WitchCraft (T&P) Session 05

In the days that followed each person worked on personal projects and jobs.

Michael decided that he was going to show up his peers at work and just to spite Walter Montes he took on a murder case with a possible serial killer. Looking through the files Michael was dismayed to find that all of the physical evidence was lost during Katrina, including all of the bodies which only two were identified. Other three were linked to the killer but never had a chance to be identified, none of the bodies at an autopsy. The cases of another seven missing persons could have ties to the killer as well. So far the known link between the victims is missing organs and a lack of blood at all sites and within the bodies. The files identified the two victims as Genie Pickwaith and Cecilia Harris, both women worked the streets and had long records of solicitation.

Michael also started asking around about the scrapyard fire and shootout. He talked to a couple of patrolmen and discovered that the fire had been started in two locations in the yard, one in the main garage and a second in the manager’s office at the back of the area. The young man who set the fires attacked the first responders with scattered and inaccurate gunfire. When the police arrived he was still firing the gun and was shot by the police officers in self-defense. Michael looked through the pictures and was shaken to find that the gun man was the same teenager he pushed in to the wards during the rescue of Britney.

Yin Yue over the days had started trading letters with Britney Wynter and after a few letters they decided that they should move away from snail mail and into the electronic method. Which led Yin Yue to the library to sign up for email for the first time, she was already known to the local librarian, a small round old woman named Linda Smith-Johns who was happy to show Yin Yue the basics of computer operations and how to sign up with a Hotmail account.

She then headed to the spice/tea shop to talk to Bao Lan Fan about the letters from Britney and her dreams. The two discussed old legends and folk lore, how to handle such creatures and how Yin Yue’s old mentor who know how to put down or banish such creatures. Cryptically Bao Lan mentioned an absolute last resort should Yin Yue need it in facing the demon. This led to Yin Yue calling Roland Wynter and telling him of his Granddaughters dreams and the possibility of the demons ties to her. They talked about protections for Britney and how to keep her safe.

Ethan spent some time in Jackson’s square performing tricks and honing his storytelling skills, every once in a while he would look in on Reverend White and ask around about him. Eventually calling Simon about magical theory and how the flow of energy in New Orleans could have been disrupted and methods of pulling off something if that caliber. Including wards and circles used to cut off energy or contain the flow of natural magic.

One late afternoon Ethan was called by Maddalyn Vogel who informed Ethan that she worked for HighWall security and that the firm had been hired by Mr. Roland Wynter to aid Ethan in finding his missing friend. With a chuckle Ethan informed her that his missing friend was the spirit of an old gambler. Without missing a beat Maddalyn confirmed that she was already aware that the missing person was a spirit and that she needed details on his family and other relations on the area. Ethan realized that he knew little of the mortal life of his friend and provided little help to Maddalyn, who told him that she would be in touch soon.

Ethan also decided to start his own legends online and went to a local internet café to find someone who could create a website for the newly created Tiger Demon Ethan had created and the hauntings/killings by the creature. Ethan met an obese man named Frank Tobias Lee who he hired as a part time web developer and together the two spent a day registering for a free site, setting up a template site and the first draft of the tiger demon story.

Simon was busy helping his neighbors remove curses, rid themselves of evil spirits and moving the restless spirits onto the next world when one of the older women who knew his grandfather mentioned that she had come across a vile area in the swamp that was full of bad juju and he should look into it and clean it of the evil there. After borrowing a boat from a friend he headed out into the swamps. After a couple of hours of following the old woman’s directions he felt confident that he had found the location she mentioned.

A near perfect circle of dead vegetation, the air smelled stale with a lingering odor of rotting flesh. The animals in the area were silent and the birds did not fly nearby. The clearing around the circle had no tracks from animals passing. After a careful investigation Simon knew he was unable to clear the area properly and headed back to the city to talk to his friends and gather resources.

The group next gathered for dinner at a local high end streak house. While there they discussed the recent events, what they all learned about the hunger demon and its possible links to Britney they ate amazing steaks and drank overpriced alcohol. Many esoteric topics were heatedly discussed and theories were thrown about. Over the course the evening Michael’s new pet project case came up and some of the details were given. Michael and Ethan talked at length over one of the missing girls that he knew named Cecilia who had a gift and was a small time talent. He knew that she had been missing for a while but didn’t know any details.

As the night came to an end they paid the bill and started heading for the door. Michael was the first one out of the restaurant with Ethan close behind him. As Michael crossed the threshold the hair on Ethan’s neck stood on end and his eye line was forced to two Asian men crossing the street looking directly at Michael with deadly intent. Ethan acting swiftly pulled Michael back into the restaurant as the two men pulled compact automatic guns from hiding and opened fired on the space Michael just occupied. The door to the steak house was a heavy wooden door and it absorbed the lion’s share of the bullets fired from the small firearms, with only a few finding their way through the small decorative window and into the restaurant. An old brown van slowed as it passed the gunmen who jumped into the open sliding door on the side and they sped away into the night before Michael could untangle himself from Ethan and look to return fire.

