Kings of a Dark Place

Having realized how The Red Wolf within Zane controls the Primal-Infected and the rate of infection, the team has pondered several choices. They could dissolve the Hierogamy using the Axe of Herod, and this was the reason why they traveled to Ravenside Manor to speak to Papadoupolos. Or they could sacrifice Zane, and the Wolf, at Accelletrix's Homogenizer machine, if they can get to the city. Most dramatic of all: after finding Papadoupolos's place overran with Primals, Zane performed the Miracle at Ravenside, and cured them all! Hundreds! But it was all interrupted by Jean-Baptiste Rony of the Somosa.

He has taken Zane with him to the Fe Nwa Bo, and Prince has jumped in too, leaving Katie alone to deal with physical reality.

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Forge's picture

When Zane and Prince come to, they find themselves in some sort of jungle.

They know this is the Shadowside, they know this jungle isn't real. It represents the dark heart of Africa, a place which feeds Rony his power.

The vegetation around them feels suffocating. Too much. Too many noises, too much life, and too many shadows. Darkness lurks behind every tree trunk, behind the vines and the wife leaves, under the rotting wood and the soft hummus under their feet.

And standing in the middle of the only clearing in the oppressive greenery, is some sort of altar. Not a full temple, in the sense that you don't see any way to go "indoors" -besides it would be too small. It's rather a simple pyramid with steps going up, no more than 20 feet tall, flanked by nine columns, two of them broken. The two broken columns emit some sort of light however; it could be said that while seven columns are made of stone, two are made of light. Vines and moss cling to the old stones of this altar... it feels like this structure has spent thousands of years waiting in the jungle, and you are some sort of explorers re-discovering it for the first time.

At the top of the pyramid sits the Red Wolf. Zane had never seen it this way before: the fur is vibrant crimson, and it seems almost as big as horse. It is the king of this place, it would seem, and The Hole In The Sky swirls above it, just like it did at Ravenside Manor.

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Forge's picture

Jean-Baptiste Rony

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It is not my place to second guess my Master's decisions. [says Rony to Zane and Prince, as he begins to approach from the dark depths of the nearby jungle thick] My Master chose you, as his Vessel, Mr. Zane.

I would not dare to go against Its Will, and sever your connection if either of you is unwillling [and saying so, he brandishes the Axe of Herod in his hand, which looks like you would expect a 2000 year old bronze Axe to look... and not really that big.] I merely wish you to hear me out.

You have been given the greatest of all Abuelos to ride you. Molom'Mkai. The Red Wolf. The Great Beast. Malleus calls it by its most poetic name, the Morning Star...

It is the Will of the Ancients that our world undergoes a metamorphosis, like a butterfly in a cocoon. It may look ugly for the ignorant, for the short sighted. But you have glimpsed the future, too. I had my loyal soldas watching over Ravenside Manor. At first... I could not believe their reports... hundreds of beasts... talking again. Loving again, hating again, thinking again. [his accent is hard to place, but may be south-african, despite the haitian name?].

What do you intend to do, Mr. Zane?

As for you, Prince, you were no good to the Family. We have unfinished business you and us. You should not have come here, child. You will likely die in this jungle.

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Forge's picture

Primals at Ravenside
Rolled 1d20. Result: 16 = 16.

Meanwhile, back at Ravenside Manor, the cruelest of fates could possibly take place. Did the Primal victims revert to their animalistic state after Zane left them?

(I feel the itch to roll, but dice have told me to shut up three times already. GAH! Forgive me dice, I must beg guidance one last time!)

Katie, Papadoupolos, Anselmo and Sato have this burning question in their minds too. They rush to the windows to look at the gardens again.... and they see that some individuals seem to be struggling. Katie had heard growls before.... but.... for the most part, the Primals retain their human consciousness and intelligence.... -just like Katie herself started doing, back in Spain in those watery tunnels of death. Nothing is a coincidence, and both welcome events are most definitely related.

It is, nevertheless, a relief.

The beasts look up at Katie, Papadoupolos and Anselmo, and wave. They're fine. ... thank heavens. The new world is still possible, it seems.

