Welcome to Contagion Chronicle Season two! We got your Changelings, your Prometheans, two Mages, and a Mummy complete with their own cult!
We open by introducing ourselves. Rachel is playing a nuclear Promethean, while Tyler is going full Tyler as a rogue Mage wanting to remake reality in his master’s image. Mere’s character is an AI who’s gained sentience, and Key is playing an ancient mummy in service to a god of land, agriculture and dominion. Gnarf is a transhumanist Obrimos named Kilowatt, and Savannah is Emma-Rose Makenzie, a changeling whose Durance was as an Arcadian notary and now wants to find her daughter.
After introducing ourselves, Duane covers the core themes of the chronicle. The Contagion is a reality-warping phenomenon, which creates frightening change. It especially upsets the rules our characters have come to understand their lives to operate by.
We work out some of our more narrative-based mechanics. Karo takes Emma as one of his touchstones, while Emma-Rose has her daughter. We also work out our Aspirations, Obsessions, and Milestones, as appropriate. Lastly, it’s time to work out how we got to Chicago, and why.
Karo’s cult decided to move his sepulchre to the Chicago natural history museum. Essi is seeking out her other iterations, and has followed a signal ping to the city. Santos has always been her, and receives a lead directing him to the Top Shelf in Chicago. Emma-Rose discovers another changeling is also looking for her daughter, and that she appears to be somewhere in Chicago. With her own daughter. Kilowatt is in Chicago and seems to always have been in Chicago. Reality doesn’t seem to want him to leave Chicago. A hunter buddy calls him up and says he’s going into a place called the Hedge, and wants Kilowatt to keep tabs on his stuff. Irene is in her happy place, Chicago Pile One, trying to go over faded records of someone who might have been her. But glow has begun to fade, and her mind nearly implodes on itself as she feels something very much like fear as she contemplates the implications of such an event and what it means for her. She emerges from her bunker to learn about the Contagion, drawing her to the Top Shelf.
Kilowatt arrives first, and chooses the dive bar between that, a honky-tonk outfit and a techno-rave club. They proceed to sidle up to another woman and asks if she’s seen Macintosh. She seems frustrated by the question, but seems to accept whatever is coming next. Emma Rose, Irene, and Santos trickle in, each served a truly top shelf cocktail by the bartender. We pay for them not with money, but stories.
Meanwhile, sorcerous energies swirl around Karo, building up from a skeletal figure to a tall, muscular person. The security guards appear to be fighting, one of them with a double-headed ax. Some of them are bleeding black, which is odd. Karo, however, would prefer to kill all the tomb raiders. A few call out ‘master,’ but Karo doesn’t recognize them as cultists.
Elsewhere in town, Essi hears static, and begins picking out strange words. “I am sorry.” “I am beauty. I am chaos.” Following them for a full day, she ends up at the Chicago piers a few blocks away from the natural history museum. There’s a house here, which seems strikingly out of place. It’s not lived in, but also seems… infinitely deep? The transmissions break, and she hears a voice she recognizes saying, “Help us.” She goes inside.
Back at the bar, the bartender suddenly says, “Oh, damn. I was hoping she wouldn’t go in there yet.”