The group, after the chaos and information gathering of hacking the Looking Glass Emporium, decide to follow through and meet Dylan at the Crossover, a hipster bar in downtown Chicago. They arrive, get a table in the back. The appointed meeting time arrives…and passes. Everyone is about ready to leave when Dylan Vessy rushes in the front door and sits down at the table, leaning in close.
He tells them that the Men in Black are close behind and that he doesn’t have a lot of time. He was expecting to have fifteen minutes. Instead he has 3. And he has to give them the key. He reaches into his pocket and blows a handful of dust into the group’s faces. And within seconds, they are all the proud possessors of a new tattoo shaped like a key.
He then spews out a bunch of random information:
- Avoid the Lady, at all costs.
- The tattoos are the key, but don’t let anyone see them.
- They have to return his access
- The Hitachi Building has a door they can use.
- Oh, and by the way, they should probably run out the back.
And with that, Dylan pulls a revolver out of an inner coat pocket, which he then starts firing at the men dressed in black coming in the front door. The group runs for the back door. And [[Session 1: Falling Down the Rabbit Hole | before you know it]], the group is running through the front doors of the Hitachi Building.
Only to find a pretty bare room. There’s a bed without any bedding, a bookshelf without any books, and a desk in the corner with a computer from the early 1980s. Oh, and the big glass door is gone and replaced with a wooden one,
The group quickly comes to the conclusion that is some sort of VR space, as nothing quite has the full feel or visual look of actual reality. Someone posits it might be some sort of inbetween space, a conclusion everyone generally agrees upon. Harley and Leo go to investigate the new (old?) door, while Kristin starts playing with the computer, which has a single map/camera icon on the screen. She presses it, and it produces a large holographic globe, which can be used to see any place on the Earth in real time. Although, when they look at the Hitachi Building, their bodies aren’t there, which suggests either:
- The Men in Black were quick to clean up
- This holographic map is not completely accurate
- The group’s understanding how things are working is not right
There is some discussion about the possibilities, including getting neurally hooked in somehow, either remotely, or perhaps through the wacky tattoo causing dust.
Meanwhile, Eybi attempts and succeeds at pulling up his VR console, although he is a bit surprised to see that everyone else can see his console. He then investigates the computer, opening it up to find (surprise, surprise) that the innards are not that of an Amiga, but rather a sophisticated modern day computer. Eybi, thinking ahead, grabs the code that powers the globe (since there’s not really a computer in this VR inbetween). Never know when that might come in handy.
Harley and Leo open the door to discover a grayish, semi-opaque wall between them and an outside world of sorts. They can see a wooden deck and set of stairs down. In addition, there is a building wall across the way, suggesting they were in an alleyway. Noise suggests an open-air bazaar or marketplace of some sorts, although like the view, the noise is muted.
There is some brief argument about going out, but eventually they come to the conclusion that there is no other option. They all file out the door. Once they get to the other side, the sounds become louder and much to Leo’s consternation, there are languages that he can’t place. The smell is a heavy industrial feel and there is a smog, not as thick as a London pea soup, but definitely a pre modern era pollution cloud.
But the thing that catches every one’s attention is that their physical form has changed:
- Harley is a monk of the Samaritan Order.
- Leo is a rogue of the Council of Thieves.
- Olivia is a gnome Harpist Chronicler.
- Eybi is a samurabi.
- Kristin is a cleric of Chauntea.
- Fredrich is a grey robed wizard of some sort.
Only Olivia seems to have changed racial forms, with everyone else remaining human, but physical bodies seem enhanced. In fact, this whole place seems almost more real than reality. Fredrich is head over heels, feeling like he is in the game of all games. He even, realizing he is a wizard in this realm, casts a levitation spell, freaking several of the group out.
Kristin checks to see if she still has her crystal and has Harley try to use it to find her missing boyfriend. They get the sense he is somewhere in the city before the crystal’s imagery fades out.
They make their way out into the city, discovering that there are “people” of all shapes, forms, and sizes out here. Some are recognizable, others not so much. They finally reach the end of a street that opens out into a tremendously huge open air market like nothing they have ever seen. And when they look up and see the smog has cleared some, they also see city stretching above them, confirming that they are in the tire shaped city they had seen images of previously.
Leo, not on full alert for the first time perhaps ever, gets bumped into by a seven foot tall…well…demon, who then picks a fight with the smaller man. Leo, not wiling to back down, gives in words as good as he gets until he is undermined by Olivia just wanting to drag him out of the way and stop the fight.
The demon is willing to concede that Leo is whipped by his gnome woman until Leo throws a deadly insult his way. A fight almost breaks out when a large creature with the lower body of a ram and upper body of a human steps between Leo and the demon. He then proceeds to talk the demon out of the fight and asks the group to come with him to meet his master, who would like to talk to them.
When the group eventually agrees, the creature introduces himself as a bariaur and gives them his name as Solitude. He guides them through the Great Bazaar to the edge of the open area where more permanent shops have set up space. He then, via ramp, leads them to the second floor of a building, where they enter a room full of books and bookshelves.
At the center of the room is a dwarf with butterfly wings who introduces himself as Fairgar. Fairgar explains a few things to them:
- He is a Signer, a member of a group who believes that each member is the center of the universe.
- The key tattoos on each of them are symbols of the dead god Aoskar, whose body lies on the Astral Plane. Oh, and possession of them gets two years hard labor.
- Aoskar, god of doors and portals was killed by the Lady of Pain, the ruler of Sigil, City of Doors and the city they are currently in, for overstepping his bounds and gathering too much power.
- Solitude is a tout, which is a word for a guide to the city.
He agrees to let them stay the night, as he wishes to talk to them about their tattoos, as his group has some interest in bringing Aoskar back to life. That’s why he had Solitude grab them once he realized they were in the city.
The session ends with a lot of questions and the group thinking about searching for the missing people before even thinking about doing anything that Dylan wants.