THE HAND IS DEALT
After being wounded JACK YOUNGBLOOD spent six months recovering in Edinburgh and was finally back in Seattle. While in the White Council’s seat of power he used his charm and good behavior to regain custody of his sister, CAROLINE YOUNGBLOOD, and was again doing his best to raise her while maintaining his responsibilities as Warden of Seattle, she in turn just started at an expensive catholic school, funded by the White Council. ZEBADIAH EINAR, Jack’s mentor and the senior Warden of the city, was recovering from the victory over SAWNEY BEAN which likely saved the world. That battle took a heavy toll on the old Wizard and it would be months before he overcame the psychic mauling he endured. Not to mention the pain that ODIANNA OF WINTER prepared for him as per their bargain. She was very thorough in her attentions. He was out of town with CRAIG BIGEAGLE.
While Jack had managed to get his sister back he had to step on a few toes to gather the political capital necessary to do so. This was not without consequences. This became very apparent to him in the way of a formal letter from the White Council itself. After verifying its authenticity he read the following:
A duly appointed Emissary of the White Council has been requested to arbitrate a situation involving signatories of the Accords. As the currently active Warden of Seattle (and as I can see you are not doing anything more important), you were selected to serve in this role. You will be selected by an agent of the requesting parties shortly, who will identify themselves as such. Try not to start any wars.
White Council of Wizards
After reading the letter with a sinking heart Jack wasn’t too surprised when the doorbell rang. DELILAH MONTAGUE stood on his porch, a cold wind blowing behind her, wearing a white suit that hugged her not inconsiderable curves. After a bit of flirtatious banter she explained that an item coveted by several parties was being offered up by a yet unspecified party. For some reason, that party will hold a poker game to determine who will receive it. Having been invited to participate, and being concerned about the fairness of the game given other participants, LORD MONTAGUE formally petitioned a representative of the White Council to adjudicate the game. Delilah also revealed that she had detailed knowledge of Jack’s sister Caroline’s schedule and life. Taking this as an implied threat, this infuriated Jack and he promised Delilah that if anything happened to his family he would come for her. She was amused.
Having no real choice, Jack agreed to monitor The Game but said that he would only do it if he could choose both the location of The Game and his own team as security. Delilah found those terms acceptable and left. She told him that he would be informed of the details at dinner at the Space Needle in two days. Jack realized he was going to need help and started making calls, only to be distracted by Caroline getting home from school. Caroline was already making friends after only a few weeks, and one had even lent her a copy of the hot new teen vampire romance ‘Twilight’.
Meanwhile, DETECTIVE ROY MULLENIX was surprised by a bombshell dropped by his daughter, MEGAN. She needed $50,000 and she needed it now. Flabbergasted Roy demanded she tell him what she could possibly need all that money for. She explained that she had gotten into a poker game with the backing of WILLIAM WEST and lost the money, even though she claimed she really should not have. Right as the conversation was heating up, Roy’s phone rang with the special ringtone of the local
leader of the Venatori, RONALD PARKER Esq. IV. He informed Roy that the Venatori were invited to participate in a high stakes poker game for an unnamed artifact, that he had secured a place, and ordered Roy to look into finding a poker player good enough to win against the unknown other players. After banging his head into a wall, Roy quizzed Megan about her poker skills and discovered she was far above his level…
Seeing an opportunity to use the situation to help him with his mission Roy sat his daughter down and explained the Supernatural World to her. His intent was to recruit her in his quest to learn of the item and the creatures involved. He made sure to play Jack off as a minor bumbling apprentice because he knew of his daughter’s infatuation for him. And the last thing he wanted was for his daughter to get involved with the young Warden. Still, she was rather excited about being all Buffy, and despite being disappointed about not getting to use a flamethrower, was impressed by what her dad was up to.
Jack got in touch with MATHEW “WOOF” RILEY to assist him with running security for the game. Jack figured the Ex-Navy SEAL would bring a lot of experience to the table and he wanted the best he could get. What he didn’t know was that ODIANNA OF WINTER had already tasked Riley with getting the item in question for her. Riley did not mention this to Jack. He did suggest to Jack that he talk SILVIO KHLORES into allowing him to host the game in his demense. Silvio controlled it fully and it would make a perfect place as a neutral site and for its ease to secure. They could even bring the players into the demense from different entry points to prevent any confrontations.
This discussion was also interrupted by Televised police reports of “It also left a man’s decapitated body lying on the floor next to his own severed head. The head, which of this time, has no name.” at Schmidtz Park in West Seattle. So far there is no known supernatural linkages to this.
Youngblood also recruited OSAMU NISHIMURA (西村修) and Detective Mullinex to assist him as well. Jack had done his best to find out whatever he could about the item in question through thaumaturgy and by consulting all the spirits he could in Seattle but only found out that it was protected by strong magic against detection when it was taken into seattle a few days ago. Roy also had little success in his own investigations. The only thing they learned was that the person organizing the game was the mysterious supernatural mercenary known only as Ronin.
Youngblood and co. proceeded to the meeting, and rounded a corner to see Montague, Delila and a 3rd man waiting for them at a table, a man that Osamu recognized as his old peer-mentor HAMATO YOSHI, from his days at temple…