Hard Times in the Big Easy

MEGASQUID VS. ULTRADOG
Or: Jack recruits some new courtesans

Alandriawas at a karaoke bar at an open mic night, singing with her “band” when she felt a tug at the back of her neck as Higginsrang for her attention. She finished up her rendition of Crazy Train, and then took five, allowing her morose, gothy backup singer to take lead for a few. She found an out of the way spot, and stepped into the Nevernever, arriving in her demesne.

Once home, she spotted Nikkipeering out the window, both paws up on the glass, tail lashing back and forth as she watched Higgins detain a drowned one down by the beach trail. Sensing Alandria’s return, Higgins escorted the drowned one up to the house. His stench was so bad that Alandria suggested they sit outside and talk.

The drowned one had come seeking information and Alandria agreed to trade him information for information. He mentioned something called Fomor who had been killing his people and taking his land, and agreed to tell her about them in exchange. Finding it a fair deal, Alandria told him that his Champion had died at the hands of Ian Branneal. She offered to tell him why Ian had done it, explaining that Ian had done it in a fit of rage, provoked by the Autumn knight,Jack Belmont. They were arguing, and Ian got mad and killed the champion. The Drowned one proclaimed that the “wizard sound like big asshole.”

Meanwhile, Jack had heard about some killings done by alligators. Odd, since the most recent killing was down at the docks and gaters are freshwater critters. Strangely enough, fitting though. The deaths had all been members of the Matranaga crime family, so far, and they were known for taking people out to the swamps and feeding them to the gators.

Jack attempted to investigate the crime scene, but was unable to find any useful information, so he went home to wait till later. When he got home, he found that his puppies, newly granted to him by the Erlking, had destroyed his computer desk while he was gone, and knocked over his TV. He was given half a dozen of the puppies as a reward when he turned some souls in to the Erlking.

Alandria called Jack to attempt to sell him information about a really strong type of Fae in need of a king. The ruler of the Fomor had perished long ago, and their leader was renown as being nearly equal to the Erlking in might. If Jack could bring them into the court, it would be seen as a boon to the Erlking, and further his standing in court. In return.. All Alandria wanted was some cash (10k) and a favor. Jack didn’t have the cash, so Alandria offered him a month to get the money, and then she would offer the info to the Winter Court. She really should have shortened that time to a few hours.

“Oh, and by the way, remember that scene outside Nevarres’ home with the drowned ones? Yeah.. They are looking for revenge against Ian and you for killing their champion.”

Jack went back to investigate late at night, around 2am, when there wouldn’t be so many dockhands around. He shifted to his dog form and was able to pick up an astringent scent trail leading him to a shipping container. He turned back to human and fetched a crowbar from his car, oddly enough, drawing no suspicion from the heightened security on the docks. When he popped the lock on the shipping container, he found an assortment of guns and drugs. Jack, being rather fond of weaponry, was dumbstruck by what lay before him, and was quickly trying to figure out how he could load up as much of that as possible into his car.

Then a boot planted itself firmly on his spine, and the shipping container door slammed shut.

Jack quickly regained his balance and shouldered his way out the door, spotting three nearly identical men. Push came to shove, and the hulking men, somewhat unnatural in form, all revealed long bone like spines that jutted from their wrists. The tips leaked some fluid, and when Jack dodged an attack, the spine scored the metal of the shipping container, leaving a smoking gouge. Jack was able to wound one of the men, but unable to avoid getting gouged by one of the others as he attempted to make his escape. The poison seared at his flesh as he made for his car, but he was able to endure the pain long enough to call Nevarres and ask for help, then drive out there.

Nevarres’ idea of help was to very slowly and steadily, cut the rotting, poisoned flesh, out of Jack’s body after sterilizing it with some liquor. He also informed Nevarres that the drowned ones might try something since they had caught word about who killed their champion.

After this, Jack enlisted in the aid of Alandria and Nevarres to further track down the Fomor. Alandria agreed to help because ultimately, it was best for the city. The three again went down to the docks and to the shipping container, to find it gone. Alandria suggested they ask the dockmaster where it had gone, but Jack waved off the idea, wanting to get in touch with his canine side instead. Alandria however, was curious about where the container of weapons went off to, and made note of the numbered containers around them, and deduced the number that might have been on the container there, to ask about later.

Jack leads them on a scent trail to a large 60 foot boat, full of Fomor. Brave beyond words, Jack asks to be taken to the leader of the Fomor, along with Alandria and Nevarres. They are led through the boat, down to a diver launch hatch in the bottom. Nevarres and Jack are given some Aeriemoss, which Nevarres promptly eats, then jumps in the water and tries to breath.

He gets lungs full of water, and comes up sputtering and coughing up buckets of polluted seawater. Jack actually asks how to use the stuff, an is instructed to chew it. Doing so produces a mouthful of air. Nevarres gets some more of the moss, then the three descend into the depths with the sharkmen.

They get ushered into a waiting room, and are shortly joined by The Devourer of All, a Fomor with a long tongue that dangles down past midneck. A translator is required to understand him, and during the translation, one translator gets killed, and a second one gets assaulted, but they come to understand that the Fomor are attacking New Orleans right now because it is weak and they want land. The land has a lot of good things on it. Jack can’t argue with such logic, and offers them a place in the autumn court. The Devourer of all declines, saying that they cannot accept such an offer without a satisfactory show of force to prove the strength of the Autumn Court.

Alandria offers to host the demonstration in her demesne, and again, The Devourer of All declines, stating that he doesn’t know her well enough to accept her home as the place of contest. Alandria then invited him over for tea, tomorrow, to get to know her better. She assured him there would be delicious tea as well as a casserole made by her butler, Higgins. The Devourer of All accepted the offer, and come lunch time the next day, he showed up for a meal. Alandria cleverly kept his plate full at all times. The glutton ate till his chair broke and his belly was distended. Happy and sated, he agreed to have the duel at her place. Alandria pressed him for a bit of information about why his people were attacking people in New Orleans, and he explained that the land had many things that the ocean did not, like good food and satellite TV. When asked if they would leave New Orleans alone if they were shown an island full of cattle, The Devourer agreed that they would, so long as cattle remained on the island. Alandria decided to give that some thought, as Cattle were quite expensive. Still, it was an option.

The contest of strength was to be held the next day and Jack managed to persuade Alandria to help him out by making it easier for him to move in the water. Wit some reluctance, she agreed. She filled Jack in on the contest rules: Contestants must stay in the water, and if someone gets thrown out of the water, they are allowed to renter the water to continue the fight. The fight will continue till one contender is dead. The winner must eat the heart or liver of the loser, raw.

The day of the contest, Alandria had Higgins make sure there was plenty of food available for the guests so that the Devourer would stay in a good mood. There were chips and wings and potato skins as well as a whole cow roasting out back.

Jack arrived with his litter of puppies, and Alandria assigned Nikki the task of puppy sitting. She obliged by playing chase with the puppies. Well, they chased her around, anyway. One wall of Alandria’s living room was nothing but a TV screen displaying the underwater fight. As the puppies noticed Jack on tv, they all lined up to watch the fight with everyone else. Everyone except The Devourer of All.. Who was devouring all he could see at the moment.

The champion for the Fomor was a giant squid and proved to be more than a handful for Jack. He did his best trying to cripple it, and then finally shifted to his dog form and tore the shit out of it as it grappled him. The fight ended with Puppy Jack in the squid’s tentacles, missing circular patches of fur, clawing and tearing out it’s center mass. It died, and Jack continued to tear at it, devouring it’s innards till he thought he might have got the heart and or liver. The rest of the squid, he drug up on shore for his puppies to eat.

With the fight over, people milled down to the shore to congratulate Jack, but The Devourer of All was nowhere to be seen. Finally, they found him laying by the BBQ pit, again stuffed to the gills. He tried to claim he hadn’t known the fight was going on, and how could he know for sure that Jack really won and the puppies didn’t do the work for him? A live pig was enough of a bribe to get him to accept the results and agree to join the Autumn Court.

Jack laid out the ground rules for him, explaining that his people would e allowed to hunt whatever and wherever they liked, unless the Erlking said otherwise. When the Erlking summoned them for a hunt, they had to answer. They couldn’t attack any other Autumn Court. Jack led the Devourer out of Alandria’s demesne to explain how to tell who was Autumn, and despite Alandria’s attempts to listen in, she was spotted.

Jack then escorted the Devourer to see the Erlking, and the Erlking was pleased, stating, “My hound fetches me the most interesting sticks.”

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Cold as Ice

The scene picks up with Alandria, Ian, and Jack meeting up at Jack’s storage unit armory. Jack and Alandria receive Ian’s information on Junior and Mary Belmont‘s location. The trio spend time discussing a plan of attack, and ultimately bow to Jack’s superior knowledge of their targets and go with his plan of action: Ian would Veil them with water to hide their heat from any thermal scopes or goggles, Alandria would hide them with Glamours to hide them from visual detection, and Jack would scope out the area with his superior senses and lead the charge.

The first major hitch came when they were ready to leave: Ian’s car was parked at Jack’s apartment. Jack’s Car was parked at Ian’s house, with a bomb on it. Alandria’s motorcycle was also parked at Ian’s, also likely booby trapped. A cab would make it hard for Alandria to hide their loaded for were-bear appearances, due to the sheer amount of iron they wore and contained in the vehicle. She ended up taking them through a path in the Nevernever.

