by Max Barry

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Kotovan the TV Show (Monster of the Week)

Coming to CLOAK is the new show Kotovan. Set in 1640s Kotovania, Kotovan is based around a group of monster hunters that must traverse through the monster-ridden lands of Kotovania and put a stop to whatever force brought hell upon the nation. The series is rated TV-MA for mature audiences.

From the Department of Sports Leagues, In Collaboration with the Office of Regional Cryptozoology

The DSA is hosting sessions of the table-top game Monster of the Week. Monster of the Week is a standalone action-horror RPG for 2-6 people. Players create characters to act as Hunters and investigate Mysteries in each session that we play. In each one, the players have to figure out who or what the Monster is and put a stop to them. Think of TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, or The X-Files.

The game likes to take on the framing of being a TV show (since it is based on it) and each session is referred to as an "episode" and it has "seasons". The first season of our game will have around 9 or so sessions (episodes) and will be set in the DSA Capital during the 1600s when the region was called "Kotovania". Each episode will be posted on this dispatch like a TV episode review, giving a summary of what happened.

If you would like to learn how to play this fun game, learn more either Linkat their official website or on the subreddit page Linkr/monsteroftheweek. You can also read the Linkfull Monster of the Week manual that can tell you everytuing about playing and setting up mysteries.

Map of Our Game

Episode 1: Danse Macabre Part I

"When telling the story of our people, it is impossible to separate the truth from the myth. The year is 1642 CE. The trading kingdom of Kotovania in the Frimuniran Far West enjoys pleasures of wealth and protection. However, not all who live here enjoy either. Some work only to survive, that being all they can hope for. Some can do nothing else but die, and it is a life that the people have remained content with.

In the late winter of 1642, Count Kotovan the 13th took his father's throne as the ruler of Kotovania, assuming power after the king fell ill. In the late spring, only a few months later, he lost it all. What happened seemingly overnight was what seemed like an invasion of dark forces. Monsters swept across the land and began to pillage, terrorize, and establish their own power. Many innocents have already perished, others have tried to fight back. However, not everyone is capable of fighting off the night and have chosen to flee. The kingdom's cities, some of the few remaining safe havens, have become overrun with refugees fleeing the night hordes. Others have tried to leave Kotovania all together. Ships leaving the ports are always packed with any poor soul desperate to survive, some packed with children abandoned by their parents who could only afford to save their child's life. "

The Hunters; Morgan Briggs the Gumshoe (Bhexa); Natasha the Spell Slinger (Liossalde); Mon the Initiate (Mon Silanies); Arden Wood the Spooky(Veyoris); and Adam the Cobbler the Mundane (Qingling); were given a mission by the Sect, a secret and ancient organization. They arrived in the city of Bazlentas to investigate a series of murders where the victims are found drained of all their blood. With some confrontation with the stubborn police investigator, they investigated the scene. After one vision of well lit candles, another vision of a being walking up to and bending over the victim, as well as talking to the spirit of the victim, the gang settled in their rooms at the Midnight Stallion Inn with a jolly innkeeper.

Natasha and Arden, failing to charm the police, watched as the police took the body away to the morgue. Morgan and Mon went to find food and booze and instead found a street urchin with some information. If they could find and retrieve a pendant from a gang of teenagers, the kid would give them information about last night. After stabbing and mugging the teenagers, they got the pendant and learned that the murderer has a limp and walks with the fog. In the morning, Adam the Cobbler wasn't feeling well and it wasn't made better by the police barging in, accusing the gang of stealing the body of George Risley, the murder victim. Saved by Isaac the Innkeeper from going to jail, Arden gets a vision of George Risley in the morgue rising and leaving the morgue and returning before sunrise. The gang decided to split up; one group goes to the morgue and the other searches the city. But not before meeting Isaac's greedy landlord, Simon Higate, who raised the rent and will come back the next day for the money.

Will the monster hunters figure out who or what murdered George Risley? How did George Risley walk out of the morgue if he was dead the day before? Will Mon find a bar that's open? All will be revealed next week on Kotovan

Episode 2: Danse Macabre Part II

After seeing the vision of George Risely rising from his tomb, Morgan and Natasha go to the Bazlentas Morgue that houses the bodies of those going to the Potters Field. They meet the chief coroner and he denies them entry, fearing they are occultists trying to take bits of dead bodies and fearing Count Kotovan finding out he was interacting with Monster Hunters. Morgan gets help from one of his occultist contacts who works at the morgue and leaves the keys for them to go in after work. After sunset, they enter and feel an angry magical presence around George Risley's body. As Natasha goes in with her knife to try and dissect him, night comes and he awakes from his death. Fog pours from his mouth and puts Morgan to sleep but Natasha is immune. A battle ensues and Natasha kills the monster with fire, but not before coming close to death herself from the fire as well. They learn that the monster is a Revenant and was likely turned into one by another. They go back to the Midnight Stallion Inn to rest.

Meanwhile, Mon, Adam, and Arden search for clues in the city. They find Abby Young, the wife of recently missing Adam Young and is searching for him after they were evicted from their tenant by their landlord Simon Higate. They go to his mansion and talk to him, but he is upset when they mention Adam Young and shut them out. Mon and Arden help Adam into the backyard over the spiked fence and he sneaks up to the balcony to learn more. Arden tries to climb over but a passerby catches them. Arden uses magic to make them forget what they saw. Adam sneaks into Higate's bedroom and finds a muddy shovel in his closet and hides in it when Higate walks upstairs to his room. Overhearing Higate talks about Adam Young to himself, Adam fails in sneaking out of the closet to hit Higate and chases him down stairs. Adam falls over the coffee table and Higate makes it to his carriage and flies out of his gate. Mon thought this would happen and climbed up a light post and jumped onto the carriage. He knocks out Higate and the 3 of them (after stripping him of his clothing and wearing it) take him back to the Midnight Stallion and interrogate him. He confesses that he accidentally killed Adam Young in a dispute after Adam was angry for being evicted and that he hired streets kids to bury the body on his nearby property.

Fogs rolls into the room with Adam and Higate falling asleep, Arden becoming drowsy, and Mon being immune. Morgan, in the nearby room, tries to help, but also falls asleep. Mon fires crossbows into the monster and Arden attacks him as well. After, Mon used his sword to decapitate the monster. Higate was woken up and told everyone that that was Adam Young's body. The gang decided to send the body off to the Sect, Arden got a cape from the market, Abby Young got to learn about her husband being dead, and the gang leave the city for their next adventure and to continue to free the land of monsters.