But for the local bully she still was just a girl, which means she should be like the Bitsy Mulhoneys and Maises from the Nebraska Township. The hair spinners and so. The total anti-Sally. And there was not Eugene Falks’ vision, but Pa Slick also has this opinion, which hurts her even more, because she was the one who saved his brother and family’s life against the Steel Syndicate, and also she was the one who fixes everything in home.
And the events in the tractor racing and local fair made her even more distressed and overemotional, as she puts herself in doubt.
It was the weird Ringmaster Clara Belle from Circus Europa that someway put Sally and his sidekick pal, the scrawny, tongue-in-cheek, naively overconfident Jet Black, back into adventure’s path, after seeing Sally’s performance with the now upgraded Calamity, a tractor faster than a race-car.
But the local mindset made her frustrated, making her thinking if she was not the wrong one to want more that it was worth for her station as a girl. That she belonged to home and family care, not to mechanics and adventuring.
But she had no time to think on this, because Calamity, her biggest pride and joy, was stolen!
She could not just left this behind, so she and Jet Black now are back into the adventure path, and getting away home during the night was only the beginning. The clue she has and guides her actions: the Belle woman from Circus Europa had stole Calamity, she was sure. She and Jet got to the circus to inquire her about Calamity.
When they get into the train station, they found a kid working for Circus Europa, and they engage into some talk with him. Although he thinks that they want to run away with the circus like he did. It was when this weird kid was took by a man in black, with a hood over his face, like the old-time bandits from pulp (hey, we are in a pulp, right? Let things go by the book!) talking about a mysterious thing with a weird name. And the goon knows about the kid, as he gives his name, Mack Silver, another known name for those that read Spirit of the Century and Dinocalypse Trilogy. And they also on this learned a rule about adventure: adventure leads to trouble. But they dealt with the goon without so much problem, and freed Mack Silver, with the help of a lady that called for the constables. And so the duo came to a trio (somewhat).
And going to the circus, she find a person that someone will be important in the future: the always sick and fragile fortune-teller Jared Brain, a meek kid that stays into their own chair his and frightens with his fortune telling so much that the circus don’t let him do them.
The plot thickens when she discovers that Mack Silver is still under the kidnappers target, and they try even to knock him out during the sleep and try to get out the circus via one of the barnstormers’ airplanes. She and Jet rescue Mack, but not without consequences, as they crashed the plane…
And Sally, Jet and Mack prepare a trap to the goons for some responses. And Sally also shown her Shock stick, a taser-like device that she used to knock the kidnapper out. They are from a weird mystical order, The Disciple of the All-Seeing Eyes, that wanted to take the Eye of Enki for his then from those who would use it for selfish means. They also believed Mack was already corrupted by the Eye. Mack had it into possession because, when he ran away from his golden cage of home, he took some things, and with them the Eye of Enki, unknowingly.
It was then that the adventure rolls down: when searching for Jet to go home, Sally didn’t found him! Now she need to find him, and she recurs for the one that could help her : the meek fortune-teller Jared Brain.
Jared Brain can help to locate, but he’s so sick he can’t get out of his cot. To help Jared, Sally build, with Mack’s help, a wheeling chair, so Jared could be pushed around to help to locate Jet, besides Mack and Sally distrust on him, that only grows when Jared do his dramatic mumbo-jumbo to close his eyes while giving them indications on where Jet is, going into the puppet theater, normally where they could find the bald, old, kind-hearted Heinrich.
But in fact, one of the circus elephant, Petit, had ran rampant against them and against the chuck wagon, where circus performers and crew takes their meals. Mack, Sally and Jared are able to stop the elephant menace, and they discovered that something scared Petit, maybe a small animal, like a mouse or so. They found some little prints in Petit’s cage, and Sally creates and sets a trap to catch this thing.
But instead of catching a mouse, Sally catches a miniaturized Jet Black. This turn things even more weirder.
And got even more weirder when Jet says Heinrich has the Eye of Enki. And there’s no Jared Brain to help them to get Heinrich by using his so-called mental powers.
But they chose to get to Heinrich first, as he has the Eye, and no Eye means a doll small Jet Black.
This also would mean stand against her fears and discomforts, including the one of flying. But not doing this was saying his Pa was right and she was just a girl and belong to home. But, by stands against her discomforts, she was also proving her Ma was right and she was someone fated for bigger things than take care of homes at Nebraska Township.
This was also courage: keeping doing what is needed, even in the face of your fears.
They find not Heinrich, but a camp from the Disciples, that had caught Heinrich. The puppet-master is wretched in fear.The little man was totally in fear, because when he shrunk Jet, he thought he killed him. They also discovered he was working to steal magical artifact that could be smuggled by Circus Europa for the Nazi (or so it was told to him). But he chose to help Sally and his friends, and thought the Disciple on how to use the Eyes to bring Jet back his size.
