As The Chips Fall

Nevernever Ever Again
Or is that just wishful thinking?

(Late game, thus the short summary. I also realized after I typed this that it is entirely in present-tense. Apologies if that bugs anyone.)

We open with Enno, Soteria, and the two trolls (Gunner and Gunther) romping through the Nevernever in search of the giant unmen source that Asya mentioned. They are guided by makeshift compass-in-a-jar, consisting of a string covered in the same substance they’re searching for hanging from the lid of a pickle jar. Because the goo always tries to re-form, the goo on the string pulls it towards the rest, thus making the string point to the larger source.

Explanation aside, they venture for what seems like forever (explained as “a very long time”), and eventually come to the edge of a forest through which they were wandering. Out across the plain beyond the group can see various unmen wandering aimlessly and without apparent purpose. From the sparse trees where they can’t be seen Soteria asks the group is there’s any way they can find the lake from here, to which Gunner responds by staring at the compass and pointing straight forward. When prompted further he moves to pick up Enno so that the German can get a better look around. Thinking that the troll means to put him on his shoulders or something, Enno shrugs and complies only to be thrown a good thirty five feet into the air. Focusing on the sensation of suddenly being airborne doesn’t lend itself to spotting landmarks that easily, but during his flight he catches a glimpse of what he thinks to be the flesh-colored lake they’re looking for. He descends into the arms of the other troll, Gunther, and asks to be thrown up again. This time he gets a good look and is able to describe to the other three how far away it is and in which direction.

The vote is made to avoid the unmen, none too eager to be molested in a fashion similar to Enno’s previous experience. Enno, and Soteria with less skill and/or awesomeness, are successfully able to sneak themselves and, somehow, Gunner and Gunther with them across the hilly field and up within sight of the lake. The lake itself is a giant mass of the same substance the unmen themselves are constructed from, and as the group stares across it they can see various forming body parts float to the surface as they are being constructed, and fresh unmen crawling from the goo onto the shore. The density of the unmen around the lake would make it near impossible for the group to approach the shore without being noticed, and so Enno suggests that he, being the fastest, approach alone to deliver the contents of Asya’s jar and then make a run for it if things go to hell. With the words “If anything happens, be distracting,” He grabs the jar and makes his way towards an elevated portion of the shore jutting just slightly over the lake. He takes the path of least resistance through the crowd, but even those that notice him brush by don’t pay him much attention and he is able to approach the lake unharmed and largely unnoticed.

Standing over the strange fluid Enno notices Anton’s face, or rather the form of it, flash briefly across the surface of the strange liquid before receding. Considering that enough evidence of Anton’s demise, Enno opts to continue as planned with the intent to destroy the evil goo blob thing, knowing of no way to retrieve or revive Anton from his current location or state. Opening the jar he tosses it into the lake, but rather than spilling the contents as planned the jar lands right-side-up and starts sinking down as the lake flexes away from it, forming a bubble that will within seconds safely consume the jar. Furthermore, the unmen around the shore all go into full-alert mode and start charging the lake, no doubt to try and save it. Enno ain’t a fan of that plan.

With the most badass look in his eye Enno whips out a throwing knife and flicks it towards the jar, shattering it and sending the contents into the rest of the goo. In response, the goo convulses awkwardly and the unmen around it all stop in their tracks, clutching themselves in silent agony as their bodies slowly dissolve. All seems well, and Soteria makes her way to Enno with the trolls a ways behind to remark upon the finality of their duties. Just as Enno warns her not to be too content, because this is the part of the movie where a big scary thing jumps out and kills everyone, Gunner screams in pain from behind them. Lo and behold, the goo that was once programmed to act as the unmen is now trying to attack them, without any other directive. Adopting the qualities of the lake, that would acidify and consume any organic matter it touched, the goo scattered about the area begins to move towards them. Gunner has had a blob of it land on him and is flailing around trying to get it off when Enno, being totally heroic and shit, runs over and smacks at the goo with his electric cattle prod. The goo, stunted by the electricity, thins and looses consistency, effectively rendered useless.

Whilst Enno is assisting Gunner, a giant tentacle of the fleshy mush extends from the lake and slams into her side, lodging her into itself and awkwardly forming around her. Doubling back Enno manages to save her in a similar fashion, by stabbing the goo-tentacle in a middle segment and disabling the portion holding Soteria. Without wasting much more time as a medic, he decides it best to shout “Run!” and bolt for the tree line they had emerged previously from. Soteria finds a bit of remaining goo on her that Enno had overlooked, and stabs herself in the back with a cattle prod to dislodge it from her, stunning herself in the process. As she stands there in a self-inflicted daze, a gigantic wave of the goo from the lake begins to loom over her, however, seconds before it can envelop her Gunther runs into its path, picks her up and throws her to Gunner before being swallowed by the wave. Gunner catches her just as his legs give out under the corrosive effects of the goo he somehow waded into, but manages to throw her to Enno as he too is consumed by the flood. Enno catches her as he is running for the trees and, seeing the two trolls drowning, rushes back to save Gunther while Soteria, regaining her senses, runs back for Gunner.

Eventually the group finds their way back into the trees, whereupon the goo seems to lose interest and recede back into the lake. Gunner has been left without legs, amputated leaving completely clean and smooth wounds, while Gunther is severely injured. While everyone is catching their breath Enno mentions the brief glance of Anton’s face that he saw before he dumped the jar, and expresses the desire to go back to try and save him, if at all possible. After discussing the risks with Soteria for a few minutes he departs, agreeing that she should leave without him if he doesn’t return.

Enno approaches the lake reluctantly and yells Anton’s name from a safe distance, seeing ripples dance across the lake’s surface as he does so. Shouting something else yields no similar ripples, thus he concludes that Anton, or at least some part of him, is present and perhaps salvageable. Taking a chance he gets closer and yells louder, seeing more ripples, but is attacked by a tentacle similar to the one that smacked Soteria moments before, though he is able to escape without harm. Suddenly he is struck with a brilliant idea, and after securing the trigger of one of his many tasers down with duct tape he tosses it into the goo, aiming directly for the origin point of the ripples. The goo once again convulses hideously and begins spawning seemingly randomized creatures where it once did unmen, some with spikes and others with wings. The creatures flail around in a panic, some approaching Enno though none managing to catch him, and eventually the battery of the taser runs dry and the reaction stops. While the experiment was amusing and original, it yielded no results, and Enno decides to come back and try later.

He makes his way back to his companions, who haven’t been kept waiting long, and explains what transpired. He and Soteria agree to come back at some point and try again with more resources, like perhaps a small generator, but that for now the two trolls require immediate care and that they should find their out of the Nevernever and to the Winter Court.

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Captain's Log - Supplemental
What happens when Vivian tries to enjoy an evening

The concert went off incident free, save for a few minor glitches in equipment that were quite quickly overcome and adjusted, so the second playing of each song ended up much better. After the concert, Vivian and Bruce chatted with the band a little bit, and she was glad to see that Mark was chatting with Tina again – actually chatting in American Sign Language.

After a little bit of small talk and Vivian wishing the band luck with their upcoming shows, Vivian walked back to the Palazzo with Bruce. They didn’t say all that much of any sort of substance, but made plans for later in the week, on a day he was off, to head to her boat where they could be alone.

Vivian then returned to her penthouse, and even before she opened the door, she recognized that something was wrong. With her guard on high alert, Vivian cautiously entered her place, and there were lights on, though dim, and the sounds of Wagner were echoing through the penthouse.

Seated in view of the door was Nigel. Upon seeing him, Vivian relaxed quite a bit, just glad it wasn’t her father. Nigel rose as she entered, and pardoned his intrusion, but he wanted to speak to her about something private. It wasn’t just “something” but several of them.

He asked her about whether she felt her father might have had something to do with the strange occurrences in the city of late. Vivian was caught off-guard by the question, but pondered it for a moment, concluding that it was entirely possible. Nigel explained that he’d been made aware of the possibility of House Montegna making an attempt to join forces with the Winter Court of fae to – in the simplest terms – overthrow Drake’s authority over the city.

In addition to that, he asked if she thought her father could have his eye on Asya – in a manner that is not the characteristic-to-a-Harding sense. If he could get Asya to rally for their cause, it could be tremendously beneficial.

Nigel also asked about where she stood with Bruce. Vivian explained that she had to do some damage control with him, after the revelation of her being a vampire. While Nigel already knew that she’d planned to take care of things, she explained that she really wanted to take things pretty slow with Bruce; she wants to regain his trust, thereby making him a willing enthralled ‘toy’. Nigel told her he trusted her judgment, but if he saw any problems arising from it, he wouldn’t hesitate to find a nice spot for him in the desert. The alternative, of course, was that Nigel could look into transferring him elsewhere, to get him out of the city so he wouldn’t pose any sort of threat. They were all well aware of the fact that having an agent on their side would be a good position, so sending him away (either as a transfer or a body) was not the desired course of action.

