Athens

So it begins
  • Character Creation
  • Characters Jack Noir, Jaime Tyler, and Jack O’Dreams are made
  • Background is hashed out, giving the GM some ideas for the future of the game.
  • Game will pick up next week with introductions.
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Release from Perdition

Jaime Tyler lives the life of a hunting cat, for her master, known as The Drake, a giant with huge hunting animals. After meeting with other faerie lords and ladies, he goes on a rampage across the faerie lands, with his creatures, taking prisoners and leaving destruction in his wake. John Noir gets captured and put into a golden cage. He attempts to use his powers to escape the cage, but they do not work. Each other being put in the cage with him ends up being eaten by him, and so eventually the only person he does not end up killing is Jack O’ Dreams, who is able to share the prison with the incubus without being harmed. Something about him simply does not register as food, perhaps. One night, the size of The Drake’s army becomes untenable, and they revolt, with everyone escaping in all directions. Jaime Tyler, still a giant hunting Serval, batted their cage around with a paw until the door breaks, and they all make a run for it. They spend a long time running for their lives; as everything in the Hedge wishes to kill them, and The Drake eventually gets his army back together, and goes searching for his missing cat. Along the way, her size starts to diminish, especially every time she comes into contact with the thorns. One night the group makes a motley oath to help them survive, and the magic from it makes them swift.

One evening a hunter names Jared and his girlfriend Bertie capture them, and put them in a walking cage. Once again, John’s ability to get through bars does not work, and he can feel the magic holding them in place. It becomes apparent that Jared and Bertie intend to sell them at Market. Along the trek, Jack becomes friendly with Bertie, while John is instantly disliked by her. After asking for clothing over and over (he was found naked, and just never given any clothes) John scares her by attempting to siphon her life force away, screaming ‘KISS ME’, and reaching for her. Jared, angrily comes out, and hits him with what looks like a huge electrified tuning fork, which knocks him out. During the next few days, Jared gets angrier and angrier at John, beginning to believe that he is trying to seduce his girlfriend, and knocks him out another time, along with Jaime, who gets in the way. Jaime tries to get out by offering to hunt for ‘master’, and after some conversation with Jack about her former faerie lord, Jared takes her out of the cage, wearing a collar, and looks her over. When he finds a brand on her paw, he freaks out, puts her back in the cage, and looks scared. She shows her paw to Jack, who sees a swirly design branded there. Jack finally asks Bertie who they should try to get sold to once they get to the market. She doesn’t answer him right away, but that evening she sneaks up to their cage and gives Jack a ring. It appears to be a class ring on a chain, with a giant glass gem in the center of it. It is made of heavy gold. On one side is what looks like a Caduceus ,but with a moving, venomous snake. On the other side is a book with a pentagram on it.

Eventually they get to a yellow brick road. Travelling on it makes their teeth jar unpleasantly.Along this road, the hedge turns from brambles and thorns to thorny vines with an occasional book hanging from them like fruit. After more travel, the books become more prevalent, until there are walls made of books, with thorny vines growing around them and through them. Here they get stopped by Moose, Thomas the Green, and Wagner, who are on patrol around the outside of the hedge. Moose wants to kill Jared and free everyone inside the cage, but Jared reminds her that they are headed to Market, and that it would be in really bad form for her to waylay them here. Reluctantly, they stand aside as the three within the cage cry out for help. Thomas spots the ring around Jack’s neck, and points it out to Moose. They talk to each other as the walking cage goes by.

Soon, they get waylaid again by animate barbie dolls, who swarm over the cage, and hang off the sides. They all carry spears, and the melted heads of other dolls are worn on their belts. Their leader, a Raggedy Ann doll, holds them off and negotiates with Jared. Jared, seething with jealousy and hating John with a firey passion, offers to sell him to them for safe passage. John, in response, touches a doll hanging off the side of the cage, and kills it, as Jack tries to stop him. The response is immediate and violent, as they attempt to kill everyone. John kills barbies in droves as they swarm over the cage. He gets kind of frightening.. the more he kills, the more healthy and happy he looks, gaining color in his skin and hair, and more solidity. Jared eventually picks up the Raggedy Ann doll and holds the barbies off using her as a hostage.

They get down the road, and eventually let the doll go. Jared knocks John out again with the electrified fork, just in a moment of rage. Soon, they encounter more people heading to market, and go over a spot in the road that looks like an earthquake hit the area, and made the road a bit disjointed, the bricks all dislodged from each other. When they pass this, they suddenly feel weight on them, and a feeling of solidity coming over their bodies, a memory of past obligation lodging obsessively in their heads, and at the same time a sense of energy so revitalizing that it wakes John from his stupor.

They come to a door in the hedge. It is a clear glass door that says “Key Bank”. You can see an ATM through the glass. Each person going to the market stops at this door and gives a knock, then goes through. No matter how big their cart, or wagon, or personage is, it fits through the door. Jared does the same, and they come into a bank. It looks like an old style bank made of marble and class, but that has been modernized a bit. In the bank, is The Market. In the center of the market is a huge tree. Jared passes by this (it proves to be a bar selling oddly colored beer), and goes to the slave area. Jack convinces him that they are likely to get him a higher price if they are clothed (John is wearing dirty pants that Jared threw him in a moment of exasperation), and fed. Jared puts them in a pen, and gets them clothing and food.