It was then Heinrich reveal the name of his contractor. One that Sally and Jack knows very well. Doktor Proktor, his brother’s boss and the one that was in the kernel of the mess Sally and Jet was on before, in Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate
Then Jared shows himself after Sister Waleria introduce him as a new psychic, with powers to detect magic things. They want him to find Doktor Proktor via their scrying powers, but he asks to touch the Eye to find him. Even under the suspicious look of Sister Waleria, Jared said his plan for using the Eye as a booster for his powers…
And Jared worked on it for so long that people started to get bored and start to talk against each other. And they noted that the artifacts were stolen… And even more arguments, until they not what they are doing: by useless shouting and yelling and arguing, they didn’t thought on someone…
Jared Brain! A powerful, evil artifact with a kid who was strong enough to control it. And that used it to hide his tracks while running away, somehow.
And, by trying to find Jared, they discover why Jared wants to use the Eye of Enki, and the bittersweet results will impact them in the future, for the good and the ill.
This book is a little about doubt: about Sally having doubt on her talents and objectives, Jet being in doubt about himself, and so. At the same time, is about courage, by people standing by what they believe (for the good and the ill).
Also, this is about how everyone deal with their hindrances: Sally need to deal with the fact she’s a (using 21nd century terms) tomboy girl from a backwater township where people think on girls as little dollies that flutter all around and are all cute and so. Jet still needs to deal with his impulsiveness, that put him into danger into situations that everyone else (except, maybe, people like himself) would hide, run away, or retreat. Mack need to deal now with the challenges he need not when he was into the golden cage of this family. Jared needs to deal with the frail body that holds his powerful mind, and so.
And is also about the consequences of desire, and how maybe even good people can be used to do bad things, like Heinrich did. The evil has the way to make good people do their nefarious jobs, like Heinrich did, to steal artifacts for Doktor Proktor, filling him with dangerous powers while believing he was doing a good thing.
This books also show us somewhat the future and how Sally, Jet and Mack now can see it unveiling beyond them, as they make enemies and new friends, and about the importance of them and the things they can do, because they don’t do things as people wants or believes they’ll do, but because they do the right things.
Miniature Menace is a great continue for Steel Syndicate, and there we can see the kids growing a little more and getting even nearer their Hero ideal, as they suffers and with this learn about consequences, fear, and courage.
The pulp tropes are still there. And Jet and Sally are as incredible as we left them in the end of Steel Syndicate. Sally still is a engine-head tomboy who needs to deal with all the bullies, Jet still is the scrawny kid with a bard’s tongue and tongue in cheek, and the half-full bottle kind of overoptimistic guys.
The new characters are also incredible: we have Jared Brain, the powerful psychic kid with a feeble body; Nadya and Rosaliya, the flamboyant girls that supports Sally in their bad mood time after Jet’s disappearance; Heinrich, the kind-hearted guy that do a bad job by stealing artifacts; and Clara Belle, the Ringmaster of Circus Europa with secret scrying powers.
And obviously, we have Mack Silver, another name that people who read anything from Spirit of the Century maybe already heard about. We see the eye-candy kid, with a desire for the air and for freedom that ran away from his golden cage of family and took refuge at Circus Europa. Here, we see him doing a thing that would be a trademark and a way of life: flying with an airplane.
We also see them making one of their first and most powerful enemies, an enemy that control powers beyond the Science, and, for most Sally distraught, one she unwittingly helped.
The text is as light and fluid than the first one. There’s some criss-crossing in the plots, but nothing that could compromise the text. The characters are funny, and the stakes as high as pulp demands. The thrill is all around and we can see the characters doing what they can do and dealing with consequences.
The book is a good reading for everyone who likes pulp, the Spirit of the Century setting, or a light-hearted, funny, and high-staked action story. I could put it at 4 in 5 stars. There’s some details that turns the story a little slower than Steel Syndicate, but this can be the famous second book curse that somewhat hits even the best books into series. And those details don’t make the book less fulfilling, fun and good paced.
DISCLAIMER: I’ve received copies of Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate, Young Centurions and the upcoming Sally Slick and the Miniature Menace from Evil Hat for review. This review express my own opinions and only my own, and they can be not accurate. I would like to thank my cousin and friend Leonardo Melo, that did some corrections in the text. Thank you, Leo!
Estava revisitando algumas coisas mais antigas que escrevi sobre Fate e resolvi expandir e melhorar um exemplo que o Felipe Dalmatti coletou para o Medium e que tinha divulgado previamente na comunidade do Fate Brasil.
No caso, é a cena de Uma Cilada Para Roger Rabbit onde Eddie enfrenta as Doninhas e as mata de tanto rir!
