The Roleplaying Diaries of Bryan Stephens

User Tools

Site Tools


Paths in Darkness Adventure Log

01: New Journeys on Eternal Paths

Game DateDecember 2013

Each mage found themselves directed or led to s sanctuary in Chicago’s China Town, dedicated to teaching new mages. Each member of the group has been introduced to “Blue Bear” and accepted as members of the Chantry. Currently, he appears looking like Yogi Bear.

The party the first adventure they settled into the Chantry and the City. This introduced them to each other, including the dramatic entrance by Trent. Megan set up the Clinic and begun operations for the poor. Ed has found the books appalling and worked to get the money and other operations cleaned up. Trent provided an update to the old computer which works better than new. Tracy's and Trents have been dragged into support.

02: Who are These Guys?

Game DateJanuary 2014

Trent got an “in the event of my death/disappearance” package from “The Swede” another Adept with whom he has been in contact. He has already asked Trent to look up some information in the past. The Swede was tracking “Vasari” who appears to have been working for the Technocracy Syndicate. Vasari is manipulating financial markets very subtly. The Swede fell off the radar 2 weeks prior to the message arrival.

The Package appears to have been set up to come to her Mailboxes Etc. (or whatever he use) if The Swede did not send a weekly code. Inside: o Details of Vasari’s movements online. o Young Adepts who are manipulating markets or even ATMs that Vasari appears to be targeting. There is a list of lost Adepts in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, LA, San Diego and Seattle, and their support staff, 15 in all. Tom (Tracy's Character's Robot) has postulated that with 15 VA in the manipulation group, his thought is someone was/is a rat. The Swede was worried Vasari was going to strike someone again, and was going to try to intercede. He left the details of the strike. A post to his log makes it sound like he stopped a HIT Mark, but then there is nothing after that. An investigation on The Swede's apartment points to him going to save a VA in NYC. The VA he went to save in New York is also now missing. Trent went to The Fanum, the Werewolf Sept to visit Joy.

Ed worked to bribe the Fire inspector and get a clean bill of health with no hassles. He also noticed a talisman as part of an art display going into the Museum.

  • It is an Ancient Egyptian Knife
  • It was lost during the time of Napoleon.
  • You recognize it from drawings your mentor had in his books in your study
  • It is supposed to be able to cut through delusions, but reports showed that prolonged contact drove people to depression and suicide. Indeed, this is on display now because the last owner of the collection killed herself.

The team secured the knife with highlights of the adventure including breaking into a museum at night and find it was being held open for vampires to view art, with a hasty retreat after Trent tripped, and some vulgar magic on Ed's part. Tracy and Ed also met with ancient mummy, Sekhemkhet, who resides in the city who helped them keep the dagger safe.

Megan is very much appreciated in the Charity Community and isgetting fancy invites in the Sleeper Community.

  • She has been asked to do an interview for the Sun-Times.
  • She has been invited to the Chicagoland Chamber Dinner, to sit at the Open Hearts, Helping Hands (OH3 is the slang). The invite is by its director, Ginger Robbins. Feb 22, 14.
  • She has been working to find other doctors to help meet the demand (a day here, a day there of donated time), added an extra staff nurse with the budget help of Ed.
  • This has led to Wing Kong gang members being hired to put pressure because when does Clinic play local dealers with their snake oil. Pressure was put on the advanced practice nurse works in the clinic the team went to her home escort her home and in an attack killing three gang members in a car and moved her to a safer location.

Adrien notes that in the latest issue of Paradigma, there is information about monster sightings in Lake Michigan. At work, she also is asked to research an area of the city that she is told the clients want to condemn so a new pharmaceutical building can be put in.

03: Dark Lights, Big City

Game DateUnlisted

The team travels to New York City via rail, in search of the lost VA. Megan boards at the last minute after saying she was not going. LAKESHORE LIMITED, VIEWLINER Chicago Union Station to NYC Penn Station 9:30pm to 6:23 PM the next Day

Trent uses minor mind magic to get any items needed onto the train. This does not include Tom, of course. Then he stays up the night socializing, arriving the next morning as if he did not miss any sleep. Edward spends the night writing, and emerges a little dazed but calm, as if he is seeing the world in a new light.