King Abacus shows up with Thomas the Green and Alexandros. Abacus talks to Jack, demanding to see the ring. He is a little rough with him, pulling his necklace towards him. He asks where Jack obtained the ring, and Jack tells him he can’t really remember. Abacus looks frustrated, and Jack tells him that everyone comes as a package deal. Abacus stalks off and pays the man keeping the slaves with a glowing ball.. and Jack can feel the soul within it (it makes John hungry to look at). Abacus gets the key to their collars, and tells them to follow him. He is brusque and angry. Alexandros follows behind with them. Jaime turns back into a woman, and then she has no clothing. Jack gives her his frock coat, and John gives her some pants. Abacus, irritably tells Alexandros to deal with getting them clothing, and leaves the market entirely. He does so, dressing John in leather pants and boots, obviously doing it because he enjoys looking at him in the skin tight pants.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Alexandros leads them into the real world, which is just jarring and too strange for them. The sunlight annoys and irritates John. Alexandros, broke, walks them to the Sweet Water Inn, and installs them in a room. There, he gives them some sketchy basics about their condition, and tells him kind of half a story about fetches, which puts John into a panic. He calls his dad, and discovers that the fetch is at his house which makes him very very unhappy. Alexandros becomes belligerent, and gives his phone number to them, telling them that they will get a visit from Abacus soon, and leaves.

Moose comes by with some money, some clothing, and some brownies. She makes them welcome, and Jack is wary about accepting presents, but she cheerfully refuses to be repaid for it. The group talks about their situations until Abacus comes by. He is obviously burning to know about the ring, and the conversation between he and Jack gets slightly heated. Abacus tells them that he wants their fealty for a year in exchange for their freedom; he has the key to their collars with him. He readily admits that he is taking advantage of them, and knows that he is being unfair and horrible, but does not apologize for it. They can swear fealty to him, or go back to the market. Eventually they do so, with John getting a promise from Abacus to try to help him get back his life. Abacus gives them all their Autumn Court symbols, which will allow them into the court’s Hollow. He talks to them a bit about their situation, and the town, and pleads with John to wait and be patient in regards to his fetch. He says that there have been a few incredibly powerful fetches in the past few years, and one of them was so powerful that she scarred the ‘human landscape’. He indicates that this fetch took many people to put down, and the toll was devastating. There is a section of town that they should not go into, lest they be recognized by the humans there and murdered. He gives them a ride to the Hollow, and shows them how to get into The Library. He gives them some money, and they go on their way.

The group leaves, and outside The Library, talks about ignoring Abacus, and going to kill the fetch. They walk back to the Sweet Water, and eat in the diner there. After dinner, they receive fortunes. John:Fool for Love, Jack: Let the dead bury the dead, Jaime: curiosity killed the cat.

After dinner, the group mingles with the lingering crowd, and meets Mike, who brings them to his van, and gets them cellphones, and the number of Ichabod Young, who can get them weapons. John gets his own room at the inn so that he can have some space. They plan to ambush and remove John’s fetch at the earliest opportunity.

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Creepy Doll

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The group works out their agenda over breakfast. John has made an appointment to talk to Traveler Wood around lunch to ask him about fetches. In the meantime, he’d like to go to church and figures they can hit the Catholic school attached to the church to see if they can find record of Jamie. The church visit goes poorly. John is uncomfortable inside and finds the sound of the church bells to be physically painful. On the way out, he discovers that holy water burns him. Being Sunday, the school is closed.

Since they still have time before lunch, Jack suggests visiting Ichabod Young to see if they can secure a weapon for him. Young turns out to be a weird conspiracy theorist paranoid gun nut. He also doesn’t deal in cash, demanding they steal a doll from the historical society in payment for Jack’s sword. They are non-committal but, once outside, decide to check it out after the meeting with Wood. Sadly Wood doesn’t have much to offer. Fetches are too variable (and more so of late). He does offer the group jobs at the changeling newspaper he runs.

They case the historical society and find the doll. Jack determines that it is the focus of a haunting and so they decide to steal it, so he can try and communicate with the spirit within. After hours, John lets himself in, turns off the alarms and cameras, and puts the doll into a sack full of salt (as suggested by Jack). They return to the motel and attempts to talk to the ghost are mixed. It ends up possessing Jamie, but Jack exorcises it with his fist. In the end, all they are able to determine is that the ghosts is named Abigail and was the child of one of the town founders. They stick her in a drawer full of salt and agree to follow up tomorrow, when the library is open.

Jamie opts to stay and keep an eye on the doll while Jack and John go out clubbing. They end up at Verdant, which they learn is run by the Spring Queen. John ends up going home with a girl but doesn’t stay long. Jack returns to his room with Jamie.

