Friday, March 4, 2011

Season of the Witch: Episode 8

Episode 8: Heart of Light

Winter 2005
Area 51

Cordelia voice over: Previously on “Willow & Tara: Season of the Witch”

The Thunderbird rolls into Roswell, NM.
Willow and Tara on the bed making out, Bob walks in.
Tara yelling at Bob, then following him outside.
Willow following Coyote out of the hotel room.
Tara panicking asking where Willow is, blows up the TV.
Scrying crystal landing on Area 51, Tara peels out in the Thunderbird and driving into the night.
Coyote turns into Oz.
Tara driving, but falling asleep. Bob yelling at her to wake up she crashes the Thunderbird into an invisible wall. See Tara bleeding and unconscious.
Coyote-in-Oz’s-form telling Willow “You are going to destroy the world and there is nothing you can do about it.”
Tara, Bob and Cordy in military custody. The base commander speaks to them. "Everyone knows what happened in Roswell New Mexico in 1947. But I am here to tell you ladies and gentlemen, that everyone is wrong."
While speaking pan to the hanging angel. Hear Cordy say “Oh. God. It’s Uriel.”

Roswell, 1947
Scene changes. Black and white, a man in uniform, an Air Force Captain, looks into a room were electrical charges can be seen reflecting on the wall along with sounds of electrical discharge and a high pitched screaming. He looks on in horror then turns away to a General examining some debris on the floor of the office. The material looks shiny, like flexible metal. There are the remains of a long sword, shattered and covered in runes.
“General! We can’t keep him here, this office is in no way equipped to deal with…with that!”
“I know son. That is why he is being transferred to a more secure facility.” Off the captain’s look. “No worries son, we have dealt with his kind before. Well maybe not exactly like his kind, but close enough.”
“Is he? Is… What is he?”
“He is a threat, a threat to the sovereignty of the United States of America. And we do not deal with threats, we eliminate them.” A pause. “This entire fiasco will covered up and forgotten. Is that understood?”
Snaps to attention. “Yes sir!” a pause. “But sir, what do we tell the press, they will be here shortly.”
The General looked over the silvery material on the ground, it was light and flexible like cloth, but nothing they had could even tear it a little. “Tell them.” Pause. “Tell them it was a weather balloon.”

Present Day

Lieutenant General Ashby informs them that this “monster” was shot down by the U.S. Air Force and that is what crashed in Roswell. The metal everyone thought was “Spaceship metal” was really his armor. The Lt. General takes them to their own cells and tells them not to worry, that a solution to the Supernatural Menace has been discovered and will be used shortly. The doors close on them. Bob cannot phase out and Cordy can’t orb out. But they have larger concerns. Tara has blacked out again and is muttering in Gaelic, more gaelic than she actually knows. Her tempature is spiking and Cordy guesses it must be at least 107. She has been trying to heal her, but her magic is not working due to the cell. Tara does come around and asks about the angel upstairs. Cordy (with the Director’s help) explains that he is Uriel and he has been missing for 60 years. A long time for humans, but for angels a blink of the eye. What is so important is that Uriel stands in front of the gates of Hell and keeps the demons from getting out. Since he has been missing the demons have been getting to Earth. Tara feels Willow is near, Cordy does not. Feeling stronger Tara uses her own heat to focus on the lock and melt it. They are able to leave their cell, but still can’t use magic. They manage to get up a level before being captured again. Ashby decides that some time in the common area with the other prisoners is what they need. So they are all locked up with various other supernatural monsters. We see demons of all sorts, a werewolf and other things. All the creatures approach them.

Willow has subdued her guards (Director Fiat, I just said she did it) and is walking around the facility. She sees the Lt. General, but not Tara. At this point Willow’s player asks if she can use magic to talk to the computer the system. There is no spell so I set a SL for her to hit and asked her to use an Int + Magic + Computers + d10 and treat it like a spell of PL 5 or 6 I think. She rolls, made it of course and communicates with the base main frame. This is the first use of her mage powers. The ability to make on the fly magical effects using a variety of skills. I let her do this one now, but another one, jumping up a few dozen feet with STR + Magic + Acrobatics I did not (even though that would have been the way to do it as a Mage. She is not all the way there yet.) She does discover that the government has a plan. They have created a virus that will kill all supernaturals, angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, and witches.

Willow finds Uriel, is mostly left alone, and manages to talk to him. She tells him she will free him. He agrees, but it won’t be now. Uriel tells her that he has been waiting for her for a very long time. She quips that is the Coyote only told her last night. Uriel warns her not to trust the Coyote, he doesn’t lie, but he hardly ever tells the whole truth. Willow tells Uriel that Coyote said she was going to destroy the world. Uriel stops and then says that may be the one time when Coyote has told the whole truth. Uriel tells Willow her path is before her, but she will not walk it alone, that her Anamchara is here, and she must find her and then they will free him. But like her, he has his love, and Willow must find her as well. Willow asks who it is and Uriel says Sherazza. He tells her there is a plan for them all to escape, they were waiting for the sign. The sign of course is the arrival of the Cast.

