Edge City

Memories of Skyfall

About a week after the last session, Lydia and Adrian met for coffee, and Adrian caught her up on what the group had been up to. Lydia was going to investigate her current connection to the cairn site, and Adrian agreed to help when she called.

Lydia worked with Morris Pennywise, who discovered that Mother Wolf had stripped out the various energy signatures from Lydia to get right into her core. Living things add rings to their energy, like trees do in their cross section, and Mother Wolf managed to remove a lot of that and tamper with Lydia’s core. The only surgeons that are highly skilled (and you don’t want an amateur) tend to be super-evil, because messing with a living thing’s life organization this way requires a certain type.

Visiting the Cairn

Morris offered to lead them in the back door to the cairn to see what changed, and Adrian agreed to go along. They traveled through the Umbra and found the back section; instead of it being earthen, with veins of metal and stone and roots, it was all dank concrete. They found their way into a service passage between foundations, and up into a horrible industrial cube farm sort of building.

Lydia realized they were inhabiting her memory of Skyfall, the lab where she was raised. The orderlies were spirits, maybe reskinnings of Mother Wolf’s puppies. They navigated to her room, and she commanded the spatial relations of the place with authority even though her quantum powers were shut off here.

She talked to Her Doctor, a goateed man who was overintellectualized and secretive, and he helped her get some insights into this place (as did Morris.) She came to understand that dimensions were buttressed from the inside outward, as opposed to normal space which built from the ground up. The collapse in a dimension was always from the outside to the middle. And the center anchor of this place was moved into Lydia, so the whole dimension was now unstable and wanted to stabilize by replacing her life energy in its center. She understood that to be the testing room, and was in no hurry to get strapped in somewhere she could not escape.

They moved to the day room, for food and crafts. She got on a computer and used its interface to understand more. The spirit power was indicated by key cards, those were the center of each manifestation and symbols of their power. From black at the bottom, up through the colors to the highest access, diamond—the only access that would let her come and go freely. Only one other entity had diamond level, and that would be the new powerful spirit guardian that came here, since Mother Wolf was allowed to escape. With the high level of warpstone poisoning, the new guardian was guaranteed to be a bane spirit—not one they wanted to meet.

Adrian and Lydia also noticed she was logged in as Tchulza—but they would talk about that later. In the meantime, she decided that she would not settle for a counterfeit access, but she wanted a legitimate maximum access clearance. Morris agreed to help her do it, but warned her the cost was steep. She lost a permanent Will point, and gained a diamond access card. Now she could come and go through the front gate of the installation.

They marched right out the front, past the spirit guards and vicious attack dogs, and surfaced through the pool by Old Man Marcher’s place (now a skeletal ruin, but the cairn keeper’s cottage was still marginally intact.)

Tchulza Rising

Later, back at the yacht, Lydia and Adrian had a discussion of Tchulza, and the power of that mythos god who tried to burn a hole in the protections of Prime, and was sworn to destroy the Chalice Bearer forever. Lydia was forced to contemplate the possibility she was being cultivated as an avatar of a mythos god.

As a side note, they also put together that “Dr. Garver” was a senior scientist at Skyfall, and also one of the lead scientists working on cycling darkshell embryos through Burninator.

Lydia spent the rest of her time off cultivating her friendship with Olivia, building up her memory, and doing some research as she tended the other aspects of her life.

She did have disturbing dreams of the cells in Skyfall and herself as warden of them, with spirit guards, where she tore timespace to go straight into her cairn space. She woke from those dreams with steamy breath and ambiguous feelings…

View
Build a Better Metatrap

Sunday, 2.20.11

After Kinslton gave the story to the reporter, he called him back and threatened him, telling him not to print it until he heard back from Kinslton, or the vigilante would refuse to corroborate the story.

The vigilantes of the Inspecters met at the Justice Dome that night, responding to Kinslton’s invitation. The corax wizard explained that he grew up in captivity for his first 16 years, property of a mad wizard who cultivated his family in an attempt to get more corax he could sell to other wizards as familiars. He managed to escape, but his parents were killed. He was found in the Kings Borough of London by the Brotherhood of the Road, and ended up with the name Kinslton as some sort of abbreviation. He then learned mythos magic, and when he was strong enough, he returned to the wizard’s lair and killed him for revenge, beginning a time of wizard assassination in his life that led him to Edge City.

So, when he found out how Growlback and other metas were being tortured in captivity, he could not allow it to continue. He asked the Inspecters to take over the role of meta containment, instead of trusting Precinct 13 and the Recon Teams.

Victor was furious that Kinslton went to the press and “outed” meta torture, condemning all the work of the Recon Teams without even consulting him. He pointed out metas are even less likely to surrender if they think they’re being tortured, and pointed out this was hard on the public relations spaces they all have to deal with. In the end, he flew away to go deal with spin with his PR team.

As part of the ongoing discussion, Swashbuckler was protective of the journalist; the story is given out, no backsies now. Burninator insisted there had to be more thinking through alternatives, especially before trashing what’s already in place, because the need is real and immediate and if we don’t go with Precinct 13 we have to have another plan in place. Genevieve pointed out Victor was going to be targeted when it was time for metas to be discredited as vigilantes in the city and she was in place to keep the door open and maybe salvage the situation when that happened. It also came up that restraining metas is hard. The Ghost didn’t say anything until the end, when he encouraged Kinslton to come up with a better plan. Through it all, Alpha Wolf was very supportive of Kinslton.

