Trust but Verify VSS

VSS Name: Trust But Verify

VST Name: Kevin Hislop
VST Email:
Domain Code: US-SW-AZ-010

City Type: Compact Council
Templates Allowed: All

VSS Boundaries: Maricopa County and the Northern portion of Pinal County, down to the southern border of Casa Grande, splitting the county with a horizontal line roughly continuing from the I-8.

Theme: Dangers on All Sides
Mood: Survival and Fragile Trust
Setting: MES CoD-X Chronicle

“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” -Andy Grobe

It has been five years since what is now called “The Icarus Event” turned the supernatural world upside down, and survival of each of the species is on the line. In Phoenix, the courts, freeholds, and other groups have been in decline. If the events of the past five years have shown anything, it is that they all can not fight alone or against each other anymore. But how can you trust others who have maintained their secrets for so many years and never worked really well together before? Will they find a way to co-exist, or will their own personal enemies be the end of them…and what of those that worship and work for the thing known as the God Machine…

City Description: Before the Event, the valley of the sun was divided amongst the supernaturals, ensuring that they did not step on each other’s toes, avoiding fights (mostly). There was a kindred court in the city of Mesa, overseen by Prince Edward Hall, a Daeva Carthian, but all of the covenants were represented in the courts. The Forsaken had laid claim of Glendale. Mages had sought the center of learning and enrichment within the city of Tempe. The freehold of the Changelings was set up in Chandler, with the monarch of the Autumn Court having pushed for it. The Begotten had found their homes to the north, in Scottsdale and surrounding areas, though occasionally their Horrors would sneak into nightmares outside of it, but they did their best to maintain the boarder. The decision that was agreed upon by all, was that none were to prevent others from accessing other cities, as long as they did not cause problems within the territories, and that no one would claim Phoenix proper as theirs as all would need access to the city center. These traditions and areas were maintained, until the event hit and shook up everything.

After the Event, Each of the groups was affected, though not necessarily by the event itself.

-Awakened: Every cabal within the city had at least one member fall into a coma as the paradox backlash swept over the world. Some of the most noticeable of this was both the Hierarch, a Silver Ladder Mastigos, and the head of the local Adamantine Arrows, who commanded the Sentinels in the city. While this was blow, the true attack came in the years that followed. With much of the Consilium’s power strained by the loss of so many and the apparent lack of Awakening, there was a look out for any other Awakened to take into the fold, to help grow it back up. One individual, going by the shadow name Parsis, arranged a meeting between the Consilium and his cabal, to allow for their potential recruitment. When the meeting occurred, Parsis and the others he brought attacked. Many more members of the Consilium were killed in the ambush by these Banishers. Parsis is still out there still recruiting for his cause, but the Consilium has done what they can, to keep him away, at this point. With the lack of Awakenings and the constant threat of another major attack by the Banishers, it is questionable if the Awakened society in Phoenix can survive.

Forsaken – Those Forsaken who had not traveled to take part in the fight were left behind, many finding new areas unprotected with the loss of so many. The Forsaken worked to close incursions on either side of the Gauntlet, but there were areas that were overlooked. More Urged and Claimed moved in the city, the spirits having found a fertile ground with so many of the guards missing. And then, the stranger, more dangerous things started to arrive. The incursions started small, as if testing, seeing what the Uratha would do, but soon, Pure that hadn’t been seen in a few years and other large spirits started testing the packs more, attacking the Forsaken, who fought to keep them out, but many of the packs within went silent. The packs rarely meet any longer, but a few have started to call for a gathering of packs…

Lost – With the sweep of Lost being pulled back to Arcadia just after the Icarus Event, the freehold was broken, with many lost scattering, trying to find a way to stay safe. Though Alexander, the current Winter Court monarch at the time of the event, who had stressed caution, had not been swept back to Arcadia, his rule was torn apart. As he desperately tried to organize the few remaining Lost, the horns of the huntsmen became louder and louder, and he had little answer on how to keep them safe. Finally the court fully collapsed, with the Lost sticking to their motleys, if they still had them. But some have started to find their way out again, and there are still members that look for and help the newly returned, hoping to help them not draw more attention to themselves and those that are already here.

