A Cautionary Tale of Two Cities

Hounded: Day 13

The previous night’s soiree had left the grounds of Benny’s place in a bit of a disarray. After making their way past unconscious nymphs and wrestling uber ghouls, Enrique and Nicholas left to pick up Enrique’s friend Trick who was being released on probation. While they were gone, Ezekial arrived, ready to move in. Benny, despairing at the egregios fashion disaster that was Zeke’s wardrobe, immediately took Zeke to Benny’s tailor.

Trick was picked up without incident, and following a stern lecture on the sanctity of other people’s property, was brought back to the mansion. Benny and Zeke returned and got Zeke settled in.

While the group was getting to know each other a telegram arrived for Bill Jones, Benny’s manservant. The telegram read:

Bill, we’re on our way. We’ll get in this evening. We hope Benny is going to be alright.

A quick investigation found that the phone lines were down to the mansion. Once they were repaired, Benny called his brother to find out what was going on. His brother had heard nothing from their parents. Enrique, Nicholas, Bill and Trick left to pick up the parents at the airport. Nicholas chose to wait with the car to prevent tampering while the remaining three went to the charter terminal.

After about an hour’s wait at the terminal, Bill left with one of the gate agents. No sooner than he got out of sight, the remaining people in the terminal attacked Enrique and Trick. Two businessmen morphed into hulking stone creatures, a b-list celebrity turned into a venom-dripping snake woman, and the remaining gate agent turned into a demonic child.

A brutal fight ensued. Trick managed to avoid getting hurt but Enrique was poisoned and badly injured when, Nicholas arrived to provide salvation. Eventually they slayed the demon child and one of the stone creatures, but the others fled the scene. During the altercation, Nicholas was also poisoned.

Nicholas called Benny, who promptly gathered up Eva Fediraya and used the Nevernever to travel to the airport. Benny’s arrive brought down the baggage claim system. By the time Benny arrived at the terminal, Enrique had passed out from his wounds.

Benny called in Dr. Alhazred to assist. The price of which ended up being $50,000, Benny’s silk tie, and one favor to be claimed later that would not violate any of the laws of magic.

While the doctor worked, Eva and Benny tried to find what happened to Bill. Eventually they discovered a wrecked office with traces of Bill’s blood. Further investigation led them to an area where a portal had been opened to the Nevernever. Benny’s check of the portal showed that it lead to the lands of Winter.

Shortly after Benny and Eva returned to the terminal, Benny’s parents arrived. Everyone quickly retreated to the mansion to consider a further course of action. When they arrived, they found a note from Connall stating that he would return Bill alive and unharmed in exchange for the Gae Bolg, Enrique, Nicholas or Benny.

Connall returned again later that evening, asking for their answer. They requested a day to consider their response.

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Hounded: Day 12

The day started off with Enrique’s stitches sliding out of his stomach and, inch-worm like, crawling from the house in search of their master.

Still early that morning, Nicholas, Benny and Enrique were all hit with unnaturally bad luck. Benny was able to deduce that each of them had been subject to an entropy curse. Once they met together and discussed the situation they discovered that all three were missing a small personal item. A short thaumaturgy ritual later and they were on the trail of their missing possessions.

The spell led them to a house in a development in suburbia. A rather awkward conversation with the woman who was home ended with her calling the police. The group beat a hasty retreat to the car and Benny put a veil around the vehicle. They waited and observed the area to see if they could find any further clues.

Later in the afternoon, a schoolbus arrived and a young, geeky-looking, teenager went into the house. Less than a half an hour passed before another entropy curse hit. They had found their assailant.

As they were leaving to construct a plan, they were attacked by a group of fetches. A short fight led to them fleeing the scene.

Back at Benny’s mansion they came up with a course of action. They agreed to send Stinky Joe into the house to persuade the warlock to talk with them. Stinky Joe morphed himself into a fedex package and was delivered to the house, neatly circumventing the threshold. Once inside, Joe held a knife on the warlock and told him to call Benny. After a discussion, the warlock, who was named Ezekiel Green, agreed to meet them at the library.

When Ezekial arrived at the library he was wearing a backpack with Stinky Joe inside, the knife pressed against Ezekial’s spine. The conversation quickly proved that Ezekial was an unwitting dupe of Connall. Benny decided to take Ezekial on as an apprentice to prevent further issues of this type.

It turned out that Benny’s father owned the company that Ezekial’s father worked for. Benny arranged to have Ezekial’s father promoted and transferred out of the area and setup a pseudo scholarship whereby Ezekial would go to “private school” there in the twin cities.

When they returned to Benny’s mansion, Benny sent a message to Cu, asking him to come by provide information and training in the use of the Gae Bolg. Cu’s arrivel precipitated a rather raucous night of debauchery.

