Stormtouched – Chapter One: The Matrix (multiple sessions)
Despite being a lawyer, Phil was a nice guy. Sure, the town he was stuck in was a pile of shit as far as living places were concerned. Maybe the city was filled with smog and crime and the taxes were too high, but Phil just saw that as an opportunity to make someone’s life better. Because there were so many people in this city that needed it.
There was Marjorie, a young woman who worked for a museum as a biologist and was a childhood friend of Phil’s. Her dying brother was in debt to the mob, and Phil was working his best to get her protection.
There was Earnest Hemingway, an eccentric fisherman who claimed to have seen all sorts of things out on the ocean. Abandoned, friendless and alone – except for Phil.
There was Casey Jones, a locomotives engineer trapped in a nine-to-five job, dreaming of something more. His love was forbidden fruit: a woman trapped under the iron heel of the mob, working a street corner day in and day out, though Phil was hard at work to change that.
Our story begins on Phil’s birthday. To celebrate, Phil invites these people to a new club that just started up in town, and despite its strange name (Overbite), each of the three agreed to attend and met each other that night.
But Overbite wasn’t a club. It wasn’t a night, they weren’t meeting and it wasn’t even Phil’s birthday. Or, at least, that’s what they’d find out soon enough. Reality started to fall apart. Giant rats attacked them in the basement of the club, wounding the club’s owner, before the basement swallowed them in an endless maze. The air itself began to crack and tear. As the club and everything in it began to fade into nothingness, a hole in reality appeared and sucked the group through.
Everyone, that is, but Phil. He was weighed down, carrying the wounded man. He died as he lived: for someone else.
Enter Duster, Higgs and Princess. As they awakened to the real world, they found themselves in a small warehouse located in the middle of the desert, each on a small hospital cot with an IV in one arm like some kind of injured patient. Discovering themselves to be healthy, though lacking any memory of the past two weeks, the group eventually found their way to the small town of Boulder, Nevada, about twenty minutes’ drive from Las Vegas.
Once acclimated back to reality and after beginning to find themselves despite the lingering false memories left behind by their dream selves, the group was eventually put back in contact with the Vegas Concilium. It was decided that their plight had connected each of them, somehow, to one another as well as to the wanted magical terrorist who called himself Overbite. As such, they were Quarantined: Oathed into a cabal with one another and sent back to Boulder, out of the way where an eye could be kept on them while an investigation of the situation could be mounted.
Before long, the cabal came into possession of The Hat, which Princess – the cabal’s Acanthus – declared to be “The Beginning of Everything” for the cabal. It was a statement that held to be very true. The Hat turned out to be an astral construct, while simultaneously being Overbite’s dedicated tool. Of course, this was only determined after Overbite’s astral minions – astral cowboys, to be exact – had descended upon the party, opening fire and willing to kill in order to get The Hat back.
After a series of shenanigans and with the assistance of a cabal from Boston calling themselves the Shells, the cabal managed to capture one of the cowboys, which they could trace back to its home Realm in the Astral world, where Overbite (or clues about Overbite) could presumably be found. Without much else to go on, and needing to find answers about what had happened to them during those lost weeks, the mages plunged into their first Astral journey – to the minuscule, obscure, warded and out-of-the-way Astral town of Lynchwood.