Overall the group was unimpressed by his “fire ready aim” approach, but generally sympathetic to his goal of human meta storage even if he hadn’t through through any of the details of potential obstacles or alternatives. It was up to him to solidify their tolerance into support, or evaporate it.

Downtime to Monday, March 28, 2011.

Genevieve maintained her commitments and hunted for Alecia, thinking about seeing if it would be wise to draw her back to the city and re-integrate her with the Chauncies or not. Her investigative powers did not turn Alecia up, as she has been globe trotting under the radar. From the west coast she went to Asia, to Hong Kong and points north of that, traveling around to Italy—the trail was erratic and difficult to follow from half the world away. Psychic scanning did not reveal her either.

Adrian spent much of his time meditating with the Brindalyn Slayer Suit, closing in on the next piece while his bodyguard stood over him. It took weeks, but he finally located it in a magically warded room, in a pool, in a box, under Torpedo Bay. He found the helmet. He worked with Teddy to get a persona put together for the Talisman, including a tac net and some knock-out spray gas in gauntlets. He also went to th American Southwest with Mugsy and killed a necromancer who had a vulture and a couple apprentices, they were animating a biker gang and terrorizing the Brotherhood of the Road. Adrian sorted them out, and in exchange he got a glove with only one finger, and it served as an interdimensional space where he could store his staff.

Kinslton worked with the Brotherhood of the Road and got together with the Masters of Liepzeig, a group of 12 powerful mythos wizards. They created a cyst gate in the basement of the ruined arcology in Torpedo Bay, with a massive ritual involving over 200 chanting participants as well as the Masters all channeling through Kinslton. The cyst gate has 5 spots on the dial, addresses that correspond to 4 cyst prisons built on the wall of the deep umbra, taking inspiration from the lairs of dimensional shamblers. Crafting the gate (which can only be used by mythos wizards, using a minor ritual that can be taught) and the address cysts connected to coordinates absorbed his full time, energy, and favors for the five weeks.

View
Cashing Out

Saturday, 2.19.2011

(I waited too long before doing a write-up. Some important bits follow.)

  • They are introduced to the Ghost’s new friend, Artemis, an archer and light manipulator.
  • Adrian got the Ghost’s permission to talk to the crossroads demon in captivity, and he exorcised her; it was easier than expected, and a corpse was left behind.
  • Adrian got a load of books that might refer to the Noon Road delivered to Kinslton’s library.
  • Lydia takes Olivia shopping for clothes, then they enjoy Thai food together.
  • Adrian takes Emma out, they go frog eating, then shopping in Craven Bottoms. They are at an antique car show when Growlback robs it. He almost gets away, but the Recon Teams stick with him, and he ends up in a wrecked ship in the docks. The Reconstruction Agent fights him, and gets kicked around pretty hard; they eventually bring Growlback down and take him home, with Kinslton and Genevieve looking on. (Adrian didn’t keep up with the fight, but did notice some observers watching the fight as though it was a test.) Genevieve followed up on this by looking back in time and identified Carson Vanderbilt, one of the Bertinelli crime family’s fixers, watching Growlback fight to escape. There was an extra roof camera. Genevieve looked back in time to see an Edgarton Power and Light employee put it in place, but he wasn’t recognized.
  • Doc Williams, the mad doctor of the Recon Teams, was taken out of the rotation of those supervising the Kids with the Recon Teams, the mutant brother and sister. Victor made the change in response to advice from Genevieve and Kinslton.
  • Lydia researches “Tchulza” in various spellings in various occult and history books and doesn’t find anything that matches the words. Indigo muttered the word when they were making out, and he told her it means “chosen” but she’s looking for independent verification, because something about the word unsettles her.
  • Genevieve visits the Shell Clan, and goes to the Bone Room, an ossuary made of skelebot parts. She plays “punchball,” a made-up ninja sport, and also consults with the jonin while he’s on snuff. He mutters something about “the green flame is rising in the city.”
  • Kinslton followed Growlback in to check on how they kept him imprisoned. He was affected by seeing the way the Recon Teams drilled into his skull, and kept his regeneration hampered so he couldn’t get away. Kinslton decided to resign from the Recon Teams altogether.
  • Kinslton found the cub reporter he first granted an interview, Billy, and told him he was now against Precinct 13 because of their mishandling of prisoners. But, he clarified, he was not against their overall mandate. He wanted to disassociate himself from Precinct 13, and he cited treatment of Growlback as why. He refused to comment on other vigilantes.
View
Active Blood

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Exiting the Mausoleum

Kinslton was let out of Tarasuko’s cage by the Ghost, who thanked him. However, he wasn’t sure how to let Kinslton out and protect the secret of his lair. He decided to put a bag on his head and take him out in the jet, then he took the bag off, they flew some fun maneuvers, and the Ghost opened his canopy so he was sucked out over the city. He turned into a bird and flew home, still unsure of where the Mausoleum might be.

Flaming Motel Horror Show

Adrian and Burr watched over the motel, and the only activity was a scruffy man leaving some hours before dawn, walking into a field and dropping into the earth. Otherwise, the sun came up fine, and only some mastiffs covered in dry blood and viscera stood guard.

Adrian checked the place out using magical stealth, finding a horror show of death and carelessness and filth. He effortlessly executed the mastiffs at close range with magic, and he and Burr used cloth and gas salvaged from the parking lot to burn down the motel with the vampires inside, staying to make sure all four were dead and the place was thoroughly burned.