Nigel also asked about William, and about what happened. Vivian was noticeably stressed by the whole ordeal. She explained what had happened, without going into too much detail, and Nigel said that it was still a pretty quiet event. Vivian asked if he was certain, expressing that she got an impression that the Twins, and therefore the Winter Fae might possibly know something about what happened. She also said that it didn’t leave her feeling all that great. Sure, it was pretty normal for William and Vivian to fight (to the point that members of the Court could conceivably start betting pools as to when the next round would start between them), but this had been farther than they had ever gone, and the closest they had ever come to literally killing one another. Nigel suggested that it might be in House Raith’s best interest to send William away for a time, until the dust in the city settled. While Vivian wasn’t overly fond of the idea, she didn’t show her sentiments on the matter, instead weighing the decision. Her mind said it was a good thing, but her heart just didn’t like it. The big problem was, however, that House Raith couldn’t be showing weakness at this point in time, and to have two of the highest ranking House Raith agents fighting would not look good for them.

Nigel went on to confide in Vivian about how fragile the house presently was; Lord Raith had fallen victim to the same affliction that plagued Nigel’s wife – essentially dementia. While Lord Raith was still the figurehead for House Raith, it was essentially Lara pulling the strings. He told Vivian that he’d been in touch with Ian Harding – arguably Lord Raith’s closest friend, and among his oldest friends – in the hopes of convincing Ian that he should overthrow (a polite way of saying “murder”) his friend and take ownership of House Raith. Vivian reaffirmed that it wouldn’t be something that Ian would do to his oldest and dearest friend.

While on the subject of her grandfather, Vivian did mention she’d spoken with her Nan (Emily), and was informed that Michael had all but been disowned as part of House Raith – since he’d decided to return to Las Vegas and side with House Montegna.

Nigel asked Vivian about her thoughts on Michael and his alliance with the ruling house of Las Vegas. Vivian said she wasn’t surprised by it, and also said that he’d asked her to ally with him and migrate away from House Raith. She said she was uncomfortable with the idea of double-crossing the houses, and while she didn’t say anything, she knew that it would be an extremely risky venture in betraying Johnny. Still, she knew she didn’t want to let Nigel down.

He knew that it was a whole lot to dump on Vivian’s lap, and with William being sent away, Vivian wasn’t sure whose shoulder she would lean on – it had always been William’s, even when they were fighting. Vivian mentioned that she just wanted to turn back time to before the city went to hell, and Nigel responded that she was a big girl. On that note, Nigel took his leave. When Vivian followed him to the door, she confessed that there are days she wished she was still a kid; all but saying she longed for the day when Nigel got her out of trouble, rather than sent her into it.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Basically, Vivian was told that there was the potential that her father was linked to the craziness going on in the city; the White Court (House Montegna in LV) joining ranks with the Winter Court to lessen Drake’s hold on the city; the fact that Lord Raith’s health is extremely fragile (something that to this point, only Nigel was aware of) and it left House Raith vulnerable – Nigel’s best solution was to ask Vivian’s grandfather to murder his best friend and take over House Raith; William was being sent away until the dust settled, though Tina would be on loan to Vivian, since she could potentially provide some insight into a potential alliance between the White Court and Winter Court; and Vivian was responsible for forming an (albeit fake) alliance with her father, and ‘migrate’ from House Raith toward House Montegna.)

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Uncharted Territory

After Enno and Jay hit it off while making smoke bombs and whoopee (grins), they were awakened to the sound of Enno’s phone ringing. The wicked witch of Croatia was on the other end of the call, insisting that Enno make his way to her hotel. Since he’d picked Asya up the previous day, he knew where to reluctantly go. Jay said he would show himself out after a shower and Enno was on his way, on foot, toward the Cosmopolitan hotel.

Knowing she was on the upper level of the hotel, Enno still opted for the stairs, his speed and endurance making it a relatively easy climb. When he exited the stairwell, he saw a number of identical, expressionless, featureless men in trench coats , slowly marching in an almost choreographed cadence toward Asya’s room. With a loud shout, Enno attempted to get the attention of the ‘men’. When there was no reaction, he waded through the crowd and drew his swords.

When he took a swing, he managed to lob off one of the things’ head, finding the entire body was made of something with the consistency of clay. While his swords were able to lop of appendages and even heads, the seemingly mortal wounds were only inconvenient to the UnMen, who continued to swarm over him in a faceless wave. Rather than using his speed to flee, Enno continued to hack and slash and was ultimately dragged to the floor. Try as he might, he couldn’t seem to cut his way loose.

Then, a soft ‘ding’ signaled the arrival of an elevator. The doors slid open to reveal Asya, smartly dressed and unmussed. She held an ornate wand in one hand, and in the other, she was wearing an elaborate set of rings, one on each finger, all connected to one another through a web of delicate silver chains across her palm. While holding up the chain decorated palm of her hands toward the UnMen horde, she told Enno to ‘Stay Down!’, then leveled her wand.

A bright light filled the hallway, as Asya tapped into the hotel’s electricity and funneled it into a massive lightning bolt that went ripping down the hallway. The electricity blew apart the UnMen, destroying whatever force held them together and gave them mobility. Liquid flesh poured down over Enno, hot and smelling faintly of barbecue pork. The the flesh itself began to dissolve into a etheric mist, fading back into the NeverNever from whence it came.

Naturally, Enno only showed the barest of thankfulness toward Asya, who reciprocated in kind. She said she could use the UnMen residue to allow Enno to track the UnMen to their source and that the Wizard who was doing the summoning and binding was probably somewhere close by. Enno, disgusted with the affair and tired, opted to return to his apartment and shower rather than trying to hunt the mage. They parted ways, with Asya promising to contact Enno when she’d finished her preparations for his hunt.

Back in his room and freshly showered, Enno decided to sleep, but less than a minute after drifting off for a nap, his phone rang. Yes, Asya was a demanding woman. She needed to meet with him in regards to the next step. He said he would be there in a relatively short time. After he hung up the phone with Asya, he called Soteria to have her meet him at the Cosmopolitan hotel. Soteria agreed, and said she’d even bring snacks!

So, as they met in the lobby, they headed for a bank of elevators that was still functional, and made their way up to Asya’s room. When they got there, she was her usual ice queen self, but told them that they would be going to the Never Never to destroy the source of the Unmen. She gave them a few jars – one to pour into the flesh vat, and one that had a string that was soaked in the wiggly fleshy stuff attached to the top, which would serve as a compass of sorts to lead them to the source of the Unmen.

Asya commented that Soteria seemed as though she spent time with the Fae, so suggested that she might know a way to open an existing portal to the Never Never, which Soteria did know.

Enno commented that his swords didn’t really do much in the way of damage, and asked if she would possibly have something he could use against the Unmen. She said that lightning seemed to work well against them, but when Enno replied that he doesn’t have any sort of ability to control lightning, she retorted in her superior sarcastic way that it’d be such a novel concept to have some sort of device that could harness electricity. “We should get to work on that.” Enno took the taser hint.

Not possessing a taser of his own, and Soteria equally unarmed in the way of electricity, the two decided that the best way to go about getting said equipment would be to assault and rob a police officer. So, Enno called in an emergency to a more-or-less abandoned location in Las Vegas, and they waited for the responding officer to arrive. When he did, they went with the plan, assaulting the officer and taking just about everything other than his uniform and the cruiser. It was only after they’d broken the law in a pretty serious way that Enno considered that maybe he could have just asked Drake.

So, off to the Excalibur to meet with Drake, Enno explained the plan to go to the Never Never, and that the whole reason was related to getting Anton and Ryuu back. Drake gave Enno pretty free reign to the weapons stash, and Enno found himself rather well-equipped. As they were headed to the portal location, Soteria called Thalia, and explained what they were doing, and asked if there might be any way she might be able to help the pair.

They proceeded to the portal and when they got there, they saw two … beings in trench coats, but by their posture, it was pretty apparent that they weren’t Unmen. No, they turned around and flat out said that they smelled a German, and they like Germans, because they’re delicious. Ogres were what were sent by the Muse of Comedy. Soteria made the the ogres known as Gunther and Gunner promise not to eat the German, and while she was making that bargain, Enno called Vivian to let her know what was going on.

Since he still had some loyalty for returning his swords to him, Enno felt he should tell her where he was going, should he not come back. The only next of kin he could provide Asya was Drake. As he was on the phone with Vivian, she suggested that he contact the Winter Fae, since he still pretty much owed them his life and the fae don’t typically take well to someone backing out of a deal (even if it is due to death). Enno said he would consider it, but never called before they all went through the portal.

In the meantime, Vivian hadn’t been having the best of days. She’d hooked up with a casual ‘partner’ of hers and had been in bed with him, feeding and stewing over the whole impersonation of her, and did what she could to just feel better. When food and sex didn’t do it for her, she thought there was a possibility that swimming would help. She made her way to the rooftop pool where she saw Tina across the way from her. With only a bit of a wave, Vivian dropped her towel on the foot of one of the lounge chairs and started doing some laps. She figured she was about done, until she saw that Tina had disappeared, and that William was just watching her.

