Tuesday, July 29, 2014

dollhouse ep0 : Orpheus

JOB OPENINGS * JOB OPENINGS * JOB OPENINGS * JOB OPENINGS * JOB OPENINGS * JOB OPENINGS * JOB OPENINGS * JOB OPENINGS * JOB OPENINGS * JOB OPENINGS *


Everyone dies.
For some it's age.  For others, it's sickness.  Or accident.  Or murder.  Or choice.  But given all these deaths, there are times when the resulting death still requires one's attention.    Perhaps a last conversation is still needed with the one who passed on.  Or perhaps the ghost is terrorizing the home.   Or answers are sought for questions only those beneath the grave can say.

And that's where The Orpheus Group comes in.

The Orpheus Group is currently looking for new agents.  If you believe you have what it takes to become a agent, then contact us immediately.  The needed Projectors are as follows:

Skimmers: 
Though a combination of drugs and meditation techniques incorporating Kundalini yoga, these agents are capable of projecting their consciousness out of their bodies to interact with PLEs (post-life entities.)

Sleepers:Though a system currently protected behind confidentiality laws, these agents are able to project themselves out for longer extended periods of time, interacting with post-life entities with greater care.





Interested parties are welcome to attend the recruitment drive this coming August 2.



* * * *** * * * *** * * * *** GhostWatchers.orgline*** * * * *** * * * *** * * *
Greysaint (10:47:32 PST): Guys, so I've been doing some digging and I've found more information on how Orpheus actually classifies these PLEs.  Check out the list and see if you find it spooky cool.  [Missing File]

Anowa (10:48:31 PST): Hey Grey, I couldn't find your file. The link on your post lead to a missing page.

Greysaint (10:49:04 PST): Really? Darn it. I know I just posted it.  Let me try resending it.


Greysaint (10:50:19 PST): [Missing File]

Anowa (10:51:39 PST): Still nothing Grey.  Are you sure you are sending it correctly? Or if you ar[error]

[error]
[error]
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* * * *** * * * *** * * * *** GhostWatchers.orgline*** * * * *** * * * *** * * *
Status: OFFLINE


Artifact:  B12-H-06

Found in the pocket of a Death Row inmate just before the prisoner was to receive his last meal.  Uncertain how he came to have the artifact.
Note: This is the eight of such artifacts found among inmates who were facing their final day on Death Row.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------{ NxW Files }-----------------
The following have been identified as key personnel of the Orpheus Group.  Begin gathering information on each individual in preparation for Project WideAwake.

Anne Harper
Stanford graduate. Previous occupation: Anthropologist.  Knows 12 languages frequently.


Craig [last name undetermined]
Information pending.   Possibly has ties to the government.

Hoyt Masterson
Previous Occupation: Wheelman.  Presently has Criminal Record: Drug trafficking.

John Carruthers
Previous Occupation: Stage Magician.  Nickname: Blink

Katherine Dennison
Previous job: Philosophy teacher.  Team leader during multiple missions.

Capt. Chet Mason (Retired)
Previous Occupation: U.S. Army Advisor.  Six Purple Hearts. 

Thomas Hayes
Married.  Wife committed suicide.  Has a daughter, Sarah Hayes.  Previous occupation: Architect.  

 Zoe Vitt
Previous Occupation: Daredevil/Stunt woman. 

Ben Cotton
Previous Occupation: Organized Crime.  Has spent time in jail.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Judoom! : Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space

07/13/2014

Judoom!  A Judoon Rescue Mission
One Shot

Dr. Who - Adventures in Time and Space

This was to be the first published game system that Rocky was to run.  Although he first wet his toes running a game using a home-brewed system we cooked up that combined elements of Houses of the Blooded, FATE, Mage the Ascension and Castle Falkenstein, this was to be Rocky's first game session run with a module.  As huge fans of Dr. Who, I once got a relatively unknown role-playing game called Continuum for Rocky to someday try running, if he ever opted to run games.  Considering I introduced him to the world of table top role-playing games, it makes me truly happy to know my partner has gotten the gaming bug enough to research systems on his own and even volunteer to run a game to introduce gaming to new people!  And even more awesome, this adds to my 12 new games for the year list.

Ah yes.

I created a character called Dame Judi , inspired by Judi Dench (as always), whom I saw as an elderly woman who used to go on misadventures with the Doctor during her younger years.  So sort of a cross between River Song, Sarah Jane Smith and M (of the James Bond series).  She was Argumentative, an experienced Time traveler with the knack of Boffin technology, shutting people down with her words and using her Attractiveness and Voice of Authority to great success.  She, however, was clumsy due to her old age.  Thankfully this did not interfere with her proficiency in Running.

We had a young thief from the future, who had very Resourceful Pockets and his own Sonic Screwdriver (one he had found and tinkered with through the years), an Archaeologist from the past who had been trying to locate the Doctor for so long, and a member of Torchwood who had joined the doctor for a few adventures.  We were all travelling with the Doctor to celebrate his unbirthday by watching the Perseid shower of 2020.

What we end up doing, however was manifesting inside a ship.  A Judoon cruiser.  And the Judoon surround us and demand an explanation why we are here.   We eventually speak with the Captain of the vessel and learn of the problem:  Some kind of virus or disease has infected some members of the crew.  The Captain wants us to go through sections of the ship and mark down the areas that are not safe.  We notice there is a damaged console, and realize its probably the communications console.   The group heads down to help.

Most of the Judoon simply refer to those who were infected as "not Judoon."  We find the food supply area of the vessel (which seems to be a wilderness habitat thing) and there notice another communications console.  Given the ship being within the path of the Perseids, the damage it would be receiving would eventually cause more trouble for the ship.  The Doctor, the archaeologist and the Torchwood agent head further on to investigate.  The thief and I, however, realize the communications console is worth looking into.  We jury rig it back to functional status and switch it on:



The commercial starts playing.
More interestingly, the Judoon standing guard reacts extremely negatively against the ad!  The thief and I start to consider what this can mean given the damaged communications console.  I try distracting the Judoon to head back to the Tardis, but it doesn't work.  The Judoon clearly are serious about things.  We decide to rejoin the others.

The others have discovered more signs of damage and conflict.  But the most interesting part is when they find a room that has its windows' blackened out and a voice from within seems to be playing I Spy with... himself.  The voice is odd, sounding almost English in accent, but at the same time.. sonorous.  When we arrive, we all share findings and decide to open the door.  Inside, we discover a Judoon who talks and acts almost human.  His name is Flo and he looks like what we think is the effects of the sickness.   But as Flo shares the story of the signals, of the Captain's actions, of the Electroform that they were trying to capture, the group begins to wonder if the Captain has already been infected by this Electroform, and if the ship was steered into the Perseid in an attempt to blow it up?

As half the team heads down to the engines to try to repair them, I head back to the bridge with Cassandra on an attempt to talk the Captain into heading down with us.    The team heading to the engine with Flo are nearly blocked and caught by security Judoon, but the thief's quick thinking has his nimble fingers draw out the Psychic Paper he had stolen from the Doctor earlier to explain that they are bringing the Judoon to the engine bay.

The Archaeologist and I have trouble convincing the Captain to join us until we use the guns to hold him hostage and lure him down with us.  Down below, the others rig up the engine to act as a conduit for the Electroform.  Batteries are rigged to emit a reversed polarity to draw the thing to them.  The conflict goes well and the Electroform being shunted into the engine ends up expiring as well!

In the end, the Captain shares his side of the story.  He shares how the mission to capture the Electroform was also a ruse.  The Electroform had broadcast itself to the ship as the distress call from a planet to capture the Electroform, and later then started to infect the crew.  He had maneuvered the ship just before losing control to the Perseids in hopes of causing the ship to crash and protect his people.  Flo, oddly becomes both the Hero and the Outcast of the people.  No longer fitting in with them, we suggest that he joins Torchwood instead.  The Doctor agrees its a good way to resolve things and we all hop back into the T.A.R.D.I.S. for another misadventure.

*

Congratulations again to my partner, Rocky, for running this fantastic game!

Friday, July 25, 2014

After the Rain ep11 : Houses of the Blooded

06/15/2014
After the Rain|

Episode Ten
"Blunda Most Foul"

A man in yellow babbles in the streets of the Quarterhouses, mumbling about the truths and about hidden secrets.  He stares at the windows of the Ork Ven and excitedly smiles at the thoughts of what is to come.  He is mad.  Insane.  His words are twisted with impossible meanings.  And yet... the Ork Ven are real.  What if that means he is sane?  What if that means he is right?

*

A week has passed since the group had first arrived in The Greatest City in the Sky.  In their own ways, they have a started to take note of certain things about how life is here in the other side of the Mistweir.  

On matters of Exploration...
Seran Thorne has learned that there seems to be no new lands to explore.  The Ven of the city believe they had explored all that is worth exploring.  Artifacts, thus, have become quite common everyday resources.  There have been some feeble attempts to explore beneath the waters or towards the skies, but the ven have realizes the airships are beyond their control.  They travel fixed paths.  And none of them know how to steer the althenta in other directions.  Seran does recover the glider which Haroun had built for her as a present.

