Journal Posts

Epilogue
Father Rodriguez was just making a last circuit of Santa Marta's when he was startled to see the light on over the confessional. There was, the old priest knew, only one person who was likely to seat himself in the confessional at 11PM -- and who could do it so quietly that Rodriguez never even heard the church door open. He entered the worn booth and slid open the panel. He nodded and allowed himself a smile as the strong baritone rang out from the penitent's seat -- he doubted that El Toro even knew that he always used his in-ring voice.

"Bless me father, for I have sinned."

"I doubt that very much, Victor. Have you eaten? I was just going to have some dinner."

Father Rodriguez was always amazed that Victor could work his way through two full bowls of cochinita pibil and manage to never get so much as a spot on his suit. Somehow, he never got food on his suit. Blood, though -- yes, the old priest had seen blood on his suit too many times. He remembered a dark night, some five years before, when Victor had arrived at Santa Marta's at 3AM, covered in blood -- much, though not all, his own. If the padre had been a little slower, or been sleeping a little more soundly -- but no. His mother always told him that the world provided trouble enough without inventing more, and Victor had lived through that night -- and all the nights after -- and was alive now. Though he could not remember ever having seen him so troubled.

When they had finished eating (and El Toro had cleared the dishes, as he always insisted he should), the big man sat and looked at his hands for a long, long time. People often mistook Victor for being stupid, which Father Rodriguez felt was unfair. Victor was careful -- with his words, as with his strength. He could hurt others, or himself, if he wasn't.

"It used to be simple. Not often easy, but simple. You find what evil you can, you fight what evil you find. But now -- now, that isn't enough. My friends will die; most of them horribly. I have always known this. But, until recently, I don't think I've believed it. Understood it. I cannot escape that understanding any more. It haunts me. Battling evil is not enough; my life, given to this fight, is not enough." Victor spread his hands helplessly, and cast his eyes around the room, looking perhaps for comfort, perhaps for answers, and finding neither. "It is all I have, and it is not enough."

"You've done a lot, my son," Father Rodriguez said, wishing he could find less hollow words for a man who had done so much, suffered so much, and asked so little in return. "You've done all that one man could possibly do."

El Toro looked at him suddenly, a smile lighting his broad face. For the first time that night -- in many nights, Father Rodriguez had to admit -- El Toro had the old fire in his eyes. "Padre, I do believe you're right."

El Toro went to his bag and removed from it the most lovely cross Father Rodriguez had ever seen. This struck him as odd, as it was almost entirely without ornamentation. Still, the sight of it felt to the old priest like the first rays of the rising sun. He even went so far as to look out the window, in case they had talked until dawn. But no, the night was still dark outside the little church -- dark, but somehow less full of terrors than it had been a moment before.

"This is for Santa Marta," El Toro told him. "I can think of nowhere better for it to be, and no man more deserving of it than you. May it lift up your faith, the way you have always lifted up mine."

El Toro put the cross down and wrapped his arms around the old priest, as he always did when he was getting ready to leave.

"I'm going home to Mexico, Father. I'll be back, though." Renewed purpose lent even more power to the luchador's voice than it usually had.

"And I'll have company."
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Looking Back
From the Journal of Police Commissioner Stan Lewankowski

I remember the day the letter from the governor arrived. I was reading situation reports from officers in the waterfront district, where we believed the last of the vampires were dug into their nests. Sgt. Adams walked in and dropped it in the overflowing in-box on my battered desk in what remained of the central district headquarters. "I think you want to read this one, Chief," he said.

I opened the letter and saw the official letterhead. Adams should have dismissed himself, but was trying to be invisible. I let him stay, absorbed in what was in front of me.

Mr. Stan Lewankowski,

In light of the evidence and overwhelming positive reports on your actions during the recent crisis in Baltimore... blah, blah, blah... (more flowery stuff)... providing leadership after the murder of the mayor and suicide of the standing police commissioner... blah, blah, blah... thousands of lives saved... blah, blah, blah... organizing surviving police, emergency personnel and community volunteers... blah, blah, blah... developing guidelines for special weapons and tactics for these highly irregular emergency circumstances and sharing with police departments throughout the state and the National Guard... blah, blah, blah...

In honor of your service, I, Governor John Whitby of the State of Maryland, hereby formally pardon Stan Lewankowski for all crimes committed within the State of Maryland following his dismissal from the Baltimore Police Department nine years ago, up to and including the present day. I further officially acknowledge Mr. Lewankowski's service under the self-appointed title 'Acting Chief of Police'. Lastly, as of the date of this letter I am requesting Mr. Lewankowski to accept official appointment to the Office of Police Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department.

No single person has done more to rebuild and reorganize the police and emergency services in Baltimore, and there is simply no one more qualified for the position, or who has developed more trust and confidence with the people of the City of Baltimore.

Sincerely,

Hon. John Whitby, Governor of Maryland


I was quiet a long time, staring at the paper in my hands. Adams cleared his throat and brought me back to reality.

"Good news?" he prompted.

"I guess you can say that," I said. "Seems like I won't have to ditch town as soon as we open the borders and drop martial law conditions." I handed him the letter. "Get a memo out to all the precincts. Drop the fancy talk... just the facts. I'm the new Commissioner, but you can keep calling me Chief... I like that better."

I drove home that night to Marie and Bill's townhouse. I was staying there whenever I didn't simply crash on the cot in my office. Bill had lost his job a while back. He'd been helping me out with logistics for emergency services. He was a wizard of organization. It was good to see him with a purpose in life again.