Detetive Particular ex-Policial
“Aqueles Olhos…” - Atormentado pela morte do irmão Teddy na Desenholândia
Sempre faço meu trabalho direito
Meu pai e irmão (Teddy) eram Palhaços como eu era - Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus
Dolores é meu ombro amigo nesse momento de dor
Façanhas [ Recarga: 3 ]
Acrobacias - Como venho de uma Família de Palhaços do Ringling Bros., sou um especialista em Acrobacias, recebendo +2 ao Criar Vantagens de Maneira Ágil
Faro do Detetive - Como sou um Detetive Particular, uma vez por sessão posso declarar que vi a conexão entre várias pistas obtidas durante uma investigação
“Desenhos, sempre pego eles!” - Apesar de tudo, sei como a Lógica de Desenho funciona, portanto posso usar ela sem pagar Pontos de Destino, a -2 nos testes, durante uma Cena, uma vez por Sessão
Nota: No início de Uma Cilada para Roger Rabbit, Eddie diz o tempo todo que Não trabalha para Desenhos. Duas formas de entender isso: Dificuldade Forçada (indicando que ele está tão traumatizado com a morte do irmão que não quer se envolver mais com desenhos) ou uma Conseqüencia Mental ModeradaNão trabalha para Desenhos. Como fazem em torno de cinco anos que o irmão dele morreu, ele pode recuperar-se dessa Conseqüencia durante os eventos do filme
Patrulha de Desenhos (Toon Patrol)
Doninhas de desenho animado; Não são tão espertas assim; Sádicas; Patrono: Juiz Doom; Acham tudo engraçado
Tudo começa quando o Juiz Doom, após escorregar de maneira cômica em algumas bolinhas de golfe que estão em cena, percebe que a Patrulha dos Desenhos está rindo dele e reafirma um dos Aspectos em jogo. ao dizer: “Vocês vão acabar morrendo de tanto rir!”. Isso pode ter vindo de algum Aspecto que Eddie tenha previamente descoberto. Quando ele se afasta, algumas das doninhas se focam em acabar com Roger e Jessica Rabbit, presos com uma Corda a Prova de Desenhos, o que impede que eles utilizem a Lógica de Desenho para fazer coisas absurdas, como escapar da mesma (como Roger fez em cenas anteriores). Já a Doninha Esperta (Smart Guy em inglês), mantem Eddie Sob Ameaça de uma Arma de Fogo…
Eddie decide se aproveitar do Aspecto em jogo para minar a resistência das Doninhas, antes de tentar salvar Roger, Jessica e a Desenholândia da destruição definitiva pelo CALDO!!!!. Para isso, ele resolve pagar um Ponto de Destino para invocar o fato de ter Muitas Coisas Engraçadas e mandar uma música bem boba, “O Carrossel se quebrou” (“The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down”). Ao fazer isso, ele consegue a chance de usar isso contra as Doninhas, as desestabilizando.
Primeiramente, ele decide usar uma ação de Superar para eliminar a Ameaça da Doninha Esperta de jogo. Embora estejam seguindo ordens (no que são peritas), elas são Ruins ao Resistir a Risadas! (-2), então a Doninha Esperta rola a +0. Como Eddie está tentando se dar bem de maneira muito engraçada, ele recorre à sua Abordagem Estilosa (+2). Com um +-++ para um resultado Bom (+3), e a Doninha esperta conseguindo apenas um +-++ para um resultado Regular (+1) por parte da Doninha, ele consegue sucesso e a Doninha Esperta tá dando tanta risada que ele já não tem precisa se preocupar de estar Sob Ameaça.
Em seguida, usando o fato de “Meu pai e irmão (Teddy) eram Palhaços como eu era”, ele vê uns pesos que ele pode usar como forma de conseguir Atacar essas Doninhas na base da risada. Mas antes, ele tenta Criar uma Vantagem usando umas bolas e umas rimas bobas, recorrendo à sua Façanha de Acrobacias. Como Roger e Jessica não podem atacar devido à Corda a Prova de Desenhos, eles não podem ajudar diretamente.
Ao tentar criar sua Vantagem, Eddie não é tão bem no rolamento: 0--0. A única vantagem é que ele está usando a Façanha Acrobacias, o que permite a dificuldade de Defesa das Doninhas ainda seja bem alta para defender-se, precisando de um Bom (+3). Elas conseguem se defender em cima, com um ótimo resultado ++++. Mesmo considerando que elas estão a +0, elas conseguem se Defender da ação de Criar Vantagem. Ele está com problemas no tempo de comédia mas então é quando Jessica aparece e oferece uma rima para uma trovinha boba que ele estava elaborando, dando um bônus de Trabalho em Equipe para Eddie que lhe garante ao menos um Impulso Ele parece bem engraçado.
Porém, Eddie utiliza um Ponto de Destino para Forças o Aspecto das Doninhas de que Elas acham tudo Engraçado, minando a possibilidade delas Atacarem. O Narrador acha interessante, devido ao que está acontecendo, mas autoriza apenas para esse turno: Eddie tem que conseguir bons resultados para proteger todos no próximo turno… Ou tudo que vai restar de Roger e Jessica é uma potencial poça de caldo.