The evidence that Adrian found before torching the place was an abused and filthy spiral notebook full of scribbled rune shapes, doodles, and the name “Zakoth.”

Nalla’s New Sword

Previously they were notified that Dougles Singleton was found beheaded at a rest stop 30 miles out of town. Lydia felt determined to do something about Nalla, checking in with Fr. Abrams to find that Nalla (who he considered somewhat arrogant) was back at her home in the stacks.

Lydia visited her there, and again heard from Nalla that her plan was to use cars, guns, and if need be her tits to foil would-be attackers until she could get away and hide behind police or holy ground. Lydia persuaded her to at least come train with her machete a little. She checked with Genevieve for permission to use the ninja ballroom to train.

After some exchanges where Nalla won a little and Lydia won some more, Lydia had a heart to heart to explain how protecting longevity through doing better with swords was important. She underscored her point when she gave the katana she inherited from the immortal to Nalla, who was flabbergasted by such a fine gift, and somewhat shamed into trying to do better.

Day in the Life

Genevieve was at work with the Recon Teams and she saw the new armor rolling out for agents who work side by side with GAT bots; matte black plastic with a skull face and retractable wrist blades, pretty sweet stuff. She got a call from her butler that a monkey wanted to talk to her.

She went home to talk to the monkey, who dragged a dry erase board in and wrote on it to converse. The monkey was mind controlled by Shrimpshell, who wanted to talk to Genevieve to see if they were going to have a problem. (It was annoying that Genevieve was tearing through her cypher defenses to identify her. Shrimpshell was a meta capable of mind control, so she was using the monkey as a sock puppet.)

In exchange for keeping the secrets Geneveive learned about her, Shrimpshell offered information that the Christmas hit on the Luddite was sponsored by Weyland Incorporated. They parted somewhat neutral.

New Houseguest

Kinslton found Lucille on the porch; Alpha Wolf told her where he lived, and she came to visit. Her place burned down and she needed a place to crash for one night. She was in awe of his place, and his butler, and his fresh and real Miracle Whip, and later she played the piano while Burr was napping (she claimed to have been a piano tuner once.)

He gave her some rules. Stay out of the basement, stay out of the attic, and no playing the piano if anyone else (except Carruthers) is home.

That Symbol

The one in the gross notebook was an effort to pin down the shifting visual glyph like what the GAT bot pictures found, that Kinslton brought to Adrian. Using her puzzle skill and looking at the 25 pictures, Burr narrowed it down to 6 of the runes that this one might be; the ones in the picture would not be accurate either, after all.

Meanwhile, Kinslton and Genevieve did some research and found out that Zakoth was in one of the European witch hammer books of monsters, an old threat (probably a vampire) in Western Europe 300 years ago. (After the research, Lucille jumped Kinslton on the sturdy library table while Burr was elsewhere.)

Genevieve and Adrian took the Zakoth information to the Veil and looked it up in reference to the Enigmist, an arcanist who worked with the Ghost.

They found that the Enigmist once partnered for a couple years with Spiderjewel, a Shadow. She had the Oathbound, a network of agents. The Ghost did not trust her, so the Enigmist was the go-between and he vouched for her. He created the symbols that the GAT bots found, for the Spiderjewel and her agents.

In 1968 the city defenders encountered the Luminarians, agents of Zakoth the Subterranean. The Luminarians had a reliquary with some “active blood” of Zakoth’s, they were part of a larger effort to conduct a ritual or something. The Enigmist and Spiderjewel thwarted the Luminarians (most of whom were not vampires) and took the reliquary, hiding it away behind one of the sigils.

Genevieve pursued it further, seeing that the next year there was a falling out between the Enigmist and the Spiderjewel, and the shadow died somehow; the scanned in typed pages were not always cross-referenced very well, and she decided not to keep after it.

Genevieve checked the camera feed for what the Ghost was up to and saw him ambush a ninja, rip off its head covering and then its face skin, and jam some kind of spike into one of its robotic eyes to download information to the Veil.

Then they researched Weyland Inc. The CEO is Dr. Lance, a physicist. Their tagline was “Cleaner, Safer, Brighter.” The company was into alternative energy and cutting-edge battery technology, with solar farms and kite farms and wave farms all harvesting energy, and a deep sea facility powered by waves. They bought the Yutani “energy harmonics” division for 7 billion, including an underground facility in St. Louis that in fact does extend under the St. Louis Arch.

About that point, a cute woman dressed only in a man’s dress shirt wandered sleepily in, and was startled to not find the Ghost; she retreated fast back into the Mausoleum. Genevieve and Adrian used her shaman powers to leave as well.

Social Times with Indigo

Kinslton went with Lydia to meet Indigo, who was playing sad music to casino losers in Besquelle. They went to the Oyster Bar and he played music while they enjoyed the scene. At one point Kinslton told him Kennedov was upset with Indigo focusing on one food source, but Indigo shrugged that off and continued to do his own thing. Later, Indigo and Lydia teleported out, and Kinslton went home.

As Indigo was feeding from Lydia in the privacy of his loft, he murmured “Tchulza” and explained it meant “Chosen” in another language.

Back at the Brownstone

Alpha Wolf dropped by just to get loaded up on stories of inappropriate things Lucille did in the brownstone, which he found hilarious, and rushed back to the Leaky Gasket to retell. Burr told him what had been going on, from the Miracle Whip to the piano and some of the silly things Lucille was up to. As she headed off to nap she spotted Lucille lurking in earshot.

