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[Actual Play] The House Always Wins Chronicle

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  • Baroness Nerak
    started a topic [Actual Play] The House Always Wins Chronicle

    [Actual Play] The House Always Wins Chronicle

    There was interest in my posting journals for my game, so I figured I would give it a shot. My game is told in character journals, which are optional, so I cannot guarantee a journal for every character, or any character.

    My game, “The House Always Wins” is set in Las Vegas. The PCs are chosen by their parents to reclaim a Terra Incognita that seems to have recently manifested nearby. After finding and exploring it, they began to set up a spa there, bringing in various Theoi creatures to help, one of the Lampades as a hostess, a Naiad for the spring, an Oread for the mountain, a Satyr bartender, etc. Now they are trying to draw the attention of various Pantheons to get the place running and use it as a base for expanding their own legends beyond it.

    It’s my fourth campaign I have run for Scion, the first for 2e and the first single pantheon game. A lot of the players this time are less familiar with world myth so decided to stay with Greek. To their credit, they wanted to do things right and respectfully. I look forward to teaching them more.

    So, my next post should be introducing you to the PCs, the next post will be some character backgrounds and setting background (from handouts). Then I will post the journals and handouts from the first arc.

    The game is set up with area plotlines, which will slowly move and resolve with or without PC intervention (but have milestones measured in arcs, so the PCs will have time to intervene as they wish) and plotlines centered on the spa (which are usually the main arcs). Every named NPC has a portrait. I am not posting all those pictures but can post any people are curious about. That is a balance when I post games online what to do about the often over 100 NPC pictures.

    I want to stress I am posting this for pleasure reading but also for inspiration for other’s games. So hopefully this will be helpful.

    ETA: Also, check out the sister game The Ultra Violets.
    Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 08-01-2022, 02:24 AM.

  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Session XXI

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: DELTA FOUR

    Varna, Bulgaria

    Mission accomplished. My team did an excellent job. Xanthias, Mira and Johnny went searching by talking to the hotels, Avril went looking for a boat rental, and I played Russian coed trying to sweet talk to port authority into helping me find the Dagger of Trebizond by saying I partied there a couple nights ago. We found Razor Tiger and her Asuras at the Grand Hotel Varna, incidentally where we were staying. Johnny played distraction and Avril hacked the closed-circuit camera. We found Razor Tiger and several Asura were there, but Aashvi was aboard the Dagger on the Black Sea and her Raksasha were on patrol looking for vampires. We found ourselves with a quandary; go after the Dagger and the Dharma Equation or try to nab Razor Tiger. Whoever we go for the other would likely flee a band of angry Heroes.

    Mira came to us for the Equation, so we chose that. As we prepared to leave, we saw Vlad Tepes strolling through the docks in a suit, sunglasses and with a suspiciously long suitcase. Deciding time is of the essence, we got moving, Jimmy calling on powers of travel to get us to the boat fast.

    On arriving, we spotted a green woman in a bikini (a Rusalka named Višnja) and Aashvi (not in a bikini) on deck. Avril also noticed a Vodyanoy in the water. In retrospect, we should have watched him closer. Avril took a shot and hit Aashvi square in the face, and Jimmy ran over the water and up the side of the Dagger of Trebizond. At that point, the Vodyanoy, Boris apparently, knocked the boat over. I managed to stay in but the rest were dumped into the Black Sea. None of the group were good swimmers. I picked up Alisa and Mira. Avril was doing well, until Boris pulled her underwater. Apparently, she escaped his grasp and grew fins and scales, at least once we got on the boat. I get ahead of myself.

    Jimmy had gotten below decks while I shot the shotgun Višnja grabbed into pieces. She leapt into the Black Sea at that point. Jimmy started negotiations, and Athanasios called the others off. He seemed delighted to see us. He was warned about Dracula and set the Dagger moving.

    I’ll summarize Athanasios’s verbose diatribe. He had bought the Dharma Equation from Razor Tiger and was in the process of paying for it. Aashvi represented the other Asura. Johnny commented wryly that Aashvi actually had the Dharma Equation still. However, we could not meet Athanasios’s offer, a hidden island key. We were negotiating with Athanasios.

    This is why I murder people.

    Athanasios was seeking a specific box in Hades, a Black box, velvet interior, black image of a hawk on the cover. He said it was his father’s, and no harm would come to Xanthias’s parents. Xanthias agreed, and Athanasios magically sealed the deal. He regretfully handed over the Dharma Equation to us.

    We landed in Trabzon and headed back to Varna. Dracula and Razor Tiger were gone, Chloe and Lexie were safe. Too much to hope Dracula was lost to the Black Sea.

    EINDE

    --

    Jimmy smiled warmly from the door as he wished Mira well on her trip back. Chloe’s boots were visibly hanging over the edge of the bed as Imke looked curiously at his arrival.

    “Tell the others to think about food. I’m going to investigate the street food scene,” he said in Bulgarian as he turned and walked back down the hall.

    “Anyway Xanthias, I promise you, I will be in touch with my Father, Vishnu, regarding this turn of events. Your assistance to the Devá will not go unremembered or unrewarded.” Mira was packed to go, but respectfully offered her hand.

    Xanthias reached to shake it. "The consequences of allowing their plans to come to fruition would have been dire for mortal and divine alike. I could not in good conscience allow it. It has been an honor to work with you and I do hope that we can meet again under more pleasant circumstances. Perhaps you should visit the spa when you have a chance."

    “I am sure you won’t be surprised to hear I hope to do exactly that.” Mira replied with a grin.

    Outside, Jimmy felt that tingle in the back of his mind again. There were too many “loose ends” Imke would say. But for some reason, no one else seemed to notice. Maybe the only reason he did was because he used his Guardian power on Mira. He couldn’t trust luck to keep one of Imke’s Silken Suitors safe. It was a working title and he still wasn’t sure he was happy with it. Golden Girls was taken and had a very different meaning in America.

    With little more than a thought, Jimmy vanished into the crowded street outside the hotel. The tingling was getting stronger as he strolled among the masses. Then he saw the problem.
    It was the mustache and jawline that grabbed Jimmy’s attention. He sent a text to Imke then went back to walking unnoticed.

    Imke was leaning against the doorway to her room looking at her phone. She pushed off as Mira approached. “Hey you. Leaving?”

    “I need to make my way back; I have a valuable item.” She walked alongside Imke. “I…I enjoyed working with you and…”

    “And?” Imke glanced over, her voice quite casual.

    “And everything. You and Chloe are wonderful people, and a cute couple. You two were a lot of fun. I’ll never forget you. As for the future I…can’t promise to be receptive if we meet again. But I won’t promise not to, either. I will be a friend either way.”

    “It’s fine. My last multi night liaison was with a Fae noble, Aoibhe. I am less worried about you showing up to drag me to the Faerie realm someday.”

    “I am given to understand Fae are a bit like Asura, some good, some very bad?” She paused near the elevator and pushed the button.

    Imke hugged her. “Something like that. Listen. You take care, okay? You have my number. I am your friend.”

    “I know.” Mira turned around, glancing at the opening doors and empty elevator, and gave Imke a quick kiss. “Thank you for letting me be your ‘Bond Girl!’” She smiled and stepped into the elevator, maintaining eye contact until the doors closed.

    Imke smiled with a giggle and headed back to the room Mira had been sharing with herself and Chloe. Chloe was packing away make up as she entered. “Still coming with, Duckling?”

    The Goth smiled over. “Hey Em. Yeah, throwing caution to the wind and sticking with my romantic heroine. Especially if she brings over more girls like that.” She glanced the way Mira went.

    Imke walked over, burying her face in the Oread’s hair. “Thank you. I am glad you will be around.” There were a few long moments. “I love you, Chloe.”

    “Love you too Em.” Chloe spoke without hesitation. She caressed her partner’s hair, setting aside her packing for a moment. “Just remember that. And keep at it. That’s all I ask.”

    Imke kissed the top of her head. “Of course. Glad you will be with me.”

    Outside, the daughter of Vishnu crossed behind a pillar, carry-on plain to see as she emerged beyond it walking to the airport. From a bench, the mustached man in sunglasses and a suit watched her go by, picking up his suspiciously long suitcase as he rose.

    Sitting at an open-air cafe across the street from the hotel, the son of Hermes studied the tea leaves in the tiny ornate cup with mild amusement. Movement from the corner of his eye told him the moment had arrived. He reached down, picked up a newspaper by his foot, and found a rubbish bin nearby.

    Meanwhile Mira, now disguised in a headscarf and body hiding frock, moved to catch her boat and cross the Black Sea with her charge.

    Walking in a separate direction from either Mira, Jimmy called Imke. “Nancy is in the wind. I’m going to So Fresh Sevastopol. They have cold-pressed juices and really good sandwiches. Be back soon, 007.” Smirking, he headed toward Sevastopol because the prosciutto on the Italian sandwich looked divine.

    --


    “While I have no intention of violating my agreement with Athanasios I assure you that I intend to do so carefully. I did not, for instance, agree to steal the box or keep it’s intended recipient a mystery. Currently, my plan is to speak to my father about the situation.”

    "Ja ja" Imke nodded. leaning in the doorway. "That does seem wise."

    “Yeah, that’s a good plan. But first you should buttonhole Tristessa and interrogate her. I’m sure she knows something about this,” Chloe added. Then the Oread grinned wickedly and added, “Or I could if you don’t want to. I have a few things to ask her myself.”

    Xanthias’ expression showed nothing as he replied to her. “An excellent suggestion, and while I appreciate the offer I am sure it will not be necessary to do more than ask her politely.”

    “It’s okay, you can interrogate me if you want,” Alesia chuckled, “Of course, since I don’t know anything it will clearly be a long and drawn out process.”

    Chloe looked over at Alesia and stroked her chin, “Sure, but I’ve never played with a gorgon before so we’ll need to go over a couple of details about your anatomy first.”

    Alesia blinked as Xan turned his head to join Chloe in gazing at her. “What? Um… I was kinda joking. I… didn’t expect that you’d actually be interested.”

    “I’m a Nymph my dear and I think you’d be fun. But it’s alright if you don’t want to.”

    “I did say kinda.”

    Chloe glanced at Xanthias to judge his reaction but his expression was as calm as always. “As long as it’s not going to cause an issue?”

    Xan paused, clearly considering his answer a moment before he smiled slightly and answered Chloe, “I may not be as adventurous as most of my fellows but I am still Theoi.” He then turned back to Alesia. “I have no issues with this if it’s want you want my love.”

    Imke, for her part, smirked watching the pair.

    Alesia chewed at her lower lip a moment and nodded. “I do want to.”

    Xan rose and moved closer to Alesia, reaching down to draw her to her feet before leaning in to kiss her lightly. “Then I’ll see you later beloved. Have fun.” Straightening, he nodded to Chloe. “I trust you to take care of her.”

    “Oh, I plan to.” Chloe rose as well, moving over as Xan stepped away and reaching to run her fingers down Alesia’s cheek and the side of her neck before settling them around it and drawing a gasp from the pale gorgon. Then she used her grip to lift Alesia’s face and reached with her other hand to pluck the ruby red shades from her.

    “No wait…” Alesia squirmed against the firm grip and tried to look away but Chloe prevented her from breaking eye contact. The Oread shivered a little as they continued to lock eyes. “You’re… not…”

    “I’m an Oread girl,” Chloe responded, “I AM stone. And for the next few hours… you are MINE.”

    ***

    Alesia’s eyes fluttered open only to shut tightly as her snakes hissed unhappily at the bright morning sunlight flowing in. She rolled over, putting her back to the warm rays and sighed softly at the faint reminders of her exertions the previous evening that woke at the motion.

    “Good morning beautiful.”

    The sound of Xan’s voice made her snakes shift but her eyes remained closed as she realized that wasn’t wearing her sleeping mask. Only once she had confirmed where he was did she open her eyes and stretch languidly, gasping at the fresh sensations and entirely aware of the display she was putting on as the sheet slipped away.

    “Good morning handsome,” she answered at last as she settled onto her side and smiled at him.

    Xanthias made no effort to hide his appreciation for the sight of her but remained sitting at the small table with his laptop. “Room service is on the way. We didn’t manage to get much in you last night so I imagine you’re famished.”

    She nodded at the slightly hazy memory of being carried back to the room by Chloe and being tucked in by her and Xan. “Yeah, I was feeling… floaty?” A low rumble from her belly made her glance down. “But yeah, I am hungry.”

    “Chloe assured me that was normal. She made sure to go over aftercare.”

    Alesia looked back up at him carefully. “You chatted with her about… what we did?”

    “She wanted to be certain I knew how to make sure you were properly taken care of since it was clearly not something either of us had explored before. And I did ask her a few questions. General ones, not specific to what the two of you shared.”

    “Ah. Okay then.” She suddenly felt an urge to draw the sheet back over herself and curled up on the bed.

    Xan rose and moved to sit on the edge of the bed, reaching to lightly stroke her snakes, petting them gently. “Are you alright?”

    Alesia relaxed into the soft touch. “I… yes? Maybe?” She reached to take hold of his other hand in both of her own. “It was… a lot.”

    Xan curled his hand in her own to squeeze gently as he continued to pet her snakes. “Did you enjoy it?”
    “Yes. Very much so. She did things… I didn’t know I wanted…”

    “You did look quite pleased last night when she brought back.”

    Alesia blushed. “It was amazing,” she murmured dreamily. Then she looked up at him and added, “Not that you aren’t darling.”

    Xanthias smiled and chuckled softly. “Alesia my love, it’s okay. She introduced you to something new. Something that you clearly enjoyed. I am not jealous or upset. I want you to be happy. I like being the one to make that happen but I am no more upset at Chloe for bringing you pleasure than I would be at a chief that made you an amazing meal.”

    Alesia tilted her head and looked up at him, wetting her lips and worrying the lower one a little nervously. “I… wouldn’t mind you being the one to do those things… if you wanted to.”

    Xan smiled. “Well, I suppose it’s good that I also took the chance to speak to Chloe about some cooking lessons last night before she left.”

    “What?”

    Before she could continue he moved his hand from her hair to cup her chin lightly as he leaned down and locked eyes with her. The sound of hissing and the faintest texture of scales on skin subtly marbled revealed the flow of his divine power.

    “Xan…” Alesia breathed as she gazed up at him.

    “You have beautiful eyes,” he said softly as he leaned down slowly to kiss her lips.

    --

    Humanoids think they’re separate from the natural world, as if ants don’t also build cities, apes can’t use tools, and elephants don’t have tight family units. Gods take on the form of humans, but Zeus has been a swan, Loki a horse, Quetzalcoatl a serpent.

    When I look at the world as what it really is, a giant ecosystem, it isn’t hard to separate the invasive from natural predators. Kayleigh is a natural predator, as is Imke. Mosquitos and lions kill to survive, and they’re as natural as any herbivore.

    It’s… harder to categorize myself. Caretaking an ecosystem implies that I’m removed from it. I’m not, and I don’t want to be. But trimming dead branches from a tree to help it grow, that’s a very human thing. I don’t know of any other animal able to identify cane toads as something that destroys its home.

    Thorns grow from my head like antlers, but I’m not a deer. I’m not a tree. I hunt, but not for my own survival. Maybe caretaking is human, but I’m not human anymore. Am I an invasive species? No, no, I don’t destroy my environment. Artemis is a deer. She has a golden bow, and I have a gun, like her but cruder. More destructive.

    I turned into a shark. I don’t know what to do with that. How can a deer be a shark? How can a human be a deer be a shark? How can I be made of plants and trees but destroy like a human? …Are humans invasive?

    “Are you alright?”

    Avril realizes that she’s been staring into space for a few minutes. She smiles at her friends. “I’m fine.” Her expression turns a bit glassy as her thoughts continue.

    I used to hunt, capture, sometimes kill. I used to be a wolf in deer’s clothing. I’ve never been particularly good at being human, even when I was one. But what am I now? How do I know which monsters to kill? Which to capture? Which to let run free?

    Avril’s gaze goes again to her friends.

    They’ll decide for me.

    --

    And of course the climax. I think they took the more interesting direction here for sure, and we have an ongoing plot that will come up again. Also, I was happy they went along with it.

    The group is back in Vegas for the next arc. Comments and Questions welcome

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Session XX

    I was not sure how the PCs would handle this final encounter. A huge combat scene or social scene. The PCs took the latter option.

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: DELTA THREE

    Varna, Bulgaria

    It’s 0100Z and we are settling into our hotel. Our trail takes us to Varna. I shell collect my thoughts before Chloe’s temptations become overwhelming. I’ve had a long day, the last eight hours of which have been in a car. A roomy car, but a car. I am a woman of height.

    Mira woke Chloe and I letting us know Avril had succeeded in locating some Vampires in Thessaloniki. The tireless huntress wisely waited for the rest of us, and we headed over to the address we had found in Lamia. The house seemed to belong to Athanasios, and three Vampires had remained behind. We ambushed them with a series of mirrors and sunlight before Johnny shielded them and Xanthias negotiated a surrender. Oh Xan. He treats monsters better than I treat humans.

    We searched the house and found a ticket stub for a boat trip to Varna, which sounds a hell of a lot more comfortable than eight hours in a car. The Vampires knew of something called the Dagger of Trebizond which we determined was a ship. So, we needed to go to Varna. But there were a few points first.

    One, the Vampires were working for a Vampire called Daniela, who was ultimately working for Vlad Tepes, a Scion of Zalmoxis. Yeah, Dracula, but alive as a Scion commending Vampires. Apparently Tepes is in Budapest right now, but still it is bizarre. We wound up freeing the Vampires with appropriate threats and Xanthias trying to get them to visit Vegas. Never change, Xan.

    Second, Lavanya skipped down. Mira was pissed. She was headed South, though, and Athanasios and Razor Tiger headed Northeast. Still. Mira was pretty angry.

    Third, turns out Alisia has a pilgrimage to do, specifically visiting the tomb of Gorgo Aix. We had decided to investigate the Vampires first, give Chloe time to relocate the tomb (She had been there before) while we investigate the more time sensitive vampire issues.

    The Tomb of Gorgo Aix was stuffy, but not too bad. Chloe kept calling me Lara Croft. Xanthias and Jimmy did fall into a trap, literally, but Johnny raised some earth and got them out. We crossed a room full of snakes with help from Xan, and navigated between two boiling springs, to get Alisia to her alter. There we found several cast off relics that apparently once belong to Rhea and a mask Jimmy took. Avril took a thigh bracelet which, go her. Jimmy magicked us out, and we headed on the road to Varna.

    Chloe has gotten impatient and dragged Mira to her I am afraid. I thought I had a libido before I met this woman, but apparently Nymphs come by their name honestly. I must go and rescue poor Mira. Tough to be the Hero.

    EINDE

    --

    Three women walked along the beach in the afternoon sun. Mira, Imke, and Chloe wore shirts over bathing suits, only Chloe’s bathing suit in a two piece. Time slowed to a crawl, as a couple ships could be seen moving lazily along the surface of the lake.

    “1978 I think, last time I was in Varna, or the Black Sea at all. I had come south from Odessa. I was arm candy for some politburo letch.” Imke gazed at the surf through sunglasses.

