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Scion: Bohemian Front (Actual Play)

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  • Scion: Bohemian Front (Actual Play)

    Scion: Bohemian Front is a Scion game which will take our heroes from Hero Level through God level. I have run two Scion games Scion: Rada and Scion: Petro each of which ran about six years and took the PCs to Legend 12, and I have every expectation this one will as well.

    Not a great deal of background required beyond the general setting is that described in the Scion setting. I am not using the “World at War” material as such, but do have the concept of warring Pantheons, just using those in the game, not what are to me fairly weak pantheons. Past that, the setting is pretty much the setting from the books, such as it is.

    Our heroes will be Legend 3 the first story, then graduate to Legend 4 for ~ 3 stories. They will be Legend 5 for a story then 6-8 ~3 stories each, 9 for one story, 10-12 around 3. That’s about how Rada and Petro went.

    All the PCs will have a connection to the city of Berlin, and the first couple stories take place there. As is the usual case for Scion, though, most stories will take place in other locations. Hero tends to be on Earth, while Demigod spreads into Terra Incognita and Underworlds, and God spreads further into Overworlds. So the PCs will be adventuring all over. But there will be a base in Berlin. More will become apparent about that in our first story

    Our Cast

    Magnus Grimstad, Scion of Bragi, Aesir: Magnus is from a small town in Norway, and left to find himself when he outgrew that town's limitations. He has been traveling all over Europe, wandering from town to town and relying on his music to get him by. Magnus is large, and is both physically and socially imposing. He has an intense personality that tends to swing between maudlin fatalistic depression and a manic desire to wring every last bit of living out of life while there is still time. He tends to drink heavily when at either extreme, less so when he's more in the middle, and his mood swings can come suddenly and without warning.

    At this point in the game Magnus has never talked to Bragi in person. He mostly deals with them through his Guide, his frost giant half-brother Kjell. Kjell is loyal to his father Bragi, but he's also loyal to his grandfather, Utgard-Loki. Kjell believes that Magnus will ultimately become the skald that chronicles the Ragnarok and keeps the legends of those who fell. Both Utgard-Loki and Odin see the usefulness of having influence on the one who will tell their stories, and Magnus is pretty much destined to become caught up in their intrigues.

    Nemiz “Nemi” Cemicac, Scion of Quetzalcoátl, Atzlánti: Nemi is the well educated young head of Future Life Foundation (FLF), a non-profit NGO focusing on creating miraculous prosthetics to help people live better, fuller lives after tragic accidents. His visitation changed little about Nemi, save that now he has a Divine Right to rebuild lives.

    Nemi is first and always a healer. Some call him the Repairer of Broken Dreams for the work he and his foundation do for victims of physical loss. More than a doctor, scientist, or engineer, Nemi is a visionary, constantly seeking ways to enhance the lives of those around him. As a hero, this includes bolstering his allies and bedeviling his enemies.

    Chae Ji-Woo, Scion of Fu Xi, Celestial Bureaucracy: Chae Ji-Woo is a Korean daughter of Chang'e who was awakened as a scion of Fu Xi when she unknowingly stole her younger brother's divine legacy. Since then, she has wandered Asia and Europe, living the bohemian lifestyle as an artist, dreamer, fortune-teller and occasional hero. She happily nurses an addiction to absinthe, enjoying the mysterious ways the liquor enhances her perceptions.

    Insatiably curious, Ji-Woo is extremely intelligent and observant, but lacks the focus to apply herself to anything (even a routine conversation) for long, which makes her seem perpetually distracted. She feels a strong connection to the heavens and embodies the whimsy and freedom of the wind and skies. She believes she is destined to follow in Fu Xi's footsteps and become a mystic, but for now, she feels perpetually lost and directionless, a situation that bothers her far less than it probably should.

    Rajani Gupta, Scion of Kali, Devas: Rajani is a warrior and a tattoo artist. Awakening to her heritage in India, she sought to express herself with Tattoos, especially a notably impressive one of a sword across her shoulder, which she can draw forth and use as a weapon. Rajani is also a fan or hard rock and metal music,and is considered the best tattoo artist in Delhi.

    Rajani is fairly combat focused. Built as a heavy hitter, she emulates her mother on the battlefield.

    Phaedra Volakis, Scion of Hermes, Dodekatheon: Phaedra was awakened after being the first Greek archer to win a gold in the modern Olympic Games. Before she learned her true parentage, Phaedra used her limited fame to become a motivational speaker, hoping to assist others in becoming the best they could possibly be. The only problem with this plan is, she's not the most charismatic woman.

    Incredibly focused, Phaedra is all about the mission - whatever that may be. She is intense and stubborn, but also very loyal to her allies. Unsurprisingly, she enjoys bow hunting as a form of relaxation and now uses her hunting skills to track down wayward titan spawn and complete whatever task her divine father sets before her.

    Zane, Scion of Nantosuelta, Nemetondevos: Zane is a former street kid, living in the streets of London since she was 11, and with the prostitute she thought was her mom before that. When she awakened, she was discovered to have been the lost daughter of Nantosuelta, who was kidnapped as a baby. She still hasn't figured out who was the one who took her, but has mostly spent her time wandering from city to city and having fun.

    Zane is at home in the shadows, keeping her eyes and ears open for anything interesting going on, but also has no qualms about getting in your face in a knock down, bare-knuckle brawl. She's always been the defender of her gang and is strongly drawn to protect and support her friends. She hasn't aged since she awakened, so she still looks to be about 16, and occasionally takes advantage of that to get away with a bit of an extended childhood.

    “Saltmarsh Andy” Du Mer, Scion of Manannán mac Lir, Tuatha Dé Dannan: "Saltmarsh Andy" Du Mer is a Scion of Manannán mac Lir. He is from Castletown on the Isle of Man. Saltmarsh Andy is a tricky fellow, with many aliases and many stories. A firm believer that the truth is for the uncreative, he entertains, amuses and confounds with double talk and misdirection. However, there are lessons behind his tricks; he never tricks people for his own ego or to bring them harm…unless they are his enemies. He teaches and guides, albeit in an unconventional way. Andy is the magic man; he makes things happen. Andy considers himself above petty combat and only arms himself for show.

    Andy’s role can best be described as buffer and face. Much as people are often better then reality in his stories, his allies are made better then the reality of their abilities even in reality by use of Magic, Enech, and Epic Social Knacks, even as his enemies are weaker due to the same in reality then the reality of their abilities. He is slow to lay Geasa, however. While Andy revels in being part of the tale, most people know nothing really about who he really is, beyond his divine parent. Even his name is a lie.

    If you read previous Scion stories, Ji-Woo has the same player as Erika Lacey Scion of Izanami, Nemi has the same player as Storm Scion of Zeus, Rajani has the same player as Carina Scion of Bast, Saltmarsh Andy has the same player as Sam Gannon Scion of Anubis and Pierre Ghede Scion of Baron Samedi, Phaedra has the same player as Jacob Marsh Scion of Frigg, Magnus has the same player as Cesar Acosta, Scion of Huitzilopochtli, and Zane’s player is new to Scion. There is also heavy crossover with players of Geist and Vampire, and some crossover with others.

    Gonna drop in the first backgrounds then first session soon, then alternate with backgrounds and sessions. More coming very soon.

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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]

  • #2
    Handouts for "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" Hero opening story. Naturally, the groups did not get to see each others till after the first session.

    Group A (Magnus Grimstad, Nemi Cemicac, Zane)

    Magnus and Zane, while in Copenhagen, were contacted by an Alfar working under the alias Lucas Carroll. Magnus had dealt with Lucas before on the concert promotion scene. According to Lucas, there were sightings of what were probably Giants in Berlin. While regrettably short on details, Lucas recommend investigating and offered to set you up in the Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome, Berlin, a fairly swank five-star hotel, with a tab for room service and all the niceties. While preparing to leave Copenhagen, you met up with Nemi, a Scion of Quetzalcoátl. Lucas graciously agreed to set up Nemi as well. Lucas himself will not be joining you, as he will be very busy hugging trees or eating grass or preening or whatever it is Alfar do. You do have his number to call but he has warned he will be of very little assistance once you are there.

    Unless you asked for otherwise, you are in three different large, impressive rooms in Rocco Forte, on the same hall. You have only just checked in and arrived at your rooms, without time to really do anything; you have not even unpacked yet. You have the rooms for a week. Lucas can extend your stay if needed and if you have some evidence you have been giant hunting not just stuffing your face with lederhosen and wearing sauerkraut, or was it the other way around?

    The rooms are probably more than Zane has ever really experienced, and easily on the nice end for Nemi. But for Magnus, at least, there is also the knowledge that if these rooms are not trashed, and trashed right, the gods of metal will have no forgiveness.

    Group B (Rajani Gupta, Saltmarsh Andy Du Mer)

    When most people say it has been awhile since they fought Nazis, they mean like 60 years. Not you two, oh no. There was the New York zombie thing, crazy right? Nazi zombies, who would have thought?

    It is for that reason so he claims that Andy has contacted Rajani again, this time to assist him in Berlin. Andy claims he was working as an exotic dancer at a Banshee bachelorette party when he got wind of more weird Nazis. He points out Banshee don’t have many bachelorette parties, so they get pretty wild. Anyway, the word from the ladies was some of them were blamed for large mouthed (definitely) lesbian (probably) dominatrix (hopefully) Nazi (absolutely) uniformed women attacking foreigners in the night. Andy suggested a jaunt to the city by the swamp.

    After getting a pair of reasonably affordable rooms and setting up a base, you have had time for some light scouting but nothing as yet. You still have a few neighborhoods to check, though, so hopefully something will turn up. If nothing else, Andy’s stories have been entertaining.

    Group C (Chae Ji-Woo, Phaedra Volakis)

    It has so happened that each of you were acquainted with an eccentric artist named Aristides Constantinides who made a habit of painting many beautiful women. Especially dancers and prostitutes, but also famous athletes like Phaedra. And often loving them, but is that a crime? Perhaps not, but it killed him in the end. The lovely Caoimhe (Keeva) a redhead who came into his life and even lived with him for several months became a favorite model, and he spent much time painting her, until he gave out and died.

    You two met sensing each other’s ichor at the funeral, and both made curious by the lack of any signs of violence on the body. Ultimately, it was clear Caoimhe had something to do with it, she vanished as soon as he died, but precisely how she killed him, or why, was unclear. You decided to pursue the mystery woman, but were not quite prepared for how complicated that would be.

    Caoimhe was good at throwing pursuers, but you managed to track her to Marseilles, to The Hague, to Bern, then to Berlin, where you think she still is but despite your best efforts have yet to turn her up. And those hotel rooms were getting expensive so you are staying at a less swanky place. However, you have just heard that the club Weiss Handschuhe(White Gloves) has an especially attractive redheaded newcomer, so have determined to look there. Whenever it opens again. It apparently does at unusual times. Or perhaps B&E is called for...

    Magnus and Ji-Woo Backgrounds within 24 hours, then in a couple days session 1. Looking at journals from Ji-Woo, Rajani, Zane, and hopefully Nemi. Comments and Questions welcome.

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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]


    • #3
      I've decided to do two Backgrounds, get everyone introduced quicker. Just doing this with the (comparatively) short ones, and starting with Magnus and Ji-Woo since they are both interviews.

      Magnus Grimstad, Scion of Bragi, Aesir

      The Man, the Myth, the Legend

      an interview with Magnus Grimstad for Metal Sludge

      Over the years I've interviewed a lot of musicians for this website. I'd like to think that by now I've seen it all and that nothing can phase me anymore, but I have to admit I was a little excited when a friend called me up to tell me that Magnus Grimstad was at a nearby club.

      For those of you who don't know, Grimstad is something of a giant in the Heavy Metal scene. He's famous for his deep lyrics and intricate compositions, and he's equally famous for his wild partying, frequent run ins with the law, and his refusal to compromise his vision. He's also something of an enigma. His music gets passed around in the form of bootlegs and independent label recordings, but he has never signed with a major label despite the majors hounding him for a deal. Every time he's ever attempted to work with a label the relationship has quickly soured and he's never held a band together long enough to do more than one album.

      His refusal to play ball with the labels and his habit of constantly being on the road make Grimstad a hard man to track down for an interview. Given his dour reputation I was a little worried that he wouldn't agree to an interview, but I found him to be a surprisingly open and welcoming.

      Sludge: You have a reputation for being hard to work with, tell us about your first band and how it ended.

      Grimstad: My first band? Ugh, that was way back in my school days. It was me and a bunch of my friends, and we called ourselves Allfather. Man we thought we were bad ass, but looking back, we fucking sucked. I was the only one who took the band seriously, everyone else just used it as an excuse to party and get laid. And I don't have a problem with that, the only thing that was cool about Allfather was that it made me popular enough to score with the girlfriends of all the dicks who picked on me when I was a kid. But you have to take your music seriously or you're just a fucking poseur.

      Sludge: You got picked on as a kid? What the fuck? You're like six ten!

      Grimstad: Oh yeah, man. I used to get picked on all the time. I grew up in a small town, and when my mother was young she ran away to see the world and came back pregnant. Kids used to pick on me all the time when I was little. Not just the kids either, every uptight fucker in town used to look down on me.

      Sludge: Well I bet they can't look down on you anymore!

      Grimstad: (Laughs) Yeah, puberty is a bitch, but it was worse for them than it was for me. Suddenly no one wanted to use me as a punching bag anymore. It wasn't just my height either. My grandfather owned a farm, and I used to do all kinds of chores around it. By the time I was fourteen I had started to get some serious muscle, and I started working out to get even bigger.

      Sludge: So what got you into music?

      Grimstad: Well, when I was about twelve my grandfather hired a new farmhand, a guy named Kjell. Kjell was a big, tattooed, burly mother fucker, and he was from out of town, still not sure why grandpa hired him. Anyway, Kjell was really into music. He had this huge collection of metal albums, and he used to let me listen to them. I think he felt sorry for me. He took me under his wing, taught me how to stand up for myself, how to play the guitar, how to land a headbutt without hurting yourself, all the important things in life. I still remember the first time I fought back against the dicks who picked on me. I mean really fought back, with everything I had. It's like I just went berserk, I totally fucking lost it. I didn't care about what happened to me as long as I could hurt them. I didn't win, but every one of them looked just as bad as me when it was over. My mother was pissed when she found out about it, and my grandfather punished me for it, but Kjell seemed to think it was funny. When no one was watching he gave me a beer and taught me how do fight better so that next time I wouldn't get so fucked up. I wouldn't be the man I am today without him.

      Sludge: You do have a reputation for refusing to back down even when you're outgunned. Your struggles against the recording industry are the stuff of legend, tell us a little about that.

      Grimstad: The Industry is a vampire. It drains the passion and creativity out of artists and feeds them money and hollow promises. The touch of originality burns their flesh like sunlight. They're like a seeping wound, filled with infection that slowly spreads, leaving you frail and weakened until you finally succumb to the reaper's grasp. You want to save the music industry? Punch an A&R man in the dick. If you do it hard enough he won't be able to spawn, and we might be able to stop the infection before we have to remove a limb.

      Sludge: Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel about them.

      Grimstad: These days the major labels are all run by assholes in suits who have never picked up an instrument in their lives. These shit-heels are just stomping around, dragging their filth all over the fuckin' carpet. They don't know the first fucking thing about music, all they want is money, and they will ruin everything to get it. If your sound doesn't match up to their fuckin' charts and demographics they don't want shit to do with you. If they had their way every song would sound exactly the fucking same. It'd be a whole world of bland, boring commercial jingles, all aimed at convincing you to buy whatever piece of shit was willing to pay them enough money.

      Sludge: You say they are only interested in the mainstream sound, but the major labels have tried to sign deals with you several times. How do you explain that?

      Grimstad: If you have built up any sort of fan base at all you're going to attract some attention from them. A built in fan base means a built in revenue stream, and that's fine, we've all got to eat. The problem is that it's never enough for them. They are addicts, and money is their drug. At first they're fine with just a little bit, but soon they build up a tolerance, and they start demanding more. The quickest way to guarantee more money is to make their artists appeal more to the mainstream, so they start demanding changes. Changes to your look. Changes to your sound, your lyrics, your band. Every fucking little thing has to be changed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Producers come in and fuck up your tracks. Wardrobe and stylists tell you how to look. They give you handlers. Handlers! Like your some kind of fucking dog or something! If you sell out and give in to their demands you will alienate everyone who supported you when you were just a nobody. You can sell your soul and sacrifice your integrity upon the altar of capitalism, but eventually you'll end up just another burnt out has-been douche bag, pining for the glory days and wondering what happened to your life.

      Well fuck that! Not for me, man. I tried to work with them, I listened to their lies, I have seen their hearts, and I want nothing to do with it. I will not dumb down my music to pander to the sheep. My fans respect my integrity, and word has spread, making me more popular, and the Labels hate that they have missed out on those potential customers. Like spoiled little children they all want what they can't have. I would rather die penniless in the gutter than become their creature

      Sludge: Okay, I can see you're getting a little upset, and that you're like twice my size. Allow me to distract you with a question about your music. Many of your songs celebrate your viking heritage, and incorporate references to Norse mythology. Why don't you tell us how you became interested in your heritage and how that interest has influenced your life.

      Grimstad: Actually my mother got me interested in my heritage. The Grimstad line goes way back, and she starting teaching me about my ancestors when I was little. I figure she was guilty about me not having a dad, so she wanted me to feel as connected to her family as I could. The research into my family led to my interest in Norse mythology. It seems like quite a few of my ancestors were skalds, so in a way I'm upholding an old family tradition. I'd like to think they'd be proud of me. Once I'd found out that they were the keepers of the old stories I started learning as many of the Edas as I could. My grandfather was a big help with that. He approved of my interest and would buy me books on the subject. I still love those old stories, and I like to share them with my fans.

      Sludge: You seem to be constantly on the road, which is odd, seeing as how you rarely have any sort of scheduled tour. Why do you move around so much?

      Grimstad: I like to travel. I left home to see more of the world, and I'm not done seeing it yet. I do occasionally settle down in one area for a while, but eventually the road calls to me. I like to show up at small venues, where you can really connect with the fans, and that works better if you don't tell them you're coming first. Hell, sometimes I don't even tell the management I'm coming.

      I really like to show up at mainstream venues and teach them how to really rock. There's nothing like seeing a bunch of uptight suits totally losing their shit in the mosh pit!

      Sludge: Thank you for your time! Want to finish off with some more industry bashing?

      Grimstad: Record execs are like swarming maggots writhing within the putrid corpse of talent. They exist only to profane that which is beautiful. Their sole purpose is to monetize everything that should bring us joy, and we have given them power over us with our own vapid acceptance of their predations. It is easy to vilify the industry, but ultimately they are only a symptom of the greater cultural malaise. For too long we have allowed them to dictate what is good, all the while ignoring the evidence of our own senses. We have become so fucking lazy that we can't even be bothered to decide what we like on our own. We are the real problem here. Think about that the next time you consider buying a Nickleback CD, bitch!

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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]


      • #4
        Chae Ji-Woo, Scion of Fu Xi, Celestial Bureaucracy

        “I love walking the cobbled streets of Montmarte during a thunderstorm, the rain soaking my clothes and the lightning painting my face white in flashes of thunderous applause,” she said, her softened expression lost in an absinthe daze yet her dark eyes alert and sparkling in the dim lights of the bar.

        “I love the sensation of ice cream melting in my mouth, and the way the delicious cold evokes sweet warmth.

        “I love the scrape of pencil on paper, of brush on canvas, of dreams given form in paint or clay or metal or cloth.

        “I love emerging from the cozy warmth of a flat on a winter morning, the chill air filling my lungs with the breath of awakened daylight.

        “I love the silken flow of a brush gliding through freshly washed hair, and even the occasional tangle that makes the smooth, unhindered strokes all the more pleasant.

        “I love lying on rooftops, watching the stars spin slowly through the night sky, pinpricks of glory beyond a lucid veil of empty darkness.

        “I love the flicker of candlelight on a spinning I Ching coin as its gyrations hold in tense anticipation the possibilities of the future.

        “I love soaring through the endless sky, becoming one with the symphony of blue while the winds embrace me like a lover.

        “I love sipping absinthe at trance clubs, where I watch the music drift languidly around me as it elegantly caresses my skin.

        Ji-Woo paused in her reverie, then said, “Actually, I just love sipping absinthe,” and punctuated the statement by taking another drink of the pale green beverage. “It awakens my mind, lets me think and feel and see more clearly. It lets me fathom every experience with all my being, like a fantastic dream. Sometimes, I think I'm really alive only when I've had absinthe.” And then she fell silent, distracted by something only she could see.

        Saltmarsh Andy sat back and waited, hands folded in front of him, but when it seemed she wouldn't continue, he leaned forward, resting his chin on his fingertips. “Fascinating and, indeed, instructive as that is, I first want to hear your story. I will be finding out probably more then you care to have me know about the other things soon enough.”

        “Hmmm? Oh, well, that is my story. Those things.”

        Andy grinned. “Of course dear…perhaps I should rephrase. I am looking for the narrative that I can relay to others on the grand Scion of Fu Xi. I believe you also forgot about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.”

        “Grand Scion of Fu Xi? Me? Maybe. I don't think I have enough direction to be considered grand. I've done many things since I was awakened four years ago, but nothing that has amounted to much. I've been an artist, a poet, a writer, a lover, a vagrant, a fortune-teller, a student, a vigilante, a philosopher, a photographer, a photographer's model, a seamstress…” She trailed off for a moment, then just when Andy thought he might need to prompt her again, she resumed.

        “I've been living the bohemian dream. I know there must be some destiny waiting for me, but I haven't found it yet. Did you know that's the curse of my kind?” She fixed him with a potent gaze that lasted only a moment before her eyes wandered elsewhere again, alert yet distracted. “We're always after ideals that can never be achieved. But that's the beauty of it. The journey is the whole point, isn't it? Still, it would be nice to have some direction. Some sort of clear destination.”

        “Direction rarely comes when summoned,” Andy commented. “It comes like a lover…or possibly a burglar. Either way, you have to tackle direction and hold on until it submits. Then say, ‘Forget it’ and find it yourself. Tease it a little. Make it want you. I am not helping am I?” Andy smirked as he reclined again. “Now please, carry on before I make something up.”

        Ji-Woo laughed, then sighed and shifted in her seat as she finished the last of her absinthe. She leaned back and stared at the ceiling as she spoke. “Very well then, my past. The moon goddess Chang'e is my mother, but I'm not her scion. My father had an affair with her, though he didn't know who she really was, of course. It almost ruined his marriage, but his wife, who I always thought of as my mother until I learned the truth, stuck with him. She was never happy about it, or about me, but I guess she felt a sort of societal duty to stay with her husband despite his indiscretion. Then, a few years after I was born, my mother had an affair too. She must have done it to get back at my father. It turns out she got laid by Fu Xi, and he actually revealed who he really was after he got her pregnant. He also gave her a beautiful, sealed jade box and told her that her child would be a son, and that the box contained his inheritance. She was supposed to give it to him when he came of age.

        “So I ended up with a younger brother. Yoon-Su. I adored him, and I really did my best to look after him, at least until I became a teenager. But by that point my mortal parents’ marriage was falling apart. My mother had a tendency to brag about how special her son was, so of course I started to resent my brother. I had just entered college when our parents finally decided to get a divorce, and I chose to run away from home rather than deal with the fallout.”

        Ji-Woo leaned forward in her chair, propping her head on one hand while the other toyed with her empty absinthe glass.

        “My family is rich. My father was a wealthy investor and had loads of money. I guess he still does. I doubt the divorce could have ruined him. Anyway, he also collected ancient relics from all over Asia. So when I left, I stole a bunch of the relics, knowing I could sell them for enough money to live on for a long time. I also stole my mother's precious jade box, the one she was supposed to give to my brother when he grew up. I thought it must be worth a lot if it was so important to her. And yeah, I kinda wanted to get back at my brother for being the special one. At the time, I was hopelessly angry at my parents, but that's no excuse. Really I was just a selfish teenaged bitch back then. Actually, I guess I'm probably still pretty selfish, don't you think?” Ji-Woo paused, seriously considering, a charming frown on her lips.

        “Selfishness is a funny thing,” Andy replied. “Too much, and we become what we hate, petulant and destructive, tearing down what we dislike and even harming ourselves in the long term.” Andy reached over to the absent space on the table where he would have placed a drink, if he had one. “But too little, and we resent those we perceive as selfish for indulging what we deny ourselves, or believe we deny ourselves. In our resentment, we cloud our own goals. Really the answer is to put the best spin on our selfishness as possible, and limit how much we make others’ lives difficult.” Andy frowned at the empty spot on the table before him.

        Ji-Woo considered Andy's observations for several moments. “I suppose there is something to that. People are inherently selfish beings, after all. As are most gods, a few exceptional personalities like Kuanyin aside. In any event, I didn't care how much it hurt my family when I ran away. I feel bad about it now…but I kind of burned those bridges. I don't know if I have the courage to go back.

        “I fled Korea and headed to Europe. My first stop was Moscow, where I sold the relics I'd stolen from my father. I was pretty smart about it, and ended up with a ton of money. I didn't know it at the time, but it turns out some of those relics were actually of a divine nature, so some of the other Celestial Bureaucracy gods have a bit of a grudge against me for selling off their treasures like that.” Ji-Woo's dreamy expression soured. “Xiwangmu occasionally tries to make my life miserable.”

        She sat up and considered the bottle of absinthe sitting between her and Andy for a moment before carefully taking it and pouring another, filling her glass to the top of the reservoir sculpted into its lower half. She then picked up her silver absinthe spoon and regarded it, smiling. She turned her dark eyes to Andy again. “So it's a good thing your father took an interest in me, isn't it? I guess he sees some potential. Enough to give me this.” She held the absinthe spoon in front of her, then became distracted by the way the orange lights of the bar scintillated across its intricately detailed surface.

        Andy raised an eyebrow as he examined the relic. “Always figured the old man had a habit. They always do. You’d really be surprised. But yes, I believe that would be prophecy and…” Andy looked thoughtful, pretending to guess, “mystery?”

        “Exactly. Very astute. But…I didn't meet Manannan mac Lir until later, in Belgium. Like I said, I sold most of the relics, but not my brother's jade box. I'm going to tell you a secret, Andy, and you must swear to keep it safe.” Ji-Woo smiled mischievously and laid the absinthe spoon across the top of her glass, topping it with a sugar cube. “You see, I am possessed of an insatiable curiosity.”

        Andy raised his eyebrows as though this were a surprise to him.

        “It's true. I love experiencing things, and I love to know things. So I'm very, very curious.”

        She lifted a pot of ice-cold water with a very slender spout, and began dribbling water over the sugar cube and into the absinthe. The green liquid became a cloudy and opaque louche as the slow mixture of chilled, sugary water brought out the strong aroma of anise.

        “So I couldn't resist knowing what was in the box. I needed to know how valuable it was if I was going to sell it, but really, I didn't know if I even wanted to sell it. A part of me wanted to keep this thing that was supposed to make my brother so special all for myself. I do take after my mother, don't I? My real, divine mother, I mean.”

        “You both do have something of a habit of avoiding the point sometimes. But points, being sharp, are sometimes best avoided.” Andy sipped his own drink. Ji-Woo wondered where it had come from, since Andy hadn't had one just moments before. “But I see some Fu Xi in you as well.”

        “It's true. I'm pleased to be a scion of Fu Xi. It was meant to be. And he's shaped a lot of who I've become, and who I have yet to become. But as for my brother's inheritance, I broke the seal and opened the box, and inside I found a pair of beautiful pistols inscribed with a series of I Ching trigrams. At the time, I was vaguely confused. My mortal mother didn't even like guns. But I picked them up and waved them around like an idiot who didn't know a thing about firearms, and I felt something inside me awaken. It was electric, a charge of cold air that filled me with a sense of lightness and an enlightened awareness of the world. I saw the orchestra of the winds around me and the play of possibilities in the very movements of my body. It was unlike anything I've ever felt, and even the way my mind awakens to the absinthe is but a pale reflection of the transcendent exhilaration of that moment. But of course you've been there. You know what awakening to your divine nature is like. Or is it different for each of us?” She cocked her head curiously to one side, wondering.

        “That would be telling, my lady. And the telling this time is yours. It’s bad bardic manners to steal the story from another teller. Or, for that matter, to steal their date. But let’s stick to how I am not stealing your story and ignore whether I steal your date or not, as that would be another story and frankly, we just went over that.” Andy winked. “In other words, my lovely, you shall have to wait,” he added in a whisper.

        Ji-Woo smirked lazily at Andy's jibe. She finished pouring the water and removed the absinthe spoon. She was obviously still alert and edgy from the first glass, and her divine grace lent her every motion a poetry of its own, but her movements also belied the subtle lethargy beginning to creep over her from the strong liquor. As she took a sip from her glass, a finger of her free hand traced the scars in the wooden table, exploring them with such interest that Andy quickly realized she'd become distracted again.

        “This would be the part where Fu Xi appears, yes?” Andy set his drink down on the table. “Unless you were really going to surprise me, at which point I recommend it be Baba Yaga.”

        “Hmmm? Oh yes. There was a Chinese ink painting in my hotel room, a scene of mist-shrouded mountains. As the surge of divine power flowed through me, I found myself staring at that painting, and the next thing I knew, I was in the painting, standing in this majestic, surreal, ink-painted landscape with a human-faced celestial dragon — Fu Xi, of course — winding around me. He was very angry. I think I screamed and cowered or something, but I was so shocked by the experience that I don't really remember it clearly. I do know he was mad at first, and bellowed at me about stealing his child's divine gifts. Winds raged around me, threatening to cast me down into the mist-shrouded ink-chasms below. But then he seemed to recognize something in me. I think he realized I was a daughter of Chang'e. He calmed down quickly as the dawn of understanding replaced the tempest of his rage. In retrospect, I think he realized that I had fulfilled a fate he had set in motion when he fathered my brother. And I think he was bemused that he hadn't seen this fate.

        “Well, I'd taken his inheritance and my divine ichor had awakened, even if it wasn't my real mother who had awakened it. So Fu Xi decided to give me a chance. He explained what had happened and who I was, and that was it. A few days later, he visited me again, this time as a humble, sagely-looking man, and gave me a bottle of ink made from soil taken from the ancient ground of Chengji, China, where Fu Xi was born. He also taught me the secrets of the I Ching, which was something that had fascinated me since I was a girl. And he suggested that I find someone to help me learn how to use my new relic pistols without shooting myself,” she laughed, a musical sound softened by the alcohol.

        “The ink was also a relic, of course. I used it to get my wing tattoos, which let me master the skies. Did you know I love the sky? The vast emptiness so full of wind-borne freedom. I think the soul is like the sky. And beyond the soul, the stars. I'm actually a bit claustrophobic, you know.”

        “Then I shall endeavor to keep you free of boxes, closets and coffins,” Andy smiled gallantly. Ji-Woo laughed and took another drink of absinthe as Andy continued. “In your part of the world, of course, they say emptiness is a step towards enlightenment. Now I doubt they were talking about the sky, but you should not let that limit your interpretation of things. What you are thinking is probably more interesting anyway. To me. But again, this is not my tale.” Andy reclined, gesturing for Ji-Woo to continue.

