Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A tale of two Pritcherts

Last week or so, through the forum version of our Scion game, I was notified that Deputy Nathan Pritchert needed to turn in his gun and his badge. As Nathan, I was mortified. The backstory written for him had him wanting to be a cop since he was young. With this loss of identity, Nathan was nothing more than a rudderless ship. Sure, helping people and killing monsters is all well and good, but I needed more.

That's when I gave Nathan an ex-girlfriend. With his nature listed as Gallant, I decided to refine his Gallantry. Not just anyone that needed help. I narrowed it down to his ex-girlfriend, Alison Edison. For every titan spawn or deranged human he helped take down, he was doing it all to protect Alison. The trickle down effect. Nate kills a basilisk, well, it can't go and hurt Alli. There's a logic to it. Somewhere.

I introduced her in a post set after the group's adventures in Terra Incognitae. Nate's lost his job but he's reconnecting with his ex-girlfriend. It gives him something to strive for. I thought of Nate as someone who needed to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He needed to see that when all is said and done, he'll have something to come home to.

Then I decided to flesh out Nate's backstory even more, starting with the incident that put him in the hospital. This time, however, I had the girlfriend to add in. That wasn't the hard part. The hard part for me was to portray the helplessness one feels when a loved one is in the hospital. Jessica says I did pretty good, so I'll take her word for it.

As the backstory grew, differences between Nate the fictional character and Nate the RPG character were starting to show up. I kept adding little details to him that I didn't want to put into the RPG portion because I didn't want to bogart the game away from Morgan. His girlfriend, in the course of the five pages or so that I had written, became his fiancee. The proposal scene that I wrote was the one "romantic" scene I had ever written. How'd it go? I don't know. I was never programmed to feel human emotions. Again, Jessica seemed to like it, so I'm good with that.

I realized my conundrum soon after letting Jessica read the story. Not counting RPG Nate, I had two Pritcherts in two different times. In the story I was writing, I had him post-visitation but in happier times. He didn't have any special powers but he had a fire in him. That fire was Alison. Present-day Nate was all about keeping his secret to keep Alison safe. It made him extra mopey. I did not like that.

While talking to Morgan about her, he said that if, in game, I revealed my secret, there would be dice rolls involved. Game wise, I'm cool with that. My story-wise, I was not cool with it. So I had to make a decision.

Fast forward to today. I decided that while yes, Alison does exist in the game world, I would only use her as a means to re-cap the story. The blog posts I've written involving the both of them in the future would eventually be interspersed into the story I was writing, provided I had enough pages to justify my little writing experiment.

This is the first time in a long while that I've been excited about a writing project, so I hope I can stick with it. And in both universes, Nate will be using his Vigil Brand on Alison.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nate to Alli: Daddy Issues

Late one evening…

“Hey, Alli.”
“Nate? Why are something the matter?”
“No, why would you say that?”
“You’ve called me. Twice. In one day.”
“Is that weird?”
“No, it’s just, I mean since we broke up, we haven’t really, y’know, talked.”
“I always thought we did pretty well, all things considered.”
“Nate, any time we’ve talked it’s just been idle chit chat.”
“Yeah, I’m, I’m sorry about that.”
“Hello, Nate, you still there?”
“Alli, I want to tell you, I really do. But it’s too dangerous. The secrets I have to keep are-“
“I know, they’re to keep me safe. You know I care about you Nate but you just can’t call me up and repeat the same excuse over and-“
“I met my father.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“I met my real father.”
“Oh. Are you ok? How did it-“

In the background, a man’s voice can be heard. “Alison, sweetie, who’s on the phone?”
“It’s Nathan Pritchert from the Sheriff’s department.”
“Don’t you mean formerly of the sheriff’s department? Man, what a fu-“

“Thad? From the mayor’s office?”
“Yeah, he’s a real nice guy. You’d-“
“No, I wouldn’t. We’ve met before. Well, hey, I hope...yeah, treats you, happy. Sorry, I shouldn’t have called. Goodbye, Alison.”

Nate leaned on the railing of the balcony, tapping his forehead with his cell phone several times. “God damn it, Nate, you’re such an idiot.”

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nate to Alli: Monster Encounter

Via text

N: I killed a basilisk a few days ago.
A: R U playin D&D again?
N: ...yeah. Advanced.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inside Information

It wasn’t really a call I wanted to make, but after the captain more or less firing me via voice mail, I knew who I needed to call. I punch in the number and I wait as the phone rings.

