Campaign of the Month: March 2017

Nocturnum: Rebirth

Season 2 Episode 8
Daughters of Darkness

Episode Synopsis

The day after Anita, Lorelei, and Heather disappear, everyone in the group suffers horrific nightmares. The next day, the entire sky and the rivers surrounding the city turn blood red. Panic ensues across town, and the police, FBI, AEGIS, and DHS work together to get things under control. Then, on the third day, the city is rocked by a series of seven explosions and is on fire. With Duquesne being ordered to close, Darrek is able to make some progress on translating the pages from the Book of Erebus.

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The group gathers at the Hive Arcana. Billy stops in and tells them that the seven buildings that were bombed across Pittsburgh were the heads of the seven houses of the Strigoi, and it appears that there is a now a civil war between the vampires. As they talk, Dana comes upstairs, looking pale and holding a card in her fingers, which she offers to Darrek.

“I think you want to see this,” she says.

Darrek takes the card from her, which is identical to the cards Kathryn uses to send messages from inside of the Library of Alexandria. It is splattered with blood, and reads, “HELP!” in Kathryn’s handwriting.

Darrek immediately heads for the entrance to the library. Hilda intercepts him and stands in front of the entrance, asking for details. He throws the card at her chest and growls, “There’s your fucking details. Now let me in there!”

Entering the library, they can smell the heavy smoke of fires which are in the process of being put out. The staff are highly distraught and clearly have been traumatized by whatever happened. Going to Anita’s wing, they find the place has been wrecked. Prarathm, one of the library assistants, is there sifting through everything and notes that nothing seems to have been taken from their collection. He tells the group that a very powerful vampire witch did this. Though he notes she should not have been able to access the library at all, she was able to enter, killed “so many people,” set the library on fire, and then took Katherine and disappeared. He hands Darrek a note that she left that reads, “Come find me. I dare you.” and is written in blood.

Returning to the Hive, Darrek dives back into working on translating the pages from the Book of Erebus and asks Henry to assist him, showing him how to use the translation codex. The rest of the group visits the Hellmouth to check things out, then heads to patrol at a local cemetery. They encounter a group of vampires, and manage to capture one and get some information from it. It tells them that Brigitte went nuts, gathered her followers, and turned against Lilith. Lilith called down a blood hunt on them. Brigitte and her followers then began attacking the Strigoi Houses.

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After returning to the Hive, Henry decides to commune with Kokumthena and see if she has any additional information that could help them in finding Brigitte as well as determining if Heather is still alive. He brings Mack, Hilda, and Yun-Xun into the vision with him. Meanwhile, remembering that Brigitte is a declared Satanist, Darrek sits down with Father Bob to pick his brain and researches abandoned churches around Pittsburgh. He goes into Anita’s office and finds a map of Pittsburgh and begins marking locations on it. After Henry and the others return from their time with Kokumthena, the group commiserates and are able to determine that the church in particular they are seeking is St. Peter and Paul Church in East Liberty on Larimar Avenue.

They head to the church. When they are half a block away, they are overcome by waves of Sadicas and Lyssicus. In the construction area surrounding the church, there are dead bodies everywhere, their throats ripped open. Darrek casts Third Eye and is able to share the effects with Henry and Mack.

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Entering the church, they climb the stairs of the bell tower which looks out onto the main sanctuary of the church below. They see Brigitte, who comments, “Took you long enough. I was getting hungry.” There is another figure with her in the shadows, who is clearly the source of the Lyssicus. Two Dullahan suddenly appear, and battle ensues.

As they fight, Darrek suddenly screams, “Aimee, you useless cunt, show yourself!” She steps forward and is revealed to be the hidden sorceress in league with Brigitte.

Mack unloads his gun into Brigitte, but not before she uses her powers to whisper into Darrek’s mind and compel him to throw himself off of the bell tower. Despite his best efforts, Henry is not able to stop him. As he jumps, Darrek blacks out, and when he opens his eyes, he is in Hilda’s arms, her having caught him. He gives her a very British wordless nod of thanks as he sets his feet on the ground.

Aimee does something abhorrent that drains both Brigitte and Henry’s magics. As she does, Henry hears Kokumthena scream, and realizes in horror that Aimee has become some kind of twisted, corrupted anti-Protector.

“You bitch! This wasn’t the plan!” Brigitte cries at her betrayal

“It was my plan all along,” Aimee sneers. “You’re just a base lapdog. I’d never align myself with a vampire.” She then points to Henry and Darrek and says, “Your time will come,” to which Darrek screams, “You’re going to die, you traitorous bitch!” She disappears.
Brigitte staggers out and Mack finishes her off. Just before she dusts she says, “The Hellmouth. She’s inside the Hellmouth.”

Memorable Quotes and Moments

Re: Explosions across the city
“This could be a disaster.”-Billy
“Disaster rhymes with Hastur.”-Matthew
“SHUSH!”-Henry
“What is wrong with you?”-Darrek

Re: Darrek
“He’s not known for his athleticism.”-Yun-Xun
“Bloody hell! I go running every morning!”-Darrek

“Something like this would require multiple apocalyptic events from across time all converging at the same time.”-Praratham
“Well…”-the entire group

“What’s the epicenter of all metaphysical fuckery in this town?”-Henry
“Us?”-Hilda

Re: Vampires
“Oh no, don’t mug us!”-Matthew

Re: Translating the Book of Erebus pages
“It’s kind of like playing a very archaic game of Wheel of Fortune.”-Darrek

Re: Restraining a vampire
“I don’t usually take them alive!”-Hilda

Re: Hilda using first person present tense
“You said I!!! You can’t take it back!!!”-Darrek

“You can talk or you can die.”-Hilda

Re: Lilith
“Where is she?”-Matthew
“I’m not going to tell you that.”-vampire
“…we’re not going to hurt you…”-Matthew

Re: Hilda
“You are the Slayer, right?”-vampire

Re: Kokumthena
“What.The.Actual.Fuck.Is.Happening???”-Julie

Re: Kokumthena
“So that was my boss…”-Henry

Re: Very large footprints
“You know what they say about men with big feet, don’t you?”-Henry
“Yeah…”-Darrek

Re: Arson
“Hey Google, at what temperature does stone burn?”-Henry

Re: Magically enhanced senses
to Darrek “Wow…I never realized just how green your eyes are.”-Mack
“Sorry Mack, but you’re not my type.”-Darrek
“Maybe back in college…”-Henry
Darrek gives Henry a hard look
“What? You said you went through an experimental period during college!”-Henry
“Yeah, that was with magic, specifically.”-Darrek
“I found LSD in your childhood bedroom in England!”-Henry
“So, right, demons?”-Darrek

Re: LSD
“You didn’t take it, did you?”-Darrek
“What, the LSD?”-Henry
“Yeah.”-Darrek
“…no…”-Henry while nodding yes
“Oh God. I’m a terrible parent.”-Darrek
“It was so old, and weak. I barely tripped.”-Henry
“You’re just trying to make me feel better.”-Darrek

Re: Brigitte
“Darrek, you don’t happen to have like a blow dart of Haldol we could shoot her with, do you?”-Henry
“That would be fantastic…but sadly, no.”-Darrek

Re: Brigitte
“This is getting REAL annoying.”-Henry

Re: Katherine being bitten
“Yes, and you’re still not going to shoot her.”-Darrek
“I hear you.”-Mack
“No Mack, don’t hear me, UNDERSTAND me.”-Darrek

Re: Brigitte
“Did I distract her?”-Mack

View
Season 2 Episode 7
Lilith Rising

Episode Synopsis

Matthew calls Anita to update her and she urges the group to return to Pittsburgh as soon as possible, referencing some Very Bad Things happening with Lorelei. Matthew and Hilda immediately head to the airport and get on a plane to head home. As soon as they’re stable enough, Darrek and Mack sign themselves out of the hospital and the rest of the group follows, a few hours behind them.

Once back in Pittsburgh, Matthew can’t get ahold of Anita. He heads to the Hive, and Dana informs him that she is in intensive care at UPMC Presbyterian. All Dana knows is that she was badly beaten. Matthew immediately heads there.

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Anita is in a bad way, but conscious and (relatively) stable. She tells him that Lorelei attacked her. Anita discovered that she had been in the underground searching for Amara and killed and drained several ensouled vampires and at least one Kindred. Sebastian then called a blood hunt for her amongst the Kindred. Anita tells Matthew the story of how Lorelei was made and who Amara actually is (Ravana) and explains that it would be VERY bad if Lorelei were to be drained, being as close in bloodline to Cain as she is. Anita recalls her repeatedly saying, amongst her other insane ramblings when Anita found her, covered in blood, “They need to suffer. People need to suffer.”

As clearly unhappy as she is to be there, Anita plans to stay in the hospital for the time being. She tells Matthew that Dr. Armedt already came to see her and offered to assist her with moving the healing process along, but she declined his offer until she is well enough to sign herself out.

Matthew and Hilda then head to the Lofts. Father Bob is there with Heather, who is also in a bad way. Father Bob explains that she’s been having psychic visions, including of the Seat of Wisdom.

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The rest of the group lands in Pittsburgh and immediately head to meet Matthew and Hilda. Once at the Lofts, they discover that Sandra’s apartment upstairs has been completely trashed. Matthew tells them what happened with Lorelei and Anita, also announcing to the group that he and Rebecca are engaged.

Sandra is completely horrified and stunned silent. Once she can find her words, she says she needs to go to the hospital to be with Anita. Darrek says he will drive her, and she argues with him that she is perfectly capable of walking across the bridge and that he has more important matters that require his immediate attention. Darrek is insistent and says (as gently as possible) that with Lorelei behaving the way she is, Sandra could also potentially be a target. Danny offers to take her to Presby, and she grudgingly agrees. After he returns from dropping her off, the group makes plans to head underground and talk to Billy, hoping that he may have some information that can help lead them to Lorelei or Amara.

Getting back into the car, Darrek texts Emily to let her know that he and Henry are back in Pittsburgh and will be home as soon as they can. She is not happy to hear that he’s already working again so soon after getting out of the hospital. As Darrek is driving, a message from her pops up on his phone which reads, “BTW, was going 2 tell U this @ home but, congrats…DAD.” Shocked by this news, he pulls the car over for a moment to collect himself.

The group reconvenes and heads underground. They are surrounded by a group of vampires to demand to know their business, then lead them to Billy. He tells them that Bliss is back on the street, but this time it has been refined and the effects are even worse. People afflicted by the drug are being metaphysically bound to their dealers. Billy assumes that the purpose of this is to forge in-roads to people in positions of power who can be exploited. He introduces the group to several vampires who witnessed Lorelei’s attacks and lived to tell the tale.

The group head to their respective homes to get some sleep. An emotional Emily is simultaneously very happy to see and completely furious with Darrek. Later, when he joins her in bed he very gently kisses her lower abdomen, then lays his cheek against her belly and whispers, “Hello there, jellybean.”

The next morning, everyone meets up at the Hive Arcana. Darrek calls Harlan, filling him in and asking him to put out feelers for how to find someone who doesn’t want to be found. He then calls Joe and fills him in about the information Billy shared about Bliss. Joe thanks him for the information.

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Suddenly, a hush falls over the Hive and the air turns COLD. A woman with flaming red hair and dressed in red from head to toe saunters through the front door. Yun-Xun recognizes her from the painting at Dora’s apartment. She introduces herself as Lilith and sits down at the table with the group, saying, “I thought that it was time that we met.”

She goes on to threaten them, saying that all of the pieces are in place and that there is nothing that they can do to stop it. “Ornduhl is coming and when the Blood Tide rises it will turn everyone, except for those whom I choose. If you heed my warning and back off now, there may be a place for you in the new order.” She mentions a serpent, a soul witch, a chosen one, and immortals, and talks about taking back from Cain what she gave him. Darrek smirks and wonders aloud why she would bother to tell them to back off if there were truly no way for them to stop what’s coming. She continues to taunt the group, then gets up and walks away, disappearing in a puff of smoke.

As they sit in collective silence trying to process what just transpired, Kathryn Stoddard from the Library of Alexandria walks into the room holding a thick folio full of papers and remarks, “Why do I feel like I’ve just walked over someone’s grave?” She explains that she’s been working on “Darrek’s vampire problem” and got special permission to come with some very important and potentially critical information for the group. She has multiple pages from the impossible to track down Book of Erebus, as well as a translation codex and a list of glyphs for the various vampire Houses that can be used to identify members and their familiars. There are also multiple references to Lilith, naming her as the progenitor of all vampires.

After thanking Kathryn profusely and buying her a dirty hot chocolate and a baked good, Darrek takes a picture of the list and sends it to Joe. He calls Darrek about fifteen minutes later and confirms that they have several Bliss addicts in lockup who bear the glyphs of House Amara, Existenz, and Cthon. Henry also sends the list to Megan. She tells him that Amara and/or Lorelei may have been stalking the various homeless communities of Pittsburgh, and that disappearances have kicked up again recently. Darrek also contacts the Rosicrucians to find an alchemist who can work in tandem with Delia on furthering identifying the metaphysical mechanism of how Bliss works and (hopefully) develop an antidote.

Darrek then tries to call Sebastian and is told that he is “unavailable.” He leaves an urgent message asking for him to contact him as soon as possible.

