Suspire

From Dark City
Suspire.png
ChronicleJericho
SphereMage
StorytellerYoGrendel
ParticipantsArlene Kinsey, Jay Watts, Johnathan Stockel, Laura Thompson, Rebecca Willows
StatusOpen
Plot SummaryThe Jericho Cabal digs into a new mystery, starting with an evil talking doll.

Description

Quick Details

  • The Jones

Catherine Jones (Mother)
Macy Jones (Daughter)

  • The Kellums

Jesse Kellum (Father)
Melissa Kellum (Mother)
Heather Kellum (Daughter)

  • Other Components

Secret Suzie
The Journal
Mountains Rest
Suspire


Timeline

Initial

  • Catherine Jones brings her daughter Macy to see Laura about erratic behavior. Macy confides that her neighbor Heather Kellum has a doll, Secret Suzie that 'comes alive' and does her bidding. (See: Client Session: Macy Jones )
  • Heather has been asking the doll to do bad things, and has threatened to encourage it to kill Macy's parents if she tattles.
  • The Jones' stay at Laura's house for their safety while the cabal investigates.
  • Fidelity, Paladin, and Espy break into the Kellum's home to investigate. They capture the doll and find a magical tome under Heather's bed. (See: Secret Suzie Showdown )
  • During research and recon, Fidelity sees Mrs. Kellum pass by a window and sees that her body is not alive.
  • Fidelity and Drude stalk Jesse but he leaves the premises. They take the opportunity to investigate inside the home. (See Drude and Fidelity Stalk A Man! )
    • It turns out this was because Heather's attempts to animate dolls, poorly, were stealing away pieces of the woman's soul until it sort of broke into nothingness. Her body rapidly began to reach the level of decomposition she would have been without magic.
    • Following Jesse, they found themselves at Mountain's Rest - said to be an abandoned home that was massively haunted. Neither of the mages saw any direct indication of a haunting in the conventional sense, but they were attacked by 3 living gargoyles and prevented from stopping Jesse from seeking out whatever had given him the book and the power to begin with within the home.
  • The Jericho Cabal meets in Paladin's home to discuss moving forward with Jesse and Mountains Rest. (See: Cabal Meeting No. 1 )

Research

Drude's Report

  • For the origin of the thing, it seems to be a number of maybe death-related spells that have been translated from a non-romance language into the current English form. They have obviously been deriving it from Awakened magic, but lacking that themselves, they seem to have been using the power of ghosts as a vehicle for their will.
  • The writing in the translation has also been attempted to be notated by a second person. These annotations have an almost religious fervor to them - whoever's been studying the book has a fixation on them that borders worship.
  • After having a nap about it (Jay doesn't explain further than that), he discovered the person doing the annotations had to be a male. Comparing the handwriting to everything he could find on file at the school, it looks an awful like Heather Kellum's father's handwriting.
  • He's still working on discovering the more Awakened secrets held within, but could maybe use someone checking into the man since he might be going around doing necromancy in the woods.

Inquirer's Interrogation

  • The doll is currently an Anchor for the ghost of a middle-aged woman who seems... not all there, even by ghost standards. She's roughly a Rank 2 entity, and bound to Secret Suzie by some kind of magic. She seems somehow diminished, like parts of her have been removed or damaged.
  • The ghost revealed that she was Anchored to the doll by a ritual conducted by a group of girls, but seems reluctant to share more than that. It's possible she could be coaxed or threatened into revealing more, but for the moment that's the extent of her cooperation.
  • The spell Anchoring the ghost is based on Awakened magic, but dumbed down for Sleeper users, consistent with the spells in the journal. The specific spell used was originally intended for some other Death-related purpose but was clumsily adapted for its current function.
  • The spell was originally fairly sophisticated, but in its current form doesn't so much bind ghosts as crudely shove them into the vessel and hack off whatever parts won't fit. This is most likely the reason for the Secret Suzie ghost's altered mental state.
  • Lastly, and most concerningly, by tugging at the threads of the Mystery, Inquirer was able to get a sense of the original purpose of the binding spell. Rather than binding ghosts into physical containers, it seems that this spell was meant to manipulate souls.

Fidelity's Meditation

  • Studying the spirit ecology around Mr. Kellum, Becca finds the normal expected kind of thing but does notice some oddities: a spirit of desperation and a death spirit that seem to be finding enough Essence near the Kellum home to keep themselves fed.
  • There is a spirit of Death (Crow's Feast, Rank 2, Ban: May only feed in the presence of a corpse) and Desperation (Loss' Lament, Rank 2, Ban: Must flee the sound of laughter) at the Kellum's place.

