Friday, July 8, 2016

The (Sort of) Mortals of Vancouver

Vancouver features far more mortals than those listed below, but many are either unimportant for our purposes (though they, doubtless, have amazing stories of their own, it's just that this story does not touch on theirs in a meaningful way!), or they're tied deeply to a Power.  I may expand this list as the game goes on.

Yukimura Yuji

Technically not human, Yuji is one of the Bishonen, though he's unaware of this fact, as the perfect star-child was adopted by two Japanese immigrants. Yuji grew up with his mother’s tradition of tea and tea-ceremonies , but rebelled as a teenager and embraced the more (North) American tradition of coffee, much to his mother’s disappointment. He pursued his passion by becoming an apprentice barista at Kafka’s Coffee, where the manager quickly recognized Yuji’s genius. There, Yuji created his 18 Strokes of Foam Art, and completed his Meditation on the Eight True Forms of Espresso, which have since been translated into Spanish and Italian. His career culminated in sharing a cup of coffee with Rajani Jones herself, but before she could complete his transformation into her Anchor and Prophet, he met Abigail Ng and his childhood love of tea came rushing back to him. Together, she helped him rediscover tea, which confused and frightened his former students and created strife within the School of Yuji that remains a point of contention to this day (though thus far no fatalities have been reported between the two halves of the school). Abigail and Yuji kindled a secret romance, and Yuji has left Vancouver to finish his mastery of the tea ceremony in remote lands.


  • His unbuttoned shirt and his elegant suit
  • Effortlessly tousled and beautiful hair
  • The scent of tea, coffee and dreams
  • A certain dreamlike quality when he is near, especially if you're attracted to men or looking directly at him
  • The warmth of his hands, reminiscent of the comforting warmth of a cup of coffee in your hand.

What Does Yuji Want?

  • Yuji seeks to perfect his mastery of tea, to reconnect with the art that he last as a child
    • What powers can he gain when he masters the Zu Tea Ceremony? Is he willing to interrupt his meditations to attend Abigail's funeral? What consequences to his quest will occur from this interruption?
  • To find what happened to his angelic girlfriend?
    • Will he make it in time for the funeral? How will he feel when he meets Rajani again now that Abigail is dead? How does he intend to avenge a goddess? Can his mastery of tea help him? Can he take up Abigail's mantle?


Passions and Skills
Passion: Meaning can only be found in those quiet moments between the bustle of life +1
Passion: I want to perfect my craft in isolation in the most remote and magical of places +0
Passion: I want to find love -1
Superior Quality: Foam-Art Mastery +2
Skill: Barista +5
Skill: Cool +4
Skill: Shine +1
Bonds and Afflictions
Bond: I cannot choose between the love of Rajani Jones and Abigail Ng 2
Bond: I love Abigal Ng (Wound) 1
Affliction: I am world-famous 2
Affliction: I am bishonen 1

Yuji-Trained Baristas

Anyone who has studied under Yuji may gain Magic: Foam-Art Mastery (Yuji’s magic transcends human limitations and becomes a Superior Quality). There are two schools, the Dark School, which focuses exclusively on coffee and worries that their master might have lost his way. The other school, the Green Path, have forsaken the way of coffee to focus exclusively on tea, though they have recently fallen into disarray: since the death of Abigail, their foam art seems trite and uninspired, their flavor flat, and others have begun to accuse their ceremonies of “cultural appropriation.” (Said differently, their efforts to use their magic faces the same Trouble as those who seek a cup of tea).

Brendan the Blue-Jay

While high, the college student Brendan performed an unintentional dream-quest and discovered not that his spirit animal was a blue-jay, but that his spirit-animal was a lazy college student, and that he was a blue-jay. Evidently, Brendan had traded away his memories of being a blue-jay to the God of the Dead in exchange for the ability to turn into a human in an effort to get out of a chore his sister had been bugging him about. This explained his excellent singing voice and his lack of scholastic transcripts. Exactly how he became a student remains a mystery, and his dorm councilor, incensed by his constant pot-smoking and partying, has uncovered his complete lack of transcripts and tried to get him kicked out several times, but Brendan’s agreement with the God of the Dead ensures that these threats never amount to anything more permanent than a few memorable misadventures. Nonetheless, ever since his rediscovery of his true nature, Brendan sometimes changes back into a blue jay. When not at school, Brendan hangs out with some magpies in Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s gardens, or trying to pick up a hot chick he met outside of Kafka’s Coffee.


  • A tall, lanky frame that looks like he might blow away in a stiff wind or vanish if he turned sideways
  • Piercing black eyes that seem to take in everything, that have seen death and were unmoved by it.
  • Black/Grey hair that shimmers almost blue in the sunlight.
  • A rapid-fire chirp-chirp voice that sometimes warbles into something deeper, more gravelly.
  • Or, sometimes, a bluejay!

What does Brendan Want?

  • To get with the hot red-head he met outside of Kafka's coffee
    • Who is she? Is she a barista? Why did she already know Brendan's name? Is she one of the dead? Did she attend one of his classes and Brendan just forgot?
  • To avoid homework/responsibility
    • Why does homework keep finding him wherever he go? Does he have some dharma that he's trying to avoid? Will the dorm councilor catch him this time (No)? Will his sister catch him this time (yes)?
  • Remember what he lost
    • What trade did he make to the God of the Dead? Was it a useless, pointless gesture? Or did he make some substantial change to the world? Or was it just to change into a human and, if so, why did he want to change into a human? And was his name always “Brendan?” And if he's a bluejay, where the hell did his sister come from?


