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Third synopsis of events in the Chicago - a Cold Wind Blows campaign since play moved to Discord in Sep 2017 through Dec 2018:

Resolution of First Visit to Volo Farm

Mai has shot Ike after they've rescued Faith from the grip of the Fauth at the pond. The team decides to retreat, to get the kids (including the metal bosy) away and come back another time.

Sinclair sets Brittany on fire with a Molotov, but is scared off by Mai.

They fix the van (had bad gas from Brady's gas station), and head down the road only to find that Brady has blocked it with a felled tree. They turn around and arrive at a flooded intersection. They sense that some of the roads lead to otherworlds. They pick the road that keeps them in their world, and head to Chicago.

The kids are dropped off at a motel, and everybody else returns to base. Snapshot is dispatched to the motel to treat Ike's injury.

Shootout at the Abandoned Facility

At the base, they discuss potentially killing Belial and/or Sahashradala and how this might be accomplished. Ezra proposes moving to an alternate Earth where things are better. An ambush is set for Belial at the lot of an abandoned industrial facility. The Book of the Sanguine Night is offered as bait.

Belial, Nina and Montgomery arrive with Victor Daleschenko (Rosa's boyfriend from the CCEHV) in their car. After chit-chat, Ezra notices Nina's eyes change when she entrances Victor, revealing her to be a snake person.

A Complication

Another car arrives with Ariel Tamanaka and Brenna Youngblood who have heard about the book being exchanged, and wanting it. Brenna uses her TK to grab the book, at which point Ezra sets off it's booby-trap. A vortex starts, and Ariel thinks quick and tosses the book to Belial. He, Nina and Montgomery are sucked into the portal (which presumably leads to the Dimension of the Black Chamber).

Ariel detects Ezra, and everybody opens fire. Brenna tries to hold off the hail of lead while Ariel attempts to summon the Morrigan. They are both slain. The portal bringing in the Morrigan is complete, however, and they have to dispatch it back to it's hell. They attempt to figure out a way to prevent it from going back, but cannot manage to do so.

Rodriguez is disappointed that Belial was not slain, worried that he's escaped.

Celebrating the Victory

The team retires to the Craft Bar and ponder what a final victory might look like. The Prophet escapes and starts painting a maze. The things from the Cemetery are heard in the distance. Ezra gets the impression that the things want the Prophet to finish. They pick up the Prophet in the van, and the things attack. They are repelled, and the group returns to base.


As the others celebrate, Mai goes back to her office/apartment where she's stashed the metal boys from Volo. She learns that they're not from another dimension, or even advanced robots, they're cyborgs that retain pretty much only their central nervous systems as far as flesh goes. Their parents, Toji execs, had gotten treatment for their virulent forms of muscular dystrophy from Dr. Seabach, resulting in these forms. They were then shipped off to a school for special needs kids in Volo near the marsh.

Their parents had ceased coming to see them maybe six months ago. Right around the time that the Fauth had started to take it's toll on the area. Mai promised to look into where their parents were at.

Mai and Beta Three mull over the Toji/Coke connection, and how it all relates to the empathic buzz.

Subsequently Leo meets his contact, Viper, and obtains gear to allow him to communicate in and out of the base (unbeknownst to all).

Snake People

Research at the Book Store

The team goes to Delphine's (cleaned up since the fight with Bersk), to ask about snake people. She doesn't know much about them, other than that they're into sorcery, and like to snoop around book stores. She relates several legends, and notes that the one that they caught after killing Bersk wasn't one of the ones who'd shopped… she speculates that there are more of them around than would normally be the case.

Delphine also reveals that she knows an empathic procedure (ritual) that should affect snake people adversely, repelling them, and they discuss the potential of testing it. Ezra and Delphine plan a date.

Assault on Executive Airfield

The team sets up for the ritual in the park across from the airfield. The ritual begins and some of the airfield personnel flee. Ezra chases some down with the van, while the others engage in firefights with the airfield guards. Something powerfully empathic is detected inside a hangar. Ezra blocks the hangar door with the van. In the office off of the hangar, another grey alien is discovered.

A vehicle in the hangar is a Toji transport. Mai shoots a woman trying to get into the vehicle to escape. The empathic being goes off, putting most everybody to sleep. The previously repelled guards attempt to carefully re-take the hangar. In the hangar, those still awake pour gas into the chamber below the hangar with the empathic anemone-blob thing, and burn it to death.

