Game Time: March 18th, 2012
Real World: December 28, 2012
After a lazy Sunday morning consisting of sleeping in for all but Imogene and her new wards who spend it at mass, the group gathers at Alex’s condo. Isaac gives Alex a bottle to replace some of what he drunk. “I brought you this for next time. Looks like it’s next time.” Isaac then pours himself a drink.
Alex shares his story with the group. “I was told to seek out the Coyote who would lead me to the Green Woman.” He then turns to Isaac. “So who is she?”
“Well, clearly you are a changer of shapes that I recently met. Do you know who the Green Woman is?”
Isaac thinks for a bit? Someone does come to mind. “You couldn’t mean the actual Green Woman. She was consort to one of the first emissaries of power to the Court of ScitFi. She hasn’t been seen in over 40 years.” Seeing the others missing the connection he continues. “She was a consort of James Tiberius Kirk.”
“This is messed up.”
Alex stays focused “So, can you reach her?”
“Uh… give me a moment.” Isaac whips out his phone and starts to dial. “Just hope Mom isn’t there.” The phone rings a few times.
“Dad, it’s Isaac.”
“Hello son! Great to hear your voice. How are you my boy?”
“I am well. You?”
“Doing great. News is 24/7 out here in New York.”
“I have an odd question for you. I am trying to track down the Green Woman.”
“Back from the 60’s.”
“What do you want with that old bag of bones?”
“You have to admit she was hot once. I am trying to track her down for some friends out here.”
“Oh. Um. I am not really sure. Let me think on it for a bit and get back to you, ok?”
“Sure thing. So how are you and Mom?”
Alex, Dom and Imogene head off to Maria’s apartment on the South Side. They convince a neighbor to buzz them in suggesting they had won some sort of contest for cupcakes.
Reaching Maria’s flat on 4th floor Alex freezes the lock and Dom forces the door open. The lock tumbles across the floor as a pungent odor assaults everyone’s senses from the door way. There was no one home.
As Imogene leads the way toward the living room where she finds torn out pictures of Rod Blagojevich from magazines or papers pinned to the wall with assorted knives and forks. Dom sees several of the knives are a match to the knives they had taken from the vagrants in the library.
Imogene continued to the kitchen. Dark shadows of assorted clutter all over the counters. The vague rounded shapes of numerous pots and pans, plus a few opened cartons and containers. Several dark unlabelled jars. From the look of it, someone had been cooking up a storm.
And over it all, and overpowering smell of dried blood.
The cartons were for sugar, butter, walnuts, caramel chips, and other ingredients. The pots and pans all had been used for baking brownies. Maria must have made a dozen batches of brownies here. And scattered around the counter space, mixed in with the other ingredients, a couple of boxes labeled “live centipedes” and a dozen empty jars of now-dried blood.
Imogene fought back a gag reflex. She had seen cooking like this before, but never something completely Betty-Crocker-Off-Her-Rocker psychotic like this. There was definitely something seriously demented about a woman who not only made voodoo brownies out of insects and blood, but who then took the trouble to add the optional walnuts and caramel chips for flavor.
The recipe seemed familiar. It reminder her of something called the Elixir of the Heart which would weaken the will of others to make them more pliable to your own. Dangerous and dark magic for any caster to attempt. The organization she had left would consider this grounds for termination on site. Not good.
Alex has a similar thought. To notify the Wardens Alex decides to order a pizza via Dom’s phone with a secret message for Harry Dresden about what has been found at the apartment.
Imogene slips back to the bedroom with a simple queen size bed and bureau. The room was covered in maps and blueprints. She notes the library, church, hospital, museum and a new condo complex still under construction on Lake Shore Drive.
It was then she heard the bedroom door close revealing one of the vagabonds.
Imogene opened the door to Alex’s bedroom, her clothing clearly disheveled a bit, her face flush. Alex comes out a few steps behind her and closes the door. Dom continued his relating the tale of the apartment to the others.