Painting

At one point in there Adrian went home and visited his wife, who was in her underwear painting something abstract; Adrian saw in it the Hyades cluster with one star prominent, and the pattern like high-speed travel through the Umbra. Nice work, dear, and he was off to play with his friends.

View
To Catch a Ninja

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

At work with the Recon Teams, Genevieve finds out about Silas Monty, an agent who was picked up in the wee hours wandering the streets out of his head with paranoia and hallucinations. Kinslton and Genevieve track him back to an Irish bar, where they find he was with a pale woman in the bathroom before he went out of his head and left. A barfly soaks them for a little more money to find out that the woman was questioning him about symbols, and Monty gave up Kinslton’s name. They get a picture of her. Apparently if she looks a victim in the eye she can provoke madness.

She stole a car that was left in a theater parking lot near Feducci’s, and Adrian joins them. Lydia comes for lunch too. They find that Lipless, an information broker, told her that the local wizard that Kinslton might consult for magical things would be Adrian.

Cross referencing some rust found in the bar and some cargo containers in the junkyard by Feducci’s and the nearby abandoned car, they found some cargo containers and located some boobytraps and escape tunnels where the vampire was lairing.

While it was day, they breached the container and Lydia used her powers to immobilize the vampire, and they told her to leave town. Then they left, with Adrian and Burr watching over the site.

After sundown, the vampire left, and they followed her to a motel dozens of miles out of town, off the beaten track, where a vampire pack had killed everyone and taken the place over. Upset that the vampire scout Frostvein had not succeeded in her mission, the leader of the vampires shot her in the head with a shotgun and went inside; she unsteadily followed. Burr and Adrian resolved to keep an eye on the situation.

Ninja Trap

The Ghost contacted Lydia and asked her to take charge of a mission to capture Tarasuko, a dangerous zen archer ninja. He had her location, and wanted Lydia to pull in whatever help she wanted so they could get her. Lydia invited Burninator, who figured he had time but had somewhere to be afterwards, as well as Genevieve, Anna, and Kinslton.

Turns out Tarasuko was a high-end car salesperson with Murad Motors, with other ninja also in sales with her. As she left work, they ambushed her; Wraith opened a gate to the stun grenade trap in the Mausoleum, and Kinslton rushed her into it in his giant bird attack form. Tarasuko shrugged off the stun grenades that fried Tarasuko. Job well done.

Vigil

Afterwards, Burninator, Wraith, Genevieve, and Anna went to the Halloway Yacht Club where Tidelia was deep underwater holding vigil on the two year anniversary of the Regatta Massacre where she killed dozens of people.

View
Hearts and Blood

Monday, February 14

Kinslton rose early and went to the Leaky Gasket, where he found Lucille, hung over sleeping on a pool table. He took her to brunch at a greasy spoon, where she gave him a diamond tie pin as a present, and recopied the Templar manifesto and oath onto a back sheet from the phone book so he would have it for reference. They agreed to rendezvous later at the Leaky Gasket to go have sex on the roof of the Edgarton Museum of Natural History. Kinslton headed off to work.

Genevieve was also at work in Precinct 13, monitoring the gat bot lines at the protest in Fortress Square (protesting gat bots. Some protesters put paper hearts on gat bot chests. They had a tailgaiting lunch, too.)

At Lydia’s bookstore, they had Valentine themed coffee, poetry books, and so on for the last-minute shopper, so it was a pretty busy day.

Adrian went with his wife Emma all over town, buying antiques and trying out odd restaurants and seeing an avante-guarde play about the engine of modern progress. The most excitement was when some ninja attacked an armored car, but Burninator was on the scene to thwart them. Afterwards, he had a pleasant evening at home.

After work, Genevieve was met by Graves, with disguises. They had a carnal encounter in their traditional elevator in Fortress Square, and were escorted out by security and warned they’d be sued if they did that again. They failed to quake in fear at the idea.

Lydia left work and followed a trail of roses to a romantic rooftop dinner followed by snuggling with Indigo, and sharing blood.

Fetch

Burr worked out and caught up on her reading. Just another day. Then Mr. Fetch visited, and chatted with her a bit, and waited for Kinslton to get home. When he did, Fetch pointed out Kennedov was interested in how Indigo was doing, and would like an update for lunch tomorrow; Kinslton agreed, and tried to figure out how to find the elusive vampire he was supposed to be friends with and keeping tabs on.

He took Lucille to a number of Besquelle nightclubs, and they indulged themselves in various semi-private places. He decided he wasn’t going to find Indigo that way, so he reluctantly sent an Inspecter text to Lyida and Genevieve.

When Genevieve got out of her bath, she telepathically located Lydia and let Kinslton know. He left Lucille and flew to that rooftop, not to spy but to check in when the party was over. Of course Lydia teleported them out of there directly, unaware of his presence, so he gave up and flew home.

In the predawn hour, everyone got a text that the Gray Ghost wanted to meet them the following midnight in the Justice Dome.

Lunch with Kennedov

The next day Kinslton flew to Kennedov’s island, and updated the elderly vampire. Kennedov was concerned that Indigo was fixating on one source of exotic blood, and asked Kinslton to make sure that under no circumstances Lydia drank Indigo’s blood. Kinslton agreed. Also, if any other vampires showed up, Kennedov wanted to know about it. No other vampires, Kinslton reported. Then he had a chicken dinner and flew back to the mainland.

