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Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves

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4 years 8 months ago #8472 by Insane Hiker
Insane Hiker created the topic: Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves
Part 1




Sunday, January 28, 2007
Duwich, New Hampshire
11:23 AM

The drive to the Whateley Academy, Plainswalker's old alma mater and my new home away from home was an uneventful snowy stretch- at least until Badb woke up, "Are we there yet?"

"No, we have at least another twenty minutes to get there, in good weather," Plainswalker sighed.

"Are you sure we're not almost there?" The familiar continued.

"Yes, I'm sure."

"Are you positive?"

"Listen you annoying feather-duster how would you like to walk the rest of the way in freezing weather?" the mystic vigilante growled as he stared from behind his featureless mask at the bird's carrier.

"First of all I'm a bird, why walk when I can fly," Badb chirped back, "And second I'm a storm crow, good or bad, weather is all the same to me."

"Randi why do you insist on keeping that blasted bird out with us," Plainswalker gripped his 'face' and tried in futility to massage his temples through his mask.

"Morrigan's the only one who can unsummon Badb and she's busy concentrating on examining and repairing the bindings on the Morrigna and trust me you don't want those three to get out and cause trouble unsupervised at Whateley any more than I do. From what Morrigan told me Macha's is a cross between a dominatrix and the Queen of Hearts, Anu has all the gentle kindness of a barbarian, and Nemain's an out and out psycho when she's not acting like a sadistic brat; just be grateful that Morrigan keeps them on a tight leash. Besides Badb is just being annoying because she's bored, you insisted that she be kept in a carrier she does have a human form you know."

"Because Badb's human form would have gotten racially profiled by airport security even if she could hide the wings, she would have attracted even more attention to us," stated the former Dallas Defender.

"As if your costume doesn't," I droned back. "Badb's also trying to get you to lighten-up; if she was really trying to aggravate you then believe me you'd know it. There must be someone you really don't like at your old school."

"Let's just say that I have more than my fair share of issues with the Most Self-Righteous Reverend Darren Englund and his Inquisitive little pupils and leave it at that." Plainswalker growled out, as his words almost seemed to drip with venom. "Before we arrive at Whateley I need you to remember there are a few ground rules for your survival during your time as a student."

"First of avoid the devisors if at all possible especially bio-devisors, they often create technology that falls just outside the realm of physics and many seem to think that morality, ethics, and common sense don't apply to them. Second, you need to avoid the Alphas if possible, they are the movers and shakers of the student body and you want to avoid them taking an active interest in either you or your spirits until you have a firm base of support. This leads me to my third rule, try to make as many genuine friends as you can, start with your dorm mates and the other mid-year transfer students and build from there. Rule four, this is not the Xavier Institute remember all sorts of mutants and empowered teenagers go here. Lord Paramount, Gizmatic and Doctor Diabolic are all alumni some even have their children enrolled here. Slaghterhaus and Plagiat both graduated from here; some students here fully intend to go on and join the Syndicate, the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom, or even go solo as soon as they graduate, this means that they might target you if Carcharoth discovers a way to tell others your identity."

"Hey he can't take any action against me either directly or indirectly remember!" I chimed in, "From what Greyback told me the conditions given at the outcome of a Fehde are absolute, and can never even be attempted to be broken."

"I'm serious child," the former mystic of the Dallas Defenders mused, "The Obsidian Circle are not bound by the outcome of your Fehde, and as long as you have the ability to ward others against Carcharoth you remain somewhere in that nebulous zone between being a possible nuisance and a potential threat to their plans. If they somehow discover your identity all they will have to do is offer their favor as a reward and every wannabe-Voldemort will come after you to punch your ticket."

"That's why I'm here to help," Badb chirped in, "You'd have to be crazy or egotistically stupid to mess with a storm crow especially in the lands under the Thunderbird's purview."

"And you had better behave yourself here too Badb," the mystic vigilante evenly stated, "Reverend Englund wouldn't bat and eye over exterminating you if he perceives you as a threat to the Academy."

"If he does this region becomes a desert," Badb shot back, "Storm crows are weather elementals, killing us unleashes sheer meteorological fury equal in magnitude to however many centuries that we have been alive upon our murderer. This means that they would be torn apart by raw-nature unleashed."

"So anything else I need to know," I interjected to break the tension at Badb's revelation, "I mean I know this is a boarding school so any idea where they'll stick me."

"Not a clue although I know where they won't," Rev. Haskins sounded off, "You don't have problems with control concerning your powers or need any special accommodations so they won't send you to Hawthorne. Twain and Emerson are both boys cottages however baring that long shot you're aiming for they are right out. Melville was new even when I was there; however, most of the students in that dorm are either legacy, or the movers and shakers, remember the Alphas- they mostly operate out of Melville. That just leaves Dickenson, Whitman, and Poe- Dickenson might not want you since they're picky about GSD; however given that it’s just furry elf ears, fangs and a tail I don't think that they would raise too much of a fuss. Whitman would take you hands down; however I think that given you're situation Poe is the most likely candidate."

"What do you mean by my situation?" I asked curious about where this was going.

"It was Transect's old dorm," Nate signed after checking his privacy spell, "Back when I went to school it had the reputation of being the dorm where they stuck all of the head-cases and weirdoes and was always fairly secretive and insular. However after Transect revealed her secret to the rest of the Dallas Defenders I eventually put two and two together. Poe is most likely Whateley's GLEE dorm, it's probably where they put all of the students who are gay, lesbian, or whose BITs messed with their gender, for safety and solidarity to avoid them being persecuted by other students. Being a mutant is bad enough at times, but being an outcast in a school of outcasts would be hell on earth for most, and given my weekend profession that says something."

I laughed a little at that comment when he asked me something, "So Faolan out of curiosity did Morrigan ever tell you about what happened to the Celtic Pantheon?"

"Yeah," I said firmly, "When J.C. came to the shores of the British Isles with John; Dagda welcomed him and invited him to a feast held in his honor. You see the Tuatha Dé Danann always feel that nothing lasts forever, they saw that times were changing and that their people needed a new path to follow as the old ways hardly fit the world anymore."

"After breaking bread, it was decided that Brigid would accepted into the heavens as a venerated figure (later a saint) of Ireland and Dagda, as he had requested, was granted a mead hall in Purgatory as a place of respite for the weary souls there and to help give them hope to undertake the seven trials of cleansing. Morrigan abdicated her status as a goddess; however, they allowed her to keep her name and title of the Phantom Queen as it was something that she earned by her own merits, and is used mainly in the Fair Lands. After some...negotiation with Queen Aestas and Queen Hiems, the rest left to live in the Fair Lands mainly as Wild Fae although some joined the courts. However, Morrigan also negotiated to maintain a link to the Morrigna to keep them in the Fair Lands; she's just making certain that that link is fine, believe me the last thing that the Earth needs now are those three visiting!"

By the time we finished our discussion had eaten up the last several minutes and we were approaching the gate to the Whateley Academy- my home away from home for the next three and a half years, grades permitting, this is a school after all.




Whateley Academy - Shuster Hall
11:54 AM

The anticipation as Nate, Badb and I waited outside the door of the Headmistress felt like an agonizing pit in my stomach, and this is from someone who less than a month ago found out that there was a very good chance that he was going to die come sunrise. I don't mean the Heaven, Hell or somewhere in between dying either, I mean swallowed up by the abyss of absolute oblivion cease to exist death.