        Ji-Woo paused a moment before speaking, appreciating the manner in which Andy's fluid way of looking at things resembled her own. After a moment, she continued. “Chang'e had forgotten all about me. But when she learned that I'd awakened as a scion of Fu Xi, she came to visit me too. She was thrilled, and treated me like we'd been best friends for ages. It was really nice, feeling the sort of love and affection I never really got from my mortal mother, even if Chang'e did act more like my sister than my mom. She told me that I was destined for great things, and I believed her. I still do. I know I am. I've read it in the hexagrams and the stars. Still, I think she's glad that Fu Xi bears the bulk of the responsibility for me now.

        “She gave me this charm bracelet…I mean, anklet. Sorry…sometimes it migrates.” Ji-Woo shifted her leg out from under the table and looked at the golden chain circling her ankle. “The crescent moon charm attunes me to the moon, and the star charm to the stars. My mother was far more generous in granting me access to divine purviews than Fu Xi was. I think he wanted to make sure I wasn't going to screw things up before he gave me too much rope to hang myself.” Ji-Woo smirked again as she took a long sip from her glass. “I think he's a little impatient with me. He probably wanted me to amount to a lot more than a bohemian vagabond floating around Europe on the breeze of whimsy. But I get the sense he still has a great deal of faith in me. When he visits, he looks at me with a knowing smile, like he's seen what I'll become and is pleased by it. I guess only time will tell.”

        “It usually does,” Andy responded. “But remember: time is on your side. Not just pretty words…when you listen to the whispers of the heavens, you develop the talents for reading what the sky is thinking, or so they say in Araby. The eternal turnings of the stars are a lock, and your connections to the heavens are a key. Time can be your mistress, and she cuts a dashing figure in a slinky dress.” The bard smiled enigmatically.

        “I bet she does,” Ji-Woo replied with a sly smile. “And you're right, the whispers of the heavens do provide me with a palette of wisdom and possibility. Even if I don't have much direction right now, I never really feel lost, not with the sky and stars always there to encourage and guide me.” She slowly emptied the rest of her glass.

        “Anyway, I guess that's it,” she sighed. “I've spent the last few years wandering Europe, never really staying anywhere for more than a few months, and indulging my artistic urges wherever I can. I've spent some of my money, but I still have a good amount stowed away. I don't really dip into my accounts that often. I mostly make ends meet by fortune-telling, selling art, or by relying on the good will of my current boyfriend, whoever he happens to be. You know, whatever works. I did follow up on Fu Xi's suggestion about the guns, so I'm pretty comfortable with them now. I've run across a few titanspawn and handled myself well, I guess. When I've not been submerged in my art, I've studied whatever takes my fancy. And I've developed my divine powers as much as I can, for the most part.”

        “Well, if nothing else,” Andy replied, “you've become comfortable with your divinity, which is more than can be said for many of us. Sometimes you just have to pretend hard enough to know what you are doing and reality fills in the holes. The trick is getting reality to do your bidding. That was always the hard part for me.”

        “It's true,” Ji-Woo agreed with a smile. She reached into the small backpack sitting on the floor by her chair and withdrew a little silk bag. “But now that I've told you all about my past, I think it's time to find out a bit about your future. The absinthe makes me more open to prophecy, you know.” She emptied the bag onto the table, revealing three ancient Chinese coins used to divine I Ching hexagrams. “And I've already seen portents that tell me something is going to change for me soon, and that you, Andy, are going to be a part of it.”

        “Ah yes, I can’t wait,” Andy rubbed his hands together in sincere, if exaggerated, excitement. “But if you will excuse me just a moment, I have been dying for a drink for some time now. Sit pretty and I will be right back.” Saltmarsh Andy stepped away, leaving his empty spot at the table. Ji-Woo questioned whether she hadn't just seen him downing a glass of wine, but chalked it up to the absinthe.

        Session 1 prolly Wednesday Comments and questions welcome

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        • #5
          All right, it’s time

          Session 1. I am doing these in reverse order by group, starting with Ji-Woo and Phaedra (Group C) then Rajani (Group B) then Nemi and Zane (Group A). Normally, I say either read them all to get the whole story, or read the journals of the PC you like best if all the perspectives are a bit much, but this time each one has some unique experiences the others don’t, since they ultimately all did not come together until the very end. Phaedra’s player notes she will not regularly be able to do journals, but enjoy this one. So yea, more journals then usual this time, but I think it is all for the good as it gets people better introduced.

          Here we go, let’s get this party started

          Session I

          Tomorrow Belongs to Me Part I

          Ji-Woo’s Visions

          [Note: The Chinese terms at the beginnings of some sections of the journal refer to I Ching hexagrams, and represent the results of Ji-Woo's divinations.]

          Marseilles - Da Chu (Great Accumulating) transforming into Sun (Diminishing)

          My travels with Phaedra have been enlightening. She does not like me, but I don’t mind. I have my own meandering way of doing things; hers is more focused. And I like her quite a lot. Whether she realizes it or not, she lets me see a different perspective.

          We both want to find Aristides’ killer. But I am no longer convinced that we need to seek revenge. If I’m right and Caoimhe is a leanan sidhe, then she must have been Aristides’ muse, and she let him burn brightest before burning out. I think he was willing to die for his art. And his final works were amazing! I will miss him, though—my own, modern-day Toulouse Lautrec.

          The I Ching predicts great things for me. The portents say that great yet disparate things are coming together under a singular purpose. I suspect that Phaedra and I are following Caoimhe into something much bigger than our friend’s death. Others like us will be a part of it, Andy and Magnus among them. But today’s reading introduced a new wrinkle for me. If I follow this fate, then I will have to sacrifice something of myself. My freedom, perhaps, in exchange for the unity and direction of whatever great undertaking lies before me.

          Whatever it is, it awaits us in Berlin.

          * * * * *

          Berlin - Jing (Well) transforming into Kan (Gorge)

          We are in Berlin, and the portents are exciting. There is something important here, a source of power or inspiration is welling up like water. I sense that those of us drawn here, like Phaedra and me, are meant to find and use it. It is important to us, and I’m certain that somehow it is related to the great accumulation of scions I’ve foreseen in previous divinations.

          But some of the old yang from the wellspring is transforming into yin, meaning that danger awaits those of us connected to whatever the well represents. I suspect this means that the source of power is threatened, and that we will have to protect it. Our course is clear; we have to face that danger in order to overcome it and protect the wellspring.

          I cannot tell when all of that will come to pass. But I do know that Berlin is where it will happen. In the mean time, I’m looking forward to seeing how my earlier omens play out. Phaedra and I still haven’t encountered any other scions, nor have I discovered why we are being drawn together, though it probably has to do with the wellspring.

          I haven’t shared my omens with Phaedra. She’s too focused on Caoimhe, and I don’t think she understands why my mind wanders in so many other directions when vengeance demands her attention.

          * * * * *

          Caoimhe is squatting in a strange theater called Weiss Handschuhe. It is a mysterious place, said to open at strange times, but there is no schedule. I have decided to break in to see what can be seen. I can’t resist such an enticing mystery. Phaedra can. She refused to break into the theater. I broke in without her.

          In visions tinted the blood-red sepia of well-worn age, I witnessed echoes of the past. An alfar ghost, blonde and sad, fled my approach, leading me deeper into her tragic tale as I wound through the empty theater.

          A burlesque show in the main hall, sometime in the 1930’s. The players laugh in tune with the audience. Caoimhe and the blonde alfar, Gia, are both among them, blissfully content to be a part of their bohemian family of performers.

          The players together in a back room, gathered in joy to welcome a baby into the world. Connie is a fiercely passionate maenad. Sigfried and Seiger are alfar who own the theater. They lead the troupe, and they are an endearing couple. Mattie is also alfar, and seems close to Caoimhe; perhaps they too are lovers. Pale Annika is a dryad, and this is but the newest of her many children. The blonde alfar, Gia, is there as well, happy and content.

          Gia making love to a tall, stern, blonde man in her dressing room. Someone at the door asks if she has seen Mr. Weiss, and she breathlessly replies that she has not, even as his passions drive her to climax.

          Sigfreid and Seiger arguing in an office. “The world is falling apart!” one says. They must flee Berlin, but doing so will break apart the troupe. It will destroy their family.

          Caoimhe and Mattie sadly but desperately leaving for France. Gia argues with them. She wants them to stay. But Caoimhe screams, “Crazy people are coming after us!” They leave despite Gia’s pleas, and the family is broken.

          Gia fleeing a tall, intimidating man. A Nazi. The pink triangle symbol on Gia’s bracelet flashes in the dim light as she is cornered in the theater’s basement. The man leers at her and she shoots him several times with a small pistol, but he simply laughs. Gia turns the gun on herself, and the visions end.

          I collapsed onto the stairs leading to the basement for several moments, gather my wits and shedding a few tears for the horrible fate of Caoimhe’s family. I understand her people. They were artists, free spirits, bohemians like me. And they lost everything when they were forced to flee the rise of the Nazi party in Berlin. The ghostly visions were a plea for help. Gia still longs to be reunited with her family.

          It is no surprise that Caoimhe returned to the theater to die.

          * * * * *

          Berlin - Bi (Grouping) transforming into Kun (Field)

          At a bar, I rendezvoused with Phaedra and sipped absinthe while I tossed the I Ching coins. I opened myself to insight beyond mere fortune-telling, and in the flickering hallucinations generously bequeathed to me by my beloved Green Fairy, I saw a prophetic vision.

          My previous oracle, The Wellspring, remains significant, and remained the central feature of the prophecy at first. The wellspring was surrounded by five points of light. But the image was then shattered by ravaging construction machinery guided by a man with hairy hands and cruel eyes. I shuddered in my vision when I saw him, knowing that he represented but one of the dangers foretold in my earlier divination. Beyond the flickering image of the wellspring and cruel man, another image emerged, a wrecking ball destroying a flaming prison and releasing fiery demons. A fox ran among the flames, pursued by a falcon and a peacock. I laughed, realizing that the fox was Caoimhe, while Phaedra was the falcon and me the peacock. But then a tiger and a lion arrived and gazed upon the flaming prison while three crows circled above them. The vision ended when the fox ran into a clock, and time ran backwards.

          I’ve already experienced the last bit of the prophecy in the theater, when I saw visions of past memories. The rest is a mystery, but it seems to revolve around the wellspring, which is in grave danger. I feel that the lion, tiger and crows represent other scions. The portents continue to suggest that a gathering is occurring, and that it will be important for us to join forces, acknowledging our individual strengths to face the dangers that await. We must acquiesce to this higher calling in order to succeed, which may lead to sacrifice. The I Ching also suggests that we should be receptive to the situation, which convinces me even more that our quest for vengeance against Caoimhe is misguided.

          We need to find these other scions, and learn who the cruel man is, for he seems to be the engineer of what is coming to pass.

          Phaedra is impatient with my drinking and prophetic rambling. She wishes to speak to the ghost.

          * * * * *

          We chose not to kill Caoimhe, though she was prepared to die. I felt pity for her and for Gia. I know many artists throughout Europe. Perhaps I can help find the missing members of her troupe and bring them back to Berlin. Even Phaedra forgave Caoimhe when she realized Aristides was complicit in his own death, but she was grumpy about it.

          Then we were attacked by the fiery demons of my prophecy, though really they were just ferocious Nazi women with wide, monstrous mouths. They were after me.

          The gathering came to pass. My friend Saltmarsh Andy (son of Manannán mac Lir) arrived with a Hindi beauty named Rajani (daughter of Kali). They helped defend me against the Nazi women, and I realized that they represented the lion and tiger from my prophecy. When the dust had settled, my friend Magnus (son of Bragi) arrived with two others, Nemi (a son of Quetzalcoatl) and Zane (daughter of Nantosuelta), and I knew them to be the circling crows. The portents had come to pass. It was time for us to work together toward a higher purpose. A Norse giant, the cruel man from my vision, was behind the release of the Nazi shrikes, and Magnus was already trying to track him down.

          Rajani’s tattoos fascinated me, especially the sword on her back, which became real when she peeled it away and fought with it. The subtle play of ink and skin was beautiful to behold, and as the ink was freed from her flesh and transformed into graceful metal curves to match those of its wielder, I was struck by its beauty.

          The cruel giant’s servants, two lesser giants and their thralls, smashed their way into the theater then, and together we fought them. The battle was poetry. I drew my guns, the Bagua Trigram pistols, and shot down a massive chandelier to crush two of the giants’ thralls beneath a cascade of crystal. The faint light scintillated wildly through the shards of glass as they shattered and filled the theater’s lobby with a discordantly musical crash. In a moment, though, the beauty was gone.

          Phaedra was a statuesque Grecian paragon as she fired arrows at the giants. Zane was fast, furtive, and fierce as she pounded thralls with her bare fists. Magnus swung his immense axe in powerful arcs, describing a series of curves through the room, each intersecting with one of the giants. Rajani was perfect motion, lithe and graceful. Nemi was confidence and caution focused in a singular spike of poison poised to finish the last of our brutal foes. And Andy, as always, gently plucked the threads of fortune, sounding notes of magic to inspire and aid the rest of us.

          With the portent fulfilled and the group joined, we retired to the posh hotel where Zane, Magnus and Nemi were staying. I planned to claim a room in Magnus’ suite, but chose to join Zane in hers instead. After all, Rajani seems quite taken with Magnus, and I don’t want to get in the way.

          Zane had never tried escargot, and refused to believe me when I told her it was much like squid or octopus. So we ordered a little bit of everything on the gourmet room service menu and have spent much of the night trying exotic foods and sipping absinthe. I’m becoming far too drunk to keep writing, though the haze of my words is entrancing. I must stop before the ink bewitches me more than it already has.

          Phaedra’s Missives

          Dear Papa,
          Berlin is an interesting city. It's busy all the time and there is a great deal of nightlife. More than I prefer to experience, but my current partner is enamored with the whole scene. It is frustrating to deal with her, though I feel her heart is in the right place. But she is so very distracted! Part of that, I believe, is her addiction to alcohol.

          Don't worry, I have refused all her attempts to share. There is an lack of proper tavernas and no decent Ouzo to be found. Besides, that is an indulgence to be enjoyed with family. Ji Woo doesn't seem to understand, but then even my fellow athletes favored drinking as a mode of relaxation. Clearly they didn't have anyone teach them the lessons about how to keep their bodies in the best condition like I did. Thank you for that. Still, a good hour of target practice is so much more enjoyable than giving up control to some drink.

          It seems our mission was a complete waste of time in regards to our main goal at least. As you well know, we came here on the trail of Aristides' killer. You are aware of what we intended to do, but the more Ji Woo and I spoke of it, the less committed she seemed. Of course she wanted to find the woman, but it was more to find out if her theory about what she is was actually correct. She is terribly curious in a distractable sort of way.

          I know, you would say it takes all kinds , but truly, shouldn't those like me have greater focus than an excitable hound? Clearly the Bureaucracy don't think so. It disappoints me.

          But I digress - if she infects me wit her wandering attention I will do her great harm.

          We learned our prey was working in an exclusive club, performing as the whim took her. However, the club was so exclusive it had no posted hours, no website, and no one could tell us when it would be open. I thought it would be best to use the public records to find the owner and get an idea when we could visit the club that way. Ji Woo wanted to break in.

          Can you imagine? We are the chosen children of the Gods and she wanted to break in like a common criminal! What would we do if we were caught? I'm a public figure - a role model - even if it's only to the few who can comprehend the skill and artistry of the Bow. Someone in my position can't be arrested! I would lose all credibility! Obviously I refused and Ji Woo went on her way to commit a felony. I went to the public records hall and came up empty. The owner's name was completely generic and the contact number was no longer in service. Dead end.

          Ji Woo fared better I am chagrined to say. At the club she followed a ghost and observed moments from the ghost's life gaining additional information on our prey. She was part of a performing troupe in the 1930s. Ji Woo says the troupe was like a family, but the rise of the Nazi Party broke the family apart. I think Ji Woo wants to find out what happened to the rest. Given our prey's unchanged appearance I can see why she believes she might find some of them. But, as you may have guessed, she also confirmed that our prey was hiding out in the building.

          I didn't want to do it, but I knew we needed to go back to the building before our prey escaped again. Ji Woo didn't think she had any intention of running, but you can never tell. I swallowed my pride and agreed to break back into the building. I hope you are not too disappointed in me, Papa.

          Luckily, we entered without anyone stopping us and no polizei were in the area. The ghost was watching us as we moved through the building. Ji Woo couldn't see her this time, but I could. After all, my Father expects me to deal with the dead so it is one of my gifts. The ghost, Gia, was willing to talk to me and asked that we not hurt her friend. She said she would not move on to her rest until her family were reunited. Well, as that's one of my mandates - to help the dead pass on - I guess I'll be helping Ji Woo on her hunt. After telling the ghost we only wanted to talk to our prey, she led us to her. I wasn't entirely sure I was lying when I said that.

          Our prey was more drunk than I would've expected. The kill would've been ugly and not the least bit satisfying given she was too trashed to fight back. But she also confirmed Ji Woo's theory. She is a Leanan Sidhe - one who acts as a muse for artists of all kinds, but drains them of their life force in the process. Aristides was told what would happen and chose to use our prey, Caoimhe, for inspiration anyway. His death wasn't a murder, but a suicide.

          The idiot had talent to spare and yet he allowed the inspiration Caoimhe could provide destroy him. She was no longer my prey. Ji Woo wanted to talk with her but we were interrupted by foot falls in the hallway.

          We stepped out and saw four large women dressed as Nazis. They weren't exactly human given the wide mouths and sharp shark-like teeth. They seemed to ignore me entirely, but focused on Ji Woo and prepared to attack. Well, I couldn't let that happen - she's my partner right now. Not to mention, as scattered as she is, she's one of the good guys. Nazis are not. The fight was brief and we were assisted by two other scions that apparently followed the Nazis to the club.

          After the fight Ji Woo introduced me to "Saltmarsh" Andy, a Tuatha scion of Manannan Mac Lir and he in turn introduced us to Rajani, a Hindi scion of of Kali. Caoimhe passed out after the fight - too much alcohol will do that to you - so we started to leave. However, when we reached the foyer we met three more scions, one of whom was familiar to me. I greeted Zane politely, remembering that the last time we spoke was all about how our pantheons didn't get along. She's the scion of Nantosuelta of the Nemetondevos (they're French and have a serious dislike for the Dodekatheon because of the Romans). She introduced us to Nemi, a Azlanti scion of Quetzecoatl and Magnus, a huge man that is an Asgardian scion of Bragi, though it looked like Andy knew him already and Rajani wanted to get to know him a lot better. They were following the trail of a giant that set up shop in Berlin and let the Nazi women loose on the world.

          According to Magnus they were recently freed from a sealed bunker so they didn't quite know the war had ended. Tough - would it kill them to look at a paper? I mean it is obvious things are a bit different these days compared to the 1940s.

          Just after we explained that we'd already dealt with the Nazi women two run of the mill giants showed up and started mouthing off about never sending a woman to do a man's work. I think you know how I took that. Yeah - the one that said it took an arrow to the throat. We all worked really well together, which seemed kind of weird to me, but at the same time felt really good.

          When the two giants were toast Magnus invited us back to the hotel suite he, Nemi, and Zane are sharing to join a party they'd left in full swing. Yeah, it's not my scene, but I didn't feel right refusing either. I have managed to get this letter written to you despite the ridiculous noise in this place. I can't believe security hasn't already shown up, but hey, Magnus is apparently famous, so maybe that's why it isn't a big deal.

          I'll write again when we finish dealing with this giant. Hope you're doing well and I miss you.
          Always your daughter,

          Rajani’s Journal

          Berlin, Germany
          April 30, 2013

          What better place to look for Nazis than Germany, right? I’m starting to wonder why I even listen to Andy. He’s the son of an Irish god. I’m steadily learning about all of the gods, all of the different pantheons. I mean, I knew we weren’t the only culture to still worship gods from long ago. Ew, my mother would not like for me to say she comes from “long ago”, implying she’s old. Especially when the fact is that the Devas are the oldest worshipped culture.

          But anyway, I enjoy meeting other Scions. Especially those from the more well-known pantheons. Haven’t met many of those yet… well, until today. Today seems to be the beginning of the most recent chapter of my journey to defeat the titans.

          Andy asked me to join him in Berlin because he’d discovered some of the Nazis supposedly like we had faced in New York. And he mentioned something about a party for banshees and he was pretty sure one was a man-shee. Whatever. He’s pretty ridiculous sometimes.

          After I arrived, we discussed where to go. There had been several sightings in the city of the Nazi women, so we headed to check the areas. It didn’t take long for them to find us. I didn’t notice them right off, but Andy brought them to my attention. I was able to dispatch them quickly. Once dead, their bodies disintegrated, leaving behind the spears and old machine guns they carried. We quickly disposed of the weapons and decided that the next group we’d follow.

          We followed two, who ran into two more and they headed to this old theater. We followed them in as they deliberately headed somewhere to attack someone, I assumed. I was right. I do like being fast to react as I leapt up to one, grabbed her hair and decapitated her. I could see three other women in the room ahead of us. One pulled out guns and the other a sword. I decapitated the other Nazi bitch in the back while they worked on the two in front. They were able to drop one and I just lunged forward and stabbed the last one to snuff her out.

          Andy seemed really surprised to see two of the women. One introduced herself as Ji-Woo. She is very east Asian, though I’m not sure where. However, she did tell me that her mother is Fu Xi. No clue who he is, though. Then there’s Phaedra, the woman Andy didn’t know. She’s a daughter of Hermes and seems a bit serious.

          Ji-Woo went totally nuts over my tattoos and showed me the wings she has on her shoulders. They are gorgeous. It made me think that Phaedra really should have wings tattooed on her ankles. You know, in honor of her father. I think I’ll make a few drawings to show to her. I also need to sit down and make a drawing of the Nazi bitches so I can have it put on my lower back with everything else I’ve killed.

          Anyway, while we were talking, three more people Andy knew walked in and one of them was Magnus… MAGNUS! You know, heavy metal god? Oh but he really is going to be a god! And in person, he’s even bigger and so damn hot and his voice… itanī sēksī bakavāsa.

          But as we’re talking, two giants and four thralls decide to interrupt us. That wasn’t very nice. Phaedra and I start wearing down one of the giants until Phaedra delivers the fatal shot to its neck. I was luckily missed by a couple of thralls and then heard Ji-Woo call to me in Hindi to watch out. She crashed the chandelier down on top of them. I did take a moment to admire Magnus and his axe mowing through our opponents. Oh, I think I might have a problem. What is it about musicians? I just love them. And their music.

          Anyway, I took down the last thrall and that is where we are currently. Maybe I can have a chat with Magnus, find out when the next album is going to come out.

          Nemi’s Discussions

          Dr. Cemicac carefully measured the young boy’s withered leg. His parents, overjoyed at the opportunity for such a capable physician to treat their child, watched as the boy fought to look brave. The family was clean but their clothes were well worn and the boy’s inadequate crutches would not long be able to withstand his increasing weight.

          Glancing up at the boy, the doctor asked his name using the local Mayan language. The boy’s parents looked up with a start as they had only spoken Spanish in front of the man. Ikan, as the child indicated, was thrilled to hear his native tongue.

          “You can call me Dr. Nemi.” He smiled and the boy nodded with a grin. “Ikan is a good name. It means star in Mayan, doesn’t it?” The boy looked very surprised and nodded very enthusiastically. “In English, your name sounds like ‘I can,’ which is a very good way to think about the world. When we get done here, you’re going to start walking again.” The little boy cheered and his mother wept. To keep everyone distracted, Nemi suggested he tell a story. Ikan was very interested.
          . . .
          My father is actually Quetzalcoatl, but you call him Gukumatz. He came to me when I was younger and gave me a task. I had to travel from my home in Mexico City to Acapulco to seek the son of Tezcatlipoca. I think you know him as K'awil. No no, don’t worry, he won’t get you here.

          This son of K’awil was hurting people to please an old Tzitzimime. They are mean women from the sky. Very bad. But I had to find him and stop him from hurting anyone else. Now hold still for just one ...more ...second. I need to adjust this strap.
          . . .
          I had just arrived in Acapulco and saw the murders in the paper. That gave me an idea as to where he was leaving the bodies, but I could tell those people weren’t taken from that alley. So I became a tourist and tried to use myself as bait. No, I’m not brave, just determined. But thank you for saying so, Miss. Anyway, before I knew it there were some locals following me. So I glanced back to get an idea of where they might be weak. Some had limps or held their shoulders carefully, so I knew what I needed if the time came. No friend, I don’t fight much if I can help it. It leads to other people needing stitches like your buddy here. Or worse, I might have to go to the doctor.
          . . .
          Once they had me in their base, I convinced all the local men that they could go free of this Yaotl Necac if they would untie me and go home. One of the men even left me his knife. I didn’t want to use it, but the son of Tezcatlipoca had to be stopped. When he came for me, I pretended to be trapped and pleaded for him to let me go. But I guess he could tell I wasn’t really afraid. That’s when my stepdad ran in. I tried to get him to get out, but Yaotl turned and acted like they knew each other. He yelled into the trees and turned back to me. Just then a jaguar jumped on Julio and tore into his leg. I jumped up and Yaotl grabbed the knife as I tried to stab him. I kicked a rock at the great cat as I let go of the blade. Yaotl tumbled backward and smashed his head on a chac mool. As his blood seeped into the basin, I freed the others and dragged Julio away. The screams from Yaotl as the Tzitzimime took her tribute silenced the jungle. I went back before the police arrived and found a silver moon necklace in the tall grass but there was nothing left of the fallen scion. When I turned to leave, my father stood barring my path. He congratulated me for finding ways to deal with a problem other than violence. With that, he touched my shoulder and I felt power surge through me. He also said someone else wanted to see me. Moving back and looking over his shoulder, a skeletal figure with the head of a dog stepped from the darkness of the jungle. Xoloitzcuintli thanked me for rescuing Julio, once my protector and mortal worshipper of my uncle. For this deed, I was given a silver dog whistle. It can call my dog Xolo from anywhere. I was very grateful.

          Now, it was Magnus right?


          30 April 2013

          Dear Julio,

          I’ve arrived in Berlin with my friends from the beach. I realize leaving Copenhagen was sudden, but will of the gods and all. Actually I don’t think that Caroll guy is a god. Still he asked us to look into possible giant activity. We’re staying in the Hotel of Rome in a string of nice suites. I hope Magnus was joking when he said he couldn’t wait to trash them.

          By mid afternoon, they were getting stir crazy so we went on a bar crawl. You have to understand Magnus. We went to a place called Geschichte en Schwarz, or History in Black in German. It was a metal bar so when we walked in, Magnus pretty much took over. Nevermind that he didn’t speak a word of German. Pretty sure Zane does, but she doesn’t talk much anyway. He learned that there were some crazy women jumping foreign people, but that was in ethnic neighborhoods. I figured it was a self-fixing problem, just hope they don’t do too much damage before the neighborhood catches them. Other than some random street violence, that was all we could uncover. That’s when the party started. Zane bought a round for the bar, but that wasn’t her wallet. After that, we headed back to Magnus’ suite with quite a few people in tow. I took the opportunity to tag both Zane and Magnus so I could keep tabs on them. Don’t know what I could do if Magnus gets in over his head, but it’s a start.

          Magnus got a text from Lucas Caroll about two spots we might want to check out. One was an office building with heavy security owned by a guy named Andre Jotunson. If you don’t know enough Norse for that one, you should look it up. The other was the Brandenburg Bridge. So we headed for the office. I was a little concerned that we were just leaving the party, but Magnus assured me that it would still be there when we got back. I don’t think he understood what I meant. When we got to the office Zane said she could pick the lock and check for other security. Magnus was disappointed and mumbled something about not being arrested by German cops yet. Zane pointed out that she was bolting if Magnus got arrested. I’m still not sure what I would do. While we were waiting for Zane, four women in long wool coats walked up. They looked odd, like they were blurry around the edges, but very pretty otherwise. Magnus tried to speak to them in Norwegian but they looked at him. They tried to speak German to him and then settled on Dutch since he could speak to them that way. They claimed to be Valkyries but that didn’t seem right. Since I’d never met a Valkyrie, I figured I should keep quiet. They eventually found a language Magnus could speak (Norwegian) and Milla, the leader, said they needed help finding the Aesir. She told the others in German that not all the Aesir were dead and that Asgard was cut off from the world. They talked about things almost like it was before WWII. Zane came back and asked about the women’s teeth, but I had no idea to what she was referring. Magnus accepted their help and we took three of the women in with while one remained to watch the door. Magnus did his blood thing and visibly increased in size then summoned his brother’s ice axe. That will never stop being cool.

          With the first swing, he took out most of the wall on the way to the door and the second swing wiped out the ceiling and the door. Inside, four big guys with pistols were waiting for us and charged out. Magnus beat one down with the pommel of his axe first thing, then got shot. The bullet didn’t even leave a scratch. Zane did her acrobatic routine and sucker punched one of what I learned were thralls in the kidney, but he didn’t seem to notice. Magnus dropped another thrall and took punch from a third. Zane got into a fist fight with the one guy who was still shooting. She was holding her own, but I didn’t like the odds. Growing my thorn, I jumped into the melee and punched the thrall in the stomach. My poison didn’t amount to much, but neither did the blow to my jaw that left him open for Magnus to finish him. Four unconscious jerks and a building contractor’s base of Titanspawn operations, probably should have burned it down. Zane started hacking into the computer while I looked around for anything else helpful. I found a large area map with question marks, pins for places of interest, and information on construction companies to purchase. Zane found evidence that another group of scions were in the area and the giants were trying to distract them with “Nazi Bitches” they needed to open a bunker for. These other scions were apparently Greek and Chinese.

          Magnus was less pleased by this unfortunate turn of events, but he was the only ones they seemed to accept as an authority. When he tried to explain that the war was over, Milla proved that she was terribly racist by acknowledging that they would now accept the lesser races as allies. After about the fourth mention of the lesser races and noting that I still have my thorn, I walked away so they could continue talking with pissing me off. I took the map down as we left to try and find the other scions.

          The trip over to the theatre was uneventful but Magnus was again disappointed by the door standing open. I sense that he will need to kick a door in before we leave Germany. Inside we found three incredibly attractive women from very different backgrounds and a sharply dressed gentleman from Britain. We made introductions quickly given there were signs of combat with the “Valkyries.” Jiwoo, Scion of Fu Xu, Phaedra, Scion of Hermes, and Rajani, Scion of Kali had all dealt with the “Nazi Bitches” rather easily. Andy, Scion of Manannán mac Lir seemed to be almost like a narrator, though I’m sure he was at least as useful as I was in our previous engagement. Magnus explained about the “Valkyries/Nazi Bitches” to the group. As he finished, a voiced boomed from the door that this was why he should never seen a woman to do a man’s job. We turned to find two giants and five thralls spilling into the theatre. What happened next would be a blockbuster summer action film, if it weren’t for the reality of it all.

