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Geist: Balance of Shadows (Actual Play)

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  • #16
    Obligatory notes: Doc and Gwen's players had to miss again. Hoping this was the last time for a bit. Still we got a very short doc's log for the past two sessions...less then two pages, but something to cover what he has been up to. Jasmine once again took up extra documentation to cover the whole session, in addition to her own thoughts, since Doc was gone. Assumedly with him back we will return to his being more documentation hers more commentary. And Natalie will of course continue to be self-absorbed.

    Also, the De Castros are inspired by the "The Terrifying Tale of James Magnus" from WoD: Ghost Stories. A number of twists were thrown in to make things more complicated for Sin-Eaters (as written would be cool for mortals but open and shut for the Bound) but that was the basic inspiration.


    Session X

    Doc’s Log

    Doc’s Log: 2110 Hours, Friday, May 7, 2010

    17 hours! I’ve been asleep for 17 hours! I’m so glad I took a shower before I dropped. I’d never get all the blood stains off.

    I’m really hungry…and I just realized I have no idea what is suppose to be going on tonight. Given I’m still tired and have no voicemail, I think I’m going to see what I didn’t get done in the shop today and keep an ear out in case the Krewe needs me. And order some delivery. Man I gotta headache.

    Doc’s Log: 2310 Hours, Friday, May 7, 2010

    Right. Sounds like the Krewe has been busy. I called Nightshade to make sure they knew I was alive and she filled me in on the major points. Malard came over and gave Werewolf 101, which I really hate I missed. I’ll have to either get Snowflake to rehash or talk to Malard myself. They also took care of the Angry Vietnamese Grandmother that was haunting Rose’s student. I’m not sure if Nightshade was joking or if she really did make the old woman lay at her Mistress’ feet. We didn’t get to talk long as she was riding with Snowflake to a Rocky Horror Party. Wait…Snowflake is going to a Rocky Horror Picture Show?

    Yeah, on that note, I’m going back to bed.

    Doc’s Log: 0930 Hours, Saturday, May 8, 2010

    Meditation seems to work much better when you aren’t pressed for time. But breakfast is simply not the same when you aren’t around Cupcake. Think today I’m going to work on my martial arts katas. Should be a good way to help me get back some focus and maybe help me loosen up a little more.

    Doc’s Log: 1725 Hours, Saturday, May 8, 2010

    It’s been a good day. Got a really good work out in and feel a little more like myself now. It does feel a little strange not to have seen or heard from the Krewe in so long. But it didn’t seem like they had much planned from talking to Nighshade so they should be alright.

    Doc’s Log: 0845 Hours, Sunday, May 9, 2010

    I went and bought one of those meditation CDs that Rose used when we meditated together at the House. I’m hoping that that will make things work a little better for me as well. Today is more workouts, meditation, and basically keeping at the ready in case the Krewe needs me. Well and playing with Xerxes as he’s not gotten as much exercise as he needs lately either.

    Doc’s Log: 0330 Hours, Monday, May 10, 2010

    Holy shit! Nightshade left me a message around midnight. I had already left for patrol. She says they found Leprechaun Gold in a cemetery and she sounded sober! What the Hell am I missing?

    Jasmine’s Diary

    Saturday, May 8, 2010, Afternoon

    I encouraged everyone to take a day or two off to enjoy the weekend, since we’ve just had such success with Vong’s ghost, but it didn’t really work out that way. Not today, at least.

    Doc and Gwen have remained busy with other pursuits, and Natalie is still out with her “friend,” but over breakfast, Simon, Alexia and I discussed our plans and decided that obtaining more information on the DeCastros and Patrick Anderson (the man who dug up Bonnie-Lynn’s grave over a century ago) would be a good next step. The Yale library was the only place likely to have much of use to our investigation, so Alexia called Natalie so that she could get in touch with Sonia and get permission from the Skull & Bones Society krewe for us to intrude on their territory.

    We left early in the afternoon. When the others were ready to go and came up to get me, I was listening to the B-52’s. I think “Planet Claire” was playing when they knocked on my door.

    I like the B-52’s. I do tend to listen to a lot of retro-themed music, but the B-52’s are not the kind of music I usually listen to, which is often a lot more melancholy, mellow, or jazzy, like Bitter:Sweet, Massive Attack, or The Cure (pre-90’s). I had been feeling especially melancholy since last night, but I didn’t want to feel down. I wanted to feel happy since we’d been able to help Trinh and her family. That’s why I was listening to the B-52’s. They help me feel happy, when I’m in the mood to feel that way.

    Alexia and Simon were shocked, though. They seemed to think there was something wrong with me. I think Alexia even said that the B-52’s “just seemed so out of character” for me. And Tavia asked if I had been replaced by a bug, which she says happened to one of her relatives.

    But when I explained why I was listening to them, Alexia’s expression changed from worry to joy and she squealed with delight over the idea that I was actually trying to be happy. It’s really nice to have a friend who is so invested in the happiness of her companions.

    We’re on our way to Yale now in Simon’s monstrous, old luxury car. I always feel like this car is going to eat me every time I crawl into it.

    Saturday, May 8, 2010, Evening

    We’ve just returned home after our research, and I have a lot of notes to sort through and summarize. We spent about five hours researching the DeCastros and Patrick Anderson in the Yale library, and then Alexia treated us all to dinner out at a nice restaurant.

    Just to keep my thoughts straight, I’ll try to summarize the important details of our research here. There’s so much to cover that I’ll probably miss something, but this diary is for my eyes only anyway.

    First, the DeCastros:

    - Adolphe DeCastro joined the military and became a mercenary. He seems to have found Alonia in the Mediterranean, and from what we gather she was given to him by some sort of mystic cult that he joined.

    - Adolphe was known to be violently possessive of people and things. He killed a man who was interested in Alonia on the doorstep of his home (the building now known as Sansbury Hall). Because of the terrible rumors that circulated about Adolphe and Alonia, most other people avoided them. In fact, their bodies were not discovered for some time after their death beause no one wanted to investigate the gunshots in their house. Evidence of their crimes was found in the house (but not all of it, since some remains in the hidden room in Sansbury Hall).

    - Adolphe had a set of heirloom pistols made of black metal and engraved with occult script, probably also given to him by the cult he joined. We believe these pistols are one of his anchors and that they were the weapons that killed him and Alonia. They fell into the possession of his brother’s family after his death.
    - Adolphe and Alonia died from gunshots. One shot the other and then committed suicide (Adolphe probably killed Alonia and then shot himself).

    - Adolphe and Alonia tortured, raped, and murdered many people, usually vagrants no one would miss from outside of town. there may have been an occult element to this, but their crimes were also motivated by their lust for sex, torture, and murder.

    - Alonia was allegedly given to Adolphe by some sort of cult. She sometimes referred to herself as a djinn and to Adolphe as her master. She was very subservient to him and did not gainsay him publicly. However, as time went on, she seemed to derive more and more pleasure from obeying the letter of Adolphe’s commands but not the spirit, which enraged him. It is possible that there was a mystical bond between them that forced her servitude and prevented him from killing her without repercussions. Perhaps in serving her master, Alonia could give him the punishment he deserved and he could enjoy beating her. The more I learn about their twsted relationship, the more disturbed I become. I hope we can deal with the two of them soon so that we will not have to dwell on their warped relationship. The twisted passions of many ghosts are excusable, if unfortunate, because they are born of the trauma of death. But the DeCastros were deeply disturbed even before they died.

    - Alonia often tried to make connections with young debutantes and frequently invited them to her home (though, wisely, few accepted). She shared a correspondence with a woman named Bernice Lundsford, and we were able to locate some of these letters. Bernice was having marital trobles and Alonia gave her sexual advice to help her please her husband. However, Alonia also encouraged Bernice to sleep with Adolphe; however, she warned her that even though the experience would be worth it, Bernice wouldn’t survive. Also, in letters to Bernice, Alonia claimed that Adolphe couldn’t kill Alonia because of their master/djinn relationship.

    - Alonia often wore a distinctive broach when she went out. We believe this is one of her anchors. Adolphe’s brother’s family acquired it after Adolphe and Alonia’s death, along with most of their other possessions, including Adolphe’s pistols (or so we believe). The only descendent of the family we could track down is Ildefonso DeCastro, a werewolf of the Blood Talons tribe (the pack that roams Sleeping Giant State Park).

    - Bernice killed herself by leaping from the roof of her house two years after Adolphe and Alonia died. She was clutching Alonia’s broach, which had been stolen from Adolphe’s brother’s family the day before. We believe that she might have been possessed or manipulated by Alonia’s ghost. The broach was buried with Bernice. Maybe Alonia wanted it safely hidden away? It is almost certainly one of Alonia’s anchors.

    We also researched Patrick Anderson, the person who dug up Bonnie-Lynn’s grave and later became a Senator who was shot by his wife because of his indiscretions with their black servants:

    - Anderson was connected to a man named Adolf Walstone, who is an ancestor of Clarissa Walstone (Alexia’s customer whom we recently discovered is developing psychokinetic powers).

    - Anderson and Walstone founded a pro-black, anti-racist newspaper named after an abolitionist newspaper. But the office was burned down and Walstone shot and killed. Anderson married Walstone’s sister (who was the woman who eventually shot him).

    - The newspaper was started about the same time Bonnie-Lynn was exhumed. To start it, Anderson and Walstone took out a loan from a man named Big Sean Gleeson of the Irish mob. The Bakers (Bonnie-Lynn’s family) were also running out of money and had loans from the Irish mob.

    - Big Sean Gleeson’s ghost still haunts the area where he died in New Haven. If his loans had anything to do with Bonnie-Lynn’s exhumation, we should see what we can learn from him.

    Over dinner, we put all the pieces together and decided that our next step would be to dig up Bonnie-Lynn and Bernice Lundsford’s graves. We need to find out what was buried in Bonnie-Lynn’s grave, and we needed to find out if Bernice’s grave still hid Alonia’s broach.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010, Afternoon

    We’ve rested for most of the day. Alexia invited Chandra to join us for breakfast, and I went to pick her up so that Alexia could prepare a wonderful meal for us. Chandra seemed to enjoy spending the day in the mansion with Alexia. I’m glad the two of them are happy together.

    I walked with Simon in the cemetery behind the house after breakfast while he did his weekly Sunday rounds to pay respects to his ancestors and the others buried there. He asked to be left alone when he visited his parents’ grave, so I respectfully wandered off on my own, and eventually decided to go visit Richard’s grave in the Evergreen Cemetery.

    It’s always so hard for me, going to see Richard’s grave. As I stand there looking at it and saying everything I wish I could say to him in person, my loneliness comes flooding in and I find myself wishing that he was still here. Rationally, I’ve accepted that he’s gone, and I’m trying to move on. But every time I visit his grave, it brings back all of the grief and attachment and makes me feel like haven’t gotten over his death at all. That’s why I don’t visit more often than I do.

    As usual, I left flowers and some poems I’ve written in Chinese. I know his spirit has passed on…and Richard couldn’t read Chinese anyway…but it’s still important for me to express my feelings, even if only I know what the poems say.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010, Late Night

    Simon, Natalie, Alexia, and I enacted our plan to investigate the graves of Bonnie-Lynn and Bernice Lundsford. We snuck into the cemetery easily enough and dug up Bernice’s grave first with the help of Natalie’s zombie (the corpse of the werewolf Doc killed in our fight against Xavier; she has named him Clyde).

    Bernice’s grave had not been disturbed before we dug it up, and her skeletal corpse rested in its coffin. However, its hands were tightly clutched around Alonia’s broach, which it jealously held to its chest. There was something threatening and sinister about the corpse.

    Natalie manifested the Oracle to divine what she could about the corpse, and learned that Bernice’s ghost is dormant, resting in her body and will be roused if the broach is disturbed, probably animating the corpse to protect her prize. Natalie also learned the details of Bernice’s anchors and numina. She seems like a very formidable ghost.

    It was never our intention to take the broach, only to confirm that it was in the grave. We didn’t want to have to deal with Alonia until we were ready, after all. And Bernice’s ghost’s presence made taking the broach even more risky. We’ll have to go back and retrieve it later, when we’re ready to deal with Alonia, hopefully with Doc and Gwen’s help.

    What we found in Bernice’s grave was more-or-less what we expected. On the other hand, what found in Bonnie-Lynn’s grave surprised us all.

    Upon digging up Bonnie-Lynn’s grave, we found that her casket (which we knew did not contain her corpse, which is sealed away in Nilan Hall) was so heavy that we couldn’t maneuver it out of the grave. Upon opening it, we discovered that it was filled with gold bars. According to Simon, the gold was marked with the seal of the local New England Trust bank.

    We were all shocked. The gold must have some connection to Patrick Anderson, the Bakers, and the mob, and it certainly explains why Bonnie-Lynn’s body was removed from the grave (though not why it was moved into the Bakers’ house).

    Unfortunately, my companions seemed taken by greed. Natalie and and Simon assumed we should keep the gold for ourselves. I was distressed by this, and argued otherwise. After all, the gold might rightfully belong to some family from which it was stolen or to the New England Trust bank, and should be returned to its rightful owner, if we can find a way to do so without incriminating ourselves for grave-robbing.

    We argued for some time over this. I wanted to leave it where we found it, but I ended up agreeing that we should move the gold in case someone stumbled across signs that the grave had been disturbed and decided to investigate. Still, the others never exactly agreed that we would return it to its proper owners, and I’m worried that they still intend to keep it. Gwen, at least, will agree with me on the matter. I’ll speak to her about it and see if she can’t help find out where the gold came from, even if it means tracking down Big Sean Gleeson or some other ghost, like Patrick Anderson, if his spirit still lingers.

    Tomorrow, I think we plan to investigate the sealed chamber in Nilan Hall. Perhaps we’ll find more answers there


    Adolphe and Alonia DeCastro
    Date of Death: 1897
    Cause of Death: Probably murder-suicide
    Haunt: Sansbury Hall, Albertus Magnus College
    Known Anchors:
    Adolphe: Heirloom Pistols that were probably used to kill himself and Alonia (possibly in the possession of his descendent, Ildefonso DeCastro, whom we suspect might be a werewolf of the Blood Talons pack); Sansbury Hall (he probably has a strong possessive/ dominant attitude toward the hall, which will need to be broken to sever his ties to the anchor).
    Alonia: Ornate broach/amulet (currently buried with the corpse of Bernice Lundsford); Adolphe’s corpse (due to her undying and possibly mystically enforced devotion to him).
    Known Numina: Possession. Alonia frequently transmogrifies those she possesses.

    Current Plan to deal with the DeCastros:
    We should attempt to separate the ghosts. First, we must find Adolphe’s body and destroy it, ridding Alonia of one of her anchors. Then we will coerce her into our ritual chamber using her other anchor, the broach, and I will bind her into the broach, (while the others protect me) to make it into a fetter. It won’t be easy, and I question the wisdom of creating a fetter that will most likely channel a transmogrification numina, but I also think Alonia and Adolphe’s ghosts deserve imprisonment for their sins.

    As for Adolphe, we will need to sever his connection to Sansbury Hall, probably by having Simon somehow establish the presence and dominion of the Fishborne family there. His lineage will have a big impact on Adolphe. That will be tricky since it’s a girls-only dorm, though. To help accomplish that, we may need to confine Adolphe’s ghost somewhere in the building, so I’ll be studying a new ceremony to trap ghosts, if I can find something on it in the mansion’s library. Once the pistols are his only remaining anchor, I will attempt to bind him into them to make another fetter.

    Bernice Lundsford
    Date of Death: 1899
    Cause of Death: Suicide, probably influenced by Alonia DeCastro’s ghost.
    Haunt: Grove Street Cemetery
    Anchors: Alonia DeCastro’s broach; her corpse
    Known Numina: Corpse Ride, Banshee Wail, Chain of Death

    - Beatrice Lundsford was a friend of Alonia DeCastro. Her death was almost certainly influenced by Alonia’s ghost.

    - She is buried in Grove Street Cemetery and still clutches Alonia’s broach, which was buried with her. We have a strong suspicion that Bernice’s ghost can possess her corpse to protect the broach if it is disturbed (which is probably why Alonia manipulated her to kill herself, if that’s indeed what happened).

    Big Sean Gleeson
    Date of Death: 1898
    Cause of Death: Gun shot
    Haunt: Site of building where he was killed.
    Anchors: Unknown
    Known Numina: Unknown

    - Big Sean Gleeson was an Irish mobster who lent money to Patrick Anderson and Bonnie-Lynn Baker’s family. He was a big name in the mob when the Irish mob was still dominant in New Haven.

    - Gleeson was murdered (shot in the back) while he was in bed with a lover.

    - Local legends say that Gleeson’s ghost has a thing for redheads and that a red-headed girl can get him to do things for her if she promises to marry him when she grows up. If she does come back to the area when she’s grown up, though, legends say Gleeson’s ghost will steal her away to be his bride in death.

    -Gleeson’s ghost might be able to help us figure out why Bonnie-Lynn’s casket was full of gold. Were the Baker’s, Patrick Anderson, or Adolf Walstone trying to hide money from the mob? Or was the money hidden there by the mob, or on their behalf?

    Natalie’s Tweets

    Saturday, May 8th

    -Goddess, I am not getting too old for this, am I? I can’t be tired yet.

    -I’ll blame Rocky Horror.

    -I’m fat.

    -goddamn fucking fat

    -I htde beng gfat

    -no wondef gwen wont lookma me

    -Good Morning! Well, Afternoon. Your Mistress is awake.

    -Vlog is up! Sorry about the long vacation.

    -Also, sorry about the lighting and other weirdness I am…not at home.

    -I wonder how the others are getting along?

    -Karen is absolutely babying me. It’s awesome.

    -I am not going to throw this up. I won’t


    -I’m weak.

    -and fat.

    Sunday, May 9th

    -I have to go home today. Hell, I have to put on cloths.

    -Not that I wasn’t dressed now and again mind. Builds mood. ^_^

    -Home again, home again Jiggity-Jigg.

    -Jasmine is enchanting. Also, moody. Tavia looks like she is in shock. As usual. Where the fuck is Gwen?

    -Ooh, back to the graveyard tonight.

    -Last time Your Mistress was in a Graveyard she was being buried alive by a certain Owlish housemate.

    -It did not suck like you might think.

    -Vlog is up. Your Mistress has hijinx to attend to.

    -OK powering up the old Zombie. I have dubbed him Clyde.

    -Don’t tell him I said it, but I also think Simon’s car may be a zombie.

    -Pulling in at Undisclosed Location.

    -Damn graveyard security forcing Your Mistress to unleash her supernatural power.

    -What’s up with that anyway?

    -Cuz this is thriiiiiiiiiller…

    -Clyde can dig it.

    -Great. Dead body clutching an amulet to her face. Means nothing.

    -Dead body has a sleeping ghost in it. Said amulet is an Anchor. Best not touch it, shall we?

    -It’s a damn good thing I have mighty powers of Necromantic Lore. Goddess where would these folks be without me. ^_^

    -OK one terror averted, grave filled in, next?

    -A grave where we know the body is not in it, but is in a cut off room. What?

    -Oh this should be good…

    -Gold. Seriously. Bars and bars of Gold, what the hell?

    -This just in: Jasmine thinks we should not keep the gold. What the hell? It was buried like 100 years ago…or 115 years ago…

    -This was buried here it is ours. Finders Keepers Losers Weepers.

    -Jasmine may be backing down. I almost think she is going to sneak back and rebury it later.

    -OK, gold absconded with, Clyde is filling in the grave. Your Mistress has used her unholy might to see that it is done.

    -Also, her sexy might.

    -Back home, everyone heading off to rest…it was a tiring night.

    Monday, May 10th

    -I am so lonely.

    End Session X

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    • #17
      We will have new Journals in about a week. In the meantime, here is a handout I sent out about some of the places and NPCs in the local area. The idea was to generate interest in places and people for the NPC handouts I would be giving out a couple weeks later. Now in terms of reality, a few were cherrypicked and transplanted from other places from Rhode Island to Texas. At least one place really was in New Haven but was torn down almost 50 years ago. I got some feedback on places people would likely be already visiting and planning to visit later...thus the places they went during Walpurgis in Session #2 were based on this list. Yes, The Patch and The Playhouse came from

      It looks better with the 200proofmoonshine headers, but eh they did not come across. Anyway.

      Here we go

      Local Background

      The Krewes of New Haven

      There is at least one other Krewe, which spends a fair amount of time in and around Yale campus. This Krewe, the Skull and Bones Society, considers Yale its “turf” but is not so possessive of other areas of town. They also generally stay out of your way, not so much backing down as not wanting to start a turf war. They say there is a third Krewe in West Haven, The Orphan Grinders, but have little info. Moiré, the leader has some sort of history with Natalie that precluded her joining the SABS (not that kind of history) in ‘08 but is not enough to cause outright hostility. The SABS has had at least one major clash with the Crypt Ticks, a group of Vampires.

      The SABS are also relatively recent, and like the Middle Shadows don’t represent a continuous Krewe line. They seem to be interested in the gathering of physical human remains, and have access to the mortal Skull and Bones Society’s “tomb.”

      New Haven has not had active Krewes in awhile. However, there were at least one if not two over 50 years ago. While their final fates are unknown, the Twilight Network markings they have left in and around town have proven interesting to Natalie at least, possibly more. Some are clearly traditional sorts of markings for the Network, especially ones in or around cemeteries, but the meanings of others are a mystery. No records belonging to the Krewe have been found, and their marks and such have not appeared on post WWII buildings. For the record, the SABS don’t really know any more about them than you do.

      The Walking Dead

      As a rule, Vampires, from what Natalie and Simon know, have a definite society, more strict and detailed than the Bound, more like a mortal government. Evidence of such has been lacking in New Haven, though whether this is because they keep themselves hidden from cursory examination (which they hypothetically should be doing) or whether New Haven boasts no such shadow government (unlikely) is unknown. The known Vampires roaming the area are the Crypt Ticks, who are a gang of sorts that have staked out territory in East Haven, though what they are actually doing there is certainly an open question…they are not overtly controlling anything more than a typical Sin-Eater Krewe does. They do belong to a sociopolitical group called the Carthians according to conversations with Doc however. Their leader, Truman, and his lieutenant Neon are the main ones Doc has met.

      There are other weirdness that may be sort of Vampire or may be something else. An Indian girl named Chandra runs a wicker furniture shop not far from Alexia’s bakery; her apparent cause of death is disease, yet she seems alive to anything short of a sin-eaters senses. Similarly a self-described “scholar” has been investigating Fort Nathan Hale’s lights who to Sin-Eaters senses bears marks not only of drowning but being nibbled by fish. He is also missing most of his organs…that apparently occurred after his death. Another far less scholarly (and less antisocial, if continually befuddled) drowning victim who is similarly bereft of organs moves among the cities homeless. Of course, the Undead are not so simple. The skeletal pirate Pup Pid is said to dwell in the sewers, and while none have seen her, plenty have heard the mysterious “Banshee” screams downtown in the wee hours. There is no shortage of strangeness in New Haven, Vampires or no.

      Stranger Things

      Of course, possibilities exist for Werewolves (or Were-other things), Changelings, and even stranger things in town, outside the Krewe’s gaze. There are a number of mysterious canine creatures in town, and other critters, such as the Yao Gui or the so-called King of Cats the children speak of in poorer parts of town (and carry a nail in their pocket to write their initials on holy ground if chased) could represent Werewolves or other creatures. Also, somewhere outside sight the Changelings are hiding…and so possibly are the things they are hiding from.

      Locations in New Haven

      Places of Learning

      Albertus Magnus College
      is a relatively recent (for New England) addition, but it is definitely built on the bones of the old. A fairly haunted locale, it has been scoped out as a good place for a young Krewe to try to explore…gotta start somewhere, right? The only problem really is the likelihood that ghosts you run into may have been there for a long time. Given their “claim” of Yale, the SABS are quite happy to give you the run of AMC. Jasmine working there has you reasonably good access to much of the campus. Natalie can easily find a reason to be there as well.

      New Haven Free Public Library is a relatively new addition to the city, large and clean, it still has something of a homeless problem. While useful for some preliminary research, more serious scholars with access are usually more inclined to investigate the libraries at Yale.

      Yale University
      is the jewel of the Skull and Bones Society. That said, they are generally not averse to allowing the Middle Shadows to travel around; they have no desire to create a real turf war. As such, the University is no more off limits than it is to most residents of New Haven…that is to say, those who do not seem to belong are noticed and disapproved of. Yale is, after all, a place for the elite; at least in the minds of those present…rarely do even the residents of the city really “belong” there, outside professors.

      Parks and Historic Locations

      New Haven Green is located in the center of New Haven. Once a Cemetery, the headstones were moved to other local cemeteries, though many bodies were not…a good number are placed en masse in a crypt on Central Church-on-the-Green. While it is a public park and site of many local celebrations and parades, Sin-Eaters feel an eerie stillness and sense of unease while there.

      Fort Nathan Hale
      is a fort that saw action in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. Fort Nathan Hale II was built nearby it for the Civil War but saw no fighting. Of note, however, are the underground bunkers constructed for the second fort, which run pretty deep underground. Officially off limits, persistent sightings of ghost lights come from there. Preliminary examination does reveal lights that exist in Twilight and sometimes glow into the world, but communication has not, thus far, been established. Indeed, despite the designation as a fort, the tunnels around and in which the lights are seen never saw battle. What precisely “the Scholar” wants there is not known. It should be noted there are some symbols drawn here, but they do not resemble any known Twilight Network symbols, and are newer than any of the old Krewe symbols.

      Lighthouse Park is south of Fort Nathan Hale Park and Southeast of Long Wharf. It boasts the first sighting of one of the more bizarre legends in the area, Pup Pid. Pup Pid, described as a charred skeleton dressed as a pirate carrying a cutlass and accompanied by two large rats, was first seen here near the turn of the century, and has appeared at irregular intervals over the past 120 years. While many stories exist of the pirate Pup Pid who was burned to death and swore to return and find his treasure, absolutely none of them have withstood even passing scrutiny, and where the creature comes from, and if Pup Pid is even its name, is unknown. It has (reportedly) chased people who saw it, but even its existence is unconfirmed, as are reports of it hiding in sewers in the past 30 years. Lighthouse Park also brags a confirmed haunted lighthouse, with a ghostly feuding keeper and daughter, and an antique carousel that has a sinister air despite being bright and well kept. A number of (successfully translated) symbols have been found here, none mentioning the carousel.

      Sleeping Giant State Park is home to beautiful natural scenery and possibly monsters. A large, bear like creature referred to by the (Chinese) resident who saw it as a Yao Guai has become a subject of “monster hunts” recently. Some reports are that there may be more than one Yao Guai in the park. Reports of them describe them as “large, demonic bears” and while two deaths (from the same incident) are blamed by some on the Yao Guai, no proof has been offered, of their role in the killings or existence. The Sleeping Giant is home to some symbols drawn by earlier Krewe(s) the Middle Shadows have not interpreted, though these, obviously, predate any sightings of Yao Guai by some measure.

      Long Wharf boasts a similar creature or creatures, a huge demonic hound called the Black Shuck. Compared to the Yao Guai, the creature has a much more impressive history, going back over 200 years. It appears as a huge, red-eyed hound according to reports. Of more immediate interest to Sin-Eaters, Long Wharf Drive has been a site of drag races, and drag race deaths, for some time. Entire phantom cars, some of them dangerous, have been reported. Similarly, while only about 7 years old and not the site of any major tragedy, the Church Street Bridge that connects Long Wharf Drive to downtown has had a large number of reports of phenomena. Like Sleeping Giant, Long Wharf has some markings the Middle Shadows cannot read, which Natalie assumes refers to the Shuck.


      Murder Ballads is a new hardcore club that caters to the metal set. Cages hang in places inside, and there are plenty of places for simulated BDSM. It is mostly a music club first, but the back rooms are for rent. Murder Ballads was built on the site an apartment complex where Rory James killed 7 prostitutes, and has a darkly faux-papal feel owing to the sheer amount of Catholics in New Haven. Of significance to the Krewe is the first fateful meeting of Natalie and Doc at the grand opening. Of note, Murder Ballads may have its own Black Shuck, if reports of an enormous black hound chasing people are true. However, if so, the Black Shuck is out of its territory…and was not seen in the area before the construction of Murder Ballads.

      Alchemy Nightclub
      is a combination cafe nightclub that could probably be said to be more on the preppy side. Clearly with a significant appreciation for neon, it is known as much for the café’s huge teardrop shaped bar as anything.

      Gotham Citi is a former gay nightclub which eventually expanded to the interests of all sexualities, though there are often a larger than usual number of gay clientele on any given nights. It’s now a huge four story complex, however, and major local nightspot, though attendance is slightly off since Murder Ballads opened.

      Bar is an established locale near the Yale campus. It has a pool table room, a restaurant room, and a dance room. Some musicians (usually acoustic) occasionally play in the restaurant room, which is also home to the brick oven pizzas and the microbrewery.

      Toad’s Place is well known as a site for musical groups who come through town. The place as a definite history of musicians coming through, and Natalie’s face is well known there, as she has MC’d, or at least spoken at, the concerts of more than a few bands here.

      For those seeking more…rarified entertainment, Stage Door Johnny’s and Back Stage Johnny’s are sister strip clubs that tend to cater to the Yale crowd, the latter being smaller and not serving alcohol. The Catwalk Club is better known to the locals, if found in a seedier part of town.

      For those not interested in dancing, theirs or anyone else’s Atticus Bookstore and Café is a local landmark of bookstore coffee shop. Usually full of college students, it nonetheless is well used by locals also. The coffee shop is smaller than the bookstore, but it now has it’s own line of baked goods. The shop is over 30 years old and a local landmark.

      Lulu’s European Coffeehouse
      is also a local favorite, without the added bookstore. Set up in a sort of European styles, it has more locals than Yale students, but is popular with students of the some of the other local universities.

      Places of Faith and Death

      St. Francis Orphan Asylum
      has not been used as such for some time, but is occasionally a site for tours…by appointment only. Almost certainly a haunt, much of this area is boarded off at the moment, and even the areas not are only opened on special occasions. It goes without saying faces appear from time to time in the windows at night.

      The Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green is a Gothic revival cathedral like building on the New Haven Green. Tall and imposing, it remains very much in use today. The Church is noted for it’s…significant underground areas as well as towering appearance, and is rumored to extend under the Green.

      The Central Church-on-the-Green is a Church of Christ church location not far from the Trinity Episcopal. Of interest to many Sin-Eaters is the crypt, a large underground part containing the (mostly unidentified) remains of over 1000 people once buried in what is now the Green. Needless to say, Twilight there is a very dangerous place, and according to the SABS some form of Necromancer has been active there and possibly set traps for those who would impede upon his or her territory.

      The Evergreen Cemetery
      contains New Haven’s most famous landmark, the tombstone of Midnight Mary. The Tombstone bears the story “AT HIGH NOON / JUST FROM, AND ABOUT TO RENEW / HER DAILY WORK, IN HER FULL STRENGTH OF / BODY AND MIND / MARY E. HART / HAVING FALLEN PROSTRATE: / REMAINED UNCONSCIOUS, UNTIL SHE DIED AT MIDNIGHT, / OCTOBER 15, 1872 / BORN DECEMBER 16, 1824.” However, curved around the top is “THE PEOPLE SHALL BE TROUBLED AT MIDNIGHT AND PASS AWAY.” Despite having a very…attention grabbing tombstone and unusual legend, nothing concrete is known about Mary E. Hart. There are of course, stories, but nothing solid.

      The Grove Street Cemetery
      is the oldest in New Haven. Founded in 1797, the Cemetery is known for it’s large, Egyptian-style gate and the phrase “THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED” written across it. It is perhaps a wry but telling commentary that the answer to the inscription on the gate has been attributed to many men over the years “They will be as soon as Yale needs the land.” While marks from earlier Krewes were clearly left here, they have been largely erased; certainly, nothing now legible is there.

      East Lawn Cemetery in East Haven is notable primarily for being a meeting place for the Crypt Ticks. Whether they make their havens here or not is unknown…but unlikely.

      Other Locations

      The House on Spooner Avenue
      as it is called has been a place associated with death since its dark founding. Most owners have committed suicide, and other reports of disappearances and deaths are associated with it. Rumor has it the FBI presently has an interest, and Natalie has interpreted the signs from the old Krewe there all right “Haunted. Dangerous. Possible Yellowbones.”

      World of Wicker is located in the same area as Alexia’s bakery. The proprietor, Chandra, is a petite Indian woman who is very talkative and curious. She is also dead, which can be a problem. Somewhat obsessed with Wicker, the shop never closes…but strangely, does not seem to have security problems either. Most employees are Indian, and none have Chandra’s grasp on English (which is still not the best).

      The Patch is an area on the far side of town, behind an old brick factory. 35 acres of scrub oak, the patch is rarely traveled, though the local police, like Gwen, have been there. No one has ever seen anything usual or suspicious there, of course, nothing but the Playhouse. But ones direction sense fails them there, and Officers checking the place for runaways or missing suspects (who always seem to avoid the place, never once has one been found there) find they often get lost…and have a very bad case of nerves. They always seem to carry more armament than the situation would call for the second time.

      In the middle of the Patch is The Playhouse, as the police call it. A very sturdy tin shack, the inside is a small cramped maze with walls made from crates and telephone poles, and there is no front door, just a hole, looking like a kids fort, hence the name. But it is very well built; no kids could have constructed it. It smells…off…inside, and no animals live there or ever seem to have lived there (though wasps have no such aversion). Flashlights sometimes fail and it is…unnerving at best. While not discussed, no officer wants to have to check the Patch or Playhouse, and most any refuses to at night.

      Dark Haven Bluffs
      has become the headquarters of the Middle Shadows. It is a sprawling estate, moved brick by brick from the British Isles. With the possible exception of Simon, no one has yet walked the entire expanse of the house, much less the estate. Behind the house are old cemeteries, which hold many ancient Fishborne. On one old grave is a mark left there by your predecessor Krewe, though truthfully none of you have any idea what it means.

      Final Notes

      Old Media

      The New Haven Register
      is the local rag, an old newspaper with plenty of history. The alternative paper is the New Haven Advocate. Online, the New Haven Independent is an online general interest newspaper. Business New Haven and Business Times are local business papers. The Yale Daily News and Yale Herald are published for Yale. La Voz Hispania de Connecticut is the local Spanish language paper.

      East Haven has the East Haven Advertiser and East Haven Courier. West Haven has the West Haven Voice and West Haven News. All four are general interest newspapers.

      WELI is the local Am News Station, WAVZ is the local AM Sports station.

      WNTH is an ABC affiliate broadcasting out of New Haven, channel 8.


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      • #18
        The whole Krewe was here this time, and hopefully it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. Jasmine and Doc's journals therefore have returned to the usual pattern. Nothing much else really to report, though if you have any questions or comments as per feel free to speak up.

        Session XI

        Doc's Log

        Doc's Log: 1125 Hours, Monday, May 10, 2010

        Wow, I actually managed to meditate AND open the shop on time. It's like a new concept these days. I did wake up a little early today so I had enough time to work on it. That and the new meditation CD seems to have helped too. That's the kind of beginning I need more of. Makes me feel more settled. Focused, maybe.

        Planning to head back over to the House tonight. Will be good to get back in sync with everyone in the Krewe. Definitely feels like something missing when we aren't working as a team.

        Doc's Log: 1915 Hours, Monday, May 10, 2010

        WOOHOO! We're going to go bust Bonnie Lynn out tonight. Ronin was gone this weekend too, which is cool, but she mentioned in passing that it seemed like the best time to go run naked in the woods. I'm so glad Nightshade wasn't around to hear that.

        Doc's Log: 0435 Hours, Tuesday, May 11, 2010

        Talk about a roller coaster. Tonight was great and embarrassing and disturbing all at once. And that's just what I did.

