Ren – Origami Crane
Hiyashi Ren and her boy-toy Nick Camposso have been spending some time in the Great Lakes area, learning more about supernatural events, creatures, and legends. They are currently enjoying breakfast on Lake Champlain in Vermont (looking for Champy the Lake Monster) when Ren suddenly notices an origami crane on the table next to her. As she opens it, she notices tons of Hiyashi Keisuke’s magical and arcane symbols as well as the mundane kanji spelling out a phone number and the text “Call this number.”
She excuses herself and uses the restaurants quaint rotary phone and gets a voicemail service. In Japanese, she hears Uncle’s voice speaking, “Ren, if you have had to dial this number for whatever reason, I am probably dead. The Wards around my shop have been ruptured. Please come, immediately.”
Dropping the phone off the hook she runs back to her table and tells Nick about the emergency call and that they have to get back to Dallas. But how? They discuss how to get there… drive? Jaunt through the Nevernever? While Ren is mildly freaking, Nick ponders “Is there some reason we can’t just fly?”
Oh. Yeah. That would probably work too. Nick then uses his mojo to charter a private flight from Burlington, Vermont to Addison Airport in the DFW Metroplex. While in the air, Nick calls a few folks and does a little business to replenish his funds (apparently a sudden first class charter flight for two is expensive… who knew?).
Cody – Morning News
Cody Lorance is sitting down with his family and reading the morning’s headlines when he cannot help but notice that there have been five arson fires at local churches… with fatalities. Each of the churches had “Matthew” (aka "Saint Matthew’) in the name. Ignoring his pancakes he starts plotting out the crime scenes to look for patterns… he finds one. The churches form a shape that looks like something he saw in one of his kid’s books, The Hobbit? … some kind of… rune?
He remembers that Belle Starr is the local expert on Scandianvian things and heads to The Purple House on Bell finding it unexpectedly closed. In fact, there’s some customers also surprised by the fact and tell him so. So he tries other options, buzzing Elena Torres. Luckily she hasn’t tossed the burner phone for which he still has the number.
After exchanging greatings, he tells Elena about what he’d read in the morning paper. Elena is mostly quiet and non-committal, sounding distracted.
“I’m looking for anybody that can help me understand a magical pattern?” Cody gets right to the point.
She speaks to somebody with her, not directly into the phone. “Hey do we want Cody to come along?”
He then overhears Jamie Harper nearby “Sure we can use him to help with shooting people.”
Elena returns to the phone, "Come hot and loaded for bear. We’re headed to Da Grove, I’ll buzz you when we’re ready to go."
Cody can’t help but wonder what in the world they’re up to this morning, but he rolls with it. After a short pause, “… should I bring anything specific? Metal?”
“Bring iron,” is Elena’s terse reply.
“Iron. Got it. Oooookay.” He then kisses his family farewell, grabs his gun, vest… but not his badge. The Department of Public Safety had officially suspended him over the shooting of the Korean gangbanger with his service M4 carbine some time ago. It was a bum deal… but he didn’t have time to worry about that right now.
Erica In Summer
There’s a matter regarding Conor leaving Erica in the lurch, a Sidhe butler informs her regarding the vague details “Your father sent lord dallas with lord invictus in my stead”
“He was rather put out” (re: conor)
Kenna wonders if erica needs to be somewhere, she informs kenna that she’d like to be wherever Conor is
Butler to tend to Erica’s physical needs “Do you require something?”
Few minutes later, Roxie shows up
“I understand you need a ride?”
Roxie then explains briefly that she’s there under sad circumstances, to bring Alice Jones’s body to rest in state.
Erica is at a complete loss for words "Um… "
Roxie “Shall we?”
Erica “Yes… I could…. uh….” then they go to the car
Roxie guides Erica through the building
They take off in a vehicle… with an engine that purrs
“I assume you wish to go rather quickly?”
“With all possible safety but eh… punch it Roxie.”