Eddie parte para o “Ataque”, com mais malabarismos bizarros, escorregões em cascas de banana e tudo mais, até mesmo metendo a cabeça na luminária em 110volts! Ele consegue um ótimo Ataque bem engraçado e Estiloso de +4 inicial, contando o Impulso que todos conseguiram, e rolando um ++00 para +6 (Fantástico), o que garante que as doninhas normais são todas derrotadas, após elas falharem na sua defesa com 0-0+, e coloca duas caixas de estresse marcadas na Doninha Esperta (para aumentar a agilidade do jogo, o Narrador colocou as doninhas todas como um grupo nesse momento). Entretanto, o Narrador coloca uma situação em cena: quando uma das doninhas “morreu”, virando um fantasma, seu corpo caiu em um quantidade de bolas próximas que criaram uma Máquina de Goldberg que pode ser usada como um complicador em cena, já que está vindo um belo de um vaso para cair diretamente na cabeça de Eddie!
Nessa hora, é Roger quem chama a atenção: usando um Ponto de Destino, Roger descreve narrativamente o que acontece. Quando novamente Eddie está para “Atacar” com piadas a Doninha Esperta (a única em jogo no momento), e ele diz “Eu tenho o meu taco e pulo que nem macaco/Mas se você não abaixa a arma todo mundo se abala/E eu lhe chuto no meio do…“, o vaso cai na cabeça de Eddie. Nessa hora, como um Desenho Second Banana1, Roger Invoca esse Aspecto e complementa a rima com uma Piada Péssima: “NARIZ!”
E a questão é que isso leva a Doninha a Baixar a Guarda, ao questionar que “Nariz não rima com macaco!”
Exatamente no momento em que, aproveitando que a Doninha está com a Guarda Baixa, Eddie usa seu Sorrateiro para mandar na Doninha um Ataque exatamente onde rima com macaco, e com um excelente ++++, para um Ataque Epíco (+7). Mesmo com uma defesa de +++0 que lhe fornece um Bom (+3), ainda assim ele precisa absorver 4 Tensões de Estresse. Como ela só tem duas caixas de Estresse, ela acaba sendo Derrotada de maneira ainda pior que a de seus pares, pois o chute de Eddie onde rima com macaco mandou ela diretamente para uma Zona fora da de combate… E direto para dentro do grande caldeirão cheio de Caldo que o Juiz Doom pretende despejar na Desenholândia assim que Roger e Jessica e Eddie estiverem mortos…
Entretanto, a coisa ainda não terminou, por dois motivos:
O Juiz Doom ainda está ali e terá um combate bem sério com Eddie, com momentos reveladores que irão perturbar nosso Detetive e;
A doninha mais louca do grupo, antes de “partir dessa para melhor”, ativou o Jato de Caldo e o está jogando contra Roger e Jessica! Se falharem em um único teste de Defesa Regular (+1), existe uma bela chance de eles irem fazer companhia à Doninha Esperta e serem obliterados pelo Caldo!
Cabe a nosso valente herói impedir que Doom transforme a Desenholândia em uma Auto-Estrada, cheia de outdoors e postos com comida barata!
Second Banana é um termo que é utilizado para comediantes que servem ou estão em uma situação para serem usados de “escada” ou “muleta” para outros comediantes em uma cena. O termo é especialmente popular em comédias burlescas e no vaudeville. Em geral, é a parte que “recebe” a piada, em termos de “castigo” físico ou humiliatório. Deriva da estrutura do humor clownesco europeu entre o Branco (palhaço mais sério e quase poético, mas com rompantes de agressividade) e o Augusto (palhaço bobo e bonachão, mas que quase sempre coloca o Branco em complicações de uma maneira ou de outra). (Referência: Wiktionary) ↩
The players are 20th century Spirits that study all together in the Madam Sheridan’s Orphan’s House And Boarding School and Orphanage and School in Clinton, NYC. It’s October 1st, 1911, and Madam Sheridan pass a lecture on how the kids are going rowdy, “doing hooligan things in the Halloween” that should not be tolerated in a civilized society. She talks about the Century Club fundraising ball and the matinee festivity that will happens at Thursday, October 31st. All the kids can get on it, and will be a Masquerade, so costumes are mandatory,
In the meantime, there’s one of the bully kids that after the lecture will say that this is just “a great pile of bullshit of that old hag”. Jake Molan is a big bully, all the PCs knows, and he likes to do mean things: anyone who he considers weak of him, specially girls and weaker kids will be considered Fair Game for him, and this could include some of the Young Centurions. GM, this is not time to fight him back, and he’s clever enough to not get caught red-handed and get himself away with this. If any of the PCs wants to get a retribute, make him try, but if they are catched, they can enter into a conflict with The Local Bullies or being lectured again by Madam Sheridan that believes that rowdy behavior has no place at all.