Marie arrived home for dinner not long after me. She looked better too. I think the knowledge of what really happened to their kids and that the devils behind it were well and truly destroyed saved them from a downward spiral. It was good to see them both really living again. It was good for me to have family again too. I was back in my city, back home at last.
Session: Season 1, Episode 13 - Sunday, Oct 26 2014 from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Stan's Weekend Getaway - Part Three
Read Parts One and Two First

I knocked on the steel door outside the old industrial building along the railway. "Ruiz Custom Machining and Fabrication" was stenciled on the door. Several feet above the door was an older sign that simply read "Ruiz Machine Shop".

I could hear the TV on inside. I turned the knob and gently pushed the door aside as I peered in. Alex half turned from the TV, putting a 9mm pistol back down on the workbench as he saw it was me.

"Come on in, bro! I can't believe you did it," he said as he gestured at the news program. "I've been glued to it for hours. Work of art, my friend, a work of art."

"It will do for payment then?" I asked.

"Oh, hell yeah, esse. More than enough. Those fucks fuckin' fucked me over!" he grinned. "Oh, no one got hurt though, right?" he added as an after thought.

"There were two security guards on duty," I said. "I made sure they had an escape route before I started. They'll be fine. What'd those guys do to piss you off, anyway?" I asked.

"Freakin' corporate suits, man. They hired me for a couple of jobs. I thought, man, I'm finally making some real money for a real company. I'm going places. But they'd rather fuck the little guy than do the right thing," Alex said, turning more serious. "They got me to trust them. I showed them around the shop... some of my other projects. Next thing I know, they've stolen my ideas and are trying to bring them to market."

"Really? Well, you are a talented man, Alex," I said. "That's why I came to you." I'd met Alex through his older brother Lucas. He and I went through basic together. Later, when I was a cop, Lucas came to me because his little brother Alejandro was running with a gang. He'd gotten himself shot up pretty bad in a drive by. Luckily he'd survived and was smart enough to see it as a wake-up call. I put in a good word for him and the city dropped the charges they had on him for felony possession of a firearm. It'd been a good bet that turned out well. Alex started working in his dad's workshop, and eventually took over the business. Now he had four employees and business was growing.

"Turns out I'm not the first they screwed over. They spend more money on their legal department than on R&D for all of their divisions, can you believe that? They'd have tied me up in court and bankrupted me if I put up a straight fight. I've talked to others, and that's exactly what happened to them. It's not a one time thing, it's a freakin' business model."

"Glad I could help, then. This ought to set them back a few years. I made it look like something that went wrong in one of the labs. A "malfunction" in the fire suppression system let it spread throughout the building. Whatever work they stole from you is up in smoke, my friend." It wasn't my usual style, which is just as well. I wanted to keep a low profile, for now.

Alex smiled. "OK, let's get to why you're here. Come on in back and I'll show you the new suit."

I followed Alex's limping form back through a door, passing traditional machine shop tools like a metal lathe, drill press, and milling machine. Through another door and we passed a small area with computers showing 3D models of some of Alex's current projects. Two differently designed and very DIY looking 3D printers hummed away, while a CNC machine milled parts from a sheet of aluminum. Finally we entered a room at the back. Alex flipped on a light and I could see we were in a storage room with lots of shelves of parts and equipment. In one open corner stood the suit on a rack.

"Well, man," he said grinning ear to ear, "what do you think?"

"I think a military surplus shop threw up on the Batman costume," I said as I took in the heavy looking armored get up suspended on a rack.

"More like a cross between modern tactical gear and a medieval suit of armor," he said. "Actually I got a lot of ideas researching that old stuff. I thought you'd like the urban camo look."

"The camo pattern is fine. How much does that thing weigh?"

"Not as much as you'd think, esse, I promise," he smiled. "It's all modern composite materials. There's a framework of supports throughout that'll help spread the force of impacts across the structure. In between are carbon fiber-resin surfaces that are super tough."

I must have looked doubtful. "Look man, I based everything on the requirements you described: ability to absorb a lot of blunt force, tear proof surfaces, covers almost all of the body, lots of protection around the neck, and... why the hell did you want all that silver anyway?"

"I'd rather not get into that-"

"Whatever, man. Look, all the edges are rimmed with silver piping, brushed so it won't be too reflective. But the really cool bit is the resin. I used silver dust for the aggregate and woven silver fibers throughout. I don't understand why you wanted as much silver as I could manage. It doesn't add anything functional, but it doesn't take away anything either."

"That's brilliant, Alex!"

"That's what I'm sayin', man!" he beamed. "Even though it makes no sense to me. What are you going up against anyway, a freakin' grizzly bear?"

"That's a close enough estimate."

"Well, I wouldn't want to do it, but if I had to... I'd want to be wearing this. Come on and we'll get you suited up. You start with this padded Kevlar under-layer..."

Two hours later, I was beginning to get used to the added weight and the changes to mobility. Alex had made dozens of adjustments, fine tuning the suit to my body.

Alex tossed me a matching helmet that looked like it might have started life as either a police riot or motorcycle helmet. The visor was shatter-proof polycarbonate over the eyes with the lower section more armored carbon fiber matching the suit. When I put the helmet on it nested neatly in the high protective collar of the suit, leaving little or no openings to be exploited. I pulled on the gauntlets and lowered the visor and asked, "How do I look?"

"Fuckin' badass, man. You look like someone's nightmare in that thing."

"Exactly right," I grinned back.