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Ghost in the Fetch

Monday, September 30, 2013

John awakes from a nightmare about killing children to find himself covered in blood. He cleans himself up and tries to do the same with the room, but the state of his sheets are noticed in the laundry and he is forced to come clean to the others over breakfast. Jamie sniffs around his room and says she smells a scent similar to John’s but tinged with death. They call Abacus, who comes and calls Mark Strauss to confirm that there were no such killings last night. Seeing Mark reminds John where he’s seen the children before: they were the victims of one of his clients, Gavin Karns. He tells the others the story of the case and admits it is a source of a lot of guilt. They speculate that his fetch may have sent him the nightmare to mess with him.

The group decides to hit the library on campus to research the little girl, since John wants a distraction from his problems. They discover that Abigail went missing many years ago and was presumed dead. It seems likely that what will put her to rest is just finding her body. The subject of John’s fetch is brought up again and they all agree that it needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later, given the nightmare. John calls Abacus and is invited to his office on campus. They reveal their plan and Abacus agrees to provide a weapon, which turns out to be a fairly nice saber. They borrow Moose’s classic car after striking out with Mike and head to John’s office.

The night is spend trailing the fetch around town. He visits John’s father’s house briefly, then stakes out Verdant, goes back to his office, talks briefly with Jim Bolt on the corner, and finally goes to his apartment. Fifteen minutes after the lights go out, the group heads up and finds the door slightly open and the resident trying hard to be quiet. John goes in first and discovers a chef knife missing from the kitchen. The other two come in a few minutes later and the fetch begins complaining about his twin (seeming to refer to John) and how he got the short end of the stick. He then leaps out of the darkness and guts John, who grabs on to him and begins draining his life force. Jack and Jamie both attack him and the three of them manage to kill him. Jack see the ghost of Gavin leaving the remains, which are a collection of bloody toys belonging to Gavin’s children and a doll with John’s hair. They collect these up and put them in a backpack in the closet, surrounded by salt.

John is unhappy to discover all the ways his fetch has changed his apartment and doesn’t feel comfortable staying there, so he gathers up some clothes and other items and returns with the others back to the motel. Still somewhat wounded, he goes back to the club and finds a couple of women to feed off of to get himself back into top shape.

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Nun of Her Business

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The group goes to St. George’s Catholic School in order to ascertain Jamie’s identity and learn that her name is Jamie Fletcher, that she had a foster mother, and that her fetch became a nun. They pass the fetch herding children on their way out, but neither Jamie nor the fetch see each other. With the age discrepancy, there is no need to do anything further and they decide to give the fetch a wide berth, particularly since there was a weird vibe in the school.

They go to John’s office, moving the haunted doll into his safe and looking over his fetch’s new case, which involves the theft of a necklace. They spot Alexandros tailing them again and invite him into the office to get dry and eat their leftover Chinese food. On returning to Sweet Water, Jamie’s new identity is waiting for her (last name: Tyler) and the party splits up. John spends the afternoon moving his things into his motel room while Jamie goes shopping. John takes his father to AA that evening and notes that he is nervous, suspecting that his fetch had a physical confrontation with him.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

They pursue John’s case, which ends up leading them to medium Pamela Griffith, who is not one of them but can sense what they are (and was able to sense the ghost in John’s fetch when he came calling). They pay her for the necklace, which she took in lieu of payment, and return it to the client. Afterwards, Jack drags everyone to a high end men’s store and buys them nice clothes. They swing by Green Peak Fitness to get a look at Peter and John calls him to arrange a meeting at lunch the next day. Jack notes Gavin’s spirit outside and Peter seems to make a subtle gesture in his direction just before he disappears.

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Ghostbusters

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The morning starts with a call from Alexandros to inform John that his office has been trashed. On arrival, they see that the safe has been ripped from the wall but not opened. John stays to talk to the cops and his landlord while the others go to consult with the medium. Wood drops by the office with research and a journal of someone who witnessed Abigail’s murder. John passes the information to Jamie as Pamela performs the seance. The ghost tells them “dirt”, “grey”, and “desk” and in a secret compartment in the doll Jack finds a brass key. Jack then makes a deal with Abigail, promising to find her body before the start of winter. Pamela asks him as a favor to intervene with Abacus on Claire’s behalf.

John goes to Lotus to meet Peter for lunch with the others at another table, just in case. Peter arrives with another man, who pretends he isn’t with him and whom Jack senses a ghost possessing. Peter tells John that he called up drunk and apologetic and sounded like he was on the verge of suicide. He’s happy that he’s well and urges him to stay in touch, offering him a crack at his gym’s rock wall. Afterwards, the group is uncertain if this is a revenge ploy by Peter or not but agrees John should probably steer clear. They take the fetch remains to Abacus who senses nothing odd about them and brings them to a furnace in the basement of the art building where they can be burned. Jack then offers to take Claire’s place in whatever role she plays for Abacus and he agrees. Jack declares himself Marquess.

The group rents a metal detector and heads to Holly Hock Hollow to try and find Abigail’s body. They find a ring of keys which keep getting snatched from the hands of anyone who picks them up and thrown around. Wood calls to say that there was a Grey family in the area and Dixon Grey was the school teacher. Jack takes the doll to the car to try and settle her down but there is a massive poltergeist attack, blowing out the tires and windows on the car, and he is forcibly dragged towards the school. The car horn warns Jamie and John who rush to his aid. At Jack’s direction, Jamie throws the keys through the space dragging him and it stops (the iron in some of the keys disrupting it).

