Arcane Providence

The Necromancer’s Journal 9/16/2019
When You Bring Your Cabal Mates to Your Day Job

I’ve been staying at my Cabal’s mansion for a while now. I thought it wise to do as Ace request, at least until I can find out what this Mage that forced my Awakening may want from me. I can’t imagine it’s anything good. I got his “invitation”, but have seen nor heard anything from whoever it is since. I’ll have to stay more vigilant than normal.

As I was getting ready to leave, I got a call in from work. It was bad news. A mass homicide in the woods of Foster. My colleague informed me that the murders had occult ties and they were going to bring in an expert from Brown University, who just so happens to be Paris Chain. I called him directly, which I wasn’t very comfortable doing. I don’t think I’ve spoken more than a word or two with him since I began a Mage. He’s intimidating…not only because he’s ridiculously good looking, but the power than eminants from him is frightening. He told me to bring my Cabal
and meet him at a Diner near the scene.

Most of the group was already at the mansion, so we drove together to the Diner, then drove with the Hierarch to the scene. The scene was rather grisly. There were 8 victims and at first glance appeared to have been killed by someone having slit their throats, then their guts were removed and made into a pentagram shape, though not a well done pentagram shape. After studying the scene, both mundanely and magically, we were able to determine that the slits in their throats were done post-modem or well they were already dying from other means.

Though I tended to only use my Forensic Gaze ability when mundane investigation reveals nothing, I used it for this and as horrific as what I was, I’m glad I did. I laid my hands upon one of the dead women and experienced how she died. I was sitting upon the ground, a large rock held tightly in my hand. I began to bash it into my own face over and over again. Through my blood stained vision I saw one of my friends, a wine bottle in each hand, drinking as if his life depended on it. Another one of my friends jumped into the fire before me, screaming as he let himself burn.

Holding my head for a moment, I held myself still and looked at the facts. I knew she died around 01:00 on Friday night from blunt force trauma and brain damage. A sickening horror washed over me as I realized all of these people likely killed themselves. The photographer and forensic offers were on scene, so I could not share what I saw with my Cabal mates. We all had to do our Magical investigations in secret, which made things difficult.

I used my Forensic Gaze again on the man that was drinking. Risky, given my particular poison, but something I wanted to confirm. Falling into the vision, I was a young man and heavily drinking from two bottles of wine. One was not enough. One of my friends was chewing loudly, someone else was screaming. I didn’t care though, I just continued to drink and swallow. Eventually my stomach began to hurt, but I could stop myself. Even after urinating in my own pants, I just kept on drinking. I began to choke, I can’t breathe. The wine is empty, I struggle to drink more and run for the beer cans, then suddenly everything is dark.

Well, I thought, coming out of the vision, if that doesn’t help my drinking problem for a while, what will? This man also died around 01:00 on Friday and apparently drank himself to death, which confirmed my suspicions. Taking in the scene with this in mind, I noted that most had killed themselves. One drank themselves to death, another ate to death, one jumped into the fire, yet there were two that stood out to me. One was stabbed repeatedly and another appeared to have an extreme allergic reaction to something.

I used Forensic Gaze on the man that was covered in blisters. He did in fact, die from an allergic reaction. An extreme one. Wanderer was able to get the entire picture by going back in time and watching what happened. He told us that five figures came out of the forest wearing masks and cameo jackets. One of the figures made a gesture at the male victim that appeared to see them coming and he suddenly broke out in a rash then died very quickly from a severe allergic reaction (The Last Messiah later found out that there was actual poison ivy growing under his skin). One victim was beaten to death by the attackers and another was stabbed. Otherwise, the rest killed themselves through various means (eating, drinking, bashing their one head in, burning to death).

We discovered that the Magic used was not Awakened Magic and the pentagram was actually an Enochian symbol. Ace said this symbol was the inverted symbol of a Temptation Demon, so it actually was likely for The Death of Temptation or the Demon Vitas. The group concluded that we need to look into this demon to see what we can find about it.

While investigating this scene, I was called into another very similar homicide in the old, abandoned train tunnels in the east side of Providence. We came across a very similar scene, but there were only six victims and this time they did die from the slits in their throats. I reluctantly used Forensic Gaze again and this time I saw that undead winged creature from the docks murder everyone by slitting their throats with a large machete, then attempted to make the same symbol we saw at the other scene with their entrails. Seemed like a cover up for the other crime. It is clear we need to find out more about this creature and if it has ties to Vitas or is perhaps even is Vitas.

The Last Messiah used a connection with a boot print at the first crime scene to lead us to the boot that made the print. We found ourselves at a small Café in Providence. Upon entering, we all felt this strange tingling sensation and an overwhelming feeling of not being welcomed. I was able to use my Mage Sight and saw a strange glow about a group of individuals that had glared openly at us when we entered the building. That same glow was throughout the building and was seen at the first crime scene. After ordering some food and drinks, we left that place as it was clear whatever was going on wasn’t something we could deal with discreetly.

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Wanderer log 7/29/2019

Ace texted us. Silentium offered us a chance to investigate a new road. Though not all of us could make it (no surprise there), we took his offer.

Around 7 PM, Ace, Voland, Glasya, TLM, and Nabu were at the manor. Nabu came with quite the story. He was almost carjacked. It seems weird, but the fates may actually be against him. Or someone in particular is out to get him. This story and other things spoken of later make this seem to be the case.

We then found ourselves with a choice. We were invited to a party at the Met for our changeling friends, of course on the same night that we planned to visit the road. While we decided what to do, the night became even weirder. Though I don’t recall us putting much pressure, Voland and Glasya revealed their faces. It was less climactic than one might think. Nobody recognized them (as far as I could tell), so we continued our discussion. Glasya did seem against her exposure— I think she spends more time in her mask than Voland does with his.

We ended up deciding on Roger Williams park, the location of the road. Though we did mention to the changelings that if we could make it there, we would.

Nabu spoke to the first people we saw. Apparently, there was some weirdness near the museum. Voland’s sight was good enough to spot what we suspected was the road, though nothing interesting was happening that we could tell. Good thing, as this is all supposed to be hidden.

Using some of our usual tricks, we determined the road opened a few hours earlier and it will last a few days. Some natural event would bring about its end, but nothing dangerous as far as we could tell.

The road was opened by a large green-cloaked figure. No details could be seen. It came from nearby brush and quickly and easily opened the door. I also saw some people, possibly sleepers go in. They came out with one of them puking magical pink goo. Some others went in and didn’t return.

Seeing nothing immediately dangerous, we decided our relationship with the changelings was worth postponing a more thorough investigation of the road. Voland began ritual casting to hide the road from anyone who came hear.

While Voland was casting, Ace spotted something well hidden coming our way. It turned out to be a Japanese woman. She seemed nervous and just wanted to get past us to go into the road. We spoke to her anyway, ever suspicious of anybody and everybody. Her name was Ami, though she called herself “young one.” She was looking for information on her friend Jonathan. He was meeting a mage during the Waterfire incident and disappeared. Thankfully, nobody mentioned Jonathan’s potential fate, or a potential worse-than-death fate. We made sure she could contact us if needed and she went into the road.

After Voland finished casting his ritual, we left for the Met party. It seemed gifts were fashionable and we had nothing orthodox so I brought myself back to this point to pick some nice champagne. When we went in, there were about 40 people. Everything was decorated with a summer theme and there was even fire, though magical, despite the heat. I offered the champagne to Brian, sitting on his summer throne, while TLM and Ace combined magic to create a fiery display.

