Edge City

High Spirits
Hunting Spirits

Tuesday, February 9, 2010. Night.

Mugsy starts his day off after “work” on Tuesday, not willing to be helpful until Thursday morning.

Genevieve goes to visit the Gray Ghost, healing her up and discussing future collaboration. The Ghost is wary of committing to working closely together until Painkiller is out of the picture. The Ghost’s priority is dealing with Painkiller, and then finding a way to close the Brass Embassy. And, after that, dealing with Ryan (a wayward family member.)

Genevieve fills her in on all that the adventurers have been doing, including the probable Seertech technology trap in Torpedo Bay; the Ghost is too busy to spring the trap, but offers Genevieve the chance to do so if she wants.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010. Morning.

Arke and Kryptma visit Favian Manor through mirrors; Daniel will put motion sensors near them. Kryptma will set up the shaman party to introduce Arke around. Genevieve sternly warns Arke away from nesting in Dencentrael; too close to sleeping with the enemy.

Genevieve and Daniel visit Blake. He reaffirms his loyalty. Later, they walk through his place considering potential security upgrades. Then they go purchase a piano.

Adrian visits Feducci’s and asks the Brotherhood to provide cartage to get the shipment of Chatterly’s books to Blake’s mansion. The books are delivered without any problem.

Arke hunts down a bane spirit and persuades it to teach him an attack gift, paying for it by beating a homeless man. Then he goes into the Umbra to find Bartholemew, his contact, and ask to learn another gift; he does, but his will is exhausted, so he pesters Bartholemew with questions until his curiosity is somewhat satisfied.

Adrian meets with Chatterly to get his report on birds as familiars. Chatterly reports birds are most often attached to strong wizards known as “weapons of fate.” Birds are bound for life, never released except as a trick. This form of slavery was banned in the 16th century, about the same time shapeshifting magic was banned.

When Adrian visits Emma later, she tells him about her occult experimentation after her father died, with ouiji boards and the like. She wants Adrian to help her continue those experiments, and he is hesitant and wary.

Stone Garden Party

Late that night they go to Stone Garden to the shaman party, a half step off Prime. The adventurers meet Kryptma and Red again; Red wants to hunt Fenris. They meet Ash and Nictu. The Masker (Keith) gives Arke a rain check on learning a gift. They meet Heston, Lady Boom, and Finn. (Lady Boom spent 13 proto-dimensions to close the Hellmouth, and she’s mad about it.) They meet Keenan, spirit hunter. Marcy, with Grampie Bone. Jim Wilson, the crab guy. Then everyone heads home.

Blake questions Smith about Kennedov with little success. Arke shorts out Mugsy’s television, so the bodyguard leaves the townhouse. Genevieve meets with the Shell Clan and is accepted as the jonin’s student.

Thursday, February 11, 2010. Morning.

Adrian takes tea with Lady Catherine Underwood, bringing a bottle of wine of the vintage of the same year the Leatherbury Estate was lost. Underwood gives him a ring to give Emma, but is concerned about whether or not he knows her well enough to marry.

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Death Toll
Attacking the Defender of Hell

Tuesday, February 9, 2010. Morning.

Emma decides she likes (and will keep) Ellis and Grimm as bodyguards.

Arke goes to Dencentrael to look for housing. He rents a townhouse; Jessica approves, and Mugsy is lost to the new world of high definition television. Mugs arranges to have a day off to enjoy all the television.

Genevieve checks on the news until Adrian shows up, wanting to coordinate an effort to set up an early warning system to detect Onaga when he comes. Burninator comes and wants to talk to Blake; he used fire to attack Dr. Porter’s lodgings in Besquelle when an obscene monster tried to kill him there, and he wants to know what Blake knows about Dr. Porter’s whereabouts.

Burninator feels the city needs Tidelia, and she can’t come back until Dr. Porter and the CEO of Daggett Industries are dealt with, so he is frustrated. He offers to trade favors with Blake; Blake will check with the Brass Embassy to see what he can find out about where Dr. Porter is hiding, and Burnintaor will help him at some future time.

Errands

Genevieve, Adrian, Arke, and Mugsy go to the Leatherbury Estate and see how much of the baneful energy has been subsumed into feral rabbit life spirits, processing the filth and cleansing the place some. Adrian tells the story of the Leatherbury Estate to Arke and Mugsy.

Then they return to Prime, driving to Settler and meeting with Skiff. Adrian warns him about Onaga, ninja, snakes, and the Khan. Skiff agrees to keep an eye out for them. Then he updates them on a truce between Seertech and the Bounders regarding the waste reclamation factory in South Settler. Skiff also tells them word on the street is out about a secret basement in Torpedo Bay with forbidden Seertech equipment in it. Skiff also knows about new, less restrictive tech licenses going through the legislative process for both gat bots and cops.

Genevieve warns Skiff that Fenris is in town. Arke introduces himself as “Mr. Rabbit” with a business card and everything.

Meanwhile, Blake gets a message from the Brass Embassy, to prepare for a big event celebrating the arrival of the embassy’s defender.

As everyone convenes at Favian Manor, Genevieve gets a call from the Ghost that she is needed; turning on the television, they see the Downtown precinct attached to the hospital is under attack. They suit up, and go through the Umbra, arriving near the scene.

Death Toll

They push through the infernal energy, arriving about the same time Hammerhand does. He goes to work rescuing police from infernally possessed corpses.

The adventurers go back into the Umbra, homing in on a pinhole where the energies of Hell gush into the Periphery and Prime. They come out nearby, in the morgue, and confront an armored man who is animating corpses with hellish energy.