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Forge's picture

Anatoly Pagonis Papadoupolos

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Katie... it will be up to you to decide what to do next. Rony has Zane and the Axe... he came from the Hyperuranium after I had retrieved it from it's hiding place... I should have known. I know that Rony wishes to become Zane. The Bearer of the Beast. He will use the Axe on himself, to be free again, and then on Zane to invite the Wolf. He is a believer in upheaval. He wants a new world, where the Hyperuranium plays a much more direct role in our affairs. Marianna wants a new world too, where humans and "primals" coexist in peace. I don't know if Marianna's world is compatible with Rony's. You could ask her.

You have a small army. You could lead them to Necrotopia, break the stalemate they have with Accelletrix, and give them their permanent home.

Or you could leave them here. You could go alone to the Somosa territory in Harlem and the Bronx. Last I heard they were going to attack the Americana, ironic that I would share information that helps Uncle, but these are strange days. If you went to the Somosa's strongholds, you could perhaps rejoin Zane. I don't know if "rescue" is the right word.

Granted, you could do none of these things! For all I know, you will. You have my blessing either way, for what is worth. And provided we don't run out of coffee.... all these people should be fine here, with me.

I hope you will be fine too. I hope Mara lives to make good on her promise too.

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Forge's picture

Turtle Jim

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I want to see Mara again. I want to see her so bad, Katie. But I don't want to use those poor bastards out in the lawn as cannon fodder. They hardly know what they're doing, you know?

Somosa is bad news. We got a truce long ago, that allowed us to use the Americana which is smack in the middle of Somosaland. They're bad people, Katie, I mean... I'm not prejudiced or anything but.... they do some scary shit with dead bodies.

Shit, I don't know. You're the smart one, right? I'll go with whatever you pick.

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Forge's picture

Angel

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Lucifer.

Morning Star means Lucifer. My Prince, this changes everything. The Wolf is the Great Beast of Revelations. He is Satan, or an aspect of Satan. Nothing but Evil.

Lord help us. [Prince feels Angel begins to quietly pray... this jungle feels to her full of danger, and Rony's words weren't kind at all towards her Prince. She doesn't feel fear, but she does feel concern. There's no easy answer. There are no easy choices. All she hopes for is more strength and resolve, like she showed before. She places her trust and hopes squarely on Prince.]

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DarkMoonINC's picture

Katie Hensmith

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[Katie is deep in thought. She turns slowly to Papadoupolos.]

I am not willing to sacrifice the lives of all these people. To what? To venture deep into the heart of darkness, to get a "chance" to meet up with Zane and help him. At the cost of man lives, just to see Zane and Rony locked in a battle I am not meant to engage.

I made a promise. As stupid as that was, to go making promises when I should know better. I vowed to Marieanna my service, even if that means I may not be making the best choice. Plus, my woman is there. And sadly, human history shows what happens when lovers are separated. Star crossed.

So I will do the only thing I know how. I will save these people here. I will lead them to Marieanna. Because I am of no use to Zane right now - there's no guarantee I can ever find him. The other side is such a difficult place to navigate.

{You owe me one thing, Turtle. For all this. For heeding you. After this Red Wolf thing is over, I'm giving Mara a workout and you're going to let me. You got me? We stop the Red Wolf, save these people's lives, my reward is a blissful week with Mara.}

I will travel there and attempt to find an end to the war with Accellatrix. Maybe...

[She looks around.] Papa, I hate to ask you things. You don't have a phone I can use, do you? I may have a plan after all. And that car still?

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Jack of Spades's picture

Charisma to get everyone on his side instead of against him. I've got Six BP To push it to success.
Rolled 1d20. Result: 8 = 8.

Markus "Prince" Crown

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[He narrows his eyes at Jean-Baptiste-Rony]

Really, now you decide you don't want to hurt Zane? After you crash the helicopter he was in? After you have your men open fire on his vehicle? I got to see the wreckage both times, I hardly call that careful! You don't give a shit about who is joined to the Red Wolf! So don't start with that bullshit you sonofabitch!

{Think, focus on the axe. He can't be allowed to have it. Take it from him, and then see where things go.}

In here, is a new world! Why would you change that? Why not just explore and love and live on your own? This jungle.. [he looks around, motioning with hand] The wolf didn't make this! The wolf didn't grow these plants! Or build that temple! You did that! All of you!

You call him Lucifer? Well Lucifer is just a jealous bitch because he couldn't have what we have! The freedom we have! The world we have! He had no choice but to worship and obey and he led his revolt against god because he wanted what we have!