The Ghost’s Plan

After a long day, they met the Ghost at midnight in the Justice Dome. The Ghost was different; taller, masculine, different voice. He divied them up into three strike forces to take out a ship in international waters. Sabotage it, and have the Recon Teams handy to rescue those who jumped out or were arrested.

They headed out on Swashbuckler’s ship, except Tidelia took Adrian and Burninator underwater with dolphins. Once at the site, the longboat approached the container ship, and was spotted. Burninator and Adrian shot holes in the front hull, while Tidelia wrecked the engines, the Gray Ghost disarmed the inevitable self-destruct mechanism, and Genevieve led the group that boarded to get as much intel as possible. Wraith (Lydia) teleported them over, and they fought with ninja as Genevieve got below decks and saw an argument over whether or not to wake up the cargo, in massive coffin-like bins all down the belowdecks storage.

Four of the creatures were woken, and they were awful alien predator things. Genevieve navigated the Japanese language issues as she grabbed as much data into a laptop as she could, and Ana picked up as much physical evidence as possible, while Burr provided security. Genevieve used her bauble to illuminate one of the monsters; it was horrible, and they were killing the ninja.

Shadow Creeper insisted they blow it up, she faced one of these in South Settler. They all agreed, the Ghost triggered the self-destruct countdown, and everyone fled the boat one way or another as it went down and blew up. Adrian and Burninator faced a couple swimming monsters, and Adrian blew one up as Tidelia sent sharks after the other one.

A speedboat tried to escape, and Hammerhand was on it, but someone on the boat threw a starfish on his face and knocked him out; Kinslton had to rescue him. They used GAT bots with flotation devices as scanning nodes, and found all the ninja in the waters, recovering them.

Once the Recon Teams got back to land, they processed the ninja; the half that were wanted by INTERPOL were shipped off, a few of the others had local warrants, and the rest were temporarily held for terrorism, until the recovered intelligence could be interpreted to suggest what they might be guilty of attempting to do with their endless freezer cases, a monster army.

View
Afternoon Revelry

Saturday, February 12

Warehouse Warming Party

Burr got back from her mission with the Order in Chicago that involved driving for the group that was hitting vampires. She rendezvoused with the Templar in the Leaky Gasket and got caught up on current events, and she got in on the pre-party-party where Alpha Wolf got his people a little lubricated with alcohol so they could be cool and relaxed and on good behavior at the party. Then she rode along as they headed to a 1:00 p.m. party in a warehouse in Torpedo Bay.

Turns out Genevieve’s investigative group purchased this industrial-zoned abandoned warehouse for the cost of back taxes, while it was still a notch above condemned. It was built to house fabrics, bought and refitted to handle a variety of storage needs, then sold to a group that used it for shipping containers, then abandoned when they went out of business. Now it would be the shell for a training company (because of zoning issues) targeting the Chauncey clan as a social space.

The Chauncies and Templar showed up, bringing amps and such as well as an old black and white film projector and a damn good popcorn maker and a gas generator so all that would work. They found standing water in the basement to fight in, and a stretch of blighted concrete where they could race for vehicle titles. (Burr did quite well racing, but declined to continue as the stakes ramped up.)

Genevieve and Lydia brought a massive 24 foot sub using Gate, as well as other party favors, and all that food was devoured.

The Game

Eventually the atmosphere was too rowdy for Lydia, and when she took a break on the roof she noticed someone sitting in a rental car a couple blocks away watching them.

Lydia told Genevieve, who psychically coordinated the effort to sneak up for a better look. She ninja crept towards the car and saw the man inside, and saw he had binoculars and what looked like a remote detonator. When Lydia teleported into the alley for backup, the man scrambled out of his car, and she felt a disorienting rush from him.

Genevieve shot him in the wrist so he couldn’t use the detonator, and they questioned him. Turns out he was an immortal named Nicholas Sykes (most recent name, anyway) and he had a hostage. The remote was to notify his assistant to do something to the hostage, and he had it to keep his real target, Douglas Singleton, another immortal, civil. (Sykes did not want to fight Singleton.)

Singleton killed someone Sykes cared about, and Sykes was out for revenge, but first he wanted to talk to Singleton. Sykes heard that Singleton would be nearby to go after a young immortal, Nalla, so Sykes was staking this party out looking for his enemy.

Genevieve healed up his wrist, and Adrian used his enhanced senses to find where Singleton was on the roof of the Regent hotel (also abandoned) two blocks away, watching the party with a sniper rifle.

Genevieve jumped into Singleton’s creepy murderous head and told him to get out of town. He agreed, wary of crossing the meta community. Kinslton, in crow form, watched him pack up his rifle and leave in one of his pre-arranged escape vehicles, following him until Singleton made a call from a diner in Uptown where he said that he was unable to take out the target and now he wasn’t sure how he would get Heath back. Kinslton followed him past the northern border, where Singleton picked up some cases of tech he couldn’t bring into Edge City, all the way to his motel in Dencentrael.

Then Genevieve told Sykes there would be no confrontation, and the immortal left. Concerned about what this could mean for Nalla, they took the drunk immortal to Favian Church and explained the situation to Fr. Abrams, who would protect her.

Lydia, feeling the nudge of displeasure from the echo of the immortal she once absorbed when she found out Nalla didn’t think much of the need to learn sword play, resolved to try and help her. Amy warned her against getting emotionally involved for the wrong reasons, and asked her about what she was doing to further her long-term goals, hinting that Amy had goals of her own that she didn’t share. After that odd pep talk, Amy headed off home.