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The group then spends hours traveling around the city talking to multiple homeless communities, led by Henry, trying to find any hint of where Amara and Lorelei might be. Just as they are about to call it a night, they hear an accented voice from a nearby alleyway say, “You should not have come here.” Entering the alley, they find Amara, looking gaunt, filthy, and hunched over. Darrek tells her that they need her help to find Lorelei and she responds that she knows that she is not well. She explains that Lorelei is suffering from the curses of their bloodline. She directs them to leave the alley. A moment later there is a blood-curdling scream and she then walks out, wiping her mouth. She explains that those of her bloodline can never sleep in the same place for more than a few nights, or else they cannot rest. The group reflects that Lorelei has been staying at Sandra’s loft for months. They take Amara there, hoping that she will be able to make a psychic connection with Lorelei so they can track down where exactly she is and get to her before the Kindred find her.

Darrek knocks on Sandra’s door, and she invites him and Amara up. While Amara is getting settled, he gets a phone call from Harlan. He shares that he has some leads on the Bliss situation and shares two names: Andrew Stewart and Brigitte De Rais. Stewart is a very old vampire and some kind of organizational genius and lives in his company’s building downtown. De Rais is a Satanist and a high priestess of some sort. Harlan tells Darrek that he’s likely going to have to go to ground, as the Collector is around and likely is looking for him. Darrek thanks him, then sends him a large sum of money for the information via Venmo. He leaves Amara with Sandra and heads downstairs.

The group proceeds to gather as much intel on the A-Sun building as they can and make a plan to infiltrate it. It has metaphysical as well as mundane defenses. The group remembers that Harold LaMont owes them a favor for saving his life. They go to see him at Club Inferno and ask to speak with him in private. He’s (unsurprisingly) well aware of much of what is currently going on. He sighs and agrees to help the cast with the clear understanding that if he helps them, they are now square as far as debts owed.

The group drives to the A-Sun corporate office and enters the parking garage. As they exit the garage and walk to the front of the building, a massive wave of Tainted energy suddenly washes over everything. Darrek and Henry are both violently ill and throw up. When it dissipates, they realize that the metaphysical wards on the building have been disabled. Darrek and Henry then proceed to hack into the security cameras and put them on loop while Mack, Danny, and Matthew bypass the security system. They enter the building and take the elevator to the very top floor. The doors open, and sitting before them behind a large and impressive desk is Andrew Stewart. Demonic creatures wait ready to attack in the shadows surrounding them and the rest of the room. Eventually, Stewart stands and snaps his fingers, and they do.

Matthew charges, sword drawn. Darrek casts a banishment spell, causing two of the creatures to crumble to dust and a third to be blown back. Stewart responds by casting an illusion. Yun-Xun attacks Matthew, kicking him repeatedly. Henry sets Danny on fire. As Matthew makes his way through the creatures and engages with Stewart, Darrek casts Word of Confusion at the vampire. Matthew makes short work of him, then gives Yun-Xun a very hard look. She is deeply ashamed and apologizes profusely.

Henry, with Darrek’s help, is able to hack into Stewart’s computer. They find dossiers on Amara, Lorelei, Matthew, Heather, and Anita. They also find the formula for Bliss, which Henry quickly saves on a thumb drive, as well as the ritual to summon Ornduhl. Darrek can tell from a cursory glance that the ritual is very similar to the one the culebras were using to summon Amaru, and that the ritual that they obtained from Mexico is still being translated.

The group heads back to Matthew’s. They arrive to find the place completely trashed. Heather is gone, Father Bob is unconscious, and Rebecca is sitting in a corner rocking back and forth, clearly in shock. Matthew calls the hospital and learns that Anita has also been taken. Darrek runs upstairs and finds Amara in Sandra’s apartment, but Sandra is not with her. He texts her and she calls him back a few moments later. She heard the commotion downstairs and did her best to follow whoever took Heather but unfortunately lost track of them. When she gets back to the Lofts, the group tells her that Anita has also been taken, and she is devastated. Amara eventually wakes up and shares that she knows Lorelei is being held somewhere in the city. Darrek asks her about what Lilith said about taking back what she gave to Cain. Amara confirms that the Book of Nod claimed that Lilith was the one who gave Cain the power of the blood.

Darrek’s phone rings. It’s Emily. “Um, there’s a guy named Sebastian here asking for you.”

Darrek immediately races home where Sebastian is waiting, He has very clearly been beaten, and Emily is tending to his injuries. He tells him that several vampire elders have also been abducted, but he has no idea where they were taken. He and Amara offer to do what they can to support the group, but given both of their weakened states they can’t offer much help at this point.

Memorable Quotes and Moments

“What the fuck happened to my loft?”-Sandra
“Anita did it.”-Matthew

Re: Engagement
“So, the next time you see Rebecca, you might notice she has a new piece of jewelry…it’s an engagement ring.”-Matthew
“Oh, wow! Yeah. Um, congratulations?”-Darrek
The rest of the group just stares at Matthew dumbfounded

Re: Darrek
“You might want to go home and see your wife. Before she ACTUALLY kills you.”-Henry

Re: Emily
“Call your mum.”-Darrek
“Not yet.” checks his phone “The flowers and card I sent should be arriving shortly. I’ll call after she gets them.”-Henry
“Are they just from you, or are they from both of us?”-Darrek
“Both of us, obviously!”-Henry
“I just want you to know that adopting you is the very best thing I’ve ever done.”-Darrek
“Aww, thanks!”-Henry

Re: Darrek pulling over suddenly
“What’s wrong? Am I going to be a big brother or something?”-Henry
“Actually, yeah…”-Darrek
“Oh, wow. I was just joking but…cool!”-Henry

“Can’t I just get back to shooting the mayor?”-Mack

Re: Lilith’s exit
“Fucking drama queen. I’m the gay one!”-Henry

“We’re going to have to talk to Sebastian again. I hate that guy.”-Darrek
“He is SUCH a DOUCHE!”-Henry

“So, I have some personal news to share as well…Emily’s pregnant.”-Darrek
“And she wants to keep it!”-Henry
“So, who’s the father?”-Danny

“You just had to show me up, didn’t you?”-Matthew
“It wasn’t intentional…I wasn’t trying…oh, fuck it, nevermind,”-Darrek
“Yeah, exactly.”-Mack

“So do you think it will be a psychic or a sorcerer?”-Henry
“I’m just hoping for a healthy child.”-Darrek

“Just reacting to things until they climax is how my whole current situation happened.”-Darrek

“Sorry to wake you.”-Darrek
“Look who you’re talking to.”-Sandra
“I was just being polite.”-Darrek

Re: Help
“If I do this, we’re square. If you need anything else from me, you’ll owe me a favor.”-LaMont
“Understood.”-Darrek

Re: Vomiting
“Oh…God…that was horrible.”-Darrek

“If it was me, I’d want to live in the Penthouse.”-Henry
“You just want to jump out of a building again, don’t you?!”-Darrek

“Hey! I’m not shit at physical activity! I go running every morning!”-Darrek
“Also, apparently he made a baby.”-Danny
“Oh, trust me, he didn’t do any of the work for that.”-Henry
“I fucking hate everyone.”-Darrek

“I’ve been waiting for you.”-Andrew Stewart
“Yeah, sorry, we had some more important things we had to take care of first.”-Darrek
“Like figuring out the elevator?”-Andrew Stewart

“Drake says hi.”-Henry
“We’re not friends, I doubt he said hi.”-Andrew Stewart
“No, actually he said, ‘Fuck you,’ we were just being polite.”-Darrek

“Let’s do this!”-Matthew drawing his sword
“No hesitation. I respect that!”-Andrew Stewart

Re: Sebastian
“Um, there’s some guy here named Sebastian asking for you.”-Emily
“Oh God. You didn’t let him in the house, did you?”-Darrek
“Yeah, I did.”-Emily
“Jesus Christ, Em, why would you do that?”-Darrek
“He’s handsome, well dressed, and has a British accent. He hits all my weak spots. I mean, you ought to know. And he’s clearly been beaten up. I have an ethical obligation to help him.”-Emily
hangs up his phone, throws it across the room, and screams “OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE!”-Darrek

Darrek races home and kicks open his front door to find Sebastian lounging in his recliner unapologetically flirting with his wife who is caring for his wounds.

Re: Boundaries
“Alright, we need to establish some fucking ground rules, right now. You do not come to my house-”-Darrek
shrugs “I heard you were looking for me. Urgently, per your message.”-Sebastian
“You do not speak to my wife-”-Darrek
“You’re a very lucky man. She’s been so attentive. And didn’t hesitate at all to invite me in…not that I need an invitation.”-Sebastian
“And you do not sit in my chair!”-Darrek
“…Alright, I can see how I may have crossed a line there.”-Sebastian

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Episode 6
Apocalypse (Again)

Sandra’s Story

Sandra was operating in Apocalypse, NM. She had really just kind of ended up there after traveling for awhile and when she heard it still existed wanted to have a look. There she got involved with fighting a new type of vampire: the culebras. These had infiltrated the town and were masquerading as townfolk, gradually converting the entire town. She got involved with a guy named Josh who was completely mundane but could handle himself in a fight, and who found out about what was going on, so she was left to keep an eye on him. They became good friends.

As fate would have it, as things got worse and she and Josh were always behind the curve, they got the help they needed: a local girl named Maria, it turned out, was a Slayer. She had no training; she’d somehow flown under the radar of the Watcher’s Council, but she’d quickly accepted her destiny and was hunting vampires. Sandra became a sort of “de facto” Watcher for her. She had Anita contact the Council for advice. She also secured the services of a Brujo named Miguel to aid in their mission.

It became clear the culebras were looking for something. That something turned out to be someone—Josh. Josh, it seemed, had a specific birthmark that marked him as part of some culebras prophecy about the return of their queen, a Hellgod from a dimension called Xibalba. Here’s the catch: her name is Amaru. The Council informed Sandra what was going on across the world, and when they mentioned Pittsburgh, she had a gut feeling everything was tied together.

It quickly became apparent that whatever they were doing involved the collection of Gifted people. Sandra and Maria were led into a trap; infiltrating a culebras cult. Before everything went to Hell, Sandra was able to discern that some culebras had been sent to Pittsburgh to retrieve a “Ueyoselookichtli.” Maria, who spoke some Nauatl (the Aztec language), said that it meant “jaguar man,” or “man jaguar,” possibly a reference to a werejaguar, who were sacred to the ancient Olmec people.

The trap was sprung, and Maria gave her life so Sandra could get away. When she got back to her apartment, she discovered that Josh was taken; Miguel, it seemed, had been killed by a culebra and replaced.

It took less than a day before they came for her again, and again, and again. She had to get out, and there was only one place she could think of to go for help: Pittsburgh.

All she’s got at this point is some places to check out in Apocalypse, and she’s hoping the Cast can help. She figures that the culebras want Danny for some reason and that it’s tied to whatever the strigoi are up to here. If the culebras are trying to resurrect a hell god, it could have something to do with this Red God the strigoi are trying to raise. She can also warn them of the culebras’ various powers.

The one thing that’s certain is they have some time. It would seem the culebras are traveling overland with Danny, so it’s going to be at least a day before they reach New Mexico. It’s a good 27 hour drive or so to Apocalypse, and the culebras don’t need sleep, so they can drive the whole way through, though they’ll need to stop to gas up and feed. Anita can book a flight for the group the next day.

That Night

The cast can make their preparations to leave. Sandra has an awkward (and possibly passionate) reunion with Lorelei. Somewhere, someone actually spots Amara, looking feral and unkempt, in a trench coat, staring through a window. She vanishes before they can get to her, but it seems clear from the look in her eyes that she’s confused, lost, angry, even trying to remember something.

Darrek goes to his meeting with Sebastian at Elysium, which turns out to be where the Lava Lounge once was. Sebasitan is concerned. He has received word that elders of each of the 13 clans have been taken, by whom and where they do not know. He doesn’t have much more information because the Elders all went East some years ago to engage in a great battle that was prophesied to play a part in the vampiric Jihad. He can’t help but think it all ties together and that the Houses are somehow responsible. He doesn’t know much about the culebras; he’s heard of them as a regional breed of ancient Aztec vampires, but the Kindred have had little engagement with them, and have generally considered them an offshoot of the Setites, who are so secretive and mistrusted that little information can be gathered.

Apocalypse, NM

[[Nocturnum: Apocalypse | Apocalypse]] is a small town on the southern border of New Mexico. It’s one of those places where strange things happen and people are generally accepting of it. It’s also a one-stoplight town of the sort where people go to get lost and start over because nobody asks questions. There’s a diner, a few boarding houses, a couple convenience stores, a hardware store, and a bar or two.

One of the important locations is a nightclub with an on-the-nose name: The Succubus Cafe. Word has it that it has been around since the 1800s and possibly earlier, at which time it was a brothel. It’s run by a succubus named Ellie, who it turns out, ran with a group of demon hunters in the 1880s…and it used to be run by one Brigitte de Rais.

Matthew will recognize the club immediately, though it’s been renovated and changed over the years. Ellie can fill the group in on some details: Brigitte went insane at some point in the past and was banished to another dimension after trying a spell to tap into the power of Prayer Hill, where a Hangman’s Tree once stood. Matthew will remember the hangman’s tree as well.

Ellie will gladly tell the group what she knows about the culebras, because she’s not happy with what they’ve been doing to her town. She’ll tell the group about the exploits of a couple brothers—the Gecko Brothers—to stop the rise of Amaru about 5 years ago just across the border in Mexico.

Recently, a journal from one Sir Richard Walton, an explorer from the 1930s, surfaced in a marketplace in Mexico City. It supposedly talked about a temple to an ancient deity called Sang-Xiu, the Blood Imperator, and marked the site of the demon’s imprisonment and eventual return. It’s rumored that the journal made its way north but disappeared again somewhere between Chihuahua and the U.S. border.

