The Ties That Bind Are Tenuous Indeed

Pleased to Meet You
Eye of Horace Auction that Changes Everything...

“Pleased to Meet You”

Eleora:
I awoke to the smell of copper. I hear the unmistakable sound of crunching bones.

Quinn asks, “Hey, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Hairy hand says, “Get in the Warehouse”. He’s a werewolf man. Not good.

I can smell Clive Christian perfume, the unmistakable scent of Donna Barrera. She walks into the warehouse. She says something in Spanish, which I don’t understand.

There are 6 cracks of thunder and all of the werewolves fall to the ground. Dead.

Donna says that when she was called in, she owned the box. She gives me a side hug and I can’t feel her body heat…creepy.

Gavin says, “Pleased to meet you.”

Donna tells him to take care of Dorian. She invites me to the auction for the box’s contents and that my invitation is to come. She suggests that Gavin comes to the auction with me to introduce himself to the key players.

“Bollocks!” Quinn admonishes.

Roth & Zahir:
Bam. They hit the wall.

Roth declares, “I’m training you, Librarian.”

Zahir pulls out larger than normal revolver and parts of brick fly out. Shards of the building.

Michael appears, who claims he was sent by Corin. Michael says he is an expert on the Codex Gigas and an expert on Gregon.

Genevieve and Simon:
Genevieve and Simon sit in a car for about 30 minutes in the back of a unusually clean van.

Simon oofs when he’s hit.

Robert DeSantis oofs when he’s hit, and the sound lets Genevieve know he’s been gagged.

The three are placed on hard wooden Middle School chairs and they are hand cuffed behind their back.

The trio hears an argument behind the door, but only one side of the conversation.

Door slides on wheels on a track, and there is an uncanny sound of a cane rapping on the linoleum floor.

Genevieve’s dad is on her right, and he’s hit with a cane. “That’s for looking into my affairs. Nice to meet you Simon and Genevieve. You’ve heard my name, Abendego. The artifact was not meant for you. Never meant for you. This is why you didn’t win it. Genevieve you don’t know your importance. Tell your group to stay out of my business.”

Simon tries to protect Genevieve, which pushes one of the bad guys. The guy gets angry and Genevieve hears a chop and feels something squishy hit her lap.

Genevieve’s blindfold is removed by Corin and Ulric. She sees her dad’s hand on a butcher block…not connected to his body…and his body hunched over as he is unconscious.

Ulric kills a guard from the biker gang. Then he slaps Simon in the face.

Genevieve uses her father’s phone to call 911 and leave it in his pocket.

Roth:
Roth takes Michael to the French Library through the tunnel. As always, Micahel is enthralled with the library and is so excited to use the secret path.

Genevieve:
Corin takes Genevieve and Simon in his Fiat back toward the El Paso Club. Genevieve feels a little bad for leaving her dad bleeding, but she can’t be held up as part of that situation. Plus, he kind of had it coming.

Eleora:
Eleora drives her no longer pristine white vehicle, while a stressed Quinn keeps yelling at her, “You’re driving on the wrong side of the road!” Eleora thinks that losing the Eye of Horace could mean something big is on the horizon. She doesn’t know what Donna’s invitation means for her and her future.

Roth:
Roth has an interest in the path and anyone who walks the path in the big and bad scary world. Bad stuff from consciousness is what links us together, according to Roth. Although this has never been tried in this exact way; however, this is what caused the Ice Ages in the past. The Seal between the ways is failing and they will keep hunting him—this is the only thing he is certain about in this uncertain time.


11:00 pm***
The group, except for Roth, Corin and Michael, all converge at the El Paso Club.

Quinn gives Gavin a piece of mummy bone says, “Ha! You’ve been boned by a mummy.” Eleora and Genevieve rolls their eyes. Silly mummy.

The group is able to convene as much of the council as possible on the short notice, including Isaias, Meaveen, Hadaassah, and Ulric.

Gavin was lead here by individuals who are in the area because of the forest fires. They are trying to figure out who started them.

Zahir exclaims, “I should be in charge of Gavin.” Gavin responds that no one can control him.

Roth, Corin, and Michael:
Corin is obviously super excited, but knows that he needs to be focused, so takes a few deep breaths. Corin is moving quickly around and Michael follows Roth into the library. The trio stalk throughout the room and notice something immediately.

The Bone Gate appears to be moved—and trails that look like something got out. Yikes.

Michael says he can track it, but it’ll take time. He asks Roth for a cell phone, stating he’ll call him when he’s ready.

Bartholomew walks up to Eleora and hands her an invite to Donna’s party tomorrow for the bidding for the Eye. The invitation reads: Tomorrow evening. Bring one unique thing for your bid.

Genevieve & Meaveen stand in the corner conversing about Abendgo.

Nikos walks in and is clearly upset. He refuses to divulge the reasoning.

Gavin shares that he is here to kill Nefandus. And with that lovely revelation, the group decides to call it a night and find their own potential object for the bid tomorrow evening.


12:00am***

Gavin decides to go to the Ritz Grill and get some voodoo chicken, which happens to be Lear’s favorite. Then he decides to use it as a bribe to get Lear’s help. When he comes upon Lear, he’s sucking on a bag of blood. Disgusting.

Meanwhile, Donna at Blondie’s bar declares, “I don’t do this for what is given, but to see what people will give up.” All Donna wants is me as a vampire forever. Shit.


10:00am**

Zahir gathers his Z-Rays in order to give to Janna on espresso. According to him, Z-Rays are the creator of genetics and Janna was not happy about everyone going into the room. Janna is now gone. She can’t be found by anyone. Zahir remains undaunted the his Z-Ray gun is what Donna will want.

Upon seeing Zahir and his Z-Rays, the group berate him regarding sperm jokes. As usual, not the most creative.

Gavin wakes up in a scary hotel, which offers to allow him to pay by the hour, day, or week. Instead, he calls Roth.

Thus, we learned about Gavin. He is well connected. He helped the Prince of Chicago, but he won’t discuss any additional details. This is why Donna gave him a favor; they are connected through the Princes.

Genevieve asks Sarah for 1 liter of her blood. She said she would disassociate the DNA and it would allow her to keep her safe. Genevieve thinks that this would be a potential object Donna might accept, as she is a fae.

Roth and Corin think the best potential object for Donna will be to find a book that walks the fine line of interesting, but does not destroy the world. This is all Roth can agree to giving Donna.

Eleora still doesn’t know what she can give a vampire who has everything…unless she decides to give herself, which Donna has not-so-subtly hinted she wants. Eleora wakes up and Quinn wrote in hieroglyphics all over Dorian’s face. Jeez. What a pain.

Zahir and Genevieve work together on a DNA decentrifrigulator in order to extract DNA.

Roth and Shadem escape from the Bone Gate. There they have determined every soul has two outcomes: the brightest destiny or the darkest fate. However, it looks as if people are being pushed more toward darkness because the Bone Gate is open. This is not good.

Michael walks up to Roth and tells him that Gavin should be accepted by the group. The only elaboration that Michael provides regarding Gavin is that he has “good heart.”

Michael also shares that after a lot of research, it looks as if the Eye of Horace is the only thing that can close the Bone Gate now that it has been opened and the creature has escaped. He also cautions the group that the Eye will not provide an immediate closure, and that it will take 5-6 weeks for the Bone Gate to be closed.

Corin says he found two potential objects for the auction tonight. He found the Grinmore, which is a mind mage mage book. He also has found the Ercies Fragmaur, which is only fragment stories about time f flood when Gregory fell. This book is older than most vampire records, so Donna will like it.

Michael’s last words regarding Gavin: “He has a hole in his mind. Some holes are meant to keep things out, and some are meant to keep things in.” Yeah, that’s really comforting.


Broadmoor Evening Auction***
Zahir takes his Z-Ray gun, knowing it is definitely what Donna will want. Genevieve has the blood of a fae, obtained earlier from Sarah. Roth brings both books, deciding it is better to have another object up his sleeve, if necessary. Eleora is empty handed, but doesn’t tell the group.

Immediately, the group notices that the valet are hitmarks who are usually hired to kill mages, but tonight is different. Tonight, they are safe, because that is the way Donna Barrera wants it.

Hadaassah is also present. There are thousand-dollar suits everywhere (trust me, when you see them all the time you know the difference), sheiks, and businessmen from the Far East.

I notce that there is a group of people with animalistic features and some sort of fire on their arms.
Gavin notices that Lear is here.
Genevieve and Roth notice that Abendego is here.
Zahir is oblivious.

