With things relatively quiet for the moment, The Chauffeur settled down to review options with his lawyers, The Hauntsman renewed his stock of ritual invocations and continued his business in the netherworlds, Darius continued teaching, the White Necromancer continued his research, and Ranko found herself at loose ends. Admittedly, the Werewolves were throwing an open party down in the old Danger Room to celebrate Vasilko’s release – after all, now that it’d been opened up again, it was the largest open room in the place, as well as being by far the easiest to decorate – but that was harmless eno – Ah. The old Danger Room? The one that had nearly trapped them all permanently in a layered series of mental illusions?
Ranko went and double-checked that the more dangerous functions were still shut down and couldn’t be reactivated, and pulled a lot more circuits just to be sure, but eventually decided to let them use it. It was mildly amusing – but the kids were sent to bed on time and the pack mostly retired early for some private celebrations. That left Stefan trailing around on patrol and Ranko bored… There was a bit on TV about some mysterious fiery being blowing up an old tenement, but not really enough information to identify it clearly – and it didn’t seem to be a general menace yet. Besides, the descriptions sounded a bit like an… Angel of Wrath? What would one of them be doing loose on earth? She eventually went and dragged the White Necromancer away from his research and drove into New York City for a night on the town – then had to leave him at the Game Coliseum Arcade (one of the biggest in New York) – while she went clubbing after she remembered that he was underage.
Clubbing led to a brief social encounter – and an invitation to go and steal something with Ladybug and the Black Mist (after all, “Ranko goes Evil and then returns to the light side” would be sure to boost her ratings), but things got interrupted when the bored kid who’d stowed away started pushing the Chauffeur’s buttons trying to find the one that would let him out of the car. Unfortunately, even without the Chauffeur there to augment them, his vehicles still packed plenty of weapons.
Meanwhile, the White Necromancer had spotted six lesser werewolves in gang colors in the Arcade. They were occasionally shaking down the younger kids for an extra quarter or two, but were behaving themselves otherwise. What the hell were they up to? And where was the master werewolf? There had to be one involved somewhere… He faded into the astral plane to try and follow them stealthily once they left. Wait-a-minute… Werewolves had astral senses. Better use his intangibility to move through walls and such instead of depending on astral concealment.
Anyway, it looked like they hung out in an abandoned apartment building with a bunch of normal human gangers and supported themselves with minor scams and petty crime. You know – it was beginning to look like werewolves weren’t really much like the way they were portrayed in the movies. Where the hell was the astral barrier coming from? Maybe something to do with that Angel? Not an angel… a demon-ward? But why put one up around a group of werewolves? (Hey, RANKO! Come in and get over here!).
Oh. To make sure that the quartet of warrior-demons didn’t get loose after they finished off the werewolves and the other gangers. That was a pretty stiff penalty for petty crime! Not to mention that most of them were as young as he was! The werewolves were trying to fight back while their friends fled, but didn’t have a chance… He and Ranko managed to banish the demons, and even save the werewolves thanks to their regenerative powers – but came within an inch of dying in doing so. Warrior-demons were lethal fighters. They decided to leave the werewolves alone – especially after they found out that Stefan had created them, and been abusive enough that even the loyalty-reflex wasn’t enough to make them miss him.
Tracing the summoning – and the trail of that Angel of Wrath – led them to another street gang. Oh GREAT. Now the street-gangers were using DEMONS to fight their battles? Why not just give them nuclear weapons? Ranko – a blood-mage herself, however indirectly – didn’t get far trying to persuade an Angel of Wrath that those who willingly consorted with demons shouldn’t be killed, but did manage to temporarily banish him (her? it?) before capturing the gangers. Whatever they’d been before, now they were demon cultists serving… The Darkmage. And they’d been given a target list – starting with the heroes and the orphanage.
They left the cultists with the police and headed home to warn everyone and set up a few extra defenses, to deal with a werewolf girl who wanted a baby, to offer Vasilko a job, to notify him and the other werewolves and the children that they should be ready to defend themselves and each other, and to deal with the White Necromancer’s mother – who was insisting on picking him up, getting him a checkup, and getting him back into school. None of that went over well – and she was especially upset at the news that her son seemed to be physically dead… The White Necromancer – somewhat cruelly – left it to the doctor to explain while he went to deal with some stray souls in his crypt.
Those turned out to be left over from Halloween. It looked like they’d gone free when the soul-stealing demon was locked away, but their bodies wouldn’t transform back until they’d returned to them – and they couldn’t find them. Considering that most of them were probably buried or hidden otherwise, that was probably a good thing. Apparently the few who had been able to find their bodies had died – so the others had come back to ask for help. Taking them out with the Chauffeur to try and trace their links with their bodies revealed something else as well: someone was activating the old dark magical and necromantic nexi – and bestowing minor powers on gangs and cultists – all over the world, and it reeked of the Darkmage’s power signature. Probably a diversion, but it was going to be a damned good one. WHY did it have to be a competent evil Darkmage?
Filed under: Campaign Log |