It was an interesting night, and we knew we needed to get back to the road as soon as we could. In the meantime, I texted Freya a description of the missing people who went into the road. Hopefully they would turn out alright.

====

I wasn’t able to make it to the road the next day, though it sounds like nothing particularly dangerous was going on. Normally, I’d have been there, but the magics I’ve been researching are taking a toll on me. It’s possible I took on too much too soon trying to learn a new field of magic.

Ace, Nabu, and Freya met up to venture into the road, where they found the Goblin Market. It was filled with beings of many types, all making deals with each other. Many things for sale or trade were supernatural though some were simply mundane things hard to find in the supernal realms. Everything has a different value there than it does here.

I’m told the three of them spoke with several different parties, in some cases nearly making deals, but in the end no deals were made. I can’t help but feel if more of us were there, things would have gone differently and deals would have been made. Whether that would be good? Hard to say.

They did mention drinks that made you experience a bottled memory were sold and I can’t help but be curious about the experience. Not only would some experiences be exciting, but are there other ways of storing memories? And what about the bad ones? Surely people have traded away their experiences of trauma. I hesitate to guess how those are used.

At one point, they found Ami’s sister, and apparently they are triplets, probably all vampires, though it doesn’t sound like the conversation went anywhere.

Ultimately, a fire broke out. Why, how? It doesn’t seem we have the answers. But the Goblin Market closed fast and people left through their various means of supernatural travel despite Ace being able to put the fire out. The hedge itself began closing up and is now gone as if it was never there.

So I guess we’ll call that road investigated for now? We do know there are other times a fey road opens in Roger Williams Park. Is it always Goblin Market? I suspect not. It’s too consistent and clean.

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The Necromancer’s Journal 7/30/2019
The Goblin Market and Other Oddities

Bad Luck

The sun was rising as I finally looked up from my work. I had pulled another all-nighter. I rubbed my eyes and looked over the mess of papers scattered all over my small dining table. For all that effort, I didn’t find anything too surprising, but I did notice some things that the lead detective on this case had not. To be fair, they aren’t as close to this case as I am…which is probably one of the reasons I was never put on it to begin with.

As I started to organize the piles of paper, Gremlin, my giant fluffy orange cat jumped on the table, making things more difficult. That was her job though, making things more difficult.

“I’ll feed you soon,” I told her, she just stared at me then wandered over to her food bowl and plopped herself down next to it.
I ignored her and continued to organize my notes as I went over everything in my head before I forgot my line of reasoning. Fact one, there was two years worth of violence in the area, though not all occurred in the same alleyway my parents died. Fact two, all of the victims were either new citizens of the U.S., on visas, or first generation full-citizens. Fact three, all of the victims were parents of an only child. Fact four, almost all of these children were female. Fact five, witnesses all seem to confirm that the victims did not normally travel through that alleyway but were drawn to do so for various reasons. Fact six, I spotted in the numerous videos and photos of the crime scenes, the same fair-haired male around the police investigating the area or when large crowds of people passed by. Fact seven, the violence stopped after my father’s death.

Facts one through four point to a very clear pattern. This type of victim targeting was the marking of a serial killer. The Mage wasn’t committing the murders himself, so his hands were “clean” and there was no way I could convince my team of police mortals that someone was compelling others to do his dirty work and using Magic to get a certain type of person to walk down a certain alleyway to be murdered. That and there’s the whole portal to Twilight that had existed in that alleyway. I’m pretty sure I’d be sent to a mental hospital if I put out any of these ideas to my team.

The next step would be to see if I could get any leads on this fair-haired individual…maybe facial recognition could help…though the images weren’t great, it was the only lead I really had. I need more information before I started questioning my fellow Mages. My best guess is whoever had orchestrated these specific individuals to die in the way they did wanted to force an Awakening. Obviously it had worked, since I’m here. The only thing I can’t piece out is why the individuals had to be foreigners. For serial killers, there would be some sort of history there. That might be another way to tease out who this individual is. It was clear I would have more sleepless nights ahead of me until I figured this out.

I stood, stretching my tired muscles, then walked over to Gremlin, filling her bowl with a bit of kibble. I then laid down on my couch, hoping to get a few hours of sleep before the Threads wanted to meet. It felt like as soon as I closed my eyes I was awoken by my phone buzzing in my pocket. I groaned and looked at the texts from Ace and Nabu. We were meeting this morning, apparently. Great. I changed quickly as I received another text from Nabu asking if I could pick him up. I had him send me his address and headed out in record time. In my haste I forgot my cavalier vest, but I did have time to get a giant coffee before grabbing Nabu and at the moment no coffee seemed more life-threatening than potentially going into the Fey Realm without my vest.
Nabu, it seems, was having his own issues. When I arrived, he was outside inspecting his car; someone had smashed all of his windows and slashed all of his tires. I had seen the like before. Nabu had likely pissed off the wrong person. I parked my car and joined him without a word. I pointed out one bit of damage that stood out against the rest, a thin line scratched into the car’s side and rather low to the ground. Nabu had noticed it too, which didn’t surprise me, out of the Threads he’s been consistently the most observant.

If it had been night or if there were not any sleepers around, I might have been able to make it so his tires were fixed, not full of air or anything elaborate like that but fixed enough so someone could easily fill them with air and tow the car. But luck wasn’t with us and there were a number of Sleepers walking down the street, so I didn’t mention the idea. Just like Wanderer, Nabu could look back in time. I find it fascinating to watch from the outside, he’s clearly looking at something else, but I can’t see what it is.
When he came to he told me what he saw. Apparently, a group of people wearing stereo-typical thug outfits, complete with dark trench coats, large boots, and bandana masks, were responsible for the damage to his car. Something invisible had made the scratch on the side of his car. This was the second time a random act of violence damaged his car.

“Did you make enemies with the local mafia? Or someone else with that type of connection?” I asked.

Nabu couldn’t think of anyone, so I said, “Maybe it’s the Abyss coming back at you.”

Between the attempted carjacking in the middle of the day during heavy traffic and now this, it did seem like he was in a bought of bad luck if he wasn’t being specifically targeted. Nabu dismissed this thought though and mentioned that the attacks did start happening after he located the vampire Alyssa at one of her places of business. From what I read up about her, she was well connected and after seeing the monstrosity of a “living room” she had set up in Fort Adams, she was just the type to be vindictive enough to send such a warning to a powerful Mage like Nabu.

Nabu asked if I could see if there were any security cameras in the area. I looked above us and didn’t see any obvious ones nearby, so it was unlikely the event was captured on video, but we might be able to determine which way they went if they were spotted further down the road. I put in a call to my police buddies, though I told Nabu it would take them some time to get back to me…which wasn’t all that useful at that exact moment. So, already being a bit late to meet with the rest of our group, we decided to leave.

Gateway to Fey

Ace was playing with Jack at the park when we arrived. We were over twenty minutes late, so I was surprised to see no one else there and thought maybe they were impatient and went ahead without us. Though Ace informed us that no one else had arrived. We decided to give people a little bit more time as Nabu told Ace what happened to his car and how the thought Alyssa was to blame. Apparently, he had been tracking her whenever possible and saw some invisible presence low to the ground the last time he was out doing so, which could have been from the same thing that made the scratch on his car.