Erica then holds on for dear life in the very large, quickly moving vehicle … all it has is a lap belt
Erica thinks she’ll ask Conor more later about Alice
After a while…
“Who’s car is this?” Erica wonders
“One of the Duke’s collection” says Roxie
Erica starts to realize it’s a really, really fancy car…
(It is, in fact, a 1938 Dusenberg)
Her prosthetic eye start itching, she takes it out and then remembers…
She remembers an exchange with Midori about a craze in “Eye licking” in Japan “That’s disgusting, you would totally win”
Heading to Da Grove
Jamie’s divination took him to a box in Pleasant Grove – 4×8 plates of iron welded into a box 12×12×8.
They are doing very poorly – iron poisoning
Oreamnos, Conor, Jamie, Elena are at Lake Cliff Park, they start driving – jamie gives directions via what he saw in his divination spell
Jamie in the front seat, window down
… 3 1/2 hours later they arrive in Dallas, around 4pm.
They rent a car and race to get to Uncle’s Shop and it’s a burned out ruin
She goes to Uncle/Auntie’s house to check on her.
She finds auntie with red eyes, crying
She stays to provide comfort, couple of hours
Auntie ’Em’s House
Erica arrives where Conor was… which is Jamie’s house
Nobody’s there… “I do not thing anyone is here. I’m sorry, I need to do a minor divination…”
Roxie takes a moment to locate Conor via her Summer magic
She informs Erica that they appear to be on the move towards South-East Dallas
Back in the car, they take off again
Roxie then is so bold as to make conversation, she informs Erica that recently several members of the group’s family have been abducted and Ms. Jones was killed.
She’s also told about Belle being entombed in rose vines.
Erica then begins to freak out again, “Take me to my aunt’s house” (and immediately provides directions)
When they get there, the front door is ajar. Roxie puts Erica under a veil.
The house is wrecked/ransacked
Roxie does not come in
Erica “pings” with her sonar… there’s nobody there.
She walks into the house near the fire to grab an iron fireplace poker
As she walks to the fireplace she feels something odd under her feet … a line of pebbles
Erica then “pings” again at a higher resolution spelling a message which her sonar can make out “Kill Staple Aunt Goes Free”
At that point, various electronics in the house fry/roast themselves
She then asks Roxie if she knows where Staple is located, Roxie unfortunately does not – however she’s happy to go and find out and that it wouldn’t take long.
“How long would this take?”
“Would 10 minutes be sufficient?”
Erica is flabbergasted
“I shall provide a report within 10 minutes with whatever I find out”
Tuna, Cheerleaders, and Tribbles oh my
Erica uses Auntie Em’s phone to buzz her apartment
Claret picks up
“Ah… put Hobbes on the line please?”
There a long disdainful silence then… “CAT!!!” and the phone clacks as it’s set down
Shortly a few sniffs are heard, then a purring voice “Yeeeees?”
“Hobbes I need you to meet me at Auntie Em’s house in 5 minutes.”
There’s another long disdainful silence, then… “Why?”
“There’s some stuff going down and… I just need you to DO it.”
A third long disdainful silence, “Hmm…. ah… the attempted bossiness tone… I shall be right there.”
In seemingly seconds, Hobbes appears at Erica’s feet .. there’s even an accompanying mild “bamf” sound as he appears
“So the Erlking’s Daughter has kidnapped auntie em…”
“Oh” Hobbes seems to mumble to himself “Note to self attempt to control sarcasm mortal is probably in a highly agitated state.” … then brightly “Continue?”
Erica controls her ire… barely, “I need to you be my seeing eye Malk for a little while.”
“very well” and then suddenly a heavy weight is on Erica’s shoulders … with fur.. and claws
“Auwp! GENTLE!” Erica exclaims
“Where are we going?” purrs
“We’re waiting for some information and then we’re leaving.”
