Campaign of the Month: November 2012

THE EMERALD CITY

BOOK 10: THE WALKABOUT: CHAPTER 02

GM: Justin

RED RAIDERS OF OLYMPIA

EC_Chapter10TheWalkabout.png

Transcribed by: James
In Game date: March, 2009
Episode: 75

Chapter: 02

After being asked for a favor by DOZER, JACK YOUNGBLOOD, BRUNO WALSH and MATHEWWOOFRILEY had gone to Olympia to help an unnamed person in exchange for the return of Jack’s vintage Indian motorcycle. Little did they know the high price they were being asked to pay for the bike. The leader of the Pack had good reason to not tell the group the name of the person they were supposed to help. JJ MERCER was a White Court Vampire who had had many past encounters with the Warden and his allies. All of them had reason to hate him and were highly unlikely to provide him aid.

However, the idea of a Scourge of Vampires from Eastern Europe moving into the area was unacceptable even if the war between the Red Court Vampires and the White Council of Wizards had ebbed in recent months. The vampires were using the Rainmaker nightclub as a front to addict all the patrons to the vampire venom that they laced into the drinks that were served there. This would make the patrons easy to control and give the vampires a large stable of blood slaves. Mercer wanted them removed from his territory largely for selfish reasons. But, as a White Court Vampire he could not act against the Reds directly without being censured by his own family. So he had demanded DOZER repay his debt to him by destroying the Red Court Vampires. Dozer, put in an awkward position by his oath to Mercer and his obligations to the depleted werewolf biker gang, The Pack, had in turn tricked Jack and his allies into doing the job for him.

EC_COM301.pngThe group had staked out the Rainmaker club the night before. Riley had posed as a drug dealer from Afghanistan with Bruno acting as his bodyguard. Their cover had held up but they couldn’t get in to the VIP section to scout the vampires out fully. Riley had managed to slip away and infiltrated the employee only areas of the club finding little of value.

Meanwhile, Jack had made his way through the sewers under the club and ended up joining Riley. They didn’t learn much about their targets other than what kind of car they drove and decided that their best bet was to follow the vampires to their home and attack them there. Hopefully, away from any innocents that might be caught in the crossfire.

To that end they rented a hotel suite with adjoining rooms and planned to pick up the vampire’s trail the next evening. After some meditation Jack was able to tune out the buzzing from the spirit world that constantly assailed his senses and get some much needed sleep. Riley, a veteran of many campaigns, also fell asleep without any difficulty. However, Bruno could not get any sleep at all. Every time he was about to drift off he would bounce back awake. Noting Jack’s success the big man decided to try some meditation as well. He got far more than he bargained for.

Bruno saw a road leading him through cloudy and murky waters that went off into the distance. He struggled to make his way through but despite his best efforts he felt like he was going nowhere. He realized that he was surrounded by animals all around him always just beyond his reach as he got hungrier and hungrier. The Totem Warrior steeled himself and dove deeper into the vision.

He saw a mysterious knight on a massive horse charging recklessly down the road. The knight’s armor became more and more tarnished and neither he nor his mighty steed seemed to realize that they are getting nowhere. Bruno looked behind him and saw a man walking clumsily on his hands and feet who is quickly falling behind. He turned back to the knight and noticed that his horse bore a strange resemblance to Jack Youngblood’s Indian motorcycle. Both the knight and his horse seemed to be tiring. Floundering and in danger of collapsing they kept on the path disappearing over a hill. Bruno took a great breath and dove deeper still.

EC_COM302.pngHe saw the end of the road and the knight and steed stand silhouetted by a sickly light leaking in from the horizon like some obscene and disturbing sunrise. The light was oddly terrifying, its colors making Bruno deathly afraid. He realized that he couldn’t breath and lunged to reach the surface of the water as he realized he was drowning. But the undertow was dragging him deeper and deeper and his vision was going dark as he was blacking out.

Bruno jerked awake from his vision panting heavily from fear and exertion. It was morning but despite that the large man felt like he hadn’t slept all night. He grabbed the box of donuts devouring them but they did not to assuage the deep hunger that rumbled up in his belly. Jack came out of the shower looking fairly refreshed and beheld Bruno devouring the donuts. He confronted him asking him what was going on. The big man snapped at Jack telling him to mind his own business and stomped out of the suite. He slammed the door so hard that he broke the frame and accidently tore the nob off. Tossing it aside he made his way down to the ground floor and found a vending machine.

