This is a session recap for my current Kult: Divinity Lost roleplaying campaign. Jessy Button is played by my wife, who also does the art, and I am the game master.
This post contains sexual imagery.
Finally. After a week at the hospital, though only half of it lucid, Jessy is allowed to leave. She listens, not patiently, to her doctor once again rattling off all the things Jessy needs to keep in mind with her injury. No strenuous activity, no alcohol, take pills daily, dress the shoulder wound once every two days, weekly checkups at the hospital. Not even her doctor seems too invested in the conversation, days of having to deal with Jessy enough to dampen the enthusiasm he usually has for his work. Tan, there to pick her up, has brought Jessy new clothes to leave in. The blood and filth-soaked ripped rags she came in with have been disposed of as biohazardous waste.
While Jessy’s head is still swimming from her intense painkillers, Tan brings her around to her old apartment, the one that was broken into. She collects all her belongings from there, muttering about how all this is off-brand garbage and last season’s clothes. All her good clothes are still at Evan’s, but they will have to wait. Once she’s stuffed her life into a couple of bags and into the back of Tan’s car, they head down to the harborfront. He drives into a small, secure garage and parks his car at his reserved spot, number 11. The elevator leading up to his condominium is large and slow, giving Tan time to inform Jessy not to be alarmed by the daytime staff, but rather to get to know them. The elevator stops, and Jessy is led into Tan’s home.
Three floors, though the third Tan keeps locked unless there’s an event requiring use of the large conference hall there. On the first floor, a massive lounging area and balcony could easily fit thirty people, abstract art and green plants bringing some color and life to the modern furniture. The second floor, up a wide set of stairs, provides a very different atmosphere with its explicitly sexual art hanging on the walls and erotic sculptures placed on display tables throughout. Tan keeps no less than four bedrooms, with Jessy free to sleep wherever she like. Made uncomfortable by the framed photographs of genitalia in the second floor bedrooms, one of which is Tan’s own, she elects to sleep in the bedroom closest to the balcony. She laughs and flirts with Tan as he gives her the tour, pointing out his office and bedroom for her. Jessy, overwhelmed, dizzy, and amazed, steps out onto the large balcony facing Lake Ontario to finally get a breath of fresh air.
Out in the cold March afternoon, Jessy decides that she needs to tell Tan about what’s happened. All of it. She starts by revealing that her ring is gone, though she thinks she knows who has it. She tells Tan about Wilma, about her nightmares, about Honey, and the monsters in the tunnels. Jessy decides to leave out her visit to Artyom. Tan doesn’t need to know that. She concludes that she feels safe now. She did what she had to do, and now it’s over.
That is, until Tan asks whether anyone else knows about all this, and Jessy tells him about her encounter with sergeant Ellis O’Donovan. She leaves no detail out, not even the disturbing visions of O’Donovan as a pale, hulking beast. Ellis knows as much as Tan does. Tan’s smile fades from his face as he listens to this. Jessy is not safe, he tells her with some alarm. That beast, in Tan’s words, constitutes an ‘enemy of humanity’ and no matter what she wants with Jessy, it’s not good. He demands Jessy stay in doors for at least a few days, while he thinks about this. She can get to know the staff and the condo, Tan will provide her with anything she might need, but she has to stay safe and so far as Tan is concerned, his home is the safest Jessy can be.
Jessy isn’t supposed to drink, but after that runthrough of Jessy’s hell from the past few weeks, Tan ensures they both get some alcohol in them. They sit together in the lounge, James the chef preparing a light dinner for the two. The large windows to the balcony provide them with a great view to relax, eat, drink, and not think about much in particular. Jessy’s only worry is for the ring, but her exhausted mind finds not even the energy to stress about that. She takes to bed early and falls into a long sleep. Instead of nightmares, only darkness and the muted sounds of the city. Instead of an uncomfortable hospital bed, a luxurious king-size mattress to sink into. Instead of panic and fear, only the heavy lull of alcohol and painkillers.
