A few months ago I participated in a short World of Darkness campaign. This campaign went pear-shaped from the very beginning, when we failed to stop some kind of evil spirit from exterminating a native American tribe so completely that they were wiped from history as well as existence. We ended up in a battle with some kind of fallen angel with bronze for skin, and half of our group died or were rendered comatose by their injuries. Conveniently those players also simultaneously moved on, and the campaign was put on hold. Recently it restarted with three new players, who spent the entire first session staring agog at us and mouthing “WTF” as we tried to give them some kind of perspective. Finally one of the players drew a diagram of the main forces involved. Here it is.

I want tactical database assimilation by 0800 hours

I want tactical database assimilation by 0800 hours

Things are … more complicated than I realized. This might explain why my character, John Micksen, is extremely flippant with powers that can eat him for breakfast – because he is out of his depth and he knows it [this might also be explained by his Composure attribute of 4].

The basic flow of the first campaign goes something like this:

  • A dodgy company called Aesir hires a bunch of no-hoper humans for a dead end job
  • The no-hoper humans (us) end up in a pocket dimension created by a demon called the Judge
  • The Judge was planning to turn a single human, Danny into a genocide machine
  • Someone (probably the company Strauss) stole Danny, just as the pocket universe disappeared, taking an entire native American tribe (Danny’s tribe) with it
  • Our company sent us to a psychiatric hospital to get Danny, who was pumped up on magic and ready to destroy the world
  • We killed Danny, but while we were on our way to kill him we disturbed something called the “God Machine”, a vast and empty wilderness of cogs and clockwork that may or may not be a god, and is definitely out to destroy the universe
  • Somewhere in all of that I met the Faerie Queen of Winter, awakened, and became the Winter Knight
  • Oops
  • For most of the campaign I was useless (we were using the Faerie books for my character)
  • Some guy called Azazel turned up and started offering to help us. He was dodgy. Definitely a fallen angel
  • Some assassins tried to kill us all and we had to go on the run. We (erroneously, it turns out) thought they were sent by Aesir; they weren’t
  • Azazel told us about a girl who could hide us from the God Machine, but to get her we had to cut a deal with a vampire in Chicago and sell out some communists
  • No big deal, we got the girl, but then we discovered there were others, in fact a whole industry of abducting children and using them for something
  • We traced the abductions to a warehouse outside Chicago, and discovered that mundane management of the children was handled by a paedophile ring, who were paid for their services in … access rights
  • We flame-grilled the paedophiles [see Figure, top left]
  • We discovered they were working for an Angel called D’Angelo
  • We killed him too
  • Most of us died; campaign stopped

Now we are in Berlin looking for more information about the German companies, Strauss and Orpheus, that were involved in the child abductions. We also now think they were the ones who tried to kill us, and we are very vengeful, very angry and very committed. We know that the God Machine is trying to destroy the world and we have to stop it, and we know that the German companies are engaged in some sort of unholy and necromantic experiments involving half-angelic children. We have a very long list of people we are going to kill, and our preferred method is to do it slowly and horribly. We’re on the wrong side of the red line, and we aren’t concerned with crossing back any time soon. The three new members of our group look at us like we’re monsters – probably because we are – but we look at them and think “give it a week, they’ll come around.” This is World of Darkness, we survived a battle with an Angel, we’re living on borrowed time and we know it: we are going to use that borrowed time to destroy everyone who crossed us, and anyone who gets in the way is not likely to fare well.

The second section of the campaign began on this footing. I don’t think it is going to end well …