Candela Obscura Live

"Candela Obscura Live"
One-shot episode
"Candela Obscura Live" (OSx59) thumbnail.
Episode no.Episode 59
Live showMay 25, 2024 4:45 PT
AirdateMay 30, 2024 19:00 PT
Running time3:46:19
Game systemCandela Obscura
Starring
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"Candela Obscura Live" (OSx59), or "Stagecraft", is a Candela Obscura one-shot and live show. When a vile phenomenon emerges on set, the cameras roll on the Circle of the Silver Screen - Assignment #29 -1128 'Stagecraft'.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Pre-show[edit | edit source]

Taliesin Jaffe begins the show with a series of announcements. He is interrupted by Liam O'Brien in character as Cosmo Grimm and helped through the theater by Rowan Hall, co-designer and co-writer of the Candela Obscura game.

Part I[edit | edit source]

A silent film called "The House on Barker Hill" airs, in which a woman is tied to a pillar. A man, holding a knife, tells her he knows she never loved him, and then attacks her. He stabs her in the neck, partially cutting off her head, but is then lifted by something unseen and tossed up, then back down towards the floor, killing him. The camera is then knocked over, and from the floor it shows running feet and people falling.

Meanwhile, the Circle of the Silver Screen come onstage at the theater after a screening of their most recent film, "Mr. Terrible." Rudy Ginsmith, the moderator, introduces them: Jackie Renoux, who made documentaries during the Last Great War and has since turned to avant-garde film; Chey Tanii, a character actor; Evelyn White, a well-known actress; and Lester Shaw, a private detective and the film's consultant. They field questions until someone asks Lester about the Meridian Theater, at which point he declines to answer and Rudy shuts down the questions. After the circle leaves, they meet with with their Lightkeeper, Greta DeClaire. She tells Lester that a contact from EONS, Jonathan Sky, has reached out. She shows them the silent film from the introduction, in which they recognize the actress as Idella Montaigne, a rival of Evelyn's, and the actor as August Glance. The circle remarks at how real the effects look, and Greta tells them there was indeed a murder, and Jonathan has invited them onto the set. Chey attempts to sense, but the bleed is so severe it's affecting the grain of the film, though he does notice that a shadow passes over August's leg. Lester asks about the scene and whether the Periphery has been there, and Greta tells them that Jonathan secured the area, and no one has gone in since the murders a day and a half ago. He had reached out because this circle's expertise is in the film industry.

The circle takes a carriage to the location and find themselves at Barker Hill. Jackie remarks that it is an important place for Chey. Chey has a flashback to his early days, renting a room in the house on Barker Hill. He remembers the streets being lit up with electric lights, and sensing something in the vents of his room. He found himself paralyzed as Daryl Barker, who had rented him the room, entered through a hidden doorway. Back in the present day, the circle walks up to the house. Jonathan and Lester make friendly conversation, but Jackie is cold towards Jonathan as her professional rival. Jonathan permits them entry, and Lester immediately notices the smell of death, familiar to him from his time as an officer of the Periphery himself. In the entry they notice blood in the seams of the wood, and Jackie brings out her travel camera and begins filming, noticing something briefly through the lens. They see blood on the stairs but no bodies, and follow the trail of blood into the living room, which was not in the film. Lester hands out gloves to everyone. Chey touches the wallpaper and takes some bleed doing so; he does not think the thing here is "his mother" nor Daryl, but there is a presence. Evelyn is the one to find the first bodies, some on the couch, some pushed into the wall with their heads and limbs still hanging out as if something interdimensional did so. Jackie doesn't see anything special through her camera but Evelyn admits she read for Idella's part.