Ezra wakes and notes that the woman Mai shot is his mother, Mabel Bishop, unconscious. Ezra reiterates that his folks are Toji personnel, and they debate what to do. They decide to leave so medical personnel can be called in to help Ezra's mother.

Plans for Judy?

Back at the base, Judy is making a racket, and the group ponders what to do with her. Darcy suggests that they might be able to interface her electronics with Judy's, some of it being similar.

Mai and Leo meet Jason at Marcus' place to bring him in to help deal with hooking Darcy up to Judy. He is brought back to the base blindfolded. They hook Darcy up to Judy, and after a considerable struggle Darcy is detached having gained knowledge.

Ezra Visits Mom at the Hospital

From his mom, Ezra learns several things:

  • His mother was at the airfield to install new computer monitoring units
  • More generally, Toji is installing new quantum computing units worldwide
  • There has been trouble at the Toji Moonbase recently, including a big explosion
  • The company CEO has gone into hiding or something, uncharacteristically

Infiltrating the Airfield

Leo and Mai pose as security guards, getting jobs based on Ezra's mother's recommendation. After discarding the notion of trying to infiltrate the US headquarters offshore, they decide instead to follow his mother to the Airfield instead and look around inside. A snake person named Elizabeth seems suspicious of Leo and Mai. Investigating the computer room, Ezra discovers that there are biological components to the new computers being installed that appear to be cross-sections of human brains (Mable being there to install some product tracking software). They speculate that maybe Seabach may have been involved.

Mr. Jones arrives (Doreen determines that this was by dimension walking there), and introduces himself, clearly a fairly powerful empath. Mabel lies and says that Leo and Mai have been with her the entire time. Jones tries to read her mind, but is thwarted. Mai uses her empathy to talk to the computer and have a shipment of whatever the airfield is routing to the Coca-cola bottling plant, to be routed where she wants it instead.

Afterwards they meet at Marcus' to discuss, and Ezra relates that his mom seemed weirded out by the bio-computer stuff. They decide that she's not part of the conspiracy, just a dupe for the corporation.

Lost Dog

Mai's old friend Beauregard contacts her, and she goes to see him with Leo and Ezra. He relates that his dog Wilsie was taken from his apartment building's courtyard. They investigate the building. A neighbor admits that the dog was taken by a couple of brothers who make a living picking up dogs for a government program (meant to help combat the current Airborne Anthrax Type Two or ATTA epidemic).

They race to the clinic where they euthanizes dogs. Ezra questions a local and goes around back to look at the truck they use to transport dogs. Mai shoots the syringe that Dr. Wangarten was about to use to euthanize Wilsie. Wangarten startled, Mai sees through his glamour for a moment, realizing he's a dark elf. It's revealed that he uses the dog's dying fear to power empathic crystals from the fae realm (which empaths can use as a source of extra power). Mai makes an agreement with Wangarten to get him on their side, allowing him his life and freedom in return.

In the back, Ezra finds the truck, filled with already euthanized dogs in plastic bags. He takes the truck, gets rid of the dog corpses, and keeps the truck for use by the team.

Return to Volo

The group decides to head back to the bog with the fauth to deal with it once and for all, emboldened by having Wangarten on their side. Wangarten reveals that he'd heard that a fauth had escaped from other of his fae contacts, after having been brought in from the fae realm, and that it's not the only one they've brought in.

On the way, they stop at Brady's store, and find a starving Sinclair there amidst the shelves. She doesn't want to help them with the Fauth, but offers to lead them to Brady's location.

Brady's Place

She directs them to Brady's parent's house, and he emerges and tries to get them to leave. They enter the house where they discover four kids sitting around a grisly pile of skulls in the living room, arranged as a shrine. Leo shoots Brady in the knee in anger, afterwards applying first aid. They lock Brady up in the house, and head to the farm.


At the farm, they orchestrate an attack on the Fauth using explosives and Brenna's hover bike (the empaths, including Wangarten preventing it from taking people over), which is successful.

The group returns to get Brady, and take him back to the portal intersection, and tell him to wander off into the portals, as an alternative to summary execution. Wangarten describes the “portal” interface area as a “demonground” a term to describe a much larger area bleeding over between worlds. Benny mentions that it would be useful to have “The Professor” around to think about this phenomenon.