The two missing NYC VA’s are Ice Soup and Laughing Man. Both are part of the group The Swede had put together to track Vasari. Laughing Man was the VA he went to save before he disappeared. Ice Soup was the first to vanish.

  • Ice Soup: Ice Soup is a young, new VA, who has lots of promise as a tracker. He awakened shortly before Trent. What you know about him is standard whiz-kid stuff, as he was a natural and already quite good with computers. He was staying in an apartment in bad section on The Bronx. His last known whereabouts was going to a meeting in Central Park for Chess with Laughing Man. He did not make it. Investigation of the Apartment led to a trapped apartment, with Edward stuck in the floor for a while, and a flight from Men in Black.
  • Laughing Man: Laughing man was more experienced, having come into the VA in the early 2000’s. He is a behind the scenes sort of guy. He has a house in Queens. He holed up after the above Chess incident, and his last known whereabouts was his home, but if The Swede saved him, based on The Swede’s last log entry, they went in under city of NYC. There was a clear trail from the home left by the Swede to the undercity.

Before the team heads under the city, Edward belatedly informs the local Hermetic Chantry of his presence. Trent reveals the head VA in NYC is not a fan, and is not on his list of “go to” for help:


Tesserarachnid aka TA4, uses an avatar of a spider with a 4th power sign. He is the oldest active VA still in NYC (i.e. has not retreated to a horizon realm like Crystal Palace and did not die on 9-11-01). He is charismatic and well respected by old and new VA alike.

The team opts to follow the path alone. Into the underground they go, following leave to be the Escape Route one of the virtual adepts. The group follows symbols left by the Swede. As they progress, they clearly see they had to pass through a Bone Gnawer Spet's territory underground. After a quick discussion between Trent and a Werewolf the get an escort to meet an obvious Son of Ether. Upon seeing them, the man says, “Welcome to Oz”.

04 Tunnel of Enlightenment

Game DateUnlisted

Welcomed to Oz, the group is welcomed by Walter Wizard, head of The Truth of Many Paths (MULTI SEMITAS UNUM VERITATIS -MSUV). Walter congratulates them on getting this far but says he cannot let them go unless they pass a test and then are approved by the Qualis Device. The person they have been seeking has already passed through the chambers. They also meet another SOE, Jonathon Ross, who in his journeys was led into the tunnels beneath the city.

The group goes down into the tunnels and rapidly lose track of each other. Split into small groups, they experience strange happenings, and discussion with odd beings. No one really remembers totally the experience. The garden of Eden and great Pyramids of old loom large in memory, but the details are fuzzy. All return in some way enlightened, with their paradigm altered, and less limits to their craft of True Magik.

Trent opts to continue to chase him along with the help of MSUV. The rest of the group take their new friend, Jonathon, who drives to Chicago with Megan.


Game DateUnlisted

The Cabal returns to Chicago, the train group arriving before JR and Megan. JR is quickly settled, and Adrianetakes him to the Adventures Club. There he is taken in as a provisional member. (Basically, buy a node and become a member in good standing, or do something in game to pull that off).

The group investigates several headlines in their absence and immediate return. Edgar was able to trace the minor earthquake to a spot about 20 miles NW from the City, linked to an alignment with Jupiter. He was well able to understand the forces and could see the effect as a tremor of things to come.

After three weeks, Joy “Runs into Dawn” accompanies Chris “Dreamwalker” Vann to the Chantry to ask for help. Dreamwalker is not happy about coming to Mages for help but is following the orders of the venerable sept leader, Kelly “Weaver-Friend” Patterson. They outline that Michelle Carcassone has been kidnapped.

Michelle Carcassone is a precocious 11 year old girl from Evansville, Il. She is living with her maternal grandparents. Her parents were killed in a car accident when she was an infant and she never knew them. The Accident was in fact a hit, as her father was part of the Chicago mob. Michelle is part of a watched family (through her father) of Garou descendants and mob connections. Glass Walker intervention kept Michelle from also being murdered, as she has the markings of becoming a Garou herself.