On matters of Education...
Jaric Thayl has learned that the Senate has allowed for a different school structure of mentorship where even Sorcery is freely taught.  The ven, however, have no true teachings in the area of craftsmanship.   The art of creating althenta is lost to them.  The Dreadfuls, short novel stories featuring a set of characters across all books despite varying tales (with characters named after Jaric and his group), are heavily discussed in literature classes.  The head of the Academy is an Thayl, a proud member of the House Elk.  That man is Count Mellot.

On matters of Craft and Art...
Galeo Silja has discovered that everyone in the City is jaded, having seen everything that exists and all forms of art that stands.   They have even began finding joy in watching theater for its unpredictability.   The Thayl family seems notorious for making numerous plays about them.    She learns that it seems commonly accepted practice here for the ven to craft Tulpa to serve them and assist in their work.  She also learns that the Silja family here are still determined to prove they can innovate.

On matters of Orks...
Nia Jalan has unearthed that in the paintings that attempt to mark their arrival as Ork Ven in the Senate halls matches the look of how paintings showing the Orks sacking the Senate in the past look.  Further digging has her find that in the original painting, the Orks that sacked the Senate look Ven as well.  There even has been some academic debate on the translation of an old text claiming the existence of Ork Nobility; Does it refer to noblemen among the orks, or to orks who have gained a House, or of Ven who have sided with the orks over the Senate.  She has even learned from others that the security orks hovering about in the air is angered by any deviation from the preset routes of althenta in the sky.

At the Maybe Maiden, the Red Door Room which Galeo casts a shadow upon,  two ven speak of conspiracy and murder.  Giacomo Silja and Grendil Silja satisfy themselves with the maidens while they openly discuss their concerns about how the Ork Ven can control the Orks.  The fear stems from their worries that this may upset their hold on the Ork Farms.  They discuss plans to poison one of the Ork Ven.  "What was once four, will be three by night's end."  They are unaware of the Silken Ceiling which actually allows Galeo to walk directly above them and listen in without effort.  She briefly wonders if she has had wine.  She turns to her Rook, the Valet, who she knows is always one step ahead.  The Rook however admits he can only prepare with the Resources needed - thus he has no antidote.  He admits he has been tasting her wine to ensure its safety.  She sends one of the maybe maidens to the two, marked with poetic lines she herself had penned to them to welcome them and enjoy the maiden.  She signs them in her name and reminds the maiden to turn her back and bend over gracefully.   She invites them to meet at The Anvil for a possible trade among ven.  The message thankfully does not reveal Galeo has her shadow over the place.  They don't want to deal with her though. They think it would be easier to just deal with her and kill her.   It makes the two overconfident.  So overconfident that they don't even consider using swords if they come to attack her.  She begins considering drafting messages to send to the others, but then realizes here she has no servants to send them.  She realizes she has to head out herself in hopes of finding others to warn them of the possible poison. "Karo, looks like we are off to school."

At Thistledown, Nia Jalan speaks with the Blackhand gang that she has cast her shadow upon.  The group seems to be composed of young veth who are eager to act and are quite territorial of their location.  They are happy to report her Residence has been safe.  They have been keeping the Security of her Residence well.  Nia shares her surprise that there are no such gangs from where she comes from.  The gang asks what she means, given they don't quite know what she means by not being from here.  They seem to address all ven Lords, regardless of Title or sex.  Nia shares with them some idea of how things were in the Wilderness.  They admit they do not understand matters of the Senate.  They are creatures of the tunnels and of shadows on the walls.  They share about how they served other ven and poisoned family members to protect lands and the like.    Nia slowly walks to the far side of the port where Waterdeep stands.  There, she finds Seran busy cleaning the Glider, the gift of Haroun, of what look like guts and bits and pieces of the wasp orks they had seen before.

One of Seran's maids notices a bottle of perfume among Seran's things as they work on cleaning the Glider.  The maid sees the Lady Nia and tells Seran of the visitor.  Seran shares with Nia that if one flies off the path of the airships, the orks attack.  The maid notices a wolf head like design on the bottle's surface.  Seran also shows off an Artifact she had found in a Ruin: a black obsidian compact.  Nia gets curious and studies it.  She opens it without triggering what she finds to be an obvious trap - a sharp spikes of obsidian seeking the hand of whoever opens it.  As Nia shares that the material of obsidian tends to be from volcanoes, Seran wonders if there is even a volcano nearby.

"A week, and not even a single syllable yet?" both girls look up to see the Ven who challenged Seran to a Romance.  Nia greets him as a Senator and he admits he remembers her.  He asks Seran if he at least has an inkling of his name.  He then reveals he has messages, but teases that he will only share it if she figures out his name.  Seran recognizes the envelope in his possession has those of Haron's markings.  Seran asks why he wouldn't just tell him his name, and he admits there wouldn't be any challenge in that.  He shows the five envelopes, one for each day of the week that Haroun wrote for them.  Seran sighs that she was busy retrieving the glider and doing other things.  The man stresses he has five envelopes again.  But Seran fails to completely get he is hinting on the number of letters in his name.  He realizes now why her husband had skipped the Romance with Seran.  Nia starts to study the envelopes each time the man holds them up, searching for any hints of a name marked on them.  The maid offers wine and the man drinks some as he explains the five envelopes are meant to be a clue.  Nia realizes by scanning the envelopes, she has read his name: Pyotr Sinjin. Seran asks why he would have a letter from Haroun and he explains he's the Senator who has been ensuring his safety.  He wonders where she got the glider and she teases him it will be something he has to find out.  A challenge.  He admits he has a good consequence in mind if she fails:  her husband's name.   Seran wonders why he wants the name, and Nia reminds her it gives him a target for whatever plans he'd have in mind.

The glass suddenly drops.  The man starts untying the knots of the scarf around his neck, growing pale.  Seran panics for a moment thinking he's been poisoned. But instead, he rushes to the glider and gasps as he recognizes the design: it is a Steiner!  He asks her where they had found such an ancient and extinct wonder. Pyotr admits he would love a chance to fly the glider - but Seran stresses it is hers.  He swears it will remain hers, but seeks for a chance to embrace her namesake:  I Chase The Storm.

At the Academy, Jaric is amused to see how many variations of the same set of characters exists in the supposed writings and tales written by... someone with his name.  Jaric feels confused and excited as he checks each one, seeing how they seem to be slightly altered or twisted from the tales he knows of their supposed history.  The wife of the headmaster Count Mellot approaches Jaric to ask if he found what he is looking for.   Jaric learns that it seems to be quite common for the ven here to indulge in reading these "Dreadfuls" as they are called.  The wife does stress that it is not uncommon for ven to have similar names, given the small number of Houses that exist.  Jaric, however, stresses how bizarre it is for the book to feature the names of his friends as well.  The conversation stretches long as both tend to ramble on to diverging details as they discuss the Sorcerer-Kings and the many legends of ven history.  She does start rambling about how the great Storm destroyed the Senate House, and that the ven gathered to use their Sorcery to protect the city by weaving their Secret Names to force the Storm back.  Jaric thinks that very barrier was what the Mistweir is, given it now holds the Storm at bay, however he does bring the fact that the story claims one Secret name was lost to the Storm. "But as the Legend goes, with her name lost, she becomes the only crack in the barrier for the Storm to slip through."  When Jaric suggests it would be Madelyn Yvarai, she counters that its impossible since she is the Mother of the Ruk.  When Jaric tries to suggest she was behind the attack on the Senate House, she stops Jaric and explains she was explaining history - not the fiction of the Dreadfuls.  But Jaric is starting to realize there is a gap between what he knows to be the account of Madelyn Yvarai and her becoming the Master of the Ruk.  He thinks she was lost to the Storm, and somehow, she survived.  She tells how the Earls were so "possessed" with such anger that they cursed her to become the Master of the Ruk.  Jaric however wonders if she is no longer ven if she can still create Tulpa.  But the wife counters that Madelyn draws the blood from Kithranus Yvarai, who is a Suaven, to cast her Sorcery.  Supposedly, according to the wife, Kithranus ascended into Suavenhood during the night of the attack upon the Senate.    Jaric feels confused, how the stories he knows seem to not match the history they claim to have.

The wife suggests that given the stories of how back when the ven served the Sorceror-kings, they lived time-limited periods of life.  She wonders if by breaking free from them, what if this had disrupted the lives they were meant to live.  What if now they all existed as beings that moved and lived their own individual streams of time. "Maybe some of us are from individual streams of stories."

Jaric opts to head for the Guildhouse.  She hands him a bottle of wine, mixed with milk, that her husband insists he try. "The milk is to give it a more distinct flavor," she tells him.

*

Galeo Silja finds Jaric on the street and warns him not to take the wine.  She suggests that there are forces who do not agree with their ascent to recognition in the city.   Jaric however counters that while the others are called Ork Ven, he is celebrated for his books... well, for books that are penned with his name.  He even shares that some refer to them instead as Olivanna Ven rather than Ork ven.  Jaric is amused that Galeo would go all the way to seek him out given there are people plotting against them, when he feels among the ven there is always someone plotting against them.  When Jaric tells Galeo he plans to head for the Guildhall, Galeo admits she plans to head there as well.

There is a rumble in the sky.

