WitchCraft (T&P) Session 14 – Part 2

After finishing the calls with the group Michael’s radio went off with an open call for police officers in the area to assist officers on site. Michael being down the street from the steel yard answered the dispatch that he was in route to the officers in need. Driving with the sirens on, he arrived within moments and found a squad car running and doors open. Looking in the car Michael did not see anything amiss but there was no obvious sign of the officers. Sitting in the driver’s seat he used the loud speakers to call out to the officers and doing so a familiar looking creature came out of the shadows, scarred and screaming. As the beast charged Michael he moved the car into gear and slammed his foot on the gas ramming the oncoming beast with the front of the car and driving it back. The creature, as testament to its incredible fortitude accepted the hit and rose up on the hood pounding with its fists and wailing. Michael in a near state of panic started firing his gun through the window at the beast, until the car collided with a brick wall. As he continued to shoot the beast it punched holes into the hood of the car and began to pull itself up. The creature pulled itself in two as its legs were pinned between the wall and the car. Michael finished the clip into the beast and reversed the car driving as fast as he could back onto the road leading into the yard.

As Michael fled the scene he came back to his senses and doubled back through the neighborhoods until he found a street that led directly into the yard parking lot he had recently fled. As he cautiously pulled the car back into the area he lost the beast in. As he slowly drove back he could hear incoming police cars. Spotting the body of the beast he took his foot off the gas and let the car pull itself forward. As the squad cars pulled into the parking lot a few yards behind him, he looked back at the beast, prone on the ground. The creature lifted its head and while making eye contact with Michael it said “I see you.” and as the final words escaped its lips, it collapsed with the power that fueled it leaving it body.

As the other cars pulled in, the other officers jumped from their cars asking Michael if he was alright, stating that there was reports of gun fire. Michael was on point and hastily made up a story about the body being a junkie, very high on an unknown substance. He was violent and attacked Michael as soon as he arrived on site, the other officers are still missing. The three new officers and Michael then started a hunt for the missing police men. The hunt was short lived as Michael found the two men lying inside a warehouse with their heads caved in and in their blood above them was crudely written “Who burned my house?”

Ethan had fallen into a light sleep next to Rev White, who had slept in the fetal position for the last couple of hours. Without warning the Reverend shot upright and with a huge smile asked Ethan “how he was living” and leaned back as if expecting a story. Ethan after recovering from the shock of the man jumping awake, took a deep breath before launching head first into his woes. He confessed to the Reverend that he had killed a man. Nodding in understanding the Reverend asked Ethan about the man, was he a good man or wicked? Was what Ethan did for the greater good, would others live by the death of the person he killed? Ethan thought for a few minutes before answering and told the Reverend about the man, what little he knew. After Ethan’s tale was done the good Reverend told him bluntly, “Fuck’em”. He explained that Ethan’s actions were just in the eyes of G-d. Telling him that his penitence would be to feed three pigeons, take two shots of good booze and to be nice to a prostitute as the Lord was. With that that said the Reverend jumped up screaming hallelujah and fell face first into the ground. Popped back up as if nothing had just happened he hugged the first person to cross his path and walked off telling people they are loved and patting people on the back.

Yin Yue that evening headed back to the dojo before the night time adult classes started and after picking up the place and getting the bags ready she acted as the assistant sensei for the class under Jimmy.

Simon that evening found himself deep in thought while wandering the lower ward, eventually finding his way to the McDonoghville cemetery. Walking through the graveyard he found the place far more peaceful than his previous visit. Arriving at the Hastings Mausoleum he reached out to the powerful spirit residing there, sensing the entity was paying attention to him he asked out loud if it was pleased with the changes to the cemetery. A strong feeling of calm came over Simon, with a wave of gratitude and thanks washing over him. Looking around the cemetery he found that the spirits in the area watching him with smiles on their faces. Blessing the mausoleum, he said his fair wells to the Hasting spirits and began to leave, on his way out of the graveyard many of the spirits waved to Simon and approached him happily. Simon blessed any of the sprits who wanted it before exiting and heading home for the night.

Michael in a final bit of business for the night met with his Captain and walked him through the events of the day. After repeating himself a couple of times on the Captain seemed pleased with the report and told Michael to head home. After getting home Michael called Franklyn about the creature looking for some help. Franklyn promised to call some friends and look into it.

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 14 – Part 1

The next morning Yin Yue went back to work at the bakery. The Tian’s were very anxious to hear an update on Andy’s condition. While talking Yin Yue brought up making a gift basket for the Bao family, The Tian’s thought this was a wonderful idea and the three stuffed a basket full of sweet baked goods.