Time to head home. I got what I needed.
Session: Season 1, Episode 10 - Sunday, Jul 20 2014 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Stan's Weekend Getaway - Part Two
Read Part One First

I drove the van to another part of town and pulled up diagonally opposite to another familiar place. A townhouse I used to know pretty well.

Signs of neglect here were even worse than at Marie and Bill's. Garbage bags were piled just inside the front gate, and some junk that was once a motorcycle. I knew that bike. I'd helped the Captain work on it weekend after weekend all summer. He loved that thing, and now it sat in disarrayed pieces.

It was later now. Into the small hours when things get still and quiet. My time.

Getting inside was easy. I knew the place, but even had I not, the front porch light was out and the alarm unused. I made use of one of those lock pick guns Baxter introduced me to. Nice toy.

All quiet inside. My eyes adjusted and I saw the inside was worse than outside. Half folded laundry overflowed a basket on one side of the couch, with a dozen beer bottles on the small table next to it. Two, no three pizza boxes sitting on the coffee table. By the smell they had been there a while. No one downstairs. I crept up the stairs staying to the side where the supports near the wall would make the boards creak less.

I might not have bothered. Half way up the stairs I could hear heavy snoring coming from the master bedroom. I peeked into Jerry's room on the way down the hall. It looked like no one had been there for a while. You can tell, somehow.

Down to the room with the snoring. I pushed in and looked around. Even more of a mess here. Sleeping on one side of the disheveled bed was the Captain. No sign of Maggie. This certainly didn't look like how I remembered her keeping house, either.

"Wake up."

Surprisingly, the Captain woke quickly and went for his bedside holster. I'd already emptied it. I cleared my throat and waved the gun non-threateningly, I felt, in my gloved left hand. Then I placed it out of reach.

"Who's that? What do you want? Why are you-"

He slowed, recognition dawning. Dim light from the street light filtered in past the shade a little. "Stan, is that you?"

"It's about time we had a little talk. About the monsters."

"Oh, Stan. Stan, I'm so sorry. I really am, man. You deserve an explanation. You do. But I can't. I can't tell you about it. It's too dangerous for you, and definitely too dangerous for me."

"No," I said. "You're going to talk to me about it. You're going to tell me everything I want to know... and I want to know a lot."

The Captain had sat up in bed and pulled the covers around his waist and legs. Now he started to look a little panicked. "Did any one see you? Does anyone know you're here?"

"Not a soul."

"Look, no one can know you came to my house. They watch the place sometimes. I know they do. If they knew you were here..."

"You are going to tell me."

"I won't. I don't care about myself. You don't have anything to hold over me. Maggie took Jerry and left. The strain of the job was too much for us. I could have fought to stay together, but something told me they'd be better off far away from me. They left the state, but they could find them. It's gotten so bad. It's so much worse than it was when you were here last."

"You will talk to me."

He just started shaking his head and wouldn't stop. "No, no, no, no, no," he was in a full on panic now.

I unsnapped a pocket and pulled out the picture. I tossed it at his face and he reflexively snatched at it. It took a moment for him to focus on it and turn it so he could see.

Will and Annie. The picture was taken in the Captain's own back yard. Summer vacation and the kids home from school. His own son Jerry was in the background.

"Let's talk," I said. More kindly, I hope. I think I heard him sob. I could sense the change in his resolve. He'd open up.

"I already know a lot," I started. "There's a whole bunch of vampires in the city. And a network stretching out to other nests in other cities all over the country. I know."

He looked up at me now. Seeing me clearly for the first time. "You've changed some, Stan."

"I know. I know what's going on. I know they can corrupt the police and probably just about anyone else they want to. But I'm still going to stop them. I've been fighting the monsters, Captain. It's what I do now. I can make this stop. And you don't have to do anything really... just share a little information."

He looked at me like I was crazy. Well, I couldn't really blame him for that. But there was something else in that look. Was it a shadow of remembered hope? Slowly, he started talking. Sharing more and more. Finally talking nearly non-stop, the information I needed pouring out of him.

Locations. Numbers. Habits. Confirmation that they owned the police and other civil authorities wholly now. He talked for a couple of hours, until there was nothing more to say.

"You should get out of this city," I said. "Just leave one day very soon and don't look back until it's safe. You'll know when. You'll hear about it."

I'm not sure he believed me, but there was really nothing more I could do for him. Poor lost soul. He used to be my Captain. I backed out quietly when he leaned his head on the bed post and closed his eyes. I doubt he noticed when I left.

A useful stop. Just a couple more little errands to do before heading home.

Session: Season 1, Episode 10 - Sunday, Jul 20 2014 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Stan's Weekend Getaway - Part One
While everyone was recuperating, I decided to take care of a little business back home in Baltimore... and maybe do a bit of scouting.

First stop, Marie's house. I figured I'd see how she and Bill were getting along since... well, since the incident. Not so good, it seems. The house didn't look the same. Even in the dimming evening light, I could see the lawn was untamed, and Marie's normally well-kept garden had gone to seed.

I wasn't going in. Hadn't been in contact since I went off on my own. I knew too much they didn't know. I couldn't face them. Too many questions with answers they wouldn't accept and didn't deserve to suffer through.

I just sat in the van parked down the street, not directly across. I'd redone the paint again. Hertz rental this time. I sat and watched the quiet house and looked for signs of life. As the last light faded, the kitchen light turned on. I saw Bill's form moving around, getting dinner ready. Pouring himself a drink... and another... and another. He didn't used to drink hardly at all. Maybe one or two beers at a weekend BBQ. Not a good sign.