Donna walks in with The Gentlemen. We all know these men are protecting her and will happily kill anyone who does something wrong, including looks.

The bidding begins and offers pour in:
• Souls of musicians under 27. (Yikes. That sounds pretty awful for those poor kids who don’t even know.)
• Hadaassah offers a night with her. (She may be a little conceited, but she is the head of the Cult of Ecstasy.)
• Gavin offers a forgotten life time. (Yes, meaning he’s going to share what the hole in his head is…even if it what is keeping him and the rest of us safe.)
• Zahir offers his Z-Ray generator. (Yep, I still don’t know what that is.)
• Finally, seeing none of those thinks are sparking her interest, and since Roth’s books seem relatively un-impressive against all of the aforementioned bids, I do what I must. I say, “Donna, I offer you what you want from me more than anything else, in 1 year and 1 day from now.”

With that final bid, Donna shuts down shop. I’m the lucky winner. Yay. But for some reason, I don’t feel like jumping for joy. Instead, I’m fighting to keep down my dinner. I walk up to Donna to sign my contract with blood, the only way a Prince will accept. Donna says if the Eye of Horace is taken within 366 days, Donna will hunt it down. And it won’t be pretty. Gulp.

Abendego stops Genevieve and tells her, “You haven’t been listening. I’ll need to go up higher next time.”

Zahir sells The Gentlemen the Z-Ray Generator without the power supply in order to get into NORAD, but it will still take time.

Roth talks to Donna one-on-one and offers the Ercies Fragmaur, but Donna won’t give up her contract with Eleora. Roth can tell that Donna is possessive and wants to keep Eleora.

So, the Eye of Horaces goes to Donna’s house and Quinn continues to stay with me in my bungalow.

And that’s where this merry little tale ends for now…I’m secretly spending the past two months with Dorian, my secret boyfriend. I’m treasuring every moment we have together, because before long, I won’t have those moments. I’ll be immortal with Donna and her drone. Forever. Quinn is getting used to living in my bungalow. I am meeting with Isias to see if there is any way out of my deal, but he can’t think of anything. He’s already determining who can take my spot as the future head of our house. Bummer doesn’t even begin to cover it.

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Diamonds & Guns

“Diamonds & Guns”


1:00 am***

Eleora:
I awoke in Dorian’s bed by his phone ringing. His company, Old World Aesthetics – a securing Management company, was expecting a big incoming and outgoing shipment.

Dorian is supposed to report to the FedEx location on Powers. He tells me he will be back when he can, as FedEx is the primary group for odd outgoing shipments. With a kiss he is out the door, leaving me behind in a big, empty bed. If only I knew this was the last bit of good sleep I’d have in a while, I would have enjoyed it more.

Roth:
Roth is meeting with Nikos. Roth is told he needs to investigate and track somebody, but he’s keeping that name under wraps.

Genevieve:
Genevieve is rudely attacked in her own home by two men in suits. They hold onto Simon and throw him against the wall, causing him to lose his towel, since he just got out of the shower. As the men hold Simon against the wall, Robert DeSantis walks in—Genevieve’s father. With a nod of Robert’s head, Simon is taken out of the room, leaving only Genevieve remaining with her father.

Robert is disproving of her choice of lover, which Genevieve doesn’t take well. He tells her something big is in play, and he needs to meet her tonight for dinner. Her talents will be needed. Then, he calls and his men return, leaving Simon alone in the bedroom. Robert leaves without a backward glance at his furious daughter.

Corin:
Corin sends the whole group a text:
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September, 7, 2013***
Late Morning

Dorian:
Text to Eleora:
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Eleora:
I call Genevieve for help…she is the only person I can trust with my relationship with Dorian. Genevieve says she can meet me at my house at 3:30pm…she has something she needs to deal with. I agree and head off to Dorian.

When I get to FedEx I find Dorian covered in blood, as he has been shot in the shoulder. Frustratingly, he’s pretty out of it and can’t explain what happened. All I can get together is I need to get this box in the Escalade and Dorian back to my house. I leave my car behind and give the guy at the gate a $100 to get my car back to my house. He agrees, and I drive away in Dorian’s Escalade with a bleeding boyfriend and a giant metal box in the back.


3:30 pm***

Eleora, Genevieve & Dorian at Eleora’s House:
My white couch is covered in my boyfriend’s blood. That sucks.

Genevieve has arrived and she’s helped me remove the bullet from Dorian’s shoulder. She’s wrapped the wound and he is currently slipping in and out of consciousness on the couch. Meanwhile, I have a bullet-laden black Escalade in my driveway and a large metal coffin-shaped box in my living room. I have asked Genevieve to see if she senses any life in the coffin, and she doesn’t. So, we decide to open it.

Inside the box is a mummy in a white linen suit with a fedora on his head. He promptly sits up and declares, “Thirty-six hours in a box. Whew. I’m glad to be out of there.” The mummy has a posh English accent, and he hops out of the box.

Both Genevieve and I are stunned and don’t know what to say. We start to stutter out words, and he seems to know what we are asking.

“Since I’m dead, it is easier for me to be shipped in a box from Egypt. I trade in equities. My name is Quinn.”

In the box, after we utilize Google, we see a hieroglyphic of “Ra-Hortkay” and that happens to be Horace the Sky God in Egyptian mythology.

We also learn more about Quinn. His full name is Quinn Wetshire, born in London in 1887. He was sent to Egypt during the colonial expansions for Britain. He disappeared before World War I under suspicious circumstances.

Fast-forward: Quinn is trying to give Dorian a gin & tonic to help with the pain, while he enjoys his own. We learn from Quinn that he has something Genevive’s father, Robert DeSantis, wants. The Eye of Horace is supposed to arrive in town later today, and Quinn calls it a wedjet. This is something that allows you to trace the untraceable, a true-nature tracker, allows you to open what is meant to be closed, and vice versa. Basically, not good for evil DeSantis to have his hands on. Crap.

Also, there is a dagger that is also Egyptian. Quinn refuses to tell anyone anything else, unless he gets his “non-life insurance policy.” He also says he has a decoy for the Eye of Horace being shipped.

Genevieve reveals that her father visited her earlier that night, hence her delay, and that he was out-bidden for the Eye. He said it was prudent that she knows that, since her path and his might cross again (he’s forcing her to see him that night for dinner). Needless to say, Genevieve is not thrilled that this prediction has come to fruition. She hates her father, and that is putting it lightly. Genevieve says that Jermaine Black, the owner of Old World Aesthetics, won the bid. Crap. I know him, he’s Dorian’s boss, and I share that with Genevieve & Quinn, because it seems like it can’t be a secret, since we’ve got the Mummy, carrier of the Eye, in my house because of Dorian.

Zahir:
Zahir is driving around town. He’s talking to his spirit, The Machinist (his name from the ‘60s), who sound uncannily like “Siri” who announces Zahir has a message from TOK:
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Zahir tries unsuccessfully to have the Machinist use the phone to reply. In frustration, he decides to make a cloud to surround the phone, allowing the Machinist access.

Zahir arrives at the League of Legends Conference. As he sits at a computer, a nerd challenges him to the spot. “I will fry your brain with electricity,” is all Zahir says and the boy disappears. Zahir deletes his account and logs into a new server. He’s suddenly transported by screen to a square room, where they are using correspondence effects.

“Cheeto breath.”

“Chin beard cookie man.”

After they exchange the aforementioned codes, she gives him a digital file. It is encrypted schematics of door in Norad, which is home of the Technocracy. Zahir must break the code or she will be found out. He can’t use the same key she does. She says she has 2 weeks on door duty and when he decodes he can get back in touch with her.

A shrill scream interrupts Zahir’s conversation as the nerd walks up and realizes his account has been deleted.

Zahir logs out, gets up, and walks away without acknowledging the nerd.

Roth:
Roth arrives at the 7th floor of the Plaza of the Rockies building and is standing outside of the door to “The Impulse.” He walks in and is greeted by ultra-modern furniture, with shades of red and white everywhere. As he walks in, there is a place to take his shoes off and a red box for him to take a number. The printout says, “L to the Left.”

Roth walks down past 2 doors—1 black and 1 silver. There is a gorgeous blonde in a bustier holding a clipboard. Roth knows he’s at the Cult of Ecstasy and simply tells the blond he is here for “business.” He then clarifies as she puts the clipboard away, “Here to see Hadaassah.”