Ellie knows of a nightclub along that route which is run by culebras named the Twister. It used to be a feeding ground where they would lure truckers and travelers, but it was blown up by a renegade culebra around 2015, and has since been rebuilt in the spirit of a “truce” between the culebras and humans, run by someone called the Peacekeeper. It’s also the last known site of the Gecko brothers. She speculates that the journal passed through there and was captured by someone or something.

She also knows the culebras have been gathering Gifted people. She thinks they want to perform some sort of ritual to bring forth Amaru, and it requires the blood of the Gifted. She doesn’t know any details, however; all she has is some pillow talk from customers and her own speculation.

She’s quick to point out that not all of the culebras are unified in whatever is going on. Many of them are quite content to continue their treaty with humans and continue their normal existence. She shrugs, and says, “But a lot of us demons, we get ambitious. Someone decides they want something greater, like a return to the Bad Old Days, and things like this happen. Personally, I like it here, so any information I can give you, you can count on. I do know that if you’re facing down a Hellgod, you’ll need more than what you have here to fight her. I used to run with a Slayer and I wouldn’t put her up against a Hellgod unless she had a god’s weapon to fight with.”

(Note that Buffy is known to have fought a Hellgod once; the Watcher’s council can shed some light on the Troll God hammer, noting that it doesn’t exist anymore and only worked against Glory to begin with, but some research may turn up information about the Xiuhcoatl, the spear of Huitzilopochtli (Weet-zee-lo-pocht-lee), possibly located in Tenochtitlan…which is modern day Mexico City.)

Time is running short, but the group decides to stick together and head for the Twister…

Meanwhile, Danny…

Danny gets an opportunity to escape when his captors wait just a tad too long to inject him with sedative. He overcomes two of the serpent-demon-things while a third actually sprouts wings and flies off, apparently carrying a satchel of blood with it.

Danny finds himself in a strange place, though the sheer heat, bilingual signage, and high density of Latinos marks it as somewhere in the Southwest or even Mexico. It shouldn’t take long for him to realize he’s been brought to a small town in New Mexico called Apocalypse. From there he is able to reunite with the cast, who fill him in on what’s been happening in his absence.

The Twister

The Twister will lead them to the Gecko Brothers, Seth and Richie, and the Peacekeeper, now all fairly beaten down and tired. They’re not going to be much help but when Henry opens his mind to allow Richie to read it, they become amicable and invite the Cast to sit down. Inside, they ordera round of tequila and tell their story, after which they give the Cast the journal, which in turn will lead them to the Temple of the Red God. Part of the story includes the ritual that used the essences of the Nine Lords to bring forth" Amaru":https://dusktilldawn.fandom.com/wiki/Amaru, but they should clarify that the Nine Lords are dust and ash, now.

Mexico City

In Mexico City, the spear can be found in Teotihuacán, the original capital of the Aztec Empire. It’s about an hour outside of the city. Translating into ‘the place where men become gods’, Teotihuacán is a mysterious area, which saw its rise and fall before the beginning of the Aztec empire. What we do know about it, though, is that it’s one of the best archaeological sites near Mexico City, dominated by the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon and the central Avenue of the Dead.

Running down the middle of the site, which was once a flourishing pre-Columbian city, is the Avenue of the Dead. It links the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun, the latter two with panoramic views from their summits. The truth is, the spear is hidden in none of these three areas, but traversing each will allow the alignment of lenses found at the top of each so that they point to a cluster of small temples between the Quetzalcouatl temple and the Pyramid of the Sun. Specifically, to a complex of ruins known as The Viking Group. The Viking Group has nothing to do with the Scandinavian raiders and traders of the early Middle Ages. It is instead named after the foundation that provided the resources for the exploration of this particular area.

Exploring the Viking Group, and following clues found in the temples, guides the group to what appears to have been the temple complex of this group. There, they will discover a single rune (Thurisaz) carved into a keystone. The rune was carved MUCH later, probably within the last few decades. Manipulating the rune opens a gateway to a chamber underground, where they will discover the spear, guarded by an ancient witch, who is willing to give it up to the Slayer, much as Buffy got the Scythe. And much like when Buffy got the Scythe, the witch will be murdered by culebras with guns who have followed the Cast here.

The group uses the journal to locate the Temple of the Red God.

Memorable Quotes and Moments

Re: Sandra
“Well, it would seem I’m having a very strange day.”-Darrek

Sandra gets up and gives Darrek a very awkward hug.

Re: New wardrobe
“Black velvet and New Mexico don’t mix.”-Sandra

Re: Apocalypse, NM
“It’s a small, one light town where weird shit happens all the time and no one talks about it.”-Sandra
“So, like Twin Peaks?”-Darrek

“So, if I was one for padding my stats…”-Matthew

Re: “Really good friends” with a mundane
“Yeah, I don’t know anything about that.”-Henry

“My buddy used to drive an Amaru.”-Mack

“Can I order you a drink?”-Sebastian
“Ehm.”-Darrek
“We do have things that aren’t blood.”-Sebastian
“Oh. Well, then, I’ll have a scotch.”-Darrek

“You called this meeting. You go first.”-Sebastian
Darrek throws back the rest of his scotch, swallows, and gives him a hard look

“You’re welcome to stay and enjoy the club.”-Sebastian
“We have an early flight to catch.”-Darrek
“Oh. Well, then.”-Sebastian
“We will, as they say, fuck off now.”-Darrek

Dropping Hilda off
“Thank you.”-Darrek
“Hilda is happy to help.”-Hilda
“No. It’s actually I. I am happy to help.”-Darrek

Matthew hears screaming and things breaking upstairs. He shoulders the door in to Sandra’s apartment and finds her and Lorelei naked in bed together.
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?”-Sandra

“Do you know how hard it is to have a breaking and entering fantasy when you’re both the perpetrator and the victim?”-Yun-Xun

“I like my coffee with cream and sugar.”-Sandra
“Yes, I’ve noticed.”-Matthew

The group argues about renting a car
“God, I missed this.”-Sandra

Re: Mack
“Some real American hero you are.”-Matthew

Re: Elemental spirits Henry summoned
“Oh, they’re for air conditioning! So bloody smart.”-Darrek

Re: Sandra
“She’s been abducted by aliens and replaced with an exact look-alike.”-Darrek
Sandra glares at Darrek, then goes and retrieves a book from her nightstand and crawls into her fireplace
“That’s how I know I’m in trouble.”-Darrek

Re: Danny
“So, you want to get a shower before we head out?”-Darrek
“Yes, please shower.”-Sandra
“You smell like a homeless person.”-Henry
“When you have children, they say all the things you’re thinking but don’t say out loud.”-Darrek

“We’re going to a brothel, I’m putting on my good shirt.”-Matthew
“You have a girlfriend.”-Darrek
“Yes, but this is for work.”-Matthew
“…nevermind…”-Darrek

“What’s your pleasure? I got girls, boys…”-Ellie
looks at Henry “Don’t.”-Darrek

“I’ve got this tentacled horror in the back that will blow your mind.”-Ellie
“That’s really not why we’re here.”-Darrek

“Ellie only speaks the language of love.”-Mike D.
“I don’t.”-Darrek

Darrek gives Ellie a large bill out of his wallet and thanks her for her help. She winks at him.
“If you ever want some love lessons, let me know.”-Ellie
Darrek blushes a deep shade of scarlet

leans towards Ellie’s ear “To be honest, I’ve got more women I love than I know what to do with.”-Darrek
“What a wonderful problem to have.”-Ellie

“What can I get you?”-barmaid
“Tea.”-Yun-Xun
“We don’t have that.”-barmaid
“I meant tea-quila.”-Yun-Xun

View
Episode 5
The Culebras

Overview

Danny wakes up after a full moon, naked, in the middle of a bloodbath. He’s in a suburban home somewhere in the North Hills, and the half-eaten bodies of a family are all around him. The sounds of sirens are in the distance. Meanwhile, a new type of vampire appears which are serpentine in nature and appear to be of Kindred origin, but some sort of lost, offshoot branch. They are called Culebras. The Cast also track the ensouled vampires to the House of Cthon and uncover another piece of the puzzle about the Vampire Apocalypse. At the end, Sandra appears with information and a request for help.

Cold Open

The heroes battle the strange serpentine vampire and “rescue” an ensouled strigoi. They then discover an entire community of tortured, ensouled strigoi…

Act One

The vampire they rescued is named Billy, and he explains that strigoi in the community all the subject of a curse that afflicts them with their souls, but denies them happiness. An Intelligence and Occultism check will reveal that this is the same gypsy curse that afflicted Angel.

Billy guides them into the community, where they all feel distinctly uncomfortable. It’s clear that every vampire here is tortured, but many have gone insane, bestial. One may attack a member of the Cast with completely unreasoning fury. If they stake the vampire, it thanks them before it dusts, but they get the distinct impression the act did not endear them to the community.

Someone, it seems, has weaponized the curse, and is using it to punish undesirables. They also, the Cast are told, have been using the cursed vampires for their blood. All they know is that it has something to do with immortality. They curse them, throw them in a dungeon, bleed them, and force them to feed on babies when they start to starve, which only makes the torture worse. They’ve also, however, inflicted them with another curse that forbids them from committing suicide. It’s all part of some grand plan.

He has the name of the house behind it: The House of Cthon. They seem to be sorcerers and in many ways the aristocrats of the Strigoi community. He’s heard the names “Thanatos,” “Ornduhl,” and “Kali” mentioned as other houses involved in some vampire end-times prophecy they are trying to bring about. He doesn’t have much other information, however, as all of the cursed vampires in the community where afflicted outside of the Consortium—what they call the Houses.

He does have one other piece of information, however. There’s someone else here, haunting the tunnels. She’s a stunningly beautiful creature, impossibly ancient and impossibly cruel, as bestial as the worst of them, and she’s hunting them, feeding from their fear and suffering. When he tries to describe her, he can’t any more specifically. He says he can’t remember what she looks like specifically, only that she makes them see things. And hear things. The only word he can use to describe his impression of her is “dark.” She’s been heard to claim she is taking her soul back. And sometimes, just sometimes, she apologizes for what she does to them. This, of course, is Amara, who has gone feral from the tortures she’s endured.

They don’t know what the serpent creature was, but Hilda can say it felt like a vampire, though it certainly didn’t seem to be one, or at least not a typical one. It was distinctly serpentine, and while they’ve seen serpentine aspects in the Setites, this felt like some strange cross between a moroi and strigoi—yet another type of vampire they’ve never encountered.

A few of them who have still managed to maintain their sanity are willing to do what they can to help stop the rest of the Strigoi—in this, at least, the weaponized curse is going to work against the Houses.

So the Cast leaves with more than a few new questions, but some additional information, and some new allies. They all head home, do what they do in the evenings, and part ways for the evening.

Act Two

Danny awakens in a suburban house, naked, covered in blood. He smells the death before he sees it, but he quickly realizes he’s in the middle of a slaughtered family, torn apart, partially eaten, and his mouth is filled with the taste of blood.

The sounds of sirens blare in the distance, and a familiar voice says, “My God, what did you do?”

He sees Agent Barnes there, holding her gun on him, shaking. “What did you do?” she says again. “I trusted you. I helped you!”

Danny swears he has no idea what happened but didn’t do this, she’ll tell him to get out, fast, and get underground. If he fights, it’s going to be bad for him all around. In either case, the house is in the North Hills. It’s also easy enough for him to grab a pair of sweatpants and an oversized shirt to cover himself up as he gets out of there. The two of them avoid tha authorities and head for North Park…


Mack awakens to discover that Danny is gone. He’ll also feel very thick-headed himself, like he’s suffering from a whopper of a hangover. If he tries to call Danny, Danny’s phone rings in his bedroom—it’s been left behind. The window to their apartment is wide open. It does happen that last night was the first night of the full moon.

In truth, Danny was drugged and kidnapped by a vampire from the House of Dracul, who used its own shapeshifting powers to tear the family apart and arrange it to look as though Danny did it. The resemblance to what happened to him in New Mexico is deliberate—this is the vampire conspiracy trying to undermine the Cast’s efforts, and the culebras told the House of Dracul about Danny being on the run from New Mexico. Danny has been taken back to Apocalypse as part of the culebras ritual.

The Cast gets a call from Agent Barnes…in the hospital. She found Danny at the site of a massacre in the North Hills, an entire family slaughtered. Danny was naked covered in blood, and swore he had no idea what happened. She helped him get out before the police arrived, but both of them were ambushed by what she can only describe as some sort of serpentine creatures. She has no idea why she was left to live, except that they were more interested in Danny. She implores the cast to go back to the house and tells them there were cameras there, very well hidden, and it’s likely the police missed them. If the Cast investigates, they can potentially find proof of Danny’s innocence: an extremely well hidden camera recorded what went on that night, but finding it requires hours of searching, or a Perception and Notice check with at least 7 success levels.

Act Three

Billy contacts the cast with some information: a few of his people have infiltrated the Consortium, and discovered that there are seven houses. The Cast will now get all the basic information on each. He will also know what happened to Danny. He doesn’t know who the heads of the houses are, but he knows that they are planning to unleash Ornduhl upon the world with the help of the First Vampire.

Ornduhl is the Old One who was the last to leave when the others were banished, and before it was ejected, it infected a human, a woman named Lilith, reputed to be the first woman, who became the first Strigoi, just as Caine became the first Moroi. The rise of Lilith presages the return of Ornduhl.