After his story, Ace, the ever-protective one, asked if Nabu would stay in the group mansion in Newport until whatever is behind the attacks stopped. Nabu agreed and Ace made it clear he was not happy about Nabu going off on his own to track down Alyssa. I wasn’t either, but then again I was continuously going off on my own into dangerous situations, so I didn’t say anything.
It soon became clear that no one else was coming, so we headed down along the walking path that led to the gateway into Fey. They both summarized what had happened the night before as we walked down the path. A beautiful female vampire of Japanese descent had told them there was a Goblin Market beyond the Gateway. That sounded very interesting. Maybe I could find something that would help me locate the man that killed my parents there.

I wish I had been there when they met the vampire as I could have questioned her a bit more than they did. Like what the Goblin Market would be like. Or more details about her missing friend. If her friend was missing and was part of the Waterfire group that went missing, then it was likely if we helped her find her friend, then we could find all of them and figure how what happened.
I asked Nabu if he could somehow track her friend using a connection between her and him. Apparently that’s not a Fate thing, but a Space thing. I keep on messing that up. Voland was doing a ritual (and invisible) while they talked with the vampire so as much as he wanted to offer his assistance, he could not. I guess if she’s still in the Goblin Market, we could tell her that ourselves.

As we came closer to a clump of dense trees, I felt drawn to it and started walking forward without even realizing it as my companions came to a stop. Nabu grabbed my shoulder, stopping me. I shook my head clear and turned away from the opening as he told Ace and I that his spell from yesterday that was meant to drive people away from the area had been dispelled. As we approached closer, Nabu looked back in time again and told us that a very large man wearing a green cloak had simply dispelled his spell with a wave of his hand. That was a tad intimidating, but Nabu put it back up as I was, yet again, compelled to move forward. This time Ace stopped me before I could go any further, gently grabbing my arm. I hadn’t realized it until that moment, but just a few months ago I would have reflexively balked at being touched without warning like that. I guess I was becoming more connected with my Cabal mates than I realized.

Once he finished his spell I turned to Nabu and asked, “Can you do the opposite? Try to attract a certain type of individual to an area?”

“Yes,” he said, “but…depending on the type of person, you’d need the associated Arcana skill to set a condition like that up.”

I nodded. So, it was probably more likely that these individuals had been compelled separately by this Mage than him setting up an elaborate trap that only drew in certain types of people. I suppose either was possible, but the first method seems simpler…It would also explain how he knew my real name. He did his research.

“Why do you ask?” Ace asked me as we moved forward towards the Gateway.

“It’s a long story,” I responded, assuming we would, within seconds, be surrounded by all sorts of strange creates in a bustling Goblin Market, “Perhaps for another time.”

He nodded at that but as we entered the Gateway, before us was a long, straight path through the woods and we were very much on our own, so I turned to him and said, “I guess there is plenty of time.”

I told them everything, though I did leave out the part about the victims being foreign. I normally would have told them about it, but I was just so tired I wasn’t thinking correctly. Ace wasn’t too happy to learn there was a threat against me and I was currently exploring it on my own. He asked if I would stay at the mansion as well.

“My apartment is much closer to work,” I responded, but that wasn’t good enough of an answer for Ace.

“I would be more comfortable if you stayed there for now and didn’t go off on your own for this,” he responded.

“This is my fight,” I said, “and I can handle myself.”

“This isn’t about that,” Ace said, “There are many others in our group,” he continued, looking at Nabu, “that can’t handle themselves in a fight, you’re not one of them. But…we’re a Cabal now, so a threat to one of us is a threat to all of us.”

That made a certain kind of sense so I said, “I might stay there for a bit, just to be on the safe side.”

The Goblin Market

The last time the group went into the Fey realm they informed me that part of it, known as the Hedge could have an impact on your very soul. So, as we approached the entrance to the Goblin Market, I pulled up my Soul Armor. As we drew closer, we saw a group of orcs, two standing on either side of the entrance. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Nabu simply greeted them and told them we were there for the market. They just grunted and waved us in.

The Market was full of activity and strange creatures in every direction. There weren’t too many that looked like anything resembling a mortal. We were probably the closest ones there. It was a bit chaotic, but we all agreed the goal was to find any Sleepers in the area and get them out. Though, I admit I was distracted looking for something that might help me find that damn Mage that caused my Awakening in such a horrible way.

The four of us meandered through the booths, Ace and Jack keeping a close eye on Nabu and I. We stuck together, but not in such a way to draw attention to ourselves, but making sure that we were in line of sight of each other at all times. I never did find something that would help me against a Mage, but I did come across a very interesting pendant shaped similarly to Loki’s symbol at a booth run by a Fey that looked a bit like a Dwarf. Well, the symbol that us mortals have made into his symbol, anyway. None of the Norse Gods technically have official symbols. This pendant though, when I looked at it, the eyes appeared to blink. Opening my Mage Sight, I noted there was some sort of Force and Mind magic at work.

Knowing his talents in Forces, I looked around for Ace and was momentarily distracted by the booths shifting all around me. Though not too surprising as everything there seemed to be Magic of some nature, I noticed that the booths were not as they first seemed and were actually made of various materials that just agreed to be booths for the time being. Fey were strange creatures. I shook my head, shutting off my Sight and called Ace over.

After some strong hinting on my end, Ace used his Mage Sight on the pendant for me and said it would be able to bend light and create illusions, though having more knowledge of Mind Arcana would be useful to determine more about it. That didn’t surprise me as it was Loki’s symbol and he did love his tricks.

“That’s not surprising,” I muttered.

“What’s important to you about this pendant?” Ace asked me as I considered bargaining with the Dwarf.
I probably shouldn’t have answered as it gave away my desire a bit to the Dwarf, but if I’m nothing else, I am honest so I said, “It’s important to my religion.”

The Dwarf then mentioned it was Loki’s symbol. I simply nodded.

“Loki?” Ace asked, “Like Thor’s brother?”

I narrowed my eyes at him before I caught myself. Now, that was something I could normally have held back, but as tired as I was my filter was very thin. A lot of people made that mistake and that was fine, just a result of common pop culture, but it always annoyed me.

“No, not Thor’s brother,” I said through my teeth.

Ace dropped the subject, claiming ignorance and I knew it wasn’t his fault. I could educate him later. Give him a book or something. The old Norse tales are very entertaining and many have been modernized enough to make for an easier and more enjoyable reading. According to my Grandmother, Loki had chosen me when I was a child. I didn’t truly believe her on that, but I have always felt a strong connect to him in particular. His role as the trickster and well, the fact that he was the one that brought the Gods low when they were at their most arrogant is admirable. That made this particular pendant very tempting.

Apparently the Fey here didn’t take money though, only traded in bargains, favors, service, and Goblin Fruit (not bananas like Ace had suggested) as well as other random things. The Dwarf suggested I give him Nabu at one point, which made me laugh until I realized he was being serious. It was soon clear that I had no idea what I was doing at this Market and no idea what anything was worth. Thinking it best to learn more of the market first, I told the Dwarf that I might be back later. He put the pendant away for me as he said he wouldn’t sell it to just anyone. I nodded my thanks and we continued on…though, the rest of the evening, whenever I looked over to that booth he was holding it up for me to see.