It also didn't help that this was Elizabeth Carson who Plainswalker had just informed me was The Lady Astarte better known back in the day as Lady Champion; I mean we are talking the biggest of the big leagues here. Moreover, if that wasn't enough we were waiting for Charlie 'Totem' Lodgeman before we began the meeting. I was going to be in a meeting with Lady Champion and Totem was presenting the bad news. How would she take hearing that not only were the Obsidian Circle (half of whom were assumed to be dead) all alive and well? And on top of all that they had just added Erzabet Scratch to their ranks (who controlled all Grand Hall activities in six out of fifty states) and were planning to add another major player to their ranks named Baron Astio- I felt so nervous that I was about to hurl.

"Hello Nate, it's good to see you again," I turned to see a stocky Native American about as tall as I was in a tweed suit extend his hand to my mentor.

After a few minutes of pressing flesh, Plainswalker turned to me and proclaimed, "Randi this is Charlie Lodgeman, my favorite teacher while I was a student here."

I stood and like Nate took his pre-offered hand before spitting out clumsily, "Randi Bridges, ten seconds from reviewing the in-flight meal."

Charlie took a few minutes to crack a smile before turning to Rev. Haskins and stating, "I see you brought us a live one Nate."

"She's just like this when she's nervous sir." Plainswalker sighed in embarrassment, "It really pissed of the MCO when she did it to them."

"Most of the MCO wouldn't know a good joke if it bit them," the Whateley professor proclaimed.

"At the time they probably thought that I was about to,” I stated, "Being possessed by a malign entity makes you look like hell."

"I can imagine," the teacher said continuing to smile, "As I understand it at the time you had quite the problem with body hair."

"Yeah," I said purposefully acting a little valley, "And I got rid of most of it without shaving or waxing." As I was laughing and feeling more relaxed I felt Morrigan's presence return from where she had projected it earlier."

"Well that was a task!" Morrigan moaned in her usual Irish brough, "Child, sorry for taking so long, but Macha and Nemain were ever the handful. Oddly enough, Anu was in a good mood, apparently, she's been keeping busy all these years waylaying the Wild Hunt. So are we at this Whateley Academy where we will be attending?"

"Yes Morrigan," I said both aloud and in my head to announce to Nate of her return, "Although I can't understand why a fae with your ages of experience would want to learn magic here."

"Anyone who thinks they know everything child either be prideful or a fool!" Morrigan proclaimed loudly at least to me, "I know much about magic, yet not even I know everything. And I would be a fool meself to pass up such a grand opportunity."

"I see that your partner is back," Plainswalker observed, "So Morrigan maybe you can do something about a certain annoyance." He said eying Badb.

Quickly the bird dove into the gap in my coat and started crying, "Mommy the mean, nasty old priest did bad things to me!"

"Badb, get out!" I winced in pain, "Morrigan's not in charge right now and those talons of yours hurt."

"Oops sorry," the familiar flew back out and took a perch on one of the portraits in the office.

"One more outburst like that," I said as I tried to work out the pain that she left in my side, "And I won't ask the grounds-keepers if you could help them take care of roadkill along the grounds."

"I'll be good, I promise," the bird pleaded trying and failing to perform the dreaded puppy dog eyes maneuver.

"Badb we're at the school already," I said flat out, "Why don't you just take your human form already, it might be less of a hassle?"

"Oh, all alright," she said as she flew down and morphed into a dusky-skinned girl with downy black-hair, tiny black wings wearing a gray sweater with a cream-skirt and leather flats.

"So you have a familiar already," Charlie observed visibly impressed, "Usually students in the mystic arts have to work at that for quite a while to get to that level."

"She's not mine," I stated firm to the teacher and veteran cape, "She's the familiar of my spirit, you might even be able to guess by the name."

"Sorry," Charlie laughed, "But I'm more of an expert in pre-Columbian and post-Colombian lore of North America, Circe or Elyzia Grimes might get that reference though. So out of curiosity did Amelia go on break before or after you got here?"

"Before of course, she left a note that she was in a mentoring session," Nate groaned, "Although knowing her she just timed her lunch very inconveniently just for you and I."

"Now, now Nathan it isn't all about Amelia being spiteful," a woman said from the now open office, "Young Paige is a most eager apprentice after all."

"Hello Ms. Carson," Plainswalker said stepping forward, "Sorry I haven't visited before now, but things have been hectic in my part of the country. And if what we're about to tell you and Charlie is any indication it's about to get even worse."

"Randi," Nathan turned to me, "This is Elisabeth Carson, Lady Astarte and Headmistress of Whateley Academy."

"Hello Ms. Bridges," Ms Carson spoke as she stepped forward, "Welcome to Whateley I've heard many things about you."

Everyone was a little startled when Randi's hair, fur, and eyes shifted to darker colors and her body language changed. "Morrigan what's wrong with Randi?"

"The child passed out Nathan," Morrigan answered in an inflection and tone all her own, "I took over tae avoid having tae pick us up off the floor. Ms. Carson I have read much about ye, it be a pleasure."

"Will she be alright?" Elisabeth Carson asked concerned about the new student’s condition.

"Aye, she will," Morrigan replied, "She just be overwhelmed is all, she tried tae prepare herself; however she was unprepared tae be in the room with one living legend let alone two."

"Being modest today oh Phantom Queen," Plainswalker quipped in response.

"I be more than myth of infamy tae most than legend Nathan," Morrigan replied, "And there be no need tae for a parson to be an such a jack."

"Well Morrigan the pleasure is mine," Headmistress Carson spoke as she shook the Neo-Fae's hand, "Now we had best take this into my office, we have things to discuss that concern neither Amelia or the Syndicate." she announced to the hidden bugs in the room before escorting the quartet into her office.

After the five had moved into Ms. Carson's Office and shut the door behind them Morrigan inquired in a grave tone, "So ye mean that the Syndicate, who are just as nasty as the Grand Hall, have agents here as high up as your second in command over the whole school." Then broke down laughing, "That's just brilliant, you learn ahead of time who they are recruiting, gauge the abilities and personalities, and on top of that they dare not attract a training facility that they have such an investment in. Training at a fortress may be fine for some; however neutral ground is even better, provided your foes be sane they dare not attack."

Ms. Carson chose that moment to break out in a rare smile, "It usually takes students a few weeks to pick up on that one if they ever do; I have a feeling that I am going to enjoy having you around."

"Do not bet heavily on that," Morrigan quipped as she smiled impishly at the headmistress, "I come with a lot of troublesome baggage- speaking of which Badb what you were doing to the assistant-headmistresses chair when I returned?"

"Oh nothing much boss," the child-like familiar sheepishly remarked, "Just laying down a little electrical charge."

"You will not ever try to harm anyone at this school," Ms. Carson roared with divine fury burning in her eyes.

"Geez lady I wasn't trying to," Badb nervously replied, "All the spell that will give whoever sits down in that chair next one embarrassing case of static cling that will take effect when they get up to leave. I hope she's not wearing a skirt."

"And what dispels the curse?" asked Ms. Carson out of curiosity the fury still in her eyes.

"By changing clothes," Badb replied. "It's only affects the outfit that who-ever sits down there is wearing when they do, and will dispel completely with simple laundering."

"Oh, well," the Headmistress deflated, "If it's only a harmless practical joke, then there is no harm, this is a high school after all."

"What can I say, I'm annoying not malicious," Badb grinned at the gathering as she rocked on her feet.

"Anyway Nathan I doubt that you came all the way from North Texas to New Hampshire just to escort a student," Charlie Lodgeman pointed out about his former pupil, "When we talked over the phone it sounded like you had some important information that you felt was vital to deliver it in person."

"More than vital," Plainswalker emphasized to the two veteran superheroes, "Vital that it does not get out that we know this information, it could jeopardize the life of the source and their family not to mention that it would tip off the one group to Faolan's true history that must never learn it."