The armored man is gripping Hammerhand, pouring infernal energy into him; Adrian cores him with a mystic bolt, and shields the group as they retrieve Hammerhand and the dead leader, the undead scattering from them.

Hammerhand is infected with infernal energy, but goes to help the cops. The Gray Ghost tells them to get clear, she’s still fighting the undead. The adventurers examine the body, finding a recently discharged military vet who still has injuries.

They escape back to Favian Manor.

Aftermath

The news has pundits blaming the Ghost, and Wilters confirming callsign “Death Toll” for the meta they slew. Adrian thinks it over, and figures maybe “Death Toll” was a soldier who was mortally wounded and made a deal with demons to survive. The energy in the undead should dissipate with time, now that the connection is severed. Maybe Death Toll did not know he was the Brass Embassy’s protector, but the energy drew him here without him understanding why.

Genevieve telepathically invites Hammerhand to come to them, and he does; she uses her sword and her fate to sever the infection in his throat from where Death Toll gripped him, freeing him from a potential infernal energy infection of his quantum field. Grateful, he left.

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The Lost Art of Conversation

Time-Skip—slide over Sunday, Saturday night mistaken for Sunday night

Sunday, February 7, 2010. Night.

Blake frees himself from his romp with Selene at the Brass Embassy, feeling relaxed and rested and limber. He goes to Favian Manor.

The crew leaves the Barnacle Bar and picks up Emma at Fortress Square, and arrives at Favian Manor shortly after Blake arrives. Genevieve tells Blake about the spirifer’s chamber, and the destruction of the mint, and the theft of the souls. She also tells him about Thirsty Fenris in town, and the meeting with Burninator and Tidelia.

Blake wants to find out more about “demon prophets” like he’s supposed to be; Adrian reflects on some of what he knows of Hell, and offers to put him in touch with Chatterly as a researcher. Adrian also offers to connect him with porters from the Brotherhood to get his books moved to his house.

Everyone else rests for the night, but Blake is not tired, so he reads all night.

Kryptma

Kryptma responds to Genevieve’s summons, and agrees to set up a meet-and-greet with local shamen for Arke. She is also alarmed to find that Thirsty Fenris is in town, but she trusts Genevieve to deal with that.

Bodyguards

Emma and Adrian go to Feducci’s and of the six possible bodyguards they choose two. Ellis is a professional-looking woman with SEAL training and a problem with authority. The other was Grimm, a drunken werewolf. They hire both to serve, and get Grimm a tailored suit and some hygenical time so he’s all cleaned up.

Later, Adrian introduces the crew to the bodyguards so they know each other. Genevieve takes advantage of the meeting to tell Grimm that Biff shot first, a deeply disturbing idea for Grimm. (Lots of back story there.)

Jessica’s Investigation

Over breakfast Jessica reports that news executives’ wives are meeting with police officers in a squash club to work out some issues of corruption and collusion between the media and the police; she is following up leads there.

Warning Templar

Genevieve takes the crew to “The Gas Leak”, a biker bar where the Templar hang out. She talks to one of their leaders, Artie, and warns them about Thirsty Fenris being back in town. She tells them to stay away from him. Artie tells her there is a rumor about Seertech having a new secret warehouse with forbidden tech under Torpedo Bay. No fight breaks out.

Chat with Chatterly

Chatterly sees Genevieve alive for the first time since before she “died.” Adrian offers to transport the books Chatterly already has for Blake to Blake’s mansion, and Chatterly is grateful. Blake asks Chatterly for research on demon prophets; reluctant, Chatterly offers to put a demonologist in touch with Adrian instead, and Blake agrees. Blake offers Chatterly a favor, which Chatterly appreciates. Chatterly promises to have a report on bird familiars to Adrian by Wednesday. Also, Adrian wants to thank Lady Underwood for the key to the Leatherbury Estate, and Chatterly is happy to invite him to tea on Thursday with Lady Underwood.

Dencentrael

At the end of a long day, Arke goes to Dencentrael, north of the city and beyond its limits. He is immersed in the technological conveniences of modern life, and his delight is palpable as he buys things to bind spirits to and considers getting a place to live here.

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Save Our Souls

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blake heads to the Brass Embassy to work things out with Selene, as of the end of the last session.

The Wilters will move into Precinct 13 with the automated gat bot units.

Genevieve uses the down time to make notes on police files, advising the detectives.

Adrian consulted with 5 Stones about the Onaga threat, then he and Emma flew out on a sea plane. They returned from their island vacation in time to go to Jacob Malone’s funeral.

Jacob Malone’s Funeral

Jack Bower organized it, the padre at Favian Church conducted the service. Many police attend, as well as League of Progress enemies and undercover metas and past clients. Daniel’s investigative group attends. Nothing blows up. Afterwards:

  • Adrian and Emma decompress, talking about future plans.
  • Genevieve spends time with her father’s friends after the funeral, then goes home.
  • Genevieve checks in on Alice, looking into her shattered mind.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

  • Genevieve goes to the Veil and researches to look for the factory that created the pollutant that damaged Tidelia. She figures out it was the Imperial Factory in Torpedo Bay.
  • Mugsy finds landmines on the back slope behind Favian Manor, collects them, and turns them over to Daniel.
  • Arke asks to meet-and-greet local shamen, and Genevieve sets to work setting that up with Kryptma.

The Factory

After lunch, Genevieve gathers her allies and goes to check out the factory. They drop Emma off at Fortress Square where she will likely be safe, and they go break into the factory. Under it, they find a dimensional space where the spirifer demons mint nevercold brass coins. Furious, Genevieve unmakes it using her golden sword and her power of Fate.