I might have dozed a bit. Still pretty banged up from the fire fight. Aches and pains bringing back memories of what caused them. My attention came back to the house as a car pulled up. Same car, just a bit older. It parked in the driveway and out stepped Marie. Same Marie, just a bit older.

The lights on the driveway had turned on when the motion sensor caught the heat of the car moving through its field of view. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I automatically cataloged the detection range and angles. Filed away like I was on a stake out or surveilling a target.

The light caught Marie's face and I caught my breath. She'd aged. Even from here I could see grey hair and lines that didn't used to be there. Her face unguarded in what she thought was a private moment, I saw resignation and emptiness. She seemed to steel herself before walking inside.

I sat and watched them a while. They ate. They talked a bit. Something was missing. I know what was missing. So did they. And nothing was going to bring it back. I'd seen enough. Time for my next stop.
Session: Season 1, Episode 10 - Sunday, Jul 20 2014 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Season 1, Episode 9 - "Bloodied"
While recovering from the battle with Cerrunos, thoughts turn to the lead Morrigan left with Stan. Rather than charge into Baltimore after the vampire covens, where they will be on unfamiliar territory and outnubered, the group decides to attempt to draw in the youth vampire they encountered before. [Remember? Back in Episode Two -ed]

In a warehouse by the river, the trap is set. Stan attracts some attention from the police in the course of setting explosives but it able to to back out of custody.

Vladimir Baltensign appears to be in Baltimore from the scrying, but the note he left should be enough of a lure, so IV uses it to summon him. They track him coming up through New Jersey, and sense but cannot stop him from feeding, As dawn approaches, he has not arrived. IV and El Toro go dowsing and locate the vampire safely ensconces in the local police station.

Just before sundown, a group of mooks come up from the water and attack Stan. He leads them over some explosives. He notes that they are armed with tranquilizers. It seems they may be off duty police, though is not clear whether they are dupes or thralls. The fight spreads out into the back lot, and into the larger room of the warehouse.

IV steps out of her warded office to check the security cameras. As she is distracted by the screens, two (count 'em, two) vampires enter the room. One is Vladimir and the other is an adult chaperone of some sort. It appears this is meant to be a lesson of some kind. IV surprises the elder by throwing fire at the vampires, but it is not enough to stop them, and they start walking IV to their car.

Baxter, El Toro and Stan have the fight well in hand when they notice this and fire at the vampires. The Elder leaps over to show them how this is done. IV turns an incinerates the Younger, in order to distract the Elder, and seeing to it that the boy will learn nothing from this, or ever again.
Session: Season 1, Episode 9 - Sunday, Jun 08 2014 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Season 1, Episode 8 - Stand
Cerrunos rises out of the edge of the woods and steps over the ring of blue fire, taking his own sweet time approaching the cabin. The group makes a mad dash for the cars.

Lily drives Stan's van as Stan prepares his armaments. Kate takes the wheel of Baxters company car to leave his gun hands free and give him a chance to stabilize himself. El Toro tosses IV into the Mastretta. For some reason nobody is inclined to let IV run around loose on her motorcycle. Hern fires an arrow, giving Baxter's company car a moonroof. IV attempts to call up the road mist to cover their escape, mostly managing to make Cerunnos' stag-mounted pursuit look that much more menacing.

IV attempts to personify the Mastretta to give it a boost, which somehow merges El Toro and his car and transforms him into a mystical bull with IV on his back. The effect spills out, but fails against Stan's Van's protections and is warded away by Kate, who is having none of that nonsense. IV fires a silver bolt back at their pursuer, but takes one of his arrows as well. El Toro goes off road and has IV dismount so he can turn and charge. Baxter has Liiy pull over at a switchback and prepares to take a shot.

El Toro makes a mighty leap as Baxter fires. IV calls on Morrigan as Kate stands uphill and draws the power of the earth, and Lily attunes herself to Cerunnos' power and syphons it off...

Morrigan appears, has a few sharp words about IV's death wish rather than intervening in an obviously useful way. IV calls up her fire and throws it at Cerrunos, while El Toro becomes a minotaur goring the nature god, and Baxter lines up another shot. Now Morrigan intervenes, offering Cerrunos a deal in return for not letting this manifestation of himself get destroyed.

In various levels of battered (but all back to human form) the group finds a hospital to rest. El Toro has to dodge a nurse who is a bit too much of a fan. Stan has a visit from Morrigan, who leaves a magazine behind.

Mad Stan has a police contact bring him files on some Richard Walkin person, based on prints he got from a magazine Morrigan was reading. It leads him to Maryland. It may be a lead on the monsters that killed his niece and nephew. IV analyze the data and maps. It appears to be vampire covens. There are five clusters in Baltimore and five in Washington DC.

They ask Baxter if theta knows about the vampires and they don't
Session: Season 1, Episode 8 - Sunday, May 25 2014 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Bloodied
From the Journal of Mad Stan

Got back to the van. Peeled off my gear and found it wet with my own blood and sweat. Don't remember getting hit that many times. Slapped some quickclot pads on. Stopped the bleeding. Now it hurts. Exhausted, but wanted to get some notes down before I pass out.

Weapons and Protection

UV Lights:
Only minor effect. Maybe higher intensity. Look into UV laser. Try different frequencies? Probably not a killing weapon.

Magical Fire:
I.V.'s magical fire worked well. Perhaps non-magical fire would work too. Beef up the DIY flame thrower? Hard to avoid collateral damage.

Fire Power:
Baxter did some major damage with that sniper rifle. Look into higher power firearms with more stopping power than Glock and the Remington. Snagged an M4 off one of those "NSA consultants". Maybe add an under barrel shotgun or grenade launcher.