Jaric and Galeo look up, a bit concerned that the Mistweir might be the Storm held back.  Jaric wonders if the Storm has an Aspect of Madelyn Yvarai trapped in it.   Karo suddenly draws steel and warns them that there is someone ahead.  They find a carriage flanked by with four swordsmen.  They seem to be seeking for "the one called The Artist."  They turn out to be the Personal Guard of the Countess Kether.   Miralia Yvarai asks for them to ride with her, in exchange for them to have a moment to talk with her.  They ask her to bring them to the Guildhouse.  She talks to them about her missing husband.  She even notices the milk wine Jaric has with him and comments that the best are usually given out by Count Mellot.  Seran however brings up the possibility that the wine might be poisoned, given what she had overheard.  The Countess talks about what kinds of poison might be used, and she admits Oleander is the typical poison of Revenge.  The Countess offers to extend an antidote if they desire one, but she will see that as acceptance of her request.  Jaric confuses the conversation to refer to Count Kether of their land, not the Kether Galeo has met in the airship.  Miralia is confused, uncertain if the men they speak of is even the man she is seeking.

Back at the Guildhouse, Seran had been talking to Nia about the man who visited them.  A Falcon.  Nia muses about Haroun and Pyotr having a contested Romance, and perhaps having a fight in the end.  As they laugh about the matter, Lady Szaz has come to visit them.  When Seran gives a bow, happy to see her, Szaz reminds her there is no need to show such given she has no land.  Seran invites her inside.  They go to a private room and Seran asks if the maid can serve wine.   The maid rushes off, uncertain where to find wine.  Szaz tells them she has come because it has been a week since Haroun has been under the protection of the Senate.  She tells them he has been well, and that they have made certain he has always had a constant supply of wine.  Seran asks if they are allowed to visit him, and Nia reminds Seran that they have not read his letters.  Szaz asks if any of them have taken action to resolve his protective custody.  Seran admits matters of the Senate are things they are not good at.  She asks how they can resolve it, but Szaz confesses she cannot answer that question without spending a few days to explain the intricacies of the Senate.  She does state it would be a huge help if a Senator chooses to speak on his defense, and prepares the case for them.  Nia asks if Szaz knows of Pyotr Sinjin and if he is a Senator.  Szaz tells them Pyotr is actually a Duke and he actually chose to not become an Earl.  He came to his title due to tragedy, when all 12 of his siblings, cousins and uncles were found dead.  Szaz shares they were all decapitated, but Pyotr was able to take the Bloodsword from the assassins.  When the Vashna arrived, he was seen alone with the Bloodsword in his hand.  "Such a lucky Duke."

The man has shown so much interest in the case, that Nia and Seran consider he may be the one to help them with Haroun's case.  If he were to talk on their side, however, it may require swearing an oath of allegiance to him, and to willingly stand under his shadow.  Szaz suddenly worries as she realizes none of them have been rallying votes for Haroun's situation.   Seran asks about how the hearing can be delayed, and the possibilities include if an Earl was to die, or if some other similar tragedies were to happen.

Seran suggests Haroun can MAKE Airships, however, and Szaz realizes such an ability would be a definite game changer.  Szaz pulls out rose petals and scatters it around the table to secure their conversation further with a ritual for secrecy.

*

Galeo and Jaric have shared more tales of Count Kether, and Miralia admits it sounds like a completely different person.  Her husband never used Swords.  At most, he would use a tool to disable the other by inserting it into some place that impaired the other.  The confusion continues.

To entertain the two, Miralia draws out an orb like artifact that opens to reveal what looked like a miniature theater.  Inside the dark dome, Galeo and Jaric stare in surprise as tiny ven address them as "The Great Audience" and they ask what tale the Great Audience would like to hear.  The side panel shows different characters.  Miralia presses one and a light shines inside the stage. "The Story of the Husband!"  The tiny ven rush to perform the roles.

Galeo and Jaric realize in shock: it is an Opera.
"They make toys of Operas?" Galeo gasps.  As they look closer, a buzzing feeling forces them to pull their faces away.  Miralia watches with joy as she relishes the Opera.  Jaric and Galeo begin to realize it is no toy.  Instead, somehow, on some Opera House, the presentation is being broadcast to the device, allowing them to watch.  The Husband speaks with the Wife and the Dowager.  The three gain inspiration from it.  "I hold the Mirror to my eyes. And I hold the ring you have given me.  Show me where he is!"  The mirror lights up.
"This isn't a toy," Jaric concludes.  Miralia even shares that she has a friend who owns an Arena. "Whenever she desires, a fight is held and she gets to bet on who she believes will win the match."  Galeo spends time to illustrate both Count Kether's she has met and Miralai identifies the one in the airship as the real one.  Galeo, however, clarifies that she met his Tulpa.    The Master of the Ruk seems to have her husband in her possession.

He did, however, ask Galeo to remind him if she were to see him again that he is a Tulpa.  Miralia asks them if they are willing to speak before the Senate of this, because the Senate claims that Count Kether is already dead.  She wants them to help her find the truth.

*

More rumbles in the sky.

*

Then tragedy.

As Szaz and the others carry the conversation under the Ritual of the Rose, Nia eventually mentions her friendship with one of the Earls.  This makes Szaz panic.  "She knows," she tells them.  "You should have told me!"

Almost impossibly quickly, the Vashna can be seen mobilizing outside.  Countess Kether and her entourage are among those the Vashna end up blocking along the road.  When she asks what is going on, the Vashna declare the accusation is that of Conspiracy Against the Senate, and Conspiracy to Murder one of the Earls.  Miralia asks the guards for the perpetrators.  They mention the Ork Ven: all of them are mentioned as suspects.  Galeo and Jaric remain hidden inside the carriage.

Galeo suggests they "stir the pot more" to confuse their opponents. Jaric asks if Miralia is truly wishing for their help to face the Senate.  If yes, then in exchange, she is to help them with support for the next hearing to free Haroun.  Miralia plans to step down from her position, and give her three sons land to become title holders.  "Three votes.  I can offer you three votes."

*

"Are they here for us?" Seran asks Szaz.  The Vashna march into the Guildhouse and demand for the ones they are hunting to surrender.   The door slams open.  Veth tumble to the sides away from the Vashna as they stomp forward and spread out to find the others, Szaz turns to Nia and whispers, "You have to make this convincing.  You have to hurt me well.  While I'm recovering the enemy will think you are recovering too."

Szaz has Nia and Seran force her to fight, and make sure the Vashna bear witness to this when it happens. However, Nia suddenly discovers that her body ceases to function as she steers it!  She moves towards Szaz and strikes, dealing a deadly blow upon the Spider.  Knowing there is precious little that she can do to control herself, she reaches inward and reaches backwards to whatever is attempting to control her.  She taps into the source, and now knows she will recognize the Sorcerer who tried to use The Puppet on her.

The enemy, however, forces Nia herself to speak words accusing Szaz as the assailant using sorcery.  The Vashna quickly disable them all and force them to surrender.

*

"The respectable thing to do right now would be to surrender us to the Senate," Jaric offers.  But Miralai is determined to face the Senate.  She tells the two that she will do what she can to achieve her own goal, as well as help them with theirs, in a single goal.  They are to flee, but as Jaric states it clearly, "Make sure we trip."

"We are friends, are we not?" Galeo asks her.    Miralia agrees.

Miralia has them hurry out of the carriage, and as they run, she calls out to the Vashna and point towards their escape. "There!  Stop them!"

The Vashna surround them and even Szaz is held under the blade.



The Vashna question her if she can honestly answer if she had used sorcery.  Szaz remarks, "I am still a Senator.  It is her word against mine."

*

The next morning.
Morning invocations begins as the Senators are gathered.
Countess Kether comes into the Senate Hall, wearing a brown outfit.  Many question her presence given she is not a Senator.

"Countess, this is out of order.  Tremendously out of order.  Only Senators are allowed to be present in the Morning Invocation."

"I stand here-"

"Your presence is not permitted, Countess.  You have no right to-"

"I stand here to CLAIM the Seat of my husband, Count Kether.  Unless you are to tell me he is not dead?"

The Senate remains silent.

"Then I am here, as Senator Kether.  Proceed," Miralia tells them all and without another word, steps into where her husband used to sit.




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun : Monsterhearts

06/05/2014

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Monsterhearts

This was to be a first time game experience for Lanchie and Miguel, two friends of ours whom we've had over for game nights for months now.  Being fans of Dr. Who, Charmed and American Horror Story, we decided that a Monsterhearts game might be the easiest for them to jump into.  (Oh and I used the images from this gaming blog for the game, just because it made it feel more like a tv show)

Miguel plays Cordelia Gray, a Witch.
She stars the game with the (BLAMED) Condition.
Lithe, Smirking eyes and Gifted
Hexes include:  Wither and Ring of Lies

Her collected sympathic Tokens include:
Kara (Hair)
Principal Snyder (Glasses) : Snoopy, Strict

Cordelia has Strings on:
Kara (1) - She knows she's dead.
Aurora (1)

Lanchie plays Aurora Smith, one of the Fae.
Mysterious, Peircing eyes, she is Adopted
Faery Contract and the Lure

She has Strings on:
Cordelia (1) - Caught her snooping
Groundskeeper Willie (2) - Caught his fancy

Rocky plays Kara Maslowe, the Ghost.
All she knows of her death is that the Football team was involved.
Brooding, Pained eyes and was Left for Dead
Has Unresolved Trauma (Blamed) and is currently Vengeful

Has Strings on:
Aurora (2) - Watched her sleep

The scene opens with Cordelia, who is at home.  She had just slammed the door shut  behind her as she struggled to slow down her breathing.  She is uncertain how to react to what she had just witnessed.  She raises her left hand and in it is a clump of bloody hair.    Cordelia mutters, "Kara..."