With little more of an acknowledgement than a glance, Vivian did another lap and got out of the water, but by that time, William had taken the towel she’d left for herself, and had it draped over his arm. A few words were exchanged, but William gave her the towel. Then Vivian let him have it. Everything that’s been bottled up finally exploded, and since he’d pretty much had it with her recent behavior, he pushed. She eventually said that he just couldn’t be honest with her, and she was giving him a chance to just back out of everything – namely the training he’d promised.

She tried to just walk away, but William caught her arm and threw her back into the pool then jumped in after her. While this could have been seen as something playful in a different context, it was anything but. She tried to get out of the pool, but he dragged her back in, not just away from the wall and stairs, but proceeded to drown her.

Bested by skill and strength, Vivian clawed at his arms, trying to reach back for his face as he held her under the water. As she felt herself starting to feel light headed, she decided to feed on him. Inciting emotion was her stronger skill, even if she didn’t do it as often as most White Courts did, and she managed to get him to loosen his grip on her to the point she could get away. She got out of the pool and out of his reach before demanding to know what he was doing. His reply was “You wanted training? Fine. You passed.” The fact was, they both could have killed one another and chose not to.

Vivian left the pool deck and just hugged herself inside the door to her penthouse. It took a while, but when she managed to move, she made her way down to her bathroom and soaked in a shower – her typical escape. She felt pretty miserable, and after the shower, she curled up in bed, only stirring when her phone rang. It was Bruce.

Considering the day she’d been having, he wasn’t someone she wanted to deal with, but in her best pleasant demeanor answered the phone. He wanted to meet, and she said she would. He said he’d like her to head to his place.

When she arrived, she wasn’t looking her best but was still pretty stunning, and he invited her in. It took a bit, but she eventually said that she’d been wanting to talk to him but after the last conversation they’d had, she wanted to let him digest it all, and as tough as it had been, she wanted to give him time. He burst her bubble to tell her that he called her there on business – he wanted to know what she knew of a guy with lightning fast movement and stark white hair.

Vivian immediately knew he was talking of Enno, but didn’t have much in the way of details about what happened at the Cosmopolitan or the mugging of a police officer. The description had been that it was a Caucasian with white hair and lightning reflexes, and he was with an attractive redhead. Immediately, Vivian thought of Alexis and said she didn’t realize that the two were still working together. She gave Enno’s details, including the fact that he resides at the Excalibur, and also gave Alexis’ information, without being able to say with any certainty where she was living.

With business out of the way, Bruce and Vivian dealt with the fact that she hadn’t told him she was a vampire who feeds on lust. She convinced him that she was genuinely sorry, and since he is almost a human bullshit detector, he felt she was sincere. The deal was made that they would start over from where they were now, but if he gets the slightest hint she’s lying to him, the farthest their relationship would go would be business-related.

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Deals Made and Broken
And Enno in Drag

Enno had decided it was about time to pick up some throwing knives, but with his disposable income mostly disposed, ended up perusing the Vegas pawn shops. While he didn’t run into Chumley, or any of the Pawn Stars, he did run in to William Moore – or, William ran into him. Although they were somewhat cordial to one another, there was still noticeable tension between them. Yes, it still had something to do with the car that Enno dropped on William and Tina.

William asked if Enno might be willing to help him out a little bit. It would be a gesture that might get him closer to forgiven for the car incident. William needed Enno to play along, and essentially morph into Vivian. Of course, he would have the help of Tina to do so. When Enno inquired as to why he might be asked to do something as crazy as impersonating Vivian, William explained that Vivian refused to do something, which was the only obstacle in getting a mage to work her magic in the city with the ghosts at Anton’s.

While reluctant, Enno agreed to help. William was delighted, and told him that Tina would be by his place in an hour and a half to prepare him. When she showed up at Enno’s room, she had an outfit that was fairly similar to something Vivian would wear, and had some information about the past relationship Vivian had with the mage. William had given Enno a bit of a briefing, stating that Vivian and Asya really had bad blood between them – two strong-willed, beautiful women rarely ever got along.

So, Enno eventually got changed, and Tina worked her fae magic to transform Enno into Vivian – appearance-wise, anyway. After he put on the wig, Tina snapped a few photos of him. He grabbed the camera from her for fear she might use it as blackmail, but she explained in writing that it was so he could see that he looked pretty much exactly like Vivian.

With that, they made their way to the Blue Martini, where they were greeted by William, who walked into the club with the two ‘women’. It didn’t take Enno long to notice how people responded to him (well, him as Vivian). Bartleby, however, saw through the guise and asked if they really wanted to go through with it. Apparently, they did.

They managed to convince Asya with a reluctant apology, and she agreed to do the job she’d come to Las Vegas to do. William brought Tina and Enno back to the Excalibur. As luck would have it, Vivian was playing poker at the Excalibur, and since you need to go through the casino to get to the elevators, she saw the threesome out of the corner of her eye. Doing a double-take, she told the dealer to watch her chips and proceeded to berate the group in public.

Tina had good enough sense to back away after Vivian grasped the two men by their necks. Vivian’s displeasure was vocally apparent, and even though William suggested that they take it somewhere more private, Vivian continued in the open. William finally explained that Soteriahad basically said that Vivian would apologize… Vivian stopped William with a “that bitch is in town, then?”

They explained that it would help having Asya around while Anton was missing, and that Asya was willing to help. Still fuming, Vivian released the necks and went to cash in her chips. William followed her to the cashier, and didn’t try to diffuse things with his off-beat sense of humor, instead just taking what it was Vivian felt she had to say. While she had intended on having it out with William in her car, the conversation ended at the Excalibur. While she cooled off before deciding to head back northward along the Strip, she received an SMS message from Tina with the photos that had been taken of Enno as Vivian. Under different circumstances, she would have been amused, but she did manage to reassure Tina that she didn’t blame her for anything.

Vivian returned to Surrender, during which time Enno felt the need to apologize to her. He plucked flowers from various vases at various restaurants (remember, he’s pretty strapped for cash at the moment), and made his way to Vivian’s club. Kyle let Enno through, and Vivian was able to get to the door just before Enno knocked. When she opened her door, she looked less than pleased.

Enno kept the flowers between them, possibly as a buffer of sorts, and after he apologized for going along with it, offered the flowers to her. She accepted them, plopping the stems in the opening of the Enno-fish bowl, frightening the fish just slightly.

Having had some time to think on things a bit, Vivian was relatively calm when speaking to Enno. She went on to explain that William was involving Enno just to have a different fall person; William was and is a master of diverting blame. She did, however, make it clear that all her anger was directed toward William.

As the next morning rolled around, Vivian had received a nice gesture from William (and some jewelry), but it was a far cry from gaining her forgiveness. But more on that later. William had contacted Enno to have him escort Asya to Ryuu’s place as well as Anton’s.

Asya had been put up in a magnificent suite at the Cosmopolitan, and took her sweet time getting ready. Eventually, she emerged, and they decided to make their way to Ryuu’s place first. When Enno started the car, the volume of the Chopin in his CD player annoyed Asya, and she ‘accidentally’ ended up shorting out the sound system.

Once at Ryuu’s, little of the scene had changed from what had been described during the previous session. Asya gave her take, and explained that she felt as though the ones who had come after Ryuu were what she refers to as “Nevermen” – the Nevernever’s attempt at creating humans, but they never quite got it right. The beings, however, don’t tend to act on their own volition, so someone would have had to hire them.

Onward to Anton’s, where, upon arrival, the car just sputtered and died (another ‘accidental’ reaction from Asya). As she got out of the car, she took one look at the house and couldn’t believe her eyes. Imagine the scene in Ghostbusters when the containment reactor was shut down and all the ghosts escaped. It was basically that.

She asked Enno what she was supposed to do, and it took a while to get a response (Enno to a text to William, with another text to Vivian, texting back to William, who passed the message on to Enno “Have her wrangle them in and contain them.”) She did what she could, but said she would need about 120 pounds of rock salt and a couple of bottles of water.

Knowing he was essentially penniless, Enno couldn’t just go to the local store to pick the stuff up. So, he called William again, who sent Jay to pick up and deliver the salt and water. Enno suggested maybe laxative in the water. William didn’t oblige.

When Jay arrived, Hank Williams Jr. blaring from the sound system of his redneck F350, he asked where he should leave the salt. Asya instructed him to make a perimeter around the house, which he did, but quickly backed away from the house because Anton’s just gives him the creeps. Some minor flirting went on between the two gentlemen (if we can call them that), and then Asya made her way out of the house, trapping the firefly spirits in an oversized jar. With her work done, she asked Jay if he could take her back to the Cosmopolitan, since her ride was presently incapacitated. Jay did so.