{They believe in Lucifer. That he's real. If they didn't believe in God they wouldn't believe in Lucifer.}

And now, here he is. Trying to tear down what we built. The Wold doesn't want a new world! He wants to destroy that world! Lucifer hates us because we are free and now he wants to send us back into the chains! He wants us to becomes slaves to himself! [he points to The Wolf]

{A damn good speech. Now just buy it you bastard.}

(I see 14 total, even after the 6 BP. I'll sped 6 more to make that roll a 20. If that's a doable thing.)

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Forge's picture

14 v 12: Rony needs 9 or more to hit. 14 + 4(knife) vs 7 + 6(armor): Anything over 8 is damage. If Rony fails, then 9 + 4 (sword) vs 14: Anything over 12 is damage to Rony.
Rolled 2d20. Result: 15, 17 = 32.

Jean-Baptiste Rony

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[Rony smiles as Prince's speaks. It is nearly admiration] Hah. They warned me about you, they did. Little silver-tongue devil, you flipped Uncle's men against him, at his own theater eh? He was pretty pissed. The things we were going to do to your family, mon... you cannot imagine. [Definitely South-African accent, no more doubts. But his is still a Haitian name, and there was that "mon" too... Interesting.]

They warned me, and so I left my soldas home. I love them all but they're a bit slow in the head you know? [he taps his forehead.... with the pommel of a large serrated knife he produced out of nowhere. With the other hand he is holding the Axe] It's just the three of us here, and Molom'Mkai. [he opens his arms wide]. No one for you to flip, boy. Just you and I.

[And saying so, Rony begins walking towards Prince, still with his arms open] I don't want to talk back and forth. Talk is for girls. So what if the chopper went down yadda yadda, it wasn't supposed to. We had a warm welcome prepared for Mr. Zane. We had a warm welcome prepared for him at the highway too -what's a few bullets among friends eh?! [his pearly white teeth and wide smile are a strange contrast to his tattooed face. He spins the Axe in his left hand, and the knife in his right one, as he walks with his arms open.] We could heal him. We had a Shaman in that pickup truck, but he took his head off. [he turns to Zane and grins as he says this].

No hard feelings, mon. Soul went to the Fe Nwa Bo, he later said he was honored to have died at the hands of the Bearer.

The Bearer of the Beast. Woooee! [he grins]. So many prophecies and so many abuelos watchin'.

But let's chat and fight, eh, Mr. Prince? C'mon. Draw out your little sword. You don't want to look like a pussy in front of the lady. [Rony nods his head towards Angel... who is standing behind Prince holding a KrV-800 rifle. At this point, Prince notices that once again he has the medieval sword he had conjured earlier, while in the Shadowside version of Ravenside's gardens. Prince can also feel a second pair of eyes peering at him from within the thick of the jungle. Hidden in the darkness -is this Rony's Hierogamy spirit?]

A little less conversation [he sings, doing an awfully terrifying south-african impression of Elvis, and almost as an afterthought, swinging a lazy attack on Prince, a dissmissive backhand strike with the serrated knife]

(I wouldn't think a speech could convince Rony to give up, and there wasn't anyone else present to convince, so I didn't spend your BP. Rolling for Melee though!)

[Rony's blade cuts deep through the Malleus armor, piercing below the neck line and into Prince's shoulder blade (for 9 points of BODY damage, taking him from 14 to 5... huge drop). It hurts almost as much as when Sato pulled the blood out of him for Angel. It's a serious wound, and Prince soon feels his armor start to fill from the inside with warm flowing blood, pooling around his waist.]

Keep talking, Prince-y boy. Talk and fight, c'mon. [turns to Zane] you enjoying the show? Join in, mon.

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Forge's picture

12 v 14: Angel needs 13 or more to hit. 20 v 14: Anything over 6 is damage. If she fails, then 14 v 7 anything over 6 is damage to Angel.
Rolled 2d20. Result: 10, 8 = 18.

Angel

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VADE RETRO SATANAS!! [she fires her rifle at Rony!]

(rolling)

[Rony simply tilts his head to the side as the laser-like beam passes by, scorching the edges of his red leather jacket. Amused, Rony backhands Angel, smack across the face and she staggers a few steps back, clutching her jaw (2 points BODY damage).]