And we cut to title sequence with this as the show's theme song.



School bell rings.

The students are moving through the corridor as they head to their classes.  Ash Gobbins, the geek in campus, is busy playing with his PSP.  The jock, Jake, walks past him and smashes his hand on Ash's PSP. It clatters to the floor amid the laughter of the football team.  Further down the hallway, Aurora is at the lockers hanging with her friend, Lilith Jones.  Aurora witnessed Jake's actions.  Lilith however is oblivious to it all and is blabbing about how much she hates her name.   With Lilith's locker open, Aurora sees the tiny altar inside which celebrates Lilith's faith.  Aurora was always fascinated with Lilith given her faith in this religion which she has never seen.  Aurora, being one of the Fae, has seen far more wondrous things which she knows are real.  She wonders how Lilith would cope to witness such things.  Lilith talks sometimes about how the dragon is the devil and all that, while Aurora secretly muses about how as a child in the Fae lands, she would play with dragons and such monsters.  One thing she loves about Lilith, however, is how straight-forward she is regarding life.  A realist.  "I guess it could be worse.  Imagine if my mother named me Eve.  Next thing you know, I'd have to find an Adam."

"Isn't that your purpose in life?" Aurora humored her.

"Well, if my Adam was someone who looked like Jake..."


Jake walks past the gang-banger in campus named Zoren, who calls out to the quarterback for a fist bump.  The call goes ignored.  The football laughs at them more.

"You're lucky.  You were given a nice name," Lilith tells Aurora.

"Aurora?"

"Yeah, it's nice. It's interesting..."

"It's common."

The two hurry off to head to their math class as the bell rings a second time.   Lilith admits she doesn't like Cordelia, who will be in the class.  Something about her always smiling even if she isn't.  Aurora thinks she's cool and when Lilith questions if Aurora thinks she would ever be Cordelia's friend, Aurora admits, "You never know."

Loretta, the goth girl, is walking down the hallway as well.  She stops to look at Ash who is still starting at the broken PSP.  "That's going to outlive you, you know that.  The human body decomposes after..."  Aurora and Lilith smirk as Loretta then walks away and Ash mutters, "She... she saw me."   As the two continue down the corridor, Aurora then notices Kara.  Standing at the far end of the corridor, Aurora can sense that something has changed.  Kara used to be a plain jane type of wallflower.  She wasn't popular but was always rushing back to the family since she never had any after school stuff.  Today, she carried herself with a strange brooding look, walking with her eyes wandering every now and then.

"Come on," Lilith tugs at Aurora who was staring at Kara, "If we don't hurry, we won't get the seats we like."

*

At the classroom, Cordelia is already inside.  Seated at the front and center seat, Cordelia is busy reading when a voice mutters, "The Shining Girls?"  Cordelia peers out from her book to see the class nerd, Mike Oscar, on the seat to her right.  "That's by David Eddings, right?  1994.  About that secret society?  It's a good book."

Cordelia flatly responds, "I know."

"I'm not to keen on how they presented the Creational Forces of Light though," he adds.



"I wasn't asking for your opinion," Cordelia grumbles.

"Oh don't worry about that, Mike.  Lesbians tend to be that mean," a voice cuts the moment and Cordelia turns to see the queen bee of campus herself, Bianca Court.  "Found a girlfriend yet?  I heard there's a lot of them available at Hot Topic.  I think you're in my seat. "

"I don't see your name on it," Cordelia replied, flatly.

"That's because you can't read-" Bianca begins but then realizes Cordelia is reading, "Stuff... on tables."

"Right," Cordelia rolls her eyes, "That doesn't mean I'll have to move to another seat."

"You don't have to be mean to her!" Mike speaks up. "Come on Bianca, can't you just leave her alone?"

Bianca throws Mike a glance, then slides it back at Cordelia.  "Well well well, looks like our little lesbie's growing up!"    Mike tries to explain that Cordelia was just minding her own business before Bianca started insulting her.  Bianca stares at the book and retorts, "Well, its clearly not Vogue.  It's not People.  It's probably not really that interesting..."

"Oh, just like you," Cordelia snaps.    Three other girls walk up to Bianca's side that moment and start jeering at Cordelia.   Cordelia adds, "Clones."  The girls continue to laugh, ignoring her words... well, all save one, who asks, "What's a clone?"   Bianca turns to one of them, the youngest one, and tells her, "Marcy!  I told you.  You can join the group but you have to stay quiet!"  Marcy pulls away.

Bianca tries to recover, "Well, that's only because they only clone the best."

"Oh, like Dolly, right?" Mike interjects, "The sheep."

"My name is Bianca.  Not dolly.  And here I thought you were the smart one," Bianca hisses.  Mike starts mumbling how Dolly is actually the name of the first sheep that was cloned and how sheep relates to how people follow her without thinking.  "She... isn't ever going to get it, is she?"   Cordelia shakes her head and whispers conspiratorially to Mike, "She probably never will."



Bianca heads away and decides instead to sit on the chair behind Cordelia.  The three others start pulling chairs to sit on as well.  Bianca turns to them and tells them, "No.  You aren't supposed to stay here.  You are not in this class!"  Marcy however shows her schedule and tells Bianca, "I made sure I was in ALL your classes!"  Bianca huffs in resignation as Marcy excitedly takes the seat to her left.

Aurora and Lilith arrive and opt to take the seats at the rear given the room only has seats for nine people.  As they get to the chairs, Bianca hears their arrival, glances and calls aloud, "Is someone wearing incense?"  Lilith shakes her head and sits down.  Bianca starts vocally rambling about how much she hates it when religious people are around her.  "It makes me feel... you know... judged."  Lilith throws a glance at Aurora and shakes her head.  The door opens.

All turn to see Zoren holding the door open for Kara.  "We have to stick together, you and I," Zoren says as Kara walks into the room without a word.  She doesn't even look at him.  "Yeah," Zoren adds, "Respect!  Silence is like a weapon stronger than any gun!"  Kara walks away from him, walks past Marcy who is busy writing on a sheet of paper "Bianca + Marcy" encircled in a heart over and over, and takes the remaining chair on the front row.   As Kara sits on the seat in front of Marcy, Cordelia feels a sudden rush of fear wash over her.  Kara, in her eyes, appears bloody and dead.  Though creeped out, Cordelia makes no outward sign of her feelings.  She checks if Marcy and Bianca can see Kara and notes neither seem to be playing her any attention.  And then she realizes Bianca is staring straight at her.  Cordelia throws her a smile to annoy her.  She glances further and sees Aurora cleaning her ears.  And then to Aurora's right, she sees Lilith piling books on her table.  Finally, her gaze reaches the corner and she sees Zoren there, who winks at her.  Cordelia throws back a peace sign.

Then Jake enters the room.

Jake crosses in front of Zoren, and as he crosses in front of Bianca, Bianca swoons at Jake.  Jake heads straight to the remaining chair and sits down.  "Bianca dear, you're drooling," Cordelia teases her.  Bianca starts nonchalantly patting her face to check.  Marcy whips out a handkerchief and offers it to her like a minion ready to serve.

*

Minutes pass.
Nothing.  The professor has not arrived.

More minutes.
Still nothing.  Lilith asks if anyone has the professor's number.  Bianca rolls her eyes.  Marcy digs through her bag and the noise annoys Bianca.   "Seriously, does anyone have the professor's number?  Maybe the professor forgot he has a class today?"

"It is easy to forget things," Kara suddenly speaks up.  Cordelia realizes that the others hear her statement.

"So, you're not dead?" Cordelia whispers to Kara.  Kara slowly turns her head to Cordelia.  She had been having trouble remembering what had happened to her.  She opened her eyes to find herself already home.  She had vague flashes of imagery of what had happened.  Of struggling against people.  Of laughter that turned into worried voices.  Of someone uttering Kara's name over and over again.  Of someone worrying she was no longer alive.

Did Cordelia know what happened to her?

"What the fuck is your problem?"  Kara hissed in response.

"So the dead can curse?"

"What's with all this dead shit?"

"Cause you're all bloody and you look dead?" Cordelia explained.

"Is that what people think?  Am I all dead to people like you?" Kara suddenly raises her voice!  Lilith realizes she left one of her books and hurries to leave.  Zoren calls out that he doesn't think she's dead.  Kara then challenges him to say her name.  "You're... Cordelia."  Cordelia corrects him that she is Cordelia.  Zoren then insists that Kara would be "Korey!"

"She's Kara, you idiot," Aurora tells her.

Bianca calls out to everyone to be quiet.  She asks why they can't all just sit quietly and wait for the professor to show up and cancel the class for starting so late.  She gets a barrage of responses from the rest to shut her up.  Marcy still tells Bianca she believes she's right.  Mike starts explaining how classes are automatically called off in twenty minutes if the class doesn't happen.