    “Bit less tourism in 78 I think. Lest from Greece. It was almost Y2K before I was here” The Goth, not only the only one in a bikini but the only one carrying a parasol, paused to watch the same ship Imke was looking at. “Whatcha looking at Em?”

    “Trying to make out the name. Don’t think it is Dagger of Trebizond. Even sharpening my vision…”

    “What is whytookay? Mira glanced over the Oread.

    “Oh just…year two thousand. Turning the century. It was a whole thing.”

    Mira nods. “Ah I was…” She looked at the Scion, who frowned. “Anyway, were you taking out the politburo guy?”

    “His wife. Double agent. We had her working for us to spy on her husband, but then got hired by the KGB to spy for them on her husband. They found out she was a spy and forced her to start giving up names. So unrelated she had killed my mark’s previous mistress by isolating and murdering her. My job was to get her to isolate me then kill her and take anything she had I could use. She got me on a boat and tried to kill me. I killed her and made it look like a boat accident and escaped by sea. Since I was prepared I had an extra lifeboat attached.”

    “That’s fucking hot. You dumped her in the Black Sea?” Chloe sounded pleased. Mira stared at her.

    “I did.” Imke strained to see another boat. She frowned.

    “We should get some candy and go back to bed before the others are up what do you think?” Chloe’s hand ran along Imke’s thigh.

    “I am pretty sure you nearly killed me last night. You are a machine.” Mira looked over at the Oread in mild shock. “My Stridharma may never recover. I need to find a husband after all this.”

    The Goth hugged Imke with uncharacteristic cheer. “As you want. I have not been happier in a century.”

    “Good. Follow that Stridharma. You two are a good match.” She smiles at the two and looked out to the sea. “We are close, I think. This is important.”

    The Oread buried her head in Imke’s neck, but the Belgian followed Mira’s gaze. “I agree, Mira. And glad to work with you.” She signed. “We should head back. When this is done, we can play.”

    Mira chucked as walked back alongside the pair. “I bet you say that to all your Bond girls.”

    --

    ...And yeah the vampires turned out to not be a fight either.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Session XIX

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: DELTA TWO

    Thessaloniki, Hellas

    It’s been a long day.

    Avril, Mira, Jimmy, and I started off investigating the house that Razor Tiger and her people had been renting. The rental was over, but no one was now using it. We did not find much, but what we did find was valuable. Specifically, a card for the Turkish Restaurant we found out about, along with the name “Athanasios” and some addresses that Avril googled to find in Thessaloniki. Further checked showed two were at Aristotle University (The Library and Rare Documents building) one was a residence one was the Skyline café bar. Solid leads. Avril took a photo of the card and we left it in the trash where we found it.

    Xanthias and Alisa went looking for Acacia, and found instead Queen Lamia, who I am given to understand flirted with Xanthias a bit. But Acacia was missing; she was their eyes on the “surface” (yes, Lamia seems to be crawling so to speak with Lamia) and it was implied Queen Lamia would be happy to get her back. Very happy, probably, since there was “no time” to meet with them when we did drop Acacia off.

    We had lunch to compare notes, then at 1400Z headed to the warehouse, specifically the one the group were still in. And they were still there. It was quiet, but I infiltrated and got inside via the roof. There were three Rakshasa and three Asura, the leader of whom was Aashvi, a “Daitya.” Anyway, things took a turn for the Banal when a pizza man arrived with pizza, and those outside seized on the opportunity, with Jimmy tackling the kid while Avril shot Aashvi in the head. This…did not hurt her as much as one might expect. Still, Xanthias stepped up and used his fear power to trap her as much as Avril’s snare did. She surrendered immediately.

    Acacia was trapped inside in some sort of Aquarium, though she was in a humanoid form. Aashvi, hole still in her head, claimed Acacia had been caught spying (probably true) and did not mention the Dharma Equation, nor did we.

    After dropping Acacia off with her fellows and having investigated with a solid cover, we decided to travel north to Thessaloniki. Chloe was up there, so we met her at the Skyline at 1900Z, giving Avril a chance to scope out the café. Chloe was happy to see me and dressed to turn my head. She succeeded, which made Mira a bit jealous. Then things got awkward, but not for that reason.

    Chloe had a friend, a Chedipe named a Lavanya. Chedipe are toe sucking vampires apparently. Much to Chloe’s amusement to tease me about. Vampires had come up earlier with Aashvi interrogating Acacia about them. Unexpectedly, Mira and Lavanya knew each other, apparently. Lavanya had been friends with Mira in life, then clashed with her as a Vampire when Mira was a young Scion, causing harm to a loved one. Mira did not wish to elaborate. Jimmy took Lavanya aside for a bit so we could hash things out.

    So Lavanya had met Razor Tiger and Athanasios. She was part of Razor Tiger’s retinue, disguised as a dancer, when they met. Athanasios had a demonic retinue apparently. The meeting went well. She said Razor Tiger left Thessaloniki but she was unsure about Athanasios. We left each other peaceably, and I returned to the hotel with Chloe and Mira.

    --

    Checking my messages, apparently Avril found some vampires at the house. As I say Aashvi was asking Acacia about vampires, so I asked Chloe when we came up here, thus the chat with Lavanya. Lavanya did not mention any. We should talk to her again.

    EINDE

    --

    Xanthias moved into the hotel room looking it over with his typically stoic gaze. It was luxurious and nice but less ostentatious than their room in Lamia had been. The press of Alesia against his back banished his musing on the décor and he smiled as he felt her hands slide around his sides as she hugged him. He brushed his fingers along the back of her arm and smiled as she nestled tightly against his back.

    “Not that I’m complaining but this is a little more direct than usual.”

    One of her hands slid lower and when he squirmed Alesia chuckled. “No, THIS is me being direct love.” Then she released him and moved back with a sigh. “Sorry, Just…”

    He turned to face her and reached to place his hands on her shoulders but did not draw her back against him. “I hope you’re not feeling jealous.”

    “Jealous?” she shook her head and laughed, “Xan, two of the absolute sexiest snake women ever all but coiled up in your lap today. I half expected Acacia was going to show you her appreciation right there in the back of Jimmy’s car.”

    He drew her closer and leaned in to kiss her. “There is only one snake I want coiled up with me Dearheart.”

    She kissed him back and started to melt into his arms but stopped and drew back reluctantly. “You don’t get it,” she said softly, “It’s not that they were throwing themselves at you, it’s that they were both ignoring me. Gods Xan, I’m not about to expect you to pass up a night with THAT. I just…”

    Xan cut her off with another kiss. “Then we’ll have to look them up when we get back to Lamia.” he said against her lips, “Together.”

    “I… cannot argue with that offer.”

    ***

    Xanthias stirred and frowned as he realized that he was alone in the bed. Blinking awake and sitting up, he looked about. “Alesia?”

    She emerged from the bathroom and smiled. “Good morning lover.” She moved and sat on the bed, turning to face him but as always looking slightly away from his face. “So, I need to talk to you about something.”

    Xan lifted an eyebrow and glanced at the bathroom she’d just exited. “Alesia?”

    She shook her head. “No. Not that. But you remember that Niaid that was flirting with you?”

    “Daphne? The one your aunts told us was a maneater?”

    “Yeah. She paid me a visit. She did apologize for trying to lure you away from me. But mainly she was there to pass a message along from Stheno and Euryale. The felt that while I was here in Greece I should visit the tomb of Gorgo Aix to pay my respects and make an offering. The tomb is here in Thessaloniki. I realize we have a lot with tracking down the stolen equation but I really feel like this is something I need to do.”

    Xan nodded. “It does seem quite reasonable for you to pay your respects to the first gorgon, especially since we are so close presently. Was this something you wanted me or the others to accompany you on or is this more of a personal journey?”

    She smiled. “I don’t think this is something I need to do alone. It’s certainly not something I want to do alone. I’m not Laura Croft.”

    “Though your cosplay of her that one time was epic.”

    “Glad you enjoyed it. Those cardboard polygons were way more uncomfortable than I expected after a while. But the main thing I’ve been worrying about is that Gorgo Aix is immortal but slumbering. And Daphne made it clear that Stheno wants me to perform the rituals to help rouse them because, well, chaos. Meanwhile Euryale wants me to soothe them and keep them asleep since rallying and releasing the titans is bad for everyone.”

    “That does seem like a difficult choice.”

    “The issue is that apparently both of my aunts are quite sure that I will do the right thing, despite their definitions of what that is being completely different. And I… I know what I’m going to do but I’m afraid of getting on Stheno’s bad side.”

    “I can understand that. Would it help if I took the blame as a bad influence on you? I mean, I suspect she might come to that conclusion anyway.”

    Alesia smiled. “Well, if she does she does but this is my choice and I’m not going to pass the responsibility of it off. But I will pick your superior familiarity to make sure the ritual goes well. That’s more your thing than mine. And hopefully Euryale will be able to calm her.”

    “She does seem to be used to and effective in tempering her sister’s more violent tenancies.”

    Alesia nodded. “We so need to get them connected to the modern day.”

    “You want to unleash Stheno on social media?”

    “Actually I was thinking trash talking FPS gamer bros would be a good distraction for her.”

    Xan chuckled. “Fair. We should get dressed and see about catching up with the others for breakfast and let them know we need to add another stop to the itinerary.”

    --

    An Indian accented voice floated into the room, waking the two women in the bed. “Rise and shine! Your phone has been going off all night and morning.”

    Imke stirred, looking at the Oread tangled up in the sheets with her, then bleary eyed at the smiling woman in the doorway with food. “Someone slept well.”

    “I did, at least outside you leaving your phone in my room. Was going off and on half the night.” She sat a tray on the bed. “Bourbon and Codeine are not an appropriate breakfast, so I brought up some fruit, bread, and orange juice.”

    “Blasphemy.” Chloe sat up. “I need my morning Absinthe the way you degenerates need coffee.” She none the less smiled when Imke impulsively kissed her cheek. “Okay Em you get a pass.”

    “Avril found some vampires. Not Lavanya or her ilk, European ones. Talking about Zalmoxis, a deity I am unfamiliar with.” She sat down, not looking directly at either lover but still enjoying the view.

    The Goth looked thoughtful. “Zalmoxis. The Vampire god. Maybe that is why Lavanya was here. Or…maybe not? She never seemed the religious type.” Chloe tore into an orange ravenously.

    “No, she isn’t. And I am sorry about last night. I was not expecting her, and my emotions took over. I need to apologize to the group.” Mira sighed. “Now all I need is for my ex to show up.”

    “Ex? What’s her name?” Chloe sounded curious. Imke chuckled. Mira groaned.

    “His. I have been with one woman in my life, and it was the night before last. And I would rather not summon him by saying his name, as you say.”

    “She’s all right, isn’t she? Avril?” Imke suddenly looked up at Mira.

    “She is fine, at least as far as I know. She withdrew and went taking pictures at a different site. By the way, Ms. Spy, lock your phone. And don’t use Chloe’s name as a code. “

    “Did…you go through my phone?” Imke looked bewildered. Mira laughed.

    “I only wanted to see why the thing was buzzing. I didn’t go looking for lewds.”

    “You missed out. I sent her my best ones.” The Goth laughed.

    “Well…tomorrow night may find me in a more romantic mood Chloe. You should stick with us.” Mira rose.

    “Oh I will, I need to convince Em to buy a house in Corinth or Thessaloniki. Antwerp is cold.” A conspiratorial glance at Mira.

    “I need to find out where the seat of Mother’s power is and visit there.” Imke was thoughtful.

    “Already looked Em. Eleusis, Samothrace, and Caria. Caria is southern Turkey now, Samothrace has people get outnumbered by goats 15 to 1, and Eleusis is not exactly focused on her. Temples all over though. Nice one in Corinth!” The Oread grins.

    “Later Duckling. Thank you.” She sighed. “Well, we should get dressed.”

    “You should.” Mira grinned at the pair. “Eat. I think the others are already getting going. Catch up with us when you are ready.” She turned and sashayed out.

    Chloe groaned. “Nothing worse in the morning than someone in a good mood.”

    --

    Gorgo Aix is a figure hard to find much about. I thought they would make a good character for an overarching plot. Also, Athanasios has shown up in The Ultra Violets.

    I honestly expected a combat at the end of the session. I did not get that...not a problem, the PCs did a good job making combat a bad idea. Also, Aashavi was not ready to die on this hill.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Session XVIII

    A Scion of Vishnu arrives with a job, one that takes the team out of Vegas for the first time.

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: DELTA ONE

    Lamia, Hellas

    At 2200Z one of the most beautiful non-Nymphs, if not the most beautiful non-Nymph, I have ever met walked into the Spa. Mira is a Scion of Vishnu, and she had a job for us.

    I will explain this as best as I understand it, without claiming it is completely correct. As they say in English it is a bit out of my wheelhouse. One of the infamous WMDs of the Devá had been stolen. This weapon, rather than a lance or a sword, was instead some mathematical proof or property on a Sutra Mira called the Nine Headed Naga Dharma Equation. The Nine Headed Naga Dharma Equation draws all the bad karma in the area into a fiery, explosive and presumably nine headed dragon or snake, which wrecks the area. Using it in a place of purity or kindness will make a spark to light a cigarette, but using it in, say, Tartarus, a place of torture and horror, would be devastating. Mira believes an Asura going by the nom de guerre Razor Tiger stole it and wants to sell or trade it to an agent of the Titans.

    I am still not sure if I am an agent of the Titans or not. I don’t think so?

    There was more to it I did not quite understand, about Buddha Natures and Bodhisattvas, but the Important part is it is hard to interpret, as one must be in touch with one’s Buddha Nature, which Chloe says is part of achieving Nirvana, and understand Sanskrit and be capable of some sort of esoteric math. It is too much for a non-Bodhisattva to understand, so one requires the Sutra. If all that makes sense to you great, I only follow any of it because of Chloe, and she is no Buddhist

    Mira suggested rather than being stealthy we roll around like we were on vacation. But keep our actual goals quiet even as we live large. THAT I can do. We got a location in Hellas near Alisa’s aunts Steno and Euryale, sisters of Medusa.

    The trail starts in Lamia, Hellas. We wound up using the Pyramid Chloe used to get us to Corinth at 1100Z and from there Jimmy drove us to Lamia. If I am being honest, it was a fun road trip. Mira was very serious and on subject, but we had fun chatting in Jimmy’s magical automobile. We stayed at [REDACTED] which was a nice hotel. Mira, being businesslike, set about to doing local research for local leads. The rest of us ventured to visit the Gorgons, around 1500Z.

    The walk was nice apart from a Nymph, apparently named Daphne, who tried to lure us into the water before seeing how many of us there were and that we had a Gorgon of our own. Then we approached the cave. The ground abruptly turned grey past the end of the foliage and petrified Italian soldiers from the second World War stood vigil outside. Entering the foreboding cave led to many more, some damage by gunfire, as well as a few stone tourists. Hissing steam and hot springs could be found inside, as well as some pools of boiling water. Before going too far, Avril and I noticed after we crossed a crevasse into a stone garden that one of the Gorgons was watching us through the scope of an old rifle. Xan called out who we were, and the sniper disappeared Gorgons appeared after a bit, in a comedy and tragedy mask.

    The conversation was surreal as we moved to a room strewn with pillows. Steno and Euryale were quite isolated from the modern world, seeing their rifle made at the close of the 19th century as new. After interacting with Evelyn, Sapphira, Echo, Chloe and Tristessa being very in tune with the modern world, it was odd. Still, While Steno was somewhat aggressive, Euryale handled things…maybe not smoothly like Xanthias or Johnny would, but with us all getting along. They recommended we talk to Acacia a Lamina in, well, Lamia as she knows a fair amount about what happens in the city.

    We returned and decided to take the evening off. Johnny arranged for a date for Xanthias and Alisa, then went to explore the nightlife. Johnny went scouting for touchstones while Avril explored the city. Mira was playing the role of my handmaiden, so I decided to have us retire early.

    The following morning, we looked into what Mira had found. She had three addresses, a warehouse rented by some individuals from Sri Lanka rented, after first renting a different one that caught fire. They rented a house in town and ate at a particular Turkish restaurant. While the first warehouse is now rented by some company, the house is vacant and the warehouse is still being rented.

    We decided Avril, my “handmaiden” and I would visit the house. Would not be the first time I did that sort of job. Xanthias and Alisa would go to find Acacia under the city, and Johnny and Jimmy would check out the restaurant.

    Looking forward to seeing how this goes

    EINDE

    --

    Mira opened her eyes and abruptly sat up in the bed, taking in her surroundings breathlessly. Beside her, the taller woman shifted languidly, her pistol The Dagger of Moonlight and Bone appearing in her hand. “Wat is het? Eendje?”

    Mira blinked, then glanced down at the blonde beside her. “Sorry. It’s safe I just…nightmare. Last person who held me in bed…it ended badly. “

    Imke sat up, putting the Dagger on the night table. “Girlfriend?”

    “Boyfriend. I told you, I haven’t done anything with a woman before.” She rubbed her eyes. “I am going to need to…” There was a long pause. “If I cry, I am sorry. I am emotional.”

    Imke quickly sat up and pulled the other women to her. “Do what you need to. Do you want to…to talk about what happened?”

    “No. Imke I am not that close to you. I have only known you a few days. Sorry.” She smiled to the Theoi, slightly. “This behavior is unprecedented for me.”

    “Okay Duckling.” Imke kissed her head. “Should I get you a drink?”

    “I don’t think drinking when I am emotional is helpful.” She laughs a little sadly, then pauses with a thought. “Do your bond girls usually survive, out of curiosity?”

    Imke got up and crossed the room, getting a Sprite for Mira and Bourbon for herself. “So far so good.” She knocked on the wooden bar. “I have a partner, Chloe, and a…partner I guess who goes by Evelyn. Both Nymphs. Chloe is about my age, Evelyn…I try not to think about it.”

    “Oh, Chloe the Fashionista. Right. Heard of her Nymphagram.” Mira takes the glass and sips some of the Sprite.

    “You should meet her while we are in Hellas.” Imke sat beside her on the covers, not feeling a need to cover up herself as Mira was doing. “I’d say you should meet Evelyn but she would probably speak in riddles.”

    “Slow down there Ms. Bond. I am not in your polycule yet. I’m not usually all that attracted to women. At least, I did not think that was my Stridharma.” She sipped again. “Besides, I may be due a minor breakdown. I feel it coming.”

    “Do you need to be left alone Duckling?” Imke’s voice had concern.

    Mira laughed, with more warmth. “I’ll have the decency to have my breakdown in the shower, thanks.” She rose, but she heard Imke’s breath catch as she admired her. In a quick burst of emotion, she turned and kissed the Belgian, with an intensity Imke was not prepared for and left her gasping for breath.

    Mira looked over at her, a small smile playing at her lips. “I am not normally the sort of girl to do this so soon. But…thank you. I needed this. A lot. I’ll be okay when I come back from the bathroom but…please give me my privacy.” She gave a nod and retreated into the bathroom.

    Imke blinked on the bed a moment, then stretched. “Bond girl, hmmm? I can only hope.” She got up again, fetching her robe and moving to find a nearby restaurant for breakfast on her laptop.

