Beyond the Veil: The Myriad

Session 14: 06/24/11
"Dude... where are your pants?"

It has been three weeks since the group faced off against the vampire Anna and rescued Katherine’s brother. So far, it has been relatively quiet.

Almost. For the last week, someone or something has been killing off anything with a hint of supernatural “je ne sais quois” about them. Everything from Changelings to Werewolves, even the pseudo-supernatural denizens of Plattsburgh have come under attack, including psychics, sleepwalkers, and “low mages.” So far a dozen deaths have been attributed this person/creature.

Meanwhile, a group of people calling themselves The Enforcers are making a bit of a name for themselves. They have styled themselves modern superheroes, and as such are fairly flip about using their abilities in plain view of the mundane mortal flock.

The night this story began, the group was gathered at Zhi’s dojo, discussing what to do about the enforcers and the entity that is behind the deaths recently. Suddenly, there was an urgent knock on the door. Richard answered, and it was none other than Gabriel, looking like he had seen more than he could handle.

As it turns out, there’s a rogue hunter in town by the name of Elijah Harris, And he wants Gabe’s head for something that happened about 3 years ago. Gabe stayed long enough to clean himself up and warn the group about Elijah, and that supernatural abilities don’t function properly around him, before heading back out into the night. Less than 5 minutes later, there was another knock on the door.

Zhi, having disguised himself as a sleeper, answered the door. Before him stood a figure dressed all in black, sporting a cowboy had and a long trench coat. He inquired about Gabe and was turned away. Before he left, he glanced back for a moment and Zhi noticed that his eyes had become molten golden orbs.

The group, deciding to follow Elijah to prevent him from killing Gabe happen upon the hunter as he was being accosted by a werewolf. The hunter managed to disarm (literally) the beast with several well-placed shots. The werewolf howled, and Maxwell warned the group that more people were coming. Both Zhi and Richard felt the fabric of reality quake as the abyss railed against the casting of a vulgar spell, and a portal appeared. Three more people stepped through it, joining the werewolf on the far side of the street. Richard, having conjured mobile walls of water, surrounded the hunter in a tube high, strong, and distracting enough to prevent him from either escaping, attacking, or listening in on the two groups.

The new group turned out to be The Enforcers, and they were all too ready to simply kill Elijah, claiming that he was either solely or in part responsible for all the deaths, “for who else but a Hunter would be slaughtering the supernatural citizens of the city?” When they discovered that their own member (the werewolf) was the one to open fire, they left, stating that they wouldn’t kill in cold blood.

In the aftermath, It was decided that while the Elijah was genuinely not a bad guy, in the sense that he wasn’t the stereotypical Hunter trying to kill everything that wasn’t a mundane mortal, he was trying to hunt down and kill a former team member. Zhi told him that he was obligated to defend Gabriel. Elijah nodded, locked his weapons into place in his holsters, and engaged Zhi in unarmed combat while the rest of the group watched. Despite Zhi landing several strong blows, Elijah seemed more interested in getting away than really fighting back. In fact, only once did Elijah physically strike Zhi outright. This was right before he turned to flee. With Richard’s assistance in the form of a strengthening spell, Zhi hurled a trash can lid at the fleeing Hunter. The blow nearly toppled him, but Elijah managed to escape.

Maxwell, having noted Elijah’s gunshot wound from earlier, sought a sample of his blood on the ground or wall while the group tried to decide what to do. Maxwell found the sample he needed, and could track Elijah anywhere on the planet. The group decided to travel to Annabelle’s shop to seek counsel and information about the entity behind the supernatural deaths.

The group discovered (after being startled by a reference to the tremere), that they are most likely searching for a creature that consumes the supernatural “essence” of its victims, and this creature is active for exactly 21 days every 50 years. In addition, all the attacks have been within 4 miles of the Macdonough Monument.

The next day, the party tracked down Elijah, sitting outside Bazzano’s eating lunch. The group offered him the proposition of helping them track down the creature behind all the supernatural deaths, and he agreed. The party also enlisted the help of The Enforcers, after playing into their desire to be seen as heroes. During their time at Bazzano’s, the group was approached (kinda) by a man named Tristan Logos, who claimed to not only be a servant of the spirit of Plattsburgh, but also to be over 350 years old, stating that he was unable to track down the creature the first time it was known to be active in the city. He agreed to help the group that night.