A few minutes of chaos erupted until Michael took charge of the scene and called the shooting in. The group stayed on the site until the other officers arrived and started taking statements and collecting evidence.

End of session five

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 04 – Part 2

Ethan spent most of his time wrangling his mothers and pulling small cons to make a few extra bucks while keeping the tourists entertained. One night Ethan got it into his head to ask around about the demons he had heard Yin Yue talking about at the scrapyard and decided to start by asking the Catholic Church about it, since they are all experts on these things. Heading into St. Louis Cathedral he was met by an old priest with thinning white hair, clear green eyes and a wide smile. Ethan wasted no time diving into his questions. Starting with demons and possession, how to remove a spirit from an area or from a person, how to help someone who is possessed and does the church still help with these issues in person, do they have someone on staff to help? Next he starting asking a lot of questions about Tiger demons and how to best protect yourself from them. Ethan was surprised to find the man horror struck and at a loss for words, the priest stuttered for a couple of moments not sure what to say to the obviously demented man before him and tried as politely but forcefully as he could to remove Ethan from the building.

Standing outside of the church unsure of where he went wrong he was approached by an elderly black man with dreaded white hair, wearing an old priests smock and collar. He introduced himself with a manic grin as the Reverend White, holy man and chosen voice of a silent people. Ethan slipped into a performance mood and launched into an epic tale of the history of Tiger demons and their ilk. He took his time and carefully crafted a story of sadness and woe. As the story grew more and more people stopped to hear the tale of the Tiger demon and Ethan’s encounter with one. At the end of the tale Ethan found himself surrounded by people all offering him tips for the amazing story. Gathering up the cash he started walking to a nearby café to get something to eat when he realized that Rev White was still following him trying to talk to him. Ducking into the café Ethan used one of his invocations to make himself invisible and dart out another exit.

After walking a couple of streets over he removed his veil and started strolling to a fast food place to pick up a bite to eat. On his way out the Rev White was waiting for him still talking as if nothing had been missed between them. Ranting currently on the darkness pressing in on the city and how agents of wickedness moved in the open now. As he fell into step with the amazed Ethan he started asking about the girls they found and if they had been given proper funeral rights or buried in hallowed ground. Ethan answered that he didn’t think so. The Rev White told Ethan next about a gathering darkness that needed the girls and how Ethan and his friends had greatly angered it. Ethan asked if the good Rev knew a way to cleanse the area where the girls’ bodies had been found, to which the excited Rev White answered that of course he did, but that he saw an Asian woman helping them and Ethan would know who to call.

Ethan at that point called the only woman he knew at the moment that could help him in a situation like this and called Yin Yue. She answered the phone on the second ring and listened as Ethan rambled in a rapid fire fashion the events of the night and about Rev White. Yin Yue agreed to help and would be ready by the time they got to her place. While Ethan explained to Yin Yue what was going on he was being led by the Rev White through alleyways and back channels until Ethan got off the phone and noticed that the Rev had walked them right to Ethan’s truck.

The pair drove in silence while on their way to get Yin Yue and after picking her up the Reverend said nothing but a casual greeting to Yin Yue as she got in the truck. The friends quietly talked about normal things while they drove. As they passed through the city the Rev would occasionally break his silence to tell Ethan which way to go or where to turn next. The next hour was spent driving around the city, not taking any one street or highway for long, until finally the Rev told Ethan to park and that they should all get out. After finding a safe place to park his truck Ethan and Yin Yue noticed that they were on the back road to the scrapyard which had now burned down and was a husk of what it once was last time they were here.

Getting the creeps Ethan was on high alert when they walked over the now broken fence and entered the yard. Looking around he noticed flickering yellow police tape attached to various slagged metal scrap piles. As they wandered around following the Reverend they took inventory and noticed that the trailer that housed the bodies was destroyed along with the warehouse/garage area they found Britney in. Little remained the same from their last visit except the stale essence and stifled flow of the natural world.

Reverend White took at long tour around the yard, walking the parameter and muttering under his breath while splashing small drops of water as he went. Once his walk was complete he asked Ethan and Yin Yue to take his hands and follow his lead. A long prayer and invocation to Jesus was given, he asked for aid in cleaning this place of the foul touch laid on “his” land, he asked that G-ds holy sight would shine on this dark place and revel the corruption, he asked that “his” servants be shown the power of the almighty.

During all of this Ethan and Yin Yue felt a growing surge of power around them. Their body hair started to rise and clean air trickled into the yard. As the invocations grew in tempo their adrenaline started pumping and a surge of power rippled through the burned out scrapyard as the three said “Amen”. And it was done, the natural flow of the world was restored to the yard and the lingering smell of old water and stale air was washed away.

Rev White was visibly exhausted at this point and asked meekly to be driven home. Ethan and Yin Yue exchanged looks and started on their way back. The drive was silent and not knowing what else to do Ethan drove back to the French Quarter, where Rev White got out and without a word started walking. The friends followed him and eventually Rev White arrived at Jacksons square, he climbed the statue, curled up under the horse and nodded off.