He has pages from the Book of Erebus, an impossibly ancient text that reputes to be a vampire bible. He can’t read the language, but he hopes it will help. The vampires are being whipped into a frenzy by some high priestess who is hundreds of years old, and who claims to have “walked between the worlds and looked madness in the eye.” She’s highly charismatic and a powerful sorceress, but his people aren’t in deep enough yet to find anything specific about her.

He also knows the location of the vampires who set Danny up, and he knows these new serpentine vampires are involved, somehow, but he doesn’t know how, exactly, only that they brought blood from a “special” victim with them which is somehow essential to the vampires’ plan. The Consortium has been collecting blood from a range of special people, but he doesn’t know exactly how it all plays into the prophecy. He’ll look at Matthew and say, bluntly, “They have yours, too. From when you were beheaded. They sent someone in later to collect it.”

He knows that they come from Latin America. He also knows where the vampires from the house of Dracul that set Danny up are hidden. They might know more about what happened to him.

Act Four

The cast track down and kill the vampires who set up Danny, who can reveal that the snake-sects of vampires are using a safe house set up by the Consortium in Beechview. They can head for the Latin-American vampires. When they invade their apartment, they find it decked out with strange, pseudo-Aztec trappings. It’s clearly a strange sort of temple, and if anyone can read ancient Aztec, they will see that it is dedicated to Xibalba, the Aztec underworld, and its dark queen, Amaru. As they finish of the serpentine creatures, Darrek’s phone will ring. It’s Anita, and all she’ll say is, “I think you should come in. I really think you should come to the Hive.” Then she hangs up.

Returning to the Hive, they will find none other than Sandra sitting in Anita’s office. She looks…different. She’s wearing a red and white short-sleeved button up shirt, tied off at her navel, and cutoff denim shorts. Her hair, still black, is pulled into a ponytail. She looks up at them and she says, “They’re called culebras. They may have taken Danny. And I need your help.”

[ROLL CREDITS]

Memorable Quotes and Moments

Re: Upon seeing pictures from taking Mack to a gay strip club on Henry’s Instagram account
HENRY!”-Darrek

“Let me put some clothes on…unlike the guys Mack saw last night!”-Henry

“Where’s the demon that is defeated by eating delicious French fries?”-Henry
“If you find him, let me know.”-Darrek

Darrek slips a note under Sandra and Lorelei’s door letting Lorelei know about the possible Amara lead.

View
Episode 4
The House of Bliss

Cold Open

“We’re closing in on the loft,” Detective Simmons said into his radio. “Is everyone in position, Lieutenant?”

“They are,” came the voice of lt. Knonaem over the walkie. “Just play it by the book and let’s hope we don’t need to bring in the backup.”

Simmons and his partner, Det. Lofbrook, took up positions on either side of the door. “Dora Collins!” This is the police! We have a warrant for your arrest and there’s no way out! Open the door, step back, and put your hands on your head!"

From inside came a giggling that gradually rose to a cackle, then dropped to a dead silence. A moment later, “It’s open.”

Simmons nodded to Lofbrook, reached for the knob, turned. The door swung open and both police swung around, guns to bear. Both were sickened by the sight before them. The entire apartment was splashed with crimson; the smell of dirt and copper and paint filled the room. There, in the middle, her back to them, was a woman, completely nude and equally covered in what either was gore or paint—the officers couldn’t tell. Three puddles of unidentifiable but noxious goo were on the floor surrounding her. A broken table leg lay at her feet, soaked in the same goo.

She stood before a gigantic painting of maddening imagery, her hands held to the sky as though worshipping it.

“Do you like it?” the woman said. “it’s my masterpiece.”

Lofbrook tried to speak, choked down vomit, took a breath, then managed, “Ms. Collins, get on your knees and put your hands on your head.”

The woman spun on the police, a look of unreasoning, bestial glee on her features. “But I’m so hungry!” she cried, and charged.

Outside, Lt. Joe Knonaem of the SUSI squad jumped as four shots rang out. He shouted into his radio. “Simmons! Simmons, what’s going on up there? Lofbrook? Talk to me!”

He motioned to the SWAT team to start moving in, then signaled them to stop as the radio hissed to life.

“Lofbrook,” the voice said. “Suspect is down but…alive, I think? Simmons is down. We need medics up here…” then the sounds of wretching.

“I need a bus here, ASAP!” Knonaem shouted to a nearby officer. “We have a suspect and an officer down!”

Joe’s phone rang just at that moment. He looked at the screen, swiped, and said, “Knonaem. I’m going to need to call you back I’ve got a…what?” He listened for a moment, hung up, and spat an obscenity, then signaled to another officer. “Sergeant,” he said. “I need you to take over here. I have to go.”

“You sure, L.T.?” the sergeant said. “You’ve been chasing this collar for months.”

“I know,” Joe said. “But we have a massacre on our hands.”

Notes and events

  • The cast get Heather home. She tells them that vampires keep following her around, but are begging her for help, insisting they’re trying to warn her. They all seem half-mad and genuinely tortured. Some have tried to kidnap her. Others have insisted that she is “either savior or doom.” Most recently, one declared its devotion to her before stepping into the sun and immolating in front of dozens of other people. She doesn’t know what to do, and she keeps having visions of herself, some with her set on high above tides of blood, and others with her dying in excruciating pain as some sort of horrible thing makes its way into the world. She turned to Hilda because, she says again, she’s loved her all her life, and knows that Hilda is the only one who can save her.
  • Darrek gets a card from Kathryn: “Found more information about your ‘Red God.’ Please advise.” The information, when he goes to research, is sparse and Kathryn is still working the problem, but she thought he would appreciate immediate notice of anything that came up. It involves very vague references to a prophecy about a human with golden head and eyes of the soul becoming the centerpiece in an apocalypse that will bring forth the Red God Ornduhl unto the world. It also makes references to a time when the streets run red with blood consumed by the living.

The heralds of this apocalypse are the First Vampire, who is also the First Woman, and “One who has seen world enough, and time.” Along with the prophecy, which is very sketchy in nature, is an original copy of To His Coy Mistress from 1681.

  • Meanwhile, the cast gets a call from Joe, who has a real problem that may tie in directly to what they’re dealing with. He wants them to meet him at a crime scene immediately. The crime scene itself is a slaughter at a mob warehouse in Bloomfield’s Little Italy neighborhood. The murders are brutal, bestial in nature. Throats have been torn out and chunks torn away from the bodies. With a Perception and Doctor check, however, it’s notable that the bite marks match human teeth, not bestial or vampire.
  • Joe has been tracking a cannibalistic serial killer across the city, one they have kept quiet so as not to panic the public. When they caught her, a young artist, they discovered that she was addicted to a new street drug called either Diablo or Bliss. This drug gave her incredible strength and speed, like PCP, but also caused an insatiable addiction to human blood. She also left a very strange painting behind, of a woman with fiery eyes and a halo of flame, towering above a pile of bodies, all clamoring over each other to climb to her. The entire painting is in shades of crimson, orange, and yellow.

It gets worse. She also doesn’t exhibit any pulse or respiratory activity, save enough to speak, but she doesn’t appear to be a vampire and seems unaware that she’s dead. What seemed isolated incidents of violence are now getting out of hand as the drug spreads. This scene appeared to have been a deliberate hit—someone is using addicts to take out mob families.

He also hands the Cast a vial of the drug, which is a black liquid, and tells them to give it a whiff—carefully. He explains that it’s safe; it only takes effect when injected, freebased, or vaporized. So far, atomizers like asthma inhalers seem the preferred method of use. Upon smelling the drug, an Intelligence and Perception check reveals that it smells like ash and blood as well as something that stings the nose and waters the eyes. There’s definitely a mystical component about it. Joe can tell them that the lab has analyzed it and found it to contain ash and blood with traces of human DNA, plus unidentifiable “alien” DNA strands (code for demonic), and some sort of biogenic venom, not unlike serpent venom.

  • The young artist and serial killer that seemed to be “patient zero” for the drug is in custody at Western Psych. Her name is Dora Collins, and she’s in the throes of what one could consider severe D.T.s. The Cast can question her, which could result in her attacking them ferociously. She is indeed undead, and a vampire in the sense that she is addicted to blood, is repelled by holy items, and can be staked to be killed (she herself will admit to having staked those that did this to her), but she is in no way either a strigoi or a moroi. She has a soul, but it is corrupted and dark. She’s something entirely new.

With the right questions they can get a name from her: Brigitte. Her speech, though, is halting and bestial. She’s starting to smell like rot, because she needs blood to sustain her existence. She will also reveal that she first got the drug at a secret after-hours club in the Strip District through her friend Chelsea (who is now a “puddle of goo,” according to Dora). The club was called “Existenz” and is held in the old terminal building on Smallman. The Cast will find what appears to be a runic birthmark on her throat.

  • Investigating Existenz in the demon underworld reveals that it seems to be a chain of nightclubs. The Kindred can confirm that it is indeed one of the strigoi Houses which act as a sort of vampire Mafia involved in drugs, human trafficking, and the like (the cast may have gotten this info already; I can’t remember which of the Houses they know about).

Bliss is definitely being distributed through the nightclubs as Existenz moves to strongarm local organized crime into falling in line. This will also put a target on the Cast’s back as the Strigoi don’t like them interfering in their operations. Some research into mystical drugs and concoctions, again, reveals a similar situation in the 1920s when a batch of tainted whisky infused with vampire blood caused a spree if violence in New Orleans. There certainly seems to be a connection between what happened then, and what is happening now, though in this case it’s thin: Bliss is far more advanced, and has multiple components, the venom one unidentifiable so far.

With an Intelligence and Magic roll, Derek and Henry can posit that something like this would have to be manufactured on top of a source of vast magical power, like a Hellmouth. But the Point has nowhere a facility like that could be established.

Enter Anita. If the Cast brings her in on what’s going on, she will, looking extremely disturbed, stammer that she knows of a place. She was once kidnapped by Alan and… "held"… for three days in an abandoned subway station underneath the city that ran very close to the Point. It took her years to recover even a fraction of the memories, “and, she adds, I’ll be fucking thrilled if I never remember another damn thing about those three days.” It would, she says, be an ideal place for something like this.

  • The climax of the adventure sees the cast assaulting the manufacturing facility under the Hellmouth. As they head there, they find their way blocked by these new Bliss-vampires, and even by ensouled vampires living on rats. Some might violently attack the Cast, begging to be killed. Others might flee. It would seem that these are the source of the dust being used, and there’s a staggering number of them. One will step forward and offer information after all is said and done…if the cast can protect him. That is when the demonic creature that looks somehow half-vampire, half snake, emerges from the shadows and attacks.

[ROLL CREDITS]

Memorable Quotes and Moments

“Everyone in my office. NOW.”-Anita

Re: Heather
“The downstairs tingles?”-Yun-Xun

“I came here because I’ve loved you all my life, and you’re the only one who can save me.”-Heather
“Hilda loves you, too.”-Robert

“Do you want the truth, or a beautiful lie?”-Darrek

Re: The Loft
“I cannot ward.”-Henry

“I’ve never seen anything like this, and we had some crazy shit happen last year.”-Doctor
(off-screen) “Like my wife.”-Darrek

Re: Dora
“She’s the intersection of the venn diagram…it’s very hard to explain.”-Henry

“I didn’t kill her!”-Danny

“Look, we’ve all had a very stressful day, let’s all head back to the Hive and I’ll make it more stressful.”-Darrek

Re: Danny complaining about his bite wound
“Oh stop whining, you ponce.”-Darrek heals him

Re: Dora
“I could probably destroy her, but we don’t like to do that in front of cameras.”-Anita

Re: Blowing up the tunnel
“Let’s do that tomorrow after Hilda and Heather have their honeymoon. They’re lesbians, so I’m assuming they’re married now.

Henry orders a pair of Enchroma glasses for Darrek, which block all shades of the color yellow when worn.

Re: Henry
hugs him “You’re a good boy. You’re still not allowed to blow up the subway tunnel.”-Darrek

“What’s Coachella?”-Darrek
“It’s a music festival.”-Henry
“Oh?”-Darrek
“Lots of drugs.”-Henry
“Oh yeah? Where?”-Darrek

Re: Hilda dressing like Heather so that the vamps will attack her
“Ah, the bugs bunny cross-dressing gambit!”-Henry

Re: Mack and his firebug tendencies
“It is a bloody miracle that you are walking around alive.”-Darrek

“If you let me die, I am going to haunt you SO bad…”-Henry

Re: Henry
“That’s my boy.”-Darrek

Re: Vampire dusting
“Congratulations, you’re lucky customer 25.”-Matthew

Re: Henry deflecting the vampire sorcerer’s spell back at him
“He pissed, he ain’t got no spell.”-Julie

Re: The Strigoi sorcerer
“I’m going to smoke his ass.”-Darrek

Re: Matthew’s head re-attaching to his body
WHERE IS HE?”-Matthew

View
Episode 3
The New Blood

Episode 3: The New Blood

Henry and Hilda get love interests. Heather Prophet is mixed up in the vampire conspiracy. Lorelei is having dark dreams about Amara, and word is the Ravnos are all suffering. Introduce Andrew Stewart, a minor big bad with powers of illusion, and the ability to walk around in sunlight and resist staking, leading to the House of Amara and the pieces of the gem, charged with Amara’s blood.

Cut Scene

She reveled in her new abilities here, the ability to soar over the cityscape like some kind of comic-book superhero. Tonight she looked down over the city, which slept in utter peace. It was uncommonly quiet in her dreamscape. Uncommonly peaceful.

