Izanami's Haunted Mansion
|Izanami's Haunted Mansion|
|Spirits of Dunwich|
|Casualties and losses|
|Grim Reapers x3|
In which the runners attempt to free a village full of ghosts from their haunt.
See: Bound By the Blood for the full story.
Returning to Seattle after the events of Bound By the Blood, Delphi finds herself unable to sleep. She calls up Mara for advice in the middle of the night, meeting up at her office in Loveland to talk about the situation in Dunwich and what might be done about it. Briefly considering contacting Hanako Shinoda to ask Shiawase for help, they decide to first reach out to other runners who might be able to assist. Reaching out to Mouse as one of the premier spirit experts that she knows, the summoner agrees to assist and comes to meet with the two elves with snacks in hand.
Putting their heads together, the team considers things from a magical theory perspective as well as a historical one, trying to examine all the angles and figure out what to do. Gathering together all of their knowledge as well as the information Delphi has from the previous job, they call up a few contacts to see what they can find. Mara contacts Malia Strongoak and gets a bit of information on ghosts and how to liberate them from their haunts, while Mouse calls up his old friend Providence and asks them about European history and the situation in Dunwich. Providence starts on a Matrix search, but shortly after their comms go dark, and soon after the hacker shows up at Delphi’s office with a bunch of biofeedback damage, clutching a datachip that simply says “THEY’RE COMING” over and over.
After administering medical attention and magical healing, Providence is slightly more lucid, but is unable to account for what happened - they say they followed a data trail into a host while searching for the information they were looking for, and was subsequently attacked by a trio of figures with the same strange icon (a 0 with a slash through it) before coming to in the office. Delphi recognizes this from her browsings of conspiracy theory boards as the mark of the Null Sect, and deciding that they’re not safe there, the trio take Providence and head off, dropping them off at a street doc before trying to decide what to do.
Not wanting to get on a plane after something like that, they consider their options and find that they have very few - except for calling Shiawase for help. With some reluctance, Delphi contacts Hanako Shinoda, who she spoke to during the events of Bound By the Blood about the situation in Dunwich. Unsurprisingly, Hanako is expecting the call, and she points the team towards Asahiro Kunitoshi in Auburn, who is aware of the matter. Heading to Asahiro’s manor, they enter to discuss the situation and what to do about it; after some negotiation, he says that he will lend them his aid and protection.
Delphi recalls the dream she had during Bound By the Blood about Izanami (a Shinto death spirit) and the ritual she witnessed to call the spirit, and asks Asahiro about it; he provides the required components and a suitable magical lodge, and with Mara and Mouse’s assistance the trio manage to call the spirit. Izanami appears before them, and after they explain their intent she agrees to be called to Dunwich to assist with liberating the ghosts - so that they can pass on to her domain.
After preparing for their trip, the runners hop on the Shiawase plane and journey to England. They are able to make it into London and to Dunwich without much trouble thanks to the megacorp’s aid, and Asahiro escorts them to the ghost town and past the FAB barrier. After her last time here, Delphi is able to navigate around and guide the team to the abandoned manor house where many of the ghostly residents are still trapped, and they force an entrance inside.
In the house, the team manage to interact with some of the ghosts, finding that it is easier while they are astrally active - on a whim, Mouse lays down to project and finds he is able to get the ghost’s attention, offering his hand to psychometry one of them and immediately being subjected to a vision of how they died; nearly overwhelmed, he attempts to provide what comfort he can to the poor soul.
Asahiro, unmoved, senses something coming and tells the team to prepare themselves - just then, a grim reaper comes into the room, while another emerges through the floor and attempts to drag a projecting Delphi down into the basement. While Asahiro cuts one of the reapers down to size, Mara places the other inside a mana barrier - not waiting for it to escape, Delphi manages to astral combat it back to whatever dimension it came from, somewhat surprised with herself, and takes it’s cloak as a trophy.
Continuing on, they find a chandelier possessed by a poltergeist who impedes their ability to open any of the doors. Deciding this is as good a place as any, Delphi sets up the ritual to conjure Izanami while the others watch out for threats - as she prepares to cut her finger to offer a drop of blood as part of the ritual, the poltergeist jumps on the makeshift Shinto altar and seemingly requests to use it’s blood instead. After some discussion with the rest of the team, Delphi acquiesces and cuts it with her knife; this has the unexpected effect of liberating the poltergeist from whatever force binds it… only to chain Izanami in its place when she arrives.
Horrified at this result but unsure of what to do, Delphi attempts to placate the enraged spirit while Asahiro watches impassively and translates. Mara shakes her head at all this foolishness, while Mouse, still on the astral, offers Izanami his body to possess - she immediately does so, but the astral chains on her form remain attached to Mouse’s body. Acutely aware that if they remain too long that Mouse will suffer evanescence, they bid Izanami to return to the astral; she responds by breaking Mouse’s arm, telling them that she will return when she is ready.