At the hotel, the trio set up their veils, Jack does his investigation, and turns up no signs of explosives … which he takes to mean there are explosives, because paranoia is safety. He decided instead to lead the charge through the Hotel window, where he found Mary cleaning weapons, and heard sounds of his father cleaning up in the bathroom. Jack hauled Mary out of her chair, and the fight was on.

Ian made repeated attempts to knock out Mary with a sleep spell, growing marginally more successful with each attempt, Alandria snuck in under her veil to grab Ian’s stuff, Jack grappled and fought with Mary, and Junior took the time to dry his hands off properly before joining the fight with a gun the size of Texas. He and Mary blasted Ian before he managed to knock Junior out with his sleepy spell. Alandria got Ian his bag of goodies, then drug Junior’s unconscious body through a portal to her demense. Unfortunately, upon opening the bag, Ian set off the bomb placed inside, wounding everybody left in the room, and knocking both himself and Mary unconscious.

Jack hauled both bodies to the portal and chucked them through, and about that time backup arrived. Bullets flew, but Jack barely even noticed them. He grabbed up Ian’s sword and the remains of his cloak, then hauled ass to Alandria’s demense.

Within the Demense, Ian was tended to by Nikki, Alandria saw to the restraint of Junior, and Jack took care of restraining Mary. Junior ended up in the grip of a tentacle monster that Alandria called her ‘pet’, Mary ended up tied up in a small bare room with nothing but herself and Jack. She didn’t wake up until Nikki was done with Ian, and began tending her wounds as well … which earned poor Nikki a vicious bite that cost her a chunk of flesh. Mary and Jack stared at each other in silence for a long time.

When Ian regained consciousness, he and Alandria got into an argument about the disposition of Junior, which resulted in Alandria changing the room multiple times, then changing Junior’s chair repeatedly, until they finally came to a conclusion they could all be somewhat comfortable with. Ian and Alandria attempted to reason with Junior, but ultimately the didn’t get anywhere, partially because Ian and Alandria are horrible negotiators, partially because Junior wanted to talk to Jack, and he was busy staring down his mother.

Back with Jack, he eventually broke the silence by giving his mother an amused grin and saying ‘Woof’. He put his kevlar on her, drew a gun, and just before he emptied it, was informed that he was ‘The worst abortion I never had.’ Then the gun was emptied into her chest, returning his seventh birthday peresent to her, she passed out, and Jack had to wake her up again. The two bitched at each other a bit, but neither one really had much to say to each other beyond ‘fuck you’, they just didn’t bother to say it that way. Eventually, Jack lost his temper and emptied a magazine full of blanks a short distance from Mary’s face, doing who knows how much damage, but not killing her.

Moments later, he joined Ian and Alandria to find Junior asking for him. He told the two to clear the room. After a short argument with Ian on the matter, Jack agreed to hand over his weapons and promise not to kill Junior unless he had to in order to defend himself, and he was left alone with Junior. He had Junior freed from his restraints, and the two had a brief discussion about the nature of monsters, the Belmonts, and Jack’s choice to become a Knight of the Autumn Court. Jack made it clear to Junior that no matter what, he intended to see both him and Mary out of the Nevernever alive, and Junior displayed a willingness to work with Jack to get him off the Belmont Radar.

Junior’s plan to escape required Alandria’s cooperation: She needed to create dopplegangers of Ian and Jack to menace Mary. Jack needed to rough up Junior (which he did with unnecessary gusto), who then busted in on the menacing dopplegangers and killed them, ‘rescued’ Mary, and led them out a door Alandria crafted directly into an industrial district in the next city over from New Orleans. Alandria tailed them under a glamour for a while, Ian left to resume his alcoholic wallowing, and Jack tracked down Nikki to finally deal with his wounds.

A short time passes, and the date of Roane‘s auction draws near. Ian spent his time at the ruins of his home, wallowing in filth and drunkenness. Jack spent his time recovering, and buying some nice clothes. He didn’t know what the date he’d picked up from Alandria was for, butr he intended to show up looking good. Alandria worked her Selkie mojo on a slew of people, until she managed to secure a lifetime pass to the playboy mansion.

Shortly before the Auction date, Ian received a package from his mentor, Simon Petrovich. It contained a ‘If you received this, I’m dead’ letter, basically telling him to kick ass and take names, along with a collection of his vampire research, almost up to date. Ian nuked the rubble of his home to the ground, took his Denarius, and set out to clean himself up and get a new home.

The day before the auction, Jack was called before the Erlking, and given an invitation to Roane’s auction, along with a chest of glowy awesome to place as his bid. Jack made overly optimistic promises as usual, and departed to prepare himself for the auction.

Jack was the first of the trio to arrive at the auction, and dear lord, the company was impressive. Mavra of the Black Court, Lara Raith, a lovely Red Court noble of indeterminate identity that totally wasn’t Bianca, Nicodemus, Shiro Yoshimo. The who’s who of the supernatural community had turned out for this.

Alandria was the next to arrive, and ran into the Winter Knight, Lloyd Slate. He made a few half-veiled threats and passes at her, before Jack showed up to exchange ‘witty’ barbs with him and play couples with Alandria until Lloyd left, since neither he nor Jack were willing to start a fight, and neither one was particularly well equipped for verbal sparring.

Around that time, Ian showed up, and was presented with a problem: He didn’t have an invitation. He claimed to be a guest of the Autumn Knight, and thankfully when questioned, Jack chose to play along. Ian didn’t even bother to come thank him for it, either. Given later events, it’s probably best he didn’t.

While Jack and Alandria plotted to gain a denarius, Ian made small talk with the only other member of the White Council there, the Gatekeeper. Not surprisingly the Gatekeeper let Ian know that he was disappointed that all of this had come to pass in a town with an active warden in it. After a bit Ian was approached by Nicodemus, who came over to console him on the death of Simon. Ian was introduced to every vampire in the room, presumably in order to goad him into starting a fight. In the end, the Gatekeeper returned shooing away the vultures.

Alandria proposed that she and Jack pool their resources to get the coin, and turn it over to the Erlking. In exchange, she wanted the Autumn court to leave her alone, and Jack to help her increase her power. In essence, if he came upon an object of power, she wanted him to turn it over to her. He added the stipulation that the item could not be something that he had been asked to fetch for Court, and for general veto power over what he would or would not hand over to her. She countered by adding on to that that he could only make three total vetoes before he was required to hand over whatever he came across. He accepted this bargain, and they pooled their resources. Jack and Lloyd exchanged a few more barbs as he went to make his bid, but again, nothing could be done to relieve the sexual tension just yet.

Roane called Alandria to the back after all the bids were in, and immediately upon her arrival, he smacked his bitch up, and demanded to know just what the hell was wrong with her. He explained that if he gave the Coin to Jack, he’d get him murdered horribly by all the angry creatures in the room, and she was an idiot, and she came back out irritated and worried.

The winner of the auction was announced, and the Denarius was awarded to none other than resident Warden of the White council, Ian Branneal. Which was … odd, if one considered that he never placed a bid in the first place. The coin (in a protective coin sleeve) was tossed to Ian, and all eyes were on him. Jack and Alandria made their way to him to ‘congratulate’ him … and tell him to shut the hell up when he started to protest that he hadn’t bid.

Ian beat a hasty retreat outside, tailed by Jack and Alandria, only to ditch them through a portal to the nevernever and hurry away from the spot. This worked out wonderfully. For Lloyd Slate. He got the drop on Ian, and demanded the coin from him. When Ian refused, Lloyd pointed out his terrible condition, and gave him one more chance to reconsider before he got his ass whooped. Ian pointed out that all he had to do was take up the coin and he wouldn’t be the one getting the ass whooping, but Llyod faced off with the warden calling his bluff.

Alandria ripped a fresh portal to the Nevernever right where Ian had, and with the aid of hound Jack’s keen nose, they tracked Ian down just in time to catch Lloyd blasting Ian full of icy shards that by all rights should have destroyed the wizard. Ian rushed Lloyd in a surprising decision to assault him physically instead of with magic and in the exchange proved that Lloyd could be in for more of a fight than he thought, severing Lloyds hand and sword in a single strike. Jack rushed in and managed to knock Lloyd further off-balance, but he didn’t manage to wound him. Alandria attempted to bargain with Ian then and there for the coin, but that didn’t work out. Lloyd fled, and nobody but Jack was even tempted to chase him. Jack stayed to watch Ian’s back, and urged them to hurry the hell up and get somewhere else as quickly as possible.

Once again, Ian ditched them through a portal. Once again, Alandria reopened his rift, but this time it went straight into Ian’s home. Jack refused to go through, because he respects the sanctity of people’s homes … so long as they respect his. She instead brought them out near Ian’s home, and Jack got himself in the old fashioned way: He knocked, and asked. The trio stood guard over Ian, and Jack made the same offer to Ian that he had bid to Roane: A chest of something wonderful, valuable, and probably powerful, plus a lifetime pass to the Playboy Mansion, for one of the coins. The two discussed the power of the coins and the Erlking, and Ian ultimately refused. Jack didn’t push the issue, partly because of their blood oath of nonagression, partly because he just wasn’t willing to.