        * And I need to remember for a smart guy, I'm really fucking stupid sometimes. *

        Let's try this again, this time maybe with a little order to it.

        Nightshade got back from dinner a little later than normal, but she looked happy so that's a plus. We again had her perform the ritual to gain the Blessing of the Horsemen. I'm pretty sure she made that ritual up, but it's become something that we take as seriously as we take any other ceremony. I'm not sure if it works or not, but I feel better when she does it now. Anyway we headed over to commit B&E (as Nightshade so dearly loves to refer to it) at Nilan Hall so we could cut our way into Bonnie Lynn's sealed room. Thankfully we took Snowflake's Edison and Ronin brought her Jeep too. We have a pine box to move, after all.

        We knew we'd need to move her all anchors out of her room before we could help Bonnie Lynn find peace. I think Ronin is about ready to send Bonnie packing in a different way, but she's still at least willing to consider the compassionate approach...for now. Honestly I just think Bonnie Lynn got on Ronin's bad side right off the bat since the ghost was more than a little threatening to several of us in the beginning. Ronin is good at alot of things, but ironically I'm not sure that forgetting is one of them.

        Anyway, we got there a little after 2200 Hours so we should have been some of the only folks around. Before we could employ our various larcenous skills, we noticed some whistling coming from around the corner of the dorm. That was weird in and of itself, so Rose vanished and headed out to take a look. We didn't need to have some summer school student stumbling on the group of people dressed mostly in black, carrying power tools and sledgehammers. She was only gone for a minute before both she and this big dude with red head and beady eyes walked around the corner, talking like everything happening was normal. This was "the Fairy" Snowflake was worried about. I didn't think calling him that was going to be a great idea until I was introduced and heard his name again. Richard Mongler. Seriously? He's some supernatural badass and he calls himself Dick Mongler? Freak. But he is the one that gave Rose the ability to see through Fairy Magic so he's not a bad guy. Just weird. He also happens to be the Dean of Students so he had a master key to the dorms. That was handy. Given the last few times we dealt with this particular ghost, I put up my Stigmata Shroud before going in since I was not in the mood for Bonnie Lynn to go all The Grudge on us.

        When we went upstairs (of course Bonnie Lynn's room is on the 3rd floor, have you ever helped move a woman that didn't live on the 3rd floor?), we found Bonnie looking at us very suspiciously. I mean we were carrying tools of destruction and showing up at that time of night was unusual. Rose started off by trying to talk to her about us helping her find a man. That seems to be the only real way she can conceive of being happy. This is where the next part of Ronin's issue comes from. I think she's too much of an independent feminist (the good kind) to allow such thoughts. Men (or women, whichever floats your boat) are great but they don't define you or define how life works out for you. That's Ronin's thing. I mean given that she doesn't remember over half her life anymore, she's living that whole dogma everyday. And then there's that whole threatening the rest of the Krewe before. So back to Bonnie Lynn...Bonnie was always pretty damn mean when all the girls were in school, but now that it was just us, Mongler, all her worldly possessions, and her, she was like a scared little girl. Which really made sense, but that wasn't helping us get Bonnie Lynn to trust us. Unfortunately neither was Rose's efforts to calm her down. Nightshade and Snowflake started talking about finding her a date and I suggested that getting her out of this nunnery would be a good step too. That got her attention and we kept going in that vein. But since Rose wasn't busy anymore she went on into Bonnie's room. The ghost noticed of course, since someone that just flows through a wall is hard to miss, but it wasn't until Rose apparently touched something that Bonnie stopped talking to Cupcake and jumped back into the room. I looked at Snowflake and we immediately ran to the closet we needed to open up. We started with me using the powersaw and Snowflake using the sledgehammer. I realized after a point that this was ridiculous so we switched. It's amazing how much faster you can work when you play to your strengths. We basically beat a walkway into the room just as Rose was closing Bonnie Lynn's coffin lid. Bonnie really looked upset like she was going to cry. Because I could physically touch her, I tried very gently to comfort Bonnie and we started talking about hosting something like a sweet sixteen ball for her and Nightshade worked out an idea to have a contest at Murder Ballards to win a date with a ghost. This really seemed to cheer her up and appeal to the twisted version of reason she still had. Nightshade seemed amused, Snowflake looked intrigued, Cupcake beamed like always, and Ronin could care less. Rose surprisingly looked very excited and happy. Like a 4 year old that gets to have a tea party or a 16 year old that finds out about the car they're getting. It was like light shining off of her all of a sudden.

        And then we figured out that the bed would have to be taken apart. I couldn't help with the disassembly but I helped move it. Richard carried the coffin though, that was helpful. Two trips later and we were putting Bonnie Lynn's bed together in her very own room at Dark Haven Bluffs.

        We were almost done when my phone rang. Definitely weird for this time of night with everyone in the Krewe here. I answered and got a very brutish sounding woman on the other end asking for help. I tried to get her to calm down a little bit so I could figure out what was going on. When she said she was changing, I knew who it had to be. Immediately I stopped trying to make sense and asked where she was. I told her to try to stay safe and we'd be right there. Hanging up, I got everyone together in Ronin's Jeep and we took off. When we got to the alley she told me, I got out and started looking around.

        Eventually I saw a huge wolf jumping across to another rooftop and called up to her. The wolf came down and was friendly (thankfully as that was not my usually reaction to seeing a monster ass wolf jumping from building to building at 0100 Hours). Then she shifted into the cavewoman form of the girl I met with the bite mark on her arm. I could see she was terrified and I understood that part. She told me her name was Tonya and that some kind of scarecrow thing was after her. I didn’t know what that was, but I knew it was time to go. I got her in the Jeep and that’s when things went to shit.

        Somewhere in the back of my head, the whole “group one-night-stand” deal with Deirdre mixed with Ildefonso being a blood relative of the DeCastros in Sansbury Hall, AND biting Tonya without giving her any clue what was happening…it just went into this horrible spiral of evil. Like all the intelligent rational thoughts I’d had on all those issues just got sucked into the whirlpool of anger and confusion. And to make it worse I didn’t really even know about it until that very moment. The very moment I needed to think clearly, I went off the deep end.

        I told Gwen to take us back to the House so we could protect the girl that shifted into a massive wolf in my lap. We started driving and man the left turns were rough. Cupcake apparently knew Dierdre and decided that she should call her to get help. I tried to avoid including them by suggesting we call Malard instead, since we know him as a werewolf and someone safe in this situation. The point was made, I think by Snowflake, that we didn’t want to play werewolf politics, something about territories. I started making very little sense and was getting angry, Cupcuke had no idea what my problem was and was none too pleased with me. Ronin basically just told everyone to shut up and wheeled around in a u-turn, which is not fun with a nervous 90 lbs wolf standing at least partly in your lap.

        And that was about the time something landed on the roof. With Tonya either beside me or in my lap I couldn’t do anything, so Rose turned on her personal air conditioning and looked out the window. We all felt something shift and she jerked while hanging out the window before yelling in that the scarecrow had found us. Ronin started driving like a movie stuntwoman and Rose used the momentum to throw the scarecrow off the roof and into the street. He rolled a good 15 feet after he bounced the first time. Rose got a better look than the rest of us and told us he had needles for fingers. By this point, I knew we needed some help and resigned myself to the idea that Cupcake was going to call Deirdre whether I liked it or not. We drove on until we got to Ronin’s new office. It was still unfurnished but for what we needed it for, that was more than perfect. And it was in neutral territory for the werewolves. Rational thought was trying to fight its way back in my head by that point so somewhere I realized this was a good idea.

        Once we went inside, I stayed near Tonya to help keep her calm while we waited for the werewolf pack to arrive. I used the time to work through the issues in my head and find what was causing the breakdown. The pack didn’t bring people back to their place for any terrible, evil plot…they were just looking to hook up, like normal people do on a weekend. That Ildefonso was a DeCastro meant no more than Ronin having been a cop or Cupcake a chef. I didn’t realize until the others told me that the bite was a way for them to track someone that was about to go through their First Change. I didn’t know all the physics of it, but the Primal parts inside me felt like this made sense. By the time they actually got there, I was still very protective of Tonya but I wasn’t angry anymore and Deirdre seemed kinda happy to see me, which I wasn’t expecting at all.

        Gwen was outside looking at the scratches in her paint when they drove up. Cupcake went out to greet them and they talked outside for a bit. I stood at the door watching the skyline in case of scarecrow ambush. Ildefonso came inside and made nice with Tonya. Once I was sure she was okay with him being there, I went outside to talk with Deidre while Snowflake asked about the DeCastro pistols. I needed to apologize, even though they didn’t know what crazy shit was going through my head. Speaking of crazy, the really hot but psycho looking chick apparently meets all those descriptions. Her name is Eris, Deidre pointed out that it was given not something she chose for herself. This was apparently a joke. I didn’t get it but figured I’d been enough of a fuckup for one night, so I let it go. The Yeti’s name was Barrett and they told me before that their boss was called Stefan. That made sense given how different his name is from most folks around here. When I apologized, Deidre smiled and kissed me on the cheek. She said it was okay and the others seemed cool with everything too. They also told us that they were the Yao Guai Pack, being that they kinda caused the sightings of the Yao Guai so they kept the name.

        Ildefonso agreed to check his parents’ house for any of Adolphe’s stuff, especially the pistols and get back to us. Tonya went back to Sleeping Giant with them and we headed back to Dark Haven Bluffs. Now I’m gonna head back to the shop and fucking crash. Getting up to open the shop might very well suck today.

        Jasmine's Diary

        Monday, May 10, 2010, Noon

        I took Simon to the Albertus Magnus athletic facility to begin his swimming lessons. I still can’t believe he never learned to swim! He did okay for his first day. We’ll work on it more on Wednesday.

        Afterward, Jean showed up promptly for a couple of hours of training. He is very, very talented, and easily has the potential to be a successful professional swimmer. I hope to help prepare for that. His form is already very good, but he needs to work on balancing his strength with grace. Right now, he relies more on strength, and loses efficiency in his strokes because of that. If he can bring the two into balance, he’ll be able to cut seconds off of his lap times.

        I enjoy working with Jean. His talent, drive, and willingness to listen to instruction makes him a very good student. I’m anxious about his interest in me, though. He has been a perfect gentleman and has done nothing to force me into an awkward spot, but I know he still has a crush on me. I think I would be mortified if he asked me out, but I’m not sure why. I suppose I would feel like I’m cheating on Richard, even though rationally I know that’s not the case. I’m so worried about betraying Richard’s memory that I don’t even know how I feel about Jean.

        Tuesday, May 11, 2010, Very, very early

        I’m very satisfied tonight. I’ve been worried about what to do with Bonnie-Lynn’s ghost since last week, but I had no idea how we were going to get her to agree to let us help her. Not since she’s been so suspicious of me. I’ve been very frustrated by my inability to talk with people effectively. I feel like every time I open my mouth, I just make a muddle of things.

        Fortunately, my krewe-mates are much better at dealing with people than I am. Simon, Doc and Natalie were able to convince Bonnie-Lynn that we can help her, but only if we move her to another location by moving her anchors. We’ve now moved her coffin, wedding dress, deathbed and diary into a room in Darkhaven Bluffs, where she can rest comfortably here with us until we can resolve her. In the mean time, I hope to befriend her.

        We ran into my friend Richard Mongler on our way to invesitgate Bonnie-Lynn’s sealed room, which was a stroke of luck. He was willing to assist us by getting us into the building legally and helping us move some of Bonnie-Lynn’s anchors out. Richard is suprisingly strong.

        Bonnie-Lynn was curious about what we were up to, and when Doc, Simon, and I began trying to explain it in a way that wouldn’t sound threatening, she became more and more wary. But she was different than before. She seemed a bit more vulnerable and anxious. I’ve always felt a great deal of pity for Bonnie-Lynn, but before tonight it was mitigated by her territorial antipathy. Tonight, though, she just seemed like a lonely, lost girl, and I couldn’t help but feel an incredible amount of sympathy for her. I think that she must become more threatening when she’s manipulating a girl directly. But since the students have left campus, she no longer has any “territory” to protect…and so she’s more anxious than territorial.

        I tried to help put her at ease, but realized that I wasn’t helping, so I shut up and left the convincing to Natalie, Doc, Alexia, and Simon. Gwen still dislikes Bonnie-Lynn, and I also got the feeling that she considered the whole issue somewhat foolish. But then again, Gwen is very pragmatic.

        Natalie, Doc, and Alexia suggested that we needed to get Bonnie-Lynn out of the dorm so that she could meet more people. She can’t find a groom if she’s stuck in a dorm full of women all the time, especially when the dorm’s empty. Bonnie-Lynn was still rather hesitant until Simon suggested that we might put together a sort of debutante ball to find Bonnie-Lynn a “goth groom,” living or dead, who would be interested in a date with a ghost. Natalie seemed to think she could easily drum up interest for an event like that. I was very enthusiastic about the idea. If we can really, truly help make Bonnie-Lynn’s dreams come true without resorting to the manipulative tricks she’s been relying on for decades, then we can help her pass on peacefully and happily.

        Since things were going so well, I wanted to go ahead and check out the room and her anchors, so I donned the Shroud of Stillness and stepped through the wall into the sealed room. I found it exactly as Simon described, and began investigating Bonnie’s anchors: her deathbed, her wedding dress, and her coffin. When I found her locked diary on a bookcase, however, she sensed what I was doing and faded into the room with me.

        She implored me not to read her diary, especially once I located the key hidden beneath the felt lining of drawer. I didn’t want to upset her, so I didn’t intrude on her privacy. Instead, I opened her coffin to make sure it still held her corpse. She was very upset at the dry, withered state of her body. I assured her that we would do what we could to clean it up and make it look presentable, which seemed to comfort her a little. But all in all, she seemed a very sad, pitiful ghost, quite different from the previous times I’d met her, and I resolved with the Drowned Bride to do whatever we could to make her happy. I made sure to shut Bonnie’s coffin before the others smashed their way into the room through the thin wall of an adjoining closet. She was grateful that I saved her the indignity of having others seeing her corpse in its current state.

        Once we promised that she would soon be able to meet available young bachelors if she let us help her, she agreed to let us move her anchors to Darkhaven Bluffs. After we had furnished the room with her other anchors, I put Bonnie-Lynn’s diary safely on a bookshelf and then, when no one else was in the room, I gently folded the diary’s key in her corpse’s near-skeletal hands so that Bonnie would know it was safe.

        I’m looking forward to Natalie and Simon’s “win a date with a ghost” event. It seems so unlikely, but it’s also very romantic, and I sincerely hope we can find someone for Bonnie-Lynn so that she can experience happiness before she passes on.

        And this experience has helped me begin to understand something else. Since I’m not very good at talking to people, perhaps I should focus on finding ways to convince or help then through my deeds. After all, Bonnie-Lynn seemed to appreciate the way I respected her corpse and her diary, and I felt like those simple gestures did a lot more to help smooth over the antagonism of our previous meetings than anything I could ever say.

        Tuesday, May 11, 2010, Nearing dawn

        Shortly after we finished getting Bonnie-Lynn settled in, Doc got a call from Tanya, a girl he met who had been bitten by Ildefonso DeCastro. She was apparently beginning to change into a werewolf for the first time. She was frightened and probably called Doc because he was doctor who had show a very chivalrous concern for her when he’d met her before.

        Gwen drove us out to find the girl downtown in her SUV. When we arrived, she had taken the shape of a wolf, but once we chased her down and Doc was able to calm her, she managed to change partly back into her human shape. She said she was being pursued by something that looked like a scarecrow, which turned out to be a malicious spirit trying to kill her while she was vulnerable.

        Doc pulled her into the car with us and Gwen hit the gas, but no one seemed to know where we should go. That’s when thngs broke down into an argument. Alexia and I felt we should remain in the area, because according to what Mr. Malard told us, Ildefonso had marked the girl so that they could keep an eye on her and come help her out when she changed the first time. But Doc feared that Ildefonso’s pack had been using her as breeding stock or something. Doc seemed to know more about Ildefonso’s group than I thought he did. He wanted to keep her out of Ildefonso’s hands by taking her back to Darkhaven Bluffs, but Alexia argued that taking the girl home would mean taking her into Mr. Malard’s territory, and we didn’t want to cause an incident between the local werewolf packs. The argument spiraled out of control before I really knew what was happening, especially when Simon tried to give his opinion and Natalie started question what Doc was talking about.

        I lost track of what everyone was saying because of my limited fluency in English…so I was relieved when Gwen took charge. She took us to her unfurnished private investigator’s office, which wasn’t far from where we’d picked up the girl.

        On the way, something landed on the top of the SUV. I quickly unlocked my Shroud with the Cold-Wind key, rolled down my back seat window, and hoisted myself halfway out of the car so that I was sitting in the window and could see what was on the roof.

        The scarecrow thing Tanya had seen was crouched on the SUV and took a swipe at me with its needle-like claws. Its claws became entangled in the frigid veils of my Shroud and didn’t harm me. I shouted to the others that the spirit was hostile, and Gwen immediately began swerving sharply to try and shake it off. It was all I could do to hold on, but the scarecrow didn’t budge, so when it struck at me again, I grabbed its arm and allowed the biting cold winds of my shroud to tear through its flesh as I used its own momentum and the force of SUV’s swerve to throw it from the car. We left it tumbling to a stop on the pavement behind us.

        Alexia and Doc managed to contact Ildefonso’s group, and they eventually arrived and took care of Tanya. By then, Doc realized he’d misunderstood Ildefonso’s intentions, and apologized for suspecting the pack. Simon took advantage of the meeting to ask Ildefonso about the DeCastro pistols so we might soon have a lead on their location as well.

        It was a very exciting sequence of events for me. I’m surprised at how quickly I placed myself in danger to ensure the safety of my krewe-mates. I didn’t even think about what I was doing before I leaned out of the car and threw the scarecrow from it. It was wuwei. Acting correctly without thinking, and I don’t think I’ve felt that sort of rightness since my last competitive swimming event. I hope I can recapture that harmonious balance between action and thought again.


        Bonnie-Lynn Baker (update)
        Date of Death: 1889
        Cause of Death: Tuberculosis
        Haunt: Nilan Dorm, Albertus Magnus College
        Anchors: Coffin, Wedding Dress, Deathbed, Locked Diary. Also, creates weak anchors to girls she “helps.”
        Known Numina: Phantasm, Domination, Ghost Speech, Terrify, Possession

        We have transported Bonnie-Lynn’s anchors into Darkhaven Bluff, where they have been set up in a room just for her. Hopefully she can remain content there long enough for Natalie and Simon to enact their plan to find her a boyfriend. My only real concern is that she might decide to “help” Tavia court Simon.

        Her deathbed and a locked diary are her other anchors. The key to her diary is safely hidden in her casket so that she’ll know where it is.

        American Culture & Idioms

        “We’re here to rescue you from your ivory tower.”

        - Natalie used this phrase to help convince Bonnie-Lynn that she needed to be moved out of the dorm. I had never heard the expression before, but I’ve read enough poetry to be able to figure it out pretty easily. It makes me thnk of some of the European fairy tales mum used to read to me when I was a little girl. I think that fairy tale feeling must have helped convince Bonnie-Lynn too.

        Natalie's Tweets

        Monday, May 10th

        -I never sleep as well alone.

        -Marlene Dietrich was one who said that I think. It’s true.

        -Vlog is up: Return to Chez Satanique edition.

        -Simon is off learning to swim with Jasmine. Tavia is staring at me, but not in that way.

        -Just another day in this old haunted house.

        -Hmmm…looks like dinner with Trinh. It’s a not a date date. I have had several of those.

        -Not a date date going very well.

        -The meal was delicious. Less so than my dates lips, but the chefs should not feel bad I had a very sexy date.

        -Left her hanging of course. Would not want to violate any first date rules. ^_^

        -I get home and I already have an email waiting. ^_^

        -Ritual tonight before we set off. Must invoke the protections of our mighty, deathly patrons, without whom we would not rise.

        -I should have before the werewolf fiasco. I was slipping. :-/

        -Time to go to AMC and deal with some mortal remains.

        -Riding with Simon and Doc. Good times.

        -OK, odd whistling.

        -Oh my goodness, that man is a freak.

        -Jasmine seems unafraid of him. Wish I was. He is scary big.

        -He really does say his name is Richard Mongler. Scary.

        -Well he is making the B&E easier.

        -They are negotiating with Bonnie Lynn now. It is not going well.

        -OK Jasmine cut the Gordian Knot and walked through the wall into her room.

        -Alexia was talking to her till she freaked out and ran in. The boys are taking the power tools around to the thin closet wall Simon found last time.

        -And we are in.

        -What is Bonnie Lynn seven now?

        -She does seem to like the college age guys.

        -Your Mistress may have some exciting announcements to come!

        -The Alexia and the Simon are gonna take the bed apart. Apparently that and her diary are also anchors, with her dress and body.

        -Trip one is a dead body and a wedding dress. Trip two will be the bed.

        -Home again home again Jiggity-Jigg.

        -I get a little tongue-tied talking to Gwen.

        -Doc has a friend who needs help.

        -Doc’s friend who needs help is apparently a werewolf.

        -A cute werewolf, you know, in human form. Not that I am into that.

        -Doc is all pissy at the werewolf he slept with. I don’t understand why.

        -Goddess I love it when Gwen takes control of the situation. ~swoon~

        -Yikes killer scarecrow!

        -Gwen and Jasmine got rid of it. Thank the Goddess.

        -In Gwen’s new empty office.

        -Here come a whole pack o’ werewolves. The leader is kinda handsome if I were into that. Which I am not.

        -OK Doc is calm. Gwen seems calm. Alexia is adorable. I think this will end peacefully.

        -Oh the leader is one of the DeCastroes. Interesting.

        -From what I hear of these guns I would look damn sexy wearing them. I am just saying.

        -OK contacts are made, and we are headed back to Chez Satanique. All’s well that ends well.

        Tuesday, May 11th

        -Late night chats with new friends. ^_^

        -Vlog is up, sorry it’s late. Was talking to my new friend TVP.

        -Night all!

        End Session XI

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        • #19
          OK, as your filler, since we are out of backgrounds and I have posted the sort of breakdown on the area, I am going to be putting up NPC lists the players got in two groups. 18 today and the other 16 in two weeks. Each Player got 11 their PC was familiar with, and there was some crossover. As we have gotten no journals or backgrounds on them, I am starting with Alexia Merryweather the Stricken Celebrant and Simon Fishborne the Stricken Necromancer. Doc, Gwen, and Jasmine's lists will be in two weeks.

          If you are in Balance of Shadows there are mild spoilers here. Some of these NPCs you have not met! Read at your peril! These are not major spoilers however...nothing here at least one player does not know.

          Unfortunately, I can't include the pic I had with each one. Pity, really. A couple use celebrities, I have referenced this where it is the case. I can answer some questions about them, though some answers may be PM'd. . Some revelations have happened regarding some of them as well (Chandra and Tavia, for instance) that are covered in the journals...these are as of the start of the campaign, not as of current.

          Simon Fishborne

          Moiré Dell
          : Moiré is the leader of the Skull and Bones Society, and is one of the Prey. She comes off as a kinda flighty and just naughty enough college girl, but is well wise beyond that, and generally drops the façade around other Bound. Moiré’s goal appears to be the gathering of remains of specific people, regardless of where interred, and is not above a little grave robbery. She says her reasoning will become clear when she has finished, and that her goals are strictly benign. She does not get along with Natalie at all for some reason, but in general is happy to work with other Sin-Eaters.

          Moiré’s personal history is unknown, save she was born in Massachusetts. She is a talented singer and sometimes performs at bars with her band, “Susie and the Bean Sidhes” doing folksy/Celtic music.

          Sonia Black: Sonia is the other member of the Skull and Bones Society Natalie has a history with, in the form of a short, torrid romance. Sonia also maintains a gothic aesthetic but is less obsessive about it, mingling other elements into it. A fellow appreciator of the walking dead, Sonia refers to herself as the “Resurrectionist” of the group. Her friendship with Natalie has not really suffered for her being barred from the group, though Natalie privately has told the Middle Shadows Sonia is a necrophile.

          Sonia is one of the Silent, from England originally but like Moiré she grew up in Massachusetts. She is overly fond of the word “tricky” and tends to shoehorn it into nonstandard uses.

          Anders Winthrop
          : Anders comes from an old money family. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he never wanted for anything. It was only after he became one of the Bound (A Forgotten…he does not like to talk about it) he discovered his mother was over 300 years old, and sacrificed girls in her family and bathed in their blood to maintain her youth, and was hoping Anders would sew her many granddaughters to kill. She was the first one the Skull and Bones Society killed.

          Anders is the bankroller of the family, with a lot of old money connections. He is a nice guy who tries to fight the fact he was raised to be an insensitive douche deliberately by his mother to facilitate children by many women. Anders is actually kind of afraid his mother is not completely gone…

          Rolf: Rolf is something of a lorekeeper for the Skull and Bones Society. Older then the rest of the Sin-Eaters and having been “in the business” longer, he acts as a mentor to Moiré, Sonia and Anders. He generally keeps to himself in meetings between the Krewes. Rolf is one of the Torn.

          Rolf is an excellent linguist and can read a number of languages. In fact, he teaches Latin at Yale under an assumed name, Ivan Castle. Rolf’s background and how he met Moiré are unknown, but he was with her when she and Sonia arrived in New Haven.

          Dantaine Ruhadze
          : A large somewhat intimidating Nubian man, Simon vaguely recalls him from his childhood when he arrived in the House to discuss trade options in artifacts. Apparently something went sour in the earlier deals, as while Simon cannot directly recall, Dantaine left rather abruptly. This did not stop Dantaine from contacting Simon after his parents deaths to be sure he knew how to get in touch with him if he needed antiquities apprised, traded, or purchased.

          Dantaine is almost certainly a vampire. He sounds the same as before, and Simon never saw him except at night, and the family actually sent servants to his room regularly. None of this proves for sure that he is of course, but it seems likely. Dantaine has a smooth, melodic voice and is quite handsome.

          [ed note: pic is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje]

          Tavia Fishborne: Tavia was the daughter of Simon’s aunt Tilly, the one who had the accident with the axe. Tavia was a close playmate of Simon’s when they were young, and fairly close…and their parents were creepily interested in fostering this closeness. Then Tavia strangled her brother Josef to death, and while the circumstances are unknown, the rumor was that something sexual was going on, consensual or otherwise (both were in low teens). The family buried Josef in the back yard and sent Tavia to boarding school. Simon has not seen her since, until she returned, needing a little help…

          Tavia appears almost stereotypically mad. Still she is despite this (or perhaps because of it) an excellent artist, though the images she paints apparently give people nightmares…or worse.

          [ed. note: pic is Creepy Chan, or Allison Harvard if you follow America's Next Top Model]

          Tzipporah DeLaPoer: Tzipporah is your aunt, allegedly. She looked a bit younger then your mother when you were a child, and has not aged that you have seen. Indeed, her son Alistair DeLaPoer appears slightly older then her now. Of course, you have seen her during the day, but not since becoming one of the bound.

          Tzipporah seems a little off. She sometimes makes asides to people who are not there, which could be ghosts, spirits, or her own insanity. She is always cheerful, whether in a card game or at a funeral, so she is at least fun to be around. On the other hand, she told you many times you looked cute enough to eat as a child, and sometimes carries weapons from guns to axes around for no discernable reason, so maybe not having seen her is for the best.

          Alistair DeLaPoer: Alistair DeLaPoer was a playmate Simon had whenever auntie Tzipporah came over. Alistair was always an odd one, much like his mother. He pretended to be David Copperfield a lot, sometimes asking to be referred to by the name. As he grew older, he became more obsessed with Houdini, and sometimes went by “Erich Weiss”

          Nowadays he has become more involved in the “family business” as it were. While he was introduced to Tavia, the pair did not hit it off at all and this caused some tension, as his mother apparently envisioned the two marrying. In addition to occult studies, Alistair raises rats, some of which look creepily unratlike.

          Leslie DeLaPoer:
          Leslie is a younger debutant of the DeLaPoer family. While you really did not see her when you were young, apparently her grandmother raised her as her mother disappeared leaving only her skin one night. Leslie is about to graduate from her boarding school and they are not sorry to see her go. From being arrested for starting an orgy in a graveyard to possibly attempting a human sacrifice before the meeting was broken up, Leslie has caused no end of trouble.

          Where Leslie will begin her collegiate career is undecided. Currently it is hoped it won’t be anywhere in New Haven as surly no one would expect Simon to keep track of the hellion. Of course, maybe they will.

          Carl Fishborne
          : Carl is from the Rhode Island Fishbornes, a less wealthy generally root of the family (branch is not the right word…) one of which was Tavia’s father. In general, however, Carl has been the go between traveling back and forth from Cold Harbor to New Haven for any deals or needs the family has. Not an occultist like some members, Carl is really more of a thug.

          All the same, Carl has always been good to Simon. A few years older, he always had a present for Simon when he came by, usually something from the Ocean. A doubloon, a fine if water damaged walking stick, or what have you. While you have not seen him recently there is always the chance he will show at the door some rainy night. Or who knows, maybe you can find where the hell your parents put the contact information for Cold Harbor.

          Old Man Malard: Old Man Malard lives down the street. A ways down the street, but he has a similar dilapidated house, if smaller then the Dark Haven Bluffs estate. While he has been an old man Simon’s entire life, he does actually show signs of the passing of time, unlike, say, Auntie Tzipporah. He is still very spry though. His tendency to go everywhere brandishing a gun reminds Simon a bit of Auntie Tzipporah as well, only with fewer uncomfortable feelings.

          Old Man Malard (no one knows for certain if Malard is his first or last name) is an expert shootist, who shoots “Big Ol’ Spiders” from time to time. Also he shoots at “Hootenannies” which suggests he could really use a dictionary. And maybe some Valium.

          Alexia Merryweather

          Moiré Dell, Sonia Black, Anders Winthrop, Rolf
          as per Simon Fishborne

          Chandra Maharajapuram
          : The irrepressible owner of World of Wicker, Chadra is an immigrant to the United States and skilled businesswoman. She is bubbly and friendly, and quick with a smile, but she is also dead, from apparently a rather severe disease that ravaged her body severely. Jasmine has come to suspect she is less clueless than she appears, and much more canny. She evades questions she does not like (and conflict in general) by feigning misunderstanding of English. Despite this, she is genuinely warm and friendly, if a bit suspicious and inclined to hold her cards close to her chest. She is also really damn cute.

          During the day, Chadra can be found at World of Wicker. She can occasionally at night as well, if more rarely, though the store is open 24 hours, the only spot in the shopping center that is.

          [ed. note: pic is Tamannaah Bhati]

          Goon Luka: is a recent arrival in town. Generally he keeps to himself. He moves among the homeless and seems content to mill around town and dumpster dive. He has a small will o’ wisp following him he talks to from time to time, the origin of which is unclear. Goon’s accent indicates him to be from somewhere in the South. However, his memories are apparently hazy.

          Goon was killed by drowning, most likely murder. At some point thereafter his organs were harvested. Goon seems unsure how this happened. He tends to refer to himself in 3rd person and talk in “Hulk Speak” which, given he is roughly eight feet tall, certainly fits.

          [ed. note: pic is classic DC Solomon Grundy]

          Genevieve Beauchamp: Genevieve is a Voudun Mambo who arrived in New Haven a little over a year ago from Florida. She has made a fair amount of progress in starting a Humfor in town with a number of Haitian immigrants, and immigrants from the Dominican Republic. She has become a regular at Gotham Citi and the Catwalk Club. She is somewhat notorious for causing the disappearance of the urban gang leader Germaine Price, who is rumored to be trapped as a zombie, but more powerful as his soul is said to be trapped in his body.

          Genevieve has had an antagonistic relationship with the Police. Officer Norris hates her, as he is sure she did in Germaine and has not been caught, and she “makes our people look bad.” Officer McCreedy dislikes her much like all religious people and talks down to her. Fortunately for him, he is extremely resistant to her powers. Whatever her history with Gwen, she is very cold to her, but not outright hostile.

          Karen Smith: Karen is a student at Albertus Magnus (majoring in Religion, closest she could get to Occult) who spends a lot of time at Gotham Citi and Murder Ballads. As such, most of the Krewe who hang out in either place have at least seen her. She is a little star struck, to put it mildly, to meet Natalie, and sometimes follows Natalie around like a puppy, which annoys Natalie if she is sober, but usually she likes if high.

          Karen is a little directionless. She would like to take up modeling but Natalie has well warned her of the pitfalls inherent in such, so she is now unsure. Mostly she drifts along smelling vaguely of cloves.

          Clarissa Walthstone
          : Clarissa Walthstone is a very well to do young woman, and Alexia has made her personalized birthday cakes for easily half of her life. As Clarissa looks to the end of her High School Years and toward college, she has a lot of concerns, not least of which is the spirit who seems to harm those who get close to her.

          A birthday party five years ago lead to a friend being thrown from a window and unable to walk for almost a year. Objects have been hurled at her mother. Now with her possibly being shipped of to school in a matter of months, the spirits attacks are intensifying. Alexia has heard talk about it, but the Walthstones have not gone to anyone for help just yet.

          : Crawley is a homeless man who lives in and around New Haven. Despite his status as one of the disenfranchised, Crawley carries himself with the air of a British nobleman and seems fairly well read for one of the indignant. More importantly to the police, Crawley has an excellent idea of what is going on on the streets and in New Haven’s Underworld. Sometimes attributing their information to “Johnny the shoe-shine boy” (though internally they are as likely to call him the Fisher King) the police department has been subtly making use of Crawley’s tips for over 10 years. He is also an occasional buyer of pastries from Alexis’s store. He does clearly enjoy cupcakes, and he always pays in small bills cash.

          Clearly there is more to Crawley than meets the eye. He does not have the…aroma…of a gentleman of the road, and he is terribly well read, enough to almost certainly be leading his lifestyle by choice. Just precisely what his deal is, though, remains a mystery. Current police theory is he is a spy. Failing that, perhaps, just insane.

          [ed. note: pic is the similar Crawley character from Moon Knight)

          Deirdre Tate: Deirdre is one of the gals you have met and danced with at Gotham Citi. A friendly enough gal, she has come by your shop to buy pastries now from time to time as well. A bit flirty at times, she is mostly trying to decide what to do with her life. She is considering going to college despite being older then a typical student, but is not sure.

          There is something different about Deirdre. She is not dead, certainly. She has a dangerous aura to her though, and people tend to get out of her way when she is walking somewhere. Adds to her allure though.

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          • #20
            Time for another set of journals. Played at a different location then usual, which was fun for the change of scene. Got more positive feedback then usual for this session...if I knew what I did different I'd do it every time. Maybe it was the location, no cat trying to demand the table's attention. Maybe not.

            Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys.

            Session XII

            Doc's Log

            Doc’s Log: 1250 Hours, Tuesday, May 11, 2010
            Today is not nearly as shitty as I thought it might be. Still a little tired, but I’ll live. Managed to meditate this morning AND opened the store on time…AGAIN! This is almost becoming a habit.

            Wonder what craziness we’ll have in store for tonight?

            Doc’s Log: 1935 Hours, Tuesday, May 11, 2010

            HA! While I had a normal quiet day, Snowflake led Tavia, Ronin, Nightshade, and Cupcake around Memory Lane today. They apparently searched the House Scooby Do-style for anything weird. This screamed horrifying to me, but they apparently found useful rooms that Snowflake had forgotten about. I couldn’t help grinning when they told about the Pirate Ship room, though Tavia thinks their might be a real pirate ship hidden in the coves under the Bluffs. That is a little scary but I’m sure we’ll find out.