They enter the old school building and search for the desk, finding it finally in the basement. Inside is a box which the brass key unlocks, filled with locks of hair. John also determines that part of the basement has been walled off. A dark figure manifests and hits John with a chair and then comes after Jack with a wicked looking knife. While he tries to defend himself, Jamie makes a ring of salt around the pair. When it is complete, John pulls Jack free and the ghost rages within. At Abigail’s instruction, John and Jamie hack a hole in the brick wall and find five graves and the body of the school teacher. Jack tells John to piss on it but, as he complies, bricks starting flying at his head. Jamie rushes to the box and sets fire to the hair and the ghost disappears.

After disinterring the corpses, John calls Abacus (who demands to speak to Jack) and assistance is promised. Jack then calls Wood, who also says he’ll come. Wood arrives first and takes pictures, then Abacus and a corpse-looking hulk arrive. The hulk begins dragging bodies to his van while Abacus demands John carry Jack to his waiting car, then takes him home. Once the bodies are all out, John and the hulk do what they can to rebuild and conceal the hole in the wall. Jamie gets a ride home with Wood and John stays to fill out another police report on his car and get it towed. After getting dropped off by the cops, he gets a call from Abacus saying that Jack will have to stay put to heal but that he’d like them to come by the next day to tell him what happened.

John gets a cab to the club and finds women to make out with in order to draw enough life force to heal his wounds.

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Stressing Strauss

Friday, October 4, 2013

Borrow Moose’s car and go to Abacus’ house and explain the situation with the doll. Abacus wants the knife examined by Pamela and Jack wants to be present when she does, so Jamie and John go to fetch the knife and the medium. While they are gone, Alexandros shows up angry that the police are looking for him. Abacus, enraged that he came to his house, throws him out (physically). John gives Pamela Mordecai’s Journal to read on the ride over and they pass Alexandros leaving on their way to the house. He isn’t the driver of the car, which John later runs the plates for and finds it is registered to a “Tyler Henrickson”, who has a long record of assault arrests.

Abacus takes John aside and tells him that Alexandros has a lot of trouble with the police (mostly due to his attitude) and asks him to use his police connections to help fix the situation. John calls Strauss and asks for his help, saying he’ll arrange for an alibi for Alexandros to take him off the suspect list. He tells Abacus to provide the alibi, since the only reason Alexandros is in this situation is because he had him tailing John. He doesn’t seem pleased, but doesn’t argue, patting John on the shoulder painfully.

Pamela says that there is no spirit in the doll or the knife, but that the latter seems to have some sort of spiritual taint. She goes to the kitchen and prepares an herbal tea which renders Jack unconscious with a weak pulse. Abacus’ glare sends her fleeing from the house and he texts Sands to come. He keeps his fingers on Jack’s wrist, checking his pulse, but seems preoccupied with the ligature marks on his neck. When John suggests he put the knife somewhere for safe-keeping, he seems thankful to have the excuse to leave.

Jamie lets Sands in and explains the situation and the zombie seems highly irritated, referring to Pamela as a witch. He medicates Jack, whose pulse gets stronger and he awakens. Sands asks John to call Abacus, who is nowhere to be found, and the king tells him that the knife is in The Library and he will be home later that afternoon but that they are welcome to stay with Jack. Jack asks Jamie to find him a scarf and John to get him some better books from the library (Abacus gave him Madame Bovary and Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire). John gets him Casebooks of Sherlock Holmes, The Silent Speaker, and Venus in Furs. Once he’s settled, Jamie and John leave him in Sands’ care.

October 5-11, 2013

John gets his car fixed and closes out his office. Alexandros comes over to thank him for getting Abacus to step up for him. Jamie settles in at school and starts to meet people, mostly young members of the Spring Court, several of which live at the Sweet Water. Both of them meet with Wood about his newspaper. Jamie says she’ll cover local gossip and John volunteers for investigative journalism while Wood has research covered. Jack, for his part, spends his time healing but Abacus avoids him for the rest of his stay. He builds a rapport with the Autumn king’s housekeeper Mary Potts, using her to restore his dwindled glamour.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Abacus calls John and tells him he can pick up Jack, who is mostly recovered. He and Jamie arrive and Jack asks them to take him to the cemetery where the victims were re-interred. He confirms that Abigail’s spirit is not present and then they take him to his (formerly John’s) apartment and find it thoroughly tossed. Jamie and Jack go to talk to Young about the doll while John wait for the police. Strauss himself shows up and demands to know what’s going on. John fills him in on the doll (leaving out the details of the haunting) and gives him Young’s name when asked. Strauss says he’ll need to talk to him, so John waits outside until Strauss leaves so he can text Jamie with a warning that he’s coming.

Meanwhile, Jamie and Jack try to convince Young to give up the buyer for the doll, but he refuses to budge but still offers to buy it from them. Jack shows him a picture of the knife and asks him if he’s seen anything like it. To their surprise, he produces a case with another identical knife and a place for another and says he got it from Mordecai Brown‘s estate auction. They warn him that Strauss is coming and leave to go pick up John and yell at him for telling the police about Young. Jack decides to trade the doll for the other knife and John will wait and see who the buyer is when he comes to collect it. Meanwhile, they set Wood on the task of looking for a link between the Grays and the Browns and searching for the buyer of the rest of Mordecai’s journals, which Young said were purchased by a man called (he thinks) Elliott.