          Phaedra visibly snarled at the misogynistic commented then reached out as if taken something from the air. Suddenly her bow was in hand and she fired an arrow of light, striking the mouthy giant in the shoulder. I heard her curse as Rajani ran several steps before sliding between the giant’s legs and slicing into his tendons with her swords. Andy called out to Magnus and challenged him to “put on a show.” I could tell something happened, but before I could address it, Jiwoo lept with dual pistols and kept the giants busy. Magnus, now fully engaged in the fight, nearly killed the unharmed giant with a single swing of his axe. Wishing to be useful, I leapt in with my thorn and landed a solid punch with my thorn into the same giant that Rajani had sliced open. Sadly thorn was no match for the giant’s hide, though my Tidal Interference left him unable to avoid the volley of attacks coming from the others. The thralls were slower to find targets and were mostly unsuccessful in dealing with us. Zane kicked off of one of the thralls to grapple the least wounded giant. The other giant and a thrall both attacked Magnus, but neither could hurt the Norwegian. Jiwoo tumbled off the balcony onto the crystal chandelier before shooting the mounting chain, blasting the two thralls attacking Rajani as the chandelier fell on them. Just before the crash, she jumped back up to the balcony and appeared almost amused. Magnus brought the full force of his anger to bear and pummeled both the nearest thrall and the grappled giant into oblivion. Zane was so excited she slapped him on the ass before diving back into combat. Phaedra sent another blazing arrow into the throat of the remaining giant as Rajani eviscerated another thrall. Realizing the tides had already turned, I planted my feet, called out to a thrall, demanding he tell me if he knew who I was. The brute took my words as the challenge I expected and charged. My Combat Sacrifice was fairly theatrical, as the thrall landed a nasty punch, but only managed to turn my head before I looked back and smiled. He was trapped in my tidal pull, which Jiwoo wasted no time in exploiting. Her execution-style head shot while falling from the balcony was impressive, if messy.

          I’ll let you know where we go from here. We’re in a cafe now while the police try to figure out what happened in the theatre.

          Zane’s Letters

          Dad -

          So I got myself a new mission. A fellow named Lucas Carroll, he’s an elf, is thinking that there’s a giant mucking around in Berlin, and he got me and Magnus and Nemi to check it out. He put us up in a bloody posh hotel. I have four whole rooms, all for me! And we could get all the food we wanted, just by calling it up. Ji Woo and I tried a little of everything, once we got back from roughing up a couple of giants.

          But before all that, we didn’t have much to go on, so after we got all set up and such, Magnus decided that empty rooms was boring, and so we went to go find people to fill them with. Lucas had promised he get us a lead or two, and when we got to the pub, Magnus did ask around about problems what might have been caused by giants, so it’s not like we were neglecting our work or nothing.

          Magnus dominated the pub, as usual, daring people to make a fuss about me or Nemi walking into a metal bar. Last time somebody tried to hassle us, Mags laid them out with a single punch. It was pretty glorious. I bought the first round for the three of us, but after that we had as much as we coulda wanted, thanks to Magnus’s fans. After a bit though, Magnus picked his favorites, and we took the party back to the hotel.

          Party was just getting into full swing when Magnus yelled across the room that we had a lead. Turned out it was actually two of them, a fellow named Andre Jotunson who was bound to be working with some sorta giant, with a name like that, or some kinda disturbance at Brandenbrug Gate. Nemi was a bit off about leaving the party right in the middle of things, but Magnus promised it’d still be going on once we got back.

          We decided to hit up Andre’s office, mostly ‘cause Magnus wanted to storm the place, yeah? I managed to convince him to let me fool about with the front door all quiet like, then he could bust down the inside doors. He started muttering about never being arrested by German cops, and I told him I’ve never been nicked by any cops, and I intended to keep it that way. He’s a bit of a strange man.

          Anyways, I got in, slick as could be, and managed to turn off the cameras and alarms. By the time I got back, the others had made some friends, a group of ladies with mouths full of sharp and jagged teeths. It seems that they were some sorta Aesir servants, though Magnus wasn’t sure what kinda Viking ladies had big teeth. He couldn’t see them anyway. Well, the teeths.

          Once we got inside, Magnus got out his axe. It was bloody huge, and formed out of the air, like he froze it right there or something. He also got big and swolled up, and slammed the ax into the door, breaking it and the wall and the ceiling in just two swings. On the other side were 4 blokes, waiting for us. I managed to jump through the hole in the door as soon as Magnus pulled the ax out of it, and traded a few blows with one of them. Well, I hit him, but he kept trying to shoot me. Never managed to get close to hitting me though. Nemi grew a thorn from his fist and helped me out with mine. It was right prickly looking, but we were still mostly just wasting time til Mags got done with the rest of the boys. He finished ours off by boxing its ears and we were all done.

          We didn’t run into nobody else on the way to the office. I set myself down at the computer. It was a bit rough, but I managed to sort through a bunch of useless shit and found out where they were talking about some other Scions that were in town to look for them. One of them was Phaedra! They also talked about the Nazi ladies. They had gotten them busted out of where the Aesir had put them, and were trying to have them be a distraction for Phaedra and her friend. Nemi was looking around the rest of the place and found a map with some question marks. He said it looked like the giants were looking for something, maybe something they’d need a construction company for, since they were trying to buy one.

          We decided to go look for Phaedra before we did anything else and see if she knew more stuff, since the giants thought she was after them too. Turns out she wasn’t, actually, but I think she and her friends are gonna help us now. Since the Nazi’s were supposed to be a distraction, Magnus figured he’d ask them if they knew where Phaedra was. They did, but whatever they were saying was pissing Nemi off something fierce, so Magnus sent them off home while we went to a theatre.

          Doors were already open at the theatre, so Magnus was a bit let down again. He really wanted to storm somewhere. But it turns out that Magnus knew Phaedra’s Chinese friend, a kinda-floaty lady named Ji Woo. There were a couple of other Scions there, a bloke named Saltmarsh Andy and a well tough lady named Rajani. Andy was British too, and a bit of a goose. A right fit lot of Scions I seem to have fallen in with anyways.

          Like I said, they weren’t actually after the giants. Andy and Rajani were after the Nazi’s and Phaedra and Ji Woo were after somebody completely different. We explained to them what was going on, and it was right perfect, Dad. Just as we mentioned giants, and Phaedra asked what kinda giants, 2 giants popped in the door. They made some crack about not sending women to do a man’s job, but I just pointed at them and said “Those giants.” It was pretty brill.

          The giants were of course not there for some tea, so we got into a bit of a scrap after that. Nemi and I used the pull of the moon to knock them off balance a bit, while Phaedra had her glowing bow, Ji Woo had some ace gun moves, Magnus his giant axe and Rajani had a right wicked sword. Andy uses magic stuff, I think, making us better and the bad guys worse.

          It was pretty crazy, but we had it under control the whole time. Mags laid into one of the giants right hard, then I used one of the blokes as a spring to jump up onto the giant’s back, holding him so Magnus could finish him off. Phaedra and Rajani worked together on the other one, Phaedra finishing it off with an arrow to the throat. Ji Woo handled most of the regular guys, including making a chandelier fall down on a pair of them. Rajani just barely managed to get out of the way of that one.

          So we dealt with them no problem. Then it was time to get back to the party at the hotel. Some folks came back with us. Like I said before, Ji Woo and I tried a bit of everything on the room service menu. She kept after me to try snails, even told me that snails was like octopuses. Seemed a bit weird, and so did the snails, but I did try them. She also had a weird tasting alcohol, called absinthe. I think hers was magic or something, cause I ain’t never been that drunk ever. Ever since I got to be a hero and all, booze hasn’t done much for me, and I never really got that much at a time before, but I was more than a wee bit pissed before we were done.

          Well, I’m thinking we’ll be after this giant all together here in a bit. I’ll let ya know how that all comes out.


          End Session I

          They covered things pretty well. Only detail I would add is Ji-Woo followed the ghost through the club and went room to room. A room became a vision, then the ghost would be seen retreating to the next room, which became a vision when entered. The ghost then led her to the room Caoimhe (Keeva) had been hiding, with old photos of the “family” on the floor, and a lot of alcohol. I had not pre-planned if Caoimhe would live or die. She was certainly agitated dealing with Ji-Woo and Phaedra, and did herself no favors, but the story they saw seemed to soften them. Also, Phaedra determined Aristides was aware of what was happening, so it was “his own damn fault” She still had to spend a willpower point after not failing a Vengeance roll though.

          The Shrikes were sort of Nordic looking women in Nazi uniforms with huge mouths full of sharp teeth. They had good Epic Dexterity and some Strength and Stamina, and war boons. The fun part of the session was when the phrase was uttered “So you are making friends with the Nazi’s?” As an aside, they look normal, even Valkyrie like to the Aesir, just monstrous to everyone else. They used an illusion to fool Nemi, and Zane though she caught a glimpse coming out.

          At this point getting the cabaret family back together is something to be doing during the campaign, at least part of it. The Alfar lovers Siegfried and Sieger, the Maenad Constantia (Connie) the Dryad Annika, the Satyr Jean, the Alfar Mathilde (Mattie) are all out there. They have Caoimhe and the ghost Gia now. So 2/8

          That should cover it, comments and questions welcome. Next week two more backgrounds (undecided on who) then session two in 2 weeks.

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          • #6
            Time for two more backgrounds

            First off, though, thanks for reading! Between here and, we have over 1,000 views already! Awesome! I hope you keep reading and let us know what you think.

            OK, Nemi and Zane time.

            Nemiz “Nemi” Cemicac, Scion of Quetzalcoátl, Atzlánti

            While it might be cliche, my story really needs to start at the beginning. That’s mainly because I was born into a sacred time among my people. But that’s not to say I’m special. Almost every day is sacred to my people. For most, 9/4/1987 (or 4/9/87 for the Americans), was just another Thursday. But for us, it was a day for persevering against the odds, a good day for those who were suppressed. The time to gather your medicine was upon us and I came. To my people, I was born Ome Malinalli, Ce Ozomahtli, Ce Acatl, or Two Grass, One Monkey, One Reed.

            Nano toka. Taya'ankechivo Nemiz Cemicac.

            Hello. My name is He will live Eternally.

            And I am a Mexica.

            My mother had me while working whatever job she could get around the outside of Mexico City. I never knew my father, but my stepdad was always good to me. We didn’t usually have much and we moved around alot while I was little. I didn’t mind because I got to spend time with my grandparents and learn the old ways. They taught me how to use the land to help me and which of the Gods to pray to on the right days. My mother always seemed a little afraid whenever I talked about the Gods in front of her, but my stepdad would always smile. He said it was good to know where I came from. I learned how to work the math of the Mexicas and Nahuatl, the old tongue of my people. I was very proud of myself when I learned how to say the year I was born. Nauhtzontli caxtolli om nahui cempoalli on chicome. The words were hard enough at 8, but it was also an equation.

            4 x 400 + (15 + 4) x 20 + (5+2)

            As weird as it sounds, that started me off with a love of math. It gave me some kind of link back to my people in a time when everyone said we were no good. But everyone celebrates a child that excels in mathematics. So school became a place where I could prove my heritage was still something to be proud of, I just didn’t tell anyone else. I knew it and that was all that mattered.

            When I was 10, we started learning English. I already knew two languages, so one more wasn’t so bad. I picked it up fairly quickly and that just meant I was picked on that much more for being smarter than everyone else. I tried to use that to my advantage when I signed up to help tutor math though. It was hard for the football stars to slam me into the lockers when they had to ask me for help two hours later. That worked fairly well, but that didn’t stop those same jerks from bullying my friends. One of my friends in particular would always be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Yaretzi was a smart, funny, and really pretty little girl. She was also poor and crippled. Sadly, Yaretzi was bound to a wheelchair and since her family had even less money than we did, it was an old, bulky hospital cast off. The right wheel squeaked and the left wheel dragged. When it rained, the wheels threw water up almost as much as the rain fell down. We use to try to make fenders out of cardboard boxes to keep the mud from splashing all over her. But now I’m getting off topic. Yaretzi was my friend, but she was an easy target for bullies. The time that always sticks out in my mind is what started it all off for me. The fenders on Yaretzi’s wheelchair fell off again, so she was heading back to the sidewalk ramp to go inside so we could retape them. Juan and Graciela had been sword fighting with some wooden spoons they “found.” As Yaretzi got to the ramp, they both shoved their spoons in the wheelchair’s spokes. Before she could brace herself, Yaretzi fell forward and down the sidewalk ramp. I ran past the snickering bullies to make sure Yaretzi was okay. Her knees were both skinned, she had a cut on her elbow, and her cheek was bruised. I told her to hold my neck before trying to pick her up like the men always did in the movies. But I wasn’t strong enough so we had to stop several times before I could get her back in her chair. By that time, the two abusers were openly laughing at us. Exhausted, I looked back to Yaretzi and saw she was crying. Something stirred deep inside me as I stood. Before I knew what was happening, I had snapped one of the spoons over my knee, waved the sharp end like a dagger, and threatened both children in Nahuatl. They ran off but I was sure I was in for it later. When I turned back to check on Yaretzi, she was staring at me with wide eyes. There were no more tears, only a look of ...well I didn’t know what it was at the time.

            I didn’t get in too much trouble at school, which surprised me. Yaretzi wanted to hang out a lot more after that and that surprised me too. At the time, the Enrique Iglesias song, "Sólo en Tí" was big on the radio and Yaretzi always begged me to sing the English part to her. I thought I sounded awful, but it made me feel cool that she liked my English. When she saw the poster for the talent show, I knew I was doomed. Sure enough, she insisted that we sing "Sólo en Tí" as a duet. At first I tried to think of ways to talk her out of it. But then I realized that this was one of the best things we could do, and I had an even better surprise to put us at the top. I pillaged every scrap yard and abandoned car I could find while I wasn’t practicing with my partner. When I was finally ready, I brought out my project for Yaretzi. When she started crying, I thought I’d really screwed up. I apologized, pushing the prototype braces away. She shook her head before wrapping her arms around me. I didn’t know what to do for several seconds and finally just carefully put my arms around her as well. When she could speak, she thanked me for building her new legs. It took a few weeks for her to master how to shift her weight to take those first clunky steps, but by the time of the talent show, we were ready. The Music teacher played the keyboard for us and we sang in front of our school and all the bullies. The cheers started almost immediately, but when I helped Yaretzi stand, the auditorium roared. We stood and sang together, in Spanish and English, for the rest of the song. As we finished, Yaretzi kissed me on the cheek. I had no idea what to do with that, but I knew that I liked it. That was the first time I realized what I wanted to do with my life.

            I entered the Autonomous Institute of Technology of Mexico in 2003. I was only 15 but I had blown through my prep courses anyway. I never stopped working on ways for Yaretzi to walk on her own, leading to my studies in biomechanics and electronics. I even managed to convince my professors that my projects should be donated to those in need. This also let me bring my girlfriend to see me while we worked on perfecting her prosthetics. While my double major kept me interested, I took as many medical transfer classes as I could. This helped me to better understand the paraparesis affecting Yaretzi. During one of our trips back to campus in 2006, we were caught in a gunfight. It was late and we weren’t paying attention to the parts of town we drove through. The bullets shattered the windshield and tore through the door. People were screaming and running all around us. I knew my wrist burned but I couldn’t move until the gunshots moved down the street. I tried to comfort and reassure Yaretzi but when I grabbed her hand, it was slick and limp. Risking the bullets, I lifted my head to see my wonderful and loving girlfriend staring ahead with wide glassy eyes. Crimson spread over most of her blouse from the four chest wounds I could make out in the dim street lights. I didn’t understand what I heard at first, just noticed a loud noise coming from somewhere nearby. After a few moments, I realized I was hearing myself screaming. That’s when I noticed the wet spot on my own shirt. Before I could really process this, a man called me by name from outside the car. I couldn’t see his face but his voice was strangely soothing. He helped me out of the car and made me stop screaming. My vision started to dim just as he reminded me what my name meant in our language.

            When I came to, Mom and my stepdad were beside the hospital bed. I had IVs in my arm and bandages on my chest and wrist. Yaretzi was gone but somehow I lived long enough for the ambulances to get there. I healed surprisingly quickly and left the hospital after only a week. Once we were back home, my stepdad asked to talk to me while Mom was out shopping. He told me that it was time to learn about my father. I was confused as I had no idea Julio knew anything about my biological parent. He told me that my father had saved me after the gunfight and that he would come back for me soon. The first question I managed to stumble through was to know my father’s name. Julio looked me in the eye and said the Feathered Serpent. It was all a bit surreal. When I asked for more information, he just shook his head and left the room. I knew the stories my grandparents taught, but I had to assume my father was some kind of gangbanger. That did not make me look forward to him coming back for me.

            Yaretzi’s funeral was the next day due to the stagnant pace the police moved in gang violence cases. Mom begged me not to go, but I had failed to protect my girlfriend. I couldn’t bear not getting to say goodbye. I was not really ready for that as it turned out. I sat alone as many of her family felt I was responsible for her death. In truth, I was still trying to decide the same thing. As I approached the closed casket, I choked up. Almost falling in sudden grief, I leaned over the coffin and began singing our song,“Only You,” in English. My voice was raw and I had a difficult time keeping my pitch, but I sang on as the tears poured down my face. Once I finished, I kissed the head of the casket, spoke her name, and stumbled away. In our language, Yaretzi means “You will always be loved.”

            I took a week off of school to try and come to grips with my life. I really didn’t know if I wanted to continue with school as I had an idea for a non-profit organization that could help other people like Yaretzi. We had talked about it a few times before she died and ultimately I decided to follow her wishes. Our discussions usually ended with her reminding me that no one would take a college dropout seriously. I had to get my Ph.D to leverage any credibility for the foundation. I came back to school with more determination than even I realized I had. Finishing my undergraduate, I immediately applied and was accepted into the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where I pursued my doctorate. Given my degree in biomechanics, I had no trouble tailoring my studies to the field of prosthetics. I put all distractions aside and poured myself into my studies. Combining my knowledge with new research, I was able to utilize completely unexplored theories to create artificial organs and replacement limbs. Though still in testing, I managed to license the research. I did so not to restrict it from those in need, but mostly to control any unwanted uses. I graduated summa cum laude with several patents and licensed lines of research in 2010. Within a month, I had established the Future Life Foundation. The mission statement was simple and straightforward.

            Our goal is to create miraculous prosthetics to help people live better, fuller lives.

            I also managed to have an endowment funded for the Yaretzi Marianas Trust. The endowment would help cover the costs of assistance for children with physical impairments. I worked with Yaretzi’s family to compile the requirements and gain their blessing. When it was finished, I felt as though I had finally left a worthy legacy for my wonderful friend. As tears filled my eyes once again, I heard a familiar voice coming from the shadows of the room. The handsome man walked into the light and I realized he was dressed in traditional Mexica style. He called my name and then told me he was proud of the work I had done. I realized this must be my father, but how had he found me? I asked if he belonged to a gang. His laugh filled the apartment. No, he said like me, he belonged to the Atzlánti. And he thought now was the time for me to join them.

            With that, Quetzalcoatl took my wrist which was still scared from my bullet wound. Using an obsidian knife, he cut his finger as well as my scar and drew a line around my wrist. The cut bled a great deal and when he finished, I had a very stylized tribal tattoo of blood circling and running down my wrist. On the other wrist, he wrapped a thin green vine. As he did so, the vine seemed to take root in my wrist. New tendrals began to run around and down before settling into their pattern and becoming a second tattoo. As he cupped his hands, a beautiful Resplendent Quetzal fluttered from the sacrificial blood. This he placed against my shoulder and the bird disappeared, though I knew I could still feel its presence.

            When he finished, my father looked upon me and urged me to stand with my people. He said that I should be a proud example of the Mexicas. Then he explained my first task. A scion of Tezcatlipoca had gone rogue somewhere in Acapulco. I was tasked with finding and stopping him from continuing his sacrifices to a Tzitzimime. I would use my new abilities to help me on my path.

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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]


            • #7
              Zane, Scion of Nantosuelta, Nemetondevos

              When he’d realized ichor flowed in his lieutenant's veins, he’d gotten in touch with his friends in the Tuatha. Some strings had been pulled and leads followed to find her divine parent, and in the meantime, he’d been enjoined to look after the young Scion, at least until her own pantheon could. He’d spoken to Zane’s mother when she did arrive, and she’d asked if he would continue looking after her. From the look of things, it would have to be from a distance for a while.

              Zane stood hesitantly just outside the vague demarcation that marked off his space from the crew’s in general. “‘lo Jester. Have a tick?”

              He set aside the book he’d been pretending to read since he’d heard her approach. “For you, always. What might I do for you Zane?”

              She continued to look uncomfortable, but stepped inside, shifting from side to side. “Look, Jest’ it’s like this... I found out summat about my family, these last couple of days.” She paused, looking uncertain as to how to continue.

              “Found out you were heir to a fortune and a big house, eh? Shall I call you Miss Leeford?” Jester grinned up at her.

              Her uncertainty turned to indignation. “Nah, I ain’t no fucking Oliver, you know that.” She paused. “Nah, it just turns out the whore ain’t my mum after all, nor my dad a john. ‘Sides, I was snatched, not abandoned nor run off or anything like that.”

              Jester laughed. “Fair enough, kiddo. What about that big house though? Gonna remember me when you move in with the Maylie’s?

              She scowled back at him, but after a moment her hesitation returned. “It ain’t like that, not really. My mum... my mum’s a god. Dess. A goddess. Like, lives up in heaven, throws around thunderbolts, turns people into trees, god-type person. Well, I don’t think think she does those things, I think she just makes sure kids and mums are safe, and houses are happy, shit like that. Now, I’m not a goddess, even though my mum’s one, though I get to be one when I grow up. Right now, I’m kinda like a superhero.” She thought for a second. “And French, apparently.”

              She trailed off, looking at Jester, whose eyebrows merely raised higher and higher as she got through her story. He almost burst out laughing at the description of gods in general, and Nantosuelta in particular, but managed to hold it in, not wanting to interrupt now that she’d finally gotten started. When it became clear she was done for now, he cleared his throat. “A French superhero, huh?”

              She looked at him suspiciously. “You believe me then, yeah?”

              “I’ve heard stranger, I... “ he began carefully.

              “You’ve heard stranger?” she sputtered. “You think I’ve gone mental, you do! I haven’t, seriously. Test me.” Jester looked at her curiously. “You know, the coin test.”

              Jester decided to play along, and got out a stack of coins. He began to toss them at her, a game he played with the kids to train their reflexes. He started out slowly at first, then went faster and faster as she caught every one. Eventually, his stack ran out. Zane showed him hers, each one heads up.

              “Well, then. I suppose if you’re mental, I am as well, as that certainly was convincing.” He’d been planning to let her know of his connection to her new world, but if she wanted a skeptical mentor, he could do that too. He’d have to keep track of how long it took her to figure it out.

              “My mum gave me some magic doodads as well. Most of ‘em just let me use my powers, but the canteen’s always full of good water, cold too and...” she grinned hugely up at him, much more comfortable now that she’d ‘convinced’ him. “Shoes! They’ll match whatever I’m wearing, but they’re so bloody comfortable I can’t even tell I got ‘em on.”

              “Very nice. New hat and gloves too?” He smiled back at her. It seemed Nantosuelta had taken his advice on how to win her daughter over to heart. She’d also left room for his own gift.

              She nodded in answer to his question and her face turned serious again. “Jester, I’ve got to go away for a while.” His heart fell, even though he knew that it was coming. “I’ll be back to visit, but I’ve got to figure all this out, and there’s some sorta war going on and the kids shouldn’t deal with that.”

              He managed something of a smile, fighting back his own regret. “I thought it’d be something like that. Before you disappear though...” He began rummaging through the bags of books that decorated his corner of their current hidey-hole, stopping after a moment to look back at her. “You can’t actually disappear, can you?”

              She laughed at that, answering “Not yet.” He continued searching through his bags, building a small stack of books, finishing up his search by placing an old looking wooden recorder next to it.

              “Well, if you’re to be leaving us, you know I can’t let you off without a few gifts of my own.” He picked up the stack of books, handing them to her one by one, naming them as he did. “Peter Pan. Les Mis - and, you’ll notice, it’s got both English and French. Might help you start to learn your mom’s language.” That one had taken a bit to track down. “And, of course, Oliver Twist. I believe this one is your favorite version?”

              Zane looked taken aback, and was biting her lip to hold back tears as he handed her each one. She began to protest as he laid the last one down. “Nah, Jest’, it's my favorite 'cause it's got pictures, so I can show it to the littles and not have to explain every detail. You should give me a different copy.”

              Jester just looked at her, as she ran her hand over it, tracing the letters of the title “I mean, you don't hafta to give me anything, it’s...” She looked down, not able to finish.

              “That one's yours. I'll go steal another illustrated copy for the littles tomorrow,” he said mock sternly. “Now, I think this’ll round it out.” He placed the recorder in its case on top of the books in her hands. “Just because you’re gallivanting about being a superhero doesn’t mean you get to avoid music lessons.”

              Zane rolled her eyes. “Right you are, guvnor.” She tucked the recorder case in her belt and stashed the books under her arm. “I’ll miss you guys, so’s you know.”

              He laid a hand on her shoulder. “And you’ll be missed. You’re leaving tonight?” She nodded. “Well then, one last thing before you head off into the night - somebody’s gonna need to help me out back here. Any thoughts?”

              “Bobby,” she answered immediately. “He already helps me out with the littles, knows his way around. Fucking smart too.”

              “What about Rachel? She’s the better fighter, and quicker too.”

              She was already shaking her head. “Nah, she’s mean to the littles, pinches ‘em if they won’t stop sniffling. Put her in charge of the boys if you like, but Bobby oughta be your right hand.”

              Jester held his hands up in capitulation. “Alright, alright, you win. If you see him on your way out, tell him I’d like a word.” He put his hand on her shoulder again. “Stay safe, you hear? Superhero or no, you take care of yourself.”

              Zane smiled up at him, her eyes twinkling. “Who else would I take care of?”

              Zane had spent an entire afternoon looking over the house where her father lived. It wasn’t a big house, but it was a nice one, with a yard and a playset. She’d watched her half-sisters playing on it, watched over by their bossy older brother. She’d come here first, to see if it would make it seem more real, to have a father.

              Now that night had fallen, she snuck into the house. The security system was stronger than she expected (and than she realized) but she managed to get inside without setting off any alarms. She lingered in the hallway, spending time at each picture on the wall, smiling at all the happy faces.

              She eventually made her way to the master bedroom, where her father and his wife had already gone to sleep. She paused at the doorway, and debated knocking, but decided instead to run back and head out again. She turned back once, to look at the playground and the toys and the flower beds. Then she shrugged, laughed at herself and started walking towards Paris.

              In Paris, she made her way through the streets before finding an unoccupied corner. At a distance, she saw a windmill all lit up for Christmas, just without the green. She set out her change hat and started playing her recorder.

              A few people came by and dropped a few coins in the hat. She always looked up at the sound and gave her benefactors a smile. When she recognized one of them, surprise ran over her face and she hopped to her feet. “Oh, hello! I mean, bonjour. Qu'est-ce que vous avoir besoin de moi?”

              Her mother smiled at Zane’s heavily accented French. “Nothing right now, dear. I just wanted to speak with you,” she responded in English. “Very good work on your French. Your avoir should be conjugated, but well done otherwise.”

              “Oh, right.” Zane thought about it a few moment. “Avez?”

              “Just right.” Nantosuelta gestured at where Zane had been sitting and then sat down next to her. “I had hoped you’d talk to him.”

              Zane fiddled with the recorder, not looking at her mother. “I thought about it. Didn’t seem right, just then.”

              “He’s a good man, you know. He was heartbroken when you were taken, and blamed himself even though it was clearly divine work. He did everything he could think of to find you.”

              “I know. I don’t blame him or nothing. It just... didn’t seem right. I’ll meet him someday.” Zane looked warily over at her mother.

              She was smiling kindly still and so Zane managed not to wince when she reached an arm around her for a hug. “I’m sure you will, dear. It will be a happy day for both of you.” The goddess sat with her awhile, until Zane relaxed, and a bit longer before she stretched and stood up. “Well, Zane, I should be going. I’m afraid I’ve interrupted your worktime.”

              “Nah, it’s just for fun really. I’ve got enough dosh to keep me going for a bit.”

              “Alright then, as long as you’ll be alright.” Nantosuelta smiled at her once more, before walking off into the crowd, eventually moving out of Zane’s line of sight.

              When she was gone, Zane stretched a bit herself, and stood up, intending to move on to a different corner for a bit, before exploring some more. When she reached for her hat, she found it much heavier than it should have been. Looking inside, it was almost full of 1 and 2 euro coins. Chuckling to herself, she stashed it all in various pockets and decided it was time to find a restaurant that would serve a teenage girl a meal at midnight.


              The tall young man nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard his name whispered from behind him. He turned quickly, and only relaxed when he saw Zane’s grinning face looking down at him from atop a wall. “Well, hello there Zane. You look well.”

              “Thanks. You too.” She hopped down and started walking alongside him in the direction he had been heading. After walking for a few minutes, Zane spoke up again. “Heard a couple new stories from another hero I met.”

              “Oh yeah?” Jester tried very hard not to let his smile show.

              “Yeah. Her name was Phaedra and her dad’s one of the Greek gods, Hermes. She’s pretty cool. But she explained why her dad’s people and my mum’s people don’t get along. It’s kinda confusing though, ‘cuz it’s ‘cuz the Romans killed all the Gauls, and the Roman gods are kinda the Greek gods, they just have different names. And it was all a long time ago.”

              “I see.” It wasn’t really what he had expected, but it was an important part of her legacy, so it was good she had been able to learn it from someone, especially as it seemed like this Phaedra hadn't tried to get her embroiled in it.

              “Yeah. I decided I didn’t have to be mad at them, unless they were dicks about it.” She looked at him, almost expectantly.

              This time, he couldn’t stop from laughing, but Zane laughed along with him. “That’s... very wise of you. I am glad to see some of my civilizing influence has rubbed off on you.”

              “She also told me a different story. Said the flute you gave me reminded her of it, about a magic man who could get rats and kids to follow him. Dressed in every color of the rainbow.” She tweaked the edge of his multi-colored coat as she said it.

              Jester looked over at her, and was relieved when he saw she was still smiling up at him. “So, it only took you 2 years to notice your flute was magic.”

              She punched his arm. “Nah, I knew that right off. I just figured you nicked it from someone magic. S’not like you ever got us any fairy story books, so’s that I coulda had a way to know you was some sorta fairy creature.”

              Jester put his arm around her. “I suppose not.” They walked in comfortable silence for a bit longer. “So, are you going to be able to stay for a bit, and tell the kids some of your stories, or do you have to leave us?”

              “I have a bit of time.”


              Next week journals for session 2, where giants are battled, wellsprings discovered, and hung over people are yelled at with megaphones. Join us then. Comments and Questions welcome

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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]


              • #8
                It’s time to return to our heroes and heroines of the Bohemian Front. This session covers current giant battles and discover the secret of the Wellspring. Well, one secret…answer one question, get three more…

                Rajani’s player was unable to make, so no journal from her. I am still getting the journal order down to what I want.

                Session II

                Tomorrow Belongs to Me Part II

                Ji-Woo’s Visions

                My absinthe habit ensures that I drink often, but I rarely drink enough at once to get completely drunk. Nonetheless, I am no stranger to hangovers. After drinking with Zane until the virgin hours of morning, I collapsed on a bed in her posh hotel rooms, which is where Andy chose to wake me late this morning by cruelly screaming through a megaphone. In the confusion of the moment, I wondered if he weren’t the evil man from my prophecy, but immediately dropped the idea and decided that he was simply being a little shit. I whimpered and tried to curl into myself to drive the world away, but it was too late for that, so I eventually dragged myself out of bed to shower and dress.

                Sadly, my green fairy was gone. We had finished it off last night. Because of that and the profound loneliness of her absence, which manifested as a splitting headache, I didn’t consult the I Ching. Besides, I already have a clear enough understanding of our situation. Phaedra was angry with me when I suggested that replenishing my supply of absinthe should be our first priority today, but Magnus had my back, so our first stop was at a liquor store, and then on to bigger and more violent things.