That morning Michael got an early start and cleaned out his car as well as ditched anything that could tie him to the shooting at the cemetery. After triple checking that he had cleaned and removed all evidence he headed to the Arcadian bookstore. Arriving there he found Franklyn at his elevated desk overlooking the store. After lukewarm greetings were exchanged Franklyn told Michael to follow him to a back room. There Michael found an orderly table with papers and notebooks stacked, pencils arranged carefully and a large tome in the center. Franklyn closed the door after both men entered and took a deep breath. Starting by recounting his calls to various contacts in academia he discovered that the ritual work done in the house was an ancient rite calling on the power of a Sumer deity named Ereshkigal. With Michael staring at him with a flat expression Franklyn continued explaining that the ritual would open a path to the prepared body allowing it to become imbued with her strength. Michael continued to say nothing, Franklyn told him how they were lucky and that the person or people doing this ritual were amateurs and that they are clearly coping the ritual from a flawed scroll or book. Pulling out the folder with the pictures Michael provided him with, Franklyn removed one of the photos and a magnifying glass, showed Michael a place on the wall where a symbol was incorrect. Telling him that if they figured out that the symbol, which was the name of Ereshkigal’s domain was corrected, they could create a creature of “real” power. Michael at this time finally had a question for Franklyn, what is Sumer?

Simon that morning was walking through his neighborhood when an immaculate white Cadillac pulled up next to him. Intrigued, Simon stopped and waited for the driver to exit. When he did a large, very dark skinned man with a perfectly tailored suit and glittering gold jewelry, smiled widely at Simon and approached him with his right hand extended. As they shook hands he introduced himself as Reverend Ronald Freeman of the First Revival church. He went on without letting Simon speak explaining that he had been looking for Simon after hearing so much about him from two members of his congregation. Simon finally got a word in and asked who was talking about him, the good reverend told him with a chuckle that it was Meredith and Anne Marie, whom he had gone to such lengths to help and now Rev Freeman wanted to extend the hand of brotherhood and offer his friendship to Simon. He continued telling Simon about the remodeling at the ladies houses and his firsthand experience with them in their time of need. Now that was all in the past and Simon was such a good man Ronald felt obligated to help him with his search for his family. After going over his own books he discovered that Simon’s sister spent a day in his church before being setup with an organization named “Compassionate Christian Care” and heading to the northern part of Louisiana for aid. Before parting ways the Reverend handed Simon two cards, his own and the number for the CCC.

Yin Yue started her day normally enough, working in the bakery in the morning, prepping the breakfast pastries and serving customers. In the early afternoon she headed to the dojo, helping out Jimmy with the kid’s class and cleaning up. In the late afternoon/early evening she went to the spice shop and sat again with Andy. Arriving at the shop she found a small crowd of elderly locals hanging out in front of the store. Walking around them and striking conversations with them she found out that a number of theories and rumors had gotten started. She overheard two women talking about a poisoned dagger used to stab Andy, another couple talked about enchanted bullets used to cause no physical damage but that would instead rip apart Andy’s soul.

During her vigil with Andy, Yin Yue called Jeremiah Block. She talked to him about the wards in the cemetery and the Rosicrucian’s working on it. He warned her about them, but after her continued insistence on how to get in contact with them Jeremiah told her about the French Quarter Masonic lodge is the best place, but being that she isn’t rich, white or male she might have problems getting in.

Ethan woke up very late in the day and quickly decided that he would go out drinking. With great haste found himself in a dark corner of a locals bar, after a couple of hours or falling to a deep pit of self-loathing he tearfully headed out in search of absolution. It took some time to find the man he was looking for, but he did find the Reverend White on a rant in tongues, yelling at unseen people and the sky. Surrounded by tourists, Ethan jumped into action, acting as a translator he switched between Creole and gibberish to explain what the Reverend was preaching. As Ethan rallied the crowd and got them more and more into the message he started to spot spirits taking notice and gathering as well. Some of them swaying to the message, others dancing a few had hands raised, all of the looked happy and were enjoying themselves. Ethan took note that while each spirit was of African descent their clothing ranged from modern to slave. As quickly as the Revered started he stopped and collapsed into a ball and fell into a deep sleep. Ethan took off his hat and passed it around to the tourists collecting money as if it was an intentional performance. As the crowd broke up Ethan stuffed the money in Rev White’s shoe, sitting down next to him and waited.

Michael called everyone one by one and filled them in on what he had learned about the ritual and told them not to share any of this with anyone. He explained the flaw in the ritual and the lack of true skill or imagination in the ritual which kept it from being truly powerful.

Simon called the Compassionate Christian Care number on the card and spoke to a very friendly but not terribly helpful woman. She had no answers at the moment, telling him that they had many women come through and the records were scattered. She promised to look deeper into it and call him back as soon as she had anything.

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 13 – Part 2

Yin Yue thought it would be best to take Andy to the spice shop that his grandmother owned. Making good time they arrived at the spice shop and found a group of old women talking with Lan Fan and playing cards. Carrying the unconscious Andy between them Lan Fan was quick to kick out everyone in the shop and lock up the store. While she was doing that Yin Yue cleared off the table the women were playing cards at and Michael helped her lay Andy down carefully.

Lan Fan removed Andy’s shirt and carefully looked over his torso lightly touching the spots on his body that had recently been healed, muttering to herself the whole time. Once the inspection was complete she wordlessly walked to the back of the store and put on a kettle. Then she climbed a ladder and gathered from small boxes loose leafs and herbs. Yin Yue and Michael watched silently and stayed out of her way as she worked. Finally the silence of the shop was broken by the cry of the kettle and Lan Fan made three cups of tea, the smell of which was unidentifiable by Michael and Yin Yue. As they drank a comforting warmth flowed through them, they felt strong and confident. Sitting for a moment with Lan Fan, Yin Yue told her of the day activity, while Michael sat back and caught his breath, relaxing for the first time in over a day.