As we continued through the Market, Nabu and Ace paused for a moment. Looking around, I realized they were both looking in the direction of a beautiful young woman dancing on a table to the delighted cheers of her table-mates. At first I thought they were just looking because she was gorgeous, but then Ace asked if it was the same vampire woman they had met the night before. Nabu said he thought she was. I used my Death Sight on her and confirmed that she was indeed a vampire and well, gorgeous, so likely the same person. Neither of them seemed inclined to go over and talk with her, so we moved on.

Ace, Jack, and I tagged along as Nabu’s Fate Magic guided him through the Market. There were all sorts of booths and creatures throughout. I wanted to explore it more, but reminded myself there would be time for that once we found the Sleepers and got them to safety. As much as I wanted that pendant, the lives of others is far more important than my own selfish desires.

I noticed that any booth that was selling Goblin Fruit was well guarded. Most of the merchants here traded for Goblin Fruit, so it was clearly the most common and most valuable form of currency. As we meandered through the booths, Nabu kept on asking if the merchants saw any mortals come through and when they last saw them. It became clear we weren’t getting any useful information out of them. They always said “earlier this evening” or simply “yes, there were some mortals”. They weren’t going to give away too much information for free. Everything, it seemed, was for sale. This included the information we needed, so why give that away when we might barter for it? They wouldn’t even inform Nabu of the value of the Goblin Fruit he had found was worth without some sort of deal.

Ace lingered a bit near a booth that was selling various weapons. I didn’t look too closely myself, though there were some very interesting ones, including a Nerf gun that felt as though it was made of stone and a sword made of seashells. While Ace was looking, Nabu and I spotted a much more interesting booth that was selling various types of what appeared to be bottled liquor.
Without a word, the two of us silently agreed to check it out and walked over to it. The booth was run by a couple of Gnomes who were more than happy to recommend different drinks to us. We soon realized they were selling odd drinks like “bottled sorrow” as well as regular alcohol you could most likely find in any mortal liquor store. One of the Gnomes offered us a free sample. Nabu and I agreed to this and they asked what we wanted to try. I asked for something happy and they gave me a taste of “relaxing while on vacation”. Now that’s a laugh. I can’t remember the last time I took a relaxing vacation, but I felt that feeling wash through me as I drank. It was comfortable, yet unsettling knowing I was feeling something that I wasn’t actually experiencing. Nabu was given “My thesis is due tomorrow”, which sounded like a horrible feeling to want, but I didn’t question him.

It was clear Ace wasn’t happy with our actions, but he didn’t say anything. He also didn’t partake in the free drinks, which after a moment, led the merchant to offer Nabu and I a second free sample. Feeling very relaxed and carefree, I asked for something “sexual” in nature. Not something I would have normally done, but I was on vacation, after all. Nabu ended up getting an inspiring drink, which was called “riding my bike the first time without training wheels”. I wasn’t shown the label of the drink I had, which ended up being…well very pleasurable. I had to excuse myself for a moment. I guess it’s a good thing neither of the guys tried that one. That’s all I’m saying. After the second set of free samples, the merchant tried to sell us some but we both declined and thanked them for the samples.

Soon after, Nabu’s spell lead him an old crone sitting in a rocking chair that was selling owed favors, bargains, and other obscure things. She said she could identify Nabu’s Goblin Fruit, but, of course, at a price. This was the second or third time one of them had asked for him to defend them at the next Goblin Market as a form of payment. Mages, it seems, were highly sought after. I vaguely thought of going back to the booth that was selling the pendant, but pushed it from my mind. If I had acted as if I wanted it so badly, he was surely going to gouge the price.

After Nabu turned down the old crone’s offer, we soon found ourselves at the center of the Market. There was music and people drinking and gathering in various groups. I noticed some Changelings from the MET were gathered at one table and a group that was likely made up of vampires (one had glowing red eyes and wasn’t breathing, so it was pretty obvious) were openly glaring at the vampire woman that was dancing on the table earlier.

The three of us separated. Ace went to the Market bulletin board, after borrowing a bit of paper and a pen from us and Nabu went over to the bar. I hesitated, torn between asking the Changeling how to go about making a deal here and telling the vampire about how we could help find her friend. In the end, I went over to the vampire. Our group did have a task, afterall.

Seated around the beautiful vampire was a large troll, a pudgy little goblin, and an Elfin male. I later learned the Elf’s name was Yarin, though I never caught any of the other’s. She smiled at me as I approached her table. Actually, they all did…including the very large troll with the very large teeth. I asked if I could join them, then dragged an empty chair over once they said I could. Yarin informed me that they were playing a game in which one of them states something they would like to do and the other’s fully support them. He then asked me what I would like to do.

The vampire laughed and nudged the Elf’s shoulder and said to me, “He’s just trying to figure out what you’ll want to do on your turn.”

“Actually,” I said, “I just wanted to talk to you.”

“Ooooh, me?” she asked, blinking her eyes and being far over the top with her flirting. She might be beautiful, but a bit conceited about it, I decided.

I didn’t flirt back. She just wasn’t my type. Probably way too high maintenance and well, she was also undead. Yarin seemed a bit peeved at her flirting though and offered to get me a drink and got up to get me one as we continued our conversation.

“I believe you met my friends last night,” I started to explain, but she looked very confused by that statement so I continued, “outside the Gateway.”

She continued to be confused and it really did seem like she was genuinely confused so I said, “Yes, they said you were coming here in order to find something to help you find your friend that went missing.”

“That wasn’t me,” she said, “that was probably my sister.”

After a bit back and forth on how I thought a friend of mine could likely help her sister find her friend, I ended up giving her my email address in hopes that her sister would contact me and I could pass her over to Voland. I learned that her sister’s name was Sora and she was looking for her “non-boyfriend” that she “totally has a crush on”. I didn’t get much else out of the woman, she openly avoided answering me when I asked who she was, but did tell me that Sora was “boring” and highly jealous of her and Yuki. I then asked who Yuki was…and Yuki is apparently yet another sister of hers.

I was about to ask her why Sora was jealous of them, not expecting any real answer, but then I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned around to see Nabu behind me, drink in hand. He leaned over and whispered, “The Hobgoblins frequent this place, so we’ll just have to stay here for a bit and drink some more.”

We exchanged fake disappointed looks at this news, then he offered me a taste of the whiskey. It was delicious. He informed me they took real cash at the bar. Since Yarin was getting me one, I figured I’d be set for a while, but that was good news. I vaguely wondered what he had traded for his drink and was glad to know it was just regular cash.

The Goblin then asked, “Who are you?” looking directly at Nabu. Now, in normal social situations, someone would ask me who my friend was…but well, I get the impression that’s what he was trying to do but just got it backwards, because after Nabu answered he then asked Nabu who I was. It was rather amusing. As Nabu joined us, Yarin returned with a drink for me. It was very tall and swirling with many different colors. It tasted delicious and it was remarkable how they managed to separate all the different alcohol types into one glass. I was marveling at the physics and chemistry of the thing as I sipped it. I hadn’t drank in a while, going to AA will do that to you, but I’m sure I could handle a few drinks with friends.

I informed Nabu that the vampire they had met last night was not the woman sitting with us, but her sister and that she apparently had two sisters.

“Are you triplets?” Nabu asked.

“Yes,” she responded.

“Are you all the same?” He asked and I easily gathered he meant are they all vampires but didn’t want to out her in the current group.

“No,” she responded, “I’m the fun one.”

I tried my best not to roll my eyes at her. I had a feeling I would probably like her “boring” sister Sora. Nabu seemed to be annoyed as well because he just continued by saying, “I mean, are they vampires too?”