Then, of course, everything had to change. First it was the color, as if a crimson lens descended over her eyes, giving everything the tint of blood. Then she realized, it wasn’t a tint—the skies had opened up and blood poured down, bathing the entire city in its dark red cloak and coppery stench. She lost control; plummeted towards the ground; managed to land. Then she saw it—a tidal wave of blood erupting through the streets, with everyone caught in its wake turned, an entire city of vampires.

There at the center of it all, was the Woman in Red, clutching a terrified Heather Prophet by the throat. A bolt of lightning tore the skies, enveloping both…

Hilda woke once more, her throat raw from screaming. Matthew and Yun-Xun were there again, making sure she was okay. All Hilda knew was, it was getting worse. And somehow, that young singer was at the center of it all.

Suddenly, the sounds of commotion erupted from the loft upstairs. Shattering glass and wood, banging and thumping, almost as if someone were in the heat of battle…

[ROLL CREDITS]

Upstairs, a young woman who couldn’t sleep, only die, was lost in the grip of a waking nightmare of her own, visions of horror and torture that she felt. Every poke, every cut, every stab, she felt. She was restrained, couldn’t move. The room was dark, there were Strigoi faces all around. Her life was draining from her, and as much as she struggled, she couldn’t free herself. Too weak…too drained. But the time would come. She would kill every last one of them, and the world would drown in blood for what had happened to her. They would all pay.

When she awoke from the vision, the room had been trashed. Mirrors broken, furniture smashed. The window was open to the night air, the glass broken. Her first thought was, Sandra will kill me. Then her terror returned. Something terrible was happening, and she had to contact the others.

The door burst off its hinges, and there was Matthew, Hilda, and Yun-Xun, wanting to know what the Hell just happened in here.

Events:

  • Henry is out and about one night when he hears a commotion in an alley. Investigating, he discovers Adam in up to nis neck (quite literally) trying to battle a demon in an alley. After rescuing the kid, Adam confesses to having been forever changed by his experience with the Dullahan, and having become a demon hunter. He also confesses to thinking about Henry all the time, and wanting to try again. Let Henry handle this as he likes—it’s clear that at least at this stage, Adam is utterly inept and more likely to get himself killed than help, but it’s also likely that he won’t quit. Adam should figure in now and again, trying to “prove himself” until someone in the group deigns to hook him up with a real demon hunter to be properly trained. It’s left to Robert whether Henry pursues a relationship with him.
  • It quickly becomes evident that the Cast, since returning to Pittsburgh and the realm of Hod, find themselves hunted by Strigoi, many of which show the same resistance to staking, sunlight, fire, etc. that they’ve encountered, and all of which are wearing those same blood-red chips of gem. They also seem to possess powers of illusion. Further, when the chips are destroyed, they leave behind a spot of blood.
  • Vampire nests are on the rise, and the Cast eventually discovers identical glyphs left behind at each scene: the strange figure-8 symbol (give them an Intelligence and Shade Mythos roll to remember it as the symbol of the Red God), and another, unique glyph that isn’t any known language, but appears to be (if one looks at it just right) a stylized “A.”
  • If they take the right steps to research (namely, contacting the Watcher’s Council), they will come up with information about the Gem of Amara, which was destroyed by Angel back in the early 2000s in Los Angeles.
  • Researching the vampire nests, which seem to be gathered in clusters, the cast will find their way to Andrew Stewart, a local real estate magnate / slum lord, who it appears has been buying up properties all over the city, and leaving them undeveloped, apparently as a tax shelter.
  • At some point, Lorelei approaches the Cast. Her visions of Amara being tortured have grown worse, and there have been several occasions recently where she (and, it would seem, the rest of her clan) have felt intense, searing pain like their heads were exploding. These events can, if the Cast asks the right questions, be traced to the moments when the Cast have destroyed the gem fragments.
  • If Lorelei gets to examine one of the fragments, she’ll say that she can sense Amara in it, and has a very vague sense that she is somewhere in the Pittsburgh area. With more fragments, she might be able to actually track them to Amara’s whereabouts.
  • If/when the Cast meets Stewart, they will be certain he’s a vampire (at least, Hilda will, if she makes her roll), but he doesn’t appear to be wearing a ring with a gem chip in it. This is because he’s had his set into a pendant that he wears under his shirt.
  • Stewart, whose real name is Andrew Stuart, is a 400-year-old vampire, and a former rival of Drake. This may or may not come up in game. If it does, see if Bob wants to guest star later? At least Drake can inform the group that Stuart was always obsessed with power, privilege, and control, and consolidating his base to take the throne of England, a quest he never quite fulfilled. He was a spoiled child who resented his siblings and family line, which is what led him to become a vampire in the first place.
  • Stewart is also head of a pharmaceutical company focused on using genetic manipulation to treat illness. This company is the heart of the House of Amara, which has been cloning Amara’s blood with which it has been “treating” vampirism, and granting its members the powers of illusion—Chimerstry.
  • Stewart may or may not escape at the end of this episode, but his corporation, the A-Sun Corp., will continue, as will House Amara. He may also reference their high priestess, Brigitte de Rais, the prophet who will unite all of the Strigoi under the power of the One. If possible, let him cryptically reveal the name of the House, and leave his survival ambiguous.
  • If the cast manages to track Amara with the gem, they will discover a horror show of torture implements, scientific equipment, and shattered tanks which have been destroyed but clearly were filled with blood, which Lorelei can confirm was Amara’s. The bonds on a table in the center of the room have been shattered. The room is positively thick with dust, which can be identified as vampire dust. Written on the wall in Amara’s blood, in proto-Sumerian, are the words, “I am coming.” Amara is nowhere to be found, and Lorelei loses her sense of where her sire is.
  • At the very end, Heather Prophet shows up at Blake Investigations, begging for help from Hilda, because, “The vampires…they’re hunting me for the prophecy.”

Memorable Quotes and Moments

Re: Henry using Elemental spirits to maintain the lawn at Tinsley House
“Who needs to pay for a lawn service when you have a brilliant and talented young sorcerer living with you?”-Darrek

“I think there’s another Hellmouth in Cleveland.”-Darrek
“Isn’t all of Cleveland a Hellmouth?”-Henry

Re: The vampires organizing into groups
“So, are they forming a union and demanding equal rights?”-Matthew

“Can you please wait to give me a brain aneurysm until after I get my promotion at work?”-Darrek
“Why, does your life insurance policy get upgraded?”-Henry

Re: Sebastian
“He’s kind of a sexy asshole.”-Anita

“I’d totally sleep with a vampire.”-Henry

Re: Danny shifting
“OH LORD JESUS IT’S A JAGUAR!”-Julie and Mike D.

Re: The rings
“At least they’re not bedazzled enchanted butt plugs.”-Henry

“Hilda strong like frau.”-Henry

“You’re getting drank.”-Jason
“Like a capri sun!”-Julie and Robert in unison

Jokes about Hilda’s nipples getting hard at the vampire action.

“I forgot how much fun this is.”-Darrek

Re: Putting the ring on
to Hilda “I kind of want to punch you in the face right now.”-Darrek

Re: Lorelei
“I call her.”-Matthew
“She’s dead right now.”-Jason

Re: Adam
“What exactly are your intentions towards my son?”-Darrek
“I’m pretty sure he wants to stake him.”-Matthew

Re: The group
“I just would have liked to have made a better impression on your dad the first time I met him.”-Adam

Re: Darrek’s Rav 4
“Let’s all hop into the hoopty…”-Henry
“Wait…hoopty?!?!”-Darrek

“Hilda…you don’t need to ask for permission.”-Darrek
“Your watcher isn’t here, you’re your own woman!”-Henry

“Ugh, this building is giving me a headache.”-Darrek
“Yeah…”-Henry

Re: The elevator
“It’s bigger on the outside!”-Darrek

“Finally I suggest arson and everyone is on board!”-Henry

Re: Healing Yun-Xun
“We really have to stop meeting this way, love.”-Darrek
“People are going to start to talk.”-Henry

View
Season 2 Episode 2
The Coma Pits

Episode Synopsis

After returning from Greece, Darrek, Henry, and Emily go to Anita’s to pick up Omar. Anita suddenly screams and falls to the ground. Darrek and Henry quickly realize that she no longer senses as Gifted, and that she’s alive but her soul is no longer in her body.

Emily clutches her head and staggers backward, then looks at Darrek and says, “She’s trapped inside of her worst nightmare, and she’s reliving it over and over again.” She refuses to say anymore. Darrek can tell that she’s been shaken to her core by whatever it was that she saw.

Darrek calls Matthew, who arrives at Anita’s not long after. They take Anita to Matthew’s loft, along with Moriarty, Anita’s cat, who refuses to leave her side. He sits on her chest loudly griping at everyone.

After getting Anita settled at Matthew’s, the hour is late. Emily speaks up and says that there is nothing more to be done at this time and that everyone should get some rest. She informs Henry in no uncertain terms that she is taking him home, and tells Darrek that he should follow suit. Darrek assures her he will not be long, explaining that he wants to do a few more things to ensure Anita is as safe as she can be. Emily and Henry leave.

Darrek inscribes protective runes all over Anita’s skin and casts powerful wards to prevent any of her enemies from locating her or realizing her vulnerable state. As he is doing this, Lorelei comes downstairs and knocks on Matthew’s door, saying that she heard the commotion and can smell Anita, but something seems off. As Matthew is explaining what has happened, Lorlei pushes past him and rushes into his bedroom, where Anita is laid out on his bed and Darrek is working his protective magics. Her eyes turn red, she sprouts her fangs, and demands to know what he is doing to her.

Darrek puts his hands up and backs away. Lorelei touches Anita, closing her eyes. She says Anita still has a silver cord, but she cannot see where it goes. There is a sense of terror and rage. She tries to follow Anita’s cord and hits a literal wall of blackness.

Lorelei opens her eyes, and begs them to help Anita. Seeing that the young and extremely powerful vampire appears less dangerous, albeit distressed, Darrek slowly puts his hands down and formally introduces himself, promising to do everything he can to find Anita and bring her home. Lorelei pledges to sit vigil with Anita’s body until she has been returned to it. Darrek heads home.

The next morning, as Darrek is fixing breakfast, Henry wonders aloud if Anita could be in the Dreamlands. After eating, the two head to the Hive Arcana to the library to research, while the rest of the group trains. On their way there, Darrek stops to see Harlan to inquire if his old friend may have any information that could help. Harlan recalls something similar occurring in 1925 involving a witch attempting to resurrect herself, and warns Darrek against messing around with time. Henry agrees, saying his mother warned him about this.
Arriving at the Hive Arcana, they find Amanda, one of the twins, curled up against the door of Anita’s office, crying and asking where she is. “I need help,” she says. Darrek gets her up and gets her a cup of tea. She explains that she and her sister were at a club, when suddenly her sister screamed and collapsed and she (Amanda) lost her powers. She goes on to tell him that the entire Twilight Order in Pittsburgh appears to have fallen comatose. Darrek contacts the Rosicrucians, who confirm that several necromancers within the Order have also suffered the same fate.

Darrek instructs Amanda to take her sister to the Twilight Order chapel house. He then calls Dr. Armedt and asks him to send a cabal of trusted sorcerers to assist him in warding it, reminding him of the Rosicrucians’ long held alliance with the Twilight Order in Pittsburgh. Darrek then fills Jamie and Dana in on what has happened, as well as his wife, Emily. Jamie and Dana contact the Wicce. Emily reaches out to the other members of the Cabal of Psyche. Everyone begins canvassing the area to find any other Gifted who may have been affected. Henry calls Megan, who tells him that several runaways have collapsed. Darrek has them all brought to the Twilight Order chapel house, which has now been securely warded and is being guarded in shifts by various members of the Rosicrucians.

Matthew shares that he found some Watcher’s Council records involving a similar situation involving Slayer from New Orleans in 1925. Unfortunately the records were redacted by a Watcher named Tony. One of the people that the Slayer was working with may well have been Matthew’s father.

Henry orders Darrek an iced red eye and himself a dirty hot chocolate before they head into the Library to research. They work for several hours, scouring through book after book to find the information they are searching for. Henry learns that while Moroi do not dream, Strigoi can. Darrek focuses on getting more specific information on where Anita may be in the Dreamlands and how they can get there. He discovers that she is likely in a place known as the Coma Pits, which are part of the Nightmare Kingdoms. Nightmares used to be where journeys in the Dreamlands went wrong. There is a “court” of beings that appear to rule the Nightmare Kingdoms: Ghost Dancer, Hypnos, Mullonga, Morpheus, and The Nightmare Man. Darrek searches for the best way for the group to get to the Dreamlands and finds there are two options, neither of which are ideal. They can use a spell, though they have been known to go wrong as the Dreamlands are unpredictable. There is no guarantee that the group will arrive together in the same place. Alternatively, they can make their way in through a ghoul’s nest, but this will require them to fight their way in through the ghoul tunnels.

Darrek presents these options to the group and suggests a vote. Henry stresses that fighting through the ghoul tunnels seems a poor way to start their journey to find Anita, and votes for the spell. Darrek agrees with Henry, as does the rest of the group. Matthew, unable to be affected by magic, says he will use his lucid dreaming skill to make his way in and find the rest of them from there. The group decides to all go to Matthew’s so that Lorelei can guard their physical bodies while they are in the Dreamlands.

Darrek calls Emily to let her know what is happening and where he and Henry will be. He then sends a text message to Sandra: “I’m going to find your mum.” He still receives no response from her.

The group returns to Matthew’s loft, and everyone stretches out on the floor of the room where Anita is. One by one, they all fall asleep.

