The Wolves are Loosed

The Whales Cometh
From West Bumfsck

Things calmed down slightly and we considered our next course of action. It seems there were several leads but since we were already on the west coast we decided to head up to Washington state to investigate the reported incidents in Wa’ach.

So we rented a van and drove up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway?). It was a pretty drive and there didn’t seem to be any particular hurry. It seems that this is the end of the whaling season and the town (composed of the Macah tribal peoples) is having a Cultural Day to celebrate their final hunt of the season. Word is that the tribe voluntarily stopped hunting whales in the 1920s. After decades of cultural aimlessness, they started again in the 1990s and regained their cultural heritage, at least according to the sources we found. Before this resurgence, the whaling families (the only people allowed to hunt by the Tribal Council) underwent a year of “spiritual cleansing”. It also seems that they used “traditional” methods. Men throwing harpoons from a 20 man canoe. Sounds moderately dangerous.

John also uncovered some information about the wolf serpents and some references to the thunderbirds who taught the Macah to whale. It flew out to sea and scooped up whales to bring back to the mountains to eat. The lightning and thunder we considered to be the fight between the whale and the thunderbird. The town banner is the thunderbird carrying a whale flanked by lightning snakes.

We arrive in town driving north on highway 112 around 1530 while storm clouds gather over the pensula. We know we need to investigate the Wa’ach Cultural and Research Center. We find a couple of motels but there are only rooms at one called the Hideout Motel. We stop to get a late lunch at the Whaadah cafe and then head to the grocery store for supplies. Andy and Sharon want some beer but the store seems poorly stocked. Not very many brands of any product and absolutely no diet sodas (??). The brands they do have seem … out of date but the packaging seems modern. Odd, very odd.

While checking out, Andy offers the checker some cash ($100) to ask a few questions. His name is Guy Bud and he has some interesting things to say about recent events. It seems a week before the “rain of fish” (cooked cajun fish fell from the sky on September 1st) there were six deaths in the grocery store, four locals and two tourists (four inside the store and two walking by on the sidewalk out front). They all seemed to drop dead from what seemed to be heart attacks. However the Tribal Council hushed up the incident so Guy was very nervous about relating these events to us.

Aug 26th – coronary incident (6 die in or near grocery store)
Sep 1st – the rain of (cajun) fish
Sep 6th – vandalism at the Cultural Center
Sep 15th – serpent incident (vision of the wolf serpent)
Sep 26th – tomorrow, there should be another event soon

The grocery store closes at 1600.
Serpent incident: a giant snake like creature with the head of a wolf crawled out of the marina, slithered through the streets of the town in an apparently random pattern and then headed up into the mountains.

We leave the store and announcements indicate that the Festival princess will be selected momentarily.

Just before the princess selection we attend a storytelling by one of the elders, a Thomas Carter (who is also on the Tribal Council). He speaks (apparently) in the tribal language and it’s translated for the crowd by Janine Cloud (the sheriff’s daughter?). After the story is over, Andy raises his hand to ask questions and he ends up telling a story about Hermes. After he’s finished the crowd moves slowly over to the princess selection ceremony and a greek fellow named Yarris remains behind, having recognized Andy.

Sharon talks to Janine about the Cultural Center vandalism incident and we discover that she is the curator/director. They arrange to meet at 1800 while the sheriff talks to us about “adding” performances to the various festival activities. He seems to frown upon it and we are thrust further up on the sheriff’s sh!t list.

Andy gets ambushed while we’re walking around the festival by a woman named Theresa McCall. She belongs to some sort of UFO group that is up here “investigating” the same strange occurrences we are. She did have some more detailed information about the rain of fish. It seems it lasted for 13 minutes and there were a total of 502 pieces of fish that fell. Most of it was gathered up and the sheriff actually still had a sample preserved in formaldehyde. That might bear investigation later. She also has information, of uncertain credibility, of a “rain of chili” in Mexico City in 1973. She tells us that she’s here for “the mystical vision”, whatever that means.

We also see two men wearing what have to be government issue black suits. Andy and I go out of our way to greet them and they respond with excessive “furtiveness”, dodging out of the way and pointedly ignoring us.