Genevieve updated the Ghost on the evening’s events via text, and Adrian also noted he wanted to talk to the Ghost, so Genevieve included that in her update.

Smacking Ninja

Meanwhile the party fell apart as darkness approached, and Kinslton rode forth with Alpha Wolf to mess with the “Rising Dragon” ninja crime wave of heroin and machine guns. First Alpha Wolf cruised by a couple drug hangouts, identifying that each had a supervising ninja playing it cool. Then they attacked a couple locations, throwing motorcycles at ninja or beating on them to chase them off.

The evening climaxed when they hit a counting room full of drugs and money, which Alpha Wolf knew he wasn’t allowed to take; so he set it all on fire, and they discovered there were some munitions stored there too as they retreated from the fireball that turned the location into a crater.

Back to the Leaky Gasket for drinking and bragging, and eventually off home.

Late Night with Adrian

Before sunrise, the Ghost slipped through the defenses and met with Adrian. He showed her the city map he had laid out downstairs in the basement, with all the arcanist glyphs marked, and she agreed that was interesting. The Enigmist once worked with an order and his apprentices to try and set up a more formalized protection of the city, but it… didn’t work out. She authorized him to check on it in the Veil if he wanted.

Then she had a frank discussion with him, tossing a blessed coin that singed his hand. She was concerned that he had the touch of Hell, because it was always corrupting in the end. And she was concerned about Kinslton. And Lydia. She asked Adrian to think it over and get back to her on whether or not this corruption could be shed, or whether or not they even wanted to; she was far more trusting and open than some of her predecessors, but frankly she was feeling worried at the amount of corruption in her inner circle. He explained why he needed his, and agreed to think it over, and she left.

Sunday, February 13

Kinslton told Burr about what he learned following Singleton, then he got on with his day.

Meanwhile, Lydia got lunch supplies and joined Nalla and Abrams at Favian Church after mass. Nalla explained she planned to shoot enemy immortals and run, or kill them while they were down; her immortal blade was a machete. Still, she grudgingly agreed to train with Lydia.

View
Dewpetal's Demise

Thursday, February 10, 2011.

Dueling the Moon

In the wee hours of the night, Lydia found Indigo in the crow’s nest over one of the casinos, playing a duel between his guitar and the shining of the moon. Apparently a vampire named Frostvein was in town, and if you look into her eyes you get some crazy ideas; he knew it wasn’t sane for him to play against the moon, but he was compelled all the same. So they refrained from swapping blood or anything that night, to make sure Lydia wasn’t compromised by strange ideas in turn.

Kinslton Joins the Recon Teams

While Genevieve and Anna put in their time in Precinct 13, monitoring and investigating, Kinslton decided to join the Recon Teams too. He strolled up to the front gate, and since he wanted to bypass the HR phase, he claimed to be a meta and used magic to slice something in half. The front desk called Victor, who was delighted to rush Kinslton through the process and give him a significant position.

As Kinslton got his new office and his intern Jen, he also gained access to some mysteries since he offered his arcane knowledge and lore as his primary qualification. Victor gave him a file of strange symbols, glyphs maybe, that had been found when teams combed through gat bot video streams. There were about 30 or so. Kinslton recognized they were some variation on arcanist symbols, and decided to show them to Adrian later.

Kinslton also got in on an afternoon session where Dr. Williams would be stress-testing Tanya Weller, the teenage mutant, by hitting her forcefully with things and seeing what her quantum barrier could withstand. Genevieve and Anna were also there for the testing, ready to call it off. After what seemed like a maybe reckless level of abuse, the testing was over for the day, and she got to go have ice cream with her brother. During the whole process, the doctor got to thinking what she might use as a callsign; prompted to ask her, they found she was thinking about “Solar Flare.”

Visiting the Glen

Kryptma suggested it would be helpful for her to collect some spirits from the Glen for her fight with Dewpetal. Kryptma and Genevieve recruited Lydia to help get to the Glen, a cairn space that had its moonbridge closed and sealed off. The three of them went to the filled-in pool that used to be the access point, and Lydia teleported them into the Umbra from there. They navigated to a back cave, and Kryptma led the way to climb up through a crack into the Glen the back way.

They met a massive powerful spirit, Mother Wolf, and her mostly grown pups. Kryptma went off on her own, and Genevieve played with the young wolves, leaving Lydia to talk to Mother Wolf.

Mother Wolf nipped Lydia’s Beast out, and it was personified in this place, running around wilting the greenery. Then Mother Wolf asked Lydia to go down into a pool; when she did, all the warpstone taint was pulled out of her, and she could barely get free of the pool. Now she was insubstantial, hardly real, without those two sources of corruption and power. Mother Wolf told her to go to the graveyard and bring back what she found on the altar.

Lydia climbed the rocky path to the graveyard, and saw a skull on an altar. She picked it up, and it melded with her, making her real. It was the skull of the first mortal whose imagination served as the foundation for the energies of the cairn, choosing its form as the Glen. As soon as she absorbed that bone, the whole Glen began to shift.

Lydia climbed back down into the pool, and all the corruption and power flowed back into her. One of the wolves managed to catch the little Beast and toss it back into her, so she had all the power she brought, plus the strange skull in her. Kryptma seemed self-satisfied.

Now that Lydia had been in this place, she could return with her dimensional teleportation, so the visitors returned to Prime, not sure they’d ever see Mother Wolf or the young wolves again now that the cairn’s shape was already shifting to match its new subject’s subconscious.