Mountains Rest

  • The cabal goes to Mountains Rest to discover what Jesse Kellum is up to, and what the site means for his hiding there and the journals he's recovered.
  • The witness the front windows, some of which have been smashed, but via magic and looking into the past they see they are: The first window is a Thistle, the second window is link of chains, the third is an image of the sun, the fourth a tree, the fifth a broad chair, the sixth a drop of blood, and the seventh is a coiled dragon.
  • Inside, Jesse Kellum is waiting for them upstairs, but they quickly learn he is possessed by a ghost. He's quickly killed and the cabal takes the book that was in his hands labeled: Suspire. (See Mountains Rest Part 1 and Part 2 )

Suspire Research

As Drude and Espy study the Suspire, they find that the book itself is imbued with a few spells:

Speak with the Dead (Death 1)

Command Ghost (Death 2, as per Command Spirit, Spirit 2)

These spells seem to have limited charges within the imbued item, but they cannot tell how many.

The Suspire is also a grimoire. The rotes they have discovered within are as follows, but there are likely more:

Soul Jar (Death 2)

Devouring the Slain (Death 3)

Sever Soul (Death 3)

The Suspire is written in several different non-modern languages, or what seems like a mix of them. I'm not going to list them all out, but after study Drude manages to uncover a blend of seven different languages. The book itself seems to be divided into seven different sections, each seeming to journal an era in time, or so they think. Maybe it's seven different schools of thought? It's hard to piece out. Skimming they find that the first book seems hardest to read and translate and the ideas it expresses aren't as easy to comprehend, but they see a reference to Seven Dragons. In theme, each paragraph in the book contains seven sentences, and many sentences contain seven words, sometimes mashing together languages to get the point of the sentence across while maintaining the symbology.

Diving back in, the two make some real headway into the book! I'm going to list some basic information and if you want to elaborate just let me know.

The Suspire seems to be some kind of 'holy text' for an Awakened group. It tells of a group of prehistoric Awakened called the "shakers of the borders" who repudiated the Supernal gods. These sorcerers reasoned that, since they possessed Awakened souls with limitless potential that put them above any gods, and that souls should be the principal focus of their studies. The shakers of the borders sought to - and accomplished at points if the Suspire is to be believed - bind the gods and interrogate them for occult insights. The border-shakers seem to use the term Dragon to encompass both Watchtowers and Oracles. They considered the Dragons a trap, providing Awakening only at the cost of a limited potential. Freed from any sacred duties or taboos, the border-shakers left the fighting for the worlds to the Dragons and the Exarchs and studied the "most-Fallen" entities: great beasts, living nightmares, and blood drinkers. They believe there are seven Dragons. The first five Dragons correspond to the five Watchtowers in this order: 1 Acanthus, 2 Mastigos, 3 Obrimos, 4 Thyrsus, 5 Moros. The next two are 6 Blood which seems to represent Fallen supernatural creatures and 7 the Seventh Dragon which is referenced as Truth.

This is book 1.

They get part way into book 2.

The border-shakers continue on through generations, submitting information about these monsters and soul research into the Suspire in the form of metaphor and poetry. The border-shakers would often keep monsters as captive tutors, attempting to pull information about their state and how to translate that within themselves and the world around them. They gathered into Houses, splintering but remaining united in their philosophies as they grew through time. During the Roman era, they became known as the Tremere.

Logs

Title Date Location Cast Summary
Client Session: Macy Jones 2023-06-14 Laura Thompson Paladin meets a young client who tells her about a torturous doll and the malicious girl behind it.
Secret Suzie Showdown 2023-06-24 Arlene Kinsey, Laura Thompson, Rebecca Willows Paladin, Espy, and Fidelity go to the Kellum House to investigate a strange anomaly.
Drude And Fidelity Stalk A Man! 2023-07-03 Jay Watts, Rebecca Willows Drude and Fidelity tail Jesse Kellum after connecting him to suspicious necromancy.
Cabal Meeting No. 1 2023-07-06 Laura Thompson's Home Arlene Kinsey, Jay Watts, Laura Thompson, Rebecca Willows The Jericho Cabal meets to discuss the Kellums and Mountains Rest.
Mountains Rest Part 1 2023-07-08 Mountains Rest Arlene Kinsey, Jay Watts, Laura Thompson, Rebecca Willows The Jericho Cabal looks for Jesse Kellum at Mountains Rest.
Mountain's Rest Part 2 2023-07-07 Arlene Kinsey, Jay Watts, Laura Thompson, Rebecca Willows The finale at Mountain's Rest