On the plus side, with the poltergeist now free and having run off, the doors are now unlocked. Gathering all of the ghosts together in the foyer with Izanami (who beckons the others from around the village there as well), they find that about half a dozen are missing, along with Hashim (the ghost who Delphi spoke to during Bound By the Blood). Deciding to brave the basement with Asahiro, Izanami provides them with a mindlink so that they can continue to speak with her while they’re gone.
Through the basement door, the team find that the background count spikes dramatically, and inside is what appears to be an astral shallow leading to an ancient battlefield. Asahiro charges forth and begins to do battle with the grim reaper (at the head of an army of spirits), while the runners do their best to sneak about the battlefield and gather the lost spirits. Finding their way into a series of caves, they locate Hashim trapped once again inside a mana barrier, managing to free him by digging up the lynchpin - which turns out to be a coffin filled with skulls.
Returning upstairs, they present the coffin to Izanami, who opens it and bids the ghosts to look upon what’s inside - horrified, they each approach and find their own heads, taking them and beginning to comprehend what happened. Asahiro appears from the basement, and while Mara provides healing to the battered but alive samurai, Delphi and Mouse put their hands together with the ghosts and teamwork a psychometry roll to reveal the truth of the decades-old impressions to the spirits, releasing them from their curse and letting them pass on to the Well of Souls and Izanami’s domain.
With the ghostly presence lifted, Dunwich finally lays still and silent. Izanami remains bound to the place, however the poltergeist reappears and meekly offers to take the chains back; she and Asahiro confer briefly, and the latter announces that a shrine will be built here to honor the dead, venerating Izanami as the patron. Hashim remains as well, feeling something tying him to the place - Delphi offers to do what she can to help, however he waves her off, saying he’ll stick around to see the shrine be built and take time to think on some things. She nods, saying she’ll return in a few years to see if he still needs assistance.
20 Karma For Delphi: Solid Rep (Shiawase) & 14,000 Nuyen For Field Mouse: Arabic Spoken Language Specialization & 10,000 Nuyen For Mara: 18,000 Nuyen Optional Contact: Asahiro Kunitoshi, 6/1 Shiawase Fixer w/ 1 Chip (6 RVP or 12 of your own CDP) Optional Contact: Providence, 3/1 White Hat Hacker (3 RVP or 6 of your own CDP) 1 Street Cred 1 Shiawase Reputation 2 CDP
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
After last time, I just couldn’t sleep thinking about all those ghosts trapped in perpetual torment. At least now they have their rest. I’m not sure I could have hoped for a better outcome here… it’s just that I had to sell out a little bit more to Shiawase to make it happen. I hate it, but… well, Greater Good and all that. Almost a hundred people have peace now, and as much as I dislike it a new shrine is probably better than a ghost town surrounded by a war crime and tainted astral space. Just… I don’t like it, I really don’t. Every time I have to call these people they get their claws in a little more. I’m just gonna try to enjoy the victory and not think about it… also holy shit I punched a grim reaper so hard it went back to whatever hell it came from, still having trouble processing that.
Letting things lay is not Delphi's style. I can see why in this case. They had been trapped for years and would have continued to be if somebody hadn't done something. This was a very surprising situation; how we came into it, the help we received, and the fact that we were able to resolve the situation. The Shiawase personnel were so eager to help that it was almost unbelievable. I suppose when a 'god' wants something, you jump.
Meeting the Shinto goddess of death was interesting. Well, whatever part of that supposed god she was. It seems there are multiple spirits who claim the title. She was, however, suitably impressive to earn a cautionary amount of respect.
- Delphi - I've written about her several times. She's undergone some changes in her magical abilities. On the astral she took out a reaper with a single blow. I was impressed. Then there was the bit with the poltergeist - never trust a trickster - in the end it worked out and Izanami was convinced to help us.
- Mouse - An impressive summoner. I believe he teaches classes as he mentioned grading at one point. Beyond his magical capabilities, he has a tendency to want to make friends of enemies. It's a different kind of bravery, but it fits the bill. I would like to learn his opinions on binding and allies at some point.
OKAY SO, I goofed up and said "hey use my body" to a big ol' spirit future friend, but then my body got tethered, which I should have thought about, and the spirit was MAD so she broke my arm. I get why she'd be frustrated, but it was a jerk move, NO OFFENSE! So, we had to do this thing on the astral. I am not scared of projecting, mind you. I rather enjoy the sensation...but like...THERE WERE SO MANY SPIRITS and also ghosts which are different and they were somewhere between unhappy and downright angry so...it was scary BUT ALSO WE WANTED TO HELP SO WE NEEDED TO DO IT! We had to find their heads and then convince them they were dead. It was REALLY WEIRD! Delphi and Mara are like smart and tough and like--just all around awesome and kept us safe. I was super glad I could even pretend to help but like...I bill myself as a spirit expert and really goofed here.