[She holds Prince's shoulder to help steady him, and glares at Rony. Rony merely grins back. "Vade Retro.... You would say that, wouldn't you?" he sneers. "You slutty nun, I know what you did at Papa's. I know everything. The Beast Reveals It All!"]

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Forge's picture

Anatoly Pagonis Papadoupolos

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[Papadoupolos hands Katie the keys to his last Cadillac] I didn't have a phone for Mr. Prince and I don't have one for you. Last I heard before the lines went down, the Army was moving in to secure the roads. You'll have some challenges before you reach Manhattan. I suggest you wait a few hours for the cover of dark, [the sun is beginning to set] then move towards the Lincoln Tunnel. A tunnel is more discrete... for the 200 souls you're bringing. The entrance will be secured, however, by either the Army, the National Guard or Accelletrix -maybe a combination. Expect trouble, my dear.

These are strange days. If Anselmo finds me a way, I'll call in favors to clear your path. But expect trouble. Anselmo can walk with you as far as the highway. Let me know if you'd like me to have a word with your charges, outside... or if you prefer to introduce yourself to them. If any of them prefers to stay here, they are welcome to, as far as I'm concerned. We have enough supplies to last us all a few more weeks.

And one last thing:... when you see Mara... tell her I'm proud of her.

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Forge's picture

Turtle Jim

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You know Katie.... the mere thought of you in a "blissful week with Mara"... could keep me going with a smile on my lips if I had to crawl on my belly through all seven levels of hell.

And knock on wood, because that's what's probably going to happen now. You went very quickly from saving three orphans to eleven prisoners to 200 future necrotopians, you know. It's like... you're discovering your vocation.

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Forge's picture

Toshiro Sato

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[Sato walks up to Katie and bows.] I must go. Contract is with Black-o-jack. Lost Zane. Lost Prince. Failed both missions. Dishonor. [his face shows tension and some degree of regret]

I must go.

Goodbye, Muscle-Woman. You are honorable. [he takes a second bow, turns around and begins to walk away, alone.]

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DarkMoonINC's picture

Katie Hensmith

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[Katie bows to Sato.] You live well, or die honorably friend. Take care.

[Katie turns to Papa.]

Well I need a phone call to Uncle. [Katie moves down to speak with the crowd of people.] Dammit. If we're waiting until night...I can't let those Scav kids die.

{I hope this goes well.}

People! Listen. I am going to lead you to freedom. To safety. The Chosen One is gone now, off to spirits to fight a terrible evil. He will return for all of you. But in the meantime, you are to follow me. Do you understand?

MarieAnne's city of Necropolis is the only form of shelter we will find. Especially if the beast with you returns. I have made it my duty to get you all to safety until Zane returns.

We will follow the highway and use the Lincoln tunnel. First chance we get, we need to get underground. The subway is our destination. Last but not least, some of you may not survive. However, your chances on the way are much better than staying here.

Lastly. I need a phone line. Right now. We have seconds to save lives. Anyone wants to come with me, I'm going to save a bunch of kids who are in the wrong neighborhood.

[Katie looks to take the car and whoever is willing to follow her. She's going to drive out and look for the nearest phone.]

{You ready Turtle? We need to call Uncle, and patch through to your boys at the Americana. We need to save them. I can't watch those stupid kids get killed. I don't know what the hell you were doing operating in psycho territory. But first phone I find I'm dialing both Uncle and your boy. Let's do this. This I promise you.}

[Katie attempts to fulfill her promise to Turtle - to call the Scavs and try and save their asses.]

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Jack of Spades's picture

10BP to get that knife from Zane, the awesome ceremonial one. He'll swap this sword for it.
Rolled 1d20. Result: 11 = 11.

Markus "Prince" Crown

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[he staggers backward, his hand pressed over the wound]

{Fuck, bleeding... oh shit! That hurts!}

[Knife from Zane! the one with the magical powers!}

[HE concentrates on that blade, the magical one, and uses that one to attack, if he gets it]

[after that, he drops five BP into primal. That should give him a good boost while being teamed up with Angel makes him faster. Either the magic knife or the sword, whichever he has.]

Is that... all you can do! I've come this far! And I won't be stopped by you!

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Trapturtle's picture

First to attack second for damage.
Rolled 2d20. Result: 9, 7 = 16.