Michelle was born under a waxing crescent moon with a particularly strong accent of the planet Jupiter. She is bright, clever and curious. She is also far angrier then the average nerd. She knowns her father was part of the mob but is unaware (as are her grandparents) of her relation to beasts of the night. The Garou had a jaggling watching over her, but that was destroyed when she was kidnapped. Michelle attends the John Middleton Middle School.

Michelle was kidnapped yesterday (Saturday), from her room. It looks like a runaway, but the Sept knows the jaggling watching her was killed. Her Grandparents, Sasha and Andre Wilderman are beside themselves. A kinfolk older woman, Alicia Mason, with gifts for calming and healing is tending to them at a safe house. Two other Kinfolk, Neil Hinzman, and Carey Ray currently occupy their home.

The team spends Sunday researching the kidnapping. In searching the house, they find the evidence the jaggling was killed in the day and she was taken at night. Camera footage from the school processed by Adriane and JR shows a strange man following Michelle. Leaving the home, Megan avoids a gangta tail. The Cabal is able to identify the local gang, the Gangster Disciples as local heavies in the area. Neil and Carey are able to get them the overall update on them (wit their links to more classic organized crime The Chicago Outfit). The team finds out they are meeting at a local car repair shop and after drone surveillance by JR, they enter with a plan for Megan to sing them to sleep. Things do not go as planned.

Joy is able to easily pick the lock and they enter. Megan starts singing and weaving her spell. She is unable woo the 7 people to sleep however, and they charge towards the room. Thinking quickly, Adriane, thinking quickly, pushes a desk in front of the doorway. Two of the toughs make it over the desk, but the rest pile up behind the third. The battle begins with Edgar firing, but winging the man in front. Vaughn hits the winged man with the pommel of his knife. JR lassoes and binds the other, but the unbound man fires his heavy revolver, with silver bullets, directly into the just transformed Joy, who screams in pain and rage as the silver enters into her body. Startled by the events, Megan badly stumbles in her song, and the spell is broken, and paradox poured into her body. Unable to react and reeling, Megan can only watch helplessly as Edgar blows a hole through the armed man. Vaughn shrugs and starts towards the men across the desk, but Joy, with a howl, leaps across the desk and strikes at three of the thugs and quickly incapacitates two, leaving the others cowering in terror. Vaughn talks to Joy and takes her away to sooth her. Megan rushes to stabilize they badly injured men, laying on hands and praying, as she is too stunned to speak. She wants to take them too the clinic but Edgar tells her no.

JR and Vaughn talk to the awake thugs and gather that they were hired by the odd looking man through their boss “King Kobra” who sounds like a hedge mage. They do not know where the girl was taken, but that they had jacked a car to use. JR is able to quickly determine from the newspapers that the car was found abandoned around 20 miles from the city in a suburb. Edgar pulls one of their phones and dials 911 and leaves the line open. The cabal leaves, but Megan wants to stay in the park to watch the ambulance arrive. Edgar and Adriane lead, with some force, the stunned Megan back to their car, telling her she need to concentrate on helping Joy when they get back to the clinic.

-End Part 1


Game DateUnlisted

The group staggered back the protection of the Chantry in the clinic. Megan worked through the night to restore Joy to good health. As the Sun a rose JR brought in armor he had been working on for the team. Everyone was exhausted and knowing that a long day and night was ahead of them, Megan administered life Magic to revise sagging energy.

Adrian researched located by Edgar uncovered a house for sale in the area that was not turning over as it should have. She set up an appointment with a real estate agent for the afternoon to investigate. Edgar and Vaughn surveyed the local park and could detect the node nearby but Underground under the neighborhood. Adrian, Megan and Vaughn felt the assault of mind-magic trying to drive them out when the toured the home. They left not seeing the basement, which the agent refused to show them saying she had an appointment. Megan felt a great evil in one of the rooms.

Telling the werewolves what they knew, the werewolves took charge. They would assault through the Umbra, while the Mages would come in the real world with 6 the organized crime family kinfolk. Joy would be with the mages.