Darrek awakens to find himself in his own house. The lights are flickering, and there is an overwhelming sense of Lyssicus and Tainted energy. Hearing screams upstairs, he takes off, and finds Emily and Henry being torn apart by Aimee. She has a demonic appearance, and is drawing their Essence out of them.

When she sees Darrek, she grins, mocking him. “You had your chance to kill me and you failed. This is your fault.”

Darrek tries to use his magics against her but it seems to reflect back onto him. Aimee laughs and licks Emily’s blood off of her hands, then inserts one of them through the back of Henry’s skull, making his mouth move like a puppet’s and further mocking Darrek’s grief. “I’m sorry you couldn’t save me. You’re so pathetic, you can’t make anything work.” She then throws Henry’s body at Darrek.

Darrek attacks her and she strikes him multiple times, almost knocking him unconscious. He runs to Henry’s bathroom and she follows, sprouting fangs and dragging Henry and Emily’s bodies with her. He grabs the back of the toilet tank and hits Aimee with it, which does not seem to phase her at all. She strikes him again, and he hits his head hard against a towel rack and slides to the floor.

Suddenly, there is a yellow, swirling light from behind that envelopes Aimee. She screams, and she, Henry, and Emily disappear. Darrek looks up to see Alan, his former mentor, standing in front of him. He offers Darrek his hand and helps him to his feet.
“Hello Darrek,” he says. “It’s been a long time.”

Darrek nods, and then punches him squarely in the face. Alan wipes his mouth, ever calm, and says, “I deserved that.”

“You deserve SO much worse than that,” Darrek growls in anger.

Alan nods again. “All I can say is that I’ve changed. I’m not the same man as I was the last time you saw me.”

Darrek realizes as he speaks that he no longer senses as Tainted. Alan explains that something is very wrong in the Dreamlands, and he could feel Anita’s presence. He mentions that he “found help,” and was searching for her when Darrek and the rest of the group entered the Nightmare Kingdoms. Darrek confirms that they are also searching for Anita and says he needs to find Henry and the rest of the group. Alan agrees, and as they leave his house it disappears like smoke behind them. As they walk, Alan explains that he spent 150 years being tormented by Nodens in penance for his crimes and is now a permanent fixture in the Dreamlands. He gives Darrek a quick lesson on the “rules” of this place.

Suddenly, they find themselves standing on the walkway in front of the Tinsley’s house (again). They enter the house and find Henry, who also has been battling a demonic Aimee and appears to have encased her in stone. Darrek introduces Henry to Alan, who smiles and compliments him on his ingenuity. Looking behind them, Darrek sees himself dead and mutilated inside of Henry’s closet. As they exit the Tinsley’s house (again), they find themselves in an alley, somewhere that vaguely resembles Pittsburgh. They can hear voices, which Darrek and Henry quickly realize belong to Matthew and Hilda, and a third unknown girl. Mack and Danny are not far behind.

The girl introduces herself as Kat Donovan, Anita’s daughter and the former Slayer of Pittsburgh. Alan explains that when he sensed Anita being drawn into the Dreamlands, he knew he was going to need help to find her, so he sprung Kat from Hell and brought her here.

As the group continues to walk, the scene shifts to a very large, gothic Cathedral. Sitting on the altar at the front of the Cathedral is a very thin man with dark hair and eyes in a priest’s clothes wearing a large ankh and grinning at them. He introduces himself as Morpheus, then points to a door and they all go through it. As they walk down a long hallway, Morpheus re-appears with them. At one point, his face shifts to a horrible demonic visage, then back to what it was before.

Suddenly, the group finds themselves in a swamp. Standing in front of them is a hut, with children’s skulls surrounding it and a light burning inside. Morpheus tells them not to enter, and they ignore his warning and go in. Inside is a hag, who gleefully exclaims, “Oh, good! DINNER!”

Battle ensues. Darrek eventually makes her explode, and everyone is covered in black ichor. Ew.

Exiting the hut, the group then finds themselves in a hospital room, with a woman who appears to be in a coma. Henry pushes the call nurse button, and a nurse appears who senses as Gifted, but she does not seem able to see, hear, or sense them. After some investigation, they realize that the comatose woman is a “bridge” of sorts and step into her body and are transported to a cavern.

Inside the cavern, there are whisps of spiderwebs everywhere. Multiple bodies hang from the ceiling suspended within the webs, all with looks of horror frozen on their faces. Anita is among them, as is Amanda’s sister.

Looking around the cavern trying to figure out how to reach Anita and the others, Mack sees another group that appears to be fighting something. One of the group has a flaming sword. Everyone can sense energy being drawn from the necromancers somewhere across the gulf.

Henry summons a gigantic claw to extract Anita. As they retrieve her, Matthew sees multiple creatures and a vampire woman rapidly approaching down the corridor behind them. He immolates the corridor with a wall of fire to prevent anything else from coming through, then uses his willpower to open a hole for one of the creatures to fall through. When his fire wall dissipates, the vampire woman is gone. Matthew, Hilda, Mack, Danny, Yun-, and Kat all engage in battle with the creatures. Henry, Darrek, and Alan attempt to wake up Anita. The spiderweb threads surrounding her begin to dissolve and her face becomes visible. As she awakens, one by one, each of the remaining necromancers fades into a silver light and disappears.

Anita sits up to see her dead daughter and her dead lover kneeling in front of her and bursts into tears, sobbing and hugging them both fiercely. Darrek quietly motions to everyone to give her some privacy.

Eventually, Alan walks Anita over to join the rest of the group. He shakes Darrek’s hand before opening a gate to guide them home.

Everyone wakes up in Matthew’s loft. As Anita opens her eyes, Lorelei embraces her.

Memorable Quotes and Moments

Re: Darrek’s protective runes
“She’s going to be so pissed when she wakes up…”-Lorelei
“It’s fine, she’ll get over it.”-Darrek

looking up at the sky
“This would be a really good time to show up with some help, Mom!”-Matthew

“Hey, for once we’re not the epicenter of the Apocalypse-we’re just one of many places it is happening!”-Henry

“Well we know a necro-oh, wait…”-Henry

“We were beginning to think you abandoned us or that something horrible happened.”-Katherine
“Horrible stuff happens to us all the time.”-Mack

“So the boy goes, so goes my nation. I vote for the spell.”-Darrek

“Matthew, I have a thought.”-Hilda
“Oh shit!”-Matthew
“Scary.”-Yun-Xun

Re: Matthew’s dad
“He must owe you, like, a ton of child support at this point.”-Henry

Re: Matthew mentioning Leslie
“GAH!” twitches-Darrek

Re: Henry’s nightmare
“Oh look, I’m in the closet again!”-Darrek, to Alan (both laugh)

Re: Henry
“He did so much better than me…of course he did.”-Darrek

“I think that the lesson here is that if you know Anita, you don’t really die, you just live on forever in a nightmarish Hellscape.”-Henry

“You don’t make a good puppet.”-Darrek
“I’ll keep that in mind when I turn 18 and start my Only Fans.”-Henry
“Your only-what?”-Darrek
“Don’t look that up.”-Henry

“I live in Hod, I don’t rule it.”-Alan

“What do you even give to a dream demon to try and bribe them?”-Henry
“A cookie?”-Darrek
“Baklava. No one can have nightmares when you have delicious baklava.”-Henry

“The way to the heart is through the stomach.”-Henry and Yun-Xun
“Of course it is!”-Darrek

“So the Dreamlands are like Las Vegas-anything can happen, and what happens here, stays here?”-Darrek

Re: Keeping secrets
“I take offense to that, Matthew. I am always very forthcoming, much to Darrek’s chagrin.”-Henry

“The Cathedral of Nightmares.”-Henry

Re: Morpheus’ demonic visage
“Yeah, that is not a good look for you.”-Darrek

Re: Creative problem solving
“I was always good at claw machines.”-Henry
“Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.”-Darrek

Re: Matthew
In an extra-geeky voice “In my dreams…I’m a WIZARD.”-Henry

Re: Darrek’s protective runes
“WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS ALL OVER ME?!”-Anita

“Please tell me this isn’t indelible ink.”-Anita
“Relax, it’s just eyeliner pencil.”-Henry
To Henry “Don’t tell your mother.”-Darrek

View
Season 2 Episode 1
The Temple of the Moon (Parts 1 and 2)

Chronicler: Julie

Episode One: The Temple of the Moon

Cold Open

She walks into the cave. Others are here, but she’s never felt so alone. She can’t see their faces. She can only see and smell and sense the death all around her. The cave is not a cave, but a tomb. It’s not a tomb, but a temple, impossibly ancient to an equally impossibly dark god.

Bodies are scattered everywhere. In the corner, a shattered jar. Blood on the walls in that strange symbol, like a figure eight with the top cut off.

Movement in the shadows—or did the shadows move? She spins and looks in the corner, her fist tightening on the stake in her hand. Nothing.

Then, behind her, a clawed hand, incredibly strong, clamps down, hurls her over the reflecting pool and into the wall next to the jar. A jar that she senses once housed all the evil in the world. That evil now is gone, and the jar sits empty.

They emerge from the shadows, each well over 6 feet tall. Hulking monstrosities that she somehow deep in her gut knows are vampires, or what vampires perhaps once were. Their visages the stark appearance of the demon within the body. She looks around; her friends lay on their backs, unconscious. Her grip tightens on her stake.

Then, before her, the face of an astonishingly beautiful woman. Fiery red hair, striking emerald eyes, clad in long, flowing, crimson robes. The scene flashes back and she witnesses this woman, impossibly, crawl out of the jar. Flash forward again, the woman is before her, inches away. She tries to strike, but cannot. The woman floats from the room.

Lilith_face.jpg

The scene changes—a dungeon, a basement, a sub-basement, somewhere in the city. A bizarre ritual, ancient carvings and symbols. Men tied to stone pillars carved with strange writing. No, they’re not men—they, too, are vampires.

There, at the center, a young woman, alabaster skin, platinum blonde hair, dead on the floor. Her throat is torn out, and that symbol, again, that incomplete figure eight, carved into her forehead.

Blinding red light as crimson lightning flashes down, strikes the woman’s body, and arcs to all of the vampires. A tide of blood covers the world…

Hilda sits up with a scream that she tells herself wasn’t her own. After all, a Slayer doesn’t scream. She’s soaked in sweat, her sheets torn from the mattress. She clutches her stake in her hand, raised high. She looks around, wild-eyed.

Her room. Just her room. Another Slayer dream.

The sheet blocking her room from the rest of the loft rustles. It’s Matthew, she knows, giving it a little shake to respect her privacy.

“You decent?” he says. “Everything okay in there?”

“Yes,” she says. “another dream, that is all.”

He peeks in. “You want to talk about it?”

She swallows hard, gazes at the wall. She trusts him; he’s been a good Watcher, but there are limits and even after all this time it’s still hard to let anyone in. “They are getting worse,” she says. “Those nests lately, they are more than just increased activity. They’re a harbinger. Something is coming. Something impossibly dark. A wave of blood over the world.”

He nods, taking it in, then pats her hand. “We’ll settle it. We always do. Try to get some rest and we’ll break it down in the morning.”

She nods, and he leaves, heading back to bed with Rebecca.

She doesn’t sleep. She just stares at the wall, clutching her stake until dawn.

When it’s safe.

Act One

It has been several months since the events of Season 1. Darrek, Henry, and Emily have been out of the country and are presently wrapping up their summer holiday in Greece. In Pittsburgh, Amara is still missing and Lorelei has been having terrible visions about her. Vampire numbers have been on the rise in the city and the rest of the Blake Investigations crew has been doing their best to manage this. Unusually, they have been organizing into ‘houses’ much like the Kindred and are exhibiting powers that the group is not used to seeing in Strigoi vampires.

Matthew,Hilda, Yun-Xun, Mack, and Danny attack a nest at an abandoned tenement in Homewood. Kicking down the door, they find a large group of vampires conducting some sort of dark ritual. There are candles, strange symbols everywhere, and a woman who has been completely drained of blood. Danny rips one of their hearts out and then stabs it with a stake. Hilda pulls out two stakes and moves in, dusting two more and dropping a third. Mack shoots another. Yun-Xun kicks and then stakes another vampire, and it dusts. The vampire that Hilda staked that didn’t dust opens its eyes and gets back up, moving so impossibly fast that it is barely visible. It then brutally attacks and bites her. Several more vampires go after Yun-Xun, who manages to avoid their attacks. Danny is also bitten. He rips the heart out of another vampire and stakes it, and then moves into a defensive position in front of Yun-Xun. Matthew also dodges and then decapitates two of the vampires. He notices that the vampire who is attacking Hilda is wearing a ring that seems to be infused with some dark magic and concludes this may be fueling its powers. He draws her attention to this. Hilda then moves to attack. She decapitates her vampire and as his body falls, rips the ring off of his hand. He also dusts. Yun-Xun takes a flying leap over Danny, kicks the final vampire repeatedly in the face, and then stakes it. Before it dusts, it says, “She has been found and the world will drown in blood.” There are symbols and writings on the wall of the tenement which the group recognizes are in Aramaic, but none of them can read. Hilda is shocked when she realizes the symbols are the same ones from her dream. The group takes pictures of everything and picks up the ring to take back to Anita at the Hive Arcana for further research.

Vampire_nest_bad_girls.jpg

The group heads back to the Hive Arcana to help work a big concert that is taking place there that evening. The band is an up-and-coming group called, “Priestess and the Prophets.” As they take the stage, Hilda is again shocked to see that their lead singer is the same woman from her dream.

