After the battle with Tetzcatlipoca, Darius had wandered off again: he had a castle to build and a local lord to challenge. Whoever was supposed to be in charge of this city was clearly neglecting his responsibilities – and needed to be challenged. The only real defenders that the place seemed to have were clearly an unorganized militia, even if they were reasonably powerful.
Between his powers over earth and stone and the labors of his death golems, a massive, star-shaped, fortification soon arose around the perimeter of the miniature golf course – and the succession of people wanting to talk about permits, zoning, construction unions, wasn’t much of a hindrance. Trying to find the local lord was more difficult though. Finally one of the permit-checkers directed him to a local “servant of the lord” – Father O’Flanagan.
They had quite a lengthy discussion. Darius got a local history lesson, some information on what the current art of “war” included, and – while he soon deduced that he’d been misdirected to a priest – got rather interested in this “Lord”. Compared to the hundreds of petty cults and godlings of his own world, this “monotheism” thing made a lot of sense and was pretty dignified. This was actually a “Lord” he could get behind working for…
Meanwhile, at the orphanage, Thomas had gotten into Ranko’s stock of aztec feather talismans and had decided to first experiment and then to challenge Vasilko and his Pack to catch him. Unfortunately this led to children stuck to the ceiling, children suffering horrific hallucinations, werewolves trying to dig to china, and numerous other minor disasters. The War Gods toys weren’t nice – although the werewolves had rather enjoyed it; they played rough anyway. Ranko spent some time explaining to Tommy about (1) danger, (2) not teasing the werewolves, and (3) that from now on he’d have martial arts classes to distract him from dangerous tampering.
At which point a gravitational spacewarp opened up and they were attacked by… Sir Isaac Newton? On a crusade against Invocation magic?
OK, could be a clone, a construct, a psychic manifestation, some sort of avatar, or any of a dozen other things other than actually being Sir Isaac Newton, but why?
The battle was actually fairly short: Darius dropped a small castle on Sir Isaac (briefly stunning him; some sort of gravity-based force-field effect) and they managed to banish him temporarily – but it was pretty obvious that he’d be back. Checking the opponent files instant updates on the Rank Shows website gave them some information: Newton had apparently opposed Invocation magic since his researched convinced him that it was a serious threat to humanity. Apparently he’d been studying some Aztec materials at the time. He’d even founded his own little subgroup of the Royal Society – the Royal Society for the Elimination of Invocation Magic or E.I.M. These days the group was better known as Torchwood. Hadn’t that time-traveling doctor mentioned something about that bunch? He’d said that the producers got it all wrong though.
No time anyway. It looked like some serious bit of darkness magic was underway in… Central Park. Cleopatra’s Needle again. Well, it was the focal point for the major New York nexus. Once they go there they had a hard time finding it. There were kids, mimes, pushcart vendors, a medical student trying to learn higher-order magic (not him), teenage pickpockets (apprehended), sunbathers, and many other people, all of them wrong. Wait, the mimes were illusory? What a cheap bit of cover; you didn’t even need sound and nobody paid too much attention to mimes. Underneath there was – the remains of a ritual setup for collecting some of the loose darkness magic. Who in his right mind would want the stuff?
They traced it to a mercenary magician who was simply gathering the stuff for someone else. He was only hiding it because dabbling with Darkness magic required special permits. There were ordinances on the topic.
The group was more interested in the man who’d ordered it. He was a businessman who lived in a modest penthouse – with several expensive and highly-sophisticated robot guardians. Dealing with them was surprisingly difficult – and gave the businessman long enough to set up his circles of protection and start a summoning ritual using the darkness magic his agents had collected. Apparently he was tired of being second-best and was out for the raw power to deal with any of his rivals as he pleased.
Hopefully they’d be able to crack his protections before he could get anything working. He seemed to be a pure ritualist: if they could get past his prepared shields there wouldn’t be anything he could do about it.
3 XP all around.