They gather up the remaining souls in bottles, and as they escape the demon Dr. Porter and his debtor guards close in and shoot at them. They escape with the souls.

The Arcology

As they prepare to hide the souls in the arcology until they figure out their next move, Arke sees a white rabbit. They follow the white rabbit into the overgrown arcology, down into its depths, and they find a darkshell lair built around a throne for Thirsty Fenris.

They quickly retreat, taking the souls with them. While Daniel and Adrian lay a false trail to the river and beyond, those who could clean themselves (or didn’t go in) hide the souls in Genevieve’s sewer trailer hideout and return to Favian Manor.

Adrian discusses plans with Daniel for building some early warning mechanisms to prepare for the war with Onaga to come to Edge City.

Burninator

Burninator and Tidelia arrive at Favian Manor. Tidelia offers to do them favors in gratitude, and Adrian wants her help to retrieve his box of notes from the yacht. Tidelia goes to be in hiding with Burninator’s help, and he gets down to business. First, introductions; and Mugsy reveals some tantalizing hints about Burninator’s identity to repay Burninator dismissing him.

How can Burninator help stop the spirifer? (He is equipped to fight demons.) Genevieve tells him what the crew did already, and Burninator takes on the task of hunting down Dr. Porter himself. Then he leaves.

Feducci’s

Adrian takes a taxi to the restaurant, and asks Papa Feducci to line up some possible bodyguards for Emma. Then he joins the rest of the group at the Barnacle Bar.

The Barnacle Bar

Genevieve introduces the new members of the crew to Swashbuckler, and they also meet Treasure Chest and Pirate Booty (Swashbuckler’s hench wenches.) They warn Swashbuckler about Thirsty Fenris, and Swashbuckler shares some of Fenris’s history with them. Adrian gets a new whistle, a symbol of access to “the Boss” Swashbuckler. They enjoy the rest of the evening.

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Against the Banewave
Fixing Tidelia

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Genevieve and Arke consult, and decide to take Tidelia into the Umbra to try and flush out the baneshift of her energy so she is herself once more. Genevieve collects her from the Mausoleum, and they wake her up. She eats masses of vegetables, as a former vegetarian, but with the bane energies she needs meat too.

She is a bit distressed/aroused by the energies of Blake and his nevercold brass coin, so Blake asks for Daniel’s help putting it in a safe, out of the way place. While they are alone, Daniel tells Blake that he is ashamed of what he is—not quite a self-possessed demon, but too demonic to be anything else. Daniel advises him to defy his limits so when his masters try to control him they cannot. He also threatens Blake; should Blake betray or hurt Genevieve, that will be bad.

Into the Umbra

Daniel drives them all out to the burned-out ruin of Marcher’s place, and they go to the cabin with a mirror, stepping through. They quickly find a back door into the Glade, with Mother Wolf. They pass her and go speak to the roc spirit that is keeping the Banewave back from the city. The roc gives them one of its teardrops, and through it they can see their way through the umbral forest to another glade, guarded by centaurs and suppressing an ancient sacrificial stone table.

They meet Bellain, a unicorn that shines with the energy of the Deep Umbra. She speaks through Genevieve, and promises to help them with their cleansing if they put a pearl with multiple dimensions inside her bane foe. They agree. They can get closer, because they smell of infernal energy and corruption.

Tidelia stays with the stone table (Blake is glad to leave the stinging glade full of life energy) and they cross to the corrupted trees, interwoven with Dark Young of Shub Niggaruth. They are also stopped by a guardian shaman, who tips them off that the monster they seek (Gephelt) is in negotiations with a demon. Blake pretends to be a diplomat with an entourage, and they pass.

They close in on the massive mangrove corpse tree that is Gephelt, surrounded by massive undead crocodiles and other defenses. Gephelt is armored with stolen power and life energy of the cult to Shub Niggauruth, a unique sort of occurance. As Blake bargains, he finds out the bane spirits want infernal energy for their weapons, and want to turn souls over to Hell when they are… thoroughly soiled.

Genevieve slips into the Mists of Rlyeh and stuffs the pearl into a breathing hole, and as its unfolding tears Gephelt open, the “diplomats” flee. They bluff past Gephelt’s defenses, and bluff past the shaman, and get out to where centaurs are leading the charge against the corrupt woods.

Rejoining the unicorn, they are healed; Genevieve is cleansed of her electrical interference corruption, and Tidelia is restored altogether. They promise to help the unicorn if summoned. The unicorn joins the battle, and spirits escort the characters to a pool of unicorn blood where she was once wounded. They drop through the “mirror” and find their way back out in the cabin, so they can return to Favian Manor. Tidelia is deeply grateful, and goes her own way.

Shopping

Mugsy wants to replenish the food supplies, but cannot go alone; Blake agrees to go with him. As they buy supplies, Pillars meets with Blake in the store. She is delighted he is finding ways to be helpful, he brushes her off as best he can.

Mugsy noticed, though, and they have a conversation about how Pillars connects to Blake; that’s awkward, and Blake exits the conversation as gracefully as he can.

Tidying Up

Genevieve finds that Graves left alone; that’s alarming, so she telepathically contacts him. He is on a plane, he is going to help Echran with his challenge.

Genevieve briefs the Ghost telepathically on Tidelia’s condition, much to the Ghost’s relief.

Arke goes to the Clocktower and checks in with the troll Bartholemew, and presses the evasive troll; Bartholemew also knows there is a second team of messengers of the Warren operating in Edge City, but is not sure what they are up to.

