Merx #4

What do you do when someone you hate tells you not to do something? You do it anyway, with more conviction than before.

Merx #4
Merx #4: F*ck the Faceless Cops
“O-M-G! ❤️🐘 My friend Nana is MISSING! 🔍They use they/she pronouns. They look like a sweet old lady but looks can be deceiving. Could use all the help we can get! 👀 XOXO”
The previous episode

F*ck the Faceless Cops

Episode 4

// Scene Setup

I didn't roll at all that scene, so things went "our way" more or less. Got a bit carrier away, sorry! lol Lowering Chaos to 3!

I expect that Caduceus will go meet with Roi Salvatore about this job. All of his friends need some money to make life just a little better.

... and of course I roll a 2 for Chaos. That means we have an interrupt scene!

2, Tension. 59—Enemies

3, Tension. 48—Nowhere to run

3, Tension. 53—Dead

7, Action. 42—Immediately.

8, Personal. 26—Persuasion.

Okay, so, this took some finessing. But I came up with an idea that stems from the Dead plot point.

We start the scene with 5 momentum.

Ellie will take some convincing, but I'm sure I can get Nana and Kane on board. No telling what we'll run in to, but we can handle whatever's thrown at us.

If someone wants to offer me five million, then we'll take it.

Easy money.

The mist crept in like a zombie clawing its way out of a grave as the sun began to set on Caduceus and Nana. The walk through the poorly lit alley near his apartment never bothered him. In fact, he'd had a few surreptitious conversations here for that very reason. Besides, Nana and he were capable of holding their own, much more than any Sleeper in the city.

And any Rift would be stupid to confront either of them.

Caduceus spoke in a low voice, explaining to Nana what Kane and he had gone through earlier in the day while stopping by the Cottage Houses. Caduceus even showed them the business card.

Smartypants had taken over some time ago, intrigued by the story. "And is it a trap?" Smartypants spoke with an air of intelligence, much more than any of Nana's other personas. To those who didn't understand Smartypants, they could sound a bit condescending. Caduceus knew that wasn't the case, though, and always welcomed the insight they could provide. "Jordan, this sounds like a trap."

"It seems like we're all pressed for cash and this one is definitely paying," he said with a shrug, an annoying but manageable headache beginning to pound at the back of his head. Nothing a few shots and a warm embrace couldn't fix. "Besides, I'm good at getting out of traps."

He took in his surroundings more as he spoke. It was mostly reflexive, even with the throbbing headache. In his line of work, it paid well to be on your toes at all times. A cursory glance showed that nothing was out of the ordinary. The occasional homeless person, a young child playing with a ball, a pregnant woman crying on the phone. They weren't being followed, not that he could see anyway. The mist was—

He stopped.

"Everything okay, Jordan?" Nana said, pausing in their step.

The mist was thicker. Too thick.

He looked around, the main road completely obscured from sight. The way they came, the way they were going—it was all blanketed in a thick layer of mist. It surrounded them, pressing on them without consent. Caduceus could feel his heart beat louder and faster as he tightened a hand into a fist. His headache pounded harder and his breathing quickened.

No, not now...

The pregnant woman stopped crying and looked at him.

The homeless man stood.

The child let the ball slip from their grasp, bouncing twice before rolling on the ground until it stopped at Caduceus's feet.


// Mechanics

The MC book says only Gatekeeper strongholds get to tier 5, so... We will instead be dealing with thick-mist-3.

// Oracle

Okay. I have NO idea why the Gatekeepers are here, lol. Are they here because he plans on doing the Salvator job? Unlikely, -2. Chaos 3 gives another -2, for a total of -4. 5+2-4 = 3, no. Chaos roll of 3, but nothing extra.

So, if not for Salvator, then why? Mythic Descriptor, 44 66: Gladly Military. Sounds like they're after him because of his line of work. Caduceus is probably that guy to them.

Gatekeepers did a good job of hiding themselves. Except around him. He could practically sense when they were near. Under any other circumstance, he would have fled. Far and fast; anything to get away from them.