At sunset, the attack began. The team went to the back, and after dispelling wards, immediately went towards the basement. They triggered a ward on the stairs, and they turned them to Silver. Joy was happy to be in Human form.

Entering the basement saw four evil Mages. A pitched battle ensued where the party had the drop on the evil cult. Between an angry werewolf, and a fast exchange of gunfire, our Heroes had the better of the group.

The Kinfolk, knowing better than to deal with reality warping, went searching the house for the Lost Girl. One of the Nephandi used his fetish to summon a murder of crows against JR. The last of dark wizards to move spread out a blurry image and transported all four cultists away.

The Kinfolk whisked the girl away from the house as soon as they had her. Her family would now be even better guarded. Alone in the basement, the heroes took stock. The Lost Girl was tied up downstairs in the bathtub. The group spent the night purging the house of evil influences just scoring the foul ritual Circle in the floor of the basement.

Two of the Nephandi were Barabari, 1 order of Hermes, and one Celestial chorus their leader. Edgar and Megan's reported this up their chains command. The nodes which was used by the evil mages was moving towards the city. Edgar started to track it to see where it might go.


  • 4 base
  • Eric, +1 for helping with system
  • Tracy +1 for Servo on stairs idea

07 And I would have gotten away with it too . . .

Game DateUlisted

The group is preparing to leave Wu Xing. Edgar's mentor responds to the report of stopping the evil mages in person. He reports that in fact, the Barabii was thought killed and the information on the group has sparked a bigger hunt and they are on the run. A lot of their sleeper arrangements are undone. He notes the technocracy has been tipped off as well.

In reward, the mentor has offered to help track and pin down the node. His study shows that a large house near a good stopping spot. The house is on 225 Greenwood St, Evanston, IL 60201.

Vaughn and Joy spend a wild evening at the Succubus Club. Vaughn will see some Vampiric activity at the club going on with patrons. Leaving the club, they run into a man fleeing a vampire. Thomas Duncan (TBD to his friends) bleeding from his neck, having made his willpower roll to avoid the embrace. He was followed by a young looking woman, very attractive, who is a Kindred. She attempted to use Dominate to command they give them man back to them, which Vaughn easily deflected.

Calling for help, J.R. and Megan race to the scene and pile the protesting TBD into the car to take him to the clinic to heal him. They know he is not a sleeper, but dance around the truth until he is leaving, and Ed crosses the street to find them. Ed and J.R. end up taking TBD to breakfast and talk about him and his Hollow One’s friends.

TBA is the newest member of Lilith's Kids. He was at the club to watch Lou’s band playing. J.R. and Ed convinced TBA that his whole Cable is in danger now for Vampires, and invite the team to move to Wu Xing, or at least check it out.

The Children of Lilith:

  • Mary Lou “Bitch Queen” Vannoy
  • Alvin Locke
  • Herman “Munster” Fleming
  • Christine “Hutch” Hutchenson
  • Thomas “TBD” Bradley Duncan

Meanwhile in the Law Firm of Arthur, McKay, Pendleton, LLP:

Checking on the address, Adriene goes to the mechanical typewriter only room at her firm and finds out the information on the home. There she finds secret files on Pendergrass Consulting and a move by their CFO to secretly purchase the home.

The team brainstorms what to do, spending time with Sekhemkhet at a long dinner. He suggested Imhotep might be able to help, but it would cost in big favors. Eventually, they determine that Pendergrass is in fact a front for the Technocracy NWO and this CFO must know she is trying to secure a node for herself. (Tom Servo points out the design for the house the CFO wants to build is clearly built to tap a node). The team decides to stop the node and make it look like is dissipated.

Ed mapped out a place near the sewer lines. J.R. built a drilling rig to go down. Vaughn used mental effects to make them all look like they belonged. Adriene fashioned an entropic machine that used a yellow light to slow the passage of entropy. Once the node was caught in amber light, Megan hummed along with the machine and used her control of primal forces to temporarily dissipate the node.