The characters took care of their various business to prepare for Friday’s memorial service for Jacob Malone, Genevieve’s father.

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Safe Houses
Not just the Parlor of Relative Safety

Monday, February 1, evening

Everyone regroups at Favian Manor and gets some much-needed rest.

Tuesday, February 2

Arke looks up an apartment listing while Adrian and Emma amuse themselves with fencing in the ballroom and skeet shooting from the roof. Jack Bower calls Genevieve, tells her that her father’s funeral will be at 9:00 at Favian Church on Friday.

Blake asks Echran for something that belongs to the deceased that Echran is trying to find, to see if she is in Hell or not. Echran gives him a locket with a lock of her hair (and it looks like it was burned against him under his body armor once.) Blake promises to find out more about where her soul is.

The news reports that Crossfade led Growlback and the Red Phantom to manage the breakout, grabbing Tidelia, and Burninator blew up the Wilters museum. Journalists and police alike suspect there must have been help from the inside on this job. Legislators are working on passing laws that adjust the technology restriction so police can cope with threats like this.

Arke Goes Apartment Hunting

He finds a tiny triangular apartment in the Stacks, and rents it for cash under an assumed name. He installs a bar to keep the place secure, sets up a phone and answering machine there, and tasks Jessica with checking messages once or twice a day. Mugsy adds a dog bed and a bag chair, as Arke insists this place is not for getting comfortable. Mugsy’s sharp senses tell him things about the super that make the weedy man uncomfortable. Arke gets some business cards printed with just the number of the phone in this place.

Chat with Marcher

As Adrian and Emma shoot from the roof, Marcher approaches along the roof line. He dismisses Emma, and tells Adrian that the Ghost told Marcher to leave town (because of the danger he represents, and the blood on his hands.) Marcher agreed to go so he would not end up opposite Adrian on battle lines.

Before he goes, he tells Adrian that Onaga has risen in the East, uniting ninja clans and Setite cults to battle arcanists. Marcher warns him of Khan, Onaga’s right-hand man and a very dangerous individual. Marcher says he was proud to teach Adrian, who expresses gratitude for his training. Marcher leaves, turning into a bird and flying off.

Chat with Kryptma

Genevieve is explaining to the others in the Parlor of Relative Safety that if Jeremiah Seer is a wizard, then he is a meta, and he cannot legally hold office; they can destroy his bid to be mayor if they can prove he is a meta. Wilts can help.

Kryptma arrives, annoyed for being summoned. She was investigating to find the gate to the Tellurian, the darkest side of the Umbra, and she found it under the St. Louis arch (used for focusing.) The place was blown up, collapsed, and smashed, but through broken mirrors she saw the Yutani logo.

Genevieve explains the darkshell incident and Alice’s situation, and also about Tidelia’s corruption and subsequent rescue. Kryptma calls it “bane shifting,” when you should die but your energy keeps you alive and is corrupted. She talks about the Tide of Corruption, and the fomori.

Adrian has heard of fomori, the Arcanum crusades against them. The Arcanum believes there was a purer world once, and the fomori degraded it once into the world we have today. They want to do it again, and again, and the arcanists stand in their way; arcane magic is a throwback to the pre-fall world.

Adrian mentions his visit with Marcher; Onaga, setites, ninja, the Khan. Kryptma agrees that has been a big problem, with snakes everywhere. Onaga activated dozens of sleeper units, Setites see him as a demigod.

Onaga is a portal to a dimension of limitless power. He can infuse some power in human or quasi-human agents. He can boost powers, people like having a team and being more powerful. He was defeated before because those who serve him are not loyal to each other, and not always loyal to him. He can be bound, but he cannot be killed. As for the Khan, he is a powerful shaman, with a snake focus, an assassin for hundreds of years.

Kryptma wants to see Blake’s nevercold brass coin. She spends an essence to light it up, it is an Orcus coin, representing 150 souls. Arch demons appear on currency to show how many souls were infused into it. You normally read currency by dipping the coin in the blood of a fresh human sacrifice. It is easier to infuse here, far from Hell, so the background energy doesn’t mess up the print.

Genevieve tells Kryptma she is thinking about visiting the roc spirit for advice, Kryptma agrees that is a good idea. That’s one path to getting Tidelia free of corruption. Kryptma gives the bat skeleton (Mr. Kissynose) back to Genevieve, and heads out to continue her research into the Tellurian Gate.

They continue planning.

Blake’s Guest

The butler brings Blake the phone; Smith tells him Connie Dammers has come by the house to see him, and stayed the night because of the snow. What does Blake want Smith to do? Blake heads home in a taxi, has a brief but firm chat with Connie, and asks her to go. She leaves him with a book of clippings of her articles, and a business card (she did not trust Smith to deliver it.)

She liked Blake at the War Machine party, and wanted to be closer friends. Then it got awkward. After she goes, Smith asks for instruction for dealing with guests. Blake tells him not to let people in unless Blake contacts him first. Also, Chatterly contacted Smith about some books for Blake; Blake wants Chatterly to deliver them as they come in, one batch at a time. Also, Pillars was hanging around Blake’s home during the heist; she expected him to call for help, but he did not. She left shortly after. Blake returns to Favian Manor.

The Leatherbury Estate

Adrian, Genevieve, Daniel, Arke, and Mugsy take a cab to the gate that leads to the Leatherbury Estate, pausing to buy a mirror on the way. Once in the pocket dimension, dogs run up to greet them; Adrian renamed them Phobos and Demos.