Ethan was very concerned with this arrangement and whispered to Rev White if he was okay. In his fatigued state all Rev White said was that it was alright and pointing to the statue of Jackson mumbled that they had an arrangement. With that he started snoring and all Ethan could think to do was place the cash he had gotten from his Tiger demon story into the jacket pocket of Rev White.

End of session 4

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 04 – Part 1

The next few days the group returned to more or less normal activities. Working, visiting with friends and family, the usual fair. During that time only a few things stood out.

Simon spent most of his time looking for his missing family and helping out with neighborhood odd jobs. On the second day of the week Simon was contacted by a woman named Maddalyn Vogel with HighWall security. She introduced herself and told Simon that the firm was hired by the Wynter family to assist with locating his missing family. She asked a number of questions about Simon and his missing relatives before giving him her number and letting him know that she would be in touch as soon as she found any information. She thanked him for his time and disconnected. The next few days were quiet for Simon as he wandered around the town. He helped a couple of ladies who heard voices of their dead loved ones and looked for his family without any new information turning up.

A few days after Maddalyn initially reached out to him she called again. This time she had new information for Simon and asked him to meet her at her office. Giving him the address of her office in the financial district of the city, Simon agreed and headed into the center of town. Getting there the building was a large corporate office structure without much personality. As he entered the building he was stopped by one of the private security guards and questioned before being allowed to head up to the higher floors. He reached the offices of HighWall Securities and was greeted by an attractive receptionist who offered him water and showed him to a conference room. Before he had a chance to get comfortable in the leather office chairs around the dark oak table Maddalyn joined him. Meeting her for the first time she was not what he expected. Maddalyn is a tall blonde very Nordic looking woman in a finely tailored suit armed with a very professional demeanor. She laid out a small stack of folders each one color coded and labeled. Next she brought out a pad of paper and a pen. She started asking Simon about his brother and told him that she had gotten back some files from the hospitals and relief stations in the area. She told him that each of the files, pointing to the stack on the table was on an unidentified person who could be a possible match for his brother and would he mind looking through them and seeing if he could identify anyone?

Opening the files Simon discovered that they contained photos and medical descriptions of men found dead after the storm. Each one of them was in bad shape and hard to look at. Simon took a little while to recover from the shock of such graphic photos, but in time he managed to get through each folder and with mixed emotions found that his brother was not in the files. His brother had not been found yet. Leaving the office and the next few days went by in a blur for Simon.

Michael over the next few days spent his time at work making moves and trying to find more information on his new companions while trying to find time to spend with his son. In finding Britney Wynter, Michael found himself shaken by the kidnapping and talked to his ex-wife about spending more time with their son. She noticed that there was something wrong and Michael was in need and allowed extra visitations. A long weekend was spent playing with his son and making trips to the toy store.

Michael also had an encounter with another detective from his district named Walter Monts who worked missing persons. He was very upset about Michael picking up the Wynter case without notifying him and he felt that Michael should stick to his own field and look into the rampant drug/gang problems in the city. Walter asked with heavy resentment if Michael didn’t have enough work and he would be happy to ask around for more vice related cases if Michel needed the help. Walter walked off thinking that he was top dog and had the last word. Michael a short while later had made up his mind to find a way to embarrass Walter the first chance he got. As he started looking into ways to do just that he came across a report with the arson until about a fire in one of the junk yards a few nights earlier that detailed a small shoot out with a teenager who set fire to the same scrap yard that Michael had just been at and rescued Britney from.

Yin Yue spent most of her time over the next few days working at the Tian’s bakery and training with her fellow Storm Dragons at the family owned and operated dojo. She also introduced Ethan to the Bao brothers who owned the dojo. Things seemed pretty calm until Ethan called looking for help with an old man.

Updates for Witchcraft sessions

The next two updates are going to be more rambling that usual. The sessions happened in between players traveling and families getting sick. We wanted to get something in but we didn’t want to advance the storyline too much or start anything new, more just to keep the game going. So the next couple of session posts for four and five will be more non-nonsensical that normal.

Thanks.

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 03 – Part 2

The first of these creatures to pass thorough the wall was a long and lean man with dirty grey hair and an unkempt beard. It was dressed in old, stained light brown leather pants, a long sleeve green shirt and a badly faded brown leather long coat. In his hand he was wielding a long knife and had an empty gun holster on his right hip. The second creature to enter the room was a stocky man with matted blond hair wearing black pants a red long sleeve shirt. He was holding a small antique pistol and also had an empty holster on his left hip. Both creatures had black, hollow sockets in place of eyes and they moved without touching the ground towards the center of the room passing over the rings. As they did the serpentine lettering moved and the skeletal sickle wielding monster appeared again attacking the two intruders.