                According to Andy, gypsies stole into his dreams and whispered the secrets of a warehouse where our enemies had been storing equipment for their schemes. I off-handedly mentioned that the cruel man, presumably a giant, was trying to find and capture or destroy the precious wellspring that lay somewhere in Berlin. The others looked at me quizzically, and more so when Phaedra asked what the hell I was talking about. But by now, she has grudging confidence in my insight.

                It was decided that we must let the giants lead us to the wellspring since the omens show they already know where it is.

                Before leaving, Zane anointed us with cool water from her precious thermos, marking us with the invisible sign of her benevolent protection. Then Nemi did the same, though his approach was rather more expressive, and I discovered that he is quite an excellent kisser. I wouldn’t mind kissing him again.

                * * * * *

                The warehouse was lightly guarded. Phaedra and I entered from the roof while the others broke in on the ground. Phaedra and I do seem to make a nice team, which is only fitting. My yin is a harmonious match to her yang, to it’s hardly surprising that our actions flow together so well despite the disruptive resonance of our respective personalities.

                Magnus, Phaedra and I defeated a vicious fenrir whose snarling jaws craved the taste of Magnus’ flesh. Rajani, Nemi, and Zane killed a token group of giant-thrall guards, and Zane tossed one alive but badly beaten at Magnus’ feet. Magnus awakened the thrall with a powerful chord of pure metal from the strings of his summoned guitar, which reminded me of my hangover, so I sat down against one of pillared girders supporting the warehouse roof and considered asking Zane for her thermos of water so that I could prepare a glass of absinthe. But I decided against it.

                Andy questioned the thrall and learned that the cruel man’s servants are using the construction equipment that was originally stored in the warehouse to dig for something at a site on the edge of Berlin. That’s where we’re going next, of course. The wellspring will be there, though I’m insanely curious to find out exactly what the wellspring really is.

                * * * * *

                More fighting. I’ve been in almost as many fights over the past two days as I have since I was awakened as a scion. I seem to be fairly good at it (which surprises me), and so do my friends (which doesn’t). I do find the tactical focus of combat to be engaging. I’m not sure whether I’m compelled by the artful flow of the battle or the intellectual exercise of its strategies. It doesn’t really matter, and I don’t really care. I don’t care for the violence, but I suppose I am a part of the war against the titans, and I am fascinated by the intuitive choreography that binds us into a harmonious group of warriors. I'm not really a warrior, though, and I doubt Nemi or Andy would use that term to describe themselves either. Phaedra, Rajani, and Magnus, on the other hand, have the epic demeanor and noble bearing to be called warriors, and they wear the title well.. Zane is mysterious, though. I don’t know if the image of a warrior fits her either, though she is certainly bold and courageous.

                This time I eventually ended up perched on the arm of a backhoe in the middle of large dig site, and dodged a giant’s axe by shooting the machine’s hydraulics and dropping the scoop on a hapless thrall. After that I found myself fighting back to back with Phaedra again from the bed of a dump truck. One of the thralls tried to stop us, but Zane dove on him out of nowhere and pummeled him into unconsciousness before tossing him over the side of the dump truck onto Nemi’s poisoned claw.

                And Zane does not like being kissed. Not by men, anyway. Nemi treated her to one of his sweet kisses to bolster her resilience before the fight, and she nearly punched him. I asked if she minded being kissed by girls, and she just seemed confused. There’s something intriguing there, but I did not have the time to explore it before the fight.

                And after the fight, the wellspring was all I cared about. The pit the giants were digging dropped into a cavern complex. Standing at the bottom was a sexy woman with piercing, stony gray eyes and hair that was the deep magenta of pomegranates. She was soon joined by others, five young women in all, and another cloaked in veils and shadows who remained at a distance and kept us under her watchful gaze.

                The caverns are a fascinating and beautiful mixture of natural geology and shaped stone that reflects the collected architecture of centuries. Much of it is Greek or Roman, but modern elements, Victorian and art deco and others, fuse harmoniously with the older pieces so that it all resembles some the finest traditional architecture in Europe. And it all seems so timeless and beautiful, like the older districts of Milan or Paris or Budapest. I wanted to see the whole place, but my curiosity was held in check by my claustrophobia. Moving into the underground bower made me a bit anxious, but the interior was spacious enough that I was able to overcome the worst of my fears. The company also helped, for the women who lived there were all very charming and their home was really nothing less than an artist colony, and I feel at home in places like that.

                The women who had been sealed away in the caves were all sisters, each marked with vibrantly colorful hair. Each is the spirit and guardian of one of several mystical pools hidden away within the caves—the wellspring I saw in my visions! Only two, Hermione and Aoide, do not have pools, and they are the spirits of the caves and the breezes that blow through them.

                Magenta-haired Hermione is an oread, an earth spirit of the caves. Serious and confident, she leads the others and has been their only connection to the outside for centuries. She thoughtfully brings back things from the surface so that her sisters remain at least somewhat familiar with the modern world.

                Violet-haired Aoide is a lovely and fragile-looking sylph, an air spirit of the breezes that flow through the caves. Inspired and hopeful, she treasures music above all else and I think she needs to experience the enveloping sound of a good dance club.

                Pink-haired Anemone is an adorably mischievous undine, a water spirit of a pool that echoes with the creativity of crafts and invention. She is intrigued by the modern world and its technology, especially cars.

                Blue-haired Glykeria is a shy and kind undine with a gentle smile that could melt the hardest heart. She is a sensitive poet, but so quiet that her poetry is overwhelmed by the noise of the world around her.

                Green-haired Chloris is a catty and flirtatious naiad. Her poise and grace are layered with seductive wiles, and she seems preoccupied with sensual pleasures. And who can blame her after being cooped up in the caves for centuries?

                Rainbow-haired Iris an excitable and outgoing naiad. She is a deeply gifted artist, and of all the sisters, I found myself identifying most closely with her after our brief introduction. She is also a painter, and like me, she embraces the irrepressible creativity which inspires us to be artists.

                Finally, veiled Calypso is a suspicious and unhappy mystery. She may be a gorgon given the way her serpentine hair moves, and unlike the others, she was threatening rather than friendly. Her pool, however, seems to be the most mysterious, which piques my curiosity.

                The pool guardians were all very curious about us and most, aside form Calypso, were eager to invite their saviors into their home. My omens made it very clear that these pools are going to be a source of power but also a treasure that we must protect. And the sisters seem like they’re going to be lots of fun.

                They don’t know who their mother is, though. She’s a goddess, they just don’t know which one. Sounds like an intriguing mystery. I should see if I can’t divine an answer.

                Also, Nemi says the cruel giant has been spying on us through the fires burning in barrels on the walls that enclose the dig site. I guess that means more giants are coming.

                Nemi’s Discussions

                1 May 2013

                I don’t think I should send some of the things we’re doing to Julio or anyone else I really care about. The authorities would have a field day trying to link us to the various crimes committed. I think it’s also a little concerning that I am as accepting of these actions as I am. Some part of me is shocked I could be so complicit and complacent with what amounts to second degree murder. But there is another part of me, probably the awakened ichor, that reminds me that I answer to a higher calling now. The law of man really is superseded by the Law of the Gods. I should probably not think about that too much. Reading back over it, it sounds like a call to violence from extremists like Al Qaeda or the Westboro Baptist people back in the United States.

                So this will be written in the cloud and kept for posterity. Someone will probably need to know the truth one day. And it keeps innocent people from being in the know.

                Last night, we came back to the hotel and saw Magnus’ theory proved correct. There were still people partying in his suite. Jiwoo dove right in and Zane followed happily. Magnus waded into the crowd like a king into a pool of gold. The entire gathering seemed to instantly revive and become larger than life. The events of the party I won’t cover to protect the innocent.

                This morning as I was getting up, Andy came in carrying a bull horn. I have no idea how he had keycards to access our suites, but when he saw I was up he merely nodded and bid me cheery morning greetings. He was so incredibly British. Then he left for Magnus’ suite. I hurriedly got cleaned up so I could go over and see what he was doing. On my way out, I ran into Phaedra in the hallway. She wasn’t interested in invading the room like Andy. It was like he was secretly carrying a flag. She was just waiting with an expectant look. Then I ...well everyone heard Andy announcing the arrival of the police through the bull horn. I rushed in to see him standing over Jiwoo and tucking the megaphone behind him. The room looked like ground zero of some sort of movie style assault. There were bodies (still living) laying everywhere. Various stages of undress ranged from socks hanging off to “Did she wear anything over here?” At the mention of the police, Zane, though previously unconscious jumped off the floor and over the head of the bed. I suppose it was to hide. When she peeked out from the nightstand, the look of daggers she gave Andy was amusing. Jiwoo came to slowly, immediately clutching her head, and pitifully scolded the her friend. Phaedra looked on from the doorway, seeming more disapproving than before. Magnus, nude by the time he lost consciousness, never moved. To be fair, there were several others that didn’t move either. I did check a few for a pulse. As the partygoers were being stacked like wood and often rolled off tables (I do hope he was okay), our combined group of scions eventually surrounded the bed and basically waited. I believe some were admiring the view, Phaedra looked uncomfortable, and I don’t know where Rajani was. To be honest, I almost expected to find her next to Magnus, but perhaps I assumed too much. I can say now that most of us have some very interesting tattoos. With everyone standing around in his bedroom, Magnus finally remembered how to lift his head. He didn’t seem to expect to be surrounded but that didn’t stop him from rolling out of bed and walking to the bathroom. I’ve grown accustomed to that by this point, but some of the others ...weren’t.

                As Magnus made himself more publicly presentable, Jiwoo sat down with a sad sigh as she turned her bottle of absinthe upside down. She then informed us, as if unconsciously speaking, that there is some important wellspring that the giants are looking to destroy. While the rest of us were trying to understand where this information came from, Phaedra grabbed her things and looked at us impatiently. She asked why we were still sitting around when there were giants to kill? The archer apparently recognized when the seer spoke truth. Andy began a fascinating, but rambling story about gypsy travels and a place they took him to while living the life. I pushed another body off a table (there was a pillow under him) and spread the map out. Using Andy’s directions, I found the location on the map which was already marked with a pin. Sometimes, even the liar tells the truth.

                After we stopped for more absinthe, we found a large building in East Berlin in exactly the spot Jiwoo thought and Andy described. A fence of about 2.5 meters surrounded the entire area which gave us pause. We determined those of us capable of jumping 8 feet, as they seemed more comfortable in using, while I marked the other group with a Vigil Brand. Phaedra blushed when I very gently kissed her hand, while Jiwoo’s eyes sparkled as I gave her a quick kiss on the lips. Andy tried to chastise me so I slapped him on the hand. I believe he approved. With that, we all hopped over the fence except Magnus and Andy. My large friend simply tossed the failing Brit over for Zane to catch before doing a one arm vault over the barrier. Once inside the compound, Zane used her tools to carefully cut the glass from a single window pane. Magnus then used his command over sound to spy on anyone inside. After a few quiet moments, the musician seemed to focus on his immediate surroundings again and offered bad news. There weren’t anyone that sounded large enough to be a giant, but he did hear a sleeping Fenrir. Theoretical ideas aside, I was mostly only aware that dealing with them was dangerous. I learned from Magnus that they gained power and strength from eating scions. Not a fun way to go.

                Zane bolstered our group while Magnus mixed some of his blood into liquor bottle and shared it with Phaedra and I. It was an odd sensation to feel my body tighten and grow stronger as the Jotunblut took effect. Afterwards, Magnus drew his palms together as if pressing something. The a glowing ball of black light formed between his hands and a strange wind rustled his hair. I sprouted my thorn and we were ready. Jiwoo and Phaedra made their way to the roof to strike from above. Zane, Andy, and I followed Magnus. When the time was right, the metalhead got his wish and smashed through the door. The Fenrir was up and ready for a fight almost instantly. Its terrible jaws slammed down on Magnus, but somehow there was no wound. An arrow of light struck the Fenrir in the hindquarters before Jiwoo launched herself off the catwalk. She twisted into a deadly spiral, firing multiple times into the Fenrir. The creature was wounded but not seriously. Two thralls entered then, one carrying a rifle, the other driving a forklift. Zane jumped on Magnus’ shoulders, only to spring off a moment later to land a flying kick on the mobile thrall. However the gunshot that only barely missed Phaedra attracted two more thralls and ignited the archer’s fury. I scrambled up a stack of crates and punched the Fenrir in the eye. Sadly, my thorn could not pierce even that soft area. Magnus more than made up for it as he slammed his brother’s axe into the huge beast. Wounded and angry, the Fenrir snapped at Magnus again but still couldn’t manage to harm the musician. Not intending to give the larger foe the upper hand, Phaedra dove from her perch then kicked off one of the thralls to side beneath the beast. She fired her bow and the Fenrir howled in agony. Before the vicious maw could find another target, Jiwoo landed on its head and unloaded her weapons. The Fenrir could not withstand the punishment and as Jiwoo leapt away, it collapsed.

                I rolled away from the massive head which threatened to pin me down. When I popped up, I was face to face with the thrall firing at Phaedra. I knew I had little change to take him out, but I punched the thrall in the throat anyway. My thorn did pierce his skin, but did little other than the pain. The newest thralls carried an axe and rifle, respectively. The axe wielder tried to cleave Magnus but only managed to piss him off. The musician slammed his axe into the ground just before the terrified man, then grabbed the Fenrir corpse and beat him to death with it. Returning to the thrall firing on her, Phaedra dove to the side. As she removed me from her line of fire, she released her shaft which stapled his chest to a crate before the arrow vanished, taking the light in his eyes with it. Jiwoo’s rapid fire pistols rattled the building again, killing the last active combatant. Then Zane dragged the only survivor out of the forklift to interrogate. As she pulled the unconscious man into the open, Magnus materialized a frost guitar and plays it to wake up the thrall. I still don’t know how that guitar is so loud without any amplifier or power. I sat on the man’s chest with my thorn at this throat. I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea as the thrall could likely have thrown me across the building. I think I was just caught up in Magnus and Jiwoo’s action movie.

                Andy led an interrogation session which revealed an operation on the edge of town where people were digging but no one knew for what they sought. The work was done by an unknown number of thralls and four giants plus a fair amount of heavy equipment. The thrall was released with the understanding that if we found him working with giants again, he would not walk away from that encounter. Looking back at the corpse of the Fenrir, it occurred to me that we could fashion a relic from one of its teeth. My best estimation suggested that the relic could channel Animal: Wolf or War. That could be useful for a number of us. While we worked to extract a tooth, Magnus summoned his guitar and sent a message to the Shrikes. They were to meet us at the dig site, but not to engage. Then we gathered up or removed anything that could link us to the carnage and left.

                When we arrived at the dig site, there were a dozen women in Nazi uniforms standing in formation out front. The look I gave Magnus told him everything he needed to know. He then had a meeting with the “Nazi Bitches,” in which he laid new ground rules. Namely, do not attack any of our group. Additionally he added that we would be taking no prisoners. With a hearty Sieg Heil, the Shrikes saluted and broke into units. I grew my thorn and let myself synchronize with the pull of the moon. Zane asked about sharing the bolstering duties as she was getting a little tapped out. I understood so we split the group. I handled Phaedra, Magnus, and Zane this time. Beginning with the archer, I gave a wink, then vaulted over the musician’s shoulders. To be amusing, I gave Zane a ridiculous kiss when I landed but I don’t think she was pleased or impressed. I’m sure I looked rather pitiful while apologizing. Once we were ready, Magnus happily busted through the door. Phaedra moved, bow drawn, like some kind of special forces. She spotted and fired at a target before most of us were even in the work zone. The golden arrow struck a giant in the shoulder and opened out assault. Zane ducked in and out of the way, punching two of the giants immediately and leaving them caught in her Tidal Interference. Andy made some fairly strange derogatory remarks to a giant, which I realized later was actually a curse. Then Magnus brought his axe crashing down on a giant. Surprisingly, the giant didn’t die immediately, though it was badly wounded. Phaedra continued to punish the same giant, this time shooting him in the eye. Milla ran past screaming Hail Hitler before eviscerating one of the thralls. I heard Magnus sigh heavily before Jiwoo’s pistols echoed into the night, killing the giant facing Magnus.

                There was a massive rush from the thralls though no one in our group was wounded. One of the giants managed to hit Magnus, though it sounded much like punching a wall. Given Magnus mostly ignored the attack, I suspect it had similar results. Behind the musician, Phaedra was missed by a thrall, who was then killed by Jiwoo. Her absent stare is obviously masking her terrifying ability to destroy. But as the momentum of the battle was in our favor, I called to Magnus as I sprinted toward him. As I approached, the musician planted his axe, grabbed me, then swung around on the haft for more speed before launching me into an unharmed Giant. I must have looked like a cartoon superhero flying through the air with fist outstretched. Though I have to admit, the tactic worked better than expected. Not only did I collide with the giant to lower his chances of dodging our assault, but I actually managed to punch through his skin! Based on his movements, I believe he resisted my poison, though it made little different. Magnus followed my attack by hurling his axe into the same giant, then tackling him which forced the blade through. I jumped over to Milla who was dealing with two of the thralls. I punched one in the back of the head, before rolling out of the way as a backhoe turned over onto the thralls. From the other side we heard Magnus bellow to stop fucking with his Nazis! Looking up, I noticed sounds of a struggle in the dump truck next to me. I jumped to the edge of the bed only to stab the final thrall in the back of the head. That combined with his injuries from fighting Zane killed him.

                When the final thrall fell, the sound of falling earth drew our attention to a hole in the center of the dig. A beautiful woman appeared and introduced herself as Hermione. She was an Oread and keeper of the wellsprings. She allowed us to under the shrine of these wellsprings and meet her sisters. She announced our presence by telling the other nymphs that they could come out and that yes, we had boys. I’m sure there were worse ways to learn Ancient Greek, but I wasn’t considering them at that moment. Calypso, a snake-haired woman with a veil, trained a bow upon us and was very gruff. The other women were much more friendly and each were born into a different of the magic pools. Before I could get completely distracted by the nymphs, I realized that none of the giants seemed to be any kind of leader. I then realized that the fire barrels above the dig site were lit so someone could see through them with Fire boons. That suggested a more powerful giant controlled these operations. I informed the others and Andy went around to put out the fires.

                Now I’m going to memorize what these magic pools and their mistresses can do. This could be my most enjoyable research yet.

                Zane’s Letters

                Dad -

                So, I said I got a wee bit pissed last night? I guess it was a bit more than that, cause I woke up late and with a fierce hangover. I felt a little bad, drinking like that when we had a job and all, but I didn’t know it was magic booze. Still and all, Andy didn’t have to go waking me up with a bloody bullhorn. I fell right off the bed, and Ji-Woo just curled up in a little ball and whimpered a bit. He even started telling porkies about some policeman and tried to hide the damn horn. Then he sodded off to try to get Phaedra to do the same with Magnus. She decided instead to just knock really really loudly on his door with her sword.

                I ducked past her and just opened the damn thing so’s I could use his wc on account of Ji-Woo using mine. I did hafta toss a couple of arseholed twits out the door, including a pair who’d managed to fall asleep mid-bang. When I got done with my shower and all, I found everybody gathered in Magnus’s room. Andy had even made himself a couch out of the knackered people lying about.

                Mags eventually woke up proper and asked what the gen was. Ji-Woo piped up saying we were getting more absinthe, since we’d gone and drunk it all. Mags said that sounded good and chucked his whiskey bottle at the wall, in celebration I guess? It was empty too. I think Phaedra mighta been ripe to explode. She pointed out we were not here to get more alcohol but to track us down some giants. Then Ji-Woo remembered a prophecy-type thing she’d done, something about pools, but not the ones in the hotel, or maybe wellsprings, and a scary man with hairy hands who was probably a giant and wanted to destroy the pool-wellspring thing.

                Phaedra looked about ready to just up and leave at Ji-Woo’s kinda drifty speech, but I called her back so’s I could Vigil mark her and all. I did the rest too, though I maybe flicked Andy in the forehead instead of touching him. It probably wasn’t fair, but I bet it hurt less that his silly bullhorn. Nemi marked everybody too, but later, and he kissed them, cause he’s silly too.

                Anyhow, Andy’d been hanging about with Gypsies all night, at least that’s what he said, and they’d showed him a place that was on Nemi’s map. He didn’t go in it, on account of not wanting any gypsies to get hurt or nothing. It was a big abandoned factory building type place, with a 2 and a half meter fence all about it. Most of us could hop it, except for Andy, so I just carried him over. It looked a bit odd, me carrying his long self but we all got over with no fuss.

                Then we snuck over to the building. Mags wanted to see what the inside looked like using his sound powers, however the hell that works, so he moved up to a window. It was all locked up, so after raising his fist then looking at it all sad-like, he asked if I could get him at least a hole to hear through. It was a piece of cake and so he was able to figure there was 4 big blokes and 1 giant dog, what was probably a fenrir.

                Since we were not being jumped this time, we got to get all superpowered up and shit. I gave drinks around to everybody from my canteen to boost up their health. Magnus bled into his bottle and past it around to boost our strength as well as doing some fancy metal magic shit. Ji-Woo’s wing tattoo turned into real life wings, but still made of ink and all, cause she and Phaedra were gonna go in on the roof.

                Things went just about perfect, with nobody even getting a bit hurt. Magnus busted through the door right as Ji-Woo and Phaedra got onto the upstairs walkway. Them and Rajani and Mags focused on the big wolf. I didn’t get the see most of the fight though, cause one of the big blokes drove in with a forklift and tried to run over Magnus. I hopped up in there with the thrall to try and stop that nonsense. Turned out for the good, since he couldn’t use his big old axe at all, and he was pretty shite at proper fighting. He managed to slam his fist into the door and that’s about it. I wound up breaking his nose with my forehead and dragging him out of the forklift. The others had killed the rest, even though we said we were gonna question them, so I was glad mine was just out of it. It looked pretty ace out there though. I think Magnus killed one of the thralls with the fenrir!

                Any road, I dropped my guy and Nemi planted himself on his chest with his thorn on the bloke’s throat. I went to go get some water from the sink to wake him up, but Mags beat me to it by summoning his ice guitar and playing a bit. Then he smashed it into pieces. Phaedra though it was wasteful but it was pretty brill.

                While they were fussing about that, Andy started spinning a story to the thrall about how he was a scion of Loki and so he always left one giant servant alive but only if they was useful to him and so hopefully for him he could tell us where the giants were proper. Round about then, Mags started pacing around, first slamming a post into the ground, then tearing off the head of the fenrir and putting it on the post. It was damn scary. I weren’t even being talked to and I was scared, just a little.

                He told us all about a place at the edge of town, where the giants were trying to dig something up. It was a big fenced off place, with more big machines, a handful of giants and a bunch of thralls. After he told us everything he knew about, we tied him up and told him to make sure we never saw him again. Phaedra grabbed up a fenrir tooth and Magnus called up his nazi’s to meet us there and we headed off to the dig site.

                Once we got there, we all powered up again. Mags past around his blood and I boosted Andy, Nemi and Ji-Woo. Nemi boosted the rest of us. He boosted me by kissing me on the mouth. I moved away right quick and pulled a face. He said something about not having cooties on account of being a doctor but I kept making a face at him. I think it hurt his feelings a bit, cause he looked all sad, but I ain’t nobody’s girl. He did kiss all the others girls to mark them and all, so I guess he didn’t mean nothing serious by it. I gave him a high five later, to show I wasn’t upset or nothing. Ji-Woo did ask me if I liked to kiss girls, which seemed really weird, cause that’s different, yeah?

                Anyhow, Magnus gave orders to his ladies before we got all started. They were talking in Norwegian so I couldn’t understand most of it but it was still well creepy the way the ladies all answered at the same time. They did a good job though, taking care of a bunch of the thralls themselves, especially the leader lady, though they did shout about hailing Hitler a lot. Everybody else mostly went after the giants. I knew I weren’t gonna be able to hurt them much, so I planned on just using my moon powers to knock them off balance so’s the others could hit them even harder. That worked out right good. Then I moved on to the couple of thralls left, stopping one from pestering Phaedra by slamming him off the dump truck she was shooting from, right onto Nemi’s thornspike.

                When we’d dealt with everybody, we noticed the hole started rumbling a bit and then a well fit lady walked out. She asked if we were children of the gods and if we would help them guard what the giants had gone and dug up. Ji-Woo was excited to learn that it was the wellspring place she’d prophecied about and jumped in right away. Phaedra asked who she was first, and she said she was Hermione, an oread. Ji-Woo told us that oreads were earth spirits or something like that, cause Nemi and me didn’t know what that was.

                Hermione led us down into a big dark cavern. It was a nice place, but I started to feel a little prickly going down in there, so I looked around and saw another lady, who had snaky hair and a drawn bow, even if she was pointing it at us or nothing. I tried to point her out to Mags, but it was rough on account of he can’t see in the dark. About the same time though, Ji-Woo asked Hermione about her. She said it was Kalypso, who didn’t like strangers being invited in all casual-like. I could see what she meant, but we’re super heroes and good guys, so it’s ok. I tried to talk to her a bit later, to tell her who I was and that I wasn’t scared of her or nothing, but she still doesn’t like me much. She likes Phaedra though, so she put down her bow after a bit. She did keep moving to take off her veil at us and turn us into stone, since she was a medusa lady.

                There was other ladies there too, a sylph Aoide, twin undines Anemone and Glykeria, and twin naiads Chloris and Iris. There were all pretty well fit themselves, with crazy hair colors. It weren’t even dyed or nothing, cause Iris’s kept changing every time I looked at it. They’d been down there about a thousand years, guarding the pools they were born in, that made them all magical. Except for Kalypso’s pool, that was already magical before she was born in it. They’d not been up in the world at all, other than Hermione, who could move through rocks and brought them back movies and stuff. We talked mostly in German and it made me feel a bit bad for Mags seeing as he couldn’t. Nemi translated mostly, but then everybody was talking at the same time and Mags just kinda sat back looking fierce. After a bit he went up to go check on the nazi ladies to make sure they’d be ready though.

                See, Nemi’d thought about it a bit and remembered that none of the giants we’d killed were really leader-y and there weren’t no communication type things we’d seen, so he figured that the big fires up top were set by somebody with fire powers, who could see through them. So we’re thinking that the big scary man with hairy hands is a fire giant and knows about us attacking and all, and’ll be here soonish so we’re getting all prepped while we talk to the ladies. Speaking of which, I probably oughta go help and all. I’ll write again to let you know how it all goes down. I’m sure we’ll all be fine, we’ve got a record to keep and everything.


                End Session II

                There will be more on these ladies in the near future. For now just see them through the lenses of the PCs.

                Nothing unusual in the bad guy monsters…Giants, Thralls and Fenrir right out of the book. As for the ladies they are an Oread, a couple Naiads, a couple Undines, a Sylph, and a Medusa-inspired monster. None are directly from the books. The Oread and Undines are not unlike the Nymph in Hero, but have their own stats…each has three epics (2 social 1 physical for the Nymphs, 1 per category of the Alchemical ones) and two Purviews. The Medusa is…special.

                Also, the segment where the Shrikes charge in on the PCs side shouting Nazi slogans was priceless, as everyone sort of sighed and noted they would have to talk to them about that.

                One more session left this story. Then we start the next one, which will be longer. In a week, you get Phaedra and Rajani’s backgrounds, then session 3, then probably a breakdown of the game mechanics of the mysterious ladies before we eventually get around to the new story and Saltmarsh Andy’s rambling background. Update in a week, but comments and questions welcome in the meantime.

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                • #9
                  It’s time for two more backgrounds. This time we are getting Phaedra and Rajani done. That should have everyone covered but Saltmarsh Andy.

                  Phaedra Volakis, Scion of Hermes, Dodekatheon

                  Phaedra Volakis was given up for adoption when she was three days old. Her mother was from the very small village of Feneos on the northwest border of Arcadia. While Phaedra’s birth mother cared for her she was a single woman in a small village and did not believe she would be able to give Phaedra the best life possible. She wrote a short letter explaining to Phaedra that she was special and deserved everything life could offer her, so her mother would give her up in order to make sure she received what she truly deserved. Phaedra was taken to Tripoli, the closest major city and left at a hospital. One of the doctors contacted Social Welfare and requested permission to adopt the abandoned infant. Though the adoption process was normally long and drawn out, the doctor’s request was granted within days. A charismatic young social worker visited him and conducted a thorough interview before declaring he would be a fit parent. Doctor Stefan Volakis was surprised to realize just how much he’d opened up to the social worker, but couldn’t help but be pleased by the outcome of the interview. Once he had the official adoption paperwork he took his new daughter home and began a new chapter in their lives.

                  Phaedra had a normal childhood until she was ten years old. At ten her class learned archery as part of their physical education lessons. For Phaedra holding a bow felt natural. Most of the students had a hard time with the small recurve bows, their arrows falling short of the targets more times than not. After the first misfire Phaedra adjusted her stance and pulled back the bowstring. Her small arms shook with the effort but she tensed her body until the shaking stopped and fired. It wasn’t a bullseye, and Phaedra knew she could do better. She reluctantly handed off the bow to the next student in line and waited impatiently for her next turn. When she took the bow once more she smiled and took a deep breath before taking her shot. This time she’d make it. She was certain of it and settled into her stance, ready for the shot. As she released her arrow she watched with calm certainty until the arrow hit the center of the target. A smile spread across her face and she accepted the cheers and congratulations of her classmates. She was the only student to hit the bullseye that day. When she went home that afternoon she shared her accomplishment with her father and asked for her own bow. As Phaedra rarely asked for anything, Stefan immediately agreed and contacted a sporting goods shop for the proper equipment as well as started looking for an instructor. Archery became Phaedra’s passion. She still did well in school, but it was obvious her focus was her bow. She began entering junior archery competitions at eleven and started rising through the ranks as an accomplished archer within six months. When she was fourteen her father chose to accept a position at a prestigious university hospital in America. In order to make the transition easier for Phaedra he made sure she would be able to continue her archery practice and secured a coach that would begin her training as soon as they arrived in the US.

                  America was unlike anything Phaedra was expecting. She was considered exotic because of her accent and she seemed to garner more attention than she wanted. She took to downplaying her appearance and keeping to herself in order to avoid some of the attention. The only place she truly wanted to be noticed was at the archery tournaments which her coach entered her.
                  Traditional archery tournaments were comfortable for her, but she found America offered more varied competitions. Field archery was a new way for Phaedra to challenge herself. She was out in the elements practicing as often as she could. Though it had no bearing on the competition itself, when she was practicing Phaedra often made a game of trying to move through the woods as quietly as possible as if she were a hunter tracking her prey. After watching her play during her practices her coach suggested she might enjoy bow hunting. He spoke to her father and received permission to take her on a day excursion the following weekend.

                  Phaedra was not a good hunter. Not at first. While she had a natural stealth about her, she had a hard time shooting her bow at a living creature. It took several excursions before she was comfortable enough to actually make a kill of her own. While she wasn’t exactly proud of her achievement, Phaedra took the wild turkey home to her father who carried on like she was a grand warrior. His reaction and her coach’s pride made Phaedra want to continue to hunt and she soon found she enjoyed longer hunting trips. She never minded when they came home empty handed for she learned a great deal about how to move through the forest and live off the land. Hunting became a secondary hobby to augment her competitive archery schedule.
                  2008 was a big year for Phaedra. Not only did she win her final Youth Championship, but she also graduated from high school. Her father wanted her to attend college. Though Phaedra had no idea what she wanted to do with her life other than continue with her archery, she did as he asked. She didn’t declare a major, but took her general courses, testing out of as many general classes as she could. She was able to skip three classes and focused on languages & communication as she knew how important it was to interact with others despite the language barriers.