Armor
Risk losing some mobility. Consider hard armor. Master vamp was even more freakishly strong than his twit protege.

Vampire Notes

Observed Vampire Abilities
  • Mesmerize (previously confirmed)
  • Turn into animals (bat confirmed)
  • Turn into shadow or mist (confirmed)
  • Jump really high and far (confirmed)
  • Magic (confirmed)

Observed Vampire Weaknesses and Behaviors
  • UV light (minor affect confirmed)
  • Heavy trauma (confirmed)
  • Holy water (un-confirmed)
  • Blessed items (un-confirmed)
  • Magic fire(confirmed)
  • Master/protege relationship (confirmed)

Enough. Must sleep.

Update: Got a few hours sleep. Woke up stiff and hurt all over, but still ticking.

Notes from encounter

Good news: Nobody died (at least not from our team), we killed teen-vamp.
Bad news: Failed to get any real intel, pissed off master vamp, may have to consider collecting a paycheck from the ThUGs.

Consolation prize: That building blew up really nice. Fell just where I wanted it to and covered our tracks. I hope they send the bill to Baxter.

Ironic that cops covering evidence of monster attacks with bombs is exactly what made me lose my shit in the first place. Well, that and... the other thing.

We do know a little bit more. Seems like lots of vamp action down in Baltimore. It's inevitable that we'll have to go down there. I just hope we'll be ready.
Session: Season 1, Episode 9 - Sunday, Jun 08 2014 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Vacation is Over
From the Journal of Mad Stan:

Well, the team managed to put down Cernunnos (or Hern, or whatevertheheck). That wasn't such a chore.

Of course, after the fight with the werewolves in the prelude, where my skills (preparation, battle experience, setting up a defensive line, etc) were key, I primarily contributed to the fight against the big god of the hunt by not getting mangled.

El Toro, bless him, transformed and took on the brunt of the fight (ok, pretty much all of it) quite impressively. The rest of the team pulled together pretty well. At least we managed an orderly retreat before the big rumble.

So for me, that second round of the fight was comparatively laid back. But vacation is over.

I asked for (and got) my first major lead on the vamps the did in my poor niece and nephew. We're coming up on the anniversary of that day, and I'm just about sick of waiting to put those monsters in the ground... permanently.

However, it looks like this is bigger than I ever imagined. Signs point to a HUGE network of vampire covens (or nests, or whatevertheheck), all over the U.S. I was going to head off to Baltimore to take care of this myself, and maybe let Lilly and El Toro tag along for support. But this is going to take the whole team. This is going to take planning. This may be the fight of our lives.

No one, not even Baxter's damn Theta (Upsilon Gamma, or ThUGs, as I like to think of them), knew about this vampire network. If we run into this half-assed, we'll all be dead before we know what happened.
So, I'll take a step back. I'll plan. I'll work with the team and make sure we know what the !#$#%&! we're heading into.
Because those vampires are NOT going to get away from me this time. I will end them... and if I have to take down the whole vampire network to do it, then I will.

Maybe we need to start with that little brat of a teen-vamp...
Session: Season 1, Episode 8 - Sunday, May 25 2014 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Season 1, Episode 7- "Flight"
Concerned about the advent of the Wild Hunt, IV goes to the secret mystical section of the NYC Public Library. There, she discovers the secret to being able to being allowed to check out books, which is to tell the librarians that you've been targeted by the Wild Hunt. This is also the secret to being given the bum's rush. She returns to Kate's and begins to work on her Hiding Cloak. She offers one of the library books to Kate as a peace offering.

Mad Stan is interested in re-arming himself, and gets El Toro to call up his fan Father Hernandez to bless a lot of armament and some water. Baxter reports in to THETA, although he has somewhat edited his report. In the course of securing the area around Kate's, they discover that a new storefront is opening across the street - "A Touch of Jazz" owned by Dr. Janice Stone (husband, Charles). Kate, in the course of securing her space, discovers that Stan has left at least one camera in her apartment.

IV, worried about collateral damage, finds an isolated cabin in Vermont and heads up there without the others, riding a motorcycle Stan provided. The others try to track her down without much success, as her Hiding Cloak turns out to work quite well, actually. They get the idea of tracking the Wild Hunt's movements instead, which gives them a good enough target to head towards Vermont, in Stan's Van, El Toro's Mastretta MXT, and a rental Ford Fiesta . The find the off-season cabin cluster surrounded by wolves and (to mystic senses) a wall of warding fire:


Stan sneaks around the perimeter, dropping explosives like rabbits drop pellets. Baxter, El Toro, and Kate come to the front door, which is wise, as the back door is booby trapped with Chekhov's frying pan. Shortly thereafter, Huron's wolf-men attack the cabin.


El Toro gets a bit mauled, Stan's explosives do for several wolves and a porch, Baxter hauls out his second sight and gets blinded by a magic lightning bolt IV calls down. As things look bas for both wolfmen and heroes, IV tosses off the cloak to help El Toro.

Over the Horizon, Hern strides forward. Kate burns a feather to call forth the Morrigan. The mortals prepare to dash for the cars and flee...
Session: Season 1, Episode 7 - Saturday, Apr 26 2014 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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RE: Season 1, Episode 5 - "Wrath"
Stan's Side (How Mad Stan Viewed this Episode)
I can't wait to get out of this hospital bed. First thing I'm going to do is twist I.V.'s silly head off. That woman is a walking, talking magnet for supernatural trouble. She's going to get me killed, if she doesn't kill herself first.