By the end of the session, the Party has orchestrated a stakeout of Macdonough Monument with themselves (5 strong), Elijah, The Enforcers (4 strong), and Tristan, who is as much a mystery to the group as anything else they’ve encountered in the past. The stakeout will take place that night. Hopefully, at least one mystery will be solved.

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Session 13: 6/11/2011

This is going to be a bit of a quick post.

During this session, the group outside managed to obliterate the poor saps in the van, who turned out to be in fact mercenaries hired to kill the party. The group kept one alive as a hostage and forced him to take them to the location where The Vamps had escaped to. Having rejoined the group, Richard went along.

In a field near where the group encountered the pure, the vamps had set up a bonfire and were performing some sort of ritual. Katherine’s brother was trussed up like a thanksgiving turkey on a table, getting ready to be the sacrificial "lamb,’ so to speak.

Maxwell summoned a rainstorm to douse the fire and disrupt the ritual, but Anna was not disturbed in the slightest. The rest of the group took cover in the trees around the clearing to prep for a few seconds before the battle kicked off.

The events are a bit of a blur, but suffice to say, asses were kicked, bad guys were defeated, the brother was saved (and is now a werewolf), and everyone lived happily ever after (the term “lived” is used fairly loosely here). Katherine parted ways with Maxwell on neutral terms. Maxwell’s parting words to her were “Past is past. Take care of your brother.”

In the time that followed Alexis has disappeared, The party has licked their collective wounds, trained a bit, and mastered a few new tricks.

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Session 12 5/21/11
Q: Are you serious, 16 damage? A: Yup. R: That's it, I'm done.

Alright, today we got in somewhere around 10 hours of gaming. Pretty epic. There is no way I’m going to remember and/or even know all of the stuff that went on today. Please fill in the blanks. And if this isn’t wonderfully flowing verse, sue me, I just started this at about 1:30am

EDIT – Mike

Recap

Okay, so we finished the game of tag with Misaki. Ended up in the cleaning supply aisle of WalMart. Maxwell did a pelican kick to the back of her head and knocked her out. Of course, in retrospect, it wasn’t a brilliant idea to be the gruff-looking figure standing menacingly over the sexy naked asian chick…

Quick thinking from Sterling solved the naked problem, and Richard took care of the video evidence (some door melting was involved). The group took Misaki back to Maxwell’s place (now known as “The Den”). A few hours later she woke up and punched Maxwell right in the face. Alexis and Maxwell had to put her under, which was done with another pelican kick (courtesy of Maxwell… it’s like he has a thing against the backs of people’s heads).

Alexis was informed by Adam that Weasel (Vampire “Broker”) had some information about a potentially potent artifact that she might be interested in. Based on rumors about Weasel’s “Business Ethic,” Alexis enlisted the help of the group, just in case things got interesting. And that, dear readers, is called an “understatement.”

In the warehouse where the rendezvous was to take place, the group found Weasel, currently arguing with an attractive redhead. When the readhead saw Maxwell walk into the room, she exclaimed “Fuck,” to which Maxwell replied “… You’re supposed to be dead.”

Turns out that Katherine is alive, still hot as hell, and still in over her head. She wants whatever the information was that Weasel was going to barter to Alexis, which isn’t the best position to be in, all things considered. While Katherine and Alexis argued over who was leaving with the information, Maxwell calmly spoke to Weasel and appealed to his sense of self-preservation. Basically, he told Weasel that if the Vampire didn’t hand the information over to Maxwell, he was going to be killed. Of course, he was a bit more verbose and eloquent than that, but that’s a pretty good summation.

Maxwell ended up with a manilla folder, and Weasel (after a healthy dose of ass-kicking) ended up bound, torpid, and in the back of a car. The group learned that Katherine was being blackmailed by the Cult of Set and her brother was being used as leverage. The group escorted her to her meeting point, after allowing enough time for Alexis to read through the folder and decide if the information was worth anything to her. Alexis, also in the Cult of Set, decided now was a good time to meet possible other players in town…

The Session

So we started off with nobody wanting to recap but managed it through a combined effort. We brought Katherine to a meeting with vampires that were blackmailing her and all of us decided to intrude on the meeting in our own way. Maxwell followed her in through the Shadow Realm. Alexis snuck around until Kat asked her what she was up to and she just followed her in normally. The rest of us had the sound of our footsteps reduced by Zhi, and found our way outside the meeting room through Richard’s use of some detection type spells. Richard then used a little alteration magic on himself and the four of us listened in on the meeting.