            But when they started talking about the Magic Mannequin Circle and the real Egyptian sarcophagus with one of Snowflake’s relatives and a mummy in it…that was not so cute. Snowflake seems to think the MMC could help us deal with the monsters in Tavia’s paintings. I think they marked the doors to these special rooms with our Krewe sigil, but Rose mentioned that she needed to introduce some new marks so we could differentiate Haunt from horrible room of death. I agreed with this logic.

            Since we really don’t have much planned for tonight and it is Game night (Tuesday is Game night), Ronin and I have convinced the Krewe to go play Laser Tag. After my day of nothing, this sounds like a great idea.

            Doc’s Log: 2135 Hours, Tuesday, May 11, 2010

            We brought Tavia and Cupcake’s girlfriend, Chandra to play Laser Tag. Yes Chandra is the one that was so very cold when I talked to her. That was fun even if my team lost. We split the groups up between me and Ronin since we’ve had proper firearms training. Yes I know that has nothing to do with playing Laser Tag, but these are civilians we’re talking about. Anyway, Ronin got Cupcake, Chandra, and Rose. My team was Snowflake, Tavia, and Nightshade. There was…a difference in play style between the teams. No one could find Rose and Chandra, while everyone seemed to know where I was. Still we had a good time. Even Rose seemed to enjoy herself. Now they are talking about hitting Murder Ballads for clubbing and monster troubles. This should be fun.

            Doc’s Log: 0200 Hours, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

            Murderers, mad dogs, and magical headless girls, oh my.

            Murder Ballads was doing pretty well for a Tuesday, but Rose immediately went cold fish on us the moment we didn’t head straight for the basement. I don’t think she expected us, all still dressed in black from Laser Tag and ready for a good time, to want to do anything other than work. At least that’s what I think she wanted people to think. What I really think is that she doesn’t want let herself have fun like that because she’s afraid of letting go. I don’t completely understand, so I kept my mouth shut. That’s just what I think though.

            Might also explain why she has no patience with Nightshade when she has fun either. Anyway, speaking of Nightshade, she asked Ronin to go dance with her. No big, women dance together all the time, especially in this club. But holy shit no one was expecting Nightshade to turn up the heat like that. All I could do was stare … my mouth was probably hanging open; don’t know, don’t care. I know that Ronin isn’t interested in women…hell she’s not really interested in men other than passing pretty things (I’ve heard her say it that way before). And I should probably be jealous, but it would be a waste of emotional energy…and besides that was damned hot. Having seen Ronin naked was not helping me in that particular moment either, but oh well.

            Eventually Rose got so out of sorts that we decided getting to work would be the best idea. We left a very hammered Tavia with Chandra while we went to look into the Black Shuck. Snowflake looked into the mysteries of the unknown and could once again see everything. Including that Chandra suddenly took Tavia to the restroom for no known reason before we could get into the basement. Ronin told him to check out the bathroom. Now I know when he’s jacked into the Boneyard, he’s not really seeing through his eyes but he has some mannerisms that can let you know where he’s looking sometimes. This was one of those times. We looked at each other, even in this convoluted way and nodded. When a woman tells you to look into the Ladies Room after two other women suspiciously go in together, you just don’t ask questions. Snowflake is not nearly as weird as people think. But what he found was not what we expected.

            We knew that Chandra was secretly dead, just not what her deal was. Apparently she’s …distracted Cupcake from getting around to that. But we don’t really need to ask now. Chandra took Tavia into a stall and make it look like two women were in there together. That was enough for Cupcake, so she went in. Apparently Chandra tried to convince her that Tavia wasn’t well. Once she left again, Chandra did something NO ONE expected. Her head pulled free of her body, dragging her intestines along for the ride, turned invisible and came after us. That club is always hoppin.

            We kept going into the basement knowing that a floating head with entrails was following us. That’s one for the books. Snowflake kept us up to date, like a psychic Firefinder while we walked him downstairs. Though it was Ronin that noticed the ghost of one Rory James, the reason Murder Ballads is famous, and the serial killer her old partner put in the ground. She was immediately spoiling for a fight, but Rory took one look at us and jumped through a wall. Given that we didn’t have a way to track him right then, we went back to the monster at hand.

            With the updates, I tried to reach out to the Shuck. It didn’t really understand just talking to it or using the Primeval Marionette either. It just kept moving away from us. Snowflake said it seemed to know that it wasn’t alone and I didn’t think he was talking about us. The big guy made no move to attack us though. That puts a mark in its favor. It didn’t react when Rose marked the Haunt proper or when I took the Plasm waiting there. Since Rory didn’t have anything else to say, the Shuck was pretty tight lipped, and Rose was more than ready to go, we decided we might have had enough fun tonight.

            I’m not sure exactly what a Penanggalan is, but that’s what the others told me Chandra was after Cupcake took her home. Snowflake gave all the gory details that we missed in the club since she was right there with us. The good news is that she was trying to protect Cupcake, so that’s one more monster off our Issues list.

            After we were mostly settled for the night, I headed out to patrol. It didn’t feel like a trouble night, but you never can tell these days. Really the most exciting thing that happened was running into Noriko. We just kinda relaxed and chatted, one city patroller to another before heading out.

            Now I’m going to bed before I drop.

            Jasmine's Diary

            May 11, 2010 - Morning

            It was a very odd morning. I hope the others don’t think too much of my embarrassment.

            It started out normal enough, though Gwen was oddly hyper. Alexia was also fretful. She feared Tavia might be shocked if she happened to be present to see Alexia transform herself with her Caul, but it seems it takes far more than that to frighten Tavia.

            When I announced I was going to the AMC pool to train with Jean, Tavia caught me off guard by asking if he was a “fellow,” the obvious connotation being a possible romantic interest. I quickly denied it. I didn’t want to give her a false impression. But I got the feeling that Gwen and Alexia weren’t convinced.

            I was embarrassed by the whole thing and left quickly, but I couldn’t help but think about it as the day wore on. I know Jean is interested in me romantically, but I really don’t have the same sorts of feelings for him, even if Gwen and Alexia believe I do. It’s just that the suggestion that I might be falling in love wrong-footed me. And I also realized that I don’t really know how I feel about Jean, aside from the fact that he’s my student and trainee, and I see great potential in him as a professional swimmer.

            May 11, 2010 - Early Afternoon

            I’m enjoying a cup of mocha latte at Lulu’s, hoping to see Stanly when he arrives at 2:44 for his afternoon coffee, like he always does. I haven’t been to Lulu’s in a week, and I want to ask Stanly about a few things.

            How do I feel about Jean, anyway? Ever since I’ve become aware of his interest in me, I’ve been so worried about betraying my memories of Richard that I’ve never stopped to ask myself whether I really feel anything for Jean. Even considering that I might possibly have such feelings makes me feel guilty.

            But now that my thoughts have strayed there, the Drowned Bride refuses to leave it alone. She’s been whispering in my mind all day, waxing poetic about Jean’s better features. Or at least she was, until halfway between the pool and Lulu’s I had to pull over and cry. Then her whispers became my solace and we found comfort in our shared grief over the lovers we’ve both lost. Her comfort was laced with hope that we’ll find someone again, someday.

            But for all my brave words in the letter I wrote to Dr. Maury, my grief counselor, it seems I still have a long way to go before I’m over Richard.

            May 11, 2010 - Afternoon

            I’m home. This day has been an emotional roller-coaster for me, but Stanly’s kind words were enlightening as usual. I told him about my difficulties with talking to people, and he suggested that since I don’t have as much trouble when I’m teaching or training people, I should put myself in my teaching mind set when I talk to people. At least when I’m talking to people I’m trying to help.

            We talked about a few other things too. He’s doing some part-time English tutoring at AMC this summer, and offered to work with me on my English. He often reads my mediocre attempts at poetry, so I know he can help me out a lot. He suggested that I should start keeping this diary in English, but I don’t think I’d be comfortable with that. I feel so much more articulate in Chinese, and it’s much easier to express my feelings.

            I also learned that he knows R.L. Castallano and Jimbo (James) Hutchinson, the two AMC students I keep running into and who always seem to be up to no good. Stanly says they are harmless and have been “cast adrift” on the academic sea, meaning that they don’t really have any focus in their studies. I’m not so sure they’re harmless, though. Like I said, they always seem like they’re up to something when I see them. Or maybe I’m just projecting.

            Finally, I asked about Shatina, the girl whose brother was released from jail and then disappeared. He has apparently been seen around, but is avoiding his family. It’s all very odd, and Stanly seemed concerned. I offered to bring by one of Gwen’s business cards when she gets them printed this week. After all, it sounds like Shatina’s family could use a private investigator to find out what’s going on with her brother.

            On my way home, I stopped by Target and found a Snoopy toothbrush for Tavia (I bought two so she’ll have a spare). She’s been looking for one this week. She says she’s always had a Snoopy toothbrush but hasn’t been able to find one to replace the worn-out one she’s been using. The girl’s really quite hopeless about “normal” things, which I suppose is why I have to look out for her like this. I don’t mind, though. I’m still very much opposed to her obsession with Simon, but otherwise I’m becoming rather fond of her.

            May 11, 2010 - Evening

            It’s after dinner and Doc and Gwen convinced the rest of us to go play laser tag with them since it’s Tuesday, which is Simon’s game night. I confess that laser tag doesn’t especially appeal to me, but I’ve never done it before, so at least it’s a new experience.

            We discussed everyone’s day as usual. Poor Doc seems to have had a rather boring day at his store, which made him all the more eager for laser tag. Gwen, Natalie, Simon, Tavia and Alexia spent the afternoon searching Darkhaven Bluffs for anything of interest or that could perhaps help us make sure the Outsiders summoned by Tavia’s paintings won’t escape on the new moon, which is Thursday night. I’m quite anxious about that, and I sincerely hope nothing comes of it. We’re taking precautions. Hopefully it will be enough.

            In any event, they found several things of interest. Simon and Tavia enjoyed a bit of nostalgia as they rediscovered rooms in which they had played as children, and there was a sealed Egyptian sarcophagus locked away in another room with a note taped to it saying only “Do Not Open.” Alexia used her Oracle and learned that there were two beings inside it, one a mummy and the other a man named Lucius Fishborne. They wisely did not open the sarcophagus, but we’ll need to do so eventually, if only to bury Lucius. If he’s even dead, that is.

            They also discovered a room full of old, featureless wooden mannequins that Simon claims were used for sympathetic ritual magic. I did not see the room myself, but it sounded oppressively disturbing. Nevertheless, Simon believes he might be able to use the chamber to gain some advantage over the Outsiders in Tavia’s paintings, should they emerge.

            May 11, 2010 - Very Late

            Tonight was uncomfortable for me. We went to Murder Ballads to investigate the haunt and to see if we couldn’t find out more about the hound-like creature lurking invisibly in its basement. I’ve never been to Murder Ballads before even though Natalie’s tried to get me to go several times. I don’t generally enjoy clubs. I’ve always been a shy wall flower and the rabid social activity at clubs makes me very anxious and insecure.

            I had hoped we would investigate the place and then return home, but the others wanted to enjoy the club while we were there, so I ended up sitting uncomfortably at a table near the wall with Tavia and Simon. Surprisingly, Simon was not at all out of place in the club and even wore dark make-up to convey the right “gothic” appearance, which really suited him. Anyway, I didn’t mind the others wanting to stay and enjoy themselves. I just wish I didn’t have to be there too. I felt terribly out of place.

            Actually, I think I’m being rather harsh. In fact, I felt a bit jealous and wished I could “cut loose” and enjoy myself at clubs. In a way, the easy flirtation and openness of clubs appeals to me. If I could ever overcome my shyness, it seems like it would be such an easy path to romance, and I’ve sometimes wondered what it would be like to just loosen up, dance, forget about all my sorrows, and maybe find someone to fall in love with.

            But no. Even though I might find temporary comfort in the arms of another, I fear that any romance I would discover at such a place would be short-lived at best. And I dare not abandon my sorrows to the false forgetfulness of alcohol and dancing, for if I were to do so, I fear it might become addictive. That is the trap into which Natalie has fallen, and I don’t want to dishonor my precious memories like that. The Bride is right: my memories of Richard may be mired in sorrow, but they also give me hope and strength.

            All of that said, maybe I should try and “lighten up” as Natalie says sometimes. Having a bit more fun doesn’t mean abandoning the loneliness that motivates me, after all. And maybe it will help me understand Natalie better. She doesn’t seem to think very much of me because I’m such a stick-in-the-mud, but that doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is her miserable, self-destructive lifestyle. I wish I could help her, but the two of us are so different that I don’t know how.
            I was thinking thoughts like those when I noticed that Natalie and Gwen were dancing together, and that Natalie was doing her best to pique Gwen’s interest…sexually. I was mortified. I know that’s what Natalie does, but with Gwen?
            I was relieved when Doc finally gathered everyone to check out the basement. We were easily able to claim the haunt (and marked it with our krewe mark), and along the way we also learned a few other important things.

            First, Chandra is a penanggalan. She came with Alexia for laser tag and clubbing, and we left her to look after Tavia while we investigated, but after hiding herself and a mesmerized Tavia in the ladies’ room, she detached her head, which followed us invisibly into the basement, its trailing entrails stretched protectively around Alexia and the rest of us. Only Simon could see her, of course, thanks to his omniscient Boneyard. I think Alexia is still trying to figure out how to deal with the discovery, but it must not have bothered her too much because she went home with Chandra after the club. Perhaps they’ll discuss it.
            Second, the ghost of Rory James, the murderer who killed several prostitutes on the site, is roaming about Murder Ballads. The club was established on the site and named Murder Ballads to capitalize on the dark history of the murders. We aren’t sure whether Rory’s ghost is hostile or repentant, but we’ll need to come back, find out, and deal with him appropriately. Fortunately, he’s a relatively recent ghost, so he isn’t very powerful, and there hasn’t been any suspicious activity or trouble at the club that would suggest that he’s up to his old tricks.

            Finally, the invisible hound that lurks in the basement of the club didn’t seem hostile, though it also refused to reveal itself and did all within its power to avoid us. Unfortunately, that means we don’t know any more about it now that we did when we entered the club.

            I was eager to return home after our investigation, but much to my dismay the others decided to stay and enjoy the club for another hour. I returned to my seat at the table by the wall and waited patiently for them to decide it was time to go home. No guys approached me, though some of Natalie’s comments suggested that they might. That’s probably for the best.

            Upon returning home, Doc headed out to make his midnight patrol of the neighborhood and Tavia and Simon went to bed (separately, of course). But I noticed that Natalie had convinced Gwen to sit up with her and watch a movie. It was obvious that Natalie intended to continue the seduction she had begun on the dance floor, and equally obvious that Gwen was uncomfortable and uncertain what to do about it.

            I know that Gwen can take care of herself, but after she glanced at me with a pleading look, I decided to help her out and asked if I could join them for the movie. Then I curled up on my customary end of the couch while Natalie tried to get close to Gwen on the opposite end. Fortunately, Gwen was having none of it and kept Natalie from getting any further with her seductions, and I think Natalie was hesitant to try too hard since I was there. Which was really the point, after all. I don’t have a problem with Natalie’s sexual orientation. But I dislike the heavy-handed way she attempt to seduce and manipulate people into falling for her. It all seems very dishonest to me. Love should grow organically and mutually like flowers waiting to blossom, not woven like a spider’s web to catch prey.

            It was uncomfortable for all three of us, but I ended up getting really involved in the movie anyway. It was called Lake House, and I thought it was very clever and romantic. It was exactly the sort of love story I enjoy, and the kind of romance I hope to someday find again.


            Krewe Marks

            It has become apparent that we need to expand our selection of krewe marks so that we can do more than just mark our haunts. We also need to be able to mark sites as helpful, safe, or dangerous. So I assigned some more
            I Ching hexagrams for us to use.

            Middle Shadows Krewe Mark

            This is the first mark I assigned, and the one we use to mark our claim on haunts like Rose Hall, Nilan Hall, and Murder Ballads.

            Safety Mark

            This hexagram means “prospering” so I thought it would be a good one to use to mark safe or helpful places. It’s also basically our krewe mark inverted, which of course is also meaningful.

            Danger Mark

            This hexagram means “corrupting” and is associated with poison and evil. It’s the mark we use to indicate a dangerous site.

            Prison Mark

            This hexagram means “bound” and is associated with confinement or imprisonment. It’s the mark we’re using to indicate a site or object in which something is imprisoned. I’ve incorporated it into my Fetter’s Binding ceremony.

            American Culture & Idioms

            "The Goonies"

            - Gwen brought up a movie called The Goonies, which I gather is something of a classic involving a pirate ship hidden in cave. She suggested there could be something similarly astounding hidden in the caves in the cliffs below Darkhaven Bluffs. I had never heard of the movie, but I think Gwen will insist on showing it to me soon. It doesn’t sound like the kind of movie I usually enjoy, but it at least sounds entertaining.

            Natalie's Tweets

            Tuesday May 12th

            -Sonia came by. Said she was just here to say hello, but she clearly wants to rekindle things. Me, not so much.

            -You should be tested for STDs at least once a year if you are sexually active. You may want to think about being tested more often if very active, like every six months.

            -Your Mistress gets tested every 3 months.

            -If you have been having sex for say 2 years or so and never bothered getting tested (like a certain ex) don’t even talk to me.

            -Good morning creepy house!

            -I wonder if they will let me slink off and have some fun with <3 Trinh <3 tonight.

            -Gwen Alexia and Simon want to explore Chez Satanique today! Sure I’m game.

            -Apparently I am not to go deep into the Fishborne family crypt. OK.

            - But now I want to! ~pout~

            -Found a Sarcophagus and a room where little Simon and little Tavia pretended to be pirates. The thought is so adorable.

            -All yellow room. I have an all black room at the townhouse.

            -Your Mistress looks ravishing under black light. And normal light. ^_^

            -Stuffed animals. Not in the good way.

            -You know, this room is too weird to describe.

            -A circle of mannequins and one tied down. Alexia and Simon say it is part of an occult ritual.

            -It kinda creeps me out.

            -Oh good heavens just look at the time! People getting home and no more time to get nightmares by poking through the evil house. More is the pity!

            -I don’t think I am going to get to sneak off with Trinh. :-/

            -Laser Tag huh. I am not going to go play Laser Tag, even if it is game night.

            -Sigh. This having a crush on Gwen thing does not help me get out of stuff like Laser Tag.

            -Doc and Gwen say it is practice for real life situations. Apparently covering your head and screaming when shot at is not the way.

            -Tavia and Chandra are going. This should be interesting

            -Doc, Simon, Tavia and I vs. Gwen, Jasmine, Alexia and Chandra. Again, this should be interesting.

            -If I spent more time watching out for myself and less time watching Gwen move this would have gone better for Team Doc.

            -We did not win. I think Chandra is a ninja. These are related.

            -Oh so time to go to Murder Ballads. I can get behind that.

            -I am not going to pass up this chance to woo Gwen damnit. To the dance floor!

            -That went well. Not last night well, but the night is young.

            -Oh yes, business.

            -Apparently Chandra can detach her head. That is not a good sign.

            -Apparently Chandra can follow us invisibly. That is a worse sign.

            -I swear if Simon is fucking with us…

            -Aaaand Gwen saw a serial killer ghost. She was not the only one to see him, but only one to identify him.

            -It’s apparently Rory James, who lived here before it was Murder Ballads. I am no expert but I suspect this is bad.

            -Wait I am an expert. It is bad. =-O

            -Invisible dog monster wants nothing to do with us.

            -For those keeping track at home, we are under Murder Ballads, a club I go to semi-often alone, being followed by Alexia’s girlfriend’s invisible floating head complete with dangling guts, stalked by a ghostly serial killer and chasing an invisible dogmonster.

            -That or Simon is doing an excellent job of stifling his giggling from fucking with us.

            -The dogmonster is avoiding us but we found the plasm, headed back up.

            -Alexia totally acted like we had no idea her detached head was flying around Murder Ballads just now.

            -Gwen quickly dodged having another dance. Bad sign.

            -Home again home again Jiggity Jog.

            Wednesday, May 13th

            -OK lets see if I can watch a movie and get some snuggling with Gwen in. With any luck we can end the evening with a smooch.

            -Jasmine wants to watch it with us. Third wheel on purpose Jasmine?

            -Does she seriously think we need babysitting? Does she think I won’t put moves on Gwen with her here?

            -Watching The Lake House.

            -Gwen’s hands are more interesting than this movie. Unfortunately, they are staying in plain sight.

            -OK, bedtime. Not getting the right vibe from Gwen, so a peck on the hand and hope for pleasant dreams.

            -I need to stay in control. I am slipping with both Gwen and Trinh. They should be the ones pining for me damnit. I won’t be the one being jerked around. Not again.

            -Well, actually Trinh kinda is pining for me. Turns out she wanted to see me tonight. But I don’t want to blow this chance with Gwen. She would be good for me, I think. There is some, you know, love there. There is the potential for it with Trinh though.

            -I am so confused. Her eyes went where they should have on the dance floor. Should I leave her alone? Should I redouble my efforts for Trinh? Should I be direct and just throw everything into getting Gwen’s love. Do either of them even love me? Does anyone really love me?

            -This would be easier if I were the heartless manipulative bitch people think I am.

            -I really hope to be snuggling with someone in my town house tomorrow night. I’m a gonna get fucked up now though this is making my stomach uneasy, and sleep won’t come on it’s own I can tell.

            End Session XII

            Transcription Note: Too Many Images, had to cut one.

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            • #21
              transcriber's Note: Missing Image from last:

              OK one more filler entry, this time the remaining NPCs from people's sheets. We covered the Stricken (Simon, Alexia) last time, this time the Silent and Torn (Jasmine, Gwen, Doc-Natalie does not have a list). This may be the last filler for a bit I think this is as much background as I have handy on word docs.

              If you are in Balance of Shadows there are mild spoilers here. Some of these NPCs you have not met! Read at your peril! These are not major spoilers however...nothing here at least one player does not know.

              Again, I can't include the pic I had with each one. Enjoy, let me know if you have questions, I should have game journals up usual time end of next week.

              Jasmine Sung

              Moiré Dell, Sonia Black, Anders Winthrop, Rolf as per Simon and Alexia Merryweather. Chandra Maharajapuram as per Alexia Merryweather

              Trinh Vong Philips: Half-Vietnamese student of Jasmine Sung, She was born in the United States to a Vietnamese mother and a GI. She is kinda quiet and friendly, but Jasmine has noticed at times she would seem somewhat tired and nervous, but she has not been willing to discuss it. Last time she seemed harrowed, though, Jasmine caught sight, briefly, of a ghostly older Vietnamese woman who was watching Trinh swim and scowling. With a moments eye contact the woman narrowed her eyes and left quickly, but Jasmine was in the pool with her class at the time. Jasmine sensed at that moment that talking to Trinh would not be a good idea given her state.

              She has seen normal since then and certainly averse to talking about whatever has bothered her so.

              Jean Akim: Jean was born in the Ivory Coast, and is going to school at Albertus Magnus. Jean is friendly and easygoing, and while his intentions have not moved to the inappropriate, he clearly has his eye on Miss Sung, his swimming teacher. While not really putting the moves on her at this point, he has hinted they will have go eat out or something sometime after the semester is over. Jean apparently was at one time considering the Priesthood. His stated reason for not doing so is usually a flirty remark about there just being too many beautiful women in America, but there may be more to it…

              Jean is very protective of Jasmine, and when she is on guard, he seems to sense something and be alert as well. Of course, that may be because he is paying too much attention to her.

              Richard C. Mongler: Richard is in charge of student affairs at Albertus Magnus. He has read up quite a bit about the different buildings that comprise Albertus Magnus, including some of the history of some of the houses that now form dorms. Normally mild-mannered, he can become quite excitable when discussing various topics; he becomes like a 6’7 eight-year-old. Also, he loves dinosaurs, he knows a lot about them and his office is full of plastic dinosaurs at any given time.

              There is something a little off about him but it is difficult to say what.

              [ed. note: Richard Mongler, shockingly, uses the image of "Grinman/Cockmongler" that has become almost a symbol of 4chan.]

              Stanly Yarborough: Stanly Yarborough is an older man who often can be found at the Lulu European Coffeehouse. He gets his paper and coffee at precisely 7:45 and has his afternoon coffee at precisely 2:44. Stanly makes some effort to get to know the regulars and while disinclined to pry, does take an interest in people. Stanly is a bit effeminate, some might say fabulous, but a nice guy and quite dapper.

              While mostly chipper as he seems, Stanly lost his partner Peter to kidney disease a couple years ago, and has an element of sadness to him. He is not currently seeking a new partner, but he is not averse to it either; Not so many gay men looking for a guy in his 60s after all, and the club scene is a little loud and a little late for him. He does know a fair amount of the social history of the town though, being an “incurable gossip” though he does not seem to part with the information people give him in his chats.

              The Scholar
              : The Scholar is a strange individual seen in and around the ocean and at Fort Nathan Hale. He seems to be studying the strange orbs and will o’ wisp like lights that appear there and around the tunnels at Fort Nathan Hale II. Outside there, he is sometimes seen around or in the ocean, but there is no sign of where he lives and he may be indignant.

              The Scholar is not conversational. He has identified himself only as “A Scholar” and the most people have managed to get out of him is that they “may think they want to talk to me, but you don’t!” and will eventually run to get away from people who press conversational attempts. His body is dead of drowning, showing signs of being nibbled by fish and most of his organs having been harvested.

              Christopher Anderson
              : Jasmine’s main exposure to Christopher Anderson (he is not a “Chris”) is Richard referring to his “nemesis” in administration, though the two have met. Christopher Anderson wants to help keep the University running smoothly without being talked to though plastic dinosaurs, being called “Mr. Anderson” in a deep voice, or, most annoying of all, man-children like Richard distracting the kids with all this nonsense about ghosts. Christopher has walked around the dorms and called out smugly to the ghosts with an audience, and never seen anything.

              Predictably, something about Christopher causes ghosts to have difficulty manifesting around him. Additionally, he sort of drains power from magical rituals (but not Ceremonies) making them more dangerous and sometimes makes psychic powers fail spectacularly. Christopher does not believe any of this of course. He also does not believe in Wookalars.

              Gwen Cooper

              Moiré Dell, Sonia Black, Anders Winthrop, Rolf as per Simon, Alexia, and Jasmine Sung. Genevieve Beauchamp, Crawley as per Alexia.

              Clevon “Chuck” Norris: Clevon Norris was apparently a good friend of Gwen’s before she was shot. A hard case, he earned the nickname “Chuck” Norris due to his policing tactics. Clevon is a good cop, but pretty merciless when it comes to the bad guys. Many African-Americans would rather be arrested by a white cop than Clevon, as he seems extra aggressive on those who “make us look bad.” He wants Gwen back on the force, saying she has “earned her chops” and this “setback” should not cost her her job.

              Clevon’s biggest break was busting Rory James, who he wound up shooting 38 times when stabbed with a knife by James who took him by surprise. Because of this he became a minor local hero and has a rep for being “fucking invincible.” He respects Gwen but does not understand her change.

              Andrew McCreedy: Andrew McCreedy is a good cop, and a solid member of the force. However, his almost total lack of belief in the supernatural (including religion) causes tension at times. Generally fairly nice, McCreedy gets something of an arrogant air about him when religion or the supernatural comes up, which causes problems with his senior, Officer Tart.

              In fact, Psychic phenomena generally do not function around McCreedy. Powers sometimes fail spectacularly. His presence to a lesser extent interferes with Ritual Magic or Ghost Manifestation but fortunately, or unfortunately for McCreedy, this has no effect on Vampires, Werewolves…or Sin-Eaters (except when they use Ritual Magic)

              Timothy Tart: Timothy Tart is the opposite of Officer McCreedy. While McCreedy has a strong disbelief in the supernatural, the loss of Tart’s partner, Donald Winship, has convinced Tart that the supernatural exists. Of course, he believes a Wookalar, a strange creature few other people have heard of, killed Winship, who was torn to pieces investigating an abandoned house. He does not allow this to impede his police work when rational explanations are clear, however he is swift to suspect Wookalar involvement if there are unexplainable factors.

              Tart’s profound belief in the supernatural has the effect of making Psychic phenomena around him slightly stronger. Tart maintains an open mind on most things but does not believe in Vampires, because that is just silly.

              Nathan Sullivan
              : Nathan Sullivan is the Police Chief for New Haven, after replacing his predecessor Simon O’ Rourke with the Rory James fiasco. O’ Rourke was largely convinced the murdered and disappeared drug dealers and prostitutes were killed by a Black or Hispanic man, and offered information based on that, many said passing up leads that could have pointed to White Rory James sooner. Only Clevon Norris’s luck and personal fortitude allowed him to bring James in, and Clevon was lucky to survive.

              Nathan wants to be racially conscious, bringing more non-white men and women into the force and having Clevon no longer be the token Black. This has not made him popular in certain areas, however. Accusations of homophobia pointed at him by the affair with Genevieve Beauchamp have not helped trust in the police either. Nathan basically picked the wrong week to quit smoking/drinking/amphetamines/sniffing glue.

              Pup Pid: Gwen knows Pup Pid is real. A pre-dawn jog near the coast revealed it hiding some distance away, a charred Skeletal Pirate. While she knew the Warf was a known stomping ground of the Black Shuck, she did not actually expect to see Pup Pid of all things. It did indeed have two rats with it, one missing an ear, the other it’s tail. It had a cutlass and sword, though it drew neither. While rumored to live in the sewer, the only odor it had was faint seawater.

              Two odd things. When Gwen’s response, outside being startled, was more curiosity it and the rats simply vanished. It did not dematerialize as far as she can tell, the three just faded from view. Also it registered as neither dead nor alive; it really did not register at all. It clearly reacted to her and made eye contact, however, and began vanishing before the rats did (they seemed to do so in response to it).

              Doc Thorns

              Moiré Dell, Sonia Black, Anders Winthrop, Rolf as per Simon, Alexia, Jasmine, and Gwen Cooper. The Scholar as per Jasmine, Crawley as per Alexia and Gwen Cooper.

              Truman: Truman is a leader of a small gang of Vampires called the Crypt Ticks. Said Vampires are of the Carthians group, and Truman is somewhat frustrated by the lack of upward mobility among the local Kindred. As such, his Crypt Ticks are currying power on their own; outside “the system” Truman is something of an idealist and still dealing with something of a falling out with his Sire. Despite being roughly 20 years into his Requiem he is still looked on as a young Turk, which to be fair he is, and probably will be forever.

              Truman’s biggest foes that have appeared have been in the form of the Skull and Bones Society, who takes rather umbrage to people achieving immortality via the blood of others. As a result, he tends to avoid the Yale area.

              Neon: Neon has been in over her head for years now. She got turned fairly young, and wasted no time in having a falling out with her Sire, which lead to her joining up with Truman and his collection of Vampiric cast-offs. She was in a relationship with Truman for about 8 years, but the necessity of them sucking on other people lead to jealousy and a break up, though they are still close friends. Her relationship with Rebecca, who never came to terms with the implications toward her sexuality, has caused more trouble.

              Neon more than anything seeks acceptance. She never got it at home, never got it as a Vampire. The Crypt Ticks are the closest thing she has ever had to a family that gave a shit. Even now, though, she is just trading one person’s shadow to live in for another.

              Wynton Smitts
              : Wynton was a blues man embraced in the era of the Harlem Renaissance. Brought to New Haven by his Sire, he performed for the local Kindred from time to time. Bored, he slept and woke up relatively recently. Not fitting in anywhere else, he joined the Crypt Ticks and became a mentor of sorts to Truman.

              Wynton is more than a blues man stereotype. He has, with a change in cloths and a little make up to look younger, become Jamal, a local hoodlum with a small gang. Jamal’s Gang “New Blood” knows little beyond their leader contacts them from time to time. Normally Wynton appears as his usual blues-y self, counseling Truman.

              Rebecca Jones: Rebecca was Embraced as a personal assistant to a local Ventrue called Jackson Harvard. While Rebecca had been a “good girl” growing up and seemed passive enough, but the Embrace caused her to, for whatever reason, cease being what others wanted and find her own way. She left her Sire at Truman’s suggestion and joined the Ticks.

              Rebecca’s good friendship was short lived; she has an 11-month “not-relationship” with Neon after her breakup with Truman. Rebecca and Truman don’t seem to see eye to eye on much of anything since then, and there is an unspoken jealousy of Neon, who tries desperately not to take sides.

              Noriko Oyamada: Noriko is what Doc would call suspicious. She walks alone at night, and is unusually chatty with random men she meets. While she was mildly flirty with Doc at first, she did not really pursue a seduction, so he does not think she is a sex worker, and is alive, so probably not a Vampire. While she only has gone out of her way to talk to Doc once, she is chatty when spoken to, and seems to keep an eye on him.

              Outside of her casual lack of fear for her safety, she has a tendency to face whomever she is speaking to regardless of the direction she is walking. She walks sideways and backwards easily, only ceasing when getting an odd look. Based on what he heard when she was not visible after they parted ways once, she is capable of running very fast.

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              • #22
                New session occurred. Couple notes on Natalie's posts...her ill fated attempt to pick Gwen up was using the "last night on earth" element in a humorous/ironic way. I'll also note her tweets go to kinda a dark place, you may or may not want to skip the end of those. I'll also note since we rarely have his perspective, Simon used Distant Vision, saw Natalie putting herself in a position to be hurt, and called her asking her to come home (after running around the House looking for someone to tell him how to proceed) claiming he needed company.

                The night before Doomsday thing is, as a reminder, because Thursday night is the night the Outsiders can try and free themselves from Tavia's paintings, being a moonless night. The posse has gone to some lengths to make the die roll very difficult on them assuming people with the "right" Vices are not nearby.

                Anyway, enjoy

                Session XIII

                Doc's Log

                Doc’s Log: 1420 Hours, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

                I meditated this morning for an hour before opening the shop. That went a long way towards starting the day off right.

                Jerome stopped by just before I started thinking about food. Said our stuff was in and wondered if I wanted it delivered here or another location. Not having a car, I figured it’d be just as well to have him bring the stuff to the House. That way I’d only have to bring it in once.

                Actually had some business throughout the day today but it was weird. Just after lunch, I got this really bizarre spasm randomly. It was like in the movies where eyes are superimposed on the screen to show someone is watching you. That kinda of creepy chills, but it wasn’t that directed. I don’t get it.

                Doc’s Log: 2015 Hours, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

                I called Snowflake right after I closed the shop to let him know about the incoming shipment. Instead of cleaning up, I just headed over a little after 1700 so we (me and Snowflake) could prepare The Armory. There are few things so cool sounding as getting to setup an armory in a haunted house. I actually asked him if the House had an armory but he said it was mostly unserviceable or something to that effect and I didn’t really think it was wise to question that. Not when talking about the House.

                When I got there Snowflake met me out front of the shop holding an obviously handmade and life size Fishborn Family crest. All I could do was stare at it wide eyed for a second before I asked what the hell that was going to be used for, as that was awesome. He almost looked smug when he told me this was part of his plan to “claim” Sansbury Hall from Adolphe DeCastro. I have to give the kid credit; when he makes up his mind to do something, he doesn’t half ass it. We went and looked at some of the rooms near the Krewe quarters since Snowflake was pretty sure there were secret passages and hidden rooms around there. We found one with the secret panel nailed shut from the outside. We had the tools out so we just pried them out and looked inside. In the center of the room was a small chair. A woman’s skeleton wearing a bonnet sat in the chair. Around the chair in a perfect circle were the skeletons of many rats (no I didn’t stop to count). Everything was dusty from disuse, but Snowflake and I looked at each other and decided that we could convert one of the bedrooms for now. Neither of us thought it was a good idea to move or touch anything or even be in the room until we knew who that skeleton was and what and why it was there.