Shiro and Ian discussed the coins and his convictions, and ultimately Ian handed over one coin. He hesitated over the other, and was hit with an uncontrolled Divination, a vision of himself, wreathed in hellfire, utterly destroying the great beast at the head of the red court, atop some Aztec temple. He managed to resist the temptation, and handed over the second coin as well, with the request that Shiro help teach him better bladework. Shiro agreed, and took the coins away to be disposed of.

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Family Matters
Definition: 'Love' is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope.

In the intervening weeks since the previous session, things took a turn for the worse for just about everybody:

  • Ian’s mentor, Simon Petrovich, was murdered at Archangel, leaving Ian a sorry, broken wreck of a man, desperately seeking comfort at the bottom of every bottle he could find.
  • Nevarres overheard Rose making deals with the LeChaise ghouls, arranging the delivery of various supernatural creatures, either alive or in good condition.
  • Alandria confronted Roane about an apparent lie, when he claimed not to have seen Ian stealing Jariel’s coin from Jack. After securing a promise not to tell anybody about what he said, Roan admitted that in truth (or so he claimed), he had the coin all along, and Ian stole a glamoured fake. Not only this, but he had plans to auction it off soon.
  • And last but not least, Jack spent the majority of his time in the Nevernever, bonding with his court, hunting Red Court attack squads using the Ways, and murdering their Winter Court guides. In short, Jack spent his time deliberately antagonizing two much larger and more powerful courts than his own. For fun.

Everything began to go wrong when Jack came home from one of his hunts to find a message from his father on his answering machine, looking to get in contact with him. Jack called him back, and discovered, to his distress, that his father, and worse, his mother , were in town, and his father wanted to meet and talk. A meeting was quickly arranged, and they met at the Cafe du Monde.

Heading in, Jack spotted a van of the sort generally favored by Belmont attack squads, which didn’t do much to improve his assessment of the situation. Just his two parents wouldn’t have brought a van. To his relief, Jack only had to meet with his father, Jack Belmont Jr (hereafter referred to as ‘Junior’), and his mother was nowhere in sight.

Junior didn’t waste any time laying out the situation: While torturing a Redcap, it had come up that Jack had become the new Autumn Knight. When pressed about it, Jack decided that, being nearly as bad at telling lies as his father was at catching them, he would be honest with him, and laid out a very, very abbreviated explanation of how he ended up initially tangled with the fae: After killing Gregor Yoslanovich, the witch in their party opened a way to the Nevernever, and Jack made a deal to get them out. Junior offered him a week to cast aside his power and return to the fold, Jack made some mild threats, and they both parted ways. Jack immediately tried to warn Ian, Nevarres, and Alandria. Ian was drunk out of his mind, Nevarres was concerned, and Alandria wasn’t home.

Alandria eventually received her message and tried to contact Jack, first by phone, then at home, then finally in the Nevernever, where she had to wait on him to return from another hunt he’d embarked on (to calm his nerves). She got a rundown of the situation, and let slip a piece of paper she had written the date and time of Roane’s auction on, along with Roane’s name, without any explanation of what they meant.

Back in the real world, Ian got jumped by three assassins, hopefully not Belmonts, because they sucked. After opening fire on Ian with automatic weapons and utterly failing to hit him, they lobbed firebombs into his house while Ian worked hard at trashing his own home for them. The end result was Ian’s house wrecked and on fire, and the obscenely drunk Wizard managing to successfully drive into town and to a bar without killing himself, anybody else, or being pulled over.

Jack encountered Ian at the bar, where attempts to figure out what his problem was and what had happened to him met with something marginally resembling a sliver of success, as Jack determined there was a chance that Ian’s home, or perhaps just the roof, the roof, the roof was on fire. Clearly Ian hadn’t felt the need for water, so he let the motherfucker burn. Burn motherfucker burn.

Jack hauled Ian to his car, looted the Cholo-mobile, and took him back to his place to sleep on his couch. And soil it horribly. Attempts to discuss things with him in the morning failed miserably, and Ian stumbled off to find his way back home, leaving everything in Jack’s car except his liquor.

Ian, shockingly, managed to make it to one of his stores, and put out the word that whoever had taken a shot at him was welcome to another, same place and time, then miraculously managed to make it to the smoldering ruins of his home. Alandria was the first to hear about this challenge, and went to try to talk some sense into him.

Meanwhile, Jack and Nevarres discussed the situation, resolved to put out the word among the locals to go to ground as best they could, and meet up to plan further. Nevarres was the second to hear about Ian’s challenge, and informed Jack. The two made their separate ways to Ian’s house.

Back at Ian’s, Alandria and Ian argued over his condition, the situation, and a variety of other things, until Ian, in a fit of annoyance, told Alandria he wouldn’t be going anywhere, and would, in fact, be staying right there to wait on an assassination squad. Then his chest exploded.

Alandria barely managed to drag a semi-conscious Ian down some uncovered stairs to his house’s still intact basement, taking hits through it all despite her attempts to veil them with glamours. Ian managed to distract and expose the shooter briefly by creating a massive sinkhole in the area where the sniper was perched, and Alandria (barely) managed to drag him through a portal to her Demense, where she let a catgirl lick him for a while.

Nevarres and Jack arrived at Ian’s place after the fun had ended. Nevarres arrived first, and scoped the place out, but didn’t notice the sniper or get shot. When Jack arrived, the two talked briefly before Nevarres noticed a red dot on the back of Jack’s head, and shoved him out of the way.

What followed was a tense, painful attempt to rush the sniper by Jack, while Nevarres circled around after her. Jack took hound form, spotted the shooter’s location fairly quickly, and initially attempted to sneak his way there. His newness to the form coupled with his own less than subtle nature blew that wide open, however, and he was immedately grazed by a bullet. A bullet that carried the sting of iron. Jack abandoned stealth at that point and tried to rush it with sheer speed and stubbornness, zig-zagging among trees in an attempt to throw off the sniper’s shots.

For his trouble, Jack took a bullet in one side of his chest and right out the other, thankfully missing his heart but not one of his lungs. Around this point, Nevarres had closed in, found a displaced land mine the Sniper had set up for protection, repositioned it, and set it off to dislodge them from their position. This went off without a hitch, and Nevarres managed, with difficulty, to drag Jack (thankfully back to human form and a lot less heavy) to Ian’s basement. On the way there, he was shot in the back by the sniper, and the two had a painful tumble down the stairs.

Downstairs, the two discussed the situation while Nevarres gave Jack a bit of quick first aid. Jack sussed out that there had been a portal to the Nevernever opened there recently, and encouraged Nevarres to try opening one himself. This worked out well, and then a phosphorous grenade came tumbling down the stairs, and they both struggled their way through the portal before it went off.

They arrived at Alandria’s Demense, were tended to as Ian had been, and argued about the situation a bit. Jack concluded, based on the bit of description Nevarres had, that it had been his mother shooting at him. Ian eventually left to check on some things, found out Jack’s car had been rigged with a bomb (naturally), found that Alandria’s doorway out had opened to tomorrow, and had a vision: Jack’s parents arguing. Junior was upset that his mother, Mary, had attempted to kill him early. Mary was upset about her son being a monster, and her husband giving her shit about trying to kill a monster. The situation resolved itself, barely, but it was made clear that they weren’t a united front of the ‘kill Jack’ front. More importantly, he managed to glean their location from this.

Ian headed back to the storage unit/armory Jack had led them to during a previous situation, and told the others to meet him there.

And there, it ended.

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Blast to the Past
In which the crew hits '88.

February 24, 2006

Everything began simply enough. Ian heard one of his magic shops was robbed. Alandria got word through the Paranet that someone had a book stolen. Jack and Nevarres heard about disappearances, Ian’s robbery, and rumors of something going down at the St. Louis Cathedral.

Then it all got complicated.

The theft at Ian’s store amounted to a good six figures of magical components that would be virtually worthless on the mundane market. The thieves showed incomplete signs of understanding the threat a magic user could pose, and took precautions against it: They Zip-stripped the clerk’s hands together, stuffed them into mittens, and bagged his head, not realizing what while this could make magic more troublesome, it wouldn’t entirely protect them. After his own cursory investigation, Ian contacted Jack about the matter, then decided to hang out at one of his other stores and see if it got hit next.

Alandria spoke to the man with the stolen book, and discovered that it was one of the Große Buch der Zeit Magie, a german book on the very illegal subject of Time Magic. This book is notorious enough to have made it on the White Council’s banned books list, and the man was very concerned that Alandria not let her Warden Associate know about it, for fear that he would either lose his head, or his grandfather’s entire collection of dangerous forbidden texts that he claims to be unable to use.

Jack took Nevarres with him to check out Ian’s store, and found out a few things, none of it overly useful to him: First, Ian is either a terrible artist or he’s terrible at remembering faces, because the sketch of Nevarres he put up telling people not to serve him was off enough to avoid causing trouble. Second, The men who robbed the store weren’t professionals, per se, but they were definitely disciplined and knew exactly what they were doing: They didn’t take any extraneous stuff, everything they took pointed toward a common purpose, the money was left in the till, and nobody was hurt. Third, they were looking at thugs on a budget: All of the stuff used to restrain the clerk was cheap Family Dollar crap. Fourth, the common purpose of the materials was amplification. The components could be used to amplify a spell well beyond its original scope. Or make a really tasty gumbo that would leave you glued to the toilet for a week.

