From the spring of 2004:
Back in 1994, John William "Old Man" Murphy was a duke living in Union Square. He was a mechanomancer, aged 34 then, and he had a regular cabal of followers — the Clockwork Army — that he’d convinced were going to be the ruling elite when his army of clockwork soldiers stormed the United Nations and brought peace to all the earth. At the time he had no fewer than four girls (aged 15 to 17) in a sort of harem. One was Dana McAffie, aged 16 then, runaway, and he’d built a machine to spin off memories into a pudding, which then could be used to build clockworks. He erased Dana’s memories of most of her life (justifying it to himself on the grounds that her past life wasn’t very pleasant) and used his self-esteem-eradicating machine to make Dana (and Kathy and Mandy and Suzy) helpless, self-hating love slaves.
So anyway, Old Man Murphy needed test subjects for his enslaving machines and so on, and the homeless fit the bill perfectly. He traumatized a load of homeless, including Jon Wilson, and this was his undoing. The local Hobo King (who froze to death unexpectedly six months later) got wind of this and sent over a pair of enforcers to take him out — Andrew "Pretty Boy" Kane (aged 24) and Robert "Big Bob" Kolowski (aged 45). Kolowski was the Hobo King’s Executioner and Kane an entropomancer.
What ensued was an honest-to-god gunfight between Old Man Murray’s cult and the two dukes. It didn’t end until a SWAT team responded to calls and arrested Old Man Murphy, Kane, and Kolowski. Pretty Boy lost his legs and Big Bob lost his mind, but Old Man Murphy got a bullet in his brain (and he was pretty goddamn evil, so that’s cool). Old Man Murphy’s four slaves were taken into custody (they were certainly unable to fend for themselves) and ended up in institutions, as did Big Bob. Big Bob hung himself in 1998. Pretty Boy left Boston as soon as he was out of the hospital and now lives with his parents in Atlanta. The girls were eventually reunited with their families (whom they didn’t recognize) except for Dana, whose family all died in a freak fire at a family reunion. Dana bounced from institution to institution and was eventually turned loose, just a month ago at the end of the 2003 calendar year. Terminally confused, she made her way back to Union Square, looking for Old Man Murphy.
Dana (now 26, but she looks about 38) has become a high-level avatar of the Fool, and has taken to wrapping herself in white sheets on which she draws butterflies. She has five failed Self and Isolation notches, thanks to Old Man Murphy’s enslaving machines, and looks like Catharine Zeta-Jones dragged backwards through a hedge.
Obsession: Pleasing her Daddy (Appear Helpless)
Rage: Liars who tell her that her Daddy is dead
Fear: That her Daddy might really be dead (Isolation)
Noble: Dana’s so eager-to-please she wags her tail.
Body 45 (Beaten)
Struggle 15%, General Athletics 15%, Suppress Gag Reflex 20%, Hold Still 15%
Speed 55 (Wiry)
Dodge 55%, Drive 0%, Initiative 27%
Mind 40 (Badly Damaged)
General Education 10%, Paradigm (Old Man Murphy) 40%, Notice 15%, Conceal 30%
Soul 75 (Agreeable)
Appear Helpless 45%, Lie 15%, Avatar (Fool) 75%
Paradigm (Old Man Murphy): Dana’s belief that Old Man Murphy, her Daddy, will protect her from every danger and difficulty (despite his being dead) covers her Helplessness checks, but gives her a permanent failed Isolation notch (not an issue given she has five failed now).
Avatar (Fool): Dana is an unknowing avatar. The MBTA Angel is not a suitable ruler for Dana to be jester for, so her synchronicity power keeps putting her in Isabel’s path. If Isabel denies her three times, she will move on to Judge Rhine, the next best thing.
Slim Jim Fimm was the King of Boston from ’65 (or so) til his death in ’87. In the twenty-odd years he ruled, most of his subjects didn’t know it and most of the few who did figured him for a particular kind of deluded. Up until his retirement in ’72, Phimm was the MBTA planner and under him the Orange line and the Braintree spur of the Red line were opened. His men wore MBTA uniforms and he held his court in a small, hidden complex between the Government Center Station and the basement of City Hall. While he held special favor for the T, all of Boston was under his control by ’67 (when he won East Boston from Trader Joe in a poker game).
Slim Jim was born around 1910 in the Allston area. He was deliberately vague about his life prior to assuming the mantle of the king, and if he had a wife or children from before ’65, he hid them well. In ’68 he met and bedded Lady Bird, an avatar of the Lady thirty years his junior. They split in ’81, and Lady Bird left their daughter Beatrice Fimm (born 1974) in Slim Jim’s care.
In early ’87 Slim Jim had a stroke and lost his connection to the archetype, casting his little pewter empire into confusion. Beatrice was only 13, and attended a Catholic boarding school in the suburbs. Slim Jim’s right-hand man, Mister Picker, oversaw her trust fund and so on before shooting himself in the head on 22 November 1987, the day Slim Jim gave up the ghost.