When they get out the class, they’ll find a little hobo that calls itself as Knacks, that has a Southern accent and knows some lasso tricks, but that came to NYC to see if he could have a better life. He’s trying to do his life as a newsie, but it’s a little difficult when some people get his money. The PCs will find his wallet in the entrance of Central Park Zoo, but they’ll hear a yelling of help. Even they trying to find who was yelling, they’ll be not able to find the one who yelled, although they could see by the sound that it was a kid, between 10 or 12, no much more younger or older. However, they’ll find that someone had graffited the wall with “BEWARE! THE FAGIN IS BACK!”
The PCs has not to do here anymore, but they should at least, before goes home, give Knacks’ wallet back and talk about what they saw with the Police. If they do this, give them a Police escorted us home! Aspect with a Free Invoke.
THE FAGIN IS BACK!
Kids being kidnapped
Scene 2 - The Costumes
Time to choose which each one will be
Things goes more scary
The Fagin kidnaps even more kids
This scene take a little more time, as this is spaced between October 2nd to October 29nd, but let us see what will happens during this meantime.
First of all, the PCs will think on the costumes they’ll use in the Masquerade they’ll want to use. Remember: 1910s was not a time known about have lots of fabric to do exquisite costumes like the 2010s. In that time, normally they took some old clothes and made some thing on them to customize them for what they want. Please, please, PRETTY PLEASE, don’t get on things like blackface/brownface/yelloface/other sensitive questions UNLESS you have good players. If you want, this is an adventure where X-Card rules could apply, as the 1910s Halloweens were full on sensitive topics.
Make them create the costumes: a Average (+1) check would be good enough. However, if they want to be Successful with a Cost, take hold on a Ridiculous Costume Boost that you could use against them in the adventure.
They can also combine to do a guising, where they could get with more sweets and trinkets in the Halloween. Let them choose what they want to do and talk with them about guising (basically, it trick-or-treat, but lighter, where the kids do I kind of gag or singing to asks for more sweets).
Then, there’s Jake Molan, that says he have a “great plan” for Halloween. If the PCs wants to investigate, they’ll discover that he’s preparing eggs to get rotten for some egging during Halloween. It’s a bad accusation without proofs, so they’ll need to pass some Clever or Sneaky checks to get proofs that Jake and his crew are preparing to do this egging. If they obtain the proofs against Jake, they could put it under a promise to not mess with others, or denounce him to the adults of for Madam Sheridan. The latter could put them into confusion.
Knacks came also to them, now a little cleaner and fatter than first time, to say that some newsies in the East River region where kidnapped. He also says he had saw a weird man, with a even weirder costume, something old-fashioned, with a top hat and tails, with a wrinkled face and crooked nose. He had just get a glimpse and ran away, leaving the region to find another hobo camp he could get with others for protection. He also invite the PCs for the Beggar’s Dinner, a party that the local hobos and bag ladies will provide for hobo kids like him. He says that they will need to go in rags, as the hobos normally doesn’t trust those who doesn’t look like them.
There’s also some histories about kids from other neighborhoods being kidnapped. German, Yiddish, Guadalupeans, Italians, you name it. All around the city the lack of confidence and panic is growing with the growing in the number of kids. The so called “Kid-robber” is taking kids all around, and no kind of message was given by the abductor.
If they need some clues about the one who is kidnapping kids, the Century Club will be a source of those. Madam Sheridan can be a contact, as she’s a Century Club Retainer, with some special skills to detect good and bad people. At the same times, they’ll investigate The Fagin and track it to a believed-to-be-deceased 19th Century Shadow of Innocence, Anthony Fagin, that exploited the innocence of kids to their own benefit. He is believed as decease since 1889, when he fought against some of the 19th Century Spirits (maybe with some of the PCs Mentors) and disappeared. The details of the conflict will be at GM discretion. The Club will be put under alert, as any suggestion of a 19th Century Shadow getting back to power would be a problem: even they having lost a big chunk of their powers with the end of 19th Century, they are as powerful as the 19th Century Spirits, and this would be a big bite for the Young Centurions.
Big Plans for the All Soul’s Eve
Jake will make a big mess!
Kids are still disappearing
An Shadow of the Past is working?
Scene 3 - The All Soul’s Eve
The Hobo and Bag Lady’s party
Then, came October 30rd, when some people start to party: the streets begins to be full on people into costumes and masquerading. Kids starts to rehearsal for their Guisings… And some start to look for the rotten eggs to see if they are smelly enough for their pranks. People all around starts to go rowdy, as Madam Sheridan somewhat “predicted”, turning trash cans over and doing pranks, big and small, good and bad.
The PCs maybe are doing their last details for their costumes for the Halloween parties, either the Matinee Festivities at the Madam Sheridan’s and the Century club Masquerade (as Young Centurions they are enlisted for the Masquerade - in fact, is mandatory).
Knacks came to ask them if they want to get in the Beggar’s Dinner. He have some Old Rags to provide for the kids that would not have something to put on, and he also use some ashes to Smudge them, so they could get in the festivities.