                About the time we were carefully backing out of the room and attempting to secure the panel again, Rose came upstairs. She was confused at her vague explanations until we told her about the circle of rat bones. I put one nail back into the panel just for good measure before Snowflake and I started working on the bedroom across the hall. Rose went back downstairs, not understanding the need for an armory at all. I went out to help bring in our equipment when Jerome arrived. I noticed Ronin in the kitchen helping with dinner prep. I cautioned Snowflake to be ready with the extinguisher. Then I told her to be careful with chopping the veggies, I had no desire to reattach fingers tonight. Ronin was greatly impressed with my “concern,” (I
                know because she flipped me off) though she knows I have reason. She’s proven to have less of a clue in a kitchen than I do. On the way back upstairs, Snowflake and I discussed converting the room not just into an armory, but into a proper War Room. We were both sufficiently happy with our decision when Nightshade shambled in and almost fell over, carrying a half empty bottle of vodka (that I’m pretty sure was unopened when I got there).

                I’ve seen her like this before but usually after she was emotionally crashing. Then she started talking about Ronin and I knew what this was about. I don’t know why Nightshade is so very broken emotionally…well okay I have some really strong theories, but not names to beat a confession out of. Part of her overall issues is that her self image and confidence in herself demands that she remains the cult of personality in the eyes of the current target of her affections. Ronin has been in her sights for a while now and even though I’ve tried before to explain to Nightshade that getting attached to straight women is a bad idea, it never seems to take. That has something to do with the fact that she almost always seems to find a way to draw them in anyway, making my argument invalid. Ronin on the other hand, is decidedly not interested in women, even strikingly beautiful, extremely seductive women, like Nightshade. And while I’d been trying, apparently like Snowflake, not to think about the possible results of tomorrow night, Nightshade actually used “The Last Night on Earth” speech on Ronin. We talked Nightshade into a chair, which she immediately sprawled across in her

                As I said, I’ve seen her like this before, more times than I can bring myself to remember. I asked Snowflake to please go down and get some strong black coffee. It was going to be one of those times I had to nurse Nightshade back to some approximation of sobriety. We had dinner plans tonight with Chandra as a guest and we didn’t need über-moppy, sloppy drunk Nightshade mooning over Ronin at the table. Snowflake came back empty handed but before I could say anything he informed me that Rose refused to have him playing around the food while he was still filthy from working. I blinked for a minute before I realized that we were covered in cobwebs, dust, some wood chips, and other things best not thought about. It made sense; except for the whole this is Snowflake’s house (assuming anyone can “own” the House).

                Rose came up after a little while with the coffee and I knew she wanted to help but there was nothing she could do that wouldn’t be a problem later. But I have to admit, for all Rose’s uptight issues, she handled that situation well. Once I could get Nightshade vertical again, we helped her downstairs to try and get herself a little more together. That she had told me more than once that she was only this drunk because she was out of heroin was not helping my mood, but berating her while she’s under the bridge will never help the situation. After that, Snowflake and I went back upstairs to get cleaned up for dinner ourselves.

                Dinner should be interesting tonight.

                Doc’s Log: 2245 Hours, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

                I have the power of Understatement!

                So the short version of dinner…umm yeah this will still take a while.

                1. Chandra and Cupcake have apparently made their relationship a
                healthy one and shared secrets. That’s sweet (given the recent issues
                on the topic of romance, I’m not trying to sound bitter here) but
                apparently being part of that relationship means being open with all
                of us too. That is a tall order in my opinion but Chandra went for
                it. I mean yeah she was nervous as Hell but she spilled her guts
                with Penagallen 101. We also learned that Cupcake bought a huge
                chest freezer so that Chandra could assume her vampire form in
                relative safety and comfort. This had already been delivered and
                setup in the cellar. Snowflake and I determined that we’d need to
                install an internal latch just in case.

                2. Rose made a big deal of the work Snowflake and I did to setup the
                War Room. Ronin, having not been aware of our purpose and then
                given one of the worst pick up lines of all time, was pretty excited
                about the idea. I have moved the map of the city in from my room
                and I’ve already mentioned to Snowflake that we’ll need blackout
                curtains for the proper vibe. This was taken pretty well. We also
                mentioned the secret room just so people would know why we weren’t
                using something we found.

                3. Once everyone was settled from these revelations, Snowflake told us
                about They Who Come. Apparently Auntie Tzipporah DeLaPoer,
                Alistair, and Leslie are coming for a visit next week (no I’d have no
                idea how to spell all that without having seen the Family Tree from
                the old book in the Library. And after all this conversation, I’m
                thinking more about that whole Blood Brothers thing to help protect
                Snowflake from his family).

                We would have more words on this matter Sin-Eater.

                Right. Anyway, Tavia was visibly displeased by this turn of
                events. She became very lucid and even spiteful while discussing
                how bad it was for Tzipporah to try and “get her claws” into
                Snowflake. It might almost have been jealousy but she was
                honestly concerned when it was all said and done.

                Dinner was a group effort with all the ladies (except a very drunk Nightshade) contributing to the culmination of an excellent Italian spaghetti with salad, garlic bread, and all the trimmings Cupcake could safely leave to others. We made small talk after we finished eating, well all of us except for Nightshade who quietly excused herself to go out tonight. I resisted the urge to try and stop her. She wasn’t sober but not out of it enough do anything really stupid. But make no mistake we will have words about this. I just hope they actually mean something coming from me.

                Dinner’s wound down and now I headed into the Library. I’ve been so worried about making sure I’m prepared that I haven’t thought about mystical means of playing Boy Scout. I’m gonna see if I can’t fix that oversight.

                Doc’s Log: 0230 Hours, Thursday, May 14, 2010

                I think I found what I was looking for. There seems to be a way to prepare objects, notably weapons, then ritually destroy them to make them available in Twilight and the Underworld. This could be very useful. And it only took me an hour and fifteen minutes to figure it out. I might be getting good at this research stuff.

                I called Nightshade around midnight to check on her before I headed out for patrol. She texted me back, asking if I was okay. I responded, a lot slower since I don’t text for shit, that I was fine, just checking on her. Rose caught me in the foyer on my way out. I had handled the night, specifically Nightshade’s issues pretty well, but Rose felt the need to talk to me about it. She meant well and I think she looks at me as the only one that can help Nightshade. I appreciate that vote of confidence more than she knows, but Rose doesn’t realize just how sharp those kind of thoughts are to me. I had to remind her again that Nightshade can’t be helped until she’s ready to be helped and love herself without a reason. Rose has a hard time understanding the
                powers of addiction, but that’s not new. Most people have never dealt with it before either. They just don’t understand. The only reason I do is both because of Nightshade and because of the junkie troops I tried to help in the Sand.

                When Rose finally let me go, I was seething and aching inside. Having to explain things just meant that I had to think about it and consider it all once again. All the old wounds involving Nightshade ripped open with fresh salt poured liberally into the bloody holes. I was hurting and took my frustrations out on the stop sign just down the street from the Bluffs. I’m sure my knuckles will be purple tomorrow, but the sign will always have the dint to remind me how stupid that was.

                I headed south tonight even though that’s almost all residential areas. I didn’t want to be blindsided because I had assumed anything. The night was very quiet til I came up on an African dude swinging some kind of hanging incense burner. He looked at me and we both realized the other was a Sin-Eater. Introductions ensued and I learned about Sando Napoleon Abdullai of The Orphan-Grinders, a Steam Punk oriented Krewe that spent a lot of time in the Underworld. That sounds lightyears away from us, but according to their Krewe Mythos (yes that’s what we call it…apparently it’s mostly codified as Sando used it too), Orphan-Grinder is another name for Sin-Eater. They, being neither truly living nor dead, are capable of breaking rules and limits of both, or maintaining order. They were touched by Fate to turn the tragedies of the world into opportunities. That sounded close enough to our Mythos for me to be satisfied with him moving through our territory. Sando gave me a number to reach them and a card for Cecile Carstairs, which I assume is their leader. I gave him our number and told him that if they were still in the area after tomorrow night to please stop by and make sure nothing bad was happening. You know, just in case. He agreed and we parted ways on good terms. I figured any Krewe that makes it a habit to go Hell Diving is probably not a bad choice to have checking up on you.

                After that I just headed back here. It’s early, yes, but if tomorrow is Doomsday, then I need to be ready. Now I’m going to tell Nightshade good night through these damn texts and go to bed.

                Jasmine's Diary

                Wednesday, May 13, 2010, Noon

                I met Simon at the AMC pool this morning to continue his training. He seems to be a fast learner, and I think he’ll have mastered the basics of swimming after another session.

                Jean, of course, continues to excel. Training him to be a professional swimmer is good for me. It reminds me of Richard in a positive way; Richard was a swimming trainer, after all, and I find myself looking back on the way he trained his athletes for inspiration in training Jean. And although remembering him like that always makes me a bit lonely, it’s also empowering and encouraging. It makes me feel like I haven’t really lost him. Like he’s still a part of me, and I’m not so alone after all.

                Wednesday, May 13, 2010, Early Afternoon

                Tavia is still excited about her new Snoopy toothbrush.

                I made sandwiches for Simon and Natalie, who otherwise seemed inclined to forget lunch altogether. Natalie seems down, probably because of her unsuccessful attempt to seduce Gwen. Simon, on the other hand, has been working hard to fashion a beautiful wooden replica of his family crest. He intends to hang it in Sansbury Hall as part of our plan to sever Adolphe DeCastro’s connction to the house as an anchor. Simon seems to be quite the craftsman. He is talented in a surprising number of areas.

                I think I’ll go spend some time with Bonnie-Lynn.

                Wednesday, May 13, 2010, Late Afternoon

                I enjoyed spending time with Bonnie-Lynn this afternoon. Moving her ghost into Dark Haven Bluffs was a good idea. We talked about our dreams and hopes, and I asked her to describe her ex-fiancée to me. Sadly, she didn’t really know him very well since it was an arranged marriage. I tried to comfort her by telling her how much more fulfilling it will be for her to find her own soulmate instead of having one arranged for her, but I think her experiences with the college girls in the dorm have already shown her that.

                I told her about Richard, and it was cathartic for me to talk about him with someone who shares my romantic ideals, even if Bonnie’s are a bit skewed at times. I thought about bringing up Jean and telling her about Tavia’s misunderstanding of my relationship with him, but thought better of it.

                Wednesday, May 13, 2010, Evening

                Simon and Doc spent much of the afternoon and evening setting up a “war room” and armory for us in the mansion while Gwen, Alexia, and I prepared dinner. In the process of finding a good, secret room for the armory, Doc and Simon found a hidden room that had been nailed shut and contained a dry, dusty, nearly skeletal corpse in a chair, surrounded by a perfect circle of rat skeletons. It was very creepy, and we decided to leave it alone until we could find out more about who the skeleton was and why she was there.

                But all of that got a bit lost in the face of Natalie’s issues. Since the new moon is tomorrow night and we may have to deal with the Outsiders in Tavia’s paintings, we’re all a bit tense, and while we were preparing dinner, Gwen admitted to me that Natalie had given her the “last night on earth” speech. After Gwen explained to me what the “last night on earth” speech was, she clarified: Natalie had tried one more desperate time to proposition Gwen. Gwen tried to let Natalie down easily without hurting her feelings too badly, but there was only so much she could do. Unfortunately, for all of her social confidence, Natalie’s self-esteem is very fragile, and Gwen’s rejection shattered it.

                As we were chopping vegetables, Gwen and I talked about the scene. Gwen feels terrible, because she wants to help Natalie, not hurt her. But we both agree that “love is a two way street” (I already knew that idiom), and she can’t give in to Natalie’s desires just to avoid hurting Natalie’s feelings. That would be a recipe for disaster. Normally, I would be a bit less sympathetic toward Natalie. She’s very promiscuous and seems to become involved in most relationships just for the physical or psychological gratification they give her, which is unhealthy and defiles the purity of what love should be. But Gwen really thinks that Natalie is sincere. She has real feelings for Gwen, so the rejection really hurts. And if that’s true, then I do feel sad for Natalie. Unfortunately, the Bride and I both agree that there’s little we can do about it
                since the love is unrequited.

                I wish I could do something to comfort Natalie, but I don’t understand her enough to help. Doc and Gwen are better candidates for that. I’ll be sure to encourage Doc, especially, to do what he can for her later.

                Wednesday, May 13, 2010, Night

                Dinner was tense, partly because Natalie had gotten drunk in the aftermath of her rejection by Gwen and was not sober by the time dinner began. Honestly, I do sympathize with her emotional issues, but maybe we need to force her into rehabilitation before we can resolve any of her other problems.

                Chandra joined us for dinner. Alexia revealed that she and Chandra had talked about their superantural natures, so now Chandra is aware that we know she is a penanggalan and she knows that we are sin-eaters. If Chandra’s body isn’t preserved in some way (such as by freezing it) while her head is detached, it begins to rot. Chandra was quite shy about it, but Alexia has already bought a large chest-style freezer to hold Chandra’s body when her head goes flying around. I guess this means that Chandra is going to be staying at Dark Haven Bluffs regularly from now on. I think her cheerful personality will help Alexia breathe warmth into this haunted mansion.

                Also over dinner, Simon warned us that his Aunt Tzipporah de la Poer is coming to visit along with her daughter Leslie, who might be attending college here. Both of them sound like trouble. Among other things, Simon fears they might try to arrange a marriage between him and Leslie (or even worse, Tzipporah herself, who is apparently very, very old and supernaturally gifted despite her apparent youth). I am not looking forward to this visit.

                While we were discussing it, I reiterated my convictions that Simon cannot marry someone from his own family. Tavia was upset by that and informed me that we’d have to renew our conversations on that matter later, but she was more irritated by Tzipporah and Leslie’s impending visit. Which is understandable, since according to Simon, Tzipporah is a dangerously manipulative woman and her daughter is a trouble-maker who takes after her mother. We’re all a bit anxious for Tavia’s safety while they’re here, should they decide she’s an obstacle to marrying Simon, so I’ve agreed to stay close to Tavia and protect during their visit.

                Wednesday, May 13, 2010, Late Night

                I’m wandering the cemetery behind Dark Haven Bluffs, enjoying the night air and the morbidly romantic tranquility of the graveyard at midnight. Gwen is still spooked by the things she saw in Simon and Tavia’s crypt yesterday, and made me promise to scream so that she can hear me through her open window if I run into any trouble, but I’m not worried about that. I’ve often wandered the graveyard at night. It helps me think.

                I briefly spoke to Doc before he went out on patrol. I offered to help him with his patrols if he ever felt that he needed some backup, but he told me that he’d be fine. He’s been doing his patrols for some time, after all, so he knows his way around the city and he knows how to be careful. I also encouraged him to do what he could to help Natalie, which brought a hint of sadness to his eyes. He wants to help her more than anyone, but feels as powerless as I do. None of us can help Natalie if she isn’t willing to help herself.

                During my graveyard walk, I thought back on our dinner conversation, during which I repeated the point I’ve made before: even if Simon and Tavia are meant for each other and even if there isn’t anything terribly wrong, in a genetic sense, with their union, a relationship or marriage between them is a bad idea. After all, the mystical power that has been bred into the family lineage is directly connected to the Outsiders. Tavia’s paintings prove the danger of that power, and it is our krewe’s mandate to oppose the Outsiders, since they do not belong to the natural order or the balance of shadows. Allowing the Fishborne lineage to branch out, diluting the power of their blood, seems like an obvious necessity. And if they can’t bear children with those outside the family, then perhaps it is best that the lineage die out.

                So it is shocking to me that the rest of the krewe does not seem terribly opposed to Simon and Tavia’s union. The Drowned Bride and I sympathize with the power of true love and its ability to conquer all, but we also recognize the need to sacrifice our desires and dreams to maintain the balance of shadows, especially if it helps us defeat the Outsiders. And besides, we aren’t convinced that what Tavia and Simon share is true love. If we thought it was, then we might dedicate ourselves to finding a way for them to be together without empowering our enemies. But as it is, we feel our resolution to keep them apart, despite our sincere affection for both Simon and Tavia, is the correct approach.

                I’m glad the Bride is always with me. She may not be able to replace Richard, but her presence fills in some of the gaps left by his death and gives me the strength and purpose to go on.


                American Culture & Idioms

                "The “last night on earth” speech"

                - Natalie apparently used this to preface her last attempt to seduce Gwen. In this case it specifically refers to the fact that we don’t know what might happen wtih Tavia’s paintings tomorrow night, so it might be our “last night on earth.” It comes from old sci-fi movies from the 50’s and 60’s in which characters would use the line to proposition a reluctant partner.


                Here is what little we learned about Penanggalans from Chandra:

                - Penanggalans are a type of vampire and are forced to drink the blood of others to survive. The more they drink from a person, however, the greater the chances they will turn that person into a penanggalan.

                - While a penanggalan’s head is detached, her body must be preserved or it will begin to decay. Unless I’m mistaken, a penanggalan can only detach her head at night.

                - Chandra is mostly human while her head is attached. Many of her powers and weaknesses as a vampire only manifest when her head is detached. One of her supernatural abilities is the power to emit a teriffying scream, which can even kill the weak-spirited.

                Natalie's Tweets

                Wednesday, May 13th

                -Good morn-er, afternoon world.

                -My crazy housemate just showed me her snoopy toothbrush.

                -Damn Gwen is not here. I really want to talk to her.

                -Yes, you have a new toothbrush, sweetheart.

                -If she were not so adorable Owlish Housemate would be annoying.

                -Gwen is home; it’s time.

                -Gwen, could you have just told me you never want to see me again and make me feel better?

                -Fuck I don’t have any Heroin.

                -Breathing gets in the way of chugging vodka. Better to chug vodka.

                -oh shit

                -doc, sweetie, why do u fukjn do this to youself. I don’t anna hurt u


                -This was a dinner to remember. Am less Drfunk.

                -Another branch of the Addams Family is coming to Chez Satanique.

                -Trinh really wants to see me, but I won’t while I am hurting from Gwen. I’d fuck her to forget, and she deserves better. She deserves to be fucked while I don’t remember there is anyone else in the world.

                -She also deserves someone who is not this fat unlovable whore.

                -I want to hurt outside like I hurt inside. It’s time.

                Thursday, May 14th

                -Natalie is a bad piggy.

                -Piggy likes the taste of her blood.

                -Piggy smells burning piggy.

                -Why do people bother piggy? Piggy wants to root in the mud.


                -I just want to feel more pain. Is that so wrong? Why does Simon need me to come home now?

                -Maybe I can talk Simon into hurting me. Just a little.

                -Nah, Doc will find out, and Doc will kill him. I don’t want Simon, or Sonia, to be hurt.

                -Poor Simon, he has no end of stress on him.

                -People should leave him alone to do what he wants.

                -I’m going to bed. Alone.

                -Maybe, if I hope really hard and am really lucky, I won’t wake up.

                End Session XIII

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                • #23
                  Less depressing this time I promise.

                  I am going to put more info at the end of this rather then the beginning. You can skip to that if you prefer reading it first, just seems more natural to put some comments after. If you prefer to have them the old way...or prefer this...lemme know.

                  Session XIV

                  Doc's Log

                  Doc’s Log: 1340 Hours, Thursday, May 13, 2010

                  The meditation was a helpful tool this morning. I know that tonight is really big but meditating helped me really put my head into what I could do to help everyone tonight.

                  I opened up on time and had a pretty normal day, which also helped keep the mood relaxed. A steampunker came in just about the time I was finishing up with lunch and introduced herself as Cecile Carstairs. Sando pretty much hit the nail on the head with her description. She came by to talk and possibly apologize. Apparently Sando is always one to say what he means and means what he says, even if that is a guarantee to getting an ass beating, so she wanted to come by and make sure everything was cool between our Krewes. Once I convinced her that Sando was fine when we talked, she noticeably calmed down and we just talked a little more casually. She did have some pretty neat toys. I’d hate to piss her off enough for her to need to use any of them on me. That needle glove looked like it’d hurt. I clarified with Cecile about the whole checking on the House after tonight. She was concerned but I could tell she felt better hearing what was going on from me. Not sure what Sando told her that was different but whatever.

                  After she left, I started checking my inventory for things I’m going to need for tonight. I know that Nightshade will want to perform her ritual blessing on the Krewe and tonight I think I’m going to join in on that too. It looks like I have everything for a blend of tea made from herbs and Chicory, with Agave syrup to knock a little of the bite down. I’ve got some pretty strong Chicory root and fresh Agave syrup so I think we can take this brew, or potion if you will, and keep us alert without all the jitters from too much coffee. I figure if I’m the medic, I damn sure don’t need to give the Krewe something that’s harder for our bodies to deal with. I’ll probably brew this up before I head out tonight so it’s still fresh when I get there.

                  Doc’s Log: 1730 Hours, Thursday, May 13, 2010

                  I’m probably taking this occult stuff too far, but I want to do anything I can to help my Krewe tonight. I’m a little nervous now that we’re getting close to time, so meditation this morning was probably a very good idea. I started the tea brewing right after I locked up and then gather up some of the herbs I have for the Crystal Wavers. I know what’s what now, so when I got cleaned up tonight, I actually used several of the cleansing herbs to help cleanse my soul or my aura or whatever it might help with, just in case. I realize I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m trying to be prepared for anything. Now I’m gonna bottle this stuff in a monster thermos I got from a surplus store and head over to the House.

                  Doc’s Log: 0425 Hours, Friday, May 14, 2010

                  Well. As last nights on Earth go, this one was not bad.

                  We ate like normal and then just basically kept each other company. We all knew that tonight would be one of the most important tests for us a Krewe. Nightshade has organized a small viewing of The Craft. I can’t explain how amusing that is, but she’s totally into it so I don’t say anything. Snowflake went out to the crypt to clear his head which is beyond creepy but not, all at once. We do have an odd existence at times.

                  Around 2100, I was passing through keeping tabs on everyone when a loud knock at the front door got everyone’s attention. I guess I was more on edge than I thought as I popped my knuckles loud enough for Rose to hear in the other room. I jerked the door open and this huge “man” stood in the doorway. He was dripping sea water and made about two of me. There was something about his features that were just different than normal. Something about the eyes I guess. He asked for Snowflake and I “asked” who was looking for him? He looked down at me and replied that he was Snowflake’s cousin Karl from Cold Harbor. There was more than a little insinuation that this was a nicety and I really should move. Remembering the talk in the library, I immediately stepped aside and welcomed Karl into the House. The others were very confused when I began brief introductions. Tavia immediately ran for Snowflake. He was very confused and flustered when he came back in. I’d never seen him in anything other than relatively normal clothing. Tonight for obvious reasons he wore ornate ceremonial robes.

                  Once Snowflake arrived, Tavia went into “Lady of the House” mode and flew through proper introductions. There was an interesting shift in her confidence level when that happened. The moment family is involved, Tavia becomes entirely competent and even excels. Anyway, Karl came with warnings. In Cold Harbor, “the roots” of the family were concerned about the “shaking of the branches.” I know there’s something serious going on, but I didn’t think that was a great time to ask. Specifically Karl told us that Tzipporah was coming with Leslie and Alistair, but not Lucian. Snowflake explained that Lucian is sent to prune the Tree, so to speak so this was a good thing. Conversation turned to protecting Snowflake and that was about the time Karl proved he could handle most anything by shifting into an even bigger, fish man. His already large mouth protruded and opened with rows of Piranha teeth while his eyes swelled bigger than my fist and moved to the sides of his enormous head. Karl is a Werefish. He can still talk as a Fishmonster. That’s interesting. Tavia whispered to me that she might be able to do that someday, but she hasn’t yet. All I could do was blink at her.

                  Apparently Karl swam down from Cold Harbor then climbed the Bluffs to get here just to warn Snowflake of The Coming of Tzipporah. I couldn’t help but take that as an omen. I wasn’t sure how Karl could swim from Rhode Island and climb the Bluffs all tonight, but I gave him a drought of the Elixir of Alertness (I think that’s a good name for this tea) since he had to also get back to Cold Harbor tonight. He seemed very appreciative of that. He needed to be back by sunrise or something would happen. I’m not exactly sure what, but I get the feeling I’ll be seeing Karl enough to ask him when he and I aren’t both on someone else’s time table.

                  Karl shifted back to his version of human form and headed out so Nightshade got her gear together for the Krewe blessing. I knew it was a big deal for her and when we’re doing things that are heavy on ritual, I try to wear red, the color of my Horseman. Working so closely with the Marines, I have no shortage of red t-shirts, so I was wearing one with black fatigues. I don’t think anyone else cares about their Horseman…I mean being claimed or chosen by one of the Horseman isn’t like getting picked for a street basketball game. I think some of the others might not enjoy that particular metaphysical quandary. Wow, I’m starting to sound like Snowflake.

                  Anyway, after Nightshade invoked the power of the Horsemen and blessed the Krewe, it was time to get down to business. I gave out the Elixir of Alertness to the Krewe and Tavia. I offered it to Chandra but let her know that it probably wouldn’t help or even affect her at all. There are not words to describe seeing Tavia’s ears wiggle from drinking that. The standard response to drinking my draught (even Karl) was “Whoa!” I think Nightshade deemed that I had siphoned adrenaline directly from Satan for this brew, but then that’s Nightshade for ya. I’m just happy that it worked. So Chandra detached her head, Tavia donned her own ceremonial robes with stylized waves and strange fish-like hands rising from them on the cowl. Cool and scary all at once. Rose, Nightshade, and I waited outside the Ceremonial Chambers so as not to strengthen the power of the Outsiders.

                  Before it all started, I gave Nightshade a kiss on the cheek, just in case. She played games on her phone after that. Rose seemed to meditate. I stopped paying attention after a bit. Sitting there in fatigues, nervous that my friends were going to die, holding a loaded shotgun waiting to see what would happen…I zoned out. Apparently I don’t need to be in the Sand to completely return to combat trance. I didn’t know how long we’d been there when the doors swung open. I was on my feet, shotgun leveled before I understood I was covering Snowflake, who immediately put his hands up. Tavia, seeing the shotgun, tried to throw Snowflake out of the way and take the bullet for him. She really is completely devoted to that boy. But she also weighs less than my dirty laundry, so Snowflake just shufflestepped a little from her running into him. That split second was enough for my senses to return though and I jerked the barrel back up. Snowflake explained that the Hanger in the Void managed to make the picture shimmer a little, but neither one could really get their shit together as it were. We are safe for another month.

                  Chandra then decided that it was time for noms as she latched onto Cupcake. Ronin didn’t deal well with that. I stepped up, realizing that Chandra needed to feed very badly, and helped referee. That I also had a shotgun in hand might have helped on all sides. Once I knew Chandra had taken enough from Cupcake I tapped her on the head to get her attention…her body was in a freezer, that’s all I had. She looked pretty shocked when she pulled back and flew off to feed more. Apparently she hasn’t fed in several nights due to being with Cupcake. This was okay but she had a harder time of it than my other vampiric friends so she goes through her blood faster. I can see where this is and will be a problem.

                  By that time it was after 0300 so I knew there was really no point in going home tonight. Most of us were still very awake due to the elixir’s strength. We just kinda hung out and tried to unwind. I’ve been writing this for a while now. I think everyone else is asleep now since they aren’t normally up this late. I mean sure this is late for me too, but I think even Nightshade has an average bedtime of 0200. Still I think it might be time to turn in. I just can’t stop thinking about what we actually did tonight and feel really good about things.

                  This was the first test of many for the Krewe. This is our duty, our destiny. I will not allow these creatures to defile this world. And if they harm my Krewe, they will wish they never found a way into my world.

                  Doc’s Log: 1125 Hours, Friday, May 14, 2010

                  Meditation with all of Rose’s aids is so easy. I really don’t understand but it’s so…I don’t even know the right words. But after getting up and meditating, I headed home to take care of Xerxes and open the store.

                  Xerxes was very glad to see me and I got the feeling that it wasn’t just because he needed to go out. He knew. Something told him that I was doing something more dangerous than normal. Big slobber dog. I think I’m going to start taking him with me. Either to Krewe work or at night. I didn’t rescue him from the shelter to let him lay around all day and not get any exercise.

                  Anyway, it’s pretty quiet today. The girls were planning to have a spa day after lunch. Be interesting to see if Nightshade and Rose or Chandra and Ronin kill each other while they’re out. Tonight we’re partying. Not sure of all the details yet, but I’m pretty sure it will involve Rose besting all comers in something.

                  We survived the last night on Earth. Look out New Haven, tonight we take our reward!

                  Doc’s Log: 2345 Hours, Friday, May 14, 2010

                  It’s been a while since we all really relaxed, forgot to worry, and just had a good time together.

                  We went to an authentic Chinese restaurant tonight. God I love foreign food. I would so help Cupcake in the kitchen with stuff like that if a) I knew the first thing about cooking anything involved and b) she wouldn’t cut me for touching her stuff. After a fabulous dinner of dumplings, chow mei fun, and I don’t even know what else, we went to the Fair in Lighthouse Park. That was a fun time. Didn’t expect everyone to get into like they did, but we all had a great time. I was all for it though.

                  After the big rides had all been conquered, I decided there was one more place we had to go and prompted our mass exodus a little further south to a certain haunted carousel. Willie played his part to the hilt and we had a great time. I think Rose was happy for at least a full 10 minutes or more. Seriously everyone seemed to have a great time.

                  Now I’m gonna head out and make sure nothing terrible tries to ruin our night of reverie.

                  Jasmine’s Diary

                  May 13, 2010, Afternoon

                  I stopped by Lulu’s this afternoon to give Stanly Gwen’s business card. Actually, since Stanly knows other people who might have need of the services of a private investigator from time to time, I gave him several cards to pass on to others. I hope this helps drum up business. Stanly seemed to recognize Gwen’s name. He thinks his late partner, Peter, had a run-in with her over the possession of marijuana when she was still a police officer. He described her as very serious and businesslike. I assured him that while Gwen could certainly be all business at times, she’s really a very friendly person once you get to know her. Stanly also admitted that his nosiness had gotten him in trouble in the past. He said that he’s “burned his paws on a few hot stove lids.” I have an idea of what that means, but I’ll ask Gwen about it later. I wonder if it is related to the expression “curiosity killed the cat?”

                  May 13, 2010, Night

                  We are getting ready to stand sentry over Tavia’s paintings to make sure the outsiders can’t use them to escape tonight, it being the long dreaded night of the new moon. Most of us will stand guard inside the ritual chamber in which the paintings are stored. Simon will perform a ritual to ensure that the paintings remain dormant. Furthermore, the chamber’s occult trappings help keep the outsiders from escaping, but because Natalie, Doc and I apparently share the vices of one or the other of the creatures represented by the paintings, our presence would only strengthen them, so we will be waiting outside the room, ready to join the others in the event that they need us.

                  But as Natalie was getting ready to perform a krewe blessing for us, there was a knock on the door. It was Simon and Tavia’s cousin Carl. He is a very big, somewhat oafish man from the same branch of the family as Tavia, but seemed concerned about Simon and Tavia’s safety since Simon’s Aunt Tzipporah de la Poer is coming to visit. He wanted to warn them of the danger, and Simon briefly discussed the possibility of Carl remaining close at hand (though hidden) in case he was needed during the de la Poer’s visit.

                  He also surprised most of us by transforming into a hulking fish man to prove how dangerous he could become if things became violent with Aunt Tzipporah. It was quite shocking. Carl also warned us that the “roots of the Fishborne family tree are concerned about the shaking of the branches.” That particular idiom was not lost on me, and it made me realize that the problem with the Simon’s family and the outsiders goes far beyond keeping Tavia and Simon from marrying and bearing children.

                  May 14, 2010, Very Early Morning

                  The night of the new moon passed uneventfully. Our precautions were enough to keep the outsiders imprisoned.

                  Natalie blessed us with a krewe ritual dedicated to the Horsemen beforehand, and Doc gave us an herbal concoction to help keep us awake and alert throughout the night. Simon and Tavia, both clad in ornate ceremonial robes, performed a ritual to keep the outsiders at bay while Gwen, Alexia and Chandra stood inside the chamber to guard them. Meanwhile, Doc, Natalie and I waited in the room outside. Natalie listened to music and played with her iPhone. Doc sank into a kind of military focus that was a bit scary to witness…but I’ve seen athletes and martial artists enter the same kind of trance. I spent the time meditating. During my meditations, I let my mind mix and flow with that of the Drowned Bride. And that was when insight began flooding in. Troubled as I was over the issues with the Fishborne family, my perspective, combined with that of the Drowned Bride, began to shift and change. We realized that as with many things, our understanding of Simon’s family and situation was very poor. There is something dark and primeval about the roots of his family’s connections to the outsiders, and our krewe will eventually need to understand those connections if it is to uphold its ethos. The fish-like heritage of parts of the family and their relationship to outsiders speaks of ancient and primeval ties to dark things from the depths of the sea. And even though those things come from outside the balance of shadows, they share certain qualities with the ancient natural things of our world.

                  We remembered things the Drowned Bride had experienced as she rested at the bottom of the sea, lost in regret and loneliness. There, the primeval nature of the depths tugged at her, yet her attachment to her lost love and the hope that eventually guided her from her watery grave prevented her from absorbing the primeval power of the deep. But she remembers it, and as we meditated we decided to seek that power and become one with it. If we can do so, maybe we can achieve some understanding of the primeval nature of the Fishborne family and their
                  connection to things outside of the balance of shadows.

                  In other words, we decided to seek the Primeval Key.

                  I didn’t share these revelations with anyone else because I’m not sure if it will really do any good. After all, Gwen and Doc both possess the Primeval Key, but I don’t think it’s provided them with any special insight into the Fishborne problem. But acquiring the key is something that is properly in tune with my dharma. I will work on it this weekend by returning to the ocean with the Bride so that she can help me follow the primeval pull of the depths that she sensed so long ago.

                  On another subject, I should mention that Chandra very nearly caused us a serious problem. She has not been feeding regularly since she’s been with Alexia almost constantly over the past few days, and after she detached her head to help guard the paintings, she was apparently nearly starving. Alexia gave her permission to feed from her, and Chandra began ravenously devouring Alexia’s blood. We actually had to force her to stop, and even then she was still so hungry that she had to leave the mansion to feed from others. The way she lost control was frightening…she wasn’t the friend I know at all. We will have make sure she is more careful and feeds more regularly from now on, because we cannot afford to have her lose control in a dangerous situation, should it come to that. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have her along with us when we are dealing with ghosts. As far as I can tell, she has little, if any ability to interact with unmanifested spirits, so she could easily become a liability in our dealings with ghosts, especially since she seems to exert a lot of her strength by detaching her head and using her powers. I’m very fond of Chandra, which is why I don’t want to see her give in to hunger and become a beast again like she did tonight.

                  Doc and Gwen seem as upset as I am about it, especially Gwen. But Alexia is as cheerful and nonchalant about it as she is about everything. I’m almost worried about her apparent lack of concern.

                  May 14, 2010, Late Night

                  I had a good day today. It was nice to relax for a change.

                  In the morning, I went to train Jean and Simon. Simon has mastered the fundamentals of swimming. He still becomes tired very quickly, but otherwise he has become a competent swimmer. He promises to continue coming by two or three times a week to swim laps. I hope he does, since it will help build his stamina.
                  Simon commented that I was a good teacher, which was very sweet. I admitted to him that I didn’t always feel like a good teacher. We ended up talking a bit about my late husband, Richard. He was a very talented trainer, and even though I think I learned a lot about how to teach others from him, I also feel like I’m a very poor teacher compared to him. But Simon and Jean seem to feel otherwise, so maybe I’m being too modest. I’d like to think so.