The three Fey that were sitting near her looked very nervous by this question. The woman herself laughed it off, doing her best to say “yes she was a vampire” but in such a way to make it sound like the most ridiculous joke. She then went off to get a drink. I had a feeling we wouldn’t be seeing her again, which was a shame because I had more questions…I feel like she could have helped us with the Waterfire case.

After I finished my drink, Yarin was talking about their game again and ended up wanting to do improv. I soon found myself on stage with him and Nabu. I’m sure it was the alcohol that drove me as I don’t think I would ever agree to improv while sober. As we started things up, I did notice that the vampire was gone. Not surprising, but I had hoped she wouldn’t leave so quickly. We performed for a while and I mostly played off of Nabu’s natural stage talents and provided humor based on what the crowd appeared to react to the most. I was very good at reading people and based on the cheers, they all seemed to like our performance. Maybe that’s something I should try for fun someday?

After, we all got free drinks and I talked to Yarin a bit about Goblin Fruit and the properties of the Hedge. He was pretty open and honest about it. He said the low-end Goblin Fruit were similar to a favor you might give to a close friend, like a ride somewhere or taking care of their dwellings for a bit. The more valuable an item or fruit and the more anxious someone is to possess it, the higher the price…those were more like years of service or something along those lines. Between Yarin and Nabu, I learned more about how the thorns of the Hedge tear into your soul and leave fragments of you behind, which apparently some make into tokens. The tokens can be used by others and possess some sort of nature the owner once had. As I thought about this, I realized my Magic could be used to prevent a soul from being torn into while roaming the Hedge. That could be a service I could sell, perhaps trade for a pendant even, but there would be time for that later.

After Yarin left, Ace, Nabu, and I found a separate table to discuss some private matters. While Nabu and I were having fun socializing, Ace had been offered a job from the very scary looking vampire with extremely pale skin and glowing red eyes. He wants to hire Ace as a bodyguard to escort him from Boston to Providence as he wishes to leave the Sabot. After Ace explained what the Sabot (religious zealous types that believe themselves above mortals and don’t even try to blend in) and Camarilla (vampires that try to live among mortals) were, I informed him of what I had read about the Sabot attacks in Boston. I told him it was completely up to him if he wanted to take the job, but it would likely put a target on his head and the Sabot are very dangerous. Ace thought it might be a good way to establish a working relationship with the Providence vampires if he took the job.

Before we could finish our conversation, a fire broke out in the Hedge and surrounded the Goblin Market. At first, it was just a sticky, sweet smell in the smoke in the air, but then someone yelled, “FIRE” and there was mass hysteria as everyone ran towards the exit. My instincts drew me towards the fire and I started to focus on my knowledge in Matter to stop it from spreading. Nabu did so as well, though with Fate magic. Ace, however, flew up in the air and put all of the fire out in two quick motions. I stayed and helped those that had fallen from the ground and pointed those that seemed disoriented towards the exit.

We lingered too long, I think, as the market was shutting down on itself and the hedge was closing in on us. On the way out, Nabu spotted a Goblin Fruit that was left behind and grabbed it. I wish I had thought of doing the same, but I was too focused on being disappointed that I hadn’t had another chance to bargain for that pendant. Likely for the best and who knows, maybe we’ll find ourselves there again?

As we left the Goblin Market, we were the last to do so and it was night outside. We had only been there for a couple of hours, but apparently over 12 hours had gone by in our own world. That unnerved me. As we turned to look back at the Gateway and large hand came out of nowhere and zipped it shut.

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Ace - Session #8
Manor - Roger Williams Park - The Met

Dear Queeny,

I have been staying at my cabal’s new residence for a few weeks now. The house itself is magnificent, like my mother and father’s manor in Notting Hill that I still want you to see, and my cabal-mates are nice enough, but it’s strange sharing a space with mages. The majority of my outward existence, even these past few years, has been mundane. Living here, among magic artifacts, spirits, and occult knowledge, makes it harder to live the Lie; I guess that’s the point.

Tonight we were given an opportunity to investigate reports of strange activity at Roger Williams park, where we dropped off the museum shipment a few months ago. Silentium called to inform me our group had the opportunity to take on this assignment before any others, since we were the most recently formed cabal. He told me there were people dressed like “Lord of the Rings orcs” who seemed drunk and out of their right mind. I told the Sentinel I would discuss it with the Threads and inform him of the group’s decision.

Using our group chat – I wonder what mages did before technology made communication so easy – we discussed the (few) details I possessed as well as the other option offered to us. Mira, the young changeling with a gifted singing voice, invited us to a party at the Met in celebration of summer. After a brief discussion, we decided to investigate the park before (possibly) attending the party. I do not believe anyone in the Threads of Fate were surprised that my priority was the park, not a party.

Everyone who could join, which was everyone but Freya and Adianni, agreed to meet at Threadstone Manor, which is what Jack and I call it in private. When Nabu arrived, we could not help but notice the plastic bag taped around his broken driver-side window. Someone tried to steal his car when an accident stopped his car on the street. Nabu’s car isn’t particularly impressive, and the circumstances certainly make the situation suspect, so we immediately started looking for more details. The important thing was that Nabu was uninjured. I’ll have more details to share in the future – Nabu got a blood sample from the man who tried to take his car.

Following that Voland told us he had done business with Mira in the past, as a man without a mask, so he showed us what was underneath it; he’s a very handsome man. Glasya, who removed her mask as well, is a very attractive woman with short hair and a strong build; I will spar with her at some point. Zapffe seemed nervous at the gesture, making known he had secrets of his own he wished to keep secret for the time. I took it as a pleasant surprise, especially given we did not yet know whether or not we would be seeing Mira that evening.

At the park I enchanted Voland’s vision so that he could survey the area and identify the point of interest, which he did. Through the trees and bushes in a specific part of the park reality was hazy; Magesight confirmed it to be a Road leading into a long hedge. Wanderer peered into Time to see who or what made the portal, as well as who or what has gone in and out. He saw a group of people go in and come out drunk and vomiting, as well as a couple and older jogger. My concern for the Sleepers increased given our last visit into Fae, so I was ready to head inside.

The others balanced me out, however, pointing out that we could hide the portal that could merely be a distraction to keep us away from the Met. It was quite the coincidence. After several minutes of discussion, and some impatience at our lack of decisiveness from Zapffe, we decided to cloak it. Voland began casting a ritual spell.

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Fate's Friendship
Log 8 - 2019-07-29

It had been nearly a month since we had gotten together as a Cabal to do something interesting. I was lost in my thoughts driving in through downtown when I was forced to stop suddenly. I must have forgotten to cast red light green light today. There was an accident up ahead. This was quite the bother and even moreso since my air conditioning broke arbitrarily today and I hadn’t gotten around to getting it to work. Window down, wait it out.

In the blink of an eye, a gun was in my face, held by a masked man. Almost as a reflex, I clutched my flask. Uncertain of myself whether it was to take my last drink or do something about my predicament, the latter held and fate decided to jam his gun, and I began to roll up the window, eventually trapping his arm in it. I figured at this point he could not get away and the authorities would soon arrive to deal with this. But, he decided to try to break my window. Fate must have guided him to a particularly hard spot and subsequently make his arm go limp. A hilarious turn of events though he did manage to break the window. But, he became pretty bloody as a result. As a final assertion of will, I blinded the man temporarily and he took off. Surprisingly, he was able to easily get himself to an ally and I was unable to chase him down. Normally someone with more physical prowess handles this part of these situations. The authorities eventually arrived but I did manage to gather some blood from the shards of glass. This man was not getting away for long. I wanted this to be a coincidence, but something tells me my 2009 Camry wasn’t the target of this man’s desire. So the question is, what did I have?