Zane Carter

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You're a monster. The world doesn't need this kind of change.
[Zane charges Rony with whatever weapon he has.]

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Forge's picture

Jean-Baptiste Rony

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[Rony opens his arms again, a second time, as Zane charges him. The serrated knife in one hand, the Axe of Herod in the other. Once again, he refuses to hit Zane back.]

[Just as Zane was swinging down the ceremonial knife given to him by Mateo, he feels a flash in his hand, and the knife is switched by a medieval sword!]

(Ignoring the first roll, since Rony refuses to fight back Zane once again. Automatic hit. STR 13 + 5 sword vs END 14 = anything above 9 is damage. A 7 was rolled)

[Zane's medieval sword falls flat on Rony's shoulder, and the tall black man barely even budges.]

What are you saying, Zane? You don't want this privilege? You don't want to bear the wolf anymore? Say it. Just say it, and I'll make it happen!

I promise you, mon. I will let you and all of your friends live, if you simply say that you don't want the Beast in you anymore. You'll walk right out of here! You'll live as Kings! But you have to say it!

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Forge's picture

Prince's Armor. 6 vs increase of 5. Needs a 9 or better to survive.
Rolled 1d20. Result: 7 = 7.
17 v 14: Prince needs 9 or more to hit. 14 + 10 (knife) v 14: Anything over 7 is damage to Rony. If Prince fails, then 14 + 4 (knife) vs 12: Anything over 8 is damage to Prince.
Rolled 2d20. Result: 4, 20 = 24.

Prince closes his eyes for just a second, and when he opens them again, he no longer has the old medieval sword in his hand. Now he has Zane's ceremonial knife, reputedly used during the times of Nero to slaughter countless Christians. It feels weighty, and it almost vibrates. It almost pulsates... and blue swirls of light seem to swarm around the blade, like fireflies around a bonfire. If the sounds of the jungle weren't so permeating, he could perhaps hear the echo of wails near the pommel.

One down!

Prince watches Rony bear a sword attack to the shoulder and not flinch. Then he watches Rony shove Zane away, with the knife hand, flat, so as to not to harm him.

Next!

Primal!

As Katie could have advised, Primal tends to have ill effect on one's wardrobe, but rather than simply break apart, Prince's armor has a chance to withstand the sudden increase in muscle mass. Will it?

(rolling)

Unfortunately it does not. It doesn't shatter into irreparable pieces, it merely comes off at the joints, and falls in still relatively salvageable chunks. This is Prince's first time going Primal... it seems, like Katie, his default form is to simply gain muscle mass, but unlike Katie (who usually goes for 10), Prince's increase (of 5) is still within the realms of the human species, barely. A regular Mr. Olympia.

Wielding the powerful Blade of Nero, and down to his trousers but full of muscle, Prince charges Rony again!!

(rolling!)

(holy shit. A 20. That's bypass BODY.... fuck)

(fuck. 12 points of Damage. Even adding up Angel's Prince only totals 10. ... Prince is now at minus 2...... )

....

(but the dice spoke damnit. Three times, Rony simply rolled better. And on the third he smacks a 20. I have to think it's fate..... .shit)

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Forge's picture

Fate. Give me something, dice.
Rolled 1d20. Result: 17 = 17.

Angel

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! [Angel screams.... a howl, really, as tears burst from her eyes. She is watching a nightmare unfold in slow motion. Her Prince in Shining Armor... the armor lying on the ground in pieces. The serrated knife coming out the other side, through his back. Rony's pleased, hateful, hateful smile.]

[She falls on Prince nearly as soon as he hits the floor, cupping his face between her hands, crying her eyes out]

It can't be! It can't be! The Lord... the... .. fate... I .. I .. was put on your Path for a reason... you were... you were going to save us! This can't be HAPPENING!!!

[Shit. But it is. It is happening. Angel is seeing Prince's eyes, as they slowly, slowly dim..... .... ]

(shit. Hold on though. Rolling)

[Angel holds Prince tightly, sobbing... she places her head on his chest, as in a Lon Cheney movie, Prince slowly returns from the primal state to his regular form... and then she detects .. a heartbeat. He still lives.... Prince still lives... but the heartbeat is faint..]

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Forge's picture

Jean-Baptiste Rony

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You care about this boy, Zane? [Rony gestures to Prince's fallen body, in a pool of blood over the soft hummus of the jungle].

