To cut a long, long, long story short, I will summarise the plot so far. Expect me to forget or mix up things until further corrected by the players.
Story began (prequels come later) with a group of otherwise unexalted individuals in the city of Chiaroscuro. Don’t know it? Buy the game already. It’s available from any game shop that sells White Wolf products.
The group of unaffiliated persons was bound together with the common feature of either being kidnapped, led, or otherwise ordered into the city’s “Dead Zone” (the old ruined city center), during which a collection of Solar were preparing some form of blasphemous ceremony, inciting bloodletting, orgiastic frenzy, and wanton Solar-worship with abandon. The players then were thrust into the midst of an angry Dragon-blooded mob who wanted to stop said blasphemy.
A death knight rocked up, unleashing a nephwrack into the area to deal with some of the lonelier or less-observed of the dragonblood, the nephwrack nearly dies to the party thanks to their interactions.
Party then divides as it is wont to do – various members being exposed to things to force exaltation – Kage, guildsman hunter, finds a collection of cannibals attacking a caravan just outside the safe reach of the town guard. In his rage, he consumes them with an unleashing of Wood-blooded righteousness. Early Morning, caught by a very vicious and twisted earth-blood (Tepet Rhalkim), is betrayed by Kage (who shoots her in the leg to present her to said earth-blood), then left to drown for Rhalkim’s sadistic enjoyment. To his horror, she exalts in the aspect of Danaa’d.
Another character (“Tea Girl”) was also exalted in the aspect of fire – she left the game shortly thereafter, having a lack of time to continue.
Through varying trials, the party wandered – Kage was possessed by a nephwrack, who began to Skinride him, though he took back to his hunting once. Early Morning went into hiding, discovering first a mysterious being of aggressive appearance (“Production”), which was unable to speak other than by crude writing, and then a member of one of the local houses – Sesus Evaja. As Kage began to track down the steps to a missing girl, Early Morning escaped Evaja’s “bully into adoption” strategy, found a safe-house, and began to work on laying low. Kage however managed to find a man from Gem who had murdered the girl he was seeking, who was selling her body as “meat” for a carnival, leading to a tense face-off and chase for his bounty.
Unfortunately, then the blasphemous Solar circle reappeared, this time secretly tampering with the official salt barriers that were erected in order to keep the living dead within their areas. As a wave of hungry ghosts and ghouls began to attack, the Abyssal from earlier worked to summon a gigantic flesh-beast creation to unleash on the town.
As the town was rampaged on, the two party members heroically ran for their lives, leaving the mortal and terrestrial guards to sit back and pick at it – as unnatural rain began to drench the broken glass tiles. Kage began to be tempted and taunted by (lies of imminent death and promises of power) to the service of the Deathlord, the First and Forsaken Lion, as Early Morning played dodge-undead hopscotch, eventually finding how the solars had tampered with the salt lines.
As Kage swore himself into service to the Neverborn, heading underground for ‘safe keeping’, Early Morning restored ‘order’ to the town’s defense, even as the Solar circle broke their hiding to attack, and far-too-easily destroy, the undead behemoth before a witness of thousands, evaporating once again after as though they had never existed.
“EM” (Early Morning) was admitted to a local temple (of a crafting god) for training under a martial artist monk named “Kalthok”, who’s shady past is not yet revealed. Not given time to recover, she was then attacked once again – first by a siren god that is in service to Parad, though she is saved by a mechanical spirit that knocked her flat and burrowed into her, then by the same earth-blood who had forced her exaltation. Escaping into Yu Shan thanks to the spirit’s ability to teleport her about, she then found the temple under attack by “fair folk”, who also then called further mysterious weather (freezing cold, and blizzards) onto the town.
As the snow fell, the Nephwrack used it’s arcanoi to assure itself that Kage would not rouse from an unnatural slumber, and then reported to it’s master, getting a plan on how to begin it’s role as corruptor and mentor. Rising a mote too early, Kage was left alone in his underground cell, finding the supernatual cold and almost being attacked by first the “fair folk”, and then the monks they were fighting at EM’s temple.
Being admitted, the pair would then meet once more with Kage being accepted for studies alongside Early Morning. However, it is not long before Kage’s “beloved door” (long story again) is destroyed, the pair of new exalts forced into a temporary alliance as ‘goblins’ began to attack them. As they are chased off, the ‘fair folk’ begin assailing EM’s, and then Kage’s dreams despite wyld-protections being placed around them. As the nightmare battles began, Early Morning and Kalthok quickly became intimate. She is also given company of a ‘dream god’ that seems eager to keep her company in her less-turbulant nights, even as Kalthok is convinced by the mechanical spirit (“SPIDER”) that she is an emergency protection assignment by his contacts in the All-Seeing Eye.