                  When Phaedra received an invitation to the Archery World Cup in 2010 she was elated. As a member of the Helenic Archery Association in Greece, she was eligible to work towards qualifying for a slot at the 2012 Olympic games. It was a dream that she’d kept to herself, not even sharing it with her father until the invitation arrived. Participating in the World Cup would be the first step. Qualifying wouldn’t begin until the 2011 tournament season, but Phaedra knew she had to step up her training. As she saw her dream close to becoming a reality, she knew that she would need to be at the top of her game. Since the inception of the modern Olympic games no Greek had won a place in archery. Phaedra was determined to be the first.
                  Her hard work paid off and with the help of her father, her coach, and her sponsors, Phaedra made it to London for the 2012 games. The games were amazing and everything Phaedra dreamed about. Walking in the parade of nations, as part of the first nation to walk into Olympic stadium, was surreal and Phaedra could hardly believe it. She made it. She was an Olympic athlete and if the gods smiled on her and her hard work before the end of the games she would be an Olympic champion.

                  Two months after the Olympic games, Phaedra was speaking to a group of young women in Athens. She spoke about her desire to reach her goals. She tried to relate her success to her drive and convince the women they had that same drive. They could be everything they wanted to be and do everything they wanted to do if they only worked hard and made the necessary sacrifices. A couple of the women seemed inspired, but many did not accept the message with the enthusiasm Phaedra expected. It was the third audience she'd had with similar results and that only led her to believe she needed to tighten her speech, work on her delivery. The message was important and all young people deserved to hear it. After speaking with her recently hired agent to get more speaking engagements set up before the next round of archery tournaments, she started to leave the venue when a couple approached her.
                  He was older, but not as old as her father. He had a charismatic smile and Phaedra felt comfortable with him instantly. The woman was tall and well muscled but youthful. She had a vibrancy to her that Phaedra envied.

                  The man greeted her as a long lost friend, but Phaedra had no idea who he was. She was as polite as she could be, but his familiar address made her slightly uncomfortable. The woman suggested they visit the cafeneio across the street from the venue and enjoy a coffee while they became acquainted. At first Phaedra was hesitant, but something about the woman put her at ease and she agreed.

                  Once they had their coffee Phaedra noticed the sounds of the busy cafeneio faded. The woman smiled and she once more put Phaedra at ease before explaining they had things to discuss that should not be overheard by the masses. The woman introduced herself as Nike and the man as Hermes. Phaedra was ready to leave in that moment as she was certain her companions were lunatics. Yet when she stood, the man gently touched her arm and asked her to sit back down. Before she realized it, Phaedra did exactly as he asked.

                  Without giving her the chance to protest or attempt to leave he explained that he was her birth father and he'd watched her for many years as she grew up with her adopted father Stefan Volakis. Though Volakis had never married, Hermes was quite pleased with the way he'd raised his daughter and wanted her to know how proud he was of her. Nike readily agreed and praised her historic win at the Olympics. She placed a golden bow on the table after plucking it out of thin air. She then set a pair of gladiator styled sandals on the table as well. Hermes explained that the two items were gifts. The bow from Nike and the sandals from him for her achievement at the Summer Games.

                  Unsurprisingly, Phaedra's attention was drawn to the bow and she reached out to inspect it. Before she put her hand on it, Hermes caught her wrist in a firm yet gentle grip. He told her that if she accepted the gifts she would be accepting her birthright. A heritage that few on Earth could ever understand and she would have a purpose beyond any that she'd every dreamed. Accepting their gifts would bring danger into her life as well as a family that spanned the globe. Gifts can be wondrous things, but even items offered with love and admiration come with a price. Was she willing to accept all their gifts entailed?

                  Phaedra thought about it for a few minutes, probably not nearly long enough for such an important decision before she nodded and laid her hand on the bow. She felt as if the sun rose inside her warming every inch of her body and illuminating her senses in ways she never before imagined. It felt as if her potential had expanded and she was infused with energy like never before.

                  As she looked at Hermes she believed what he said. More than her desire to prove she could be an amazing archer and bring a sense of pride in her sport to her homeland, more than her need to show others they could be great if they only tried, now her purpose was so much bigger than anything she could possibly imagine. She couldn't wait to get started.

                  Rajani Gupta, Scion of Kali, Deva

                  I’m Rajani. Just Rajani. I no longer keep my family name. It is no longer my family, anyway. They are all gone. My other family, however, is alive and well. You see, I was named for my mum. Rajani is one of the names Kali is known as. Yes, my mother is one of the Devas. Of course, I didn’t know that until just recently. Before that, I was just Rajani, the most excellent tattoo artist in all of Dehli.

                  Yes, that is my job. I design tattoos and then use needle and ink to carve them into people’s bodies. My star has risen quickly. My designs are brilliant and colorful. And, I am a testament to my work, since I have so many tattoos of my own. (this picture was taken previously) My hands and up my wrists are permanent henna tattoos. The ones on my right arm become a fearsome Eastern dragon. The ones on my left arm become a beautiful serpent. Both travel up my arms and their heads are over my shoulders. On my back is a representation of Kali that a dear friend did. It is the exact likeness of the statuette my father had in his shrine. I have it now, the entire shrine. My father and mother were killed during one of the political uprisings. And having the tattoo done was the first thing I did after their deaths. I didn’t know Kali was my mum at that point. I just thought I’d honor my da’s religious choice… and mine. Kali’s all I’ve ever known, really.

                  I have other tattoos, all over my body. I like them. My friends are very good artists as well. We have a rather thriving business. Or did. That was until the Rakshasas attacked. They were after me, it seems. The only thing they did was PISS ME OFF. They destroyed my business! I don’t really remember much about it, but according to my friends, I picked up a handful of needles and proceeded to carve into these human-looking things. Only they weren’t human. They only looked human. For some reason, I could see them as they truly were. I was able to get everyone out of the shop and confine the Rakshasas inside as I took care of that business. Two got away, but I was able to take down two others. Of course this wasn’t until they’d destroyed nearly all of my equipment. Boy, was I pissed.

                  After the cops got there and I gave my statement, passing them off as jealous rivals, my wonderful friends told me to go rest and they’d clean up. I was quite exhausted, to say the least. I went up to my apartment above the shop and collapsed on my bed. Sometime, my back began to itch. I felt like my back was tearing open, which it sort of was. I woke up to see Kali standing before me. She’s rather fearsome to behold, unless you went through what I had. My first question as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes was, “What the hell are you doing here?”

                  She explained that I was her daughter and that I had performed admirably. She was so impressed that she decided to fully awaken me. I really had no idea what she meant, since I was still half asleep. She told me to go find a fellow Deva Hero, Karuka Chatterjee, and join her band to help the Western gods to protect the world from the Danavas and the others like them, the dark ones wanting to rule. I would be replacing my sister, Devi. I basically said I’d do whatever just so I could go back to sleep. The pain in my back disappeared. When I awoke, I found a photo of Karuka and her information, along with a new jewel for my forehead, one blood red in color. I suppose I must track down Ms. Chatterjee. I wonder where this will take me.


                  Rajani is a character originally used in a couple one shots, so Karuka was another PC from said one shots. This sort of assumes those have already happened (hence her knowing Saltmarsh Andy session 1). Saltmarsh Andy has a similar case.

                  Next week will be the journals from Session 3. So far I have them from Zane, Rajani, and Ji-Woo. Expecting Nemi. Session 3 finishes Tomorrow Belongs to Me, so we can move on to We Only Come Out at Night. I will see you then, or sooner if you have comments or questions.

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                  • #10
                    OK, time to finish up the first story. Only three sessions, but it serves its purposes of getting the group together and introducing the pools. Let’s see how they handle the finale.

                    As a note, some journals (Ji-Woo, Nemi) have some downtime events not actually in play. Those were discussed somewhat, however.

                    Session III

                    Tomorrow Belongs to Me Part III

                    Ji-Woo’s visions

                    The giants came, and we defeated them, protecting the mystic pools and their lovely guardians. We knew the giants would come. They could not leave such an investment of time and effort in our hands, so it was really a matter of waiting. Fortunately, that gave me the opportunity to get to know the sisters a bit better. Some of them, anyway. Iris and I hit it off immediately, since we share a love of fine art, so she gave be a tour of the caverns before we gathered in the posh central chamber to chat and sip absinthe. Chloris, Iris, Glykeria and Aoide joined me, though Glykeria refused to drink, more’s the pity. I have yet to hear any of her poetry, but I’m certain she would enjoy the new insights awakened by the green fairy.

                    Did you know that Zane has very striking eyes? Clear and piercing, they would sparkle with the gleam of her cunning were it not for the shadows cast upon them by her cap. Also, her relic thermos is very useful for preparing absinthe.

                    Kalypso remained below to keep an eye on me. She doesn’t like me, but I don’t mind. Hermione and Anemone went above to help the others with something. They were arranging defenses of some sort, but I failed to see how it would make much of a difference. Practically, that is. It probably did make a difference spiritually, emboldening their morale and confidence, so I would hardly call it a waste of time. And it left me free to enjoy the company of my new friends.

                    Aoide kept wandering above as well, drawn by her kinship to the wide open sky. I sense that she and I are quite alike. We are both enamored of the freedom of the wind and sky, and easily distracted by the multitude of wondrous impressions of the world that constantly surround us. Though unlike me, she floats upside down when she is enjoying the effects of the absinthe.

                    Chloris disappeared with Magnus eventually, luring him to her room with a sultry look and a sway of her hips. I’m certain they had a wonderful time. I know I did after Iris and I started making out and she led me back to her chamber. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s nothing quite like making love to a nymph. We explored each other with kisses and caresses, surrounded by her elegant paintings, which seemed to glow in the soft candlelight that filled her chamber. Oh, it was delightful. It’s probably been over a year since I’ve been with another woman, and honestly, my last few boyfriends haven’t really been all that great in bed.

                    Afterward, she sketched me as I lay on her bed. I enjoyed watching the play of candlelight and shadow on her lithe, shapely form and smiled softly as I noticed that her rainbow-streaked hair had shifted to a fresh palette of colors during our lovemaking. I studied the way the tiny flames reflected in her deep, dark eyes. I must paint her. And Aoide too, who has the same dark, enchanting eyes.

                    As she was sketching me, Phaedra shouted into the caverns that the giants were on their way, so I rose, dressed, kissed Iris and told her to stay safe, and flew out of the caverns on my ink-painted wings, soaring high into the sky so that I could see our approaching foes.

                    The giants and their thralls attacked in force, accompanied by two ferocious coal hounds, massive, snarling beasts that burned with intense heat. Magnus, Phaedra and Rajani faced the giants directly, while Magnus’ pet shrikes dealt with the thralls. I’m referring, of course, to the Nazi women who attacked me at the theater, and were released as a distraction by the cruel man. Naturally, Magnus has taken control of them since they serve the Aesir, so now he has his own squad of loyal troops. He is trying to rehabilitate them. No one likes Nazis.

                    Zane and I took care of the coal hounds. They were quite ferocious, but Zane was able to dodge and weave enough to confuse them while I shot them from a safe distance above. I grew worried about Zane, though, and eventually landed to help draw some of their attacks from her, which turned out to be a terrible idea. Not only were the beasts surrounded by a burning aura that would have burned me badly had Zane not blessed me with the pure waters of her thermos before the battle, but one of my bullets also ricocheted off one’s thick hide and nearly destroyed the sunglasses perched atop my head. I like these sunglasses.

                    Anyway, the giant’s reinforcements nearly plowed into the gate with a van filled with C4, and as the rest of us finished off the giants, Nemi rushed to make sure the explosives weren’t rigged to explode, and discovered to our sincere delight that they were not. It would have been horrible if the caverns had been damaged or any of the sisters hurt!

                    The cruel man was not among our enemies. His name is Andre Jotunson, and he is the corporate big shot behind all of this. He won’t give up, so we need to protect the sisters awhile longer. In fact, the omens foretold that we would be protecting this place for a long time, to some degree at least. Now that we have resolved the immediate crisis, I need to consult the I Ching again. It seems clear to me now that I must sacrifice some of my freedom for the sake of the sisters, but I’m curious exactly what will become of me and my newfound companions now that our fates are tangled up with that of the wellspring.

                    But more urgent matters demand my attention. I’m taking Aoide, Hermione, Iris and Chloris to Weekend tonight. I’ve already foreseen that the weather will be clear and comfortable, which is important because the club has a fantastic rooftop chill trance lounge, open to the sky with a gorgeous view of Berlin at night. It’s spacious and inviting, surrounding you with music and light so that you lose track of everything but the beauty of the moment. I’m sure that Aoide will adore it, but Iris felt slighted when I invited Aoide with promises of musical entrancement. I truthfully explained that I had assumed she would join me as well, and that seemed to quiet her jealousy, but she is being quite cold toward Aoide right now.

                    Chloris and Hermione wish to come as well. I suspect that Chloris will find a few willing partners, but I’m intrigued by Hermione’s desire to join us. She seems so serious, and yet there’s something else beneath her clear, even gaze and stony visage.. She is also a curious soul.

                    * * * * *

                    The sisters enjoyed the club immensely. Weekend is one of my favorites, though only the rooftop lounge. The first floor lounge isn’t bad either, but the dance floor and bar is not really big enough and feels too crowded and close for me. My claustrophobia always gets the best of me there, so I prefer the roof, which is stylish and beautiful and open the endless sky.

                    Aoide loved the roof as well. The gentle nighttime breeze mingled with the chill trance music and the absinthe to create an almost perfect moment lit by the mirror images of Berlin’s lights and the starry sky. She understands the power of the open air like no one I’ve ever met, and she turned more than a few heads by floating off the ground as she enjoyed the ambiance.

                    Iris stayed close to me the whole time. I had a lot of fun watching her experience it all, and we both enjoyed sipping absinthe and talking about the lights and colors and people we saw. We went below to dance a bit as well, and I think she wanted to stay and dance more, but I couldn’t stay there long due—not enough space to breath. Aoide seemed quite pleased when I decided to return to the rooftop.

                    Hermione and Chloris were also there. I lost track of Chloris for most of the night, since she preferred to stay on the dance floor, but Hermione wandered around quite a bit, always returning before too long to me and Iris on the roof. I don’t know if Hermione has been to clubs before, but she seemed a natural.

                    Good club, good friends, good absinthe. It was a good night.

                    * * * * *

                    Berlin - Wei Ji (Not-Yet-Fording) transforming into Guan (Viewing)

                    Magnus let me have his posh hotel rooms when he moved into the bunker with his shrikes, but the lavish rooms were boring without company, so I’m staying with Iris in the mystical caverns. I haven’t seen much of the other scions, aside form Zane. Phaedra, Nemi, Rajani and Andy all seem to have scattered throughout Berlin like balloons from the hand of a careless child. Actually, Andy has been by a few times and says that he’s looking after Caoimhe for the time being. I should go back to the theater myself. I did consult the mysteries of the I Ching to find out where Sigfreid and Seiger are, but the omens were inconclusive, meaning that their whereabouts have been obscured by the fog of magic.

                    Since I was consulting the mysteries anyway, I also asked about the sisters’ mother. I suspected that her identity would not reveal itself so easily, and I was right. It is a mystery bound up in centuries-old shadows and wisps of fate, and unraveling it will require more than a little absinthe and fortune-telling.

                    The omens of my current situation are also teasing me a bit, but the I Ching is clear that I am on the threshold of an important change and that for now, I should prepare for it with foresight and prudence. I’m facing a personal trial, and I think the growing ties between me, the other scions, and the sisters who guard the pools is the root of it. I feel that I’m being forced to accept greater responsibility at the cost of my freedom, which is the sacrifice foretold by earlier omens. The portent makes me anxious. I feel smothered by the potential loss of even just a portion of my personal freedom, but the transforming lines of the hexagrams also suggest that the situation can help me overcome dissatisfaction with my past and finally obtain a sense of purpose. I’ve been directionless for so long, idly waiting for some sort of sign to motivate me toward fulfilling my divine legacy. I suppose it was foolish to assume that I would not have to sacrifice anything to gain such direction.

                    I enjoy living with the sisters and getting to know them better. Iris and I are becoming closer, and though I would still define our relationship as “friends with benefits,” we have managed to find a degree of intimacy through our art that transcends the merely physical. We’ve both sketched each other quite a lot. Iris was deeply affected by the first sketches I made of her because although she has made countless sketches and paintings of others, no one has ever sketched her before. The mystical power of her pool is inspiring, and my creativity is surging in ways it hasn’t in months.

                    Aoide and I are also becoming close friends. It’s simply very easy for us to get along, and words aren’t always necessary. Sometimes just sitting around and listening—to music, or the wind, or the sounds of life in Berlin from atop a skyscraper—is all we need. She seems distracted and flighty, but underneath it all her mind is keen and perceptive. Watching her has given me new insights into how others must see me. I still don’t understand why Phaedra’s always so frustrated with me, though. You’d think it would be liberating to be with someone who just goes with the flow and lets things happen.

                    Unfortunately, Aoide and Iris remain cold to each other, jealous over my friendship. I’m a bit distressed about it, since I’d prefer they just get along, but I can’t really control what they are feeling, so I won’t even try. Iris is feeling possessive because we’re sleeping together and fears her sister might steal me from her, but so far, Aoide and I are just friends. Of course, the potential for something more is there, and maybe Iris senses that. I’m just content to be friends and let things develop as they will.

                    Chloris is catty and fun, and Anemone has little time for me now that she has a whole new world of machines to play with. I sometimes wish that Glykeria were not so shy, for I’d truly like to hear some of her poetry. But then I remind myself that her shyness is inexpressibly charming, and I wouldn’t change a thing about her for fear of harming such fragile yet perfect beauty.

                    Kalypso hates me, and her courteous civility does little to disguise her belief that I am an idiot who came along and disrupted her sisters’ otherwise perfect lives. She blames me for driving a wedge of jealousy between Iris and Aoide, and for weakening the sisters’ de facto leader by attracting Hermione’s grudging curiosity. At least we agree that even if I am to blame for upsetting the perfect balance of their sisterhood, I’m not doing it on purpose. It would be foolish to assume that the sisters wouldn’t change upon exposure to the wide, open world.

                    Hermione is an interesting one. She and I have become good friends over the past days, but it is obvious that she is not comfortable with how strongly she is drawn to me. We are opposites in many ways, but that just feeds our friendship like yin and yang. Mostly I want her to experience the world in new ways now that she is free from being her sisters’ only connection to the outside. We also share an interest in sculpture; I only wish I could carve stone as easily as she shapes it, but I’ll stick to clay. Or cloth. Or light. Or installation art. Really, I’ll work with whatever strikes my fancy.

                    Honestly, part of the reason I feel so comfortable here is because this place is basically a self-contained artist colony. I feel privileged to be welcome into a bohemian enclave like this with such open arms.

                    Zane is here as well. She didn’t have anywhere else to stay once the hotel rooms ran out, so she has been hanging out with us and adding her bold and clever storytelling to our little artist colony. I’m glad she’s here; It’s probably not good for me to be the only outsider hanging out with the sisters so soon after they’ve emerged into the wider world. I’m not exactly a good influence, but then again, neither is Zane. Still, we’ll make do.

                    I bought absinthe glasses, spoons and sugar cubes for Iris, Aoide and Hermione so we wouldn’t all have to keep sharing mine. Hermione doesn’t really partake often, and mostly does so as an excuse to hang out with me, but Aoide and Iris seem to like it. It’s so cute how Aoide floats around when she’s had absinthe, and Iris becomes pleasantly languid, letting the sensation flow around her as though she were floating under water. She likes us to lie softly in each others’ arms when she’s like that, and the sweet and endearing closeness is very peaceful.

                    * * * * *

                    I was hanging out with Iris and my fortune-telling came up, so I explained what the I Ching is. The mystery of it excited Iris’ curiosity, and she insisted that I do a reading for her. This quickly drew the attention of the other sisters, and Aoide and Hermione asked for readings as well. So I consulted the I Ching for them, asking for advice on how each should approach their exposure to the modern world and to new friends such as myself.

                    Iris - Jin (Prospering) transforming into Pi (Obstruction)

                    The I Ching counsels Iris to thrive in the sunlight of the world outside the caverns. As she opens herself to the outside world she, should let it inspire her creativity and should show off her talents. Given how much she and I have inspired each other this week, she has certainly been living in accordance with the Tao, but as the situation develops, the I Ching warns that she will encounter obstacles, hindrances, and interruptions. When she does, she must accept them and continue on without allowing them to disrupt the greater flow of her life. Iris was excited to have her artistic passions encouraged, but she’s worried about the future obstacles she might face. I tried to comfort her by reminding her that the I Ching is honest, so it doesn’t always give good news, but as long as she follows its advice, she’ll be okay. I can’t say what kind of problems she’ll face as she continues to express her creativity, but sadly the world is often unforgiving to brilliant artists.

                    Aoide - Ming Yi (Brightness-Hiding) transforming into Zhun (Sprouting)

                    Aoide’s omens advise her to do the opposite of Iris. Now is not the time for her to show off her talents. Instead, she should quietly watch, learn, and gather her energy and inspiration, keeping her talents hidden for now so that she can reveal her true potential when the time is right. If she is patient and steady, then when her light does shine, it will shine brighter than it would if she reveals it now, and she will gain what she desires. Aoide was quite content with her fortune. Like me, she’s happy to go with the flow, so waiting and letting her talents quietly grow seems natural for her.

                    Hermione - Jian (Limping) transforming into Sheng (Ascending)

                    Hermione faces a difficult challenge because right now the changes she is experiencing are leaving her weak, confused, and hindered. The omens indicated leadership, indicating that part of her challenge comes from difficulties associated with her role among her sisters, but the transforming yin and yang of the hexagram also suggest that she should not be bound by the prior precedents of her personality. If she sets her sights on her higher goal and works toward it step by step, then she will achieve it and enjoy the fruits of her labors. The omens also hinted at companionship. Hermione accepted all of that with her quiet stoicism, but she perked up when I got to the last bit about working toward her higher goal and companionship. She must be lonely and looking for a love.

                    Rajani’s Journal

                    I’m not really sure what happened after the fight at the theater. There was something about going back to a hotel with the others and whatnot. Magnus was having a party. I’m pretty sure I participated in something. Of course, I spent most of the time watching Magnus.

                    The next morning Andy said we needed to go help some… well, I think they’re all Greek. I’m still trying to learn about all of the different pantheons. They live in these pools. Supposedly they are all born of a goddess. I really don’t know. I can’t understand them. I can’t really understand anyone. This is very frustrating.

                    There are giants coming. Fire giants. They work for the Aesir Asuras. Titans. Sorry, still trying to get used to the words. Everything is so different. So I do what I can to help fortify the area, helping Phaedra in placing machinery to be used as barricades. Ji-Woo has been talking to one of the girls we’re protecting and I saw Magnus go off with one of them, too. Oh well, I suppose that is now a lost cause for me. That doesn’t mean that I won’t get him into my bed at some point. It just means I know nothing will come of it. I wish I didn’t like musicians so much. It’s quite embarrassing. I believe I must have fangirled a little too much over Magnus when we first met. Everyone’s been watching me. I will not let that happen again. I must concentrate now on stopping the Asuras. Titans. What the fuck ever.

                    So after several hours, the giants show up with some Thralls like we fought at the theater and some dog creatures that are deep black and emanate heat like the giants. I think someone called them coal hounds. I decided that I should go after the Thralls first because 1) they are easier for me to hit and possibly kill in one swing and 2) they were in the back with flame throwers. I don’t think any of us would like to be hit by flame throwers. At least not yet. Perhaps when we are stronger it won’t hurt so bad.

                    I become the Eye of the Storm and pass through the battlefield unhurt. When I arrive behind the Thralls, there is a large explosion and the Thralls are suddenly dead. Goddamn Nazi Bitches and their fucking grenades. Well fuck. There goes my brilliant plan. Now I have to worry about being burned by those giants.

                    So, I walk over to the giants that aren’t already engaged with anyone, and thanks to Andy’s little power boost, I take rather deep cuts out of them both. That gets my blood going. I can almost see my mother smiling as I take down one of the giants then the other. She would be proud, I know. She loves battle.

                    More appear as we are finishing off the last giants and the hounds. This time I am able to take out a few of the Thralls. I caught Magnus out of the corner of my eye fighting. He was methodical with the giants, slashing with his axe. Honestly, it was fucking hot. He’s very adept at killing. I think Mother would approve.

                    We continue fighting until we have just one giant left. I turn to attack him and look up to see Magnus opposite me and we swing our weapons at the same time, blood splattering both of us. Holy shit, I see why Mother loves battle.

                    The battle is over. We’ve stopped the Titans from destroying the pools. We have a van full of C4 and know we have stopped something terrible from happening. Unfortunately, we have not done anything to the giant who ordered this attack. Hopefully someone can find him at some point and stop him. It was nice working with these other Scions. Perhaps one day we will work together again.

                    Nemi’s Discussions

                    My exploration of the various pools led me to discuss electronics with Anemone. The Ondine was more knowledgeable than many college students, though she lacked practical experience. There were, eventually, discussions of security in the main cavern. I admit I was hard pressed to end my intriguing conversation. Anemone’s naturally pink ringlets framed her adorable face while her striking sea green eyes sparkled as she learned about recent technological innovations. Far more time passed than I expected while delighting the young nymph with tales of new tech.

                    When Jiwoo started luring several of the girls into what amounted to an Absinthe Party, my focus on Anemone faltered and I realized that the others were planning defenses against a coming attack. Moving out to help coordinate, it was mentioned that we would need to move some of the heavy equipment. Anemone become unbelievably excited and rushed to the surface. After some coaxing, I convinced her to move the dump truck and several over earth movers into strategic positions based on Phaedra and Hermione’s vision. With Phaedra’s help, I flipped the dump box to serve as a massive barricade. Knowing we were not expecting simple mortals, I placed my Aegis upon the dump box, hardening it beyond the normal capacity of the heavy duty steel. At my rather silly suggestion, the Shrikes gathered the fallen and arranged the bodies into a skull and crossbones image before the dump box. The horrific women moved with disturbing efficiency and possessed a skill in handling bodies that was inexplicable. Once the preparations were complete, we had but only to wait.

                    Magnus and Jiwoo returned to the wellspring caverns. The Shrikes marched the scaffolding as if patrolling battlements. We all moved back down to either relax or prepare. After a few hours, Milla came down to report vehicles coming from town through the swamp. I looked around when Milla asked about her commander to realize Magnus had still not returned to the central chamber. There were several possibilities as to his location, and none of them would end particularly well were I to rush off calling for him. Andy saved me the trouble when he bellowed INCOMING from above and continued with something about people that don’t bathe enough headed this way. That stirred the revellers and Jiwoo emerged from Iris’ cavern. Her rather mussed look told its own tale. Magnus similarly rejoined our group from Chloris’ cavern. Rajani looked somewhat dejected but remained silent.

                    We began our preparations with Magnus using Chloris’ pool to provide his Jotunblut. As mentioned to us in the tour, Chloris’ pool aided with medical knowledge and procedure. That we drank from it granted us both the Jotunblut as well as the mentioned assistance with medical knowledge. This aided me directly as I jumped around and bolstered Magnus, Zane, Phaedra, and Rajani. Zane handled Andy and Jiwoo this time as we were both nearly tapped out of power. In truth, boosting everyone the way I did completely drained my reserves.

                    When the giants arrived, Phaedra opened our conflict with a rather moving oration ending in the irrefutable order that they leave this place. As we expected, they did not relent so she nailed the lead giant with one of her light arrows. Milla shouted out inspiringly about how we were all Warriors of the Fatherland before the Shrikes charged into battle. Most of us were given pause at this. Rajani did something I couldn’t completely understand, though I recognized that something changed. Milla then hurled a grenade into a group of thralls carrying flamethrowers. While Milla has no concept of social form, her grasp of WWII military technology is excellent. All the thralls were killed as the Shrikes scrambled to find new targets. Zane charged into confuse and hinder the coal hounds. Magnus had actually began quietly chanting a section of the Eddas while Phaedra fired the opening shot. By this point, he was badly reciting the epic poem of the Fall of Surtr. Without changing his cadence but growing louder, Magnus grabbed a giant, head butted him, then slammed his frozen axe down. Phaedra fired another shot into the column of giants before back flipping behind our barricades. The giant Magnus attacked returned the favor, though Magnus didn’t seem to notice. Rajani sped into action, suddenly erupting into a dervish of blades. She sliced two of the giants deeply before she came to some attempt at rest. Zane still had her hands full ducking both coal hounds. I jumped in to distract and annoy the smoldering dogs so Zane had a better chance of keeping them at bay. I missed though I felt the heat of their flame aura. Fortunately, it wasn’t hot enough to burn. Jiwoo surprised one of the coal hounds and me with a hail of bullets that neither of us expected. That got its attention however as it took severe wounds. Phaedra oddly had what seemed like a very irreverent prayer as she aimed, then fired into the next giant in her visual range. Zane felt she had harried the coal hounds for long enough as she began bouncing around on top of the giants, boxing their ears, and generally being a helpful nuisance. Screaming his recitation now, Magnus brought his axe down over and over as if chopping down a tree until the giant was no more. Andy is a trickster or a lunatic, but his results are impressive. He apparently cursed one of the coal hounds with a ridiculous scolding (Bad biscuit, no dog). Rajani turned her full attention to one of the two giants she attacked before and slashed him to death with the skill of a master swordswoman. The coal hound not following Jiwoo was still trying to grab Zane. Taking matters into my own hands, I kicked the hound until it turned to me. When it looked my way, I greeted it with a jumping haymaker to the skull. Unfortunately the beast merely shook its head for a moment but was otherwise unharmed. I couldn’t get too disappointed as Jiwoo fired down from her lofty vantage only to ricochet her own bullets just past her head. The coal hound was unharmed, though it was eager to rip the seer out of the sky. Phaedra rapidly drew back her bow and fired again and again until the giant in her sights was finished. Gun fire from a new angle drew my attention as Milla fired her antique machine gun and managed to injure the last giant standing. Magnus raised his axe high above and shattered it into the giant, sending shards of ice into the giant’s wounds. This proved too much and the giant collapsed under the force and damage. Zane jumped back over and punched the last coal hound before bouncing up and away again. Her distraction left the hound open to Rajani’s blades, but it somehow kept going.