"Your name is Kara.  Kara Maslow," Jake suddenly answers.  "You like science-fiction.  You usually eat alone in the cafeteria.  And you were supporting the games for a few weeks.  You were always there on the highest aisle alone."

"What are you talking about?" Kara hisses.  Jake looks away.

Bianca snaps, hating how everyone is now a geek and how everyone thinks its cool to be one since that musical television series came out.  Cordelia corrects her that the show is Glee.  Bianca then starts saying everyone wants to be a Glee.  "They're called Gleeks, you idiot," Aurora corrects her.  Marcy tries to explain and again Bianca tells her to shut up.  Zoren injects how he feels the show is racist.

"No more racist than an African American Asian throwback," Kara hisses back.

Mike finds the number and asks who wants to make the call.  He admits he doesn't want to be the one to speak to him.  Kara mumbles, "It is so easy NOT to make the call, isn't it."

"Where is this coming from," Cordelia asks.  Kara shouts back asking if Cordelia is really asking that and pronounces how none of them will understand.  Cordelia shuts her up by saying, "It's probably cause we aren't dead."

"I'm NOT dead!" Kara screams and feels the blame lands on Cordelia and Mike.

The door slams shut.

They all turn to see a different woman standing at the front of the room.  To their surprise, it is not the professor.  She tells them that's enough and silences them all with a gaze.  She squints as she looks around, and Cordelia realizes its because she still has her glasses.    She throws her gaze upon each of them and after shutting everyone up, her focus then ends at the empty seat.

"Who is missing?  Ah, well. Unimportant.  What is important is that you are all present in class," the Principal Snyder tells them.  She motions to Mike to open the window, then motions to Zoren to watch the door.  She then lights up a cigarette and tells them all that while this was supposed to be a math class, she is taking over the class for a special reason.  While the class was supposed to be a math elective which if passed allows them to accelerate.  But she then tells them that the professor is dead, a car accident with slippery roads as the cause, and being short of a replacement she will be handling the class.  She mentions the professor was part of some kind of cult with strange paraphernalia in the car.  She tells them that he had a lot of odd things in his trunk and hands one of them back an old phone that was supposedly stolen.  Cordelia asks if they're no longer doing math, and the Principal questions her if she rather have math.  Zoren fails to tell her when Lilith shows up and Lilith goes frantic when she learns they are no longer handling math.  "We are having a more interesting class.  Let us go."

 Cordelia watches as Kara pushes against the door and realizes Kara isn't a ghost... or at least.. isn't immaterial.  As they all leave, Cordelia walks up to Kara's desk and presses her hand against it to gaze into the abyss.  Cordelia's body begins to glow and her eyes turn white.  As the glow fades, Cordelia realizes she could be a revenant - a spirit that has returned to avenge herself, or a ghoul - one of the living dead, or lastly, Kara could be a demon pretending to be her.  Cordelia realizes that if Kara recoils from the touch of a virgin, she would be a demon.  But if she is a revenant, green moss would appear when she gets angry.  There is no moss on the table though.  Or was she just not that angry yet?

The Principal calls for her and when Cordelia catches up, she muses, "It is so hard when dealing with mere mortals, hmm?  Come along.  This way."

*

Jakes tries to talk to Kara and asks about the last time they hung out.  Kara rushes away from him, which prompts Mike to ask what that was about.  Jake just says its some female thing.   The Principal leads them to the old side building where a pool used to stand.  The gym and pool had long been locked up due to many supposed reasons.  Some even whispered the place used to be some kind of Indian graveyard, locked away due to some curse. The Principal has them gather by the side of the empty pool, then tells them the rules.  They are to stay in the gym area til morning, and none are to leave.

The Principal starts telling them how the story says the dead of the burial ground would rise every four years to avenge themselves.  She asks the students to explain the significance of the pool and Lilith shares how water, like mirrors, is a doorway.  The pool can allow the spirits to escape if it were filled.  "So as you can see, even in modern times, a school like ours still carries such superstitions.  Which brings us to our first challenge:  You are all spending the night."  She motions to Groundskeeper Willie, who starts the pumps and the water begins to fill the pool.  Cordelia complains about not having clothes and how they will eat and the Principal explains she has gotten the approval of their parents for them to be present in this 3-night trial.  "You are all to stay overnight and watch the pool."

She has the groundskeeper collect their personal effects, and hands one of them a burner phone.  Kara complains that they can't take her things.  And that she doesn't like it.  Jake sides with Kara, telling them to "Stop this.."  The voice resounds in her ears and she recalls Jake himself saying that very line over and over.  She yells at her about not having stopped the last time.  The Principal tells her that it is opportunities like this that allow one to learn and understand things better.  The Principal tells them they are free to just leave if they want to.   Kara decides to stay, but throws her phone into the pool instead of to Willie.  Cordelia surrenders her tokens to the groundskeeper as well, save for the Principal's glasses which she keeps palmed.

She reassures them that they will be safe, so long as they are not stupid enough to fall into the pool.  She reminds them there must be at least one person always staring at the water.  At any point in time there is no one starting at the pool, everyone will fail the class.  The Principal recommends they work in pairs.  She heads to the side office with the groundskeeper and leaves the students to organize themselves.

As they try organizing themselves, Kara however suddenly lashes out as she asks everyone to stay away. "GET AWAY FROM ME!"  Frighteningly, the impossible occurs!  All save for Bianca see Kara vanish before their very eyes.

The Principal returns with a cart with food.  Lilith tells her someone has vanished, but the Principal just mumbles, "Already?".  When Marcy asks how she just disappeared, the Principal seems very nonchalant about things.  Kara starts telling them she's "Right here," but no one seems to hear her.  She tries to shove the food cart to the floor,but it fails.    The Principal then ask Cordelia to at least ward the place.  Cordelia is freaked out that the Principal knows about warding.  Kara tries to get the attention of others by slamming things around, but no one can see her.   Aurora finds the groundskeeper pushing something into her hand.  It is a key.

The Principal then turns to Zoren Lee and asks if Kara is still in the room.  Zoren feigns not understanding at first, but then Cordelia walks up to him, touches his shoulder and says, "Reveal what is in the room."  But the moment they make contact, Zoren recoils from Cordelia's touch.  Zoren looks at her, at the Principal, then turns towards one side of the room.  "She's crying in front of Jake."

Kara lashes out, anger released outwards towards Jake.  The jacket Jake wears rips away in a violent blast.  "Yeah, that was her," Zoren tells them.  The Principal then tells Aurora to "make a deal" with her.    Kara is pulled back to the group after Aurora makes a deal with the help of the others.  Mike demands the Principal explain why she knows what's going on. He is starting to think there's some kind of practical joke going on.  Aurora makes a deal with Mike to explain what's going on, and in exchange she shouldn't lie to him.  "You see, there are some kids in class who are.... special."  Lilith then admits to Aurora that he has a secret too.  She has an appetite thing.  Lilith turns out to be a vampire.

Jake and the others confront the Principal how she seems to know what's going on.   Jake admits that all his life his parents have told him not to let the secret slip, but yes it seems the Principal knows all about them.  She knows everything about them, and throws her gaze at Zoren, "Including.. the Connoisseur."   Zoren turns pale in worry.   Cordelia hexes Zoren, casting the Ring of Lies upon him.  She asks if Zoren is a demon and Zoren drops to the ground in pain.  He admits he's partly a demon.

The Principal tells them that she's here to teach them all about their true selves, and that they are getting a chance to accelerate in their studies.  "In the campus of 5000 students, the nine of us are the special ones."  Mike calls out, "But there are nine of us students, plus you and Mister Willie."    The Principal reminds them all that she now has things they own... tokens... that she can use if need be.   Cordelia realizes the Principal is a witch.

"I need someone to spend the next twenty-four hours staring into the pool.  If the things in there find a way out, we will have trouble."

"It still sounds like manipulation to me," Kara hisses.

"It will be," the Principal begins to glow as winds whip around her.  "You are ALL Warded from leaving this place.  And if any of you attempt to leave, you will feel PAIN that will stretch backwards across your bloodlines."

Aurora steps up and calls out, "Will you PROMISE to let us leave when you are done?"

"Only if you promise to watch the pool.  Now, shall we deal?" the Principal asks.

Mike admits he still doesn't grasp what's going on.  He still thinks everything is some kind of special effect.  Kara is starting to feel trapped.  She does not like this feeling.  She lashes out again in anger as the Principal tells her she will be trapped much longer than she wants.  Kara now blames her as well.  But delusions begin to overwhelm Kara.  All the doors in the building begin to slam shut as Kara screams, "Trapped... trapped.. can't get out!"

Marcy stands up and tells the Principal that she won't get away with this.  That people will be looking for Bianca.  And for the first time, Bianca agrees with Marcy and says she is right!  "People will be looking for me.  My clique won't allow this to happen," Bianca hisses.  "They will know, but they won't be able to get in.  You can ask Little Hermione there what will happen.  When a Ward it raised, it remains raised until it is lowered."



"Or until the person who cast it is dead.  If we all tried to kill you, we probably could," Cordelia tells her.