That demon. While it was riding me, I was so filled with rightous rage. I've felt that before, but never like this. It was total. It was everything. It scared the living crap out of me.

Usually, the answer with monsters is just to get a bigger gun, a bigger boom, or sometimes the right weapon. Demons? I don't know what to do with that.

And the collateral damage... we burned down a church in the fight. Well, I guess I.V.-Demon did it, but we were there fighting it.

Time on my back in the hospital was time to think. If we're going to be fighting things that are literaly unholy, we need some juice. Maybe El Toro knows a priest we can get some help from... someone who won't freak out when we pull the covers back on his reality.

This has possibilities... blessed vats of holy water, weapons made with holy relics, etc. If I can get some help from the more spooky members of the group on the research. What kills a demon? Can you kill a god? Let's not forget, what's the best way to kill those goddam blood-sucking vamps.

Theory is great, but this may require some field tests. I wonder if I can track down a weaker vampire and store him where the others won't know about. Next time I face that vampire, I want to be ready.

And one day, I'll find the vampire that did it. I'm going to make him pay. It won't bring them back, but I don't care. He's going to pay.

I.V. Yount, Ph.D.
original airdate: Sunday 09 February 2104

We open in media res. In a clearing in Central Park, a werewolf in the remains of a postman’s uniform is hanging on El Toro’s back. Mad Stan and Baxter are moving around in the bright moonlight trying to take down more of the beasts and protect some civilians who have gotten into the mix. IV, reasoning that werewolves draw power from the moon, calls in cloud cover, and holds an image of the full moon on her phone to try to influence the creatures. This also plunges the entire fight into darkness, with predictable results. Lily works out that these werewolves are all from careers that carry a greater than average chance of being bitten by dogs. She manages to scratch a glyph and free one of the beasts, just before the sun rises and the remaining creatures return to their human forms, either healed, or dead.

Stan, Lily, and El Toro abscond to Stan’s Van, as they are in need to patching up. Baxter and I.V. are picked up by the police as material witnesses. I.V. is released relatively quickly, as weirdness is not grounds for incarceration. Baxter has a bit more of a time of it, but does eventually leave the clutches of New York’s Finest without picking up any new charges.

Lily calls around to the companies whose uniforms were identifiable from the monsters in the park along with the names from the badges found. She is able to narrow down the likely locus of dog biting incidents to a long block leading into Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side. I.V., demonstrating her usual sense of self-preservation, decides that she will attempt to “Tune In” to the werewolf vibe while walking down the block. She asks someone to come along to keep her from bumping into people and Mad Stan, demonstrating his usual sense of impending doom, volunteers for the job. They spot a charming local canine bounding its way towards them down the sidewalk, dragging his person in tow.



Mad Stan has prepared for this eventuality and has a set of shaped charges in a velcro collar designed to throw silver into whatever it sticks to. After firing off a distress text to El Toro and Baxter, he flings it into Mister Tiddles’ fur in passing, resulting in a fountain of blood, a dead dog and… the malign force trailing him down the street seeking a new home. I.V. texts him to let him know he is probably possessed, which causes him to behave in an unaccountably cranky manner, but he does stop and let her catch up. She pulls him into an alleyway and using the convenient dog blood she’d just taken a bath in as ink, sets a binding for the incorporeal.

On the plus side, the binding seems to have properly set. On the minus side, the force in question now seems to be not a common case of lycanthropy but an actual demon of wrath, which is likely more powerful than a quickly sketched ward. El Toro arrives with Baxter and Lily driving around the block. Stan applies a massive effort of will and extracts himself from the ward, leaving the demon inside the wards, where it proceeds to look like escaping. As Baxter starts to drag Stan to safety, I.V., demonstrating her usual sense of self-preservation, makes the mistake of challenging the demon, giving it the chance to leap into her.

As I.V. slowly begins to show signs of possession, the group moves to the stairs of a nearby church. Stan runs inside seeking holy materials of some sort, while El Toro attempts to contain the situation. I.V. has, at this point, become rather larger and stronger than she should have been, as well as developing a slight case of being on fire, both aspects causing some damage to her companions. Baxter and Lily manage some creative parking and charge in. Lily attempts to scribe another set of banishment glyphs, but the demonic influence is able to rewrite them from under her hands and the result is an intensification of the firestorm. Stan, holy wafers in hand, tackles the possessed woman, and holds her in place as Baxter and El Toro are finally able to do enough damage to banish the demon.

Stan and I.V. must both be rushed to the emergency room, as El Toro tries to come up with some reasonable explanation for how two people came to be burned, battered, and shot.

Some weeks later, as everyone is more or less back on their feet, a tall woman in a black feathered cape walks into Kate’s and asks, “So, about my cow hides…”

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RE: Season 1, Episode 6 - "Visitation"
Stan's Side (How Mad Stan Viewed the Episode's Events)
Things were just starting to gel with this group, but now, I don't know. I spent last week being mad at I.V for her crazy actions that got me possessed by a rage demon and burned down a perfectly good church. All this spook stuff is really weirding me out. Monsters are one thing, but demons and gods? It was enough to make me root around in the van for my old crucifix. Haven't worn that in years...

Anyway, I got over I.V.'s behavior. It was actually pretty brave of her to take the demon into herself. She's always doing crazy dangerous stuff, but I guess she's more qualified to deal with the spooky-side than me. Got to remember to apologize.

Oh, then what happens? A freakin' bona fide goddess walks into the bar. It sounds like the setup for a bad joke, and guess who the joke is on?