Nana was with him this time, though. He couldn't just leave them behind.

"What do you want?" he said, the bass in his voice causing his chest to rumble. His eyes bore into each of the three now-faceless individuals as they slowly approached the two of them. They weren't truly faceless, but their weird magic-tech made it so their faces wouldn't be remembered.

He despised one of them in particular, much more than the others. "And drop the act. I know it's you, Mag."

Caduceus watched as the three forms shifted. The child was suddenly an adult man, the pregnant woman became slimmer, and the homeless man stood tall and poised. All of their outfits shifted into their typical business attire, the tell-tale fedora sitting atop each head. One of them—the former child—he knew to be the asshole Magnus, despite his face being obscured by the Gatekeeper's powers.

Magnus was there the day Hector died.

And the Gatekeepers stole the memory of him away.

"You always seem to know when it's me," Magnus said. Caduceus saw him smile, a single finger flicking his bottom lip. "Nice shoes, by the way."

Caduceus pulled Nana behind him. He knew with the mist as thick as it was, their abilities would be affected. It always seemed to thicken with the Gatekeepers around and it made escaping that much harder. His heart raced, anger and fear coursing through him.

"What. Do. You. Want?" Caduceus spat.

"Just your periodic reminder to be good. Keep you and your mercs in line." The way Magnus spoke sent a chill up his spine yet boiled his blood at the same time. Caduceus and his crew hadn't even done anything, yet the fucking faceless cops were threatening them. "Something big is coming, and it's best for everyone if you are not part of it."

Did they know about the job offer from Roi Salvator?

"And if I don't?"

Magnus smiled, as did the other two, and without a word they all turned and left. And with them, the mist began to dissipate into what amounted as "normal" for this part of the city. Caduceus could feel his inner mythos urging to act now that it had returned to full strength.

What did they know? He pulled the business card from his pocket and looked it over. If the Gatekeepers were worried about him doing something stupid, telling him to not do it was a mistake.

Fuck the Gatekeepers, and fuck this city.

// Scene Setup

Well, I didn't plan on having Gatekeepers show up so that was definitely unexpected! We're bumping the chaos up to 4!

Caduceus is more than convinced that this job is the right thing to do, so I expect him to go meet up with Roi Salvatore.

Rolling and getting a chaos of 8. The scene is as expected!

// Oracle

It's worth noting that from this scene onward, I'm no longer using Mythic Variations 2. Tana Pigeon posted a preview of Mythic 2e over on Patreon and I've fallen in love! It's almost the same, but with some slight modifications. I'll explain those as they come up.

Is Roi at his bar? Because that's where Caduceus is going. 50,50, +0. C4 now gives a -1 modifier. So, 5+1-1 = 5, no. (We don't roll another d10 for Chaos anymore; it works on matches with the first 2d10s within the chaos factor)

Then, who do we meet! Adventure Crafter character creator gives me...

42: Individual. 80: Wanderer. 87: Cautious.

It took me a while, but I have an idea based off of what I know about Roi Salvator.

Located in the blue-collar residential district was the King of Hearts bar, a small cozy spot. The mist was a bit heavier than usual around the building, though not as alarming as before. It clung to the walls outside and to a few adjacent buildings. He'd never been inside, but reviews on the place said it was a decent spot for a drink and cheap food.

He stepped into the bar beneath the sign—a large K and a heart with a vague card-shaped enclosing it—and was immediately overtaken by the smell of tobacco smoke and something cooking in the back.

A well-dressed woman in a dimly-lit corner seemed surprised by his presence for only a moment before she gestured sharply at him and returned her attention to a small tablet in front of her.

The bar was rather empty. Maybe five patrons in total. Hell, the bartender was leaning against the wall on his phone. Cautiously, he approached, eyes open, making mental notes of all the details. Was Nana right? Was this a trap?

Hermes, he thought. I don't ask for much, but help me out here.

// Look Beyond The Mist + Oracle

There's no current CoM: Reloaded version of this move, so I'm just gonna use it as it's written. I get a static +2 for having 2 Logos.