Blue Lotus and Snapshot Resigns

Back at the base, Mai's delivery has arrived, and it turns out to be a big box of powdered blue lotus flower from SE Asia, apparently somehow adulterated with other substances. Ezra takes what is, apparently, an overdose of the stuff, but this confirms that this is the source of the empathic buzzing that people get when they drink coca-cola. Mai joins him.

As they recover, Felix let's slip that he runs the entire underground in Chicago from a fiscal point of view. Snapshot resigns as leader of the Underground, handing it over to Leo (saying they can contact her at Mercy Hospital if they need medical attention). Leo indicates his next plan is to find the cell in Gary, Indiana.

The Fate of the Gary Cell


The team makes contact with one of the members of the Gary Cell code-named “Reba.” She relates that her cell has been compromised by being stung by bees. Apparently, once stung, you lose your memory about a lot of important things.

They get to know Reba a little, while performing reconnaissance on the Chema Corp lab/factory south of Gary. Mai determines that Reba's mind has infected Doreen's somehow after Doreen scanned Reba, and they confront her. She convinces Leo to move forward (he feels there's not much option in any case, even if Reba is compromised). Mai fixes the infection in Doreen's mind. Reba admits her ulterior motive is that her son Simon is the empath behind the bee problem, and she's trying to rescue him from the facility.

They decide to rest up first, and go to Reba's house, where Reba's daughter has apparently been stung, and thinks Mai is her mother. Mai fixes her, and she is frightened. But Reba is glad, and they take her daughter to a motel.

Inside the Base

They return to the base, tangle with the guards a bit, and find a contact inside named Ivan Petrov who helps them out. They obtain the formula to destroy the bees, and then move on to find Simon. A honey bloated Simon attempts to flee by bee levitation, and he is shot down, creating a grotesque mess. Reba is pried away and they flee.


On the observation hill, Reba admits that she was playing off both sides against the middle, having gotten the rest of her cell stung on orders of the corporate folks. They debate with Petrov as to whether or not to use the bee killing formula, which he claims will kill every bee on earth that remains (they having been genetically engineered by the company in the first place). The alternative being to let the bees spread and mind-wipe everybody in the world.

They decide to release the formula, allowing Petrov to keep some sample bees in the hope he can fix them and repopulate the world with harmless bees.

Mai at the Book Store

Mai visits Delphine, trying to convince her to spread information on what's in Coca-cola. They talk about Ezra, and his talk with Delphine about the Book.


Ezra and Mai go to meet Ezra's friend Jane from college who knows a lot about computer hardware. They show her a picture of a piece of the bio-comp hardware. Jane states that she thinks it can't be for something “logical.” She doesn't know about the biological parts, but she identifies the rest of the component as having been produced by MatDigital. Jane agrees to get them in contact with somebody at MatDigital as long as her name is kept out of it.

Back at the base, they discuss plans to get into MatDigital to investigate that lead.

Faith Wakes

Faith wakes up, and starts using her empathic powers. They find her hovering in her room, and Mai tranquilizes her to get her to stop invading everybody's minds. They discuss who they might go to in order to get Faith's head on straight, as Doreen seems to wiped to try (and in any case isn't as expert as some).

A Healer Named Byron

Having contacted Delphine to see if she knows an empath who can heal minds, they meet Byron Delgado at her book store. He agrees to help in exchange for a supply of blue lotus other than coke. He lets Doreen scan him, and she notes that Byron has had dealings with Mr. Montgomery a while back (who was sucked into the DBC in events above).

Over tea, they convince Delphine to let them bring Faith downstairs so Byron can heal her there. She reluctantly agrees. While Faith is brought down, they debate using Wangarten's crystals to help in the healing attempt, and eventually rationalize it. Ezra is clearly bothered by this, and Mai having allowed Wangarten to be on the loose.

Faith is healed to the extent that she's no longer dangerously unstable; but she has a lingering delusion that she is the queen of a fairy realm.

Meeting Sally

At a truck stop, Mai and Leo meet Sally Morgans, who works for MatDigital. Sally admits that she believes she was the one who put the order together for Toji that included the parts use to make the bio-computer brain cards (though she had no idea what they were for, an thought the order very odd). She lets on the following facts:

  • the COO of MatDigital, Hans Brakeman, was personally involved in getting the deal with Toji completed.
  • it was Dr. Seabach who took delivery of the parts.
  • a technician involved with the project from the Toji side as named Sorensen.
  • Sorensen has a lab in the basement of a building near Rush Medical Center.
  • Rush is associated with UIC, and UIC has recently been getting large endowments from Toji (large enough that they essentially constitute a purchase).