Priestess_and_the_Prophets.jpg

Meanwhile, in Greece…

Darrek, Emily, and Henry are preparing to return to Pittsburgh. As they are packing up their belongings the night before they are due to catch their flight home, Darrek’s cell phone rings. He answers it and is surprised and delighted to hear the voice of Dr. Harrison Williams, one of his old professors from Cambridge University and a long-time friend of his father’s. Dr. Williams says he has made an archeological discovery of great importance, and that he needs to see Darrek urgently. There are tickets to Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus waiting for him and his family at the airport, and once they arrive he promises he will explain everything in person.

Darrek, Emily, and Henry head to the airport and board their flight. Upon landing in Nicosia, all three of them can sense the lingering energies of dark, blood-fueled magics, Sadicas, permeating everything. Transportation has already been arranged to take them to meet Dr. Williams at a local café and they are assured that their belongings will be waiting for them at their accommodations.

Nicosia_Cafe.jpg

Dr. Williams is delighted to see Darrek and meet his family. He tells Darrek that he has discovered a temple to Selene that contains the final resting place of Alexander the Great. His working theory is that the temple was designed to be sunk beneath the ground/sea level. It is only able to be accessed at certain times due to the tides. Dr. Williams’ team was able to gain entrance to the temple. Shortly after they did so, they discovered and described an alabaster jar engraved with symbols near Alexander’s sarcophagus. Suddenly there were terrified screams, pleas for help, and cries of monsters and creatures from Hell, and then their transmission to Dr. Williams went dead. Since this happened, there have been multiple murders in the city nightly, including a respected elderly woman whose eyes and liver were removed, 13 young men who were all exsanguinated, and 7 missing children. Scrawled in blood at the scenes of the murders is the phrase, “Hope is dead and She is risen!” Across the city there are rampant rumors of harpies and vrykolakas.

Dr. Williams looks directly at Darrek, “You and I both know that there are things in this world that are well beyond human comprehension. Whatever horrific genie we’ve accidentally unleashed must be put back in the proverbial bottle.” Darrek explains that he can contact the rest of the Blake Investigations team in Pittsburgh, but that it will likely take them a few days to travel there. Dr. Williams says that this conveniently lines up with the next window of time that the temple will be accessible, and that he will make sure they are outfitted and equipped appropriately and Darrek and the rest of the group will receive equal credit for this discovery.

Darrek then contacts Anita, who steps out of the Priestess and the Prophets concert to take his phone call. She says that there has been a significant increase in vampire activity across Pittsburgh recently, but that she can spare the group for a few days. Darrek then calls Matthew, who is reluctant to leave Pittsburgh and says Darrek and Henry are needed there. When Darrek tells him that he’s already spoken with Anita and she’s given her approval for them to go, he begrudgingly agrees.

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While Matthew is talking to Darrek, Hilda saves the lead singer of Priestess and the Prophets from a vampire attack when she steps outside in the alley behind the stage exit on a break. She passionately kisses Hilda, tells her that she loves her and has loved her all her life, and then runs off, leaving Hilda dumbfounded. After getting off the phone, Matthew informs the rest of the group that they are going to Greece and they head to the airport.

Dr. Williams shares some pictures that his team sent over to him before their transmission went dead. Darrek and Henry recognize some of the writing on the walls of the temple as Koine Greek, which Henry takes a stab at translating as Darrek has been tutoring him. He reads:

In a jar an odious treasure is
Shut by the gods’ wish:
A gift that’s not everyday
And her eyes, this in hand,
Command the best in the land
As she flits near and far;
Prettiness can’t stay
Shut in a jar.
Someone took her eye, he took
A look at what pleased her so
And out came the grief and woe
We won’t ever be rid of,
For heaven had hidden
That in a jar.

Darrek notes that the other writings seem to be some strange hybrid of Greek and Aramaic. He translates:

Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind;
The others have left and gone to Olympus.
Trust, a mighty god, has gone. Restraint has gone from men,
And the Graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth.
Men’s judicial oaths are no longer to be trusted, nor does anyone
Revere the immortal gods; the race of pious men has perished and
Men no longer recognize the rules of conduct or acts of piety.

Darrek and Henry question whether these could be references to Pandora’s box. They go back to their hotel and anxiously await the arrival of the rest of the group. Darrek carefully casts wards around their hotel. There are more murders across the city.

The next morning, the extremely jetlagged group arrives and joins Darrek and Henry, who are both looking very tan and drinking Greek coffee, for breakfast at their hotel’s café. Ever careful, Darrek casts a ward of silence, although the staff of the hotel seem like they could care less what a bunch of tourists are talking about. As they exchange information, they quickly realize that the strange happenings in Greece and in Pittsburgh are connected. Yun-Xun pulls up a picture of the writings and symbols from the tenement and shows it to Darrek, who easily translates the Aramaic:

Thus it is the Red God Rise, when the First Daughter of Men emerge
To consume the sanguine heart of men
And return from the world of sickly shade, a dark Anointed
When the line of killers ends, and frees
The Vrkolakas to spread darkness across the world
The stark reflection of her whose folly first unleashed the evil
The prophet’s lifeblood shall be the key to open the doors of darkness
Hope is dead
Hope is dead

The group agrees that they should patrol and see what they can learn about what is happening across Nicosia. Shortly after dark they set off. Hilda and Darrek both take off running towards the sound of screams and find themselves face to face with a Turok-han, a primordial vampire. Hilda, Matthew, Mack, and Yun-Xun all attack it to no avail. Henry then unleashes a powerful spell that manifests as a gigantic, flaming Dionysus that engulfs the ancient vampire, which subsequently dusts. Realizing that Mack’s gunshots are going to bring the authorities, the group makes a very hasty exit from the scene.Back at the hotel, Henry suggests sending out an elemental to try and find out if there is a Protector of this area that they could seek assistance from.

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The next morning, Darrek receives a call from the front desk that there is a young woman waiting downstairs asking for Henry. The group goes down to meet her. She introduces herself as Maia and explains that she is the Protector of Olympus and servant of Gaia. After everyone makes their introductions, she pulls Henry aside and in private performs a ritual that allows him to share her Protector abilities. She tells him that she believes she knows how they can draw Hope back into the jar and hopefully stop the evil that is rapidly spreading across the land. Darrek, Henry, and Maia begin to prepare the ritual.

Later that day, they all go to meet with Dr. Williams, who outfits them with equipment, including scuba gear, and instructs them how to access the temple.

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As the group exits the waters and looks around the cave, they can all sense Sadicas-the very air is thick with it. As their eyes adjust, they see a bas relief of Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s forces fighting Tiamat and Her children and are shocked to see several very familiar faces portrayed, including Anita and Matthew.

In the center of the room is an alabaster tomb of a handsome man roughly in his 30s in Greek dress. There are scrape marks on the sarcophagus and the lid has been partially moved.

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Nearby is another coffin which bears an inscription, but no carving. Darrek has to run the lost language through several alphabets to come up with an approximate translation, which reads:

Here lies the cursed anti-mother Lilitu. May she be ever entombed with and by the jar of misery

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Said jar lies on its side by the coffin, its lid broken in two. The bodies of Williams’ men lie dead everywhere, their cameras and recording equipment scattered throughout the temple.

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Suddenly, there is a flash of shadowy movement and creatures appear to melt out of the shadows. Mack shoots three of them, who disappear in puffs of smoke. Hilda fights another, which disappears likewise in a puff of smoke.

Darrek quickly casts an arcane barrier while Maia and Henry finish preparing the ritual. Just as they are ready to begin, all of the lights in the temple go out and they are in total darkness. Slowly, the torches on the sconces around the room begin to ignite, and the group finds themselves facing a very handsome man in Greek dress who is identical to the carving on the sarcophagus. He introduces himself as Alexander the Great. After a brief exchange with the group, when it becomes clear that they are not going to allow him to leave the temple, his face shifts and becomes a demonic visage-he’s a vampire.

Alexander the Great proceeds to hit Hilda hard. She drops her sword and attacks him. Matthew manages to disarm him. Mack shoots him twice. Yun-Xun jump kicks him in the face. Darrek, Maia, and Henry begin the ritual. As they do, everyone sees a symbol glowing red on the wall of the temple.

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Alexander dissolves into a blood red mist which significantly weakens Yun-Xun and Hilda. Matthew manages to shake off the effects. As the spell progresses, several Turok-han materialize. One of them charges towards the spellcasters and hits Darrek’s wards.
Matthew engages Alexander in single combat. Henry tries to expedite the spell and the Turok-han appear visibly weakened, but then brutally attack Yun-Xun and Hilda, both of whom are bitten. Yun-Xun hits one of them with a bolt of chi energy and it flies across the room. Hilda stakes two of them. A third hits her and she goes down. Matthew proceeds to decapitate Alexander, who instantly mummifies. Mack shoots the Turok-han who is preparing to rip Hilda’s throat out, and it dusts. Yun-Xun picks up Alexander’s head and runs towards Darrek’s ward. The ritual reaches a crescendo. All of the remaining Turok-han dust, and the dust enters the jar. The broken lid reforms and seals the jar shut.

Suddenly, there is a manifestation of Sadicas in the temple that blows everyone backwards into the walls. A beautiful woman in a red dress walks effortlessly through Darrek’s ward and proceeds to pick up the jar and tugs at the lid. She speaks in an ancient, long-forgotten language, which Darrek is able to (mostly) understand. She says to Alexander’s body, “Ah my love, you were a great man, but you have served your purpose. Rest once more.” Putting the jar back down, she says, “Hope. Hope is restored, but it won’t be enough.” Looking directly at the group, she says, “You are formidable adversaries, but you cannot stop the coming of the Crimson Caliph. We shall meet again.” Looking around, she finally says, “I am done with this place, keep it,” before disappearing in a wave of powerful Sadicas.

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Alexander’s body is laid back into his sarcophagus. Henry carries Alexander’s head over and after placing a coin in his mouth,turns it around and places iit at the feet of Alexander’s body. Matthew, Mack, Danny, and Darrek shut the heavy lid of the sarcophagus.

After giving the jar to Maia for safekeeping, the group makes their way out of the tomb. Dr. Williams is incredibly grateful and is more than willing to share credit for the discovery with the group, which everyone but Danny and Mack accepts. After thanking and saying goodbye to Maia, they board their flight and return to Pittsburgh.

Memorable Quotes and Moments

Re: Fighting
“We went to England and we suck now!”-Matthew

Re: Day drinking on the beach in Greece
“What color are we having today?”-Darrek
“Blue.”-Henry
“Oh yes, blue. I love blue days.”-Darrek orders drinks
“We need more fruit in these. Ask them to bring us some pineapple.”-Emily
“Pineapple’s yellow, though, so that’s right out. How’s blueberries?”-Darrek
pouting “…but I love pineapple…”-Emily
“If we soak the pineapple in another colored liquid it won’t be yellow anymore, like those flowers that they put in food coloring that turn from white to other colors.”-Henry
“That’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.”-Darrek

Re: Home
“How do you think they’re holding up without us?”-Henry
sipping his drink “Oh, I’m sure they’re fine.”-Darrek
cuts to scene of the group getting brutalized by vampires

Re: His new ringtone from The Powers That Be
“What the bloody hell is this?”-Darrek

Re: The sense of Sadicas permeating everywhere in Cyprus
“There’s something fuck-y in the air.”-Henry

Re: Dr. Harrison Williams
“Last time he saw me, I was a just barely 20-year-old lad.”-Darrek
“And now you’re a grown-ass man with a family and a career.”-Emily

“Professor Williams, this is my wife, Emily, and our son, Henry.”-Darrek
shaking their hands “Yes, yes, Henry! James told me all about you.”-Dr. Williams
“…of course he did.”-Darrek

Re: Finding Alexander the Great’s tomb
“Are you taking the piss?”-Darrek
Smiling “No, not at all.”-Dr. Williams

“Alexander the Great is my gay icon!”-Henry

“So I called James, and he said that you were in the country and that you would most certainly be able to help me.”-Dr. Williams
to Darrek “That’s like the closest you are ever going to come to your dad paying you a compliment.”-Henry

Re: Omar
to Darrek “Don’t die. Don’t you dare leave me with this dog.”-Anita

Re: the lead singer of Priestess and the Prophets
“I don’t know you, but I will die for you.”-Hilda

“You might be able to get Alexander the Great’s sword.”-Mack
“His sword is probably a big purple dildo.”-Matthew
“Hilda is not interested.”-Hilda

Re: Hilda’s crush
to Darrek “I left a beautiful girl behind to come here for you. This had better be important.”-Hilda
in perfect German “Your sacred duty is to fight vampires, not to flirt with girls.”-Darrek

Re: Perception check
“I got a 6. There’s only one woman I’m thinking about.”-Hilda

Re: Darrek and Henry getting ready to patrol
“Hey, don’t die. Omar would miss you.”-Emily
“Oh, really? She would, would she?”-Darrek

Re: Gunshots drawing the authorities
“Yeah, I really don’t want to get arrested again.”-Darrek
“Again?”-Yun-Xun

Re: Avoiding the police
to Henry “Aren’t you glad you’ve been joining me for my morning runs?”-Darrek

Re: Henry’s magic
running “That was GREAT!!!”-Danny
also running “I know, right?!”-Darrek

Re: Maia
greets her in Greek and introduces himself and everyone in the group-Darrek
in perfect English “Your mastery of our language is most impressive.”-Maia

Re: Evil unleashed
“It was a British academic.”-Henry
“Isn’t it always?”-Maia
makes strangled sounds-Darrek

Re: Introductions
“I shoot shit.”-Mack
“Yes, thank you, Mack!”-Henry

Re: Michele
“His mother is the nicest woman I have ever met.”-Henry
“She is very, very kind-hearted.”-Darrek
“You never lived with her.”-Matthew
“Neither did you!”-Henry