As he enters the room, Hadaassah is surprised to see him. She says, “I didn’t expect to see you, but eventually, everyone comes to The Impulse.”

Hadassah is an information broker, and Roth seems to be all-business. However, Haddassah tries to tempt Roth by pulling down her robe, granting Roth an undeniably gorgeous view.

Roth says he’s looking into Dorian’s relationship with Barrera. He says he knows that Dorian’s job is for less-than-savory persons and he wants to know why and how Dorian is mixed up with that crowd.

Eleora & Genevieve:
Quinn is attempting to hire Genevieve and me to help him.

Genevieve steps away and to text Simon:
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Then, Genevieve pulls me aside and I tell her I think we should take Quinn’s deal. It’s our best way to find out more. We agree.

We tell Quinn, “deal.” I’ll be helping Quinn get the Eye of Horace to the correct location, and in return Quinn will find the Codex Gigas. He then agrees if it is impossible to find the Codex, Quinn will owe Eleora a favor not to exceed $102,000.

Zahir:
Zahir meets Bartholomew. He wants to go straight to the top—to 455455IN (Assassin).

Assassin is fighting Isias verbally.

Isias asks Zahir if he is here on business and that Isias is happy to take his leave from Assassin so that he can talk to one of his people. As Isias departs he tells Zahir, “If Assassin isn’t helpful in aide, I’ll be happy to tell his parents.”

Zahir tells 455455IN that he has encrypted information and codes that need to be broken.

Assassin says he needs 2-3 days to break the code and then he ruins the phone and walks away from Zahir.

Roth:
Hadaassah says she wants to know what the trade is for. She agrees to the following deal: Hadaassah will tell Roth about Dorian. Roth will show Hadaassah the Codex Gigas once he has it.

Roth then refuses to seal the deal with a kiss, so the deal is null and void.

Eleora:
I call my personal security team that has protected me before in the past. I tell them to expect the same wage, plus a bonus for the short notice. I ask them to meet me at my house and that discretion is of the utmost importance, as always.


5:00 pm***

Roth:
Roth looks at Hadaassah’s schedule. She comes in for appointments for priority clients, only. Roth plans to meet her by “chance” to get the information he needs without the kiss, so he can keep the deal.

Genevieve:
Genevieve goes to dinner at MacKenzie’s Chophouse with Simon to meet her father. She tells Simon, “My father’s approval doesn’t matter.”

Once they arrive at the restaurant, they are seated in the back booths, and it looks as if her father has had the rest of the restaurant cleared. They are the only ones there. Felix and Nigel, the two goons from the night before, stand near Mr. DeSantos.

Mr. DeSantos has Genevieve and Simon sit. He asks Simon some questions, and Simon talks about how he is going to become a children’s psychologist. Thirty minutes pass in awkwardness, as Simon tries to get over the fact that this man saw him naked the night before.

Corin:
Texts the whole group the following message:
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Eleora responds:
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Genevieve:
Genevieve gets the following text from Eleora:
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Robert DeSantis wants Geneveive to come help his company with some image issues they are currently having. He tells her, “the world is risky in black market antiquities.” He says she has always been the saving face of their company and would make them more likeable.

Corin:
Corin realizes no ne can go to the Library, but it must be protected immediately.

Corin knows that The Bone Gate has something that is trying to get through on the other side. He knows that this person started the fires. He knows that the Codex Gigas is the key. And he needs to find out who has the Codex Gigas, as it is what is needed to break through the Bone Gate.

Eleora:
I arrive at Hangar 18 at Peterson Air Field with my security team and Quinn. We are here to meet Quinn’s contact for the Eye.

As soon as we park, we are immediately surrounded. One person is in a car, 2 are outside, and 2 are right in front of me. All of them are holding guns.

Then, suddenly, Quinn’s contact is shredded by claws. The guys by the door attack and start shooting as claws go into them, and what is left of my security team is thrown into the wall.

Genevieve:
While sitting at the table, suddenly the room is filled, and Genevieve, her father, and Simon’s heads are covered by black bags.

Roth & Zahir:
Standing outside the restaurant, they see two men literally come out of the brick wall.

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Show Down at the Playground

Roth headed back to the library and found out that the blood rooster ritual is one that is performed so that a possessing entity can permanently take possession of a body. The ritual needs a dagger (like the one found at Renner’s apartment) in order to be completed. Also, the ritual must be completed on a node of energy. If the ritual is done incorrectly, it will burn up the host body instead of allowing the spirit to possess it.

After learning this, Roth calls Hodges to warn him about the dagger and other items that had been found at Renner’s apartment. Hodges asks Roth if he knows anything about Christman (the man who Roth believes allowed his wife to die), as he has gone missing.

In a play to stop the possession from taking place, the gang heads up to The Devils Playground, figuring it is a likely location for the ritual to be set. It is crazy stormy out, and lightning is dancing around all over the place, casting strange shadows. Upon reaching the Playground, the group sees 6 rocks arranged in a circle with one central rock in the middle. Bound to the center stone, which is clearly intended to serve as an alter for the ritual, is Jane George, the 7th missing girl. Additionally, there is a man in a suit who has been blindfolded and bound to an upside down “u” of rebar within the circle. Jeremy Renner is there, too.

Zahir spots a glint in the darkness just as an unseen sniper takes his shot. Zahir ducks just in time to avoid creating an icky splatter pattern. A fight ensues:

Renner raises his dagger; Zahir enchants the bullets in his gun using Prime; the sniper shoots again but misses; Genevieve fails to make Renner’s hand cramp so that he will drop the dagger; Roth tries to age Jane to death so that she cannot be sacrificed.

We kind of sucked at everything we tried, and Jane gets stabbed. Oops. Eleora, however, seemed to be in control of her power, and was able to channel the wind and blow Renner back from Jane after he stabbed her.

With Jane bleeding out on the alter, Renner goes for an insurance policy… he grabs the sniper and stabs him, too. Now if either one of the victims dies, the ritual will still be complete. Genevieve runs to Jane, with a plan to heal her; Roth attempts his aging tactic on Renner, and this time it is successful; Eleora channels some more wind and blasts Renner backwards onto a rocky point, impaling him.

Renner then grabs the man in the suit, who turns out to be Christman, and attempts to use him as a human shield; Genevieve is able to stabilize Jane; Roth grabs Renner and continues to age him.

Renner attempts to kill Christman by snapping his neck, but can’t seem to muster the strength in his “old age”. Zahir finally gets that gun working, and shoots Renner in the head.

Jane awakens after being healed. In the aftermath, Isais take’s Renner’s body to be examined. Roth pocketed the ritual bone knife, and takes it to Nikos.

About a Month Later…

Zahir has been working on his Internal Self-Actuation Projector, but there seems to be a bug. His avatar is projected, but can’t be dismissed. It makes for an awkward meeting at King’s Chef Diner with Corrin and the gang later.

Eleora is suspicious about Dorian’s new job, which is requiring him to pick up a shipment for Old World Aesthetics at 1am.

Roth receives a call from Nikos to start trailing somebody.

Simon gets rouged up by two men in suits, who turn out to be Genevieve’s dad’s hired goons. Mr. DeSantis extends an invitation to Genevieve and Simon for dinner. It doesn’t seem like there’s really any choice in whether or not they will accept.

While the gang is chowing down at King’s Chef, Eleora receives a “911” text from Dorian, who is at her place. She leaves suddenly, and when she arrives home, she finds blood on the doorknob and some odd scrapes on the ground outside her door. Upon entering the apartment, she sees Dorian lying on top of a shipping crate with strange carvings on it. He has been shot. Unsure of what else to do, Eleora calls the only supernatural healer she’s pals with… Genevieve. After some tense negotiations about what will and will not remain confidential in exchange for her help, Gen agrees to heal Dorian, and sets to work.

As her healing ritual concludes, the girls start to hear a knocking coming from inside the shipping crate. Using Gen’s Mind magic and Eleora’s skills at ??? the girls determine that the box contains a mummy. More specifically, it contains Quinn Westshire, a British archaeologist who disappeared from an Egyptian excavation site in 1887. He convinces the girls to let him out of the box, and tells them that he’s on the run… from DeSantis International. Genevieve just knew it couldn’t be a coincidence that her father had happened to show up earlier that morning.

Back at King’s Chef Diner, Corrin tells Roth what exactly his position as the guard of the Benedictine undercellar does for him: he won’t age, but he has to return to the area every 72 hours or he will be compelled to do so.