The plan worked, and the CFO abandoned the project. Ed’s mentor, after admiring the stopped node, noted that once the machine holding it was destroyed, it would snap to where it should have been, and should be spectacular. He destroyed the machine remotely and minor tremors were felt as far south as Chicago.

The Cabal prepared to move into its new home, as Lilith’s Kids moved in. The House is haunted, but even worse, Ed and Vaughn are both sure there is the presence of a Bane. The decide to use Wu Xing’s resources to better understand spirits.


  • 2 base
  • Vaughn, +1 for understanding Technocrat connection early

08 Paths in Darkness: House Cleaning

Game DateUnlisted

At a graduation ceremony, each member is given a ring to link them to their time at the Wu Xing Chantry. Teaches the Wind hands each member their ring, and once on their fingers, it is touched by Blue Bear. He speaks to them all:

You leave more enlightened than you arrived. Remember that knowledge and understanding does not always lead to wisdom. Wisdom is found in all things large and small. You are part of the Circle of Wu Xing. Embrace that past and use it in your present and in your futures. The Circle has many

The Ring is much like a class ring, with the Wu Xing symbol on one side, and the Mage’s order on the other. Each Ring allows the wearer to know where the other members of their Cabal are and communicate with them as long as they are within the same Realm. The wearer can also recognize other graduates and be recognized by other graduates, if they look for it. The Ring is a talesman that requires Quintessence to operate, 1 per day. It can store up to 5 points of quintessence (one for each element), and thus can be good for almost a week. If needed, health levels can be used to power the ring, one per day. The ring is made from of the following metals:

The stone is based on the Essence of the Avatar:

Dynamic Ruby or Garnet
Primordial Onyx or Obsidian
Pattern Safire or Blue Topaz
Questing Emerald or Jade

Moving In:

The Node will take an additional 12 weeks to get there from when it was stopped, putting it into July. The Cabal had time to get moved out and into the Sepulcher, study to prepare and work to remove the Bane before then.

Searching the Mansion

Vaughn and Ed are researching Spirit and able to investigate more fully. It is clear there is a taint of a Bane of Madness in the Sepulcher. Vaughn surmised it must have attracted the troubled souls. He found enough left-over information in the library from Mrs. Christian to believe she well may have been a hedge mage who healed them men. It is clear she was a woman of great faith. Without her influence, the Bane was able to gain in power. One interesting thing of note is that Mrs. Christian would always put the most troubled upstairs, and actually kept to the servant’s quarters downstairs as her space. That is where the evil seems strongest. Ed ended up with a more physical mapping of the energy. He charted the home and used newly learned rituals to focus on where the energy of madness lies. This lead to an area in the basement, marked Area, right next to Mrs. Christian’s old bedroom. Both Ed and Vaughn arrived at the same time. Looking at each other, Ed knocked on the wall and sprung open the secret door. Opening it, they found a short hallway ending at what was obviously an old mine elevator. The hallway has a knife switch to transmit power to both lights and the elevator, which looked to be 1920’s build with some additions from the 50s. They called for the rest of the group. Adrian send Tom Servo hovering down to explore, communicating on his App to her phone.

Tom’s Report

Tom reported that the power lines were all heavy, far more than needed. The elevator had it owns lights and the shaft descended down 100 feet into what looks like a coal mine, maybe on a very small deposit at one point. At the bottom, there are rails leading down a hallway. On the right is a sealed door made of steel, clearly meant to keep out water, all from a 1950’s design. The one mine passage ended in a 20’ tall, 50’ wide domed chamber. At its center was clearly an alter for a human form, which included a mummified corpse with 17 knives sticking out of it or fallen out on the alter or around it. Around the alter was a clearly a magic circle, 10’ diameter, carved into the floor. There was a shredded journal, soaked, with a few torn pages that are readable. A burned piece of parchment was also in the room (see handouts), which Tom brought up for the group to read and piece together.

Heading down

It was easy for the group to reactivate the elevator and check out all the lines. The group went down to investigate the sealed door. Opening it, they found a reading room, with an old 50’s military desk and shelves. There were many old and collected books of various value. It is clear, Tillman was the writer of the journal scraps, based on other examples of his writing in the room. Megan is able to sense 5 lay lines, forming an imperfect star crossing the area. The Node is moving down an active one, but the other four are faint. It makes sense to her that the node would be collected here.