“You should of heard her scream. Jamie Lee Curtis would of given her an award.”.
Imogene cuts in “It wasn’t that bad.”
Alex attempts to guide Imogene’s arm down gently to her side. She pulls away quickly, angry eyes directed at Alex.
" Healing magic isn’t some miracle. You need to take it easy for a bit or the wound will tear back open." Alex calmly shares.
Irritation growing, Imogene keeps her attention on Dom “What you are not sharing is it was not just another street person. The guy who attacked me was a zombie.”
“You mean he was up on PCP?” asked Paddy.
“No. Zombie. Undead. Brought back to life. Odd thing was he was using a Sony walkman from the ‘80s for the heartbeat. I’ve never heard of such modern technology working with magic like that.”
“Well, Isaac and I didn’t find much unexpected at the museum. Same sigil as before. Your zombie experience explains why the bodies found there were dug up from a graveyard. I did find a hit on the Internet on that Alberto name you found at the apartment. Seems he was a road worker who was killed while on the job. Seems the guy who hit him had one of those licensees illegally bought under the Ryan administration.”
With lots of puzzle pieces, but no clear picture coming through the next step was obvious. The condo site downtown by the river.
The boat pulled up behind the construction site. Everyone slipped off quietly.
“Isaac, where did you get this motor boat?”
“I know a guy.”
Looking over the edge into the pit of the construction site they saw the beginnings of the framework and a crane. A large group of men in the same green jackets as seen before with a small Spanish woman standing in the middle of them. The small woman chanting in Portuguese as she points at a figure hanging by his feet from the crane elevated a good 4 stories off the floor.
“That must be Maria. Ritual magic. And she is close to finishing it.” Alex notes.
Paddy, Isaac and Dom sneak down into the pit and hid behind the crane. A chanting stops with a clap of thunder. The little woman pulls a knife out and look up.
“And now you shall pay for my son’s death Rod Blagojevich”
“Damn. Do you still want to save him?”
Dom throws a knife at the lady hitting her n the shoulder blade. “STOP THEM MY CHILDREN!”.
Isaac crawls up on the cab on the crane and is immediately surrounded by three zombie who climb like an experienced parkour team. The beating he receives is brutal dislocating his shoulder.
“They got more of those walkmans!” Isaac shouts.
Alex jumps down into the fray and throw a hex, shorting out one of the walkmans. The zombie falls.
Iomgene jumps into the fray and throws a packet of powdered sugar at the little woman. “Silentium!” The screaming woman now silenced those in the fray hear former Governor Blagojevich screaming from the crane top. “HELP! THIS IS NOT GOLDEN!”
Paddy jumps into the cab of the crane and pulls a random lever. The crane start creaking forward, it’s break released.
Maria conjures a wave of little black globes of goo which swarm around everyone. Alex screams as one of the goblets fall upon him. The others dodge away. The goo gone they look at see a crater where Maria use to be standing. Imogene hears her former teacher’s voice “If you do not control your power it can destroy you.”
The other zombies eliminated the group lowers the former Governor to the ground. “What a mess. Give me a phone and I can clean this up.”
“You know. A cell.”
The group look suspiciously at Rod as Isaac hands him his phone. He quickly dials.
“Tom, it’s Rod. Yeah I know I’m not on the plane…. I’ve got a problem here. Some people just saved me. Down on East North Water Street where the Spire will be…. Yeah, I’m ok. Now these people that helped me. Call them your security consultants or something….”
The conversation goes on. Isaac listens in as Rod goes on weaving a tale of conspiracy. It is as if he is witnessing a lieomancer at work. Looking at the various facts a picture started to emerge he had missed before. Rezco had also been involved with the development of Waterfront. That piece of real estate was now caught up in so many lawsuits between an Iraqi millionaire in a food for oil scandal and several of the Chicago powerful elite include some sort of ties to President Obama. What ever this was it was all about keeping development off of Waterfront. He was sure of it.