Back at the common cell, all the creatures are approaching Bob, Cordy and Tara. A female voice shouts stop and the creatures stop and look over their shoulders. Approaching is a tall, beautiful red skinned demoness, a Lilim. Her wings are tattered and she has obviously not been well treated, but she still has a commanding presence here. She looks at each cast member in turn. Growling at Cordy. She approaches Tara. She begins to sniff her, looking her all over. She places her clawed hands on Tara’s stomach and before Tara can say anything or react, the Lilim turns to the others and says “It is her! She has the Allaidh!” The other creatures roar in triumph. Finally asking what the hell is going on, the Lilim tells them that it had been foretold to them by the Seer that they would be freed by the one possessing the Allaidh. The demoness only smiles and says “Mother said you have questions. But I don’t have to answer them.” Mother of course is Lilith, and the Lilim tells them that they will honor the pact made by her sisters the Mormo and the one made by their mother. As long as she is here, there will be no harm to the cast. But the Lilim wants Tara to break them out now. Tara tries but she can’t do it like she did before.

Willow shows up, drawn to her Anamchara. Together the girls manage to melt the locks on the door (my players wanted to blow it up, but were talked out of it by Bob). The meet, the lilim touches Willow’s face and smiles, saying “Two? Two with the Allaidh? What engines of destruction you will become!” Willow gets ranty about no destroying anything. Tara tells her they have to go and get Uriel. Willow says they will once they rescue Sherazza. The lilim laughs and tells them they already have.

The Cast and the demons are running helter skelter through the base. Willow tells them about the virus, but the military is starting to open fire. Sherazza, flies into the crowd and begins to subdue, but not kill they notice, the airmen. The other demons do not show the same restraint.
Sherazza, goes to Uriel to free him, but she can’t. I now let Willow use a Strength + Magic + Kung-fu +d10 to rip the locks off. It works (but I give her a penalty to her magic rolls next, seeing right away that mages can be game breaking) and have her take some damage.
The rush to the room where the virus is kept to encounter Lt. General Ashby. Sherazza grabs the virus and a stand off begins.

For this I had Willow and Tara’s players take on the role of Uriel and Sharazza respectively and hit them with the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Ashby asks Sharezza for the virus, he has a gun pointing at her. He tells her he can shoot her and kill her, shoot the virus and kill them all (except him) or she can give it to him. It is the only sample. Ashby eludes to a supposed double cross where she was supposed to be freed only to betray Uriel. She denies this (I told Tara’s player it wasn’t true, but not Willow’s player). Basically then I gave both players a choice. Turn in themselves, or turn in their lover. If they turned in a lover and the other turned in themselves then that one would go back and the other would be free. So if Uriel turned in Sharezza and Sharezza turned in herself, then Ashby would shoot Sharezza dead and Uriel would go free. If they turned in each other, then Ashby shoots them both, if they turned in themselves, they went back to prison. Leave it to my Tara player to find the other option. She flies into Ashby, burning a drama point and kills him, but is killed herself.

Uriel seeing this weeps for his lost love and before “sterilizing” the base he teleports the Cast back to the Thunderbird. The cast watches as the base is destroyed. They are sure it is Uriel. Cordy “heals” the car (Whitelighter thing) and they drive on. It is late in the day now.

Willow tells Tara about Coyote. We end the episode with car driving on and entering California.

Notes: We are introduced now the fourth and last faction dealing with the Cast, the Government. Like S.A.V.E. their primary goal is to protect humanity. But of course unlike S.A.V.E. good old Uncle Sam adds, “by any means necessary”. Now one thing we didn’t want to do was paint the government as a one sided, one dimensional entity. In fact their cause is in fact noble. They just have their facts a little wrong and tend to be a bit paranoid. They make other appearances later, but mostly as a threat.
There are also other clues here to the girls oncoming mage powers. Tara blows up a TV is the obvious one, Willow talking to gods and super hacking are others, but the subtle one are the girls themselves. I told my players that they were much more amorous with each other. They ran with it and had them having sex at every chance. Which is fine, not what I had in mind 100%, but hey when life hands you hot girl-on-girl action….make lemonade and watch I guess. (????) Of course my players, who were involved in the in-world-myths, knew what was happening. This is the start of their powers growing. In game this was dubbed “Allaidh” (the “wilding” in Gaelic) by my Tara player. Sharezza makes note of it. Again another Charmed influence…the Seer is mentioned. I don’t say which one, the Charisma Carpenter or the Debi Morgan one. As much as I like Charisma Carpenter I am inclined to say it’s Debi Morgan.

Ever wonder why in the 50’s we had some many UFO stories and then nothing. Then next thing you know, little bit by little bit we get flooded with tales of demons, vampires, and other supernatural baddies? Well that’s because we were being visited by angels more often then, we thought they were UFOs, and then the big bad ass angel that guards the gates to Hell and keep demons away was shot down by the U.S. Air Force. While he is in a cell for almost 60 years (not long enough for the side of Good to notice, but Evil sure did!) demons run amok. Buffy is busier than any other Slayer before, the Charmed Ones have more work to do than all the Warren Witches combined and we get thousands of supernatural themed TV shows. Of course it doesn’t help that the Veil is weakening.
One way or the other the fit is going to hit the shan.

The Uriel/Sharezza was going to play out differently. She was going to be redeemed and go to Heaven with Uriel. But we thought that that was not as interesting. Plus there is the issue of the government base. They needed to be weakened and only Uriel was strong enough to do that and he wouldn’t if he were all happy. But as the Angel of Vengeance, well that is different. Originally then Sharezza was going to be shot while they were making their escape, but I couldn’t let them get to the virus without Ashby being there. So there he was. I also was going to have him die from the virus, but that would imply he was also a supernatural, and I have seen that too many damn times in X-men, so I figure he was human with a gun that could kill supernaturals.

Another subtle nod to what will happen in the finale is here. Can you spot it? ;)

Next up… The girls are home and stars of their own X-Rated web show???
Plus the return of Amy and Beth.

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