A Cautionary Tale of Two Cities

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 Fhearnóg 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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Family Matters: Day 2

That morning Nicholas thoroughly checked up on the dig permits and regulations, and to his chagrin found that everything was perfectly in order.

The team went to the university to view the artifacts. They had a rather long meeting with Dr. Rutlidge where he showed them some of the bones. Oddly enough everything about the bone structure indicated that the bones were those of adolescents, albeit adolescents that were six feet tall. After further questioning the professor admitted that he had been concealing some of the find as it was too fantastic to be believed. He revealed more bones that in structure appeared to be adult but belonged to individuals over nine feet in height. Benny felt nothing on touching the bones but both Nicholas and Enrique were overcome with a sense of peace.

The trio left the university to return to the dig site to meet with Giles Brennus. On arriving at the dig, there was a limousine in front with large private security types standing around menacingly. As the group approached the dig, they were greeted by a rather well dressed older woman who appeared to be some form of administrative assistant. She introduced herself as Elizabeth Baxter and indicated a familiarity with Benny’s family. When Benny shook her hand he received a powerful shock. She was obviously something significantly more than human. After a short friendly chat where she blatantly ignored Enrique the group headed down to the dig.

On their way down, they encountered Giles Brennus and two of his security guards. Benny again received a shock while shaking Giles’ hand. A verbal fencing match ensued where Giles indicated an obvious knowledge of Benny’s true nature, while Benny let slip he thought Giles might be a dragon. Giles assured the trio that he would be stopping a good ten feet short of the Pig’s Eye and thus would not be violating the Accorded Neutral Ground. He also rather pointedly noted that while Benny was protected by the Accords, the same could not be said for Enrique and Nicholas.

After leaving the dig site the team immediately returned to the Pig’s Eye to talk to Pierre. In an edging towards panic state, Pierre finally told the them the truth. He wasn’t worried in the least about the Pig’s Eye. Instead he was worried about Giles and Elizabeth getting to the Urn. He explained that Giles and Elizabeth were both Denarians, and before accepting their coins were known as Giles de Rais and Elizabeth Bathory .

Pierre then explained his true nature. He started with an explanation of the Fallen. He told the team of the three groups of Fallen. The first, and most powerful, were those that rebelled and joined the side of the Morningstar. The second were those lead by Semjaza who took mortal brides and fathered the Nephilim, and were nearly of a strength with the first group. The third, and least powerful of the Fallen were those angels who were set to watch over the tribes of man and refused to return to heaven when they were told their duties were done at the crucifixtion. This third group is known as the Denarians.

Pierre quoted from the Book of Enoch:

And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it…

He then told the group that the urn contained 19 of the 20 fallen who were fathers to the Nephilim and managed to avoid being cast into the Pit. The missing 20th escaped the urn through the crack in its side following the Deluge. He had repented his sins and resolved to walk a better path. He found Pierre and made him Rephaim and set Pierre to watch over the urn.

As the team continued to question Pierre, the missing Fallen entered the bar. He introduced himself as Josh, and promised to answer as many of their questions as he could. The trio learned four things:

  1. Josh refused to use his power any longer on the mortal plane as he was afraid it would interfere with free will.
  2. To fully repair the urn it would require power equal to or greater than that of a Faerie Queen.
  3. If the urn was moved without the crack being repaired at least some of the Fallen would escape.
  4. Pierre is limited in how far he can be from the urn. If, for example, the urn was cast into the Marianas Trench, Pierre would have to go with it and thus would die.

Following meeting Josh, the group left the Pig’s Eye. Enrique went to Father Tatenda to get his take on the situation, Nicholas went for a faith-guided walk and Benny went home to do some research. Father Tatenda promised to contact the Vatican and find out what he could. Nicholas discovered that the Marauders were providing security for the site. Unfortunately Benny’s reasearch didn’t turn up any new information.

Later that night, the trio regrouped to meet with Chief Ragnvaldr. The Chief was able to give them some advice on the Accords but all-in-all was not much help.

On their return to Benny’s mansion, Benny decided to contact his mentor, Klaus the Toymaker. Klaus indicated that he could provide a temporary patching compound if Benny could get a sample of similar pottery.

Benny immediately returned to the university and stole some pottery fragments from the uncataloged samples.

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