“Las Vegas Sheriff’s Department, this is Allison speaking. How can I help you?” Yeah, I called my ex-girlfriend. She works at the sheriff’s department, doing paperwork, handling calls, stuff like that. She also broke up with me after I got shot.

“Alli? It’s Nate.”


“Alli, ALLI, I’m fine. Other than a little dehydration, I’m in perfect shape.”

“What’s going on, Nate? You’ve been gone for over a month.”

“I’ve been helping some people out on a missing person’s case. Listen, don’t tell anyone I’ve called, but how are things down at the station?”

“Well, the captain’s furious. He seems to think you’ve gone after Donald Jackson. Is that what happened? Did you go after him because he killed that girl?”

“What? No, I didn’t…look, I can’t really say.”

“Why not? If you haven’t done anything wrong, why can’t you tell me?”

“I just can’t.”

“Nathan Pritchert, DO NOT do this to me again! I had a hard enough time after you got shot, and I thought I just needed to give you some time, but it’s been two years!”

“I’m sorry, I want to tell you. It’s complicated.”

“Then uncomplicate it and just tell me.”

“I want to tell you, I really do. I don’t want to put you into danger.”

“I am a big girl, Nate. I can handle myself.”

An awkward silence hung over us for what seemed like an eternity. She broke it. “I called your mom, Nate. She’s worried sick about you.”

“Yeah, I know. I got a few messages from the parents too. I called them when I got back.”

“She didn’t know what was going on but I got the feeling she wasn’t telling me everything either. We talked for like an hour or so.”

Oh god, Mom’s going to ask if Alli and I are getting back together. And then she’ll bring up grandkids.

“So…how’s Walter?”

“Walter’s fine. He doesn’t really do much but lay around the house. He’s sleeps on the bed with me now.”

Huh, maybe Walter misses me. “Have you been taking him on walks? Toss the old ball around?”

“I take him out when I can. He doesn’t really have a big yard to run around in anymore. Listen, I’ve got to go. We’ll talk later, yeah?”

“Yeah, I’ll come up and see you when I get to the station. I’ve got to clean out my desk after I turn in my badge and my gun.”

“Nate, I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, me too.”

Another silence. “Allison, before I go… you said you were worried about me?”

“Goodbye, Nate.” *click*

Well that certainly put me in better spirits.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pritchert's Journal: Conversations with my mom

Nathan sat down on the couch, fidgeted a bit, and asked his mother, “Mom, is Dad home?”

“No, he’s working a late shift today. Why?”

An awkward silence pervaded as Nathan tried to find the words. “….what do you know about my father?”

“You’ve known Shane most of your life. Why are you-“

“Not Shane, Mom. My birth father.”

“Oh… Well, your father was a Japanese businessman, and he was in town for a week or two for some conference. So he called someone I knew, and this person arranged for me to spend time with him…”

Nathan’s eyes went wide with horror. “Wait…what…I…WHAT.”

Laughing, she says “You are so easy to tease, Nathan.”

“Mom, I’m serious. I…he visited while I was in the hospital.”

His mom’s eyes went wide in surprise. “Whoa…wait…huh..WHAT.”

Oh, I get that from her, Nate thought. “No, I’m serious, mom.”

“Oh…” his mother shifted uncomfortably in her seat. “Well, if you really want to know, I met him at a convention here in Vegas. There was a symposium on education across the world. His name was..well, if you met him, is Robert Mifune. He was a speaker there, and he spoke about connecting schools across the globe, bringing like-minded people together and creating a strong network. It was electrifying. I approached him after the seminar, and we talked for what seemed like hours. He had the most interesting ideas. I spent time with him over the next couple of days, tossing ideas back and forth, learning more about him, this and that. The last night, we had a few drinks, and then this led to that, and, well, here you are!”

“Was there anything else?”

“I think that’s it. I mean, he said some weird things, but I think that was the alcohol talking.”

“Was it about being a Japanese god?”

His mother’s jaw dropped. “I…I need a drink.”

Monday, February 28, 2011

They made me bleed my own blood.

Back into the thick of things.

After some initial investigation into a fire, talking to a lady that was watching us, and the suspected arsons, we found ourselves in a hotel room booked by another group of scions. Whatever is happening must be pretty big if the gods have two groups of scions on the same case. And the fact that this group got hit hard with one member KIA and one missing is worse news for us.

