Monday 27 February 2023

Hunter Begins!

So excited! We actually got the first Hunter game done!


I had 3 players lined up. One couldn't make it; we discussed quickly and she would like to be involved but couldn't commit to that date. Knowing how games can be excessively delayed, I suggested the rest of us make a start and we can slide the third player in when she is free.

So, H & S came over for character generation and an intro. H has run a couple of D&D sessions but hasn't been a player, and they're using pre-genned characters so she hasn't had a go at character creation before - and of course, White Wolf works very differently to D&D!

H has put a lot of thought into her character. His name's Jim, he came to Aberrheidol 7 years ago to study Medieval Literature but dropped out and now works in a pub/nightclub (Samsons and The Villa; this is a location transplanted from our local area where, it turns out, we both worked, she starting shortly after I left!), with a second job at a bookshop (I need to talk with H about this, because I have a few ideas). He's got a few named friends: Anna, his co-worker crush, his best friend who is an Arabic history specialist (if I remember correctly), and his roommate works at the hospital.

S is playing a sort of New Age healer-type named Vasha, who lives in a mobile caravan and has a pet hedgehog, Gerald. She wears a lot of scarves and occult-esque jewellery, but is actually good at medicine, albeit from a more mystic stance. The character doesn't exactly fit the vibe I was intending for the game, but the game isn't just mine so I'm doing my best to roll with it.

I explained we were starting in Pier Pressure, a club on the Pier. I let them choose why they were there: Jim had been invited by Anna to hang out with her other friends, and Vasha was looking for Gerald who had gone missing and she'd found him there before. They individually spotted a man with a very drunk woman; Vasha spotted blood trickling down the woman's leg as she crawled looking for Gerald, while Jim was concerned by the guy's attitude towards the woman. Jim looked for a bouncer - there was one in the corner, but studying the ceiling and Jim couldn't get his attention. The players intervened, the man raced down the stairs out of the club, dragging the woman with him.

I did my best to build Pier Pressure from my vague memories of my one visit to the real world place that inspires it, the carpet that eats your shoes, the stench, the awful lighting - and the smashed mirrors on the stairs.

Vasha glimpsed the man as he ran down, and noticed that he didn't seem to have a reflection. She didn't get a good enough look to be sure, but already believed in vampires the way some people do in our reality. Jim, however, has no such predisposition and got a very clear view. He went white with shock, and told Anna he thought he was seeing things. They wondered if his drink had been spiked.

Vasha got out first, and saw her favourite scarf had got stuck on the woman's shoe as the man carried her away, so she gave chase. She was smaller than the injured woman (easily kidnappable), and more full of blood, so the vampire dropped its first victim and grabbed for her instead. Anna said she'd call the police, and Jim told her to also look after the first first victim while he ran after the vampire. He threw a punch, and in the tussle Vasha managed to get free and the two pinned the vampire down - there was no way they could mistake it for anything else this close. Jim saw that Vasha had a cross among her jewellery, and she spotted Gerald nearby. Jim shoved the cross into the vampire's mouth, and Vasha used one of Gerald's spines to pierce the heart. 

The corpse went stiff.

Jim returned to Anna, saying they had to run because he was worried he'd knocked the guy unconscious, and they went to hospital to make sure he hadn't had his drink spiked. Vasha took over looking after the injured woman, managing to stabilise her from where Anna hadn't known what she was doing. She used herbal poultices and a scarf as compress to stem the bleed, and legged it home to make sure Gerald was fed.

I let this work on the vampire although it isn't RAW, but I like the idea that Hunters aren't entirely human and things that wouldn't work if a normal human tried them will work for Hunters. They left a vampiric corpse on the seafront, along with an injured woman. Aberrheidol is a centre of weird, so I think there are people in authority engaging in a degree of cover up, but they will have questions about the strange method of dispatch, as well as where the vampire came from: it was already weak, I think recently roused from torpor. Someone unleashed it on Aberrheidol for a reason - I've got ideas what those may be...

Friday 24 February 2023

Fiction Friday - Souls

Everything was bleary, inside my head as well as my vision. Sounds rang in my ears, but whether voices or music I couldn't discern. I blinked a few times, tried to get my bearings. An uneven path lay before me, the sandy, dry ground crumbling as I staggered forward. Beyond the path, the landscape was a dead heathland: grey heather disintegrating into grey sand; sparse black trees clawing at the grey sky.

I followed the path through the dusty fog, becoming aware of the thin, black line meandering through the landscape ahead. The path didn’t seem to head directly to it, yet it grew larger and wider until the roaring, wailing scream of it overwhelmed my senses, and I stood before it.

A figure stood on the jetty, tall and skeleton thin, wearing dark robes. Dark eyes held mine, and they held out their hand in silence. I looked at the pallid flesh on the palm, and back to the sunken eyes. A deadened, rising panic made me pat my pockets, checking for the coin to pay the ferryman. And when the panic reached my eyes, I looked at the figure again. Their long, strong arms reached forward to grab me, turn me and push me, and understanding flooded me as the water enveloped me, as the river took me down and along and back, memories falling as I tumbled through the currents.

No wonder Earth was so full of souls, if no one remembered to bring a coin for the ferryman.



Enjoy the story? You can now buy me a coffee

Monday 20 February 2023

Buy Me a Coffee?

I've set up a "buy me a coffee" page. Feel a bit rude telling people, but I need the money. It exists. If you like what I do and want to help out, there's a link. Thanks. I'm working mostly on writing and aerial, and it's hard to make a living that way but my health has reached a point it feels like the only viable option. So wish me luck!

Broken finger makes it harder to create new aerial content (I am working on it, but while supporting healthy recover). I've written a little bit of flash fiction to go live on Friday. Here's a few photos I've taken recently that I hope make you smile today.

Monday 13 February 2023

A quick life update

I've got a date for Hunter character gen! Very excited: 2 weeks. I'll give more detail after. Am also really nervous, because it's new to me to be the one in charge...

Broke my finger. It hurts. Got caught in the fabric when I was doing a drop, and I didn't realise until it was too late. First confirmed broken bone of my life (hairline fracture on my ribs, and possible broken toe first week of uni, but this was far worse and impossible to ignore). During x-ray, I said "it hurts!" and the radiologist went "I can see why!" and with that acknowledgement that there was something real, the pain faded to a much more tolerable level. Physio tomorrow: as an aerialist and being hypermobile, it was really stressed to me that I must attend even if I feel ok.

I usually manage my fibro pain through exercise, so I'm not feeling great at the moment. I'm doing what I feel I can, but it's so much less than normal. I can just about straddle to the hoop on one arm, though, which took me by surprise.

Getting support to do the ADHD forms tomorrow. The more I've looked into it, the more I've realised it's the missing bit, part of the reason I could hide being autistic so well. It's helping me find ways to manage myself better, to be accepting and forgiving, which leads to less time spent feeling like a failure and more time spent trying. 

I'm still tied in knots of grief, and that's ok.

I'm still writing.

I'm still here.