He was so hungry. Nothing mattered in that moment but getting food and ending his hunger pangs. But he didn’t have any money. Bruno easily smashed the machine open with a loud racket and began grabbing the snacks inside. The hotel manager screamed at him to stop what he was doing and drop the Twinkies. Bruno slowly and deliberately turned on the man rising to his full height. He said nothing but when he took a step forward the manager squeaked out in real fear and took off toward the office with his cellphone out. Bruno turned back to gathering the fruits of his vandalism.

Jack came down the stairs that were on the outside of the motel carrying his gear to his bike. Most notably his Warden’s sword and his staff. The police, responding to the call from the manager, pulled up in front of the Warden, saw his sword and drew their weapons screaming for him to freeze. Surprised, Jack dropped his stuff to the parking lot and raised his hands. The cops cuffed him none too gently while Jack protested asking what the hell was going on. The cops slammed him on the car telling him to shut it. They all turned in fright at the loud bellow of rage that came from Bruno at the sight of this.

Before anyone could act Bruno charged the nearest police officer and backhanded him in the head. They all heard the peculiar popping sound of the officer’s jaw breaking and he went flying back several yards into the hotel wall. He rebounded in a heap and wasn’t moving. It was unclear if he was alive or dead.

EC_COM303.pngThe second officer began firing his gun in fear and desperation at the man mountain before him. He struck Bruno several times but had no effect on the big man. Jack screamed at Bruno telling him to stop but he didn’t seem to hear him. The wizard tried to reach out into the spirit world and quiet the spirit of Yuquot that was driving the big man. But it was no use. He didn’t have enough magic to help his friend. He began squirming in his handcuffs trying to get out of them.

Just as the enraged Bruno reached the second police officer Riley appeared out of nowhere slipping between them trying to block his way to the cop. Bruno tossed him aside sending the former SEAL flying across two parked cars before hitting the tarmac in a roll with little damage. But that gave Jack enough time to throw himself in between his friend and the cop. Bruno reared back and Jack winced in fear praying that the enchantments he had laced in his leather biker jacket would be enough to protect him from his friend’s wrath. But the sight of his best friend seemed to finally reach Bruno and he hesitated. Just for a second Bruno seemed on the verge of wrestling back control of his rage. Until the cop began shooting him again.

Bruno shoved his friend aside, knocking him out of the way and charged the cop. The officer stood his ground unloading his firearm into the enraged mountain that slammed down on him harder than an avalanche. They all heard the crack of breaking bone as Bruno kicked the man in the hip throwing him into the police car door denting it deeply. The officer was a tough one though. Lying on his back, he reloaded his weapon. Crying out in pain he began to fire with abandon at Bruno as he advanced on him relentlessly.

That was when a large white hound appeared and bit at his leg barely slowing him. Jack recognized Riley in his Fae hound form at once. Realizing they weren’t going to be able to stop Bruno any other way he began gathering power for his magic. He attempted to restrain the enraged totem warrior in glowing bands of crimson spirit energy but the magic erupted from him unrestrained. He tried to absorb the power back into himself but he didn’t have enough control.

Razor edged bands of energy spooled out in all directions and would have sliced right into his new bike but Jack managed to divert them just enough. Instead they cut into the tarmac and the police car shredding them both. Bruno was untouched but it did distract him enough for Riley to trip him to the ground next to the cop.

Bruno slammed his massive paw of a fist into the cops chest and they all heard the snap as several ribs were broken by the powerful blow. Jack, bleeding from his nose grabbed Bruno’s arm as he reared it back to strike again screaming for his friend to stop. Bruno, seeing his best friend bleeding, seemed to finally come to his senses.

He looked around in confusion as Jack gathered all their stuff. Jack led him to his bike and told him to wait for him. He went back to the motel room. He quickly cast the ritual he had developed that wiped out all forensic evidence of their passing and took off down the stairs. He found Riley, still in hound form, sitting in the Indian’s sidecar. They could hear distant sirens coming their way. They left the crime scene as fast as they could without raising suspicion praying that the two officers would live long enough for their backup to arrive.

Jack drove for a while with Bruno following in a daze. He finally pulled over when he felt like they were out of danger. Angrily he slapped Bruno demanding what the hell he thought he was doing. He could have killed those cops! What were you thinking? Bruno hung his head in shame and mumbled something about how he hadn’t been able to stop BARRY GOLDMAN from kidnapping Jack’s sister, CAROLINE YOUNGBLOOD and when he saw the cops beat on Jack he just…lost it.