While the spirits were being contained at Anton’s, Vivian was dealing with a bit of … something at Surrender. She’d received a call from her doorman that the Belmont woman had made an appearance. Vivian said that if she just wanted to see her, to let her in, but if she wanted to hang out, she shouldn’t be allowed entrance to the club.

It was a meeting with Vivian, so she showed Alexis up to her office. Alexis went on to explain that she could no longer work for a dragon, and had ended her employ with Drake. Vivian nodded and Alexis continued with “Even though you’re a monster, you seem different than most. You aren’t a killer and I can respect that.” She went on to say that if she found any monsters preying on humans, she wouldn’t hesitate to destroy them.

Vivian said that she couldn’t guarantee Alexis’ safety, but it didn’t seem like much of a concern. After Alexis left the club, Vivian informed Nigel of the situation with Alexis, and it didn’t take long for the news to reach every corner of the Supernatural community in Las Vegas.

Including Giovanni Montegna.

Enno’s phone rang, and Johnny was on the other end of the line. Apparently, he wants the Belmont killed, and heard that Enno might be just the person to do it. When he learned of the identity of the hit, he refused the job.

Will Johnny continue to pursue the issue with Enno?

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Difficulties Arise From All Angles
And more than one party

As the crews arrived at the scene of the Deneuve house, Alexis received a call from Drake asking her to join the people that were there. When she asked him what she was supposed to do, since her thing is killing monsters, Drake told her to survey the scene and see if she can find anything. When she showed up, the organized chaos that was a crime scene was unfolding.

When she entered the house, Alexis spoke with William and Vivian and got an overview of their assessments of the scene. She also got Soteria’s take on it. She then went into the basement to survey things down there.

While in the basement, she managed to find a brick that everyone else had missed, that seemed out of place. When she pulled it from its space, she found a lockbox. She asked Enno to open it, but it was too much for his swords to be able to sneak into, so she brought it upstairs.

While Alexis was searching around, Vivian made several calls, one to Giovanni Montegna, trying to find possible help with locating a wizard who might be able to help. While he was his typical difficult self, he did offer a suggestion of the wizard that Vivian had run out of town a little while back. It was the last thing Vivian wanted to hear, but she politely thanked Johnny and told him she would keep him abreast of the situation.

Despite Vivian being a bit of a techno geek, Alexis handed the safe off to Soteria to see if she could open it. Vivian suggested a few combinations, and the attempt with Anton’s daughter’s birthday seemed to work. Of course, there was little to find on the computer; Anton keeps the internet history pretty clear, and his e-mail required a password. However, Alexis had found a list of potential passwords and other odd combinations (as well as a few books and a journal). It took a few tries, but Alexis was able to access the email. She found a message that was anonymous, but was a very important clue: RUN. She decided to forward that message to her own account.

She handed the laptop over to Soteria, an admitted technophobe, who proceeded to touch a few buttons and was met by a fatal error and blue screen of death. Alexis asked if there was a way to trace the message, and Vivian said there might be, so Alexis offered to send the message to Vivian. Vivian shook her head and explained that the forwarded message wouldn’t be enough of a clue, but there should be no problem getting the original message after restarting the computer.

It took a short time, but Vivian managed to near-pinpoint the location of the computer that sender of the message used; somewhere up at the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street. She needed to speak with William, so she got up from where she’d been sitting and made her way over to the door. As she opened it, William nearly bumped into her – seemed they were both looking for each other.

William explained that he’d sent a crew to try to pick up Ryuu, but it seemed that the scene at his place was bloodier than the one at Anton’s. When Soteria heard that it looks like Ryuu had been killed or at least kidnapped, the house shook – not Soteria’s doing, however. The group made their way outside to continue their conversation, and Vivian told William about Johnny’s suggestion of Asya.

They knew that getting her back to Las Vegas wouldn’t be easy, but Soteria insisted that they do their damnedest. Vivian knew she couldn’t go, but William said he would see if he could pick her up in Reno. Soteria insisted on going as well.

While they made their way from the scene at Anton’s, Vivian decided to stay at the Deneuve house while Alexis went to speak to Drake. She reported what she knew, and he then sent her up to Ryuu’s place. The scene there was indeed worse, and she looked around for a way to collect evidence, scooping up some ectoplasmic goo-type stuff as well as some blood, collecting each carefully with plastic utensils and putting them in their own baggies.

Meanwhile, William and Soteria made their way out of the city a little ways, his driving unnerving the weretiger just slightly. When he stopped at a private airfield, however, Soteria was even more agitated. William offered to shoot her with a dart gun to tranquilize her, then made the suggestion that he could force her to enjoy the flight. Soteria decided to do her best to grin and bear it.

When they landed, they made their way to the Peppermill casino, where they knew Asya Markovic worked. William pretended to be a member of the Nevada Gaming Committee, and he needed to speak to Asya. Despite her pleasant appearance, she was less than pleasant when she saw William.

It took a lot of talking to get her to just agree to hear out the situation, but there was a knock on the door, and a portly and balding man from the actual NGC entered. It seemed that Ms. Markovic had found herself under investigation of potentially committing fraud with the guests against the casino. While she was under investigation, she would not be able to work at the Peppermill or any other casino – looked as though her time was suddenly free.

“If you can get Vivian Harding to issue a formal apology to me, I’ll consider it.” It wouldn’t be easy.

While William tried to convince Asya to go anyway, Soteria tried with Vivian via William’s cell phone. Vivian wouldn’t budge on her negative response. She was not going to apologize for doing what was best for the city.

Soteria decided to try lying, stating that Vivian would apologize, but not over the phone. It would need to be done in person. Asya didn’t seem to have a problem with that, and told them to arrange a meeting at the Blue Martini, an accorded neutral ground, where the apology could take place.

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Gremlins and Agents and Ghosts, Oh My!
And a whole lot of crap disturbed... there's blood to prove it

So, a new campaign is underway, and there has already been some disturbances – if there haven’t been, then it’s not much of a storyline, is it?

The action opened with Soteria making contact with Anton, explaining that she knows she has an outstanding debt with him. Uncertain of when she might be able to pay it off, she asked (rather suggestively) if there might be another way that she could work off her debt. Anton took a few moments to think on the offer, and eventually nodded, stating that he could use someone to collect other outstanding debts. If people didn’t pay up, Anton asked Soteria to basically go ahead and maul them, taking payment in flesh. Though it seemed an odd request, Soteria just nodded and returned to the Four Queens.

Enno, in the meantime, hasn’t had much to do, and decided it was about time he looked for work. While his first inclination was to head to Vivian to ask for something, he decided it might be time to offer services to the Winter Court, to whom he had become foolishly indebted. As he entered the Venetian, he was met by Shawn Goldsmith (for those keeping track, it was the sister half of the twins), who greeted him as though she’s known him for eons.

When Enno mentioned that he was looking for work, Shawn thought for a moment and decided that Enno might be perfect for a little delivery that needed to be made. They discussed the details, and he was given the package to deliver, undetected, to Mercado’s Corporate Salvage. When he asked if he could know what was in the package, Shawn replied with a simple “no”, and oddly, Enno didn’t let his curiosity get the better of him.

He disguised himself, stole a car, and made his way to Joe’s. Under cover of darkness, he slipped into the yard, detected but not confronted, by the ghouls who were out feeding on the rats that also come out at night and roam the yard. Thanks to his stealth, Enno gets out of the yard unscathed.

Vivian wasn’t so fortunate. She was minding her own business at her club when she received notice that Bruce had arrived for a visit. Happy to see him again, she got up from her desk and opened the door, where he stood holding a package for her. She accepted the gift and tugged him into the office, closing the door behind him. She proceeded to open the gift and saw her jacket. With a “My jacket. Where’d you get this?”, Bruce went on to explain that it was found at the scene of a crime in the hills on the way to Mt. Charleston. Vivian stalled a bit by trying to remember when she last had the jacket, and Bruce called her on her BS. He said that he broke the chain of evidence and brought the jacket back, but wanted an explanation of how it got there.

Reluctantly, Vivian explained about her past and how she was once a prostitute, and while she no longer did that kind of thing, she still has a fierce need to protect girls in that sort of situation; they’d received word of the girls there, and she and William went to rescue the girls. She explained there was a scuffle with people inside, offered a description of them, and said that they went down to the basement to get the girls where they found a bomb. In haste, they ushered the girls outside. Vivian insisted that she remembered getting five of the girls out but after she was unconscious, she didn’t know what happened.

Bruce asked if the William she mentioned was William Moore, and when she said it was, she offered to get him on the phone. She mentioned to William that it was about the day at the log cabin, and William said he’d be there shortly. While they waited, Vivian asked Bruce about what he was thinking. He said that he didn’t think she was entirely what she seemed to be. She asked that he elaborate on his thoughts, and he said that he thought she was some sort of fae creature.

Vivian laughed, but composed herself, assuring him that she was certainly not fae. She asked what else he knew about as far as ‘not entirely human’ things were concerned. He said he’d run into vampires, shot a werewolf, had some run-ins with feral … somethings.