Raiding the Water Treatment Plant

During the day, Adrian contacted Lady Catherine and asked about moon bridge experts, and she referred him to Dr. Alex Timber, a moon bridge specialist rejected by the academic community for things like painting a conference room in woad and running around nude yelling gibberish while painting participants. Adrian thought that sounded like a solid lead.

Later, Adrian rendezvoused at Favian Manor for the night raid. There he met Kinslton, who shared with him the pictures of the arcanist symbols. Adrian saw that they were a dialect, maybe from an order of Arcanists, and their meaning might shift depending on who viewed them as they could be keyed to individuals or objects. Very interesting!

After supper, Kinslton led Genevieve, Anna, Lydia, Kryptma, Morris, and Adrian through the labyrinthine spaces under Torpedo Bay towards a water treatment plant. They eventually arrived, and Dewpetal re-corporated herself, rising above the filthy water. Kryptma fought her, and a gelatinous worm monster crawled out of the tank, so Adrian and Lydia wiped it out. Another shaman showed up to interfere, and Morris countered it; the shaman was put down only to reveal empty clothes. Once Dewpetal was proper kicked in and destroyed, they turned their attention to the warpstone.

A fist-sized chunk of warpstone was set in the wall, surrounded by markings. It was trying to corrupt this place, which was already filthy with bane energies; why the effort? The warpstone corruption ritual pointed to the ceiling, and they investigated to find that the chamber was older than the modern-ish construction, and on the roof of the cave was a symbol carved into the stone, so deep you could put your hand into the carving. The symbol matched the last mysterious moon bridge coordinate!

They took the 3 point chunk of warpstone when they left, and Kinslton put it in a lead box in his brownstone mansion.

View
Nobody Likes a Roachsplosion

February 9, 2011

Kinslton figured out his demonic half-raven stalker form, and went to the Leaky Gasket to celebrate with the Templar. He found Alpha Wolf in a foul mood, grudgingly telling a version of the story of what happened in the confrontation with Steve Thunder. Kinslton also healed up Lucille, who was battered by GAT bots; she wants to go on a date with him now.

The Tower

Meanwhile, across town, Genevieve was working with Eudora and the investigative team to watch the government auction of Torpedo Bay properties for the cost of back taxes. Then Adrian visited, inviting her to go with him to the Midway. They went not just for the wintery carnival atmosphere, but to go into a dingy basement where there was an enduring chalk gate to Marcher’s Tower.

Together they entered the tower, noting the big throne festooned with antlers, all the chests and boxes and knick knacks. They found a vampire, withered and stuffed in a grandfather clock built into the back of the throne. They found a snake-head cane with ruby eyes and a snakeskin wrap. They found a box of gems that glittered, tempting to Arcanist magic, probably granting power to objects once they were set in place and activated.

Genevieve found four shamanistic power stabilizing columns, and traced them to realize if you dragged the bearskin rug out of the way and sat in the throne you could use Essence to waken the portal in the floor, which showed a central location and four supporting cairns. It was a nexus, where five cairn spaces connected via moonbridge!

The central symbol was for the Glade, where Mother Wolf presides, that used to connect to the pool by the cabin behind Old Man Marcher’s place. Another symbol matched an ancient carving spotted in the basement of Kennedov’s mansion on the island. Another could connect to the Favians—could it be related to the manor? (Later, Morris identified one as matching the cairn space the Pennywise mansion was built to protect.) Only one remained a mystery.

They returned to Prime, and headed to Tolliver Road, where they went to the book store and chatted with Lydia. Adrian put in an order for books that could tell him more about moon bridges, a shamanistic phenomenon that deals with connecting cairns and otherdimensional spaces, and connecting those spaces with each other in turn.

Roachsplosion

Genevieve and Anna were called away on Recon Team business, going to Dr. Ellisario’s home. She died in her house clothes, watching television, ruptured from the inside by an impossibly dense press of roaches that now slithered all through the house. Disgusted, Victor let Genevieve look over the scene and find out what she could.

She determined that the intruder was either known to the victim or very sneaky, not alarming the victim. The roaches were from a certain area under Torpedo Bay, altered somewhat by chemicals to be recognizably distinct. Genevieve looked back in time to see Dewpetal regrow her face to talk with her out of synch, as though they had met before. Dewpetal promised to kill her. Then she escaped by falling apart into a pile of roaches that swarmed elsewhere.

Genevieve watched the one-sided conversation of the apparently time-sensitive bane shamen on the security camera footage. She inspected the corpse and pulled out some infant vertebrae that were loaded with power so eventually the body would rise, undead; Genevieve pocketed that bit of evidence. She figured she had what she needed, so she left the Recon Team to clean up their former head scientist of meta studies, and she went to rejoin her friends.

A Nice Supper

Meanwhile Kinslton had joined Adrian and Lydia at the bookstore, and he got their version of events with Steve Thunder. They all went out to eat at the high-end revolving restaurant overlooking Fortress Square, having a lovely time with witty conversation.

Pillars of the Community

Kinslton wanted to contact Pillars to see if she could help him tune his senses to track bane spirits. He had her number on a card, and while it sounded like he was interrupting something intimate, she was happy to meet him by the arcology in Torpedo Bay.

She gave him a lingering grindy kiss, where she rubbed some of her taste buds off in his mouth. In exchange for giving him a “taste for bane” she got the infant vertebrata full of bane energies from Genevieve. Now Kinslton could track Dewpetal by taste/scent.

