From the Journal of James Watie: Mar 15-16, 1867

I head back home for a bit...

Mar. 15, 1867: We get back home very early in the morning. All of our casters immediately head to sleep (they are wiped out). We wake up around noon and eat a bit. Huxley comes over and we talk a bit of shop; the VoL is going to clean up his place a bit, and will set up formal and informal communications with our House as soon as he gets things back where he needs them.

We head over to check out the office. No real leads on fun new clients, according to Patti. Probably some standard ‘downtime’ cases; missing persons, unfaithful spouses, ghost sightings. We can get back to most of that later, I suppose. We have an idea on current events, though, and head to the other House to work it out.

Speaking to Ling, we mention that we would like a meeting with Her Majesty’s Shadow Men; the organization that keeps her country’s interests safe from our kind of threats. Our fear is that our adversaries will continue their modus operendi, doing some grand gesture that cannot be ignored and pits the Shadow Men against another London-based occult group. Ling knows a guy, one Benjamin Balin.

This guy works in the actual Tower of London! Being the very souls of subtlety, we stroll on over for a chat. And, surprise, surprise; they let us in to see him.

Nice, plain office. Very business-like. Benny is personable enough, for a British administrator. We explain our position, and, without going into too much detail, give him a rundown of current events. He is troubled, wondering if this is being orchestrated by “The Enlightened,” a group of power-seeking rich guys. He lists Wilhelm Franz, the Archduke of Austria, as the head of the Teutonic Order and a member of this group.

Welcome to “The List,” Mr. Franz!

We warn Benny about the various ways our enemies have attacked, and that he should be very careful of assassination attempts, especially with the current political situation. He thanks us for the cautionary tale, and seem generally appreciative. I hope he is; we all live here, and would prefer this city to be as free from evil as possible. Well, aside from standard, human evil; that seems to be perfectly okay.

We head back home and chat a bit. We snag a late dinner, and get Emily and Jenny suited up for their patrols. At around 11PM, there is a knock at the door. I would say that is strange, but I really do not know if I understand the meaning of that word anymore.

A tall, blond, and almost impossibly pretty white guy walks in. Coat and cane go into the cloak room, and he is led in to meet us. Sergei excuses himself to go check out his gear (later informs us that the cane is VERY powerful, and masked from detection while on his person).

The stranger introduces himself as Benedict Halvard. He claims to be an old friend of Samantha Thayer, and that he desperately needs to talk to her. We get Bia (who is working out in the practice room) to come in and take a glance at him, but she comes up blank as well. We mention to him that we might be able to get in touch with her, and that we will meet him tomorrow morning at his hotel’s restaurant to talk it over.

Mar. 16th: We sleep a bit, then head over to breakfast. Victoria meets us there, ready for action; well, as ready for action as any of us can be with perpetually wrecked sleeping patterns! Sergei preps up detection magic and we head in to chat. Benny throws down some magic (Sergei isolates it as ancient Enochian angel magic) that muffles all sound where we are, and we get to chatting.

Benny (outing himself as something of an angel) has come into possession of a magical artifact that is both powerful and immensely evil. This is a major corruptive artifact, and only the countering effect of his cane (re: flaming sword) has let him stave it off so far. He knows Sammy from way, WAY back, and wants to drop it off with her for possible destruction.

(OF NOTE: Interesting. An angel also wanting to use Sammy for a similar purpose as Sammy’s ‘siblings.’ This must mean that, within our kind of circles, she is well-known as incorruptible from such forces. How do I get me some of THAT ability?)

We inform him that we do have some contact with her, and that we will try to do what we can. He is thankful, but desperate; even an angel’s indomitable willpower seems to be fraying a bit.

Well, my first thought is that we hit Victoria over the head until she starts speaking like Sammy. But I do not voice this, because: A. I do not know if that would work, and B. I do not want to risk getting beat up by a petite girl. So, instead, we decide to go check out Sammy’s old blown-up residence. We find the same book that teleported us last time; it no longer does, but we find through trial and error that any message stuck in its pages disappears. A few minutes later, a note pops into the book for us to meet up in a bit at “Cleopatra’s Needle,” the Egyptian obelisk in London.