    --

    Introducing Medusa’s sisters was fun, honestly. I have some long-term plans…coming as a shock to no one. Speaking of long term plans…

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    The battle with the Sandworm and some romances advance. Stay turned for the mysterious letter at the end.
    Session XVII


    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: CHARLIE THREE

    Las Vegas, USA

    A short report this time. The team, minus Alisa, assembled in the Southern Mojave to fight the rattler. It was indeed huge, but we were ready. It managed to grab Xanthias but was killed before it could do more. It was indeed a huge worm, with tentacles around a toothy maw.

    Then a Second Rattler began to rise. The first was bigger than a bus. The second would dwarf it. However, it was addled by some force as soon as it began to rise. We managed to kill that one too, slowed as it was, then we noticed the clouds gathered in a swirl, and Chernobog appeared.

    He was not pleased with us. Apparently the reason Milos was protecting the Ciara was so Chernobog could seize control. Before he could threaten too much, however, Caesar appeared, gladius drawn. Hades, Hecate, Hermes, Artemis, and Dionysus. The Black God chose to leave. Caesar quipped he was wise.

    With that, we have defeated two enormous creatures, two evil Scions, and a hoard of zombie clowns in the past 24 hours. I am going to sleep, then I am going to dance.

    --

    Xanthias has asked Kuro out on a date. Kuro knew this was a bad idea and told me (and Alisa) what was going on. I went to tell Johnny and Jimmy. Johnny said “Malaka.” I could not agree more. But I am letting the boys sort this one.

    EINDE

    --

    “Is this not amazing? Who would have thought it would ever happen.”

    The Piranha club was a Queer club. Two beautiful and elegant women watched the room, one in black, one in red.

    “I have spent most of my time in a garden. This many people is disorienting.” The lady in red scanned the room. “It’s…not the same for me. Yes, I am used to women more interested in men than us, but…that is no stranger to me than everything else. The garden is not a place people freely come from and go to.”

    The woman in black watched with her visible eye, scanning the bodies of some of the women dancing. “A difference, I suppose, between us. I saw people beaten to death for this. People hang themselves if anyone caught them. I lost a lot of personal friends to that. But look at this. Doesn’t it make you happy, Evelyn?” She patted her companion’s hand.

    “I am here to be with you. The backdrop matters much less.” The Hesper gave a winning smile to the other woman. “Still, tis a lively place.”

    “How did the meeting with Chloe go, by the way.” Imke gave a quick glance.

    “Better than Chloe expected it to. She’s pretty, and I like her. She is no ditz. Her music could do with some work but she is a natural at clothing design. I respect her.”

    “Good. That makes things easier.” Imke half smiles. “You know, I am not going to be distracted by a big rack or great pair of legs. For long.”

    “Oh no, what chance do I have?” Evelyn chuckled. Imke rose and pulled her up into a dance Evelyn smelled like apples. Imke was starting to like apples.

    “You’re a schemer, Evelyn. Like me. You have been biding your time, until now, until me.”

    Evelyn Eventide allowed herself to be pulled against Imke’s chest. “The men of the Theoi run everything. The women compete for their attention. Even Hera is distracted by an apple that proves she is best. Everyone suspects Artemis is gay but she is coy. Your mother does not play their game but she remains aloof. You Imke, you’re a dyke.” She breathes on her neck. “I want you to change things. I want to be close to you when it happens. At your side, or your feet if I must.”

    Imke looked into the shining eyes of the lady in red. “Glady. I am going to take you to bed tonight, Evelyn. I want you like I have no one else.”

    Evelyn caressed the blonde’s face. “I am not your strumpet, Imke. I am your partner. A lot of Nymphs are watching you. Especially those like me, some of whom don’t come out when heroes come by, some of whom cower behind Artemis. Protect. Us.”

    Imke pulled her into a kiss. She had craved this since she laid eyes on Evelyn. Now the Hesper melted into her arms.

    “I will. I am not a shield. But your knife? That I can be.”

    Evelyn ran her hand through Imke’s long hair. She had finally found a hero. Now she had to be sure she succeeded.

    --

    Wednesday

    ***

    Alesia sat up slowly and rubbed her eyes. To Johnny’s credit, whatever he’d given her had given her a relaxing night and a sound slumber without leaving her feeling anything more than a little dehydrated and that was likely more that she simply hadn’t bothered to eat or drink anything. She filled the glass in the bathroom and downed it to get the dryness out of her mouth.

    “What are you looking at?” she asked her reflection. Thankfully, it chose not to answer.

    Xan had wanted to talk last night and had only agreed to follow through with his ill fated date and do it today at her insistence. She wasn’t sure what time it was but she had no doubt he was awake, dressed, and waiting for her already. But he was going to have to wait a little longer, no way she was heading home without a shower and dressing. And, you know, maybe a little makeup.

    ***

    It didn’t really surprise Alesia to find the mustang parked at the way-station for her. Leaving it and finding another way home after he’d brought Kuro back was the sort of thing Xan did. A little while later, she pulled into the drive of their house and grabbed the breakfast she’d picked up along the way. One last glance in the side mirror to check her makeup and then she headed inside.

    The scent of cooking hit her as she stepped inside. Xanthias emerged from kitchen, the pinstriped apron she’d bought him somewhat jokingly last Christmas over his black turtleneck and jeans. He looked at the bags in her hands and then to the plates he was carrying. “Great minds,” he said with a forced tone of levity.

    She moved to the table and started to unpack the food she’d brought as he moved to set the plates down and rearrange the food to make room on them. For the first time she could recall, the silence felt awkward.

    It was Xanthias that broke the quiet. “You know that moment when you’re watching something and the twist reveal happens and suddenly you think back over all the foreshadowing that you missed and it feels like it should have been obvious and you feel like an idiot…”

    “You’re not an idiot.”

    He shook his head. “A fool then?” She frowned. “I just… I knew there was something bothering you. I kept trying to figure out what it was and how I could help and the whole time I was the problem. I was blind and I am so sorry.”

    “You’re not a mind reader Xan. And even if you were, you wouldn’t do it to me. I should have said something. It’s my fault.”

    It was Xan’s turn to frown as he looked down at his plate. They ate in silence for a few moments, neither quite sure how to proceed.

    “So how did your date go?” She asked suddenly.

    “The restaurant was excellent. Kuro found both the cuisine and decor to be pleasantly authentic and they had made sure that the private dining room was completely free of any open flame as I’d requested. We should go there sometime.”

    Alesia shook her head. “Xan. I asked how the date went, not for a review of the where it took place.”

    “While I confess that I did have romantic intentions, Kuro made it clear that she… does not. She prefers her sex without any emotional elements to complicate it. Not that she does not have quite a bit of experience with such and she did make a point of sharing some of it with me, clearly feeling that I needed some education in such matters.”

    “I can think of worse ways to spend the evening than being coached on relationships by sex on eight legs.” Alesia remarked before she caught herself and looked up.

    But Xan was smiling. “But you can also think of much better ways to spend an evening with her, yes?”

    “Xan!”

    “We were both thinking it. And she did make it clear to me that she has every intention of bedding us both. Just that she prefers silken entanglements to emotional ones.”

    Alesia bit her lower lip and nodded. “She.. uh… did say something along those lines to me last night.”

    Xan reached to place his hand on her own and squeeze it gently. “Then we clearly have quite an adventure to look forward to at some point… together.”

    She turned her hand to lace her fingers into his and squeeze back. “Together forever,” she said softly, “Not that this was what you had in mind back then.”

    He held her hand and rubbed his thumb across the back of it. “I knew I loved you.”

    “Like a sister.”

    “But you are not. And you are a beautiful and intelligent woman.”

    She blushed and looked down, though her snakes continued to watch him closely. “Xan…”

    “What if I told you I have desired you for quite some time?”

    She snapped her head up but then turned to look past his shoulder. “What? Xanthias Plutonides, if you are about to tell me that we have been living some bullshit romantic ironic…”

    He leaned in and interrupted her and the conversation with a kiss that she quickly responded to and deepened. The silence lasted several minutes, though it was anything but awkward this time.

    “I was afraid you didn’t feel the same way and that if I told you it would ruin what we had,” he said when they did finally draw apart.

    She closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against his. “Please tell me this isn’t why you kept breaking up with those hot nurses and doctors.”

    “Not exactly,” he offered, “I wanted more than just sex but there wasn’t time for real relationships between the long hours and the constant relocation. I’m not sure when I realized that what I really wanted was what I had with you… just more.”

    She wrapped her arms around him and pulled herself in tightly against him, resting her head on his shoulder. “That sounds familiar.”

    “I think perhaps the reason I didn’t see what you needed was that I convinced myself that I was projecting what I wanted.”

    “Xan,” she sighed, “I love you but you overthink everything.” She turned and nipped at his earlobe before whispering. “But I’m pretty sure I can make you stop thinking for a little while at least.”

    --

    ________,

    Your modern Argonauts are, as anticipated, doing well with their appointed tasks. Yesterday’s overwhelming successes were no aberration. The Lucky Lindworm Spa has been established without any significant issue, down to, as you know, the adoption of a Lindworm.

    The staff are an interesting blend. The Spa has a patron Oread, Sapphira. Sapphira is young, a bit naive, but very reliable. There is also a Naiad, Lenore, who has a similar role with regard to the Spa. She is less malleable, being originally connected to a drowning pool drained due to the severity of its reputation. Lenore was saved in her move and has not caused any problem at all. She and she is very reverent toward the group, especially Xanthias and Johnny. Bar is handled by Darius the Vintner, a longtime follower of Dionysus, and he manages kitchen staff. Darius is reliable as Satyrs go and has taken a personal interest in the Argonauts and his coworkers. Handling more physical issues are Lemures named Sulla and Donum, a Lar they named Alexis, and a Maenad named Evangeline and her troop of mean girls who hang out with the Satyrs. They all seem to like the Argonauts.

    Xanthias is doing well with Alisa and Leski who are often at his side. Alisa seems a bit lovesick but I don’t think the relationship seems too unstable. I admit, I am not the best one to judge on relationships.

    There are a number of Kami present, for reasons I will get to. Hikaru is a Karakasa-Kozō, a sort of Kami called a Tsukumo-Gami, sort of animate mischievous object. Hikaru keeps things clean. The sex trade is handled by Kuro, a large spider that transforms into a woman called a Jorōgumo. Despite some initial wrinkles she fit in well. There is also a Kami named Chiaki, a Kuchisake-Onna which is a…sort of ghost whose face has been disfigured.

    The Argonauts have a number of influences. Xanthias is, as you are aware, watched over by Medusa, who thus far has kept her distance. Her long-term plans are unclear. I should say, again, her returning to the world could become an issue. She is very angry and releasing her would be deeply unwise, however long life continues. Anyway, Lykos the Satyr looks out for Johnny and gets in trouble with Darius, Daedalus is involved but thus far only seems to come in and take Jimmy’s car apart from time to time. Imke is being…influenced…by a Hesper who is going by “Evelyn Eventide” and concealing her identity. ________, if she is in your employ, it would be good of you to tell me. Imke is also in a relationship with a younger Oread named Chloe. The Hind Watches over Avril, and she is in a relationship with a Fae called Kayleigh. Kayleigh is a potential problem, she is a Leanhaun Shee, a Fae who consumes the creativity and life of their victim. At this time, Kayleigh does not seem to be feeding on Avril but an intervention may become necessary.

    Speaking of intervention, the Oread Echo, who’s background requires no reminding, is influencing the group. Nudging them along a path. Her long-term goals are uncertain, but she has grudges. _______, I would ask about how she was recommended to influence the Argonauts, why she has a physical form, and how she broke her curse.

    All this aside, they have established the spa, ingratiated themselves to the Netjer who function as the local peacekeepers. They met with several “Influencers” and got some hype, and the initial visitors to the spa have arrived, including Circe and Divis Julius.

    Xanthias was a concern that his ego would become a problem with regard to the others in the group. I know the matter was discussed before his selection. This has not occurred. Instead, the group is very loyal to him, and the staff is as well. He is a talented planner and leader. He seems to be figurehead of the spa, and the one keeping the Argonauts on task.

    Xanthias has something of a fixation on Monsters. This may be because of his close association with Alisa. Part of the reason for the more unusual members of the crew, from Lucky the Lindworm to Chiaki, are his tendency to assist Monsters where possible. What may be a problem for you is his lack of concern for where they stand on the Titanomachy. He would, I suspect assist one trying to free the Titans as well as a loyal ally of Zeus. Granted, all the Titans, like all life, is finite and will return to the void from which it came, but it may be concerning to you thus I am duty bound to report.

    I cannot contest that he does not know how to use the advantages he has gained. He is the only one in the group to begin founding a Cult, and he has a Ghost called Sam working as an Apprentice. In a decade he will have an army of monsters. Underestimate him at all peril.

    The other talkative member of the group is Johnny. I am not exaggerating when I say nearly everyone who has met him likes Johnny. He usually has a group of humans around him and works closely with Darius and Evangeline. Yes, even a Maenad likes him. Xanthias may be the figurehead, but Johnny is the one everyone comes to.

    I am given to understand he is seen a rather good hearted by his fellows. Never unleashing Blight or Madness on the undeserving. He definitely uses typical 21st Century values to determine who is deserving, but this endears him to many. If people have a deep respect for Xanthias after meeting him, they like Johnny and want to meet him again.

    Johnny is using the Spa to distribute some of his inebriating plants. His talents give him an advantage with finding customers. I would anticipate his product appearing in various Midrealms anytime, possibly beyond before too long.

    Imke is as charismatic as either of her fellows but is much quieter. She has, it seems, a similar job to myself, watching everything. How far these activities go, and her ultimate loyalties, I am uncertain of. She meets agents of her Mother, the suspicious Hesper Evelyn, and her partner Chloe. She also conceals a certain amount of her activities from me and takes exception to me paying attention to them. She has never threatened me, but she has made sure I could see her pistol.

    Imke is the sort of woman who is aware of her appeal to others and is more than willing to use it. In addition to the women above, she has seduced an Unseelie Noble, local Scions, some of the Influencers, and has made it clear she intends to do so with me. While I normally lack a particular desire to do anything similar to the creation of life, I find Imke creeping into my thoughts and dreams. I also may fall under her influence, at least to a degree. Interestingly she only seems to flirt with men she is hostile to. I can only offer that in general she has a taste for Nymphs. Which I suppose puts her in large company. If outsiders respect Xanthias and like Johnny, they desire Imke.

    On the negative side, Imke is…violent. She has drawn weapon on more people than the rest of the Argonauts combined. I believe she has a plan to kill every person I mention in this letter if necessary. I think she needs to be watched. I confess, some of this may come from my disquiet from her influence on me.

    Speaking of Secrets, those are Jimmy’s stock and trade. Perhaps appropriately given this, I have less information on him. I originally figured he would be a typical Scion of his Father, with a turbocharged car and a power over Journeys. He has proven deeper than that.

    What precisely has been involving himself with I am unsure. The others busy themselves with Tasks but Jimmy seems to largely be watching, providing assistance where necessary. He has a good friendship with Imke, and often works with Xanthias on Occult matters. Perhaps he is building some laboratory somewhere beneath the Spa. Or perhaps he does not know what to do with himself yet.

    While Imke, Avril, and Alisa keep firearms ready for when trouble starts, Jimmy is the one who is skilled with hand-to-hand combat. He seems to be one of those most physical of the group, even competing with a Giantess on physical challenges. I suppose he has a way of getting along with people who the others don’t gravitate too.

    Still waters run deep, and Avril is no exception. Like Imke and Jimmy, Avril is quiet, and let their actions speak for them. Like Imke, Avril has a certain draw to a certain group of people. A lot of women specifically seem to be attracted to her. The Nymphs spend at least as much time talking about her as anyone else. Unlike Imke, however, she is no seductress. She is a talented and earnest woman with a variety of skills, not least of those with camera and rifle.

    It does her a disservice to talk about her appearance when she is so capable, however, Avril approaches a hero of the classical era more than any of the men. A deadly shot, skilled survivalist, stealthy hunter, I would put my bets on her above any others to join your numbers. Or perhaps I have the same addling so many other Nymphs have.

    Avril has become involved in the politics of the Unseelie Court, because of her partner Kayleigh. Kayleigh is not, herself, interested in such, as far as I can tell, but her Mother is, and this will ultimately drag her into it. As her Mother, whose name I am not privy to, tries to achieve a higher status, I fear Avril will be dragged into it. Admittedly, they do not, I think, know the danger they court. Avril will not, I suspect, tolerate mistreatment.

    Your team is doing well. The choices are solid. I have concerns about Medusa, Echo, Evelyn and a couple others, but none are certain enemies. I am pleased to be here. Keep an eye on the Lucky Lindworm.

    I remain,

    O Προάγγελος

    --

    A pre-reader I had for the letter at the end gave it back with a “If you were a main campaign villain you would tell me right?” which is one of the best bits of feedback I have gotten.

    This story was wild. And possibly confusing. If you have comments or questions they are welcome.




    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Then everything started happening very rapidly. Note Jimmy and Johnny’s players could not make; Johnny’s player stepped up with a fic written with Xan’s player. Also Avril’s writing one with Imke and one with Xan.

    Session XVI

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: CHARLIE TWO

    Las Vegas, USA

    We have successfully eliminated two of out three targets, via one carefully planned tactical strike and one bit of blind luck.

    At 1000Z we got a message from Avril. She had a friend of her girlfriend named Maeve who is a Baobhan Sith (spelling from Chloe) who spotted our Slasher. Truthfully from the clip clop of her hooves under her long skirt (having gotten used to Lykos and Darius) I assumed she was a female Satyr (which I had admittedly not seen) but her lack of horns and blatantly vampiric powers showed her to be another fey. Anyway. She spotted the Slasher, who was up to no good, while up to no good, and followed her. The Slasher lead her down an alley Maeve was too wise to go down. Instead, she waited while we assembled. Maggie said she was coming but lagged behind.

    The Slasher was well hidden, so the only way to lure her out was with a canary, so I sent my Doppelganger in while removing myself from sight. She did indeed fall violently on my Doppelganger, surprised when she fell apart. She moved like lightning, seeing Avril’s rifle, and striking her down with a brutal slash before we could react. She evaded most of the gunfire, though Alisa managed to graze her, before Maeve, apparently horrified to see her best friend’s squeeze go down under her watch, grabbed the killer, crushing her with apparently prodigious strength, and bringing both to the ground. She got a dagger in the chest for her trouble, though the Slasher’s disorientation left her open to gunfire and a furious Xanthias’s death ray.

    Credit where it is due, Xanthias really brought Avril and Maeve from the brink. Possibly beyond it. Xan really is a skilled healer to match his ego.

    Curiously we found the Slasher, who was apparently an Irish woman named Ciara, according to her ID, had not died, even after I shot her in the head. It was speculated she was being kept alive by her tormentor, Milos Grozny, because of his strength from hatred abilities. Speaking of Mr. The Terrible, on my way back I discovered why Maggie never arrived to assist us; he physically assaulted her via throwing her car around like a toy. Now he was fighting Rashawn, who apparently just burst from the skin of a random motorist like a Xenomorph and attacked him in Crocodile hybrid form. Alisa (also unlucky enough to also be caught in the traffic jam from the Scions fighting) and I met up with Maggie, who we agreed to take to Xan. Apparently, Rashawn was only keeping Milos busy until Merneith, who appeared as an actual damn storm cloud with a face, sucked him into the sky.

