Philadelphia By Night
Grant's Downtime March - June
This is from way back in March, before the last story started at the Elysium – a full 5 or 6 sessions and a couple months in game. I sent it to you and Jeff. I am writing a few notes to add to this in purple so you know how things have progressed.
I’d like to spend xp in these ways. Thought I’d let you guys know since you both occasionally storytell, and I didn’t want to tell you right before you storytold and seem like I was all-of-a-sudden doing things to prep for the story.
Grant raises Resources 2 to 3, given his use of Carthian Pull last story to pay large sums of money out to Allies: Chinatown Tong (4). – He’s made some financial connections, and invested in more businesses in Chinatown. It’s turning out well. And they’re happy with his protection so they’re donating more to the Tong and him. (2 experience points)
Grant raises Allies: Chinatown Tong from 4 to 5. Same logic. With it, he’s finally giving a name to his gang. It’s official now: The Lion. No plural form, just like the Tong. I got the name from a New York Times reference. I’ve attached the article for your reference in case you two ever get curious about the development of Asian gangs on the east coast, though the article focuses on New York. Philadelphia’s development is similar, and the same gangs have settled, fought, vanished, and re-emerged. Huy Dao is one of Grant’s lieutenants, a Chinese-American amateur political theorist, artist, and hacker. Tai “Spin” Hanh is his other lieutenant. He’s well-known punk Vietnamese who grew up in the bloody shadow of his older brother who belonged to the Ghost Shadows Tong. He knows how to use a semi-automatic, bust out serious bass and make some loud-ass punk noise, then sit down for some pizza or pho. He lives up to his name, “talented one” but his closest friends also like to remind him that his surname means “apricot tree.” (1 experience point)
This is now posted on the characters list. Each has their own pic and description.
Grant extends his connections in Chinatown to begin getting a handle on who’s coming and going in the city, and what’s coming and going in the city. Eventually I’ll buy contacts to represent this success, and it’ll be for a fixer-type contact – a Chinatown antiques dealer or herbalist or the like, but someone who also ‘hears’ things.
Grant purchases Contacts 2 (1 per each month) to represent his growing network of Chinese antique dealers and herbalists, taxi drivers, pawn shop dealers, and the like – low-level smuggling networks (2 experience points).
Grant spends some time discussing strategy with various Carthians and Anarch Collectivists. He wants them to turn “rhizomatic” not heirarchial. The nature of their relationship requires a different sort of communication structure. They can’t rely on leaders, and they can’t just all be anarchists and individualists. He wants them each to recognize their own potential, remain individuals, but to still organize. That means they’re going to need to build constantly changing networks of communication. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the old and infirm Invictus, to support each other while not turning the Carthians into just another version of the Invictus. That means Dialogues change location each month. Much like revolutions now organize around twitter or cell phone texting, it’s time the Carthians transformed into a movement that can adjust as quickly as need dictates and as the people want. This does not mean that we all start a Twitter page or a Facebook page. We each have our own networks, and we each have our points of connection that we trust- some more than others- let’s not ignore that- but we’re here together- here in the Carthian movement, and let’s build it ground up as an unbreakable rhizome, not a tree whose roots can be ripped out with the death of any one member. – He does some legwork before the next Dialogue, and we might even skip January’s Dialogues because of it, and because Sophe and Lindra are recovering. And, once he runs this by individuals more slowly he’ll present this at the next Dialogues. Sand will conspicuously not be invited. He just won’t be told where the next Dialogues are…and he might not even think to notice since he might think the Carthians are just disorganized in the wake of the near tragedies they’ve suffered on Lindra (twice) and Sophe. Instead, Grant will get word out through word-of mouth 1 week before the meeting, sometimes directly, sometimes through flyers with a special logo, and sometimes through mundane means like cellphone texting. It’ll change with each month.
This has been in effect for a couple months but now Joao de Silvas has moved into the city. He’s been placing his mafia agents all over downtown, and now he’s made himself known. Joao wants Grant on his side, but Grant isn’t sure he trusts Joao. Joao appears to be a fair Carthian who gives his subjects a fair amount of freedom, but he’s come to the city to pull the Carthians together. Joao doesn’t especially love Grant’s independent spirit, but he also admires it. Joao also sees Grant’s formidable network of allies and coterie as a bit of a competition, but he’s not sure he wants to oppose Grant. It would be much better to use Grant as a Sheriff and slowly pull Carthian influence to himself. Joao knows that although he has resources and his own thugs and allies he’s brought, he doesn’t have the influence of the city yet at all. He’s new, and he needs someone smart and connected like Grant. Think: charismatic old world mob boss controlling a trade empire.
I am willing to buy something to represent this, though I look at it as simply Grant living up to his Carthian Status 3: Sheriff. He might now need to buy City Status 3 though, since when people get wind of this they’ll see Grant as a more influential kindred than he has been in the past.Bought. (2xp)
I’d also like the buy the devotion “Quicken Sight” (Celerity 1, Auspex 1) for 5 experience points. I intend to write something up in which Grant and Cordoan spend an evening watching the rain drops fall and Cordoan shares philosophy as well as the secrets to a more attentive eye. I figure Cordoan would have such a thing to aid with noticing the world around him for artistic purposes. Alternately, you might argue Cordoan doesn’t have it (I haven’t written him up) and then maybe Pink does (for combat purposes) or Sophe or Fa Jinhai. bought. I assume it was done through Cordoan.