"Over the course of the events that followed Slaughterhaus's arrest and the North Texas MCO's Branch being shut down, an informant was freed that had been a former slave Plagiat attained at the local Goblin Market." Taking a minute to observe the foul looks that the bazaar's mention elicited from all four of his listener he continued. "After Faolan won the true names of all whom Plagiat held in bondage this slave hid for days around the local chapter of the Grand Hall obtaining a surprising amount of intelligence that she happily gave to us when we freed her."

"One piece of intelligence was shocking," Nathan said as he steeled himself knowing that the two senior administrators of Whateley were not going to like it, "Erzabet Scratch, whom I know for certain that at least Professor Lodgeman is familiar with, has been vetted for membership in the Obsidian Circle."

"What!" Totem shouted as he stood up in surprise, "I thought that we had finally seen the last of them when Flashlight vaporized Lord Ataxia in '89 after he tried to enslave the chief water elemental of the Colorado River."

"Apparently he's still alive, they all are," Plainswalker stated averting his hidden face from his mentor. "In fact the entire operation following their retrieval of Slaugherhaus was done under Mister Domino's orders."

"You're informant must be lying," Lodgeman growled shaking with rage, "Cirque and I took down Mister Domino together in '64, I unmasked the body myself and Reverend Englund was there at ARC when they examined the body before incinerating it."

"She was not lying!" Morrigan insisted as she stared down Lodgeman, "I looked into her aura while she gave us the information, moreover Mister Domino's identity was confirmed by Erzabet Scratch herself, and from what I understand his orders were all that kept her from vaporizing Plagiat on sight."

"The entire Obsidian Circle has been alive and in full operation all these years?" Mrs. Carson mulled over this disturbing piece of intelligence, "Is there any further information."

"Yes," Nathan continued, " Part of the reason that they have been laying low has apparently been to gather crucial components and artifacts necessary to revive an unknown eleventh member of the Obsidian Circle named Baron Astio, all that we know is that he is allegedly Madam Eventide's uncle. From what my informant has told us they actually keep an empty seat for him at the Circle's Table, one that forms a triangle when related to those of Lord Ataxia and Baron Impié which could mean that he is seen as their equal."

"These are disturbing tidings indeed Nathan," Mr. Lodgeman began to reflect as he sat back down, "And how does your young ward relate to all of this?"

"Faolan's original body was apparently intended to be this Baron Astio's host," Nathan explained, "We know that Bishop Brimstone is powerful diviner, it wouldn't be impossible for him to locate an unmanifested Avatar with the capacity that they required."

"Unfortunately the specter that they sent tae do the deed did not find an empty vessel, two of us were already there looking after the child and the third of us outran the beast to join us." Morrigan let a bitter smile spread across her face at the memory of the rest of her 'pack'. "Although the third fell during the first battle, Greyback and I succeeded at holding the daemon off every night for years until recent events interfered. And by the end of the events that took place that day Randi and I were alone having tae rely on a spell that tae be honest had about as much chance of succeeding as I have at talking a leprechaun out of his gold, at least were it not for something Slaughterhaus's monster provided us when Carcharoth ate it."

"I imagine that you have quite the story to tell Morrigan, but I need to speak with your host now, is 'she' awake yet?" Headmistress Carson inquired of the Sidhe spirit fragment.

"The child is starting to stir, is this matter concerning which of those over-sized inns that you call cottages that she will be staying in?" Morrigan asked showing mild interest; after all, she wanted to see how the lay lines wove together near where their collective body would be sleeping.

"Given the problems young Randi might experience down the line I feel that putting her in Poe would be for the best." Ms. Carson explained to the former goddess, "We have several students that have experienced similar...situations in our freshman group this year, most of them have adjusted by now however they should be able to help Randi with any difficulties that should arise. A senior adviser should be here soon to give you the introductory tour of the campus and the Homer Gallery before taking you two- three to your dorm." Carson corrected herself as Faolan's looks changed to signify that Randi was again awake and in the driver's seat as it were, "Unless of course you would like lunch first."

"Um, for once no thanks." I spoke in what any other situation would be out of character- hey I know what you're thinking, but I'm not a pig my other forms have higher rates of metabolism than my base-form- except for the regular wolf one. "Let's just say that now I know that the jokes about airline food are only mild exaggerations at best."

"Tell me about it," Badb interjected, "I never thought anyone could make nuts unappetizing- thank modern chemistry for digestives."

"She's not kidding," I elaborated to Ms. Carson and Professor Lodgeman, "That bird has a stomach that puts a trash-compactor to shame, and I swear that I've caught her raiding our compost heap."

"Only for the lizards and snakes that were attracted by the warmth, and I always cleaned them off first," the bird in girl's form proclaimed, "I mean they're good but they're no street squirrel."

Ms. Carson was starting to look a little green, and was obviously anxious to send Badb, Morrigan and I out on the nickel tour as soon as a guide arrived. The silence was almost deafening as we waited for a student adviser to comeback from lunch, and show the lot of us the campus. Nathan was also anxious to have a few private words with his old professor before he left- that and he told me that there were a few people that he wanted to avoid namely Rev. Englund, Amelia Hartford, and Bella Horton.

"So how is old Hector?" Carson inquired about Armordillo, the eldest of the former Dallas Defenders; the silent gentle giant who was well known for breaking Longhorn's face following the latter’s acquittal of all responsibility in the kidnapping and murder of their teammate Transect as well as his annual charity-boxing match with Man-Mountain. "I haven't heard much out of Texas about him."

"He's semi-retired, heck he's a grandfather now quite a few times over; another one of his grandkids manifested and he's home schooling her right now- at least powerwise." Plainswalker replied to the headmistress's inquiry, "He's pretty busy running his scrap-yard, and helping Abax and I keep Torinado on the straight and narrow."

"So everyone in the former Dallas Defenders still keeps in touch?" Charlie asked trying to keep the conversation going while we waited.

"Well almost everyone," Nathan elaborated on the situation of his former team. "Tin Star left for New Mexico and went solo, none of us have heard from him in a while. As for Longhorn we try our best to avoid crossing paths; although he has bugged every freelance hero in Texas aside from Hector at least once about reforming the old team."

Of course, there were the other four founding members of the team as well, and their fates were mostly well known within their circle. The Hangman killed Ironhorse (the team’s original techie) back in '68, not long after his sidekick Tin Star replaced to his mentor's place on the team, Coyote the group’s mystic decided to turn his back on humanity and checked himself in for permanent residence at the San Antonio Zoo after transforming himself into his namesake. As for Sureshot and Puma- well they just disappeared one day and no one ever learned what happened to them; although everyone that knew them hoped though that the marksman and his Shifter girlfriend hoped that the pair had found their happily ever after.

Plainswalker never said a thing about them and yet Ms. Carson could not help but think of the legacy that Longhorn's intolerance destroyed. "Sometimes I feel like I am getting too old!" Sighed Elizabeth as the weight of so many colleges now gone or missing began to weigh on her.

"Age is relative," Morrigan spoke as I let her take the helm, "Friends, come and go, children grow-up and leave, but as long as your memories remain they are never truly gone."

Fortunately there revelry was cut short when someone began rapping at the chamber door- hey I'm going to be in a dorm named Poe at least let me make a few literary jokes, my old man's a librarian for crying out loud. "Come in."

"Ol’ right gov’ner, that's one ride on the crazy train via the peanut gallery to the happy house all aboard," shouted a young woman in a conductors outfit performing what I could tell was a bad impersonation of Tracy Ullman.