"If you're even brave enough to kill someone," the Principal hisses.  Kara continues to scream at the walls.  Jake admits none of them are murderers.   Mike questions if they can actually kill someone.  Cordelia thinks if the Principal is distracted enough, she probably could.  Mike finds the thought of killing someone unthinkable.  Aurora suggests they should stop and just do what they are supposed to do.  The Principal calls Willie and leaves them to have the time to themselves.  Aurora asks if she promises to let them leave when it is over.  "Watch the pool then, and I promise to let you all go when that task is done."

"Then it is a deal," Aurora seals it.

Cordelia realizes this may have to do with the Ivy Coven, the coven she is part of.  How only one woman in each line can have the power.  And how there are two other covens, and they are not their friends.  She remembers her mother warning her not to hex anyone she wants.  And that even if the covens are not in friendly terms, they are all still witches.  "And among witches, there are rules that will forever stand:  We will never betray another witch, as Salem has taught us hard.  Two, we will never teach our craft to anyone but our daughter.  And the last, we will never use our Hexes to help someone unless it benefits us. The world has made us suffer.  They will never get help from us."

*

Kara stares at the people talking.  She stares at Jake's glistening back.  She starts to remember the other football players, in states of nudity.  "We were supposed to have someone else join us but she didn't show up."  They lean close and Kara feels too terrified to move.  How are they in the room with her?

*

Aurora digs into her pocket.  She realizes the Groundskeeper Willie had slipped onto her hand a key.

*

Cordelia sits by the edge of the pool with Mike sitting nearby.  Mike stares at the burner phone and wonders aloud why they have the darn things.  Cordelia starts asking Mike what he is exactly.  He reminds her though that only nine are not human, and there are eleven of them.  Mike starts putting together that the Principal has their stuff for the same reason Cordelia has the Principal's glasses. He noticed it back when she left her bag open one day.  "I won't even ask about the clump of hair."

"Going back to my question: What are you?"

"I'm human," Mike insists.  "Don't you think you're human?"

"Of course I'm human, but with something extra.  What about you?" Cordelia prods.

"Well, I'm half Filipino.  I guess that counts?"

Cordelia touches Mike's hand, but he pulls it back.  She explains she is just touching it, but he asks him to explain.  Cordelia says she doesn't believe him.  He raises the question though about her not trusting him.  Aurora arrives and tells them both that they can't trust anyone here.  While the two talk, Cordelia casts a Hex upon Mike and casts the Ring of Lies upon him... but as the spell is unleashed, Cordelia suddenly feels her own body wracked in pain.  "So... are you human or not?"

"I can't believe her, she just did that without asking properly.  I would have said I respect you, but now I don't think you deserve it," Mike then turns to Aurora, "She's your friend."   He walks off.  Aurora runs after him, leaving Cordelia behind.  Mike admits he kind of figured there was something different about Aurora.  How she kind of always insisted that people owed her something.  Cordelia calls out, "Make him tell a lie!"  Mike barks back for her to mind her own business.  Mike does ask why they are friends and Aurora does admit they've been friends for the last two years.  And that she always knew she was a witch.  Aurora admits being Fae seems to be all about making deals like those tales of Rumpelstiltskin.  The two look in the distance and they can see the Principal in the side office in the distance, watching through the glass.     Mike whispers to Aurora and asks if she promised for everyone to not escape.

"Stop whispering to each other and make him tell a lie!" Cordelia calls out.

"Fine!" Mike screams back and suddenly feels pain dropping him to his knees as he tries to say something.  He admits to Aurora that he was about to yell that he liked her. But the hex triggered and shut him up.  They talk about Zoren who seems to be staying away from everyone else in the room.  Aurora realizes he was probably staying away from Cordelia for some reason as well.  Aurora continues to explain to Mike the differences of the Fae, of Demons, of Witches and the like.

Lilith soon shares that she is a vampire, but that she normally feeds early before leaving to sustain her for the day.  When well fed, she can walk under the sun for some period of time.  She can also stare into another's gaze to hypnotize others.  She admits she used it on Aurora before to become friends for the first time.   Aurora insists that Lilith has to make a promise to never use it on her ever again.  She explains how she needed a friend, and Aurora was the only one she felt she could trust, and Lilith finally agrees to the promise to never use it on her again.

Cordelia is still at the pool.  She hears a splash and turning to look at that direction, she sees Jake in the water.  "If we're watching it, we might as well swim in it."  Cordelia tries asking Jake what he is.  Jake smiles and invites her to join him in the water.  She asks if he's a merman or something like that.  He muses how she's not the kind of person who trusts others.  She readily admits she isn't and even blames it could be genetic.  He challenges her to guess what he is within three guesses or she has to join him in the water.  She guesses wrong that he is a sea creature and on her second guess, she asks if he's a water bender.  He jokes that is from a cartoon and admits he is not a water bender.  Cordelia uses her hotness to try to make him slip and say more.  As he wraps his arms around her legs, she notices how hairy he is.  "Oh shit.  Okay.  Are you a werewolf?"



"Guess I can't pull you in with me," Jake grins.

"Guess you can't wolfie," Cordelia laughs.

Cordelia realizes she's still uncertain what Lilith, Biyanca, Marcy Mike and the Groundskeeper are.  Jake starts asking Cordelia about where she was yesterday night, given she did  not show up for the party.  Cordelia claims to have been in the area.  Jake asks if she was there before or after he left.  His demeanor changes once she admits she was there the whole time.  Jake's voice trails off when he admits he had to leave because being a werewolf has its problems.  Jake admits he is worried because tonight is the night of the Bloodmoon, and he usually is locked up at home during such a time.  Cordelia talks about chaining him up and he growls back that maybe someone should cut off her tongue to keep her from using her hexes on everyone.  That's when Cordelia slips and mentions about Kara being dead.  This worries Jake, given he had to leave the party early because he needed to turn into a werewolf.  He was not aware Kara had died.  He now worries over the possibility that she died in the frat house.

Cordelia implies that the team probably killed her.

"Are your team mates werewolves too?"

"Of course not," Jake admits.  Cordelia admits she may have seen something weird.  Jake pulls away and ponders on what he just learned.

*

Marcy and Bianca are in one area, worried how they're stuck til morning.  Marcy tries to explain to Bianca what's going on but admittedly all she registered was that she has a broken nail.  Marcy sees the others talking, and she tries to explain how they can't not leave the pool.  Bianca laments missing her favorite show.  Aurora walks up to them and asks to talk with Marcy.  When Bianca retorts to Marcy to ignore her, Aurora tells her to shut up.  The two stare at each other, realizing they now share a desire to not talk to each other for the rest of the night.  Marcy silently walks away with Aurora.  "Why do you even have to follow her, you're the most powerful being in this room," Aurora asks Marcy.  Marcy glances at Aurora and responds, "Only if you apologize to Bianca first."  Aurora makes it a deal.

Aurora walks up to Bianca and apologizes.  Bianca looks up, surprised to hear her apologize about how she acted.  Bianca still doesn't believe her.  Aurora asks for a way to prove that she respects her.  Bianca wants to know why she wants to talk to Marcy.  Aurora explains about what's been going on and Bianca still thinks Aurora is a "Gleek."  Aurora just believes Marcy is one of the most powerful being here and only she can save them.

"Do you really want to know the truth about Marcy?" Aurora suggests to Bianca, to ask about the odd things that happen in her life.  Bianca of course thinks its about Aurora not knowing about puberty.  "If you need a tampon, I have one in my bag," she tells Aurora.  Aurora just stresses that she needs to talk to her and that she will only do so if she apologized to Bianca.  Bianca decides to let her apologize to her... but she doesn't know where she will get the flowers to do so.  Aurora decides to just ride with it and tells her, "I'll get them for you later."  Bianca asks her to promise. She agrees to.

Aurora returns to Marcy and with Bianca's permission, they can talk.  She hears something unexpected though.  "She's one of us now.  She's part of our clique!"  Aurora rolls her eyes, "Really.  Of all the magical people here.  Bianca?"  Marcy pulls her aside to talk privately, and after moving to the ladies locker room in the gym, shares her story with Aurora.  She tells her biggest secret, which is that she's a straight A student who wants to fit in by posing as a follower of Bianca.  Aurora asks what secret Bianca has and Marcy admits she doesn't know.  "I can't help but help her.  I used to think it was pity, but now I've come to realize I act a certain way and I like it."  Marcy admits that they don't do anything sexual, especially since Bianca is actually Lesbian.    As they discuss more of the past, they begin to realize that Marcy is special in her own way.  She is a cibopath and can process information based on what she tastes.

An idea hits them.  Marcy can gain information from things she tastes.  Cordelia starts to think that if Marcy can taste "hexes" she may learn to comprehend the ward as well.  Perhaps, she can find a way to locate where the hex is weaker.  "If we understand what she is using to ward the place, maybe we can break it," Marcy admits.  Others are to provide a distraction to confuse the Principal while they do so.   Marcy gets annoyed at Cordelia and stomps away.  Jake splashes water at them and they realize they have a distraction in mind.

*

A flashback.

Kara is at a frat party.  Jake was bonding with her, wanting to help her fit in as he used to a lanky thin fellow in the past.  He invites her to attend the frat party, and supposedly another girl is supposed to be present.   They look through a yearbook and see how the rest of the team had drawn all over her picture and wrote cruel stuff about them.  Jake invites her to drink.