As the three clashed Simon and Ethan reacted quickly and without self-preservation and charged into the rings at Britney. Passing over each circle unimpeded they reached her quickly and found her manacles securely bolted to the ground. Ethan quickly went to work on the locks with his small picks as Simon watched over the pair keeping himself between them and the battle. AS the locks came free and the manacles opened Ethan was flung back by a bolt of stored energy in the metal which caused him great pain and caused the muscles in his hands and arms to spasm uncontrollably. Simon scooped up Britney and carried her over to Yin Yue. Who along with Michael and Benny watched the fight between specters with a mixture of horror and fascination.

As soon as Britney was handed to Yin Yue the group wordlessly ran together back the way they had come. Leaving the garage through the same small door they entered they heard a number of cars parking in the lot outside of the fence and men talking about getting to the intruders. As the group picked up speed and headed into the scrapyard one of the men on the other side of the fence shouted that he spotted them. A few wild gun shots rang out but did not threaten the fleeing party. As they ran through the narrow paths they slowed for safety and desperately tried to remember the correct path back to the hole they had made in the back fence. As they traveled they could hear the men entering the yard and searching for them. Yelling to each other and moving cars to provide more light and to circle around to the back of the yard.

Before they escaped the yard a strong sense of dread washed over they group and Yin Yue felt as if she was being watched. Finding the exit and pushing through the fence they all piled into cars. Ethan getting into Benny’s old work truck while Yin Yue and comforted Britney in the back seat of Michael’s car and Simon rode in the front passenger seat. Speeding down the dirt road they narrowly avoided other cars as they pulled onto the highway and raced to Willow Grove to return Britney to her family. The drive while stressful was uneventful. Getting to Willow Grove they were greeted by a number of guards and other staff who escorted them into the main house as they announced Britney’s return. She was quickly engulfed by family and after being forgotten for a moment a loud and enthusiastic round of gratitude was showered upon the group.

Roland took them aside and into his office once he gained control of the room and asked for details of his granddaughters rescue. After spending a while going over all of the details of the day Roland sat in silence taking it all in and once the group was finished he was speechless. It took him a little while to fully articulate his appreciation for the group and all that they had done for Britney. He started by telling them that he was at their service and owed them a great debt. He gave out his number to all of them and paid them each five thousand in cash to thank them. Roland explained that anything they might need he would willingly assist with and provide whatever resources he could. As it was very late at night or very early in the morning Roland insisted that they all say in the house in the guest rooms and they would continue talking in the morning.

Wallace walked each of them to their rooms which were adjacent to one another and showed them the shared bathroom. He apologized as this house was very old and they had not added any bathrooms to this floor yet. Each of the five got their own room on the third floor of the house, the rooms are not large but very comfortable. Each room was furnished with a soft bed, night stand with a lamp, dresser and a mirror. All of the rooms had a window which was large enough to provide access to the balcony that wrapped around the whole floor. Each door had a simple lock and they were provided a key.

Sleep came easy to each member of the group as they all felt comfortable and secure on the grounds of Willow Grove. Simon was the only one who dreamt deeply as he found himself:

Standing on the banks of the Mississippi on a foggy morning; the sun has yet to rise. The water is quiet and dark; it moves swiftly, waves crest and fall, the current pulls debris from the banks into turbulent waters. The air is heavy with moisture and still. The city has yet to wake up and stands like a sentinel behind you, waiting for man to wake from his slumber. Standing on your right is a middle aged light skinned African man in a white linen suit and red banded top hat. He has bone necklaces with small animal skulls on and leans on a wood cane with an intricately carved series of symbols and reliefs. To your left is a dark skinned older woman in a light cotton white dress, a colorful head wrap covers and conceals her hair. She has on silver and bone necklaces and chews on an unlit cigar. Both look longingly over the chaotic fluctuations of the water. The man speaks quietly without moving his gaze. His voice is heavily accented.
“The dead don’t dance the way they once did. The music that rattled their bones has been silenced.”
He takes a deep breath and looks over at you without moving his head.
“A dark road lies ahead of you young man, will your rise to meet it? There are of course easier paths if you so choose, but you will never know what could have been or learn what awaits you in the darkness.”
He turns away from the water and looks back at the city looming. He extends his hand palm up past you and the woman who for the first time look at you with a knowing smile, her eyes sparkle with mischief as she takes his hand. They begin to walk into the growing fog now obscuring the city from your view both are bare foot and make no sound as they travel through the wet grass and onto the cement. He turns his head looking at your over his shoulder and says his voice heavy with dread.
“Old Friends have gone and the dawn is not as bright as it was. They start to lose hope and soon the ground will be stained forever black.”

Simon awoke to find himself standing; looking out a window, a sense of sadness hanging over him as the sun peaks out from behind the city.

Each person woke at a different time and each found themselves exploring the house without a chaperone. After wandering around the house they each in time found their way to the ground floor and to the back of the house where a massive dining room had been setup with buffet style breakfast. Rows of bacon, eggs, pancakes and fresh fruit. Each person piled food on plates and eventually sat together at the open tables to silently eat together and nod approvingly as they devoured the food. After finishing their breakfast they each headed out again to continue exploring the house and grounds.

