Campaign of the Month: November 2012

THE EMERALD CITY

BOOK 7: LEGACY OF BLOOD: CHAPTER 04

GM: James

CALL OF THE WILD

Transcribed by: James
In Game date: December 2008
Episode: 53

EC_COM170.pngPandemonium reigned at the Last Supper Club in PIONEER SQUARE. OSAMU NISHIMURA (西村修) had gone to the club to meet GYPSY after her frantic phone call asking for his help. MATHEWWOOFRILEY was with the monk as backup. Unfortunately for them Osamu’s aura of power had drawn the attentions of the Red Court Vampires that owned and operated the night spot. Even more tragic was the HUGE white wolf that had charged through the main window of the front of the establishment and with casual ease killed two of the vampires in gruesome fashion. The life blood of the two vampires sprayed the dance floor causing panic in the patrons of the surprisingly full club. Outside record snow and low temperatures had shut down almost the entire city with the blizzard like conditions continuing without letup.

At that same moment in the so called “No Man’s Land” in WEST SEATTLE three of their allies tentatively approached the front door of BARRY GOLDMAN’S home. ZEBADIAH EINAR had used a tracking spell to locate his kidnapped apprentice, CAROLINE YOUNGBLOOD, hoping they were in time to prevent Goldman from sacrificing her to the Black God, Chernobog. It was feared that that sacrifice would give him dominion of DOZER and his biker gang of werewolves who called themselves THE PACK. Furthermore, Chernobog might even able to steal the biker’s life forces and manifest himself again on this plain of existence and fully inhabit the body of the group’s former ally, RYAN DELMONT. Delmont had made a bargain with the Slavic deity of winter, murder and death and had been specially prepared to become the vessel of a god that had been denied access to this world for centuries. The Old Warden was backed up by LEIF WOTENSEN, a son of Odin and the hero cop, ROY MULLENIX.

As Zeb and Leif approached the front door of the dilapidated home of Goldman it was clear that this entire neighborhood had suffered greatly from Black Monday, the earthquake of 2006. Only one other home on the entire block was even fully standing. The snow blanketed the entire area masking the rubble and debris of the ravaged houses and adding somber beauty to a very bleak place. The windows of the Goldman home were boarded up and the only sign that the house was occupied was the weak candle light that peaked through the gaps of the boards and the VW bus parked in back. Leif made a prayer to Odin for protection as Roy came around after checking the bus.

Roy took a deep breath and started knocking on the front door announcing himself as police and demanding they open up. Their only reply was the sound of heavy footsteps charging at the door. It exploded in splinters as Ryan Delmont blasted into it at full speed. He grabbed Zeb by the throat and carrying him off the porch and slammed him into a tree. Zeb was desperately gasping for breath as Lief’s protection spell was truly tested by by the enraged man’s terrible grip. Ryan’s eyes glowed with a cold blue light and he screamed at Zeb calling him a murderer. EC_COM171.png

The old Warden had indeed killed Ryan’s girlfriend, KAROLYNN KENNEDY. But it had been an act of mercy. The young woman had been possessed by BLACK AGNES which left her a shattered husk in heartrending pain. She had also broken the Laws of Magic that Zeb had sworn to uphold by gaining understanding of Outsiders. His duty had been clear. He ended her suffering in the most humane way at his disposal. He believed that Ryan knew that. They had talked of it when they had been working together last year. But there was no recognition in the massive man’s hate filled eyes and Zeb knew that he was truly in danger.

Leif’s priority was saving his friend’s sister and he left the Detective and the Wizard hoping they would be able to handle the enraged man they faced. He made his way through the snow to the door while his friends struggled with their former ally. He smelled the stench of decayed bodies coming from the house and heard chanting coming from a room down the hall of the house. Roy moved as quickly as he could in the knee deep snow and placed his pistol at Ryan’s head demanding he freeze. Their former friend snarled in hatred and swung Zeb around using him like a club. The detective was able to barely scramble out of the way and he fired his pistol but only scratched his target. The sound of the shot echoed oddly down the snow covered neighborhood sounding strangely muffled.

Conversely the gunfire in the Last Supper Club was brutally loud. Two of the Vampires were snarling as they unloaded Mini-Uzis at the massive, terrifying agile wolf. Even their enhanced reflexes weren’t up to the task and several patrons were mowed down by their indiscriminate fire. The wolf ignored them keeping his eyes on his target. Gypsy seemed terrified out of her mind and she let Riley drag her behind the bar as bullets flung throughout the club. He located a shotgun back there and popped up to shoot the wolf in its flank slowing it down a bit. Osamu flipped over the maddened animal with an amazing display of acrobatics, striking the beast rapidly in special points blocking its Ki. The wolf howled in rage and attacked the monk but his blows and Riley’s gunshot wound had had a marked effect allowing him to dodge the deadly lunge.

