Having gotten past the semi-mandatory battles of misunderstanding with Sputnik, Cosmos, and Ivan (in the previous session), our heroes managed to exchange the two most recent escaped liquid-demon-things for the kid and the security guard who’d been sucked through the painting, but then elected to go in after the other twenty-six who’d been stranded in there for weeks, years, decades, or centuries. Finding that the painting was an open portal on the astral level, but that the Formless Ones seemed unable to break through to earth without some sort of exchange or host, everyone headed in.
The pocket-realm turned out to be entire made of the formless ones, so they found themselves fighting the landscape itself as well as the place’s mental powers – quite formidable in its own realm. The only thing that seemed to be truly independent was the river; it seemed to be the one that ran through the various realms of the afterworlds. While Sputnik went to hold open the astral gate, they would up heading down the river with Cosmos, Ivan, their twenty-six rescues (and, oddly enough, Sputnik) – where the White Necromancer’s choice of transformations and Yuki’s presence determined which afterworld they would enter – a version of the ancient Egyptian “twelve hours of the night”. Adopting divine roles and re-enacting the Egyptian Myths, they succeeded in the Creation (forging the world), the Founding (structuring civilization), the Hour of the Address (founding the culture of Ma’at), the Gathering (organizing agriculture), the Conquest (and the wealth thereof), Empire (founding the great temples and monuments of the realm), Judgement (a B+), and were passing the Hour of Demons (and a debate with Belial, who took the chance to drop by) when Yuki spurred Cosmos into releasing enough raw energy to catapult them all into what turned out to be a Celtic afterworld. The hunt and ensuing feast (both disturbing, since bored spirits were taking all the roles) led them once again to the river, but this time to cross rather than to follow it.
The crossing took them into the werewolves hunting-dimension. That made it easy enough to get home – but they found that they’d lost six weeks somehow, the Russians had proclaimed Kheileos a supervillain who’d disposed of three of their national heroes and demanded his arrest and extradition, his university was having a fit, the Chauffeur had had his hands full with the children, the necromancy-apprentices had been consulting ghosts on obscure topics (including ice-age recipes for Mammoth) that the Alchemist in Russia had said that Sputnik came back alone, but then vanished (blast: probably the counterbalancing exchange of demon-things), that the people they;d rescued seemed rather weird and had a strangely-augmented life force, and that many other things had gone wrong… Yuki promptly headed out to Brown University of California, where Kheileos was in the graduate program, and scared hell out of his adviser. Ivan headed out into New York to see the sites, to horrify would-be muggers (including one of Stefan’s young secondary werewolves, who was used to mugging people by simply looking really intimidating while asking for some money), and to see if Satan had really risen and taken over the center of New York. Sputnik headed for the Russian Embassy, Yuki got pursued by the police and by some of the local heroes – Doctor Rainbow, Captain Centaur-Shoot, and The Dryad – the Thunderbolts showed up to arrest Kheileos (who, somehow, wound up using a phone call to the Alchemist in Russia to check on Sputnik and contact Ranko, who got entirely the wrong idea), the White Necromancer was called to investigate an extra dinosaur at the Zoo and determined that it was the Anklyosaur,and that his genetic grafts were taking over and devolving him (and also wound up in custody of that young secondary werewolf – well, they did sort of have a program for young superhuman delinquents), the Russians had gotten wind of the fact that the grand jury was about to lay charges against Vasilko and had registered a protest since they considered him a kidnapped child, and there was general chaos.
Which then got worse, as three of the Dark Storms of the Underworld moved in to assail Yuki with bad love poetry from the Red Dragon and kidnapping attempts – and then Ranko showed up in a berserkr rage to assault her as well (Ranko, with considerably greater experience and combat powers, defeated Yuki readily – leaving her with quite a lot of guilt, since Yuki hadn’t actually done anything).
Sadly, even all of that was not enough to clear a six-week backlog of chaos.