Passions and Skills
Passion: Lazy or “I’d rather be playing/perfecting a useless skill than doing this work” 1
Passion: "I want to be cool!" -1
Skill: Singing 1
Skill: Theft and Deception 3
Superior Quality: Useless Tricks/Stunts +3
Bonds and Afflictions
Affliction: Is actually blue jay (3)
Affliction: Can travel to and from the land of the dead (like all blue jays) (0)
Affliction: Trouble Follows me (1)
Bond: I can’t escape my obnoxious sister (1)
Bond: I always outwit my dorm councilor (1)
Bond: I made a deal with the God of the Dead (1)
Notes: Useless tricks include, but are not limited to:
  • Elite Donkey Kong playing skills
  • Ability to hold an epic number of hotdogs in his mouth
  • Beer pong
  • Staring contests

Trey Franklin, the Hip-Hop Hipster

Trey Franklin was one of the bad kids in highschool. He smoked (and still does), drank (and still does) and experimented with drugs (and still does) and was gorgeous. Jenny Cho fell for his bad-boy charm right away, and they had a torrid, on-and-off again drama throughout their years together... until Jenny graduated, Trey didn't, and she moved on with her life.
Trey still dreams his big dreams. This life is too small for him, with the hard edges of reality, rejection and broken homes, with its corporate imitations of the real thing. It wasn't until, while enjoying a particularly fat join, that he first heard Aquapunk, a bad he'd never heard of before, and something clicked. Here was something authentic, something real for the first time in Trey's life. He knew what he had to be. He needed to be like them, but in his own way. He became a hipster. And the one constant, the one real thing in his life had been Jenny Cho. He had to have her back! He had to show her what he'd found, what everyone sought, but nobody really understood.


  • A carefully sculpted beard
  • Startlingly innovative fashion that blends clashing colors with a deconstructed/reconstructed sense of unironic masculinity.
  • The scent of motoroil mixed with some provocative cologne that smells somewhat familiar, but you can't really place it.
  • The revving of his motorcycle and the wail of his guitar

What does Trey Want?

  • To make it as a truly authentic and original hip-hop artist
    • How does he feel about his continued and continuing failure as an artist? What is he willing to do to gain success? Would he accept a corporate contract even if it meant violating his desire for true authenticity?
  • To win back Jenny Cho's heart
    • Why does he love her so fiercely? Can he give up his dream to be the sort of stable partner she's looking for? Or can he persuade her in the power of his dream well enough to draw her into his adventure?
  • To get high
    • Where does he get his drugs? Why does he feel driven to lose himself in a haze of smoke? Will he inadvertently go on a dream quest? What will it take for him to wake up and live this life.


Passions and Skills
Passion: I'm going to make it big someday -1
Passion: Addiction is freedom +2
Superior Quality: Hipster Disdain +1
Skill: Cool +1
Skill: Hip-Hop Artist +1
Skill: Bad Boy +3
Bonds and Afflictions
Affliction: Hipster (1)
Bond: I love Jenny Cho (2)
Notes: Sid Vicious, the Power of Losers, and a Power of the Tacoma, once rode Trey Franklin, tying him in a deep and fundamental way to the estate of losers.

Jenny Cho, Some Barista

Jenny Cho is the daughter of a Chinese immigrant and his Canadian wife. She excelled in school, but often day-dreamed away her success. She wanted more from her life, an unspeakable yearning of a destiny unfulfilled, until her father made her put away her fantasy books and romance novels and work harder at school. She was a dutiful daughter, publicly, but privately she continued to dream.
At high school, she glimpsed that possibility for adventure in Trey Franklin, with whom she instantly kindled a romance, but his slacker-ways drove her batty, and she would see a glimpse of greatness, only to see it vanish in a puff of smoke. Furthermore, her romance with the bad boy ruined her relationship with her father and, in rebellion, she pushed away college offers instead to sling coffee and date her boyfriend.
While there, she met her first Yuji-trained barista, and saw magic in that coffee. She studied what she could, but knew that to become something more, to touch that magic, she had to meet Yuji. She finally ditched Trey, studied as much of these secret barista arts as she could, and submitted her application at Kafka's Coffee, the epicenter of Yukimura Yuji's greatness.


  • Fashionable, square-rimmed glasses.
  • Bouncy, pixie-cut hair.
  • An arched, disapproving eyebrow and a carefully cultivated barista scowl.
  • A rich vocabulary of both English and Chinese curse words.
  • A silvery, sparkling heirloom necklace depicting a dragon, her grandmother's necklace, which she claimed depicted “the dragon upon whose bones the Earth had been created.”

What does Jenny Want?

  • Adventure! She wants adventure!
    • What sort of adventure? Will any adventure do? Is she willing to run away and throw away her life to explore strange worlds and to master exotic skills?
  • The boy of her dreams!
    • She thought Trey was that boy, but he was just an illusion, not the real thing. She wants a man who can rescue her, who can make her laugh, who needs her stabilizing influence in her life, but the older she gets, the more unattainable it seems. Will she fall for Jack? Will she put aside her romantic dreams for something more reasonable? Will love finally make her happy?
  • The fulfill her potential
    • The words of her father still ring in her ears. She's a smart girl! Why doesn't she do more with her life? But what would that be? What would she go to college to do? Can adventure be found in the mundane? Will the ordinary make her happy?


Passions and Skills
Passion: I want to fulfill my potential 0
Passion: Boy Crazy -1
Passion: I want to live up to my family's expectations -1
Skill: Cool +1
Skill: Bookworm +3
Skill: Barista +3
Skill: Shouting common sense at people who won't listen +1
Bonds and Afflictions
Bond: I must balance both of my heritages 1
Bond: I love Trey Franklin 1

Notes: She lost her (shiny!) silver-heirloom necklace.
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