General outcome of the meeting: Katherine hands in the information, and is told “good, now go get the actual object.” Object in question is a large dagger made of a single piece of silver, used in some ritual that involves augmenting the strength of the gauntlet. She ends up leaving with Alexis, who spent most of the “meeting” sizing up the other two vampires.

The meeting went well I think, but I’m not really sure. My memory of it was erased by what came next. Maxwell popped out of the Shadow Realm and decided to have a personal chat with Jasmine and Kurt. He sort of offered to work for the vamps in place of Katherine. It ended with him pulling an epic neck snap on Kurt to create a job opening. Richard came over to make sure Max was alright (the rest of the group was down the hall at the time, the door had been shut, and we only heard a yelp and a thud) and laid his eyes upon a voluptious dead body … err I mean she was undead, it was a vampire. Deavas are hot, and apparently Richard is somewhat into dead chicks now (get it, get it, cause he had sex with her later).

On with it. So apparently we agreed to help retrieve this dagger artifact. We went to the old mental care wing of the hospital. There was a conversation between Max and a tree spirit. Richard was thrilled because he got to start tossing out a boatload of Spirit arcanum spells. We came across bandaged alive and dead animals, and a pain sprirt called Thumbscrew. Between Max talking to it and Alexis feeding it, Thumbscrew agreed to lend us some aide. It brought us to what was actually a Ridden guy named Doc. He was crazy and had been taking a drill to some poor fellow. Richard tried to stop him and got put into a hold. Thankfully Sterling pulled him out of it. Maxwell negotiated a trade: The Weasel for the Dagger. The Doctor, being fascinated at the prospect of working on an ambulatory corpse (well, potentially ambulatory) agreed to the trade, and the group walked away with the dagger to the sounds of The Doctor trying to Defibrulate Weasel. We managewd to save the man’s life as well.

In the interim between obtaining the dagger and the meeting with the Cult of Set to hand over the Dagger Richard decided to pay a house call to Jasmine, the voluptuous dead body. He needed some mana, so with some preporatory spells cast, he went off to screw Jasmine’s (dead) brains out. Maxwell bound a toad spirit to Katherine’s locket, allowing it to absorb the psychic energy inherent to Kuruth. Alexis deciphered the cryptographic symbols on the dagger. Roughly translated, the symbols read “One predator breaks, another strengthens.” Worried, Alexis contacted Iana to inform her of the developments and asked for her counsul. Iana said that this particular cell of the cult was led by brooding, scheming kindred (Kind of redundant, but whatever) named “Anna.” Iana’s advice was to not give over the Dagger.

Maxwell and Alexis went into Maxwell’s room to discuss the situation. Maxwell tried to ascertain if the dagger could be corrupted or otherwise disabled. Trying to contact the spirit within the blade caused the blade to burst into flames, which freaked the hell out of Alexis. So alone, with the room stinking of vampire urine, Maxwell decided to try to figure out what the ritual for the weapon might be. After cutting himself with the silver blade and doing an improvised ritual, Maxwell felt the strength of the surrounding gauntlet drop significantly. The effect only lasted for about an hour, but it was disconcerting that an improper, improvised ritual could accomplish such a task.

Both Maxwell and Alexis had reservations about handing over the dagger, but Maxwell thought it might be possible to disable it. He asked Richard if it was possible to hex it or unravel the powers within the blade. Richard attempted to manipulate the structural integrity of the blade, but suffered a serious flash of magical feedback, in the form of a fireball that erupted from the blade. The wounds themselves practically dripped with arcane residue, and neither Richard nor Zhi could tend to them magically. Richard was forced to go to the hospital to seek mundane medical attention. He owes Dr. Owens a favor now. She may or may not ask for sex again.

At an impasse for what to do, Davey Suggested that the group contact Anabelle and the Lorekeepers.