    Thankfully Maggie’s injuries were minor compared to Avril or Maeve, the latter of whom returned to Kayleigh to give her a less worrying breakdown of events. Bruce radioed in with footage, and we began to plan how to get the…

    Elvis Impersonating Monster Hunters
    Egyptian Scions
    Greek Scions
    Fomorians
    Julius Fucking Caesar

    To fight

    Zombie Psycho Clowns
    Murderous Dolls
    Some sort of weird Clown Scion.

    This would require a second bath. Just to keep things ridiculous, Caesar laid out a battle plan, to approach the Clown Hotel from the back. It was the graveyard side but we would avoid being on the graveyard itself. Big Ian would throw boulders he collected at the building, and the clowns would split to come after us. We commandeered a jeep, with Maggie driving, while the Elvis Impersonators and Caesar were on the other side. They prepared Molotov Cocktails, Avril acquired a flamethrower, and the plan was to stay mobile. We met at 1500Z and rendezvoused with the Elivises (?).

    It worked pretty well. I doubt combat driving was a Set Scion thing but Maggie was pretty decent at it. We mostly stayed ahead of the Clowns throwing cocktails at them while I unleashed the flamethrower. It was all so bizarre, honestly. I believe Johnny would say “That’s Vegas Baby!”

    Eventually, the evil Scion came out, duel wielding a machete and chainsaw. Avril pinned him in place with an expert shot, and Big Ian made short work of him. Eventually, the zombie clowns and homicidal dolls were dealt with, at least outside our nightmares.

    We left the Netjer to secure the scenes, and we went back with Caesar. We deserved some rest, and I wanted to talk to Avril about what happened tonight.

    EINDE

    --

    It's been a while since Avril made anything in an actual kitchen. But after a night so surreal in so many ways, she barely registers this difference. Her mind is far away, her body moving on auto-pilot. She catches herself right before she starts making way more pancakes than any one person could eat. She sighs, adjusts her measurements, and tries to focus on the present.

    Imke walks into the kitchen, her heels audible, but waits by the door, leaning against it. She watches Avril a moment, her entire face visible for once nothing hidden behind her hair showing mismatched eyes. Her demeanor is neither of her usual ones, seductive and confidant or an absolute enigma. Instead, she shows a concerned side which is familiar to very few, though Avril is one. "How are you managing, Duckling?"

    Avril looks up and half-smiles. "We all survived. That's what counts."

    "Ve did." Imke watches her. She can't quite seem to conceal when studying people, but she knows concealing anything from Avril is likely to erode trust, not to mention being very unlikely to work. She mentally kicks herself for making calculations like that for someone like a friend. "But perhaps not unscathed. I spent a lot of time just surviving. Now I vant to see if you need to talk about anything."

    Avril goes back to measuring ingredients. It's obvious that she's trying to keep her hands busy, or to avoid eye contact, or both. "...Wanting to talk and being able to are different for me sometimes."

    She corrects herself. "Most of the time.”

    "I know. I have been there. International Security and the Secrets Act, concealing my homosexuality at all costs, but often it just comes down to not vanting to be wulnerable. The other two became excuses not to talk to anyone." Imke gestures slightly, still trying to decide what to do with her hands without a cigarette. "I will never push, my dear, but I worry you are not okay."

    "I'm..." She's visibly struggling to push the words out. "Not okay." She puts the ingredients down, so as not to spill them. "I haven't lost a fight like that... since before Artemis chose me."

    "You didn't lose. The objective was achieved, and you survived." Imke frowns inwardly at sounding like Command. "That is to say, some fights are bigger than any one of us." A bit more gently. Imke could talk an oligarch out of his fortune, but she struggled to comfort a girl she loved like a sister, and she was annoyed by it.

    Avril gestures emptily for a moment, trying to figure out how to transform the tightness in her chest into words that would ease it. "I used to protect the smaller kids. We weren't friends, or siblings, but they knew if they were scared, I would hurt what scared them. Then I was alone, in the woods, and I only had to protect me. And nature. Now I'm getting protected."

    "You are a good person by nature. I admire that about you. I am... glad to have you as a role model." The Belgian glances at her feet. "And you are our first line of defense. Drawing ire on yourself, taking that hit, meant Xanthias didn't. Which meant ve all valked away. I was invisible." She looks back up. "Vithout you there, Xanthias vould have been the first target, and ve would be planning at least two funerals." She catches herself, her accent returning more to her flat English one. "It's a calculation I have had to make before."

    "How do you deal with..." she gestures emptily again. "All of it?"

    "Well, if I am being honest, for me it was chain smoking, anonymous gay sex, and codeine with bourbon. Sometimes Demerol." That was even worse than it sounded in her head. "That's...not what I recommend for you. Trying to use my second chance better. We can talk. We can support each other. I care about you."

    "I care about you too," Avril says sincerely. "Those are hard habits to kick! You're strong."

    "The physical side Mother removed when I shed fifty-five years. The mental...yes it has been hard. Johnny has helped. Because I am not alone." She steps forward, putting a hand on the more petite woman's shoulder. "Neither are you."

    Avril turns the contact into a hug.

    Imke kisses the top of her head. "We love you, Duckling. Kayleigh clearly does too. Ve...we are here for you.” She smiles gently at her, it meets her eyes. “And... you may not finish dealing with this tonight. But we will get you through it. I respect you. I do. We will get me through it too."

    Avril wipes one of her eyes, trying to be subtle about it. "Having a family is nice. New"

    "Trust me, I know." She hugs her close. "Now...speaking of which, if I would not be a gooseberry, I'd like to watch you cook this. I'm...trying to learn"

    Avril grins. "Thank you pancakes, for Xan. I can show you!"

    "Wunderbar." Another genuine smile she releases to walk with her to the stove. "I'll cook Chloe breakfast yet!"

    --

    Monday Night during the interlude between the slasher fight and the clown hotel assault

    ***

    Sapphira paused within her mountain. Her attention was focused on Johnny's room. She was less concerned about him being asleep than being occupied. Hearing only soft breathing she leaned out of his wall and called out, "Johnny?" And then a moment later she repeated louder. "Johnny!"

    "I don't wanna..." Johnny waved off the first gentle call, curling into a tighter ball in bed and tucking the blankets over his head. Then, the second call out made its way through his mind and he blinked, yawning. "What is it?" He didn't look towards Sapphira yet, sitting up and rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

    "Sorry to wake you but... Alesia is up on the roof with a bucket of meatballs feeding Lucky and talking to him. I don't speak snake but I'm pretty sure she could use someone capable of forming compete sentences to talk to." (edited)

    Johnny stands up and stretches, his own nudity not a worry for him as he yawns. "Yeah, that doesn't sound so good. Thanks for the heads up." He smiles at Sapphira and nods, moving about the room and getting dressed in a pair of silk pajamas keeping with the time of night. He checks his hair, grabs a tin of gummies from his drawer and a bottle of whisky, then heads up to the roof.

    The oread nodded back and lingered perhaps a moment or too longer than absolutely necessary as Johnny rose and dressed before sinking back into the stone wall. Up on the roof, Alesia was indeed sitting and leaning against the side of the sky blue Lindwyrm that had become the spa's namesake and mascot. In her lap was a bucket of frozen meatballs from the walk in freezer and she was hissing to the massive creature and occasionally feeding him from the bucket. As Sapphira had told him, even without understanding what she was saying, there was a definite air of melancholy to her tone and posture.

    "Nice night." Johnny's tone was soft and steady as he climbed out onto the roof, eyes lifting up to acknowledge Lucky with a nod before looking back towards Alesia. He knew better than to look into her eyes but he still seemed to be looking towards her face as he smiled and approached.

    The gorgon turned her head but only enough for him to see her face in profile and show him she'd removed her usual red lensed glasses. However, a number of her snakes turned to face him as a small smile curled the edge of her lips unconsciously. "You are not waiting for Elvis to finish his recon so you can join Caesar in assaulting a hotel full of zombie clowns and creepy dolls. You should be sleeping."

    Johnny couldn't help blinking a few times at the absurdity of that statement, regardless of where their lives had taken them as of late. He was, after all, having a casual conversation with a gorgon. Normal was long behind him. He chuckled softly and shook his head, plopping down within arms reach of Alesia, pulling the bottle of whisky from his coat pocket. "Perhaps, but then I wouldn't be up here finding someone to help me drink this bottle."

    Her gaze drifted to the bottle and she bit the edge of her lower lip a moment. "I shouldn't," she said. But after a short pause she reached over to take the bottle, "But friends do help each other out... and we are friends, aren't we?"

    He lifted the bottle to her hand and smiled. "We are, and we do. Plus, this is the good stuff. Glenfarclas 25 year old."

    She lifted the bottle gingerly and took a sip, closing her eyes and leaning back a bit as she savored it. "Oh that is good," she replied as she handed him back the bottle, "Keep this up and you'll spoil me."

    He chuckled softly and found a spot to lean against, hearing Lucky grumbling about something, but unfortunately Johnny had no idea what. "You two have a good conversation up here?" He nodded towards the giant wyrm and then looked back at her as he took a swig from the bottle, savoring the surprisingly smooth scotch.

    She glanced up at Lucky as well and nodded. "Haven't forgotten about you." She rose and then hissed something to him before lifting up the half full bucket. The Lindwyrm plucked it from her grasp surprisingly gracefully before slithering down the tower. "Lucky's a good listener but he doesn't really offer much in the way of advice. I'm guessing that's what you're here to do."

    "If that's what you need. A little oread told me you were up here, the rest was on me." He smiled and popped open the tin from another pocket, offering her an assortment of THC gummies. "Pre-dosed, and nothing too wild just enough to help one relax if needed. Feel free to take one, or not. Won't bother me either way."

    She nodded. "Still not used to her being everywhere at once," she told him as she moved closer to lean against the wall beside him. "I would, but I really need to be alert and I'm already overdue for some sleep." Then she shifted slightly closer and let her shoulder brush his arm. "This is going to sound like a weird question but... do you feel like the same person you were before your calling?"

    As she shifted in closer he wrapped an arm around her comfortably and held her close. "Not that weird a question. I grew up knowing I was something special, but never really knowing what that meant. And I spent a long time without direction or meaning in my life. I guess my answer is that I do feel mostly like the same person, but... more." He made hand gestures trying to accentuate the word 'more', a little awkward with his arm around her shoulder. "Why do you ask?"

    She relaxed against his side and nodded as she listened, her face downturned but her snakes turned intently toward him. "I've known Xan... well as long as I've known things. We grew up together. Same nice houses and highly qualified caretakers. It was part of the deal my mother struck with Hades, I got the same upbringing his son did. We've known who his parents were all along. But... but knowing is not the same as living it. You weren't there but tonight I watched Xanthias smite that woman with the literal wrath of an angry death god." She paused and then softly added, "But it was when he lost Maeve. I've been there when he's lost patients. He stabilized Avril and then he was working on her and he... he lost her Johnny. And he just hardened his expression and he said no. Not in despair or anger or denial. He just told her she wasn't allowed to die and then his power surged and she was whole."

    "Wow. That must have been...wow, yeah that's something. I've seen that determination in his eyes, but not like that. Being in that kind of presence is honestly terrifying. The most I've seen is Dad when he is in his element. The whole world feels like a party, like nothing else could matter more. But, that's not the same. Not even close."

    She nodded. "It's like you said. He's... more." She fell silent a moment as the thought followed in her head. After a moment more she glanced over, looking toward Johnny's chest but not meeting his gaze directly. "And I'm not."

    He curled her in against his chest, so she could look down towards his lap or the roof of the spa as he petted her back. His eyes lifted to the horizon, enjoying the serene feeling of it all. "You are what you are meant to be. And he is what he is meant to be. He is learning and growing, which we all have the capacity for. You are no different in that regard. I promise." He smiled warmly, looking down towards the top of her head as he did and reaching up, then pausing. "Can I touch the snakes or like, is that taboo... or dangerous, even?"

    She let him pull her into the embrace and closed her eyes as she felt his touch on her back. It was nice, soothing. She relaxed into him and nodded along with his words. When he paused and asked about the snakes she couldn't help but smile a little. "It is dangerous," she admitted, "But I promise I won't bite you. Just... be gentle. They... I... am sensitive."

    He smiled and gently petted one of the snakes on the head with a single finger, brushing up between its eyes and down to the back of its neck in gentle strokes. "Thanks." He felt a little silly saying that but shrugged it off, just enjoying the moment. "Sorry I wasn't there. I know, I know, someone has to hold down the fort sometimes but I hate that it got that bad and I wasn't there to do... something."

    She shivered a little and murmured at the touch. "It's. This is nice." The snake nuzzled into his touch as the others shifted and leaned closer as well, some lightly brushing his hand. "I'm kinda glad you weren't there," she admitted, "I saw how she gutted Avril and Maeve. I'm glad I didn't see that happen to you... or Xan." She shivered a little and added, "Not that I'm okay with them being hurt. But... um... Avril's tough and clearly used to fighting and well, I hadn't seen Maeve before tonight. And. Well. I like you. Johnny."

    Johnny felt a little warmth pass through him at those words. "I like you too Alessia. I wouldn't want that happening to me, either. Or you. But maybe if I'd been there, there'd be enough targets to... I don't know. I'm rambling."

    She slipped her arms around him to hug him. "You'd have done something," she agreed, "Something brave and most likely foolish. And most certainly awesome." She squeezed him tighter. "You're a good man Johnny Miravino."

    He wrapped around her tight, holding her close as he smiled at her words. "Not 'power over life and death' awesome, though. That's hard to top." He chuckled softly, turning it into a little bit of a joke as he continued to hold her.

    She bit her lip and just relaxed into the embrace. "Maybe not. But you came up here to talk to me and... and I needed that. It's been... too long since anyone held me like this. I'm dangerous and that scares people. Or worse, it excites them and... and then it's not really about who I am but what I am and that's just... just not what I want. And... and now I'm the one rambling."

    "I could get used to this. The quiet, the alone except for who you want to be with. I'm always surrounded. Always wanted, always sought after but... I can't tell if it's for me, or because of what I am. So, I guess in some way... I get it. And I'll always be here, if you need to talk. Any time, any place." He smiled and almost went to kiss the top of her head then decided against that, the snakes not scaring him but he didn't want to push it either.

    "Yeah. I think you do get it." Then she nodded and reluctantly relaxed her hold on him, easing back gently until there was a little space but not so far as to pull out of his arms or to remove her hands from his sides completely. She closed her eyes and lifted her face. "And I'm here for you too. Thank you. I really needed... all of this."

    "I'm really glad I could give you this, then." He smiled as she lifted her face, leaning in and closing his eyes as he kissed her forehead. "This is usually the point where I'd invite you down to my room, but..." He let it hang, licking his lips and relaxing back, looking out towards the distance again. (edited)

    Her smile widened at the soft kiss and he could feel her eyes, even behind her lids, move down from his own. "Elvis. Zombie Clowns. Caesar." she reminded him. It was neither rejection nor acceptance. She started to move back. But then, she abruptly moved back in and lifted herself up on her toes to brush his lips with a quick kiss before actually stepping back and turning so she could open her eyes safely.

    "Well, when you put it like tha..." He was cut off as she lifted up, a soft moan of surprise leaving his lips as he kissed her back. His lips were slightly open but he didn't press, didn't push for more as she pulled back to leave his arms. He let her go and stood, straightening his pajama top. "You going to be okay up here, or can I at least walk you back inside?"

    She moved closer and took his hand. The nervousness in her was visible as she nodded and took a slow breath. She let him guide her quietly, her mind racing back and forth. "I should go hunt and or gather something to eat before it's time to roll out and that really could be any minute now." Reaching to take his other hand in her own and squeeze them both gently, she wet her lips. "I... You should also... maybe pick up some protection. A proper blindfold." She blushed, her pale skin turning bright. "And maybe... um... never mind." Suddenly her blush lit up more and she released his hands to look away.

    He took her hands calmly and walked towards the door to head back inside. "I'll be ready, this time. And as for the other... give it time, and if you still want to you know where my room is." He let her slip away but walked beside her, leading her down back into the spa proper.

    --

    Monday Night during the interlude between the slasher fight and the clown hotel assault

    ***

    Avril hesitated at the door of Xan's office. She'd never actually been in it, and wondered belatedly if he's one of those people who's very specific about when and where they eat. Would pancakes at his desk be a problem? Should she have made enough for Alesia? Those two are rarely apart.

    Avril knocked before she could overthink things further.

    Xanthias looked up from his computer at the sound. "Enter," he called out and turned his chair to face the door and the seats between his desk and it. he'd made sure the computer was on the side of the L shaped desk to avoid having it between him and anyone he was meeting with, though it did mean the screen was visible if one wanted to look, though presently it was nothing more incriminating than a page of reviews for local Japanese restaurants.

    Avril entered, bringing the smell of breakfast with her. She carried a tall stack of pancakes, decorated with chocolate chips and red icing spelling out "Thank you"

    Xan looked from her to the pancakes, the smell reminding him acutely of how long since he'd eaten. "Oh, you didn't have to bring those all the way here..." He stopped as he took in the chips and icing and realized the significance. His demeanor relaxed, letting the accumulated fatigue show but also the genuine smile that came to both his lips and his eyes at the gesture as he rose. "You didn't have to do anything," he repeated in a softer tone, "But I certainly appreciate it. They smell delicious."

    Avril smiled and placed them on his desk. "You saved my life. And Maeve's. Pancakes are the least I could do"

    He nodded. "I'm a doctor and a healer. I'm just glad I found the strength to mend you both."

    "I also heard about a death ray?"

    "Ah, yes." He shifted and nodded. "I called upon my connection to death to strike the slasher down after she proved to be so dangerous and seemed to be shrugging off all but Imke's likewise death aspected attacks."

    Avril nods in approval. "You saved lives and kicked ass."

    Xan chuckled. "Not quite how I'd put it but yes, I suppose I did. I've not really reached out to that particular aspect of that connection before. The anger and fear seemed to help motivate me." he chuckled.

    A flash of something soft crossed Avril's face. She glanced back to the door she entered through. "Me and Imke were talking about... talking more. About fear and anger and the rest. It's hard but... we all should try, when we need to. I hope you know if you ever need to... you can." She wondered if that made sense.

    Xan's smile widened and he nodded. "I'm not sure most of us are used to having allies..." He stopped and shook his head. "No, Kin." He looked away for a moment then back to her with a more somber expression. "I know that I should feel more conflicted about what I did to that woman. It should feel... wrong to cause such grievous harm. But I have no regrets for striking down someone who harmed one of mine."

    "Kin," she repeated to herself. To Xan she said, "Some people think if you kill a killer, you're as bad as them. Not true. Stopping the Slasher stops her from killing anyone again."

    Xan nodded. "That it does. And we know that she would have. Perhaps there was some means to bring her around without violence, but it was not within my grasp in that alley. And in a hour or so we'll be fighting another scion responsible for perpetuating vile acts and I do not expect that he shall survive either. And I am not overly upset about that. I fear my ethics professor would be sorely disappointed in me right now."

    She shruged. "Your ethics professor could try our job, if they wanted."

    Xan laughed. "I doubt that would end well at all. But your point is well made. the real world is never as black and white and absolute as the ideal one in our minds."