Simon was the first to find his way to Roland’s office and discuss a very personal problem he needed all the help he could get. Simon explained to Roland that in the aftermath of Katrina he lost his family. Simon knows a few of his family members are dead but depressingly he does not know the whereabouts of his siblings, one of which is his twin sister. Roland listened patiently to Simon and assured him that he would put his people on it and that they will be in contact with him shortly for details on his family. Roland told Simon that helping his family would be his pleasure as Simon, a stranger put his life on the line for his family already. With that Simon left the office and started on his way home after calling a cab.

Ethan a short while later found his way to Roland’s office too. He told Roland about his missing friend a spirit of a gambler who added him in the years before Katrina but he has been missing since the storm. Roland was very concerned about this and was unaware that the spirit world was effect as the mortal realm was. He was troubled by the implications but assured Ethan that he knew people who could help and they would be in contact with him soon. After the meeting Ethan too head out of the grounds and found Simon waiting for his cab. The two shared the cab as they both headed home.

Eventually each of other person headed home as well. Benny drove off alone and Michael took Yin Yue home. As they got home each of them when about their normal business. Simon was the first to get home and immediately headed back out and his first stop was to a local wireless phone store where he bought a cheap mobile phone with a prepaid plan. Next he went to a local farmers market and bought a live chicken, then headed to a small shrine in the city to make his sacrifice and thanks to the spirits for all that they had done the previous evening. With that done he headed back to his neighborhood to let everyone know that he was around and available if anyone needed help.

Ethan was the next to get home and immediately checked in with his mothers to make sure they were all home, accounted for and safe. With that done he headed onto the streets to perform a few tricks for the tourists and make the locals laugh. While out he found his way to a local street personality named Smiling Jack who is a well-known dealer and go to guy for all things illegal. The two talked about the local gangs and the newly up and coming Asian gangs. Drugs and guns was also discussed as well as making sure Ethan was well armed and knew how to protect himself. The two talked for a while longer about more mundane things and parted ways laughing.

Yin Yue checked in with the Tian’s before headed up to her apartment, gathering her things and heading out to the Tea and spice shop. Getting there she found the ancient Bao Lan Fan helping another old woman with her purchase of herbal remedies. After the woman left the small shop the pair talked about the night’s events and the demon masks Yin Yue had found. They discussed the old country and how Yin Yue should be cautious in the days to come. After a long talk Yin Yue left three thousand of the five Roland had given her with Bao Lan for safe keeping. Then headed back to the store to help the Tian’s with cleaning up and preparing for the next morning business.

Michael was the last to get home and set about making a few phone calls. The first to his ex-wife to check in with their child and to see when he could visit. The next was to Vincent Asaro to inquire about the local gang activity and who exactly the Mott Street Rascals are connected to. After trading information and updating his contact on what had happened with the dead girls and the kidnapping Vincent assured Michael they he was protected and that they would see what could be done on their end. After the calls Michael checked in at work to spread out the pay outs to the other officers, then headed to his ex-wives house to spend some time with his son and bring him a new toy he picked up on his way.

End of session 3.

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 03 – Part 1

After sometime reflecting on the mask and what had just happened. Michael decided to take a candle as evidence and placed it in a bag. Then Michael and the others started removing the bodies with the mattresses from the trailer and setting them in a clearing outside. They searched around the trailer and underneath for any clues or further evidence of who was responsible for the deaths. Finding nothing they talked it over and decided to further explore the scrapyard.

Heading deeper into the scrapyard through piles of rusted metals and crushed cars they navigated carefully. Narrow aisles led to dead end after dead end until finally they found an old mostly rotted out work shed. The shed itself was just a barely standing shack made of old wood, rusted nails and termite droppings. Entering the shack they found old tools and dried out paint cans. Ethan and Simon both grabbed heavy tools which could be used as weapons. While rooting around the shed Simon notice an odd little nutria watching the group. Simon headed out to see why the nutria was so intent on them and as he exited the shed the rodent ran off. Simon looked for where the creature had gone but was blocked at every pass.

Meanwhile Yin Yue found a small space to sit down next to the shack and started her breathing exercises, falling into a deep trace she opened herself up and released a small amount of her essence into the world while thinking of Britney when she reached out through the dream. After a moment she could feel the cold shackles on her wrists and ankles. She was afraid, tired and hungry. Yin Yue whispered that she was on her way and to remain strong to Britney. A small surge of joy rippled through her and Yin Yue knew the message was received. When she withdrew from the trance she felt a tug coming from the west.

Ethan and Michael during this searched the shed and surrounding area looking for makeshift weapons and any clues on whom or what else could be out here with them, finding no further information but a couple of rusting but effective weapons for Ethan, Simon and Yin Yue.

Coming out of the trance Yin Yue told the others what she had done and found. When Simon returned to the shed Ethan handed out weapons and the group started looking for a path through the scrap metal piles and stacks of crushed cars. Moving slowly through the darkness they lost the path and at the end of the row out of the rusting scrap came the spectral form of a young black woman moaning for help with arms held out. She moved swiftly through the open space and past the group before disbursing into the air.