We head to the CH and grab Aldo and Victoria (those two seem awfully chummy as of late…). More firepower is good, and those two specialize in firepower. We head to the Needle, and a precocious street urchin brings us a note to meet in a nearby Pub. We are ushered over to a side booth, and there is Sammy, in disguise. She does not want to be in the open like this, being hunted and all, but she has some concerns on this one.

Benedict is, in actuality, Barachiel, otherwise known as “God’s Lightning.” Sammy portrays him as a warrior, a bit of a naive goofball, but very powerful. If this item is corruptive to him, it must be bad news. But she does not want the item with her, as she has a lot on her plate at the moment and, as we all chat about it, it starts to feel more-and-more like a trap. I go so far as to wonder if the item has some form of magical trace on it specifically to find Sammy. She okays us to take it to Gerty in San Fran; if it is a trap, that CH can handle it (or no one can).

We head back to meet Benny, and give him the old good news/bad news; Sammy cannot help, but we can get him to Gerty. With a little prodding, we get the truth, he did just kind of ‘luck’ into this item.

We have set enough traps in the last year or so to know one when we see it.

We head back to the CH, then to Librarian Bungalow. Veronica is awake, and is who we wanted to chat with, anyway. We inform her of our plan, and she is on board (anything for Sammy, as usual for her and her sisters). She gets out a doily, mumbles some incantations, and BAM! Into The Library we go!…

…and out comes Zoe’s lunch, breakfast… heck, maybe her shoes. I forget that everyone has not done this; I have teleported more in the last year than I have ridden a horse.

(NOTE: I should get Emily, Jenny, and Prof. Poole and go out to visit Willy. He has lots of horses, and it would do them all good. Emily needs to remember how to ride, Jenny needs to learn, and I bet the Prof would LOVE it!)

We are met by Leo the centaur-esque lion guy. Big hugs all around; Leo is all about hugs. Veronica gives us a spare doily in case the one we have burns up on exit, and is going to stay back to guard the exit. Leo can also track back to her pretty quickly, so she is a good anchor all around.

We head on through. It is a quiet ‘day’ in The Library; no spider or scorpion demons, no necromantic trees, nothing. It kind of makes me sad, but is probably for the best; Benny is nearing the end of his tolerance for this evil artifact.

Welcome to sunny San Francisco! We pop out to a cascade of rifles being cocked. Waiting as appropriate, we are met by “Annette” (ex-Gerty). She introduces us to some of the new folks, including to young kids (Quet and Tzal both decided to memory wipe and start over; the culture and time shock was a bit too much) then we get to business. Explanations abound, and she agrees on the trap idea. She hands the item (a pretty cool-loking draconic ring) to “Paulo” (Feyd), and he heads back to start checking it out. Benny IMMEDIATELY perks up; he is, indeed, a lovable goof. Paulo comes back with a 100% identification on it being: A. ancient, B. Evil and corruptive, and C. a VERY well-masked trace spell.

The San Fran House takes over from here, being glad to assist us by setting a trap for our common foe. Benny decides to stay with them; he has been played for a fool, and, depending on what the enemy brings with them, a warrior-angel has to be a good thing to have around. They will expect the extremely powerful mage, Sammy Thayer and her magical minions; they will get an OCEAN of high-speed lead, followed by roughly all of the blades in the world.

Wish I could be there! But, alas, my stay on the home continent is short. We head back home through The Library (after the doily-portal opened, we hand off the spare to Gerty, just in case) with no incident. Chat a bit with Leo, then pop back to London and head home.

Upon reaching the CH, the Prof mentions that he did a bit of research on the item. It is an ancient Nordic Dragon Ring. Nordic Dragons are a bad sign; always destructive and evil. It is good that such an item is being taken out of circulation, and even better if Paulo and Gerty can get any more info about them.


EverRaven Mandis13

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