Jack and Ian shared information, and found out they had already come to the same conclusions about the components. Jack suspected Jon Mais and his crew in East New Orleans of the theft, but wasn’t willing to challenge them on it without clearer evidence, so he kept that to himself.

Lacking anywhere further to go with that, Jack dropped Nevarres off to do some further research on the spell components, then scoped out the St. Louis Cathedral, mingling with the crowds while he examined the place, turning up only a closed-off section that he resolved to visit later that night.

And indeed he tried. Jack sought out a side door, only to find a pair of vans already parked there and some young people heading in the door. On quick inspection, one van turned out to be a rental, while the other appeared to be owned by the weaselly pack of dark wizard wannabes that stole Rephaim from Nevarres. How could Jack tell? Slytherin bumper sticker. Jack put in a quick call to Nevarres to come out and make sure they didn’t get away while he was investigating the church proper, then tried the door himself. When Jack tried the door, he got shocked silly and blown back into one of the vans. When Jack tried to smash the door, he got the same result. When jack got ‘clever’, and decided to insulate himself by hacking the Slytherin Van’s tire apart and using the rubber for insulation … he still got the same result. So he called in Ian.

While all this was going on, Alandria was checking around for information on the stolen book. She came to the conclusion that any large time-based ritual would have to be done at some place that had a sort of resonance with the type of time magic in question. For going forward in time, you would need something ‘futuristic’, for travel backward, one would need something historic. So she did a tour of the major historic locations in New Orleans, which ultimately brought her to the St. Louis Cathedral.

At about the same time Ian arrived. Nevarres had made himself scarce, and taken to watching from a distance, Jack did his best to ignore the treacherous wench as he explained the situation to Ian, and fed him a line of bull that wasn’t quite untrue, that he believed there might be a chance the Slytherin twits were responsible for the theft. Then Alandria explained what she was up to, and the two got into an argument about the book where she refused to give the name of the man who lost it, and demanded credit (and payment) for turning it in if it was recovered, while Ian refused to give credit (or anything else, for that matter) unless she yielded up the name.

About the time Jack was ready to shove them both into the door, the roof exploded, Ian was struck by a chunk of falling gargoyle, and everything went black.

March 21 1788

Everyone woke up seperately. Ian awoke in old-fashioned bedclothes, in a well-appointed bedroom. After some poking around his room, he was approached by a servant, who gave him a newspaper and breakfast, then was sent away to fetch Jack and Alandria.

Jack awoke the same way he always did: Stark naked with the sheets half on the floor. The new part was that he seemed to be in an upscale hotel room decorated with archaic firearms, which was simply ludicrious. Jack liked archaic melee weapons, not firearms! After a bit of investigation and dressing, a bellboy arrived to give Jack Ian’s invitation. He was sent off with a two dollar tip, giddy at his newfound riches, and presumably quit on the spot and bought himself a house with one dollar and lived off the rest.

Alandria awoke in a tiny attic room, and wasted no time taking off to check out what was going on. She was the first to see the blue and silver streaked sky. She wandered the streets, keeping an eye out for the Slytherin twits, but after failing to spot them for a while, she decided to return to where everything began: The St. Louis Cathedral.

Nevarres woke up in a cheap flophouse, stripped off his shirt, rubbed mud on himself, and eventually wandered to the church as well, where he met up with Alandria. The two of them found the church surrounded by a silver and blue field. Rephaim recognized it as being made of Soulfire, Hellfire’s opposite number, and pointed out that Soulfire was literally powered by the soul: The massive field around the church and the city was burning soul from someone, and probably many someones. Alandria convinced someone to walk through the field, and the immediately aged to bones and crumbled to dust. Alandria refused to accept the blame for this callous murder, on the grounds that this was the past and the person was clearly already dead.

Jack arranged for a carriage to visit Ian, when it struck him that he knew where Ian lived, and it wasn’t where he lived on the present. Jack immediately concluded that this meant someone had gotten into his head, and began to quietly freak out. The world as he knew it gone and replaced by the past? Whatever. Someone put information in his head? Freak out time.

Jack eventually arrived at Ian’s lovely plantation mansion, partook his amazing scotch, and got into a conversation about what was happening while their players totally talked over the rest of the group and ignored them entirely. Ultimately, they came to the conclusion that they should visit the church as well.

While Ian and Jack were en route, Alandria and Nevarres spent time testing the weird field. Alandria discovered that it was safe to cross if you went through the Nevernevnever. A look around the church showed that the vans were still there, so clearly the church was still in the modern day. On the reasoning that a few hundred years wouldn’t hurt him any, Nevarres stepped through the field. His clothes promptly disintegrated, his hair grew out to completely cover his body, his nails grew to revolting lengths … but otherwise he was fine. All of this reversed itself when he came back through … except the clothes. Alandria had just finished getting him dressed again when Jack and Ian arrived.

After a bit of pedantic arguing between Ian and Alandria, and some catchup between Nevarres and Jack, the crew proceeded to take a quick hop through the Nevernever to get into the church proper, where Ian used his handy-dandy Warden Sword to cut through the ward that had thrown Jack around earlier. Inside, the building was full of collapsed people. Ian used The Sight to trace the source of the magic downward, and everyone trooped on down to find a man floating in another Soulfire Circle with the stolen book, surrounded by the stolen spell components and passed out Slythern twits.

Jack attempted to question the man, and was informed that the time displacement had taken place due to an accident that he was trying to reverse. Ian confirmed that the guy in question was the one who caused the accident … then he shot him. The man fell half through the circle, and the half that fell through turned to dust. Fortunately, the book was not lost, and after a bit of finagling, Alandria managed to remove it from the circle. Ian settled in to make a potion that would allow him to comprehend old german, Jack looted the sacramental wine, Nevarres walked around uncomfortably … and eventually Ian finished his potion, figured out what was necessary to fix things, and set out to do it alone.

Alandria shuttled everybody into the Nevernever, into her own private demense. Back in the real world, Ian tore down the spell, but couldn’t fully control the power unleashed, and had to make a split-second choice: Let the backlash hit the past or the present. Thus, the first great fire of New Orleans was begun.

Back in Alandria’s demense, Jack was approached by a Neried named Nissa who had heard about his situation. She offered him the innocence of one maiden in a container that could potentially hold more … in exchange for his endurance. Jack would just have to settle for having the endurance of a normal human of his age. Jack told her he’d get back to her. … If he was desperate. He wasn’t entirely sure losing a forearm was worse than losing his stamina. Prosthetics are a lot nicer these days.

Once everybody had returned to the present day real world, Jack got angry because his jacket was gone, lost to the mists of time somewhere, and then everybody went their separate ways. Nevarres and Alandria both offered to help Jack find containers for holding innocence, and Ian went to report the situation and put his head on a chopping block.

After a meeting with the incomplete Senior Council, Ian was saved from the sword by a vote from Ancient Mai, after subjecting him to a soulgaze that damn near killed him anyway.

Alandria spoke with her father about containers, and was directed to a creature in the bayou that appeared as an old lady. The two exchanged a bit of banter, and ultimately came to an agreement: If Jack was willing to get the woman with child, she’d give him a container to capture innocence. If he didn’t do a good job, well … she’d eat him.

Meanwhile, Nevarres spoke with Rose about the subject, and secured a much sweeter deal … in a manner of speaking. She would give him four vials that could be used to capture the innocence of a maiden, provided one of them was returned to her full. Jack opted to go this path despite it giving a fallen angel what was surely something that could be used to fairly potent and unpleasant ends.

After only a few nights, Jack had managed to collect everything he needed and more. His strategy of circling the high school herds and preying on the weak, the outcast nerds, ugly girls, and fat chicks, served him well.

Jack paid Alandria five hundred dollars to arrange transport to and from the Erlking’s court, where he paid up his debt, and called out the Erlking’s Speaker, a Satyr that had never failed to harass him every time he appeared at court. He called her a coward, citing her reluctance to meet him, a ‘mere mortal’ on even ground last time they met. Left with little choice (and believing she had nothing to fear), the Satyr let herself be lured into a fight with Jack, armed with a set of Cast Iron knuckles and a brace of knives. All the Satyr had was a shield and a spear. Really, how is that fair?

Jack proceeded to make things more unfair by shatting her shield with his iron knuckles, took a minor gash from the spear while taunting her, then cut off her hoof with his knife mid-kick, she was finished. He offered her a chance to yield, was informed that there would be no yielding, and cut her throat. He then proceeded to slowly, and messily, hack and twist her head off its shoulders and drop it before the Erlking.

A set of bracers were brought to Jack, and laid out before him. The Erlking spoke, asking Jack if he was ready to accept his destiny. There was no hesitation. Jack clasped the bracers to his arms, digging spikes inside them into his skin until they drew blood. The Erlking declared Jack the Knight of the Autumn court, and the scene faded to black with Jack’s bloody arms upraised, laughing maniacally.

A few days later, the whole crew arranged to meet at Neutral Grounds, the Accorded Neutral Coffee Shop. Ian, Jack, and Nevarres argued about whether Nevarres could be trusted after his behavior at the Asylum. This mutated into a discussion about trust between everybody, and they all agreed to sign and seal a blood oath not to harm, or arrange for third parties to harm, each other, unless someone else broke the oath first and instigated the attack. Everything was laid out on the table between them: Nevarres’ full reasons for his dealing with rose and his favor to Nicodemus, Alandria becoming full fey, Ian stealing a goddamn denarius from Jack, and a quick explanation of the White Council’s general collective goals. And Jack let everyone in on his new position, and vaguely explained that there was more to his family, but they didn’t get into it.