Alright, I give this Hecate her due credit. She's about order and dealing out punishment for wrongs done. She's the ultimate authority, but I've lost all my respect for the authorities. How do I deal with one that may actually live up to the job?

Then she started in with this 'mistress' crap. NO FREAKIN' WAY. There's a name for the guy on the other side of that relationship, and I want no part of it. Totally walked into that one. I guess I'm going to have to lean on people like Kate, I.V. and Lilly to guide me through this crap. Even goddam Baxter knows more about spooks than me. Guess it takes one to know one.

Case in point: I thought we ought to burn that table Hecate wrote on, but Kate wouldn't hear of it, no matter how many times I tried. Turns out it's a cosmic cell phone to Hecate, only it only does text messages. I still don't trust it, though. Hecate is keeping her eye on us at Kate's, and that's why I'm keeping an eye on Kate's too.

It was simple enough to install some listening devices in the table and wall I repaired. I even snuck a fisheye camera into the wall. I don't think the others will notice. This way, if something goes down at Kate's while I'm not there, I'll know. I couldn't bring myself to put anything in Kate's private rooms. There are limits.

I'm getting more comfortable about having people in the van. We had to drive hours to get to that funny farm up North. Never had so many people in my space for so long. All the dangerous stuff is locked up, mostly. As long as they don't go snooping, I don't think anyone will tigger any of the booby traps.

Well, now I.V. has stepped in it again. Apparently she's been noticed by some weird supernatural hunt. I can't imagine that'll be good. I better gear up for this. I'll ask Kate what works good against the fey, or whatever you call 'em.

When it comes down to it, these super-power things are all the same. If they start hurting innocent people, they're monsters. And there's only one thing to do with them... blow 'em all up.

I.V. Yount, Ph.D.
original airdate: 09 March 2014

Some time before the opening scene, Baxter has committed acts of research and found a name to pin on the wrath entity encountered in Episode 5. He is in the Theta database as Shax.

A woman in a black feathered cloak sweeps into Kate's. IV recognizes her at the entity she encountered at the end of Episode 4 and had dubbed "Hecate". El Toro quietly clears the bar of civilians. She requests a return of 'her' cow hides and expresses her displeasure that our heroes had chosen not to re-curse the former bovines. She feels very strongly that once punishment has been laid down, it is not to be averted. Some bickering ensues about whether our heroes had done wrong, given their limited information, and regarding what right this entity has to swoop in an criticize. Only Mad Stan meets her approval, and she tells him to call her Mistress. When finally presses to provide credentials, she runs out of patience and snaps Kate's wards in order to walk the hides out more or less under their own power. She leaves, etched in the table, a list of her names (long, though surely not comprehensive) as a calling card. Hecate is among them, as are Hela, Morrigan, Louhi, Isis, and Coatlicue.

Kate and IV take some time to repair the Haven wards.

Baxter shortly hears that Hecate has sprung Polyphemus from custody, presumably to be chastised for his dereliction of duty. When news comes in or some sort of raid or breakout from the facility holding the ex-bovines, it seems as if this is the next step. This impression is broken when the table shows new text, "Did you take my prisoners?" IV writes back in beer, "We thought it was you." This results in "I see. Carry on." and silence.

The results in some debate. On the one hand, the ex-bovines should never have been anyone's problem but Polyphemus'. On the other hand, it's probably not a good idea to let Hecate get any more annoyed, given her likely choice of targets to vent her annoyance. The group piles into Stan's Van and the station wagon and find their way to upstate, where the mental facility is located. The ex-bovines appeared to have some sort of fit of hysteria and ran out into the forest and seem to be heading towards Canada. Stan interfaces with the police to track these activities.

In the woods behind the institution, there are various tracks, mostly left by the ex-bovines, but also including a set that seems to belong to a large stag. IV attempts to cast a divination and somewhat overcasts, landing herself in a vision of being chased by a pack of dogs and ultimately facing the pack and their leader, who looks her straight in the eyes and suggests that she give him a good chase. IV is able to pinpoint the likely location of their target(s), but uncharacteristically asks to go home instead of charging forward. The rest of the group, considering that a rather ominous sign, choose to return to Kate's and check in with the Mistress.

Kate asks via table-gram what the ex-bovine's crime was, and is told, "disturbing the peace". IV reports her encounter with what she presumes is the Wild Hunt and the Mistress decides to drop back in. She figures that if she wants to catch the Horned Man and the hunt, all she has to do is watch their next target and take them down at her convenience.

Session: Season 1, Episode 6 - Sunday, Mar 09 2014 from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Viewable by: Public
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Season 1, Episode 6 - "Visitation"
original airdate: 09 March 2014

Some time before the opening scene, Baxter has committed acts of research and found a name to pin on the wrath entity encountered in Episode 5. He is in the Theta database as Shax.

A woman in a black feathered cloak sweeps into Kate's. IV recognizes her at the entity she encountered at the end of Episode 4 and had dubbed "Hecate". El Toro quietly clears the bar of civilians. She requests a return of 'her' cow hides and expresses her displeasure that our heroes had chosen not to re-curse the former bovines. She feels very strongly that once punishment has been laid down, it is not to be averted. Some bickering ensues about whether our heroes had done wrong, given their limited information, and regarding what right this entity has to swoop in an criticize. Only Mad Stan meets her approval, and she tells him to call her Mistress. When finally presses to provide credentials, she runs out of patience and snaps Kate's wards in order to walk the hides out more or less under their own power. She leaves, etched in the table, a list of her names (long, though surely not comprehensive) as a calling card. Hecate is among them, as are Hela, Morrigan, Louhi, Isis, and Coatlicue.

