The recaps for Tales of the City are going to break with how we’ve been doing them, as we’ve been playing for a couple months and I’ve not remotely kept up to date on the recaps. There is no way I’ll be able to do every plot justice, but I hope to touch upon all the major ones.
The group returned to Earth, their proper time. Though they had been gone for over two months of their own personal time, approximately three weeks had passed on Earth – it was the middle of January, 1997 – only nine months before the future they saw came about.
Armed with the knowledge that Doug and Alistair were becoming Folk/Dark Men as a result of the “augmentation” process, the group is a bit wary of trusting The Company. They begin trying to find out what they can, as subtly as possible – accessing computers, hacking the system, as well as Felicity unleashing several of the spiders she picked up from Bill Jukes to try to “spy” on two of the higher-ups of The Company – Elizabeth Shaw and General Volkoff.
Alistair had bought and left a Christmas present on Felicity’s bed before they’d gone out on Christmas Eve; she was flabbergasted to find a crystal rose waiting for her when they got back. (History was made that day, Jan 15, 1997, as that was the first recorded moment of Felicity being at a loss for words.)
Alistair’s younger brother, Dougal, has come over from Ireland, mostly to avoid the law back home. (This is the same brother they met in the future, on Mars, who had undergone the “augmentation” process, and later had it removed by the Martians, to be replaced by primitive cybernetics. One of the reasons he came over was to undergo the process, but Alistair talks him out of it.) There are many jokes about Dougal being the slow/dumb one.
Speaking of Alistair and Dougal, they find their great-great-granduncle Seamus, who, as a result of Felicity’s party, had been transformed into a young man of approximately twenty years of age. (At Felicity’s birthday party, Seamus had dressed up in his World War One uniform, which he fought in. When… whatever it was that transformed everyone into their costumes and took them to The Citadel happened, Seamus became his younger self. When the party ended and everyone was returned to their homes/where they most wanted to be, Seamus didn’t revert back to being a 100 year old man.)
Doug, anxious to find a cure for the darkness inside him, reaches out to several people, including Mister Smythe (Paladin Stone) about having the process reversed or countered. However, instead of pursuing that, he suddenly opted to cash in the boon that the Ifrit, Conflagration (well, her name is the Farsi word for “conflagration”) owed him (something he learned about when his memory of Iraq returned.)
After talking to Mojo, trying to find out if the Ifrit could be trusted, if she had the power to cure him, Doug contacted Alistair and asked that he and his family attend him when he cashed in the boon, along with Mojo.
At Alistair’s apartment (where Seamus and Dougal were residing, since Alistair had pretty much been living full time in Felicity’s father’s penthouse) Doug summoned the Ifrit and she asked what his wish was – he asked her to remove the infection within him and grant him new powers.
Doug’s body was consumed with her fires, burnt to ashes, and from within the fire, a new form, a new body was born. (Since Felicity was not present and she sensed the death of Doug through their link, there was an ongoing bit where she refused to believe that Doug was still alive… even though, technically he wasn’t alive before, another fact they had learned on Mars. Yes, it’s all very convoluted and confusing. This GM runs a wild game, what what?)
The group has promised the Lost Boys that they can bring back Peter Pan, who is stuck inside the King of Nothing. Talking to Seamus, Felicity learns there are ways that her Noetics and his sorcery can work in tandem to help bring this about. She finds a new host body for Pan, a catatonic youth. Using her abilities, she enters his mind, finding his buried intellect and tells him what she wants to use his body for. The boy, named Caleb, agrees.
At the same facility, Sunnydale, Alistair meets with the prior “handler” of the Toilet Boyz (Lost Boys). The man is broken, and ends up being taken over by the King of Nothing, though the combined wills of the heroes are able to fend him off, but calling forth Pan. With Pan in control, they tell him what they have planned and then depart before the King asserts control.
Alistair, with Felicity’s help, enters the sword he brought back from future New York, Fragarach, and begins the process of binding it to himself. He partially accomplishes the task, then completes it with Mojo’s guidance. The sword gives Alistair the ability to conjure and control winds, as well as use it to compel truth.
Felicity learns that the mysterious Fae woman inside her is Queen Titania, the “lost” regent of Faerie. She begins communicating with the Queen, trying to learn anything she can, but the Queen is vague on details about many things, reticent on others. She does learn that there is a past connection between Titania and Seamus.
It seems that Seamus and Queen Titania were once lovers and the Queen is bitter over it.
(Still much more to come, including some chapters-within-chapters. Oh, yeah, this GM is out of control, yo. But this is enough of an update for now.)