There was a belated scrabbling for power as Slim Jim’s empire fell apart: Beatrice was too young to assume the throne, Mister Picker was dead, and no one available had anything like Slim Jim’s force of personality. By 1990, the beautiful people had degenerated into a dozen squabbling cults.
Beatrice Fimm, now 30, the daughter of a True King and a Lady, has something else going for her, which is that she’s obsessed with making people like her. Yes, she has become that rare combination of True Queen/Personamancer. The True Queenity falls by the wayside more often than not: she has a leg up, in that Mister Picker left her a series of documents explaining her heritage and what she had to do to claim it, when she turned 18, but her obsession is being all things to all men and women.
Queen Beatrice, the MBTA Angel, now lives in her father’s old chambers between Government Center and the basement of City Hall. She’s attended by a retinue of MBTA employees, and her control extends solely to the subway and bus lines, not all of Boston. She’s known to be reclusive, and cultivates an appearance not dissimilar to Galadriel as played by Cate Blanchett.
Beatrice Fimm, the MBTA Angel
Obsession: Being all things to all people (Personamancy)
Rage: Beatrice cannot stand being mocked or casually insulted.
Fear: Beatrice worries that she will crack under the numerous strains being the MBTA Angel puts her in.
Noble: Beatrice honestly wants to live up to what she sees as her birthright and inherited responsibility.
Body 50 (slender)
Self-Defense 30%, Field Hockey 30%, Go Without Sleep 20%
Speed 60 (fit)
Dodge 40%, Drive 15%, Initiative 30%, Nineball 35%
Mind 60 (gifted)
College Dropout 15%, Notice 15%, Conceal 15%, Occult Countermeasures 30%, Mystic Shit 30%
Soul 90 (touched)
Personamancy 77%, Avatar: True Queen 35%, Charm 60%, Lie 40%
Masks of Gods: The Angel owns no fewer than six Personamancy significant masks: the Judge, the True Queen, the Lady, the Scholar, the Demagogue, and the Executioner.
The Speech Machine (Significant Artifact): JFK’s reading copy of his inaugural address was on display in his presidential library until its theft and replacement with a forged duplicate in 1986, a charge-harvesting by a kleptomancer since arrested and imprisoned. It bounced around the occult underground for years, until ending up in the hands of Old Man Murphy. The megalomaniacal mechanomancer built the Speech Machine from those typed pages, most of a nickelodeon and part of a magic lantern. It appears to be a wooden slide projector containing a number of reels and glass filters and a small kerosene lamp. When the lamp is lit and the machine activated, it bathes the entire surroundings in a soft multicolored glow as the different colored slides cycle through the machine. While a speaker and her audience are in this light, the speaker’s Charm (Speechmaking, or Oratory, or Instruction) skill receives a +20% shift. It was given to the Angel by Adam Holt, who stole it from Old Man Murphy’s place shortly after the 1994 raid.
Sam Addams is at war with the MBTA Angel. His older sister, Suzy Addams, was one of Old Man Murphy’s love slaves, and the Angel’s right-hand-man Adam Holt was Old Man Murphy’s right-hand-man before Old Man Murphy got shot.
Sam’s 25 now, and is more or less played by Nicholas "Xander Harris" Brendan. He got into the champion business five years ago, when he was a college student at the University of Champaign-Urbana and crossed paths with a baby-murdering satanic cult of… satanic baby-murderers. He found out what happened to his sister just a few weeks ago, when she finally regained the ability to speak. He’s been tracking down members of Old Man Murphy’s old cult, and very recently uncovered Adam Holt.
Obsession: Avenging evil in general and what happened to his sister in particular (Restrain)
Rage: Dukes with cavalier attitudes towards innocents.
Fear: Mind control and manipulation in all its forms. (Helplessness)
Noble: Helping the hopeless. Or helpless, whichever.
Restrain 65%, College Football 30%
Target Shooting 40%, Drive 15%, Dodge 15% Initiative 50%
College Dropout 25%, Notice 50%, Conceal 15%, Mystic Shit 20%
Charm 15%, Lie 15%, Avatar: the Warrior 75%
Avatar: the Warrior – Sam’s enemy is the MBTA Angel’s forces, and his skill for it is Conceal.
Summon the Last Bus Home (1 minor charge)
A simpler, more accessible version of the urbanomancy effect Day Pass, this ritual is one of the most commonly known among the beautiful people. Used at a bus stop during the night (at any time the sun is not in the sky), it conjures forth the Last Bus Home: an MBTA bus of an appropriate route for that stop (caster’s choice, for stops serviced by multiple routes). The bus fare must be paid normally; Summon the Last Bus Home merely ensures that a bus will appear, even if that route is not normally running at that time of night. The Last Bus Home is a perfectly normal MBTA bus, but do not speak to the driver.
Ritual action: Twist the most recent edition of the Boston Metro into a cord, and tie that cord in a knot. Light the knot on fire, and when it has burned completely, swallow an MBTA token. Hold in your mind an image of the Last Bus arriving as you swallow the token, and the Last Bus Home will appear.