After a couple of hours Lan Fan told them to head home and rest. Assured that she could handle the watch over Andy that night they were all but pushed out the door. Leaving they found a number of elderly locals standing outside and looking thought the windows. Smiling as they left the each made their way home for the night.

The next day Simon texted everyone else letting them know he was home and safe, but very tired. He would going to spend the day in bed resting from the exertion from last night. After getting off the phone he decided that he should spend some of the day thanking his patron Loa. Heading out and gathering supplies he spent a couple of hours deep in prayer and sacrifice. During his prayer he noticed a man stagger up to his door and stare at him with a wide lopsided smile. Taking a break from his ritual, he opened the door and greeted the man. The smell of stale beer and cigarettes wafted into the house. The man who swayed in small circles told Simon that he had nothing more to fear, the demon was dead and the girl was safe. As he started to stagger away he wheeled around and ominously stated that a dark cloud hovered over Michael and he should be watchful. Heading back to his altar he offered another sacrifice and thanks to the Loa for their message. Then texted everyone about the message he just received and that the demon was dead.

The next morning Michael woke up late and headed to work. After spending some time on normal paper work and reading reports, he went over the previous night’s blotter reports. After combing through a pile of reports he found the log of the shooting at the graveyard and the initial write up as gang violence. Smiling to himself over the victory. Calling Alex in the afternoon he found out that his team was unharmed in the fight and they had removed five other men in the parking lot.

Yin Yue got up that morning without much sleep and helped with the early morning setup at the bakery. Talking to the Tian’s she told an edited version of what happened to Andy the night before and everyone agreed that Yin Yue should go to him and help Lan Fan. Arriving at the spice shop she found Lan Fan in the same spot watching over Andy as he slept, now covered in a light blanket. They did not talk but sat together quietly. In the early afternoon Yin Yue called Roland to give him and update and let him know that the demon was dead. She thanked him for the wands and told him how useful they were. She went on to explain that there could still be problems with the demon and that his guard should remain up and vigilant. Late in the afternoon Yin Yue called Ethan about the dojo being closed and to meet up at the shop.

In the late afternoon Michael left work and headed to bed, bath and beyond, purchasing incense and a card. Writing in it a thanks to Lan Fan for her help and apologizing for bringing trouble to her shop. He bought a second set for Velma to thank her for the wands and dropped them off at the spice shop and High Wall office.

Simon in the early evening headed to the dojo looking for Andy. Finding it closed he left a note wishing him well. As he walked he called Maddalyn at High Wall security looking for an update on the search for his family, but getting on her voicemail, he left a message. He walked and talked to people on his own, continuing his investigation on the whereabouts of his family.

Michael that night headed to a cop bar and talked to some of the other detectives. He over-heard that everyone was writing off the recent violence as a gang fight and thought nothing more of it, but that if crime didn’t come down soon there was talk of the Nation Guard being deployed in town.

Ethan found his way to the spice shop that afternoon and talked quietly with Yin Yue. He too kept a vigil over Andy with the two women.

After a few rounds at the bar Michael headed back out to gather street level information. Talking to the transient, homeless and local addicts he found that the word spreading was that the MSR was killed by the Triad for an unknown offense. As he talked to people the story began to grow with each telling. Finally he decided that a celebration was in order and started calling restaurants to find an appropriate reservation for himself and the four that had seen this trial through.

End of session 13.

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 13 – Part 1

That night was a long and stressful one, with little sleep coming to the four. After Yin Yue arrived they spent the next hour barricading the house and preparing for an attack that did not come. Finally at date break they agreed that they were not going to be attacked and discussed changing the plan back to the original, with the ambush at the cemetery. Michael brought up having Simon still feed information to the MSR about them. Telling the gang that he had found Jonny hanging out with a cop and an Asian woman.

The rest of the morning was spent taking naps in shifts and preparing themselves for that evening. Michael during his time on watch called Alex about the most recent change to the plan and getting his team to the cemetery as originally planned. Alex, a true professional, did not say anything about the change back but instead agreed to be there with his people before sunset.

Yin Yue during her turn on watch called the dojo and spoke with Andy about the planned ambush with the MSR. He asked a few details and promised to meet her there later that afternoon.

After resting up a bit they all headed out for food and separated to gather supplies they might need after agreeing on a time to meet up at the cemetery.

Simon after gathering his things headed to Marlene’s place. Finding the same two Mott Street members he talked to the day before he cautiously approached them. When they greeted him without concern Simon knew his cover was intact. Talking to the pair he told them as casually as he could about finding Jonny in the outskirts of town with some cop looking guy and an Asian woman at cemetery. He when on to tell them about how sketchy Jonny had become and that he was hiding out now with the two and seemed very paranoid. The men seemed very interested in what Simon was telling them and when he was done they handed him a couple off grams of coke, a wad of bills and thanked him before heading out of the bar.

Simon smiling as widely as he could headed out himself, trying not to look like he was following them. As he exited the bar he spotted one of the men driving quickly out of the parking lot. Simon saw a cab waiting and headed over to it while calling Michael to update him on the status of the plan and that he was headed to meet them now.