[I wasn’t actually present for this part of the session, as I was packing, so if anyone wants to add what happened with Annabelle, that would be great}

With the time up and the meeting upon them, they returned to the apartment building. Maxwell, Katherine, and Alexis went to the meeting, while Zhi, Sterline, Richard, and Davey kept watch outside. Maxwell’s bargain was the dagger in exchange for the release of Katherine’s brother. Initially, Anna didn’t want to go for it, but in the face of a stalemate, Maxwell delivered the dagger, right into the floor between her feet. She told Katherine her brother would “be released,” and the group turned to leave. On the way out, Katherine became stricken with the fear that the vampires were going to doublecross her and doubled back. Maxwell and Alexis came out of the apartment building where the meeting was held, and Maxwell told Zhi and Richard to prepare for things to get interesting. Zhi mentioned that there was a van full of men across the street that had been there since Anna had arrived, so the task was set. Richard went “Super Saiyan,” and then pumped up Maxwell’s strength before heading into the building. Maxwell warned Richard to kill Katherine if he had to, stating that if the vampires need werewolf blood for the ritual, then Katherine would either offer herself up to save her brother or try to subdue Maxwell.

Maxwell summoned the beast within himself and shed his human form, donning the Urshul form in mid sprint. After calling upon the swiftness of Father Wolf, he sped into the van parked across the street under the cover of Alexis’s specially manipulated shadows, smashing into the broad side of the van with the force of a large truck. The van flipped three times before landing on it’s side, slowly turning. Alexis, who had found a perch in a safe place, took well-aimed shot at the overturned vehicle and took out the driver. Sterling and Zhi stand poised to act, with Maxwell preparing to tear the van open like a can of corned beef hash.

Meanwhile, Richard rushed up the stairs to see Katherine flying back through an open doorway (seems to be a theme with werewolves lately), her ample chest both revealed and mangled grossly by the spread effect of a point-blank shotgun blast. Going through the doorway he came face to face with said shotgun, and the Gangrel behind it. Before Kurt could react Richard, with quick reflexes and an even quicker flourish of his blade, managed to sever Kurt’s tenuous connection to the mortal coil, rendering him torpid in a single strike. He returned to the unconscious Katherine, and began trying to get her back on her feet (while trying to admire her bare bits beneath the blood and mangled flesh).

Where We Left Off

Group

  • Richard is outside the room tending to Katherine.
  • Maxwell, Zhi, Davey, Sterling, and Alexis are outside, poised to continue the onslaught upon the unfortunate persons in the overturned van.

NPCs

  • Katherine is Unconscious but mostly healed
  • Kurt is torporiffic
  • Anna, Jasmine, and a 4th vamp are MIA
  • People in the van aren’t faring too well…
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Session 12
"Hold on. Gotta check my Mercy Gem."

The Misaki Chronicles:
Our game of tag led the group across Plattsburgh after Misaki almost got hit by a truck. She fled down the street and bamfed back over on the left side of the road. (More later)

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Session Elemon
In the groin is not a "cool" spot to go for when playing tag.

Part 1 – Abby
Somebody was lighting fires
A church by us was on fire
Firemen and police were already on the scene, Sterling was there
Nobody was really sure what was starting the fires, seemed instantaneous.
Sterling had a FOI that it was someone “her kind of freaky” – a firestarter – was responsible.
Alexis used cameras around town to find a person who was at the scene of all of these events
We tracked her down and confronted her
She said her powers were out of control
We convinced her that we could help her out
She came back with us

Part 2 – AJ
The party followed up on the whole center of the water issue
In the basement of the public library there was a secret entrance to a tunnel
The tunnel led to a concrete chamber. In it was the Promethean we were looking for, a tv and a ton of explosives (enough to blow us to kingdom come)
A door closed behind us and everyone found it difficult to use their powers
The tv set flicked on and some weirdo came on and started to talk to us
Maxwell got fed up after hearing a sentence from the guy and kicked the tv over
Then the timer for the explosives started up.
Maxwell tried to break down the door which didn’t seem to be working even though Richard weakened it
Sterling, Richard, and Alexis all worked on disarming the bomb
Sterling had a FOI and told the party of a weak point in the floor which would lead to sewers
Maxwell promptly destroyed the floor
Most of the party got out
Richard and Sterling managed to disarm the bomb with 40 sec left on the timer.
A few of us went back in and collected some bricks of C4
We gathered outside and Zhi offered to drive the Promethean South a ways in order to end the wasteland effect