Re: Henry
“You didn’t have a teacher?”-Maia
“No. My mother died before she could train me.”-Henry
“Yeah, so I’ve been teaching him, but I’m not a Protector.”-Darrek.
“You are a sorcerer?”-Maia
nods-Darrek
“Well, that’s something.”-Maia

“Yun-Xun’s kicking puppies!”-Matthew

“Are they fantastic and/or supernatural?”-Matthew

Re: Alexander the Great’s titles
“Cool story, bro.”-Henry

Re: Persuasion
“You know, I really don’t think you want to go exploring.”-Darrek
“Yeah, man. People here think that the world is flat.”-Henry
“They’re fucking awful, just go back to sleep.”-Darrek

“You’re not going to let me walk out of that door, are you?”-Alexander the Great
laughing “No, of course not.”-Darrek

Re: Rolling a 1 for initiative
“It’s Alexander the fucking Great!”-Darrek

Re: Hilda pining over the lead singer of Priestess and the Prophets
“Lesbians. You met her once, and you’re already looking at real estate listings!”-Henry
“You’ve got more angst than my teenage son.”-Darrek

Re: Matthew
“Nephilim…I’ve dealt with your kind before. Sever the head and keep it separated for one minute.”-Alexander the Great

“Oh man, I forgot I learned that spell, ‘Kill Alexander the Great, specifically’,”-Henry

Re: Righteous Fury
“If someone goes down…”-Jason
“Give me a moment.”-Yun Xun

“Look, I’m just saying this would have all been over by now if Hilda had heroically committed suicide and thrown herself on top of the jar.”-Henry

Re: Wards
“Darrek, can I come in?”-Yun-Xun
Gestures wildly while chanting-Darrek

Re: Receiving credit for the discovery of Alexander the Great’s tomb
“Yes, please!”-Darrek

Re: Many, many insults about British academics
“Oh my god! You know that’s me, right?”-Darrek

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Episode 24
The Fate of the Yellow Sign, Part 2 (Season 1 Finale)

Chronicler: Julie

Video Link

Episode Synopsis

Darrek and Henry both have revelations while dreaming about how to approach the situation involving Cassilda. They meet with the group the next day and share their plans to first exorcise her, and then banish her back to Hastur. Darrek admits that while he is adept at both of these spells, he has never attempted using his magic in this way, and doing so will likely require an incredible amount of power. Despite this, he feels strongly that this plan is a viable alternative to attempting the Sadicas ritual that he found in the journal. Everyone agrees. Henry reveals the spell he discovered in the Library of Alexandria that should allow him to prevent Cassilda from using her time manipulation abilities and enable them to use the Mutari Generator to weaken her.

The group makes their plans: Matthew, Hilda, and Mack will go to the Byham theater and disrupt the play, and Darrek and Henry will make their ritual preparations at the Point with Dr. Armedt, Daniel, and the Rosicrucians, Anita and the Twilight Order, Dana, Jamie, and the Wicce, Father Bob, Yun-Xun and the Storm Dragons, the Kindred, and Danny and the other assorted Gifted who have pledged their assistance.

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Darrek hands over Cassilda’s diadem to Matthew requesting that he return it if he is able. He then gives Mack the Mutari Generator with strict instructions to only shoot Cassilda with it. Mack questions Darrek’s orders, but reluctantly agrees when Henry quickly comes to his defense.

Henry contacts Dr. Armedt and asks if he has any magical items which might assist his spell. Dr. Armedt gives him a dagger that is sacred to the Hindu god Ganesha. After grabbing some other items from the house, Darrek and Henry head to Point State Park to begin preparing.

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The rest of the group heads to the theater. Matthew and Hilda sneak in and see that the entire cast is wearing masks. Matthew swipes a mask and knocks out the player dressed as Aldones and stuffs his unconscious body into a sandbag after liberating him of his costume. There is a strong sense of Lyssicus everywhere, and the Yellow Sign can be seen on almost every surface imaginable backstage. Mack uses rubber bullets and a suppressed firearm to knock out the guards at the door and get inside.

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The play starts. Cassilda is the first one on stage and is the only one not wearing a mask. Waves of Lyssicus begin pouring out over the audience who are completely enraptured. Matthew immediately falls into rhythm and begins speaking the lines as if he knows them by heart. He recognizes Rebecca’s voice when she starts speaking. Matthew and Hilda both notice that the players are acting as if they’ve been drugged. Hilda remains hidden in the shadows backstage, acting as part of the stage crew. She finds the goblet full of poison intended for Rebecca/Camilla, and replaces it, letting Matthew know what she’s done while changing scenery.

The story arrives at the part where Cassilda and Aldones make love. During their scene together, Cassilda whispers something into Matthew’s ear. The next scene is of the masquerade ball. The level of Lyssicus energy grows.

Backstage, a hand falls onto Hilda’s shoulder and a very familiar voice says, “Bad girl. You shouldn’t be here.”

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Hilda spins around and finds herself face to face with the Joker, who is flanked by Carrie and Kay. He offers to help the group, explaining that in order for Cassilda to gain her full power, her four Heralds must be brought together…which they will be, if she kills him. He’s decided that he wants to live, but warns her that this is a one-time only offer. As he is talking, Hilda manages to move on the other side of him and, pulling out the antidote to his juice that Delia created from underneath her coat, stabs both Carrie and Kay with it. The Joker screams, “NO!”

At the same time, in the play, Rebecca/Camilla drinks the “poison” and begins to choke, but Matthew can tell that she is just acting. Cassilda realizes this also and begins to stalk the stage, furious.

The Joker charges across the stage, followed closely by Hilda. He attacks Cassilda, who blasts him with Lyssicus. He goes down onto his knees. Hilda picks him up and throws him over her shoulder, running for safety.

At the Point, everyone with the Gift feels the Hellmouth go active, and then a shock wave of Lyssicus erupt across the park.

Mack bursts into the theater and shoots at Cassilda. Matthew pulls out the diadem and moves towards her. When she sees it, she looks terrified. Looking around her and seeing her performance is in utter chaos, she suddenly disappears. Matthew can see a gateway where she was standing. He yells to Mack to get Rebecca/Camilla to the Point, and jumps through it and vanishes.

Hilda grabs Rebecca/Camilla and jumps into a waiting cab with Mack. The Joker is the cabbie. He cackles maniacally and drives recklessly across Downtown towards Point State Park, his head hanging out the window.

Cassilda suddenly appears at the Point and looks around at the assembled army of Gifted and supernaturals with a sneer. “Fine, we’ll do this the hard way.” She raises her hands and the Hellmouth rips open as her armies begin to rise and pour out of it.

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Seeing that she is distracted, Darrek takes advantage of the opportunity and casts a spell that Henry has never seen him use before. He senses a large swell of Essence from Darrek as he speaks a single word which appears to disorient and confuse Cassilda.

Henry then begins his ritual. Yun-Xun moves to defend him, as his focus is entirely on getting his spell off successfully. As he casts the spell, he can see Cassilda being physically affected by it. She is visibly shaken, and her anger grows. She growls, “If I can’t do it one way, I’ll do it another,” plunges her arms into the ground, and rips Michele out of the earth. As she does this, Henry hears Kokumthena scream.

At the same time, a powerful male voice bellows, “NO!” and Raphael charges Cassilda, the Heavenly Host flooding the skies behind him. Darrek throws a wave of Soulfire at her. Matthew suddenly appears behind Cassilda and throws his shoulder into her, knocking her out of the way. He then grabs his mother and gets her to safety.

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Anita (with apologies to Yun-Xun) brings her considerable necromantic powers to bear and raises the fallen Storm Dragons as zombies. They engage in battle with Cassilda’s armies.
A taxicab rolls up. Mack, Hilda, and Rebecca/Camilla spill out of the back as it fishtails away, the sound of the Joker cackling fading as it disappears.

Cassilda stands back up and unleashes a wave of madness on the group. Raphael closes and plunges his sword into her. Sam suddenly appears and furiously attacks the angel. Matthew runs over to Rebecca/Camilla and scoops her up, carrying her off to safety with his mother.

Darrek begins the Exorcism ritual, with assistance from Yun-Xun, Father Bob, and the Twilight Order necromancers. As he does, Mack shoots Cassilda with the Mutari Generator. Lightening erupts and wraps around her, visibly weakening her. The gun then shakes violently and explodes.

There is a swell of Lyssicus, and Sam plunges his hand into Raphael’s back, He screams and there is an explosion of power as Sam begins draining him.

Darrek takes advantage of this and draws on Raphael’s escaping Essence to power the Exorcism ritual. Everyone can feel Cassilda’s hold on the land and on Sam slip loose. Henry suddenly collapses. Darrek can sense the energies from him and from Cassilda being siphoned…by Aimee. He is enraged but remains focused on starting the Banishment ritual. Anita also senses it and recognizes the spell Aimee is using as the same one the Herald “Alan” was using on Hastur.

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Matthew brings Cassilda’s diadem to Darrek. As the ritual reaches its climax, he raises the crown above his head and snaps it in half with his bare hands. Staring down Cassilda, he says, “In the name of the true Queen of this world, I banish you,” and speaks the true name of the goddess Sophia. A massive wave of Essence washes over everyone.

Cassilda’s form goes fuzzy and she is drawn back towards the Hellmouth. Matthew runs forward and hits her, knocking her back through the gateway. There is another explosion of power and enormous wave of Essence which knocks everyone off their feet. The Hellmouth closes and all is quiet and still for a moment…and then the sound of sirens fills the air.

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Darrek rushes over to Henry and pours healing energies into him until he regains consciousness. He sits up and immediately asks where Aimee is. Darrek informs him that she unfortunately appears to have escaped in the midst of the chaos with her followers.

The police, emergency personnel, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security all flood the scene. Agent Barnes finds the group and introduces them to Agent Green, whom Darrek remembers. They thank the group for their heroic efforts in successfully preventing a serious terrorist attack by a group of radicalized students.

Just before she takes her leave, Agent Barnes grins and winks at them. “Not bad for your first assignment.”

As the group, dazed and exhausted, watches her walk away, Matthew tells the group that Cassilda revealed to him during the play that she is pregnant with his child.

Anita sighs and rolls her eyes. “Of course she is, you whore.”

Memorable Quotes and Great Moments

Re: Ideas
Darrek sits bolt upright in bed in the middle of the night, waking his wife
“Darrek, what is it?”-Emily
“I’m having a thought…”-Darrek
“I have to work a double tomorrow. I love you, honey, but I won’t be able to walk.”-Emily
Grinning mischievously “So take the day off…”-Darrek

Re: Matthew
“And then we’ll help him deal with his abandonment issues.”-Hilda
“Abandonment issues? My mother and my girlfriend were kidnapped, for Christ’s sake!”-Matthew

Re: Ritual Preparation
“I need Himalayan pink salt for the circle, and saffron as an offering for Ganesha.”-Henry
“Oh, not a problem, just grab some from the cupboard. Em’s got loads. She who controls the spice controls the universe.”-Darrek

Re: Autocorrect while texting
“The licorice is strong here.”-Matthew (when meaning to say, ‘Lyssicus’)

Re: Spices
“That’s high quality salt. It’s from Penzeys.”-Darrek
“Well, it’s all over the ground, now…”-Henry
“It’s fine. Em loves going to Penzeys. She’s so cute, just like a small child in a candy store.”-Darrek

Darrek offers Henry a Jelly Baby during ritual preparation to help calm his nerves.

Re: More ritual preparation
“Darrek? Should little Ganesha go in the North with the Nag Champa or in the South?”-Henry
Blinking “Ehm…let’s go with north.”-Darrek

Re: The circle
“That’s a fine circle.”-Darrek
“I’m quite proud of it.”-Henry
“You should be.”-Darrek

Re: Sensing the Hellmouth go active
“Oh boy…”-Darrek
“And we’ve officially arrived at worse.”-Henry

Re: Recklessness
“I’m a risk-taker.”-Mack
(Off-screen) “Oh, so that’s what we’re calling it now???”-Darrek

Re: Being quiet
“You know what else doesn’t make a lot of noise? Pistol-whipping!”-Henry

Re: The Hellmouth going active
“Guys, this is not good. I’ve been here before.”-Anita
“Darrek! The Hellmouth’s got bubble guts!”-Henry
“It needs an Alka Seltzer.”-Darrek

Re: Self-preservation
“I’d like to walk away from this with my skin intact.”-the Joker
“Skin is over-rated.”-Mike D.

Re: Decision-making
“Make your choice!”-the Joker
“I’m not attacking you!”-Hilda

Re: Shooting Cassilda
“Did I distract her?”-Mack

Re: Armies of darkness
“Two can play at that game, bitch.”-Anita

Re: Zombies
To Yun-Xun “Sorry not sorry!”-Anita

Re: The Joker
“I hate that guy!”-Yun-Xun
“I’m actually starting to like him a little bit.”-Mack

Re: Aimee
“Fucking bitch!”-Anita

Re: Cassilda’s diadem
“I thought you’d want it for your collection.”-Matthew
“Which collection do you mean? Poorly written papers? Psychological problems? Fun socks?”-Darrek
“Occult magical items.”-Matthew
“Sadly, that’s not part of my current catalogue.”-Darrek

Re: Cassilda’s secret
“What does that mean?”-Yun-Xun

Re: Complaint department
“Darrek, how do I go about filing a formal complaint against Aimee with the Rosicrucians? Because I want to do that, like post-haste.”-Henry
“Get in line.”-Darrek

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