In addition to the summaries posted below for Paracosm, the following are important points that could/would be covered by Asher Vossberg while finding your tunnel hideout. That’s right, in addition to playing characters of Middle Eastern descent, you are now hiding in tunnels in the mountains after carrying out attacks against the government. But, as you will see, that’s to be expected…
The app, Kingdom Come, did have quirky effects (like captioning choristers), but it also was part of the Paracosm Project. In an effort to anticipate and manage/direct desires, the Technocracy has been working on ever more advanced AR and simulations. Unfortunately, this has often had the opposite impact- dating sims are all the rage in Japan, but, like the panda, the nation’s population is declining. Sports simulations- everything from dressing in costume (jerseys) to video games are most popular in the world’s most obese nation.
The first warning signs of Paracosm going awry could be seen in James Dodge- a funeral cosmetologist whose phone was loaded with medical simulations, and who passed himself off as a doctor in the very first game. There were distinct prime/spirit effects associated with this event.
Later, you encountered Hathaway, the head of the NWO and, by extension, the Technocracy in the area. He, with James Dodge, was on a hill over Larkspur where the lines between reality and spirit were getting blurred but also changed/warped. Below, some Ren-Fair employees, subsumed by their fantasy, went a-viking. The same prime/spirit effects could be seen during this time.
The Exarch of the White Fog, a powerful spirit, attached itself to your node/chantry during this time (the Golden Cycle- it had called each of you individually at the game’s start). The chantry also began to produce old newspaper clippings from the node in its basement.
History of chantry for those interested:
A small house near the Midland Trail with a basement you’ve begun to dig out yourselves- for some reason the Earth there has begun to “soak up” gold flake (tass). It is across from the Gold Cycle Mill ruins near Cimarron and 21st. You were all independently drawn to the area where the house was being foreclosed upon just this last year through odd visions of spinning wheels and gold thread, luminescent gilded wheels with spokes of blinding white light, the ophanim spinning fire in place, arcane blueprints of light given form and turned to designs that make Ed Leedskalnin’s Coral Castle lookas impressive as a Duplo block house- WHATEVER. When you all arrived at the same time it didn’t take long for you to begin sharing your stories and pooling resources to buy the place from the bank. Thanks to Coco’s influence, you own it outright and it would take some effort for any financially inclined technocrats to track you down with its purchase.
There is an unknown history to the place that you have just begun to (literally) scratch the surface of, but that it somehow sought all of you out is undeniable. A few homeless people in the area keep eyes and ears out for you and through long histories of drug abuse, the weirdness they’ve grown accustomed to, and curiously resilient faith they function as acolytes (non-sleepers) for the purposes of vulgar magic. The place has a “liminal” resonance- being present there provides an odd sensation of being perched on a threshold, of anticipatory excitement- and not a small amount of apprehension, too.
Also, liminal sounds like luminous- and a lumen is a unit of luminous flux Jooooooohn.
Other Tradition mages- if you are ok with them knowing about your chantry- seem oddly incurious about it and often refer to you (when they think to do so) as “those Golden Cycle mages.”
In case you’re curious-
1906 Golden Cycle Mill opens as world’s largest gold mill.
1907 Coal dust explosion destroys large part of the mill.
1908 Mill reopens bigger and better.
1914 Mill processes ore from the Cresson Vug — a gold crystal-lined cave that produced $18 million worth of gold, at today’s prices, in one month.
1942 Mill pours its 10,000th gold brick. In all, 483,441 pounds of gold have been shipped.
1949 Mill closes. Golden Cycle company opens a new mill near Victor two years later.
1975 Gold Hill Recycle Project attempts to recover remaining gold from tailings. Partnership falls apart within a year.
1988 City grows uneasy over increasing use of mill ruins by partying teenagers and “Satanists.”
1989 Australian Pacific Minerals buys mill site for $13.5 million to attempt to recover remaining gold.
1992 Australian Pacific can’t pay its bills; land is returned to previous owner, Fountain Creek Corp. City condemns property, owner razes remaining foundations of mill, leaving original smokestack as a historical landmark.
1993 Environmental Protection Agency lists toxic tailings pile as a possible Superfund site, but the tailings are never officially listed.
1997 Gold Hill Mesa Joint Venture unveils a plan to mine the tailings, then develop the site as a neighborhood.
1999 Study by private engineering consultants hired by developers shows site can be built on without removing tailings.
2004 Gold Hill Mesa gets city approval to build 1,400 houses and 700,000 square feet of office and retail space on tailings.
2005 Ground is broken in March.
Back in the then-present…
Constance’s Chorister civil war ended this game arc, and the PCs were drawn into the Shadowlands to escape the Choristers-turned-Gabrielites (a faction that was purged from the Technocracy during Victoria’s reign).
There are two major events happening concurrently.
One- Paracosm is out of control. Colorado Springs is being regarded …carefully… by the federal government. Notably, wargames have been drilled nearly every other day. A number of Technocrats were actually worried about the “fantasy” spreading, but nobody can speak up while Constance and Hathaway’s new alliance threatens to have people on the wrong side of a purge. You may have been drawn into this by the collective Will of the Sleepers caught up in their simulation.
Of course, there’s also the matter of the Ripley Scroll.
As Earl discovered, when joined with the sigils in the Fragile Path, you learn:
Heylel Teomim (Solificati/Children of Knowledge) and Akrites Salonikas (Sahajiya/Cult of Ecstasy), both members of the First Cabal, conspired to execute and hide what Porthos calls “The Betrayer’s Rite.”
Heylel “betrayed” the First Cabal to the Technocracy (then called the Order of Reason), and Porthos was the only one present who wondered at the massive holes in his plan- like leading the assault but claiming he hoped to not be seen and lead the subsequent rescue. Akrites and Heylel loop Porthos in at the moment of Heylel’s gilgul (destruction of his twin-avatars) and execution. Porthos watches as the avatars are not destroyed but are drawn like iron filings backwards and forwards through time. With his sacrifice, Heylel gives rise to the Entelechy that created the Ahl-i-Batin… and also helps strengthen the gauntlet separating spirit from material. Porthos will do the same, unleashing the Avatar Storm in 1999/2000 when obscenely powerful archmages battling in Horizon (Traditions’ umbral HQ) and the Digital Web, and Technocrats dropping spirit-nukes in the Underworld and aligning space-lasers to fry reborn demonic entities became a bit… dangerous… for the world at large. His sacrifice strengthened the gauntlet (perhaps a bit much), and the realms of possible and imagined were pushed farther apart. It is understandably called “The Betrayer’s Rite.” It kills a Mage and, in simplest terms, makes the world less magical. Further, it was not the Technocracy who has used it but the Traditions- TWICE.
Now you have access to the rite. The Ripley Scroll and Fragile Path could do most of the work, but you would still need a sacrificial lamb. The picture below is from the Ripley Scroll (source- wikipedia)