Minutes pass.  Jake seems to be tense, scratching himself often, fiddling with his teeth and almost always lingering by the kitchen.  Hours.  The other woman has still not arrived.

Cordelia is outside, staring at the frat house.  She is undecided if she should go in or not.  Jake steps out, suddenly looking around.  She dives into the bushes to hide.  Cordelia overhears him wondering if she's still coming over and asking the guys to watch over her and take care of them.  "I just need to... jog right now."    Cordelia finds it odd that he rushes off to jog in the middle of the night.  "Just take care of the two girls.  Don't get them drunk!"

The guy mishears him.  "Get them drunk," is all he heard.  The man approaches the bush where Cordelia is at, and Cordelia freezes, worrying that he saw her.  Instead, she realizes he starts peeing on the bush she is in.    As the man heads back into the house, Cordelia peers from the window and sees the group having a crazy time with Kara.  There's talk of the bathroom being clogged up.  And the two talk further about how hot Cordelia is as they pee.  And the rumors about Bianca being lesbian and her whole clique sleeps with her.

As Cordelia tries to get to her feet, she loses her balance and hits her head on something.  By the time she comes to, there are muffled sounds coming from the house.  Cheering sounds.  Banging.  But all muffled.  Cordelia gets to her feet and realizes everything has gone silent.  Then expletives.  Cordelia moves to the side of the house and peers into the nearest window.  She sees the team in various states of undress.  They look horrified.  One guy is holding Kara's naked and unconscious body.  There is vomit down her face, on her hair, and on the floor.  Her body starts to convulse.  The men panic.    Cordelia continues watching.

The men realize she's still alive, but the others insist that no one should call 9-11.  The one holding her down starts to panic.  The others rush off to leave, worried and not wanting to be involved.  Cordelia ducks back into the shadows.  "This never happened...  We never were here.... she.. she left with Cordelia.  That's the story!"

Cordelia slowly rises from her hiding place, now that most have left.  She walks into the house and sees Kara left on the floor.  She kneels beside her and reaches for Kara's head and finds Kara isn't breathing.

"Fuck."

Cordelia turns and sees another football player standing in the hallway, still pulling his pants up.   Instinctively, Cordelia unleashes a hex of Wither upon him.  The guy rots from the inside out and drops to the ground as he ages.  He charges forward; a desperate bid to do something to stop her.   Cordelia pulls the spell back at the last second as he hits the floor.  He is now on the ground beside Kara's body.  Cordelia rushes to leave, not wanting to get involved.

*

"Show me where," Cordelia's mother simply states.

The two witches return to the scene of the crime.  The mother stops at the doorway and sees what had happened.  She calls for her daughter to come to her side.  She turns to her daughter and asks if she knows her.  "Then you best get something of her, as it is the last time you will see her."   Cordelia takes some hair.  The mother casts the Wither hex, disintegrating the vomit, the bodies, and any evidence that would suggest the party happened.  Cordelia realizes even the footprints she left, the marks she left are being withered away.  She realizes even the pee stains on her body are withering away.

"I should take away your powers," the mother tells her.

"But you won't,  I am your only daughter."

"I will remind you the rules apply to the only daughter," the mother hisses, "I am not barren yet.  Now get in the car.  This never happened."

*

Kara wakes up.  She recalls the feeling of lightness she had.  A warm glow drawing her close.  But then a silhouette blocking the way.  Then a voice saying, "Cordelia."   Kara realizes she is stuck, and some how it has to do with Cordelia.

Jake had been enjoying the pool, swimming in his underwear.  The others have been chatting away, talking to each other with secrets and occasional shouts.   Kara dangles her feet over the pool, but she does not even break the surface of the water.  "That's weird," she mumbles to herself.  The water calms her as she stares at its dark surface, relieving her of her delusions.  Mike and Kara have a moment with Kara apologizing to him for lashing out.  He admits he still isn't sure how to handle things himself, as he admittedly finds some things looking more cool than... weird.  He asks her what it feels like, and she admits she feels like all that is left is her feelings cause she can't feel anything else in the world.  Mike shares that Aurora has a plan on how to try to break free.  Kara admits she's not sure if they can trust her.  Mike admits he is uncertain of Cordelia more.  Kara apologizes to Mike and admits he wasn't even there when it happened.  Mike starts talking about Aurora asking odd questions on whether or not he was human.  He admits all he knows is he had an odd puberty moment.  "Other than that, I guess I just never want to grow up."

The two walk up to Lilith and she jokes about how this is like the part in a reality show when people are forming alliances.  Kara admits she just wants to understand what is going on.  Both notice, however, that Lilith is having moments where she uncontrollably shakes.  Kara notices how Lilith stares at Mike as he walks away to get her some food from the food cart.   Lilith admits she's worried she might end up hurting Mike, and Kara notices Lilith's eyes turn bloodshot red.  She mumbles about it having been too long, and that she's too hungry.  Kara apologizes about earlier and admits she didn't quite realize she was dead.  "Well, I guess that makes two of us," Lilith admits and when she smiles, Kara sees her fangs.  Mike throws Kara a sandwich but it passes through her and smacks Lilith on the face.  Kara tells Mike to go help Jake instead in the pool.  Lilith confesses she can't help but see Mike's veins.  They worry on how long they will end up being here.  Lilith worries about sunrise the next morning, given she can only step into sunlight after having fully fed.  She shares how they have a clinic at home and clients who get bloodletted end up giving them blood to feed on.

A splash.

Mike has left his clothes on the side of the pool and has joined Jake in the water.  Cordelia walks up to the stack and picks up Mike's and Jake's shirt.  Kara rushes to the area and confronts Cordelia, knowing she is up to something.  Cordelia admits she's getting them in order to make things happen.  Aurora, Cordelia and Kara then move to one side to discuss a plan they have in mind.   At the distance, the Principal continues to watch through the window.  A silhouette against the light.

Cordelia shakes the plan.  Marcy will "taste" the wards to locate and understand it more.  With this information, Cordelia plans to try to use her own Hexes to twist it around.  Kara questions why they should trust Cordelia, and Cordelia admits they can't.  But unlike them, she wants to do something.  But Kara screams at her about how she can't be relied on for anything. "I'm dead!"

*

Groundskeeper Willie and the Principal converse about how nice the kids are blossoming into the future group to watch over the city.  Principal Snyder orders Willie to head to Cordelia's house and kill her mother.  Only by doing so will she be able to take Cordelia as her own.   Snyder does reveal in the conversation that she was behind Jake inviting Cordelia and Kara to the party.  Cordelia is to learn things, and soon, will become part of the Thorn Coven, the group Snyder is part of.   Willie leaves.

*

Events move faster from that point.  Jake and Mike talk about the girls and how they seem to be all angry at Jake.  Jake admits he doesn't quite understand women, and that he cut sex education class.  When Mike tries to ask why, Jake swims away.   Marcy tells the others she found something. She admits she tasted Cordelia's hex when she hexed someone earlier.  So Marcy now heads to the far side to try and taste the wards.   She thinks she found a weak spot in the locker room.

Mike calls out for the others.  "Something is happening."  They all see small white mounds at the surface of the water.  They aren't quite certain what they are, and they don't seem to be bothering the water at all.  Cordelia warns Mike to get out of the water, but Kara asks Aurora what she needs to do to make her shut up.  Drawn by the Lure, Kara promises to help them and in return, Aurora will shut up.

The mounds are bigger.  There seem to be around 32 of them.  Mike admits he does not think they are dangerous.  He reaches out to touch it and his hand passes through it. "It is like ghosts or something."  Kara storms into the pool and approaches the white mound to touch it.  When she does, the mound is disturbed and they realize it has hair.  Heads.  The top of human heads rising from the water.  They all start calling for the Principal to tell her the ghosts are emerging.  "Are we doing something wrong?"

Kara realizes she's not telling them how to stop it.  She just made sure they are all here.  Cordelia admits he thinks he knows what is going to happen.  She tells Mike and Kara to stop wading in the pool and Mike flares up, yelling at Cordelia to shut up.  Mike starts admitting his feelings for Kara and admits this might be the last time he has to say it.

"Yo.. Lovebirds.  Get OUT of the pool," Cordelia tells them.

Another massive splash.  What they first though was something diving in turns out to be something leaping out.  The massive thing stands almost 9 feet tall.  The werewolf begins to shake the water out.  All stare in shock.  Kara's instincts kick in and she lashes out at Jake with her ghostly force.  The water surges with the force of her emotions and it flings the werewolf to the far wall.  The werewolf is dazed for that moment.

Cordelia panics.  She gazes into the abyss and reaches out into the darkness within her.  She sees glimpses of what will happen in the next five minutes.  The visions come clear but she feels Drained afterwards.  But she knows what they need to do.  She realizes Snyder is part of the bloodline of the Indians buried here, that her promise that they can leave did not state if they can leave unharmed.  The ward she created was meant to keep them all from leaving.  Does she want the spirits rising from the pool to find bodies to inhabit?  Their bodies?  As Cordelia turns to ask Marcy for help, she catches Bianca dragging Marcy to the locker rooms.