Vampires – With the Kindred feeling they had little to do with the conflict that was the Icarus Event, most of Edward Hall’s court was fine for the first few months. But then there were rumors of shadow owls that stared to cycle through the court, growing over months. At the same time, a shadow war was beginning, Invictus fighting Carthians, Crones fighting the Lancea, and the Dragons just trying to stay out of it. At a meeting of the factions called by Edward Hall to try to restore the peace, the Prince was killed and diablerized by the head of the Ordo, turning what was just a set of minor skirmishes into a full on war between factions. With the distraction of the wars being fought amongst covenants, members of all them started to disappear, with each side claiming the others must have ended their requiems, though it was soon found to be the work of VII, using the war to remove the vampires. Recognizing this had been a plot from the beginning, the covenants agreed to a co-existence, realizing they had been too distracted to protect their own, and returning to their quieter political shadow-wars. Who will be prince has still not been determined, but the new peace, at least for the time, appears to be holding. Messages came in to a few elders that remained, of the meetings being arranged by the other supernaturals, asking for them to attend as well…trust is hard, especially amongst the Kindred, but with everything else going on, it was decided representatives needed to at least attend…

Beasts – Many of the Beasts in Phoenix had heard what was believed to be the Dark Mother’s voice in their dreams, or had heard the stories of them to go to the fight. Few returned from it. What did return though, were Heroes, who had been spurred on by the increase in the Primordial Dreams. With the increase in power of nightmares, the Horrors wanted to satiate themselves more, wanted to feed with less restriction, which some of the Begotten allowed to happen. More Heroes started arriving, and these Heroes were vicious in their tactics, destroying a number of broods that had stood for years. The ones that have survived through this time are those that were able to control their horrors, and drew little attention to themselves, often having retreated into their lairs for the time. But the Begotten feel the pull, needing to see their families, and their cousins, so have started to look, trying to find others to bring together.

Action – 3 – While I don’t plan on having combat at every game, the theme of danger on all sides means that there is the good chance of there being something to deal with fairly regularly.

Character Development – 4 – PCs will often grow due to play in this venue, whether that is making new friends, dealing with old rivalries, or fighting their past.

Darkness – 4 – You are fighting for your survival. Enemies will do terrible things, including attempting to corrupt characters and possibly hurt those the characters care about.

Death – 3 – Death is a possibility in games and should not be taken lightly, but killing off a character ends its story so it will not always, nor necessarily often, be the first thing that happen.

Intrigue/Mystery – 4/5 – Finding out who, what, and why are a huge part of this setting.

Politics – These groups have not met for long as of the formation of the VSS. They will find things they disagree on and different ways to handle things. While most things will be handled by their own groups, having decisions made by a council means that politics will come into play here.

Storyteller Notes

Visiting Character Guidelines: Visiting players are encouraged to submit their character sheet for review as far in advance of the game as possible. All visiting players should be aware that the presiding ST does not guarantee that their PC and/or all of their items, abilities, and such will be approved for use in game. Visiting characters must provide a hard copy of their complete character sheet and are required to include a full experience log and any approval numbers (as appropriate). Note: Characters not attached to this VSS must provide a current hard copy of their character sheet, including approvals and XP log, to the VST, regardless of the location the player is from.

Proxy Rules: Players who wish to proxy their characters into the venue must submit a complete character sheet and experience log; a brief write-up of the character’s attitude, personality and motivation for attending the game; a brief write-up of the character’s intentions; and a brief write-up of the character’s reactions to possible situations, to the VST of this venue and that of their home Venue. If approval from the home venue VST is not obtained, the proxy will be denied. The presiding ST does not guarantee that their PC and/or all of their items, abilities, and such will be approved for use in game if it is felt that the character’s presence or actions will be detrimental for the local game.

In addition, the proxying player is encouraged to find a local player to play their character, if that character is going to appear at a live game session. All proxies into this venue are HARD proxies. All proxy requests should be submitted as far in advance of the game as possible.

Travel Risks: Characters traveling to or from Phoenix must detail how they are traveling, and acknowledge that travel risks may require side scenes.
Character Death: Character death can occur during this game. If character death is due to PVP actions, all involved characters may be required to undergo a character sheet audit after the fact.

Instructions from the The Character Creation Document must be included in the Background section for applications to be considered.

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