After brunch, Zahir goes shopping for a new car—per the urging of his invisible avatar—and ends up purchasing a Vespa instead.

Roth receives a request from Nikos to go see Donna (the vampire chick) about a gathering darkness in the Springs. He is told to speak to someone at The Impulse.

…And that’s where we’ll pick up next time, folks!

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The Long and Short of it...
The longest night...August 1

The long and short of it….

Just after midnight on August 1, 2013
***Roth***
Roth finds himself surrounded by blood in the home of the Henderson’s. According to Detective Hodges and the CSI team, although the floor is covered in blood, the total amount of blood on the floor only equates to that of one person, not for the six bodies eerily placed around a table. This crime scene was set somewhere within the last day or two, however the Henderson family has not been seen for months, despite their cars in the driveway.

Brazened upon the table was the word “ANAGENNISI”. Surrounding the table are the bodies of the six missing girls from the past couple of months. All girls had been exsanguinated and their bodies posed in a cryptic manner: the first girl is in the fetal position, the second is kneeling, the third is blushing, the fourth has her skin distorted to look as if she is older, the fifth has her hands outstretched and her face has been transformed into a Joker-esque grin, and the sixth is also in a fetal position. There seems to be some speculation about the cycle of life. The blood of the women is spread across the floor adjacent to the table in the shape of a rooster. Each woman had two close puncture marks on her neck, which is where the blood was drawn from, according to the coroner. These resemble vampire bites.

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Unfortunately, also at the crime scene is William Christman, another member of the Euthanatos tradition, who just happens to be Roth’s enemy. According to the paperwork, as Roth refuses to speak of this time in his life, Christman knew through magik that there was a chronic drunk driver who needed to be stopped. Christman refused and the same driver killed Roth’s wife. Later, at the trial, the driver was acquitted and Roth awakened, but his hatred for Christman is still burning strong. Due to Roth’s position in the Council, Roth will be polite in public to Christman, but does not feel obligated to help him. 

Roth decides he’s seen enough and tells Hodges to keep him informed. He asks if CSI will take pictures and send them to Roth later in the day. Hodges appeases him by meeting his demands and Roth takes his leave just as Dective Rodriguez enters the scene again. Roth mocks him as he exits, wishing him good luck with the Vicks Vapor Rub clearly visible under Rodriguez’s nose. 

Christman follows Roth out of the building. Roth knows he has a tail and when he’s outside of earshot of the many officers on scene, he turns to verbally assault Christman, as he knows he can’t physically touch him. Christman puts his hands up in a innocent manner and says he has a box for him from Nikos, head of the Euthanatos tradition. 

Roth takes the simple, brown, wooden box from Christman and says, “Saints forgive. Men do not.” 

Christman tries to soothe Roth, but quickly realizes he cannot undo what he has done. Curistman gets straight to business and tells him that there is some blood from each of the girls in the box. Nikos would like him to use it to find the rest of the blood and, with any luck, the culprit.  Christman receives a call and  steps away, allowing Roth to indulge in a little revenge of his own. 

Roth quickly steps to the passenger side of Christman’s car and let out some air from the front passenger tire. He knew it could cause the car to veer off the side if the road, onto the shoulder, if Christman wasn’t paying attention. Roth would never risk the lives of others by causing the car to veer to the right into traffic, but felt justified in perhaps causing an accident that could have been avoidable…much like the untimely loss of his wife. It would have been avoided if Christman would have done his job. 

Feeling good about his little surprise, Roth takes his leave without saying another word to the undeserving Christman.  


Eleora & Dorian…Genevieve & Simon***
Both Dorian and I sit on the couch in the back room of Southside Johnny’s. I’m desperately trying to look casual next to my lover, and act as if we are not together. However, Dorian is clearly is missing my nonverbal cues and keeps getting closer. I don’t want to risk outrightly calling him out, as Genevieve and a tall brunette man just walked into the back room. They sit in an adjacent table, just far enough so I can’t hear their conversation, but the guy seems into Genevieve. 

From my resting spot, I can see Ulrich Srokke, head of the Dreamspeakers and owner of Johnny’s, speaking to Hadaassah Al-Tih, head of the Cult of Ecstasy tradition. Their conversation seems to be heated in more ways than one, if you know what I mean. I can only hear brief bits of their conversation, but they seem to be fighting over her working in his club. Within seconds, Ulrich picks her up by the throat and pushes her against the wall. It seems clear that only Genevieve, Dorian, the brunette man, and I can see what is going on, as no one stops when this happens. It’s suddenly clear to me that Ulrich must have used magik to protect the public from knowing anything about the magikal undertakings within the bar. As this realization dawns on me, Hadaassah uses her sexy Cult of Ecstasy moves on Ulrich, grinding into his body, causing him to unwittingly release her. With one last brush of her body against his, she steps back, winks at him and sexily struts away. Hell, I guess she didn’t become the head of the tradition for nothing. I turn my gaze to the rest of the room, and, of course, Dorian and the brunette are ogling after Hadaassah. I even think I saw a little drool out of the corner of both men’s mouths  Ulrich snapped awake and stomped off in the direction of Hadaassah, but I somehow doubted he’d be following her anytime soon. 

To my right, just outside of the propped open entrance/exit door, I heard a noise. Genevieve quickly got up and strode toward me with fierce determination. “That was a gunshot. Come with me,” is all she said, and before I knew it I was up and following her out the door with the two men in stride behind us. 


Zahir***
Zahir followed the nondescript girl into the alley. The same girl that after looking at her, it was hard to remember who you were just looking at. 

Once Zahir reached the alley, he saw the girl and a man hovering over her with a gun.  The gunman sensing the presence of another turned around and pointed the gun at Zahir. 

“You’re making a bad decision friend…I mean idiot,” stated Zahir. 

“What are you going to do about it?”

“Uhh…”

“You could do something about it or save her,” the gunman exclaimed and shot the girl in the stomach. 


Zahir, Genvieve, Eleora, Dorian & Simon***

Soon after the gun went off, Genevieve and I rounded the corner to see Zahir debating helping the unremarkable girl or fighting the shooter. Dorian and Simon appear within seconds, close behind the us. 

Zahir makes up his mind and decides to shoot his .44 at the guy, who is super hot, might I add. 

His bullet hits him, but causes minimal damage. The man continues to climb up the ladder on the adjacent building. 

I follows suit, knowing Genevieve is best suited to heal the girl. I use my magik to increase the already present breeze into a tsunami gale, and knock him off the ladder. But I’m shocked to see his fingers sink into the wall, almost as if he is some creepy form of Spider-Man. 

Dorian responds to this with his ever brilliant wit, “What the fuck was that?” It’s clear Dorian doesn’t know what we are fighting. Good. At least neither of us are in the know. 

Giving him no response, I move closer with Zahir while Genevieve moves toward the girl to attempt to heal her. There’s blood everywhere, and as Genevieve gets closer, it suddenly seems clear that the girl is unraveling like a twine girl. Her intestines, which were exposed by the shot, wriggle insanely as they seem to be transforming. 

The brunette, whom I later found out is a Dreamspeaker named Simon, goes to assist Genevieve. 

By this time, Zahir and I have closed in on our assailant. Zahir uses his .44 once more to shoot him in the hand, thus leaving him dangling with his hand inside the building. Before I have a chance to do anything, the handsome devil escaped by vanishing into thin air. Later, Zahir used his nifty goggles to see using an ether trail that the man fled to somewhere on Pikes Peak. 

The girl with a last effort of life grabbed Genevieve’s hand and asked her dying question, “what’s happening?” With that, in an instant, the wriggling, bloody pieces of the girl vanished and all that was left in her place were some sticks and twine. Where her heart would have been located, had she been real, because let’s face it, at this point I’m doubting she was a person, was a lock of blonde hair. 

Following the recent action of  a disappearing man and a twine girl, I look at Dorian and it seems clear that my “secret mission” can no longer stay secret with him. The look on his face and his demeanor tell me that this is not going to go well, especially since our relationship is supposed to be secret. Shit. 

Dorian walks toward me determinedly and asked, “what are you into?” 

Simon, the brunette, says that “this seemed to be some kind of old world magik. It looks to me as if that girl was a Fetch, which are what the Fae leave behind when they steal a body. The fetch grows up in its place. Of course, the Fae take people for various reasons, so it’s nearly impossible to tell why this girl was replaced with a fetch.” 