After Simon arrived at the graveyard he quickly got into position, calling Michael to let him know he was there and waiting. The next hour was tense and later it seemed to the group as if they were holding their breaths. Finally Alex called Michael to let him know a sports car and two vans arrived with five men in total getting out. Two out of the sports car, which he described as a small, very emaciated man in loose clothing and a tall, well-dressed man. From one of the vans two typical looking gang bangers and a very large man who reminded him of a Sumo wrestler. All five were walking through the cemetery with purpose. Hastily the four took up their prearranged spots and readied themselves for the fight ahead.

As the gang members came up the hill towards the group, Ethan was the first to spot them from his vantage point. Quietly motioning to the others, they gathered up their weapons and as the small, sad, emaciated looking man was the first to come into clear site, Michael opened fire and shot the man in the shoulder, ripping a great hole that dropped him to the ground with a shout of pure agony. After that both side broke into a blur of action. The large Asian man charged Michael striking him in the chest and to Michael’s great surprise launched him several feet back and into the air. His short flight ending as he crashed into am ornate tomb.

The other gangsters scattered into the rows of crypts and Yin Yue followed, disappearing behind a row of tall tombs. Simon reveled himself and launched a great blast of Soul Fire at the large man attacking Michael. His attack seemed to ripple around the man and cause him great discomfort. With the other members of the gang spread out the party was shot at from a number of directions but luck was on their side and no one was hit. From farther down the cemetery the group heard more gun shots, which they assumed that Alex and his team were now engaged with the other van of people.

Michael recovered enough to pull out the wand he was given and used it on the large man hovering over him. White, nearly invisible fire rippled over the man and as it faded and before his cries faded, Simon leapt out and launched another wave of Soul Fire over him. But as Simon concentrated on his magic the well-dressed man popped out from behind him, firing wildly and hit him in the back. Simon struggled to stay upright and leaned against a tall monument.

Yin Yue while diving through the rows of graves met up with Andy and the pair used another avenue to launch attacks against the large man as he was distracted. Yin Yue flew through the air kicking the man high on his back, while Andy aimed lower and used an improvised wooden pole to attack his legs. From what seemed all sides more shots rang out, tearing up the tombs, graves and monuments all around the group, but again failing to hit them.

Ethan appeared from behind a veil to use his own wand on the now badly injured man, which as the fire engulfed him, he collapsed silently. As his body fell from his mouth, ears and nose spewed a dark cloud, which stunned the group for a moment as it condensed into the hideous shape of a bloated man with small arms and legs and a misshapen head covered in thin, greasy black hair and a gapping, wide mouth full of elongated, serrated teeth. With an unearthly growl it launched itself into the fray.

Ever quick to action, Yin Yue used her wand as the creature moved towards her. The translucent white fire engulfed the beast as Simon pulled himself upright and launched another blast of Soul Fire which consumed the monstrosity. Its pained howls escaped the fires as it imploded on itself. The gang terrified and horror struck, continued their wild shooting at the group. The gun fire from south of the group continued as well.

Andy was the next into motion nimbly closing the distance between himself and the tall man who shot Simon. As the man reloaded his gun Andy attacked with the staff. The rest of the group moved for cover as the volley of bullets sprayed the walls around them. Ethan moved to the east and Yin Yue to the west both looking to flank the remaining gang members. Michael moved in a more direct path to assist Andy in his fight.

As the pair fought Andy looked surprised by how well the man avoided his strikes. Michael, Ethan and Yin Yue all found lines of sight in time to see the man fire off two rapid shots both of which found home in Andy. As he collapsed to the ground, Ethan created a strobe like effect that distracted the two shooters, while Michael commanded the man to drop his gun. Yin Yue moved to check Andy as Michael rushed towards the man and shot him in the head at point blank range. As Yin Yue applied pressure to Andy’s wounds, Ethan shot the gangster in the head and Simon used the last of his Soul Fire to burn the final man to death.

As the three men ran to Andy and Yin Yue the gun fire stopped from the other fight in the graveyard. Simon acted quickly and called upon the Loa to heal Andy’s grievous wounds. As his skin began to knit itself together some color came back to his cheeks and his breathing became steady. With a sigh of relief Simon sat down next to Andy. Yin Yue and the others looked over the two men with concern etched on their faces. Simon took another deep breath and started another ritual to the Loa to heal his own wounds and before he was done he reached out and touched Michael healing his as well.

As Simon finished his work Michael’s phone rang, answering Alex informed him that his team had taken care of the second group in the parking lot and they were leaving before the police arrived. Michael told the group that Alex’s team was leaving and they should do the same. Simon covered himself with an old blanket and headed out on foot. Ethan and Michael carried Andy to Michael’s car before Ethan got in his own truck and left for home. Yin Yue and Michael drove Andy out as well.

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 12 – Part 2

Michael sensing that Ethan was in trouble called Simon asking if there was something he could do. If he could get a ghost or something to assist Ethan. Not knowing where Ethan was exactly Simon headed to Marlene’s place and talked to the ghost barkeep there. Not getting the answers he needed he headed out and found a pair of Mott Street Rascal drug dealers and asked them about Jonny, saying that he owed him money. They told Simon that he scored and left earlier in the day. Simon bought a small amount of crack from the men and left.