Andy promises to meet her later and we make our way to the Cultural Center to meet with Janine and find out what we can about that incident. It seems she was giving a tour when the vandalism happened and she was out of view of the artifacts which were affected for no more than 10 minutes. She says that a whaling canoe and a number of other artifacts were “painted red” but it seems that their consistency and material were altered rather than their surface being painted. It seemed like they became made of red latex suddenly. Sharon does one of her investigation tricks but it reveals that there were no crimes committed within the Cultural Center. Andy casts a spell to see the magic web and it shows that there was a very powerful magic presence here but it is gone. Additionally the whole town seems to have a web of magic across it. The threads which lead up into the mountains seem to be the strongest however. He also finds that Janine is tied to the Fates somehow. The magic residue here fades as he examines is and gets less toward the grocery store. The threads going into the mountains seem to be getting stronger.

There is a Japanese family that seems to show up every place we go to, taking pictures of everything (including us).

Will summons his jaguar warriors and sets them to watching a balding man which had come to our attention in the crowd. We follow the thread back to the grocery store, which is closed by now. Out back we find an old beat-up 400cc Honda motorcycle parked. There is a light from windows on the 2nd floor. Will climbs up and uses his mojo to part the window open. Guy Bud is in the living room watching I Love Lucy on an old tv. Guy freaks out as Will asks him “You’ve been keeping information from us, Guy!”. Guy picks up the phone to try to call the sheriff but Will uses his Cheetah speed to close the distance and pull it out of his hand.

Sharon knocks on the door and Guy leaps past Will to open it. “Oh shit” he says, finding her there. He makes some threats and Sharon shows him her badge.

Out front, Andy starts an impromptu magic show, drawing a larger crowd than the princess selection event has. (he gets 11 successes on his performance roll) and I get a photo of the daughter of the Japanese couple to rival the famous National Geographic Afghan photo of the late 70s. As the show ends Sheriff Cloud shows up and begins to give Andy grief for interrupting the festival. Andy responds by asking about the six dead at the first of the recent series of incidents. The sheriff becomes defensive and evasive, avoiding the question.

We walk down to the food stalls to get dinner and see the men-in-black. I try to take a picture of them and get the “no photos” hand action. While at the stalls, Brand meets the “fish plate guy”, a balding man who has a plate of fried fish piled impossibly high, which he consumes with gusto. Brand gets his own plate but when fish-plate-guy finishes his and then begins to lick the plate, he gets unnerved by the dish and gives it to the fellow, who then digs in with even more gusto.

After some snacks we head down to the marina to locate the beginning of the trail the serpent creature used. Hoping to find some clues and follow the trail out of town. We do meet a fellow named Mike Nolan who runs a mail boat and talk to him about the serpent incident.

About this time the leader of the jaguar warriors returns to find Will and report that there is some sort of attack going on at a tailor park near the edge of town. We run toward the sound of the guns and find the rest of his warriors knocked out around a trailer who’s door was blown off it’s hinges. Another RV was on fire. We quickly start fighting the fire while Will examines his minions to find that they are only unconscious or slightly wounded, non are dead. We did notice that the interior of the doorless RV is covered with blood and we find out from the jaguar warriors that the fish-plate-guy had gone into it and a naked man had come out after the door was blown off. He waded through Will’s warriors without being slowed appreciably. As we are fighting the fire the sheriff shows up and begins to organize.

After the fire is out he begins to investigate the situation. We tell him what we know (omitting the fact that the people naked guy attacked were Will’s jaguar warriors) and we accompany him down to the sheriff’s office to give our statements. He seems to warm a bit to us as we talk about what we’ve learned and what might be going on. He admits to believing the supernatural aspect of what seems to be going on.

[end of session]