After the apparition left them they found their way by following the direction the spirit seemed to be headed. This led them to the large garage building at the front of the scrapyard. They were now at the back of the building and could see a large rollup door with no visible way to open and a side door with a single low watt light bulb above it. Without talking they headed to the wooden door and Ethan pulled a small leather tool set out of his pocket and quickly disabled the bolt in the door. Silently they entered the room of what looked like the foreman’s office. Two old metal desks with ancient computers and phones were in this room as well as a door leading further in. Searching the desks revealed nothing of value to the group.

The next door was unlocked and opened into a large workshop area. The place was softly lit with moonlight as the steepled ceiling had small windows running along the sides. Michael’s flashlight provided the only other illumination in the room and that light alerted the guard who was awoken by the noise and light from the group. Rubbing his eyes he headed over to the group asking through a yon who was there and lazily pointed a gun at the intruders. Yin Yue was quick to action closing the distance to the young man in a blink and deftly disarming him. The gunman’s only reaction was a high pitched yelp and to attempt to backpedal away from his attacker. Yin Yue again took to the offensive and took him to the floor pinning him and rendering him helpless.

The group recovered from their shock eventually and headed to the two. As they did they all got their first good look at the guard who turned out to be a teenage Asian boy wearing loose clothing of green and gold. As he struggled to ineffectually get free from Yin Yue, Michael asked him who he was and why he was guarding the garage. The young man told them nothing and instead took the stance of a hardened gangster. Which lasted until Yin Yue increased the pressure on his fragile joints in his shoulder and elbow. Cracking under the pressure of the 100lb woman he told them that his name is Arnold Zu and is a new member to the Mott Street Rascals who was ordered to watch the garage and kill anyone who tried to get in. Besides that he knew nothing.

After handcuffing Arnold the group explored further discovering another office, the front door to the street and a pad locked steel door. After working on not only the pad lock but a dead bolt as well Ethan got the group into the room where they found a young blonde girl sitting in the center of a very elaborate series of circles. Each ring of the circle having its own string of characters and symbols. Each layer becoming more serpentine and fluid as they got closer to the girl. Yin Yue was the first to call out to the girl who looked up at the group without saying anything but the metallic ringing of chains as she moved to see who was speaking to her told the group she was manacled to the floor.

Ethan, Simon and Yin Yue all spent time looking over the circles as Michael held firm the “gang” member. After a few minutes the group starting talking to the girl assuring her that she would be free soon and that they had been sent by her Grandfather. Seeing the fear in the girl Michael had decided that he see enough and that everyone shouldn’t worry about some graffiti on the ground and to prove his point he pushed Arnold into the first ring. In a flash of raw power Arnold stumbled over a symbol with a small cry and suddenly a shrouded, skeletal figure with a broken sickle racked out from nowhere and passed without resistance through Arnold’s throat and disappeared. Arnold collapsed bloodlessly to the ground without sound lifeless.

Everyone including the girl made sounds of horror and stepped as far as they could from the circles. A wall of noise followed as Simon and Ethan started yelling at Michael for such a careless act. Michael took to his own defense by asking what the hell just happened and asking everyone/anyone what they thing was. Simon shuttering answered quietly that it was a servant or aspect of Death. No one asked for further clarification at that point but instead stating looking for additional resources. Michael walked out of the room to call Roland Wynter. Ethan called an old friend named Benny who knew his share of weirdness and could help. Yin Yue and Simon starting talking to the girl in the circle.

Michael after a moment of talking to Wallace got through to Roland telling him that he had found this granddaughter and about the circle she was in and the death creature who just killed a boy. Leaving out his own involvement in the matter. Roland was very grateful for the news and assured Michael that he was sending resources to assist with Britney’s liberation.

Ethan called Benny’s cell phone to find out that he was heading home after a late night job at a school not far away, in fact he was on the highway at the moment heading in the general direction and would happily assist in anyway. Ethan told Benny to park on the back road and to head through the hole in the fence they had made. Ethan would meet him at the back door of the garage.

Yin Yue and Simon got Britney talking and the trio discussed the circles and the work it took to create and if Britney saw who had made them. She was blindfolded for most of her time in the room and had no idea who made them. She did mention a foul smelling creature who would linger in the room with her from time to time and it would talk quietly in a language she did not know.

As Michael and Ethan rejoined the others they informed each other of what they had learned and continued to make small talk until Benny arrived and started looking over the circles and the enchantments placed within. He could not tell the exact meanings but told the group of the outcome and that with enough bodies they could power through it or with a couple of days the group could work together to undue the power holding it together. As they discussed possible solutions and if they had any other options two creatures appeared through the wall.

Soon…

I am sorry to say that I have nothing new to say. Yet… I am getting back to being motivated to write again and we have played another session of WitchCraft. So now I am three behind. I have also joined a Shadowrun game and there is a Call of Cthulhu game starting tomorrow. Plus I have new sessions of Gaming with Kids to write up as well. Hopefully soon I can get these all typed up and posted. Sorry for being lame.