    "I guess ideals are nice. Gives us something to aim for."

    He nodded. "Indeed they do." He sighed and moved back to his chair. "But we live in this imperfect world and we simply must do our best." He looked to the stack of pancakes. "Please tell me you made enough for at least yourself as well?"

    Avril was about to decline, but her stomach rumbled. It is a big pancake stack... "Can I steal one back?"

    Xan grinned and gestured toward the plate. "Sharing is what kin is all about, yes?"

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    It’s time to deal with some of the active plots in Vegas as the Spa opens. They decided to deal with the Slasher, the Clowns, and the Sandworm. Let’s see how it went.

    The start of session 15 is a handout to Avril’s player.
    Session XV

    Kayleigh has welcomed some company from Avril but has been far from pushy. She has moved to an apartment in Hendersonville, which is maybe 10 minutes from the main entrance to the spa. If allowed, she has spent a bit of time sketching Avril’s face.

    Her family has remained away, though her childhood friend Maeve has arrived at least temporarily to help Kayleigh out. Like Kayleigh, she is a bit less than fifty, not at all old in fey terms and certainly not as jaded as some. Kayleigh describes Baobhan Sith as vampiric fey who guard places humans should not visit…fey realms in the world, sacred forests, treasures etc. Many enjoy hunting humans, but Kayleigh says they do not have to do so. Maeve does not, at least so far as Kayleigh knows. At least not beyond her duties, which she admittedly enjoys. She will be on vacation in Vegas, which is human territory, so not a hunting ground. There are rules.

    Maeve is friendly to Avril. She clearly has a flirtatious nature but tries to not flirt with Avril. Avril knows she has gotten somewhat comfortable with her as she lets the clops of her hooves be seen, which Avril has not seen but sounds similar to Darius’, though Maeve is a smaller creature. She is clearly stronger than she looks, which is helpful when one is moving.

    A certain degree of awkwardness has been avoided as Maeve at first is crashing with Kayleigh, something she expects to be very temporary. She does give you folks your space as needed and mostly avoids being a Gooseberry. She has not spent much time in Vegas proper, as ironically while she has been to magic castles in the fey realm, the sheer…busyness of Vegas intimidates her.

    In other news Chiaki does occasionally follow Avril around in the spa, but this seems mostly because she perceives Avril as most like her. Avril can be quiet sometimes, and Chiaki is quiet a lot. There is a sort of nonverbal safety she feels since Avril does not try to make smalltalk just because she is present.

    --

    Imke Scheit stepped away from the reproduction of the statue of liberty into the bright sunlight of a Vegas afternoon. The square was full of people coming and going, but Imke did not fail to notice the woman in red coat and wide brimmed hat watching her.

    “Welcome back, Lioness.” The Hesper looked over her Sunglasses at the blonde woman in the suit.

    “Evie. Nice to see you. Here for day one?”

    Evelyn Eventide pushed off the wall she was leaning against. “Not at all. How was your trip?”

    Imke walked beside her without glancing over. “My jaw and neck hurts, but I think I feel better than I have ever felt in my entire seventy-seven years. Is that a problem?”

    “You feeling good is never a problem of course. You are the hero and I, your ardent admirer.”

    Imke smirked at her. “Cut she shit Evie. What’s on your mind?”

    “You are still cynical, Imke.” Evelyn signed. “I want to make sure Chloe is not too much of a distraction, is all.”

    “Chloe is not a distraction; she is my partner. More spaces open by the way. After my jaw heals.” Imke looked Evelyn over from behind her peek-a-boo As much as she hated to admit it, Evelyn moved her as few women did. Beautiful as the sunset she represented, and no doubt tasted sweet as the fruit she picked. With her heightened senses, Imke could tell Evelyn smelled faintly of apples.

    “Down now Lioness. Eyes on the prize. I am going to speak to Chloe. I do not want that to be a surprise to you. It will not be to tell her to back off. But your mother hand-picked you for the job, and there is more to it than seducing nubile young Nymphs. You have a legitimate task and a cover. Use it.”

    Imke sighed. “Jaja are you actually here lecturing me for spending a week with my girlfriend?”

    “No because you fell in love.”

    Imke stopped dead in her tracks. Evelyn tilted her head looking at her, slowing to a stop with more grace. “Chloe is harmless. They won’t all be. Some will be ready to use you. You should be prepared to use them first.”

    “I wasn’t even sure I still could.” Imke had not started moving again yet. Rivers of people moved around the pair.

    “Of course you can.” The Hesper’s tone became gentler. “If you lacked passion you would not be useful to us. You are not a sociopath Imke. The Theoi have enough of them, and sociopaths make mistakes. Listen, I am here in part because I understand you, I was swooning over women like you while my sisters lusted after muscular men.” Evelyn removed her sunglasses. “Trust me, Imke.”

    Imke looked down at the shorter woman. “I will try, Evelyn. That is the best I can say. It’s hard to trust Chloe, much less a woman with a scheme I figure into.’
    “All I ask.” Evelyn put her sunglasses back on, getting the desert sun out of her eyes. “I have work to do behind the scenes. But if I have time, I will be around soon to show you why I am not worried about Chloe.”

    Imke gives a weak laugh. “Okay. Be careful Evelyn.”

    The Hesper squeezed Imke’s hand and smiled, then disappeared into the crowd. Imke watched her go, before she tuned and continued on her way, the two islands invisible in the sea of people.

    --

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: CHARLIE ONE

    Las Vegas, USA

    We have rather hit the ground running. I don’t think the others really took any time off, though Avril in part was helping her girlfriend move. I need to catch up with her on that. Xanthias spent time learning Japanese. I would say “Ah to be young again” but I am young again. So awkward, as Chloe says.

    Also apparently his mother dresses him. Men. I bet Alisa does usually.

    We have our first five guests. One is “Divis Julius” aka Julius Caesar. He was polite and friendly. And manipulative. Next was Circe, who I admit wanting to get to know better, in a non euphemistic sense. Mostly because she is goddamn terrifying. Speaking of which, Echo was back with Oiwa, a grudge ghost with severe scarring. The entire conversation was in Japanese so I did not catch any of it. Maybe that is why Xan learned it. Finally, Hotei, the Smiling Happy Buddha. He was adorable and kind. I would be suspicious but he is a fucking Buddha. If you can’t trust a Buddha who can you trust?

    Xanthias has his mind set on that slasher, so it was best to get that sorted since it was not a human problem. We met up with Aoibheann, who continues to tempt me to shoot her. We also met up with first the Set Scion Maggie Dalton then the Horus Scion Bruce Haas. I don’t think anyone will want a blow by blow of the conversations, so to summarize.

    Alfa: The Slasher is building up some sort of huge Fertility effect. We don’t know what that is. Crom Cruach traditionally is linked to Fertility and Drought, fed by blood, so it tracks. It likes blood sacrifices a lot.

    Bravo: The area where the energy is gathering is guarded by a giant dune-esque sandworm, which we have taken to calling “The Mojave Rattler.” We can only fear what is bigger under the sand.

    Charlie: Milos Grozny, Scion of Chernobog is involved somehow. He seems intent on making people hate him, which builds power over them. Maggie wants to get “The boss” to give her a green light to deal with him. We do not think he is in league with the Slasher, but we are not sure. He has some master plan that seems to involve the Slasher though.

    Delta: The Rattler is intelligent enough to know that chasing a jeep is fruitless and gives up, and it will retreat if badly injured.

    Echo: It sings. Terrifying.

    Foxtrot: The sacrifices are south of Vegas, but not where the Sandworm is, rather closer to town. This may be because…

    Golf: There is a clown motel and cemetery with a doll museum. It is inhabited by zombie clowns who fight with lawn implements. These zombie clowns can turn corpses into more zombie clowns. They can reanimate corpses not destroyed enough even if put down once.

    Hotel: There is a museum of killer dolls next to the motel who attack the living. I am leaving that alone.

    India: The Clowns are trying to move south where…sigh…Bruce’s monster hunter Elvis impersonators hunt them. The zombie clowns are only so intelligent but have a leader who Bruce believes to be a Scion.

    Juliette: I just had a drink.

    Kilo: Éimhín, who I will continue calling Big Ian as I have permission is murdering the…zombie clowns…and the monster hunting Elvis impersonators are wisely leaving the walking nightmare alone to do this.

    Lima: Speaking of nightmares, some dark relic is inside either the motel or museum, which has a necrotic effect and beyond that a fear effect. Bruce says it is corrupting, and he has not told his superiors about it as he is afraid Merneith will want it and get corrupted.

    Mike: Bruce is investigating with a drone. Ranged combat is not the zombie clowns strong suit, which may be the only thing that makes sense here.

    November: It seems possible the intent of the relic is to corrupt whatever the slasher has going on down south. The zombie clowns have not reached it because the monster hunter Elvis impersonators keep destroying them.

    Oscar: I just had another drink.

    Papa: Our plan is to regroup, and possibly try to get Merneith, Bruce, and Maggie to actually work together. Maggie will watch for the Slasher, Bruce scout with the drone. Also pick up Big Ian.

    Quebec: Maggie really, really wants to sleep with me. As does Merneith. I must use this only for awesome, as Chloe says.

    Romeo: I think that is everything. One more drink and I go find my half-sister.

    EINDE

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Let’s get this arc done. Only the Rusalka Katarina Kovačić was left, and while she was a handful a lot of her interaction was with Johnny. In the meantime, the PCs stumbled over a dangerous NPC in town end of last session, and soon enough too Avril found her love life getting more complicated.

    Session 13 is a bit complicated here, with an OOC recap by request by Jimmy’s player who had to miss, Imke’s recap, then a short Imke fiction and finally a short Avril fiction. The OOC recap was written in one short go so sorry if it is odd. Feel free to skip.
    Session XIII

    Keiko did research and tracked down two people that Chiaki, the Kuchisake-onna they met last time, had a pronounced reaction to. One was leaving in six hours, a man, and a woman was leaving in 3 days. They decided it was murder time on the man, but they would grab him and bring him back. Imke shapeshifted and went to draw the man out dressed as hotel staff. Unfortunately, he was with other businesspeople in a room that also, as it turned out, had a Kitsune keeping an eye on them. Johnny tried to distract her but ended up stripping because he felt hot. Xanthias stepped in and used his power to make those guilty of abuse cower in fear. Avril grabbed our guy, and one other guy who reacted because why not? Unfortunately, we discovered, we found ourselves trapped in the hallway that seemed to wrap back around whenever we moved out of line of sight.

    Many attempts were made to evade the illusion, all failed. Eventually, Imke got angry and shot one of our hostages. Not our target, the other guy. She had earlier lost her gun but could teleport it to her hand. at one point Avril almost walked into an elevator shaft. Eventually Imke turned invisible, left a second Imke behind her, and climbed into the ceiling. Out of sight, she made her way through the ceiling, eventually finding her way down a floor to where the Kitsune was. She still invisible put a gun to the back of her head and ordered her to release the party. She did. We took our quarry and left the hotel quickly, Imke letting the Kitsune live and withdrawing only after the group was safely out. We did get a call from Rashawn on the way home asking what the fuck we were up to taking hostages and shooting a man in the hallway, but Xan calmed him down.

    We got back and sic’d Chiaki on him who murdered the shit out of him. Turned out she was an entertainer at a party and was killed in a hotel room by some men, primarily our boy. The woman she wanted to kill was also an entertainer who essentially got Chiaki to go up instead of her. Chiaki was speaking now and seemed more aware of her surroundings.

    Also in all this Imke had a second conversation with Kuro and made peace.

    Fast forward Monday to Friday, Katarína Kovačić, the Silesian Rusalka, arrived, the last influencer. She flirted heavily with Johnny, and was clearly also attracted to, and intimidated by, Imke. Our bartender Darius the Satyr attempted to have a conversation with Alisa and not let Katarina get her riled up by flirting with Xanthias. Alisa denied knowing what he was on about. Darius also talked about Katarina's sexual prowess to Johnny and Alisa maybe more than necessary. That evening we went to Aspasia's Labyrinth, where Avril saw Kayleigh talking to a pale violet eyed fey she introduced as her aunt Niamh. They chatted a bit and Niamh left the pair to talk and slipped away when they were not looking. Imke turned invisible and followed. She found Niamh in a low-lit room for couples to...well not have sex but maybe cross a few other bases. Niamh seemed to be presenting herself in the room, with her eyes glowing. Kayleigh told Avril Niamh was a Succubus, and Imke should not sleep with her. She also said Niamh did not need to feed on humans but liked to; only Leanhaun Shee were bound to. Some texting happened. They decided to relieve Imke, and when Niamh noticed them, she left. Kayleigh and Avril left, and in the conversation after, Niamh realized Avril was a Scion. She told Kayleigh in Irish this, and Kayleigh said in English she knew that, and Avril was (mostly) not prey. Niamh realized Kayleigh was in a relationship with her for realsies and got somewhat flustered about it. They left soon after to talk, with Kayleigh promising to text Avril. She knew Niamh was there for something but not what, and Niamh had just shown up at her door unexpectedly the day before.

    Imke danced with Alisa a little, and Katarina danced with Johnny, avoiding Imke. Eventually, the group returned, with Katarina taking Johnny to bed and Imke Enquiring about if Avril needed help re: Kayleigh and Niamh. Avril was not sure. We ended with end of Friday night

    --

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO NINER

    Las Vegas, USA

    Monday proved to be full of surprises, as the team adopted a “Kuchisake-onna” named Chiaki, a very quiet girl with a Glasgow smile and a large pair of bloody scissors. Chiaki stowed away on a plane to pursue her killer to Vagas, and apparently wandered aimlessly speaking no English till she stumbled across Keiko and Hinako’s scare raid. Because Yōkai are drawn to each other, as we are reminded regularly, they happened to be on the same street.

    Of course, Xanthias’s big Monster Rancher game now added her in, and Keiko helped us find where two people are Chiaki had an intense reaction to, a man and a woman. Chiaki is not so good with her words, in addition to not speaking English. The man was leaving in six hours; thus we were soon on our way to the Paris hotel.

    On the second floor was a group of Japanese businessmen, milling around likely waiting for taxies or a bus. Our goal was to grab our guy and get out for Chiaki to deal with. However, things quickly proved complicated. Xanthias used his powers to make abusers feel guilt, which affected several people including our boy. I used my talents with Deception to find myself in a hotel uniform, and announced he was needed at the desk. That was when things went sideways.

    A Kitsune was among the men, seemingly as a chaperone. Johnny had a sharp eye and moved to talk to her, distracting her long enough for our mark to step out of the room. However, she used her illusion powers to make him think he was hot and strip, and that caused chaos as things with him sometimes do. Avril grabbed our mark and another man but we all found ourselves trapped in seemingly repeating corridors. There was…a lot of attempts to break out. Johnny got lost then found us again. I threatened the people in the room which did nothing (in retrospect because we were somewhere else) but when that did not work Xanthias told me to shoot our other hostage, which I did.

    Somewhere in this, we discovered Chiaki was an entertainer who the men killed in a hotel room. The other woman was another entertainer who apparently talked Chiaki into taking her place. In the present, the Kitsune had us in a place where we were helpless, and nearly got Avril to walk into an elevator shaft. That crossed a line.

    I turned invisible, leaving a doppelganger behind, and climbed into the plates on the roof. It turned out we were not even on the same floor anymore, being on the (less populated) third floor. I stayed invisible and within the narrow area between the celling and floor. I found my way to the gathering, dropped behind her and put my gun to the back of her head, still invisible. She released the group from the dreamscape they were trapped in, and they saw where they were. They took the mark and left. I coxed her to give her word she would not harm us and withdrew, though I did not become visible till we were outside.

    We took the killer back, where I went to the bar rather than watch him get murdered. Afterwards, as Keiko predicted, she was more chatty. She feels a debt to us, so is remaining for now. While they dealt with that, I went and spoke to Kuro, to make peace. I think it went well.

    Fast forward to Friday we picked up Katarina Kovačić at the New York New York at 2200Z, having come from Pristina. We were warned she was a figurative and possibly literal maneater, and a real wild child. She was well behaved in her interactions with us. Johnny and I picked her up, and she took to him immediately. She did not speak much to me, but her eyes clung to me quite a bit. I am used to it.

    We went to Aspasia’s Labyrinth. Xanthias seemed inclined to direct Katarina toward Tanith, the Anunna Scion that held court in the Labyrinth (at least on Friday nights) but she stayed in the main room dancing with Johnny. Avril made her way to Kayleigh who was there as she often is, with a violet eyed woman named Niamh. Niamh slipped into the labyrinth while Kayleigh was distracted by Avril. I decided I had best follow so I preemptively turned invisible (given my recent Kitsune experience) and went in behind her, texting Avril. Avril texted that Niamh was a Succubus and not to sleep with her. Niamh had found her way to a dark room that I thought at first was the stimuli sensitivity room I had heard about before, but no it was more a lover’s lane. Niamh’s eyes glowed in the dim light. I stayed invisible and made sure to brush anyone who might be headed her way. Soon Kayleigh and Avril came to relieve me.

    The rest of the night went well, with Johnny having all Katarina’s attention. Kayleigh and Niamh seemed to be having a disagreement that had Avril on edge, though. I checked in with Avril and she was okay.

    I’ll deal with all this drama tomorrow. Hopefully neither Avril nor Johnny will need assistance.

    EINDE

    --

    “We were not finished talking.” The tall blonde woman entered the office where the Jorōgumo was looking over biographies and applications. Kuro looked up.

    “Imke. I am not sure what else needs to be said. You made your point.” Kuro looked at her warily. Imke had not threatened her before. Not really. But a great deal was implied and a message was clear: Hands, and anything else, off her band.

    Imke took a deep breath. “I have been working for some time in the intelligence service. My job was, in part, to seduce and destroy men and women. I dealt with other people…STASI’s Romeos, for example, with the same job. I know, as you do, that people are weak when it comes to love. There is no better way to destroy them.” She watched her with her visible blue eye a moment.

    “You are a shark, like I am. You can get people wrapped around your finger. You are dangerous, a threat to nearly anyone you meet, like I am.” She sighed. “That does not mean you would harm my band. You have come here in good faith, and I threatened you. I apologize. Some habits die hard.”

    Kuro relaxed slightly. “Imke. I understand why you feel as you feel to a degree. And I could hardly blame you for being a bit suspicious of a Jorōgumo.” She drummed her fingers on the desk. “I…don’t see the world as you do. For that I am blessed. I don’t expect you to take me up on it, but I would help you. I have spent decades healing physically. I…think you need to heal as well, in your mind.”

    “You are correct. I am disinclined to do so. I do, however, appreciate the offer. We can get along, Kuro. There is space enough for both. And I need someone I can rely on with a similar set of skills to myself. But I am here because I want to apologize. I recognized your talents and it triggered old memories. I’m sorry.”

    “You are forgiven.” The wily spider nodded. “There are things on my end you understand too, I suspect. Perhaps we can become friends.”

    “Perhaps.” Imke offered Kuro a hand, which she shook. “Perhaps…” Kuro added a chuckle. “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

    --

    Avril pulled into the RV park. Her neighbour, Riku, waved. “You arrived just in time – Hamish was eyeing your spot.”

    “I thought he didn’t like kids?” Avril asked.