Part 3 – Devin
We knew Misaki’s 1st change was coming up
Sterling even had a premonition
the party prepped for the occasion, and waited at Maxwell’s place for it to possibly occur.
It could’ve happened on any night of that moon phase, but it just so happened on the first
She went weird and then decided to play a game of tag
We ran around outside for a bit
Richard took a tail slap to the nads and needed a time out
We then headed up route 3 and stopped at BK
Misaki rooted around in the trash
Richard went inside to get her some water, then a burger
but she wouldn’t be fed by him, so he used the water and a spell to get her soaking wet. She got revenge by rubbing up against him and getting him to smell like wet dog
She then ran out into traffic in front of a Mac truck and went into a form that causes Lunacy, and was getting ready to take on the vehicle
Maxwell used a warning shout to get her to keep moving
I think we did something about all the people in cars who were just forced to go crazy with fear, not sure.

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Session Ten
Screwing with us = Bad Idea

Today it was finally time for some payback. The Matrix Tappers didn’t seem to actually know who they decided to screw with, despite spying on us and finding all of our ins and outs. We finished preparing to take back what was ours. And let me tell you, when a party has time to prep for a fight, they can become pretty powerful.

We started things off with Maxwell sneaking in the sanctum in the Shadow Realm. He Stepped through the Gauntlet, nicked a bunch of their equipment, and then started to run out. A few of the Tappers managed to take a swings him, but they only killed some of his clothing. He had a helping hand in that he got teleported out.

Outside of the dojo a couple of us tossed on the new bulletproof vests that we just got, turned up the tunes (Ride of the Valkryies), and rushed the door. Zhi used the ward-busting brass knuckles he got from McArdle’s to take down any magical traps in our path, and the first enemy up was Pardy. Things didn’t go so well for him. He managed to get a shot off at Alexis and started to make a run for it, but ended up getting slashed by a katana, shot by a crossbow, and clawed by a claw. What finished it though was when a certain someone stabbed him with his sword and then swirled around his insides. He died from that.

While the Mages started up with some more ward busting and a little healing, a blade popped out of thin air. It was Vindicta using her expertise with Spirit magic to attack us from the Shadow Realm. Things were looking a little grim. Maxwell took a horrendous kind of injury and had to use his necklace to keep from Death Raging and probably going after allies in the process. After a couple of attacks Vindicta stopped for the moment. Most of the party headed downstairs while Richard worked on creating an alternate route. One that hopefully didn’t lead through more traps.

Here’s where things got a little fuzzy for me. A light/shadow show got started and it was a contest of wills between Alexis and the Matrix Tappers Oro. Our resident lady vamp proved to be the better woman when she sucked all of the shadows to her and revealed most of our enemies. She then used the shadows to make a few more pillars of darkness so that enemies would have to guess where she was to attack her. Zhi went invisible and started to bring the hurt to Oro. Maxwell hand-delivered his package that consisted of a flying knee to the face to Mary’s face. I can’t remember what Davey did, but I’m pretty sure it involved someone eating some more katana.

Richard’s alternate route led to more traps. He got teleported back to the front door and preceded to haul ass back to the basement, taking the regular route. When he got back, he took Captain Falcon down (his guts got swirled just like Pardy’s). So much so, that he actually had to keep him from dying afterwards. Pardy was dead, and both Oro and Peregrine were unconcious now. Vindicta and Mary managed to escape … for the time being. The prisoners were secured and Loredo was given a call. We told him all was well again, and to send someone to pick up these fallen mages. Loredo sent Doc, a man who definitely came off as a lover and not a fighter.

Then we started looking around for Layne’s grimoire. Eventually Richard saw Vindicta in the Shadow Realm and struck up a conversation with her, and the others joined in. She was hardly worth talking to and refused to cooperate at all. So Maxwell popped into the Shadow and booted her out. Then she got introduced to the same sword as Pardy and Peregrine Layne, minus the swirled organs. We had to call Loredo again, and soon after Doc was back once more. He wasn’t too thrilled as he was trying to get it on with some girls he had mind-raped or something.

After that we finished cleaning up. Zhi was not happy at all about the hole in the floor. Somebody keeps altering bits of the building. It must be Ben Harper, he’s good with Matter.

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Session 9
New Years Eve with Lady Deathstrike.

Today was all about information gathering and plan formation. After waking up, Zhi, Richard and Maxwell figured they needed information on the group lead by Captain Falcon.