The Beggar’s Dinner is held in a free space in East Side Docks, where the Hobos and Bag Ladies exchanges stories and some food they found. The PCs don’t know, but they are being tracked by one of the 19th Century Spirits, Lady Brigit Danaan, the East Side Docks Hobo Queen: nothing happen here that she don’t know. She know who they are, as she was looking for Knacks, but she’ll not interfere without a good reason: she knows hobo kids are a so lonely group that they do everything they could for friends.
However, as the festivities goes, they hear lost of stories about the Fagin, this almost Urban Legend about an old man that kidnap kids. Many hobos spit on this name, because they are the ones who take the bad fame. Knacks says he heard about the Fagin’s stories from all the hobos (kids or not) he found, and even the rare Chinese hobos knew about this, and said that there’s a legend in Shanghai about an old man that hunt kids for prey.
Although the legends, the PCs may feel that the Fagin is real, and his shadow is lurking and growing all around. And this feeling just grows when Jake Molan is kidnap: they see her mother looking for him. If they go in the place where Jake has put the eggs to rot, they’ll see that’s an Awful Smell and they’ll find a hat. Jake’s hat.
But not only this: they’ll see that he left behind what looks like an Engraved Family Crest, with a letter F on it. If they research about this by their own (Superb (+5) Careful checks, considering they can find a library) or they asks for it to their mentors (or other Club people - Fair (+2) to Great (+4) Clever checks), they’ll discover that this crest is from The Fagin gang, from the 19th Century London, a gang that was built around one man: Anthony Fagin.
Anthony Fagin is back from death!
Jack Moran was kidnapped!
The Shadow that blights All the Soul’s Eve
Scene 4 - The Mummer’s Dance
Chaos during Halloween
The Fagin’s plan
The Mummer’s are children!
It’s October 31, and now everyone is going fr the festivities, although the news reports about kidnapping kids is making some adults to get paranoid and not allowing kids to go for parties, Guisings and tricks-or-treats. The police is doing some research with the hobos for the kids (as they think the hobos were the ones to kidnap them), until some weird groups of people get into the streets, dressed into costumes but with sacks over their heads. Those Mummers (as some people in the street are talking about) are doing all kinds of crimes, from shoplifting to bank robbing, and not sounds able to stop those.
The biggest revelation is done when the police does an extreme action and shot one of them on the knees. When they discover who is this, is one of the kidnapped kids! He sounds totally under a kind of spell or mind control that make him totally obedient for an external force, feeling no pain or even safety needs! The Police is flabbergasted so much that the orders are messed up: some squads says to shot for death, other to hold the fire!
In the meantime, the Young Centurions goes for the Century Club’s Masquerade Ball. They are expected to be on their best behavior, but he soon see something wrong: a man in old-fashioned clothes, on a kind of Balloon with the Fagin Crest, asking the City.
“New York City, I’m Anthony Fagin, master of The Mummers, and I’m with your sons under my will. I’m the one that are dominating them. I could turn them against you, even being son versus father. But I’m generous enough to claim a parley, and give the city an option: I’ll take New York City as my personal fief, and you will warrant my will even against Washington orders, and I’ll spare your kids. Go against me, otherwise, and I’ll make my little Mummers go amok, and New York will be under ashes before the All Soul’s Night Dawn!”
This is a big preposterous idea, but even the Commissioner is paralyzed: the idea to capitulate under a so preposterous demand is silly by itself, but putting kids under risk is something incredibly wrong, and let them but the city down is even more preposterous.
Now, we expect the Young Centurions will take this under their eyes. There’s some option on what to do:
Take Fagin’s balloon down: there’s the problem that the Helium-Filled balloon would be a big bomb that could set at least some of Manhattan under fire;
Confront the Mummers: This would be a great mess, even not killing any of them (hope not!), but it would give the PCs some clues on how to take them from Fagin’s mind control. There’s a simple way: all the Fagin, under their sacks, are using a little earphone-like receiver for the hypnotic hum that reinforces Fagin control under them. Remove it is an Overcome action with Great (+4) difficult. However, the PC doing it will take them automatically out, as they are out of Fagin’s control and the Obedience Draught put their lights out;
Discover the Mummers’ Control and disable it: See below, Scene 4a - The Control Room, for details
Overcome the Control Signal: See below, Scene 4b - Overriding the Control Signal, for details
Get into the Balloon and fight the Fagin: See below, Scene 4c - The Fight st the Balloon, for details
The Mummers are kids
The Control Signal
The Obedience Draught
Fagin can’t escape
Scene 4a - The Control Room
The Mummers are all under a combination of drug and hypnotic suggestion, and a kind of hypnotic hum sent by a control station. As they mess with the Mummer’s psyche, the PCs can find them either using scientific way (triangulating the signal sources and so) by mental way (trying to scry the way). any way, when they found the source, they’ll be confronted by at least 12 (!!!) Mummers. They are armed with shotguns (yikes!) and they’ll shot the PCs point-blank if needed!.