                    While it didn’t interrupt our movements, we were aware of a third vehicle arriving as Andy sang a song of Phaedra as though she were Robin Hood. Several more thralls, another giant like the ones we had just killed, and a larger giant unloaded from the truck. The thralls carried either fire axes or flamethrowers so I was a little concerned this time. Choosing wisely, I insulted a thrall wielding an axe while Jiwoo just fluttered away from the jaws of the coal hound. Her return fire bit deeply into the rocky hide of the hound. Zane ...I think Zane was hiding behind Magnus like a meat shield as she seemed to be swinging at targets around the musician. This didn’t last as Jiwoo called out that the Cruel Man had arrived. She had mentioned a cruel man with large, hairy hands being in her visions, but it was almost always after having absinthe so I wasn’t sure if it was a common hallucination for her. With a target labelled, Magnus bellowed like a mad bull and charged the Cruel Man. Phaedra picked out the other giant and loosed her shafts of light. Milla apparently reloaded as she wiped out a fair number of thralls with her machine gun. Rajani had already waded into the melee by this point and chopped one of the thralls in half. Guaranteeing a fight to the death, Magnus slapped the Cruel Man with the flat of his blade, then dared the general to come at him. Still depleted from our last fight, I knew there was only one way for me to recharge and Zane’s boost would save me if I had any luck at all. Turning to one of the axe wielding thralls, I delivered a precise soccer kick to the groin. While I doubted the thrall would enjoy it, I had little hope I would do more than anger the man. In this, I was correct as the enraged thrall brought his axe crashing down upon me. Due only to my divine heritage, I managed to sustain only the most minor of cuts. That however was all I needed to regain a portion of my energy. Before I could attempt anything more useful, Rajani whirled her blades once again leaving the thrall cut from shoulder to hip. As the man fell in half, she danced away. With all the lesser combatants down, it was now single combat between Jiwoo and her coal hound adversary, the final giant facing Phaedra, and finally Magnus and the Cruel Man.

                    Magnus and the Cruel Man charged each other, surrounded by the fallen giants and thralls which littered our arena of death. Their axes clashed, ice on fire though neither gave ground. But the Cruel Man underestimated Magnus, which is always a mistake. The musician took an elbow to the head which seemed to send him reeling. The Cruel Man advanced to press his advantage only to learn that Magnus merely needed momentum. The frozen blade swept down with all the force Magnus could bring to bear in a full chop. The Cruel Man tried to parry but his flaming axe handle shattered under the force, leaving him open to the cleaving blade. Magnus’ blade crashed into the ground between the Cruel Man’s feet, followed by both halves of the Cruel Man. The giant facing Phaedra was a fool. He smiled as the archer notched another shaft of light. Thinking himself stronger and faster, the giant tried to rush Phaedra only to learn what a crucifixion was like. The final arrow pierced the giant’s skull as he fell at the archer’s feet. The coal hound had seemed to wear Jiwoo down, almost snapping her ethereal wings as she tried to evade. But as the final giant and the Cruel Man fell, the spun with both pistols firing just as the coal hound lept for her. The bizarre titanspawn crumbled to charcoal with a yelp.

                    Cheers went up from all around, including the nymphs peeking from their caverns. But before I could celebrate, I remembered the large truck with only a few passengers. Running to the vehicle, my suspicions were confirmed. The truck was loaded with what I deduced to be C4. Thankfully, it was not rigged to explode. However, the equipment for doing so was all in the truck as well. I also found a note from Andre Jotunson instructing his minions to destroy the area. Sadly that means that the Cruel Man was not the head of this offensive. On the upside, Anemone and I will get to learn how these explosives work. Now I think we are about to have a real party.


                    Downtime 1

                    Nemi was not inexperienced when it came to enjoying the finer things in life. He and Zane remained in the hotel suites provided by Lucas Carroll until the lease expired. Much of his time after the battle Wednesday night became focused on teaching and exposing Anemone to many of the technological wonders of the modern day.

                    The Atzlánti met his pink haired companion Thursday to visit the Classic Remise Berlin. The sheer number and selection of cars from classic to current thrilled the Ondine. The two spent most of the day together discussing as much about the science of automobiles as Nemi could relate. It was clear that he could learn a fair amount from her in that particular field. As evening wore on, conversation also expanded into the possible future of green power to assist in artificial limbs such as those Nemi designed.

                    Friday, the two rented a car and drove the 20 minutes from Berlin to the A10. Neither had ever driven the Bundesautobahn before and Anemone thrilled at the speeds they could go. Nemi drove on the way back and had to admit the advisory speed of 130 km/h did seem like a minimum. He went much faster as a result.

                    Nemi and Zane checked out on Saturday and tried to avoid any looks from the housekeepers attempting to salvage what was left of Magnus’ suite. Nemi offered to help Zane look for a new place to stay, but the thief assured him she had it covered. As they parted company, Nemi wondered just where she could crash. He stopped in a local coffee shop to get online and booked a room for himself for the next two weeks. He thought there might be a possibility of making advances in micro-hydropower plants given his new associate, but was unsure of how she might take such a suggestion.

                    The start of the new week found Nemi sleeping in before spotting Phaedra on the streets of Berlin. They made small talk while the crowds passed but tried to get caught up on other issues when others would not overhear. Nemi was still somewhat confused as to why Phaedra and Kalypso got along so well until he mentioned spending time with Anemone. The Dodekatheon wondered if Nemi was training her or at the very least keeping her from being too reckless in her explorations. Nemi wisely left out the trip to the Autobahn. It was clear that both Phaedra and Kalypso were concerned with protecting those that could not protect themselves.

                    Zane’s Letters

                    Dad –

                    We totally kicked the shit out of the giant blokes. First though, we spent a few hours prepping and such. We thought some about fighting them down in the caves, but we decided against that since there weren’t any defenses down there. They were really just safe being all hidden and stuff. Gonna have to keep an eye on them while I’m around, seeing as we don’t wanna seal them off or nothing again.

                    Hermione and Kalypso helped with the planning. I managed to convince Kalypso to stay back in the caves and guard against any of the wankers sneaking past us. I think Hermione appreciated it, she seemed a bit worried about her joining in the fighting. Hermione stayed back with her, on account of she could tell if anyone got down there, even if they were being all quiet-like. The other girls’d know if they got all the way to the pools, but seeing as that’s where they were hiding, we were hoping to catch them before all that.

                    So we went on upstairs, Phaedra, Mags, Andy, Rajani and me. Nemi came up later, with Anemone, who wanted to play with the machines. They got them drove into place for barriers, and Nemi made the dumptruck all hardened so it couldn’t just be run into like we did their gate. Aoide was drifting about all floaty, looking over stuff, at least until Ji-Woo came up and got her back down for some absinthe. Ji-Woo was confusing at first, she started out saying all sorts of nice things about my eyes, like she was chatting me up or something, then she asked for my canteen, so it made more sense.

                    Ji-Woo, Andy and Magnus headed off downstairs for a bit while we finished up the barriers. Ji-Woo was having her absinthe, I guess, since that’s usually what she needs my canteen for. Andy was telling the girls about how we got there and making it sound bloody awesome from what bits I could hear. The nazi ladies were looking around some for Mags, but talked to Phaedra since he was off snogging with one of the nymphs. She had them help Nemi out making a pirate skull out of the other giants on the well tough dump truck then keeping a eye out for the cruel man and his giants.

                    A bit later and they reported back that a truck was riding up from the city. Andy had come back up after telling the story, and called down to Ji-Woo and Magnus, who were sleeping it off after their snogging. Ji-Woo flew up out and handed me back my canteen so’s I could buff a few folks before we started in on the row. Nemi got everybody else, bouncing around again. He didn’t kiss me this time. We all had to go back downstairs for a little bit though, cause the pools helped Mags give us all his blood easier.

                    They stopped their truck outside the walls, and piled out. There were 4 giants, 4 thralls and 2 big dogs. The giants and the dogs were really hot, so that it was uncomfortable to be nearby. Phaedra started it off by shouting at the giants that they should bugger off cause this was our place now, then shooting them. Then the nazi lady threw a grenade at the thralls, which exploded with their flamethrowers and wiped them all out.

                    Magnus started out the fight saying something like a poem, I couldn’t understand him though. He kept talking as he nutted one of the giants, then slammed his axe into him. Phaedra, Rajani and Mags took care of the big guys and me and Ji-Woo and Nemi got the dogs. I mostly ran them around in circles, ducking and weaving behind the barriers while Ji-Woo blasted them with her guns from way up in the sky. One time, she shot at them and it bounced off and almost hit her! She didn’t get hurt though. She got a little too close later, and the hotness of the dogs got to her a bit. But my bolster meant she was all ok.

                    The others gave the giants the works. Mostly the giants missed, though a couple got Mags. His fancy leather jacket meant he only got hurt a tiny bit though, and nothing serious. After a bit, once we were done with everybody but one of the dogs, another car drove up. It was full of explosives, cause the giants was supposed to destroy the pools on account of us showing up and taking it over. It also had the cruel man with hairy hands, another 2 giants and 2 thralls.

                    Ji-Woo kept up on the dog and finished him off after a bit. Andy called Phaedra Robin Hood when he was giving her a boost. He’s kinda right, Phaedra is alot like Robin Hood, except she’s a girl. I don’t think she steals things either, even from rich people. But she’s awesome with a bow. So I guess, me plus Phaedra is Robin Hood, except we’re still both girls. Any road, I mostly danced about, trying to pull them all off balance with the moon. Rajani tore the thralls to pieces, while Magnus gave the cruel man whatfor, finishing up his poem while he did. One of the giants gunned for Phaedra, but she dealt with him by shooting him in the face while he was right up close, and we all kinda jumped on the last giant standing.

                    Afterwards we had to clean things up a bit, since we didn’t want the police to do us for murder here at the spot where the pools all were. Nemi figured out that the Andre bloke wasn’t the cruel man, seeing as Andre had left a note for the guys that were here, and he probably didn’t leave bossy notes for himself. So, we didn’t really have to worry none about him going missing and being looked for. Still, Mags got the nazi ladies to pile up the bodies in the truck, and Anemone went and crashed it out in the swamp.

                    So, we’re all safe, and the ladies and the pools are all safe. I think I’m gonna kick around Berlin for a bit - for nothing else, I got that nice hotel room for a few more days.


                    End Session III

                    Not a great deal to add. Used Fire Giants and Coal Hounds out of the books. The Shrikes behavior and PCs reactions to it have continued to be hilarious.

                    On the subject of Zane’s thermos, it makes an endless supply of pure water. Frequently used for Bolster stunts, and Ji-Woo has used it for her Absinth. Ji-Woo’s Absinth is mostly magical in the sense of ignoring Epic Stamina for purposes of inebriation, though she has Raise Your Glass for using it for Legend. Andy’s running jokes and commentary they mention often is stunts for Evil Eye and Trading Fates (often used as a one-two punch) and Magnus’s poetry was a stunt for Bona Fortuna.

                    One story down, three sessions, already 2K views between the two sites. Awesome! Thanks guys.

                    In lieu of the last character background (Saltmarsh Andy) next off week I am going to be putting up a set of pics of the ladies of the pools (done by Ji-Woo’s player, similar style to the one headlineing this thread) and some general info on what is boosted by what pool and how those systems work, since they are not in any of the Scion books. The in two weeks the first session of “We Only Come Out At Night” goes up (Yes, all the session titles are song titles, why do you ask?) We Only Come Out At Night starts the group at Legend 4. See you then, comments and questions welcome.

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                    • #11
                      OK, off week post focusing on the other denizens of Berlin besides the PCs

                      There are a number not covered here who have no special systems, but have pictures and such, including Caoimhe, Gia, Milla, and a brother and sister introduced next session. They are not covered here, but are still important. Indeed, getting the old crowd from White Gloves together will be an ongoing story point. This post is primarily to cover the pool guardians who do have a special system, and show off the awesome group shot Ji-Woo's player made. If you want individual pics of any of the above NPCs including the guardians, let me know.

                      Apologies for the chart at the beginning. There is now way to make it work with the forum correctly, but you can get the idea.

                      POOL/INTIMACY BONUSES
                      Developing a connection to the pools and their guardians allows a character to gain a bonus to various skills or purviews. The bonus gained depends on the character’s current divine status.
                      Hero: Dice equal to highest Virtue
                      Demigod: Dice equal to greater of highest Virtue or Legend
                      God: Dice equal to greatest of highest Virtue, Legend, or Willpower

                      POOLS & GUARDIANS
                      Keeper Species Pool Bonus Intimacy Bonus Virtue Recharge
                      Aoide Sylph - Sky, Sound -
                      Anemone Undine Crafts Frost, Water Courage/Order/Vengeance
                      Chloris Naiad Medicine Health, Water Duty/Loyalty/Valor
                      Glykeria Undine Science Sound, Water Conviction/Endurance/Intellect
                      Hermione Oread - Earth, Health -
                      Iris Naiad Art Frost, Water Expression/Harmony/Piety
                      Kalypso Medusa Special Animal, Darkness Special

                      Pool Bonuses:

                      If a character bathes in or drinks from a pool, he/she receives a one-time pool bonus to a skill associated with the pool. The bonus can be used at will any time thereafter, and does not cost Legend or Willpower. Once used, the bonus is spent, but a character can “refresh” the bonus by bathing or drinking from the pool again.

                      Intimacy Bonuses:

                      If a character forms an intimate connection to one of the pool guardians, he/she receives a one-time intimacy bonus to a purview possessed by the guardian. The bonus can be used any time thereafter, and does not cost Legend of Willpower. In order to gain the bonus, a character must have sex or share blood with a pool guardian, or must use a purview which involves the guardian imbibing the scion’s ichor to create a beneficial effect (such as some Jotunblut, Itzli or Guardian boons), or which creates a strong fate connection (such as some Samsara, Deuogdino or Magic boons). The intimate connection must be consensual in order to gain the bonus. Once used, the bonus is spent, but a character can “refresh” the bonus by again connecting intimately with the guardian.

                      A character does not have to choose which purview bonus he/she gains from a guardian until he chooses to use it (e.g. Aoide grants both Sky and Sound, so a character could potentially use the bonus on either purview). However, if a character could somehow acquire an intimacy bonus from more than one guardian at the same time, he/she must choose which guardian’s bonus to take.

                      A character can carry one pool bonus and one intimacy bonus at a time, and cannot refresh either more than once per day.

                      A character must be on good terms with a pool’s guardian to receive any bonuses, or must have the keeper under severe duress. Similarly, mere access to the pools requires one to remain on good terms with the oread keeper of the caves in which they are hidden.

                      Permanent Relationships:

                      If a character creates a strong, permanent connection with a guardian, the pool/intimacy bonuses become successes instead of dice. A permanent connection can be formal adoption as a daughter, blood siblinghood, marriage, or the guardian bearing a character’s offspring (or vice versa, if the guardian has the right knacks).

                      Refreshing Virtues

                      Bathing in or drinking from a pool can also refresh one virtue channel once per day. The virtues that may be refreshed in this way are listed on the Pools & Guardians Table.

                      Pantheon-Specific Purview Boosts:

                      Certain Pantheon-Specific Purviews receive minor boosts from the pools if the associated peoples have been in the area and imprinted on them somehow.

                      Arête: If a character has Arête in the skill associated with a pool, the pool’s bonus becomes successes, up to a number of successes equal to the possessed Arête’s dice bonus. Arête still stacks with the pool.

                      Deuogdonio: The possessor of Deuogdonio does not suffer the heightened difficulty to be affected by magic if he/she and the caster are bathing in the pool at the time.

                      Duality: If activated in a pool, any lingering negative effects of the power on the user do not occur.

                      Enech: If laying a Geas, the caster can add a number of weeks to the duration equal to their highest common virtue with the target if both are bathing in the pool at the time. This can exceed the usual maximum of time.

                      Jotunblut: If the character bleeds into a pool to cast Jotunblut, all who drink from the pool are affected at only the cost of buffing one person.


                      The focus of this was to give a minor, but present, thing for the PCs to guard, and an extra incentive to building romantic storylines. I will probably be coming up with a minor incentive to keep gathering White Gloves creatures, probably something they will be enjoying when they hit Demigod (Jean the Satyr they will have the option to get back story after next, or last Hero, and he will make 3 counting Gia and start getting things running again)

                      Two notes on pool powers, one the reason only certain PSPs are present is they have some form of imprint on the area, even if only a minor one (Enech is a streach, but connected to Celtic culture) and as Jotenblut can, with my HRs, buff supernatureal creatures for a scene (at same cost) the Jotenblut is reasonably useful if they are defending the pools (as happened in Session 3)

                      OK, well first session of "We only come out at night" next week. See you then.

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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]


                      • #12
                        Time to start a new story. This one also takes place in Berlin, though the next two will be outside the city as the group travels around a bit. This begins about a week after the last story, as our heroes have been puttering about Berlin. Let’s see how they do when the action stats

                        Session IV

                        We Only Come Out At Night Part I

                        Ji-Woo’s Visions

                        Berlin - Kan (Gorge) maintaining
                        Sometimes the effects of my absinthe strike me in odd ways. As we—meaning Magnus, Rajani, Phaedra, Zane, Nemi, Andy and myself—were fighting off a small crowd of hungry dead that were invading my favorite club in Berlin (Berghain), I had to get up close with the zombies to keep them from munching on the fleeing mortals. It’s not really my preferred way to fight. I like to keep my distance. But in this case it was necessary. My bullets didn’t seem to do much to the dead, and I was surprised when one of them lunged at me after I had already shot it two or three times. As it tried to fasten its teeth around my throat, I placed me pistol beneath its chin and pulled the trigger, and that was the end of that. Almost. You see, the spray of blood and gore that fountained up from the thing’s head was captured momentarily in the club’s multi-colored strobes, and I could see the complex sparkle of layered hues on each and every drop as it hung for a split second in the air. It should have been macabre and disgusting, but the lights and the absinthe made it seem like something separate, not blood at all, but paint splattered with meaning and purpose on a canvas of air by some divine hand.

                        A few hours before that singular moment, we had decided to go to Berghain to have fun as a group. We’ve seen each other in ones and twos off and on throughout the week, but fate seems to have a purpose for us, so when I decided to drag some of the sisters out to Berghain for the weekend, I invited the other scions to come along as well.

                        I love Berghain. It’s big and spacious, built in what was once a huge East Berlin power plant. The music is fantastic and there’s plenty to do. I could lose myself dancing or relaxing in the lounges or bars for days, and they serve some really good brands of absinthe there. Apparently, they serve a good selection of beers too; Magnus and Andy took great pleasure in introducing Zane to as many of the options as possible, in alphabetical order. They even had a rare Aztec cactus alcohol of some sort, which Nemi and Phaedra happily sipped. I joined Phaedra in a loud exclamation of “Opa!” every time she finished a glass.

                        Rajani seemed to enjoy dancing more than drinking, and Hermione joined her on the dance floor when she wasn’t with me. I divided my time between the Panorama Bar, one of the quieter lounges, and the dance floors. Aoide, Chloris and Iris came with us, of course. Aoide sort of wandered through the club and spent most of her time dancing, though from time to time she joined me to relax in the lounge or sip some absinthe. She likes absinthe. Chloris disappeared onto the dance floors, and I lost track of her, though I’m sure she was making out with some handsome guy somewhere.

                        Iris stuck by my side the whole time. She’s kind of clingy, and I’m having a hard time with that. I like her, as a friend. And the sex is nice too, though it’s not like we’re sleeping together every night. My appetite for it isn’t as strong as hers, but she’s content to hold back when I don’t feel like it. We inspire each other artistically, and that’s the most important thing for both of us, I think. But she seems pretty infatuated with me, and I don’t feel the same way. She’s also jealous of me toward her sisters, and I’m really starting to feel trapped. Normally, I’d just leave and head to another city, but I can’t really do that now since the pools are important. And I don’t WANT to leave, since I really like the sisters.

                        Hermione’s interest in me is still obvious, and I’m terribly intrigued by her too. She seems so serious, and yet so passionate. We’re total opposites, but opposites attract.

                        As I was enjoying the effects of absinthe while relaxing comfortably with Iris on a sofa in one of the lounges, I decided to consult the I Ching for advice. Unfortunately, I’m not sure exactly how to interpret it.

                        On My Relationship with Iris and Hermione - Jia Ren (Dwelling People) transforming into Ming Yi (Brightness Hiding)
                        The I Ching advised that caring f or my relationships with the sisters is the proper course. I don’t really know how to do that. I’m not good with relationships. My presence among the sisters seems to cause discord, though, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse. Stringing Iris along isn’t going to help anything. The transforming lines of the hexagrams suggest that tending to the relationships in the proper way will lead to caring and heartfelt attachment, and also clearly show that the effective ruler of the household is significant. That can only mean Hermione. My inner and outer selves must also be in accord. I don’t feel like I’m being honest with Iris about our relationship with me since I don’t feel the same way she does, so perhaps my inner and outer self are at odds.

                        If I follow the suggested path, whatever THAT is, the situation will change such that I should hide my potential and talents. Maybe if I break things off with Iris, I’ll lose my source of inspiration.

                        Honestly, I’m doomed. I’m in completely over my head and utterly lost. So I guess I’ll just do what I always do in situations like this and go with whatever whim strikes me at the time.

                        Speaking of which, while I was flush with absinthe, I had a whim to do a reading on our scion group’s current situation, and I received a prophetic insight. The I Ching was very firm: Kan, the Gorge, which represents danger and risk. And it’s not transforming, which means that the danger will continue for some time. Greed will only lead to ruin. Those who cling to life without living do not live. The mother with broken children does not care whose children she breaks. Though friends and foes are banished by the sun, it is not the enemy. Those who are uncaring as to their proper role will not profit and cannot succeed.

                        It was about then that the prophecy began to become clear, because that’s when the hungry dead invaded the club.

                        As I hurried to the front of the first floor to confront them, I ran into Phaedra and lamented that the omens had just warned of this. She told me that I shouldn’t be reading omens if we aren’t on a mission, because it just invites trouble, as though my fortune-telling summoned the zombies or something! She’s so confused. I tried to argue, but she was focused on the battle, so I just shrugged and gave up.

                        Of course, we didn’t really have any trouble with the hungry dead, though Magnus was gnawed on a bit. I think we kept them from eating too many of the mortal club-goers, but I’m not sure because I figured out that the dead were after someone. I summoned my wings and leapt into the air above the crowds in time to see a girl flee toward the back. So I flew after her.

                        It wasn’t easy getting through the panicked crowd, but I managed somehow and pursued the girl a few blocks and into the nearest metro. I happened to run across a couple of gnarled trolls as a I chased her, which was hardly a coincidence, and it was then that I understood more of my prophecy.

                        I was able to catch up to the girl as she jumped on a departing train, and the first question I asked was “You don’t like the sun much, do you?” Once she realized I wasn’t there to hurt her, she shook her head and said, “No! Keep it away from me!” which confirmed that she was a dwarf. So, “the friends and foe alike who are banished by the sun” were accounted for. I suppose a troll-wife is behind all of this; she’s probably the mother with broken children.

                        The trolls were coming. I heard them get on the train a few cars down. But so were my friends. So as the trolls burst into the metro car, I stood between them and the dwarf girl, and then Magnus and the others showed up to attack the trolls from behind. We made short work of the trolls, though I did ask Phaedra not to use any sunlight. She seemed puzzled, but at least she trusts my insights by now.

                        I also got a stony, marble-like eye from one of the trolls. It should give me the ability to see in the dark if I can learn the tricks of the shadows.

                        The dwarf girl is named Sari, and she has a bumbling brother named Bori. She doesn’t know why the trolls and the dead were after them, but she’s desperate to find her brother. She tried to distract their enemies, but they came after her anyway, and she doesn’t know what happened to him.

                        Danger leading to more danger. I’m very curious to know exactly what’s going on here.

                        Rajani’s Journal

                        I’ve discovered that I really like fighting. I never realized it before. I never got into fights. Well, not until Mother activated my powers. Now I seem to fight all the time, against things I never imagined were real. My desire to continue fighting led me to find the underground fight clubs in Berlin. I think they were a little reluctant to let me in at first, but after I proved myself in my first fight, they didn’t pull any punches.
                        That is what I’ve been doing pretty much for the last week. That and talking with Calypso and Hermione. I’ve also joined Ji-Woo at a few clubs. Sometimes I’d go to the club then escape and hit the fight club. Tonight we’re at a club called Berghain. It was a power station before the Berlin Wall was taken down. Now it is this really awesome club. You can feel the music thumping in your veins no matter where you are in the club. We’re all there tonight, including Phaedra. So of course this would be the night something odd happens.
                        Hermione had talked me into dancing with her, which is perfectly fine. I just find the beat and go from there. While we were dancing, I noticed a lot of commotion at the front door of the club. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but the distinct aura of death covered the area. I told Hermione to go back with her sisters while I moved to check out what was going on.
                        Phaedra and I arrived about the same time and brandished our swords. Phaedra looked really annoyed. As for me, I was ready for a fight. I spun my sword, attacking a group of the zombies, hoping to keep them away from the humans who were all scrambling for the exits.
                        I noticed Andy change his appearance to look like Michael Jackson from his video Thriller. That man is so strange. Andy, not Michael Jackson. Anyway, at one point, he came by me and gave me a little of his luck. With a smirk, I did the Thriller dance and took out two more zombies. I have heard people say that I look like a dervish when I fight. I’m not sure I looked very dervish-like with that move. It was fun, though.
                        We’d mowed through most of the zombies when this seven foot tall undead thing came in, making things a bit chilly. Magnus puffed up his chest and went right for it with his axe. I helped clean up the rest of the zombies then just watched Magnus take down the creature that was only a couple of inches taller than him.
                        Ji-Woo had taken off to follow someone, so we ran out to see if we could find her. She was being chased by some trolls, I think. They reminded me of trolls. They headed into the Metro station, so we followed and jumped on the train Ji-Woo had gone on. There were already several trolls on the train, so we had to take care of them first. It wasn’t too hard and didn’t take long.
                        Ji-Woo then introduced us to the young girl she’d been following. For some reason the trolls were after her and her brother. She had no idea why. Magnus said she was a dwarf. She doesn’t look much like what you think Norse dwarves look like. She looks more like what common people call a dwarf. Whatever. We’re going to protect her of course, from whatever that was that just landed and shook the entire train.

                        Nemi’s Discussions

                        8 May 2013

                        Tonight I relented to Jiwoo’s ongoing invitations to go clubbing. Apparently everyone else did as well. The music was easy to dance to and Magnus made good use of the bar. I might have been surprised to find the musician in a Trance hall, though I knew through discussions that he respects all music, as that is the inspiration of some artist. That it is not “his” style made little difference to Magnus. I was surprised to find a bar in Germany which served pulque. It was the more stylized Mexican kind sold in cans, but it was still a nice reminder of home. Magnus even tried some. As we leaned against the well appointed bar, I watched Phaedra actually letting herself relax and enjoy the moment. She is an excellent dancer and attracted her own gorgeous crowd. Some were hoping to meet an Olympian, others sought her beauty, and still others were swept up in the same perfect moment of the dance as she. Jiwoo had most of the nymphs with her on the floor, the Trance style lending itself to her flowing movements. Zane, in contrast, danced as though no one was watching. That’s not to say badly, just more that she heard her own music. She would also come back to the bar regularly.

                        On her last trip off the floor, Magnus had a line of beers waiting. Zane plowed into it like she was dying of thirst. This drew a few cheers among those trying to hang out with the musician. Then we noticed some kind of issue at the front door. It looked to Magus and I as though a group of people were trying to force their way in. Given that they often turn away every third person, this wasn’t new. But Zane looked and said there were zombies coming before almost disappearing into the crowd heading to intercept. Magnus is never one for subtlety so he charged the door, barreling through the clubgoers and bouncers alike. It made following him much easier. Jiwoo and Phaedra were already in the thick of the fight with Rajani incoming as well. Actually Rajani killed one of the zombies that had slipped through before reaching the rest. Phaedra had already wounded one by the time I activated my Tidal Interference. I was suddenly very aware of the numbers of people around me as I realized how easily I could become Fatebound. That would truly limit all of our actions. Jiwoo opened fire and performed a scene from every zombie movie made in the last decade. The zombie’s head exploded, though it continued on. The seer was very disappointed. With a solid glance, I realized that my abilities with Health were useless to me as these creatures were in fact dead. Andy, who I had not noticed in the club before then, did something which I have to assume benefited Phaedra.

                        There were people everywhere and a play by play of every attack would be ridiculous. Two of the zombies were down with about four more wounded when another four entered the nearly rioting club. Only Magnus had suffered any noticeable injury, and he didn’t notice that. I did what I could to make sure one of them was an easy target for the others. Another zombie fell to Rajani before Jiwoo spread her ink-borne wings and rose above the crowd. The carnage began in earnest then as gunfire and blades began wearing down the zombies’ stability. I was hit a few times without any concern until I brought one of two zombies down hard with a move I once saw on American wrestling. I believe it was called a flying scissor lock. While it worked, the zombie left standing landed a blow I was not prepared for. Breathing caused me to grimace, moving was a painful labor. I suspected my collar bone and possible a few upper ribs were shattered. By that point, only three of the original twelve zombies remained. From my retreating position, I spotted two more zombies and a tall, slender white undead thing with a blue glow coming in the front doors.
                        At least three of the zombies choose me to target, which was very bad in my condition. Rajani skewered the one which injured me, while Phaedra drew off one of the newcomers. Magnus grabbed another and made it a permanent part of the wall. In an insane attempt to help my friend, I punched the other newcomer, which tried to retaliate, but thankfully missed.

                        By this point, I had worked out that the tall creature was an Aptrgangr. That explained why the zombies were so much more powerful than we expected. This one began drawing an axe in the air, which he then pulled a menacing frost axe to match from nothing. Zane cartwheeled through the Aptrgangr’s legs over to cover me while Phaedra sliced through another coming for me. Zane and Rajani together finished the last zombie. Though no one could see Jiwoo. Magnus was insulted by the use of Frost and clearly had to defend his honor. So he engaged the Aptrgangr with a roar and a frost axe of his own. Phaedra sliced the creature’s hamstring to distract it. Magnus then followed up by chopping its leg off before decapitating it. I scrambled backward to avoid the corpse landing on me. This was far from clean, but we were able to finish the fight without anyone becoming Fatebound.

                        The nymphs were sent home after they told us about Jiwoo leaving to follow someone. I stayed back until I was away from the crowds so I could heal myself. Then I ran to catch the others. I got to them just as Magnus was asking directions from two trolls arguing in the subway. I thanked them as I continued running by. We made it onto the train just as it was pulling out of Metro, but only after jumping like something out of a movie. Jiwoo and a very small woman were in a car behind while five trolls were in the car ahead. Phaedra sent as many people as possible out the back to clear the car. Jiwoo called out to us not to use Sun. Given there were Trolls, I was confused until I got a better look at the small woman. I had never seen a dwarf in person before, though I was willing to gamble this was one.

                        The narrow train car left little room for the massive trolls, but Zane and I had little trouble. Given they were charging into what could best be described as a slaughterhouse, the trolls fell. Messily.
                        They left an eye and a hand, which if I understand the sensations correctly, will make relics for Darkness and Earth, respectively. Now we’re going to have to see about the dwarf Sari, and her missing brother, Bori. Yes that is their names.

                        Zane’s Letters

                        Dad –

                        Now we’ve gotten to a bit of excitement! It’s not everyday you get to fight zombie blokes at a club, then go around a bit with some trolls on a train to top it off. And we met some dwarfs.

                        Before all that though, I had a nice relaxing week. I stayed a few nights at the suite, trying some more of the good stuff that I tried with Ji-Woo that first night. Mags stayed with his nazi ladies, so he gave over his rooms to Ji-Woo. I got to know some of the street folks those few days, but I decided to stash my stuff with the ladies. Hermione said it was alright. I crashed there some nights too. Ji-Woo also moved on over there after the hotel, and she and the ladies seemed to like storytime. It was nice having folks to read out loud to again. Aoide also liked my flute alot too. The others all stopped in some times, to make sure everything was alright. Mags’s been learning German from the nazi ladies. They say some things funny, but he’s learning pretty quick. I think Andy’s helping him. Ji-Woo’s been doing pictures of all the ladies, and me too. She talked more about my eyes again. She’s snogging with Iris though, and has Aoide and Hermione making eyes at her, so I dunno about all that.