Simon volunteered to age test the locket of hair, but Zahir determined he could create something to determine it faster. He placed the locket in a Zip Lock baggie; he also pulled blood from the wall from where he shot the handsome guy in the hand to run a DNA test. That’s Zahir for you, always the mad scientist. 

At this time, Roth arrives and our merry band of brothers is once again united. Genevieve fills in Roth on the details of the night. 

Dorian, with the addition of Roth, is finally fed up of not knowing everything and starts yelling. Zahir involves himself and threatens Dorian. 

Uh oh. This is not going to end well. Zahir thinks he’s a bad ass, but Dorian really is a bad ass. 

Genevieve steps in and stops the increasingly testosterone-filled scene unfolding before us. At that moment Simon, who introduced himself at that point, offered to buy everyone a drink and cool down at Johnny’s. 

I use this opportunity to pull Dorian aside. Dorian is furious and is having difficulty regulating the volume of his voice. Dorian is pissed off. He thinks I’m really into black magik here and my life is on the line. I tried to calm him down, reminding him in no uncertain terms that our relationship is secret, what I do for the Council is secret, and that he’s blowing everything out of proportion. The last statement must have gotten to him, especially since the woman he loves could’ve been shot tonight, but instead of verbalizing his feelings, he yelled incoherently and stomped away. Great…just another thing I have to deal with later. Double shit. 

I return to our group as we make our way back into Johnny’s. Thankfully, they’ve all tried to pretend they didn’t hear my conversation. I’m happier this way, as I don’t want them to know any more about Dorian than they just witnessed. 

Genevieve tells me that she and Roth and Zahir just figured out how to find the original copy, assuming she’s not in Fae. Honestly, I think they explained the process to me in great detail, but I was feeling a little too emotionally drained to listen. 

We regroup just outside the door. Roth says he has business to take care of inside, but will join us later and leaves the group. 

Zahir decides he’s done with the bar scene for the evening and creates a concoction to spray into the air to find the real girl. Zahir’s parting words were directed at Simon, “Also, don’t tell anything about stick girl.” Zahir zoomed off into the night on his moped with his goggles on. Give me a break, if the night hadn’t already been so weird, I would’ve laughed. 

Genevieve and I decided we should follow Zahir, as there was no telling what he’d do once he found the girl. I walked toward the Cayenne, giving Genevieve time to say goodbye to Simon in private. There might not be anything going on between them, but they sure seemed to have chemistry to me. And after the implosion of my own love life, who was I to judge or stand in their way? 

Genevieve joined me in the Cayenne and we speedily caught up with the moped. At every intersection we watched Zahir stop, straighten his goggles, mist the air around him, and go whatever direction the mist was telling him to take, assuming he wasn’t just a crazy man on a pretend motorcycle with a spray bottle. 

After many twists and turns, we end up at America the Beautiful park. Here we find THE girl, but it seems improbable at first, as the girl in front of us makes me look like a dog, and that takes one seriously beautiful woman. 

Sarah Johnson, as we finally learned her name, was taken by a Fae lord ten years ago when she was 12, because he lived in a world of pure beauty. Everything there was extraordinarily beautiful and he wanted something different, something ugly, for his art exhibit. There was one catch, anything in his realm turned beautiful over time, even this ugly girl. Finally, when she was beautiful, he returned her stating she no longer had a purpose. Sadly, she appeared different and couldn’t even reconnect with her family. 

Genevieve told her about the demise of the fetch and asked if she’d like to assume her former appearance. Sarah excitedly agrees and cries and hugs Genevieve in appreciation once she returned to her former form. Zahir, in his typical, classy manner, immediately responded to her ugliness with harsh words, but I don’t think anything could’ve impacted Sarah’s jubilation at the time. 

Sarah’s parting words are that Meaveen in Manitou (Genevieve’s head of tradition) and Hadaassah know more than they say. 

Back in Johnny’s, Roth steps to the bar to speak with Brother Corin, who is drinking with Ulrich. It’s pretty clear Brother Corin, who usually only had a glass of wine here and there, has been attempting to keep up with a furious bar owner and was losing the battle. Needless to say, Brother Corin was a little drunk. At least he wasn’t wearing his collar. 

Since Brother Corin is too intoxicated to share the meaning of “Anagennisi,” Roth decides a trip to France is necessary. He takes the passage to France and is promptly told that “Anagennisi” means “rebirth.” With that, Roth returns to America and calls us to find our location. 

2:00 am
*Eleora, Genevieve, Roth, Zahir*

After going over our options for the night, we decide to follow Christman’s compass (the brown box of blood). The compass leads us to the shadier part of Colorado Springs, near Circle and the MLK bypass. It leads us to Apartment 101 in the tan bungalow buildings. A place I never thought I’d be. 

Zahir breaks open the lock on the door and the first whiff we get is of dirty laundry. Although I’m a little disgusted by this, I count my blessings that it is not eau de dead bodies. 

As we walk inside there are action figures lining the walls and halls and movie posters plaster the walls of the living room. The apartment appears T-shaped. It feels as if two people live here. 

The compass points to the freezer. The boys take the lead and the girls hang back. I’ve seen enough Dexter to know what could be inside. Ick. 

Inside the freezer, to my audible relief, was a red and white container. Roth opens it to find compartment slots to hold seven bags of blood. Each bag looks to be missing a little blood. The seventh spot is labeled “Sarah.” Oops. It looks like we prevented something from happening tonight. Also inside the box looks like an IV, but with two close puncture locations, similar to a vampire bite. It looks like we found what drained those six girls of their blood. The metal on the IV machine is impregnated with magik. 

The apartment looks as if a software programmer and gaming nerd lives there. There are books everywhere that help us reach this deduction. Additionally, it looks as of this specific nerd has a fascination with occult. Triple shit. 

In the back room there’s an indescribable feeling of something older and darker. Here, the work is frantic and fanatical. Markings cover the walls in Ancient Greek and Sumerian. The writer even writes over the faces on the posters, my posters in fact. I’m not sure what disturbed me more: the fact that the room held a poster of every movie I’ve made, or the fact that they wrote over my face!

“Anagennisi” is written repeatedly on the walls. There are maps that show an area north of the crags as you ascend to the top of Pikes Peak. Dollars to doughnuts, we met this guy earlier tonight. It was the hot Spider-Man, who Zahir thought went to Pikes Peak. Crap. I hate it when Zahir is right. It makes him intolerable, as he thinks his genius is unmatched. 

On a side table is a binder filled with page protectors. It looks as if someone meticulously cut every page of a book out and placed it within the binder. 

Genevieve placed a spell to protect her mind so she could view the pages. She guessed it was a part of the Codex Gigas. Genevieve translated thar the rooster or cock is Nergal, who is the symbol emblazoned around the room and book. Nergal was served by demons and all forms of evil. There are rituals to reach Nergal, which have been passed down by sorcerer priests though the centuries. It is thought this became the Verbena tradition. 

In a loose floorboard, Roth found an old leather sheath with two knives. One knife was missing. The other had the head of a rooster on it. The knife seemed to be made of bone. Through study, we all know thar a Bone knife would send them straight to Nergal if someone was killed by it. Shit. 

4:00 am
*Eleora, Genevieve, Roth, Zahir*

Roth calls Hodges for name on apartment. A cranky Hodges comes back on the line stating, “the owner is Jeremy Renner. No record. 23 years. Picture sent.” After viewing the picture we know our instincts were right, it was the same guy from alley, but now more gaunt. 

I’m still in the back room covered with posters of me. As I look around, I realize the connection to the other realm is over the bed. Great. If it looks like possession, it probably is possession. That’s just what we need. 

Zahir passes the time by trying the IV machine and blood flows through easily without hitting vessel in his forearm. When Zahir realizes his blood is pumping into the machine’s container, he removes it, but the blood confines to steadily flow from his body. More than would be normal. Genevieve looks at it and tells him the wound’s natural state is now open. After some serious effort, Genevieve heals him with some choice words muttered under her breath. 

5:00 am
*Eleora, Genevieve, Roth, Zahir*

Roth gets call from Hodges and and said, “seventh girl is missing. Name: Jane George.” With that, he disconnects the call. 

We all decide it is time to go, as it’s likely the culprit is heading home with his seventh bag of blood and we’ve gathered in his living room! Genevieve takes pictures of everything, in case we need it for reference later. 

My nightmares, lack of sleep, and earlier fight with Dorian are getting to me and I feel like its hard to move, let alone think and contribute to the group. 