4+5+2 = 11. Wh00t. Full success. That's two clues.

However, I need to ask the Oracle this.

Does this woman have an active shield of some kind against Discovering? Very Likely (+2) + C4 (-1) = +1. 6+3+1 = 10, no!? So close to a yes, too.

Clue #1: Who is she?

Well, I know. So Caduceus will get her name.

Clue #2: What does she really want with Caduceus?

I only kinda know. So, let's roll Mythic Descriptor. 16, 17: Ceaselessly Defeated.

For a split second, he saw the world for what it truly was: a teeming mass of symbols—letters, numbers, words, glyphs. The entire world broke down into prose and poems. Seeing the truth always made his stomach churn, the flood of information much greater than his capacity to understand or retain it all, but it was over in a flash. He reached out with his mind and grabbed two groups of symbols that stood out to him.

The woman removed her reading glasses, and said, "I wasn't expecting you today, Cad—"

"Mariane d'Aulnoy. Why do you need me to retrieve"—he tasted the words in his mouth before settling on them—"something that can't be opened? Unlocked?" He wasn't entirely sure of the correct translation. She smiled. Mariane put her tablet to the side and interlocked her fingers before her.

"You truly are exceptional, Caduceus. As you already know, my name is Mariane d'Aulnoy. I am speaking to you on behalf of my client, Roi Salvatore. He's currently off getting things ready for his campaign, which is why I'm speaking with you in his stead—I do hope that we can count on your vote when this is all over, Mr. Ford. Mr. Salvator has had his personal belonging stolen from him and he needs a person of your mythical talent to retrieve it."

Ah, so she knows.

"I'm sure the men who gave you this card—I hope they weren't rude—told you about your compensation: 5 million. I trust that you'll be discreet. Once you've acquired what we seek, simply return it here. Easy." She pulled out a small notebook and scribbled a few things on it before ripping the page out and sliding it across the table. "There's the location and a description of the item."

// Oracle

Sooo... where? Let's use the Mythic Action table to get a feel for what the location is about. 87, 23: Work Balance. lmfao As in... work-life balance???

My first thought is a bar, but that's too eh. But what about a VACATION!? Gotta be the tourist trap, then.

"This is over by the beach," he said, making sure he reread the location correctly. "In the tourist trap."

She nodded. "You have a week. Any longer and we'll send someone else to do it."

"I have a team with me," he blurted out before he could truly think over it.

// Oracle

What does she think about that? Using some more Mythic rules here. Her disposition is +0 I believe. Rolling a... 10 for the Action. This means I add +4 to the roll on the Action 2 Table. (This all sounds way more complicated than it is, trust me.)

5+4+4 = 13. Change the theme? 45, 3: Celebrate Environment.

Hmmm... is this a cryptic warning? C4 (-1). 6+5-1 = 10. Nope.

Okay, this makes me think she's just done with the conversation. -shrug- 

"That's fine. Enjoy the scenery, Mr. Ford. I hear it's a very calming place." She smiled and picked up her tablet again.

Caduceus took this as his sign to leave.

Merx #5: As Inviting As Possible
The Ofen Gallery awaits our crew as the heist begins. Don’t get too comfortable, even if the place is so inviting...
The next episode
Merx Rendezvous Point
The Merx Rendezvous Point is a members-only place where game statistics, photos, and other behind-the-scenes info is stored.

Supplements Used

City of Mist: Player’s Guide - Son of Oak Game Studio | Core Books and Sets |
The Player’s Guide includes everything essential for players of City of Mist, both old and new - an introduction to the
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Mythic Game Master Emulator Second Edition - Word Mill Games | Mythic |
Mythic Game Master Emulator Second EditionPlay any role-playing game solo or without a Game Master! Mythic’s oracle-st
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The Adventure Crafter - Word Mill Games | The Crafter Series |
The Adventure Crafter Create adventure outlines, seeds, events, or complete narratives for any RPG, in advance or on th
DriveThruRPG Affiliate Link