                  After lunch, all of the ladies in the krewe, plus Tavia and Chandra, went to a nice day spa I recommended run by a nice, older Taiwanese woman. We had a wonderful time. I was even able to forget about my sorrows for awhile. Natalie and I were even able to bond a little when she began talking about music and learned that I really like The Cure. Richard introduced me to them, and we used to listen to their music together a lot. Even though most of our favorite songs all came from Wish and Disintegration and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, I remember how we went to see The Cure on tour just before their latest album, 4:13 Dream, was released. And I remember laying together on a blanket on the beach after the album had been released, listening to its opening track, Underneath the Stars. It felt so right and so romantic. From then on, that was one of our songs. I still listen to it when I want to remember exactly how it felt to be with Richard.

                  Later in the evening, we all went out to eat at a nice Chinese restaurant and then visited the carnival that happens to be in town. Honestly, I don’t understand the American fascination with fried foods. But, I won a lot of carnival games, and I think Simon made some comment that it wouldn’t be a proper night out if I didn’t win something. I was both flattered and embarrassed by the observation.
                  Later, we visited the haunted carousel near Dark Haven Bluffs and rode it, much to the delight of its ghostly operator, Willie. Making a lonely ghost happy was the perfect end to a wonderful day, and for the first time in weeks, I feel very much at peace now as I prepare for bed.

                  One last note. I think I’m going to go buy a cat. Having a pet might be good for me, and the Bride suggested that becoming more in tune with an animal might help me attune myself to the Primeval Key more easily.


                  The Orphan-Grinders

                  Doc informed us that another krewe is moving through the area, checking up on things. Called the Orphan-Grinders, they spend most of their time in the Underworld and have what Doc described as a “steampunk” theme. Of course
                  the others had to explain “steampunk” to me, but I figured it out quickly enough; it’s much like the works of Jules Verne, perhaps with a more modern touch.

                  Despite their name, which is apparently another term for sin-eaters in some circles, the Orphan-Grinders seem to be a good krewe, according to Doc. They are respectful of our territory and are led by a gadgeteer named Cecile Carstairs whom Doc believes could be very dangerous to her enemies thanks to her many gadgets.

                  Doc says the Orphan-Grinders are trying to build an airship for traveling through the Underworld. If they succeed, it will be very majestic, but it seems a bit fantastic to me.

                  American Culture & Idioms

                  “…burned my paws on a few hot stove lids.”

                  - Stanly used this expression to refer to himself and his curiosity. Gwen helped complete my spotty understanding of its meaning. Stanly, being curious, is much like a cat (as in “curiosity killed the cat”), and the expression means that his nosiness has gotten him in trouble in the past, like a curious cat burning its paws on a stove.

                  "Mr. Yuck"

                  -Alexia brought this one up in a conversation about our krewe marks, specifically our danger mark. She compared it to “Mr. Yuck.” When I looked at her oddly (but not too oddly, because it’s not terribly uncommon for Alexia to personify things), she and the others explained that Mr. Yuck was a green, frown-faced sticker used to label bottles of dangerous household cleaners and other chemicals so that curious children would know not to drink from them. If you ask me, though, it sounds like Americans just don’t have enough trust in the intelligence of their children. Or maybe they are just trying to make up for parental laziness.

                  Natalie’s Tweets

                  Thursday, May 14th

                  -I’m awake. Woo.

                  -I am going to do lunch with Trinh. It will just be lunch. I will not drag her off and ravish her. I will repeat this to myself as necessary. This with her will not be sped up, and The Krewe needs me tonight at my best.

                  -I am going to see The Craft today and drink Cognac. Going to see if Simon, Alexia, Gwen or Jasmine want to as well.

                  -Hmmm I wonder what Alexia and Chandra were doing last night. If Chandra were any gigglier she would explode.

                  -Meeting Trinh for lunch. She looks great I can tell a pronounced wardrobe difference from our last meeting.

                  -Goddess, I needed this kissing.

                  -Your Mistress is having a lunch date with a beautiful woman. All is right with the world.

                  -I need a place to go parking secluded enough to make out and not secluded enough to go further. If I take her to the apartment it is all over.

                  -Lunch date over. Many promises whispered, but promise to myself kept. Mostly.

                  -Ah The Craft, a gem of 90s Cinema. I watched this when I was 15, and my life changed forever. What movies changed your life?

                  -Simon and I have a secret.

                  -The secret is not that we are sleeping together. Even if I swung that way, I would be shanked by Owlish Housemate if this occurred. I think she would just know.

                  -Chandra is even gigglier. I did not think that was possible. Maybe she is a Muppet.

                  -Doc is feeding the Krewe adrenaline taken straight from Satan’s pituitary gland. Yes Demon Lords have pituitary glands why wouldn’t they?

                  -It’s time to bless the Krewe. I have my was ready.

                  -Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Danger Natalie Knight!

                  -It’s a big fishman. Oh. Well if that is all. He is Simon’s Cousin. Naturally.

                  -Big scary Fishman came to warn us about the DeLaPoer’s coming. Well just in case I was not uncomfortable enough with that.

                  -OK, he is swimming back to Rhode Island (!) so time to do this Ritual again. I’d hate to think I shined the was for nothing.

                  -The Horseman are invoked, may they watch over us.

                  -Owlish Housemate has put on some interesting duds. They match Simon’s. Chandra’s head is flying around. I don’t see myself ever getting used to that.

                  -Time for me to heroically play my role in the mission of preventing the wonderful Doomponies from bursting from the painting: Sitting in the hall with Doc and Jasmine playing video games. #Doomponies

                  Friday, May 15th

                  -Nothing going on in there but talking. I am afraid to Boneyard as that presence would probably make things worse.

                  -Ok it’s been called. No Intruders this time. I am going to go chat with Trinh.

                  -Damn she is asleep. :-/

                  -She did leave me a LOVELY note though. ^_^

                  -I feel like this is going to be a very good hookup. Wish the punch in the gut from Gwen was not still hurting…

                  -Apparently Chandra was hungry. Damn.

                  -A Vampire has not bitten me in a long time.

                  -OK that’s enough for one night. Your Mistress is signing off.

                  -Man, I had trouble going to sleep last night. Damn devil’s adrenaline. I saw the sunlight try to peek through my curtains.

                  -Good afternoon. Your Mistress is awake.

                  -Gwen, Tavia, Jasmine, Alexia, Chomps…er…Chandra and I are going to the salon. This should be fun. I don’t think they get treatments as often as I do. Will give me a chance to show off a little for them anyway.

                  -Chandra only seems to have a dim idea of what is going on, Tavia seems new to it. Not quite sitcomesque, but close enough.

                  -Your Mistress has the best pallor in the room.

                  -Your Mistress is going to be having Chinese tonight.

                  -Picked up Doc and Simon for dinner as well. Going to have Single Friends Night, but not just for Single Friends so we don’t have to kick Alexia out.

                  -OK, time for rides. It’s roller coaster time, and Your Mistress is going to scream her gothic head off. ^_^

                  End Session IV

                  A little anticlimatic. But the PCs carefully avoided having people with the wrong vices nearby and put it in rooms with binding circles to make it harder for them to enter the world.

                  I forgot to note last time Chandra is a Penanggalan, as defined in Wicked Dead. While I am using Tamannaah Bhati as the pic for Chandra, I whipped out the pic in Wicked Dead of the Penanggalan at the bathtub when her head separated. it was kinda awesome. People looked at it, blinked, and kinda silently passed it on. As some may have guessed, Carl ranks among the Brineborn from War Against the Pure, as do nearly all of the Cold Harbor Fishborne. His pic comes from a GIS for Innsmouth. There is a few wrinkles about them making them slightly different then other Brineborn as presented in WATP, but they are the same species. Tavia is potentially one but has not changed, probably due to the abyssal blood. This is noteworthy as the Brineborn generally can change from birth. Finally, not referring to obscure WoD books this time but because I was asked, the was Natalie referrers to is a curved top Egyptian scepter. The name means "power and it is associated with pharaohs and the god Sutekh (Set).

                  Hope you enjoyed, as always leave comments and questions here.

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                  • #24
                    Session XV

                    Doc's Log

                    Doc’s Log: 0815 Hours, Saturday, May 15, 2010

                    Last night was happily uneventful and this morning has been pretty good too. I meditated easily and really found my inner calm place today. I don’t have any appointments so I’m going to take Xerxes out and then head over to the House. Might be good to get him acclimated in case Tavia needs some extra backup while Auntie Tzipporah’s in town. I’ll have to talk to Snowflake about that.

                    Doc’s Log: 1245 Hours, Saturday, May 15, 2010

                    Well I guess you learn something new everyday. Some days that might be something major, like how you can mix Chicory root and herbs into an elixir. Other days it might be something minor, like learning there is the Fish people’s god of Home and Hearth sleeping under the House. Yeah I know. I need to back out and explain that one a little.

                    When I got to the House, Rose and Snowflake were getting ready to explore the caves in the Bluffs at sea level. No way I was missing that. I wasn’t sure what might be down there, but I also had no intention of letting Rose and Snowflake find out the hard way. Ronin wasn’t around yet, Cupcake had something planned out and Nightshade was still asleep from last night. Seemed like it was just us. So Rose instructed us to get our gear on. I don’t think she was prepared for my neoprene shorty or my utility belt. She forgets I was Navy and trained with Marines. I’ve done this shit before. Well okay, I don’t think anyone has done what we did and lived, but I’m getting to that.

                    Once we got to the base of the Bluffs, Rose reached behind her and pulled her Tear-Stained Shroud around her before diving into the water. She told us to wait for her to find the safest path and disappeared into the shadowy surf. She was gone for almost and hour and I was starting to get worried when she popped her veiled head back out of the waves like some Gothic siren of ancient legend. The way wasn’t too difficult but there was no way for Snowflake to get air often enough. This was disappointing but Snowflake handled it well. He decided before he headed back up he’d just take a look with his Grave-Dirt Boneyard. I thought that was fair. Damn good thing he did too.

                    Past the immediate underwater catacombs he found a large open cavern with stone structures and statues to the Gods of the Fish People, like Karl and the other Cold Harbor Fishborns…or Fish Born in this case. Ancient runes so bizarre and unknowable not even Snowflake could determine what they said covered the walls and lined a large pit in the floor. Within that watery oubliette slept the being that Snowflake believed put the “H” in House. That’s good recon. Then he told us that Tavia was already in the cavern, walking around like she owned the place. Rose immediately assumed the worst but I was intrigued. With that Snowflake headed back up the House.

                    Rose and I got down to business. She swims WAY faster than any normal human should, even if I am out of practice and still stiff from the explosion. I guess that’s the difference between a once dead squid and a once dead Olympic swimmer. Oh well, I’ll just have to work on it. There were fish everywhere down there and that shouldn’t have been weird, but they didn’t dart away from us. Actually they just kinda looked at us as we swam by. None of the fish looked out of place for the area, but they were fucking huge. And more importantly, I noticed as a few made fish lips at me, they all had teeth. That was not normal. Anyway, we got to the cavern after about 15 or 20 minutes, which is good since I had run out of easy to spot air pockets about 3 turns after I was really comfortable.

                    When we broke the surface Tavia was moving around as if she were expecting us. I have to admit that was a little ominous but whatever. I asked her where the cool stuff was. She pointed to a large round pit carved into the floor of the cavern. I walked over with my Saberlite and didn’t know what I was seeing at first. The reflection coming off the black scales eventually gave me the proper context for size and shape. It was at least 50 foot long and resting at the bottom of the flooded hole. All around the pit were these runes that Snowflake mentioned. I’d never seen anything like it, even in the Library. I asked Tavia if she could read it, but she shook her head, almost disappointedly. Rose had broke off to check out all the stone huts. I decided to look at the Fish God statues. Tavia stuck with me for a bit, helping me work out which one was which. I got that the one with breasts was their love and fertility goddess, and I didn’t say anything about the recently burned candles on the altar in front of that statue either. But about that time, Rose went into one of the huts and Tavia rushed off. I came up behind them and realized that this was Tavia’s private studio. Private as in we should not have been there. She had an image of me wearing what looked like Bronze-Age armor with a sword outstretched in one hand, a machine gun at the ready in the other. Lightning struck one of the buildings behind me in a desert scene that I can only assume was somewhere in ancient Mesopotamia. I was flattered as that was an awesome representation but I could tell Tavia never meant for us to see these…personal interpretations of our Krewe. Rose didn’t seem to understand that. That became evident as she stared at the sketch of Tavia weeping from the withering scowl from a disapproving Rose. I tried to gently but distinctly suggest we move along. Tavia, obviously relieved, helped me a little more with the god statues, telling me that each of these entities slept in various parts of the world. We also talked a little about how out of place Tavia felt. I don’t mean how weird she seems to normal people. This was some deeply personal stuff. I guess having us in one of the Cold Harbor’s religious spots made it okay for her to open up. She called herself a half breed and talked about all the things she couldn’t do. Apparently she is ashamed of the fact that she can’t shift like Karl. I’m not sure if she sees that as her birthright revoked or a path to power. She agreed with my thought that maybe the “other” half of her blood was blocking things. What really sucks for her is that even though she can’t shift like the other Cold Harbor Fishborns, she suffers what she called the Weight of the Depths. Basically what she confided to us was that she has to deal with all the drawbacks of being both from Cold Harbor and from being a Fishborn, with only a few of the upsides. That was sad to me, but it does make sense as to why she studied art in Baton Rouge now.

                    There was another summoning circle down there, similar to the one in the ceremony room but much more primitive. I believe that Snowflake and I could and maybe should improve on the design. After a while, Rose decided to commune with the sea so Tavia showed me the quick way in and out. There’s something about Tavia when she swims. She seems so majestic and … I don’t know. She doesn’t swim like a person, her whole body moves as she glides through the water with a grace I was not expecting. We came back up so I could get a shower and change into normal clothes. I decided to go ahead and write all this down before I forgot some of the details. Not sure what everybody’s up to now. Gonna go find out.

                    Doc’s Log: 1725 Hours, Saturday, May 15, 2010

                    The hits keep coming. We went shopping! Occult shopping actually.

                    I went out to Long Wharf Park after I got changed and tried to get as many birch twigs as I could for the ceremony I figured out. I realized pretty quickly I’d need more trees and more time or a better source. So I came back in and asked if anyone wanted to help me with occult shopping. Big surprise that Nightshade, Snowflake, Tavia, and Cupcake all joined up for that. Seems Snowflake needed a new cell phone. Nightshade smells like strawberries. Thank God Tavia walked up and sniffed her hair. I was getting tied in knots. I know Nightshade didn’t do it to bother me, and it’s not bothering me in a bad way, but damn. Tavia brought just enough awkward to make me laugh and move on.

                    We started off at a West Haven back alley Voodoo shop. The woman running the place spoke with such a thick accent we all had a really hard time understanding her. I caught a little more than the others I think because I’ve been around Jerome lately. Either way, after Cupcake tried to use “universal signs” for I don’t know, I took over the talking before we got cursed or killed or both. We got brass and ivory coins, cheap rum, and whole cured tobacco leaves. She didn’t have birch twigs, but I gave her my number in case she got some in. Think I’m gonna need to pay Deirdre a visit up in Sleeping Giant for any real amount of birch. But after that adventure, we headed for a phone store.

                    Snowflake got a new phone and even surprised Tavia with one as well. Nightshade helped make sure they got all the best deals and equipment, being our de facto techie and all. Seems Snowflake has an appointment about 1800 Hours, so we headed back for him to get ready and head out. He said he’d be back sometime tomorrow.

                    Now we’re back at the House and Cupcake is making Spinach and Shrimp stuffed Ravioli with an Alfredo sauce. Life is hard sometimes.

                    Doc’s Log: 1945 Hours, Saturday, May 15, 2010

                    After dinner, I head down into the Library to try and get better prepared if Snowflake and I have to become Blood Brothers. The Dog of War is still resisting this idea…

                    "You wish to blindly walk the path of Transmogrification Bijal. This is unwise when fully aware, yet you are barely awakened to these mysteries."

                    And thus I’m looking into it myself and not just taking for granted that Snowflake will warn me of any and all problems. Anyway, what I learned wasn’t terribly helpful but I did learn that the ritual involves a spiritual change, maybe even like a branding of the soul. The blood of the subject will be changed by the ritual. I suspect that’s what Snowflake was talking about when he said there was a chance I could go crazy. More to think about.

                    Now I think I’m going to do more setup and cleaning in the War Room. Maybe work on some of my katas.

                    Doc’s Log: Hours, Sunday, May 16, 2010

                    Today was a good day and then, tonight happened. Still it could have been worse.

                    I went out on patrol a little early tonight so when I got the call from Truman around midnight, I was already north of Yale. Apparently something big hit Alchemy. All Truman could tell me was that around 23:30 some kids were having an argument. Then things started shattering before an explosion from inside the club blew everything and everyone out the front of the place. I thanked him and called a cab.

                    It took me about 10 or 15 minutes to wait for the cab, then ride over. When I got there, all the windows were shattered. This was a big deal since they were plate glass. Bomb sniffing dogs and the bomb squad proper were crawling all over the place. I played a hunch and called Clarissa but only got her voicemail. Figures. All the furniture except the tear drop bar (which was bolted into the concrete) was thrown forward. It was pretty easy to see the point that whatever happened went off. All the lights and anything breakable was shattered from about 10 feet from the back all the way up front and all in one direction. No way a shaped charge detonated here with that much force and left no burns, ground zero impact, or anything else. I decided to move back away from all the people and possessed the Dog of War. Looking around in Twilight, I could see several of the same kind of Rage Spirits we saw over at the Walthstone’s hovering around the frustrated cops. That still implicated Clarissa to me, but since I knew repeatedly calling a teenager is a guarantee not to get an answer, I couldn’t confirm anything. I zoned back in from Twilight and called Cupcake. I told her about the club so she could pass things along and remembered that we hadn’t told her about the caves from earlier. I have no idea how neither Snowflake, Tavia, nor me thought to tell her about that. Rose of course thought this was awful of us and Cupcake let me know that she heard all about it after Rose came in from the bottom of the ocean. That’s interesting.

                    I’ve made it back to Dark Haven Bluffs after I stopped and got Xerxes. Snowflake didn’t seem to think the House would eat him and I think it’s a good idea to get him use to the Krewe, Tavia, and the House. Now I think it’s time for sleep. I’m turning in a little early, but I’ve learned that once someone big happens at night, most everything else fades into the shadows. Hope I’m right again.

                    Doc’s Log: 0910 Hours, Sunday, May 16, 2010

                    The House didn’t eat Xerxes and he doesn’t seem too upset to be here so that’s a good start. I meditated in my room this morning for about an hour. Now it’s time to take Xerxes down to meet the Krewe and see what we’re up to today.

                    Doc’s Log: 1245 Hours, Sunday, May 16, 2010

                    Xerxes made a good impression. Tavia didn’t run screaming. I explained the situation at Alchemy to Rose once everyone finished “petting the doggie.” Fortunately Xerxes has no problems being petted by multiple women. He did sniff Nightshade a little differently. Not sure if that was because of the strawberry thing or other substances in her system. Rose decided she needed to get some hair samples from Clarissa’s. She asked me why I didn’t call the girl’s parents last night. I stopped myself from laughing, but I did mention that calling the house of an overly uptight couple and saying, “John. Nancy. It’s midnight, do you know where your daughter is?” might not go over very well and would certainly earn Clarissa’s hatred. I called Snowflake as we were leaving to let him know what we were up to and find out his ETA. He said he was heading back already but he sounded out of it. He asked Rose to pick up a compact or some over mirrored surface for him so he could help track our misfit telekinetic when he got back.

                    I took Xerxes for a walk while Rose invisibly stalked the Walthstone house. Cupcake keep the car running and tried not to be noticed. This worked out pretty well. Rose confirmed that Clarissa wasn’t home and her parents didn’t seem worried or even aware there was a problem. I suggested that she was staying with a friend since she obviously went out after her parents would have allowed for otherwise. Once Rose reappeared back in the car, I loaded up Xerxes and we all got back to the House.

                    Rose used the hair for a ceremony to track Clarissa and we pinpointed the James home. Clarissa’s friend and feuding partner Deanna James lived there. When Snowflake stumbled in, he looked drunk and hungover. He took the compact from Rose and went off to mystically stalk our psychic teen some more. Snowflake’s ceremony worked differently and therefore allowed him to get an idea of what was happening around her as well as where she is. He noted that Deanna seemed to be trying to encourage Clarissa to move things with her mind. That confirmed that Clarissa had been to Alchemy last night and that she was developing a cheerleader in Deanna. Hopefully that won’t be a problem later.

                    Now we need to figure out what do to with all this information. Here’s to strategic outcomes.

                    Jasmine's Diary

                    May 15, 2010, Night

                    It has been a long day, and I’m completely knackered. Yet despite the dire revelations of the day, I feel strangely at peace with myself and the Bride, even though I find myself anxious about this house and its history.

                    I began the day with my morning meditations and then announced, over breakfast, that I would be out for most of the day. I didn’t tell the others where I’d be since I thought they would only worry, but I did tell them of my intention to have a look through some of the seaside caves in the cliff below Dark Haven Bluffs before I headed out. Naturally, Simon was quite interested in the exploration, though I doubted his ability to keep up since I intended to swim through tunnels that were largely submerged in order to reach the more inaccessible regions of the cliffside caves. He has only just learned to swim, and his stamina still isn’t up to the exertion of holding his breath for long periods of time.

                    Doc also insisted on accompanying me, for which I was grateful. I felt his combat expertise might be useful if we encountered anything unwholesome in the caves. Alexia chose to remain safe and sound in the house, and Natalie had not yet risen. Gwen was also not at breakfast; she must have risen early to go to her P.I. office or something.

                    Tavia’s response to my plan was somewhat shocking. She said that I could go down into the cave if I wished, but that I would be happier not knowing the things I might learn there. Her warning did not dissuade me. I suppose I can be a bit stubborn when I’ve made up my mind, and to be honest, I expected to find some very unpleasant things in the cliffs even before she spoke up. Besides, my happiness is a rather ephemeral thing, and I’ve already accepted the fact that my life as a sin-eater will be an unhappy one, at least until I find true love again.

                    Doc, Simon and I headed to the pier beneath Dark Haven Bluffs. I scouted out some likely caves and then told them I’d explore to find the safest path for us. Many of the caves were at least partially submerged. This wasn’t a problem for me, not once I drew the Tear-Stained Shroud around me, but finding a path that would allow the others to surface and breath at regular intervals was necessary if they were to follow me.

                    It took me about half and hour to navigate the caves and find a good path. I eventually emerged in a large, open chamber. I couldn’t see much in the pale light of the waterproof torch I’d brought with me, but I could see enough to tell me that the cavern I’d discovered was home to at least several small buildings and large statues. I returned to where Doc and Simon were waiting to lead them to my find.

                    It was obvious, though, that Simon would not survive the swim in. Doc could probably hold his breath long enough to make it from one air pocket to the next, but not Simon. And I was anxious about his ability to swim through the tunnels in the first place. So Simon agreed to stay behind. Before we left, though, he suggested that we at least let him have a peek into the caves with the omniscience of his Grave-Dirt Boneyard.

                    The power of that manifestation is truly amazing. He was able to get a sense of the twisting, winding caverns and the space beyond, and told us that the huge cavern inside the cliff housed what appeared to be an entire village, replete with altars and statues of fish-like gods. We were all surprised when he informed us that Tavia was already inside, apparently having swum in on her own through some hidden cave or another. She seemed to have turned one of the ancient huts into a sort of art studio.

                    But by far the most chilling feature of the cavern-village was a wide, open pool in its center, within which slept a gigantic fish-like humanoid. Simon hesitated before telling us about it, and when he did I felt my heart sink. It wasn’t fear. It was more like hopelessness.

                    The fish-being is apparently one of the god-things from which the Fishborne gained their powers, and from which they are likely descended. According to Simon, it is one of several such things that have lain dormant for thousands of years, scattered across the earth. The Fishborne families are their protectors and worshippers, though Simon confesses that he doesn’t know a lot about those practices, having fallen a bit far from the family tree as he has.

                    Circles of ancient occult words and symbols were engraved around the pool, and Simon guessed that they helped to channel the fish-god’s consciousness and will into Dark Haven Bluffs. If that’s true, then that thing and the house are really one and the same, and the house’s will, which we’ve come to accept over the past year of living in it, is really that things will.

                    It’s a terrifying revelation, and makes me uncomfortable to live in the house anymore. However, my terror at the discovery has been mitigated by Simon’s assurance that the fish-god is not an outsider. It may be some terrible elder thing, but at least it belongs to the balance of shadows.

                    That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the potential to upset that balance. If it ever awakens…

                    Simon’s psychic exploration of the cavern did little to discourage Doc and me from going in to see it in person. After all, there’s only so much Simon can observe with the Boneyard, and I think both Doc and I wanted to see the fish-god with our own eyes. I also wanted to see what Tavia was doing there and investigate her studio. So, with Doc following me, and with plenty of pauses so that Doc could surface and breath in air pockets, we swam into cavern village.

                    The cave was huge; the pale beams from our torches and the ambient illumination from Doc’s flares could only light a fraction of it at a time. The ancient huts were in poor repair but still standing, and the whole place was ringed with tall fish-god statues and ancient inscriptions in the same language that surrounded the fish-god’s pool. Before we explored anything else, though, we located the fish-god and had a look at it with our own eyes.

                    Simon’s description didn’t quite prepare me for the sight of the thing, its massive, slick body curled up in the darkness of the shadowed pool, the deep murmur of its breathing creating an inaudible but still palpable vibration throughout the subterranean chamber. I think that if I had come in to explore the place without Simon’s description of what lay inside, the discovery of the thing would have filled me with mind-numbing horror. As it was, I was overcome by something more akin to a nervous awe than fright, the horror of the discovery having been dissipated by the knowledge of what I was to see.

                    By the time we had come to terms with the experience of seeing the fish-god in person, Tavia had found us. Doc immediately began asking her about the place. He may be a combat-hardened soldier, but he’s also a scholar, and with Tavia’s help he began exploring the statues and inscriptions, trying to glean as much of the history and mythos of the place as he could. Each statue, it seems, represents a different fish-god. The altar in front of one of them, the goddess of fertility, showed signs of recently burned candles and minor offerings, no doubt Tavia’s work.

                    While Doc explored the religious trappings of the cavern, I investigated the huts to get a sense of what the people who had inhabited them were like. There really wasn’t much to see, though, at least not for someone with no knowledge of archaeology like me. I can only assume that the inhabitants were Simon’s ancestors or perhaps fish-people like his Cousin Carl. I did make an effort to find Tavia’s studio hut, though, as I wanted to see her work. Honestly, I was a bit worried that she might be painting more outsider-summoning paintings down here. I know that she has been largely open with us about all of that, but I don’t feel I can trust her completely on that front; who knows what compulsions might visit her. Which raises a question: if the fish-god’s will rules Dark Haven Bluff, then how does it feel about the outsiders threatening to break out of Tavia’s paintings? The best case scenario is that since the family was planning the whole thing from the start, the fish-god doesn’t care one way or the other. The worst case is that it is actually in favor of the outsiders breaking out into the world, in which case we’re pretty much done for.

                    Those unpleasant thoughts aside, I did find Tavia’s studio hut. She had quite a few sketches for possible paintings in there, and they were all very good. She’s a talented artist. She didn’t seem to be painting any outsider-summoning paintings, which was a relief. Mostly her sketches were of the krewe. There was a fairly tasteful, if seductive sketch of Natalie, a very, very dramatic sketch of Doc in what looked like some sort of fantastic landscape, and several idealized sketches of Simon. There were even a couple of me, one smiling slightly, and the other frowning with a look of disapproval. The latter sketch included a self-portrait of Tavia crying. Does my approval really mean so much to her? Tavia seemed embarrassed to have me examining her artwork, so I didn’t make a big deal about it. Poor girl. I really don’t know what to do with her.

                    After a pretty thorough exploration, we left, and that was that. Doc headed back up to the house with Tavia, and I made my excuses and remained by the sea. Once Doc was gone, I found a convenient nook inside one of the caves to store my gear, stripped down to rid myself of all trappings of civilization, and then unlocked the Tear-Stained Caul to become one with the water and transport myself miles from the shore, well out of sight of anything but the ocean. Then, enshrouded in the Tear-Stained Shroud, I sank below the waves to drift into the depths, as deep as I could go without the pressure getting the best of me. There, I meditated on the primeval nature of the ocean and tried to open myself to those forces that the Drowned Bride felt pulling on her years ago when she was trapped in the wreckage of her sunken ship.

                    I’ve never thought of myself as a very “outdoorsy” sort of person, but Natalie has said, in the past, that I’m pretty naturalistic. I eat healthy and organic foods, exercise a lot, and spend a lot of time outside. I started meditating on those things to open myself up to the natural world, and from there, communing with nature wasn’t hard. I’m certain my mastery of the Tear-Stained key only made it easier, given the environment. In the depths, I discovered a sense of freedom unchained to the demands and expectations of civilization. I’m not sure that my meditations helped me understand the nature of the Fishborne problem any better, but then again, maybe they did. After all, I do feel more at peace now.

                    In any event, the Bride and I spent the rest of the day communing with the primeval depths and didn’t return to the shore until after 9:00 p.m. Honestly, it was difficult to end our meditation and return to the surface and to civilization. The primordial abyss beckoned us and didn’t want to let go, and there were moments where all we wanted was to give in to its call, sink to the bottom of the ocean, and rest there forever. But we both knew that to give in to that urge would be to deny all the things that brought us back from death in the first place. We still have so much to accomplish and true love to find. Until we do, we won’t be able to rest peacefully.

                    But overcoming the pull of the depths left me feeling strong and tranquil, even in the face of the knowledge that there is some sort of elder fish-god beneath the mansion, its sleeping mind aware of us.

                    Before heading up to bed, I had a bite to eat with Alexia, and she updated me on what the others had done during the day. Mainly, they all went out shopping for ceremonial supplies. I was shocked to learn that neither Simon nor Doc had mentioned our findings in the cave to Alexia. How could they possibly have “forgotten” to tell her about what might be our single most prominent discovery about this house since we moved in? Honestly…

                    Of course I filled her in. Afterward, I retired to bed. I’m exhausted. It’s time for sleep…

                    May 16, 2010, Noon

                    My sleep last night was troubled with more unpleasant dreams than I would have liked, but I still feel rested and refreshed today. Upon waking, I felt the presence of a new key: the Primeval Key. I still feel that my mastery of it is weak, which is another reason I feel that I need a pet. If nothing else, I hope my cat will help me understand animals better.

                    At breakfast, Doc informed us of an emergency situation involving Clarissa, the psychokinetic teenager with anger-management issues whom we tried to help before. Apparently she was at a club called alchemy last night and got into an argument which resulted in her causing half the glass in the place to shatter explosively. The police are investigating the club as a possible terrorist attack.

                    We wanted to track down Clarissa to make sure she was okay, because she wasn’t at home and she didn’t respond to any of Doc’s calls. We went to her house and I crept inside invisibly long enough to make sure she wasn’t there and to liberate a few strands of her hair from a hairbrush, as well as an old compact mirror for Simon to use in his Distant Visions ritual. Clarissa’s parent seemed unconcerned by her absence, which suggested that she was supposed to be staying elsewhere and that they probably didn’t even know their girl had been at Alchemy the previous night.

                    We returned to the mansion, and Simon used the mirror to clairvoyantly spy on Clarissa (who seemed to be safe and vaguely put out with her friend, who was excitedly trying to get her to demonstrate her psychic powers). Meanwhile, I used a finding ritual to track down her exact location, only to find that she was staying at her friends’ house.

                    Since she seemed safe and wasn’t frightened or particularly upset, we decided to leave well-enough alone. After all, she’s coming to terms with her abilities, and this is probably a good learning experience for her. And her friend’s doting, annoying at it might have been to Clarissa, will probably help her accept her abilities more easily. At least, I hope so. We’ll have to check up on her again soon.

                    May 16, 2010, Afternoon

                    I found an adorable, completely black cat at the pet store. He was a bit older than the other kittens because no one wanted to buy a black cat out of superstition, but I thought he was perfect. He’s very personable and affectionate. I decided to name him “Fu,” which means “good luck” in Chinese. I liked the irony of the name, and I’m hoping that he really will be good luck for me and maybe even bring me the good fortune of finding true love again.

                    He’s meowing for attention right now, though, so suppose I’ll return to my writing later.


                    The Weight of the Deeps

                    Tavia mentioned the “weight of the deeps” that burdens her. Since I’m trying to gain a better understanding of her family’s connection to the primeval, I asked what she meant. She apparently cannot travel too far from the ocean. I was hoping that “the weight of the deeps” referred to something more metaphysical.

                    Tavia ended up lamenting the fact that she’s a “half-breed” even among her family. She’s not completely in tune with the fish-like character of the Cold Harbor Fishbornes (and that’s a good thing, in my opinion), but she also does not fit in with other branches of the family, or with society in general.

                    I did my best to comfort her. After all, I know exactly what it’s like to be a half-breed. Being half Kiwi didn’t make childhood in Taiwan easy on me, and my Taiwanese blood and imperfect English meant that I never fit in in New Zealand either. I told her that being a half-breed doesn’t make her less. It makes her more.

                    I might be able to understand aspects of Tavia more than anyone else here if only because she has the same sense of being a foreigner no matter where she is that I do. That said, though, her family history and personal obsessions confuse the issue and leave me completely uncertain what to do with her.

                    My dual heritage ended up making me very independent, but also a bit socially awkward. And yet I ended up depending on Richard a lot once we met and became close. I suppose I can see some of those same things in Tavia, albeit warped by the madness endemic in this family. If only her obsessions weren’t so misguided or dangerous! Unfortunately, understanding or not, I still feel exasperated with her.

                    Natalie's Tweets

                    Saturday, May 15th

                    -Am up and about.

                    -Date with Trinh confirmed. She even used the word date.

                    -Your Mistress has a hot date tonight! It will be a pleasant evening indeed.

                    -I hope.

                    -Trinh loves the smell of strawberry, so I am bringing a strawberry scented candle and am Strawberry Deathcake. I smell so good I bit my hand.

                    -Where is everyone?

                    -Simon says Krewe is exploring caves under Chez Satanique. This cannot possibly go wrong.

                    -They are back and in one piece. Evidently found a slumbering god down there. If that’s all…wait what?

                    -Tavia sniffed me!

                    -Respect and Obey Strawberry Deathcake damnit!

                    -Doc wants to go occult shopping. This won’t be awkward since I smell like a five-foot strawberry.

                    -Watching Doc gather birch twigs. Kinda weird, I won’t lie.

                    -Well this place is…ethnic.

                    -Your Mistress is in a bona fide voodoo shop.

                    -I cannot understand anything this woman says. Everyone else apparently can. I blame growing up in Ocracoke.

                    -Simon and Tavia now have cell phones. Tavia sniffed me again.

                    -Strawberry Deathcake is on her way out to pick up her sweetie.

                    -Not like when I grew up: Your Mistress’s date is giving her dad the address of where she is “staying,” and apparently will call him before leaving. Safe I guess, but not like when I grew up.

                    -Telling my dad where I was going to go to have sex would not lead to anything good.

                    -Yea…this is not going to be a long dinner. The tension is right where I like it.

                    -Your Mistress just watched her date go into her townhouse. If She is capable of typing anything in the next 12 hours there will be hell to pay.

                    Sunday, May 16th

                    -I have not woken up feeling this good in a long time. Must be the smiling lady who greeted me when I got up.

                    -I sense a ‘where are we going from here’ talk is coming. This could be cool or really bad.

                    -Your Mistress is enjoying a brunch with a lovely lady.

                    -Sigh. My date: “I would love to do this again, but I am not sure doing this again would be right for me.” Translation: “I am queer, but I don’t want anyone, including myself, to think I am queer.”

                    -My date needs time to “think about this.” None of the declarations made last night apply apparently. Well, except the ones saying how pretty/awesome in the sack I am.