Zahir’s blood covering the apartment, so Genevieve does a quick spell to remove it, but all doesn’t go according to plan. Something happened with her fast spell and she suddenly turns pale, as all of the blood drains from her normally pink face. We’re taking corpse pale. Jeesh. With her brilliant red hair and pale skin she looks like a porcelain doll. 

Zahir realizes he can’t leave the machine behind, as it contains his blood and takes it with him. There goes our hope of getting out without the bad guy knowing we were there.  Zahir motors off to his lab to work on the IV machine. 

The rest of our group departs heading off in our own directions. 

6:30 am: Closing Secrets


Roth***

Roth is called as he departs the apartment by Nikos Onassis, Euthanatos Head of Tradition. He’s pissed and wants to know what Roth did to Christman, who is missing. The arrange to meet at Michael’s at 6:30. 

Here, Roth learns that Christman has had a car accident and he disappeared. No one has seen him since last night. Roth denies that he caused anything that would cause him to go missing or any accident. He admits he might have done something to the car, but it shouldn’t have caused this and there might be other culprits. 

Nikos warned Roth that although he’s the right hand man, he is still disposable. Roth must be careful in what he does from here on out. 


Zahir***

Shortly after leaving the apartment, Zahir heads to meet with the head if his tradition, Janna at his home lab.  Janna helps Zahir understand the internal workings of the machine. She   realizes it would have killed him had Genevieve not helped him. Janna told him the machine is made of Damaskas steel, which they both know is rare and powerful. 

The two decide they need coffee and head to the downtown Starbucks. She orders an 8 shot Americano. Her phone is a fake reader, so she pretends to pay, but winks at Zahir for taking advantage of the system. Zahir tells Janna all about the shooting of Jeremy. Janna decides she will make a bio-mechanical fetch for Zahir and herself. 

Janna divulges that  Iao was attacked. Zahir tells her he might have a contact with a mole at Technocracy; Janna strongly encourages  Zahir to create the relationship. 


Genevieve***

Genevieve in need of breakfast after feeling weak decides to meet Meaveen at Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs. Both women order breakfast and get down to business, although Genevieve looks like she blends in with the white walls. 

Genevieve shows her pictures of the book that she took while in the apartment. Meaveen tells her the section of the book is called “The Intervation of Life”. This is a dark black magik ritual. Completing it should give the user super human strength. To use it one must funnel life and essence of power with the blood of six and the final cap is with the blood of the seventh sacrifice. This method can also permanently bind the body of the possessed. 

Meaveen states that the passage reads, "bind Zeus’ power with Gaia’s flesh." Genevieve fills her in that she thinks the blood of the seventh has been claimed…


Eleora***

After parting ways with my group, I knew exactly where I had to go if there was any hope of me sleeping today: I headed to Dorian’s house. I knew he was too pissed to be at my house. I knew I should go see Isias instead, as he was the head of my house and grooming me to someday be his replacement, but dammit, right now, my relationship came first. 

As I entered Dorian’s quaint little cottage just off of Cheyenne Boulevard, I knew he was angry. And that he hadn’t slept. Some items on the normally neat entrance table had been angrily thrown to the floor and I could smell the delicious scent of his pulled pork, a lengthy six hour process. Uh oh. He’s been up all night cooking and chopping with his big knife. I braced myself and entered the kitchen. 

Dorian was standing at the counter chopping more goodies to place in with the pork so it would have the perfect taste. He chopped with a little more vigor than necessary after he noticed I entered the room.  "I see you managed to stay alive," was how he greeted me. 

Shit. I knew we were in for a heated argument. 

I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the speech I’d been rehearsing my whole drive. "Dorian, I can’t believe how you reacted tonight. You know our relationship is supposed to remain a secret. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone realized we are more than we say after your antics tonight. I know it was because you were upset and want to see me safe, but dammit Dorian, we have to be more careful! You know that Isias is grooming me for his replacement. You can’t risk these things. This was our mutual decision."

“Honey, I know. I am sorry. I just didn’t know you were in so deep. Especially with black magik. That is NOT something I want to see you involved in. I finally have a job that’s respectable and doesn’t cause new scars. I don’t want to lose you…not when I finally feel like I’m worthy of you.” 

Our conversation continued along the same vein for some time until we came upon a mutual understanding about what’s happening and why. 

We both aren’t comfortable with the relationships we’ve formed with Barrera, but we at least know she wants more from both of us. We both know our jobs and my role in the Council might test our relationship but the end goal is worth it. 

We make a pact to remain honest with each other, even when we’ve asked for our secrecy to be respected in the past. Together, maybe, we can overcome his fate as a Widderslainte. 

Dorian’s does ask me one favor, which I can oblige. He hands me a small .9 mother of pearl pistol with pink grips. I tell him I love it, which isn’t a lie. I promise to carry it with me from here on out!  I think I’ve got an in for a concealed carry permit, and I know that it won’t be leaked to the paparazzi. 

Finally, feeling like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, Dorian and I crawl into his king bed and fall asleep entwined around each other…

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Behold!

Those were some messed up dimensional beings that had just crossed over — cowards, but messed up. Thanks to the residual proximity kinetics, Zahir was able to escape, just barely. Rothas Nesimi and Genevieve DeSantis emerged from a nearby passage, and the runes guarding this ancient library sprang to life.

Things seemed safe for the time being and, reunited, the group took time to pour over the knowledge in the area — mostly looking for knowledge regarding the Grigori, Gigas, or the Codex Gigas.

Zahir scoured for ancient formulae, schematics, or alchemical notes, but found zilch — these holy guys weren’t much fun. He did find a complex diagram detailing the “angelic choirs” and their “demonic” counterparts — super-science wrapped in myth and veiled in religion.

p.=centered

Genevieve discovered a text by Gerard de la Croix, who once studied the Codex Gigas. The book itself could stain a soul — it was a caul. An unwary individual who read the book could be transformed into a nephandis as the book consumed their soul. It was filled with summoning rites, but their use would damn a soul for eternity.

p.Roth must have received some sort of mental imprint overlay, because he was guiding them through the library like he’d lived there for years. Eventually, they emerged to the pre-dawn twilight in a muddy apple orchard near Highway 83.

Upon exiting, the group received simultaneous voicemails as their phones regained semi-crummy signals in the early Colorado light. “Bartholomew Hastings here,” it said. “Chamberlain of the Council. Please meet at noon — ”/campaigns/the-ties-that-bind-are-tenuous-indeed/characters/isias-moreno" class=“wiki-content-link”>Isias would like to check on your progress." Typical Hermes tightwad.

Zahir headed home, ready for bed. He was awakened by a text from Genevieve — “What were those things?” “They were djinn, simpleton,” he snapped. “Now let me sleep.”

Genevieve met with Corin, and told him everything. He was incredulous, but warned them to be careful.

At the Sanctum Quietus, Isias asked questions and Genevieve provided answers. He idly pondered whether there could be some nephandis or witterslaynt activity, and decided to leave the group intact, and advised we learn our strengths and weaknesses.

Roth looked a bit more into the Twilight Killer, and found they were all trolls from CCC downtown, and taken from clubs. (And not like fae trolls – just an unkind pejorative for some homely ladies.)

Rested up, there was business to attend to for Elora — and her business became group business. They headed to see the primogen of the Nosferatu in town. He’s probably the one guy in town worse looking than the Twilight Killer girls. After a misunderstanding at the beginning, they learned he had been hired to erase the 911 tapes in exchange for services and information — such as a warning to evac the area early. He says a guy named Abednego hired them — and he creeped the Nosferatu out. He had a black cane with a silver handle, but it didn’t seem like he needed it to walk. Classy like.

That coming Friday, Roth paid a visit to Rodriguez’s house and played producer for the newest Vines Gone Wild on his house. Just because he could. Each member of the group received a bracelet and invitation to Southside Johnny’s. The bracelets were labeled with HTIW. Zahir spent the morning speaking with his Technocracy contact and working on a Dimensional Being Static Neutralizer — or as some would term, a demon trap. The others probably wasted their brain cells on mundane tasks like technocracy television propaganda, but they all wound up at Southside Johnny’s that evening.

HTIW stood for *H*ow *T*errible *I*s *W*isdom — quite apparent from all the tour and band merchandise littering the place. Some band covered Possum Kingdom by the Toadies, opening up for Oedipus Rex and the MILFs.

