Recap: City of Mist and Demigods

December 01, 2019 - 4 min read

I got to play City of Mist a second time, facilitated by the same person. I played Declan L’Estrange, a character living in a dream, and the other player played Excalibur, which I compared to “Helen Mirren if she bore the Witchblade“.

The plot: we were hired by an art gallery owner named “Mickey” who had been robbed. Because some of the missing exhibits were loaned by a personal friend, Mickey wanted private assistance before going to the cops. Our PCs were part of the detective agency he called, and we went to the scene. The real goal of the theft was a set of schematics from the city, centering on an old church. We went through the bureaucracy to get another set, then visited the church.

The Church was defended by another Rift named Christina, a woman who claimed to wield “the light of God”. She rebuffed us (a pair of failed Take a Risk rolls), and we fell back to a diner. We realized there was a reliquary under the church that was too big for its size, and thought that’s what the thieves were after. We decided to change our game, and went in as a pair of Rifts: Excalibur, the unstoppable warrior, and Declan, the emissary of night and dreams. With this display, we got her talking, and found out that a stag-headed god was bound beneath the church, and his followers were trying to break through the wards to free it - including graffiti on the church that looked like paleolithic cave paintings.

We found the warehouse hideout of the “Beasts”, guarded both with watchers and crow iconography. Declan and Excalibur donned owl hoodies - symbolic, as owls and crows are adversaries, and practical, as hoodies can conceal - and tried to enter the warehouse. Declan was throat-grabbed by a bear of a man on the way in, a cultist who wanted power and believed in the Stag God’s promises. One swordpoint at the throat from Excalibur later, he was willing to at least listen, and the two PCs cooperatively talked him into changing allegiances.

Following that we went upstairs to retrieve the idol of the Stag God, through which the cult was receiving its instructions. Declan’s dream world asserted itself again, and we found Rod Serling standing in the room, narrating the twists and plot of the story. But this was enough to get a tip-off: handling the statue would bring out one’s bestial nature. Declan wrapped it in the schematics of the city - a symbol of human ingenuity and progress over animal instinct - and we delivered it to the church for safe-keeping.

As for Red Hook—it is always the same. Suydam came and went; a terror gathered and faded; but the evil spirit of darkness and squalor broods on amongst the mongrels in the old brick houses, and prowling bands still parade on unknown errands past windows where lights and twisted faces unaccountably appear and disappear. Age-old horror is a hydra with a thousand heads, and the cults of darkness are rooted in blasphemies deeper than the well of Democritus. The soul of the beast is omnipresent and triumphant, and Red Hook’s legions of blear-eyed, pockmarked youths still chant and curse and howl as they file from abyss to abyss, none knows whence or whither, pushed on by blind laws of biology which they may never understand. – ”The Horror at Red Hook

The other game I played today was the second half of Demigods, first mentioned here.

Following the egg-eating challenge, the gods of Entertainment proposed a third challenge: in honor of Sisyphus, carry a rock up a hill! Lysandra didn’t take it seriously (at this point realizing the contest was a sham) and Joan Crawford took it too seriously (ignoring serious injuries from vultures on the way up). Kal, mostly wanting to tweak the Greek pantheon, used his magic to help Lysandra win by teleporting her and her rock there first.

Kal voted against himself, and was placed in the “loser’s box”. The trick was that these boxes siphoned the powers of demigods to place them into the Entertainment pantheon’s stable of fighters for a final match: a wrestling ring. However, Kal texted the judge to let him out - as a mortal, the boxes were mundane to him. Lysandra was moving to free the captives at the same time. Kal went further, placing the judge himself in the box and using it to transfer his sense of justice and fairness to the bad guy wrestlers. With that, they immediately confessed the scheme: steal the divine power from the competitors and use this to get control of Zeus’s lightning bolts (the prize for the competition) seemingly fair and square.

The scheme exposed (on live TV), the Entertainment gods booked it, and Zeus expressed his gratitude to our team. We parlayed that into doing a favor for Judge Stone, and that was the plot.

Overall it was fun, very much not the outcome the GM expected, and the mechanics supported our assorted shenanigans.