Kate and IV take some time to repair the Haven wards.

Baxter shortly hears that Hecate has sprung Polyphemus from custody, presumably to be chastised for his dereliction of duty. When news comes in or some sort of raid or breakout from the facility holding the ex-bovines, it seems as if this is the next step. This impression is broken when the table shows new text, "Did you take my prisoners?" IV writes back in beer, "We thought it was you." This results in "I see. Carry on." and silence.

The results in some debate. On the one hand, the ex-bovines should never have been anyone's problem but Polyphemus'. On the other hand, it's probably not a good idea to let Hecate get any more annoyed, given her likely choice of targets to vent her annoyance. The group piles into Stan's Van and the station wagon and find their way to upstate, where the mental facility is located. The ex-bovines appeared to have some sort of fit of hysteria and ran out into the forest and seem to be heading towards Canada. Stan interfaces with the police to track these activities.

In the woods behind the institution, there are various tracks, mostly left by the ex-bovines, but also including a set that seems to belong to a large stag. IV attempts to cast a divination and somewhat overcasts, landing herself in a vision of being chased by a pack of dogs and ultimately facing the pack and their leader, who looks her straight in the eyes and suggests that she give him a good chase. IV is able to pinpoint the likely location of their target(s), but uncharacteristically asks to go home instead of charging forward. The rest of the group, considering that a rather ominous sign, choose to return to Kate's and check in with the Mistress.

Kate asks via table-gram what the ex-bovine's crime was, and is told, "disturbing the peace". IV reports her encounter with what she presumes is the Wild Hunt and the Mistress decides to drop back in. She figures that if she wants to catch the Horned Man and the hunt, all she has to do is watch their next target and take them down at her convenience.
Session: Season 1, Episode 6 - Sunday, Mar 09 2014 from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Viewable by: Public
0 comments
Epic!
Season 1, Episode 5 - "Rage"
original airdate: Sunday 09 February 2104

We open in media res. In a clearing in Central Park, a werewolf in the remains of a postman’s uniform is hanging on El Toro’s back. Mad Stan and Baxter are moving around in the bright moonlight trying to take down more of the beasts and protect some civilians who have gotten into the mix. IV, reasoning that werewolves draw power from the moon, calls in cloud cover, and holds an image of the full moon on her phone to try to influence the creatures. This also plunges the entire fight into darkness, with predictable results. Lily works out that these werewolves are all from careers that carry a greater than average chance of being bitten by dogs. She manages to scratch a glyph and free one of the beasts, just before the sun rises and the remaining creatures return to their human forms, either healed, or dead.

Stan, Lily, and El Toro abscond to Stan’s Van, as they are in need to patching up. Baxter and I.V. are picked up by the police as material witnesses. I.V. is released relatively quickly, as weirdness is not grounds for incarceration. Baxter has a bit more of a time of it, but does eventually leave the clutches of New York’s Finest without picking up any new charges.

Lily calls around to the companies whose uniforms were identifiable from the monsters in the park along with the names from the badges found. She is able to narrow down the likely locus of dog biting incidents to a long block leading into Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side. I.V., demonstrating her usual sense of self-preservation, decides that she will attempt to “Tune In” to the werewolf vibe while walking down the block. She asks someone to come along to keep her from bumping into people and Mad Stan, demonstrating his usual sense of impending doom, volunteers for the job. They spot a charming local canine bounding its way towards them down the sidewalk, dragging his person in tow.



Mad Stan has prepared for this eventuality and has a set of shaped charges in a velcro collar designed to throw silver into whatever it sticks to. After firing off a distress text to El Toro and Baxter, he flings it into Mister Tiddles’ fur in passing, resulting in a fountain of blood, a dead dog and… the malign force trailing him down the street seeking a new home. I.V. texts him to let him know he is probably possessed, which causes him to behave in an unaccountably cranky manner, but he does stop and let her catch up. She pulls him into an alleyway and using the convenient dog blood she’d just taken a bath in as ink, sets a binding for the incorporeal.

On the plus side, the binding seems to have properly set. On the minus side, the force in question now seems to be not a common case of lycanthropy but an actual demon of wrath, which is likely more powerful than a quickly sketched ward. El Toro arrives with Baxter and Lily driving around the block. Stan applies a massive effort of will and extracts himself from the ward, leaving the demon inside the wards, where it proceeds to look like escaping. As Baxter starts to drag Stan to safety, I.V., demonstrating her usual sense of self-preservation, makes the mistake of challenging the demon, giving it the chance to leap into her.

As I.V. slowly begins to show signs of possession, the group moves to the stairs of a nearby church. Stan runs inside seeking holy materials of some sort, while El Toro attempts to contain the situation. I.V. has, at this point, become rather larger and stronger than she should have been, as well as developing a slight case of being on fire, both aspects causing some damage to her companions. Baxter and Lily manage some creative parking and charge in. Lily attempts to scribe another set of banishment glyphs, but the demonic influence is able to rewrite them from under her hands and the result is an intensification of the firestorm. Stan, holy wafers in hand, tackles the possessed woman, and holds her in place as Baxter and El Toro are finally able to do enough damage to banish the demon.

Stan and I.V. must both be rushed to the emergency room, as El Toro tries to come up with some reasonable explanation for how two people came to be burned, battered, and shot.

Some weeks later, as everyone is more or less back on their feet, a tall woman in a black feathered cape walks into Kate’s and asks, “So, about my cow hides…”
Viewable by: Public
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Epic × 2!