                    -The truth is…I am not surprised. I kinda expected she would be unsure once she was sated. Still a punch in the gut to hear.

                    -Seducing Trinh after this conversation will make me a bad person. Oh well.

                    -Yep I am a very bad person. Still my date was dropped off with a big smile so I can’t be too bad a person can I?

                    -Back home. Would be exhausted except for the coke I swung back by the townhouse for.

                    -The Krewe is using the power of magic and death to spy on teenage girls. Makes sense to me.

                    -Hello Doggie!

                    -Jasmine is getting a cat.

                    -And Tavia wants me to smell like strawberries again. No place like home.

                    End Session XV

                    The exploration of what is under the bluffs and, ultimately, what the House is has been a storyline I have been waiting for them to explore. I am fairly pleased with how it turned out, honestly.

                    Filling you in on some of Simon's stuff, he has actually spent two nights with Tavia now, unbeknownst to the PCs but beknownst to the players. His trip was to Providence to hit the clubs and "make mistakes" he did not get to lacking a normal adolescence as he tries to cope with his changing life. We just don't get a self-absorbed account of his trip like we did for Natalie's similar decadence. Gwen's player had to miss. As for Alexia, she was buying a pair of jeeps...and plans to teach Chandra how to drive a car. This should be exciting.

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                    • #25
                      Apologies for the late arrival, here they are. Hope you enjoy.

                      Session XVI

                      Doc's Log

                      Doc’s Log: 1540 Hours, Sunday, May 16, 2010

                      Given that Snowflake needed to sober up and Rose wanted to play with her cat, Cupcake decided that now was the time to go to the Army Navy store. I haven’t been in a while so I was cool with that. She ended up getting a parachute and a military grade inflatable Zodiac. That she plans to implant all this shit inside herself in case of emergency is both awesome and terrifying. I mean she’s already got 2 Jeeps in there. She’s talked about a hang glider, now she has a boat and a parachute. Think she got some lock picks too. I’m not sure there’s anything in this world that can truly get in her way.

                      When we got back, I helped Cupcake unload the gear before she ran off to start working on dinner. I didn’t know where the others were but thought I heard Snowflake in the Library, so I headed down. After some “soulful conversations” with the Dog of War and some understandings we worked out, I needed to discuss the whole Blood Brothers issue with the Lord of the Manor. Tavia was also with him but since what we wanted to do really would involve her too, I figured I could talk to her about it. I did ask to make sure she was aware of the plans though. She seemed to know what I was talking about, but I figured out pretty quickly that she was just playing along, probably so no one asked her to let us speak in private.

                      Snowflake was exceptionally understanding about the whole thing and didn’t hold anything against me for my decision. That helped me a lot because I didn’t want to disappoint him but at the same time I didn’t want to deal with pissing off the Dog on a pretty permanent issue.

                      "This was a wise decision over all, Warrior of the Sand. Irreparably marking our soul is not a choice you should consider for such questionable gain."

                      Either way, I’m going to start working on learning more information both mundane or mystical if I can find any to help so it’s not just Snowflake and Tavia dealing with the evils of the Outside.

                      Doc’s Log: 1825 Hours, Sunday, May 16, 2010

                      So Nightshade and Snowflake dropped a limpet mine in our laps tonight over dinner. They have apparently been researching different ends of the same string. They found information about an ancient Sin-Eater ritual called the Codex of Reverence. This Codex, when used with the right ritual, can extend our life greatly without the same issues we’d have if we just grew old naturally. The information suggests that the actual original Codex is an Egyptian secret hidden within the pyramids, including the ability to create permanent way gates through the Underworld. There was also an order of Hungarian Sin-Eaters that called themselves the Acolytes of the Black Church from the time of the Dark Ages that may have recreated or stolen the Codex of Reverence.

                      Either option involved some pretty serious danger for and to us. If we went to Egypt, the government would not be happy with us just traipsing through their national treasures; something about a history of grave robbery by white people. In the case of the Hungarians, we also may have to deal with Outsiders bound as guardians in the lost, or I guess I should say the Fallen City of Esztergom. This place exists as a tourist attraction in New Esztergom Anyway, apparently all this came up as a way to out live Tzipporah. Tavia mentioned offhandedly about records suggesting Tzipporah was beheaded, then her head and body were separately burned…and she is still around. It will definitely take something special for us to follow that. Tavia believes that Tzipporah intends to take over Dark Haven Bluffs, even if she has to just live longer than Snowflake. Though killing Tavia as a point of leverage is not beneath her either.

                      Nightshade also had some good news. Sorta. Apparently there’s gonna be a Flesh Fair in the Big Easy sometime in mid-June on a boat. They are still in the planning stages but we’re now gonna try to figure out if we’re going to go.

                      And with that, dinner was finished. I set Xerxes to stay with Tavia so they could both get use to it. Rose is going to watch over things while Tzipporah’s around but given that we don’t know exactly what to expect, it’s best to have everything covered beforehand. Now I think I’m going to go terrify myself by learning about the horrible truths of the world…in the Library.

                      Doc’s Log: 2240 Hours, Sunday, May 16, 2010

                      Well I’m sure my REM sleep will be completely uninterrupted from all the things of which I just read and saw diagrams. It’s still very early so I’m going to go work more in the War Room. I’m sure that will help me dull some of the slasher-esque images currently flashing like a strobe light of murderous things going through my head.

                      Doc’s Log: 0310 Hours, Monday, May 17, 2010

                      It was difficult going on patrol tonight…well I should say it was hard not being noticed. I was laughing so much and so hard I’m sure anything terrible heard me and either hid or ran off.

                      While I was in the War Room, I rearranged a few things and then started working on some of my katas. I need to get in better shape for a number of reasons and that seems like one of the best places in the House to do so. Anyway, Snowflake came in after a little while and interrupted me with a serious question. What were my thoughts on one Sonia Black? I took a moment to prepare what I said very carefully. My internal monologue pretty much dressed her down for being a nasty, self-denigrating, necrophilic slut that needed to get over Nightshade and find some help for her various addictions. What I said was something to the effect of she had some problems, she was not exactly a good person, but she was not terrible or someone we needed to kill. She needed some help, but didn’t or couldn’t really see it. And that she had a major hang up on Nightshade that I didn’t think was healthy…for either of them. It was about that time Snowflake suggested that we should have a beer and talk. I knew by his tone that there was something he needed to say so I went and grabbed a few Sam Adam’s Summer Ales from downstairs and we closed the door.

                      Apparently while Snowflake and Nightshade were out at one of the clubs, it became necessary to distract Sonia away from Nightshade in a big way. I started to see where this was going, but I was skeptical. Few things, including me, can dissuade Sonia away from Nightshade…especially if she’s on the prowl. Over brew and hot details, Snowflake proceeded to spell out to me how he grabbed Sonia’s attention, revved her engines to red line, then left her cold in the cat walks on grounds of a life or death emergency. I haven’t laughed so hard since before the Sand.

                      Like I said, patrol tonight was a snoozer, but that’s okay. It just added to my amusing evening. Now I’m gonna crash. Gotta work in the morning.

                      Doc’s Log: 0950 Hours, Monday, May 17, 2010

                      Meditation went well again. I’m really enjoying this inner peace and I
                      think that might be assisting in the growing sense of unity between me and the Dog of War.

                      What is not assisting my inner peace is a certain fledgling telekinetic texting me this morning. I get that she’s in class but I suck at this and isn’t she supposed to be paying attention? Seriously, all I could get out of her was that she was okay and that she’s not letting on that she knows anything about it. Ah teenagers. This could be a long day.

                      Jasmine’s Diary

                      May 16, 2010, Night

                      Fu, my new cat, is absolutely adorable! I think he’ll really brighten things up around the mansion for me.

                      I’ll have to figure out what to do with him if the Krewe goes on an extended trip to Europe or Egypt, though. Over dinner, Natalie suggested that we begin planning such a trip in order to look for an ancient and long-dead krewe’s Codex, which she explained is a sort of artifact or relic that embodies some of a powerful Krewe’s powers.

                      Legends say there was a Krewe in Egypt that had mastered a power that would provide its members with extraordinarily long lives. They could apparently linger on and periodically rejuvenate themselves, though their relationship to their geists eventually suffered for it. Natalie and Simon want our krewe to gain this power. Natalie claims that she wants it so that we can continue to protect the house and its secrets from the Outsiders and the less scrupulous members of Simon’s family, and I think that really is one of her motivations. But knowing Natalie, I’m certain that her vanity is also an important reason for her interest.

                      According to Natalie, trying to find the Codex in Egypt wil be difficult. There are a lot of safeguards and traps, if legends are to be believed. But we we can also try to find a copy of the codex in Hungary, where one was reputedly made by another krewe that is now also long dead. Finding the codex in Hungary is not a sure thing, but it’s safer.

                      I’m fine with the krewe claiming this codex and using its power to perform our mandate, but I don’t know if it’s strictly necessary; the lifespan of a Krewe can also be extended by inducting and training new members who can inherit our duties when we die. Still, I don’t actually object to claiming the power to extend our lifespans.

                      That said, I don’t want my own lifespan extended. If I do find true love again, I don’t think I could bear to watch my husband age and die while I linger on. I’ve already survived one husband, and would rather not repeat the experience, not with decades of life to look forward to once he’s gone… So even if we do find this codex, I don’t think I’ll participate in the rituals that will let us use its power.

                      Not unless my lover enjoys the same longevity that I do.

                      May 16, 2010, Night

                      There isn’t much going on today, so I’ve had time to relax and think. I worked more on translating Keats earlier and spent a lot of time paying attention to Fu. He is currently asleep on my lap, so I’m feeling quite cozy right now.

                      I spent a couple of hours this evening visiting with Bonnie-Lynn. She seemed pleased to have someone to talk to, though I gather that Tavia and Natalie have both been to see her some over the past few days.

                      We talked about romance and my Krewe mates. She wanted to know more about our Krewe members’ relationships, so we chatted about it. I told her a little about Alexia and Chandra, though I think I managed to leave out Chandra’s gender, not knowing how Bonnie-Lynn might react to knowing that Alexia and is a lesbian. Bonnie is, after all, very traditional.

                      Bonnie is very much in favor of Tavia and Simon’s relationship. She finds it sweet and romantic. I shared my feelings—that there are problems with Tavia and Simon’s relationship that go beyond the ideals of romantic love. Bonnie knows they are cousins, and doesn’t object, but that’s honestly not my primary objection either. Then again, as I’ve noted in this journal before, Tavia and Simon’s possible marriage (and the perpetuation of the Fishborne line through them) is really the lesser of many evils when one considers the danger posed by the rest of the Fishborne family and their dark fish-gods, so I’m becoming resigned to the idea that Tavia and Simon’s marriage is inevitable.

                      Bonnie doesn’t have a very high opinion of Natalie, which came up when I mentioned that Doc was in love with Natalie and that I thought the two of them would be good together. At the very least, I think Doc could do a lot to help Natalie overcome her issues if she didn’t willfully reject what help he offers. Bonnie, on the other hand, thinks that Natalie is nice enough, but says she is a “woman of loose morals” (which is true) and feels Docs is far too good for her. I tried to argue that with Doc, Natalie could become someone wonderful and certainly deserving of Doc’s love, but Bonnie insisted that people like Natalie never really change. I hope for Doc’s sake that Bonnie is wrong.

                      I was caught off guard when Bonnie insisted that Doc and I should be together. She thinks we are quite worthy of one another, which is flattering even though I don’t have any romantic interest in Doc, and I sincerely doubt he has any in me.

                      I told her a bit about Jean as well. We chatted about his interest in me and my worries over how to respond should he ever ask me out. I still have no idea what I’ll say if he ever does. I don’t know whether my memories of Richard will anchor me to my grief or whether my hope for the future will encourage me to take the leap into a possible new relationship. But as I talked to Bonnie I realized that I was surprised that Jean hasn’t asked me out yet. I thought he might have done so already once classes were over. And that made me wonder if I secretly want him to ask me out. And if so, does that mean I am interested in him? Romantically, that is?

                      May 17, 2010, Morning

                      We’ve just had breakfast. On the way into breakfast, I took a call on the house phone from Simon’s Aunt Tzipporah de la Poer. She plans to arrive for her visit by dinner time—about a day ahead of schedule. As we’re all anxious about what she might try when she, Leslie and Alistair arrive, we spent most of breakfast making plans to keep the house, Simon, and Tavia safe. Simon called his Cousin Karl to get him to Dark Haven Bluffs as soon as possible, and I’ve agreed to bodyguard Tavia alongside Doc’s dog Xerxes (who I’m pleased to say is very gentle around Fu). I hope Tzipporah doesn’t try anything while she’s here, but if she does, hopefully we’ll be ready.

                      We do have one possible advantage; Tzipporah doesn’t know that we are sin-eaters or anything about our capabilities as such. On the other hand, Karl says that Tzipporah left her last stop on her trip with a fourth person in her entourage, but she said only three would be arriving to visit us at Dark Haven Bluffs, which is worrisome. I hope we don’t have to deal with a hidden enemy as well.


                      Tzipporah de la Poer

                      Simon is understandably worried about his Aunt Tzipporah. According to him (and the research he and Doc have done), Tzipporah is ambitious and would love to get her hands on the secrets of Darkhaven Bluffs. And she probably doesn’t care what happens to the rest of the world as long as she can claim the powers of the Fishborne family for herself.

                      As it is, she is very old, possibly ancient. Her name appears throughout the Fisborne history, and though we don’t know how she keeps herself alive and young, it is obvious that she masters some dark magic.

                      We believe she intends to match Simon and Leslie. Such a marriage would effectively grant her control over Dark Haven Bluffs. To this end, we fear she might attempt to kill Tavia, which is why I’ll be guarding Tavia during the de la Poer’s stay

                      Natalie’s Tweets

                      Sunday May 16th

                      -OK got enough research to take Simon aside and get his views on the Master Plan.

                      -We have moved “Secret” up to “Master Plan”

                      -Your Mistress has a Master Plan. Quiver in anticipation. Or just hope it works out for Her.

                      -Vlog is up!

                      -Time for dinner!

                      -OK, it looks like I’ll be heading to Hungry next.

                      -Anyone know any good clubs in Budapest for Your Mistress to attend? She may be swinging by that way at some point.

                      -My Krewe The Middle Shadows of Dark Haven Bluffs and I will be able to attend the Flesh Fair down Big Easy way. Please note we will have to either arrive after or leave by the 12th of June to perform Krewe duties.

                      -Going clubbing with my friend Simon F. I will be at Murder Ballads.

                      -Ah Sonia is here. Mostly not who I wanted to see.

                      -What the hell just happened?

                      -Your Mistress is terribly, terribly confused.


                      -Ah Simon came to my rescue. That…almost flirts with making sense. Thanks Simon.

                      -So…quiet evening at home then.

                      Monday, May 17th

                      -Bonus Vlog is up. Bonus, I say.

                      -I won’t email Trinh first. She has to email me first. That’s how it works damnit.

                      -Laying on my bed, listening to music, thinking of pretty girls and surfing the web, there are worse ways to spend an evening.

                      -Night all!

                      -I am awake; let’s see what kind of trouble I can get in today!

                      End Session XVI

                      We covered less then 24 hours this time, as several members of the Krewe sorta did their own thing at points. Given there was more splitting up and coming together that meant less of the timeline covered, but thats fine, everything went well.

                      Alexia is a master of the Industrial Caul, thus her ability to hide...a great deal of things in her body to produce by activating the Caul. It's kinda surreal to think about, honestly.

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                      • #26
                        It's that time again children. Come around the fire, and let Bawan tell you a story. The old Loa has much to say. Er, I mean, I got all the journals in from my players.

                        Warning. This post contains Spoilers if you are in a game using the Harpers. A good bit of their nature is laid bare.

                        Session XVII

                        Doc's Log

                        Doc’s Log: 1315 Hours, Monday, May 17, 2010

                        Snowflake called to ask that everyone meet at the house earlier than usual. I knew things were in motion. Something had to be up for Snowflake to intentionally want to break routine. I agreed to be back at the House by 4:30.

                        Looks like I’ll need to make up another batch of the Elixir of Alertness just in case. Might even need to unlock Xerxes’ true power soon too, depending on how things play out.

                        Doc’s Log: 1720 Hours, Monday, May 17, 2010

                        Nightshade let me know that Clarissa was very busy while texting today.

                        Snowflake, Rose, Tavia were all getting the guest bedrooms together when it occurred to one of them that we needed a cover story. Ronin was around again, this time she was installing security cameras throughout the House. Cupcake was in the process of planning dinner I think. She might have just been screaming at her Geist again in general, but who knows.

                        We gathered to make sure everyone knew their roles. Nightshade will be Snowflake’s apprentice and possibly his concubine. Rose is Tavia’s bodyguard while Ronin and myself are the heads of both personal and location security. If it comes up, I will also be Snowflake’s personal physician. Cupcake will of course be his phenomenal chef. With our roles understood, we scattered to get both ourselves and the rest of the House ready. I know I heard Tavia saying something about setting the dining room table. Can this night get any …nope, I’m not going to ask that.

                        Doc’s Log: 2135 Hours, Monday, May 17, 2010

                        When the knock came, we were ready. Ronin dressed all in black and stood at the banister overlooking the door and directly above Snowflake. I dressed in fatigues and t-shirt, also black, and stood in the doorway into the sitting room to the side of Snowflake. Neither of us had a welcoming expression on our faces. Security isn’t supposed to make friends and we were easily able to play that part up. Rose dressed in a beige pants suit that was pretty severe and stood next to Tavia with a disapproving look. Admittedly this is normal for Rose, but still. Xerxes dutifully sat next to his charge opposite from Rose. I can’t honestly remember if Cupcake stopped cooking to come and greet them or not at this point. Either way, we knew that this wouldn’t cause them to run, but it sent the gentle message to paraphrase Dr. Who ... This man is protected.

                        I was not prepared to meet Tzipporah. We knew all these terrible things about her, things I don’t think are just rumors, but when you see her, it’s almost like none of that matters. She is one of the most beautiful and graceful women I have ever laid eyes on. I was immediately knocked off guard and my mind had to grab the last shreds of my determination so I could remember why we were here.

                        "Do not cast quite the aspersions on your will, Mukarram. Your body partly betrayed you as I noticed her scent was almost designed to amplify the sensations you were experiencing. This entity is an abomination. I will be glad to be rid of her, one way or another."

                        The Dog has a way of keeping things in perspective. Thankfully Snowflake asked me to help he and Alistair bring in the bags. This was much less of a problem. Alistair had a rat standing all Secret of NIMH on his shoulder but otherwise he seemed like a pretty nice guy. Seriously the rat nodded at me when I was introduced. When we got out to the car, Alistair did ask if he could speak with Snowflake in private. I glanced over at him but the nod was given so I just gathered up more of the bags. I never let them out of my sight though. Once they finished their secret conversation, I heard Alistair ask how the rats were? That was kinda weird but then he clarified by asking if they were dead, at war, or if they evolved? Evolved! Remember I said Alistair was the nice one. Yeap. Leslie was there, but like any rebellious teenager, she was … bored, dissatisfied, anti-social, you name it. She was pretty but not impressive given my Krewe and her Mom made it easy to ignore she was there. But that would be a mistake.

                        Dinner was telling. Apparently our cover story worked so well that Tzipporah determined that we were safe to be present for family business discussions. This is exactly what we wanted, but we weren’t expecting what we learned. First of all, Leslie was partly being used as a way to get a foothold in the area, just like Snowflake, Tavia, and I thought. Offhandedly Tzipporah mentioned that Leslie wouldn’t be housed here during school, which basically meant she assumed Leslie would be staying here while school was out. The mysterious fourth traveler was revealed as Gretchen, an older cousin from Scotland. She intended to come and use the Library for some personal project, but was injured while in Whispering Hallow due to an attack by the Harpers. I didn’t know who that was, but before we could really ask, Tzipporah stated as fact that she killed them and burned their house down. We all managed not to let our jaws drop, but the awkward stone faces went all around the table for a moment. Then the conversation was moved to what night life we had in the area. That’s what I said. And no, we didn’t change the subject, Auntie Tzipporah did. I noticed something unspoken during dinner too. We all noticed how Tavia only ever stared at Snowflake forever now, but tonight Alistair stared at Tavia in the same way…and she never knew. Pretty sure Snowflake did though. Not sure how that might play out, but one thing is for sure. Tavia isn’t the only one with a long lost love situation.

                        After dinner, our guests retired to their rooms with plans to go clubbing around 2200 Hours. Snowflake has just been filling us in on what the hell we just heard.

                        The Harpers are a family of Outsider worshippers that are trying to capture, absorb, consume, or destroy the Fishbornes for power. There are bad people and need to die. This apparently just a rival family to hear Tzipporah talk about it, but Snowflake said they were like the devil in the darkness stories when he was a kid. Given his family life, that’s a big deal. As for Gretchen, neither Snowflake nor Tavia knew anything other than she was a relative, lived in Scotland full time, and was older than they were.

                        We divided our forces with Rose staying with Xerxes and Tavia at home. She, Ronin, and I would keep in contact via ear curl. Ronin, Nightshade, Cupcake, Snowflake, and myself were going clubbing with the Deadly Duo. Alistair wanted to speak with the rats. I never should have read that collection of Lovecraft short stories. That’s really gonna bug me now.

                        But for the moment, I gotta go so I can get ready. If they want to go clubbing, I’m going to be as prepared as I can be without packing the shotgun.

                        Doc’s Log: 0230 Hours, Tuesday, May 18, 2010

                        I got dressed in the most Horseman symbols I think I ever have with the silver skull belt buckle (it’s not huge, shut up), the Blood Diamond Bullet necklace, black slacks, and Nightshade’s favorite one of my red silk shirts. We gathered before the rest and Nightshade blessed Snowflake and Ronin with the power of the Horsemen. She really is becoming our Dark Priestess. That’s both scary and hot. I’m sure she’d love knowing that.

                        Then Tzipporah and Leslie came down…and I was not sure we’d be let in. Anywhere. Leslie was wearing a black leather harness and a matching skirt that didn’t really cover anything. I suspect Rose wanted to kill her on the spot for her impropriety. Even Nightshade’s outfit seemed almost puritan in comparison. Tzipporah was dressed provocatively but it was nothing like her daughter. Though thinking on it, I suspect this is the only way Leslie could hope to get attention from others while in the company of her m… actually she said something to make me think that Tzipporah isn’t actually her mother now that I think about it. Alistair calls Tzipporah Mother, but Leslie calls her Tzipporah and I’m not entirely sure that that’s just something to needle the elder de la Poer.

                        Moving on, Murder Ballads was the shortest straw so we set out. We of course got in without issue, but not long after we arrived Sonia Black came in and moved like a shark in the water straight for Nightshade. Normally this would only be slightly annoying but given we were on the job, she had already gotten in the way recently, and I could not show any connect with Nightshade in that way tonight, it hit me wrong. Like “might do something stupid” wrong. Tzipporah took Snowflake out to dance so Ronin and I were easily able to move away from Sonia so we could stay close to Snowflake. That was actually her idea and I’m pretty sure it was as much to help me as keep our cover. Actually she grabbed my hand and said c’mon before dragging me out to the floor. I had to swing her around so I could keep my back to Sonia though. I should be old enough to deal with this better and usually I do, but tonight was not the time. Ronin really was looking out for me tonight. After the song ended and Tzipporah was finished with Snowflake, we moved back to our table. Leslie decided once Tzipporah was out of the way that she could then go dance. Not long after that, Eris and Deirdre came over. Deirdre was obviously holding Eris’ leash tonight but something had happened. We moved a little ways away from the others, still in sight of Snowflake (this whole bodyguard thing isn’t just a cover after all), before Eris asked me about Leslie. She’s not really all that social other than the really hot part so she was really blunt. Apparently Leslie has some kind of link to Vice Spirits. That explains a lot about Leslie and her problems. I passed the information on through the ear curls for later use. Eris originally started speaking in what I can only assume was Wolf Tongue, or whatever werewolves call their language. I talked to Deirdre about teaching me. There was some sort of complications but she agreed to ask for me. That seemed fair to me.

                        After that, we had a pretty normal night, if you don’t count Tzipporah critiquing her “daughter’s” style of seducing men as weird. Now I have to decide if sleeping is a good or bad idea. Oh yeah, I should mention that Rose did meet with Karl but also Malard. He felt something weird in his territory, and while I don’t think he likes that Karl is here, that wasn’t it. So either Tzipporah or Leslie has tripped his Oh Fuck Meter.

                        …Or there’s more to Alistair than any of us realize. Okay, no. Definitely sleep as I’m getting too paranoid. Can’t one of them be worth saving? Snowflake and Tavia are good people; can’t Alistair be one too?

                        Jasmine’s Dairy

                        May 17, 2010, Noon

                        I went to train Jean this morning as usual, and when I returned to the house, Gwen was back! I was very happy to see her home again. She had been gone for a few days, and we all assumed she was just busy with her P.I. business. In fact, she had gone to Hartford, Connecticut to do some research on the gold we found. I was pleased to hear that, but unfortunately, she wasn’t able to find out much. It looks like we’ll be paying Big Sean Gleeson’s ghost a visit soon to find out what he knows.

                        I filled Gwen in on everything that had happened while she was gone, especially what we found in the caves beneath Dark Haven Bluffs. She wasn’t any happier about that than the rest of us.

                        May 17, 2010, Afternoon

                        In preparation for the de la Poers’ arrival this evening, Simon, Tavia and I have been working to prepare rooms for them. Meanwhile, Gwen finished setting up security cameras throughout the house. She began installing them a week or so ago, and hurried to finish before the de la Poers arrive so that we can keep an eye on them. Most of the cameras are pretty obvious, but a few are hidden.

                        While I was helping Simon, I asked about what he has told his relatives about us. After all, Tzipporah doesn’t know what we are (as far as we know), but she will likely be curious about why all of us are gathered here in this house. Simon agreed that, given the insular nature of the Fishborne family, it would be suspicious for us to be here without some reason that the family could understand. So we all met to discuss what our roles would be.

                        We decided to assign people roles that would make sense within the context of Fishborne paranoia and that didn’t stray too far from the truth. So, Natalie is to be Simon’s research assistant (and, is also posing as his concubine, I believe). Doc and Gwen are Simon’s security experts, in charge of keeping Simon and the house safe. Alexia is, of course, Simon’s world-class master chef. And I am Tavia’s bodyguard and assistant. Xerxes, of course, will also help protect Tavia.

                        We shouldn’t have any trouble maintaining those roles.

                        May 17, 2010, Late Night

                        The de la Poers have arrived, and their presence is making all of us quite tense. Still, there are no signs of trouble yet. We shared a fantastic dinner in the freshly cleaned dining room. Tzipporah was polite and charming, and Alistair seemed nice enough, but Leslie was extremely rude and I disliked her immensely.

                        After dinner and a bit of rest, Tzipporah and Leslie wanted to go out on the town, so Doc, Gwen, Natalie, Alexia and Simon escorted them. I assume they had a good time, though I was shocked by Leslie’s attire, which was…suggestive to say the least.

                        Alistair remained at the Dark Haven Bluffs and seemed content to keep to himself or to visit the rats in the closed-off portions of the mansion. Tavia and I also remained at home, of course. She decided to do some painting, and offered to sketch me in preparation for a painting of me that she would like to do. So I posed for her for about an hour or so. I think it will be a fairly sentimental and melancholy painting when it’s finished; but then, I suppose any painting of me would have to be melancholy, wouldn’t it?

                        While she painted, we talked about Alistair and Simon. Poor Tavia is completely unaware of Alistair’s love for her. I tried to encourage her to be more receptive to him, but I don’t think she got it, focused as she is on Simon. I’m not sure that matching Tavia and Alistair would be any more right than matching Tavia and Simon, but Alistair’s affection for Tavia seems so much more real and comprehensive to me than Tavia’s blind obsession with Simon. Tavia seems unable to acknowledge that Simon is even capable of having faults. But Alistair seems to see and accept all of what Tavia is, both the good and the bad. It’s quite romantic, really, and I feel a great deal of sympathy for him.

                        Aside from my lack of interest in clubbing and Tavia’s wish to avoid Tzipporah as much as possible during her stay, we also remained behind because someone had to meet with Cousin Karl when he arrived, and I volunteered. So, when the hour approached, I donned the Primeval Caul and snuck outside to the overgrown gardens behind the house, where Karl was supposed to wait for one of us.

                        It was the first time I had really used the Primeval key, and the effects were rather more pronounced that I expected. The Caul caused my body to change. Though the effect was subtle, I became much more feline, my limbs and body changing slightly to become more lithe and graceful.

                        The effect was enough to put Mr. Malard on guard when I ran into him lurking about in the shape of a wolf. Once he recognized me and I assured him that I was not a shapechanging cat like Noriko, he explained that thanks to his deep connection to his territory, he had sensed the presence of another shapechanger near the house, and he warned me that someone, or something, was waiting in the trees behind Dark Haven Bluffs. I realized that he was talking about Karl and assured him that all was well. I briefly explained who our guests were and our worries about them. Mr. Malard agreed to remain alert for any signs of trouble, but otherwise he’s going to let us handle this on our own.

                        I like Mr. Malard a lot. He may be a bit grumpy and trigger-happy, but he’s really a sweet and considerate old man. Next time I help Alexia cook a meal, I’ll have to make sure to cook extra so that I can take a plate to Malard.

                        As for the meeting with Karl, it went well. I think I surprised him a bit when I arrived, though. We touched base on the current situation. He will be staying in the village in the cliffside caves (where the fish-god is) in case we need him. I can easily go get him if necessary, and I offered to take him one of Doc’s earpieces so that we can stay in constant contact with him just in case. It didn’t occur to me until later that the earpieces might not be able to transmit through the cliffs.

                        Anyway, for now we’re in good shape. Let’s hope that nothing goes awry or that the de la Poer’s don’t try anything.


                        American Culture & Idioms

                        "One-Eyed Willy"

                        Another reference to the movie “Goonies.” Gwen jokingly asked if I’d found One-Eyed Willy down in the caves beneath the manor when Doc, simon and I went exploring them. She made the joke before I told her what was really down there, of course.

                        The Harpers

                        The Harpers are enemies of the Fishbornes. They are apparently a family cult dedicated to some sort of dark entity, most likely an outsider. They sound like terrible people, and have a long-standing rivalry with the Fishbornes. The Harpers sound like they are less well-to-do than the Fishbornes, though. Their goals seems to involve expanding their numbers enough so that they can collectively embody the entity they serve, or something like that. But neither Simon nor Tzipporah believes they will ever succeed.

                        Due to an encounter with the Harpers, one of the de la Poers, Gretchen, was bitten by a Whispering Hollows Fishborne. I wonder if the cult did something to her to infect her somehow. Tzipporah killed the offending Harpers by burning down their house. It’s troubling that she didn’t seem bothered by the murder of an entire branch of the family, though if they are as irredeemable as Simon suggests, then I can at least respect her resolve in dealing with such loyal servants of the outsiders.

                        Gretchen is recovering and hopes to join Tzipporah at Dark Haven Bluffs within a day or so. But something about the whole situation worries me. Everything about Simon’s family makes me paranoid. I don’t like it. I like trusting people, and being suspicious of everyone upsets me.

                        Tzipporah de la Poer

                        Tzipporah has thus far committed no acts of evil, but her presence is unsettling. Knowing what we do about her, we are on edge while she’s at the mansion. After all, we aren’t sure what she’s really after, but she must be after something. And as if that weren’t enough, she projects a presence of predatory superiority. It makes me feel a bit small and pale in comparison, and I would not have wanted Richard to ever met her, for fear that he would have fallen for her wiles despite his love for me.

                        Leslie de la Poer

                        Leslie is a rebellious troublemaker who seem to revel in manipulation, sex and bloody sacrifice. We learned that she is somehow connected to a vice spirit, and many of the things she does empowers that spirit and in turn powers her. I know enough of the occult to recognize a witch when I see one. There were similar people in Taiwan who would make pacts with spirits in order to share in the spirits’ power. But I’ve never seen anyone as deeply entrenched in vice as Leslie.

                        Alistair de la Poer

                        Alistair seems decent and harmless enough, considering his family. He’s polite and friendly and is completely in love with Tavia. The strangest thing about him is his fascination with rats and mice. He trains and experiments with them, and has apparently worked with the rats in Dark Haven Bluffs before (which explains why they do not intrude upon the occupied portions of the manor). He also has a trained mouse who rides around in his breast pocket.

                        Gretchen de la Poer

                        Gretchen is from the de la Poer’s original home in Scotland. She has come to do some research in Dark Haven Bluffs’ libraries, but before we allow that, Simon intends to find out what her purpose is.

                        Natalie’s Tweets

                        Monday, May 17th

                        -That Jedi girl text me to see what Doc wanted.

                        -Ah to be a teenager again. Wait. No. Anything but that.

                        -The DeLaPoers are coming tonight. Meet the Evils, I suppose.

                        -Trinh broke down and emailed me. Yes!

                        -Also, flowers from Sonia.

                        -She actually did what I told her to do. It’s like she wants to get on my good side, or something.

                        -Your Mistress is Highly Sought After.

                        -Which means the timing is rotten for people to be coming over I would have to behave for. :-/

                        -OK we have plans. I am Simon’s Lovely Assistant.

                        -They will probably assume we are sleeping together, but they won’t be the first.

                        -Merciful Goddess, Tzipporah is a looker.

                        -And her teenage…Daughter? Niece? Whatever seems interested in me…but I am not going down that road.

                        -Her son is nice enough. But seems to have eyes for Owlish Housemate. Oh dear.

                        -At Dinner with the Evils.

                        -Going clubbing with the Evils tonight. You can almost breathe in and feel the awkward flow through you.

                        -Headed to Murder Ballads.

                        -Well, Hello Sonia.

                        -I really really really wish I did not have to babysit the Evils right now.

                        -That said, I have…a Scheme. Sonia wants to bleed a little for me. How can I not encourage that?

                        -Your Mistress may soon be Up To Something.

                        -unfortunately, she used up all her capital letters for tonight.

                        End Session XVII

                        Pretty happy with how this went. The De La Poers were kept pretty inscrutable but good enough to interact with. As implied in the opening, this references the Harpers from Intruders: Encounters With the Abyss. They seemed a good enough rival family for the Whatley-esque Fishbornes. It's worth noting one element Jasmine implied but did not come out and say (and may not realize in character) is Malard was actually concerned Noriko had infected her...the Colony do that. She can't actually infect a Major Template any more then a Vampire can turn them. It may should also be noted Tzipporah warned Simon privately that based on symbology she wore Natalie worshiped a major avatar of Famine. She noted such people tend to be dangerously unstable, because there was no "good" reason to follow such a being, especially in a first world country. This was taken with some amusement when it sunk it, along with notes of her and Reverend Grimm for life. Still, it is an interesting outside perspective on one who reveres their Horseman, is it not? Anyway, I hope you enjoy, comments and questions welcome.

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                        • #27
                          We have all the stories all together for you now.

                          Session XVIII

                          Doc's Log

                          Doc’s Log: 0630 Hours, Tuesday, May 18, 2010

                          Since we got in so late and all the possible Hell that’s going in here, I decided not to go on patrol tonight. I think I’m better utilized here plus if the guests realized I had left, it would look suspicious from the body guard/security point of view. I dosed up on the Elixir of Alertness and kept moving.

                          Ronin and I both have moved around the House off and on tonight. Her even more than me this time. I think she’s nervous but then we all are right now. I took the time to put together an emergency first aid kit with holistic items just in case. All my good stuff is back at the shop, but I knew that I’d never have time to get there and back if I needed it.