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Hounded: Day 3

Nicholas McCoy was called in to the station by Lieutenant John Martinez. Nicholas was informed that he is under investigation and asked to relinquish his sidearm and badge.

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Hounded: Day 2

Nicholas was called into Lieutenant Martinez’s office to explain his actions the previous evening. When Nicholas couldn’t offer a reasonable explanation, he was promptly suspended and told to expect a full review.

The group gathered at Enrique’s house to discuss their options. While they were debating a delivery arrived, Cu had sent a scrap of Connall’s clothing that came off in their battle. Benny promptly began a thaumaturgy ritual to locate Connall and was disturbed to discover that he was a mere two hundred yards away.

The group set out to locate Connall under the cloak of one of Benny’s veils. They eventually found him perched in a tree in the backyard of a Neighbor’s house. They immediately attacked Connall and an epic battle ensued. After earthquakes, exploding fences, localized tornadoes, a hail of bullets, a protracted melee battle, Enrique suffering a massive abdominal wound and a last minute save by Stinky Joe, Connall fled, dropping the Gae Bolg.

Nicholas gathered up the Gae Bolg, and the team returned to Enrique’s house. Once they got there, Benny reached out to Dr. Abdul Alhazred to assist with Enrique’s injuries.

Dr. Alhazred proved to be more than a little disturbing in his methods, but, in exchange for a vial of blood from each of the three heroes, he agreed put Enrique on the road to recovery. The doctor left Enrique with a repaired abdomen, but some rather odd side effects(glowing eyes, things moving inside him, a distorted sense of reality).

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Hounded: Day 1

Nicholas McCoy had been working on the Minneapolis Mutliator case. The three victims were Siobhan Kazuba, a 45-year-old occult bookstore owner; Lucy McKenzie, a 16-year-old high school student and Tanis Potvin, a 22-year-old college student. Nicholas took Benny in to the coroner’s office to look over the bodies that had been recovered. A minor crisis with Lieutenant Martinez was averted by some deft fast-talking that left the impression on the Lieutenant that Benny was Siobhan’s next of kin.

After viewing their remains, Benny was able to determine that all three victims were changelings. Siobhan was a sylph, Lucy a sidhe and Tanis an elf. The wounds on the bodies were quite strange. In each case there was a large wound in the back, with the viscera torn from the body. The removed organs were found at the scenes, mutilated and splattered on the ground next to bodies.

Nicholas and Benny went to the University to question Tanis’ roommate. After some discussion about increased grades due to roommate death, it eventually came out that Tanis was associated with Stinky Joe.

Enrique returned home to question Stinky Joe while Nicholas and Benny were pursuing their investigation. Enrique told Joe about the slain changelings and pressed him for the name of his pursuers. Joe refused to divulge the information but told Enrique to warn Benny that, “the fae have more knights than just summer and winter and not all of them are nice.”

Nicholas, Benny and Enrique met at the Pig’s Eye to question Pete as to the location of Stinky Joe. Pete informed them that an Irish gentleman had been asking about Joe the last few days, typically arriving sometime in the late afternoon/early evening. While they were talking Cu FhearnĂ³g entered the bar, Pete indicated to the group that he was the one they were talking about.

The trio engaged Cu in conversation, and it quickly came out that Joe had stolen a mead horn from Cu’s boss, the Erlking. Cu revealed that he was the Knight of the Hunt, the Erlking’s mortal champion. Cu mentioned that he was good friends with Joe prior to the theft and had been pursuing Joe for a number of years since. When Benny questioned Cu about the murders Cu indicated he had no knowledge, but once he heard the state of the corpses, he identified the culprit as Connall. Connall, a known friend of Joe, was a half-fetch sociopath from ancient Ireland and the current bearer of the Gae Bolg. Cu had spoken with all three of the victims and all three had wounds like those known to have been inflicted by the spear.

Nicholas, Benny and Enrique discussed options for getting a hold of Joe. They decided to take Cu to Benny’s and perform a summoning ritual, but Enrique was insistent that they stop at his house first. As they were entering the house, Cu dashed ahead, obviously getting Joe’s scent. The trio caught up with Cu as he was apprehending a plush bear from Enrique’s bed. After some gentle persuasion, the bear reverted to Joe’s typical corpulent form.

Under questioning, Joe revealed that he thought Cu had slain the changelings but ultimately wasn’t surprised to find out Connall was eliminating those who had spoken with Cu. Joe said that he was more than a little afraid of Connall and what he might do, and that it is entirely possible that Connall could turn on Joe himself. Ultimately it was revealed that the mead horn was hidden in Benny’s guest house where Eva was staying. Joe figured no one would look in a wizard’s guest house, especially one that had an uber ghoul resident.