I made my way home to replenish my spent mana and received a phone call from Mira. Apparently they were having some kind of summer gathering with lots of fire and lights and our group was invited. It was, during this interaction that I learned Voland’s true name. An honest slip of her understanding of us, but interesting information to have none the less. I let her know that sounded wonderful and that I would pass the message along and would probably come unless something came up.

Something came up. Solentium informed us as the newest formed Cabal, we had first dibs on investigating a suspected Road. I made my way down to the Cabal House for more information. We should probably name that place. Upon arrival, Zappfe of all people expressed concern in my broken window. I explained the attempted car jacking, which he certainly didn’t believe was coincidental, but that was not the priority for the night. Solentium told us about peculiar events occurring at Roger Williams park where sleepers were talking about some strange cosplay performance and people emerging from an area very drunk. This took priority. Also, during this time, Voland offered to repair my car.

We made our way there and after some social engineering and distance viewing, we found the entrance to the Road to be among some shrubbery near the museum. Spending some time trying to determine its nature and what to do about it, it was discovered a very tall, green robed figure “unzipped” the entrance to this place at the start of the heat wave and that it would last until the heatwave was over. The Road itself beckoned creatures to it and some sleeper had wandered in recently and not come out. Voland began casting a spell to conceal the entrance.

About half way through the ritual, a hidden figure revealed itself to us. She was a beautiful woman of Asian descent that identified as the “Young One”. She apparently was seen the night we had gone to Vapor. She told a story about looking for her missing friend that she identified as “Jonathan”. This man apparently went missing the day of the Waterfire incident when going to meet who I assumed to be Tarot. That cannot be a coincidence. During this story, we also learned her to be a Vampire, but a solitary one. She revealed to us that inside the Road, is a Goblin Market, where you can apparently find all kinds of interesting wares. She was hoping to procure something to help find her friend. With this new information, I gave her my card to contact if something came up and sent her on her way. We decided to finish hiding the entrance. I also put a spell in place to repulse people from coming this way. With that, we went to the MET.

The party was in full swing when we arrived. MIra was excited to see us and Chance, less so. A few of my colleagues performed some feats of magic as a gift to him since it was in celebration of him and his rule. Somehow Wanderer knew to bring a gift ahead of time. It seemed like the Changelings were aware of the market. How could the Consilium not have known about it? I know it is trying to catch up after Boston, but this seems significant. Something does not add up.

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The Necromancer’s Journal - July 2019
The Alley's Shadow

I saw my true name and a thinly veiled threat written in ectoplasm in my native tongue. This person knew me. Thinking myself wise, I had avoided this moment for a long time, seven months…maybe more. Some would say I was drinking the thoughts away. Others would say I was running from the truth. It was a bit of both, really and I had been lying to myself by calling my actions “wise”. Now that I knew my parents had never reached the Underworld, I needed to face my fears and go back to the alleyway where it all started. And it was there I found the message waiting for me.

Not every cop has a story as to why they decided to be a cop in the first place, but most of us do. Mine started shortly after I got accepted into Brown University. My family and I were currently living in Boston and as I was only 16 years old, the thought of living away from them scared me. My mother came to visit me after I called my parents practically every day that first week of college. Brown and the older kids that attended my classes were intimidating and I got lost a lot trying to find my way around the unfamiliar streets of Providence. That combined with my obvious naivety, made me anxious. My mother could tell; I think that’s why she visited me that night, though I really wish she had stayed home.

I lost my mother that night, in a dark alleyway to an unknown figure in a ski mask who did not need to kill her. She gave him her wallet, but died on the cold pavement in return. I have yet to find her killer. Her death lead me to obtain a PHD years later in Forensic Science and Behavioral Analysis. Soon after, I received a job with Providence Homicide as a Detective…likely the youngest the force had seen in a very long time. My father was incredibly proud of me and insisted on taking me out to celebrate. Again, I wish he had stayed home. The same events unfolded exactly as they had when I was with my mother, only this time it was my father lying dead in the alleyway from a mugger that did not have to kill him. He was in the exact same position my mother had laid before.

That is the story of how I became one of the Awakened and as I stared in the Twilight version of the alleyway where both my parents died, I knew someone had planned it. Someone who had powers very similar to my own. Someone who not only caused the deaths of both my parents, but countless others. Someone who knew my real name. The cold anger burned inside me as I walked into the Twilight alleyway and looked for any clues. I sadly didn’t find much and after trying to communicate back to the offender, nothing happened. With nothing left to do, I poured all of my energy and will into closing that portal. It left me drained, but determined to find whoever did this and bring them to justice. I had a lot of work to do. I recognized that I was under powered compared to the individual that had set this trap up. Was there a quick way to obtain more power?

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A Hot Summer Night

Last night our newly forged Cabal was given its first assignment. A call from Silentium came through to Ace requesting that we investigate a newly opened Road at Roger Williams Park. Apparently, there were reports of “Lord of the Rings Orcs” and people emerging drunk from the area. The public suspicion was cosplayers but it sounded like something more.

Coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally, we also received an invitation from the local Changelings through Mira to a party celebrating the ascendency of the Summer Court. This came through both Nabu and Voland, but included us all. We agreed to meet up at the new manor house that has become our Cabal headquarters and discuss there.

When we arrived I quickly noted that Nabu had a shattered window on his car. After some discussion, it emerged that someone had tried to steal his car when he was caught in traffic. This seems… unlikely. His car doesn’t stand out and it’s far too coincidental, although coincidence and Fate magic do go hand-in-hand. He claimed to know nothing about his alleged attackers, and I believe him, but he secured a sample of their blood so I suspect he’ll be looking into it more closely. I suppose an assault against one of us is an assault against us all, especially considering what happened with Freya recently, so we have to be unified.

Unfortunately, it seems that Mira and the Changelings knew Voland by his sympathetic name and so he felt compelled to reveal his face to us all. Glasya, of course, followed suit. It doesn’t seem like anyone is anticipating an, “everyone tell your secrets” moment but this trend still makes me anxious. It’s not that I don’t trust these cabal mates, it’s just that I need to figure out who I am and who I’m not before anyone else tries to…

Never-the-less, we decided to pursue the Road first as that seemed most pressing and, hopefully, attend the party after. We arrived at Roger Williams Park in Cranston without event and quickly surveyed the area. Nabu spoke with some nearby sleepers while Voland and Ace combined their powers to scout the whole of the park in moments. They quickly found a strange pathway between some mundane hedges leading into a very familiar thorny Hedge that couldn’t fit in the space.

We investigated, several heard strange layered voices chatting or laughing but only faintly. We quickly determined it to be a full fledged Iris to a place not unlike Arcadia. Not a true pocket dimension or pathway but something more in the nature of a border land. Wanderer was able to look back in time and witnessed a 12 foot tall grey green cloth figure emerging from the brush and then “unzipping” the portal with long loose handless appendges. After opening the Iris it seemed to just step back through the way it came. Unfortunately, several Sleepers soon followed it.