The do the trade, even giving Young the key from the hidden compartment, and Jamie and Jack leave to acquire an iron safe from an antique store. It needs repairs and Moose points them to the junkyard. They ask her to help them get the safe into the apartment, but she refuses to allow Jack to stay there, taking him and the safe back to the Sweet Water. John stays outside Young’s until a Lexus pulls up and a ginger man with a concealed gun, black leather gloves, and sunglasses emerges and looks for a tail, missing John. He’s inside only briefly and looks irritated when he comes out with the doll’s box. He calls someone as he pulls away and looks decidedly grim. John has his plate run but his contact ends the call before telling him who it is registered to.

Jack and Jamie pick John up and he tells them everything. After some discussion, they agree to ask Strauss what’s up. He says the car was reported stolen that morning but he has no idea why John’s contact blew him off. He’s unhappy about the description of the driver and says he’ll look into it. The group has dinner at the diner and then goes to join a bunch of Jamie’s new college friends for a Star Wars marathon in Room 9.

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Touch of Gray

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Jamie wants to go to the junkyard and find a car, as John suggested. They walk over and pick out a worse for the wear Ford Mustang. Once Wood arrives, John goes with him to haggle with Silas, who offers his condolences to John after donning a pair of John Lennon glasses that seem to allow him to see his mien. He suggests that John avoid Frank, who turns out to be the same big dead guy who helped move the bodies the other night.

After finalizing the purchase, Wood tells them that the Browns and Grays has a feud which started when Mordecai returned to town and Dixon disappeared, and ended with his death. He says that there are not a lot of Grays left but that the town is full of Browns. Jack asks if there is an Elliott Gray and Wood says there isn’t, but there is an Elliott Brown, who is a police detective.

John starts work on the car while Jack makes arrangements with Silas to repair his safe.

October 14-19, 2013

John spends the next week repairing the Mustang. He tells his father about it after one of his AA meetings and brings him over to see it. They end up working on it together. His father even comes over when he isn’t there. Jack builds contacts within the Spring and Summer courts and retrieves the other knife from Abacus. Jamie is given a camera by Wood’s gnome and discovers that it can photograph miens.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A newspaper is slipped under John’s plate at breakfast. The headline is that Young was found tortured to death. John calls Strauss, who is enraged, and demands that they meet. After some confusion about the location, they end up at John’s old apartment (now in use by Jack) where Strauss tells them that there was a letter found at Young’s place addressed to John, warning him that people were looking for him in regards to the doll. The party assures him they have had nothing to do with Young since selling him the doll and he shows them a picture of a middle-aged blonde woman named Celeste Gray and tells them to avoid her, intimating that she’s suspected of Young’s murder.

John fills Strauss in on the Brown-Gray story and he gets agitated. They finally get out of him that Detective Brown fits the description of the guy who came in a stolen car to buy the doll and that the source that hung up on John when he asked him to run the plates was a relation. This makes it clear to Strauss that his co-worker is up to his ears in this. He storms off, returning briefly to deposit Alexandros, who he found skulking outside. While helping John move Jack’s artwork down to the car to take back to the Sweet Water, Alexandros says he’s following Jack and is worried that Abacus is on the verge of figuring out that the two of them don’t, in fact, share a durance (as the ring Bertie gave Jack suggested) and is going to be very angry when he does. John relates this to others. Jack then pisses off Jamie with a comment about her minimal contribution to putting down the fetch and she takes off in her new car. The rest of them follow.

John heads to church, which proves so unpleasant that he leaves early, doesn’t finish his lunch, and ends up in his darkened room for the rest of the day. Jack prepares a chocolate-covered mouse for Jamie as a peace offering (she’d have preferred live). Jack then goes out to be social and returns around midnight. John goes rock wall climbing at Peter’s gym, which is quite pleasant and uneventful despite the group’s misgivings.

Monday, October 21, 2013

At 2am, Jack is alerted to a fight outside his door by two loud bangs against it. He sees a strange man’s face hitting it through the peephole. The sound wakens Jamie, who goes out to investigate as Jack opens the door. Alexandros is the other combatant and is obviously killing his opponent. John hears the ruckus and opens his door just as Jamie passes. All three of them try to talk Alexandros down with Jack’s order seeming to have the most weight and the unconscious man is dragged into his room. Alexandros obviously was badly injured by the man’s hunting knife but shows no more signs of injury. He excuses himself to the bathroom while Jamie examines the man and determines that he needs to get to a hospital. She goes outside to clean up the blood while Jack goes through his pockets. His wallet identifies him as Nicholas Gray and John finds a text on his phone from Celeste Gray with the address, a picture of Jack from Young’s surveillance video, and the message “He has them both”.

John goes to his room to gets his shoes and stash his gun. Alexandros comes out of the bathroom looking much better and says that Abacus says we shouldn’t kill him but he suspects he’s annoyed that he didn’t. Everyone decides to dump him on the side of the road and call it in to 911. John enables GPS tracking on Gray’s phone, takes a picture of the text from Celeste, deletes it, wipes the phone down and gets his fingerprints on it before returning it to his pocket. After this is all done, John drives Alexandros to a skeezy park at his request.