Taking the Citadel

The team, concerned about the continued existence of the Order of the White Circle after Ariel's death, decide to go see what's going on in the top floors of the Florence Building, known to the members of the Circle as “The Citadel.” They discuss the an artifact called the Ra-stone on the way up the elevator.

At the top, they first meet Alicia, who says that Moorman is out, but that they can look around. Franklin comes down to meet them, and chats up Mai, and claims that none of the remaining members was OK with Ariel associating with the werebears.

Mai finds a laboratory that contains the aforementioned “Ra-Stone.” Ezra attunes to the stone. Alicia chides Ezra for not thinking it through. Lena arrives with Ariel's notebook. Mai imitates Lena's special sorcery with relative ease, impressing Lena. Spenser waxes philosophical about the nature of old-school sorcery rituals.

Trips to Ancient Egypt

Mai, Leo and Ezra use the Ra-Stone to visit a vision of ancient Thebes. They each become involved in court intrigues surrounding the members of the family of the Pharaoh.

Staying at the Citadel

After a few days at the Citadel, Franklin is entertaining a woman named Sarah in the man room, when Moorman finally arrives back. After a bit of everybody getting to know each other, Moorman takes Mai aside in the kitchen, and takes the measure of her, wondering if Mai and the rest are enemies. They eventually agree to be allies more or less. Moorman agrees to potentially help them get into the CCEHV if they do something for him.

Checking in on the Metal Boys

Mai returns to her office/apartment, only to find that the boys have cleaned it up a lot. The boys are bored, cooped up in the place, and hearing about what Mai and the rest do, they offer to join up. Mai introduces them to Darcy, who they admire for being both like they are, and yet also being able to pass as not having any cybernetic enhancements at all.

Mai Visits the Fae Realm

Back at the Citadel

Getting Together

Mai returns to the Citadel and relates her tale, including the fact that she left the elf kids Ovil and Seena at the farm with Faith and Loris (and the kids they're in charge of, Cherry and Ike). She shows them the amulet she got, and tells them about the “Pale” being called Viktoria, and related how the changeling they were after had offered information about Sahasradala. Including a ward that one could use to stop Sahasradala from having an effect on them (which she couldn't obtain, because she and B3 had to dispatch the changeling).

As they drink elf whiskey, Dr. Wangarten arrives. Wangarten sees the mirrors in the foyer and warns that having the mirrors, especially arranged as they are across from each other, is very dangerous, as this constitutes a portal to a mirror dimension. Which he claims is a “nasty” place.

Deals and Plotting

Wangarten goes aside with Mai, and admits he needs any drained crystals she has so he can refill them (the crystals apparently being rare). Mai admits she's been eating them, which exasperates Wangarten, who tells her that's unnecessary. He says that getting more is hard now, because the Fae are tense for some reason (which is Mai). Mai mentions meeting Viktoria, and Wangarten is surprised she's not still on the moon. There was some astrological thing she was supposed to have been up there for.

In the hall, Delphine and Ezra have been scheming up a way to get rid of Wangarten. Delphine says she has a book with a sorcerous ritual in it that can banish fae creatures back to their realm. Ezra dismisses this as not permanent enough, and indicates he wants to kill Wangarten.

Disaster Awaits

As these things go on, an empathically buzzy feeling thing is occurring in the background, faint but growing. Wangarten admits that he can't feel it, that it's a human thing. And that elves can't live off of feelings of human joy or the like.

Others note that the Toji Corp PR building a couple of blocks away is swaying. As everybody heads to the elevator, Ezra ambushes Wangarten, setting him on fire. Mai tries to use wind to put the flames out, but they only make them burn hotter. Ezra pushes Wangarten through the mirror to burn in the other dimension. Mai follows him, but it's too late.

Enraged, Mai fires her gun back through the portal, grazing Ezra's skull, and putting him out. Mai returns back to our world, and Leo decides to de-escalate by removing her from the scene, and heading to the Toji Tower using Alicia to Dimension Walk everybody there.

Other Synopses

dark_conspiracy/chicago_synopsis_3.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/17 12:57 by mike_holmes