“Shall I be visible? … ohpleasepleasepleaseplease”
Erica ponders, “As it pleases you.”
A tail wraps around her neck
“But not attention grabbing!”
There’s a long disdainful silence… again
“Nothing to alert mortals to anything other than your cat state.”
Then an irritated flapping of the upper lips and a very human sounding “Mee-ow…” followed by a vocalized “Purr.” (not the sound of a cat purring.. someone saying the word “Purr”)
Then Roxie arrives, Hobbes hisses.
Roxie then tells Erica about the big meeting in Lake Cliff park… not sure about what happened, but…
Hobbes interrupts, asking quietly “Why are you talking to the cheerleader?”
“The cheerleader is driving us to where we need to go!” A slightly irked Erica exclaims.
A short pause, “So.. she has to do what you say?” One can almost hear the smile forming on its Malk-kitty lips.
Erica firmly replies “No!”
Another short pause, “Can you try?”
Erica just sighs and massages the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger.
Brightly, “Does she have to get you things? Like Tuna?”
“Oh so that’s where this is going… awesome… awesome.” Erica starts to think.
“Tell ya what, she’s gonna get me information… you go get the Tuna in Auntie Em’s fridge… whatever you can eat in five minutes”
…at which point there’s a momentary vaccuum as the Malk effectively teleports to the kitchen
“You were saying Roxie?”
There’s a pause as if she were looking down the hallway, then she continues with her information – that Erica’s friends are headed to Pleasant Grove and Staple has gone back to the Caverns beneath Oak Cliff
There’s clattering of plates and pottery… then the aroma of tuna wafts down the hall
Roxie then wonders “When your… is familiar an acceptible term?…”
“when your familiar is done shall we go?”
“Yeah, he has 2 and a half minutes.”
“I shall wait in the vehicle.”
In 2 and a half minutes there’s a Garfield Cartoon-esque belch… “Oh my stars that was fantastic…” then from Erica’s ankle.. “… you’ll have to pick me up.”
Erica then picks up an absurdly heavy cat that’s completely damp in tuna juice. ewwww.
She gets in the car after wiping down the Malk with a nearby tablecloth
Roxie, with a smirk audible in her voice, “Would you like me to clean him?”
There’s a pause, then a split second after Erica says “Yes.” Hobbes exclaims “What? No! Don’t let the…”
Then there’s a rushing wind that blasts Hobbes up against the seat, droplets of what smells like rainwater, warmth, and the smell of summer blossoms.
In the silence a very betrayed voice “I hate you… so… much.”
Erica replies “That… was for making me pick you up.”
Roxie sniggers, eliciting a retort from Hobbes “This isn’t over cheerleader…”
With a smile still perfectly audible in her response. “Yes Malk, as you say.”
Erica reaches down to pet her cat and feels… a tribble.
As she pets the cat “If I could move right now I’d strip your faces off”
Erica smugly replies “No you wouldn’t” as she continues to scratch
Indignantly “I could pretend I really wish to do so…”
“… I intend to sleep… because… tuna.”
At which point a small aircraft engine purr machine accompanies them the rest of the drive the Orc Marches.
Roxie gets within 5 blocks to the entrance to the Marches, then she has a concern regarding her presence there.
Erica excuses Roxie to not have to go any closer than she feels safe, then wakes up Hobbes.
His first words.. “Why are we in this festering… I smell orc!… no wait, that’s the sewer.”
After another set of barbs between Roxie and the Malk, Hobbes and Erica then walk to the door to the community center that sits over the Nevernever gateway to the Orc Demesne.
She’s met by a large black man as she’s examining the door for Wards
Hobbes and the large man hiss and snarl at each other (literally for Hobbes) figuratively for the Orc.
Erica then discovers that Orcs are beligerantly unhelpful just because they can be…
After being made to wait at the door, the Orc returns with word from Staple for her to come on in. The unhelpful Orc from the door guides Erica in, on guest rights.
