THE ANDROIDS DUNGEON ONLINE INIATIVE – FREE COUNCIL, MYSTERY CULT
The three factions of the Free Council Assembly of L.A. operate independently of each other, each pursuing their own road towards the greater Free Council purpose of seeing the Exarchs toppled and mage-society reformed along democratic lines. The Riders of Babylon take the fight physically to the enemy, with bike-chains and lead pipes as their Excalibur. The Assembly-Union works dark magic of red tape that throttles productions of pro-lie propaganda pieces. Inevitably things slip through both groups grasp. Vampires still haunt the night and Avatar made billions at the box office.
The Awakeners, the group that straddles the middle-ground between the two extremes of total war and cloak-and-dagger economic assassination, does not go for the Exarchs directly. Instead, their goal is what it has always been: subversion. Ideas are more infectious than any virus and a sleeper doesn’t need to have See to have seen.
Witness now, Malcolm Miller, age 24 and resident of Los Angeles California. He came west from Austin, Texas to become a scriptwriter and stand-up comedian. What he did not expect was how soul crushing the entertainment industry can truly be. His scripts were laughed at, torn up or stolen by other kids in his creative writing class. His show was booed off stage on open-mic night. His money is running out and waiting tables can only do so much.
Everyone back in Austin knows Malcolm is talented. He’s got “the gift” – But this is L.A., the Great Whore of prophecy whose fornications with mammon and beelzebub has spawned such unspeakable beasts as “Wild Wild West” and “Food Fight!” – Talent doesn’t matter here. What matters is connections. And the irony of connections is that they are never available to those who need them the most.
Except then a woman approached him after a show. She bought him a drink of sweet dark ale and told him that you know what? She liked his show. She liked him. He was really good.
But he needs to keep working at it. Share his ideas with people who can help him hone them and perfect them. And she knows just the place.
The internet forum is by invitation only. Anyone who’s not on the members list will just end up at the starting screen, showing the comic book guy from the Simpsons and the text: “WORST. LOGIN. EVER…”
Those who enter find something unheard of on the internet: a helpful, polite yet funny community that supports young artists in their craft. Naturally, they’re all dorks. They sit around discussing the philosophy behind the Matrix and Babylon 5’s story-arc. They trade nightmare audition stories and tips on how to influence directors and producers. They keep each other sane as the machine grinds them between its cogs, perfecting their crafts together until one day they’ll Make It ™ and likely forget the forum ever existed. But what the awakeners is banking on is that they won’t forget the central lessons discussed on the forums: Reality is what you make of it, talent is good but skill is better and beware anything that’s “Safe” or “Marketable”.
This is not some hug-fest however. They’re all encouraged to write and submit material daily. In-fact, it’s a requirement: 1500 words every single day, or a drawing, or a 5-minute video of them interpreting a scene from a play or movie. Critiques may be harsh and direct, but never scathing. Any personal attacks on anyone and you’re ejected. Members are required to critique each other and if you’re too nice or too harsh, you’ll soon be looking at “Worst. Login. EVER…”
If the Riders are boot camp for war-mages, this is boot camp for subtle mages. Those who arrange happy accidents, who slip an enchanted nickel into a young artists change and watch him bump into a producer on the street. They are not planning terrorist-strikes against movie productions, they are giving the rousing speech to the troops in the war for the Sleepers: We know you can do it! Now go out there and make. It. HAPPEN for you!”
1 DOT : Encyclopedia Nerdica, new members are required to study their craft, perfect it and produce more, more, more. Writer’s block is not an excuse! – Free skill specialty in Academics (Pop Culture) OR Expression (Drawing) OR (Painting) OR (Acting)
2 DOT: Contacts O: (Struggling Artists) – While the value of this merit would be suspect at best outside of Hollywood, there are a lot of struggling artists in L.A. and the majority of them work extra-jobs in the service industry where they can run into all sorts of rumours and crazy stories from all over the greater L.A. area.
3 DOTs: Mentor OO (“Genesius”): The young actor Carlos Trujillo went to L.A. with the best of intentions.
THE PENTACLE BOOK-CLUB
It’s an unlikely gathering of people. Cecil Beauregarde, former Hollywood hotshot and now desperate spiritualist. Tanya Azarov, aide to the mayor, who actually comes in wearing a hood and tries to sit as far away from the window as possible. Timmy, the bespectacled ur-nerd from the Santa Monica Academy who loves to discuss alchemy, mechanisms and the story of Frankenstein. Sara Mae Johnson who insists on calling herself Saga. Weirdoes.
Meetings at weekly and the curriculum is intense –
1 dot: Ally (1): (Other Members) – The members of the group have a very diverse skillset. Assume that Cecil has skill specialty Occult (Ghosts), Tanya has Politics (City Council) and finally Timmy has Academics (Chemistry) as their highest skills.
2 dot: Resources (1) – Cecil Beauregarde is not a fool. But he is a very wealthy man near the end of his life, with no children to leave his wealth to. Distributing a little handful of cash (<$500 monthly) to his young friends at the book-club is usually not a problem for him, as long as they can give good justification for what they’re buying with his money.
3 dot: ESOTERIC ARMORY (2) Cecil’s Collection is vast and contains pretty much any substance thought to have any occult significance. Timmy has also helped with eager if clumsy schematics on how to weaponize anything from a mistle-toe arrow to a silver-solution in a spraybottle. Most of the book club has no idea that these things are used by Saga and other awakened bookclub members as weaponry. (At Cecil’s House, there is the bane of any spirit rank 2 or lower)