They called up the rest of the party and let them know what happened, as well as asking them to check their contacts for info on “Peregrine Layne” and his cabal. While they did that, Zhi and Richard called up both Loredo and Celeris for mage opinions. (Surprisingly enough, Loredo was actually quite amicable when we called him at four in the morning. I guess asshole doesn’t kick in until after his coffee.)

What the group found out was that Peregrine is part of a mage Legacy that messed around with ley-lines, that he is part of the cabal called the Matrix Tappers (probably the A-holes who took over Zhi’s dojo.) We also found mention of the name Donald McArdle, who happens to be a visiting professor at the local college.

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Mini-Session 8.5
"You could have knocked first, you know."

Previously, on Dragon Ball—wait, what? Wrong show? My bad. It’s because Zhi and Richard just recruited a new cabal member who is a big fan of anime in general. Celeris also happened to deliver us some neat magical items: a Mana Bowl that helps to preserve the mana that comes from the Hallow, and the Tearstone, which is basically a portable locus for Maxwell. She showed some of her techniques to the team, and we readily accepted her into our cabal. No, we are not super secretive, especially with people who already know our secrets.

Speaking of secrets, guess who knew where Zhi’s sanctum was? A group of mages who want to “borrow” it for a few days. It all started with some wounded mage named Mary who came by the dojo. She asked for help, claimed she was attacked, and on top of that, invoked the Right of Hospitality, which essentially required us (as a Council cabal) to provide for her for about a week. Zhi and Richard didn’t trust her immediately since she knew we were mages, knew where the sanctum was, and then claimed that she “sensed” the sanctum. Despite not trusting her, we went to check out the scene, which turned out to actually look like a fight, except there were no police or anything covering the scene, which made us think it was set up. We went back to the dojo, found nothing amiss, and called it a day.

That night, Zhi was rudely awakened at gunpoint. Despite wanting to lash out at the offenders, he tried to reason with him because, even though he’s an master at kung fu and knows magic, that’s a gun less than a foot from his face. After a short scene of conversation, the group of mages didn’t KO Zhi and instead brought him into the next room to wake up Richard. Richard, however, did not get to walk out of the room on his own. He was very vocally pissed off at what happened, and after saying something along the lines of “How about I take the girl and we call it even?” he gets leveled by a sleep spell. The leader, who was identified as Peregrine, asked Zhi if “the werewolf” would react the same way. He replied, “I don’t think he could take the three of you, but I wouldn’t want to be in the room when you wake him.” So Peregrine decided not to let Maxwell wake up and just send him into a deeper sleep.

Upon reaching the sanctum, Zhi asks to go into the other room, and promptly “cleans the fridge” so that they can’t use the Hallow. When he comes back, he hears a sharp whistle and doesn’t hear Maxwell shout out or anything, but still hears shuffling of feet. He realizes it must be Mary, and that she is working with them. He walks over and sees her with the other mages. He asks Peregrine if he can get one punch in for the betrayal. He says sure. Zhi turns, looks at Mary, and cleanly knocks her on her ass. He then promply sits down as he feels the sleep spell hit him so that he doesn’t just fall on the floor. He fell asleep smiling.

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Session 8
No, he's not Zack Galifianakis.

Picking up right were we left off last session, we got bamfed to the Shadow Realm by the Pure pack. After a small monologue by the Pure second-in-command (which was interrupted by Maxwell reciting it along with him due to hearing “this shit” before), combat started with Zhi tossing flames at the dude on top of the shadow tower. The Pure then jumped down three stories, and the brawl ensued.

A couple Azlu and a few Pure joined the melee, and a hunter (little “h”) was shooting at us from a nest in a tree. Despite being a wolfblood, his frail mind didn’t stand a chance when Maxwell entered Gauru form. The Pure were using some gifts that allowed them do deal critical wounds on the party, but they were in poor form tonight—whereas Sterling was pullin’ off headshots like nobody’s business. Between her silver coated bullets and the ridiculous damage a ten-foot-tall whirlwind of death tends to do, we tore through the Pure and their allies.

All of us took some pretty bad damage except for Davey, who got away with only a couple nasty scratches, but we all made it out alive—which isn’t what happened to our enemies. All except the Pure second and the hunter were killed in combat. Alexis wanted to drain the hunter, but Zhi told her not to since he was only a mortal, and would not be able to defend himself especially since he’s affected by Lunacy. She grudgingly agreed and only took a bit of vitae from the man. Maxwell then sent him back to the real world.