While they were searching it, it became clear to Ed and Vaughn that the Bane was awake. Ed moved to prepare the circle to force the bane to materialize, using the ritual he found, so they could destroy it. While he worked, Megan gave everyone a healing injector pen.

The Summoning and the Fight

Ed completed the circle and started the summoning. He executed it perfectly, and the bane of madness was forced to materialize. It was humanoid, with a twisted face, no eyes in its head, but various unblinking eyes in 17 stab wounds. Its ongoing scream forced Willpower rolls, and Vaughn botched, becoming struck with fear. Ed attacked first, throwing flame into the monster, hurting it. Then it was the bane’s turn.

The monster struck at Ed, burning essence to paralyze his body. It then used its rage, it struck again at Megan, clawing her and almost bringing forth her inner rage, and struck one more time at Adrian, who dodged out of its way. J.R. calmly fired into the beast, catching it center mass, and inflicting significant damage. The beast screaming, tried to attack J.R., but he dodged away. Tom shocked the monster-spirit, driving it helpless to the floor, and Adrian shot it in the head. Ed freed himself from the spell upon him, and readied another attack, but saw it was not needed. With the scream gone, Vaughn shook his head and started moving. The party watched the body transform into a wild spirit, and fade away.

Attending the Node Pinning and Celebration:

After Clearing the mansion, the team will finished moving in and preparing the home for the Node on July 2nd. They plan a celebration for the pinning of the Node. Invited to attend:

Wu Xing Chantry:

  • Teaches the Wind
  • Lou Chang
  • Lilith’s Kids
  • Nick (Vampire)

Order of Hermes: (Also conducting the Ritual to pin the node)

  • Ed’s Mentor Ambrosius
  • Alexander Dimitri Shevchenko
  • Domas Bjornaer
  • Agata Kowalczyk

Celestial Chorus:

  • Jesus Jimeniz, (Catholic Priest)
  • Gale Quinn (Jewish, Megan’s Bishop)


  • Pirio Byrne


  • Sekhemket

Ambrosius instructed the Cabal to stand at the points of the star formed by the lay lines, while they stood at the bends. The node energy rushed in, sounding to each member something in their own way. There was a great light, and the node was planted and the area transformed.

At the center of the chamber is a 10’ diameter pool of water, 66’deep, where the alter and circle used to be. The ceiling has several large vines with large flowers that emit bright lights (and used to power cords and electrical lights before the node). The light is effectively sunlight 12 hours during the day and moonlight 12 hours at night, as if at the equator. The moonlight effect does follow the current phase of the moon. This sunlight does effect Kindred. The vines run into the top of the chamber and reach up to the yard above, touching the roots of the great oaks. The water in the pool is fed by a spring. It is pure and cool. The pool has five lines of overflow to the walls which fills an outside circle and feed the vines. The node produces Tass in three ways. All will work, but the total tass produced does not change.

  • 1. Flowers that bloom under the moonlight
  • 2. Water drawn from the pool with the right ritual
  • 3. Light collected from the vines

After the event, Ambrosius remarked that it was more powerful than expected. Gale walked to the far wall and pushed, triggering a portal. It seems another realm was created. The Realm is a large, city sized, area, much like the area must have once looked, with natural forest against a large lake. The Realm is bounded by a sphere of diffuse light. It experiences lighting and seasons based on the outside world and is otherwise fairly mundane. However, even new, there are signs the Realm is not finished developing and may be open to being molded over time.

The stunned crowd adjourned upstairs to the prepared party, hosted by the restaurant staff of the Wu Xing. It is a celebration of graduation, the founding of a new Mystical Chantry and a charge for the cabal to protect ascension. At the party, the aged Pirio comes to Vaughn and gives him a card. She runs an occult shop in the south of the state and wants to give Vaughn more instruction on the Verbena Tradition.

game_systems/world_of_darkness/mage/paths_in_darkness/adventure_log.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/23 15:49 by Bryan Stephens