They continue into the ballroom, where the film took place, and see Idella and August's bodies. All of August's bones appear broken, and Idella's neck is cut as shown in the film and her chest seems concave as if she had exhaled all of her air while dying. Lester notices both the director, Smithe Crow, and also that the blood smear pattern is strange; it appears as if there was considerable blood before they began filming, and that it had been cleaned only to clear it from what would be onscreen from the view of the camera. Chey decides to taste the blood to see if it's fake, as Jackie predicted; he takes bleed and his arm begins to lengthen, his jaw begins to extend on one side, and his fingernails grow into his monstrous form. Jackie films it. He opens the door with his long arm, and they see a room in which a woman has been melded with a chair. She appears to have been watching a projection, and Lester refuses to watch it when the others suggest doing so, so Jackie looks at the film strips and sees the Idella death scene, indicating multiple takes; usually, Idella wore a gag over her mouth in that scene. A hallway continues from the room, also smeared with blood, and Chey recalls that Daryl was a much neater murderer and killed people in their bedrooms before Chey killed him instead. He does not, however, sense any threats in the basement, though he believes something is there.

The circle follows the trail to the basement, and Chey turns on the light. They see three stacked bodies, all of Idella, each with her throat slit and each wearing a gag. Evelyn touches one and it feels real, not doll-like; she takes bleed. The group considers breath-binding and the fact that Idella's scene was often with her gagged and that she appeared to be exhaling something. Jackie, inspecting the camera used for filming, remarks to Chey that it's too similar to the one she and he had worked on together. She does not however sense any bleed on the film. As Evelyn tells the others her theory, that they were somehow creating doubles of Idella and actually killing them for the film, they all hear a thumping sound from within one of several crates in the room. When Lester finds no abnormal bleed on the crate he opens it, and sees Idella, bound and gagged.

Part II[edit | edit source]

The circle notices that there are a number of other crates, one of which has a man's dress shoe outside of it. There is a man in costume with his throat slit, and then another version of that man alive in another crate. Without untying the gag, Evelyn asks Idella if she knows what's happening or that she's a clone, and Idella seems scared and confused. Chey has another flashback to the night he killed Daryl Barker; while Daryl stood over him, he saw something swirling in the ceiling, like a woman in shape, and it touched him and gave him his monstrous powers which he used to kill Daryl. In the present day, he uses his nails to cut through Idella's bindings, at Evelyn's urging. Idella immediately attacks him, so Evelyn punches her. Idella's head turns unnaturally as she grabs Evelyn by the jaw. Evelyn pulls out a dagger from behind her back, and Lester aims his gun, but Chey tells him to wait. Idella's nails grow, much like Chey's did, and Chey tells her to look at him. This causes Idella to drop Evelyn, but she then attacks Chey, moving to strangle him. Evelyn cuts her achilles tendons and the group realizes they need to kill Idella as she is containing the monster. Lester approaches, but Idella attempts to rip out his heart, and while he is able to shoot her dead, she gives him a massive wound in his torso before he does so. Jackie then takes the gag off of Idella. Idella's chest collapses as if in a massive exhale, similar to the other version of her body, and a black, humanoid form emerges and passes through Jackie, who immediately collapses, taking a number of body marks. The creature seems to avoid electricity, so Chey starts operating one of the cameras, but it is insufficent to deter it. Evelyn jams her dagger into an electrical outlet, and at the surge, the creature flees through the wall.

Jackie comes to once the immediate danger has passed. She tells the others that she and Chey had once worked on a camera that would capture an element of the soul in film, but it was confiscated by the OUP. As the group gets up to leave, they notice a name on the crate, reading "Professor Douglas Schultz, Briarbank College. It appeared to have been shipped several days ago. The circle discusses what to do since the creature appears to be tied to the house and so Lester's suggestion to destroy it might be unwise, but Evelyn wonders if the monster is instead tied to Idella, and removing the gag was the issue. They ultimately decide to start with Briarbank College, which they recall has ties to EONS which in turn works closely with Meridian. As Jackie becomes heated over how they've stolen her work and she and Chey discuss this privately, Lester reveals that he had once been hired to look into her and Chey's work as part of his work with the Periphery, but stopped after funding dried up, and he surmises that the OUP or similar found what they needed without him. Chey threatens Lester, suspecting he is not giving the full story, but then binds his wound and the group leaves for the college.