Michael after talking to Simon called Yin Yue, explaining to her what he feared might be happening to Ethan and that they needed to help. Yin Yue told Michael about a vision she had about Ethan and agreed to help. Michael asked about the visions and if she has had many of them. She told him of her vision that led to her to finding Britney and how she believed that Britney had sent the vision to her. A little while after hanging up with Yin Yue and heading out Michael’s phone rang. Simon filled in Michael on what he had found about Ethan and his contact with the MSR.

Walking up at the back of an ally way, Ethan stumbled out looking to get some help. Quickly he found a local police officer working in the French Quarter, being mistaken for a local drunk the officer put Ethan in his car and took him to the drunk tank. Ethan in his current state could not pull himself together well enough to talk his way out of the car before arriving at the station.

Once on the move Michael again called Alex and updated him on the situation with Ethan and the MSR. Asking him to get his team ready for a fight.

On his way to the drunk tank, Ethan got his wits together enough to talk to the booking officer into calling Michael. Michael, after calming Ethan down and assuring him that he was on his way, talked to the officer, telling him that Jonny was working for him and needed to be kept separate from others in the jail for his own safety. After getting to the station Michael was shown to an interrogation room where Ethan was waiting.

As soon as the door was closed Ethan launched into what he had learned. Telling Michael about what they already knew about him and how badly they wanted Yin Yue. Michael called Alex and told him that he could stand down for the time being. Leaving the station and heading out of the French Quarter, Michael spotted someone tailing them. Trying to lose the tailing car Michael darted through many neighborhoods and found himself on the highway before turning into the neighborhood that Simon was staying in. Knowing that if there was going to be a fight, this area would attract the least amount of attention and have the lowest likelihood of hurting a bystander.

Believing they lost their tail they arrived at the house Simon was squatting in. Rushing inside they filled Simon in on the tail and asked him to send out spirits to protect them as well as helping to heal Ethan of his wounds. While Simon set to work on Ethan, Michael called Yin Yue to fill her in on what was happening. As soon as Simon was done healing Ethan, Ethan passed out. Michael saw that Simon was finished and heading over to him and put Yin Yue on speaker phone so that all three could talk.

As Ethan drifted off to sleep he found himself floating in crimson colored clouds. Floating free and without a care, Ethan felt relaxed and enjoyed himself. After a short while a disembodied voice came to him, telling him that this easy life could be his. Money, comfort, power and women would all be his if he would send the green eyed girl to his new master. Trying to resist and yelling into the darkening expanse that he was not a puppet, the voice grew angry and warned him that he had tasted his blood and could destroy him with a thought. Ethan jumped awake and was visibly shaken by the dream. Thinking quickly he found a piece of scrap paper and an old pen to write down everything he had just seen and heard before he lost it.

As the others talked in the next room they heard Ethan moving around and walked over to see what happened. Seeing Ethan in a near panicked state, they offered to help. Ethan quickly showed them what he was writing and was afraid to talk about it. Simon handed him the small charm he had made earlier in the day, telling him that it would help protect him. Simon then left the room to call Roland, filling him in on the events of the day so far.

Michael was still on the phone with Yin Yue who began to make her way to them. Michael read to her what Ethan had written and after Simon was off his call the three talked again. This time it was about the change in plans. Michael mentioned that Ethan could not be sent back to the MSR to feed them information and they would need to do something else. Simon offered up his own cover story from earlier in the day. Saying that he posed as Jacque and bought drugs as well as asked about Jonny Reid. He could go back to them saying that he found Jonny, but he was holed up with a couple of other characters, describing Michael and Yin Yue. That way they could reset the ambush to their current location. The others agreed and Michael called Alex again, updating him again on the situation and the new plan.

End of session 12.

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 12 – Part 1

For the rest of the day Michael and Ethan worked on Ethan’s disguise and mannerisms. Trying to make Ethan as believable as possible and hopefully keep him alive.

Yin Yue headed to the dojo and found the Bao brothers there. Filling them in on the plan to fight the hunger demon and its minions. Andy was quick to volunteer to help and offered to battle the demon alongside Yin Yue.

The next day started normally enough, with each person going about their usual routines. In the early afternoon Michael set out and picked up Yin Yue, Ethan and finally Simon before heading out to Willow Grove. Arriving at the estate they were waved in by the now common security detail at the gates and when they parked they were greeted by Wallace who showed them into the house with some small talk as they walked up and into the conference room in the front of the house. As the group entered they were warmly greeted by Roland and Evelyn. Velma introduced them to the new member of the security team at the estate, Alexander Rutz, who she explained would be assisting them with their fight along with his team.

Michael took the next few minutes to explain their current plan to the people in the room, going over the details for Alexander of their previous encounters. As he told it, they believed that the demon wanted Yin Yue more than Britney and they wanted to exploit that to lure it out to a place of their choosing to confront it. Michael noticed that Velma was watching Yin Yue very intently during all of this, who sat quietly while he talked. As Alexander started asking questions Ethan broke in to tell him that for his part he was going to impersonate a known informant named Jonny Reid and through this he would sell the Mott Street Rascals information on Yin Yue and that she was often seen at a cemetery on the southern outskirts of town, which would lead them to the ambush on the day of their choosing.