    Riku shook his head. “He doesn’t like anyone. Old grump. That’s why he’s always parking in different places. He can’t make it through a day without getting in a fight. That’s why I need you here! You’re quiet, and don’t complain when Maruka crashes into your car.”

    “I almost never crash!” Riku’s daughter protested as she wobbled past on rollerskates.

    Her twin, Rin, walked purposefully to Avril. Without a word, he handed her his sketchbook. She stared back at herself, lovingly rendered in pencil crayon: wearing a cape, armed with a golden bow-and-arrow, on her head was an elaborate crown with antlers adorned in jewels.

    Avril raised her eyebrows pointedly.

    “It’s your new costume,” Rin said.

    She continued staring at him.

    “I know you usually wear normal clothes. But you have super powers! You need to dress the part.” He pointed to the bow-and-arrow. “You usually use a gun, but wouldn’t this be cooler? And more authentic to your roots.”

    “I’m from Flagstaff,” Avril said.

    Rin rolled his eyes. “Your Mom is Artemis!”

    Avril shrugged. “Adopted as an adult. It’s mostly ceremonial.”

    “Really? Then who’s your family?”

    Riku scolded him in Japanese. “I’m sorry. He usually minds his manners.” Avril awkwardly excused herself from the conversation.
    --

    Niamh, the Succubus, is not the same Niamh the Ultra Violets met on Ibiza, who was a Beautiful One Formorian. Wanted to be clear since some characters, like Echo, appear in both games. I asked Avril if she wanted some fae politics in her story, and she was enthusiastic.

    Finally, Xanthias was intent on talking to rather than killing Chiaki. By this point, I was not surprised.

    --

    The end of our story is entertaining Katarina and dealing with Niamh. Two Imke fictions and a journal from her. Enjoy.
    Session IV

    Elijah Thomas had a feeling his day was about to go downhill. The field director of the FBI in southern Nevada, the fact that the front desk could tell him almost nothing about the woman on her way to see him meant this was someone unusual. When he saw her, he knew he was right.

    “Good afternoon, Lioness. I see the good do indeed die young.”

    Imke Scheit, the Lioness, smiled at him with the kindness of a raptor. “And yet here we are. I apparently meet a lot of good people in my work.”

    “What do you want, Witch?” Elijah sighed. Of course, she was supernatural. He recalled she was beautiful her age, but now she was dazzling; it was hard to stay focused or stay angry. She was always a slippery one too, and now here she was without showing identification.

    “There is a slasher in the city. My associates are helping with tracking them down. I was hoping to share information.” Imke shifted to a professional tone. Antagonizing him would do no good.

    “We have an agreement to consult Mr. Thompson on Parahuman matters.”

    “I am not here to change that.,” Imke watched him with her visible blue eye. “I am here to also collect that information, and construct a relationship, not disrupt anything with Mr. Thompson.”

    “You should speak to Mr. Thompson on this matter.”

    “I am aware of what Mr. Thompson knows. I want to know what you know.”

    “Why?”

    Imke sighed with irritation. “Clover, why are you stymieing me? You know what happens to people who upset me.”

    “You left us to die, Lioness.” Emotion crept into Elijah’s voice.

    ‘I have left no one to die. Last time I worked with you I was extracted from Warsaw when a man from Command showed up at my door. Calling you was not an option. I was just told you had also gotten out. I assumed you were extracted.”

    “Our cover was blown. We had to escape with the SB and STASI on our heels. STASI! We must have been tracked from Dresden.” Elijah folded his hands. “This is why I shifted to domestic.”

    “I was told to get out now and brought to a helicopter. So that tracks. Listen Clover, I don’t know why you were not sent for. Presumably because you were under observation. I’m sorry.”

    Elijah looked her over. It was hard to focus. She was bewitching before. Now he knew he would not know if she was lying. He knew she knew. It was an impasse. But no reason to antagonize her. Whatever the hell she was.

    He pushed a button on his desk. “Mr. Varley. Prepare an unexpurgated report on the slasher case for Ms. DeWinter.” He released the button and folded his hands. “There you go Lioness. Varley has your report. Best of luck. Don’t leave me out to dry. “

    “As I say. I don’t leave anyone to dry. Knowingly at least. Have a good day, Clover.” Imke turned on her heel and left. Elijah tried to not watch her leave.

    --

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO ZERO

    Las Vegas, USA

    Our time with Katarina was not too bad. I am not sure how long it will take Johnny to recover, but I am sure he will be fine eventually.

    Really our primary distraction was Kayleigh. Her Aunt, Niamh, was minor nobility, we knew that. Apparently, her mother, however, is also noble, at least now, after possibly “Musing” a God, something that is not supposed to be possible. Even remotely, as Demigods are even immune also. However, we don’t know a name or Pantheon so this explanation is suspect. We just know she is suddenly more powerful than most Leanhaun Shee, possibly many Fae nobles. So that is a mystery. However, her sudden rise has shaken the halls of power in the Unseelie Court, which comes back around to her daughter in Vegas. Kayleigh is not in danger, not yet. However, she could be, and Niamh is trying to push her into the camp of “Lord Winter” one of her mother’s suiters. Kayleigh wants nothing to do with any of that. She just wants to stay on Earth and snack on people and create art.

    Which brings me to the point of my concern for Avril. I need to have a conversation with her about Kayleigh while Kayleigh is not there. She knows how these things tend to turn out. She is not a child; she is a huntress. Her romantic experience just seems the opposite of mine or Johnny’s. I need to determine how to proceed. I shall not proceed unilaterally. I barely know how Sapphic dating in this era works anyway.

    In the meantime, we went to XS, where, as predicted, Niamh showed up. Avril and I went with Kayleigh to confront her. She tried talking to Kayleigh in Irish, but Kayleigh was responding in English. It was something of a standoff till Niamh referenced coming back when Kayleigh was “finished” with Avril, at which point there was a abrupt fight. As much as I hate the word, a catfight given the kicking and hair pulling going on. After a point Niamh kicked Kayleigh’s legs out from under her and backed up. While the argument continued, I cut the gordian knot by putting a doppelganger in front of myself as I turned invisible, then put The Dagger of Moonlight and Bone to the back of Niamh’s head. That put the quietus on the situation, and Niamh agreed to leave.

    The next day, Avril and I went to Kayleigh’s apartment to see if Niamh was gone. She was she left a note in Irish menacing Kayleigh slightly and referring to Avril as “her food.” Bitter notes aside, the apartment was a little cluttered but not bad. Lots of sketches. There was a large leatherbound book I wish Avril had been tempted by so I could see what was in it.

    We went to the Paris hotel that night, and I had a chat with Rashawn about my conversation with a certain FBI supervisor. I think the chat went smoothly. An increasingly haggard Johnny once again held Katarina’s attention, and she did not cause further issues. Hopefully, that will be our last babysitting job for a while.

    But now, headed to Trieste to see Chloe.

    EINDE

    --

    Imke leaned against a post watching the sea. She had not been in Trieste long, and the Adriatic was blue as she remembered. It was not long before she saw her ship came in. Down the gangplank came a vision in leather and fishnet, smiling from under a wide brimmed hat at the woman in black waiting for her.

    Imke smiled back. She had looked forward to this week more than anything else in over twenty years. She had had a few trysts since she had regained her youth. Now, she was really going to let go. The Oread approached and they exchanged cheek kisses before she took Imke’s arm. The ocean glittered as they pair happily made their way into the city.
    --

    Imke’s conversation with Clover was her use of a Path being blue booked. I think most of the rest was straightforward. I think it was clear, but Comments and Questions are always welcomed. Thanks for reading.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Still on the same arc, but it was a stopping point for catching you up

    Session IX

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO FIFE

    Las Vegas, USA

    Annika arrived at 2100Z at the Luxor. She has actually been a really fun guest. Not as belligerent as I feared. Jimmy took to her immediately; apparently muscle girls are his thing. It damn near killed him.

    Before that, though, we hit the casino at the Strat. While that was a low key no emergency time, Johnny spotted two of the three women who tried to sell him cocaine before. Xanthias was quick to go in and talk to them, and found that the women, both Leyaks, were trying to sell the cocaine after killing a drug dealer in Thailand(?) and has run afoul a Frost Giant gangster named Thurston Flamebane.

    Americans and their gangster obsessions.

    The two went to their room because the Raksashi apparently needed healing. Xanthias being Xan, offered to take them in and wants to meet with Mr. Flamebane. That will be interesting. So we have two Layaks and a Rakshasi in the Spa who speak a language I don’t. to each other So that’s fun.

    Jimmy, Avril, and Annika started assembled with us at 1530Z at the Strat to start a freeclimbing race. It was fairly entertaining. Avril did not get very far, but Annika and Jimmy were moving fast. Despite being behind, Jimmy managed to pass Annika and barely come in ahead of her. Annika was a good sport.

    Next was BASE jumping off the Strat. I prefer to be the one pitching others off high places, so watched from below. Rashawn was there, calmly watching the events. Avril decided, wisely, to play it safe and deploy her chute at a reasonable height. Annika and Jimmy wanted to push it, and Jimmy wound up hurt, though not an omelet as he put it when he hit the ground.

    Xanthias patched him up and Annika generally seemed pleased. That evening, we had dinner together at the New York, New York, where Annika spoke briefly about her experiences with Tríona and Katarina. Both positive, but she had some warnings about Katarina as a wild child. We discussed our future as gods, and I think I made Jimmy almost choke with some of my lesbian humor. Annika seemed amused.

    Tomorrow, she jumps off Hoover Dam. Not the first body thrown off a dam in my time but hopefully the first one alive the entire time.

    EINDE

    --

    Imke settled into her large, comfortable bed, ceiling fan slowly rotating. Pulling up her laptop, she brushed her hair from her face and started a call, a familiar Nymph appearing on her screen.

    “Hi Em. Everything okay with the new girl, the Giant?”

    Imke smiled. “Hello sweetling. Everything has gone well. Jimmy may get himself killed trying to impress her.”

    A musical laugh from the laptop. “Hope not, Jimmy seemed pretty nice. So, the Tristessa Lampad, she appear again after I left?”

    Imke nodded. “Yeah, sending you a few pictures, let me know if she rings any bells.”

    Chloe squinted on the other side of the screen. “She is one of the really old ones, like old-old. Older than the gods. Daughter of some Cthonic being down there. I don’t know her face, but the void of Chaos is in her eyes even on a picture.”

    Imke sighed. “I continue to think she is spying on us.”

    “Em,” Chloe started. “She is a servant of your mom and Xan’s mom. I suspect she is a shepherd not a wolf. I mean, don’t ignore your instincts. I think she is watching you. But in this case, I think it is benign. Ask you mom. Or Persephone she may be sweet on you.”

    “You are right, of course, sweetling. I just worry.”

    “Course you do. But we did not get on camera to talk about Tristessa.”

    Imke gave a sly smile as she sat up in her bed. “No, I suppose we did not”

    --

    Avril isn’t used to stability, either in location or social group. As a child she had friends -- mainly other foster kids who she was briefly living with. The problem was that as soon as she made any real connections, she was moved to a different foster home.

    Her first girlfriend was one of her ninth grade classmates. Her first boyfriend was one of her eleventh grade classmates. Both were at different schools, in different cities. Both ended when she was sent elsewhere.

    Being sent from place to place wasn’t unusual for any foster kid, but Avril experienced it more than most. It was by her own actions that she was sent from several homes. It wouldn’t be fair to have categorized her as a problem child (although many of her foster parents did use those words). It would be more accurate to say that Avril has a very strict sense of right and wrong. It doesn’t align with legality or religious doctrine. She would struggle to even define it aloud. Largely, whether something is right or wrong is defined by whether or not it harms the larger ecosystem.

    A schoolyard bully harmed the ecosystem of her class, so Avril beat the shit out of them. One foster parent harmed the ecosystem of their foster home, so Avril beat the shit out of them, too. It wouldn’t matter if the wrongdoer was bigger than her, stronger than her, or held power over her. Avril acted on instinct, and her instinct was to remove the problem. As a child, her goal was to scare the problem into righting itself. It rarely worked. More often than not, SHE was the one removed from the situation.

    --

    Finally we get to the two Layeks and a Rusalka with $18K of cocaine. I was waiting. Layeks are basically Penanggalans. Basically they were in an 80s heist movie. The Layeks had to hide in a walk in fridge to fly out and feed, guarded by the Raksasha, as they tried to avoid Flamebane’s goons. So that has kicked off.

    We had some racing with at Scion of Hermes. Sadly, he did less well at BASE jumping. He did manage to survive at least, and Xanthias healed him.

    Session X

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO SIX

    Las Vegas, USA

    Sunday was a successful day of entertaining Annika. She dove off the dam, which was breathtaking to see, and a bit scary. Jimmy, ah, entertained her the rest of the evening. Tonight, Thursday, the next Influencers arrived at 0100Z. The Yōkai this time. After the rather intense time with the Jötun Annika I hope things are more laid back. The Noppera-bō Keiko seems calm, polite, not unfriendly but not chatty. The Rokoro-Kubi Hinako seems to alternate between extremely shy and very bouncy and cheerful, almost childlike. She has endeared herself to the group well, it seems. Hopefully that continues.

    In between those events we dealt with the Jötun Thurston Flamebane. Also, it turns out, his henchman Ivar the Wicked, an Alfar with a taste for dapper suits. Ivar played up his “The Wicked” moniker and stressed that Thurston had lost face because the trio tried to not give him his due. I have no idea. Chaem Choi, the Rakashi, may very well have been dodging inconvenient facts. Mr. The Wicked played up these behaviors being common to Raksasha. Then again, he would.

    We met Thurston himself at the Bellagio on Wednesday night at 0200Z with Mr. The Wicked present. Possibly because he knew he was facing five children of Greek gods; he was remarkably civil. He offered the chance to regain dignitas by having the trio steal something off an aeroplane. It all sounded very strange. Then he would purchase the $18K in cocaine for $16.5K to account for “expenses”

    We also, we think, got a face for the Slasher. Apparently, Thurston’s Jötun goons found her, but when she found herself unable to overpower them, she burst the blood vessels in their eyes. Disturbing. Also, we were pretty sure she was the person the Scion Milos Grozny was toying with and/or beating down in the hospital. Being a Slasher did not seem to help. Maybe Milos is just that scary.

    Regardless, with that hopefully over soon, perhaps we can focus on the remaining influencers. The Yōkai should be fun. We just need to remember Tristessa’s warning that they get wilder and more chaotic the more of them that are in one place, and they tend to find each other. Wunderbar.

    EINDE

    ---
    Imke rose, perhaps a bit slowly, from the bar. She had not drunk that many shots of Bourbon in a while, and it rather tested her endurance, especially with the Codeine added in. Hinako had been wild and a little loud. Darius had not hesitated to give the Belgian what she asked for, but the later ones definitely had less Codeine, probably none. Still, she was slightly wobbly. Johnny lingered by the door, a look of concern on his face.

    “Hey, you alright?”

    The Belgian gave a sheepish smile. “Yes. Got up to fast. You and Darius have good Bourbon.

    “I've got something that'll go down smoother than codeine, and better for your head. If you're interested.”

    “I know. Codeine and Bourbon and I are old friends. But I will bear that in mind. Thank you, Johnny.” Her smile was sweet and genuine, even if the product of much practice.

    Johnny stood back but watched her, relaxing only when she seemed to find her feet. Being on heels probably did not help. “Still winning the fight against cigarettes?”

    “Yes. I admit I still have some trouble figuring out what to do with my hands. But I think our pencils are a little safer. Thank you, by the way. Mother’s reversing my age seemed to cure my emphysema and urge to smoke, but I still had a…need.”

    “Yeah, addiction can be a wicked thing. I hope this keeps doing the job. If you need any help, let me know. I want to help.”

    “You are.” She smiled again. She smiles a lot more than a few weeks ago. “I appreciate your kindness. I will remember.”

    “Hey, we look out for each other. You're family.”

    “Thank you. You are too.” She hugged him. “I am glad you are here. I am heading home, but you be good to yourself Johnny.”

    He held the hug as long as she let him but let her go easily. She patted his shoulder and walked away, her heels making the familiar sound of her disappearing down the hall. He watched her disappear around a corner before pushing up off the wall. Reaching into his pocket he deftly opened a small, wrapped candy and popped it into his mouth, sucking on it as he made his way to bed.

    --

    Imke has often toyed with a pen or pencil, holding it like a cigarette. She was cured of physical but not mental addiction when she became younger. Johnny stepped up to do so with a Passion Marvel.

    So this was a tale of two Frost Giants, but the group managed to please Annika. Now for the Yōkai.

    Session XI

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO SEVEN

    Las Vegas, USA

    The Yōkai have arrived. Keiko the Noppera-bō is a consummate professional and has had a face the whole time as far as I can tell. And she manages to not be too uptight; I found her pretty likeable honestly. She quickly set about being everyone’s stand in mom. Maybe we should try to hire her.

    The other, Hinako Hinagawa, is a Rokoro-Kubi and absolutely adorable. She has taken a lot of pictures and “TikToks” stealing cupcakes and having her head pop up at odd times on her long, long neck. I am not generally one to be taken in by such but she just seems so guileless I really think she is. She sort of became like our…child? We all want to protect her it seems.

    The opposite, apparently, can be said of Kuro, a Jorōgumo that Keiko recommended for dealing with the brothel part of the spa. She is apparently sex on legs. She flirted with everyone, Tristessa included, even throwing the Lampad off her game. Meeting her will be interesting. This happened while I was doing some investigation of the Teōtl situation. Ahem.

    Oh, apparently Keiko wants me to not seduce Hinako. Was not part of my plan.

    Now the first night with the Yōkai they went to Aspasia’s Labyrinth. Avril met up with Kayleigh, which apparently went very well. A “quick kiss” but I bet it was sweet. I saw Johnny and Jimmy dance with Hinako, Xanthias went to talk to the “Monster Defense Party” Raksashi that shows up time to time.

    I noticed Yolanda, one of the Teōtl we saw at the Piranha club. We wanted to make connections with them and Lonnie is, to be frank, pretty hot. So I took her to a room in the Labyrinth and we got familiar for awhile. I found out she was a Scion of Mictecacihuatl, or as I will be calling her Santa Muerte. She also mentioned being Transgender, which is new for me but she seemed to be Sapphic first and was woman enough for me.

    Anyway, that out of the way we went back to her place. Had a good time. She was out in Hendersonville. Found out she was also interested in Margherita, more specifically her plans. She did not know what she was doing specifically, but she can let us know when a party/ritual takes place.

    Back at the Spa, Hinako is making more “Tiktoks” and tonight is karaoke. Looks like I have song research to do. And email Chloe for suggestions.

    EINDE

    __

    Imke Scheit checked her phone at the table in the small apartment, leaning back in her chair, looking casual in her Alice Blue robe. Across the table from the blonde a dark haired dark eyed Latina sat, also in a robe. staring in wonder at her companion.

    “What…the hell…happened last night?”

    Imke put the phone down. “Is sex education that bad in this country?” Her accent had the flatness of a Dutch accent mixed with sharp German. She smiled and regarded Yolanda with her visible blue eye, hair covering her green one, humor in her voice.

    “I feel like I was hunted. Were you just out to seduce me?”