Buyers and Cellars
The criminal element invites the group to dance

Late at night, in San Fransisco. Andrew Leger de Main has finished his performance, and the group has recovered from their battle with the Fenrir. The group debate what to do next, and Sharon Larsson expresses her concerns regarding the timing between the invitation and the attack. They return to the hotel to change before heading to The Cellar.
James Broadstreet receives a package from the concierge, which he plans to open in the room, while Brand calls Lorelei to invite her along to the Wine Cellar. They head en masse to the Cellar (in an actual cellar no less) and flash the card to bypass the long line outside.
Inside, the room is dark, the music is loud and the crowd is nearly naked. Lorellei meets them inside, having ‘let her hair down’ a bit. She runs up to Brand and admits that she loves the club and is having a great time.
A woman, with skin like bark, approaches the group and announces that ‘the lord sent her to retrieve them.’ The group looks around and recognizes that several of the inhabitants have a demi-human persuasion. She leads them back to meet Pan, who looks like Prince with goat-hooves and horns.
One of the staff brings a white russian for Sharon and Pan’s buddy Ix shows up to join the party. Ix is a short, muscular, tattoed man of Greek heritage who exudes an air of danger. Pan welcomes the group to “the Game” and says that he wanted to make certain we understood our options. Pan points out that there is quite a living to be made ‘in between’ the two sides. He points out that the group could be very helpful to him, with their greater mobility and freedom. He reveals his friend Ix as a ‘war profiteer’ out to make money by selling his creations to both sides.
Pan also points out that there are worlds beyond our own. He calls up Sis and explains that he could, for example, tell you everything about the Underworld. Sis is also of Greek descent, but unlike Ix he carries a lean harrowed look, and looks afraid when the Underworld is mentioned." Pan reveals that he has come up with some ‘unique pharmaceuticals’ that take advantage of a scion’s altered physiology.
When asked what we specifically might be able to do for Pan, he hands back a set of newspaper clippings. He points them out as ‘something you might be interested in.’ He says if the party looks into it, then they should remember him if they find anything – either if it’s something we cannot use, or if it’s something for which he could receive a ’finder’s fee’. He stresses the importance of having people with whom we can work and to find one’s place in the world. “Community,” he says, “is everything. Having other people around is better than going alone.”
Andrew offers to discuss it with the rest of the group, and they’ll decide about taking it later. Pan points out that it’s been 20 minutes since the last time he got laid, so leaves them to talk amongst themselves. Lorelei and Brand descend to the dance-floor and begin to party. While down there, she fixates on one especially attractive young man with his friends. They leave and a moment later she leaves to go the restroom. Brand follows her, and the ogre points out how much she must like him, as she’s busy consuming the two lads in stall four. She comes out, cleans up, and they head back to the dance floor.
Meanwhile, Sis explains his escape and says that he understands the other ways back into the Underworld. The crater of Avernus is the most common, but there are others. The one thing you need is the Mistletoe, he says, as it’s the only source of light in the Underworld. Sharon asks where it is, and he says that the last time anyone saw it was the grotto where Aeneas picked it up. He says that Circe is probably the best bet for finding it and says that the only way to work with her is to make it clear you’ve something to trade with her, otherwise she plays a bit rough.
The group agrees to head up to Washington state and investigate the weirdness as a clue to the location of a possible relic, and then proceed to Circe to question her about the whereabouts of the Golden Bough.

session end

Dreamscapes and Fog
Flying the uncomfortably friendly skies...

Flying coach across America in the middle of the night, the great quilt of the nation spread out below like a carpet of glittering jewels. The constant roar of the engine undercuts everything. Sharon Larsson grabs a stewardess (No! Flight Attendant!) and requests a bottle of wine. When the attendant accepts, Sharon notices the tip of the attendant’s tongue flicker in and out as she accepts. She turns to wake Brand.

Brand, dreaming, sees himself in a great party: a Hall, its low-ceiling held aloft by wooden beams, filled with hundreds of people, including everyone from the airplane. He also recognizes several dwarfs, and eventually his mother Frig (Who looks like Clarissa Dickson-Wright). Sharon wakes him, and lets him know about the stewardess Flight Attendant.

Andrew finds himself in a very similar setting to Brand’s dream, sitting across from his mentor The Amazing Alexander. The have a meaningful discussion about their past, while Alexander warns Andrew about the nature of his ‘real’ family. Alexander says that Andrew’s head is “Bad News” – that Mercury hurts everybody. Despite his good image PR, everything he touches turns to shit. He warns him against manipulation, and to be careful since they only know enough to get buried in the webs of the various gods.

Brand gets up and walks forward, looking for the stewardess flight attendant Sharon mentioned. He finds the stewardess flight attendant, and in a blink of the eye, he notices her hair squirm. After a quick come-on, as she turns, Brand grapples and kisses the hell out of her. She melts against him, until he breaks the kiss, grabs two bottles of red wine for Sharon.

John Addams looks up from his copy of Herodotus to notice that Brand is out of his seat, and more importantly (contrary to the plan) out of his handcuffs. He pulls his phone and tries to remember how to text, as Ellora taught him, so he could ask what’s going on. The technology is beyond him, and he gets up to ask Sharon.