A discussion on the battle started, Alex offered to scout the location with his team and find spots for their part in the ambush. Ethan/Simon both started asking about known methods of fighting a creature like this with Velma answering them with her own knowledge from books, that salt, silver and other pure metals could help but from what she knew of them fire would be their best bet in direct combat.

During all of this Michael also brought up their recent encounter with a zombie, showing everyone the pictures of the house and incomplete body, as well as going into further detail with the one they fought. Velma knew of a group capable of creating a zombie but she assured them that they would never do something like what he was showing her. She did ask for copies of the file and pictures. Michael being as charming as ever told her he would bring copies to her office with a smile.

Getting back into the logistics of the upcoming fight, they went into more details on what their roles would be in the fight. Ethan for his part tried to assure everyone that he had no relevant skills and really didn’t need to be involved in the action. Simon thought his best bet would be to look like a homeless man just hanging out. While Michael and Yin Yue solidified their roles a bait, waiting in the open, talking as oblivious to the danger.

Before breaking up for the day, Michael asked Roland about the Hastings mausoleum in the McDonoghville cemetery, telling him about the damage and the being of power lurking there. Roland for his part assured Michael that he would look into it and if need be pay for the repairs himself. Over hearing the pair talking about the cemetery Yin Yue told Roland about what she saw in the plague mass graves and the damage to the wards holding the spirits in. With a look of shock, Roland assured her that he would reach out to his contacts with the Freemasons and Rosicrucian’s and ask them to work on it.

Heading back to the car after the meeting the group crossed paths with Britney and Joan. Yin Yue and the girls all exchanged pleasantries for a while and made small talk while Ethan and Simon looked uncomfortable. Michael during this seemed to be lost in thought. When the girls paused for a moment Michael seemed to snap out of his trance and quickly asked the girls what they knew about Velma. In a fit of laughter the girls told him that she was tough and the men working for her all seemed a little scared of her and really hustled when she was around. Michael started asking more questions about her which made Joan bounce off and into the house, much to the confusion of the group. A few moments later she returned with a wolfish grin and said that Velma would talk to him later.

While all of the girls were talking and as Michael attempted to pry information out of them. Simon and Ethan got to talking about family. Simon told Ethan about his own parents and their recent deaths. Ethan talked about having more moms than he could keep track of and his desire to keep them all safe. Not noticing that the others had stopped talking and instead were listening to them. Britney asked Ethan if he was raised by prostitutes. Not wanting to talk any more about the subject the group abruptly said their fair wells and left Willow Grove. Michael dropped each person off at home before calling it a night himself.

In the morning Simon headed to the French Quarter and to the Voodoo Spirit temple shop. Finding it empty of patrons he started talking to Simone about Congo square and about the homeless population there. She helped him gather cloths and look appropriately disheveled for his role in the days ahead. Simon then left and headed to the park to take part in the local culture and work on small charms for each of his friends, hoping that they would help ward off the evil they were soon to face.

Ethan rose late in the day and got into character before heading to Marlene’s place. Arriving there it was still early and only the regular drinkers and lay bouts were there. He did smile at this luck as two of the Mott Street Rascals he had seen before were there. Heading over and chatting them up about hearing they were looking for a girl and he just so happened to know something about her. They warmed up to him quickly and offered to take Ethan (as Jonny) to their boss who would like to hear what he had to say and reward him. Accepting the offer the three men headed out and got into a car, making good time back to the French Quarter. After parking they walked to a Warehouse Ethan wasn’t familiar with but he knew the area well enough to make a mental note on his location. Being led into the building he was greeted by a few more men and taken to a well-dressed man who smiled and wanted to hear everything Ethan had to say. After listening to what Ethan had to offer he asked some very targeted questions about Michael and the green eyed girl, startling Ethan as he knew Michael’s name already. Not wanting to wait on a meeting at a cemetery he told Ethan to call Michael and arrange a meeting now.

Calling Michael Ethan tried to talk as candidly as he could without tipping off the MSR that he was trying to tip off Michael. Michael for his part got the message and told him that he could not meet him until tomorrow. Hanging up and looking angry the well-dressed man thanked Ethan and had his men offer to take him home. Leaving the warehouse the two men took Ethan into the residential parts of the French Quarter and in an ally way beat him to unconsciousness.

WitchCraft (T&P) Session 11 – Part 2

That afternoon Michael called the number Benny had provided him for Kimberly Van Buren. Answering the phone Michael introduced himself and explained that he had been given her number by their mutual friend Benny who thought she would be able to help him identify the origin of the symbols he had found. After absently mumbling agreements during the call she quickly agreed to meet with Michael at her home that afternoon. Michael jumped on his good fortune and headed to her place, which wasn’t far from where he was at the moment.