EC_COM304.pngJack got Bruno to look him in the eye and explained to him that he was not to blame for what happened to Caroline. The only person who should feel guilty about that is Goldman. He was the monster who needed to pay a price. As he explained that to Bruno a small part of Jack realized that he had to learn to forgive himself as well. He had long carried the burden of guilt for what had happened to ABIGAIL WHARTON. She never would have been possessed by the demon AZAEL but for his actions. But instead of letting that guilt eat him alive he had to use it to become a better person and move on.

Bruno said nothing. At least until his belly rumbled loudly with hunger. He explained to Jack that he needed food. Something fresh and hardy. They went to a grocery store and while Bruno waited outside with Riley, who was still in hound form, Jack used magic to veil himself from view and sneaked into the store to steal Bruno some fresh fish.

While waiting outside Bruno ranted to the Riley-hound explaining that he needed to hunt something. To kill it himself. He knew he would not be able to quench the hunger any other way. People who witnessed Bruno’s rant thought him a homeless madman and gave him a wide berth while Riley just stared at him head cocked slightly to the side. Jack returned and asked Bruno why he was ranting to the hound? He couldn’t respond after all. Woof whined mournfully in a very dog like fashion.

Jack led them to a different hotel across town and rented a room. On the way he stopped at a Walmart and bought a bunch of magnets. When they got to the room he demanded that Bruno give him a sample of his hair and blood. He explained that he wanted to set up a binding ritual that would restrain the big man if he lost control again. He asked for the samples and he wanted Bruno’s explicit consent for the binding. Bruno agreed without hesitation. Jack was like a brother to him and he trusted him to not use the hair and blood in a spell unless it was absolutely necessary. That was when the white hound transformed in an instant back into Riley. Jack nodded to him and began the ritual setting up the binding on his friend.

After he was done he began a second ritual. He carved some script into one of the magnets, infusing it with spirit magic and cut it in two. When he was done the trio made their way back to the night club. There they waited until the Red Court Vampires showed up in their expensive red sports car.

Jack tried to use magic to veil himself so he could place one part of the magnet on the car allowing him to track it. But, unfortunately the valet saw right through it to Jack’s surprise. The young Warden managed to pass himself off as a confused drunk and was able to place the rune carved magnet on the Vampire’s car despite the setback. Suspicious, the valet searched the car but didn’t spot the magnet.

After waiting several hours the vampires finally came out of the club with two under dressed young ladies got into the Italian sports car and took off. Woof suppressed a brief urge to change into a dog and chase the car and pulled out after them driving Jack’s Indian while Bruno followed on the Lobo bike. Jack sat in the Indian’s side car with the other part of the magnet on a string using it to guide them as they dropped well behind the sports car. After a while they ended up in an isolated suburb surrounded by woods.

Realizing that they didn’t have much time if they meant to save the young girls that the predators had brought to their lair, Jack suggested a quick and dirty plan of action. He would use magic to hex down the power of the house and sneak through the back door under a veil to find the girls while the others would go through the front door in a direct assault. After maneuvering into position Jack did his best to hex down the power. Unfortunately he was nowhere near his full strength and his best hex fried the TV, internet and cell phones in the house but did nothing to the lights.

Riley and Bruno were waiting at the front door for the lights to go out and they were confused when there was a slight flicker. Riley heard someone inside complaining loudly when the computers went down and was just about to suggest that Bruno kick the door down when it opened abruptly. A scrawny figure stood blinking in surprise at the huge man for a moment before all hell broke loose.

The vampire recovered first and charged the bigger man but Bruno was able to hold him off using his size. He quietly grappled the vampire in a head lock, cutting off his frantic cries and wrenching him out of Riley’s way. The former SEAL started to charge into the door planning on bringing shock and awe with heavy firepower but unfortunately for him he spontaneously turned into a large white hound. Another vampire was on the couch completely unaware of the struggle going on as he made out with one of the girls. Meanwhile, Jack managed to quietly pick the lock to the back door and slipped in under the best veil he could manage.

Having succumbed to the vampire’s venom the young woman didn’t even flinch when, Woof, now a massive white hound, ripped the vampire from the couch and to the floor. The vampire tried to retaliate but the hound quickly dodged his hasty attack and ripped his face almost clean off revealing the bat like monster beneath. He was about to end the fight when he was caught completely off guard by a shotgun blast from the balcony above them.

The struggle on the front porch intensified as Bruno began using his prodigious strength to crush the vampire in his grasp to a pulp. The fiend twisted and fought but could not escape the Totem Warrior’s grasp. Desperate, its long tongue snaked out of its mouth dripping venom on Bruno’s arm. The big man almost succumbed to the bliss that was promised by that single drop of the substance but Yuquot’s demanding presence shielded him from the worst of it. He redoubled his efforts and heard a satisfying crunching sound as the monster’s bones broke.