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Mommy Issues

Alandria came to in a bathroom shower, suspended upside down from the ceiling by ropes that held her body at a slight incline. Water was coursing down her body and falling to swirl down a drain in the floor. Her body was encased in a straight jacket that hit about mid-thigh on her, making it hard to squirm away from the steady dripping of water on her forehead.

She noticed a few things right off, aside from the running water; One, she was naked except for the straight jacket. Even her coral ring that enhanced her water control was gone. Two, there was a TV monitor hooked up where she could see it, currently showing a figure ramming against a door.

Alandria looked closer at the display and saw that it was her father, Roane, in a straight jacket. He was furiously pounding his shoulder against the door, trying to bust it open. Behind him lay a figure with long hair, sprawled on the floor. Haley didn’t seem to be moving yet and Roan was desperately trying to get out before she came to.

Alandria made an effort to get out of her restraints, writhing and squirming. The more she struggled, the tighter her bonds seemed to be. When she looked up at the monitor again,she saw Roan huddled in a corner hunched up into a little ball. She assumed he was trying to veil himself. Haley’s hair had begun to move. The crazy woman was waking.

Again, Alandria struggled again, this time trying to call up magic to get free, but just about the time she had enough magic gathered to do anything, the water would drip down onto her forehead, disrupting her concentration.

Another desperate look at the monitor showed Haley’s fingers and toes starting to twitch. Alandria was out of time. Whatever the Denarian had done to keep Roane from opening a way to the nevernever and escaping, it was working. All her father could do now was hold a glamor and hope it worked.

Alandria hesitated for just a moment before closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. It took every ounce of concentration to do it, but she focused her will on the camera recording her every movement and before the next drop of water could fall, the camera sparked and crackled, dying. She didn’t want the Denarian watching her to have any idea of what she was about to do.

As the camera died, Alandria let her breath out slowly. After a moment, her body changed. One moment the lanky girl was there, dangling from the ceiling, the next moment a sleek harbor seal slid easily from the wet fabric to thump against the floor. She struggled to right herself, twisting from her back onto her belly in a fluid motion. The time it took for her to get onto her stomach was all the time needed for her to shift back to a human form, now on all fours, naked on the floor.

Alandria stood and gave the dangling straight jacket a look of consideration before untangling it and donning it once more. The TV listed the room number her father was in. If she hurried, she would be able to find him and save him.


Jack and Ianweren’t sure what to do. The changeling had disappeared, Nevarres had run off with the Denarians, and Alandria was nowhere to be found either. Luckily, Ian had the bright idea to stop by Gideon’s place to see if he would be willing to help them kill a few Denarians. Jack’s smooth talking landed them the help they needed and the trio stormed off in Ian’s loaner car to hunt some demons.

They arrived at Lake Pontchartrain Mental Institution to find magical shrubberies creeping across the parking lot. They made it inside without much hassle, and found a guard at the front desk with unnatural green eyes. After asking to visit with Rose and Haley and being turned down, the guard agreed to let them see Nevarres and escorted them to a waiting room.

A soulgaze with the guard showed Ian a man being sucked into the trunk of a tree coated in green moss, the same shade of green as his glowing green eyes.

The three waited for ten minutes before Jack got impatient and went to leave the room, only to be surprised by someone on the other side of the door when he opened it. He fired a shot at the figure with his holy water modded tranq gun, but missed.


Nevarres got the call to meet with Jack and Ian, but before he did, he snooped around in Rose’s office. He found the camera display showing Roane and Alandria, and was writing down room numbers when Alandria fried the camera showing her room.

Nevarres then went down to talk to Jack and Ian, narrowly dodging the gun when Jack shot at him out of surprise. He gave Jack the room numbers and then ran away again.

Jack, Ian, and Gideon then started down the hallway to try and find Roane’s room first. Gideon had to rip the doors off the walls in order to get past a security checkpoint, and then they were stopped by a lot of orderlies and security guards. Ian used a spell to put the lot of them to sleep, and then Alandria found the group of them.

She was still soaking wet and clad in only the straight jacket, but she didn’t let that bother her. She got them to follow her back towards an area she had noticed with heavy security doors where she thought Roane might be kept, and sure enough he was there.

Ian drew back the panel covering the window to Roan’s cell, and the group could see Haley standing, staring at an empty corner where Alandria knew Roane would be. In a rush to distract her from finding Roane, Alandria spoke into the intercom, calling Haley to get her attention. Of course, Haley looked up at the speaker instead of at the door.

Alandria ought to have communicated her intentions better.. But she put up a glamor over the door of a closed door, then she opened the real door outwards. Just as she was opening it, Jack had to speak up “Well, we gonna open the door?” Of course, Haley was out the door in a flash and the fight was on.

To make a long fight short, Alandria disintegrated Haley’s hair, Gideon held her so she couldn’t move, and got impaled for his troubles. Ian used his sight to locate the coin, and Jack used his gladius to hack Haley’s arm off. When Ian tried to pull the coin out of the fingers, the hand flung it at his face. Jack intercepted it, catching it and pocketing it.

As soon as Haley was down, Alandria had went to her father, crouching down to gently lay a hand on his shoulder. “It’s all right. It’s over.”

Roane looked up at her, then looked at her closely before smiling. “I knew you’d come around” He gave her a hug and Alandria returned it with a warm smile.

“You know I couldn’t just leave you like this.” Ian had stabilized Haley in the background and was trying to revive Gideon. Jack came up to Alandria and Roane, intent on collecting payment again.

The guys bickered for a little bit, with Roane insisting he had paid his debt. Alandria suggested that if he had really paid,just go to the Erlking and tell him that he delivered his payment into the hands of his debt collector, and Jack had lost it.

With that settled, Alandria knew something had to be done about Haley. From what Father Masseyhad told her, Denarians could teach their host how to summon the coin back to them whenever they wanted.

Alandria saw a way to perhaps achieve the death of Haley without getting her hands dirty. She asked Jack to borrow a sword, and as expected, he refused. She had to explain why she wanted it and when she told him that as long as Haley was alive, she could possibly summon the coin back to her, Jack acted without thinking. He promptly stuck his gladius in Haley’s neck, killing her.

At some point, Ian pick pocketed Jack and stole the Denarian coin. Roane told Jack that Ian didn’t do it. He had his eyes on Ian the whole time and never saw him take it. Then he proceeded to illusion things like scorpions into Denarian coins along the way to the Erlking’s. Jack tried to pick up every single one.

Jack, Alandria, and Roane go to see the Erlking and Jack gets tasked with getting the payment he destroyed: The innocence of three maidens. Alandria took Jack home, then went home herself.

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Two Weeks Worth
Ninja'd Yo!

Our heroes spent some time investigating a containment circle to use on the Denarian that would be easiest to track and control, Haley Vulpe. After getting people gathered safely within St. Louis Cathedral under the supervision of Father Max Massey, the group set off to see what they could do to save some lives.

Alandria had given her father a heads up, and warned him to get out of town. She also met with a local skinwalker who had been seeking information about her kind. The woman agreed to help them out with the demon, intrigued by reports of the demon being able to shift forms.

Jack took some time out to break into Alandria’s home after he and she got into an argument about her father. She had warned him to keep away from her father and let him know that she was willing to do what she had to do to protect him. Jack didn’t like this, and found a hair in Alandria’s apartment to use at a later time. While there, he vandalized the place to make it look likeher mother had been the one t break in, carving scripture on the wall. The landlord caught him and forced jack to pay him cash in order to be let go.

In the middle of this all, Nevarres disappeared to go have lunch with his Denarian girlfriend, Rose Weaver. Rose tried to entice him to rejoin the ranks of the Fallen, indicating that Nevarres had once been working side by side with the demons.

Ian built the containment circle with the help of Jack’s finances. It was then mounted on the ceiling in an abandoned house built shotgun style. They positioned themselves for the trap, using their new shapechanger ally. Alandria and the woman had went to Roane’s home to find a picture of him, and then the baby skinwalker took Roan’s form, standing at the end of tha hallway.

Ian begun to cast a summoning spell, though they made it seem as tough Alandria were the one summoning the Denarian, using it as bait to attract Haley. It was not a true summoning spell. The spell had enough energy in it to say “Hey, here I am over here..”

Within short time Haley showed up along with Rose. All seemed to go well with the containment circle, until the Denarian started to wrap it’s hair around itself. Ian held back too long, wanting maximum power, and by the time he released the stored energy of the circle, the Denarian had wrapped itself in a cocoon, shielding itself from all mortal magic. The attempts to convince Haley to give up the coin had failed.

All hell broke loose. Nevarres disappeared yet again, along with Rose, who had been sitting outside on Ian’s car, watching.

Haley faced a moment of confusion when the shapechanger took on the form of the common representation of Jesus Christ. Just as she started to talk to Haley and try to get her to give up the coin, Jack opened fire with his gun, riddling the Denarian with bullets and sending her diving through a wall into another room.

As the dust settled, Alandria and Haley attacked at exactly the same time. Alandria used her new control over water magic to draw holy water out of three opened jugs at her feet that Jack had brought. Hellfire and Holy Water clashed, severely damaging both Haley and Alandria. The shapechanger ally attacked as a bear, charging Haley and knocking her into the next house.