Genevieve and Anna joined them there, and after eating, everyone headed to the Parlor of Relative Safety, where they called in Morris and Kryptma.

The Parlor of Relative Safety

Kryptma had apparently been sleeping, but even in her grouchy state she helped pinpoint where Dewpetal might be resting; a water treatment station under Torpedo Bay, where she was likely going into the bane-friendly waters to help keep her body together.

Lydia felt an odd pull to emotionally hurt Morris, and resisted it. She told him that Kryptma was interested in him, and he didn’t believe her, since he sees Kryptma as being confrontational and unpleasant.

With two shamen willing to go along and help out, they got their affairs in order so they could assault the water treatment plant under Torpedo Bay the next day, and put a stop to Dewpetal once and for all.

View
This Town Ain't Big Enough

Downtime, from January 1, 2011, to Monday, February 7, 2011.

Genevieve

She dug into Shrimpshell hard, and found out that it was someone who was thought to be dead. Through various Interpol and other means, she started looking where no one else had, after running across some vague references murmured by a telepath. She discovered that Lanette Rider was likely the force behind Shrimpshell. She was supposed to have died by sniper bullet in South America in 2005. Digging into her history further, Genevieve discovered Rider’s powers developed as young as 8, when she was able to do a psychic blast affecting multiple targets. Scientists demanded she kill a frog with her brain, and she killed the scientists instead. That began a long history of liking animals better than humans. Her powers developed to psychic intrusion and possession, at least, before she faked her death in 2005. Is she a new player in the League of Progress?

Genevieve also tried and failed to use her money and contacts, and her husband’s money and contacts, to start “Walk It Off,” a gym compound for Chauncies. Too much bureaucracy. Even the Chaise Corporation couldn’t help.

Lydia

Wraith continued working with the police, bolstering her relationships there as a vigilante. She also continued drinking Indigo’s blood, and now feels that they are impossibly close friends. This supernatural bolstering toughened her body, also.

Lydia tried fencing with Emma, Adrian’s wife, and defeated her handily. That led to some social awkwardness, as Emma remains very proud of her achievements as a fencer on the amateur circuit.

Adrian

He worked with Five Stones as a local guide, able to protect (and defend himself from) various “interesting” visitors. He also spent more time with his friends, playing catch with Mugsy (it was Mugsy’s idea, and it is not in any way like playing fetch.) He also used his new appearance altering abilities to assume a different face, so he could take Olivia out in public and be seen with her without risking Adrian’s reputation.

Burr

Loup de Loup was very excited to get tickets to the Grindbox concert. In exchange for tickets and going to the show with him, he recommended Burr to one of the best drivers on the East Coast, “Grasshopper.” Grasshopper drives trucks and big vehicles, and she taught Burr the finer points of how to open and close city access points with heavy steel.

She also met with Ironface, who helped her build endurance using his gyrobike by a wall of tvs.

Grindbox Concert

Burr went to the Leaky Gasket before the concert to hang out with the Templar. There she found that Alpha Wolf and the Templar were going to attack Steve Thunder, the lead singer of Grindbox, by stealing his tour bus then assaulting him while attention was elsewhere. Turns out Steve Thunder is a powerful werewolf who was forbidden from coming to the city when the Chauncies were powerful enough to enforce their will.

Victor invited Genevieve (and therefore Anna) to the Grindbox concert, because he was curious about it.

The opening act was Audial Assault, with a Fallout post-apocalyptic vibe. As they all enjoyed the Grindbox show, with Darla Smiles on drums and Casey Lorbok on guitar, they discovered that the highlight of the show were the times when Steve Thunder would scream, and a supernatural intimidation and fear would suffuse the audience.

After the concert, there was some modest rioting, and in the confusion Lucille (the most belligerent Templar) stole the tour bus and was immediately apprehended by GAT bots. Burr warned Genevieve about what was going to go down, so Genevieve contacted Lydia, who picked up Adrian and Mugsy to come help out.

Meanwhile, Alpha Wolf drove a VW Bug into Thunder, who tossed it out of the way. Mugsy turned into a giant mastiff and kept Alpha Wolf busy as the rest of the group confronted Thunder, who shrunk back down to human size and tried to charm them with his plan to stay in the city and found a recording studio, Stormkloud, and start his new project, Ragetemple.

The group presented a united front with no room for ambiguity and told him to get out of town and never come back. He reluctantly withdrew (and did not press charges against Lucille.)

Kingsport

Early the next morning Adrian got two things; an exotic fruit and cheese basket from Graves, who apparently approved of the poor treatment of another werewolf, and a telegram from W. Exmoor inviting him to a meeting in the Kingsport historical society at 2 p.m. Adrian contacted Lydia to see if she would be willing to transport him.

That afternoon as they teleported to Kingsport, they closed in on the meeting location. Lydia had a strange moment of dislocation and starvation as something in her wanted to absorb the essence of a peculiar woman in the crowd who appeared momentarily uncomfortable. Lydia saw her drop something, and caught up to return it to her, learning that the woman’s name was Cassie Wilts, and she was an artist. (Of COURSE she was an artist.)

They met with Marcher, who released Adrian from his apprenticeship, declaring him an official Weapon of Destiny and giving him the Brindalyn plate armor as a gift. And he has his tattoo from the Left Hand of God, which was apparently part of this, and he got a point of Fate.

Marcher also told him that Olivia would die in his defense, someday, whether Adrian frees her or not.

Marcher also claimed to have met Lydia before, but she has no memory of that.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.