The vampires kept up their own attacks trying to strike the angered animal but they didn’t notice that five sickly, white wolves with glowing blue eyes had appeared at the shattered window. They attacked the vampires relentlessly. As a vampire reacted to one wolf’s attack it would wheel away from it while its pack mates would attack from behind. Their superior tactics and pack mentality allowed them to take the vampires down in a fountain of blood. More people were struck down by their panicked gunfire and more vampires came to their aid to fight the invading wolves.

EC_COM172.pngSeeing that too many of the Last Supper’s patrons were being mowed down by the indiscriminate gunfire Osamu grabbed a huge table and threw it through a side window giving the fear crazed mob another way to escape. Suddenly a glowing pool of light appeared near the maddened wolves and Osamu and Riley could hear Slavic chanting of “Karachun!”. The wolves reacted immediately to the rip in space and to the chanting and leaped right through it. Gypsy had clutched her head in agony at the first sign of the passage to the Nevernever and seemed to be struggling to not change into a wolf. Her transformation was incomplete and her eyes glowed with a cold blue power. Before he could stop her she dodged past Riley into the light. The ex-SEAL and the monk looked at the passage and saw the front of a snow covered house. A large man had Zeb Einar by the throat while Roy was firing his gun at him. It seemed to them that portal would come out right behind Roy’s undefended back. Without hesitation the two of them jumped into the passage right as a charging group of vampires blasted at them with their submachineguns.

As Leif stumbled and struggled to make his way into the house Zeb realized that he had to free himself from Ryan’s deadly grasp. He stared directly into his former ally’s maddened eyes initiating a Soul Gaze. He saw in Ryan the fear and the hatred that had been placed there by Chernobog. It was a hideous cancer that strangled Ryan’s soul leaving him with no choice but to obey. Zeb had no idea what Ryan saw in his own soul but whatever it was it was enough for some of the hatred to leave his eyes and he actually hesitated. Perhaps he realized that what the Warden had done for Karolynn was a mercy.

EC_COM173.pngIn that moment of inaction the old Wizard summoned as much power as he could muster into a charge of electrical energy that scorched and burned Ryan’s hands causing his muscles to seize. Gasping for breath the old man was thrown into a snow bank. Roy watched with amazement as the burns on Ryan’s body healed right before his eyes. The big man attacked the detective who fired off his gun forcing Ryan to flinch away.

From the house a chant of “Karachun” spilled out to the snow covered yard and Ryan charged past the startled detective and into the house as if he was summoned. He arrived at the living room just as the doctor opened the door to step in. What he saw before him took his breath away.

At that same moment the huge white wolf exploded through the passage narrowly missing the startled detective. The monstrous beast was followed by the other five wolves and in desperation the hero cop laid down suppressing fire halting their charge. Gypsy tumbled through the tear in reality still fighting her transformation landing in a heap in the snow. She was followed closely by Osamu and Riley.

They all heard the roar of motorcycles as the Slavic chanting continued in a summons. While the battle raged members of the Pack showed up to witness the fight for their destiny. Some were still human and riding their Harleys while others had succumbed and were in their wolf form. All of the bikers were struggling to fight off their wolves with varying degrees of success. Many of the wolves seemed to be changing before the companion’s eyes. Becoming leaner, hungrier with their pelts slowly bleaching white as the chants rolled over them. Almost all of them shared the blue glowing eyes of the massive wolf that seemed to embody all the savagery of their pack. It was clearly DOZER who faced them. Surely no other wolf could be so large. So savage.

In the living room of the foul smelling house Leif looked upon what was obviously an altar to the dark god, Chernobog. Candles covered the room along with odd covered runes and circles. Caroline’s unconscious form was strapped to the altar and two swaddled babies were placed to either side of her. The thin form of BARRY GOLDMAN held a wicked knife in his hand as his chant reached a shrieking crescendo. He towered over one of the children clearly intending to plunge the knife into her heart. Terrified for the baby Leif started to reach for the chanting Goldman when Ryan’s charge led him into the room. The large man slammed into the doctor commanding his full attention. Because he had known Ryan before he had been murdered and placed in the body of Casimir Sokolov, the man who had murdered him, Lief attempted to reach the maddened man by appealing to his humanity. Delmont snarled in response and tried to take the Son of Odin’s head off with a punch. EC_COM174.png

Meanwhile Osamu garnered the attention of Dozer by leaping in front of the wolf preventing him from charging into the house. He struck the savage animal with all the power in his mighty frame breaking the wolf’s jaw while Riley and Roy blasted away with their guns. Roy managed to goad four of the wolves into charging him and he mowed them down with disciplined and effective fire.