If they are able to access the room, they’ll see that the Controls are Complex as Hell: treat this as a Contest with a Great (+4) Risk represented by the Control Signal. If the PCs win, the Control Signal will be shut down and the Mummers will be out of Fagin’s control (or at least their main control - see Scene 5). Otherwise, the signal changes its frequency under a random way, and the PCs will need to start everything again. GM, at each tie or lose the PCs have, bring at least two more Mummers, as the Control System protects itself.
Scene 4b - Overriding the Control Signal
A Clever PC (or a Spirit of Ingenuity or something like this) can try, if he can justify, to jury rig a way to overcome the Control Signal, as long he knows about it. Treat this as a Contest against a Good (+3) Power Level, at least from the start, to create a Portable Beacon that will override the Control Signal, making the Mummers that get into a number of Zones equals the PC Clever bonus (at least 1) from the PC to be put of the Fagin’s control.
However, this will be only effective against small groups of Mummers: to override the Control of all them, they’ll need to find a point they could to a stronger signal, with more potency to override the control signal. Treat this as a Contest against Superb (+5) Power Level. If the PC win, he’ll override the signal and the Control System will blow with the harmonics generated. If it lost, treats like in the Scene 4a. If people asks on how to help the builder, make them thinking on high buildings to go, even on some of them getting and climbing some lighting rod to put some cables for a transmitter.
Scene 4c - The Fight at the Balloon
The first problem to fight Anthony in the Balloon is to get there: he’s High in the Sky, and the PCs would need to think on creative ways to get there.
The other problem is: he’s High in The sky, and the balloon is not big enough for many of them fight without friendly fire: GM, at any failed Attack by a PC, roll a dF: a + roll means that he’ll potentially hit a friend - he’ll Defend normally against his friend “Attack”.
Any time a PC fails his Defense, you can make a good Cliffhanger to put them into a “I’m falling!” Aspect and make the other PCs save him someway (or let them fall for death… Or to be rescued out by A Scrawny Kid with a Jet Pack…)
A better idea is to just shut down the burners, so the balloon get down. A Failure on this Overcome can either represent the PCs were not able to shut the burners out or that they did this in a way they’ll Fall Like a Rock!!!!. Make them do checks to defend against a Great (+4) Attack if they fall: this is a very great fall.
But also they could make the Fagin fall for the death (please don’t: they are the heroes!) with a Superb (+5) Overcome action. If they want, they could do this and save the under risk Fagin: after this, a Great (+4)_ Forceful Overcome and they’ll save the Fagin, that will give in, conceding the victory and freeing the Mummers. He says he have enough and just want to settle up and die in peace, as he knows that his force and vitality is fading away since the century turning… Or so he says…
Epilogue - The day after Halloween
New York is still a mess after this All Soul’s Eve. The Mummers are now freed, some of them maybe a little hurt or with big headaches. The Century Club defeated Fagin, and maybe he’s captured, or maybe he had passed away or run away.
But the Obedience Draught formula is still available somewhere, somehow, just waiting for the next evildoer to take it for their means. And there’s also lots of Fagin’s notes…
That could be used against the Centurions.
But it’ll be seen in the Next Episode!
Appendix 1 - The Obedience Draught
The Obedience Draught
Put the mind into a hypnotic trance; The Mentalist’s Best Friend; Reinforced via special frequencies; Total Domination
Potency: Good (+3)
Abstinence: Mediocre (+0)
Effects Fantastic (+6)
The Trance: Anyone that drink it is under a Hypnotic Trance Aspect, with a Free Invoke
Colorless, Tasteless, Odorless: +2 in the Potency to avoid detection when mixed into other drinks
The Obedience Draught is an old time common trick from Alchemy, mainly for the mischievous one: a simple draught, totally colorless, tasteless, odorless that can be laced into almost any drink and, when people drinks it, they are put under a Hypnotic Trance, easing the work of a mentalist to make people get into an hypnotic suggestion, that can be reinforced easily by some special hums (the Fagin generate them via an special Earphone-like thing). The person under this hypnotic suggestion is under an Total Domination, from where he could escape only in the case of orders the could result in death (this is the only time that he could get out the trance). The Draught needs to be taken again from time to time to be reinforced: at each 4 hours, check for Abstinence. But as long the target is under its effect, any suggestion is maintained.
Appendix 2 - NPCs
A Big Bully; Not as brave as he looks
Expert (+4) at: Bully those weaker than himself
Skilled (+2) at:_ Make others do what he wants; Fight; Gloating
Bad (-2) at: being brave and bold under pressure
Bully; Weasely faces
Skilled (+2) at:_ Fight; Gloating
Bad (-2) at: being brave and bold under pressure
Stress: 3 (6 Bullies)
Children under Fagin’s control; Consciousness Drones
Skilled (+2) at:_ Do what the Fagin wants, no matter what
Bad (-2) at: everything else
Anthony Fagin, 19th Century Shadow of Innocence
A greedy old guy who wants to destroy everything for his own pleasure
“Humbug! Children should work, not play!”