Jack calls Celeste to arrange a meeting over breakfast at Der Waffle Haus (John’s suggestion). Celeste invites John and “the woman with you” to come. Jack goes to talk to Emily, who witnessed the fight, to make sure that they’s not freaked out by it (she isn’t) and then everyone takes naps before the meeting. Before they leave, Jack asks Moose to keep an eye on his room in case Celeste sends people to steal the knives. They arrive at the restaurant before her. She’s in a leather jacket and well tailored clothes and John can tell she’s armed with a gun and possibly a knife and carries herself like she knows how to use them.

She sits, complains about Jack cursing her, and has everyone turn their cell phones off and put them on the table. She admits to torturing Young, complaining about his ethics regarding giving up the identity of buyers. Jack gets out of her that the knives were made by the Browns on commission but that the Grays “Christened” them. Mordecai acquired them when he killed Dixon, burying one with the schoolteacher and taking the other with him. She then asks if “the whore” is with us, gesturing to Alexandros who has just entered looking harried. Jack tells her he follows him around saving his life against his will. She implies she’ll kill Alexandros if Nicholas doesn’t recover. When John asks her why she didn’t just buy the knife at auction, she answers simply “magic”.

Celeste excuses herself to go to the bathroom, whispering in John’s ear as she leaves that he should stop fighting the fact that he is a demon and own it. Once she’s gone, the group discusses their options. John says that what he’s recorded is enough to let Strauss arrest her for Young’s murder and extortion. Jack doesn’t want to get involved with the police. She has made it clear that she’ll go after the people around them, noting that John has the most to lose. On her way back to the table, she talks to Alexandros and gives him a card. Jack tells her that he’ll agree to sell her the knives in return for a future favor (implied to be a killing) and more information but she won’t swear to the deal until he has the knives on him and leaves.

Jamie tells Alexandros to burn the card she gave him but he seems to be forgetting their conversation and the card. John lifts it from his pocket (he notices but doesn’t do anything) and drops it into the “free lunch” bowl, but Jamie fishes it out. Alexandros catches a ride with John and Jack again. On getting back to the Sweet Water, Jack suggests lunch with Elliott Brown and John says he was thinking the same thing.

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The Least Bad Plan

Monday, October 21, 2013

Jamie puts Celeste’s card into the drawer full of salt and feels a “ripple”. She tells the others and they decide to burn it, as originally planned. When they do, they sense something happened, though nothing apparently does. Jamie checks on Alexandros, just to make sure he’s alright, and he is.

John calls the detective bureau and asks to be put through to Elliott. When he’s connected, he says he heard Brown was looking for him. Brown is coy, but when John threatens to hang up they arrange a meeting at Jack’s apartment. Alexandros is waiting in John’s back seat so Jack rides with Jamie and they take separate routes, just to fuck with him. Elliot continues to be coy, until John forces the issue, and Elliot finally asks what they’ve done with Abigail. They tell him the whole story about Abigail and assure him that she’s at rest. When asked about the journals, he says it was a cousin of the same name who purchased Mordecai’s journals and wants them to turn the knives over to him so he can have them destroyed. He can’t, however, offer any assurances that Celeste won’t make good her promise if they do. John asks why the Brown family did not simply break into Mordecai’s house to retrieve the things the family wanted, and Elliot responds “Lawyers”, calling them a “Plague upon this earth.” John seems incredulous that lawyers would stop them from retrieving the evil killing knives, and he replies that Mordecai knew well how to ward his home, and that without the proper key, getting it was perilous at best, thus the Lawyers. He indicates that the fractious Brown family were fighting over the estate.

When his pleas for the return of the knife go no-place, but it seems that Jack might give ground with more information, Elliott says he’s at an impasse and needs to make a call. Jamie eavesdrops on him while he’s in the bathroom and hears him speaking in an unknown language that is so beautiful she is left weeping. When he returns, he says “Alice has given me parameters” and starts answering questions about the families. He confirms Jack’s assertion that Celeste is a “wicked sorceress” and says she is older than she looks, that she was even alive when Dixon was killing. He said his family was tricked into making the knives and wants to atone for it. He notes that the Grays are tightly bound (there are about fifteen of them in the immediate vicinity) but that his family is larger but not united in purpose. He admits they will try and get the knives if we don’t hand them over.

John brings up his recording of Celeste admitting to torturing and killing Young, but says that it won’t stand up in court; in part because of the subject matter (magic knives, ghosts) and in part because Jack and Jamie’s identities won’t hold up to scrutiny. Elliott presses for details but John will only say that Jack is a cypher with no identity and that Jamie has another version of herself running around ten years older and a nun. John then suggests that Brown steal them. That will focus Celeste’s wrath on them, where it is anyway. Elliott says he doesn’t have enough for a warrant and can’t steal them, saying, “It would compromise me”, he would need Jack’s permission to take them as a ruse to fool Celeste and Jack won’t agree to it, unhappy with either proposal. Frustrated, Elliott goes to make another call. This time Jack eavesdrops on him and the effect is similar to how it was on Jamie, except more intense, though he manages to be stoic about it. John wonders if he is nephilim and Jamie says they thinks they are Romany.