I trade you for him. Agree to give up the Wolf, and I promise you the child lives. Do it, and you all walk away.

Deny me, and I'll rape the girl with wings. I don't bluff, mon. I don't send lackeys to do my job, I don't give speeches, I don't fuck around. I do what I say. The choice is yours. [he points to Zane with his hand, the serrated knife still dripping with Prince's blood.] Say the Word. Say the Word, and walk out a King.

(Prince, even though there's no much you can apparently do, feel free to post anyway. Jesus. This was harsh.)

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Forge's picture

Does she find a phone this turn?
Rolled 1d20. Result: 8 = 8.
Someone alive inside the Police car?
Rolled 1d20. Result: 6 = 6.

Meanwhile at Ravenside... Katie has been forced to let go of Primal, or else she simply wouldn't fit inside the car. It seems being topless is not a concern at all, probably never was, and it certainly doesn't bother people around her who have extra appendages, fur, scales, fangs or spikes coming out of their spines. What are mere boobs compared to that? It's the end of the world; fuck convention.

Still, practicality demands that only some of them, the least mutated ones, can fit in / not damage the car's interior. Riding alongside Katie, passenger seat, is Anselmo, and in the back a couple of teens who seem to have suffered nothing worse than fur, fangs and claws.

The car drives along the private road, down the hill, crunching the gravel under its tires. It brings back memories.... it seems so long ago she had been riding alongside Mara in the backseat, with Tatiana driving. Such gentler times, with Zane, full of hope, to meet Marianna. She feels, perhaps, like a grizzled veteran for a moment.

There are many abandoned cars along the road.

And a few dead bodies.

"So what's the plan? [asks Anselmo] after we make this phone call you're going to go back to fetch the Primals and then just march your army to Manhattan? You're gonna have to punch through the National Guard, you know. They'll be guarding the tunnel... it's gonna get ugly."

(rolling for phone)

Out of the corner of her eye, Katie glimpses a crashed police car. This is a safe bet: police cars usually have all sorts of communication equipment.

She pulls over to the side of the road, and climbs down the Cadillac.

Is there someone alive inside the police car?

(rolling)

A fresh corpse. Someone took a chunk out of the officer's neck, and the man, mercifully, had most likely a quick death. He was holding his radio in one hand, and his gun in the other.

Checking her pockets, Katie finds a bloodstained phone with still a quarter battery left. It has 1 bar, 2G.

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DarkMoonINC's picture

Katie Hensmith

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[Katie immediately dials Uncle.] Patch in the Americana. If anyone's there I want to reach them. I'm trying to save your boys there, Uncle. Somosa's closing in like the reaper.

[Katie takes what clothing she can wear, and pockets the gun. She takes whatever else is of use, including whatever's in the trunk. Anything more than the pistol she gives to the people with her. She turns and gets back into Papa's car.] Alright. Let's hope Uncle can help us go rescue some Scavs.

[Katie starts towards the Americana. She describes it to the others with her.] You guys know where this is from here?

{Tutle, I hope I'm doing the right thing. Your boys don't deserve to be Somosa zombi. You know? Just messed up. Let's hope I can save them.}

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Jack of Spades's picture

Markus "Prince" Crown

Combat: 
--
Magic: 
--
Influence: 
--
Else: 
--

[locket...hospital...safety...]

I'm... sorry...Angel... locket...go...

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Trapturtle's picture

Zane attempts to take the axe from Rony and turn it against him. He's willing to spend up to 10 BP to do so.
Rolled 1d20. Result: 5 = 5.

Zane Carter

Combat: 
--
Magic: 
--
Influence: 
--
Else: 
--

Angel, I need you to get Prince away from here. Fly if you have to.
[He turns to face Rony.]
Alright Rony, no more games. You want the wolf? Come and get it!
{This is crazy, he's going to slaughter me. No, he worships the wolf, I can use that to my advantage.}
[He focuses on changing his primal. He focus on the wolf in it's current form, massive with bright red fur.]

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Forge's picture

"It's Katie-chan! [sounds the voice on the phone after dialing 1-800-THEGAME, and it still sounds like it could follow up any second with "Do you like scary movies?"] I was wondering about you. What kind of shitty phone are you using? No camera, no GPS.. oh wait, I can triangulate your location based on cell towers... so few of them left..."