Rod hung up the phone. “Ok. The police will be here shortly. Let me do most of the talking. You are a security team hired by Chief Tom Dart for my transfer to the plane to Colorado. I’ll have you out of here in 30 minutes.”
True to his word they were allowed to head out after some short statements. Isaac told everyone what he had realized and the group headed to Waterfront. It did not take much searching. On a young tree standing out amongst the scrub Paddy noticed what seemed like a translucent drape. Pulling it back he opened a portal to the Never-Never.
Alex was stunned “How did you open that with ritual magic so quickly?”
Paddy looked confused. “Uh, I don’t do magic. It just looked like something that could open.”
A soft green light spilled from the portal.
“Well, lets see what’s on the other side.”
The other side is still night, but the starts above are different. Instead of the city there is a great forest around them. A river flows matching where the Chicago River was. At the river side there is a campfire surround by sitting logs. Tending the fire is a fey, made clear by her pointed ears and green skin.
Alex, Isaac and Paddy approach the camp fire cautiously. The figure turns on their approach. Despite not yet having his mage eye Alex can feel tremendous power with the figure. Stronger than he had ever felt.
“Welcome guest. Please sit down. I invite you to have tea with me.”
As they all approach they notice the trees around the camp are carved totems of various animals, including a bear and an eagle.
“I am glad you have found this place. Sometime the invitations are not received. I am here to explain what is happening.”
“Finally.” said Paddy.
“I have story to tell you. It is a bit of a long story so do not ignore your tea.”
As the story is told each of them feel like this is less a story and more unlocking a memory. They each feel the heat of the fires described. The fear of the odds faced. The loss of loved ones. A moment passes before each of them realizes the entire tale was told in just twelve words.
My name is Nikko and this is not the future I chose.
After we defeated Kyuss we came to realize we were the new guardians, tasks with protecting all of creation. Over time we have been tested in this role many times. At times, our quest has been so dire that we have enlisted others to help hold back the darkness. To ensure creation continues."
“I do not know what form the darkness will take this time. I will be here when you have questions or need guidance.”
Silence took everyone as they tried to comprehend what they had just taken in. Highland. Kyuss. Eretz. They were all real?
Imogene broke the silence. “For how long have you been doing this.”
“More millennium than you can even comprehend. For some of us, age is not a factor.”
“Why us? Why now?”
“I do not know how the universe chooses, but the right people are always chosen as was I long ago.”
“Are the others still around?” asked Dom.
“I believe they are still about. I have not been in contact with them for some time.”
Paddy asks “How did I open the portal here?”
“It is in your blood.”
“Who is my father?”
“That I do not know, but you are a scion of the blood of Tír na nÓg and the world of man. As with all of mixed blood one day you will need to make a choice. To be of the Fey or to be a mortal. Those of us who live as Fey have no choice. Only purpose. Only a mortal has choice. And with that choice, your destiny will unfold.”
“Will the portal remain there?”
“I have ensured the portal and the land it rests upon shall not be disturbed for some time. I can warn you that time is not always stable when you visit here. Only come here when needed.”
Alex then asked “Do you know of a Red Court plague?”
“I do not.”
“I was given a vision to seek out the Green Skinned woman who would lead me to a cure.”
“Hmm. A vampire’s powers are not something I would understand. Perhaps you should seek out someone who worships the Grandfather. Longshadow comes to mind.”
“Do you know where he might be?”
“As I said we have not been in touch for some time. I have heard in your city there is a temple to Anubis. Seek him there.”
Isaac then spoke. “My father is very secretive. What can you tell me about him?”
“Your father was captain of a Starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800 lives, including your mother’s and yours. I dare you to do better.”
As Dom asks another question a soft hum starts in the distance. It quickly grows to defining proportions. They all fall over loosing consciousness, including Nikko, as a brilliant white flash covers the night sky.
Unsure how long they have been out they help each other recover. Nikko wakes with a startled gaps. “Something has happened. You must get back. Chicago’s guardian has fallen.”
- End Episode. Roll Credits.*