If the death and anger is cleared away, Adrian can shape the place much more easily. They meet some of the servants, they install the mirror, and they head down the back to make sure the back door opens out to Kingsport. Then they return to the mirror, ignoring the howling of the undead upstairs, and they go through.

They are in a dark tangled wood, talking to a guardian spirit shaped like a cat, named Declaude. The spirit tells them this border realm is wrapped around that one, they give the spirit essence and it marks a safe path out. They follow the path to an obelisk, and step through it to the Umbra. Everyone but Arke steps out into a barber shop mirror, strolls out, and rejoins the car to drive back to Favian Manor.

The Clocktower

Arke follows his nose to a substation of the Warren, a pocket dimension with a clocktower/watermill. A three-eyed troll named Bartholemew guards it. Arke checks in with him, reporting to the Warren, and he also picks up $2,000 and a sack of life spirits. He promises to check in. Bartholemew warns him about the Banewave, the infected energy of the land around the nuclear explosion.

Arke follows the trail back to the obelisk, down the road, into the Leatherbury Estate. He releases about 30 life spirits onto the lawn there, to help start cleansing the place.

Favian Manor

They regroup for a late lunch, then Adrian and Genevieve meditate. Adrian realizes no one is likely planning a funeral for Hans. They speculate on how long it will take Onaga’s war to reach Edge City.

Genevieve psychically contacts Lena Wilts, they set up a meet for 7:00 at an unspecified location. Daniel plans to go along, and Genevieve tells Graves just in case.

The Brass Embassy

Arke wants to go to the Brass Embassy. Blake and Mugsy agree to go along. They head to Sanctuary, the cathedral turned into a nightclub; a debtor lets them in, and they go to the bouncer in the back, who lets them in to the long silent hallway into the embassy.

A polite debtor offers condolences on Jessica’s death; Arke replies she’s still alive, the debtor apologizes. Time can get confused down here.

They hear singing, a debtor escorts them to a balcony overlooking the glowing dance floor. They are preparing for a gala, to welcome the embassy’s new defender (though they do not yet know who it will be.) The debtor tears out a molar with a glyph of Hell that Blake can use as an invitation; it will make him aware when the time is right. Blake apparently has many friends he does not recognize, which is awkward.

Clark joins them. Arke says he wants to be friends, Clark marks his wrist with a colorless sign that will allow him entry at the door in Sanctuary. Blake wants to check the Pool, and Clark turns them over to Selene, a succubus.

She takes them to the Pool, with a powerful spirit sealing off access between Prime and Hell. She is dressed in screams, with stiletto bone heels.

Blake puts his face in the Membrane of the Pool and asks for Carly Willis; another face rises, that came looking for her here. She is not here, her soul is in the music box. Blake withdraws. Selene asks if he found what he was looking for; she shows him her nudity, and he likes that; she suggests she’ll look him up if she gets a day pass. Arke is sickened, as he can see through her shapes and see the demon below. She has fantastic wings, tail, and horns. She painlessly bites out some of Blake’s flesh and replaces it with her own; they can feel touches on their flesh on the other person, for some long-term foreplay.

Arke and Blake offer each other backup if either wants to go to the Embassy, but not alone. Blake’s slow heart is sped up by the encounter, for a while. When they return to Favian Manor, they still bear the scent of the Brass Embassy—they will need to figure out how best to clean that off after visiting, in future.

Blake reports to Echran, giving him the locket back. Echran reflects that the soul Blake saw was Uncle Seamus, which does not surprise Echran; the bodyguard leaves, rude and abrupt. Graves shows up to see why Echran asked for time off, Genevieve tells him, and he goes upstairs to ponder.

Meeting Wilts

At 6:45, Genevieve gets the call to meet Wilts and one other in the basement of the Wailing Pig. Genevieve contacts the Ghost telepathically and tells her about the meeting, so they have backup if they need it.

Genevieve, Daniel, Adrian, Snowfall (his owl), Blake, Arke, and Mugsy go to the Wailing Pig in North Gantry. They see the backup teams of Wilters, and Genevieve sets up up on a psychic tac net. They go in, and a Russian instructs them to go to the basement. It is reserved just for them, one bare bulb over a table for eight. Alex Felton and Lena Wilts wait.

Genevieve tells Wilts that the Seers are wizard metas, and wants them to investigate. Felton suggests that Genevieve and her people are better suited to investigate this and bring evidence to the Wilters; the Seers will not tolerate invasion of privacy to the point of finding what kind of readings reveal their meta powers. Felton tells them about Training Matrices, interactive computer programs the Seers maybe used to train (he heard a rumor.) They would be kept somewhere safe, Treadwell knew where.

Felton also advises them to move quickly, as there may be upcoming omnibus legislation with some unobtrusive loopholes built into it that would let Jeremiah Seer legally be mayor. Genevieve is confident the cultural backlash in the city would prevent him, were his status known.

Wilters funding is on the line after this public humiliation of stealing Tidelia. So she’s motivated to help out, as Seers have abandoned her now that her phase of the project seems to be done, in their master plan. She still believes in the work, and is willing to reshape some things working with Genevieve. If everything works out.

Wilts also takes the opportunity to probe Arke and Blake for more on their backgrounds, but they stonewall her. Eventually Wilts asks Genevieve to use a pre-determined dead drop method for contact, she and Felton leave. (Felton wants Wilts to call him “Commissioner” and Genevieve to call him “Alex.”)

Winding Down

They eat a prodigious amount of barbeque, funded by Adrian, then they go to Favian Manor.

Genevieve explains some details on Skyfall, Montana, and its connection to the Seers. That was Treadwell’s last words to her, the most important chink in the League of Progress’s armor. that is likely where they must look; a site where Seertech built a reclamation facility and lab to analyze a fallen meteor.