With both distracted, nothing prevents Kage’s first steps into soul-consumption and necromancy at the nephwrack’s hand, slaying one of the monks in the midst of the night. As the pair finally find time to leave without snow drenching them, Early Morning meets with her “Momma Raven”, and is introduced to “The Wanderer” (Ith), who begins to teach her of spirit charms, before she is introduced by accidental circumstances to her deceased parents. Kage gets a well-deserved sleep finally, oblivious to the water-blood’s sudden indoctrination to ancestor cultism.
Early Morning is then sent on errands to allow Kalthok time to research about the recent events, finding parts necessary to begin repairs on her gigantic mechanical friend, with Kage sent to ‘act as her bodyguard’. Kage, however, is distracted away on Guild business, leaving Early Morning to be trapped by some of a gang that opposes Raven’s “Flock” gang – the “Fishhook Dads”. Chased to her “Momma’s” shopfront, she is confronted by a godblooded child of a local spirit of trash that is loyal to “Dads”. As she learns more about her capacity for bloodshed-via-teleportation, Kage informs the Guild of his second breath… and is taken note of in better light by some of their higher factors, who then begin to covertly monitor him.
The hunter then tracks his ‘ward’ to Raven’s shop, meeting “The Wanderer” for the first time as he assists with the Flock gang children injured in the wake of the Fishhooks’ attack, as well as a strange being who called itself “Chibbles” that claimed to slay people with only a touch. Together, the three witnessed a personal fight between Early Morning and a friend who had never revealed his attraction (prior to Kalthok’s “claiming” of her), before Kage is taught to read the basic attributes of a person’s past lives – in the process learning that The Wanderer is in fact a Solar exalt named “Ith”, and a circlemate to another Solar night caste… none other than Raven.
As these revelations strike him, Kage is flooded with his own past life – memories of loyal service to a Solar named “Angal”, before he is slain in battle, then raised by the same Zenith caste in order to defend his own tomb. Enraged by this, the hunter storms out, looking for a fight. In the ruins of the city, he is introduced to the wonders of consuming vanquished po, before he is goaded into the murder and subsequent raising-and-binding of a prostitute, though he is witnessed by the whore’s child, who escapes into the city streets.
Early Morning is attacked once more by Rhalkim the following day, the earth-blood considering that nearly murdering her is an appropriate method of claiming her. She escapes to Yu Shan and then after some minor misadventures, she learns that SPIDER has some ulterior motive for finding her. After some acrobatics, she learns that she has after only a scant number of days, become pregnant to Kalthok thanks to her overly-pure bloodline, leaving her insensate from stress for a time. Recovering some hours later, she uses an “official pass” to enter the Palace of the Maker – the forge-cathedral of Autocthon – and aquire an automated repair utility spirit, that then accompanies her to where it can repair the large mechanical being she had befriended.
Unfortunately, it in the process “telefrags” the roof of the building Production had been hiding within, summoning local crisis solver terrestrials to investigate – none other than Tepet Rhalkim and Sesus Evaja, who immediately recognise the girl and begin to battle over her adoption. Battle is only briefly joined, however, before the repairs are completed, allowing the girl to escape.
It is at this point, I should mention, that Frigid arrives by boat – and is then accosted by a pair of guards that are summoned to a grifter’s fake accusations of theft. The guards are starkly racist against his “northern barbarian” look, though quick talking on the air-blood’s behalf saves him from a night in the stocks, and his subsequent escape allows him to overhear none other than “Fishhook” Dads, infamous cannibal, enforcer, and press gang leader, ordering the mass slaughter of the “Flock” to continue.
Kage, however, wakes from an overnight stay at a tavern to discover corpses strewn about, mutilated and partially consumed, apparently by him. His nephwrack is overjoyed, praising him for his “feats of murder and torture”, much to his confusion, then being told that he had been the one responsible for the actions while asleep. Working quickly, he is able to pin the blame for the acts on the apparently suicidal tavern keeper, before leaving to the streets – and inadvertantly running into one of the Fishhooks, who takes offense.
Battle is joined, with Kage and Frigid (who had followed one of the Fishhooks to see what was occurring) teaming up against a small attack group of gang members, though they easily dispatch them thanks to Frigid’s sorcery and Kage’s poisonous miasma of an anima – the lead thug escaping thanks to his own supernatural abilities. Recognising Frigid’s talents, Kage takes him to the Guild for recruitment, where he is accepted as Kage’s apprentice in the arts of hunting.
Escaping from the clutches of both Evaja and Rhalkim, Early Morning then arrives on the scene, before some minor mis-wording of a request to SPIDER lands the lot of them (including Production, Kage, Frigid, SPIDER, the nephwrack, and herself) in Yu Shan’s residential district, near the darkened North-Western forest. And here, we now find the party.