    “Not my plan, my dear, but when I came in you caught my eye. I had seen you at the Piranha Club and figured you were Queer. We were set on our tasks so I could not introduce myself. So when I saw you at Aspasia’s I…introduced myself in a way you deserved.” She winked and took a sip of her orange juice.

    Yolonda leaned back in her chair. “What makes you say I deserved…that.”

    “You are like me. Queer. You have been through things I could not imagine. I have seen things…I hope you cannot imagine. But here we are, sharing breakfast. For perhaps not the last time.” Imke watched her, deep blue eye visible. “I feel a kindship with other Lesbians, or…Sapphics or whatever.”

    “Including Trans ones then?” Yolonda seems to relax a bit.

    “Now that I understand what that is, Jaja.. You are quite woman enough.” Imke leaned on her hand smiling. “Maybe working together in this World, we can change things. For people like you, people like me, and people like us.”

    Yolonda nodded slowly and managed a smile. “Maybe we can.”

    --

    Not much to add here.
    Session XII

    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO EIGHT

    Las Vegas, USA

    We have completed our time with Keiko and Hinako.

    Hinako remains weapons grade adorable. Last night we did some karaoke, my first with this group, at 0230Z. It was a lot of fun. I made a sexy performance of Drunk Groove for Chloe, and sang a few other songs, including Crazy, It Must Have Been Love, and Tide is High. I sang Islands in the Stream with Johnny and I’ve Had the Time of My Life with Xanthias. Keiko did a lot of 80s and 70s songs, and Hinako did newer songs I was less familiar with. Alisa and Xanthias worked off of each other a lot…they really are joined at the hip.

    The following day, I had a word with Kuro, the Jorōgumo. I needed to make it clear my cousin Theoi are not her toys or on her menu. I did not get to complete my message; I was interrupted in this by Jimmy. He meant well; I admit. But he is sheltered. Most of them are sheltered, though Johnny and to a degree Xanthias are aware of this. I never want them to have to view the world as I do. I will protect them, whether they like it or not. Not a bodyguard like Jimmy, but a knife in the dark.

    Kuro got the gist, I think. And I did not use fire to intimidate her, something Keiko mentioned she was afraid of after the bombing of Tokyo. I gambled she would know Dutch (she did) and the others would not (I was wrong, Jimmy at least did and meddled. I suspect Xanthias did too)
    Xanthias, Johnny and Jimmy all took a moment to talk to me about the events of the day. Hinako seemed to tag along with Jimmy. Her head did anyway. Jimmy brought me cookies, and Hinako put her head nearby for scritches. Scritches is a strange word but Chloe assures me it is real. But there was no big drama. How did I get so lucky with my Theoi family?

    Anyway, went gambling at 0210Z. Hinako had a blast, vocally. Merneith came by, and I perhaps laid it on a little too thick, as she almost pleaded for me not to try and seduce her. She was there for Xanthias though, Sam was acting up, and she wanted to be sure Xanthias had a word with her.
    Honestly Merneith is crazy attractive. She is ancient. She radiates power and authority. I have to balance having her influenced by me to our advantage and, well, wild sex. I’ll figure it out.
    I headed out after that. Johnny and Alisa had something going on but they said they were fine, and Johnny and Xanthias were going to take Keiko and Hinako for one last trip for Hijinx. I had someone to talk to.

    EINDE
    __

    Imke Scheit hurried to her bedroom, having managed to put on some lacey eveningwear before firing up her laptop. A familiar Goth was waiting.

    “Hey Em I…ah, wow…you look great Em!”

    The Belgian chuckled. “Thank you, Duckling. Came in today. How are you?”

    “I am good. Can’t believe how soon our trip is. Got my hands on some MDMA and GHB, and some of the bourbon you asked about. Been reading some about Trieste, should be fun. I have never been.”

    Imke nodded, making a mental note to look up the acronyms. “I did some work there. My memories are mixed. We will make good memories. You liked my performance, also?”

    “Yeah, how dare you send me that where I could not pounce you!” The Oread laughed. “Oh man you can put on a show. Still a little…little weirded out you are sending that to me of all people.”
    “Of course I sent it to you. Just you, for now. I have been reading about polyamory. It seems very…1960s. That is not a problem. You could also have a boyfriend or two then.” Imke leaned on her hand.

    “I mean I am Bi Em, but I don’t need one of each. I love you. I mean, I would not complain about a boyfriend, but that’s not why I mentioned it.”

    A sigh from the blonde. “No. It’s not what I meant. English is not my best, but it is better than my Greek. I was just mentioning an advantage. I don’t know where things are going to. But I don’t want to leave you behind.”

    “I…appreciate that. I just hope it does not get me killed.”

    “I will protect you best I can fräulein. I promise you that.”
    The Goth laughed nervously. “Why was I foolish enough to get involved with an actual Theoi again?”

    Imke shifts to open her negligee slightly. “Well, it’s time for me to remind you.”

    --

    The Karaoke Party was a lot of fun. Only Imke and Johnny rolled, once each. Imke got like 9 successes. Johnny got a respectable 3. Much fun was had by all.

    Then a whole thing with a Kuchisake-onna happened. But Imke was not there for that to resport, so it will wait for next update, which should finish the arc.

    I do want to clarify the main job the PCs have is charm based, get the Influencers to have a high Attitude toward the Spa, and get more initial attention. They are not just spinning their wheels. Also making contacts that should come up later. Anyway, Comments and Questions welcome. Look for Ultra Violets update probably next week.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Okay, Pictures showed up for me not anyone else. Fixed. I will try to sprinkle a few more in, but any pic requests let me know.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    This game now has a companion game, like when I ran Rada and Petro back in the day. The Ultra Violets is a game about a Sapphic girl band who are also Scions themselves. Check it out. Update here soon.

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  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Session VII


    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO THREE

    Las Vegas, USA

    Our next stop was the Piranha club arriving 0500Z. I have seen Pride marches on TV, but I have never been in the presence of so many other Queer people in my life. Just wall to wall. Lounges, Dance Floors, Bar…it was amazing. I was there as chaperone, so I stuck with the group. Chloe and I danced a few times; she is an excellent dancer. Got a lot of eyes on us out there. I am not a Goth, but I can follow Chloe’s slow sensual movements.

    Outside showing the Oread a good time, I watched the others some. Tríona was staying seated to prevent sensory overload, though when Sapphira arrived she set about seducing the Oread. Doris watched some of the women dancing a bit wistfully and danced herself a little but she seemed to be okay. Alisa was fidgety. I guess she was a bit out of her element.

    My dear Avril while scoping things out saw her Kayleigh there, which is either a good or bad sign depending on who you asked. Kayleigh had been happy to see her and flirtatious, and the poor girl was torn and overwhelmed, also. I think. She does not want to be prey. That’s…complicated. Kink wholly aside, a Leanhaun Shee is a predator. They can offer inspiration at the cost of life energy to artist they inspire. I don’t know as much about them as Xanthias but…Avril has the biggest risk among us. But Kayleigh is cute. She is femme. She is obviously attracted to Avril. This could be a very messy romance, but then does our Patheon do any other kind? Our most romantic couple started with an abduction. It’s all downhill from there.

    To be fair to Hades though…Persephone is achingly beautiful. Anyway.

    Xanthias and Jimmy met with most of the Teōtl, Johnny with the other local outside the club. Xan and Jimmy walked away with a better impression of them than Johnny did. Honestly the poor boy seemed creeped out.

    Not…to put too fine a point on it, I took Chloe to my house when we left 0800Z. Do I love her? I don’t know. Probably not. Aoibhe was a wonderful experience, and I hope to see her again, but I have more of a rapport with Chloe. It was one of the most intimate, open connections I have made, among many. Maybe it is just Nymphs. Regardless, I will need to clear my head.

    I had thought Avril went to spend the night with Kayleigh but she didn’t. Like I say, she was torn. I feel a responsibility for her. Not that she isn’t hot, but I find myself more the mother with her. Maybe we will both be happier that way. We will see.

    Xanthias and I met with Merneith around 1900Z. I was a bit of a tease, because it kept her off guard and because Merneith is pretty cute, you know, for a Mummy. Did not exactly look like Boris Karloff or Lon Chaney Jr.’s versions. She did not really suspect the Teōtl of being the ‘Slasher’ but was weaponizing suspicion to keep a closer eye on them than she would normally be permitted. Makes sense to me, though I wonder if the Netjer have someone with a similar role to me who is less obvious than the Mummy.

    This afternoon we will head to the Pool party, then I join Chloe at the Luxor. I hope our parting will not be embarrassingly difficult. At least technology makes things easier.

    EINDE

    --

    “So, what did that mean?” Chloe reluctantly rose from the enormous bed, reaching for a robe.

    In the bed Imke, her hair splayed out and her mismatched eyes in full view smiled. “What do you mean dear?”

    Chloe pulled the robe on, looking back at Imke, feeling almost paralyzed by the beautiful woman. “I mean…was last night just sex?”

    Imke smiled impishly her hair seeming to naturally fall to conceal half of her face as she propped herself up with an elbow. “Come on now fräulein you must have a lot of lovers. You are beautiful and hardly inexperienced. “

    “Yeah well. That’s not an answer.” The Oread exhaled in irritation. “You are dissembling, not answering. If you are going to blow me off be direct about it.”

    “dis…assembling?” Imke blinked and sat up. “I am not trying to disassemble you. I am…I don’t know.”

    “I didn’t…” Chloe grinned despite herself, fighting the urge to laugh.

    The incongruous shift flustered the Scion. “I don’t mean to disassemble you. I don’t…I have stayed cut off from my emotions so long. Had to. Opening up is not easy fräulein.” She sighed. “I want to keep seeing you. I don’t know if I am capable of relationships. I hope I am.”

    Chloe looked more sympathetic. “Okay, Imke, darling? Last night was wonderful and I am in love. I need to know if I need to start trying to get over you.”

    “I…don’t know.” The Belgian frowned, pulling covers around to cover herself. Chloe sat down beside her. “Aoibhe was not difficult. We had a great time, we moved on.”

    “I’ll let you figure it out, darling. Just don’t jerk me around.” She puts her hand on the sheet over Imke’s leg. “You aren’t a white picket fence sort of girl. Neither am I. Just don’t treat me like a toy. I am not a toy, even for you. I am a modern woman.” She tried to not look at the disheveled Scion’s eyes. She would be hooked again if she did. Even Imke’s problems with English seemed endearing. Is this why other Nymphs let themselves be dragged into dangerous relationships?

    “I won’t jerk you around. I spent a lot of time learning to try to smother my feelings. Unpacking them means fighting my own programming. I am trying. I will promise not to hurt you.” A sly smile and glance at a large chest at the foot of the bed. “Well, unless you want to expand your horizons.”

    “Oh that’s nothing new to me.” She kissed her cheek, rose, and walked toward the Alice Blue hued bathroom. “I need a shower. And I am using your toothbrush.” Her voice returned to the affectionate quality it had held.

    Imke laid back down, watching the ceiling fan slowly turn. She presumed a Nymph would have the same no strings quality a Fae Noble did. But then, most people she seduced seemed to fixate on her and Aoibhe was an exception. Her blue and green eyes look toward the bathroom as she heard the shower start. She would need to have this sorted by the time Chloe returned.

    And she would ask her about why she thought she was disassembling her.
    Saturday Night


    Stepping out of Johnny's car, Alesia felt the chill night air against her skin and the lingering warmth still trapped in the concrete walkway beneath her feet. She gathered her purse and heels and glanced back at Johnny. Part of her wasn’t sure if opening up to him as much as she had was a good idea but he was just so easy to talk to. And she had needed to talk to someone.

    “Thanks for the ride… and for listening.”

    Then she made her way inside, smiling a little that the lights of his car did not move until the door shut behind her. It didn’t feel like it had been a mistake to speak so freely even away from his infectious presence and it was too late to second guess her actions at this point anyway.

    Setting her purse and heels aside, she sighed as she noticed that the only light was in the study. Shaking her head, she walked in and found Xanthias at his desk.

    “Welcome home,” he said without looking up, “How was the Piranha Club?”

    “Loud and full of beautiful women. I think everyone had a good evening.”

    “Everyone?”

    She chuckled and moved up behind his chair, leaning forward and resting her hands on his shoulders. Feeling the tension in them, she began to kneed slowly. “Imke and Chloe were all over each other. Honestly it was nice to see her relax. Tríona set her sights on Sapphira, who seemed entirely okay with it if a bit surprised. Doris wasn’t really looking for or getting found by anyone but she seemed to enjoy the company and we did dance a few times. I think Avril ran into Kayleigh at the bar but they didn’t leave together or anything.” She felt his shoulders tense a bit at that and squeezed harder then glanced at the screen in front of him. “So what are you working on? I thought you’d finished with Hector’s notes.”

    Xan murmured appreciatively at her ministrations and let her shift the topic without comment. “On, I read over them and sent out the basics, yes. But I was fully transcribing them and adding my thoughts and observations to send out to everyone.”

    Alesia hands continued to work his tense neck and shoulder firmly and he groaned softly. “When’s the last time you ate?”

    “I…” he paused to gasp softly as her thumb dug into a knot. “Jimmy and I grabbed a bite after we left Tex Cat’s.”

    “That was hours ago Xan.”

    “Yes, I guess it was. But I’m nearly finished, just proofreading over it now.”

    She straightened and shook her head. “Well, I worked up an appetite with all the dancing so I’m going to go make us both some dinner.”

    “Oh, that’s sounds good. I’ll just finish up...”

    “And I’m not going to eat until you join me.”

    He turned to look at her and frown. “That’s not necessary…”

    She cut him off with a raised hand. “I have spoken.” Then she chuckled and turned to walk away.

    “I’ll be right in to help,” he called after her as he turned to save his work, “Your mother would never forgive me if I let you starve.”
    Colloquy


    The Oread called Chloe entered the dimly lit women’s spa following the sound of chatter. Three other women were there already languidly chatting. The similarly pale and darked haired Tríona relaxedin a one-piece swimsuit covering much of her body, outside her limbs, rather than a bikini like Chloe. Opposite her, in the altogether, the blue-green skinned Nereid Doris was chatting away with Tríona. On the far end of the pool, a pale, sallow skinned blonde watched silently with sunken eyes, only the top half of her face above the water. Chloe tilted her head at the Naiad on the far end, but beyond an acknowledgement she simply remained still.

    Chloe’s reverie was broken by Tríona. “Well, someone apparently had an assignation last night! How was it?”

    Chloe gave a crooked smile, slipping into the warm pool. “Oh, I had a blast. Hope you were not disappointed we spent the night at Em’s.”

    Tríona glanced conspiratorially at Doris, then back. “I am sure I don’t know what you mean. I myself was distracted anyway.” She paused significantly. “I tried to get Sapphira to join us down here, but I think she was…a little embarrassed.” The Banshee shifted to look slightly concerned. “I hope you don’t mind checking on her? She is a cousin to you and I want to be sure she is okay.”

    “I will, no problem.” The Goth smiled over at the Banshee. Then she looked to Doris. “You having fun dear?”

    “This has been nice. Getting away from everything. Everyone is nice. Johnny and I have been hanging out. Avril kept an eye on me last night. Did she meet up with that girl?”

    Tríona looked sharply over. “What girl? Who?” Chloe gave Doris a warning look as the Nereid suddenly looked panicked

    “Oh some cute thing she was chatting with. No one in particular.” Doris was not very good at lying. ‘Disassembling’ Chloe thought with a smirk.

    “Is the Leanhaun Shee still hunting her? She is in danger if so.” Tríona was getting agitated. Chloe sighed. “She is fine. Em is not worried about her. They can manage.”

    “Imke is not even a century old! She…” The Banshee paused. All three Nymphs in the water were giving her puzzled looks. Even the cute dead looking one. “Okay. I just know how Dark Fae are. I am Dark Fae after all.”

    Chloe smirked. “And you are one of the sweetest people I have met this side of the pond. And I am over a century old thank you, even if not much. Why don’t you talk to her before you go?”

    “Maybe I will.” Tríona mulled over this, then changed the subject. “I have managed to get more of my novel written. Perhaps I will finish this year.”

    Doris beamed at her. “That’s so cool. You will have to let us know.”

    Tríona smiled “Now, it’s a roman à clef, so don’t expect familiar names.” Doris looked to Chloe, puzzled.

    “Novel with a key.” the Goth clarified. “A story where the characters are based on real people or events but names and details changed.”

    “It won’t be my first.” Tríona clarified. “But first in a while”

    There was a short lull in conversation. “So what’s up with Xanthias and that Gorgon? Alisa?” Doris looked at the faces around her. Well, half visible face in Lenore’s case.

    Tríona spoke up after a moment. “Xanthias, like many men, cannot see what is right in front of his nose. And Alisa is either a proper lady or too nervous to try. I do wish them well. I think Xanthias loves her. He’s just…” she gestures vaguely. “Listen, I am a lesbian, I am not an expert on men. But I see a lot.”

    The half-submerged face’s eyes narrow slightly.

    “They aren’t that different Tríona.” Chloe shrugs. “I have dated and slept with both. There are minor differences, like I don’t have to make the first move with men most of the time. Hell, I had to put the moves on Em.”

    “Quite a gal you found there. Goodness but her legs go on forever.” Tríona chucked.

    Chloe grinned at her “Oh I found where they lead. Lovely place.”

    The blonde sank below the surface.

    “C’mon sorry Lenore come back I won’t be detailed.” The big watery eyes peer up from the water, long hair floating on the surface, though she did not rise fully.

    “Are you okay?” Tríona regarded her too. Lenore nodded in the affirmative, and the Banshee turned her attention to the others.

    “I have only had one serious girlfriend,” the Nereid spoke up “but I have been involved with both. Gonna agree with Chloe here though. I mean Johnny seems sensitive and caring. Jimmy too. Guys aren’t bad. I mean between them Monica was more aloof.”

    Tríona only smiled knowingly at them. After a moment, she turned to Chloe again. “Are you going to spent tonight with Imke too?”

    “Yeah. At the Luxor this time. Not just that though also blogging through the night.”

    Tríona turned to Doris. “You dear? Going to make a play for Johnny?”

    Doris’s eyes widened. “Oh I…no…we will see what happens. I don’t…really…make moves, you know? I’d rather whoever I am with do that.”

    “Well, good luck to you both. I suspect I will be writing overnight.” Tríona smiled at them both. “We will have to all come here again.” She glanced at the eyes peering out the water. “Maybe Lenore will even talk!”

    The Naiad sunk beneath the surface once again.

    --
    So yeah Tríona is less innocent than she seems.

    Johnny met Aoibheann also, who similarly sort of waking dream appeared. He then met Margarita Rios-Garcia. The elegant Scion of Tlazōltéōtl came off as very charming at first but soon creeped him out a bit with vague talk about death. In the end, they left under good terms, though he really thought she would try to kill him.

    Xan and Jimmy went to Tex Cat’s and met a Scion of Quetzalcoatl named Hector who had been studying various supernatural happenings in the area. He also met his counterpart Maria Lopez, a Scion of Ītzpāpālōtl and they mentioned a Yolanda Scion of Mictecacihuatl who the other group saw at the Queer club. While Maria was guarded, the meeting went well.
    Session VIII


    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO THREE

    Las Vegas, USA

    We have successfully completed entertaining our first group of Influencers. There was a Gay Pool Party (Way, way too many men. But what else is new?) then some gambling. We then parted ways, with Chloe and I staying in the Luxor and her doing a good bit of streaming from her room. With me in a slinky dress in the background. I’ve been eye candy for worse.