Haley unfortunately took on some vampiric aspects and drained the shapechanger of her blood as the two grappled. The shapechanger turned to dust, and Jack shot Haley with a holy water tranquilizer gun. The damage inflicted was great, and Jack had to choose between a chance to retrieve the coin, as fire started from a broken gas main, or to get his allies out of the burning house safely.

Jack got them all to safety.

Later, Alandria took the time to look for her father to double check on his safety, but was unable to contact him for the second time. She used formal channels this time, standing at the banks of Lake Pontchartrain and summoning him by Name. There was no response, save for a bubble of blood bursting on the surface of the water. Worried, Alandria waded into the water, her first instincts leading her to help her father. Underwater, she found a way to the nevernever closing, and she dove through it without thinking twice.

Landing in a pool of blood, Alandria was greeting with the sight of her father staked to a wall by iron railroad spikes, his belly eviscerated, intestines dangling down into the pool. Fish were biting chunks out of the entrails, with the entrails healing up shortly thereafter. The wound on his belly was not healing, a sign it had been made by iron.

Alandria’s presence attracted one of the fish, a piranha, she learned as it took a bite out of her thigh. She hurried out of the blood and skirted the side of the pool till she could reach her father. She managed to her him down from the wall, and with every effort of will she could muster, she tore a hole in the nevernever to take him to safety.

She had expected to return to Lake Pontchartrain, but to her horror, she found herself in an office. A woman walked over to her, and she heard Rose’s familiar voice. “Oh my. It looks like someone needs help!” She sounded delighted, and not concerned for Alandria or Roane in the least.

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She's comin...AND HELLS COMIN WITH HER!!!!

Feburary 15th

Tonight started with Nevarres dutifully attending to his duties as a librarian, Jack getting his first big assignment from the Erlking, Alan getting an S.O.S. from a local group of Wiccans, and Ian trying to get some personal work done.

Jack was ordered by the Erlking to track down a fae that was late on his rent and bring either payment or his forearm back. Jack used his personal contacts to track the fae to a dilapidated hotel. There he was fooled into accidentally jumping off a balcony by way of illusion. Jack survived the fall and fiercely tracked his target to a beach where he smartly evaded another illusion meant to allow his quarry a speedy getaway…in Jacks car. Jack managed to eventually catch the fae, Roane, but was given the old shanghai switch and was duped into letting him go for a sham of the targets back rent…more to come on this front next week!

Nevarres now has a secret admirer who sent him gummie bears and a rose…awww. Nev pricked his finger on a thorn so he tossed the rose and scarfed the gummies. A kindly old man then took the rose with Nev’s permission for whatever it is kindly old homeless men do with bloody roses.

Alan was contacted by a coven who had members going missing over the past few days. After attempting to gain entry to the home of one of the coven, she decided that Ian would be a good back up partner and gave him a call. They both investigated the coven members home and found a ritually sacrificed family in the basement. After scouring the house for clues an address book led them to the next intended victim.

The group was given the call to assemble and did so at the next wiccan’s house. As they searched the home they came across a strange woman dressed in a straight jacket with wild black hair in the basement. She had bound the family and as they entered the room the sight of Alan froze her in mid-thought. After a moment a fierce battle ensued with yet more water mains bursting and dryers and washing machines being thrown around like rag dolls. During the battle the woman burned Alan’s forehead with a large “W”. As the battle spun down it seemed the woman was defeated only for the groups victory to literally go down a drain. Frustrated Ian attempted a vision and was unprepared for what he got. Not quite himself, Ian attacked Alan and was disarmed by Jack.

Ian’s vision was not a total waste however, he discovered who had sent Nev his gifts….and who the woman was. The woman was Alan’s mother and Nev had been given his gifts by an ex-girlfriend…both of which are now possessed by the fallen angels or the Blacked Order of the Denarius. Will our hero’s survive? Will they find religion? Will their souls be blackened by these fallen angels? Only time will tell….

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Ashes to Ashes
Or: We didn't start the fire. She did!
January 27, 2006

Early in the morning, Jack and Nevarres headed out to pay a visit to Albert U. Cardinael at his church in East New Orleans. Jack questioned Albert about churches in the vicinity that may house Gregor, but didn’t turn up any immediate information. He did manage to get some holy water blessed, didn’t manage to get some Bacardi 151 blessed, to his great disappointment, and left Albert with his card and Email address in case he turned something up.

Meanwhile, Alandria paid a visit to her father to exchange a favor for a rare and valuable item she needed to produce a powerup potion intended to enhance her magic.

The quartet met up later that evening to tail Gregor’s thrall, but unfortunately, their attempt to didn’t exactly go well. Due to a lack of communication among the three drivers, they all immediately pulled out to follow their quarry as soon as he left work … but he made no effort to shake them off, and proceeded directly to an obnoxiously large, garish church, heavily adorned with broadcasting towers. A televangelist church. Nobody was particularly thrilled to see this.

Alandria took this time to view the church under the Sight, and the results were … unpleasant: The gutted corpses of hopes and faith were scattered about the parking lot and the church proper, while bloated vulture-like creatures feasted on the remains. More usefully, she also perceived that only a few parts of the church appeared to have any kind of threshold or warding at all. And then Jack walked into her line of Sight. He appeared much as he truly was: A boy, painfully young, but possessed of great strength and carrying a heaping load of weapons. But stretched out behind him, far larger and darker than it had any right to be, his shadow held something … a wild, deadly power. And it saw her looking at it. It was then that she managed to close her sight, and none too soon: They had been noticed, wandering around the parking lot talking and looking unkempt.

Ian gave the security guard in his cute little security golf cart a weak story about bringing their friend (Alandria) to be saved, which the rest immediately played along with, and feigned disappointment upon learning that the church was closed. But the kind-hearted security officer wasn’t going to let them leave empty-handed: He gave them all a handful of Chick Tracts for guidance.

Decisions were made: They would get some rest, then come back in the morning. Everyone crashed at Jack’s apartment, after giving him enough time to turn off and unplug everything remotely sensitive. Ian and Alandria attempted to get a little more training in (successfully for a change!) and killed Jack’s refrigerator.

January 28, 2006

Early in the morning, Jack dragged everybody out of bed and led them to his armory: Another storage unit, just like his workshop. After ensuring that everybody else was properly kitted out with Kevlar vests and handguns (he didn’t trust them with anything bigger, and they thankfully didn’t ask), he suited himseful up in a SWAT suit, complete with riot shield. With a towel strapped to the front of the shield. Never forget your towel.

Shortly after sunrise proper, the crew arrived back at Gregor’s church to find … a full parking lot. Televangelists broadcast in the early morning. They decided to park somewhere else and wait on things to clear out a bit, then came back when it was a bit less crowded, to find a trio of security guards in their security carts. Ian checked them with his sight, and found that one was a renfield … and he saw the Church. His perception of the place was a fair bit different from Alandria’s: He perceived it as a large Mayan pyramid, at the top of which people willingly flung themselves down on the Altar to have their hearts ripped out, then were kicked aside for the next supplicant. And the next. And the next. And then he got his sight under control, and attempted to inform Nevarres and Jack of the Renfield. He failed.

Jack gave Nevarres a stun gun and asked him to put the guards and the Renfield down. The normal human guard he attempted to stun went fine. The second one he thought was human, however, was the miscommunicated renfield, and knocked him flying. Then Jack ran him over. Thoroughly. And damaged his car. Thoroughly. Somewhere along the way, the alarm was raised, bars were being lowered over the doors, and … nobody cared, because Ian hexed it down in a hurry.

After breaking (quite literally) through the front doors, they followed Alandria’s memory to the threshold … and had a problem. Namely: There was a threshold, and only Jack could ignore it with impunity. After a bit of thinking while Jack continued to explore the rooms (a kitchen and dining area), Ian managed to bring down the ward, which seemed to serve as a supernatural alarm. As sirens began to wail outside, Ian set up a veil over the kitchen door to delay the police finding them.

They found a door leading downstairs, and after a pause for Jack to soak his toweled shield in holy water, and Alandria to pass Jack a speed potion, they went downstairs. And ran right into a group of Renfields behind makeshift cover, where Jack put his shield and armor to good use keeping everybody from getting shot up in the first moments of the encounter, Ian put his force magic to good use pinning a pair of renfields to the wall with a couch, Alandria started a bunch of goddamn fires, Nevarres played Jump-rope with a pool table, and Jack got hit with a flaming fooseball table. And then he shot the Renfield who threw it in the face with a shotgun at nearly point blank range.

Nevarres took care of the fire, Jack took care of survivors, and once they found another set of stairs down, Jack wasted a flashbang. Downstairs was what appeared to be an old bomb shelter with two heavy submarine-style doors. The first one contained a box, and nothing else. Somebody had the bright idea to close the door behind them, and then someone else poked the box. It was essentially a magic flashbang. And then a chunk of ceiling collapsed and water began to pour into the room. Jack attempted to open the door and found it locked, naturally. Ian attempted to magic his way out, both trying to take out the door and cut a hole into the nevernever, but the water was grounding out his magic. Alandria tried to melt it, and her magic washed off. Nevarres and Jack made their own efforts, with just as little success. As the room was getting full, Alandria continued to stand on the floor, underwater … and with some struggling, managed to pull on her fae side enough to force the water into the room faster, harder, and blow the door completely off its hinges, washing the men out into the hallway. Alandria was able to exit with considerably more dignity.