Lazy

I want to start by saying that I am sorry for a lack of posts. I have been very busy with real life stuff and wildly unmotivated to write anything down.

I do have two more sessions of WitchCraft to write up and a bunch of Gaming with Kids… but you know, I am lazy and all of that. Hopefully soon I will get in gear and start posting again regularly.

Again sorry for my sloth.

Eulogy for the Muck Rakers

It is with a strong sense of sadness that I say goodbye. Last night we concluded our AD&D campaign of over two years and in that time we went from small time wannabe adventures to community leaders, city builders and deity killers. This campaign was set in Forgotten Realms before the time of troubles in the city (ruins) of Phlan.

We began our campaign without knowing one another and we each answered flyers posted all over Faerun each of us coming to Phlan by our own means and being hired separately. Our first adventure together was a near suicide mission, we were asked to retake the fort on Thorn Island. This was a miraculous success, as we came together as a group, fought and eventually took back the fort from its inhuman inhabitants. We returned to the mainland heroes and celebrated our victory. After that it was a whirlwind of adventures as we took back the town piece by piece, at times going from building to building clearing kobolds, goblins and slavers. Finally we headed to the graveyard, we mustered every trick could think of and used every item we possessed. It was a long slog through undead and evil men, but in the end we triumphed and freed the graveyard from the grip of the wicked.

Returning once more to Phlan with vast treasures in hand we began to buy up parts of the town and rebuild it to fit our purposes. We started with our home, a vast estate that became a compound for our growing family to live. That stretched out to the walls around the town and farmlands for new arrivals, which lead to watch towers for our defense and a port for trade. We spent a lot of time building relations with the council and with the newly arrived. Two new temples where build along with a school and each building was open and welcoming to all. We ventured throughout the surrounding land helped wherever we could, making friends and correcting wrongs.

We defended the town on multiple occasions; first major attack was from a home grown threat, Tyranthraxus in the form of a dragon with his army of followers, then from an army of Ogres led by their demi-god and finally from the Zhentil keep troops who sought out to enslave our growing community. After all of these events we rebuild bigger and better than before. Each time our followers and us rose to the challenge won and gave the people our spoils. Finally we decided to strike back and go on the offensive.

We struck out and began to look for means to fight and kill Tyranthraxus and his kind once and for all. This led us all over Faerun researching in ancient libraries and contacting powerful people. After a great deal of time we found the means to destroy him and the hunt began. During the search we fought his lieutenants and their followers, all the while weakening Tyranthraxus hold over the land. Finally we were on the way at first we found the gauntlets of Moander and fought the deity himself for them destroying a stronghold and his mightiest creations. Second we traveled all over Cormyr following flights of dragons to find the Helm of Dragons and recover it from an evil wizard who fancied himself a king and his dracolich ally. Finally a raid on Zhentil keep itself got us the blade of Lathander and gave us the opportunity to free the slaves of the city. After fighting high priests of Bane we left burning a part of the town down in the process and making a deal with Fzoul never to return.

Now armed with the artifacts needed we headed off to confront the enemy. We faced him three times each time more perilous than the last. Each time we weakened him and took away an escape route and followers. Evil men and creatures fell before us and we gave chase each time he escaped us. Finally we confronted him for the last time in the city of Hillsfar. When we arrived at the town it was the eye of the storm, the city itself had turned on its head and chaos ruled. The town guard had barricaded the city from the outside trapping everyone in. As we fought our way through and go into the town, we found it over run with denizens of the fire plane. As we rushed through the town we did not stop but we used what powerful magic we could to slow the progress of the evil creatures, destroying mephitis, banishing fire elementals and salamanders as we went. Finally at the arena in the center of the town we found what we looked for, the last pool of radiance. We took a moment to survey the area before we entered as we did not see a single enemy. Using our abilities we detected them waiting invisible looking to ambush us. As we spotted them they launched their attack! We fought tooth and nail and in the end we overcame the ambush, but in doing so we drained our resources. Before we could catch out breaths and lick our wounds the final battle began. Tyranthraxus led his elite followers through the portal and attacked us.

The battle was fierce and long, he used magic, elementals, Golems and henchmen to try and stop us. In the end we destroyed his source of power, surrounded him and won the day. We didn’t hesitate for a moment before launching ourselves back into the city to put out fires, stop the remaining forces and aid anyone who needed it, hopefully changing the people of Hillsfar racial views for the better. After a quick rest we teleported home and called it a wrap on the campaign.

We started out as small time adventures in search of our fortunes and fame, but what we found was so much better. As individuals we each had our own goals and backstories, we each carried personal burdens and tragedies that scared our bodies and souls. Each of us wanted something different, each of us running away from something. What we found through our adventures was home and family. Although none of us knew it in the beginning and it was never discussed as we traveled, we fell in love with each other and created a bond deeper than any race, creed or religion. We nursed each other in sickness we celebrated with each other in victory. We are brothers and sister of sword and spell. We are family and that will never change. We are the Muck Rakers!