The Pure second was tied up so he could be interrogated by Maxwell to find the rest of the Pure who were not in combat, including their Alpha. We searched the shadow tower and found a broken orb of some kind (which Alexis recognized but neglected to share any information with the group), as well as the map that belonged to Misaki. Alexis took the shattered orb, and Zhi grabbed the map. Maxwell sent us back through the Gauntlet after we finished up in the Shadow Realm.

We trudged through the wilderness back to town. As we approached the Life’s Flame, we saw someone on the ground. Jacob’s head was blown apart from several high-power rounds. Maxwell grabbed a silver hatchet from Alexis and ripped out the Pure’s throat. No one could blame him.

Running into the dojo, we found several walls missing. Not blown up, destroyed, or broken, but missing. Richard was pinned to a wall with giant spikes stabbed through his wrists. Maxwell tore them out as Zhi scoured his pattern for extra mana to heal Richard. He told us that when he took Misaki, Scotty, Ken, and Jacob back to the dojo, they were attacked by heavily armed Hunters (big “H”). They watched Jacob die, and Richard told the three who couldn’t fight back to run and hide in the sanctum. Richard was quickly pinned to the wall, and when the Hunters started looking for the others, he used magic to transmute a couple of (Zhi’s) walls into stinging insects that attacked the Hunters. They fled after being (literally) swarmed, and Richard waited about twenty minutes until the party arrived.

Zhi put his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder and said, “I’m sorry,” as he walked past him to go check on the (mostly) mortals. They were shaken up, but uninjured. Zhi knew he had to tell them something, since it’s not a normal thing to watch someone get killed just outside a city dojo. Maxwell came in and said, “Magic’s real, there’s more out there than you know, and we need to talk later,” to Ken, Scotty, and Misaki, respectively. He then said directly to Scotty, “There are real monsters in the world, and I’m one of them.” Zhi added, “The guy who died out there? He was his friend. The guys who killed him hunt monsters. Not all monsters are bad; they are just not human. But those guys don’t care. They hunt monsters and don’t like it when normal people know about monsters. You can’t tell anyone that you know anything about them, or they might come after you.” Scotty said, “I’m good at keeping secrets.”

Zhi gave Misaki her map, and she showed that the center of the Wasteland effect (not that she knew what it was called) was right around the public library. We decided to check it out after we had a couple days to recuperate and replenish our mana/essense/etc.

Maxwell went to take care of the bodies of both of his packmates and the Pure, Sterling brought Scotty and Misaki home, and Richard started to clean up all of the evidence of the combat. Davey headed home to heal up, but he left a note for Zhi saying that he knows who to talk to about getting his dojo’s walls fixed. When everyone came back, Richard and Maxwell did the ritual to heal the damage from the Pure.

As everyone was leaving, Zhi offered Maxwell a place to stay at the dojo, as well as sparring whenever he’d like. “Yeah, I could use a beating or two right about now.”

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Session Seven
Nope, he's dead.

Picking up from where we were two weeks ago, the remaining Azlu had just been trapped by Maxwell’s Earthbending skills. Before they ran away all helter skelter and possibly to the front of a moving vehicle, Richard nailed the two fleeing mortals with a bit o’ “point and stop” magic. He went over to handle them while the rest of the party dealt with matters concerning what had occurred on the field of battle.

Alexis interrogated the Azlu for a moment while Maxwell (who was in no shape to interrogate anything except if by interrogate you meant make it more dead) did what he could to take care of Jacob. The Azlu was surprisingly no nonsense about spilling its guts and gave away a few bits of information. It opened with threats of its brethren crushing us. It told Alexis that the Azlu had cut a deal with this pack of Pure. The option of possible death whilst working as lackies for the Pure was much more preferable to the definite destruction they faced if they refused. The creature also imparted the general direction the enemy werewolf pack had departed to.

Having heard more than enough, Maxwell decided to swipe the Azlu’s head clean off. The remaining party members sat back and watched while the werewolf’s hand moved in bullet time. The head went flying off into the night and while the body transformed into hundreds of spiders. Once again the earth was moved and the spiders all cried out with one voice and were suddenly silenced with a loud squish. Zhi practiced some healing and helped get Jacob back on his feet again. As per usual when he came to he started asking for the good drugs. Maxy let him know that drug production was on at least a temporary hiatus as their herbalist was no longer among the living.