Arriving at Kimberly’s home, which is a second story two bedroom apartment, knocking on the door he was met by Kimberly, a thin, attractive blonde woman dressed in comfortable but miss matched clothes who welcomed him in. Michael found her apartment cluttered with books, which seemed to take up every available space. After entering the front door he followed her down the hallway which ran the length of her place. Passing the first bedroom on his right, a desk was the only obvious furniture, but that too like the rest of the room was covered in stacked books, all of which looked old and well-read to Michael. Continuing down the hallway he passed a small bathroom and the second bedroom, both on this right until finally entering the kitchen/living room shared space. A small round table was in the center of the tiled area that outlined the boarder of the kitchen and while surveying the rooms Kimberly started clearing off the table and two chairs for them to work. The living room shared the same space and was carpeted with a couch pressed up to the wall. All of which continued the trend of cluttered books. The one thing that stood out to Michael was the lack of a television.

Once a space was available for Michael, he and Kimberly spread out the pictures and began looking over the symbols and wards from the houses. Kimberly found a small pad of yellow paper and started taking notes on the things she found in the pictures and while she was doing this Michael explored the space he was in, finding not only the books he first noticed, but old maps, ancient looking paper encased in plastic and set into binders. Looking over the covers of some of the books he found them to be as he first thought, old, with most being bound in plain, durable covers without text. A few had bindings made from leather, wood and one of metal.

Michael’s exploration was halted when Kimberly cleared her throat and set down the pad she was holding. Michael sat back down when her and she told him that he was correct in a way with the writing on the walls, it is Aramaic, but a very old dialect that she believed to be pre-biblical and that it called on a deity that she could not at the moment translate the name of, but she was sure of these few things. Michael starting asking her about who could have done this and who would know this language. Kimberly did not know who could do this but felt that the summoning was sophisticated enough that a normal person could not do this and it could be the work of an immortal or old world g-d. She offered up the name of Franklyn Belmond who owned the Arcadian bookstore. He had helped her in the past and was very knowledgeable. This did not sit well with Michael who thanked her for her time and headed out.

Yin Yue after a long day at the bakery headed to the Tea/Spice shop to talk to Lan Fan. Entering the shop she found the store quiet and Lan reading the paper. Yin Yue wasted no time in asking Lan what she knew about the hunger demon and his interest in her, describing the demons desire to take her. Lan admitted to knowing that Yin Yue was special and that her mentor saw something in her the moment he met Yin Yue as a child, but Lan did not know the details. Yin Yue continued to ask about what options she had in bringing out the demon and destroying it. Lan told her that since they knew it wanted Britney and had ties to her already she could be used as bait or now Yin Yue could be the bait as well. Yin Yue also asked about the demon using beasts as its eyes. Lan did not think that was possible as the hunger demon was not a smart or clever creature and unless it was particularly powerful it wouldn’t have such power, they generally used their raw power to force their way into mortals and did not think to use animals. On that note Yin Yue told Lan about the Mott Street Rascals acting as its agents and how it was working through them, they both came to the same conclusion that it could be reached through the gang.

Ethan followed Chloe out of the dojo, catching up to her he asked how she was able to take down the larger woman and what that look on her face was all about. Chloe admitted at getting frustrated with the woman and using her abilities on her to confuse her long enough to get the upper hand and trip her. Laughing the two continued walking down the alleyways, Ethan told her that he would like know how to do that and offered to teach Chloe his tricks. Looking interested, Chloe found a secluded space for Ethan to show her what he could do. First Ethan made a coin appear in the air telling her that he can make small illusions, the coin twirling in the air of its own will. Chloe, while very impressed did not know how she could use that invocation to her advantage. Undeterred Ethan stopped the coin and disappeared with it, walking a couple of steps away and reappeared astonishing Chloe. Making a quiet whooping sound she agreed to teach him if he would do the same with that invocation, admitting that being able to move unseen would be a huge benefit.

Starting to walk again as they talked, they kept their voices low and discussed how they view their magic versus how “vanilla” people perceive it. They covered many topics on their way back to the French Quarter and set a couple of dates to start teaching each other. Along the way they talked about other mundane topics finally landing on Chloe’s source of income. Which she revealed current was through the selling of prescription pills, mostly painkillers. The two eventually stopped at a dealer’s house and spent a little while there getting high. Leaving the dirty little house they parted ways. Using his magic Ethan continued watching Chloe while she went about selling the pills she had on her to a few tourists and a group of college kids.

Simon spent the rest of the day walking around his usual haunts, talking to locals about the cult working in the area and what neighborhoods to watch out for. He also starting spreading around the word that he was looking for them and would reward information about the cult’s whereabouts.

After leaving Kimberly’s apartment, Michael headed to the bookstore named the Arcadian. Arriving at the old building, he found the corner shop open and first floor full of old books carefully organized on many shelves and rows. The owner greeted him offhandedly as Michael entered, the man’s eyes never left the page of the large volume his was reading. Walking up to the counter, Michael greeted the man with his name and asked the man his. The owner introduced himself as Franklyn Belmond, Michael wasted no time and began to ask him about this knowledge of old texts and languages. Franklyn was open and admitted to knowing his fair share. Michael told him that Kimberly Van Buren had told him to ask about the translations of the crime scene photos. Handing Franklyn the photos he thumbed through them and offered to help with the translations, but noted that it would take some time as the writing wasn’t totally clear and of an older style. Michael told Franklyn about the bodies and the possible cult in the city, Franklyn told Michael to call him the next day and he would rush the initial translations but should be able to provide him with something soon. Michael felling satisfied left the books store and called Kimberly.