"Beltane this is Faolan she and her familiar Badb will be joining 'your' group at Poe for the Spring Semester," Ms. Carson stated as she returned to her full professional manner. "I expect for you to give her the standard tour and not the drunken comedy tour."

"Pero del Fuego's replacement I take it," Plainswalker remarked after Beltane had left with Faolan (with Randi in charge again) and Badb.

"Fortunately not for Ms. Hartford's sanity, I doubt that she could afford to have to go through a second cross campus scavenger hunt to have her car reassembled." Carson corrected him.

"Actually I was referring to his effigy polka marching bands in the hallways."




Whateley Grounds
1:17 PM

Beltane or Kendall Forbes as her real name went had shown Badb and I around campus for a good seventeen minutes explaining the various buildings, as well as the horrible unmentionable secret of Poe since we were certain no one was listening in thanks to a little storm crow assisted atmospheric static interference. When we began to swap stories with her life in Bristol compared to my life in Arlington, granted she had the advantage of terrorizing her school for boy's with ectoplasmic specters while I had the day from hell courtesy of the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom and the Mutant Commission Office. Granted she had a hard time believing that Slaughterhaus's devise wasn't what gave me my powers or created the possessive daemon, until I told her that the only known survivor of a ruination drive according to Plainswalker was Hoka who was a Whateley Alumni and Avatar with a badger spirit.

"I'll have to ask Nikki if he's cute, she's from Kansas City;" Belle mentioned with an impish grin, "Although she had a rather bad time when she went home last Christmas, involving a now ex-student and the destruction of a base-full of Syndicate goons."

After about a minute of explaining about Hekate, the Alphas, and my soon to be dorm mates Team Kimba I made an observation, "I noticed that despite being a mystic ritual operation that you didn't make any mention of that the Grand Hall involved although it’s not surprising really."

"Why would that be surprising?" Belle inquired.

"Kansas City is the location of one of their chapter houses, specifically one of the houses in the Midwestern Branch," I elaborated on the situation. "And every house in that branch is ultimately governed by Erzabet Scratch. If Hekate tried to enthrall someone in Erzabet's territory without clearing it with her organization first, well let's just say that she has a lot more to worry about than just Fey's Curse of Three."

"Wait a minute, I've never even heard of this Erzabet Scratch person before," Beltane stated to the new student to be. "How could she be a threat, especially to someone already hiding from the curse of a Sidhe?"

I answered her query as best as I knew how, by avoiding it. "Both Lady Astarte and Totem have fought her before, so ask you could ask either of them about her."

"Alright," Beltane said sitting up to continue the tour, "Now the special areas like the Devisor labs, artillery ranges, and Combat Arenas are off limits to you for now. However we are required by our school charter to show all incoming students the Homer Gallery."

"Woohoo," Badb yelped finally breaking silence, "Donutism at its finest, tell me they have bear-claws, or at least Bavarian cream."

"Your familiar is going to fit right in with this year’s TGs over at Poe." Beltane smiled at the transformed elemental performing the Homer shuffle in the snow.

"I just hope that I do," I replied finally starting to relax a little around the loony limey, "Tell me does the dorm have any busts or statuettes in the lobby?"

"Yeah we have one of the cottage’s namesake, why do you ask?" Beltane answered my question with another as we continued to walk.

"Because I have an idea for an introductory prank," I replied with a smile before turning to my feathered companion, "Oh Badb, how would you feel about performing some slightly improv comedy in a few hours."

The faux girl grinned from ear to ear as she almost sang, "I thought that you'd never ask."




Homer Gallery
1:33 PM

The Homer Gallery as it turned out was the Whateley Academy's equivalent to Batman's Trophy Room granted with a decent security detail consisting of an armed guard, hidden lock, keycard, and keypad. According to Beltane this place was full of donations by several prominent Alumni, of course the word prominent here was along the same vein as Olivander from the Harry Potter books use of the phrase, great things. Plainswalker had warned me earlier that Whateley was neutral territory not the Xavier Academy, their job here was to teach control and survival not morality, a student was just as likely to become the next Doctor Diabolic, as they were the next Champion- or anywhere in the vast gray area in between.

Not that the sights of the gallery weren't impressive however in museums my mind tended to wander and I liked to follow my own path, fortunately this was a private tour and my guide was a hostage since Badb seemed to care less.

The first thing we had come across was the Champion exhibit when Beltane began to explain the history of the man or men. I smirked thinking back to a bet my brother Chuck had made with me before I left: he had bet me fifty big ones that Champion was something like a version of Superman from a hidden civilization here on Earth. I on the other hand had bet that he was more like Captain Marvel, a compound avatar as I could have been had circumstances turned out differently- as soon as I got situated in my dorm room I would call home and tell him SHAZAM send me my USG.

"Um Randi," Beltane looked back at me slightly miffed, "You are listening to me right?"

"Of course I am," I replied remembering to smirk as I did, sometimes I forget. "I made a bet with my brother before I left, and according to what you just told me I have some money coming my way."

"As long as it’s for a worthy cause, but please pay attention."

She continued with the lecture going onto Champion's passing of the torch, the banning of teen sidekicks, and the coming of the awareness of mutants that lead to the foundation of the Whateley Academy. She continued onto the death of the second Champion by a 'Tartareum' knife that according to the display was nothing more than crudely napped obsidian, then ended with a brief portion about Champion Mark III and the emergency procedures that they bad in place here to replace him if the unfortunate should happen.

Then came the time for the other side of the mutant coin, Lord Paramount, Prince of Wallachia and all around posturing pompous aristocratic ass presented on a massive oil painting posing in Napoleonic Era military finery. Of course, that was ironic considering that Romania had nothing to do with the Napoleonic Wars given that at the time it was in the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812. This musing carried me on until Belle pointed out the nearby bust of the infamous Vlad Tepest Basarab.

While she was correct on a number of facts, I had to point out on the name, "Actually Belle, his real name was Vlad Dracula Basarab or Vlad III, Vlad Tepest was a slanderous title his enemies gave him because his preferred manner of torture and execution, it translates as Vlad the Impaler. Vlad Dracula however refers to an honor bestowed upon his father Vlad Dracul Basarab or Vlad of the Order of the Dragon, Dracula literally translated from Romanian means son of the dragon."

"Okay Randi, I will have to keep that in mind," she said somewhat sheepishly as we continued the tour through the Homer Gallery.

The next sight caused Badb to take off like the late Concord- not that I could blame her...too much, toward what Belle informed us was a freaking Metric ton of 16-carat gold donated by Gabriella Guzman the Mexican tycoon, as a hidden statement. What I took away from that was that compared to the other two major exhibits, this was a statement towards the power of the middle-way or the gray path, of course since it was time to leave I turned the controls over to Morrigan, "Badb get your feathered fanny away from that bullion right this minute!"

"No, I will not leave my precious shiny, she needs me!" Badb said a she continued to drool over the case separating us from Guzman's donation.

Morrigan preceded to make a threat that even scared me considering what I had learn over the last few weeks, "Badb get away from that exhibit immediately, before I send you back to the Morrigna and inform Gentle Annie that ye need a lesson in restraint."

Badb's eyes bugged out of her head at the image that threat induced and the storm crow zipped back to our side faster than the eye could follow. "Well Lady of Shamhain what is next on our tour?"

"That's the wrong time of the year Randi," Belle shot back slightly annoyed.

"Morrigan at the moment child you can tell by the hair and eyes, and I said Shamhain not Samhain. To think after all this time in our isles ye Saxons would know the difference between the two, then again ye also think it more important tae burn a failed terrorist in effigy than honoring the dead or keeping your whelps safe from the Winter Court."

"Morrigan back off and cool it," I said trying to get the former Celtic deity to calm down, "She's not responsible for what Cromwell did any more than you are for the IRA."