                        Any road, we were all at the club, Berghain, which was bloody huge. There was a restaurant, a sit down place, some couches, lots and lots and lots of dancing, with all types of music. I danced alot, and had some beers - Mags decided I needed to try one of everything, since I don’t know nothing about all the fancy beers they got. Nemi helped him keep track, cause they were going alphabetical. I didn’t get drunk or nothing though, even though we weren’t on a mission at the time, cause it wasn’t magic beer.

                        Nemi was having some sorta fancy cactus beer, that looked like milk. Ji-Woo was having her absinthe, and kinda floating around, like she does. Phaedra was like me, dancing alot and coming back for drinks, but she always got the same thing, and would always say Opa! after. Ji-Woo said it with her. I never did get a chance to ask what all that was. Rajani was dancing most of the time, some with Hermione and some just dancing.

                        I was taking another break when there was some sorta problem up near the door. Turns out, some zombies had shown up and were forcing their way inside and trying to eat brains and stuff. I let Mags and Nemi know, on account of they can’t see in the dark or nothing, then started over there to get a better look. Phaedra and Rajani and Ji-Woo and Andy all noticed them too and headed over with us, getting out their weapons.

                        The zombies were not all that tough, but they were a bit of an aggro. They even managed to knock Mags around a bit. Mostly we had them all under control, but there were just loads of them. 9, I think, then 4 more, then 2 more with a big zombie bloke what was all frosty. We did manage to be proper super heros and not let any other the regular blokes get bit. I wasn’t in trouble or nothing - I mostly danced about pulling them off balance like I did with the giants.

                        When the second batch of them came out, it looked like they was looking for something, or someone at first. They got distracted by all the screaming people, so we had to go distract them from that, but Ji-Woo flew up and above to get a good lookout, and then buggered off after somebody. We finished off the zombies, including the big frosty one. Mags Actually pulled out his axe for that guy, seeing as folks had cleared out just a tiny bit so’s he could swing it and all.

                        Once they were all gone, I checked up on Nemi, made sure he was alright, since he’d gone toe-to-toe with one of the zombie blokes. He wasn’t, not really, but he told me he could heal himself up in a tick once we weren’t around so many regular people. So we started off after Ji-Woo, since Andy reminded us that it’s always a bad idea to split up in zombie movies. Of course, he was looking like Michael Jackson at the time, but Andy’s weird. First we had to get the ladies safe. Aoide hadn’t even noticed anything was going on! But we rounded them up, and sent them off with Hermione.

                        We got out the way Ji-Woo had, and followed the ruckus. It was looking like things had moved to the Underground, specially since we saw a pair of trolls running that way too. I thought about tripping them for a second, on account of them looking like they was chasing after Ji-Woo, but then Mags talked at them in his language and they talked back and Mags said thanks, so i figured maybe they were nice? At least, I didn’t trip them. We were faster than them anyways.

                        We got down there just in time to see Ji-Woo get on a car. The rest of us made serious jumps, just managing to get on. I had to cling on a bit, climbing into the car proper myself. Inside, Ji-Woo was talking to a little girl, who wasn’t actually a little girl, not really like me though. She looked like an adult, but was just really short, on account of being a magic dwarf. She and her brother dwarf got attacked by zombies and she led them away from him, then got chased by some trolls too.

                        There were some in the train too. Trolls, I mean. When we saw them coming, Phaedra got all command-y and got most of the mortals to move cars, so at least she and Ji-Woo could shoot safer. It was a tighter fit and all, but that was mostly for our good, as we dealt with a couple of them before they could even get through the car to us. I had to roll around under their legs, but that just gave me good shots at their goolies as I went past. They didn’t like that too much.

                        Afterwards, when folks had picked up their eyes and hands and whatnot, we got to talk with the dwarf, Sari (which sounds like “Sorry” in English), where we learned about the attacks. She was saying she just wanted to find her brother Bori when something big landed up top on the roof.

                        End Session IV

                        Trolls and Aptrgangers are in Scion: Ragnarok. Hungry Dead and Dwarfs are in the rulebook. None gone plum crazy with the monsters yet. Bori and Sari (and one other met tonight's session) are the remaining locals for the PCs to find, basically, to have their home base ready, then they can start tracking down White Gloves people.

                        Ji-Woo’s player did a lot of nightclub research, so I had them pick the club for the fight. Did not give away too much info, just that there was an action scene there. We covered a bit of downtime, so we did not get as far as expected, but it went OK.

                        There were built in complications. I was enforcing fatebinding rolls closely, and missed ranged attacks had a chance of hurting bystanders. Ranged attacks had a small penalty to hit (unless the PC had Darkness 1 or Sun 1 or the Special sensing ability from S:G) and the Zombies, if “unattended” would attack bystanders, so there was quite a bit of trying to corral them into attacking PCs. That was the source of a lot of Nemi’s injuries. The Hungry Dead themselves, even boosted by the Aptrganger, were not a huge threat, it was the complications to hit, penalties for missing ranged attacks, and fatebinding that was the issue.

                        Andy background next week. In the meantime comments and questions welcome.

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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]


                        • #13
                          Time for an action packed recap of session five of Bohemian Front. As noted, it is action packed.

                          Session V

                          We Only Come Out at Night Part II

                          J-Woo’s Visions

                          Berlin - Kan (Gorge) still maintaining

                          Rescuing Sari turned out to be more complicated that we thought at first. More trolls came, include a really big one. They slammed onto the roof of the moving metro train (probably narrowly avoiding the ceiling of the tunnel overhead) and tore through the roof to get to us. But it was okay, because we took care of them too. Rajani and Magnus didn’t even wait for them to break through, and then Phaedra and I teamed up to shoot the leader down. We might have our differences, and Phaedra’s still confused about how my omens really work, but we do seem to work well together in a fight. Before the big troll fell to our arrows and bullets, though, he knocked out Magnus with a single mighty strike of his hammer. Mags is okay now. It just took a bit of medical attention and some mystical healing to get him back on his feet. But it was still a close call. I was worried I’d lost a friend.

                          Once I knew Magnus was okay, I tried giving Rajani an opening to flirt with him by showing her concern. I thought she was interested in him, but she just seemed pissed off about it. I guess she’s mad that Magnus hooked up with Chloris. And I don’t think she likes me very much either, but that’s okay. I like her, even if she is aloof and grumpy. I like looking at her tattoos, and the way they move on her skin when I’ve had a drink or two.

                          Also, we salvaged the leader-troll’s stone hand. I suspect the dwarves will be happy to turn it into a relic for us once the danger has passed.

                          Once Magnus was back on his feet and the train was pulling into the station, I surveyed the damage to the car and Magnus’ healing wounds and said, “I guess the mother’s broken children really DON’T care what they break.” The others questioned me about this, and for a moment I was confused before remembering that I hadn’t shared my prophecy with them. So I explained that a troll-wife was most likely responsible for sending the trolls. I don’t know if she had anything to do with the undead at the club, but the two events are obviously related.

                          I asked Sari if the trolls were after her because of greed. She was offended and called me a racist because greed is a dwarven stereotype. I tried to explain that my divination had said that greed leads to ruin, but she was still huffy about it. Oh well. She admitted that her brother was working on a crystalline power source for an alfar client, and that she was busy with a mechanical armored suit, but neither of those really chimed in harmony with the echoes of my prophecy.

                          Also, I was mistaken about the fate of Sari’s brother. He didn’t try to distract the enemy so she could escape. She knocked him out and hid him, then led the undead and trolls away from him. What a strange girl. We went back to her home to find him and make sure he was all right. Their home consisted of a fairly normal house standing upon an extensive underground workshop near Berghain. The place had been attacked by hungry dead, and several of their carcasses lay scattered about, so it appeared that Sari’s brother, Bori, had regained consciousness and made his escape. He was nowhere to be found, but the basement was still crawling with the dead, so we decided to clean them out.

                          I had to sit it out, though. When I saw that the stairs to the basement led to a chamber no more than a meter and half high, I froze. The others noticed how pale I became, and I answered their questioning looks by muttering, “I can’t go down there.” Rajani asked, “Claustrophobic?” “Very,” I replied, to which Rajani just nodded in understanding.

                          It didn’t take long to kill off the hungry dead, but it was noisy. Magnus used a chainsaw Sari provided, and it must have echoed terribly in that tight, tomb-like basement. Meanwhile, I wandered around Sari’s house until she scolded me for poking into her things. I was just curious. Her refrigerator was filled with the strangest foods, but it did make me hungry, so Sari gave me a small hunk of cheese, and Zane offered a slice of French bread when she emerged from below.

                          Zane has a magical pouch that’s always full of food.

                          Nemi reported that Bori wasn’t in the basement, and neither his crystalline device nor Sari’s blueprints had been stolen, which confirmed that neither was connected to my prophecy. But Bori was still missing. Sari had all manner of unkind things to say about him, but every insult she muttered was laden with worry, and she was desperate to find him. She thought that perhaps a friendly troll who lived in the marsh nearby might know something.

                          The troll’s name was Augapfel (Eyeballs). It was a muddy trek out to the old, gnarled tree that hid the entrance to his cave in its roots, and I don’t really like being muddy, so I flew the whole way. Despite the mud, the marsh was beautiful at night, with the orchestral chirps of frogs and crickets serenading us and a fine mist swirling along the ground, shining like pearl-dust in the moonlight. Magnus skated atop the mud on his own ice, and Zane was almost child-like as she stomped after him, breaking the frosty crust he left behind. The others had no choice but to get dirty.

                          Augapfel’s cave seemed cozy and spacious enough, but the entrance was small and half submerged in mud, so I decided to stay outside. My senses are sharp, so I could still hear everything going on inside, and the cave didn’t really look spacious enough to set my claustrophobia at ease. Zane stayed with me, which made me quite happy. I enjoy Zane’s company, and her thermos is very useful for preparing my absinthe.

                          Augapfel was friendly, as trolls go. He didn’t know anything about Bori, but he did complain about swamp creatures that had been roaming the area for the past wee k or so. We all wondered if the creatures didn’t have something to do with the troll-wife and her plans. I wanted to find some of the swamp monsters while we were there, but the others reminded me that Bori was still missing, and he really was our top priority.

                          Fortunately, while I was absently listening to the others chatting with Augapfel inside the cave, I mixed a glass of absinthe and sipped it contentedly, still floating above the mud. So when the others emerged with no news of Bori, I suggested that I might seek insight in my visions since the absinthe had awakened my perceptions. And that’s when I simply KNEW that Bori was in some subway maintenance tunnels in the same neighborhood as Sari’s house, and that our enemies are after the dwarves not because of anything they possess, but rather because of their skills as mystical craftsmen. They must be working on constructing some terrible artifact or device. I wonder what it has to do with greed or cosmic harmony?

                          Sari thought she knew where Bori was once I had narrowed it down, and we found him there, tucked away in some forgotten tunnels working on an abandoned subway train that must be an on-going pet project. He had attached a dragon skull and folded wings to it, as well as pyrotechnic devices to allow it to breathe fire. Magnus said that it was totally metal, and the rest of us agreed. I had fun wandering around and looking at it, particularly since the effects of my absinthe were only just fading away.

                          Of course, Bori and Sari shouted angrily at one another, but that just showed how relieved they were to see each other safe and sound again. We took them back to the sisters’ caves and asked permission for the dwarves to stay there until we’ve dealt with whoever is after them. Hermione very graciously extended her hospitality, so at least Sari and Bori have a safe place to stay out the sunlight. I suppose this might bring our enemies to the caverns and the pools, though. My omens did say that danger would lead to danger. But at least we’re here to keep the sisters safe if that happens.

                          The excitement of the night seems to have roused the sisters’ passions, though. Chloris enticed Magnus back to her chamber, and Iris dragged me off as well, though not before I caught a glimpse of Hermione’s bedroom eyes, her expression gentler than usual with a soft hint of frustration. And then there was Aoide, who seemed distantly envious as she floated across the cave.

                          * * * * *

                          Iris is asleep nearby, but I’ve been tossing and turning and can’t seem to rest. I’ve grown accustomed to these spacious, airy caverns, but tonight I feel Iris’ chamber closing in on me. It’s subtle, true. But I can still feel it. I must be an echo of the panic I felt upon seeing Sari’s basement, but it’s more than that. I feel trapped by Iris. I want to leave this place, flee to Prague or Dublin or Amsterdam, but I can’t. I have to accept my responsibility toward the sisters, and that’s hard for me, even though I really enjoy being with them.

                          Iris wanted to become intimate. I could see the passion in her eyes as she tried to seduce me, but I put her off. I want her to understand that I don’t feel the same infatuation that she does. It’s probably best if I don’t sleep with her again. I see it as casual fun, but she sees it as something more, and I don’t want to string her along. She’s my friend, and I don’t want to hurt her. It’s not going to end well, though. It never does.

                          She could sense that something was wrong, and I think she went to sleep upset by it. I need to get out of this chamber. I need to get a breath of fresh air or see the sky or maybe just get away from Iris for the time being.

                          Rajani’s Journal


                          That is what landed on the top of the metro car we were in. They tore open the roof and I jumped up to engage one. There were four smaller and one really large one. I didn’t think I could do much against the large one, so I concentrated on a smaller one. It took a couple of swipes, but I took it down along with the other one that stayed. The others worked on the ones that jumped down. When they all went down, I looked to see if we took any casualties and saw Magnus lying on the floor. The man is nearly seven feet tall and covered in muscles, yet a troll takes him down. Yeah, whatever.

                          Zane and Nemi immediately tended to Magnus. I just put my headphones in and listened to my music while sitting on the back of one of the seats. For some odd reason, Ji-Woo decided that I was worried about Magnus. I guess she thinks I still have interest even though I’ve stopped staring at him. I’m over the initial shock and now realize exactly who he is, which is a typical, arrogant rock star.

                          So we take Sari home in hopes of finding her brother, which we don’t. We do find a lot of zombies. We mow through them, kinda. I mean, when we had to go down in the workroom, which was made for dwarves, it was a bit cramped. For all of us. Especially Magnus. I wanted to laugh at his awkwardness, but he had now acquired a chainsaw, so I kept my mouth closed.

                          Since we have no clue of where Bori may have gone, we head into a swamp to talk to a friendly troll who may have some information about a troll wife who might be around. He didn’t know anything, except for the creatures that attacked him in the swamp that were new. He does have a contact that he’s going to talk to and see if he can find anything out about the troll wife.

                          Ji-Woo decides that maybe she should just drink a bit of absinth and consult her little coin things. Well, why didn’t we do this before going out into the swamp? She found that Bori was back in the maintenance tunnels of the metro. Sari said he has a train that he put a dragon’s skull on the front and wings on the side and he’s trying to figure out how to make it fly. So that’s where we find him, exactly as she said.

                          We take the dwarves back to the caves to keep them safe with the girls. We’re going to stay here overnight. Ji-Woo and Magnus sneak off, of course. I feel like I’m surrounded by horny teenagers, because I know for a fact that Andy is one. Or at least he acts like one. At least I can take his actions. I’m not so sure about the others. I’m still working them out and how they fit into the final plan.

                          Nemi’s Discussions

                          We didn’t really have much time to interview Sari as something huge landed on the roof of our car. Zane and I knew nothing good could come from that, so we got ready to bolster everyone. She got me then Jiwoo while Rajani waited, staring at the ceiling. She didn’t need to wait long as a hole ripped open above us. Three of the same trolls we’d already fought and one massive troll roared down at us. One of the smaller ones hurled the chuck of roof into Magnus. The musician was cut up a little, but he didn’t seem to notice if it hurt. The others simply waited for us to make the next move. That was unfortunate considering the trolls held the higher ground. I ran over to Zane and buffed out a bruise to bolster her. That was about the time everything kind of exploded.

                          Magnus used his frost axe to smash into the troll that attacked him then crashed through the ceiling with the force of his swing. Between the impact and being ripped through the new hole, the troll died. Phaedra loosed her arrows at the troll leader but they simply bounded off. Zane lept into the fray, pulling one of the trolls and El Guapo (as Andy called the leader) into her Tidal Interference. Having entered a destructive phase, Magnus took on the next troll while screaming obscenities in Norwegian. The axe and troll tore through the side of the train. The musician took a disturbing joy in dragging the dead troll along the side of the tunnel. I took a swing at El Guapo to make him that much easier for the others to deal with. Sensing this, El Guapo took his own shot at Magnus while he was still distracted. Jiwoo and Phaedra knew when to take a shot, so as the troll barreled toward Magnus, the seer and the archer unloaded. El Guapo was instantly splattered across the side of the car. Unfortunately not before he pounded the musician into a coma. Andy stabilized the bleeding before Zane was able to reduce his wounds. Then I lended a hand. Magnus was back up and almost healed when I finished, though I was sad to see he was still heavily bruised. That was when we decided that talking to Sari was very important. None of us wanted another fight before we knew what was happening.

                          Andy made a comment that inferred Dwarves were greedy. It was an offhanded jab, with very little punch to it. However Sari was greatly offended and announced that she was “not greedy, that’s racist!” I tried to help by asking more directly what they might have been working on, as
                          the zombies and then trolls were coming for her. She said that Bori was working on a power crystal for an Alfar while she was working on her own power suit. I was keenly interested in what she described as a new power source with the crystal, but the others reminded me we had other things to do before I could geek out. Sari said there was a troll named Eyeball that lived under a tree in the swamp. We might find answers there. She also said she left Bori stuffed in a dumbwaiter at home when the zombies came. We got off the train as Jiwoo decided we needed to find Bori ...and whiskey.

                          After the seer finished her liquor run and the archer nearly exploded from frustration, we returned via the metro to the same station we started. A short walk led us to a normal looking house a few blocks from the club. Disturbingly, the door stood open and the sounds of movement came from somewhere within. Looking inside, four all dead zombies littered the floor. Sari said it looked like Bori woke up. The house was normal sized outside and on this floor, but looking down the basement stairs, it was obvious this was built for a dwarf. The basement was also the source of the shuffling movement. Jiwoo’s claustrophobia sent her back from the stairway and she announced that she couldn’t go downstairs. Phaedra and Magnus “lured” the zombies up by yelling into the basement. I used the time we had to grab Sari and spin her around as if she were in my orbit. I was able to activate my Tidal Interference this way and I also gave me the opportunity to bolster Phaedra and Rajani. Zane also got me as well. Once we were ready, we still had some time as the zombies were not rushing. Eventually we saw four zombies moving up the stairs from the darkened basement. Losing her patience, the thief managed to get behind and kicked two out into the room with us. The archer, the seer, and the fighter all combined their assaults to kill one. Magnus and I punched the remaining zombie but we had less satisfying results. At that point, the liar changed form. His body became feminine yet he retained his own facial features. It was almost like he had copied the image from a cartoon. I was later informed that this was actually supposed to be someone named Jill Valentine from one of the endless number of video games about killing zombies. Andy is odd. Zane and Magnus descended upon the last zombie standing and it was no more. Magnus then froze its head and shattered it.

                          We had a bit of a Pulp Fiction moment as Sari mentioned several of the weapons she could retrieve before we entered the zombie-infested basement. Magnus very happily received the chainsaw but I was sad to hear she did not have a katana. She reminded me she was Norse, though I have no idea what chainsaws have to do with the Aesir either. Sari and Jiwoo remained upstairs while the rest entered the basement. It was very cramped given the height of the ceiling, though Magnus had the worst time of it. As we made it to the end of the stairs, eight zombies rushed us. With the chainsaw adding to our normal weaponry, it quickly became a slaughterfest. I rolled into the pack and punched one attacking Andy. When I next looked around all the zombies had been similarly reduced. No one was actually harmed by the zombies and I was able to knock two down, knowing I could not injure them. Before we could finish with our targets, four more came in from another room in the basement. Given our tight quarters, I delivered a powerful kick to one of the two which stood up. The chainsaw roared and a zombie was decapitated. A sun bolt dropped one of the new arrivals as Rajani’s blades diced another to pieces. Zane and I punched the same zombie, smashing its face from either side. Though without weapons or the musician’s strength, our target remained standing. The chainsaw revved again as Magnus did his best Ashley J. Williams impression, ripping open a zombie through the sternum. The twang of Phaedra’s bow was the only warning we had that Zane was about to be attacked. The bolt finished it before the thief was actually in danger.

                          The basement fell silent then, save for the chainsaw. A quick search proved that Bori was not here. I did take a moment to look over the blueprints for both the armor and examine the crystal. It was astonishing. Not one portion of the armor should hold together, much less function. And I could not understand anything related to the very lovely crystal. Throughout our investigation of the house, Sari continued to berate Bori in such a fashion as to make me believe she despised her brother. It was confusing then that she was so very adamant that we find him. Once we were sure Bori was not here nor had he left any clues as to his location, we headed back to the club.

                          When we arrived the police had cordoned off the area to keep people aware from the investigation. From here, the liar went to work. Andy approached the police line and in a terrible American accent proclaimed himself with the CIA. Less robustly, he claimed that notorious American agency suspected this incident to be domestic terrorism and thus if it came out, they would have to become involved. The police were not pleased by that thought. Thus Andy then convinced them that letting this get out publically would only guarantee his superiors get involved.
                          Everyone agreed this was not what anyone wanted. Thus through his deception, Andy orchestrated a cover up of the whole event without us ever having to make up an explanation. He returned to us and resumed his normal British accent, assuring us the matter was well in hand. I have to say it was amazing to watch him work, even if most of what he says normally is complete nonsense. With that handled, we set off for the swamp.

                          A large tree sat off the road in the muddy swamp with a Go Away sign in German. Sari walked to a section of exposed roots and knocked on what we realized was a concealed door. The general grumbling from inside grew louder until the door opened and the voice barked for whoever we were to go away. Then he saw Magnus looming over Sari and the troll’s one eye grew very large. He moved aside once he realized we weren’t here to kill him. Jiwoo took one look at the narrow doorway and decided she would be better suited to keeping watch. Zane and Phaedra remained with her. Magnus, Andy, and I followed Sari. Eyeball had not seen Bori as he was hiding from swamp monsters that were hostile even to a troll. We learned very little from Eyeball but it was clear he did not serve the Titans. When we returned to the surface, Jiwoo had drunk herself into another trance with Phaedra looking on angrily. When she came to, she announced that Bori was in a metro maintenance tunnel. Oddly the seer also said that we needed the dwarves for a plan. Also that the nearest station was near the club. Sari heard this and noted that Bori might be on the demon train. This was not well received at first and thus she had to explain that it was an old metro engine that he worked on. It had a dragon’s skull and wings mounted on it. He kept working on it in case of emergency. Oddly enough, that is exactly where we found Bori. The demon train was very intimidating and I suspected it could breathe fire. That was only a guess however. With both dwarves safe, we headed back to the wellsprings. Now if Phaedra can convince Kalypso not to kill our new friends, we may learn a bit more about what is going on.

                          Zane’s Letters

                          Turns out it was a few more trolls up there. There was three of them like we fought before, and one bloke that was bigger than the others. They pounded a bit on the roof, while we waited about getting set for a fight. I managed to boost up Nemi and Ji-Woo before they got to us. Nemi got me a bit after they jumped on in, so I was all for safe and all.

                          One of the trolls got excited and tossed a bit of the roof down at Mags. Rajani was well hard and ready to fight, so as soon as there he did, she jumped up through the hole and called one of the trolls by her lonesome. The rest jumped on in. We dealt with the regular ones no problem - Mags did this awesome thing where a troll got caught on his axe and so he shoved it out the door and dragged it down the wall. He wasn’t paying attention much after that though, so the big troll bloke got in a right good swipe with his axe. Of course, Phaedra and Ji Woo together put proper paid to the troll right after, and that was the last of the baddies left, so I hustled over and got to tending him.

                          Andy got there first, and made sure he was stable and all. I washed off the blood with my canteen, and got rid of the proper wounds, and then Nemi fixed all the left over bruises up. Nemi fussed around a bit about him going all berserker and not taking care and all, but Mags just shrugged and asked for whiskey.

                          After that was all dealt with, we talked some more with the dwarf lady. She got all huffy when Ji Woo ask if greed was something to do with it, but I think Ji Woo was just talking about her visions or prophesies or something like that. Apparently it’s racist anyway though. Dwarves are weird. Any road, we decided to go on home with Sari, see about finding her brother. She said some stuff about another troll, called Eyeballs, who wasn’t one of the ones we’d done for, and was grumpy but maybe friendly. At least, he probably weren’t gonna try to kill us.

                          But like I said, finding her brother came first. She kept calling him idiot and things like that, but I could she was real worried. The others could see too, and tried to cheer her up some. Sari had knocked him out, when she was running off, and put him in a dumb waiter (at least that’s what it sounded like) which Nemi said was like a small elevator thing. That way, they followed her instead of him.

                          Back at her house, there was still zombies. All downstairs, at first at least. No Bori in the dumb waiter, but there were a few re-dead zombies lying about that Sari said was probably his doing. We talked a bit about whether to go on downstairs and clear out the zombies, or head off to look for her brother some more, but then Mags found out the whiskey was downstairs, so that tore it. Ji Woo weren’t very keen on going downstairs on account of it was kinda cramped, even for me. Poor Mags had to walk scrunched in half just to fit. So, before we headed on down there, we tried to get them to come to us. Mags yelled out that he was a dwarf, so they better come and get him, which worked alright and got four of them to come on up. We dealt with those no problem, even if Mags didn’t wanna bring his axe out inside the house. Andy did suddenly decide to look like a girl, except with his face. Was better than before I guess, where he almost got himself shot by Phaedra, for his prancing about.

                          Before we went downstairs, Mags asked for a knife to use in the close quarters. Sari offered him a chainsaw instead, and he seemed well pleased with that. There was about 8 of the buggers waiting for us down there, leastwise in that first room. Another 4 joined them later, from somewhere else down there. It was a tight fit, though less for me than some of the others. Mags gave himself a right good bump on his head from standing up too far when he got excited about swiping at the zombies. I still managed to rumble around a bit, and me and Nemi got them even more off balance than they already were from having to crunch up like that.

                          We found all their stuff down there, not even bothered with, some drawings and mechanical pieces. Nemi had a look round at all that, but Mags went straight for the whiskey. The dwarf brother weren’t there though. I heard Ji Woo asking for food when we headed back up, so i gave her some of the bread I stashed away. Sari got us some cheese for it, saying it came from giant cows. It’s an Aesir thing, I guess.

                          We stopped by the club again, to see if he’d managed to follow her. There was a bunch of coppers hanging about, so Andy put on a loud American accent and made like he was from the CIA, or something like that. He wasn’t dressed up like a girl no more, so that probably helped. He made some crack about how short people often do crime, which had me glaring, but he did figure that none of the plods had seen Bori.

                          Seeing as we didn’t really have nothing to go on, we decided to give old Eyeballs a visit. It meant a walk through the swamp, so I made my shoes be like boots, and Ji Woo started flying a bit to stay up off the ground. Mags made it so that his footprints went all icy. I tried stepping on them, but couldn’t balance proper, so I just had fun stomping on them after everybody passed by.

                          Eyeballs lived in a tree, down in the roots, so Ji Woo stayed out again, caused it was a cramped door. It looked bigger inside than the dwarves’s down stairs, but it was still a bit tight. I stayed out with her this time, on account of we was probably not gonna be fighting, and I could hear just fine from outside, same as Ji Woo could.

                          The troll was well scared of Mags, as he should be. He hadn’t heard nothing about the trolls attacking, or even being in town. He’d been trapped by swamp monsters, what looked like him a bit, all roots and dirt and shit. That’d been for the past few days. He promised he’d look into things and ask around though. He also hadn’t seen Bori, which makes sense I suppose since he’d been trapped and all.

                          While we were listening, Ji Woo borrowed my canteen for some of her magic absinthe, so when we still didn’t have any idea where to find the dwarf bloke, she decided she felt expensive and wanted to ask her magic powers where he was. They found out he was in the tunnels under the Underground which reminded Sari of someplace where he’d set up a project kinda thing. It sounded well hard, a Demon Train, painted all in red with fire painted on top of that, and a dragon skull up front, and dragon wings bones on its side. It shoots steam from it too, and Bori was making it so that he could bust up through the ground and fight something ace.

                          He was still there, and no trolls or zombies about when we got there. He and Sari got right down to fighting, but it was easy to see they’d just been right worried and were actually happy. Bori didn’t know either why the trolls or zombies wanted them, so that’s still confusing. We did get the dwarves set up in the pool caves, seeing as they’d probably come back after them, so their house weren’t really safe. We asked the girls first, but they were alright with it all.

                          I’m taking a bit of a liedown for now, while we got ourselves a break. I got a little knocked around, nothing serious, just a bit of a shiner and a few teeth rattled loose. Ji Woo offered to kiss and make it better. It wasn’t creepy or nothing, the way she said it, but I gave her a look anyways. I’m not even sure she’s really trying to chat me up, anymore, or if it’s just part of how floaty she is. Hermione offered to heal it with actual magic, but it wasn’t nothing real serious, and I didn’t wanna look soft or anything.


                          End Session V

                          The session was primarily combat. The Grendel from Scion: Ragnarok was the model for the big Troll, with some tinkering. Otherwise Trolls and Hungry Dead like last time. These were not buffed by Aptrgangers, but it seemed to make little difference.

                          I’ve had a great deal going on the past couple weeks and did not get a chance to get Andy’s background up last week. Apologies. I will try to get it up next week.

                          Next week has less action as our team actually takes a breather for some drama. Don’t worry, there is some zombie stomping. But also, Drama. See you then, comments and questions welcome.

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                          • #14
                            “Saltmarsh Andy” Du Mer, Scion of Manannán mac Lir, Tuatha Dé Dannan

                            In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.” Speaking as the young child of an old god, I realized of course that this sort of thing would apply to me above and beyond the muck and run of humanity.

                            I was born Andrew Du Mer on the Isle of Man. It sounds rather mysterious, doesn’t it? Of course, the truth is, being Manx just meant you were a lot like being English, but were of course country folk so far out in the country you were in theory not even allowed on the same Island they were. The Isle of Man relies largely on tourism. It’s hardly a good place for an up and coming young, well, anything really. It is, however, the land traditionally ruled by my father, Manannán mac Lir. In fact, even now some of the natives will tell you that. If they have a few drinks in them, they may also tell you about the German internment camps that the British set up here in the Second World War. Nope, on that thought, I am going to stick with my original line of thought, this place is no good. Thus, I made my way off of it as swiftly as possible. I went to England first because, well, of course being the son of an Irish god it made perfect sense, right? I took up working for a Lucas Marley initially tending a graveyard. After all, it would not do for me to neglect my duties in The World, now would it?

                            Dearest Andy is lying about what his father told him, of course, since he never had a mortal father and was raised completely around women. He just stole that from The Great Gatsby. He is also lying about his name. Andrew Du Mer is just the name he gives people he is not going to lie to about anything important. That said, he is sadly not lying about the internment camps.

                            Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. Oh yes I forgot he is lying about the name Marley too. However, Marley was still mobile and moving around the world. This is to any mind disconcerting. Marley was my first test. Was he a vampire? No. He walked around during the day and was not killed by a bite. And how do you know this, Andy? I will be honest, that’s a bit of a relief right there. It does leave the nagging question of just what is his deal. He was killed mundanely enough by a heart attack. Yet he worked doggedly and tried to keep his graveyard a beautiful place for the dead.