All in all I will really miss the game and the group, stepping into Quill’s shoes for the evening was always a joy. Good bye friends and thank you for a wonderful game.

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 02 – Part 2

The group headed to the address Ethan was given and found themselves in a small apartment complex with a fenced in courtyard. After a quick discussion it was decided that Ethan should head in and talk to the ladies working there. As he headed up he found the manager’s office door open with the lights on and music playing. Ethan headed into the office and noticed that the lights in the office were mostly red lights with Chinese masks decorating the walls. Incense was burning as well and he was greeted by an older woman as they talked Ethan got her name (Jackie Wu) and found himself being escorted to another room upstairs by a very attractive young Asian woman.

In the car the rest of the group grew board of watching the area and waiting for Ethan. Michael announced that in another 10 minutes he was leaving with our without Ethan and texted him to let him know. Yin Yue felt that Ethan might be in trouble and headed in to see for herself, Simeon offered to go with her and Michael didn’t want to wait alone so the three headed into the apartment building. Seeing the open door and red lights of the manager’s office they went there. A small older woman greeted Yin Yue who entered the office first, followed by Simeon. The woman introduced herself as Jackie and offered a selection of young attractive women thinking that Yin Yue and Simeon is a couple. As they declined the offer Michael entered and Jackie started to retreat not knowing what to make of the three of them. As they started to ask her questions about the girls and where they could find a white girl Jackie dismissed the other girls. She assured the group that only Chinese girls work there and she did not know anything about white working girls or missing girls. She offered up a location in the French Quarter that the white girls worked at. After a few rounds of question Jackie insisted that she was paid up on her dues and that she was doing what she was told. She began asking Yin Yue about who she worked for and why she brought all of the muscle with her. She asked that the Triad’s look favorably on her and she would pay them too for protection.

Meanwhile Ethan was in a room with a very attractive young Asian woman who was offering all sorts of favors. Ethan was desperately trying to ask about missing girls and if the girls knew of an underground holding area or a basement. He continued to point down and gesture wildly while the girl tried to interoperate what he wanted with what little English she knew. This led to her bringing in more girls, which led to Ethan trying to bribe the now growing number of girls with what little cash and party favors he had on him. Continuing the attempt to make himself understood he got himself taken to another area on the first floor that was a makeshift S&M playroom where the girls started using his drugs, dancing and trying to tie him up, during all of this, while fun he learned nothing. After a little while Ethan realized that he was out of time and headed out to find the others.

Yin Yue managed to pry out a little information from Jackie using her glare and silence to intimate the woman. Jackie told Yin Yue of her contact and the leader of the local gang Meng Jin (who the white people call Jack) and that he runs his collections out of a scrapyard on the outskirts of town off highway 90. The three left the office at this point heading to the car talking about Yin Yue’s dream of Britney and how she smelled rust and dirt. As they got into the car Ethan ran out and got in as the car started to move.

The group drove past the scrapyard once to survey the area. As it was now after midnight there was little traffic and it looked like no one was at the scrapyard. There was a large building they drove past with a single light on above the service entrance. A long fence surrounded and hid the rest of the area from the highway. After driving past they found a small service road that led behind the yard. They found a place to park behind and a little ways away from the scrapyard the whole area was hidden in thick bushes.

They cut their way through the fence with bolt cutters after finding an open area with some rust damage to the fence and some animal dugouts. Getting into the yard with a single flashlight provided by Michael made exploration slow going. The first few paths they took led to dead ends and tall stacks of cars and piles of junk. Walking through one wide path the group saw a vision of a young woman who walked through a pile of metal she called out for help and was pulled back forcefully. The encouragement of the woman made the group press on faster and finally after a long while searching they found a hidden alcove with a dilapidated trailer on a raised platform.

The single entrance they found was locked. Simeon picked the lock with ease and got the group in, the first room was painted a dark red and had four masks, one on each wall. Michael found a single light switch and flicked it on. The group heard a generator sputter on somewhere not far away and three bare light bulbs came to life. The first in the room they found themselves in and two other leading down a hallway. The new lights showed them five doors, two on each side of the hallway leading away and a single one at the end.

The group decided to try their luck with the first door on the left. It too was locked but didn’t slow Simeon down for a moment. As they opened the door they were assaulted by a wall of stench. This room was painted in the same dark red as the front room a small old mattress was in the center of the room with a decaying body of a small woman. The next two rooms provided the same things. The final room along the hallway was painted red as the others with a mattress but no body. Each of the rooms left dead as well with no essence flowing to the space. The fourth room did not have that effect on essence. The room at the end of the hallway was unlocked and when the group entered they found the room painted red as the others, two tallow candles burning a small alter with incense burning and a silver mask painted yellow and white hanging on the wall. A strong sense of repulsion flowed from the mask and Simeon was quick to destroy it. As a ball of what looked like black and blue flames came from him and melted part of the mask Michael began to freak out. This was the first real evidence of the supernatural he had ever seen. As he got quiet and reflected on what just happened the group watched the rest of the mask started to flake and break a part.

End of session 2