plays in our world, so the role-playing part is made a lot easier, since everyone is familiar with the workings of the world already.

Add magic.

Add sinister secret societies like the Illuminati and the Templars.

Add reincarnation.

Boom!

You might read some more about this in the near future, I am having a lot of fun thinking up scenarios and characters for this.
The source material in the book is so very rich with content, the characters basically write themselves.
There are plenty of motivations for characters and conflict (violent and non-violent alike). Even player characters get built-in motivations (Walk the golden path, create an alchemical oven, aquire spells from ancient books, and of course, do not get killed by hateful secret societies and much more.)

I think this makes it a lot more interesting than the typical “You meet in a tavern, then go out to a cave, bash some goblins or loot a magician´s tower.”

Fun fact: I actually have a hard time writing the campaign in german, probably because my exposure to fantasy and fiction is in English about 95% of the time.

Thrawn 2

I have recently finished listening to the second part of the Thrawn trilogy, “Dark Force Rising”, didn´t like it as much as the first.
That is mostly because my criticism of the first part stands, the rebels (or the new republic) keep stumbling around the galaxy, resolving plot points along the way.

In fact, the galaxy feels more like a medium sized city, with the protagonists driving from one end to another and randomly bumping into the same people again and again.
I´ll have to rewatch the movies at some point, to see if this is Star Wars in general, or only the Zahn books.
Also, Luke has apparently levelled his intelligence and wisdom down. I really didn´t like the scenes where C’baoth “teaches” him.

Hitchhiker 6

Last week, I have begun reading “And another thing…”, the 6th part in the “Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy” series. So far I am about a hundred pages in and am not very engaged by the book.
The original series had a lot of inherent humor, and this feels more like a series of jokes. Especially the “Guide notes” feel very forced.

My question is: Why did we need this book? I think it´s greedy. No “Let´s make some money with this series”-greedy, but “I don´t want Hitchhikers Guide to have an unhappy ending”-greedy.
This is unnecessary, the original ending was fine, and absurd end to an absurd planet in an absurd universe.

Of course I´ll finish the book and hopefully it gets better, but so far, I am very lukewarm on this.

So, 22 posts left in the stack.
– Rane2k out