(Xenobia unveiled (?) - "Andariel," artist unknown & "Queen of Hearts" by Daniela Uhlig)
If you think back, fondly recall that at the end of last game the mysterious & off-putting Xenobia had shown, by awkward intimations, that she wanted to help our protagonists-- the otherworldly Balthazar, the beloved Lorelai, the dangerous Damocles & the diabolical Bedwin. Now-- Bedwin had reason to appeal to the creature...I mean the lady Xenobia, & well, on the flip side of that, Damocles seemed to...hate her. I mean-- irrationally, fully wickedly! The infernal fire in his belly, the draconic furnace of torment was stoked! He suffered Indignation! That is to say plainly: the supernatural template which Sam's character possess' has as a drawback, which is like the Promethean flaw of Torment. Basically, he wigs out sometimes. This session, I decided to turn it up to eleven-- that way I could go over the top & I could "burn it out" & let him get back to a more balanced state. How did I do it? Well, I'll tell you: I wrote a notecard to each of the players saying "READ WHEN YOU HEAR ME SAY 'CELLAR DOOR'!" Then on the inside, I told the non-Sam players that the events to follow were a hallucination of Damocles, & to play it up in high dudgeon. Sam's on the other hand said that Xenobia was acting suspicious & about to make her move! So with a flourish & a "CELLAR DOOR!" we were off to the races. Balthazar betraying Damocles, Damocles' sword strike to Xenobia cutting across his lover Lorelai, Bedwin dissolving into fire & bugs & a demon dancing out...& the best part about it was that Sam totally bought it! Sam was a total sport & totally convinced-- up until Xenobia tore out Lorelai's heart, which is when I was going to stop it, anyhow! So kudos to all involved for that, including myself. The second part of the session was less successful in that it alienated Tracey (who plays Lorelai). See, Xenobia wants to help the played defeat "The Drowned," which according to her was once some kind of Ur-demonologist who grafted the traits of some Unknowable Entity to himself-- traits that manifest as some kind of piscine invincibility, as far as the party can tell. Now-- Xenobia claims to be an "antinomist," & to be able to act as a psychopomp between Entities by means of Naming. In a nutshell, she wants the players to create a "Testament" consisting of any number of factors-- a Name, discovered named, mythology, a seal, honorifics, idols, &c. She is working at a metamagical level; she wants the players to create a pact that makes a spell, more or less. Why? Because they could include in the Testament things like bans, compulsion, flaws, & even weaknesses. Xenobia was probably on the autism spectrum when she was fully human-- & while she would be insulted if you called her inhuman now, lets just say she sure ain't normal. We left it there, with Xenobia giving them another piece of apocrypha, a torn page from a book.