"Humph, usually at this point I guide the group to Crystal Hall for Lunch; however it is under remodeling and what is being served in Dunn Hall should all be gone by now, which if I may add is not up to the usual standards of our normal Dining Hall." Belle huffed at the child's attitude with a good amount of English pride.

"It's fine by me," I said as Morrigan went into a mental corner to steam in embarrassment. "Sorry about Morrigan, she has a bone or two to pick with the English people."

"You’re obviously a Shifter," Belle responded still angry, "I'm not fooled by the act!"

"Yeah I'm a Shifter and an Avatar, that was Morrigan my only spirit that's aware and sapient," I elaborated, "I can't use her powers and she can't use mine. She also spent several centuries over in the British Isles-."

"Oh wonderful, as if we do not have enough problems with the Alphas and Imperious little group now we have le Fey here as well." Belle spouted off.

"Ye will be careful on how ye refer tae my god-daughter in my presence Teutonic spawn!" Morrigan retook the reigns seething with anger, "I know that your cousins the Franks painted her the villain of her only love; however yer like never even bothered to correct the error. Morgan le Fey was the Lady of the Lake, she was the one that presented him with Caledfwlch, and was there (along with her mother and daughter) to take him to Avalon to rest after he fell at Cornwall."

"Also neither were siblings by blood, they were children born of a Beltane couple swap between Uthur and Ignain and a couple of Sidhe nobles whose names are not mine to give. Arthur laid with her for Caledfwlch and then after explaining who she was offered him her undying love, however the King of the Britons mistook their relations; thinking that he had committed incest, Morgan was so insulted that she kept Caledfwlch's sheath, which would have saved Arthur's life. Although she did give him a daughter; whom his knights met many times yet never knew, and was also there to take her father to Avalon, as well as a son who was not Mordred."

"Morrigan as interesting as this lesson is- CALM THE HELL DOWN!" I mentally shouted to shock the former war goddess out of her fit, before retaking the reins, "Sorry about that, and I thought that I had a temper. You see Morrigan's actually The Morrigan and she's still a little upset about Cromwell's Conquest of Ireland, especially the treatment and attitude that they received afterward. I'll try and see if I can talk her into apologizing about some of that later."

"You are not lying are you?" Belle asked now a little more than half-convinced of the truth. Catching my affirmative and with her brief bout national pride driven anger extinguished she actually squealed, "You mean to say that your spirit really was around during the reign of The King Arthur?"

"Yeah," I confirmed my upperclassman's question, "She actually taught The Lady of the Lake, Morgan le Fay's mother, the mystic arts that's how she got to be Morgan's godmother and why Le Fay was named in her honor."

"Can you pleeease ask her to tell me all about it later," Belle beamed in excitement about the prospect of finding out about the legendary king from a firsthand source. "But I was telling the truth, it really is too late for lunch, so tell you what let’s get over to the dorm so you can begin to get your room setup and then later I will show you over to Dunn Hall for Dinner."

"Lead on McDuff- hey winter-term classes should be letting out soon for the day...right?"

"Of course," Kendall confirmed as we left the Homer Gallery and at least, "Why do you ask?"

"How would you like to help Badb and I play a little joke?" I asked the junior student about the fine prospect of becoming an accomplice to my deed. Immediately I got my answer and as poor as I am at reading people even I saw the toothy grin on her face as a yes.




Poe Cottage
4:17 PM

Belle and Randi waited in hiding while Badb in her usual form of a crow hid on top a nearby tree waiting for Belle's signal. Which appeared in the form of a green spot on the chimney next to her the moment Belle spotted a now rather infamous group of freshmen native to Poe, the incoming TG students from fall- Team Kimba or in this case, Phase, Tennyo and Generator, but Ayla Goodkind was the primary target. The moment that they walked towards the entrance to Poe Badb took wing to buzz past the trio the moment that they opened the door.

Of course given her experience at sneak attacks- or at least being sneaky Badb went past without injury; although she did snag Jade's Hello Kitty barrette during the fly by eliciting a shriek from Jade and a "What the Hell!" from Ayla before coming to rest on top of the bust of the dorms namesake author.

"Oh great," Ayla droned at the sight and the literary pun likely to happen, "Hey bird, you forgot to knock. Well do you have anything to say for yourself?"

Badb would have grinned if she had lips, "Alan Moore."

This made Phase pause slightly, "Wrong line, also you are supposed to perch upon the bust of Pallas."

"Somehow I think Pallas would object to me nesting on her jugs." Badb stated in a deadpan tone almost making the now melancholy Billie crack-up at seeing a bird heckle the literary wizard of their group.

"Okay Badb, I think that's enough," as I walked forwards accompanied by Beltane who was smiled at the brief exchange.

"Roger," the storm crow spouted before she left Ed's head for my shoulder.

I seized back the young girl's hair clip from Badb foot and gave it back to her apologizing as I did so, "S-sorry she has a habit of taking sparkly things," before introducing myself to the three, "H-Hello I'm Faolan, pleased to met you." The silence that met me spoke volumes, a new school, a new life, and I already felt that I screwed up...crap.


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4 years 8 months ago #8805 by Insane Hiker
Insane Hiker replied the topic: Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves
Part 2[/b]




Badrutt's Palace
St. Moritz, Switzerland
7:21 PM CET

Within room, 213 at the Badrutt's Palace Hotel in Switzerland a man of obviously Scandinavian stock lit a cigarette, another successful mission and three new thralls for his growing army of minions, father in-fact had asked that he enthrall one of them personally. It took some effort to get her away from her guards, thankfully some of Erzabet's children came along for the trip, they would keep the bodyguards 'occupied' for a while and re-write their minds to cover their tracks. He looked down at the three satiated girls sleeping off fun in the sack with him, particularly at main objective of his seductions Heather Goodkind although her friends were still welcome bonuses.

Right now, all three were now infected with the psychic virus that he carried within him, given the fact that prophylactic or not he had been within the borders of all three of their inner bio-fields for at least one hour. Now his was a simple equation when it came to the infection that he carried fully manifesting one that his father had firmly drilled him on, the longer he was within the biofield of another the less time it took for them to fully manifest as his thralls, and it need not be constant interaction either since multiple exposures compounded. What this meant though was a second's exposure took roughly five months to show results. A minute's contact however only took less than three days to provide him with a new thrall. A full hour though- Carcharoth looked at his unknowing victims and smiled knowing that they would be his within the hour he would actually be here to see them sprout their luxurious coats of fur and experience their new selves awaken to cater to his whims.




Whateley Academy - Poe Cottage
New Hampshire, USA
1:29 PM EST

Damn-it my first time in a long time to make a truly fresh start and I blew it. Not wanting to receive the full wrath of what I was certain would be some rather nasty fallout, I fled up the stairs to the room that Mrs. Horton, the dorm-mother had shown me to before I screwed up my life for the next three and a half years and locked myself in- a coward's tactic I know.

"Randi, say what you will, but a coward you are not!" Morrigan chided me for my line of thought, "How many are there at your age who without powers and barely any training, would charge into the presence of a monster of living death tae save a complete stranger?"

"That wasn't bravery that was naivety, I was in over my head and just too blind to realize that."

"Child you would be surprised how often the first step towards bravery is realizing what you just said, brave folks be not without fear, they just do not let it rule them. Think of it like what Socrates said about wisdom."

"You mean that the first step towards achieving it is to realize that you don't know everything." I replied remembering the quote.

"Yes, only in this case the first step tae being bravery is tae recognize your fears, the second is tae not let them control you. Remember you faced down things bent on destroying you; do not be afraid of making friends."