Erica discovers that the Orc Marches smell like a men’s hocky locker room.
She appears to come to a central meeting location.
“What do you want Goodchilde?” in a deep, booming voice.
Then they discuss the current situation going on in the area (kidnappings, The Erlking’s Daughter, etc.)
Staple informs Erica that her compatriots are going to rescue Zanna who isn’t under a Geas and can provide information.
He also expresses concerns that the Marchioness’s Demesne is fairly well defended and lots of scary traps, guards, etc.
Staple is especially concerned with the Black Cypress guardians… if they have gone over to the Erlking’s Daughter… which wouldn’t be a problem if somebody had a copy of the Tabula Smaragdina
Erica then quips up that she knows somebody.
This just is hilarious to the Orcs for many reasons.
She gets an escort back to the surface to make the call… she also gets slipped the Orc from the front door’s phone number on a piece of paper.
she calls Claret again, it goes to voicemail
“Claret PICK UP THE PHONE”
Then she turns off the answering machine
“Do you remember… well… I need to call in… "
“You’re cutting out. What?”
“I need to call in a favor. I need to borrow your book.”
There’s a long pause, “You better not be talking about my book book. You better be talking about my latest book on SM Fashion Trends.”
“No I mean your book book, I need…”
“You know what you’re cutting out”
And the phone goes dead
Erica dials back and it goes to voice mail
“They kidnapped Auntie Em Claret”
The phone picks up, “G-D damn it Erica.”
Then they argue and debate the fine details of Erica borrowing the book and where and what. The “Love” word is bandied around and there’s some debate as to if Claret meant it or not…
Erica then escapes quickly from the Marches, then gets to the curb and Roxie pulls up.
Then they wait in the car for Claret
Back in Da Grove
Gang tags everywhere… including lots of MS-13
They arrive, Elena does some basic recon
Conor puts the car under a veil
Elena discovers several guards and the metal “box” prison is downstairs
She also catches the faintest whiff of Brimstone from the back door
Elena and Jamie briefly discuss the possibility of Don Diablo being involved
She buzzes Cody and gets him the address/cross streets
Everyone gathers and they discuss options for either going in or even pulling the iron box completely out of the house
Erica and Roxie’s Phone
Erica needs to make some phone calls… and discovers the “joy” of trying to type in numbers on a smart phone.
Roxie then dials for her, and hands her the phone
Erica calls Santiago first…
The Sidhe then clearly casts some kind of spell as soon as she does so.
… and the signal is now absurdly clear.
Erica gets Santiago involved as a “combat medic” because Belle and Barbara are kidnapped.
She then has Roxie call Ramon.
There’s no answer.
She then wonders how fast Roxie can get to Grapevine… as soon as Claret arrives
There’s then some incredulous discussion about Conor’s new “butler” … or “chauffeur”
They then walk back to The Community Center … Claret is less than pleased with the idea.
Hobbes is quite interested in the behaviour and physical reactions of/from the Orcs in response to the appearance of two attractive mortals in their lair.
Claret then puts on the “lesbian act”
… which almost backfires as the Orcs seem interested and willing to pay to watch… and Claret ponders the possibility.
Once in the presence of Staple, Claret shows off her Emerald Tablet.
There’s some additional discussion of Black Cypress and spells… Claret then begins to tremble/freak out.
Claret seeks clarification, “Black Cypress… as in Guardian Black Cypress?”
Staple, “They guard the pathways to my mistress’s lair”
She then “In Dallas? There’s Black Cypress in Dallas?”
The Orc replies, “Yes, you didn’t think it was called Trees accidentally did you?”
Then there’s some discussion about crafting some potions to bypass the Guardian Black Cypress… which appear to be the combination of “tree form” Chlorofiend Fae… and Black Court Renfield… that feeds on blood and bone fertilizer.
Claret informs Staple, she has the ingredients to make some potions to defend against The Trees.
The Wolf Den
Erica then finds the werewolf den empty.