Uncle thing sounds tired, which is a weird thing to notice for a disembodied voice so heavily filtered.

"Somosa. Yeah, they're following on your trail. You're the talk of the town, you and Prince and Zane. The Somosas hit Papa's bachelor pad, and they hit your business at the mall, and the Zapper, Zane's school, Prince's house -I'm sure they must have at least tried to get into Necrotopia and the Accelletrix tower. Every place you've ever been. Now they want the Americana. They're just hoping to get lucky and catch Zane. Hell, I bet there're voodoo fiends singing soprano in Barcelona right now. Rony.... is pulling all the stops. The man's changed, you know. He's not an easy person to do business with anymore. Used to be so straightforward. Here're some dollars, there're some bullets, there're the white people, thank you and done. Maybe he still is. But he's no different than Malleus now -fucking zealots blabbing on and on about prophecy -no use to me anymore. I'm telling you Katie, religion is the cancer of soul!"

"By the way, it wasn't me who sicked the Somosas on you while you were travelling with Zane in Papa's Cadillac. I didn't pull the helicopter stunt either -that was all Rony, both of them."

"Anyway, don't worry about my boys; it's all so much Call of Duty for them. They have the weapons, they have the supplies, they painted their faces with grease. Plus, I got the National Guard on the Somosa, right now they're probably raiding their dingy houses in Harlem and the Bronx looking for biological weapons responsible for the "rabies". Really, it's just their moonshine and fe nwa bo powders, but tell it to the marines, right? It'll be a shootout, but by now every person we could call "innocent" has left the city. I'm not a helpless little flower."

"Tell me about yourself though. Who are you with? Do you still have Zane with you? Are you still on your way to the Milkshake machine?"

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-=[Live Forever]=-

Forge's picture

Angel

Combat: 
--
Magic: 
--
Influence: 
--
Else: 
--

[She can barely hear Zane through her tears, but she hears enough. She steels her eyes with resolve, carries Prince in her arms, extends her majestic wings, and takes off!]

[Prince feels himself fading away... he can feel the wind rushing, and can see Angel's wings moving, and below him, the jungle receeding. He feels cold. The pain is gone. He's confortably numb. His vision is getting blurry. The last thing he sees, is Angel's beautiful face, looking up at the setting sun in the golden sky, as she flies over the jungle, and then her eyes, as they look down upon him... with caring... and love. Her lips move. He can't hear her. He only hears the muffled sound of the rushing wind. Her mouth. Her lips. He can make out the word "Love".]

[That's the last thing he sees...]

[...before the locket of St. Jude kicks in.]

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-=[Live Forever]=-

Forge's picture

Krasnyy Volk

Combat: 
--
Magic: 
--
Influence: 
--
Else: 
--

[The Red Wolf watches everything from her throne, atop the pyramid. It hasn't shown emotion yet. It makes one think of Nero, watching gladiators down at the coliseum. Maybe this is what Rony wanted. Maybe this is how he wanted to find favor.. to prove himself the more worthy one.]

Yes, Zane.

[Zane hears her voice in his head, granting him his "request", so to speak...]

[The Tiger-like form -let's remember Zane's (5-point) transformation is not drastic enough to take him visually out of the human species- switches into a Wolf-like form. The thin fur that had formed yellow with black stripes, changes to crimson red. The tiger-like claws switch into wolf-like paws. It's not a twin of the original, but it's a sincere homage, to the limits Zane's biology allows.]

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-=[Live Forever]=-

Forge's picture

18 v 14: Zane needs a 9 or more to hit Zane. No Damage roll needed: the Axe of Herod causes no damage.
Rolled 1d20. Result: 20 = 20.

Jean-Baptiste Rony

Combat: 
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Magic: 
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Influence: 
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Else: 
--

[No longer smiling, as Angel flew away with his prey, Rony turns to face Zane again, and once again opens his arms. He refuses to strike him no matter what -but wait: Zane is not trying to strike him. He's trying to snatch the Axe!]

(does he? AGI 18 vs 14 needed a 9 or more. A 5 was rolled. Plus 5 BPs it becomes a 10 and it's a success! I've also discounted the 5 BP from Primal, which I forgot to account for last thread)

[Zane snatches away the Axe of Herod!]