Meanwhile, Emma got out of her bath and found a house with no bodyguards, and it freaked her out a bit. She asks Adrian to be her bodyguard and go on a trip to an island or somewhere safe. He agrees, working with Five Stones to set something up, and they go.

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Rescuing Tidelia
A Daring Heist

February 1, 2010. Supper Time.

Plotting a Rescue

In the Parlor of Relative Safety, in Favian Manor, the crew plotted. (Genevieve, Adrian, Blake, and Arke. Also Daniel, Eudora, Jessica, and Mugsy.)

Eudora tipped off all the media outlets about what was going on, and Fortress Square is crawling with media and police. The captured nova Tidelia was to be moved from the top floors of Fortress Square to Quantum Labs. One convoy was run by Quantum Labs; a dirigible with Hammerhand and Dr. Kvassar and a bunch of drone aircraft, as well as three police blimps. The other by land, run by Seertech, with assault robots and police escort. Guarding Fortress Square itself was the main force of the Wilters, backed up by masses of police. It would not be easy to break her out!

Genevieve telepathically contacts Burninator, who was determined to rescue Tidelia, and set him to cause a distraction by setting the Wilters museum on fire. It was in Fortress Square, but down and to the side, out of the main security focus.

Genevieve telepathically contacts Hammerhand, who tells her that Dr. Kvassar was present and dangerous. So Daniel gets his gauntlets that were studded with warpstone. Hammerhand also warned them that Tidelia’s transport tube would be boobytrapped with a bomb.

Amy gets to the jet and is airborne, so if they need her for backup she’s ready.

Planning is cut short as the news indicates they are getting ready to load Tidelia and get moving. Genevieve looks to the future and sees Exitixe (Red Phantom) teleport in, shoot the phase disruptor that prevents teleportation, and pound some tracking bugs into Tidelia’s tank. Then she teleports out.

Assault on Fortress Square

Arke goes through the Umbra with a portable screen mirror, pops out in the room where they are keeping Tidelia, and sets it up. The rest of the crew pile in with Genevieve, and Adrian uses magic to shield them from attack while Blake pulls Tidelia out of her confinement (before she’s put in a transport tube.) Felton and Wilts cower, and the invaders escape with their prize as Dr. Kvassar pounded through the roof to intercept.

After a 15 second rescue, they evaluate Tidelia’s condition in the relative safety of a corner of the Warren in the Umbra (Adrian owes Arke a favor for using his interdimensional expertise.)

Next Steps

Tidelia was exposed to some infernal toxin that corrupted her energy instead of killing her; she cannot be cleansed any way but shamanistic cleansing or repeated maximum burning of her power. Tidelia briefly regains consciousness long enough to relate that she was poisoned and traced it back to Daggett Industries factory, she attacked the wife of the CEO and the next night was captured making a go at the CEO himself.

Genevieve takes Tidelia to the Mausoleum, where an old man in a mask agrees to look after her on the Ghost’s behalf. Then she and Adrian rejoin the others at Favian Mansion.

Burninator blew up the Wilters museum and escaped to the underground of Torpedo Bay.

Genevieve telepathically contacts Exitixe, who reveals that her involvement was because Crossfade and Growlback called her in to rescue a meta in transit (as they were once rescued.) She teleports away, having delivered that news.

The Brass Embassy

To find out more, Blake takes Arke and Jessica to the Brass Embassy. They enter through Sanctuary, and meet with Clark, the Overseer of the embassy. When Blake shares the flavor of the toxin with Clark, Clark points him to Dr. Porter, an entrepreneurial demon who started business before the embassy even opened. He may be making nevercold brass, which smelting is cheaper and more toxic here than elsewhere (closer to Hell.) He may be working with Daggett Industries. Clark gives Blake a nevercold brass coin.

To determine who might be in Hell needs a full name, something that belonged to the subject, and ideally a piece of the subject. Or, Arke needs much less. Arke does not like the idea of peering into Hell, and they take their leave of Clark. Jessica is freaked out by the Brass Embassy and never wants to return.

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Vengeance
Artemis Seer Strikes Back

January 25-February 1, 2010

A WEEK OF DOWN TIME SLIDES BY. DURING THAT TIME

  • Blake generously rewards Smith for being a good sport about the gunmen that threatened his life.
  • Adrian meets with Duwayles (who introduces Arke, and his bodyguard Mugsy). Adrian works with him to put the back door to the Leatherbury Estate in the men’s room in the Kingsport Historical Society building; he takes a day trip up to Kingsport to finalize the process.
  • Emma proposes to Adrian! He agrees to marry her, they set up a May wedding.
  • Genevieve talks with the Ghost, and is relieved that she will not be banished for the role she played in the alien assault on Quantum Labs. She begins the slow process of healing Alice’s mind, after all the lobotomies. She also contacts the Shell Clan, and has some give-and-take to psychically locate the darkshell egg caches she sensed when she was the Queen of the hive mind, so the Shell Clan can wipe them out.