Otherwise, I’m planning on saving for Resolve 4, which will cost 20 experience points. Last session’s test of resolve against Olivetti would have helped.
I bought Ignore and Dominate 1 instead, obtained through Carthian network and Carthian Status 4. But I also buy Resolve 4. That uses my last experience, including experience from the write-ups for the last sessions.
Grant as Carthian Sheriff, and unofficial head of the Anarch Collective: (though it’s more shared by a disconnected yet well-loved Sophe and the new and powerful Joao).
Grant has continued to make in-roads with the Carthians. He regularly debates Cordoan on day-to-day involvement in kindred politics (Cordoan receded from public life 2 years ago.) – 4 days a month
He plays Go with Fa Jinhai and loses, while Fa laughs at him, and the two discuss philosophy, humanity, and religion. – 4 days a month
He visits Edee once every week or so and discusses her finding on the city’s kindred, while he brings her bootleg CDs, flowers, contraband hardware to fund her hacking network. He makes sure she feels a valued member of the Carthians. – 4 days a month
He visits Sophe and frequently debates the Anarch Collective politicking. She gives him advice, secretly admires his boundless energy and life while increasingly frustrated because he won’t stop pushing on Invictus. Sophe has willingly retreated from leadership. 3-4 days a month
Pink, on the other hand, spars him occasionally (once every 2-3 weeks) at the underground fight club she frequents. Afterwards they briefly debate how the Movement in Philly should be doing more to strike at the Invictus. – 2 days a month
Grant visits Nina Acosta at her club on nights she DJs, dances, and gets blood. They maintain a friendly relationship. – 2 days a month
Viktor has become dismissive of Grant and likes Joao a lot more (Joao funds Viktor better, supports his chop shop activities, and his gang warfare). – 0 days a month
Grant sees Schmee more rarely than he would like. Once a month they see each other at an Elysium gathering, and once a month Grant attends a punk show where Schmee might be moshing. – 1 day a month
Grant has used some of his Carthian Pull to set Isiah the 10lb. Hammer up with a simple haven in Anarch Collective territory and shown him around town a little. Isiah gravitates toward Pink and Schmee a little more though. Still Isiah likes metalwork and enjoys spending time with Grant while they work on a car. Grant sees him a couple times a month. – 3 days a month these past couple months
Minsuh Eom attends some of Schmee’s shows too, and he occasionally sees her in a goth-industrial club, but that’s not really Grant’s scene, and she doesn’t seem like she wants or needs Grant to show her around. – 1 day a month
Morris and Grant haven’t spoken much, but they’re starting to realize they think in similar ways. At first Morris thought Grant was a little conceited, but he’s been listening to Grant’s occasional debates at the Dialogues and he can’t help but feel that Grant’s appeals to liberty are sorely needed. – 1 day a month
Grant visits Lindra once a month and they attend the orchestra and then dine together. She vacillates between nostalgia for simpler times and trying to convince Grant to take a more active role against The Marble House or the Triad or the Black Theatre. She secretly wants him to be her right hand enforcer. For his part he expresses his desire to do less and less fighting for freedom, realizing this eternal war has pulled in people far older than him. Eventually they turn to practical matters about coordination or dispute between the Loyalists and the Anarch Collective. – 1 day a month
He makes sure to attend Luchesi’s Elysiums and Sophe’s Elysiums. – 1 day a month
Total: 28 days a month (but I assume this actually only takes a little under half each of those nights). Below is what he does with the other half of his nights.
Grant as The White Lion (a play on his North American features in a Chinese dominated Tong society, as well as the genetic morph of lion with the same coloration).
He spends a lot of time moving through Chinatown and seeing to the needs of many people, often taking Tai or Huy along with him. He pretends to be a thug for one of them (especially Tai) to keep the identity of the Lion Tong leader hidden. He also knows if the majority of his Tong knew he was a North American, not an Asian man, they’d have a bit of a crisis of identity. He would prefer not to complicate his relationship to them. On these nights he learns who is trustworthy, who is desperate, who is in danger from yakuza, what rumors are, how his Tong are seen in Chinatown, etc. Indirectly he’s able to show people that they matter, and ensure that the Lion Tong serve the community. On other nights, Huy, Tai, and Grant get together and discuss how unified the community is, how people are reclaiming their sense of community, yakuza encroachment, plan counter-attacks, etc. Grant knows the value of being personally involved in his network, and knows it may well be his one advantage over Invictus counter-parts who have dozens, or even hundreds of thugs at their disposal. – 16 days a month.
He spends a little time on his own checking his new contact network and using a bit of his resources or Carthian Pull to build that more. – 4 days a month
He spends two half-nights a week attending to mundane matters like his resources, havens, feeding, bike maintenance, Carthian check-ups, etc. Errands. – 8 days a month
Grant. Just as Grant.
All this leaves little time for Grant. He tries his best to get out once a week, but invariably he skips a week here or there. On these nights he simply drives through the city on his bike or into the rolling green hills outside the city. He might stop on his way back & have a drink with Rowana, visit Deep Throat for a chat, or go to a biker bar to catch up with Tyler. On these rare nights, he tries to give himself the entire night – no errands, no Lion Tong business, no kindred politics. He’s rarely that lucky.