After drying off, rearming, and bracing themselves, they tried the other door. Nevarres opened it, Jack took point behind his shield, and the magic users stayed in the back, as is the natural order of things. As soon as the door was open, Jack had a brief moment to see a dark room full of more furniture converted to cover, then a bright flash, and then a bullet flew through his shield, and lodged itself in the strike plate of his body armor. And it was hot. Nevarres tackled Jack to the ground, landing them all in a tangle. Jack got himself loose, chugged the potion, and things got crazy.

A grenade was used to no effect. A super soaker backpack full of lighter fluid was shot mid-throw by an armor piercing incendiary rifle shot. Flares were thrown, shouting was done, and eventually Alandria lit the entire room on fire. Gregor came barreling out, threw Alandria into the flaming room, and made a dash for the stairs. Nevarres pursued, managed to knock him off balance so that Jack, close behind, could get in a shot with his own incendiary rounds: Shotgun shells, in his case. Unfortunately, Gregor managed to use Nevarres as a human shield, and only caught part of the blast. And that is when Ian showed them all what a White Council Wizard could fucking do. He gathered up all of the fire Alandria had spread around into a single blast, along with most of the heat in the area, and essentially shoved it down Gregor’s throat. There wasn’t enough of him left to bother sweeping up.

And all that left was the little issue of the police. Going back upstairs would get them arrested. Staying downstairs would eventually get them arrested too. Their only choice was to retreat into the nevernever, a dubious proposition at best, but the only choice they had. So Ian opened a Way. Into the middle of a pack of Acid-drooling Hellhound Hyenas.

The hyenas spread out to circle the small group, laughing maniacally. Ian, Nevarres, and Alandria all managed to keep their heads. Jack, however … the circling, the laughing, the acid, the nearly getting shot through the chest with incendiary ammunition, it was all too much. The Hyenas, normally something that wouldn’t bother him, frightened him. They were intimidating. And Jack responded to this in the only way he knows how: He found the biggest, boldest looking one, assumed it was the Alpha, and shot it dead, then started shouting threats at the Hyenas until they gave him a little space.

Everybody expected Ian to have some idea where to go. Ian had no clue where to go. He spotted a building of some sort, decided it was better than nothing, and told them that was the proper way to go. So Jack started marching that way, gun trained on the Hyena most directly in their path, and kept walking. The Hyena flinched first, and they proceeded unmolested to the building.

They found a pair of goblins, that proclaimed themselves followers of The Autumn Court, and expressed interest in collecting a bounty on Ian for being a wizard, until asked what it would cost for safe passage back to the mortal realm: A service to their lord for each that sought passage, or Alandria making her Choice and swearing fealty to the master of the Autumn Court.

They were all led to the great hall of the autumn court, where goblins and other less recognizable wyldfae of all description were gathered, feasting raucously … until the mortals stepped in. A hush fell over the room, so quickly and completely, it was almost (almost my ass) as if it was practiced specifically to unnerve interlopers. Not that it was necessary. Lounging at the head of the hall, up several stairs to a raised dais, upon a massive throne, was The Erlking. Jack was dumbstruck. Alandria and the others took to their knees. Jack was too shocked to join them.

A female satyr, acting as mouthpiece for the Erlking, laid down the terms necessary for safe passage, once it was made clear what they sought: Agree to answer the call of The Hunt, once. Or, should she prove herself worthy, Alandria could make her Choice, and swear herself to the Erlking and his court. As she was in the process of agreeing, Jack snapped back to himself and shouted over her, declaring himself worthy, completely ignoring that nobody had been talking to him.

The Satyr made the mistake of expressing amusement at ‘the human cub’, and set Jack off in a sort of calm fury: He stalked up the stairs to her (despite Alandria’s attempts to hold him back), and bitch-slapped her with his riot shield, then proceeded to loudly declare his name and prowess to the entire court. The Satyr, fully prepared to shank the young Belmont for his insolence, was halted by her King, who laughed uproariously at this display, and asked for proof of his claims. Jack then promised that he could, with ease, accomplish anything the Erlking could ask of him. The Erlking accepted this oath, and Jack felt himself bound by the power of it. They were granted passage back to the mortal realm, down a well well that landed them in the New Orleans bayou.

Ian has succeeded in his task.
Alandria has taken a further step toward her fae side.
Jack has recklessly bound himself to the Erlking’s service.
And Nevarres is still doing fine.

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The Old Man and The Sea

January 24th, 2006

Nevarres was working on fixing up his ‘House’ when some Funky Fish people started snooping around late last night. Nevarres, being the smart one he is, hid. The fish people never really bothered Nevarres or tried to come into his home. The only thing they really did was dig up dead bodies on the beach. Not recognizing these strange people, Nevarres decided to wait until the morning, where he then proceeded to his new job, at the Main Library. After some careful research, Nevarres managed to deduct that these creatures were Drowners: Creatures that would Drown their victims and turn them into a Drowned One, or Kill you and eat you if you were fortunate enough to be on land. Not liking these things on his Front Lawn, Nevarres called up Jack Belmont. Gave him the whole rundown, and set up a meeting with him that night to scope out the Drowners, and try and see what they were up to.
Jack was incredibly hung over, and forgot the meeting. Nevarres was stuck alone watching the Drowners again.

Januray 25th.

Ian called Alandria for some help on a Stakeout, and to get some training done. They met across from The Le Chaise Restaurant in an abandoned warehouse. Things didn’t start out well. Ian went off on Alandria for having no control, Then Alandria went off on Ian for not showing her anything to help with her Control, and it escalated poorly to the point where they both almost walked out on each other. Finally they managed to cool down, and work out a agreement, and get on with the task of staking out the restaurant.

Nevarres called Jack AGAIN to remind him about the Drowners. Jack complained about a hangover. Finally, Jack was on his way to Nevarres’s house. It took nearly ten minutes of yelling at Nevarres to get the location, but he finally managed to make it over there.
Just in time to be called by Ian, or a attempted call by Ian. I Ian’s magic was screwing with the reception. Jack’s response prompted Ian to hang up. Few minutes later, Alandria called, informing him that she and Ian were staking the Le Chaise Restaurant out, and that they should head over there for a late night bust in.

Jack and Nevarres headed over to The Le Chaise Restaurant, and set about trying to find Ian. It wasn’t hard, seeing as how Ian was practically fogging up the window in the Warehouse he was in, being so close to it. Jack drove around and parked about a block away and the two walked to where Ian and Alandria where located. After a nice lecture from Jack about how much Ian sucked at Stakeouts, a flash caught Nevarres’s attention, and Nevarres pointed out how the entire time Ian had been watching the restaurant, the restaurant and been watching them. So, Deciding that tonight was not a great night for breaking and entering, The four decided to handle the Drowner problem first.

After they managed to make it to Nevarres’s house, they started looking around and found traces where the Drowners and Drowned ones and been snooping around some more. As the sun went down, the group decided to split up. Nevarres and Jack went to the second Story of Nevarres’s house, Ian went to another house on down the beach, and Alandria…went into the water for a short time, then joined Jack and Nevarres in the Beach house. It didn’t take long for the creatures to show up. Repeated their actions from the night before: sniff around, find bodies, Dig them up, and take them into the water. When the last group found a body, the group all acted and tried to catch one.

At first Jack and Nevarres were just going to cripple one, and try and capture it. As they were fixing to set their plan into motion, the earth reached up and grabbed the 5 or 6 left and tried to hold them in place. Everyone saw Ian Running towards the Creatures, so they all assumed it was him who had tried the restraint. The creatures did not like there new restraints though, and broke them with little effort. Seeing things go bad, Everyone jumped into action. Nevarres, having read that these creatures where fairly strong, ran outside, and drug his sword in a Circle around the creatures, not really wanting to directly fight them. Ian threw some Will into the Circle and popped up a barrier around the Creatures.

Ian and Jack started haggling the creatures for information, and after they didn’t talk, Jack shot one of the smaller ones in the leg as a warning shot. The bigger, smarter Drowner, called a Drowned One, threw a wicked looking coral knife at Jack. Jack mostly managed to get out of the way, but the knife was incredibly sharp, and managed to leave a solid slash in his thigh. Alandria finally managed to talk Ian and Jack down for a moment, and started confronting the creature peacefully, and guess what? It listened. Shocking. That (should have) showed Jack and Ian that violence isn’t always the answer. The Creature answered most questions the best it could. Turn’s out it was supplying food for the Ghouls, with the dead corpses they dug up. The drowned one wanted Alandria’s hair for payment for the location of the drop off, and Alandria refused to give it. So Ian tried to shoot one, and failed. He tried again, and Failed miserably.
At this point Alandria and Nevarres just walked away, leaving Ian and Jack to deal with them. Jack wanted to walk away too, but Ian was being a Ass and wanted to kill them. Finally Ian managed to shoot one, only to have a knife thrown at him. Ian being the super badass wizard he was, decided he was going to redirect the knife back at the creature, hopefully catching it off guard and gimping it. Well, Ian redirected it, right back at the creature too! But the drowned one simply caught the knife, with very little effort, and indicated the next one was going at Jack. Jack and Ian gave up and walked away to just leave the creatures there to return to the ocean in the morning.