John suggests an anonymous tip and the detective admits that would be enough to get a warrant. John asks if he is nephilim, he stutters and ignores the question, then playfully mentions that they are giants and asks if he looks like a giant. Jack asks him what language he spoke and he chides him for listening in and leaves. When he’s gone, Jack says he wants to kill Celeste and tries to talk John into it. They are interrupted when Elliott returns and asks if money would help to sway us. Jack says “no” and Elliott says he’ll tell Celeste he is going to take them by force to try and get her off their back, and leaves again. When the group goes to their cars, they are just in time to see Alexandros being man-handled, kicking, into the back of Elliott’s car, both looking roughed up. Jamie accuses Elliot of having something against him like the other cops, and Elliot looks baffled, but refuses to answer what he’s done to be arrested, and gets in the car. Alexandros clearly says something remarkably filthy to Elliot inside the car, causing him to stiffen and grip the wheel angrily as he drives off. They get in their cars and head back to the Sweet Water.

Jamie goes to talk to her friend Leonard about getting a cat, or finding some way to make her Beast magic easier. Jack goes to talk to Emily and then looks for Moose. While they are occupied, John goes to talk to Strauss, who gets his lieutenant to call Brown back (he’s on his way to meet Celeste). Strauss suggests they come with the warrant and seize the knives while they are giving them to Celeste and tells John to call him when the meet is set, with the details. John asks Strauss not to tell Jack they talked about it, saying he’s under the influence of the knives. John gets back to the Sweet Water with Chinese and they all discuss how to proceed in Jamie’s room (which is meticulously clean). Jack says he’s amenable to losing the knives and didn’t say as much in front of Elliott because he felt that he needed to believe he was taking them by force for it to work. They discuss and reject a number of possible locations and scenarios before John suggests the plan of having Brown show up while the exchange is being made, hoping that she’ll try and take the knives by force, giving Jack his opening to kill her in self-defense. Jack notes that he tried to discover Elliott’s fears and found that he has none, so he thinks he is a Keeper and doesn’t want him to get the knives.

Jack calls to check on Nicholas’ status and finds out he’s in the ICU but is still alive. Then he calls Celeste to arrange the exchange. She suggests Der Waffle Haus again and they agree on 9pm. John goes to the pay phone and make his call to Brown to give him the tip. Elliot clearly knows it is John, and tries to play along badly, John hanging up on him halfway through speaking. He also calls Strauss to give him the time and place. He gets a message from Brown to be careful and to tell him that Alexandros has been released. Jack goes off and Jamie finds him having sex with Emily (with the door open). John finds Alexandros and is trying to warn him that something’s going down and Alexandros says he’ll have to call Abacus. Jamie comes in, drags him to John’s room, steals his phone and ties him to a chair, as he is both protesting and being deliberately lewd. Then she goes to take a picture of the knives with the special camera and, while she’s gone, Alexandros starts playfully shouting for help. John unties Alexandros, ignoring his suggestive remarks, fueled by Jamie’s protests that instead of releasing him, John should gag him. He gives him a banana (which only makes Alexandros worse), and sends him on his way. John settles down for leftover Chinese food and a nap while Jack, Jamie, and Alexandros have dinner at the diner.

They arrive at Der Waffle Haus on time with Alexandros asleep in the back of John’s car. Celeste shows up not much later with a twenty-ish woman they haven’t seen before (later introduced as Julie) carrying a large box. Jack asks her for Mordecai’s story as part of the deal. She says he was a pervert who liked to peep in windows, and saw the thing with Abigail and left when suspicion fell on him. He traveled the world killing supernatural things and collecting trophies and filling journals with what he learned before returning home and leading part of his family to kill Dixon and steal the knives. His faction of the Browns then proceeded to fight with the Grays. She says they were owned by the Grays for some time before being “christened” by Dixon, which gave them their purpose: killing for pleasure (as opposed to justice or some nobler cause). She says Alice is a very old woman with knowledge she shouldn’t have who tries to make the world a better place for “other folk”, gesturing to the waitress. She says Alice is bound by guidelines which make it possible to elude her and warns that she has a talent for “binding”, that we might end up in her service for a long time if we cross her. When asked what the Browns are, she says they are witches, though noting that they aren’t all actually witches, but that they all have jobs (witch, soldier, sage, etc).

Finally, she and Julie stand and say they are going to the ladies room. She wants Jack to agree to the deal before they go and put the box with the knives inside the one Julie was carrying and he starts in on a long, complicated oath before she interrupts him halfway through. Her shorter version says if she is given the knives, she won’t kill us, our families, or our “legitimate” romantic interests. In response, Jack grabs the knives from where he was concealing them and stabs her, though her tough leather jacket protects her from injury. She quick-draws a gun and puts it to Jack’s head but Jamie successfully grabs the gun, and John pepper sprays Celeste. She drops the gun and takes a few steps back from the table, painfully rubbing at her eyes, and saying she’ll forget this happened if they stop now, but Jack attacks again and manages to draw blood, bringing with it a surge of Glamour for Jack as the knife drains life from the woman. When she quick-draws a knife and lunges for him, John gets in the way and is gutted, then grabs her and starts draining her life. She says that if Jack kills her, we will lose him. Jack stabs her and she falls unconscious in John’s arms. As the knife takes her down, Jack feels a different surge of power, returning his resolve, and removing any temptation to surrender the knives or let his quarry live. He knows, without really being bothered by it, that he cannot put them down now of his own volition. Jamie grapples with Jack for the knives but he reveals he made an oath to kill her and will die if he doesn’t, so she releases him.