February 1

  • During the down time, Blake is exploring the city, but is ambushed by Blankwell—an inquisitor with the Order of Michael, purporting to serve the Archangel. They put him in a devil’s trap, shave him, carve sigils into him, even saw off one of his hands! They are trying to get past the Membrane, a psychic phenomenon that keeps demons on earth from remembering Hell. Their quest is to seal off Hell’s access to the world. As his sanity and life force ebb, Blake is rescued by Pillars and a demon hit squad. He wakes, reconstituted, in the Brass Embassy. Pillars reveals that the inquisitors found him because of an anonymous tip, and Pillars got an anonymous tip the next day (to rescue him.) Blake realizes Artemis Seer set him up for some pain. Pillars escorts him out the “servant’s entrance” that exits in Sanctuary, a cathedral turned into a nightclub. Blake celebrates his survival with a willing and pretty young woman, then settles at the bar…
  • Adrian, Arke, and Mugsy meet with Jessica at the yacht, Arke’s other agent. She operates somewhat independently. They go to meet Genevieve Malone at her house, and Arke explains he has been sent by the Warren, to reward her for her part in stopping the Ragnorok Wrecker and the Pytarian Disconnect. Arke will help her put Painkiller in a pocket dimension where he will be inaccessible and able to cause no harm. Also, Arke is to monitor the new Brass Embassy as best he can.
  • The butler escorts Jack Bower in; the policeman tells Genevieve her father died in a fire in her house. She goes to check it out, and looks back in time, to see Morton White and some thugs killing her father. The fire is an obvious arson.
  • Meanwhile the phone rings, Emma calls Favian Manor and reaches Adrian. His yacht blew up! He and Arke race over to see the obvious arson. A man in the crowd confesses that he did it, and because he made the bomb too big he was left behind to explain that they did torture and kill Hans before blowing the yacht up. Adrian promised to get even with Artemis Seer for this, and soon. Adrian follows the man, who goes into a gated community, to a helipad, and flies towards Quantum Labs. Jessica promises to look into it and find out what threats remain to Arke and, by extension, Adrian.
  • Genevieve psychically contacts Adrian, who takes Emma with him (and Arke) to use Favian Manor as a safehouse. Emma lets her servants go, with pay, until she needs them again. They all go to the Manor.
  • Graves decides to keep the crew safe by blackmailing Artemis Seer with some of what he knows about the illegal operations and funding Artemis Seer is using. This rattles Seer.

Tidelia Surfaces

On the news, Tidelia is captured returning to the scene of the crime after crippling Daggett Industries CEO John Sommerset. Wilters got her. She is kept in Fortress Square, Downtown. The pictures of her are horrific, she is scarred and hideous.

She must be rescued! Seer sends Morton White to offer her to Genevieve for six months of non-interference, and she turns him down. (Seer also approaches the Ghost, offering Tidelia, to settle Genevieve and her rabid husband down.)

Pillars also checks in with Blake, offering her “boyfriend” (the Director) to manage the heist. That’s a possibility, on hold.

Daniel favors hitting Fortress Square, Amy favors hitting the convoy on the road. Eudora finds out one convoy will be Seertech, the other will be Quantum Labs, and one will be a decoy.

Genevieve figures she’ll need to talk to Hammerhand in her identity as Isis; in that identity she rescued him from being experimented on by Quantum Labs, maybe he’ll see reason.

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Army of Darkshells
Not what we expected!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blake returns to his home to get some rest, Adrian stays in a guest room in Favian Manor, and Genevieve catches some sleep with her husband.

Blake Gets a Ticket

Mid-day, Blake wakes and heads to Fortress Square. He talks to Camelbert at Five Stones, because he wants a ticket to the Grand Unveiling of the War Machine that night. Camelbert tells him he can have Bullthwaite’s ticket if he can talk the old man out of it. Blake does, handily meeting the time limit Camelbert set, and he goes to the event.

There is a truly stunning amount of security and fancy speeches, but even that is not as awe-inspiring as the War Machine itself; the size of an aircraft carrier, dotted with mecha, it hangs in the sky then sinks into the river to wait until called upon.

Blake has a charming conversation with Connie Dammers, a crack-pot journalist who is totally against War Machine and believes it is a terrible threat to the city. (Also, it turns out she dated a demon briefly, so she can recognize what he is. She is also poking potential machine people with her hat pin; she has found two at the event so far.)

Blake also gauges the reaction of the people at the event, seeing a range from greed to possess such power to alarm that anyone has it. He heads home.

Genevieve and Adrian Plot

Adrian contacts Adderwin’s mind, finding that he just flew in town by helicopter, ending the trace before he follows her home (he is also a telepath.) Discussing how to handle the darkshells, they send Daniel to talk to his contacts and get a big bomb—just in case.

Meanwhile Genevieve gets an invitation from Artemis Seer to have supper with him at the Arboretum, Downtown, with a great view of the unveiling. She agrees to go, and plans to take Daniel.

Adrian and Emma

Adrian borrows Daniel’s bug sweeper and sneaks up to Emma’s house. They have a playful afternoon and evening. He tells her to seek shelter at Favian Manor if something goes wrong (and he expects it to) and asks her to set up an attic as a “safehouse” for him. He goes over the house sweeping for bugs twice, and does not find any. He overnights there.

Genevieve’s Supper

Daniel and Genevieve meet Artemis Seer for supper; as a minor demonstration of power he clears the restaurant as soon as they sit down, and they have it to themselves for 90 minutes. He offers Genevieve a job helping with the psychic project, and gives her 24 hours to respond. If she walks away from his business, he’ll let her, but he will scale any retribution to match her efforts.

Genevieve warns him his plan is dangerous to the whole dimension, and she refuses to be intimidated. She realizes that Artemis Seer (the father) is working on building an alien army to subjugate this dimension, then others. Jeremiah Seer (the son) has War Machine. Even within the family, they are competing for power and glory!

On the way home, Genevieve leaves a lengthy voice mail for the Ghost with all she learned from the conversations.