Brand reveals that the stewardess flight attendant, Lorelei, is a gorgon, when John asks what’s going on. Brand reveals that everybody’s in a dreamscape, or possibly, Valhalla,and worries about the fate of the plane and everyone on it.

Jake shows up at Will’s table, and reveals to Will and Jim that ‘some stuff’ happened a few months back. The titans, who were trapped in the deepest part of the underworld, busted out and ripped through the lands of the dead in the process. The dead can’t get to their reward, nor can they rejoin the living. The titans have loosed hunters – Fenrir, the Horned Hunter, and other beings – chasing after the loosed souls. Jake reveals the hall as belonging to Nerun, and that it is neutral territory, so long as people keep the hall-peace. Andrew asks for something that ‘only Sharon would know’ as a means to verify his identity, and he mentions her tattoo. When asked why he’s there, Jake reveals that the dead talk and word had gotten around that they would be in Nerun’s hall. He leaves when he indicates that Frig would like to talk to them. Frig offers them a glass of mead and sits down.

The stewardess flight attendant, Lorelei, brings Sharon her wine, charges her $5, and passes her digits to Brand. Brand checks the numbers, announces ’we’re all going to live’ and goes back to sleep. John helps Sharon deal with her new, complicated life, and expresses sympathy for the gorgons and other mythical creatures (who are just ‘ordinary joes, trying to cut a day job’ for the most part.) He returns to his seat and both he and Sharon fall asleep.

In Nerun’s hall, Frig and Tyr pull the group aside. The make introductions and offer to answer the group’s questions, and want to ascertain what the group’s plans are. John asks about Typhon’s plan, which is apparently to wipe the slate and start over with a titan-centric universe. The other titans have different plans, but none of them a especially human-friendly.

After a discussion of Hermes’ questionable and slippery nature, Frig requested that the group swear an oath that they not harm Brand. She reveals that there is a prophecy, which they all suspected referred to Baldur, that when Frig’s son dies, it will bring about the end of the world. Accepting the possibility that it might be about her other son (“Brand, mom. My name’s Brand.”) she asks for an oath from the group. Jim and John give it freely, Sharon talks about the possibility of the oath being twisted and refuses. Andrew and Will also do not give the oath.
Andrew asks Tyr for justice, in regards to Alexander. Tyr agrees, and Andrew watches as a fire giant (Soot) and seven dwarfs march the Amazing Alexander out of Nerun’s hall for a grade-A ass kicking.

Sharon asks about her spear. Tyr replies that spears are pretty straightforward and tend to talk pretty clearly. He tells her that his cloak pin identifies her as one of his brood. Sharon asks about his Father (Odin) and whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy. Tyr says he’s spent thousands of years wrestling with the same question.

Before the good-byes, Tyr says that if not no, then soon, we should be looking for the Mistletoe, the golden bough, which will be the key to the underworld. We need to worry about finding it and getting past the giant.

Jim passes along a greeting from Professor Jones, at which news Tyr looks aggrieved, thanks them, and takes his leave. Just before he wakes, John feels a hand on his arm and hears Ellora’s voice say “Boss?” just before he wakes.

The plane touches down in San Francisco, and the group gets their act together. They stop by Borderlands Books and buy them out of copies of Frazer’s The Golden Bough . The next night they attend Andrew’s show of stage magic and escapism. Even Lorelei (the stewardess flight attendant cum Gorgon) tags along as Brand’s date. Andrew’s show is amazing. Lorelei and Brand get ready to say goodbye to the rest of the group, at the stage door when they hear a low animal growl.

Andrew climbs for the balcony to get a better view of the land, while Sharon and Brand dash towards the growl at top speed. From his vantage point, Andrew can see the source of the growl, a young Fenrir (a wolf, 10-12 feet long). Andrew steels himself with bona fortuna, and the Fenrir leaps out of the fog, charging towards Sharon. Her preternatural reflexes pull her out of the way just as the wolf’s jaws snap shut around where her arm used to be. John runs into the Orpheum, looking for a silk rope to serve as a makeshift Gleipnir. Jim leaps onto the wolf, trying to cling to it and hobble it.