    Xanthias made sure she would be doing a tombstone before she left, as once we got the girls on their way, we moved on to other projects…specifically, meeting an Undertaker for a Ritual Xanthias and Jimmy had been researching. Those two handled the meeting with the undertaker, a Dr. Robinson, so he would be ready to collect and prepare Sam’s remains. Meanwhile I put a certain amount of effort to asking where the hell Tristessa had been the past weekend. I wonder if she was avoiding one or more of the girls; she backed bringing all of them. She stonewalled me.

    Darius felt the need to tease me for asking for a congealed salad also. How was I supposed to know they fell out of popularity?

    That evening at 0230Z we met with the local Fomorians. Aoibheann and “Big Ian” a hideous giant, real name Éimhín but that to our ears sounds about like Aoibheann so he goes by a different name. Despite being one of the most unpleasant looking people I have ever seen, the man was polite and even debonaire. I barely noticed his appearance after a while. He was smart, well dressed, and polite and took point, which surprised me also. Finally, it seemed apparent he and Aoibheann were a long-time couple. Okay.

    On the subject, Tríona had mentioned at the pool party that if we wanted to be prepared to move against Aoibheann, she no doubt had at least one Geis on her which could be leveraged against her, and if she had multiple we could put her in zugzwang. Tríona is a cunning one, cinnamon roll or not.

    Aoibheann seemed inclined, however, to seem harmless and friendly, making sure we knew the Fomorians would love to be welcome at such a place, and others might wind up trying to cause an issue. She did not say Tuatha but she clearly meant Tuatha.

    Tuesday evening at 0300Z Chloe returned to make the tombstone, and Xanthias performed his ritual. I summoned a powerful thunderstorm (while holding off the rain till the correct moment) and it seemed a big success. Sam is much more powerful now. Yay?

    Sadly, Chloe is getting ready to go. She has a festival to go to. But I got two more nights. She did not have to come Tuesday and leave Thursday but…we both sort of decided to.

    I am so fucked, aren’t I?

    EINDE

    A silver Porsche made its way toward the Luxor hotel from the suburbs, a heavy silence within. After a moment, one of the women inside spoke.

    “I am glad you could come back to work on the tombstone. We will have you back in time to get to Dusseldorf fear not.” Imke’s voice was musical as she smiled to the dark-haired woman beside her.

    “Yeah, went home Monday, came back Tuesday night. What are we doing?” Chloe glanced over.

    “We are enjoying ourselves. Having a good time. Is that a problem dear?”

    “Not if we are going to play straight with each other. This is where we can, maybe should, walk away. I don’t want to.” Chloe signed.

    Imke is silent, watching road as she drives for over a minute. “So this weekend is the second where we have Influencers, then there will be two more weekends. I have an old friend who owns a villa in Trieste. The Monday after the last Influencers go, why don’t we meet there, overlooking the Adriatic, and spend that next week getting this worked out.” She kept her eyes on the road.

    Chloe looked at her in surprise several long moments. “So…that is a let’s keep seeing each other?”

    “I am not good at this, Chloe. Take it for what it is. A desire to not walk away from…us”

    “Okay. Okay.” She smiled at her. “Thanks Imke. This was nice.”

    The Blonde cracks a smile at her, shifting her hair to show her both mismatched eyes. “Thank you. The trip will be also. I will be looking forward to it.”

    The car was quiet again as it approached the strip, but now the mood in the car was lighter.

    Well, light as a Goth would want.

    --

    Congealed Salad is nasty.

    This session was mainly about empowering Sam. Avril’s player sadly had to miss, the Influencers cleared out early on. I constructed a ritual like this

    <<<<
    Researching the Ritual would use Intelligence or Cunning + Academics, Occult or Medicine. You need 3 success. The Netjer Library would add 3 (though you would need to pass) if you can access it, but if someone has an appropriate path they can get basic books without that.

    The Ritual will use Intelligence or Presence and Occult. Succeeding makes the burial work and satisfies the ghost., as well as, optionally, counting toward the first Stunt. You have options.

    1+ Point Stunt: Pour Cthonic Power into her. Currently she is not too potent, with simple moving objects and making the walls bleed, etc, as opposed to moving large objects or being visible/solid temporarily like Sulis and Donum. Successes spent here make her stronger. If she manages to successfully haunt without being driven to the Underworld, this will happen on it’s own. If Someone doing the Ritual has the Death Purview you get a free point of this if the roll succeeds.

    3 Point Stunt (2 if you have the Death Purview): Make Sam a Lemure. The only real effect will be if banished to the Underworld she will wind up in Hades not The Veil. Also, if she gets powerful enough, she will have the option of becoming one of the Manes (Minor God/Ancestor Spirits) in the Underworld or Staying a Ghost, not merely being a Shade if she slips away under.

    2 Point Complication: If you overcome the Complication, you can untether her. This greatly increases her movement range. Currently she is restricted to the Vegas area after the Ritual happens to the Hospital or around her Body before. You can attempt a Ritual to do this later.

    Someone assisting adds successes like usual, A scary tombstone is a +1 Enhancement, Ritual Garb is a +1 Enhancement. She is currently a bit of a Mummy, Appropriate preparations would be +1-+2 success depending (A roll would be made for it) Max as always is +5 though if you can use Scale that is outside that.
    >>>

    Next session they meet the next Influencer, a Frost Giant. I expect her to take fewer sessions but one never knows.

    Also, I may have started a second Scion game focused on a rock band of Queer women played by Queer women and femme aligned enbies. Between these two games, hope to post more updates in the forum. Keep an eye out.
    Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 03-28-2022, 01:30 AM.

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  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Story two is taking some time, so I thought I would share when we reached a breakpoint
    Session V




    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO ONE

    Las Vegas, USA

    We have started having Influencers show up to entertain.

    Chloe, an Oread Goth. It is nice Goths are still around. I remember them from the 80s. Chloe is nice, and the most confidant of the three. Also, there are some sparks. By sparks I mean she ground on me and kissed me on the dance floor.

    Doris, a Nereid. Doris is getting over a breakup with her girlfriend, a Siren apparently. Doris had an air of melancholy, but Johnny swooped in to care for her. Johnny continues to impress me with the sort of man he is.

    Tríona McInnes, a Banshee and the only one without a mononym. Tríona is warm, caring, and perhaps slightly naive woman. She stayed in a gothic human form most of time. I think all of us really liked her immediately.

    Chloe arrived at the Luxor at 2200Z, and Avril and I greeted her. Apparently, she noticed me checking her out. Doris and Tríona both arrived at 0000Z, Doris at the New York, New York hotel and Tríona at the Luxor. Avril and I had the Luxor again. Thankfully, all three get along.

    We decided to hit Aspasia’s Labyrinth tonight, which would prove to be a more exciting night than our first visit. Right off the bat, Chloe pulled me on the dance floor and was pretty much hip to hip and lip to lip with me immediately. When not inhaling the sweet scent of an amorous Oread, I am usually pretty perceptive. As it was, however, I realized that an altercation had begun about the time I noticed we were against the wall and still in public.

    So what I missed was Avril was taking pictures of the girls...

    Shit did she take pictures of me snogging Chloe?

    Anyway so what I missed was Avril taking pictures of the girls when she felt an enhancement to her photography. She noticed a frankly rather attractive young woman watching her (big surprise there) and commented to the others. Tríona, sweet cinnamon roll Tríona, went into battle mode and flew over to confront the young women, whose name turned out to be Kayleigh. I missed a lot of it because of getting my bearings and removing black lipstick, but apparently Tríona buttonholed her because she was a Leanhaun Shee, a Fae that enhances artistic skill at a cost of ultimately the artist’s life. Xanthias was quick to point out the artist has to allow this willingly, but I have gotten men to willingly betray everything they hold dear, best friends, even family for a chance at getting me in bed, this before I received Nymph’s Beauty smoothing out imperfections. A convincing woman can make the consensuality in doubt, and Kayleigh was a lip bite away from talking most men and many women into anything.

    Eventually Kayleigh fled into the Labyrinth (because of Johnny, it turned out, who was not just showing Doris a good time) Alisa lead Tríona off to calm her down, and I made my way back with Avril, soothing her best I could and wishing for Johnny’s skill with people. Thankfully the poor dear did calm down though I did accidentally call her duckling. Oh well, she took it as intended.

    Things cooled down after that. Jimmy returned having talked to Kayleigh and also to a mysterious Fomorian in the Labyrinth. I need to Google those I have heard the word before. Avril calmed down, and Tríona acted like nothing happened. I went back to Chloe, but things had cooled somewhat, and we just chatted, mostly about Goth clubs back in the day, at least in Germany.

    I can’t believe I kissed a woman in public. That for so long would be a beating, being fired, being cast out, yet in this place no one cared (though Chloe said a couple men started watching. Yuck.). But none of this seems real. I can just do that, in public, and go back to living my life. People openly talked about Doris and her girlfriend and no one seemed concerned. Amazing. Well that is one realization that sank in tonight.

    The other is, as much as I hate to admit it, my forbearers may have been onto something with this whole romancing Nymphs thing. I still smell her hair. I should clear the air with Chloe. We never properly talked about the first part of the night. I will do that now.

    EINDE

    --

    “Are ve going to talk about tonight?” The tall, lanky blonde woman leaned in the doorway.

    “If you want.” The Oread sat down in a chair in her room. She was still decked out in full regalia, her face all painted in dark majesty, wearing a corset and skirt made mostly of belts. “Would ruin the mystique though.”

    Imke walked in and closed the door, leaning in a shadow. The shadows clung to her like spideweabs, leaving on her pale face and voluminous blonde hair visible. “I did have a good time tonight. I liked your attention. Did I upset you?”

    “No. Well. No.” The goth sighed. “When the Fae started making trouble, you got distracted.”

    “Avril is a dear friend, she was upset.” Imke’s response was clipped.

    “Okay, okay yes that is not what I meant. Of course you did. “Chloe put her hands up defensively. “You are less an ice queen than you look, which is a good thing. Just…at that point with everyone being concerned did not seem appropriate. I like to build the romance. “

    “I like that. Trust me. It does not go amiss.” Imke watched her.

    “So…try again tomorrow?” The goth offered her hand.

    The Theoi took her hand and rather than shaking it kissed it. “Try again tomorrow. Goodnight Fräulein.” She backed out, slipping out the room, never leaving the shadows.

    With her gone, Chloe leaned back in her chair, covering her face with a giggle. “Fuck what I have I gotten myself into?”
    Choices Matter


    Xan’s thoughts were interrupted by the clink of ice against glass on the desk beside his keyboard. The splash of rum pouring followed and as he lifted the glass Alesia settled to half lean half sit on the desk in it’s place.

    “I thought we weren’t drinking like we were still in Uni?”

    “You’ve been sitting there working on that e-mail for an hour and it’s still empty. I figured you needed a drink and I know how you feel about drinking alone.” She lifted her own glass in a toast and then took a long pull from it.

    Xanthias chuckled and lifted his glass in response. As he lowered it he chuckled. “Good of you to save me from such a fate.”

    “And speaking of saving people…”

    “It is not my place to make her choices for her. Honestly, we hardly know Avril, why are you so worried about her?”

    “I’m not the one who’s been staring at a blank screen for an hour.”

    “I informed her of exactly what Kayleigh is and what a Leanhaun Shee does… and why.”

    “So, there is no other way for her to survive?”

    “Not in the World. And beyond it, they grow listless and weak and suffer without nourishment.”

    “So, she’s a vampire then. And, just like with them, it feels too good to say no to.” She emptied her glass and refilled them both.

    Xan frowned. “Johnny tried to distract her from the difference in the pictures…”

    “Xan, those pictures were amazing. I’ve never looked that damn hot. Hell, I want to fuck the me in those pictures.”

    “That may be so, but the fact is that those with Leanhuan Shee patrons never live long lives. This will kill her sooner rather than later if she does it.”

    “But so does everything else that’s fun.”

    “Not everything.” Xan answered as he emptied his glass again. “Sex is actually a decent if brief bit of exercise.”

    “Brief means you’re doing it wrong.”

    Xan shook his head and sighed. “I have informed her of the risks. I have offered to do what I can to mitigate the harm if she she agrees…”

    “When.” Alesia interjected.

    “If or when. And… I have made sure she knows that this isn’t simply something Kayleigh does for amusement or fun.”

    Alesia swirled the melting ice cube in her glass. “Not a monster by choice.”

    Xan glanced up. “That tends to be a human thing. As does treating you terribly for simply existing differently from them.”

    “Them Xan? You’re like family…” Much as I might prefer otherwise “But you’re not a gorgon. You’re not a vampire or a giant or something…”

    “Gods are not human. I’m better than them.”

    Alesia blinked behind her ruby glasses and the room fell into a silence.

    “I’m not a god, Xan,” she said softly.

    “Alesia… I…”

    She shook her head and pushed off from the desk.

    “Alesia. Wait. You know I don’t think of you as lesser. I’ve never thought of you like that.”

    She took a step back. “No Xan. But you are a god and I’m not. We’re…”

    “Family,” he interrupted as he rose from his chair and closed the space between them. He took the bottle and glass from her and set them aside before taking hold of her hands. She didn’t resist, letting him and looking up at him, acutely aware of the firm hold on her hands and just how close he was.

    Yes Xan… Now fucking kiss me...

    He drew her closer. “Together Forever.”

    She shook her head and sighed. “We were just dumb kids when we started that.”

    “I meant it then and I mean it now. Together forever.”

    “Together forever,” she echoed. Then she leaned in closer, putting his arms around her before letting go of his hands and pressing tightly to cling to him. He pulled her into the sudden hug encircling her with his arms and pulling her in tightly. He felt the soft brush of her snakes against his neck and cheeks as she buried her face into his chest. Just not the way I want us to be together...

    --
    Kayleigh was a character long since placed in the setting, who just happened to encounter Avril after the Influencers showed up (She took an interest when Avril started taking pictures.)

    Not really discussed, but Jimmy encountered a Fomorian Beautiful One named Aoibheann, who wanted to negotiate a place for the Tuatha Dé Domnann at the Spa. She sort of spoke to him in a waking dream, and I sort of played up her creeper aspects. Unfortunately, we don’t get much from Johnny or Jiummy right now. Anyway, was a good scene.
    Session VI

    Avril unlocked her RV and got inside. She flipped a switch, turning on white Christmas lights that criss-crossed the ceiling. Originally, she bought them because they were cheaper than alternatives. Now, she just liked them. The bulbs burnt out quickly, but she always replaced them with the same kind. Everything she owned was cared for the same way. She knew how to repair her plumbing, engine, laptop, mini stove, and even her professional quality photographic printer. That was the most expensive thing she owned.

    Her bed lifted up, with storage beneath. There she kept her printer, photo albums, and carefully ordered journals documenting the behaviour of various monsters. Avril set up the printer to make physical copies of her favourite recent photos. Then she took out the same album she always did, turned to the same page she always did, and looked at the last photograph she took before gaining Artemis’ favour.

    It was a good picture: a sky at sunset above the tops of forest trees. It wasn’t her mundane self’s best, but it was good. Next to it, the photo of the Hind. The difference was already visible, just between those two. There wasn’t anything tangible that could be pointed out, no difference in lighting or clarity, but... it was a feeling. Her mundane photographs felt lesser than her godly ones.

    As pictures left her printer, Avril confirmed what she knew would be true: pictures influenced by Kayleigh felt different, too. A step beyond her godly photographs, two beyond what she could have achieved without divine help.

    Avril put everything away and got behind the wheel. It was late, but she barely needed to sleep anymore. She could leave Vegas and drive for hours before she had to stop.

    She let herself live that fantasy for a while, watching the city’s lights turn into specks. Then she turned around and headed back to work.


    NOTEBOOK: #769 Lima Echo Echo Uniform Whisky India November

    ENTRY: BRAVO TWO

    Las Vegas, USA

    Might as well review how things are going.

    Johnny and Jimmy took Doris to Hoover Dam around 1800Z. I presume named for the president not the vacuum company, but then Americans like to privatize everything. Seemed to go well.

    Meanwhile Xan kept an eye on Tríona and Chloe while I went to the Bally’s Hotel and Casino (I don’t want to know) to get some chips and let them know free press was coming their way. It went well.

    The next place we went was an old empty hospital around 2030Z, mostly for Chloe, but Tríona was also interested. Doris was a good sport. The hospital was actually fairly intact. I don’t have a significant knowledge of Urban Exploring, as they call it, but it seemed safe. Xanthias actually found a ghost, calling herself Sam, an OD victim haunting the hospital. She claimed to want to be the “Scariest Ghost From Coast to Coast.” Sam was kind enough to provide some harmless theatrics, though Tríona actually went full Banshee and terrified the poor ghost. I think Xan is going to be dealing with her remains while we are in the gay club.

    Which now that I am typing it sounds really unfair to him.

    We got changed and headed to Bally’s, arriving 0200Z. We noticed a couple Scions there, including Rashawn who was there to scope us out, and Milos who may or may not have been there to do so. I myself mostly stuck with Chloe, continuing our flirtations. The longer the day lasted, the more infatuated she seemed to be.

    Not that I am immune. My mind wanders even now; no wonder the Gods fixate on Nymphs.

    Anyway, Alisa hung out with a Rakshasa, Johnny stuck with Doris, showing her a good time honestly. Jimmy lurked around keeping an eye on things, mostly, but he went to talk to Rashawn a bit. Part of the deal was Chloe filming in the tower built over the burned down tower in Balley’s so she was ready to go.

    EINDE

    --

    “So Em, you looking to pick anyone up at the Piranha club?” Chloe looked over at the woman in a crisp suit walking beside her. Her heels made staccato clicks on the floor.

    Imke glanced over, mismatched eyes meeting the Oreads darker ones. “I am here to make sure you all have a good time. So no. I can indulge when I am not the chaperone.”

    Did she have more of an accent when talking to Chloe? The Goth thought so. “Well…I don’t think I will be looking either, if you aren’t doing anything after.”

    Imke smiled “I am the chaperone, but I am not required to, as they say in English, play the Gooseberry.”

    “Em, sweety, I am pretty sure no one says that. But as long as you keep talking, you can say anything you want.”

    Tríona chortled at that from a short distance away, and both women glanced over at the Banshee. Tríona produced a fan, covering her mischievous grin, and drifted ahead. With a sly glance at each other, Chloe and Imke decided to save the conversation for later.

    --
    Sam is a Ghost, but a fairly week on Xanthias because friendly with and wanted to assist, he and Imke being able to see her. He assisted her some with the effects and decided he would move her later.

    Jimmy had a long-wanted conversation with Rashawn the Scion of Sobek.
    Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 03-28-2022, 01:29 AM.

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  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Originally posted by Purple Snit View Post
    Just a note to say, still reading, still enjoying the notes, and appreciating the creativity in the use of the mythical in the "real" world.
    Thank you, feedback is appreciated. I plan to have some more journals soon.

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