Zeb had managed to extricate himself from the battle outside and came into the room hot on Ryan’s heels and attacked the large man distracting him enough for the Doctor to attempt to save the baby. But as Leif leaped into action he stumbled and fell to the ground as if he had been caught in a tangled web. He had a brief image of three old crones standing over him with the long reach of their yarn entangled around his legs.

A Life for a Life. The balance must be maintained,” they intoned in unison.

Screaming in despair he looked up just in time to see the knife plunge down into the squalling baby’s heart. An eerie blue light flared and when Leif blinked the glare out of his eyes he and Zeb saw that Goldman and Delmont were gone. His heart nearly broke when he realized the implications of what the crones had said. Because he had saved Bruno Walsh from his Fated death the Wyrd Sisters had stepped in and stopped him from saving the baby to balance the scales. A Life for a Life.

Outside the fighting died down as the members of the Pack who had been most impacted by Goldman’s spell collapsed into unconsciousness. Those in wolf form rapidly transformed back into their human forms and lay naked in the deepening snow. The Pack members who were concious moved quickly grabbing their brothers and sisters and bundling them up against the cold. The tended their wounded and dead and left the scene with surprising speed. Three of them were seriously wounded and they took them to AUNT B at the Radcliffe Clinic for treatment. One of them had died of the gunshot wounds inflicted by the hero detective. Roy tried to stop them but they ignored him and some of them even became threatening. Osamu told them in no uncertain terms that he would personally take care of anyone who tried anything. Gypsy and one of the other Pack members who seemed to be a leader calmed everyone down and got them out of there just as the sounds of sirens could be heard echoing down the snow covered streets.

Putting his guilt and despair aside as a distraction Leif made his way over to Caroline. Zeb pointed out the track marks on her arms and the drug works placed on a nearby table. She had obviously been heavily drugged with heroin to keep her docile. Realizing that she was in real danger of an overdose he grabbed the sister of his good friend and scrambled outside to his bike. Calling out that he had to get Caroline to the nearby Highline Medical Center in Burien, he told Roy to take care of the baby, kicked Sleipnir to life and took off in a shower of snow. EC_COM175.png

Realizing that the snow would delay the police’s arrival for several more minutes the Warden took a moment to examine the altar. Zeb understood that the ritual had originally been intended to summon Chernobog into this world. But Goldman must have redirected the energies of that into summoning Dozer and the Pack to his aid. When it was clear that that might not be enough he had sacrificed the baby girl and took that energy to transport himself and Ryan, the vessel of Chernobog, away.

But what he and his companions found in the basement was chilling. Six people had been ritually murdered obviously in the name of Chernobog their decaying bodies tossed casually in a pile. The group was able to identify two of the bodies because of the photographs in the house above them and IDs they found nearby. Goldman had turned Kinslayer and had sacrificed his own mother and sister to the Black God. Zeb realized that the sacrifice of his family members probably garnered a great deal of power for the crazed warlock likely giving him full control over Ryan Delmont and ingratiating himself to Chernobog. Zeb gripped his sword tightly. It looked like he would be required to take a head soon.

After getting Caroline to the medical center Leif called Emmie. He told her about how they had rescued Caroline and that she would likely be transferred to the Radcliffe Center so they could keep an eye on her. Emmie was happy to hear Leif’s voice and told him about a new patient at the clinic that she thought he might be interested in.

Apparently, a young woman who had been shot in the chest was found a block away from the Newport House Hospice on CAPITOL HILL laying in the middle of a circle carved in the snow. The really odd thing is that she was carrying Jack’s Warden Sword. Her name is ABIGAIL WHARTON. She said that Abi was in critical condition at the moment and that she seemed oddly sickly. Based on preliminary blood tests there was speculation that she might have cancer.

Leif called Roy and passed that information on to him and Zeb. The Old Wizard realized that the Wardens Sword would be a perfect sympathetic link for a demon to use to bypass the wards that had been placed around his friend JOHN YOUNGBLOOD’S comatose body. After all the sword was tied to the elder Youngblood’s spirit in some unexplained way keeping him from rejoining his body. John’s body was empty without any soul residing in it. A Denarion demon requires the consent of a person before possessing them. However, if a body was an empty husk without a soul then apparently that consent would not be necessary. Zeb realized that the demon had most likely taken the body of his oldest friend.

END OF CHAPTER FOUR

NEXT

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