Aurora sees Lee in the far corner, hands dripping with blood.  Worried, she runs to him.

"Stay back you monster!" Kara hisses at the werewolf.  As it snarls at her, Kara realizes it is about to pounce again.  Kara faces off against it, not realizing it is actually Jake.  She uses her ghostly powers to lash out and slam him repeatedly against the wall, to the point the Ward begins to burn him.    He partly reverts, and Kara sees it is actually Jake.  But the blind feral anger takes over again and he rises to attack. "Jake.. this thing is Jake? The Jake who left me behind?" Kara screams and lashes out more!

Cordelia grabs Mike from behind and slaps him.  "Do I look dead?" she asks Mike.  Cordelia tells him, "I know what is going to happen and here is what we are going to do.  We need you... your blood actually, to be fed to the vampire, so she can use her hypnosis to control the werewolf and attack the Principal."  Mike doesn't quite understand but he just asks her to promise that Kara gets out of this alive.   "Wait. Not alive.. okay.."  Cordelia agrees and motions him to go to Lilith.


Lee closes in towards the fight.  His pitch black focus on the werewolf as he announces, "Have you accepted my offer, Connoisseur?"  A dark voice in his head responds, "Of course.  The power now flows to you."   He asks for whatever power he needs to stop the monster.  The dark voice replies, "You can only have what already exists."  When Lee reopens his eyes, they are a different color.

Marcy and Bianca are in the locker room.  Using a wooden bench, they bang against a gate in a feeble attempt to hammer it open.  Aurora fears that doing this will break the promise.    Aurora hesitates.

The werewolf is tremendously in pain, but continues to gain more and more mass as it transforms.  Kara flings it again at the wall, but the beast uses that moment to fling itself at Kara.  Kara panics and tries to dodge out of the way.  She leaps into the water without a sound.  Jake splashes into the water.  As Mike and Cordelia get to Lilith, they see her panicked.  She can't seem to see anything.  Her eyes are black empty holes.  "I can't see... what happened..."  Cordelia tells her to bite on Mike and get the blood she needs.

Lee stares at the werewolf with female eyes.  With Lilith's eyes.  Lee charges at the pool side.  Kara can see the ghostly heads in the pool are high enough that they can see eyes staring at them now.

Bianca wishes there was a key to open the gate.  Aurora feels the tug of Bianca's Queen Bee influence and struggles against it, fearing that she might break the promise.

The werewolf launches into the air as Kara flings him one more time.  He strikes the ground the pain is enough for Jake to completely lose himself in his Darkest Self! The thing shrugs away Kara's weak powers and closes in to strike.  Lee intercepts, standing between them, and with his cut palms, he locks his gaze with Jake's.  "Good dog.. good dog.." he tells him and forces the Werewolf to go down.     Cordelia yells at Lee to have Jake attack the Principal!  Lee fails to have a chance to answer when Kara screams, "No, JAKE IS MINE!"

Every magic is ritual, Cordelia recalls her mother telling her so many times.

Aurora stops the two and talks to Marcy about how they have to stop trying to escape or the Promise will be broken.  But Aurora's influence strikes harder and Aurora finds herself moving to help against her own will.   "Let's do this... let's break this gate open!"

Kara sinks into the water, and emerges behind Jake.  She lifts him up and throws him all the way back to the broken wall where the ward is exposed.  Jake is screaming in pain.  Lee sees how Kara isn't working with Cordelia's plans, throws a punch at Kara as he tells her they are supposed to be working together.  She dodges through the earth, but this frees Jake from the hold.

"It's like baking.. all of these things ingredients to bake a damned spirit cake... we just need to break the ritual to make it fail!"  Lee tells Cordelia.  Cordelia however is at a loss on how.  Cordelia calls for her mother through the Darkness.

*

Principal Snyder glances at the clock.  She knows it is only a matter of time.

Cordelia's mother responds, asking "Are you in trouble again?"  Cordelia explains what she can as quickly as possible and tells her she needs help.  The mother tells her she has to disrupt the ritual.  "Just make sure the ritual is incomplete.  Emptying the pool or eclipsing the pool are ways to do it.  But consider the easier thing to do.  She needs all nine present.  What if there were eight?  Wasn't Wither the first thing I taught you?"  But before the mother can finish her sentence, she is abruptly cut off from the communication.


Cordelia does not know what happened.

*

Groundskeeper Willie pulls the blade out.
And stares at the dead woman.

*

The werewolf leaps and Cordelia, tired of trying other methods, hexes him with Wither!  Mike leaps in to try and push them away from the werewolf but the shove twists Cordelia's arm and the hex strikes Mike instead.

*

Aurora knows she has to stop them, even with the growing influence from Bianca.  She realizes she needs to keep the Promise and yet somehow help them.  She pulls out the key.  Showing it to Bianca, the Queen Bee smiles and they drop the bench to the ground.  But as the key is slid in, it snaps!  Aurora realizes the broken Promise snaps the key making it even harder to open.

A terrible scream at the poolside draws them back out.

*

As Jake reaches for Kara, she can see his wounds are already healing!  Mike is in utter anguish from the Wither.  Drawing her anger as strength, Kara drags Jake into the pool drowning him in the dark waters.  Cordelia hurries to Mike and tries to recall if she can reverse the hex.    Realizing all magic has a price, undoing the hex is harder than simply choosing to kill someone else.  Cordelia hexes Jake, withering him as Kara drowns what becomes an old man.  Cordelia tries to ask for Jake's blood and tells Kara to get it for her.  She believes she can use it to heal Mike.  But Kara screams back for her to stop trying to ruin everything!

And that's when Jake's ghost emerges from the water and wraps his arms around Kara to pull her back with him!


Dark shadows rise from the waters.  Black arms and tentacles wrap around Jake and suddenly yank him away from them all, pulling him into the darkness and leaving them all unharmed.

Principal Snyder steps out of the office, lights a cigarette, and congratulates the remaining students for passing.   "Looks like you all passed."

"Well, not all of us!" Cordelia protests.

"Do you think protecting the rest of the City from such threats will be easy?"

The girls protest this doesn't seem to be about protecting the city.  Aurora shouts, "What do you want from us?"  Principal Snyder admits she was prepping them all for the job of watching over the city and dealing with other threats that may emerge.  She won't be looking over their shoulders to make sure they succeed.  But she does warn them that if they choose otherwise to be the threat, she will deal with them herself.

"Oh and one last thing, sorry about your mother," she tells Cordelia, "The Ivy Coven had to be cut down.  The last thing we needed to do was to have another blood bath in the city."

Angered, Cordelia pulls out the principal's eyeglasses and uses the sympathetic link to Wither her.  She channels all her rage and anger into the hex.  Nothing happens.  Far away, however, at Cordelia's home, Groundskeeper Willie feels himself suddenly assaulted by a powerful hex and withers away.

"The thing about having a Warlock.  You always make sure they carry things for you.  Even if they aren't your own."

Cordelia realizes the glasses were never Snyder's.

"That's strike one, Ivy witch.  I will be watching."

Lilith is surprised that her eyes have returned.  She doesn't know what happened.  Lee, however asks what will happen about the bodies?  Snyder tells them this was a controlled situation.  A test to see how they will handle it.  But assume, for instance Lee's family attempted to summon another demon... or the Smith's dragged a dragon into the city... will they be ready to handle it?

"Well then, we are not all lucky enough to be like Kara," Snyder smirks, "Unlike you my dear, I don't think any of us get to stay after we die."

Bianca steps out of the locker room, confused.  She turns to Aurora, "So does that mean we're friends?"  Marcy tells Bianca to give it a break and grabs her stuff.  She heads home alone.  Lee grabs his things and leaves without a word.  Kara starts to wonder why she's still here.  She thought all she had to do was avenge her death, but she's still here.  Lilith motions to Aurora to leave, but seeing her hesitate, Lilith leaves alone.  Aurora rushes after her.

"Maybe you're here to get Mike back to his own form?" Cordelia asks, but Kara thinks that idiotic.  Cordelia tries to suggest ways for Kara to possess a body to bring Mike back or something, but Kara basically tells her, "There's a lot you don't know.  And people deserve to die in peace."

"Does Mike deserve to die?" Cordelia asks.

Kara floats through the wall, telling her to do whatever she wants.

Cordelia walks up to Mike's fallen withered body.  She tries looking for blood but finds nothing.  Dried veins.  She hears Mike gasping.. struggling to form words... asking for Kara.   Cordelia tries offering her own blood to him but it does nothing.  "Maybe it is time for you to go," Cordelia tells Mike.

The room gets brighter.  Brighter.
Cordelia looks up and realizes she is not alone.  Luminous forms descend around her and Mike, spreading their white wings.  She is unable to stare at them long.  The angels speak in a musical voice.

Michael, it is time to leave.

I came for Kara, but she has not chosen to go.

Then you will stay.

The lights are gone.
Cordelia looks around and the angels are gone.  But Mike is now fully healed, starting at the ceiling and admits, "I guess I'm stuck here now.  I really have to find Kara."

Cordelia shakes her head.

"Oh and I can say it now: That really fucking hurt, bitch," he tells her and heads out to find Kara.  Cordelia pulls her legs close to her chest, wraps her arms around herself, and wonders what will happen next.
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