A cursory inspection reveals answering machine messages suggesting that family members of the pack have been kidnapped.
The place shows signs of a very recent “bug out” (they got out of there quickly)
Erica then asks Roxie to see what she can discover about Ramon “I need you to find Ramon”
Back in Da Grove
Cody tells Jamie and Matthew about the churches and the rune pattern
Apparently it’s Ansuz… the rune for God/a God. Another message for Matthew.
Jamie and Matthew both take some time to throw up beastly Thaumaturgical veils
They sneak around the back of the house and go completely unnoticed.
Jamie notices a Ward on the back door… distinctly familiar magic…
Like somebody trained in the same school as Jamie… like Raven Harper might do.
As they work on tearing down the Ward, they realize the magic is completely shot through with Infernal magic
Ren and Midori
Ren calls around, finally getting in touch with someone… Midori
Apparently Claret and Erica and running around plotting something. Midori shares the number with Ren.
They have smalltalk and then Ren lets it slip that Uncle’s dead… and apparently Midori is well familiar with Uncle.
Midori is devastated.
Claret gets a text and asks who is Uncle to Erica.
The text says “Uncle is dead need to call”
Then there’s some hysterical chattering between Midori and Claret, then Claret puts it on speaker.
There’s more babbling .. and tears… Midori is in tears.
Erica tells all “Everybody back to my place!” including Ren.
Once everybody (Midori, Erica, Claret, Ren, Roxie) is together at the Estrogen Party (and Hobbes doesn’t really count) everyone is brought up to speed.
Midori texts Conor and finds out that they’re in Pleasant Grove.
Nick finally comes up to the apartment and needless to say it causes some stress.
Claret (after being prompted by Erica) asks Nick if he’s a blood sucking vampire. He replies that he doesn’t sparkle either.
They ask if he’s an emotion sucking vampire?
Ren then lets everyone know that Nick is still a “virgin.”
Claret and Midori then exchange a few comments about Conor as they exchange texts.
Erica wants to find out if they need help… somehow Lord Dallas’ reply text causes a “Squee.” … Erica just shakes her head.
Ren then asks a bunch of questions about Conor and gets a summary of recent “Lord Dallas” events.
Erica talks with Midori …and Midori makes it very very clear that she’s “has a stake in this” because “they killed Uncle”
She then comes back out of her room with a Katana… a real one (apparently it’s not the one she bought at Akon)
Erica is highly discomfitted by “Ninja Chop Barbie” Midori but it’s clear she’s determined to go.
Claret and Erica work on the special Black Cypress potions using equations/formulae found in the Tabula Smaragdina, the rest of them rummage through her “stores”
… Claret also needs some live chickens for the spell… like Voodoo… 2… maybe 3 chickens.
Hobbes is sent to go get them… which he does with gusto as he’s offered the rest of the chickens at the Dallas Heritage Village as payment for bringing back 2 of them alive.
When he gets back he looks as round as a beach ball and he informs her that “Today has been the greatest day in my entire service to you.” He then goes and passes out in some corner.
Back in Da Grove
Jamie and Matthew blast down the Ward, Conor then opens the physical door.
Conor enters his “Lord Dallas” form and enters.
Elena, Conor, and Cody deal with the various thugs (the ones Cody deals with live…)
Matthew and Jamie blow open the iron prison while that’s going on and just detonate the “ice lance” trap (they throw up stacking blocks to deal with it).
Jamie takes the force the lance first, it hits him a bit harder than the spillover to Matthew.
Elga and Zanna are within… and on the cusp of death… one might say Severely injured.
They immediately take them out of the iron box (Conor is excused from that part)… four of them needed to pull out Elga.
… an Ogre and an extra Satyr aren’t going to fit in the transportation available. Elena goes to look for a pickup truck to … borrow… one is found (a low rider with “Gutiérrez” on the back window and an LA Kings air freshener on the dashboard).