[Rony at first is surprised -he didn't expect this]

Well, yes. This is why I got the Axe. To sever myself and yourself. To earn the favor of the Great Beast [he glances up at the top of the Pyramid] I'm going to interpret this gesture as your agreement.

[Zane swings the Axe at Rony! Does he hit?] (let's roll)

(the dice are speaking sooo loud here...)

[Zane swings and catches Rony right at the neck! The Axe, as if it was made of spirit and shadows, passes right through Rony's body, like a ghost.]

[Rony falls on his knees, and raises his arms up to the skies]

Goodbye, Lemba!! Goodbye!!

[Lemba, the jungle spirit that had accompanied Rony nearly all his life.... is severed from the Somosa houngan. It was the eyes in the jungle, that Prince had seen. It was the jungle. It was the insects, and the river. It was the soil, and the pyramid, the red sky and the sun in it. Lemba, was Africa. And Africa is gone.]

[Rony has tears in his eyes. He sobs quietly. But slowly, he rises]

Now, it's your turn, Zane. You must do the same on yourself. Then the Wolf shall choose which one of us is worthy.

[Rony stares at Zane's eyes, as he gets back on his feet.]

You must pass your burden to me. I can carry it. I was born to carry it. My whole life. This is my fate. You will not deny me.

[Then, softly adding] Please.

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-=[Live Forever]=-

Forge's picture

Zane and Rony are left in a Dark Place.

Surrounded by nothing but darkness. Emptiness. They can only see themselves, as they glow softly... and the Red Wolf, who watches from a distance, and judges.

"It will bring you good luck, and show you the way home [rings the voice of Mateo, distant for Prince's ears] Indeed, if you are to pray upon it while in Limbo, it will instantly transport you and yours to whichever place your heart truly longs for, and desires -but only if it senses you are in true mortal danger."

Prince sees nothing but darkness. Then he hears music. Music he recognizes.

It's the Lavender Town music, from the Pokemon game.

He looks at himself, and sees not his own body, but a low-pixel-version of the Pokemon protagonist, as if seen through the resolution of an old Gameboy Color.

He has some sort of tablet in his hand. It lists the pokemons he owns:

A Blastoise, a Squirtle, a Machamp, a Ninetales, an Aerodactyl and two different Articunos, one of a higher level than the other.

The actual Angel is nowhere to be seen.

Prince couldn't be faulted for thinking that he died. This is his maybe version of the afterlife.

He is in the Pokemon Hospital. And it's completely empty.

(In fact, for every post from now on, Prince, roll for "not dying", in addition to whatever else you're rolling for if any. If it ever rolls below 4... well, the game doesn't end for your character. You can still hitch Hierogamy with some other mortal...)

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-=[Live Forever]=-

DarkMoonINC's picture

Katie Hensmith

Combat: 
--
Magic: 
--
Influence: 
--
Else: 
--

Tell you about me? Well. I'm lonely, pretty horny, tired, dirty and covered in blood and filth, I enjoy long walks on the downtown strip at midnight, and I would give the world to smoke a cigarette, much less some fine ganja.

Bad news Uncle. Zane and Prince got sucked into wonderland. If you somehow have the magical ability to go save Prince, that would help. Zane I'm not worried about but Prince is in over his head. We saw Rony and he sucked them in. So who knows. Lost the wolf. If Zane's smart, he'll get to the blender. I got stuck with Papa.

I've been tasked with getting a hundred refugees through the Lincoln tunnel. Zane became the mutant messiah and controlled dozens of the beasts, turning them back to human. With him gone, I've promised to pull them through to Marieanna so Turtle can see Mara.

As much as I wanted to go charging in after Rony and Zane, some part of me feels like that's not my fight. Mythology, you know? Kismet. Fate. My fate is to provide shelter to the bystanders in this war and give shelter.

I'll do you any favors you want, Uncle. I do feel I owe you, even if we had terrible communication at the beginning. For right now, though, I need to get back to Papa's estate and figure how to smuggle these people to Necropolis.

Still owe you that beer. Phones' got a low battery, so you tell me what you need and I'll keep it close.

[Katie pockets the phone and rallies the people to drive back to the estate.]

Alright everyone. Change of plans. Americana is too dangerous, not risking all your lives. Back to the estate, then we need to plan a way to get you to the subway.

[Katie drives back, weary of her surroundings.]

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