Lester leads the way and finds the brother of one of his former Periphery colleagues, Daryl Schmeit, an archivist unaffiliated with EONS. From here he is able to get the classroom where Schultz teaches. Meanwhile, a few students on their way to early classes recognize Evelyn and Chey. Evelyn and Chey sign the students' textbooks when requested, though Chey, pretending to be in makeup, scares them somewhat. Through conversation, Evelyn learns that there is a film projector on campus. The Circle regroups and Evelyn suggests she seduce Professor Schultz, but Lester provides more suggestions on how to actually interrogate someone.

Evelyn goes into the classroom, and the professor is very friendly, recognizing her. The others all join, locking the door behind them as he does. Schultz openly tells them that he has been working with Idella with new technology, and Chey realizes that Schultz is trying to sell Evelyn on the same tech. Schultz tells them the technology is located at Idella's home, not at the filming site, and takes them to an annex from his classroom that has a bathtub-like setup with an electric unit hooked up near it. There is a headpiece including a mouth guard at one end of the tub, and a circle taped off on the ground beside it. Professor Schultz explains that someone would get into the tub and fill it with water, then push a lever, which pushes you below the line of the water, creating an "empty vessel". He explains that for reasons he does not entirely know, someone killed by this contraption then shows up with all their memories within a well in Groundswell. Jackie, Evelyn, and Chey all express doubt, but Evelyn smooths it over. However, Schultz's phone then rings. Jackie beats him to it and hears a woman's voice, interspersed with static, asking "Doug" for help. Professor Schultz is irritated, but the circle tells him it sounded like Idella and take him with them to her mansion in The Eaves, despite his protestations that he has class.

They find Idella's mansion with the door open, and the house has been torn apart and ransacked much like the Barker house. Schultz tells them where to find the contraption and leads them to it. When he goes to stand in the door of the bathroom where the tub is located, something abruptly rips the top half of his body from the bottom. Lester immediately goes into the master bedroom to find an improvised weapon. The others see Idella hiding in what appears to be a Faraday cage, holding her abdomen. Evelyn, upon walking in, sees the swirling creature on the ceiling, ripping apart Schultz's body, and Chey recognizes it as the entity he refers to as his mother.

Evelyn begins to get into the tub, which is empty. Jackie pulls out the camera and gives it to Evelyn, telling her how to work it. Jackie then tells Lester she's going to need a lot of electricity. Evelyn begins to fill the tub with cold water, but Chey picks up Evelyn and throws her onto the bed in the master bedroom before taking her place in the tub instead and pulling the lever. The entity on the ceiling disappears into Chey, who finds himself in a dark room, sitting on a bed next to Daryl Barker. Daryl remarks on "The House of Barker Hill" disapprovingly, saying it's a "laughingstock", and greets Chey, who tells him to shut up and that the monster made him hungry. Chey then wakes up within the well as Schultz had told him he would.

Back in the bathroom, Chey's body is containing the creature. Lester plugs in a cord and throws it into the tub, using his tie to bind the mouth to prevent the creature from escaping. The camera continues running, and Jackie looks at the negatives, which appear to show the creature disappearing and Chey's death. The circle then hears the phone ring, and Greta is on the line. The circle is at first suspicious, but Greta directs them to the well in Groundswell, where they see Chey again, in his monstrous form.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Circle of the Silver Screen[edit | edit source]

Returning[edit | edit source]

These characters previously appeared in Candela Obscura.

New[edit | edit source]

These characters have not previously appeared in Candela Obscura work, though they may have been previously mentioned.

Mentioned[edit | edit source]

Quotations[edit | edit source]

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

  • Laura and Khary both playtested new potential specialties: Celebrity (as a new type of Face) and Monster (as a new type of Weird).
  • Spenser stated that the idea of the duplicate Idellas was inspired by current discussion surrounding the use of AI imagery of actors.[1]

References[edit | edit source]