They go back to Matthew’s residence.
During the driving Midori and Conor coordinate to let everyone know where they all are.
The group with Zanna and Elga go into Matthew’s Demesne (Elena then takes the car away to “clean it up”)
Matthew pleads his case with Uriel to heal Zanna… he gets a distinct feeling from his “boss” that it’ll be approved but it’s all on Matthew… “Power was given to you to use. If you make the call, then you make the call.”
Zanna is patched up as best as possible. It then becomes clear that both Zanna and Elga have had one of their “flying” ribs removed… by force. Ow.
About that time Erica’s group all show up and enter the Demesne.
The first thing Erica does is punch Conor in the shoulder… He looks sheepish “I tried! I..” Erica then replies "No I know … the butler. But … "
She spills the beans… it’s a classic labyrinth guarded by lots of unfriendly things.
The group then discusses recent events.
“The Erlking’s Daughter came in and she took the Mistress to get to the Key. The Key is sealed with various magics that make it impossible to open so long as the Mistress’s most trusted are still intacts. Two parts of the key require… well… my and Elga’s ribs… the final lock is tied to Staple’s life force.”
Of course the heroes are wondering what they key goes to, but Zanna cannot tell.
Hell-Ts crew were the ones that came in the front door at Trees and took Elga and Zanna.
Then the group starts discussing tactics for knocking on the Marchioness’s former Demesne… now the Erlking’s Daughter’s Labyrinth.
Zanna then lets the heroes know that The Fort Wolf Posse is pressed into service (blackmail against their family’s lives) to defend the central keep against the heroes. “Dogs against Dogs”
She also warns that the Layrinth is also a blood energy collector… spilled blood may aid the owner of the central keep.
Then they wonder how to keep Staple away from the fight lest the final lock of the key get opened….
Of course, the heroes are wicked curious about what the key goes to… the best Zanna can answer is… The things they key unlocks don’t really affect mortals.
By the way… Zanna isn’t sure Staple knows that he has to die to unlock the last seal… it wasn’t ever supposed to come up.
Another ‘by the way’ … The Erlking’s Daughter kills with a thought. So… maybe consider “Barter, Battle, and Brigandry” to get whatever it is you’re wanting… maybe issue a challenge.
Then they get into a philosophical discussion about the Erlking’s Daughter’s conditions for returning the family members, the merits of challenge, fae vs viking traditions, and the nature of an immortal fae that hates your entire bloodline.
Zanna “I feel like I’m harshing the mood… I’m not trying to. I appreciate everything you guys did for me.”
She also hints that the nature of the key is to something similar to how in ancient stories great heroes need artifacts the slay the beast at the end of the tale.
The heroes also ponder… what’s to keep the Erlking’s Daughter from offering back The Marchioness to the Forces of Winter so that they stab the heroes in the back right in the middle of everything? Hmm. Maybe Staple and his boys should stay away… far, far away.
So… what to do… what to do.
Can we be cool?
As Claret is handing over the potions, she comes up to Elena
“Um… Elena… so your family is kidnapped too, right?”
“Since I’m helping… can… can we be cool? Please?”
“Yeah we can be cool.”
Claret lets out a sigh that’s been months in the making. Then there’s a brief discussion about eliminating some people making Claret’s life difficult… Claret excuses herself from all the fighting and leaves considerably happier than she was when she entered.
- GM Wolfhound game date 6/27 (May 2 in game)
- Minor Milestone
- Starting Bennies
- Elena 12+3
- Conor 11+2
- Matthew 5+1
- Jamie 2+3
- Oreamnos 0+1
- Conor 11+2
- Erica 2+3 (2 compels via last game’s events for Conor’s game-start compels)
- Includes the one from Mortal Kombat, sorta
- Cody 2
- Ending Bennies
- Conor spent 1, the rest was fairly heavy on roleplay
- Conor spent 1, the rest was fairly heavy on roleplay