As they walked back to the car, Jack and Ian got in a heated arguement that ended in Jack throwing a light punch at Ian, which ultimately angered the wizard to the point that he dropped a Boat on top of the Drowners and drowned one. They all went their seperate ways after that. Except Nevarres, whom Jack invited to chill at his place for a while, because the drowners were sure to be upset by Ian’s actions, and may take it out on Nevarres.

January 26th

Early the 26th Alandria, wanting to find out more about Gregor, The Master Black Court Vampire, went to her Father for advice. After much sexual harassment, she managed to get some decent information out of the Fae. Things such as: ‘Why not try the hospital?’ or ‘Places that collect lots of blood.’ You know, really obvious things that no one really bothered to think of.
Alandria swang by Jack’s house to pass on the information, and was met with a hot headed teenager. Jack, freshly wakened and sore, took issue with the near-wizard showing up at his place without warning and putting his expensive electrical appliances at risk, and demanded that she head down the hall in an extremely rude, and loud, fashion. A standoff ensued, and the violence was beginning to look likely, when Alandrai and backed down, unwilling to risk the situation coming to a violent conclusion.

Alandria passed the news on to Ian as well, who decided to look into it himself. That day Ian went to the Red Cross, and being the kind person he was, gave blood. The entire time he was there, Ian was popping his Sight on and off to see if he could find a trace of Gregor. One worker caught his attention, Ethan. Ethan had been converted into a Renfield: A dangerous, harshly broken thrall that seemed to have a chain attached to him under The Sight, leading off to the west. He hung around until after hours, and attempted to tail Ethan home, but unfortunately, he lost him … on a westbound interstate. Ian called Jack up, gave him the name, asked if he could track down anything else on him, and if he’d be willing to help tail him the next day. Jack agreed, then threw Nevarres in front of a computer, and Nevarres managed to dig up some more information on Mr. Ethan McClain. The information was passed back to Ian. After that, Jack and Nevarres went out on a date.

The LeChaise Restaurant Reconized Jack’s family name instantly, and Nevarres’s Sword just as fast. Despite this, they were allowed in and served one of the best meals that Jack had tasted in a great while. Nevarres and Jack enjoyed their fine dinner, and asked to speak to the Maitre’D. Jack gave her the run down of What Gregor had been up to, and asked if she could offer any assistance. She unfortunately could not offer any direct assistance, but was willing to give them a useful tidbit of information: Gregor remains an Orthodox Christian, despite his state, and is generally predisposed to lair in churches, much like the one Nevarres and co. Invaded when they first attempted to find him. Jack offered, unbidden, to repay the old lady with a favor of similar nature, then he and Nevarres took their leave.

On the horizon: Jack goes to church, and everybody stalks a relief worker.

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A Lesson in Firepower

This session spans 3 days. Jan 15, 16, and 17 2006.

15th
Nevarres: “I’m a pacifist. Doesn’t mean my sword is.”

Nevarres was looking into details on some brutal animal attacks that had been happening the last few days.

Jack had been hopping around bars trying to find trouble and failing.

Alandria approached Ian at his job to officially ask for tutoring in the magical arts. Ian was worried to be seen with her at his place of business, and the two made plans out back to meet up for some training. Ian asked her to get Jack to come along with some firepower so he could train as well. The catch: Lessons are not free. She must pay by buying him dinner for each one. Damn hobo.

After Alandria leaves, Ian receives an invitation to dinner. The letter is old fashioned vellum and has a wax seal with the Le Chaise family seal on it.

The three met down by the docks in the early evening, as Ian had a date later on. Ian had needed to set up a veil over their practice space while they worked, because the cops had shown up to see what the hell he was doing. Ian assessed Alandria’s control over fire, and it turned out to be GREAT. She could aim like a pro. He failed to make any headway on teaching her restraint.

With Jacks help he was able to adjust a spell that would, instead of making a flat shield, would make a funnel shield, catching a ranged attack and turning it back on its originator.

When Ian tried to teach Alandria how to use force magic, the results were basically training for a staring contest. Alandria grunted and strained and made gestures to no avail, unable to get any effects to happen. Towards the end of her practicing, she did notice a puddle a foot away react to her gestures. The wind was not blowing and there was no one near the puddle. It was clear it had reacted to her in some way. Ian refused to address the topic, as he needed to get going for his date. Alandria paid Ian with a bagged dinner, and then took off.

Ian attends his date at Chateau Le Bleue (The Blue Castle, a high class restaurant that happens to be accorded neutral ground in the area. The business has been closed to the public and Ian’s date is none other than Gregor Yoslanovich. Ian decides to use his sight on the vampire and he sees him for what he is. A military man who has been dead a good long while, clinging to his gun. He radiates pure evil.

Gregor buys Ian dinner just to talk to him and find out why he is trying to get himself killed by going after a vampire so strong. The two banter, trying to intimidate each other. Ultimately ends with the vampire telling Ian to get motivated. He will kill one person that Ian knows, every month, until Ian surrenders himself or one of them is dead.

Gregor: “Why do you want this death?”
Ian: “You might say, you’re my doctorate.”
Gregor: “….. That’s a hell of a thesis.”

16th
Everyone meets up to discuss the recent animal attacks and vampires. Ian shares with us what will happen if he doesn’t kill the vampire soon. He tries to find a way to get the owner of the comic book shop out of town. He arranges to send him to a comic book convention in New York.

The Paranet yielded little information on these killings. However, there is a coroner who says the bite marks on one victim look human. At the scene of the latest attack, a footprint was found. Human.

The most likely place for the next attack to happen seems to be near a school, given the location of the the killings. Ian sets up wards around the perimeter, teaching Alandria how to do so as they go. He takes blood to use to allow everyone in and out of his wards. He takes WAY more than was needed from jack, and actually saved some! He tried to do the same thing to Alandria and she told him to fuck off, and did it herself, giving him only what he needed. Nevarres is not a blood donor.

A zombie shows up, stumbling right through a section of warding that Alandria had done about 3 hours ago. Jack shot it in its arm, and Ian cut a leg off with a force buzz saw. Alandria’s attack hit a second later, taking the zombie in center mass with a fire blast. It should be noted that Alandria was pissed at this point because she had just spent 3 hours helping Ian set up wards that didn’t work. She was sure he would blame it on her since it was a section that she had worked on. She made that fire blast as strong as possible, thinking Ian was full of shit about teaching her things.

The group gave Alandria dirty looks as they were left with body parts that continued to try and move.

Nevarres sensed something in the park, and in investigating the group came across Gideon Altman. Ian used magic to bind him so he wouldn’t run, and jack used guns. Ian used the sight on him and saw a guy who was made up of souls. Many different souls. He was surrounded in a blanket of good.

It was revealed that Viktor Constantine, founder of Eternity Inc, created zombies with no magic. He had an apprentice who was let go. The guys scattered and left Alandria to pick up the zombie pieces so no kids got attacked. After using some of the play doh that Ian used in creating the wards, to make an impression of the zombie teeth, Alandria burned all of the parts in a burn barrel.

The guys got a lead at a graveyard.

Alandria got crafty and made a plaster cast of the teeth impression. She was rather proud of it and took it to a Paranet doctor to see if he could get any dental info from it.

Dr. Malvora was a creepy dentist who wanted to play with Alandria’s teeth. NO WAY. He laughed at her skilled plaster cast, saying it looked like someone had nommed on some Play-Doh and then tried to make a plaster cast out of it. Alandria was embarrassed.

At the grave yard with Gideon, they got some info out of the guy operating the Back hoe. Found out some guys picked up corpses. There is a pickup tomorrow and the group plans to ambush the people.

17th
The men doing the pickup were easily subdued. Ian stole all their money and some clothes as well as their vehicle. What a role model.

Made it to the address that was retrieved from the pickup guys. The guys bust in and Ian brains the man standing at a centrifuge in there, but not before the guy can hit some sort of alarm. Outside, Alandria notices smoke start to rise from the fireplace. She heads in, looking for the room where the fireplace might be, worried.

She finds doors of refrigerators, but they are hot instead of cold. Opening them, she saw people chained up and screaming as the fire was consuming them. Alandria freaked out and screamed for help, then ran in to try and free people and save them. Nevarres helped to cut people down. After being cut down, the burning people revealed that they were burning zombies and attempted to nom on Nevarres and Alandria. They promptly begun to scream for help.

Alandria had been lucky enough to have readied her shield before she went in, and had a potion of fire resist on hand. Taking no damage from the fire, she was still piled under zombies with her shield pressed down to about an inch away from herself.

Gideon was able to reach in through the pile of zombies and pull me out. Gideon flung Alandria into the hall to safety and Jack caught her. Zombies were pounding on the other doors. Gideon and Nevarres got out of the room, but zombies were attacking Gideo. Alandria saw this as an opportunity to show Ian that she could use fire just as well and fired a concentrated fire blast at the head of a zombie on Gideon. The blast hit in dead in the eyeball. She was so damn proud. Then, things started exploding around them as the blast kept on going and struck some gas lines.

Alandria thanked Gideon sincerely and told him she owed him a favor for saving her life. The group followed and killed the doctor that ran away. Jack popped him in the head.

Ian: “Now that that’s dealt with, anyone got any ideas on how not to get shot?”

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