Sharon drives her spear towards the terrible wolf, deals it but a glancing blow to the beast. Will carves open his palm and summons a group of jaguar warriors from the fog. Brand tries to grapple the wolf, but it if far too nimble to be caught so easily. Andrew sees another figure step out of the shadow, which seems to be watching them. He leaps over to the figure, who in turn hands Andrew a card and disappears. The card reads:

“Andrew my brother, be my gest tonight at the Cellar. Let’s become acquainted. Bring your friends, we have much to discuss to our mutual advantage. Expect no harm if you bring no harm. Yours in blood, Pan”

Sharon focuses her courage to attack the Fenrir, and drives her spear into the beast’s chest and strikes a most palpable hit. It snaps at the air again, missing her. Jim twists the wolf’s head back, and holds it still. John runs out with a silk rope to fill the role of Gleipnir, and binds the Fenris by its throat to a nearby dumpster. Will’s Jaguar Warriors attack the Wolf on his command and it is destroyed. They collect its eitr (the teeth and blood) and head off into the night.

[end of session]

"The 'Barely' Escape(d)"
With no appearance by Steve McQueen.

With the fall of the last harpy, several of us begin to regroup at the base of the crane while Sharon, Andy and Brand continue climbing up to their nest at the top. John and Will head for the pier where I think we will find a boat so we can slip away without going through the gauntlet at the main gate. They locate a tug boat used to move ships in and out of the dry dock. I harvest the talons from the fallen harpies and then head for the boat.

Sharon and Andy reach the top and Brand arrives a moment later. They find the govi and then decide that rather than descending back down the crane rigging they will climb out to the end of the boom and jump down into the water where we can pick them up with the boat. She and Andy make the dive okay but Brand is beat up a bit hitting the water. I steer over and John & Will move to help them climb aboard.

That tickling feeling in the back of my head goes off and I yell to everyone to jump for it and move to the railing. The boat is lifted up by some sort of gigantic creatures head and Will leaps up into the air and flies up.

Combat with the Gigantic Snake Thing.

  • Andy jumps onto it’s head.
  • Sharon leaps upward off the boat and uses her Trick Shot but misses.
  • John coordinates our assault.
  • Brand swims toward the creature.
  • Sharon shoots it again and hits it but it seems to have little or no effect.
  • Will flies over toward Brand intending to help him out of the water.
  • I swim back toward the boat, climb in and begin to assemble a makeshift molotov cocktail.
  • Andy uses an ability called “Unbarred Entry” to pass through the creatures skull into it’s mouth. He then stabs a knife up into its palate but gets covered in poisonous disintegrating blood.
  • It lunges up and tries to swallow Will (who is hover above Brand).
  • Sharon screams a battle cry and stabs it, killing it.

The dying creature waves its neck and head about in its death throes, sending Andy flying in one direction and Will in the other (it had gotten his legs in its mouth). I maneuver the tug boat to pick everyone up and we speed (okay maybe not very speedily) toward the north bank of the river.

Warren has left a message on my phone. It seems Dr. Jones sent him across the bridge to this side of the river and he’s got the SUV to pick us up. I call him back and we arrange a rendezvous. We drive back to Williamsburg and meet Dr. Jones at his house. Once there we calm ourselves and clean up.

Brand communes with the spirit in the govi and we discover it is Eleanora Derenkowsky (later known as Maya Deren). John and Brand acquaint us with her history and we ask her spirit questions about what is happening. Dr. Jones also supplies us with more information and we learn something of his past.

It seems that in the early 1940s the Nazis learned about “binding the Fates” and began searching for and finding people known as “Scions”. These were the sons and daughters of “Gods”. Thor and the other Norse pantheon as well as other gods. They succeeded in finding a few dozen of these people.

Dr. Jones, it seems, met Thor in 1940 in Iceland following the British occupation of the island. There was a battle between Thor and a Frost Giant and one of the Nazi researchers, a Dr. Bruno Chress, was captured. He was interred in a secure facility on the Isle of Man off the English coast.

Following this battle, Dr. Jones became Thor’s companion and they joined the OSS and worked against the Nazis. By 1943, Dr. Jung had finished profiling the Nazi leadership and Project Nail was begun to defeat the Nazi efforts to manipulate these ‘Scions’.

[end of session]

A Walk in the Park
Off a short pier.