"Just give me a little time to get settled Morrigan, I just got here let me begin to feel like this is a second home, and then let me try to make friends."

"Do not wait too long child or life will pass you by and take several possibilities with it, besides you do have a responsibility to use the boon that you earned in the Fehde, after all those girls you be so afraid of making friends with have families too.

Taking a look around at the meager amount of boxes and suitcases I brought with me, and thanking Morrigan for not objecting that I used the Reticule of the Fields for non-essentials like my DS and games, as well as several of my manga. Mulling over the words of my partner and teacher I decided to unpack as I cleared my head. First came clothes, I opened my suitcases and began to put things away in my closet thanking the fact that my room was currently a single, apparently I was the only mid-term transfer to Poe Cottage this year, of course someone could come along later after all the year was just getting started.

Facing ones fears huh, and going where someone felt out of their element, I felt like that enough when I had to brave something that scared the hell out of me The Parks Mall. Okay I know what you're thinking, what's so bad about a shopping mall, well you see Arlington has had a bit of a history with Malls we have had three over the course of the city’s history the Forum 303 Mall, Six Flags Mall, and of course The Parks Mall. The Forum 303 Mall along the east side of town had been dying a slow death since before I was born, and had shut down just last year- demolition was supposed to begin in the fall. Six Flags Mall was also dying a slow and lingering death, of course the fact that it was only a single-story while being near the industrial district and in close proximity to a number of strip clubs and biker bars had never helped its image one bit.

Then there was The Parks, I almost shuddered at the memory of my last experience at that place for a number of reasons...




January 13, 2007
The Parks Mall
Arlington, Texas
10:12 AM CST

It had been less, than 48 hours since I had been reborn as a member of the fairer gender (with a few noticeable additions to the usual anatomy marking me as a mutant), and mom had already decided it was time that I get a new wardrobe to adjust to the change. Despite my arguments, that I needed time to adjust or that I insisted that this condition wasn't permanent, she insisted also stated that my new sister Heather needed a full wardrobe too and this trip was a way to kill two birds with one stone.

Still being a tomboy at heart mom decided to commission one of a surprising number of our extended relatives that wasn't likely to rat us out to the H1 hate parade, and that's how I had been roped into a shopping trip to the modern teenage wasteland. Okay I'm exaggerating a little bit, as far as malls go The Parks was actually well thought out in its design with only having two floors, several entrances that did not go through the stores of major department stores, and wide hallways that and courts that were not overly cluttered with kiosks. We were here with my aunt who was also one of my mother's coworkers Jillian Fravel (it is not just, what you know it is who you know) and her daughter, our cousin Elise.

This was embarrassing, I had never told anyone but I had a crush on her when I was younger and here she was going clothes shopping with me where I would have to be giving out my three sizes, I just wanted a hole in the earth to open up and swallow me whole. Then again you're probably too busy making jokes about inbred southerners right now in which case let me clarify, we are second cousins-once removed or for those of you that find genealogy difficult to understand here’s a better explanation with a little history. My grandfather Robert and her great-grandmother Audrey were siblings in a very large family rural family of about seven kids. Great-Aunt Audrey was twelve years older than my grandfather Rob, also grandpa didn't get married until after he returned from his tour of duty, which was fortunate enough to fall in between Korea and Nam to an extent that they couldn't draft him especially since he was Navy. After he got married, he had three kids, dad was the middle child, of course, Grandpa Bert now spends most of his day’s beach combing in Corpus Christie.

Suffice it to say that neither was about to turn down a shopping trip and ever since they came back to Texas from LA four years ago, both had acquired a bit of the infamous Cali-girl shopping bug. This was going to be an experience to haunt my nightmares for years to come. "Randi what in the name of the Nine High Queens and the Five Fold Court is this place!"

That’s a Shopping Mall, why Morrigan is there a problem?' I answered my spirit and partner on this strange little detour my life has taken lately.

"I would say so," the ancient faerie and Celtic goddess replied, "This indoor bazaar was either designed by madmen or heartless merchants, the way the structures be aligned has disrupted the energy of the leylines for the entire structure. It will cause the energies tae build and build until it would release throwing anyone susceptible into a savage frenzy."

'And when would you say this would say this would occur?' I asked her out of concern for my family's safety.

"About once every year," she responded spelling out the problem, "Starting at around two weeks prior tae Winter Solstice until about the day itself, and maybe an aftershock about a week later

"Morrigan, I think that was probably intentional," I replied trying not to laugh at how an ancient spirit like her had caught the echoes of the holiday buying frenzy.

"Talking to your teammate kiddo," Mom responded as we found our spot on the deck.

"Yeah mom, just alleviating some of her concerns about this place."

"Big sis," Heather responded with a little fear in her voice, "She doesn't sense anything bad about to happen is she."

"Don't worry squirt, the only big bad wolf out to get you here is...me!" Without warning I dove into the back seat a pushed her down onto the seat and began to tickle her mercilessly until she was squealing with laughter.

"Now, Randi cut it out," mom barked out from the driver's seat, "The both of you need new wardrobes, and you Randi need to get measured, your new school does have uniforms."

On this note our trip started, mainly because we met and Aunt Jillian and Elise on the bridge to Dillards (our first stop) apparently they parked on the deck. We were taking precautions also figured that we would need my mom's van and my aunt's hatchback for all the bags of merchandise we were likely to accumulate over the course of the day.

Thankfully, it was decided Heather would go first, not surprising since she needed some clothes that fit rather than one of my old sweat suits with the drawstring pulled tight to shop in. In addition, the two of us needed something semi-formal when we were to go down to Austin in a few days to meet Judge Benevides about our case against the MCO. That and I might also need something formal for school, but not a date I'm certain that I still like girls despite being one. The two moms were rather busy fussing over her in the dressing room when Elise turned to me and asked whispering, "So Sean, what was it like, manifesting and everything?"

"I'll tell you later Eli;" I whispered back, "Also it's Randi now, I very well can't call myself Sean anymore. Besides what I'm really scared of is next Tuesday, mom scheduled my first gynecology exam." We both shivered at that thought me because of what I imagined the incident would entail, Elise because she definitely knew from experience.

Believe me child if there is one universal across any culture, is that no one likes to have to visit a healer," the Phantom Queen stated, Such encounters rarely be pleasant, still this modern world is quite fascinating, healers who specialize in specific parts of the body for greater precision truly fascinating.

"Se-Randi what happened," Elise asked with concern in her voice, "You got all dazed for a minute, your change didn't make you epileptic did it?"

"No Morrigan, the new voice inside my head was just talking to me," Noting the nervous look replacing the one of concern on her face I continued, "No I'm not crazy Eli, I'll explain it all to you later when we get back to my place later."

"Okay we're ready," my mom, announced, the girl who stepped out of the dressing room was a far improvement from the scared and be-ragged child who appeared to us wearing a canvas bag. It wasn't much as far as fashion went even going by what little I knew, a black skirt and stocking with a cream sweater but I had to hand it to mom and Aunt Jillian they found something that fit Heather's personality to a T it was something simple, yet it somehow spoke volumes.

"That's fine to begin with Heather, now Randi it's your turn! Elise would you please help your cousin with this in the dressing room while we make a few selections," Jillian asked her daughter, "I have a feeling that she might put up a struggle."

Before I knew it I was dragged into the dressing room, and Elise was 'helping' me get undressed when she back-pedaled, "What is it?" I asked trying to hide my embarrassment.

"I thought that you were a girl now," Elise shot pack in shock, "But I know that I felt something long and rod-like moving under your jeans."