There seems to be a mild compulsion drawing sentient beings in to investigate this aperture, likely at their own peril. Several Sleepers emerged seeming drunk and vomiting pink bubbles but several others seem to still be in there. Realizing that this stunk of the Fey, I began to fear this was nothing but a distraction from the real trouble that would occur at the Changeling party. The Fey may be luring away powerful allies so they can strike and reclaim their lost “children” in one raid.

I suggested we simply conceal this entrance, return to the party to provide support, and deal with this later. By then Wandered had determined it would be opened for several more days at least with Nabu confirming it was somehow tied to the duration of the current heat wave. After some debate, the cabal agreed and Voland began casting a ritual spell to conceal the opening protecting it from accidentally swallowing sleepers.

About 30 minutes into his Ritual, several of us noticed a Deathly cloaking magic power arriving in the brush. When it became apparent we could perceive it, it revealed itself to be a diminutive beautiful japanese woman. She emerged and claimed she wanted to travel down the road through the hedge. She identified herself only as “Young One” and initially mislead us about her nature. She let us believe she was a Changeling but the truth came out that she was, in fact, a vampire. Ace recognized her from a video recording at a club called Vapor and she admitted her nature.

Young One told us an interesting story about searching for a lost friend who disappeared the night of the Waterfire incident. Apparently he was going to meet a Mage when it all went wrong. Although she won’t tell us what her friend was, for our own good, she said he was not mortal and was not a Changeling or Vampire. She also cannot remember any details about this Mage, although she knows she should. Nabu believes it may have been the mage known as Tarot. Her friend’s name was Jonathan.

Young one also claims to have fled from some trouble in Los Angeles where some creature or force under the city caused the death of most of her friends.

Young One told us there was a Goblin Market open on the other side of the path and she was hoping to trade for information. Apparently, the goblins mean no harm and just open the path when they’re doing business in an area. After some discussion, we simply let her proceed and Nabu gave her a card encouraging her to seek us out at some point.

Once the Iris was secure, using a combination of Nabu and Voland’s magic, we went to the Changeling part. While entertaining, it appears our suspicion was unwarranted. Nothing dangerous came to pass and Chance seemed to think it fairly expected that the goblins would open the market during his coronation since so many would be gathered. The night passed mostly uneventfully and we agreed to regroup the next day to visit the Goblin Market.

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Fate's Folly
Log 7 - 2019-06-21

Our night began at Chuck’s, since it was a bit late to be going to the Atheneum. Fortune definitely appeared to be on our side since it would seem we would be getting the full Cabal together to take down this lab. Success would almost certainly be guaranteed. Freya came armed with information on how to deal with what we believe Alyssa Lissandro to be – some variety of vampire.

We made our way to the Fort Adams redoubt, where, in the parking lot, Wanderer informed us that he had returned from the future to warn us of an alarm that we were going to set off. Thus, we have made our first temporal paradox as a Cabal. I look forward to the many more we will have. He withheld any other details of our time there, which is good since it would seem we would handle everything well up to that point. That said, the information he revealed indicated Advokat would have to hide all of us from spirits, which was a push on his magical limitations, but well worth it.

No amount of forethought could have possibly prepared us for what we were walking into. I let fate guide us to the lab. Eventually we came across some collapsed rubble and I knew we had to pass it. A trivial task for Zappfe, but we decided to do some divining to determine if this was in fact the correct course of action. We learned that she transitioned through the stone somehow as a pool of blood. This created some clarity from when I observed her at work and she disappeared into dirt. The obstacle was removed and we made our way down… into the horror show.

Words could not do any justice to what we came upon. I had to take it all in visually and steel my consciousness to deal with the sensory overload. It was a dwelling, possibly the inside of a home. However, everything, EVERYTHING, was made of bone, flesh, tissue, and blood. I am not going to pretend to understand how a vampire’s mind work, but if there is any good in their society, this should not be commonplace at all. This exists for only two types of individuals – someone who is so twisted that they actually enjoy this, or someone who wishes to employ it as an intimidation tactic. We had to get to work.

I searched the area as best I could for anything of use. The fact that there was nothing aside from “decoration” here should have been a red flag that something was amiss. I was probably too distracted by the horror of it all. The next room had a “dining room table” setup to it. Wanderer bravely looked into the past to witness the good Doctor torturing and consuming some poor soul. This place needed to be nuked from orbit. There was a fairly simple side room that had what looked like a pedestal/basin with some dirt in it, which apparently vampires like to sleep in since it reminds them of their home or something along those lines. This immediately reminded me of the dirt she merged into from my visions. I immediately ordered the destruction of the device so that she couldn’t come behind us or use it for escape. Unceremoniously, Zappfe gladly disintegrated it.

Finally, we came upon a door that looked like what we thought looked like the lab. Flanking us in the hallway, the spirits we were expecting to set off the alarm showed, but were unable to perceive us. Voland gave me the ability to view almost everything in the complex and I was able to identify what I believed to be four spirits. I put three to rest, but one of them remained and inhabited a large abomination of a creature inside the lab. It proceeded to make its way to the door, to which Zappfe took a gun to its figure and the spirit exited the body and fled out the way we came. That will certainly not come back to haunt us. I honestly don’t know if it was curious or trying to communicate with us. It could not see us. We opened the room up to see multiple creatures about, which Ace roasted with lightning. Fate assisted jack in locating the creature we refer to as Greg and the good Doctor made her appearance.

Zappfe manipulated Gravity to cause the wall away from the doorway we were in to be “Down”. From there, the encounter was relatively trivial. Lissandro didn’t appear to do anything aside from try to flee. This felt too easy. And it was, because when we were done and observed her battered corpse, Voland read her mind to find that it was actually one of her captives that she had transmuted to look like her. We had been taken on a ride. We took her computer for ourselves to examine and destroyed as much of the wretched place as we could. We took Gregg with us to hopefully find a way to fix him. She is onto us.

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Ace - Journal #7
Chuck's and Fort Adams on 6/21/19

Dear Queeny,

“You can’t save everyone and not everyone can be saved.” I have heard those words from every master under whom I have studied. It is wise advice for one Sleeper to give another Sleeper. For an Awakened? I do not know. Tonight showed the true power of Mages working together; it is both impressive and terrifying. The Threads of Fate, officially recognized, infiltrated the “doctor’s” laboratory and rescued Greg. Can we help everyone? Maybe. Should we? I do not know.

When I learned every member of our cabal was available, I requested we head to Fort Adams in force. It had been weeks since our last visit and Greg still needed saving. The plan was to meet at the Athenaeum, which was my mistake since it was closing at the time I specified to meet, so we met at Chuck’s nearby.

Everyone was present but Zapffe, who was just running late. Freya opened the conversation with some research she was able to do since she arrived at the Athenaeum early. The main takeaways: vampire, shapeshifter, magic-user, bullets do little, fire does a lot, and things like crosses only work in true faith. Everything burns, except for maybe an Obrimos like me. Her research only increased my confidence. Freya’s contributions magically have not been very noticeable, but her mind is a special kind of magic. Following that conversation I asked everyone to share their abilities, weapons, and tactics. With so many of us together, my initial goal was to ensure we were safe from each other. My greater goal was to learn our offensive synergies. That part of the conversation proved to be very useful later in the evening.

When we reached the parking lot down from the Redoubt, Wanderer blew my mind with the declaration that he had come from several minutes in the future to warn us of an alarm we triggered. He also mentioned wanting to limit the amount of information he shared with us; I think all of us understood why without any follow-up. Watch any movie or show involving time travel and you know it’s risky to meddle in the past. But since Wanderer mentioned taking us back in time the last time we were in the Fort, I was not completely caught off guard. And I think I trust him to make the right decision on what to share.