Jacob healed himself up some more and took Seth’s corpse back to the new werewolf hangout. The party rejoined Richard and began to talk with the vanilla mortals that had “witnessed” the group’s latest victory. “Surprisingly” all of them knew at least one of us. There was Ken Richard, Misaki Nagai, and Scott Tremaine. Miss Crowl wondered aloud about having a snack which recieved a resounding “no”.

Ken and Zhi go way back, and Richard had met him before. He had been out for a walk when he heard a scream and the sounds of violence. He ran to check it out, and the world suddenly went blue-green, freezing him in place. Zhi did a little magical detection and figured out that he had become a sleepwalker. He told him they’d talk about what had happened later.

Sterling knew both Misaki and Scotty through playing a popular role-playing game with them. Richard had met Misaki as well in a class they were both in. The two regulars had been out collecting water samples during which their memory blanked out, and they suddenly ended up over here. Although mostly at ease because of a spell cast earlier, they were all a bit frightened. The girl had been bitten by one of the Pure though Richard had healed that up. A quick consultation with Maxwell and an even quicker sniff revealed that she was well on her way to becoming a werewolf. Misaki did reveal some info that could give us better insight into the water mystery. The water taint effect seems to be occuring in a 1 mile radius circle. Water from outside the circle brought in is affected just the same as the water already there. She was working on a map to find the boundaries of this circle of taint, figuring that from there she could ascertain its center and possibly the source of the problem.

The map, unfortunately, was lost. After the group searched for it unsuccessfully Richard did a little “cleaning up”, and the party formulated a plan. Richard would take all of the mortals back to the Life’s Flame Dojo and have Jacob meet him there. The two of them would watch over the rest in case any of the Pure doubled back and tried anything funny/not actually funny with them. The rest of the party would track the enemy werewolves and put an end to their wrong doing.

Following the trail of the Pure proved to be very easy. After some time the group came across a rend in the ground. A round of detection abilities went with nothing coming up just yet. Wishing to avoid an obvious trap, they went alond the edges instead of through it. At about 3/4 of the length along it something sent most everyone’s spider-sense tingling. Somewhat farther away underground, a great disturbance could be felt. The party went into the ditch, showing off their skills of sliding down. They discovered an entrance into what was a cave or a tunnel, but before they could enter they were ambushed by a group of four more of those giant half man – half spider Azlu. Two of them had burst of of the very earth behind them. The Azlu all tried to grapple and poison bite the group, but to almost no avail. The only success was against Sterling, and Alexis’s opponent merely managed to keep her occupied. Davey, Zhi, and Maxwell did most of the exterminating with only one managing to escape back down the tunnel and all of the little spiders scattering every which way.

Maxwell was able to perceive that the Pure had not gone in the tunnel on their last pass, one of them had been in it before. Despite feeling a lot of bad mojo, the group decided to venture underground, eventually coming to a cave where manny other tunnels led to. In the middle was a cairn of stones. With detection abilities some truly horrific sights could be seen. The ethereal webbing that had been spotted earlier all stopped at the entrances to this cave. The cave’s walls were bleeding and strange symbols in flame writing appeared on it. The cairn itself was aflame with green, ghastly fire, and the ground around it quivered like living flesh. This was a Wound. Maxwell used a bit of trickiness to send the Wound’s keystone into the Shadow Realm. This tactic would cause the Wound to eventually dry up and gained him some measure of favor with the celestial choirs.

Then the cave began to collapse, but fortunately the group ran out and was unharmed. After a breather they were back on the hunt. A short time later they came to a spot where a peninsula jutted out into the water and the trees thinned out. A short way past the tree line stood a wooden door frame, that they found to be a locus. Everyone agreed that going through to the Shadow was probably a bad idea and they should just let the Pure come to them. Maxwell drained the remaining free essence in it and worked on damaging/draining the locus permanently. In the middle of doing that, the group was “plane shifted” into the Shadow Realm. They had all totally botched their resistance rolls to avoid it, and their rolls to notice the train tracks leading up to this door that had been slightly covered in plant material.

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