When William entered, there were some pleasantries, but Bruce asked William for his side of the story. William gave Vivian a brief glance, and Vivian gave him a nod enough that he would know he could go ahead and tell his side. While not exactly like Vivian’s story, it was mostly a match, though Bruce did note the discrepancies. William also mentioned something Vivian never said – he fed on 2 of the girls, and forced Vivian to feed on one of them (a recollection that made Vivian pale a bit – not from him having told the truth, but from her having given in to her Hunger, even if she was unconscious at the time).

Vivian asked Bruce the vampires he’d previously encountered, questioning how he figured they were vampires. He quite bluntly stated that the victims he came across were exsanguinated. Vivian told him that not all vampires are the same. She explained that he was right – she’s not entirely human. She also told him that she’s not a vampire that drinks blood. He didn’t understand that she could be a vampire, since he’s seen her out in the sun. She told him again that there are different breeds of vampires. The victims he’d come across in the past were likely victims of the Red Court of vampires. Had it been a Black Court attack, it would have been far more vicious. Bruce then questioned what she eats, if she doesn’t feed on blood. She asked if he understood what a succubus was, and he did, and asked if she ate souls. She shook her head. “I feed on energy.” As she said that, she reached out her incite abilities toward him and added, “Sexual energy.” He quite flatly told her to stop it, which she did.

When asked if he was human, William shook his head and replied with “I’m Spiderman.” That added tension to what was going on, but eventually Bruce said he was going to leave and digest things. He said he wouldn’t tell anyone what they’d said, because nobody would believe him. Vivian said that she didn’t want him to leave, but wasn’t going to force him to stay. William, being the gentleman he is, gave Vivian a look that said he could take care of the Bruce problem. She assured William that Bruce wouldn’t talk, and that she’d give him time to cool off and digest what had been said.

While all that was going on, Soteria had returned to the Four Queens and gave Enno a call, asking him if he had any sort of jobs that had come up, to which he replied he didn’t. She nodded and after she hung up the phone, she distinctly heard a huge ruckus in the hall. When she exited her room, she saw a rather large man pounding on Terpsichore’s door. “Excuse me, but what do you think you’re doing?” she asked him. He explained he wanted to speak to the Muses, that he wasn’t happy with what the fairies are doing to him and his business, and why should he speak to a fairy fucker like her anyway?

Just as Soteria was insisting she has nothing to do with the Fae, she heard a throat clearing behind her. Certain it was Terpsichore, Soteria turned with a “hi Terpsi…” It had been Melpomene. As Soteria turned, Joe flung a dead gremlin at Melpomene’s head, striking her in the face. She insisted that the Muses had nothing to do with any sort of attack on Mercado’s yard. Eventually, Joe took the Muse’s word for it, but when Soteria suggested that she help with the cleanup, Joe said he didn’t want help from a fairy fucker.

After he left, Soteria called Enno again, to tell him what was going on at Joe’s salvage yard, and hinted that maybe he could call him to see if he needs help, and maybe bring her in on the action. He reluctantly gave in, and called Joe.

With a little bit of convincing, he managed to get a job with Joe to help clean up the infestation. Enno then suggested that maybe Soteria could help – at no extra cost to Joe. He agreed to it, though he was quite sure that the Muses’ weretiger was looking to plant something in the yard. Still he agreed and had them work until nightfall.

When they showed up at the yard, Enno wearing different cologne than he’d had on the previous night, he was told the yard was closed. He said he was there to see Joe to help with the problem. Joe let them enter the yard and set them up in a location where they could hunt. Toward the end of a tiring afternoon, Soteria stalked toward a gremlin to herd it toward Enno, but then they both saw that the gremlin just up and split in two, becoming two gremlins rather than just the one it had been. Their reproduction would make for a difficult infestation clearing.

When they were done for the day, Joe paid them for their efforts, and Enno split the cash with Soteria, who said she could really go for a steak. They decided to head to TENDER at the Luxor hotel – the very restaurant where Vivian was meeting Nigel for a dinner.

When Vivian arrived, Nigel had already been seated, but rose when she stood by the table, not taking his seat again until she sat. After they ordered, they discussed business, including what was going on a Joe’s. After he explained what he’d understood to be the situation at the yard, he asked Vivian what she wanted to speak with him about. She told him about what happened with Bruce, and Nigel respected and agreed with Vivian’s plan to enthrall the FBI agent, because an agent in their pocket was far more valuable than an agent dead and buried.

After meals were enjoyed by all at TENDER, Soteria and Enno took their leave. Soteria wanted to pay the debt that she owed Anton and asked if he would like to join her. Having nothing better to do, Enno said he would, and they left the restaurant. Shortly after they left, Vivian spoke with KC – the chef at TENDER – flirted a little bit, then took her leave.

The pair arrived at Anton’s as Vivian was leaving the restaurant, and when Soteria knocked on the door, there was no answer. After another knock that went unanswered, Soteria asked Enno if he could call Anton. The call went to voice mail. As they were about to leave, the door slowly opened for them. There was nobody at the door, however, but it clearly opened for them. Cautiously, they stepped inside, noting the lack of any sort of threshold, and upon seeing the Precious Moments room they proceeded toward the kitchen. The amount of blood in the kitchen was unnerving, and Enno called Vivian to explain the situation, saying that they were going to check out what was going on, and that the house smelled of blood.

Vivian told Enno to be careful; not that she was cautioning him about his life, but more about his hunger. She said she’d wait for a follow-up call, and if she didn’t hear in 15 minutes, she would send in some form of backup.

The pair proceeded to the basement, where there was all kinds more blood weighing heavily in the air. The hanging light switching on by itself and swinging revealed that the smell of blood was there for a reason – a ton of it in the basement as well. In addition to the blood, Anton’s “Little Vegas” project; his 3D scale map of the city that reveals the location of supernatural beings, had been crushed and completely shattered. They did notice one clue: a smashed piece of the city with the letters FA scrawled on it in blood.

Soteria transformed back to human form and called Vivian, saying that Anton was dead and there was all kinds of blood. As she said that, something flew through the air and struck Soteria in the head. Vivian heard an “ow” and then Enno’s voice over the phone. Vivian told them to be careful about what they said and how they said it, and she was on her way. As she entered, she looked into the Precious Moments room to see the figures huddled in horror, not quite disfigured, but transformed into terrified versions of themselves. Vivian turned on the light in the room and closed the door most of the way before heading downstairs, messaging William a quick “Anton’s now, please”.

When she arrived downstairs, she was horrified at what she saw; the smashed Little Vegas making her feel sick to her stomach. She sat down on the bottom stair, not quite seeming like herself, and as both Enno and Soteria started talking, she held up a finger to quiet them before speaking aloud: “Emily, I need you to go upstairs and take care of them, OK?” Vivian said to the silence in the basement. As both Enno and Soteria looked at each other and started to ask who Emily was, Vivian held up her finger insistently again, until they heard stomping on the kitchen floor above.

Vivian explained to the pair that Emily was Anton’s daughter who died when she was a little girl – 6 or 7 years old. She’s a ghost who Anton won’t let go of, and that the Precious Moments dolls were also spirits. She said she didn’t know anything about magic, but as she looked around and saw the FA on the piece of the city, she felt uneasy. “It could be fae that whoever was trying to say.” Soteria said it might be initials, and Vivian agreed. Soteria said that she would be right back and disappeared. Though neither Enno nor Vivian knew where she’d gone, she went to find the figurine that she had stolen and buried.

Soteria ran back inside after not finding the figurine, just as William was literally hopping out of his convertible, armed with a broadsword. “Vivian?” he called from upstairs and she told him they were downstairs. They analyzed the scene a little bit more, and Soteria said that she’d spoken with Anton that morning, and he was fine, just said that he would like her to start collecting outstanding debts in flesh. Vivian didn’t like the sound of that, insisting it didn’t sound like Anton. William went upstairs to see if he could get in touch with Rose. While he was upstairs, Vivian tried Anton’s cell phone, and after a few rings someone picked up. Unfortunately, it was William on the other end of the line.

The big problem was that nobody knows enough about magic to know what to do. William after calling in for an analysis team to come to Anton’s, asked if he could speak with Vivian outside. They exited the house, where William explained that the ghosts could be the bigger problem. Soteria had eavesdropped on the pair but quickly headed back inside when they went separate ways to start making phone calls to find someone who might be able to help with the wizard side of things.

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And On To Other Things
Just not yet... (Chance for input)

So, the adventure log is minimal for this past session. Reason being … well, several. But basically, the only RP that went on was for Soteria. That said, a few people were absent, and Jesse didn’t want to start a story arc with a few key characters not present.

First, the action –

Soteria awoke in a tastefully overdone room, which, the stationery in the writing desk indicated was a suite at the Venetian hotel. It seemed odd to her, though, since she didn’t remember ever checking in at the Venetian. Her memories were being shot at an abandoned resort, jumping through the window, and… not much else. That stands to reason, since she was knocked out by a rather large lead pipe wielded by a woman with dragon-infused strength.