                          I realized a flaw in our planning tonight. Ronin and I were both up the whole night. She came in for her dose of the Elixir a little while ago. Not sure why, but she was wet. I was beginning to feel the sleep dep so I didn’t think ask. I talked it over with her about running this ship in shifts. She agreed so now I’m crashing at dawn. We’re planning to switch around lunch.

                          Doc’s Log: 1250 Hours, Tuesday, May 18, 2010

                          I made sure Ronin went to get some rest after I staggered back to life. I was ready by noon, which meant I got to have lunch with Tzipporah. Not how I wanted to finish waking up. That was awkward all the way around. Tzipporah requested our help in showing Leslie around at both Yale and Albertus Magnus. Reluctantly Nightshade agreed to lead the expedition through Yale while Rose was shackled with the same at AMC. Cupcake tagged along with Nightshade.

                          I know that there’s something weird about Tzipporah and all that. It’s just that when I’m trying to keep watch on Snowflake, I keep thinking about what might happen if he weren’t around. I wonder if she would be paying me more attention if he went somewhere else. Those kinda thoughts just keep spiraling in my head. It’s her smell, the way she stands, everything. This is so very bad. I don’t even know...

                          Doc’s Log: 1800 Hours, Tuesday, May 18, 2010

                          Well between the cold shower and the direct show of psychological abuse that was dinner, I’m currently over Tzipporah’s Poison Ivy thing. Seriously, the entire meal Tzipporah refused to have anything mentioned that didn’t immediately spotlight one more failing or inadequacy of Leslie’s. Because Leslie didn’t pay enough attention while at Yale to satisfy Tzipporah, she was humiliated. She did apparently solicit Nightshade and got slapped for her troubles before dinner as well. I need for them to be gone please.

                          Doc’s Log: 1900 Hours, Tuesday, May 18, 2010

                          Another meeting was called after dinner. I got kinda pissed with Ronin. She didn’t really notice much at dinner and was paying more attention to the ball game on TV than the events at hand. Tavia and Nightshade determined that Leslie deals with normal people (Outsiders) just as poorly as Tavia, she just covers it with her manipulations. We decided that we have got to figure out how to get them out soon. Everyone basically scattered after that.

                          Doc’s Log: 0115 Hours, Wednesday, May 19, 2010

                          I went to find Ronin. I’d been kinda snappy at her and she seemed so confused about the whole situation, so I was concerned and worried. I also wanted to tell her that I’d take first watch tonight. When I found her in front of the TV, she was muttering irritatedly to her Geist and fidgeting with a set of rosary I’m not sure I’d ever seen before. Given that it was obvious she was already having a conversation, I just sat down next to her and waited for her to finish. Before much could come from that, Snowflake came back up from the basement with even more grave news. Apparently he did a mystical search of the House since Tzipporah decided she and Leslie needed to go back to their rooms after dinner. What he found in the floor was a quivering, sobbing, fetal ball of Leslie while Tzipporah sat on the sofa like nothing was happening. Always the busy one, Snowflake had also spoken with Alistair about the situation. His thoughts were that this trip was Leslie’s last chance to prove herself worthy of Tzipporah’s trouble. If she blew this one off, Tzipporah would likely just “make her disappear” and move on. I could feel every shred of humanity inside fighting with the cold logic. This was truly a nightmare.

                          Leslie was easily the most trouble of anyone that we didn’t need to directly kill or send Grayside for processing. But no one deserved the kind of treatment we witnessed or were basing suspicions on. I had to go up to the War Room while Snowflake gathered the others. The concept of Tzipporah’s plan went against everything inside me. The snuffing of Hope for a possibly bright future because the person didn’t play Monopoly by their house rules. I moved through several of the hard style katas that I don’t usually practice these days until I had worked up a sweat. When the Krewe came in, I was aware but I was almost lost in my kata. Focusing my anger into something more useful, I got a good workout before I felt the stares of the others. I don’t normally work on those type styles around my Krewe and I think some of the forms were more violent than they expected.

                          Once we got down to business, we reluctantly agreed that Leslie HAD to stay here, preferably at AMC since Rose could keep an eye one her. This was a complete 180 from our previous plan of get them in and out as fast as possible to get them away from us. We discussed the fact that Leslie has always had someone to quietly bail her out of whenever she really screws up. This time she does not have that as an option. And the consensus is that we let her know this. But at the same time, we don’t want to take her from Tzipporah’s monstrous treatment and have her think we’re no better. Ronin and I could both have her work for us in our shops both to keep her out of trouble and to help us out. Plus this whole Vice Spirits thing is bad news. The Yao Guai pack has already expressed their displeasure at her connection. My thoughts are to take her to Sleeping Giant and present her to the pack. Let her know that playing with Vice Spirits are especially bad news and they are the best reason why. Let her know that they now know who she is and if she fucks something up for them, it is very unlikely that I can do anything to stop them from stringing their Christmas Tree with her insides. Hmmm, I just read back over that. This line of thought might be too harsh. And I am very angry.

                          Anyway, I expressed my interest in calling Deirdre to discuss this situation with her. Ronin decided it would be cute to comment on how Deirdre would probably like to hear from me. Which of course perked Rose right the Hell up. Now Rose is all wide eyed about how great it is I’ve found someone and Ronin is not discouraging this. All that directly in front of Nightshade. I don’t remember the last time I was that red and damn it.

                          Plus now that I’m looking at everything, it’s too late to call anybody anyway.

                          I hate getting flustered.

                          Jasmine’s Diary

                          May 18, 2010, Early Morning

                          So far the de la Poers haven’t tried anything. Perhaps they are just biding their time, but I prefer to think that they don’t really intend anyone here any harm, for now at least. Even so, I don’t trust them.

                          After a short nap, I spent the rest of the night watching over Tavia. I pulled the Shroud of Stillness around me and lurked, invisibly in the corner of her room, obscured by the drapes. If anyone had tried to enter and do anything to Tavia, I would have seen and stopped them, but as it was, the night was uneventful. I’m about to meditate, then I’ll go train Jean and come home to sleep a bit before this evening.

                          May 18, 2010, Noon

                          Training with Jean went well. He noticed that I seemed more tired than usual, and I simply told him that I hadn’t slept well the night before. I’m thankful that he let it drop after that.

                          We had lunch with Tzipporah at the mansion. She wants someone to show Leslie around Yale and Albertus Magnus, hoping that one or the other will pique the girl’s interest. The stated purpose of this trip, after all, is to help her find a college.

                          Unfortunately, we don’t want Leslie anywhere close to us. She’s trouble, and the farther away she is, the less we’ll have to deal with it. We have no intention of letting Tzipporah foist her prodigal daughter off on us.

                          Besides, if she really is connected to a vice spirit like the werewolves believe, then just having her close to Tavia’s possessed paintings is a recipe for disaster. The paintings seem to thrive on certain vices, and if she goes around inspiring those vices in others, then it’s only a matter of time before one of the outsiders gets what it needs to break free…

                          Natalie volunteered to show Leslie around Yale since she knows the campus better than the rest of us, and she’s taking Alexia with her. I believe Alexia called Anders from the Skull and Bones krewe to help her out (and to warn that krewe of the visit and the long-term dangers posed by Leslie). I’m glad we can rely on him; he’s the only member of that krewe that I really respect and feel that we can trust.

                          Unfortunately, I’ve had to agree to show Leslie around the Albertus Magnus campus tomorrow. I don’t want her going to the college where I work, but maybe this is for the best; after all, I’m pretty bad with people, which might work to my advantage this time by discouraging Leslie from enrolling. I also called Mongler to ask him to join us and help make the college sound as uninteresting as possible. I filled him in on our worries regarding the girl, so he is more than willing to help.

                          May 18, 2010, Late Afternoon

                          After waking from my nap, Tavia and I went to her studio so that she could continue working on her painting of me. I was caught off guard by the excitement with which she greeted me; she was positively giddy! She asked, point blank, what I thought about Cousin Karl, and coyly refused to tell me why she was asking, as if it wasn’t obvious. It seems that Karl has developed a serious crush on me. While I’m flattered, I’m afraid I’m not really interested in him. He’s nice enough, and I do like him, but not like that.

                          This puts me in a bit of a pickle, though. I want to be nice to him. I did promise to look after him while he’s staying with us, but I don’t want to lead him on.

                          Of course, the Bride is intrigued. She desperately wants us to find love again, so she wants us to find out more about Karl. She says that we share his connection to the sea, which, according to Tavia, is something Karl has also noticed. But I’m not sure. I’d rather not become any more involved with the Fishborne family than I already am. The Bride and I have been arguing about it a bit, and it’s beginning to look like the only way to appease her is to indulge someone’s fancy, either Karl’s or Jean’s. You’d think she’d be more sensitive about my mourning. But then again, she’s just reminded me that our grief must not hinder our search for love. She thinks I’ve been using my memories of Richard as an excuse for too long, and it’s time to move on. Perhaps she’s right.

                          May 18, 2010, Evening

                          We’ve just finished a very uncomfortable dinner with the de la Poers. Leslie’s didn’t really pay any attention to the campus during the visit to Yale (apparently being far more interested in Natalie and Anders), and Tzipporah was extremely disappointed at the girl’s lack of interest in her own future. During dinner, Tzipporah dominated the conversation, drawing attention to Leslie’s faults and failures and completely humiliating her at every conceivable opportunity, and any time someone else tried to change the subject, she deftly maneuvered it back toward Leslie.

                          I dislike Leslie, but even so, I became quite angry at the way Tzipporah abused her over dinner. The sooner these people are out of our house, the better.

                          At least Alistair seems like a decent man, even if his mastery over rats and mice is a bit disconcerting.

                          May 18, 2010, Night

                          I went with Tavia to deliver some food and books to Karl. We had a nice chat, though he didn’t betray his crush on me. I’m actually impressed that he likes to read. It’s shallow of me to say so, but he doesn’t really look like the scholarly sort. Appearances can be deceiving, though. I’ll have to look through the library and try to find something I think he’ll really like.

                          May 18, 2010, Late Night

                          Simon and Doc called us together in the war room late in the night to discuss a rather distressing matter. He had been spying on the de la Poers through mystical means and had a brief but insightful chat with Alistair, both of which led him to the conclusion that Leslie’s life might be in danger.

                          Apparently, after dinner, Tzipporah and Leslie retired to their chambers, where Tzipporah inflicted some sort of terrible punishment on Leslie, reducing her to a quivering, sobbing heap on the floor. As despicable as Leslie is, I can’t imagine she deserves that sort of treatment.

                          According to Alistair, Tzipporah keeps Leslie around because of Leslie’s occult gifts. But Leslie’s rebellious nature is making her less and less useful to Tzipporah. Sending Leslie off to college is basically a form of exile, not unlike what happened to Tavia when she was sent off to college after her brother’s death (I still need to ask Simon about that). The problem is that Leslie has completely ignored every school she’s seen. Yale and Albertus Magnus may indeed be the last options open to her, and thus far is looks like she’s going to ignore them as well.

                          Alistair fears that if Leslie does not start behaving according to Tzipporah’s wishes, Tzipporah will decide that she’s no longer useful despite her occult gifts and will simply kill her. It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened to Tzipporah’s protegés.

                          We don’t really know enough to do anything about Tzipporah right now, but we all agree that we can’t simply leave Leslie to be killed. The cold, resolute part of me that represents the Resolution of Death in our krewe’s mythos believes that perhaps it would be better for Leslie to die. It would be one less Fishborne for us to worry about, and one less potential trigger for Tavia’s vice-ridden paintings. But of course the part of me that’s still human wants to help Leslie, even if I dislike her. Our krewe’s kindness and support might help to encourage and change her for the better. We can hope, anyway.

                          So, we’ve had to change our plans. Instead of trying to discourage Leslie from enrolling at Albertus Magnus, we’re going to encourage her to do so. In other words, we’re going to try and take responsibility for her, if only to keep her out of Tzipporah’s hands.

                          On thing is certain, though. She will become accountable for her actions. In the past, she’s always had someone to come and bail her out when she got in trouble for starting graveyard orgies or attempting human sacrifice. But we intend to make it very clear that if she screws up and gets in over her head, we are not going to come to her rescue.

                          And if she starts causing too much trouble for us, it’s us from whom she’ll need to be rescued.

                          Of course, our group discussion also revealed something much more joyful and exciting. Doc has a lover! Her name is Deirdre, and she’s one of the Sleeping Giant State Park werewolves. I’ve only met her once when we met the Sleeping Giant pack, but I remember that she was very pretty. She was the one Doc apologized to for his misunderstanding of the pack’s intentions toward Tanya. They apparently met at a club, and though Doc sheepishly claims that it isn’t really a relationship, according to Alexia, they’ve been seeing each other off and on for a couple of weeks now. I do wish them the best.



                          Anders is probably the only member of the Skull and Bones krewe whom I like, though I don’t especially dislike the others. I have been sensing that Doc and Simon aren’t very happy with Sonia lately, but I’m not sure why, exactly. I don’t trust her much anyway since I know that she and Natalie shared an abusive past. I don’t want to know the details of that relationship.

                          Anders is a legitimately nice guy. He was raised to be part of some sort of blood cult by his mother, who murdered people to bathe in their blood to gain occult powers and to increase her longevity. She actually sacrificed him, which I believe is how he became a sin-eater, and when he returned, aware of the depths of his mother’s depravity, he rebelled against her and killed her, ending her influence over him and disbanding the cult.

                          Sadly, he believes that his mother has somehow returned from the grave, and I doubt she’s a sin-eater like we are. from what I know of her, she sounds a bit like Tzipporah, which is worrisome. But perhaps learning more about one can help us deal more effectively with the other.

                          Natalie's Tweets

                          Monday May 17th

                          -Your Mistress is going back out to get some plasma. She found a donor.

                          -Blood drinking is the most intimate thing one can do with another person. As well as the obvious not to be spoken of in public parts, blood passes through a persons eyes, brain…

                          -…heart, all that, and unlike other fluids, they die without it. Remember to drink the blood of someone you are intimate with.

                          Tuesday May 18th

                          -Your Mistress is sated.

                          -Returned to Chez Satanique, perhaps a bit unsteady.

                          -Vlog up.

                          -Listening to music, preparing for another day with the Evils.

                          -Good morn-er, afternoon world. What’s happening?

                          -Trinh wants to see me today! ^_^

                          -Actually she uh, kinda demands it. Ahem. This will be…interesting.

                          -Lets see if I can disappear a bit while the gang baby-sits the Evils.

                          -Breakfa- er lunch with the Evils.

                          -Well, sadly, I am going to be needed after all.

                          -Your Mistress is going to visit Yale. How does one get ivy stains out of her coat again?

                          -My plight reminds me a little of Dan Fielding on Night Court, what with pretty girls demanding his attention while he has to be elsewhere.

                          -Heading for Yale with Baby Evil. Ma Evil and Middle Evil don’t want to go. Alexia is going along too.

                          -At Yale, Baby Evil was chatting me up on the way there. She has decent knowledge of music but seems to know more in theory.

                          -Baby Evil seems to be alternating between checking me out and Anders. Alexia seems to have fetched him.

                          -Back home, dinnertime soon.

                          -I have been directly and bluntly propositioned for the second time today.

                          -That was the second most awkward dinner I have ever sat though. That’s saying something.

                          -Trinh really seems to want me to go there to fool around. This seems like a remarkably bad idea, given she lives with her parents and her sister is back home from college.

                          -I actually like Alan pretty well…I’d rather not make a point of being obvious about sleeping with his daughter. It’s not respectful. The whole address thing was awkward enough.

                          -Your Mistress is being coy.

                          -Vlog is up!

                          -I’ll let her cook a bit tonight and see what the situation is tomorrow. In the meantime, lets check on the repercussions of dinner.

                          -The Krewe is having a special meeting, woo woo!

                          -Looks like Baby Evil may be buying the farm. And here I thought one of us was going to kill her. I was planning her wardrobe as my zombie.

                          -Or maybe we will try to save her.

                          -This plan better not involve me seducing her. The Krewe is not my pimp.

                          -OK subtly letting her know that AM may be her last chance seems the order of the day.

                          -Unless we just tell her.

                          -Maybe I will be able to slip away awhile to see Trinh that afternoon or night. Now to convince her that Chez Philips is not where we need to be mingling this time.

                          End Session XVIII

                          I must say I am pretty happy with the rapid shift in plans at the end there. I was not sure the PCs would get that view of what is going on, but I think it is good for the story that it happened.

                          I'll also note Anders name is said Ah-nders, not Anne-ders. Just for whatever that's worth.

                          As an aside for anyone who is less excited about the Fishborne oriented plots, I am going to let that go for a bit after this is dealt with...though nothing will be stopping the PCs from further investigation themselves, I just won't be instigating any more for a bit. Far more of what happens is PC initiated anyway.

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                          • #28
                            Here is our recap of last sessions excitement.

                            Because of comments made here and elsewhere (especially by Doc, but also to a lesser degree by Natalie) I thought telling the characters ages as of 5-19-10. Alexia is the eldest, at 36, though her peppy demeanor can have her come off as younger. Gwen is 32, but of course recalls little of her life. Doc himself is 30. As for the young 'uns, Natalie is 29 (which adds weight to her still having the gun she planned to kill herself at 30 with before becoming Bound) while Jasmine is 26 (ironically younger then Natalie, almost exactly 10 years younger then Alexia) and Simon is 20. Tavia is 19 (almost 20) while Trinh is 20 (almost 21). Chandra's age has never been revealed, and Malard has made comments implying he is over a century old. Natalie's Birthday is October 27th.

                            Anyway, moving on

                            Session XIX

                            Doc's Log

                            Doc’s Log: 0630 Hours, Wednesday, May 19, 2010

                            Ronin, Rose, and Cupcake headed to bed pretty much right after we got home. I took first watch, as that seems to work best given my normal hours.

                            As I was making rounds, Tzipporah met me on the way to the Library, but didn’t seem to be hiding this fact. After I had moved along and she’d been gone long enough, I headed to Snowflake’s room. I knew that this couldn’t be good. We talked it over and decided that actually it was the perfect time to talk to Leslie…assuming we could get a few things going our way.

                            I went up and knocked on Nightshade’s door. She called to me by name and told me to come in and shut the door. That was a little weird, but when I got in and closed the door, I looked at her and realized she had that same blank stare that Snowflake gets when he’s “Becoming One with the Universe.” Yeap, Boneyard. She was keeping an eye on Tzipporah. And given that Auntie Evil was researching Horsemen mythos and lore, this was probably a good thing. I told Nightshade what we were planning with Leslie. She agreed this was a good time and let me know that she’d handle Tzipporah for a while. This made me feel a lot better given that I didn’t like the thoughts that went through my head while I was alone or even around Snowflake when Tzipporah’s around. This bizarre sense of possession or jealousy creeps in and I start to blame and resent Snowflake for being there. I want no part in that and I don’t want things like that going on in my head.

                            With our distraction set, I conspiratorially woke Cupcake to help us talk to Leslie, while Snowflake went to convince her to come outside. Around 0200 Hours, we met the littlest de la Poer in the woods near the House. Leslie was fairly certain she was going to be raped and or killed…and I can’t say that I blame her for that initial assessment.

                            Cupcake, our designated mouthpiece, was still pretty much asleep so she tried to get the conversation started, but Snowflake and I actually managed to find the words that wove through Leslie’s “Devil may care” attitude. Admittedly, the magic was actually the truth. We told her we thought Tzipporah planned to kill her if she hadn’t found a college by the end of their trip; that she wanted to keep control of her and if that wasn’t possible, she’d just move on and make Leslie disappear. We told her that while we really didn’t want her here fucking things up for us, we’d rather her stay here and learn something than go home and vanish. Leslie apparently found the sincerity in our words because she confessed her master plan to us. The teen strongly suspects Tzipporah killed her mother, which we all agree. All the “misfit behavior” was actually botched attempts to get a leg up on Tzipporah in the power department, which does explain why the de la Poer Matron was so aggressively against said situations. We let Leslie know that while we want her to live and we could likely help her in her righteous vengeance, there would damn well be some ground rules for her living in our backyard. Werewolves were mentioned fairly openly and what they already wanted to do to her, so I think that might have gotten her attention. That we were discussing all this so openly seemed to carry the weight Snowflake and I were hoping for. She definitely seemed to demure a bit and, though sometimes frantically, told us about her various ideas on how to defeat Tzipporah. We tried to gently steer her away from several ideas we knew wouldn’t work. Snowflake also brought up a point that apparently no one else ever has before. Leslie needed to think about what she actually wanted to do in the world, outside of simply getting her revenge on Tzipporah. I could see the girl clearly shrink from her normally huge social presence at the realization that she had no real purpose beyond revenge. I tried to point out that she’d have to think of something because once she got her payback, there was the whole rest of her life to consider. I had to come to terms with the same thought once, so I knew a little about that feeling. Snowflake and Leslie confirmed that Tzipporah doesn’t sleep, ever. We even somewhat discussed her dealings with Vice Spirits, though I can see that she’s got more invested in that to just hand wave it away. That could be an issue depending on how things go, but that’s a concern for another time.

                            Once we got the air cleared with that little piece of business, I sent a text to Nightshade to let her know we were back in and things were shiny. Leslie went back to her room while the rest of us pretty much scattered. About an hour after we got back in, Nightshade found me on patrol. While she was with Tzipporah, she didn’t gather much information but neither did Tzipporah and that was the secondary goal of her distraction. What Nightshade did discover was that Tzipporah and the late Dark Haven Fishborns had some kind of fight back in the day, which she’s now using as an excuse for wanting to be around. Mending fences with Snowflake is as much bullshit as her pretending to be at all normal. But any information we have is better than any we don’t. I’m sure we can find some use for this bit of intel. Now it’s almost time to poke Ronin, fill her in, and crash. Hopefully everything will still be standing when I wake up.

                            Doc’s Log: 1345 Hours, Wednesday, May 19, 2010

                            Cupcake, Leslie, and Rose all hit Albertus Magnus College this morning. Apparently Tzipporah had other engagements to attend. I tried to fade into the woodwork and be functional without being obvious. Yeah I know how good I am at that too. Fortunately it’s been a quiet day so far, but then again I’ve only been up for a little more than an hour.

                            Also I think I just heard Rose ask Cupcake about cookies for Old Man Malard. I think I just walked into a Leave it to Beaver/Supernatural
                            Mashup. Oh boy.

                            Doc’s Log: 1715 Hours, Wednesday, May 19, 2010

                            Nightshade got home before dinner from whatever errand she was running today. She pulled Cupcake and I into a side room and closed the door. That was a little concerning but then she told us she needed our expertise on our “Sunlight-Challenged” friends. Apparently Nightshade has been seeing Trinh for some time now, which is strictly off the record and NOT to be mentioned around Rose. Understandable really. But the issue is not Nightshade’s love life (or that she’s robbing the cradle), but the wellbeing of said recipient. Something has happened to Trinh’s health of late and Nightshade suspects she is being fed on by vampires. Now I know Truman and his cell aren’t the type to do this. Wrong MO, wrong part of town, etc. etc. However, this does seem to mesh well with the information we dug up on Penanggalan while researching Chandra. Based on the look on Cupcake’s face, this thought occurred to her too. Nightshade isn’t looking to curbstomp anybody; just trying to make sure Trinh’s not being stalked by someone or something else that we can’t influence. Looks like I’ll be hitting the Library after dinner to check on the cure for the Penanggalan Wasting Disease.

                            Now I need to go and check on Ronin. She’s playing that damn Dropkick Murphy’s loud as Hell again. That is never good.

                            Doc’s Log: 1805 Hours, Wednesday, May 19, 2010

                            Oh shit. I always wondered how Ronin kept her tough shell going without ever getting any chinks in the armor. Apparently the first crack came today. She’s always acted and talked like losing her memory was a blessing, as she didn’t really like what she knew of her old self. The physician in me has always called bullshit on that, but Hope pulled me from the hole Despair and Doubt put me in, so why the Hell would I try to interrupt her delusions. But today something came up that she needed to remember, to feel, to understand about her old self…for the sake of someone else. And that just wasn’t possible.

                            Some low level street gang got incriminating pictures of Ronin and Chuck, her old partner. Now Ronin was completely unaware of this apparent affair, but after several years pictures of their meetings surfaced when Chuck was trying to clean up the Stockton Posse. They are seriously a going nowhere bunch of fuckups in East Haven. They don’t usually do anything to make me come looking for ‘em and they sure don’t come looking for me.

                            Plus these images are too profession for a band of street punks that might have been 14 at the time to have anything to do with. We didn’t have a lot of time before dinner but we tried to think of who might be helping the Stockton Posse and what to do next. The Ivory Claws came up but I don’t know if they would have been in the area and had any idea about either Ronin or Chuck back then. That Chuck is and was married makes this less good. That Ronin is white makes this really bad for Chuck, given that his brand of raising the people up is by busting the kids for their own good in hopes that they learn from their mistakes…without much more guidance than that. But we ran out of time for much more than that. We are going to finally have to have the talk that I’ve never looked forward to. Ronin is a Torn like me, but she’s never healed like I have. This will not be fun.

                            Doc’s Log: 2015 Hours, Wednesday, May 19, 2010

                            I came back downstairs just as Cupcake mentioned something to Snowflake about Tzipporah and another library. At that point, he went running off. I decided I probably didn’t need to get in the way.

                            Dinner went very well. Tzipporah didn’t show which helped tremendously, but Leslie was very talkative about her day and how much she was interested in Albertus Magnus. I could tell Alistair was amazed. That’s good. Maybe he is as redeemable as we hope. Sometimes people will amaze you, but only if you let them.

                            Once we all finished eating, Snowflake, Nightshade, and I headed to the Library. Unfortunately, the only cure for the Penanggalan Wasting Disease is to kill the Penanggalan, cut out her liver, and feed it to the victim. Right so that’s out…at least so long as we can still be sure that Chandra is as sweet and wonderful as Cupcake wants to believe. God I hope so. It’ll break her heart if we have it kill and mutilate her girlfriend to save Nightshade’s jailbait.

                            I can not believe I just wrote that. Worse still, I know it’s all true.

                            Jasmine’s Diary

                            May 19, 2010, Morning

                            I stayed in Tavia’s suite last night, but didn’t remain vigilant and invisible in her room this time, since it appears the de la Poers have other reasons for being here. And besides, Doc’s dog Xerxes stayed in Tavia’s room, and I’m certain he would have raised the alarm if anyone crept in to try anything. I believe Tavia is safe for the time being, but I’m still keeping a close watch over her as long as Tzipporah is here.

                            According to Alexia, she, Doc and Simon were able to talk to Leslie last night while Natalie distracted Tzipporah in the library. I got the impression that Tzipporah was researching information on the Four Horsemen, which could potentially have led her to discover more about sin-eaters than we’d like her to know.

                            It turns out Leslie isn’t quite the irresponsible thrill-seeker that we thought she was. She is manipulative and quite willing to use people to get what she wants, but there is a reason for her actions. She believes, probably quite accurately, that Tzipporah killed her mother (probably to gain control of Leslie herself). And she’s looking for a way to exact revenge on Tzipporah. Most of the terrible things she’s done have been attempts to find a shortcut to power that will let her deal with Tzipporah once and for all; Leslie knows how difficult it is to put a permanent end to Tzipporah.

                            Honestly, our krewe would like to eliminate Tzipporah too, so even though we might not agree on the methods, we can probably work with Leslie on this if she’s willing to work with us. Once she understood the danger she face from her foster parent, and once she accepted that we are willing to help her, Leslie agreed to enroll at Albertus Magnus and come to New Haven when the new semester begins. I still don’t trust her, but if she was telling the truth about her motivations, then I can at least sympathize with her.

                            May 19, 2010, Afternoon

                            I went to train Jean this morning. His progress remains steady. I’m impressed by his dedication and drive. It reminds me a bit of Richard.

                            Afterward, I met Alexia and Leslie in front of Rose Hall so that we can tour the campus. Shortly after I arrived, Richard (Mongler, not my ex-husband) approached to help guide us. Unfortunately, Christopher Anderson, Richard’s boss, was with him. Mr. Anderson and Richard don’t get along at all (Richard calls Christopher his nemesis), and low-level supernatural phenomenon doesn’t manifest easily around Mr. Anderson, probably due to his very banal, skeptical approach to such things.

                            Anyway, I did not want Mr. Anderson coming along on the tour, but he was apparently determined to lead it himself. He has little faith in Richard and wanted to make sure to give Leslie (or rather, her wealthy family) the best impression possible. I’m certain that he would have bored Leslie to tears, though, and Richard, in addition to being my friend, is also aware to some degree of what’s really going on with Leslie; Mr. Anderson is not.

                            So, I tried to talk to Mr. Anderson into letting Richard handle the tour. Perhaps I should have let Alexia do it, but as he actually knows me and she’s a stranger, I thought it best that I at least make an attempt. I told him that the family had requested Mr. Mongler by name, and that I had confidence in Richard’s ability to convince Leslie to enroll. I claimed that his unique personality would appeal to the eccentricities of Leslie’s family. At first, Mr. Anderon didn’t look like he was buying it. As I’ve said before, I’m not really that good at talking to people. So I played up my feminine charms (as much as I know how, anyway) and that did the trick.

                            It may have worked too well, though. Mr. Anderson got quite flustered, and I’m afraid he might read too much into things. The last thing I need is someone else smitten with me. I do want to find true love again, but I dislike Mr. Anderson and he is certainly not a potential soulmate.

                            The tour itself went swimmingly. Leslie at least feigned interest, and Richard was very entertaining. I’ve never seen him give tours before, and his childish personality made it quite fun, really. I owe him one.

                            May 19, 2010, Evening

                            After returning home from the tour, with both Leslie and myself in relatively good spirits, I asked Alexia if we could perhaps bake some cookies for Mr. Malard and Karl. She was more than happy to do so. I suggested oatmeal raisin cookies, but she insisted, quite
                            sternly, that chocolate chip cookies were the best choice, so I deferred to her judgment.

                            While the cookies were baking, I gathered Simon and suggested that he and I take a platter of cookies over to Mr. Malard and let him know that Leslie will be moving into town soon. After all, she deals with spirits and we’d rather not have our neighbor kill her outright if we can help it.

                            We took the cookies to Mr. Malard and chatted for a bit before bringing up the issue with Leslie. He wasn’t happy, but he didn’t think she’d be a big problem (and if she is, then we agreed that he could deal with her as he saw fit, as long as he lets us know first). We learned a bit more about vice spirits, too, since she deals so much with them.

                            Mr. Malard insisted that we talk to the Yao Guai pack as well. They are more aggressive and have more of a presence in New Haven than Malard’s pack, so it’s only right that they be made aware of Leslie’s presence in the city too. I’ll mention it to Doc so that he can let Deirdre know.

                            I also tried to calm Mr. Malard’s fears about Karl being in his territory. Karl seems to be a fairly nice man, and I tried to convince Mr. Malard that he wouldn’t cause any trouble while he’s here.

                            Speaking of Karl, Tavia and I delivered the rest of the cookies to him before dinner. We sat and chatted with him in the caves below the estate. The caves still make me uneasy, but I enjoy talking to Karl about what he’s been reading. His somewhat oafish appearance belies an alert and thoughtful mind.

                            May 19, 2010, Night

                            Tzipporah is out this evening, which made dinner much more pleasant. It was a bit ironic, since this time Leslie was actually willing to talk about her college visit. At least Alistair got to hear about it.

                            Gwen was very upset about something this evening. She always locks herself in her room and plays terrible music very loudly when she’s upset. I’m quite worried about her. I asked her what was wrong, but she wouldn’t tell me anything, except that Alexia was helping her deal with it. She says she’ll let me know more later, but I wish she’d let me know now so that I can help. I doubt I can solve whatever her problem is (if I could, I think she would ask for my help), but at least I can listen and provide some moral support.


                            Vice Spirits

                            According to Mr. Malard, vice spirits are unpleasant spirits, dangerous because they deal so heavily with humans. They are able to make deals with mortals to grant them powers, and they can possess people, usually to get the to act on their vices. I suppose they are dangerous primarily because they have such influence over people. Moreover, they sometimes disguise themselves as various Judeo-Christian demons in order to gain the worship of less scrupulous mortals or to lend more weight to their presence. In any event, I don’t like Leslie toying with such things. She seems unwilling to stop, though, which worries me, and even though she says she is using her powers to avenge her mother, I doubt she’ll stop when Tzipporah is dead.

                            Sex Appeal?
                            Why are so many people smitten with me lately? Jean, Mr. Anderson, Karl…I’m not very good with people. I know that I’m pretty, or so I’ve been told. Is that all there is to it? I’d hate to become involved in a relationship with someone just because they think I’m pretty. f course Richard thought I was beautiful, but there was a lot more to our romance than that. He loved everything about me, and I loved everything about him.

                            Karl doesn’t really know me that well, so I imagine his interest is driven mostly by my looks. On the other hand, he is a bit…odd-looking, I suppose, yet I’ve come to like him more than I did at first once I got to know him better. Just as I wouldn’t want anyone to be interested in me purely for my looks, I wouldn’t want to deny interest in someone else simply because of theirs. Karl is rather sweet, after all.

                            The Bride is really pushing the issue, but I’m so uncertain. I felt like the two of us were on the way to achieving a higher degree of synergy with one another, but my reluctance to become involved with someone else despite my interest has created some friction between us. I need to accept Richard’s passing and move on like I told Dr. Maury I had, but saying it and actually doing it are very different things, and latter is far more difficult than the former.

                            Natalie's Tweets

                            Wednesday, May 19th

                            -Youtube, where were the first 25 years or so of my life?

                            -Looks like Your Mistress is going to be a distraction. She is most distracting.

                            -I am to distract Ma Evil with my charm. I think I can hack that. Meanwhile the rest of the gang interrogates Baby Evil.

                            -Ma Evil is a decent enough conversationalist. She does like to bring up points and dance around them though.

                            -Good enough support for my distraction, but terribly piquing of my curiosity. She really does know a great deal…a great deal I wish I knew.

                            -I say that, but I am living in a house with three lifetimes readings worth of Occult literature and I spend my days chasing beautiful women and strung out on heroin. Ah well, it’s a good life.

                            -Rendezvoused (is that a word?) with Doc. Things seem to have gone seamlessly.

                            -I’m up. Trinh has agreed to meet me at my chateau.

                            -Your Mistress is seeing a beautiful lady today.

                            -Sex is awesome. People should do it all the time.

                            -I am so falling for this girl. Need to control the decent. Don’t need another Gwen situation on my hands here.

                            -Hmmm….this could be…problematic.

                            -Time to talk to folks with more contacts among the local vampires.

                            -Back at Chez Satanique.

                            -Met with Doc and Alexia. Based on Alexia’s reactions, it might actually be Chandra who is stalking her.

                            -Ma Evil is not back in time for dinner. Palatable relief falls over the house.

                            -Though Baby Evil was apparently better behaved today.

                            -Time to help Doc in the library.

                            -Vlog is up.

                            -Why the FUCK is Trinh all “I love you” and “this could be something real” in person then on chat she is all “I don’t think I am ‘that way’” then she turns around again and implies she wants to see me again sometime before long.

                            -Of course she won’t even type ‘lesbian’ much less ‘queer.’


                            -I should just not talk to her for like 2 days after we have sex.

                            -Yea, it is time to get high.

                            End Session XIX

                            The other major salient bit of information not listed above was Gwen and Alexia had a conversation in which Alexia used Industrial Oracle on the picture, and got a vision of a Nosferatu taking the picture, one she saw at the Orphan Asylum on Walpurgis Night among the others. That this came up at the same time Natalie found Trinh to be a feeding vessel was actually a coincidence...Gwen's player had threatened for some time to have her talk to Officer Norris about her detective agency, she just happened to do it the same session Natalie noticed Trinh's signs of having low blood at irregular intervals.

