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So this story has another story behind it.

Why yes, I do think I'm clever, why do you ask? Moving on.

A little over ten years ago, I started running my first NWoD tabletop game, a Promethean: The Created chronicle. I had some vague ideas, a starting point spelled out in the back of the first edition Promethean core, and some players. A couple of players dropped out early, but a few more went the distance (for as long as the chronicle lasted, at least). Those players:

Brendan Sherlock played Ander, a Frankenstein created during WWII by a Promethean working with a Nazi mad scientist (who later used their work together to turn himself into a terrifying superhuman, and was the Big Bad of the chronicle).

Nick Shomo played Steve Rogers, a Frankenstein created during WWII by a Promethean working for the government to fight Nazi mad science. (Specifically, the Nazi mad science he helped create, as that same Promethean also created Ander)

(Just for the record: Brendan and Shomo created their characters separately, but I linked their backstories for stupidly-obvious reasons)

Zac Davis played Jack Turner, an Ulgan made from a high school kid who had been sacrificed by a cult.

Greg Gay played Father John, an Ulgan who tried to understand humanity by studying religion and passing himself off as a priest. (He once accidentally inflicted the Disquiet on Evie, and when she had the standard Disquiet-driven reaction it drove him into Torment and... yeah. That leg of the story ended in a bit of a mess.)

Sean Smith played Rudolf, a Tammuz who didn't know how he'd been made or by whom for the longest time, he only thought he was some sort of swamp zombie because of where he first awoke. He later discovered that his creator had regularly been stealing his memories to study humanity vicariously.

The game went on for about a year and a half-ish, and while we didn't get to finish the full story I had planned (though for the sake of continuity with later games, I had my players approve an outline of 'future events'), it remains one of the most satisfying Storytelling experiences I've ever had. If you're curious, you can dig through my old Livejournal updates for the write-ups or the old Promethean playtesting/actual play LJ community (though you'll have to do some actual digging to find the posts there, as I have no way to easily tag them). Anyone who's followed my Chronicles of Darkness fiction will recognize that this is where most of the cast of Child of the Machine came from.

With the second edition of Promethean having just come out, I decided to do something to go back and revisit those old characters. In particular, the new rules for how to handle the Pilgrimage and milestones inspired me to imagine a story in which Alexander finally completed his Pilgrimage and moved on with existence. And then I thought "What if I had a past character show up, having become human," and a few things clicked.

See, at about this time a year ago, Shomo (his friends called him by his last name, it was mostly family and older people who called him Nick) passed away due to complications from pneumonia. The last time I saw him, he helped me move a bunch of furniture into the house I'd just purchased. And I saw the opportunity to do something to honor him in my own particular idiom.

This story contains two scenes with his character, Steve, having successfully become human and earned a happy ending. Specifically, Steve earned the happy ending that Shomo should have gotten. A lot of Shomo has gone into this new human version of Steve.

I saw an opportunity to say goodbye to him as well as providing something of an epilogue for a wonderful game I ran a decade ago, and took it.

Before we get into the story, I want to take a second to thank everyone involved in this game and every other game I've run. You've all been wonderful in your own ways (with only one or two exceptions), and you are all why I do this. Why I write, why I run games. So thank you all for that opportunity. I also thank everyone who worked on Promethean, both editions, for making that chronicle (and thus this story) possible.
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December 10, 2016
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