[Mage: The Suppressed Transmission] Electric Sea Moss Acid Test

Mage: The Suppressed Transmission is a Mage: The Ascension campaign I ran from the summer to winter of 2005 at Quarterstaff Games. I think of it as my first “real” campaign and present my session reports, mostly written just after the action, exactly as they are, excepting the occasional corrected typo.


Looking back on it, my GMing at the time could be characterized as “random events happen while people screw around and don’t get much done.” I’ve gotten better. I really do think so.

Here’s a write-up of our most recent session — dubbed post-game as “Electric Sea Moss Acid Test” — written up by Evan’s player, Alex, with some editing and additions for clarity by me.

Originally written by Alex
We started off some weeks after the cabal’s return from the sleepy coastal town and its selkie denizens. The cabalmates spent their time researching various subjects, from Evan’s first forays into the sphere of Correspondence to Ciaphas’ search for the identities of the two men they encountered in the selkie court, taciturn Stern and his talky partner. The August humidity lay heavy over the San Francisco Bay in the dark hours before dawn as…

Evan’s nightmares turned strange, as his normal dreams warped into him being cut down by a blue painted medieval looking looking swords man, and getting a circlet ripped off his head.

Somewhere between a dream and vision, Henry was upon a hill looking over a battle surrounded by lemons and umbrellas, while unable to aid the fighting, a valiant attempt to serve lemonade was made, but he slipped off the cliff, and ended up hitting his head on a wall next to his bed.

Not one to sleep, Ciaphas’ encounter actually happened. He met an agent in a late night diner, a very paranoid agent. The identity of Rosen and Stern was fleshed out, and Ciaphas learned that they had conscripted the aid of Fleming, a local herbalist, for some unknown task.

The next day:

Naturally given the leads on Fleming… we decided to do some good old-fashioned illegal drug testing. To this end we sought out the aid of Franz Glim, a German physicist and computer scientist.

There were many ideas concerning the uses of the moss, but the group decided that before using the substance for anything. Via some illegal testing, they should attempt to test it for harmful side effects. Naturally, the college was the first place we went.

When trying to acquire a room, a botched attempt at manipulation of the front desk secretary closed that route to us. We eventually settled on Ciaphas’ manor for the testing; well into the week we noticed that we were being observed by a bread van.

The most forgettable two among the group went out to investigate, and Evan was nabbed by the men inside of the van. When they went to escape, Ciaphas, much to the disappointment of the universe, ran at extreme speeds after the van.

Meanwhile, Evan caused the driver of the van to see a child in the middle of the road, and caused the van to rollover. When Ciaphas, and Henry — who had followed in a car — arrived on the scene, it was revealed that the observers were none other than Rosen and Stern.

As the police approached we took them and made off with haste. When we attempted to interrogate them in a darkened room of the mansion, the MIB showed up just as Evan tagged the two spies with crystals he could scry for.

Seeing as it was the MIB, we ran for the hills, and magic abounded, in no sorts of coincidental ways either. Evan weakened the Gauntlet behind him and caused a number of agents to wander into the Umbra. Franz Glim proved his worth as a German mad scientist and separated the fluid from the tissue in a poor victim’s head using a taser and killed him on the spot. Henry, surrounded by MIBs, did what any sensible mage would do and surrendered.

The heaviest action was on the front lawn where Ciaphas entered into a shoot-out with the MIB, and survived it. Then he rushed into the garage, rescued Henry, and drove out towards Franz and Evan, inadvertantly disappearing into the Umbral shallowing Evan had rent open. There we ended.

The build-up continues. I had no idea they’d fixate so much on the sea moss taken from the selkie court. Fine with me, as it gave me opportunity to start subtly layering in motifs and foreshadow upcoming elements.

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