It didn’t take long before Lenny spotted Roth though — tin foil hat, lead lined diapers, and hard on for the chupacabra. His napkin was filled with gibberish. He predicted the Twilight Killer was going to, “switch it up tonight,” and was not a vampire. There was an emergent pattern of clubs the Twilight Killer had been hitting — Southside Johnny’s, Blondies, and Manson.

Roth squinted and scanned the crowd, looking for a girl who matched the victim profile. He looked over the plain girl several times. Working with Zahir’s brilliant tracking tool, Roth set-up a tracking device on the girl by raising her hopes and then expertly dashing them.

Before he can track her, though, Roth is called away by Detective Hodges. All of the Twilight victims were hung in the dining room of a nice house. Six broads, bled dry, with two puncture marks apiece. Blood was everywhere, saturating the carpet til it oozed red. The dinner table read, “ANAGENNISI.”

The plain girl left the club with a good looking man — not the kind she could usually score. Absent Roth, Zahir took things into his own hands and tracked them with the subtlety of a rampaging super science deathbot [note to self: rampaging super science deathbot]. He led her into an alley….

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The shorter version
Brother Caleb

OPENING SCENEs

-Genevieve wakes up from a good night’s sleep after a full evening of her favorite Hasbro games with Simon like strip twister and fuck Yatzee.
-Shortly after waking, she receives a call from Corin. Some witty banter and, quite frankly, blatant flirting occurs, but Corin finally reveilles that the book we’re looking for is on display in Switzerland.

-Zahir continues working on Internal self-actuation portal, when Yana comes to talk. She reveals that there’s a mole in the technocracy that’s feeding us information? She suggests trying to find out who it might be, and letting her know.

-Roth was visited from the head of the Front Range Dreamspeakers. He reveals that it’s been his dreams that have led us to this investigation.
-Lenny (a crazy contact) calls, tells of girls gone missing from clubs downtown. Sketchy, but usually accurate.
-Roth calls Rick who is shocked to find out that I know about the girls going missing. He says that their (CSPDs) investigations show them to be homely looking girls, but no bodies have been found. He also gives the heads up that two units/4 cops are at Bennit hill.

-Eleora meets with hot Latina vampire, Donna Bererra(sp?).
Wants to make deal with Eleora, “Tell me what you know and I’ll tell what happened to the 911 tapes.”
-She tells us that the vamps were warned about the fires, and someone named Lear was responsible for the erased 911 tapes.

AT BENNIT HILL

-Roth sneaks in with magic
-Genevieve sets up sense mind…prevent ambush
-Zahir botches getting through tile and gets clay hands (6 scenes?)
-Eleora puts magnetic charge to the tile and it opens easily
-We go down the stairs (60 feet) to find a large stone door with an inscription
-Saying the words of “Benedict hold keys of truth, the vaults hold more than words”
Has weird set of symbols
-Genevieve gets door open, opens to square room with circle on floor(sealed door on one end and archway on the other end)
-The room is made of old world limestone
-Pictures of Benedict throughout…seems to be story of giants
-Zanir teleports to other side of door, notices dead wards, library on one side and cells on the other
-Zanir scares off specters
-Genevieve and Roth set to work on deciphering a phrase using a key.
-We pray to Benedict, brother Caleb forms in front of us…says some stuff (probably irrelevant but just don’t remember) and reveals that the codex is actually here.
-Roth becomes the guardian of the walled library.

REMINDER

-Investigate demons at start of next session in library.

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The Fellowship Forms
Story 1 Session 1

For me, it all started with a bad dream. Something about a library and a dead man sprawled across a mosaic of religious iconography. I woke up sweaty and disoriented, glad that Simon was there. It took me a few seconds to calm down and realize that my phone was ringing.

I tried to clear the sleep out of my voice. “Hello?”

It was Meaveen, and I was wanted downtown. I slid out of bed, trying not to wake Simon, brushed my teeth, splashed some water on my face, and pulled my red hair back into a sloppy bun. I grabbed my glasses and car keys off the bedside table, made sure my flask was in my purse, and headed for the Cayenne.

It didn’t take too long to get from my place to the El Paso Club, and as I walked down the alley toward the concealed entrance, I saw a few familiar faces. I didn’t know their names, but I knew they were like me. We made the appropriate motions in front of the brick wall and entered into the Sanctum together.

In the council room, three of the Heads of Tradition awaited our arrival. Meaveen was there, of course, as well as Isias from Hermes and the Ghoul, Nikos, head of Euthanatos. Last was head of the Chorusters, Corin. I blushed slightly as he smiled a greeting at our group. A priest has no business being that cute.

Isias greeted us all, and made introductions. He started with the only other member of his order present, though his introduction was completely unnecessary. Anyone who’d been alive for the past ten years would know her in a heartbeat. Her shoulder-length blonde hair, flawless skin, and smoldering eyes were completely unique and completely intoxicating. It was Eleora Bell, the world-famous actress. I smiled her direction and tried not to look like a totally geeked out, drooling fan. I think I was only marginally successful.

Eleora was also the council’s Herald, which made sense, since people would definitely listen to her if she started talking.

Next, Isias introduced Rothas Nesimi. He was pretty average looking, with dark eyes and messy brown hair, but that probably came in useful in his work. Not only was he a PI, but he was also the council’s Justice; blending in would be an advantage. He wore jeans, a dark grey T-shirt, and a leather jacket, and he carried a motorcycle helmet under his left arm. His Tradition was Euthanatos, and Roth looked like someone who enjoyed making things come apart.

The last person who’d been summoned by the council was Zahir El Hissam, a somewhat crazy looking man who appeared to be in his 30’s, but somehow seemed older. His dark hair stuck out at wild angles around a pair of goggles he had perched on his head. His dark eyes were keen and intelligent, but as he observed the proceedings, he seemed bored.

Lastly, he introduced me. I’m Genevieve DeSantis, a Life mage of the Verbena Tradition. I’m a medical student at CC. Next to Eleora I’m a Schnauzer, but otherwise, I guess I look alright. I’m 5’6’’, of average build, and I have hazel eyes and red hair that reaches the middle of my back. Okay, that’s enough time spent on me… back to the story.

The council told us that they’d called us together because there was something strange going on, and they thought our specific talents would be of use. The wildfires that had been blazing recently seemed suspicious to them, and they wanted someone to investigate.

Corin offered us the use of his library, and after a brief discussion, we decided to start there. It turns out I wasn’t the only one who’d had a strange dream last night, as Eleora told us she’d experienced something a bit strange herself. She couldn’t remember a ton of details, but one word, gigas, stood out to her. We headed over to Corin’s library for a bit of research.
When we arrived at the Lutheran Church across from King’s Chef Diner (a fave of Simon’s and mine), Roth excused himself to make a phone call to one of his contacts in CSPD, and Corin escorted Eleora, ____ and me down a flight of stairs and through a solid wooden door with iron rings for knobs. As we crossed the threshold, a miniscule hum let us know that we weren’t where we appeared to be, and Corin confirmed this, saying we had teleported to his private library in Southern France. I’m going to need to remember this the next time I get a craving for crepes!

I was kind of hoping that the library might look familiar to me… like the one from my dream, but no such luck. I guess I’d just have to keep looking if I wanted to find that place.

Anyway, we started searching for anything we could find about the word gigas, and we soon discovered that the word was Greek for an ancient race of giants who had lived around 200 BC. We also found mention of the Gregori, a choir of angels that had been exiled from Heaven and was sometimes called “The Watchers” or “Nephalum”. Lastly, we discovered that there was something called the Codex Gigas, or The Giant Book, but we didn’t know if that meant it was a tome about giants or just a really huge old book. When we stepped back through the threshold and into the Springs, we asked Corin if he knew about the book, and he said he’d see what he could find for us. We headed upstairs to reconnect with Roth.

Roth’s phone call had been productive. His contact in CSPD had told him that things around the station had been a bit rough recently, what with trying to figure out who was behind the wildfires. Unfortunately, he said that all of the 911 call records from up to an hour before the beginning of the fire had been lost. IT said it was a “glitch”, but it seemed a bit suspicious all the same. The police had also been planning to investigate the Bennet Monastery, and were headed up there in an hour or so. Roth’s contact advised him not to be there when they arrived.

Roth also told us that he’d been doing some investigating earlier, and had heard that all the local vamps had abandoned the area of the fire and were gone.

The four of us talked briefly about our options for continuing the investigation, and Eleora, Roth and I decided to head up to the monastery before the police arrived. Zahir decided to investigate the fire’s ignition site remotely from his lab.