Since she was in tiger form when she was rendered unconscious, it would only be natural for her to be naked, however, Soteria was in a rather modest nightgown that covered a good deal of her alabaster flesh. When she opened the armoire, she noticed that there were a number of different styles of clothes, all of which seemed to be her size. Even the underthings fit perfectly. So, the weretiger changed into some clothes and was about to call down to see if she could locate the only person she could associate by name with the hotel where she found herself: Shane Goldsmith.

As luck would have it, Soteria heard a knock on the door to the suite just as she arrived at it, and it was Shane (though it really could have been Shawn – one never knows through the distortion of the peek hole) with a room service cart with a number of silver domes atop it. Soteria opened the door and Shane explained that he figured she would be hungry, and had taken the liberty to bring her all kinds of high-protein foodstuffs (things like steak, eggs benedict, and other Atkins-type things).

When she asked how it was she ended up at the Venetian, Shane explained that it was Tina’s doing. She’d asked the Winter Court for help; namely for passage to the Never Never, which the Court granted for a price that didn’t concern Soteria or her relationship with the Muses. While in the Never Never, the bullet wound had enough time to heal, and any other damage that had been done to Soteria had a chance to be fixed.

She asked about whether anyone had considered telling the Muses of her whereabouts, but Shane shrugged and said that the Winter Court figured that if the Muses were to know about where she was, they would likely come to fetch her, and the Court decided they would give Soteria the chance to choose for herself.

“So, I’m free to go?” she asked. Which she was. Shane even said he would arrange for a car to get her to the 4 Queens.

After Shane left the room, Soteria scanned the clothes in the armoire again, to decide which of them were to her liking, and took them in a Laundry Service bag that had been hanging in the closet. Upon arriving at the 4 Queens, she went to explain to the Muses where she had been, and that she just woke up and just found out that nobody had told the Wyld Fae where they could find their pet weretiger. Although nobody made an issue of it, Terpsichore was somewhat passive-aggressive in her dismissal of the occurrence.

So, that was really what the adventure log consisted of for the session. It was a pretty short session, quite frankly. What did go on was that Jonathan, Kat, Jesse and I were plotting out the next scenario, and Jesse asked us what we’d like to see come up.

There will be a rather large-scale city-wide upheaval in the works, but to start, things are moving in the direction of the Fae, and better establishing the Winter Court within the city. The yet-to-be-named representative of the Winter Court has the potential to be a real pain in the ass. Then again, he’s fae, so what should we expect?

Is there anything that you’d like to see? Post it in the comments.

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Three Eye is a Distant Memory
Unfortunately, so are Alexis'...

A short while had passed between the previous adventure and this one, and although the action went mostly unplayed, enough did happen that warrants mention.

First off, Angelica Rodarte was handed over by Drake to the White Court. Vivian was present to witness, but didn’t take part in the ‘questioning’ about who had made her as powerful as she was when it came to magic. Eventually, they learned that it was someone within the Clark County Detention Center. Further interrogation gave them the name of Roberto Martinez.

With that name, Vivian has spoken with a few of the corrections officers at the prison, and has ensured that there would be no further unsupervised visits to Mr. Martinez. Angelica also gave enough information about locations of production areas and distribution centers for Three Eye.

Although the questioning was done, Vivian asked that Angelica be held for a little while longer until she and Enno were able to make contact. Vivian then went to pick Enno up from the Excalibur, drove him out to Mercado’s Salvage Yard and they were given access to Angelica. Upon entry into the large storage container where the former sorceress was being held by Joe Mercado, Enno had little to say, but with her restrained, gave her enough of a slug that she likely would rather her cheek had split open rather than swelled to the extent it did. As Vivian and Enno left, Vivian said to Joe, “She’s all yours.”

Because Angelica has been taken out of commission, no longer able to host her orgies that fueled the necessary magic used in the Three Eye, it was just a matter of removing the existing stock from production and shutting down the warehouses. Nigel spoke with Drake and had a team of White Court enforcers head in with some of Joe’s ghouls to clean up the city of any stray Three Eye floating about. However, the drug was no longer magical, but served only as a hallucinogen. Any remaining drug posed no threat to the supernatural community.

A week or so had passed since the rescue of Alexis from her own family, and while spotty memories were returning, Alexis had been spending much of her time visiting various locations throughout the Valley to see how people reacted to her. As she found out any snippets of information that may serve as important, she wrote them down on a little notepad. The information may have had a strong root in the supernatural, or may have been somewhat mundane – her ‘usual’ at restaurants was also something Alexis took note of.

While eating at The Country Club Steakhouse, she recognized a few people, including Scott Sullivan and Vivian Harding. As Vivian was leaving she stopped at Alexis’ table to ask how she was doing. Alexis replied that she was doing well enough, but still trying to remember things. Vivian specifically inquired about her hip, which Alexis said was healing. The two women discussed a lot about the city and their differences of opinion about the ‘monsters’ in Las Vegas. Alexis got into the Belmont mentality, and Vivian failed at demonstrating that the Belmonts were no less monsters than some of what the family had set out for centuries to destroy.

(Please fill in what happened between Alexis and Ryuu at the restaurant – and I know the details of the Four Queens will be a little bit sketchy.)

At the Four Queens, Ryuu and Alexis went to speak with Terpsichore. While Ryuu was hoping that he wouldn’t have another table launched at him, Terpsichore was hoping that Alexis wasn’t there to dance. The pair had actually gone to the hotel in the hopes of speaking with Terpsichore to get Soteria’s bracelet. They had no intention of stealing it, and Ryuu made that perfectly clear to the muse, who did eventually grant them access to Soteria’s room.

Ryuu explained what had happened when Soteria had put on the enchanted bracelet – a very angry, red-eyed weretiger attacked him. What he hoped to do was find out what had happened, and how the bracelet (what he understood to be a pretty simple heirloom that Soteria held dear to her heart). He used his earth channeling abilities to affect the metal in the safe, popping open the lock quite easily. While looking for something to use to pick up the bracelet, Alexis reached into the safe and said “here you go” as she handed him the heirloom. It seemed most of the magical effects had worn off of it.

Still, Ryuu wanted to figure out why he had been able to feel someone pressing into his mind when he was holding onto it. He decided that the best thing to do would be to re-enchant it, though to a lesser degree. Of course, he wanted to take precautions and not perform any sort of ritual on his own, so he asked Alexis to be with him and do what she needed to do to get the bracelet off him, if the need should arise.

She said that she would feel better, considering how dangerous he’d made it seem, if she were armed when he enchanted and put on the bracelet.

(ANOTHER AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m not sure why they came to end up in Enno’s room to discuss the bracelet – yes, I was on codeine through the session, so my brain was really fluffy. Writing this is proof of that fact. Please, please, please fill in the blanks.)

Ryuu and Enno contacted Anton about seeing him in regards to the bracelet, but because Anton was in a poker tournament, he wouldn’t be able to see the two of them until the next morning; an appointment time they accepted. When they went to the wizard’s house, he mentioned that he was familiar with the heirloom, and he would take a look at it. Leaving the pair in what has come to be known as “the Precious Moments room”, Anton proceeded to examine the bracelet in his basement. When he emerged, he gave the bracelet back to them, and said that there was evil in the bracelet.

Though the characters don’t know, after Anton closed the door behind them, his eyes glowed the menacing red glow that the bracelet induces.

(Yeah, I was out of it – please, fill in everything I missed, which was a lot.)

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A Cage By Any Other Name
Is still just a means of restraint

When we last saw our heroes (reluctant or otherwise), they were poised to rescue Alexis from her monster-loathing family – the Belmonts. Alexis had been placed in a meat locker/walk-in fridge, and although it was pitch dark inside, she was able to feel around the perimeter of the room after escaping from her ‘obviously faulty’ handcuffs. Along the far wall, she found the various pipes that feed into the cooling compressor, and broke off a section of pipe to use as a weapon, should someone enter the fridge. She took her place beside the door, ready to club whoever entered in the gut – of course, if the person was short, they’d have a face full of lead pipe.

While Alexis was taking position in the dark by the door, Enno was outside. He’d been shot by the sniper he had been charging, but had managed to scale up to the sniper’s tower and do a little damage of his own. When he got there, he found that the previous occupant was no longer present, but rather a nice stash of ammo he would never use and a trap door leading down.

Meanwhile, Soteria, in tiger form, while wounded, still had enough strength to sneak around inside the compound as well, and when Alexis heard scuffling outside the fridge door, she decided to try to scare whatever was outside by making a racket. Her choice was to kick the door, which she proceeded to deform enough that a little bit of light leaked inward, and an Alexis’ foot-shaped dent could barely be seen (due to lack of light, rather than lack of dent). Surprised at the shoddy materials they used during construction, she kicked the door again, her foot emerging through the opposite side upon the second assault. After she reclaimed her foot, she reached her hand through the hole and broke off the lock on the other side – a big risk to take, considering her aunt was trying to kill her and a large tiger was roaming just outside the door.