                            Also, with regard to the Christopher Anderson thing, Jasmine's player rolled no successes to convince him to have Richard lead the tour, but spent a Willpower and got 4 successes on those three dice. I decided it was her charm that got her through, with interesting results.

                            Hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you have questions or comments.

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                            • #29
                              And now a little bonus material!

                              Here is a short fiction Gwen and Doc's players wrote which takes place on the evening of the 19th before dinner, basically during this past set of journals. This discussion did not happen in game as written (though elements of it did) but was written to basically fill in some gaps and explore the situation a little further.

                              Hopefully we will have this next sessions journals this Friday or Saturday. Enjoy!

                              The Scene

                              Doc walked back upstairs into the section of guest rooms the Krewe used within the halls of Dark Haven Buffs. There was some time before dinner would be ready, no sign of Tzipporah de la Poer, and nothing pressing beyond the concern growing inside Doc. The Dropkick Murphys could be heard coming from Gwen's closed door several rooms away. Doc sighed as he moved to the door. He had learned in their time together that Gwen really only played obnoxious and loud music when she was angry. Something was up and given the fact the de la Poer's were still around, he wanted to make sure things were okay.

                              Shaking his head, he knocked on the door loud enough to be heard over the music.


                              "You okay?"

                              "Fine. What?"

                              "You only play that shit when something's wrong. What is it?"

                              He waited by the door, uncertain as to what she might say or do. Then the door jerked open and Gwen stood scowling out to see who was around. Satisfied that no one else was there, she glanced back at Doc.

                              "Come in."

                              The gruff retort was an order and one he felt would be wise to follow. Once he was safely past the door, she closed it again, turned the music down, then moved back to her desk to sit down. Doc followed silently trying to find anything unusual or out of place, his eyes questioning everything. Before he could vocalize anything, Gwen slapped a manilla envelope into his chest without looking at him.

                              "Someone sent these to Chuck."

                              The words seemed to anger her further but she kept her rage in check as he slid the 5x7s out. The photographs were of Officer Cleavon "Chuck" Norris and a slightly more fresh faced Gwen Cooper. In the first image, Chuck and Gwen were standing together in front of what Doc thought looked like Gwen's apartment.

                              "So what, he was your partner?"

                              Doc was confused as this was common knowledge to all the Krewe and easily anyone on the force. He continued, watching Gwen from the corner of his eye as she sat silently with her eyes focused on nothing. Then he pulled the next image out and his eyes widened. The two were in a squad car, kissing.

                              "Is this faked?" Doc couldn't hold back the shock in his voice and when Gwen turned her eyes to him, he hated himself for it. The misery and anger on her face filled the room and Doc wasn't sure what might happen next. "I see."

                              "Doc, he came to me with this because someone is leaning on him to let go of a case. He needed to be honest and to let me know."

                              Doc nodded silently, approving of the man's honesty. She continued with a hollow

                              "I don't remember any of this. He needs help but he also needed someone to understand. I can't understand because I wasn't there. Not this me. That girl is dead."

                              Doc sighed. He'd always known this conversation would come. He sat down on the bed
                              and looked at her as gently as he could.

                              "Gwen. We need to talk. We probably should have as soon as Jasmine consecrated the Krewe but I didn't want to pry and you seemed happy."

                              Gwen looked at him confused. "What? What are you talking about?"

                              "You've always said that losing your memory freed you from the past. But now I think you realize why Simon and I always looked a little weird about that."

                              The frustration on Gwen's features deepened and Doc knew that he'd need to make his case quick or she'd get too mad to reason with him.

                              "Do you know why I nicknamed you Ronin?"

                              The question struck Gwen from nowhere. She blinked for a moment, the anger on her face subsiding slightly.

                              "You gave everyone nicknames. Said the first thing you learned about the Occult was to never use your real name so bad things couldn't use it against you."

                              Doc grinned. That was completely true and he was still proud of himself for learning that. But he continued on with his point.

                              "No, that's why I use nicknames. I asked if you knew why I called you Ronin?"

                              Gwen's temper flared a bit. "I'm really not in the mood for semantics!"

                              Doc held up his hands in mock defense. "Easy. I just wondered if you knew what a Ronin was? Based on your reaction and current lack of patience for questions, I'll try to explain it."

                              "In medieval Japan, wealthy and or important people hired master swordsmen as body guards."

                              Gwen looked thoughtful, though still annoyed. "Samurai."

                              "Right. The samurai were fierce and honorable warriors that protected their daimyo with their very life if necessary. They..."

                              "Wait protected their what?"

                              "Daimyo... their patron. The one they served."

                              "Oh. Ok. So what's this got to do with me?"

                              Doc smirked at her. "Stop interrupting and you'll find out."

                              She glared at him then waved her hands to hurry up.

                              "Anyway, if the samurai somehow lost his master, through death or land loss, or his master cast him out, then that samurai considered himself a disgrace. He would no longer refer to himself as samurai even though he still wore the armor and followed their codes. For a samurai who has lost his master is called a Ronin."

                              “And your point is? I’m not exactly some medieval Japanese warrior. I have no master, never did. Seems like you’re off the mark with that one. And it has nothing to do with Chuck being blackmailed over something I don’t even remember doing! For fuck’s sake he was married - what kind of person was I to get involved like that? Even if it was a one time deal like he claims!”

                              “You’re missing my point. I know you aren’t a Japanese warrior. But you are a warrior in many ways. Besides that, the reason I nicknamed you Ronin is really about what’s going on. You have been in denial that having amnesia has caused you any problems for a long time. When you lost your memories, that was the moment you lost your master. The things that made you how you were and what you stood for were taken away and you couldn’t stop it. You were a you are a Ronin.”

                              Gwen glared and crossed her arms. “I was a detective. And a damn good one. I still am. My memories do not make me who I am. They don’t matter. They can’t matter, there’s nothing I can do to bring them back so why dwell on it? I’ll make my way in life without them. I’m just pissed off someone’s trying to use a moment of obvious weakness against Chuck. I don’t like being used. Not by anyone for anything. I want to get to the bottom of this and take care of it before it ruins his life. Before I ruin his life.”

                              Doc looked amazed and a little sickened, no small feat for someone with his medical experience. “What do you mean they don’t matter? Ask your Geist if memories don’t matter? I bet the Angel would have quite a bit to say about that! Gwen it’s only our memories and our will to live that brought us back. I realize that in your case it was purely stubbornness, but still. More importantly, you are a Master of Oracle and an ace detective. There is nothing you can’t find out. Now I’m all for helping out Cleavon, but from where I’m sitting there’s someone else that needs help too.”

                              Gwen frowned, almost as if she didn’t understand. “The Angel never talks to me about my past. He wants me to forget, to follow a path of forgiveness and understanding. He thinks I hold on too tightly already, thinks I’m too vengeful and prone to violence. He doesn’t see how sometimes in order to protect you have to be violent, but then as far as he’s concerned we’re not here to protect, we’re here to ease the way for ghosts and the living to find redemption. For us to find redemption. He doesn’t think I ever will if I remember.”

                              Doc sighed again, willing himself to calm down a little so he could keep things rational and hopefully get Gwen to understand. “Well then that’s two of the Krewe’s great pillars that I just can’t possibly get behind on personal thoughts. Look, I’m not looking to cause problems in your head. Me and the Dog don’t always agree on everything either, but that’s what compromise is for. And something else to consider is that the Angel doesn’t know your past, only his. Just because he didn’t learn forgiveness in life doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be allowed the option. And before you ask, I mean you should be allowed to know the truth and also to forgive yourself, since you seem to be kinda hung up on things you did at some point.”

                              “I wouldn’t be hung up on it if someone wasn’t trying to use me against Chuck,” Gwen snapped. “He never planned on telling me about it. Apparently at the time I promised not to write about it in my journal so there wouldn’t be any evidence of us being a couple of fuckwits. I don’t care about the sex or the fact I was with a black guy - Chuck’s too damn hung up on race as it is - but it’s the fact he’s being hurt by it now...I don’t even know if he ever told his wife. The problems this might cause between them - that’s what’s bothering me more than anything.” She ignored the issues Doc raised about the Angel and his disapproval about her past. She wasn’t quite ready to think about that just yet.

                              Doc thought for a moment before continuing. “Gwen, I can understand why you’re upset about your friend. Chuck is a great guy and I’m sorry that something is going on that could cause him problems.” He paused and then added with a slight smile, “But as your physician, I have to ask that you consider yourself for a moment.” Not wanting to give her the chance to turn the conversation away from herself again, he continued. “Seriously, we both have the same Deathmarks, we know about what violence can do. I agree with the Angel on that part. But what about what comes after?” He stopped for a moment and the humor left his face as his eyes focused somewhere else.

                              “I spent 18 months in this or that section of military hospitals after the IED. And when I first woke over here again, I was mad. I was pissed at the world, myself, and everything around me. No matter how hard I tried to lash out at anything, I was reminded of how weak I was, that my legs might not ever work again, that I might just be a breathing piece of meat with a ghost dog in my head talking to me for however long the rest of my life might be. Angry...nah angry don’t cut it. I was worse than any angry teenager that thought the world owed him something. I was a man that had lost everything in the world trying to protect it. Wrath...the kind of mad that will kill you. That’s what I felt. And at first, while I was still charred and nasty, I took that wrath out on everyone around me. Nurses, doctors, the bed, everyone. The Dog of War tried to get me to focus but I wanted to hurt someone so that they would know how I hurt.” The vengeful edge of his voice was a stark comparison to his normally even tone. He took a breath and seemed to calm again. “Thankfully that never happened, and I never did anything more than yell and bitch. It still hurt too much to move at the time. Then the Dog did something that probably helped save me more than even the Bargain. He gave me the chance to walk again, even if it wasn’t in my body. He promised me that if I couldn’t heal the damage that he’d have never come to me. That put alot of things in perspective. He offered me Hope. After that, all I had to do was heal.”

                              Doc’s eyes focused back in the room and on Gwen. “That’s what I want to offer you now. You have never healed. And without healing, you can’t really learn the forgiveness you’re looking for. The first step is going to be to give yourself an outlet for all that anger. The next is to learn something about yourself, maybe not find everything, but enough to make you your own master. And a Ronin that is her own master is a fearsome and worthy warrior.” He waited, hoping she understood the point this time.

                              She sighed and rubbed her forehead. “That’s part of the problem I guess. I don’t know that I need forgiveness...except for that whole party to adultery bit I just learned about.” She tried to offer a smile but it lacked her usual brightness. The tension in her body was still too obvious, the anger that simmered just below the surface on the most calm of days threatened to spill over even as she tried to project an image of calm. “Look I’ll think about what you said OK? But I really don’t know what I can do here. The Angel is all about redemption, I’m on board with that - but I haven’t figured out what I could possibly need to be redeemed for - I was a good cop. Maybe it’s got to do with my brother. Maybe I was a little too enthusiastic about my collars - I don’t know. I guess I need to learn that before I can go forward.”

                              Doc nodded and decided that at least planting the seed was better than forcing the issue. “Okay now that we’ve covered that and I’m sure the Angel is just as pissed at me as the Laughing Lady, let’s focus on Cleavon’s issue.” He nodded back to the photos. “These were taken several years ago. Who would go to the trouble of taking this kind of thing and then sit on it? Why even bother? Were they just spying on people at random and hoping to use anything they learned? Does he even know who sent the pictures?”

                              Gwen picked up the pictures and her lip curled in distaste. “No idea. He’s being warned off this East Haven gang - but they’re small time, and pretty new so there’s no way they could’ve gotten a hold of this kind of stuff on their own. I want Alexia to look at them and see if she can’t get something with her psychometry. There’s some areas I can’t get intel through Oracle after all.”

                              Doc perked up. “East Haven gang? Who are they?” Most of the so-called gangs on Doc’s side of the bridge were little more than teenagers with a shared favorite color and a need to talk a lot of shit. Few of them ever had the balls to back it up when challenged. At least not when Doc challenged.

                              ”Something like the Stockton Posse? I think they’re pretty new. Chuck says they’re disorganized and small time, but he’s been leaning on them pretty heavily lately. Whoever’s behind them seem to think he’s getting too close to something though. They want him to back off or his rep and possibly his marriage is down the toilet.”

                              “The Stockton Posse? That bunch of snotnose punks don’t even stay out on the stoop when they see me walking patrols at night! How the hell could they get anything together like this? Nah, somebody’s working from the shadows on this. You think it could be the Ivory Claws? I mean I really expected Mr. Mustashio would have wanted another piece of us, even giving time for him to try and figure out what the hell he was up against.” Doc looked perplexed.

                              “I wondered about that, especially since nothing I can find out really points to anyone with any power. The Ivory Claws would certainly be in the shadows and outside most the underground grapevines I can access. But why they’d be interested in some punk gang or Chuck is what I can’t figure out.”

                              “Well if it is them, then it’s probably to get at us. We hit them head on without really knowing what we were up against and beat their asses like a drum. If it were me and I had to try and deal with something like that, I’d try to mess with people that were close to them. Just like the werewolves, we might be impervious, but our friends, family...they’re like everyone else. And this would be a blindside for us. You can’t fight what you don’t know about. It’s a bastard move, but it is smart if you play it right. Plus if they can hide behind some street gang and keep themselves out of it, all the better. But that’s really just a guess.”

                              Gwen frowned but didn’t say anything for a moment. “We’ll find out once Alexia’s looked at the pictures. I’ve told her I need her help after dinner, so as long as she doesn’t forget and bop off to be with Chandra before hand I’ll have a better idea what we’re dealing with.”

                              Doc grinned. “I don’t know. Keeping her attention away from her vampire girlfriend...not sure if that’s a good idea.” He shook his head. “We live with some crazy shit, don’t we?”

                              Gwen smiled, a short bark of laughter easing some of her tension. “I think we signed on for weird and crazy the minute we accepted the Bargain.”

                              “Hey look, she can still smile without cracking her face,” he teased. “And here I thought I was gonna have to beat a smile out of ya.” Doc smiled at her then sobered slightly and put his hand on Gwen’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out. Whatever it is.”

                              “Oh please, you couldn’t take me and you know it, Soldier Boy.” She nudged his shoulder with her own and playfully held up her fists in front of her before getting serious again. “Thanks for trying to help me. I still don’t know what I need help with exactly, but I appreciate what you’re trying to do.”

                              “Oooo, listen at the cop get uppity.” He snickered for a moment, then continued. “Well don’t thank me yet. But I think I know of a way to deal with your anger issues that will actually be beneficial to the Krewe.” Doc looked at her with a crooked grin.

                              “Uppity? I’ll show you uppity...” she trailed off as she registered what else he said. “Go on. How can I help out the Krewe?”

                              “Well apparently you’re cute enough to get the Dog’s attention or” Doc trailed off for a moment and looked like he regretted having said his last statement. “....okay that didn’t go well. Anyway, he just informed me that he could instruct us on how to focus your ‘seething anger’ into the Rage manifestation. If what I understand about that is true, it would take beating ass to a whole new level. What’cha think?”

                              “Beat ass for the good of the Krewe? You know, I saw this guy while I was road tripping work with Rage. The dude himself didn’t impress me, but what he could do? If I could tap into that then we’d have a pretty formidable front line. With you, Jazz, and Alexia’s capabilities then add in Rage.” She thought about it for a moment and nodded. “Let’s do it.”

                              “Front line? Aw fuck all that football stuff, we gonna make you a scary bitch!” Doc laughed and ducked as Gwen swatted at him. “We’ll finish this after dinner.”

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                              • #30
                                Hope folks enjoyed the fiction.

                                And now back to recaps, with Session 20, in which our heroes watch Star Wars.

                                Session XX

                                Doc's Log

                                Doc’s Log: 2205 Hours, Wednesday, May 19, 2010

                                Cupcake just headed out to visit with Chandra. She’s a little keyed up over the possibility her girlfriend is eating Nightshade’s. The Evils (as Nightshade refers to the de la Poers) retired for the night. Since there’s still no sign of Tzipporah, Ronin gathered the remaining Krewe in the drawing room. Her mood hadn’t improved any since we talked before dinner. Actually she may have actually been in a better mood before as she was pretty pissy. Anyway, she determined that the gold is ours. No signs of a bank robbery and no news reports on any lost family fortunes from back in the day. There’s still some loose ends that she’s planning to get tied up but for all intents and purposes we’re now the proud owners of a grave’s worth of 19th Century Gold Bars. Woohoo!

                                I’m about to start patrolling as First Watch works out better for me. It will be interesting to see when Tzipporah gets in.

                                Doc’s Log: 0620 Hours, Thursday, May 20, 2010

                                No sign of Tzipporah all night. That is both suspicious and relieving. It’s been a really quiet night. About to tag Ronin in and crash. This ride is almost over…and as soon as Tzipporah is gone we can all relax…at least for a minute.

                                Doc’s Log: 1315 Hours, Thursday, May 20, 2010

                                I’ve been up for just a little more than an hour now and with the exception of sleeping in a combat zone, I’ve never in my life heard anything so horrifying as what I heard to wake me up today.

                                Just after the big, creepy Grandfather Clock in the hall stuck High Noon, there was this …sound coming from downstairs. It was like a drunk screaming while puking her guts up. I bolted out of bed and all but fell down the stairs to find the noise coming from this really hot blonde in the sitting room with Snowflake. I stumbled into the doorway, barely collecting myself into the bodyguard I was supposed to be. Snowflake gave the stand down and introduced me to Gretchen de la Poer. I eased up a bit and Snowflake nodded that it was okay. I shuffled back upstairs to get decent.

                                When I came back down, Snowflake looked really unhappy at a letter in his hands. I came in just in time to hear the name Winthrop. Given that Anders is the only Winthrop in the general area that I know about unless …that raised my hackles a bit. Tavia found the letter addressed to Snowflake and brought it down a few minutes before I got there. When I asked about it Snowflake just sighed and gave me the letter. I opened it up and immediately recognized Tzipporah’s scent on the neatly scripted document. The rough summary is that Tzipporah met Mariah Winthrop for tea and got the full briefing on what we are. Thus by the time Gretchen’s Scottish squawking woke me up, the rest of the de la Poers had gotten the hell outta Dodge. This adds new levels of bad to our long term situation. Snowflake’s cursory explanation to Gretchen for my outburst at learning of the meeting basically painted Mariah as the matriarch of another family, a very powerful matriarch that was suppose to be dead already. That launched Gretchen into her true reason for needing the Library. Given that we didn’t really want to get into why it was bad for Tzipporah to know about us, we just let our new guest spill her guts. Seems Gretchen, like Leslie, isn’t exactly playing for Team Tzipporah. She doesn’t trust Tzipporah enough to let her know the truth about all the research. She also isn’t afraid of stacking the deck in her favor. She put some kind of trace on Tzipporah’s car so that she would know where they went and when she could safely come to Dark Haven Bluffs. Gretchen also apparently knows there are “other” things in the world and she’s set to determine if and what is pulling the strings of each of the branches of the family. I thought this was a noble cause but also a serious risk of insanity given what I already knew about her family. Gretchen helped brush aside any concerns for her sanity when she explained how eating dust was an intellectual version of cannibalism; one in which she can gain some part of a person by eating their left behind remains. That was about the time Ronin came in and Gretchen hit on her pretty directly. Ronin kinda blinked, looked at me like she wasn’t sure what to do, and then said she’d be at the office. Trying to bleach those thoughts out of my head, I asked Gretchen how things actually went down in Whispering Hollow? According to her, it was pretty much as Tzipporah described it except that she was able to fight off the poison quickly and just hid out until she knew Tzipporah was gone before showing up here. Beautiful. Intelligent. Resourceful. Completely fucking insane. Most horrifying Scottish accent I’ve ever heard. That’s the best description I could hope to give for this woman. Nightshade came down after a bit and Gretchen immediately asked if she wanted to fuck? Nightshade actually lost color for a second, stumbled through her shock and then left flustered. That might have been the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. We started getting back to our previous topic just as Cupcake unexpectedly walked in and Gretchen hit on her too. I’m pretty sure that it was my turn next, but I was just about at the point of information and sensation overload so it really didn’t register very well. That’s when lunch for our guest was mentioned, after which Cupcake headed to the shop. Then Gretchen was given leave to hit the Library with the understanding that Snowflake wanted to know the results as well.

                                Nightshade came back down and announced that she would be going to lunch with Clarissa to see what she could learn. By this point in the afternoon, Snowflake and Tavia had reached the catatonic stage of their relationship with reality. I found them on the couch in the TV room, staring blankly at the unpowered device. Tavia jumped up from being cuddled up with Snowflake but I told them to stop worrying about stuff like that around me. I’m not Rose and it doesn’t bother me…given I know more of the truth than some. Snowflake relaxed a bit with that and Tavia cuddled back up with him. I have to say that was really cute. I made some comment about being one of the family now and we all kinda laughed. Then the conversation turned towards Anders, and all the humor got sucked out of the room.

                                We don’t trust the Skull and Bones Society completely, but no one has any issues with Anders Winthrop himself. Given what we learned today, Snowflake and I agreed that someone had to tell him. Also that we needed to tell the whole Krewe about this. I called Cupcake to let her know that we’d need to meet and why. Dinner was likely. Next I called Ronin. I let her know what we were planning and why. No rest for the Wicked…or the Once Dead. Rose was due in from her training and tea anytime so I left her out of that phone chain. And though I hate doing it, I sent Nightshade a text so I wouldn’t interrupt her lunch meeting.

                                Then Snowflake and I decided we’d flip a coin to see who called Anders. I lost of course, so I had to be the one to call and tell Anders we had new information that involved him and we’d like to meet with just him because of it. He offered to cover everyone for dinner somewhere, but I told him Cupcake might actually take that as an insult, even though it was a very generous offer. So we setup a 6 dinner date. No part of that conversation sounded like we were trying to lure him out to be ambushed. God this is going to suck. Especially since I lost the coin toss.

                                Doc’s Log: 1735 Hours, Thursday, May 20, 2010

                                Today is really one of those surreal moments in time when you never really know what to expect from one second to the next. Nightshade came back from her lunch date a little after Rose got home. Somehow Gretchen restrained herself from hitting on Rose. I was almost disappointed in not getting to see that reaction. Anyway, Nightshade and Tavia tried to explain Star Wars to Rose after Nightshade referred to Clarissa as the teenage Jedi. This devolved into an academic debate about who was the hottest man from the movies. Rose of course had no idea what was happening other than she was a fan of Alec Guinness so she agreed to see it. Because it’s TV Night, this means we will be watching later. Tavia thinks that Luke would be a good protector and for context, “would take care of you.” Nightshade took a different angle and pointed out with more innuendo than I can do justice to here how Han “would take CARE of you.” Tavia decided that Rose should choose.

                                Thank God it’s almost time for dinner. Oh…wait.

                                Doc’s Log: 2015 Hours, Thursday, May 20, 2010

                                There are some people in the world that it seems Fate despises. I’m beginning to think Anders is one of those people. He showed up right on time as Cupcake was getting food plated and ready to bring to the table. I introduced him to Gretchen to keep things polite. Dinner was wonderful as usual and we had nice and light conversation throughout the meal. Ronin surprised me by being flirty with me and Anders, but thinking back that might have been a way to keep Gretchen from getting in over her head. Nightshade did seem a little …predatory after seeing how Gretchen looked at Ronin. While I will probably never mention it anywhere else, I think that might be the most jealous of anyone I’ve ever been, but anyway. When dinner was obviously winding down and we couldn’t put it off any longer, I asked Gretchen if she could excuse us, not because we didn’t want her to know what was going on, but more out of respect for a personal matter of Anders’. She didn’t complain as she left…much. Because I lost that damn coin toss, it was up to me to be the bearer of bad news.

                                We let Anders know what we could and asked several questions that he didn’t have answers to. This will require more interaction with other members of his Krewe that I have very little need to deal with. This is petty and I realize it…I’m just not really getting past it as easily as I should be. Anyway, I apologized for having to confirm one of his biggest fears and we left off with him getting in touch with us again if he learned anything else. Once he left, Rose pointed out that really this was a problem for him and his Krewe, so unless they asked for our help, this wasn’t an issue that we needed to get involved in. That Mariah Winthrop blew our cover and ratted us out to Tzipporah was more than enough reason for me to want her permanently dead, outside that whole mass murdering blood bather issue. Priorities, right?

                                Now it’s time for Star Wars. At least we can enjoy mindless Sci Fi to help unwind a bit.

                                Doc’s Log: 0350 Hours, Friday, May 21, 2010

                                When they said we were watching Star Wars tonight, I didn’t realize they were talking about all three movies. Somehow the debate sparked the need for a marathon to be watched. Rose still selected Sir Alec Guinness, as I was repeatedly corrected throughout the night. Tavia is still all smily over Luke. Ronin and Nightshade make up Team Han. As mentioned, Rose went Team Obi Wan, unsurprisingly Cupcake went with Leia. Gretchen, who moved in and out throughout the first movie, eventually ended up just sitting down with us before the end of the second, voted for Chewbacca. This drew a lot of odd glances so she explained that he was “huge and can’t speak.” Or at least I think that’s what she said. I chose Padme but everyone looked at me like a freak and somebody threw a pillow. I suspect Nightshade.

                                Apparently because Natalie Portman wasn’t part of the ancient trilogy, her character doesn’t count. Oh well.

                                The time of doom is over for now and after six and a half hours of Star Wars fangirling, I’m going to bed. Tomorrow is a new day; a day without Tzipporah. Hurray for small victories.

                                Jasmine’s Diary

                                May 19, 2010, Late Night

                                Gwen is still upset over something, though I still don’t know what it is. Nevertheless, she’s completed her research on the gold we dug out of Bonnie-Lynn’s grave. She can’t find any records of its ownership or disappearance, so as a krewe we’ve more-or-less decided that it’s ours. Now Gwen and Doc are working on ways for us to exchange it for real funds without drawing too much attention.

                                I’m not certain that we’ve exhausted every line of inquiry, though. We still need to talk to Big Sean Gleeson about it. But I don’t imagine that will change the krewe’s minds, and I suppose I’m okay with that. I don’t really know what we’ll do with the money, and I don’t really have much use for it myself, but not having to worry about funds is a welcome change.

                                Gwen did learn of a man named Stanton Marshall who is allegedly the person who killed Big Sean Gleeson. Nothing connects him to the money directly, but he was connected to the mob somehow. I spoke to Bonnie-Lynn about him, but her impressions of the man were naive and sheltered.

                                My conversation with Bonnie-Lynn was interesting in other ways, though. She watched a lot of television when she was in the dorm, and we’ve placed one in her room. Based on what she’s seen on the tellie, she seems to think that modern women have it very difficult when it comes to romance and courting. She thinks it was much easier when things were largely decided for a young woman. I argued that having more freedom to choose and get to know one’s spouse before marriage was worth the extra effort and occasional disappointment involved in dating, but she thought it seemed like an unnecessary hassle. Also, she doesn’t seem to understand that the programmes are dramas and not exactly like real life.

                                The she surprised me by bringing up reincarnation. Of course I believe in reincarnation. Naturally, some souls remain behind as ghosts and others move on into the depth of the Underworld, but those that don’t, or those that eventually pass through the Underworld, enter the next phase of their karmic cycle. That’s what happened to my husband, after all. But I was surprised that Bonnie-Lynn seemed to accept the existence of reincarnation, given her cloistered, 19th century views on so many other things.

                                She wanted to know if she would have to go through the same trouble as other modern girls when she was reincarnated, after we help her soul to pass on. I told that, yes, she probably would. She wasn’t happy about that, but I told her to deal with it. I was perhaps a bit more blunt than I needed to be, but I did try to comfort her by assuring her that when she was reincarnated, she’d prefer things the modern way.

                                May 20, 2010, Morning

                                There’s been a spot of good news this morning. Tzipporah, Leslie and Alistair are leaving. I’ve gone off to train Jean, but by the time I return they should be gone, and their departure couldn’t have come sooner.

                                I saw Cousin Karl off before I left to train Jean this morning. He told me that he really liked me, which was a close as he has come to admitting his crush on me directly. I was touched. He is such a nice fellow; of all the Fishbornes I’ve met, her seems the most agreeable to me. I’ll miss him. Perhaps he can visit again soon.

                                May 20, 2010, Afternoon

                                There’s been a spot of bad news this afternoon. Tzipporah left a note for Simon, explaining that Mariah Winthrop, Anders’ psychotic, blood-bathing mother, is still alive and wishes her son and all the other sin-eaters in the city harm. Anders and the Skull and Bones society krewe killed her, but she came back, so we invited Anders to dinner to share the information with him. Of course, we all suspected that Mariah was still alive, but having it confirmed was still a bit of a blow to Anders.

                                Our krewe, the Middle Shadows, is upset with this news for a completely different reason. Since we know that Tzipporah and Mariah met with one another to share information, we also believe that Mariah told Tzipporah all that she knew about sin-eaters, so all of our efforts to keep her in the dark were in vain. This is probably also why she left so quickly this morning. She left on good terms, but Simon and Doc believe she needs to find out more before she’s prepared to deal with us again.

                                I should also mention that Gretchen de la Poer has come to visit. She is not in league with Tzipporah, or so she says, and in fact she wants to uncover more about what sort of dark things are pulling the strings of the Fishborne families. I wish her luck; she’s a braver soul than I.

                                I can’t say that I found her very agreeable, though. Though she must be quite intelligent, she was foul-mouthed and very forward, enough so that Alexia felt she needed to warn me before I met Gretchen. Honestly, I barely understand a word she says. Every now and then something about her accent reminds me of my own Kiwi accent, but mostly it’s just a gutteral jumble and I really can’t catch what she’s saying. The others seem to have only a slightly easier time understanding her, though, so maybe it’s not just me and my second-hand English.

                                May 20, 2010, Late Night

                                Tonight was TV night, and I had asked about something pertaining to Star Wars, which are movies I’ve heard about but had never seen. Much to my surprise, Gwen, Tavia, and Natalie became very excited and insisted that I watch the movies, so that’s what we did tonight. I must say I quite enjoyed them, even though science-fiction and fantasy don’t normally interest me.


                                Stanton Marshall
                                According to Gwen , Stanton Marshall was a mob hitman from Chicago who frequently visited New Haven to on mob business. He was an expert gunman and cold-blooded killer, and is probably the one who killed Sean Gleeson. His mob connections allowed him to mix and mingle with the upper classes of society. According to Bonnie-Lynn, even though Marshall was not considered marriageable because he allegedly had no money or social status, he was quite popular with the ladies because of his dashing, debonair looks and personality. Bonnie-Lynn didn’t seem to connect his skill with guns to the danger he represented, and had a difficult time thinking of Marshall as a dangerous or violent man.

                                The Men of Star Wars
                                Natalie kept calling Clarissa our local Jedi, and as usual when I don’t understand a new term, I asked about it, thinking it might be another English word for “psychic.” After all, English has about a hundred words for everything, and I’m constantly learning new ones.

                                So I was informed that Jedi were warriors from the Star Wars movies. I’d heard of the Star Wars films but I had never seen them, which shocked everyone else and made me feel a little insecure. Devoting my life to professional swimming didn’t leave a lot of time for things like science-fiction films. But I did enjoy the films. Much of the wisdom presented in them was quite familiar to me, since the philsophy behind the “Force” was certainly inspired by Taosim and Buddhism. In that regard I found it rather easy to understand the films’ themes.

                                Tavia, Natalie, and Gwen had a discussion about which character was the most desirable. Tavia like the innocent and dedicated Luke Skywalker, claiming that he would be a good and caring protector. Natalie and Gwen preferred Han Solo because of his charisma and sex-appeal. They wanted me to decide which of the two was better, and I think I surprised everyone when I said Sir Alec Guiness. They looked at me like I was crazy, and Gwen even said, “But he’s old and crusty.”

                                Well, yes, in Star Wars, he is. But I know him from older movies. I watch a ot of films from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, and I know Sir Alec Guiness as a dashing and handsome young actor from movies like Bridge over the River Kwai and Laurence of Arabia. That’s the Sir Alec Guiness I was thinking of when I said he was my favorite. In fact, in a fit of whimsy, I found a picture of him to paste in my diary.

                                Natalie's Tweets

                                Thursday, May 20th

                                -Got up, was somewhat aggressively propositioned by a hot blonde girl I have never seen before in the library. I am not awake enough for this.

                                -The Evils have taken off…apparently left abruptly in the morning. The Late Evil showed up soon after. Very strange.

                                -OH GODDESS THAT’S CREEPY

                                -Vlog is up.

                                -I am off to see what is up in the world of the teenage Jedi.

                                -Look at me not even thinking about Trinh!

                                -Your Mistress is having a late lunch with a client, avoiding the Scotswoman with a tongue abrasive enough to clean restaurant stoves.

                                -Apparently Gordon Ramsey comes by it honestly.

                                -Remember, there is a proper way to run away from home, and it is called College.

                                -Meeting with Jedi done, assuming she was honest with me (not a given) everything is fine.

                                -We are to be having a meeting with an ally from the SABS.

                                -I hate to say this, but I wish Late Evil would just not talk. She is so pretty till she opens her mouth.

                                -It will be Star Wars night. Jasmine has somehow not seen it.

                                -Vlog is up.

                                -Dinner with Anders. I wonder if Late Evil will be there.

                                -Why she is! This will be interesting.

                                -Late Evil is making eyes at Gwen. Late Evil may have a fight on her hands.

                                -Dinner done. Anders took it all well.

                                -Star Wars! Star Wars!

                                -Jasmine likes Star Wars. Not a shock. Jasmine thinks Sir Alec Guinness is her favorite guy from it. Weird.

                                -Hottest guy/gal results: Han Solo 2 (Me, Gwen) Luke Skywalker 1 (Tavia) Obi Wan 1 (Jasmine) Leia 1 (Alexia) Chewbacca 1 (Late Evil) “because he is huge and he can’t talk!”

                                -Doc voted for Padme but she was not in the real Trilogy. C’mon Doc!

                                -Got a night of web surfing and not talking Trinh (who is crazy) to look forward to now.

                                -…you know what, fuck it. You only live once.

                                End Session XX

                                A few notes:

                                Yes, the Star Wars discussion happened naturally in game, and no it was not planned. It did come up naturally when Natalie returned from talking to Clarissa. I think we were all terribly amused by it.

                                Few other notes. Tzipporah did in fact, uh, spend time with Simon the last night. She asked him if there was anything he wanted to know about her without the others around, or anything he wanted to tell her, and he demurred. She pushed the line of conversation a bit. It made more sense later, when they got her note; she did give him the chance to give his explanation for what the PCs were, and he did not. I'll note the letter was more like Jasmine's explanation and less like Doc's (not that he is mistaken, but focused more on the hostile side)...the note was a warning about Mariah Winthrop and the fact she wished the PCs harm. She did phrase things to show some awareness of the PCs nature, but just what she knows is still up in the air. They did leave rapidly the next day however.

                                Gretchen is interesting. I noted all the De La Poers had Scottish accents, but I did not play them up, as they were, well, just people whose accents were notable. I played Gretchen's way up, and spoke such that she was nearly unintelligible at times. Gretchen is a case of a character with very high mental attributes and abysmal social ones (1/2/2, with few skills). She is very attractive, so since she barely knows how to relate to people, she flirts heavily, as it tends to get her approval and access to what she wants. In fact, though, she understands people no better then Simon or Tavia do, and has more difficulty with them then Simon does (Simon like Leslie basically having a sociopaths understanding of people, manifested in Behavior Blind Flaw).

                                Hope you enjoyed, comments and questions welcome.

                                ETA: One note, Natalie's exclamation of creepiness was due to Gretchen's obsession with "absorbing the essence" of her forbearers by eating dust. Natalie has a cleanliness obsession due to her history and it was more then she could easily deal with short term.
                                Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 11-19-2015, 03:29 AM.

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                                [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]