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Carrying on from session one - see also http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=6302

Grounding

During the grounding between sessions Toria narrates away the flood covering Edinburgh to remove a Tear.

Chapter 2

As the chapter opens Toria returns from the sea in a little boat, sent back to land by the Mermaids with the hope of freeing their home from the clutches of the Shadow. Initially she proceeds directly back to the tower block, which has become a semi-abandoned construction site

You are now looking at a complex of buildings nearing completion, but oddly empty of people. There is the tall block of luxury flats with a show home opening onto a trendy cobbled square. There is the large waterworld block housing an aquarium and a restaurant where people will be able to see their food swimming ... and then eat it. The little park, off to one side, is cordoned off by a high chain-link fence while work is done.

Over the square a drab "mermaid towers" banner flaps in the evening breeze, while seagulls wheel overhead. The whole place looks deserted. Machinery has been left under flapping blue tarpaulins. Posters have been plastered all over the hoardings, advertising raves and dances. The gates have been locked up with chains and waste paper has built up everywhere. It looks like no one has been working here for weeks and all is slowly falling apart. The chill square is empty and cold.

Standing in the cold Toria remembers that she should be at home with her son, in the warmth and comfort of her home, not out here in the unwelcoming dark. (This was a limitation scene keying off Toria's "I hate what being alone does to me" trait, and Victoria decided not to resist)

Back at home Toria finds that her son (Tom) has gone to a friend's house. When she goes there to pick her up Tom's friend's mother has a go at her about how she is always leaving Tom alone. Stung by the criticism Toria treats Tom to an evening at the movies, followed by dinner at a pizza restaurant.

The next morning, feeling rested and refreshed, Toria is contacted by a French woman names Genevive from Action Marine, a radical anti-whaling group that Toria signed up for some time ago. A whaling ship is coming into harbor for repairs and the Action Marine activists want to stage a protest, and need Toria's help! (This was an obsession scene keying off Toria's desire to save the whales. Victoria wanted to save the whales, but she also wanted to do so more directly than this) Toria changes reality so that instead of a Whaling Ship to stop there is a whale to rescue. There has been a freak flood and a whale is stranded in the docks! Now they need Toria (as a top diver) to save it!

Genevive splashes through the flood waters in her four by four to pick Toria up from her house and they race to the coast. When they arrive they discover that the Whale, which was washed by the flood waters into a dock pool, has gone underwater, vanishing into a submerged tunnel where the other divers dare not follow it. Toria however knows no fear and straps on a wetsuit and aqualung to go after the Whale.

Okay, you and Genevive are somewhere out beyond the edge of town in a cove by the sea. The whole area is flooded and you had to plow through dirty sea water to get here. Apart from you, the gulls, and the bobbing wreckage of boats and fishing creels, there is no sign of life here.

A little back from the beach you can see the edge of the city, just over a rise of tangled marram grass. Mermaid Towers is a grey smear over the closer industrial rooftops.

As you arrive on the submerged shingle a pair of young Frenchies in wetsuits struggle up to the 4x4. One of them explains, breathlessly, that they had been tracking the albino whale from their Zodiac, trying to make sure the whalers didn't get them, when the flood wave came in. The whale dove, but they could see it didn't go back out to sea, and their tracking device showed it going inland instead! They have a map which shows a sunken channel leading to an old flooded dock chamber, and they fear the whale is there. They don't know how to get in after it though, and are hoping you can help.

Beneath the waters Toria follows the perilous tunnel deep under the city, towards the site of Mermaid Towers only SHE CAN'T SWIM! (At this point I hit Victoria with another Limitation Scene pointing out her "I can't swim" limitation. Toria changes reality to use the gift given to her by the mermaids to let her swim) Luckily Iolanthe appears and comes to her aid, and the two of them follow the tunnel into the underwater Mermaid City.

Here Toria discovers the Shadow at work. Descending from the foundations of the towers Shadow divers in antique hard-hat diving suits have penetrated the Mermaid City, corrupting it and robbing it of substances they are pumping away through black iron pipes. Incensed Toria decides to take the war to the Shadow and begins to cut the rubber air hoses with her diving knife. Carried into the depths on the end of the falling hose she then confronts a trio of divers with spear guns! (Here she is attacked by Shadow Minions with a strength of 11)

Kicking off her bulky scuba gear, and swallowing the Mermaid Gift Toria is filled with underwater power and easily outswims the divers, avoiding their attacks. Then she summons the sharks who had been circling over the underwater city and sets them on the divers, ripping them to pieces! Not content with this she then sets the sharks on the remaining divers, Changing Reality to weaken the Shadow's grip on the city. Soon the water is filled with bodies and blood.

Finally Iolanthe, already upset over the loss of her city and what has happened to her people, cannot take any more, and cracks, curling into a ball in the water. Determined to save her Toria summons the Guardian Whale, but when the albino beast appears it is crazed! (Victoria overshoots and I twist the result) The divers have been draining the blubber from the whale to use in their Shadow schemes, and it is maddened by pain, smashing the city to pieces ... unable to tell friend from foe.

Toria, however, does not flee, but swims into the path of the Whale and trusts in her affinity with the mermaids to stop it and make it see sense. With a supreme effort she changes reality to calm the whale (with the remaining Shadow tokens in opposition) and frees it from it's pain while closing the Tear and banishing the shadow ... for now.

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