Conor stood off to the side and watched as the rest of his group tended to various matters in the wake of the chaos. Though he was uncertain of the route they’d take, he was confident that they’d be heading out to intercept the Goblin who had kidnapped the daughter of Jaime’s secretary, Alice. The Warlock Eric McCulloch was beheaded. Amidst the wreckage surrounding a dilapidated old shack in the middle of a bayou, Jake Harper was clutching his father tight… job done insofar as that was concerned.
He was; however, less pleased with the collateral damage of the “McCulloch gang.”
Iris was beautiful; as were all of Miranda‘s chorus. Through his “ex” Alex Kross, Conor had come to know the Dallas / Oak Lawn “arts” community and especially those of the theater set. Miranda and her friends were excellent actresses and; though a bit aloof for Conor’s tastes, friendly enough to those of their acquaintance. Iris was a minor-talent with divination in the Greek Oracle way. She had always seemed so alive and eccentric, with her spectacularly dyed purple hair, emerald green eyes, and full red lips. Now she was so much gnawed, bloody bones and viscera.
Juno, being tended by Matthew and Elena (to help mitigate the trauma), was drenched in her own blood. She was the most like Miranda, their patroness – though with sun bronzed skin instead of pale alabaster. She dyed her hair in a similar red-magenta color. Her sky blue eyes, currently so full of pain, terror, and fear, were normally thoughtful and pensive. She, like Dona Esmeralda, was an Ectomancer. Originally Conor had thought she was a bit crazy, always talking to herself… until Alex had explained that she was actually talking to the spirits of the dead. Now she was just making unintelligible moans and whimpers as makeshift bandages were used to staunch her bleeding. Matthew and Elena were desperately trying to mitigate the effects of her deep state of shock. True Elena had government training, but doubtful the Feds ever covered dealing with somebody that had just had her thighs, calves, glutes, and every other major lower body muscle group devoured.
Academically, he understood that Ceres was also dead. She was the first of Miranda’s chorus to be eaten by the Ghouls. Her corpse was doubtless back in Dallas. Ceres had gorgeous mocha colored skin and eyes the color of a tawny lion’s mane. She had always kept her hair dyed a spectacular shade of royal blue. She probably had gone down fighting, she was both feisty and a skilled Kinetomancer.
Three lovely ladies… two dead, one violated in a way that was simply unimaginable prior to this moment. Suddenly all the old tired jokes about minor practitioners being “little fish in a big pond,” “it’s a jungle out there,” or the like … they stopped being funny. Conor had a new appreciation for the foresight of individuals like Belle Starr who had helped band all these people together for mutual protection well before today. She had known. She had understood. Perhaps if Miranda had been part of that organization they’d have been safe, perhaps not. No way to know now.
Conor could feel his anger and indignation flowing through him like molten steel. He slowly flexed his fists and popped his knuckles with each flexing of his fingers. His jaws were still clenched tightly, causing the muscles on the side of his head to bulge. Occasionally his teeth would gnash and sound would intrude on his thoughts. He had used more of his Fae magic to see more of the Nevernever in the past hour than he had in the past three months. He could feel himself “shifting” again internally. He sometimes described it as “butterflies in the blood” … a tingling sensation in his veins.
A younger Conor probably would have tossed his lunch after seeing Iris’s corpse and Juno’s wounds. Today’s Conor just took it all in, and cataloged it in his mental tally of “things that just aren’t right.” These were serious times, and they called for serious responses. He still wasn’t sure where he could best help, but he knew his place in situations like this… standing in between the predators and their prey, swinging.
Mise mé féin, ní dhéanann mé eile… I am who I am, I will do no other.
This is where I raised Toughness to Supernatural, Discipline to Great, and used my Minor to swap Athletics completely out of the “pyramid” for Intimidation. Conor is a tank, or perhaps Ship-of-the-Line. To misquote Lord Admiral Nelson, “Nevermind about maneuvers, go straight at them.”
Artwork taken from the Evil Hat Game free module Evil Acts (from which Prospero, Miranda, and the Chorus all originally hailed)
Or to summarize how Conor’s feeling right now… Danny Glover (um, ignore all the silly political crap on both sides of the movie scene).