After a drive of a few hours we arrive in Williamsburg and stop at the park. I find the Professor on the same bench we always meet at, sipping his low-fat latte and watching the birds. He tells us that he has a “local circumstance” that he could use our help with. I know from past encounters that since I was his student he’s seldom sent me on a trip that didn’t pay off in a good story along with some media.

It seems that there was a break in at the Muscarelle Museum of Art on the college campus. It was displaying an exhibit called “American Spirits”. He thinks that there was (among other things) a small clay bottle (a govi or lua?) from Haiti taken and he’s concerned about it. We head over to the museum and since the Professor knows Campus Security, he makes a call and gets us access.

The museum is a three story building with shades on the windows. The exhibit is on the third floor so that likely complicated the entry. John does some of his mojo to find magic and it reveals the spoor of mythical creatures. Sharon begins her investigation and briefly examines everything as we enter the building and proceed to the third floor. In the center of the display room we find a large heavy object and it seems the thieves smashed the skylight in to gain access.

The room is ransacked and there is, among other things, excrement smeared on the walls. There are, however, strange feathers left behind. John examines them and tells us they aren’t from a natural bird and after consulting with Brand they decide that these feathers come from a Harpy. Hmmm. Upon closer examination it seems the excrement marks on the walls spell out words in some strange language. John and Brand translate it to read ‘Euryales rules’.

Several of us head up to the roof to examine the skylight from that side. However we find no further clues. Based on what Brand and John know about harpies and their habits we examine maps of the local area. They decide that there are a few places where they may make a nest. Camp Paery (which the CIA uses for training and is called ‘The Farm’), Naval Weapons Station Yorktown and ‘Cheathum Annex’ Supply Center.

We borrow a large black SUV from one of the professor’s grad students and Andy disguises himself as Dick Cheney. In two vehicles we approach the front gate of NWS Yorktown and they manage to bluff our way in. An inner gate causes a complication and we are met by ‘Rear Admiral, Lower Half’ (seriously, that’s what a Navy 1 star admiral is called, seriously!) and a Marine Corps Colonel named Billings. They act with deference so we know our cover isn’t blown yet but Colonel Billings does ask Brand a question in Islandic, so they may be more than they appear to be.

They offer an escort but Andy brushes them off as much as we can. We’re still escorted by the Colonel and his driver and we take electric carts to the cranes near the dry docks. As we approach the odor (very distinctive for harpies apparently) indicate that we are hot on the thieves trail. Andy dismisses the escort, we prepare for battle and begin to climb.

Combat with Harpies.

  • John coordinates us.
  • Andy aims.
  • Harpies attack Brand, he’s hit and pukes all over himself. Sharon is also attacked and hit.
  • Sharon throws Will up into the air.
  • Andy throws a knife and hits.
  • I leap to a truss then jump down toward one of them below me, falling onto a it’s back.
  • John tries to locate the govi.
  • Brand begins to climb toward the nest at the top of the crane.
  • Sharon leaps at one and stabs it with her grandfather’s spear, killing it.
  • I grapple with the harpy and she falls, landing on top of the golf cart we arrived in, smashing it to junk.
  • Will (who has been flying around the crane) orders a harpy to impale herself on the hook at the end of the crane’s arm.
  • Andy begins to climb up the crane very very fast.
  • Brand infects the last harpy with rickets and it falls to the pavement.

Andy and Brand reach the top to discover the harpy’s nest, apparently a disgusting mess. They locate the govi and begin to descend. I begin to harvest 4 harpy talons from each one (24 total).

[end of session]

A Denny's breakfast.

After this strange battle was over some of the group went to the hospital to check on Detective Rosenthal (Sharon?). The rest of us meet an hour later at a nearby Denny’s to discuss what has happened and what it means. It seems that John, Brand and Will seem to know what all this craziness is about or what it means. For my part I’ve seen enough strange things and reported on them that I’m not overly concerned about it except as it relates to whatever assignment I’m working on (nothing specific but the Tea Party Massacre offers an opportunity for who knows what) or to my overall goal (which, of course, is the Pulitzer for photography).

We didn’t come to any conclusion before more odd events transpired. We were watching the TV report on the recent occurrences and Brand sees someone nearby who attracts his attention. I’m not sure what he thinks this fellow was doing but he follows him into the bathroom. It appears there is a scuffle to ensure so I get up and head out the door, intending to go around back to make sure whoever this is doesn’t slip out the back before he answers some questions.