"Yeah," I droned back, "My tail." I dropped my pants to free my no longer constrained furry appendage, as I stretched the kinks out of it glad that unlike most dogs a wolf's tail could hang limp, although it did wag on occasion.

She continued to look at it stunned, "Um is that real- can I touch it to be sure?"

"Go ahead, knock yourself out," I snarked in reply, "Just don't pullaaaa-"

I drifted off briefly as she took hold and began to rub and scratch the fur, stroking it ever so... no Randi, get a grip, "C-can you please stop that," I said in a half moan, "I'm afraid that I'll ooze into the carpet if you keep it up."

"Why did you have tae tell her tae stop child," Morrigan uncharacteristically whined to me, "She has quite the practiced hands, and there is nothing wrong with two maids gettin' a little frisky."

'I know Morrigan but a department store dressing room is not the place to do it, plus there are security cameras in here if we kept it up for too long the security guard would have noticed my tail as well.'

"Elise, I've got some clothes for Randi to try on." As Aunt Jillian spoke, Elise shot to the other side of the doublewide dressing room. "Here Randi," she said as she handed a skirt and blouse over the divider of the dressing room, "I'll try it as well as I can Aunt Jill, but anything I get is going to have to be tailored, most clothes don't accommodate for a tail."

"Easily enough done I suppose," My Aunt remarked in response, "I suppose that Pennys should be our next stop, for something a little more fitting for you and Heather, or at least day to day fair. Now that we have your measurements anyway we can at least take those into account when we chose things like slacks."

I smiled at that even if I didn't mind being a girl too much, and future tortures like gynecology visits and even the infamous time of the month notwithstanding, I didn't want to spend the rest of my life in dresses and skirts. In addition, I was going to New England near the end of the month to a special boarding school for mutants and paranormals, I wanted to be able to dress warm without spending all the time in one of my hybrid forms for the fur coat.

"Still you will need some proper lingerie," Aunt Jill continued bringing up something that had me blushing. "Maybe some sports bras as well for athletics."

I need a hole a deep, deep hole in which to climb into and disappear never to be seen again.

Like Aunt Jill, predicted next on our outing was Pennys, now that Heather and I had some a few outfits that could be considered business casual, the next on the agenda was day-to-day ware. That and some hats and caps my fuzzy ears were as much of a giveaway about my condition as my tail was, but they are a hell of a lot easier to hide.

Much to my Aunt's chagrin and my mom's amusement, my choices in casual attire were a bit more practical and tomboyish in nature: ordinary sweaters, flannel shirts, t-shirts, and the like. I mean just because I was a girl now didn't mean I had to go for lace, and fishnets- leave those for Goths and Rocky Horror fans. I might wear some stockings with skirts I mean I'm going to be the Mountains of Vermont in the dead of winter, here in North Texas it snows maybe once a year, twice if we're lucky it rarely gets bellow 30 here in winter.

At least she had Heather to spoil and get into cute and girly outfits, and I admit my new sister was basking in the experience, she deserved it and given enough time for her body and mind to fully recover from Plagiat's abuses she would need my dad to fend off the local guys once they noticed her. Thankfully my father's cooking and Morrigan's healing spells (what did you think a former goddess of war wouldn't know how to help her troops recover) she would be well on her way to full health for a girl her age.

Of course, I needed one extra stop before we deposited our first load in the cars and broke for lunch. Hats and caps, after a little window shopping I settled on a few knit beanies, a couple of hoodies, and given where I was going to be headed a Red Socks cap, why not the Rangers well let’s just say that I have a thing or two to say about them deserving Ball Park Stadium.

Now that we were done, the lot of us decided to break for lunch and head for the Food Court, granted we did make one stop along the way, but who could deny a kid a ride on a carousel- after all you're only young once. Aunt Jill and Elise hit Fruitilati for some of those overpriced grilled sandwiches while Mom, Heather and I hit Sarku two stalls down, and ordered two plates of Teriyaki one chicken the other pork and split the order between us. Me because I don't want to turn into a butterball again now that I've lost all that weight, and Heather because her stomach is getting used to being full and having a healthy diet, I still can't believe that bastard Plagiat had her eating stale bread, water and cheap dog-food.

As we sat and ate as I savored the taste and smells far more than I ever have before thanks to my enhanced senses, of course as good as they are they are still leagues behind those of my three other forms. As we ate my family, sans my dad and older brother began to talk about our coming trip to Austin, "Heather, are you certain that you are ready for this?" My mom inquired of the latest addition to the bridges household.

"I have to m-mom," Heather replied her voice wavering slightly but gave hints of did not drown out her conviction, "If I don't talk to him, the fear will never go away, I've seen things that no one ever should and people need to know."

"I understand we'll be there with you," Mom said warmly ruffling Heather's hair a little, as she did causing her to giggle as she tried to push away her hands.

"And I'll send you a letter every once in a while to give you a heads up on The School for you to be a little more prepared when it's your turn to attend." I said to reassure her, after all being a teenager is tough enough but being a mutant in a red state can sometimes be a nightmare, after all people who are very set in their ways often fear what is different. Okay granted it tended to be worse in the open country than in the Metroplex these days, but sadly, bigotry still happens.

After lunch we treated Helen to her first real movie in years, in this case Happy Feet, but not before mom and Aunt Jill played one hell of a prank on me, "No way, I am not going in there."

"Come on Randi, you still need lingerie and evening-wear and this is the perfect place." Aunt Jill stated as she tried to drag me into the store

"Forget it Aunt J there is no way, you will ever catch me in Victoria Secret," I shook my face burning with embarrassment, "Let alone walk around wearing the kinds of clothing they sell here."

"I know that's why we're taking you to Macy's later," Aunt Jill laughed as I was caught between wanting to sink into the floor again and wanting to have Morrigan flash freeze her bra.

After my humiliation, we went to the theater and I tried to lose myself in the story of clumsily veiled environmentalism amidst a tale of dancing penguins. I admit it was cute but the story wasn't really doing it for me, call me spoiled but as a kid I watched taped reruns of older stuff from the 80s when storytellers took kids a little more seriously and didn't try to lower the story to what they assumed was their level of comprehension. Ironic considering that some of the best things marketed for kids were made for a mixed audience thus the success of Animaniacs, Batman the Animated Series and the like.

Well at least it was decent as any of the modern CGI drek that passes as a family film these days, let the MPAA whine all they want about internet pirates killing ticket sales, the sad fact is that family cinema is a slowly dying art, at least Japan gave us imports from Studio Ghibli. Of course, this leaves a lot to be said of the quality of screenwriters these days, with Harvard cranking out self-important walking egos with matching PowerBooks by the dozen that are more concerned with preaching the message of their personal agenda than constructing a story with a soul means that American cinema will just die a slow lingering death.

Still hearing about a heart-song was ironic considering, I had to make a payment of a song from the heart to a dwarf in a few weeks. Even Morrigan was surprised when among the many prisoners of Plagiat that I freed was a dwarven weapon-smith named Unfurth, who had a decent reputation for producing masterwork quality weapons, Morrigan negotiated with him to produce a sword for me and in the meantime she would train me in how to fight with one.

Unfurth agreed however being a mystic being bartering for his freedom; he could not just leave in exchange for a promise of a future item of his craft, and in return left a pair of Boots of Sleph as collateral. Now don’t get me wrong Boots of Sleph are a nice item, but they were far too common to count as a price for freedom, so when Unfurth delivers the sword in a few weeks I had to pay the going price for the boots or forfeit them- namely a song from the heart. Don't get me wrong I could sing just fine before my 'change' but I was still getting used to going from a Baritone to an Alto, I hope that instrumental counts because I have had no trouble relearning how to play the banjo with smaller hands- if anything I think that I may have actually gotten better at it.