Still, she reached through the hole and broke off the lock, allowing her to escape the meat locker prison that had been holding her. Still armed with the lead pipe, she found no tiger, and was unsettled by the silence that had replaced it. She called out, but to no response. Crouching into a ready stance, she wandered a ways and into an adjacent room, when she called out again. This time her Aunt Jenny answered her, but when Alexis tried to greet her aunt in return her efforts were cut short by the sound of a little fist-sized metal lump rolling across the floor.

Hesitating a moment in the tower, taking a brief glimpse of his surroundings, Enno couldn’t help but hear the absurdly loud “boom” that rang out from another section of the hotel, caused by Jenny’s flash grenade. He allowed a few seconds for whatever crowd might be below him to start moving that way, so that he might follow them and catch them from behind, then he raised a boot from the ground and brought it down hard on the wooden trap door. It shattered away, birthing as it crumbled a spring-loaded grenade from beneath it that sailed up and into Enno’s face. Clearly it had been rigged by the sniper as he left the tower, knowing that Enno would attempt to follow.

Reflexively Enno sprung back on his heels, flipping backwards in the air and soaring right over the low wall upside-down. Reaching his hands above – or in this case below – his head, he grabbed hold of the lip of the wall and used the grip as an axis to right himself, swinging around the ledge in an arc and planting his feet on the wall vertically. It wasn’t the most graceful of maneuvers, but the timing hardly allowed for anything else. The maneuver, while a bit hard to explain, left him hanging from the side of the tower with nothing exposed to the grenade, and just in time for it to explode. His fingers were stung by some micro-shrapnel, but nothing he couldn’t deal with. He didn’t play piano, after all.

Knowing that this explosion, like the one just before it, would attract attention of its own, he dropped to the balcony below and waited behind a pillar for someone to climb the tower in investigation. Seconds later a Belmont henchman wandered into his ambush, and was promptly skewered. Searching his corpse, Enno found a radio earpiece, a large rifle he had no use for and two flash bangs. He shouldered the rifle, just to be safe, pocketed the grenades, donned the earpiece and tossed the man’s body over the side of the tower.

Rolling into cover, Alexis barely escaped the blast of the flash grenade. Her ears ringing, she rose again to find Jenny, hoping that her aunt had not been harmed. She rounded the same corner again and layed eyes upon her aunt – buried under the form of the same tiger from moments ago, who had just knocked the older woman down. Approaching the pair, she readied a swing of her stout pipe for the tiger, but as she approached the cat turned around bearing what could best be described as a toothy smile – one that seemed to greet Alexis as a friend. Thinking it merely odd, Alexis introduced that smile to her improvised weapon. The cat unconscious, Alexis turned to Jenny to find her laying in much the same state, but with a large digital timer strapped to her chest, counting down from 19 seconds. Knowing she could not disarm the bomb that munitions master Jenny had put together, Alexis acted quickly, tossing Jenny over the tiger and running with all her might out of the room.

When she ran from the room, fully expecting to at least hear, if not feel the blast of the bomb, Alexis heard nothing. Her feet carried her farther from the fridge, where she ran into Jason. “Why aren’t you in your cell?” he asked?

Alexis explained that she had heard scuffling outside of it, and kicked the door, which gave way. Her suspicions had been right, and there was indeed a tiger running about. She explained that Jenny had once again tried to kill her, and she and her father spoke for a little bit, coming to the realization that Alexis had a form of amnesia, which accounted for what had happened. Either way, Alexis was now fighting on the right side of the Monsters Vs. Mortals war. They discussed a plan of action, wherein Jason mentioned that their vehicles had all been disabled by crossbow bolts in the tires. If they stood any chance of getting out of there, they would need to acquire one of the vehicles that the monsters had arrived in.

Knowing the group that had accompanied Alexis during the kidnapping of the witch (Angelica Rodarte), she told her father there was at least one Chiro, possibly two, probably a succubus and an incubus, an illusionist, and a weretiger. After Alexis explained that she’d left Jenny on the tiger, they went to look for the other woman, and found Jenny moderately unharmed, the bomb having stopped at 4 seconds on the countdown clock. Oddly, however, the tiger was nowhere to be seen. Jason told his daughter that he would take care of Jenny, and that Alexis should go on the search for a vehicle, and when she asked if she could be equipped with weapons more suited for battle, and Jason gave her a machete. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any spare headsets. As he mentioned them, he took a look at his GPS that could track everyone with headsets, and saw that one of them was moving in a northeasterly direction.

When Jason asked why he was abandoning his post, he received no answer, and then issued the word “Betsy” – a code to which Enno obviously did not know the response. Rather than trying to B.S. a response, Enno took the headset off from his ear and left it on the floor of the desert, continuing to run in the direction of Vivian’s parked car. He had heard the two Belmonts conversing, especially the part about stealing a car from Enno’s team, and abandoned the hunt to warn Vivian.

While Enno was running, Vivian received a text message from Tina, explaining that Soteria was down, dragged into a closet, and that Alexis was on her way to find a car and attempt to take the car in her possession so her family could escape the compound. Vivian took the information, forwarded the message to Jay who was a quarter mile or so away from her position, and then received the same information from Enno when he arrived.

Enno suggested that Vivian leave, which she said she wouldn’t do, but she told Enno to try to incapacitate Alexis so she could be returned to Drake. Enno then ran off to try to intercept Alexis before she had a chance to reach the car. Vivian received a text from Jay asking what to do if he spotted Alexis, to which Vivian replied with a simple “nothing fatal” message. She then called William to ask for his input.

While Enno was running somewhat in the direction of the Casa Tranquila, he and Alexis stumbled upon each other. Enno tried to be casual and cavalier about things with a simple “Hey Alexis.” Alexis certainly seemed as though she had no clue who Enno was. After asking him for ID, he suggested that perhaps the jacket he had balled up (a jacket he had borrowed from Vivian and had wrapped around a flash-bang grenade) might remind her that they knew each other.

Alexis knew that it would be a bad idea to accept the ball and when she declined it with a simple “I’d rather not”, he threw the jacket in her direction. With her quick reaction time, she caught the jacket and threw it back at Enno, resulting in the latter being deafened. Even Enno’s enhanced speed couldn’t stop the internal timer on the grenade, and he bore the brunt of the explosion. Deafened by the explosion, Enno still managed to battle with Alexis until she finally put him in a grapple, but just as she pulled him close to her, she felt a jolt in her leg.

A crossbow bolt went through her hip and into Enno, fired with precision by Jay who was off in the distance. Even injured, both Alexis and Enno continued fighting, although eventually, they both fell, exhausted and battered.

Vivian received a text from Jay, asking her whether she wanted him to pick up the fallen pair or go back to the compound. Vivian knew that Tina and Soteria were still in Casa Tranquila, and couldn’t leave them behind, so she told Jay to pick up Enno and Alexis, secure Alexis, and bring them to Excalibur for Drake Brandt. After sending the text, Vivian called William. Though she would have been seen as calm and collected to anyone who didn’t know her, William could tell, even over the phone, that she was scared.

She asked him what she should do, because every instinct she had was to go back to look for Tina and Soteria. Vivian’s thoughts were to have Tina veil herself and Soteria until the Belmonts left. William said that Tina would do what she thought she would be able to do, rather than what Vivian told her to do. Not particularly liking that response from William, Vivian thanked him and texted Tina, asking if she felt she would be able to keep herself and Soteria concealed through the night. The response she received was a simple “see you in vegas” and that left Vivian able to head back to the city.

Back in the city, Alexis and Enno had both been dropped off at the Excalibur, but handled differently. Enno had been placed in a hospital bed, where he woke in the early afternoon, parched but mostly healed of the injuries he’d received during the battle with Alexis, left only with an oddly attractive chest scar.

Alexis didn’t fare as well. She was also in a hospital bed, but she was restrained by chains and shackles, in a cell, guarded by a camera and a nurse. When she woke, the nurse offered her some water, which she gratefully accepted. While the nurse was in the cell, the nurse noticed that Alexis was testing the restraints and told her that Drake knew she’d be able to break the restraints keeping her chained to the bed, but also informed her that she wouldn’t be able to break through the bars. She offered to leave the keys in the cell so Alexis wouldn’t have to break the chains.

With the keys on the bed, Alexis was able to free herself, and the nurse said that she brought Alexis the only sundress she could find in her room. Alexis asked that the camera be turned off so she could change from the hospital gown. The nurse didn’t think it was a good idea, so she just left the area to monitor from a distance.

During the interaction between Alexis and the nurse, Vivian had returned to the Excalibur to speak with Drake. She was escorted to the dragon’s subterranean lair, where she saw Drake staring at what were probably MRI scans. She cleared her throat, and Drake didn’t look up but asked why she was there. She told Drake that she wanted to return the bracer that had been a part of Alexis, since Alexis had also been returned.