Inside, the assistant manager has apparently called the police and a trio of cruisers pull up outside. I slip back inside and return to the booth, where Andy is enthusiastically eating pancakes. We begin a discussion of assorted quickbread breakfast delicacies and their adornment while Sharon exits the bathroom having arrested Brand (he’s in handcuffs). The local police enter with guns drawn and she assures them that she has things under control, flashing her FBI badge.

That doesn’t seem to satisfy them and she gets into an involved discussion over jurisdiction and why she’s arresting this person. Andy gins up some fantastic tale about a pair of “terrorist” (a tall one with a ponytail and a short one who never seems to never say anything). It seems they have a diabolical plan to make the Empire State Building disappear with “the whole world watching”. The current climate nearly guarantees that the police will take the tale seriously. The gaggle departs as they take Brand “downtown” for “processing”.

Andy and I finish breakfast and meet the rest as they finally leave the Police Station. We drive back to John’s bookstore for further discussion and planning. Sharon gets a call and it seems Jake has “suffered a setback”. He seems to be nearly brain dead after having a “coronary event.”

Toward dawn I get a call from Professor Jones. He wants me meet me at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg at the park where we often meet. I convince the others that the trip will prove worthwhile and we depart.

[end of session]

Fire Giant Fiasco
A hot time on the Mall.

The battle is joined (between a tall, singed giant and Jim Broadstreet).

  • I ask the giant “What kind of a night is it?” and hold my action.
  • The fire giant draws out a huge baseball bat, he says a word in some other language and it begins burning.
  • Andy throws a rock at him and hits him in the head.
  • Brand casts an “Inflict” spell on him.
  • I try to sweep his legs out from under him (dex+brawl, 6 → 4 success → no go).
  • Sharon, Jake shakes her awake and tells her to go to the mall. She hears explosions as she arrives.
  • Will coordinates our attacks, Sharon and Brand make use of the bonus.
  • I try to sweep it’s legs again → no go.
  • The fire giant swings his bat but misses.
  • A car pulls up behind the fight and another fire giant gets out and charges at Sharon but misses when he swings.
  • Sharon takes a moment to aim.
  • Brand guards.
  • Andy climbs into the fire giant’s car and tries to run him down.
  • I retreat and pull out my camera, snapping a photo.
  • Sharon shoots and hits for big damage.
  • Brand attempts to cast “Inflict” again and this time it works.
  • John arrives and takes over coordination.
  • Will spends a willpoint to command the fire giant to jump in the lake (pond?) nearby.
  • A fire giant uses a willpoint to attack but misses.
  • Andy rams a fire giant who falls across the hood. He then steers the car toward the lake.
  • A fire giant tries to grab me but misses. He seems to be rather frustrated.
  • John tries to recall information on the fire giants without success.
  • I step forward and try to sweep the legs of the fire giant and this time I knock it down.
  • Sharon steps up and stabs the downed fire giant with her relic spear.
  • Brand steps up and tries to punch it.
  • The fire giant grabs Sharon and she’s knocked out.
  • Andy continues to drive the car into the lake.
  • I grab the relic spear and use it as a fulcrum to swing up and kick the fire giants arm attempting to loosen his grip on Sharon. It works.
  • Brand casts a healing spell on Sharon.
  • Will steps up and kills the fire giant.

After the fight, John tells us that the heart of the giant is valuable and I pull out a knife and (gruesomely) cut it’s heart out (the one in the water had disappeared). We get three liters of what seems to be called Eltr from the heart and put it into 1 liter plastic bottles.

[end of session]

The Tea Party Massacre
The one where the excrement meets the rotary device.


The game begins in Washington, DC, present day. There’s a Tea Party rally on the National Mall; the organizers claim 100,000 attendees, but independent reports place it at a quarter of that. Nevertheless, Washington has been crawling with Tea Partiers for the last few days.

Used bookstore owner John Addams (John) is completely sold out of Ayn Rand and at the end of his patience. The last batch of right-wing semiliterates leave his Dupont Circle storefront about the time the representatives of Books-a-Bunch arrive to make him an offer on his space. John makes it clear that he has no interest in selling out to “Box-o-Books” and points them toward one of his competitors; they leave as John’s clerk, Ellora Danan Murphy, vegan Art History/Woman’s Studies undergraduate and Gardnerian witch, arrives with his very meaty sandwich from Subway. She tells him that the Books-a-Bunch representatives had been by earlier and had offered to let her manage this branch when they buy John out. He’s dismissive and hungry, a feeling only momentarily dampened by a strong, nasty animal smell that goes as soon as it arrives.