Home Invasion

Daniel and Genevieve realize someone broke into the second floor of Favian Manor. They find a calm darkshell, and Genevieve’s limited mental contact reveals that the last order of Alice, the queen / hive mind, before she was sedated, was to seek out Genevieve. She accepts the role of queen, and with much trepidation, decides to lead the darkshells in a rescue to get Alice out of Quantum Labs.

Riding darkshells, she summons all of them she can reach to the salt marsh. There, she solidifies her hold on them, and sends them to the woods outside Quantum Labs. She goes to the nesting site and commandeers four praetorians, then leads them as well. She psychically reaches out to her allies to meet out there.

Blake’s Homecoming

Blake returns from the party to find Adderwin and some hybrid troops waiting for him at his house. Adderwin bluntly demands he call Genevieve and persuade her to come to his house. He refuses, shifts to demon form, and tussells briefly with the hybrids. Then he snatches Smith, their hostage, and escapes.

Adderwin’s psionic grip on Blake allows them to follow him, and a chase with stolen vehicles ensues. Smith is weirdly dazed, but Blake gets him in with a trucker who takes him to safety, so Blake can deal with the hybrids without impediment.

After some initial wins, he is still pursued when a ghostly plane interferes and pulls him out, aiding the police in bringing the hybrids in.

Alarmed by the attack, Blake calls Favian Manor and gets Daniel, who is rude and distracted. Later, Blake is contacted by Genevieve and the hive mind, and instructed on the location of the meet.

Assault on Quantum Labs

They all meet near Quantum Labs, outside the city. The alien darkshells mesh with Genevieve’s psionics, previous memories of infiltrating the place, and intrusive genius. They come up with a plan. While Adrian, Blake, and Daniel hang back and provide support in case hunter / killers fly out, the darkshells send in a stealth team in the sally port corridor and a massive frontal assault.

Casualties on both sides mount as the darkshells strike impossibly fast with uncanny skill and determination. Finally they get to Alice. She has been lobotomized over and over. Artemis Seer, directer of Quantum Labs, asks over the speaker whether Genevieve is demonstrating that she is on the team, or is defying him. She defies him, and he fills the facility with nerve gas that almost kills her and Alice, and finishes off many of the surviving darkshells.

Genevieve and some darkshells escape, and Genevieve calls for Blake to come help her while Adrian concealed the location from which Daniel sniped hunter-killers, which caused further damage to Quantum Labs with crashing.

Aftermath

They regrouped at the cabin in the clearing at the Chauncy place. Genevieve had to heal her brain or she would die; she could preserve her ability to be hive mind, or seal that capacity out. She sealed it out, and spent Fate to prevent these darkshells from being part of a hive mind ever again. She started work on possibly restoring Alice to sanity and wholeness, of not psychic power.

Blake felt a tremendous relief; the prophecy of doom, the dream of the Pytarian energy engulfing the dimension—finally, averted.

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Eyes on You
What the hell is that!?!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pursuing Ryan Chaise

They follow Ryan Chaise to the Stone Garden in north Gantry. Genevieve slips in to talk with him, assuring herself that he won’t do anything stupid. He suggests he plans to leave town, and he knows the Gray Ghost is tracking him and keeping an eye on him. He leaves, and Genevieve takes the rest of her crew to Favian Manor.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mind Melds

Genevieve takes the crew on a brief tour of the house then they go down to the basement where Amy Dobson finished setting up an area for Genevieve to connect to Daniel’s mind, then go looking for the psychic with the purple tattoos in her eyes.

Genevieve struggles, but eventually gets in touch with the other psychic (whose name is Alice.) They are forceful with each other; Alice feels she is not doing much wrong, and insists on her freedom, and threatens Genevieve. Genevieve tells Alice that she risks crashing the whole dimension, and that she is a puppet in a far more dangerous scheme.

Their chat is interrupted when one of the occupants of the hive mind umbrella Alice projects detects Genevieve’s mind, and Alice severs contact. The crew is shaken by the raw alien fury of the interloper, and concerned it might come for them.

Shell Clan

Adrian and Blake share the clue they got at the Silver Twilight Lodge event, that the Shell Clan have something at the root of the mystery. Genevieve reaches out to the Clan psychically, and meets with Blake S., who escorts them deep underground to an abandoned missile silo and command center.

They see a distressing tongue in a gravy of organic warpbroth that is still showing signs of life after being torn from its host days before. The creature that bore the tongue was killed by 3 of the Shell Clan in a 30 minute running battle. Blake S. shows himself, and agrees to take them to the corpse.

As they are examining the massive torn-up corpse, another of the creatures finds them and pulls in darkshells to pack-hunt the crew. They cannot escape, and in desperation they go to a very out-of-the-way underground hangar.

Battle!

In the underground hanger, they face off with the four-armed monstrosity, as well as some darkshells and two massive alpha-darkshells (praetoreans). They do battle, and Genevieve finds a mirror and can pull most of them out; Adrian refuses to run and leave their turtle ally behind, so he blows up the four-armed monstrosity and the psychic backlash disables the others. Adrian and the turtle escape up to the street above, the others get out through Genevieve mirror-stepping with them.

Aftermath

Shaken, they regroup and head to Favian Manor, where they discuss the situation. Genevieve fills in the Ghost, mirrorstepping to the Mausoleum, and talking about possible tactics. Then Genevieve summons Kryptma, who fills them in on the genestealer threat.

Genestealers are a multi-generational cult threat, so someone has been messing with this for a long time. And, the hive mind of the genestealers summons a greater, planet/dimension destroying threat from the outer dark. Kryptma will investigate and see what help she can offer; genestealers have never made it to Prime before…

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