                            I’d like to tell you I struck a mighty blow for the World, outfoxed him, and revealed his game. I would, unfortunately, be lying. Oh my goodness fetch me the smelling salts I am overcome by the vapors! Lying? Marley did not know he was dead, and was just too much of a workaholic to stop. He was the first person I had to explain to them they were dead, but he was, unfortunately, not the last such recipient of a speech. He did prove a lesson, however. Don’t be too quick to assume dark forces when a more mundane answer is the correct one. Of course, “more mundane” is sometimes “old guy wandering around in a corpse because he is too stubborn to die.” I wanted to face a greater challenge, which leads to lesson two: Be careful what you wish for. Also, note this means Andy can talk you to death. Unless he is lying. Which he mostly isn’t here, aside from leaving out about six months of travel.

                            The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. Are you being paid to plagiarize all this Andy? Dark forces have long existed off the coast of Ireland, the children of the Earth deity known as Crom Cruach. It was them I would next be running afoul of. Had these “Formorians” as they are called been satisfied to remain in Ireland of course, they would not have proven problematic. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like Ireland or anything, they are good people there, or so I am told, even if they are willing to vote down the Lisbon treaty and bite the hand feeding them with the EU so they will get less economic support…it’s just that being the son of an Irish god An Irish God from the Isle of Man which we all know is in Ireland. I feel a certain need to, I don’t know, buck the trend I suppose.

                            Well be that as it may my wandering after I put poor Marley down eventually lead me to Canterbury, which is in the southeast of England. Now my initial desire to stay in town was clearly fate driven, but I was unsure of why. I began to do a little bit of research, and found two very important facts. One was that the flag of Canterbury was the same as the Flag of England that was different then the flag of Britain, we are talking about the red and white one not the red and blue one they like to show off because it looks much more impressive. This was of course not useful. Flags really aren’t for anything but cunningly seizing countries, but that is a different monologue altogether. I also discovered that Canterbury is a sister city with a Hungarian city of questionable reputation called Esztergom. If there is one thing I have discovered, a questionable reputation is an interesting thing for a woman to have and a bad thing for a city to have. It was on the evening that I had discovered this and was making my way back to my room that I came toe to toe with my first giant. Two of them, in fact. I suppose you’re thinking here is the time for our lad to take them down fast and hard and show how badass he is. That’s not how this works, see I am more the plucky, cunning kind of hero less so the big bruiser. That’s everyone else. Now I confess, the Giants I had expected to see, assuming I was expecting to see giants, which I wasn’t but you have to remember I am very clever, would have been large smelly people. These were the sort of green-black you get which is the same color just changes in tint when the light hits it. They were covered in lumps, and pustules, and their pustules had pustules, if you know what I am talking about. Huh? No I’m still here. Not a good sight. So there I was facing down two giants who were munching on some people they had already killed.

                            Not a good idea when facing a Necromancer. Did I not mention I am a necromancer? I am not just that, I am, if I may say so, Necro-Master. Thinking swiftly, I animated the bodies, having the leg being chewed by one Giant kick directly up and into the roof of his mouth, while one having her midriff eaten abruptly kicked the other giant’s throat. The darkness was my ally. I moved from the middle of the road to some trees as the enraged giants battled the corpses entangled in their mouths. Well, one of them did, the other seemed to find his case of foot in mouth disease rather fatal, I think, either way it became moot swiftly. The other was coughing up blood and fluid, which I swiftly bent to my will as well. With some assistance from my newly reanimated friend assaulting this giant’s face I pulled up water and blood and redirected it into the giant’s lungs. As I did so I animated a couple other corpses on the road and directed them to bring the trees down upon the most unfortunate giant’s head, knocking him unconscious.

                            I started a fire to burn out the Giants before they could wake up. The Giants actually went up faster then I had anticipated. Still, it seemed fairly unlikely that I had just happened to stumble upon two giants in the woods of Canterbury. More must be afoot. In mouth. Anyway I tried to remember the things my father had told me. Not the humility bit that never did me any good anyway. But things about Crom Cruach. That deity…Titan would be the word Yes, yes it would. is associated with the earth. Esztergom is known for the underground city of old Esztergom, which was destroyed I think when Vikings got lost on the way to Budapest. And you know where that underground city is…underground. But I was not aware of an underground city at Canterbury. Still, I gathered my slavering horde of the Undead and began searching.

                            Now sadly I lack dominion over the Earth…I have to make do with my dominion over the sea and death. My senses, however, did find a hollow, using the skills I developed looking for leprechaun houses, which was actually a euphemism for going to smoke pot or drop acid so I never actually developed any searching skills, just a deep assurance that the moon is trying to kill me and that if there is one thing a leopard needs in this life it is a swift and merciless ass-kicking. So actually with no skills at all I found it, which meant it was hidden badly. Once down there, I discovered there were other people there, so I had to blend. Now, I don’t know if you have led a slavering army of the Undead, but they don’t blend so good, so I had them hide. Now, I don’t know if you have led a slavering army of the Undead, but they don’t hide so good, so I had them wait outside. I next simply had to infiltrate the place very carefully. They were apparently getting ready for some sort of ritual so I grabbed a robe that conveniently happened to be on the back of this guy I blackjacked and joined in. It would seem the goals of this group were twofold. First was poison the ground to give Crom Cruach a new foothold in the world and two figure out where the two Formorians went who stepped out for a bite to eat. At the moment they were fixated on the former, rather then the Formorians. I gathered enough information from hearing them talk to discern this group was mostly present (except the former Formorians) and that they were just starting the ritual up. Crackerjack timing on my part, I decided the next best move would be a zombie apocalypse. Calling the beeper I left on a zombie, I waited for them to stagger in to where I was. Sure, I left that detail out earlier, but if leaving out information to the end works for Agatha Christie, it works for me too. Be that as it may, the wall of the Undead moving into the room tapped my good buddy chaos on the shoulder and invited him in for tea, so I seized the advantage and moved to sabotage the ritual itself. One of the cultists saw me, and made a move my way. However, another cultist had lunged at the zombie of a younger girl attempting to tackle her to stab her with a knife. This lunge propelled the zombie and the cultist into the dais, which threw lit candles all about the room. One candle caught the robe of the cultist who saw me on fire, and in the confusion, I managed to slip away. The matching robes helped a great deal.

                            All this happened, more or less. The cultists were dispatched by the zombies, which meant I got more Zombies. It also meant it was best to move on, you know, what with the missing persons and all. So I moved on to London. This was the point where I began thinking I might need some allies in the near future above and beyond Zombie shock troops. I mean, they are useful, but there has to be an easier way to deal with encounters like this. Still, I was able to handle much of it on my own.

                            Geez where to begin. Andy tracked the cult to Canterbury from Sussex, where he recognized elements of the cult and had already dealt with them. He was looking for their headquarters when he faced the Formorians, and had already raised zombies to fight the giants when he found them, he just did not expect to find two. The Formorian fighting mostly happened as he described, except he pretty much ambushed them from hiding they never saw him. The battle in the underground room was mostly as described. Mostly.

                            It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. I was glad to be done fighting cults out in the country, and figured maybe the city would prove a quieter locale. I was wrong, of course. On this particular rainy night I had wandered into the Hopra House, a more conservative establishment as pubs full of angry drunks go. I sat in the corner with my drink and closed my eyes, entering a state some eastern Yogi might call a deep meditative trance and my dad might call a nap. As my perception stretched across the rainy night, I detected some odd sounding music being played. It sounded both mysterious and unearthly, yet still strongly alluring. Being almost completely stupid, I decided to investigate.

                            I pulled my hat down over my face and entered the rainy night. It was sort of like a noir movie, except one where I had zombie minions. So more zombie noir. I don’t think I have ever seen a zombie noir movie, but if I did it would be pretty good. Well, hopefully it would be, I guess it could be pretty bad, too. Zombies being rank conversationalists, I had left them behind, so of course my first move was to pick them up. This had the negative side effect of having had the music stop by the time I got back to the Hopra House.

                            I made my way to the Piccadilly Circus, which if you ask me based on the name sounds like a good place to pick up men for cheap sex in an alley or stall. Even in the rain it was not empty, so myself and 9 of my closest nonliving friends probably scared the living hell out of a few people. When I heard hoofclops but saw no horses, well, that was when I knew I was closing in.

                            It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Thus, naturally, if I had to run into something Greek and Pastoral, it would be Satyrs. Nymphs, hungry for male passion? Oh no. Nothing similar. Satyrs in hats and trenchcoats. Now the recurring theme with Satyrs seems to be pipe oriented madness, so I swiftly decided I would be having none of that. I also realized that my zombies were in an excellent position to gently but firmly apply the beatdowns to some Satyrs, as they were immune to the Satyr’s music, unlike, say, yours truly. However, the more immediate problem proved to be people. The Satyrs seemed fairly inclined to keep people around themselves almost all the time, which really got my goat. This limits the “fling zombies at them until they are dead” strategy somewhat. Thus, I settled in for a long stake.

                            No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Still, these Satyrs badly pressed my endurance. For monsters who lived…vigorously, they certainly did not need a great deal of sleep. There were three or four of the hooved bastards, far more then I could deal with, and their guard seldem seemed down. As much as I had hoped I could take care of this on my own, I could see that independent activity was simply not the best way. Canterbury had demonstrated independence for me, but here the truth was made painfully plain. I would need to find other Scions to help me. Heck, maybe I could even deal with things like Formorian Giants more easily if I had others help. Still, I could not just put an ad in the paper, now could I?

                            Of course, I was looking at it the wrong way.

                            Call me Ishmael. My own white whale distracted me too much. Yes, the Satyrs managed to keep people around them much of the time, but what were they DOING. In Canterbury, this cult was trying to poison the grounds for Crom Cruach, in the cemetery Marley was taking care of the graves. These Satyrs much have more to do with themselves then booty calls, unless they are trying to breed a Satyr army themselves. After picking the maggot from my brain, I started paying more attention to what the Satyrs were doing, and that all came down to a certain business, Brown and Peters. From my initial examination, it looked like they were paying these women to screw the Satyrs, after the Satyrs moved on to their next chick. Buy a goat a hooker does not exactly strike me as potent, world crushing titan strategy, however.

                            Infiltrating the business was easy. I did not even need to fill out an application. In no time one Joseph Curwin was hired. It seems the boss, a Mr. Allegeri, (I can but assume spelling Alighieri was beyond him) was having these women (and a few men) sell their souls to Satan, and once they had done so they were violated by the Satyrs as part of a rite of passage. And here I was thinking the women couldn’t see them for what they were…apparently such was not the case. Because of the contracts, kept in a tricoded vault, the people could be compelled to do Allegeri’s bidding. Oh, and fuck goatmen. Infiltration completed.

                            I waited until that evening, when no innocents would be there. First I had to cut as much communication as possible. I am not fool, I know I could not cut it completely but I can slow things down. When the time came, my nine Zombies attacked the front and side doors, charging in. The few people who tried to fight them used guns and only added to their number. Soon 12 zombies and I went to face Alighieri. By the time we had gotten up, however, the Satyrs had entered the building. They were fast, but not fast enough to save Allegeri. My Zombies had already torn him to pieces and I was removing the contracts from the vault when they arrived. No humans, so I had them right where I wanted them, or so I thought.

                            Satyrs, particularly enraged Satyrs, are strong. Damn strong. They flattened two Zombies pretty quick. I knew the odds were not in my favor, so I fell back on plan B, which worked on the Giants: Fire. I managed to make my way down the hall to some stowed Gasoline, which I brought in and flung on combatants on both sides. I commanded the Zombies to grab and hold the Satyrs, piling on with their shrinking numbers, even as the fire started. As I fled, the screaming shapes writhed and shrieked, and the whole floor wound up being gutted.

                            It was a pleasure to burn. I know Allegeri died, and I personally saw the contracts destroyed, freeing those poor, foolish people from their vows. I do knot know if the Satyrs were all killed, or just some. I do know if they survived, they fled rather then fire fighting and the whole operation collapsed, so it was successful. It was, however, damn inefficient, and would have been much easier to solve if I had a team. It was also a hell of a good time to get out of England. You know, just in case.

                            Andy’s lying is peppered with large chunks of truth here. Of course he did not stumble over the Satyrs; he was looking for them. He did suffer from target fixation, however, obsessively stalking the Satyrs rather then, you know, paying attention to what they were trying to do, a mistake he is unlikely to repeat. The “contracts” were a binding of sorts to create sleeper agents for the titans essentially they could take control of. His significant difficulty dealing with the Satyrs also helped show he needed to have other Scions to rely on, as he said. Thus, traveling to the USA. I mean, would you stay in England on purpose?

                            Tired, a little bit burned, and now Zombieless, I made my way to Florida, the state known for retirees and sodomy, if either happens to be your cup o’ tea. Depends. I decided after arriving to spend some time in the everglades, communing with nature over here a bit. There I had many wacky adventures, was tutored in magic by cultists of the Atlantean Sorceress Zhered-Na, scored with a really hot blonde sorceress, made friends with a talking duck, and battled a demon lord in the nexus of all realties. You know, the usual everglades stuff. However, despite all this, I became restless, and decided it was time to go back to my plan of finding Scions to work with.

                            OK, Andy is almost batting zero for facts here. All that stuff is in the Man-Thing comics. Hell, Howard the Duck even had a movie, which if you have not seen it, is utter crap. I think that whole paragraph is pretty safe to ignore.

                            Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. In the meantime, I am hoping Miami will be more productive for me. I have reason to suspect I will encounter more Scions there, and they tend to be better for conversation then Zombies or Mummies as a rule. The everglades have made a decent place for a vacation, but it is time to go back to work. I have managed to catch a ride on a speedboat out of here with a very nice family and hopefully will find my way to Miami from there. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

                            Good show wrapping up with that Andy. Oh, who am I? Actually, this is Andy too, and I may well have been lying about what I was lying about earlier. Hope you have had a good read!

                            Back to actual play next week

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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]


                            • #15
                              OK, time to check back with our heroes. This time looks to be less action more drama. Let’s see what they have gotten themselves into this time.

                              Session VI

                              We Only Come Out at Night Part III

                              Ji-Woo’s Visions


                              Iris did not leave her chamber this morning. I’m upset about that because it probably means she’s angry with me for leaving while she was sleeping last night, and I don’t deal well with angry people. I’ll need to talk to her eventually. Fortunately for me, there are distractions right now, so I don’t have to worry about that until later.

                              I left Iris’ chamber in the middle of the night without waking her. There was no sign of my friends, and Zane had left a note saying they had gone with Andy to Weiss Handschuhe to check on Caoimhe and Gia. I kind of wished I’d known they were going; I’d like to see those two again, and if I had gone, I could have avoided the awkwardness with Iris. Maybe “postponed” is more accurate, but I’ll take what I can get.

                              Hermione, Anemone, Aoide and Glykeria were hanging around. I wanted to talk to Hermione about her sister, perhaps get some advice, but she seemed distracted. I guess she was waiting for Rajani to return, because this morning it was obvious that something had happened between them. They seemed closer somehow, so I suspect they slept with each other. But Hermione seemed uncertain about the way things had turned out, and Rajani was not exactly being warm and cozy toward her. I’m terribly curious to know what’s going on between those two. If I’m going to be honest with myself, my own deepening attraction to Hermione is just fanning the flames of that curiosity.

                              But since Hermione seemed to be waiting for someone else to return, I found Aoide and vented to her. She seemed to take it all in stride, like everything else. In the end, I just needed to get away from the cavern, so I suggested the two of us go out flying and find a nice skyscraper with a tennis court or garden or something on the roof where we can just relax and listen to music. Maybe look at the stars or the endlessly moving lights of the city below and become lost in the freedom of the night air.

                              We found just the spot, and shared of pair of ear buds to listen to Aoide’s iPod. She loves that thing; I’m glad I got it for her. I was leaning against the safety fence and she was floating in the air above the edge of the building when I noticed that the sparse foot traffic on the sidewalks below was flowing around strange clump of people like the current in a slow-moving stream parting gently around a rock. The delicate choreography seemed fascinating yet ominous, so I looked closer and noticed that most of the group were hungry dead like those we fought in the club. They were shepherded by two larger undead aptrgangrs, and were definitely on the prowl for something, maybe Sari and her brother or maybe us.

                              I asked Aoide if she saw them too, but she can’t see things as clearly as I can, and they were too far away for her to see anything special about them. The aptrgangrs were staring right at us which was really creepy and was probably what made the tableau below seem so ominous to me. Then I suddenly felt my body flush with feverish heat. A sickening ache spread through my bones and joints and I almost fell to my knees, but the same thing must have happened to Aoide. She groaned as her eyes rolled back in her head, and then she fell. She would have fallen twenty stories to her death if I hadn’t summoned enough strength to vault over the fencing and catch her. I managed to grab her arms and fly her back onto the roof and out of sight of the aptrgangrs. It’s a good thing she’s light, like a pillow. I just wanted to hold onto her then and hope she was okay. I felt sick, and I knew that the creatures below had used their powers to make us both very ill. I feared they might come up after us, so I held Aoide close and flew back to the caverns, keeping the building between us and our enemies.

                              The others were back by the time we returned. Zane and Nemi rushed over to tend to Aoide as I told them all what had happened. I didn’t let Aoide go while they cured us. I was really worried about her, but they had us both feeling better in no time. She woke up and was surprised to find herself in the caverns. When she remembered what had happened, she was just scared, so I held onto her until she was calmer. Her skin is cool and soft, and she’s so light that holding her is like embracing a cloud. She smells like a fresh spring breeze with the hint of blossoming flowers and the coming rain. Holding her felt very comfortable and refreshing. In the aftermath of my fever, it was like plunging into cool water on blistering hot summer day.

                              Phaedra scolded me for going out alone with one of the girls like that. I guess she’s right. I put Aoide in danger. But I didn’t think that our enemies would see us flying so high above the city at night. I didn’t think they would be looking up at all, or that they would be able to make us out in the darkness of the night sky. But I guess they’re more observant than I thought. After all, I would probably notice something out of place like that. I’m sorry Aoide was hurt because of me. She doesn’t seem to blame me, though. She just wanted to stay near me for the rest of the night. I felt like she needed me, but it wasn’t clingy like Iris.

                              Phaedra decided to go outside and gaze at the city’s reflection in the white disk of the moon, hoping to find and track our enemies as they moved around the city. It was a wonderful idea, and since Zane, Nemi and I can also do that, we took shifts. We discovered that were two groups like the one I saw, and near morning, Zane saw them go into the sewers. Aoide sat outside with me while I stood vigil, and I was glad to have the company, even if we did just sit quietly and listen to music as I watched the moon. I liked the way the moonlight made Aoide’s pale skin seem luminous. And I like tracing the intricacies of the city streets on the surface of the moon, so much so that I had to constantly remind myself to keep track of our adversaries instead of getting lost in the urban mandala.

                              I’m not looking forward to going in after the zombies. The sewers are tight and underground and I felt my heart skip a beat as soon as I realized we would have to go in after them. I don’t want to go in there. I’m actually petrified of the idea. But I have to. I can’t just stay behind while the others go in to hunt down our enemies. I don’t really know what’s worse, though, dealing with my claustrophobia or facing Iris right now.

                              I’m just unhappy right now. Unhappy because Iris is mad and I got Aoide hurt and all I have to look forward to today is a miserable descent into the hellish confines of the sewers. I don’t know if I can do this.

                              * * * * *

                              I managed to gather the courage to go into the sewers after all, but I’m really anxious down here. They are a bit more open than I imagined, which is good. Berlin’s sewers have to be able to handle floodwaters to keep the city dry, so they’re pretty spacious, but not nearly spacious enough. At least I can float above the muck. That makes things a little bit better. I’ll be glad when we’re out of here and I can breathe again. Wearing this fuzzy pink gas mask Andy gave me doesn’t help, but it’s probably better than breathing the horrible fumes down here. I’ve come close to panicking a couple of times and tearing this thing off my face so I can breathe more easily, but I’m scared that if I do, I’ll just choke on the smell and end up vomiting. Dammit I need some absinthe, but I wouldn’t dare drink it down here, and I left my stuff with Aoide anyway.

                              Magnus gave me a couple shots of whiskey before we headed in, though. That’s helped.

                              Phaedra is not helpful. As we were getting ready to go, I needed something to boost my courage, so I asked her to say something encouraging. She just said, “We’re going. Get in the van!” It got me going. But I wasn’t encouraged. I’ll ask Magnus next time.
                              Breakfast was miserable. Not only did I spend the meal worried about Iris and about going into the sewers, but I noticed that Zane was sneaking food into her pouch. It’s not magical after all; she just hides food there when she can. It makes me sad that it’s not magical. The world seems a little less wonderful now. By way of apology, Zane suggested I put more syrup on my pancakes. I like Zane. She’s nice and playful, like she never really grew up.

                              We spent a lot of time wandering through the sewers before I heard the sound of many things moving around somewhere ahead of us. Zane scouted it out and reported that there were fifty or sixty zombies penned in by an electric fence. We must have found the aptrgangr’s corral. Fortunately, Magnus had some grenades he got from the shrikes. Rajani used a couple of them to blast most of the zombies into bits. I was impressed. But we still had to clean up the rest, which didn’t take long. Poor Rajani was bitten, but not badly. It did brighten my spirits to see Zane pull out her gun and mimic some of my moves as she shot a zombie or two, but in the end, when the zombies got too close, she just ended up bludgeoning them with it. I gave her a hard time about that, and it did make me feel a little better to joke around a bit.

                              I don’t hear anything else coming, so maybe the aptrgangr aren’t close. I’m eager to move on and finish things so that we can get out of here.

                              Rajani’s Journal

                              I may have made an error.

                              Hooking up with Hermione may not have been the best idea I’ve ever had. I think she was expecting it to be more. I just want to be her friend. With benefits, I guess. Fuck, I’m just lonely. I miss my friends. I miss my studio.

                              I’m certainly not making friends easily. Magnus cares only for himself, but I probably should be used to that by now. Musicians seem to only care about themselves. I must really stop focusing on music. I need to focus on myself and the destruction of the titans.

                              Andy seems to be worried about me. I told him I was fine. I am fine. I’m most comfortable when we’re out killing things. I suppose I take after my mother with that. I don’t like to be idle. That’s why I went with Andy back to the theater to warn the ghost there that there are trolls about. They seemed grateful for the information, but very reluctant to leave.

                              We headed back to the caves which are quickly becoming our home base because of a few people. Granted, it is the safest place right now. We decided to head out to the sewers to see if we can track down these zombies that spotted Ji-Woo. She had been out lazing on the roof of one of the apartment buildings in town and saw them. They noticed her, too. She was injured internally somehow.

                              The sewers are more than just where the muck goes. Berlin is sitting in a swamp. The sewer keeps the water flowing so the city doesn’t flood. We wandered along and Ji-Woo could hear something ahead. Zane went to scout it out and found an electric fenced in pen full of zombies. Luckily Magnus had some grenades and even luckier, I am proficient at throwing weapons.

                              I tossed two grenades over the fence where it would get most of them and the blast would overlap and hopefully kill most of them. That was a brilliant idea, because it took out forty nine of the sixty zombies. Yes, I am that good. We then worked on the rest. I was actually hit, which was surprising, but thankfully Nemi had bolstered my skin, so it was barely a scratch.

                              There is more sewer to go. Hopefully we will find the rest of these zombies, including the really big ones, and get this over with sooner rather than later.

                              Zane’s Letters

                              My friend Ji Woo is sad. She’s not been floaty or anything since last night, just all focussed and a little mopey. I’ve tried to cheer her up, and it’s worked a little. If nothing else, I got her to smile at me a bit, and think more about the stinky sewer water than whatever’s making her sad. I think it’s girl problems, like in those movies I saw. She was with Iris when we left to talk with Keeva, but then was with Aoide when the zombies made them all flurgy. Hermione (one of the pretty cave ladies) was sad too, even though she was making time with Rajani. And Glykeria, after she grabbed Phaedra aside. Magnus was alright though and he spent the whole night with Chloris. Jester said that someday I might be able to be a boy when I want to. Maybe I’ll get a girlfriend when I can do that. It seems like that works better, all around. And I’d be a good boyfriend, I wouldn’t let nobody hurt my girl.

                              Any road, other than all that cobblers, we did get to fight a whole lot of the zombie berks. First though, we went to see Keeva, and the ghost Gia, like I said before. Andy was worried about them, what with all the trolls and zombies about, and I didn’t want him wandering off on his own, so I went with him. So did Nemi, and Rajani, and Phaedra. Andy boosted Mags’ van so we could get there quick. He wasn’t bad at it, maybe a bit slow for a proper boost. He did manage to fix it all up, even if Mags did notice it had been moved a bit.

                              At the White Gloves place, Andy did a lot of talking. He was talking funny, something about car parts, and then the trolls, but I mostly tuned him out after that. Nemi did scold him a bit for being to hard on himself when he was saying that he weren’t any good in a fight. Andy does a good job of making all of us better, though I guess that does mean if there’s nobody to make better he might run into some aggro.

                              We went back to the caves after they promised they’d stay safe at the White Gloves. I’d left a note for Mags and Ji Woo, back at the caves, so they wouldn’t get worried. Mags was still getting off with Chloris, but Ji Woo had her note, and then left me one saying that she had gone off flying with Aoide. I think the undergroundness of the caves was bothering her. But while they were out, zombies found them! I think she said there was 10 of them, with 2 really tall ones that Mags said was an apterganger, like we fought at the club.

                              One of them made Ji Woo a little sick, Aoide very very sick. She almost fell off the skyscraper they were on. Ji Woo caught her before she did though, and carried her home. She’s very light, almost like a couple of fancy pillows. Ji Woo wasn’t letting go of her, and was very worried, but I got her all fixed up in a tick, then got rid of the little bit of sick that Ji Woo had. Phaedra decided to take a look at where Ji Woo saw the zombies, reflected on the moon, and saw that there was even more of the wankers, another 15 or so, with 3 of them being big and tall. That’s along with the other 10 that hurt Ji Woo and Aoide so there were 25, I think, with 5 big ones.

                              We had lots of us who could see things reflected on the moon, so we decided to keep an eye out on them, until morning. Leastwise then we wouldn’t be bothered by no trolls. I was watching just right before the sun came up though, and they buggered off into the sewers. They did go to different ones, each of the groups, so we decided to go after the smaller one. Mags gave a nice pep talk, about how we was gonna beat up some zombies, after eating a good breakfast, and it was gonna be super metal. It all sounded good to me, especially breakfast. Others were not so excited, specially Andy. He was worried about his suit a lot, on account of the sewers being dirty.

                              We went to a place called IHOP and had lots and lots of pancakes. I tucked away some of the toast and jam packets, and some crackers in case I got hungry later. Ji Woo noticed, and got more sad, on account of she thought my pouch was magic and since it wasn’t, it seemed like there was less magic things and all, I guess. I told her she should have more syrup, and that would help. I think maybe it did. At least, she started making patterns with the blueberry stuff and the proper golden syrup.

                              After we were all full, we went down into the sewers. Well, most folks went off to change clothes first. I didn’t have nothing special to wear, but everybody else got some torn up long trousers and shirts and boots. Andy got himself a gas mask thing, that made his voice sound even more funny. He had a different one, that he gave to Ji Woo. It was all pink and fuzzy. Nemi had a doctor’s mask on, and Phaedra had a bandit mask. She also had really bright Wellies on over her shoes. Mags had a bandit mask too, but his was soaked through with whiskey. We looked a little daft walking down the street like that, if you asked me, but everybody thinks sewer gunk is right icky or something. I was really good though. I didn’t splash nobody, or have a snack down there or make finger paintings. When Mags did his freezy-walk thing, I didn’t even stomp them. I thought about it real hard though. The looks on their faces would have been ace.

                              The sewers here in Berlin are bigger than the ones at home. I think it’s because of the swamp or something, there was alot more water flowing through, and more of the stuff that’s to protect from flooding and stuff. Even with all the moving water, Ji Woo still managed to hear a truckload of zombies coming from up ahead. We was worried for a bit that the two groups had gone and joined themselves up down here, so I nipped on ahead to have a butchers.

                              Turns out, it was a cage kinda thing. In one of the big rooms that you get sometimes in the sewers, there was a ring of fences, that were electric and stuff, like you have for animals, or to protect really important or dangerous things. Inside the fences were a giant bunch of zombies, like 60 or something. None of the big tall apterganger blokes though. I went back to tell them, and Mags remembered he had grenades! They were nazi grenades. I never had much practice at throwing things so they’d hit what I wanted them to, and neither had most of us, but Rajani had. So she got a pair of them, and tossed them right in the middle of things, kinda overlapping a bit, and killed almost 50 of them, right like that. It was well hard.

                              Our plan went like this, Rajani threw the grenades, while we shot at them from a bit away. Then we made them come through the fence, and tear themselves up a bit, maybe even freezing the sewer gunk and trapping their legs some. It turned out near perfect, specially after Rajani killed almost all of them right off. I joined in with the shooting. I’m not very good at it, but punks don’t listen too good if you don’t at least have a gun, so I know how to hold it at least, and I copied Ji Woo, cause she’s brill at shooting. That’s what made her smile at me, when I shot one of the zombies trying to copy what she was doing so I’d do it better. I got one more shot at them before they were up in our face, but then I just started smacking the zombies about with my gun. Ji Woo scolded me a bit later, all in fun, that I was using it wrong doing it like that. I did manage to stop one coming, when I smacked it in the ear with the handle.

                              Everybody was awesome like usual. Ji Woo managed to bounce two bullets, at the same time, so they’d hit a zombie behind Mags. I didn’t try to copy that one. Rajani was whirlwinding around with her sword, and Phaedra shot arrows as quick as could be. Nemi had his fancy spike fist thing going on, and was knocking them off balance with me, once they got up close. Mags curbstomped one, without even having a curb.

                              We did real good, specially for 60 on 7. Nobody even got hurt, except Rajani a little bit, but Nemi’d given her a boost, so it wasn’t bad. Well, Nemi cut himself up a bit afterwards, but I think that’s his god-thing, so it shouldn’t count. Sides, I boosted him anyway, so he was all good. We still hadn’t found the aptergangers though, and that’s what was really bad. These zombies weren’t really nothing on the ones at the club, with the tall guy.

                              End Session VI

                              No Nemi this time. The player was sick and unable to complete it. He was able to show for tonight’s game, though Phaedra’s player wasn’t.

                              Anyway. Not much new monster-wise. Like the Hungry Dead in the last session, these were not beefed up by Aptrgangr Etir, so slightly easier to deal with. Explosives always help. I am pretty sure Rajani set a single action kill record for Hero level play.

                              And as for the drama, it was fun. Glykeria attempted to seduce Phaedra, and the player let her character misunderstand her intentions until the last moment, where Phaedra had to tell her she was straight. Nothing actually happened between Aoide and Ji-Woo not reported in the journals. Hermione did, unsure between Rajani and Ji-Woo, go for Rajani, while Magnus fooled around with Chloris. Andy, while goofy, is one of the more prudish in the group, actually; He digs Caoimhe, but it was not the time nor place, even with potential ghost involvement.

                              Next time our heroes brave dangerous traps and more undead to bring down the Lich commanding them. Join us then. In the meantime, comments and questions welcome.

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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]