Sharon Larsson (Sharon) is having a worse sort of day. She’s been suspended for the FBI with pay after an incident where she put the Syrian suspect through the wall of an interrogation room. She wanders through the apartment she shares with DC cop Detective Jake Rosenthal, feeling at loose ends, and she catches the same animal scent. She tries to track it through the apartment and finds two gigantic ravens sitting on her headboard. They warn her to watch out for the “first wolf of the world” and then fly past her and disappear. Shaken, she gets online to find any mention of this wolf; all she comes up with are references to the various wolves in Norse mythology (esp. Fenrir). She goes out running to clear her head and stop the hallucinations.

William Quentin-Coates (Will) is live-blogging from the steps of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum; he owns and runs a popular progressive blog and he has operatives all over Washington gathering information. His old acquaintance Detective Rosenthal, on horseback, drops by to say hello and ask Will to stay out of trouble. As he leaves Will catches a singularly un-horsey animal stink. Then he either has an idea or loses patience, puts away his laptop, and starts moving toward the Tea Partiers on the mall.

He is observed by James Broadstreet (Jim), the recently named National Geographic photographer-in-residence. Political rallies are not his usual fare, but he’s walking through this one and he sees a potential paycheck. He first sights Will a moment after he sees what he thinks is the tail-end of a gigantic wolf disappearing around the corner of the Natural History museum. He fails to get his camera in position in time to catch this hallucination, but he does sight the semi-famous political wunderkind walking into the bustle of misspelled signs and chanting. Will relieves a protester of his bullhorn, putting the owner to sleep with a word, and as Jim snaps photo after photo Will steps up onto a park bench and announces through the bullhorn, “You are all terrible people who must be stopped.”

Every protester within two hundred feet looks startled, crestfallen, frightened. Some drop to the ground, sobbing. Some raise their second-amendment-approved firearms to their mouths and summarily end the problem. Some look around and see all these other terrible people who must be stopped and realize that they can do something about it with those same second-amendment-approved guns. Shots are fired; the protesters outside the range of Will’s bullhorn notice and more shots are fired, and suddenly it’s Tombstone.

Will runs into a port-a-potty and a moment later Jim sees a great black bird shoot through its roof and into the sky, away from the melee – just about the time the mounted police arrive. Sharon Larsson is a block away from the mall when the shooting starts. She draws her weapon and runs in; she deftly shoots the guns out of Tea Partier hands, but there are many more firearms than she has bullets. News and police helicopters descend on the scene and Detective Rosenthal rides up to Sharon. A bullet catches him in mid-sentence and he drops to the ground; Sharon begins first aid.

Over the next hour, the police quell the riot on the mall and Jim takes a lot of pictures. He finally arrives at National Geographic Headquarters several hours late for his meeting with Professor Rutherford Smith-Tipton, a director of the Society, who doesn’t approve of his freewheeling style. Jim meets his assistant Warren Nbutu and they get to work downloading and processing his photos.

That evening Smith-Tipton and John Addams meet at Addams’s apartment for drinks and conversation. They discuss certain rare manuscripts about which they share an interest. Suddenly they become aware of the smell of smoke; they run down to the bookstore and put out the fire that has sprung up, apparently from nowhere. After the fire department and police arrive, Addams prevents Smith-Tipton from walking away with a VERY rare edition of the Book of Thoth.

Sharon is returning to her apartment from the hospital, where Detective Rosenthal is in stable but serious condition, to find her townhouse on fire. The fire department prevents her from running into the burning building to rescue her cat, but John Addams, who lives only a block or two away, appears with her cat, saying he rescued it from a nearby alley. He offers to put her up for the night.

Jim leaves the National Geographic Society well after midnight and as he crosses the mall, he realizes he is being followed. He stops a car to ask for help and a VERY tall, singed looking brute picks the car up and lobs it toward the Lincoln Memorial. He turns to Jim and tells him he made a mistake walking alone on a night like tonight.

[end of session]


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