Answering the phone, Michael started by thanking her for the contact in Franklyn and asked her about religious human sacrifices. Kimberly, who was knowledgeable about a few such groups told him about the Sumer pantheon and human sacrifice, the Peruvian native tribes sacrificing for harvest and good weather. Without catching a breath she off handed ran through Aztecs and a group in New Mexico still active in their old ways. The rumors of a cult in New York invoking death g-ds and a serial killer in Washington who eats his victims. As she paused to catch her breath Michael told her about the unsettling effects of the rituals used in the city he had encountered so far. Kimberly was unsure of that side effect of human sacrifice, but assured him that she would look into it. Thanking her, Michael got off the phone and headed home, where he drank heavily and fell asleep on his couch.

The next day Yin Yue went to work at the bakery, but was very distracted and often lose herself in thought. By that afternoon the Tian’s told her to take some time off, worried that something was wrong. Getting back to her small apartment she found her phone and texted Michael, Ethan and Simon about meeting up. She had a new idea for dealing with the demon.

Michael that morning was recovering from his hangover and went to his office to work on paperwork in a nice and quiet place. By that afternoon he started to feel like himself again and about the time he was ready for lunch a text came in from Yin Yue. Having a craving for the healing properties of gumbo he offered to meet up with everyone at his favorite place and texted the address.

A short while later when the group had gathered at the restaurant, placed lunch orders and looked to Yin Yue. Taking a deep breath Yin Yue began to explain her idea, first she explained that the Hunger demon was their main problem but she believed they could not use the nutria as they generally did not have the attention span or creative thinking needed to control animals. Yin Yue continued with her theory that the demon was using the Mott Street Rascals as servitors and through them she would tempt it out using herself as bait.

Ethan was the first to speak up asking how they would fight the beast as he was not a fighter by nature. Yin Yue told him that through her training she has ways of hurting the demon and if that is not enough they have their wands. Satisfied with her answer Ethan asked about fighting the human servants she mentioned. Yin Yue did not immediately have an answer for that and was quiet, lost in thought. Michael took the opportunity to say that he wasn’t happy with the idea and fighting the gang or the demon on its terms.

Yin Yue admitted that she did not know any other way to the creature or a better way to destroy it. She told the group that she would kill the hunger demon, break the power of the Mott Street Rascals and protect Britney. Simon for the first time chimed in agreeing that it did need to go, he would help but the logistics of the plan needed work. He would not charge in recklessly but would assist on a thought out plan. Michael’s biggest concern with the idea was that the MSR might just show up on their own and carry Yin Yue off to the demon. Leaving them without any further leads. Yin Yue stated that she was not afraid of the gang and she could ask the Bao brothers for help in fighting them.

Simon thought an ambush would provide them the best chance for success and if they could find a place to lay in wait they could minimize the risk. Ethan liked the line of logic but was very concerned with after the fight and what the gang could do to them. He brought up that if the MSR found out who they were and had any muscle left they would target softer people, namely his mothers, as they are on the streets all night without protection.

Going further down the line, Michael and Ethan started talking about disguises. Michael told Ethan that he had the right height and build to take the place of an informant of his named Jonny Reid, a known street personality who would work any angle or hustle anyone to make a buck. The pair continued to conspire about their own skills in pulling off a proper representation of Mr. Reid.

Leaving the restaurant they continued talking about a timeline for getting the MSR to where they want them. Gathering information and in a safe place Michael and Ethan got deeper into the look and mannerisms of Jonny Reid. While the pair worked on that Simon and Yin Yue talked about using a graveyard as the location for the fight and if they could arrange warding around the place to aid them. Yin Yue asked the group about contacting the Wynter family for support and after the others agreed she called Wallace about a meeting with Roland.

End of session 11.

The characters for Ghosts of Fairhope

The players will choose a character from the two teams.

Team one:
Dr. Waltz Suskie – Professor at the University of Georgia and well known Occultist.
Anne Blyth – College student at the UoG, deeply religious and innocent.
Adam Hurst – Post Grad working as a researcher for Dr. Suskie.

Team Two:
Robert Ashworth – Professor at Tulane, from England and Oxford educated.
Desmond Favreau – French author and media personality as a Psychic,
Eugene McGrath – Self-taught Occultist and researcher.

Ghosts of Fairhope

At OrcCon 2016 I will be running a one shot WitchCraft game named “Ghosts of Fairhope”. This game is set in a fictional version of Fairhope, AL in late 1982. Two teams of supernatural experts have been hired by Dr. Charles Cooper to help identify and possibly remove the spirits of the dead haunting the location.

Check out the Eden Studios site for more details on the system at their WitchCraft page and/or download the core rule book for free from Drive Thru RPG

More details soon.

Apologies

Wanted to put up a final post for the year apologizing for my lack of updates. I am working on a new one shot for OrcCon in February which has been taking up more time than expected. Hopefully in the New Year I can get the WitchCraft updates flowing again and continue posting about running games for my kids and the neighborhood children that show up.

Thanks and happy New Year!