Jessy gets several days to take care of herself. Jessy’s first demand from Tan, when she wakes up past noon, is to get some people to the condo that can fix her hair, skin, nails, and… honestly, she would love a spa day. Once Jessy has been treated to that, she’s far more comfortable moving around Tan’s home. She learns the names of some of the staff. Carolina is a saggy but friendly maid, Daisy is a hard-working teenager determined to impress Tan, and James is a strict chef but otherwise a pleasure seeker. Jessy learns from him that he’s been converted by Tan into believing in the same Twin God that Tan does. Not only that, he explains that all the staff has done the same. The religion’s message of love as conflict and conflict as love really speaks to them, and Tan is always more than happy to discuss the faith with them.
|While drifting through the rooms, learning the ins and outs of the apartment, Jessy spots a small camera mounted in the corner of the second floor lounging room1. It’s well hidden, between a marble bust of a woman fondling herself and a masterfully painted orgy scene. One camera would be strange enough, but she soon spots many more. Every room seems to have at least one, and she even finds one in the first floor washroom. Disturbed by this, she asks around amongst the staff. James and Carolina assure her that the cameras are security measures, necessities for when Tan hosts his events and ceremonies. James briefly mentions that there have been incidents in the past, but doesn’t elaborate. Daisy simply shrugs it off, the cameras means Tan might be watching her and that’s all she wants.||
Observe A Situation
She keeps the existence of both the cameras and the staff themselves from her ‘friend’ on Instagram. Once she tells them that she’s staying in Tan’s condo, demands for pictures of every room are followed by Jessy’s bank account filling up within minutes. The anonymous account notes the stairs up on the second floor, and Jessy explains that the third floor is locked and that she doesn’t have the key. She counters the request that she find the key with a demand that she get her money upfront, and so she does. Feeling confident, she decides to look for a way to the third floor some other time.
Two days pass. Tan spends some time with Jessy, the two flirting and joking while Jessy wonders when she finally might be safe to leave the apartment. She’s itching to find her ring. She doesn’t ask Tan about the cameras yet, but sitting down for dinner she does ask again about Tan’s faith. The Twins, or the Twin God, or the Two-Headed Goat, or what else Tan uses to refer to the deity he discovered in the ancient temples of Pakistan he sought out. He tells Jessy the story of the man who was the least, and how the goat with two heads named Dehu and Mil helped him overthrow the rulers and challenge the gods. Tan is open about his hope that Jessy, like his staff and many of his friends, will see the value in this worship and convert.
“Improvement demands conflict.” – Tan
|Next weekend, Tan intends to host a ceremony for fellow believers, a somewhat common occurrence. He hopes that Jessy will take part and see the good they do and the joy they live. She could even bring out her goat mask. Jessy’s gut feeling2 tells her that aside from the networking and worship, Tan expects there to be a lot of sex. It is an integral part of the religion, she knows. Other than that, he seems intent on waiting for the ceremony itself to show Jessy the full extent of their celebrations. Explaining it with just words won’t give her the understanding she craves. She’ll simply have to be there. Jessy asks again about whether she can leave the condo, and Tan finally agrees that she should be safe so long as she does not attract attention to herself and she keeps to safe activities. No more crawling through the sewers. Jessy is not given a key, however, so she is expected to return while Tan’s staff are still present to allow her in.||
Read A Person
Jessy gets up early the next morning. She has several things she knows she has to do, all of them important. After taking her painkillers, dressing her wound which is healing nicely, and dressing herself for the day, Jessy texts Evan. She’ll be at his apartment in an hour to pick up her things. He better be there. She calls for an Uber, the tiny woman picking her up eyeing Jessy curiously through the rearview mirror as they drive away. Right as Jessy exits the vehicle, the driver wishes her luck in finding her ring. Jessy stops for a second, had she really just heard that? No time to ask questions. She marches up to Evan’s apartment and wastes no time.