Jack puts the knives away just as Elliott bursts in with his gun drawn. Seeing nobody armed, he kneels beside Celeste and tries to stop her bleeding while Jack tries to convince him to let her die. Jamie steals one of Jack’s knives and he lunges for it, drawing the other. John yells for Jamie to take the knife back to the apartment and put it in the iron safe, to cut off its power. She tries to leave but Elliott grabs her (proving to be very strong) and takes the knife. Jack comes over and kicks Celeste; Elliott, enraged, takes a swipe at him after losing a struggle to resist the impulse. Jack tries again to stab her, but John throws himself over her and gets badly hurt, losing consciousness. Elliott manages to drop his knife and goes back to trying to save Celeste. Jack picks up the knife and watches quietly but when it looks like he’ll be successful, he stabs her one last time, killing her. The realization that he has just murdered someone travels through the bond formed when John’s fetch was killed, and only Jack’s calm certainty that he has done the right thing buoys the other two out of their guilt.

Elliott advances on him, pleading with him to turn over the knives. Jack tries to distract him by noting that John’s bleeding to death, but Elliott says he’ll go to Heaven and continues imploring him. Jack says that John is a demon, and Elliott says that John is delusional, begging him to listen to reason. Jack opens a door to the hedge and steps through it, slamming to door in Elliott’s face. During all of this, Jamie has retrieves the first aid kit from the trunk of John’s car (and noted that Alexandros seems unconscious rather than asleep) and has been frantically trying to save him. Elliott kneels over John and kisses him, healing his injuries instantly. He then orders him, while frantically shaking him, to follow Jack and get the knives back or Jack will lose his soul. He says it would be a very bad idea for him to go into that door, even if he were able to reopen it.

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Saving Frodo

Monday, October 21, 2013

John and Jamie follow Jack into the hedge and the three of them (after some diplomacy to get Jack to agree) search for the nearest exit. Jamie senses something and notes that the knives seem to be having a dark effect on the Hdge. When they reach the trod, they see a vaguely female shaped figure coaxing them down the path. They ignore her and find the gate. John sucker punches Jack who pulls his knives and backs through the gate into the bank bathroom, startling Jay (a Summer Court security guard). Jay tries to get them to follow him out but Jack opens another gate and John shoots him in the leg to keep him from going through and he loses consciousness. John points the gun at Jay but is unable to keep him from calling King George, so he calls Abacus. The Autumn King tells us to go with the Summer Court.

Jamie picks up the knives without touching them and wraps them in John’s coat and they are loaded into an SUV driven by the gorilla, Wagner. They are taken to an apartment complex. Wagner carries a now conscious Jack (who is peeved about being shot) and turns them over to Caleb, who tells them that Abacus and Sands are on their way and tries to get Jack and John to make up. He produces an iron-lined leather box for the knives and is persuaded to allow Jack’s handcuffs to be removed (John picks the lock so as not to risk breaking his wrists). George enters and angrily asks them about the fight in the Waffle Haus. He’s also pissed off that we opened another door to the hedge.

Abacus and Sands arrive. George takes his counterpart aside while Sands patches up Jack, taking him to the bathroom to remove the bullet. Abacus returns alone and asks why they didn’t ask him for help. He says the police are looking for Jack (surname unknown) but that Brown and Strauss are not being forthcoming. Julie is the only one claiming Jack attacked first, everyone else saw Celeste put her gun to Jack’s head. Abacus says he’s taking the knives and Jamie warns him not to take them into the Hedge. He says the Grays are clannish and competitors for arcane artifacts while the Browns are adept with magic but little is known about them. He scoffs at John’s Nephilim theory. Jack suggests the knives be separated and offers his safe. Abacus speaks with George before driving them home.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Autumn King comes them into the Sweet Water. Elliot emerges from Zane’s room and asks Abacus for the knives after John introduces him as “Dr. Freeman, my boss”. They go to talk after Elliot says there is nobody in our rooms. Jack sends Jamie to eavesdrop while he goes to fetch Moose to move the safe. The detective threatens Abacus, who is non-plussed and says he wants to talk to Alice, and leaves. The Autumn King opens the box and begins fiddling with the knives but Jamie interrupts to tell him that it is a bad idea. He dismisses her and leaves.

Alexandros, who was lurking nearby, wanders over while they are all discussing witch countermeasures. He insists on checking Jack’s room before he goes in, then argues about whether or not he is a “Dracula”. He spends the night in front of Jack’s door in a lawn chair after Jamie goes to bed. John changes and calls a cab to go and retrieve his car. He buys dish soap on the way back and spends the night washing blood out of his clothes.

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