A name made immortal as an alert
An accomplished kidsman, knows how to “recruit” kids
Lots of resources, but want even more
The Obedience Draught: I had developed a special concoction that ease my domination tricks. Using it (by lacing it into a drink, or even water), I receive +3 when Creating Advantages while being Sneaky to induce people into an hypnotic trance that will put them Under my Dominion.
Racounteur (p. 100)
Snake Oil Salesperson (p. 96)
Silver Tongue (p. 95)
Dry Wit (p. 95)
Cold Read (p. 95)
I Have Just the Thing (p. 92)
Don’t Mess With Me (p. 95)
Time was never merciful with Fagin, but he didn’t expected any mercy he could give for other himself (in fact, no mercy). Although he look like a jolly old man, one with lots of wrinkles and so, those who came into contact with Fagin discovers very fast that he’s an rotten apple. His eyes are shiny, but the black on them is like one of a moonless night, with sometimes a greedy look. He dressed as old-fashioned as he could, and his clothes are sometimes dirty and rotten.
Greed is his modus operandi: as the 19th Century Shadow of Innocence, he believe that he has the right over everything he can AND can’t put his hand. A man with uncontrollable ambition, he has, however, the wisdom of the age: he would not dirt his hands if he can put others to do the dirty work for him. And he is not against use the Obedience Draught to dominate others and make them do things that, otherwise, they could not.
And he’s also so cunning that he knows how children’s mind works, specially their darkest desires, even being foolish things like a tasty sweet or a trinket toy: by snaring them via their desires, Fagin can make them an army… And God Help Us if he could make a strong enough one.
Some thinks that Fagin was a fictional bad man that Charles Dickens portrayed into Oliver Twist. However, those who are into The Century Club knows the truth, as Charles Dickens was one of the many artists that the Club had patronized all the time, to cleverly and secretly put some real information into fictional works, so people could be alerted by the danger of some of the worst people all around, specially some of the Shadows.
And Anthony Fagin was one of those guys, so mean ones that made the Club goes into this Agenda.
Born in the last strokes of December 31st, 1800, Fagin was born into a rich family from Liverpool a family with lots of money and contacts thanks for their exploiting on the nascent fabric manufacturing. As this was a kind of business that (on those times) demanded lots of manwork, many families had gone into their fabrics. Many of them, complete with wife and kids.
And it was with those kids that Anthony started their experiments: he always had a knack for the larceny, and with ten he started to make some money by robbing homes with “their comrades”. Obviously those “comrades” was always catched and, when they pointed for Anthony, the social hierarchy was a tool Anthony used for his favor as a way to get away. He was never caught red-handed, and he was clever enough to go with other ways to laundry their profits into this shady business.
It was until he found an old alchemical tome, and he studied it. As many Shadows, Anthony was attracted by the unnatural, and the tome brought him clues about an Obedience Draught, a mystical concoction that, laced into any liquid (even water) made people more open for mesmeric suggestion. He studied the tome and made the concoction, testing it into their own parents. He laced it into their night glasses of port wine and said only an order:
“Kill each other!”
Last morning, The Times gave the sad news about the tragic death of Mr. and Ms. Fagin, that on a rampage of jealousy with each other and cheating suspicious, killed each other with knives strokes straight into their hearts, leaving little Anthony alone in the world.
Anthony was not fool enough: he already knew about many people that would get into his feet. So, he liquidated all their parents business and got into the criminal shadows he always liked. He started very soon as a “kidsman”, someone who got orphan kids and trained them as criminals. He didn’t did this by compassion, make this clear: to put kids that couldn’t be traced back with himself, he could put a veil behind his criminal activities, while assumed a dilettante pose, a dandy that financed lots of expeditions that brought many historical artifacts to London.
Many of them, unfortunately, robbed by some vicious cat burglars. That, people don’t know, were trained by and put under Fagin’s will via the Obedience Draught. Many of them hanged by justice, when caught.
In the meantime, Fagin passed as a dandy into the more exclusive clubs in London. Some criticized his somewhat childish ways, and many women didn’t liked him because he looked like a big kid. And this was emphasized into his tantrums when their business (either common or criminal) got wrong. He soon discovered the motive.
He was found by The Century Club.
The Club started to work against him. They had discovered about their plans and the Obedience Draught. He could not left them mess into his business and so he started to act, by making some attacks against the Club. However, in his childish thinking at the time, he didn’t notice that he was only giving clues for the Club to lock him into target.
And he was soon found.
He just made an escapade away from London, by using the same trick he did with his parents: he made her in time fiancee kill herself under the Obedience Draught effect and ran away from London, to New York, where he waited for the Century turning.