Evan, confused at first and then angry, tries to defend himself against Jessy’s rage. He was worried about her, she’d disappeared without telling him where she was going. Still, he had no right to do what he did. She slams down every attempt Evan makes at bringing his feelings for her into the argument. She’s a hot girl for him to fuck. That’s what he sees her as, and if he dare say that he loves her she’ll make sure he regrets it. It ends with a fight while Jessy packs up her things, Evan bitterly calling her a two-faced whore and Jessy laughing at his sad attempt at taking control of the situation.
|After bringing all her actually good clothes back to Tan’s, Jessy heads out after lunch to hunt down Honey3. She heads to the place where she first met him, and though some of the homeless and downtrod in the area now seem to avoid or at least be cautious of Jessy, money and Tim Hortons’ donuts soon persuades someone to admit they know who Honey is and where he might be. A brisk walk through the cold afternoon brings Jessy to the back of an employment center, Honey and two others sitting on a bench smoking. Pepper spray at the ready, she marches up to the cold and homeless man and demands her ring back.||
Honey waves his friends away, stuttering out that he wants to talk to Jessy in private. When she again shouts at him to tell her where the ring is, he brings it out of one of his jacket’s many pockets and hands it over very willingly. He’s eager to get rid of the ring, it’s been causing him nothing but trouble. There was no chance for him to pawn it off or sell it, he realized that soon enough, but wearing it was a big mistake. Honey rants about how he wasn’t able to get around the city, that the ring brought him to the wrong places and the wrong people. He’s almost entirely incoherent when he mutters that Jessy’s mom didn’t want her to have the ring, that it wasn’t her who put it in the will.
Disbelief. Jessy stares at Honey. What the fuck did he just say? He tries to explain, his brain clearly misfiring over and over as he stumbles over his words. It wasn’t Jessy’s mom who put the ring in the will, it was someone else, a person Honey only refers to as ‘her’. She’s after him, too, angry at him for taking the ring. She’ll come for Jessy aswell. That’s her problem now, not his, he doesn’t want anything to do with it. When Jessy furiously demands to know how the hell Honey knows any of this, he tells Jessy that he spoke with Jessy’s mom. He doesn’t know how either, and yes, he knows that she’s dead. After proclaiming Honey a useless meth addict (to which he can only respond that he uses heroin, not meth), Jessy stomps off with more questions than answers.
By the time she’s back at Tan’s place, Jessy has already figured out exactly how to deal with the online drama Evan caused. Her follower and subscriber counts are dropping, her comment sections and DMs are getting increasingly filled with angry spam from men and women she’s lied to in the past. Time to put an end to it. Jessy records and releases a video, explaining ‘her side’ of the situation. She paints Evan as a jealous ex and a liar. He tried to capitalize on her injuries to get back at her, and now him and his friends spam her comment sections to make her look bad. She reveals several (fabricated) instances of Evan being a crazy, abusive person, and ends the video by announcing that she’s back in full force and ready to move past all this stupid drama.
|The response is immediate, and overwhelmingly positive4. Within hours, comments from her boyfriends and girlfriends are downvoted into oblivion. Jessy stays active on the topic and ensures that the most hateful of them get banned from their respective platforms, while reaching out to whoever hasn’t freaked out to win them back over to her. In the coming days, Jessy is sure that her haters will have been metaphorically firebombed by her fans. She sees comments on Twitter on how other YouTubers intend to cover the drama, all of them seeming to prefer her account of the events. That’s sure to bring her even more followers, even more fame, and even less a chance that anyone will listen to Evan or anyone else like him again.||
While all of this is unfolding, Jessy is mulling over what Honey told her. The ring took him places he didn’t want to go. The same had happened when they were below Toronto, after killing that skinless beast. Does the ring allow her to teleport? She sits on her bed for a while, attempting to ‘will’ herself to the other side of the room. Predictably, it doesn’t work. Perhaps moving around is a better choice? Jessy walks around the condo, opening doors and imagining herself entering a room other than the one on the other side of the door. She receives strange looks from Caroline as she steps into the laundry room for the third time. Nothing happens, but Jessy does feel like she is getting closer to uncovering something. If only Honey wasn’t so outrageously dumb, she might be able to figure this out.
Among her hundreds of new notifications, Jessy’s phone buzzes with a text message. It’s from Carl Hunt. She hasn’t heard from him in days, and had no intention of contacting him yet. She’d figured it best to lay low, not any more eager than Carl himself for his wife to find out about them.
“I saw your latest upload. Can we talk?” – Carl