With magic from Advokat to hide us from spirits, and magic from Voland to hide us from everyone else, Wanderer seemed more comfortable with our intrusion. The Last Messiah and I shared our magic with those who would fight by mundane means, like Freya with her gun, Voland with his sword, or Glasyia with her knives. Wanderer used magic on me that made me faster than I have ever been – fast enough to keep pace with cars on the Audubon. Nabu imbued us with favors from Fate as he has done in the past. And with that, we were ready to proceed.

Nabu used the same type of tracking magic he has used in the past, to track Greg, which put him up front where Jack and I joined him. It didn’t take long for us to find blood marks on a piece of rock, which Wanderer confirmed(by looking into the past) was evidence Alyssa turned into a pool of blood to transport herself below. Zapffe, in response, destroyed the stone so we could pass through and continue following Nabu’s spell down some stairs into a nightmare.

I hesitate to describe this to you, Queeny, but I need to talk to someone about it, someone besides Jack. Voland used his magic, combined with my own, to see down and around corners and in the dark so he prepared us for it as best he could. I had to keep myself from vomiting the whole time. There was blood, sinew, bones, organs, all sorts of gore fashioned throughout the space; there were even blood fountains. I patrolled the area, as patiently as I could, while the others studied the room. Freya and Wanderer discussed Time and Death magic made the “decorations” possible. The same with the next room, where there was a dining room table Alyssa where Alyssa would sit and extract people’s blood through their skin while they were in a trance. Wanderer looked back in time to see it; I did not envy him. Jack and I continued on with the others and found a weird apparatus made of bones and tissue, covered with dirt. Freya said it was common for vampire sto sleep in dirt from their native lands, so Zapffe and I destroyed it by transforming it into gas and then lighting it on fire.

Our next challenge was an iron wall with no discernible way to move it, so after some discussion Zapffe shrank it so we could pass through, behind which there was another iron barrier. This one was an actual door with bars at the top, like in a prison, so we could look through and see creatures on the other side. Freya confirmed they still had souls, but Queeny, they looked more like dogs than humans. This vampire woman has twisted more lives than we might ever know, but I intend to make her pay.

But my priority was Greg, which I made clear several times. I needed to talk to these creatures to know which was him, but when the spirits/guards showed up we had to focus on the situation at hand. Nabu sent the spirits to rest, like he did back a few months ago, but one of them stuck around and inhabited the body of one of the large creatures. It opened the iron door as Zapffe opened fire with his rifle. Guns are messy, loud weapons that people come to rely on. My lightning made short work of several in a matter of moments, and I can do so without making a sound. Reading that back makes me feel uneasy…

Nabu imbued Jack with power to track Greg. Keep in mind we were still more or less invisible to any creatures because of Voland’s mind magic. Freya followed Jack and I to a shy creature with bone wings. “This is the one,” Jack proclaimed, so I started a conversation with Greg. He was not as coherent as he had been before, obviously changed by the transformation to his body and soul. I asked Voland to inspect his mind in hopes we could still save him, but Voland said he didn’t think there was enough there to save him.

But then Dr. Lesandro emerged so I shouted to “Take them all out!” Zapffe reversed gravity down the hallway, as he warned us he would, so I made Jack and I fly in it. All the creatures stumbled down the hallway, including Alyssa, who went inert after smacking into the creatures she made. Greg remained still and silent the whole time, so we were able to keep him alive.

While several of us destroyed the “decorations”, Voland inspect Alyssa’s mind to learn it was not actually her, but a man she turned into a vampire and shifted into a duplicate of herself. She must have known we were coming, which is not too surprising.

I’m a little disappointed we did not destroy the vampire causing the problems, but again, my main priority was Greg. His ability to hold back from conflict let me know there was still some hope, so I turned us invisible and flew him to the Armory. He is in the care of Silentium and the Council now, but I make sure to visit to check on him and read him stories like you used to do for Jack and I. I really miss those days.

Love,
Ace

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Blood Sample Analysis Report

Blood Sample for Waterfire Event – Report

First Study

The Last Messiah and I conducted a combined casting and scientific study of the blood sample the police found at the scene of the Waterfire event.

The sample itself was incredibly small, yet we were able to separate the sample into 12 unique ones. Most of the blood was from Sleepers and I was able to obtain blood type for them, but nothing else. Five of the twelve appear to be from supernatural beings. We were able to obtain the following information from mundane and arcane means on those five samples:

1. Sample 1: borderline dead in state and is acting similarly to a virus and if we hadn’t done this when we did, may have consumed the remainder of the blood sample. My first thought on this one is it may be vampire blood.
2. Sample 2: clearly mutated – appears to be part human and part something else, almost as if the blood type could shift. This makes me think of our Werewolf friends.
3. Sample 3: appears to be slowly falling apart and degrading – each of the red blood cells I observed had six holes in it.
4. Sample 4: “Hummed” more than a standard cell would and it appears to be drawing light to it. I don’t think this is related to the creature we ran into at the docks as it was defiantly alive and that thing, whatever it was was clearly dead.
5. Sample 5: Looks more artificial than anything else, almost like a bit of porcelain could bleed. We also found some rock particles in the blood sample and I’m fairly certain those rock particles were part of this being’s actual blood.
We also found a bit of dirt and a tiny fragment of an insect in the blood sample before we separated it out. I’m not sure if either of those elements were actually part of a creature’s bloodstream or just there.

Second Study

Advokat, Nabu, and I conducted a combine ritual in an attempt to obtain more information about the individuals the blood samples are tied to and where they might reside. We used various items to represent each sample and a map of Providence as a focus to determine where we should go to determine more about the individuals associated with each blood sample.
This is what we found out:
1. Sample 1: A woman who is not alive but craves life. Location of interest: Waterplace Park
a. We used a skull in a bit of blood to represent this sample. After the ritual, the skull was cracked and either side of the skull sat upon the map of Providence so that Waterplace Park was between it.
2. Sample 2: Middle-aged man who was healthy and strong. Location of interest: Waterplace Park
a. We used a strobe light to represent this sample. After the ritual, the strobe light fell onto Waterplace Park. It was cracked and streamed a steady small bit of light. There was a red tinge to part of the light like someone wiped some blood across a small corner of it.
3. Sample 3: Older man who was healthy and powerful. Location of interest: Waterplace Park
a. We used an orb with six holes in it to represent this sample. The orb was spinning and slowly, very gradually stopped at Waterplace Park. A small bit of blood dripped from its surface, which was now riddled with tiny fissures. The fissures were shaped like a heart.
4. Sample 4: Vitality, but fatigue and sadness in this man. Location of interest: Waterplace Park
a. We used a flickering overhead lamp to represent this sample. During the ritual it had fallen over and shined upon Waterplace.
5. Sample 5: .Young woman who was not dead, but not alive, she was more just existing. Location of interest: Waterplace Park
a. We used a vase to represent this sample. A piece of the vase broke off and laid upon Waterplace Park with a bit of blood on it after the ritual.
6. Sleeper Samples: Mix of male and female, but a sense of life to all seven. Location of interest: Waterplace Park
a. We used a wooden art figure to represent the Sleepers. This figure, like everything else, moved to Waterplace Park during our ritual.

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