Eleora, Roth, and I piled into my Cayenne and headed up 83 toward the Bennet Monastery. As we approached the Benedictine monastery, we noticed that the burn scar had seemed to avoid it somehow. Everything on one side of the road was scorched and blackened, but the grounds of the monastery itself were pretty much untouched.

The police presence was already there.

“How are we going to get in?” I asked. I closed my eyes and loosened the lid on the flask in my purse. I dipped my pinkie into its mouth until I felt the cool water inside. Then I reached out toward the monastery with my senses. In addition to the police we could see outside, I felt the life forces of fifteen to twenty more people inside the monastery.

“Leave that to me,” Eleaora purred as she glided out of my SUV. She practically floated toward the two guards at the door, and I noticed that Roth’s gaze followed her every movement.

“There are others in the monastery, but they seem to be avoiding an area near the back.” I told him when Eleora’s hypnotic gate had brought her within talking distance of the guards.

Roth nodded and opened the car door. “Let’s see if we can find an entrance near there.”

I watched the younger of the two officers extend a notepad toward Eleora with a shaking hand, and then followed Roth.

Upon entering the monastery, I was immediately certain that this was the setting of the dream I’d had this morning. The windows opened up on the mountains just as I had seen, and the shelves and tile mosaics looked familiar as well, though I couldn’t recognize anything specific in the mosaics. I pulled out my cell phone and started taking pictures. Maybe Eleora or ___ would be able to see something in them that I hadn’t.

Roth was less concerned with the tiles on the floor, and more concerned with the outline of a body on the floor. Oops. How had I missed that?

“I’d say this guy’s 5 o’clock shadow was just a shade past Hiroshima,” he said as he examined the scorch marks that pretty much made any type of chalk outline completely unnecessary.

My stomach rolled slightly at the gruesome loss of life, and I said. “It was one of the brothers. I saw this in my dream. See how he’s got his arms around that area on the floor? I think he was trying to show us something. Or maybe protect something.”

Roth nodded and closed his eyes as he reached into his pocket. I couldn’t tell what he was fiddling with in there, but when he opened his eyes again he said, “That’s weird,” and started examining the floor tiles with renewed interest.

“What?” I asked.

“Well, you know, entropy means that eventually everything falls apart. Everything.” I waited for him to continue. “But this tile… It’s completely untouched. Like, impossibly untouched. Not one single molecule of it has experienced any degradation of any kind. That can’t happen. Everything wears down.”

“Okay…” I started, “so what would keep it so perfectly in tact, and why would anyone bother?”

“Do you see the runes in the edges of the tile along the grout?” He pointed. I hadn’t noticed them, but once he pointed them out, they were clear. I had no idea what they meant. I took some more pictures on my cell phone. “They must be some sort of protective ward,” he continued, “but I don’t know why they’d need to protect an empty tile.”

The sound of police sirens outside reminded us that we were here on borrowed time.

“We’d better get going,” I said, “before your contact finds us in here. Rothas nodded, and we headed for the back door we’d entered through.

As we slipped back around to the front of the building, we caught Eleora’s eye, and she started wrapping up whatever conversation she and the guards had been having. She joined us in the car just as a black and white pulled onto the monastery property. I turned the key in the ignition and drove away as normally as I could. I started heading for Zahir’s lab.

“Well, what did you find?” Eleora cooed. I tossed her my iPhone, and she started flipping through the camera roll, paying extra attention to the tile mosaics. “There’s something very familiar about these pictures…” she started. “Of course the main images are all related to Christ’s Passion, but there’s a side story here. See these images?” She held the phone out toward Rothas in the back seat. He shrugged noncommittally. “There’s something about a priest here who’s begging for something from his Father. His life maybe?” Roth leaned closer. “And here… in the next image, the Father’s handing him a book. Maybe they’ve struck a bargain? Next, the priest is writing in the book.”

“A task he has to complete for forgiveness?” Roth interrupted.

“Quite possibly,” Eleora agreed. “But look at the last two. Here he’s praying, and in the last picture he’s presenting the book back to the Father.”

“What is that on the front of the book? It looks demonic,” Roth observed.

“I don’t know. We’ll have to look it up, I guess,” Eleora finished.

I glanced over at the images she had zoomed in on, and gasped. “That’s the man from my dream!” I looked at Roth in the rearview mirror. “Mr. Hiroshima. Or at least close enough to be related.”

Rothas filled Eleora in on what he had discovered about the location of the body and the tile he had guarded. I kept driving until we’d reached Zahir’s lab. When we pulled up to the Briargate Apple Store, we ducked around the back and found the dumpster that concealed the entrance to the lab. We descended a flight of concrete stairs, and emerged into the sterile white light that is so typical of laboratories. A strange machine against the wall arced blue electricity in an unnerving way, and Zahir stood in front of it, turning knobs and pushing buttons.

“It was a summoning site. Something large and not of this world,” he began, without even greeting us. “Something was summoned to the site where the fire ignited, and then the energy was channeled to a monastery up north.”

The three of us looked at each other. “Bennet Monastery?” Eleora asked.

“Obviously.” Zahir confirmed before continuing. “The monk you saw…”

“Brother Caleb,” Eleora supplied.

“YES.” Zahir flashed her an annoyed look. “As I was saying…. The monk, Brother Caleb, was incinerated immediately upon receiving the weight of the spell, and he died trying to protect the entrance.”

We waited to make sure he was finished before Roth said, “Entrance to what?”

“I don’t know. But it lies beneath the tile he died over, and the tunnel goes deep.”

“Interesting,” I murmured to myself. “We’ve got to try to figure out what’s down there,” I offered to the group.

“But we can’t just waltz out there and bust up the floor of a murder scene,” Roth said.

“Probably not,” Zahir confirmed. “We’ll have to wait until we will go unnoticed. Later tonight perhaps.”

“Alright, then. What will we do until then?” Eleora asked.

“The burn site,” Roth answered. We agreed, and piled into the SUV again.

Twenty minutes later, we were pulling up to ground zero, which was swarming with fire and police personnel. We pulled out the passes that the Heads of Tradition had provided us, and used them to gain access to the area. The fire marshal didn’t seem quite convinced, but Eleora made him forget his reservations soon enough. A small crowd gathered around her as Zahir, Roth, and I made our way to the giant crater Zahir had seen via his scrying.

In the dead center of the crater, a square of wood was visible. There were runes on it that we couldn’t readily decipher, so I snapped some photos.

“We need to get this out,” Roth said. Zahir and I just looked at him.

“And how do you propose to do that with all of these officials present?” Zahir asked.

“Let me take care of that,” I said, and walked to the center of the circle, beginning to chant quietly to myself. As the minds of the policemen around us began to lose focus on the area around us, Roth and Zahir started digging. After about half an hour, we had on seriously huge wooden stake pulled from the ground and loaded into the back of the Cayenne. A few minutes later, Eleora slid into the passenger seat with a smile.

“Let’s go,” she said, and she smiled and waved to the officials as we pulled away with our treasure.

We returned to Zahir’s lab, where he immediately started bustling around, setting up tests to run on the stake.

I pulled my flask from my purse and splashed a bit of the water onto my palms. I extended my hands toward the stake, and began to explore it with my senses. It was wooden, obviously. And there was dried blood on it. I pushed a bit further. The blood was not like anything I’d ever experienced before. It was neither human nor animal. I pulled my hands back, perplexed, and shared what I’d discovered.

“So what’s our next move?” Roth asked.

“I suspect we’ll need to return to the monastery and see what’s in that tunnel,” Eleora said. We all nodded agreement.

I checked my watch. It was 6:15, and I had plans with Simon at 7:00. “Well, I kind of have somewhere to be, but I can meet back up with you guys later. Where and when?”

“The monastery. Midnight,” said Rothas.

“Great. I’ll see you guys then,” and I headed to Manitou to make my date.

I am NOT going to go into detail about my private life, but I will tell you that Simon extended an interesting invitation to my new group of colleagues for Friday night. Apparently, Ulric, the Dreamspeakers’ Head of Tradition (did I mention that Simon’s a mage, too? A Dreamspeaker. Let’s not get into that right now. It’s complicated.) Anyway, Ulric invited our little group of adventurers to a party at South Side Johnny’s on Friday night. Which I thought was interesting, and a little weird. It made me paranoid that Ulric had known that Simon would be able to get a hold of me so easily. How much does he know, I wonder?

Anyway, we finished our dinner at Mona Lisa’s, and headed back to my townhouse. I had a few hours to kill before midnight.

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