He asked her what she wanted in return, and Vivian said that there were a few occasions that she’s returned Alexis and Enno, so it seemed that Drake owed the White Court a few favors. Drake understood that Vivian didn’t need any sort of material compensation, but he said that there must be something she wanted. Jokingly, she said that she would love if there was a way that he could keep her father from returning to Las Vegas, but when he said he could do it, she shook her head and said she could handle her own family.

On a more serious note, she explained that her goals in the city weren’t all that different than Drake’s: To keep the city intact, and as unchanged as possible. But she also mentioned that things had become a little out of control of late, with problems that have been caused by Enno and Alexis – she wasn’t blaming the dragon for lack of control, but said that it’d be nice if he could try to do something about it. He laughed and said that he owed her favors, not miracles.

As a concession, he offered Vivian the witch that he’d stripped of magical abilities. Angelica was something that Vivian couldn’t refuse, but would need some time to determine what would be done with her. Drake said she just had to let him know where to have the witch sent.

Vivian had one more question, this one about the locket that Drake had given her. She wanted to know who the people were. She said she knew her father was one of them, but wanted to know who was in the other photo. When Drake asked her who she thought, Vivian asked “Is it my mother?” When Drake told her it was, Vivian asked him, teary eyed, how he got the locket. He casually said that her mother gave it to him. Vivian could only reply with a simple “thank you” to which Drake showed no reply other than going back to his MRI images.

As Vivian left the lair, she ran into Enno, and asked how he was feeling. He replied that he was doing quite well, other than being extremely thirsty (and flexed his gills). She held in her laugh and told him she’d have offered a bottle of water if she had one. She went on to tell him that she was there to bring back Alexis’ bracer and such. Vivian also mentioned that she’d acquired a certain witch for the White Court. That piqued Enno’s curiosity, and before saying goodbye to Vivian he politely requested the opportunity to speak with Angelica again, should Vivian be so kind as to arrange a meeting. Amused, Vivian took her leave, allowing Enno to speak with Drake, who went on to ask him to keep a low profile within the city for a time. Enno agreed to the request with (oddly) no argument.

After Enno left Drake’s lair to keep a low profile, Drake proceeded to check on Alexis. When she saw him, she addressed him, and he explained about her memory loss, what she understood. She knew there were parts of her life she didn’t remember, and when Drake finally apologized to her, she asked him what the apology was for. He replied with “this” before he lifted his hand and essentially sucked the dragon fire from her, the essence spilling from her eyes, nose and mouth, leaving a vacant feeling inside of her. She couldn’t recall what it was that was missing, but she knew it was a void.

Alexis rose from the bed, but the wound in her hip caused her to fall to her feet, sprawling completely ungracefully on the floor of the cell. Drake entered and offered her his hand so she could rise. He explained that he’d taken away the powers he’d granted her, but that even without them, she was still a danger. While he didn’t go into the accorded neutral status of the Excalibur hotel, he informed her that she was essentially under house arrest. She could try to leave, but he would know about it.

Essentially, he had given her some time to think, and to decide where her loyalties reside; with him or with the Belmonts. She would be free to roam about the Excalibur and learn all about the hotel. Should she choose to return to her family, he would make it so that any ties to him would be known among the supernatural community to be broken.

At the time that Alexis was negotiating with Drake, Vivian was making her way back down to the compound to pick up Soteria and Tina. She texted Tina with no response, then put in a call to Nigel to inform him of the outcome of the previous night’s activity. She also told him that Drake had given Angelica over to the White Court, and she asked him if they had a place to keep her. Nigel told her that Joe Mercado had a location that might work, and he asked if Vivian wanted to be present through the interrogation, which she said she undoubtedly wanted to be.

She told Nigel that she was making her way to La Casa Tranquila. Nigel forbade her to go, and she explained that Soteria was still there, and that there was no response from Tina. He then explained that William might have a way of getting in touch with Tina, and the he was far better suited to go in after Soteria. The Belmonts would likely have someone in waiting for anyone to return to the compound. Vivian was concerned about William going in, but Nigel told her that his assassin would be far better equipped to go in, should trouble arise.

Vivian stopped on the side of the road after telling Nigel she wouldn’t go. He told her to go home and shower, to which she replied that he had obviously been reading her mind. Still, after she hung up the phone, she remained on the side of the road, thinking about what she should do.

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As the Chips fall III
The Search for Alexis

The session opens with Enno calling Drake, and letting him know that he’s been blasted half to hell by Alexis’ dad, Jason Belmont. He requests Drake’s help in getting medical or magical attention for his wounds, to the Dragon’s confusion. He believed Enno’s healing was affected naturally, and is informed that no, it was his swords that granted him this ability. Thus informed, Drake lets Enno know where to look for his swords: The White Court. Armed with this knowledge, Enno calls Vivian for assistance.

Vivian is upset with Enno for hurting her boy man toy William, so she decides to take advantage of Enno’s state to get a little revenge and profit at the same time. She tries to use the swords as leverage to get Enno to swear an oath to serve her and be her newest pawn. They ultimately work out a deal where Enno’s life belongs to Vivian. Despite having the swords all along, Vivian claims to have to negotiate with Nigel Raith to get them back.

She tells Nigel that she’ll take full responsibility if Drake finds out what’s going on, gets the swords, and takes the most circuitous route possibile, as slowly as possible, back to Enno, to find him passed out in the shower. She drops one of his swords on his back, and when he’s somewhat recovered, turns the other over as well. Enno explains to her that Alexis has been taken by her family , and asks for help. Vivian agrees to give it.

Meanwhile, Soteria is trying to figureo ut why her bracelet is screwing with her head. She and Ryuu look into it, but eventually she goes to Anton for assistance. He gives it a look through The Sight, and informs her that it’s the focus item for a dark wizard, and advises her not to put it on. In fact, the best way to fix the whole issue is to kill the damn thing with fire. Soteria doesn’t take this well, because it’s an heirloom from her mother. Anton tells her there’s a second, more expensive option. He can find her a guy to handle option two for around a grand finder’s fee, but she’ll need at least ten large to pay the the guy for his work.

Vivian and Enno go to the Venetian to get some healing assistance from the Winter Court. On the way there, they get a call from Soteria, asking for work. Enno agrees to send work her way when he’s got it, then asks her to save Alexis. When asked if this is a paying job, he says yes, of course it is. Enno’s a liar. Soteria agrees, and arranges to meet them at the Venetian.

When they arrive, Vivian turns enno over to a fae doctor with scalpels and syringes for fingers. When Enno wakes up, he’s in perfect condition … except for the gills. And webbing between his digits. And some scales. He’s informed this is a minor side effect of his healing, and they’ll fade. Downstairs, Soteria and Vivian have been sharing drinks with Shane. Shane hands Vivian a fish bowl, containing a small fish full of toothpicks, and warns her to keep it alive or Enno dies.

Vivian, Enno, and Soteria roll out of the Venetian and visit Anton. They try to find out from him where Alexis is, and in the meantime, notice some of his creepy dolls looks like them. Soteria freaks out and snatches the doll matching her, then takes off. Anton appears to give them their information, Enno asks him about why there are dolls resembling him and Alexis, Anton’s response is “They must like you.” Then he slams his door in their face.

Vivian then calls in backup for their rescue operation. Jay and Tina respond. Enno persuades Vivian to stop by Alexis’ hotel, because he remembered that she hadn’t been wearing her bracer when he saw her. When they check the room, it’s clean: No weapons, no bracer, nothing. Enno checks with the front desk clerk, and is informed that everything was turned over to the police. Enno buys this, and feels confident that with their connections, the stuff can be recovered.

Vivian rolls her eyes at his gullibility, gets Tina to Glamour her into Alexis, and approaches the desk, demanding to know what they did with her stuff. They again claim that everything was turned over to the cops because of the mess she and her ‘friends’ made. Vivian calls bullshit on this, asks about the bracer. The clerkd enies knowledge of it, says the weapons were turned over to the cops. Vivian calls for the head of housekeeping, lays the white court mojo on him, and gets Alexis’ bracer back. They take off.

Backup secured, magic item secured, and location secured, the crew roll out to deal with the Belmonts, who have holed themselves up in La Casa Tranquila, an unfinished Spanish mission-style hotel outside of Vegas. There are traps set up all around the place. Soteria and Tina decide eto go in to scout. Soteria comes up with a plan revolving around pretenting to be lesbian lovers looking for a place to fool around. Tina doesn’t deign to comment on this plan. Probably because she’s mute. When Soteria actually starts to feel her up, Tina pushes her off and turns them invisible. Much more practical, really. The pair of them get a rough estimate of the Belmonts’ numbers, then return to inform everybody of the situation. Soteria and Ryuu discuss the situation, until Ryuu notices a red dot on his chest, moments before shots are fired.

There’s a brief, humiliating fight, and everybody dies. The Belmonts burn their corpses, and scatter the ashes at a crossroads. Because you don’t fuck with the Belmonts and survive.

Maybe, maybe not…

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