After a bit of searching, some of us started watching Scarface on the hotel’s TV. Just as Scarface was introducing us to his little friend, the door got kicked in and a gas grenade was thrown into the room. So yeah, we were caught a bit flatfooted. Except for Gunnar. Senses like a hawk.

Nine or ten men, all decked out in tactical gear and carrying assault rifles, came in and started shooting at us. A brief firefight ensued. Brendon and Laurel got hit pretty hard, and a sniper got Gunnar good. Highlights include Jack standing around yelling at them to shoot him, Jack throwing a dude out a window, Laurel holding a dude so Nevermore could rip his face off, and Gunnar shooting out the window at the sniper.

I spent the battle constantly smacking a guy in the back of his knees to knock him down and shooting various guys. I got dinged a bit too. One of them made me bleed my own blood. With Jack’s help I was able to repay him. Using bullets. In his head.

With all but one of the guys dead, we grabbed some keys from one of the bodies and stole their van. Gunnar wanted to make a stop at a building across the highway. We waited. Brendon bled. Jack punched the prisoner. Gunnar finally came back carrying a giant sniper rifle.

I want a sniper rifle now.

A security consultant we met at the school gave Gunnar a call and said that he was following some people involved with the school fire. We’re headed there and we’re planning an attack on the Order’s compound. I’m gonna have Jack throw this van into the compound as a diversion. We won’t be in the van when he throws it.

Odds and Ends

Before I left Vegas, I sent out applications to various law enforcement agencies. FBI, US Marshals, etc… I think my abilities would be better served on a national level. It’s hard getting into crime scenes when I’m out of my jurisdiction. Time will tell if I get in. Maybe I should also send in the newspaper article about that cult play thing I broke up.

So the little voodoo doll is basically a conduit for the dead voodoo girl’s parent. Jack’s mentioned something about the god being able to track us via the doll and that I should probably destroy it. So why am I hanging on to it? Believe it or not, it’s to protect Laurel. If she’s already a target, then this also paints a bullseye on me. Hopefully this will confuse who ever will be sent after us. I’ve got the brand on Laurel, but it’s more of a passive form of protection. I won’t be alerted until she’s in trouble.

Hopefully, because I have the doll, they’ll come after me first.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mor(t)al Dilemmas

I find myself at a loss. I’ve run with a small band of folks like myself for a few weeks now. We’ve been in a few tough scrapes. Lord knows I wouldn’t haven’t gotten far without them. I placed them in high regard. But yesterday…

The young lady in Kane Taoka’s group had some sort of power over me. She was able to make me point my own gun at my head. The other time I met her, she gave me a leg cramp or something.

During the battle, Laurel was able to entrance her by staring into her eyes. She laid on the floor, unable to move, unable to act, as long as Laurel gazed into her eyes.

Then Laurel shot her in the head. Cold-blooded murder.

My breath caught short at this. A fury rose within me. With the Viking skeletons beginning to overtake Kane, I ran over and dragged Laurel out of the room while she searched the dead girl’s body. I handcuffed her and shoved her into my police car. I may be the child of a god, but I’m a cop first.

I was tempted to let her Impala get sucked into hell.


Laurel sat in one of my chairs as we all argued over the shooting. I can appreciate the fact that she shot her to protect me. Dammit, we don’t even know the girl’s name. We don’t know a thing about her. Could she have had me pull the trigger on myself? It's possible. But nothing I've seen told me she was a killer.

Worst offense is that creepy doll of me she had.

I wasn't convinced that she could have used her hoodoo with her hands cuffed behind her back. Or that a bullet to the head was the best way to subdue her. The others tried to convince me that the shooting was justifiable. I'm not sure how executions are justified. This may be a war, but I'm not going to burn down a village to save it.


At the summit, I spoke to my father and asked him about scions killing scions. Is it the rule? Should we avoid it if we can? He said it wasn't unheard of, but there are repercussions. The parent god will want vengeance.

Maybe if we run into Sly or Victor again they can tell us who she was.


Just after the gods gave us a new assignment, I pulled Laurel aside to have a chat with her. "I know you did that to protect me. I understand, and I'm grateful for that. But there are other ways. Killing should never be your first option. And now you've opened yourself up to payback because of something you've done on my behalf." I placed my hand on her shoulder and said "Whenever this thing comes for you, I will do my best to stop it. But please, no more killing. Not when there's another way."


I don't know if anything I said had an impact on her. We'll see what the future throws at us. But if I have to, I will stop her. Even if I have to pull my gun first.