Woof, now slowed by the shotgun pellets in his side, desperately tried to finish off the first opponent before he could recover. But another blast from the shotgun forced him to dodge away. A second figure appeared on the balcony with a pistol and began firing rapidly but Woof managed to just barely stay ahead of the gunfire and even dodged a clumsy attack from the mortally wounded vampire on the floor. The young woman on the couch still sat transfixed her eyes staring off into the distance, unaware of the conflict around her.

That was when Jack appeared out of thin air behind the vampire with the shotgun. The Warden had quickly searched the rest of the house for victims while the battle raged in the living room. Hearing the gunshots he had remained veiled until he could position himself to strike. He brought his Warden’s Sword down on the vampire with the shotgun and the supernaturally sharp blade cleaved through it almost cutting it in half. It shrieked in agony its lifeblood splattering the balcony and stairs.

Using the distraction of the monster’s cries Riley tore into the vampire next to the couch with a vengeance. It exploded in black ichor splattering the living room with its foul blood. It was at that moment, covered in blood, that the lady on the couch began to scream her head off. That was when Jack learned just how tough vampires can be.

The young Warden, perhaps off his game because of the Un-man, hadn’t confirmed that the vampire he had cleaved was truly dead. He was taken completely by surprise as the horridly wounded creature struck at him with terrible speed and purpose. Jack would have been ripped to shreds except for the enchantments he had placed in his biker’s jacket. The vampire’s talons bounced across the magically enhanced leather leaving long furrows of blood across his chest where the jacket hung open. Gasping in pain and realizing that he was not a physical match for the vampire even as hurt as it was Jack lashed out at the monstrosity with all of the magical strength he could muster. Magic wracked the creature’s spirit causing it agony leaving it a shriveled, miserable thing on the floor at the wizard’s feet. Yet it was still alive and Jack was exhausted by the the spell leaving him momentarily vulnerable. The vampire moved to strike but before it could Woof landed on its back and ripped it to pieces in savage fashion covering Jack in its blood.

They realized that the figure with the pistol wasn’t a vampire, at least not fully, and she threw down her weapon and ran down the hallway towards a window obviously terrified. Jack hastily raised a shield to prevent her from jumping out the window and escaping. He called out to Riley to go help Bruno who was still struggling with the vampire on the porch. The massive hound made short work of the semi-crushed vampire tearing out its belly with his savage fangs. Bruno snapped what was left of the vampire over his knee.

The Warden did his best to assure the young woman that he wouldn’t hurt her or her companion. Perhaps he was less convincing because he was covered from head to toe in the blood of his recently vanquished opponent. In any case the girl turned back to the window and began to batter at Jack’s weak shield with surprising power. Unable to cope with the strain Jack’s shield shattered and the woman dove out the window taking off at inhuman speed. Jack screamed for Riley to stop her. Despite her speed the swift hound had little trouble catching up to her and herded her back to the front of the house.

Bruno went inside to try and comfort the screaming girl on the couch and she took one look at the massive man covered in blood and fainted. Bruno shrugged and joined his friends outside. Jack explained to the girl that she didn’t have to be a monster. She hadn’t fully turned yet and he could get her some help with the Order of St. Giles. A group that worked with infected humans to help them resist their hunger. The Warden had to be sure that she was a good candidate for the Order so he steeled himself and soulgazed her. He saw that her soul was a stark and cold place full of hunger. But there was a glimmer of hope there he believed.

Jack used his magic to forensically clean the entire house wiping out all trace of he and his friends. The group planned to take a van they found in the garage to a hotel for the night but Jack had to stop at an ATM for cash first. While they were pulled over the infected girl took off. When the group caught up to her in the early morning light she screamed that she was being abducted. Jack realized that they had no choice and told Riley and Bruno to let her go. The Warden assured them she was going nowhere. He had taken samples of both her hair and her blood. There was nowhere she could hide from him.

The group ended up at another hotel room with two suites and Jack called in his markers to the Order of St. Giles. They promised they could help the uninfected girl get over her addiction to venom. They dispatched a team to track down the infected girl and would give her the choice to join them or be destroyed. That same team also helped the Warden and his friends destroy the venom laced alcohol at the Rainmaker nightclub. Satisfied that their work in Olympia was done the trio headed back to Seattle.

END OF CHAPTER 02

NEXT

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