As the team was leaving Enrique’s to recover the horn, they narrowly averted being skewered by the Gae Bolg. Connall had obviously been watching the house. Cu took off in pursuit. Nicholas received reports on his police radio of the two fighting their way across the city. In an attempt to help Cu, Nicholas called in that Connall was the Minneapolis Mutilator and Cu was a concerned citizen trying to help. This brought the full force of the twin cities law enforcement to bear. Unfortunately they were no match for a viciously psychopathic half fetch who butchered 15 officers during the fray. Eventually Cu and Connall broke off their fight and evaded the authorities. Cu returned to Enrique’s battered and wounded, but sure that Connall had gone to ground as well, giving them at least some reprieve.

The team recovered the horn and Cu left to return it to the Erlking.

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Hounded: Pre-Prelude

Stinky Joe called in his favor to Enrique. He asked for sanctuary for one moon’s time.

He gave the following conditions

  • He will hide in Enrique’s room, and as far as anyone but Enrique is concerned no one will even know he is there.
  • He will not disrupt/spy/disturb or do anything Enrique hasn’t expressly told him to do in regards to the house or the family.
  • He will leave no trace of his presence.
  • He will not allow his presence to cause harm to come to Enrique’s family.
  • Enrique will tell NO ONE that Joe is staying with him.
  • Those hunting Stinky Joe are in no way affiliated with the Catholic Church
  • Those hunting Stinky Joe are NOT doing so because Joe harmed an innocent by his actions or lack thereof.
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Family Matters: Day 4

After nearly 24 hours of thaumaturgical work, the wards were brought down with a resounding gong. Benny quickly opened a passage through the wall to the urn chamber. The urn was on a raised pedestal in the center of a 30-foot diameter circular room. The floor was covered by the fossilized bodies of nephilim locked in mortal combat. As Benny and Enrique stepped into the room they saw Elizabeth and Giles entering as well from the dig entrance. As the team exchanged words with the Denarians, Nicodemus arrived in the Pig’s Eye. This prompted Elizabeth and Giles to immediately take the offensive.

Elizabeth was immediately covered with scales and sprouted long fangs dripping green ichor. Simultaneously Giles lashed out mentally at Enrique, savaging him a brutal mental assault of fear and pain. With Nicholas shooting at Giles, Enrique crossed the room to engage the Denarian, while Benny intercepted Elizabeth. A short brutal fight followed, which eventually left Giles dead from Fidelachius. Elizabeth promptly fled the scene.

Nicodemus and Enrique faced off and eventually reached a compromise where Nicodemus would leave the country but he would take Giles’ coin with him.

After Nicodemus departed, the Hammer arrived dragging Elizabeth’s body behind him. After tossing her corpse into the room, the Hammer informed Benny that all debts were now settled between them.

In the aftermath the group secured the urn in a new resting place under the floor of the Pig’s Eye.

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Family Matters: Day 3

The team travelled through the Nevernever to Klaus’ home in Belgium where he put together a patch for the urn.

After further discussion with Klaus, the team decided to take three actions.

  1. Benny would approach Chief Ragnavaldr and bargain with him to secure a freehold lord nomination for the Hammer, which Benny would then use to convince the Hammer not to support the Denarians.
  2. Enrique would ask Father Tatenda to use his contacts within the church to alert Nicodemus that his fellow Denarians are taking actions against Nicodemus’ interests.
  3. Benny would use thaumaturgy to take the Urn from its resting place and they would hide the urn in the Pig’s Eye.

Upon their return to the Twin cities, they immediately began executing their plan. Benny and Nicholas went to visit the Chief. When they arrived they had a frigid wait until Ragnavaldr returned home. When he did arrive it was with a hunting party in tow and with a fresh kill bound hand and foot to a pole. The Chief agreed to Benny’s plan with the following provisos:

  1. The Hammer is required to support the Chief in his efforts against Summer for the space of five summers.
  2. Benny owes the Chief a debt not to exceed the equivalent of 30 days of service.
    Upon their departure Benny and Nicholas were each given an Eternal Snowflake that marks them under the protection of the Chief in the lands of Winter.

Meanwhile Enrique had an awkward conversation with Father Tatenda. The Father was greatly disturbed by Enrique’s request but eventually agreed to pass along the message to Nicodemus.

Following their meeting with the Chief, Benny and Nicholas went to meet with the Hammer and provide their offer. Nicholas had to work hard to stifle his policeman’s instincts during the meeting but in the end it was a successful negotiation. Benny and Nicholas discovered that there is an unnamed third party who has already signed for the Hammer, now with Benny and Ragnavaldr’s signatures, the Hammer is a freeholding lord.

That evening the team regrouped at the Pig’s Eye to begin their preparation. In the course of preparing to use thaumaturgy to penetrate the wall of the Pig’s Eye to the room of the Urn, Benny discovered that there were wards in place blocking his way. Thus began a marathon disenchanting session.

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