After the film was over as promised, I stopped in at Macy's for lingerie, which to Aunt Jill’s further disappointment was along the lines of sports bras, and plain panties, and pajamas, preferring cotton whenever I could. I was tempted to buy a couple of swimsuits while I was there as well. I know that New England has some pretty harsh winters; however I had heard that Whateley has an indoor pool and that a few of the cottages have Jacuzzis or Hot Tubs, and there was no way I would miss out on that. I was just glad that my tail doesn't radiate the smell of wet dog when it gets soaked...unfortunately none of the suits present were designed with a tail in mind.

Moreover, I still liked girls as far as I could tell, and like hell am I going to pass up an opportunity to take advantage of a Hot Tub full of girls who could range from cute to those of the legendary exemplar uber-babe variety.




Thursday, January 25
Whateley Academy - Poe Cottage
1:35 PM

"How was that bravery? I just don't like going to shopping malls!" I barked back at Morrigan as my memories along with the embarrassments of Aunt Jill’s sense of humor, "Lot's of normal people dislike Malls and for Aspies its worse; because it's a large area of complete strangers, shuffling crowds, and lots of noise it is hellish."

"Randi most people who be seen as brave merely be doing something not because they want tae, rather because it needs tae be done." Morrigan replied trying to impart more of her wisdom, "And believe me there has yet tae be one hero that I have met that did not have their rough spots."

"And what makes you think I want to be a frakken superhero anyway," I fumed at her as I grew more and more frustrated, "From what I understand most of the students who graduate from Whateley go on to fields in the professional world not one that involves spandex and Kevlar."

As I continued my argument I heard a knock on my door and Morrigan continued her response as I answered it, "Believe me Randi I know you a bit better than you think, I have looked into your heart and I saw the full measure of your potential. You do not give yourself nearly enough credit you merely need a little more self-confidence and little less pride then before you know it-."

Morrigan froze and my own tongue tied as well, standing before us was a flame-haired elf that looked like she had been plucked from the canvas of a Frank Frazetta painting reverted to the peak of adolescence and wrapped in the school's uniform. "Hello my name's Nikki, Beltane told me about what happened earlier, and I thought it might help if you had someone to talk with about it."

I was so awe struck by the vision before me that I didn't even respond when Morrigan took control. Rapidly she dove to one knee and bowed her head as she began to speak in a tongue so ancient and obscure that had I not been sharing a body and brain with her that I would never have understood the words coming out of our mouth. {"Great High Queen Aunghadhail, Daughter of the Burning Oak, I am overjoyed to see you again alive and well after these many ages. I am Armeluien the general, one part of the trifold knight who served your Sister Queen Venraniel, Daughter of the Silent Willow. I have also come to be known as Morrigan the Phantom Queen of the Wildfae, all that remains of your loyal subjects that have not cast their lot in with the heirs of the royal pretenders Raiwen of Summer and Ellinra of Winter, your regent awaits your command Queen Aunghadhail."}

The vision of beauty who called herself Nikki stood there in the doorway speechless.




Thursday, January 25
Poe Cottage - The Kimba's Corner
1:43 PM

The rest of the Team Kimba sat near the sidelines along watching as their team's spell caster was conversing with the new arrival at Poe Cottage in a language none of them understood, thankfully they had the arrival's crow familiar to provide a translation of the conversation albeit a skewed and comical one.

{"So you mean to say that a sizable portion of my subjects, the inhabitants of the Western Court survived the Sundering and remain hidden."} Nikki, or rather Aunghadhail speaking through her reincarnation, inquired of the individual who claimed to be one of the high officers in the court of one of the Nine Queens of the Western Court.

{"Yes you Highness, a number of your subjects survived and their numbers have gradually multiplied since the fall of the Western Court, or at least the Fae have most of the True Sidhe remain hidden."} Morrigan answered the first of the Queens that she had seen since the decimation of the Five-Fold Court. {"However there is a problem despite the fact that I have become known as the Phantom Queen, the regent who rules in the stead of the Nine Queens and the Western King, only about a third of your subjects follow me in awaiting your return. The rest of the sidhe and fae have fallen in with the mockeries that two minor nobles have made of the Western Court's memory."}

"Hey feather-duster, what are they gabbing about," Toni 'Chaka' Chandler asked as she was anxious to know just what her friend and roommate was talking about with the new girl.

"My boss used to be a general under one of your friend's sister queens during her last incarnation before the Sundering, which I may add no one has ever given me a full explanation on." Badb began to explain everything to the Kimbette's (Lancer was out on a date with Wallflower and Bladedancer was at the Library with Molly). "Her liege Queen Venraniel split her- well back then him into three beings to save his life. In the end, she could serve on the battlefield as a general, coming at the enemy through the sides as a rogue, and on the sidelines to shield the soldier's minds from the powers of the enemy all at the same time because there was now three of them. My boss as you can plainly see was obviously his feminine side."

"The rogue's soul was torn to shreds about a decade ago by a monster boss tried to banish to the astral plain a few weeks ago however the sage who went as Greyback ended up taking the brunt of the banishment spell instead. We got back what was left of the Rogue's powers and soul though Randi, the girl Boss is time-sharing with has them now."

"As for what's going on, Boss is telling your teammate about the current state of her people's affairs." spoke the raven, "And I doubt that she's going to like it."

As Badb was telling Nikki's friends about what was going on Aunghadhail was paying attention to Morrigan's explanations, {"After the Sundering the survivors of the Western Court were in complete disarray in the midst of the confusion two individuals with tentative claims to nobility at best stepped forward to take advantage of your people's desperation. These individuals were Raiwen 'The First Queen of Summer' the daughter of Queen Mithdilia, Daughter of the Blooming Apple's chief handmaiden, and Ellinra 'The First Queen of Winter' daughter of a lady-in-waiting to Queen Sabressa, Daughter of the Twisted Blackthorn."}

"After the end of the Old Ones last attack two not so royal wanna-be's seized power in the name of the Queens that they used to work for."

{"So you are telling me that two individuals, whose claims within the True Western Court would be seen as high comedy, now rule over half of the survivors of the children of the woods?"} Aunghadhail asked this newcomer, who claimed to be a stalwart of one of her former sister queens. {"And why would my subjects consign themselves to this farce?"}

"Why would our people follow these posers?"

{"The world was in chaos after The Sundering your supreme highness, every member of the Five-Fold Courts had fallen the number of survivors were small and all were terrified, the two false queens offered them a hope for stability when they had none and they went with it."} Morrigan bowed her head in shame for the choices her people had made. {However, these choices also have aggravated the problems that lead to the schism of the Five-Fold Court; the survivors of all the Courts have turned Xenophobic over the aeons that have passed since the time of the Sundering to the point of racism within our own courts. Indeed the denizens of Winter and Summer are one of the worst examples, they no longer even see themselves as two factions within a single people, but rather as their worst possible enemy. Thankfully your own stalwarts the beast knights "}

"After the final take-down it was nuts, everyone wanted someone to tell them how to wipe their butt, but there was no one to tell them how. Of course now that they are divided into factions they see each other as the bad guy."

{"How could they be so short-sighted,"} the Ancient Queen glowed with fury, {"Are they so blind that they have forgotten that our ancient enemy is on the eve of their return? The Bastard himself already vexes us on the doorstep of my ancient allies."}

"How could they do that the gill boy's are coming back with allies?"

{"A people are rarely as farsighted as their rulers my liege, and unfortunately the two false queens are more concerned with the politics of us versus them to see past their own noses and accept the big picture."} Morrigan sighed in frustration. {"The current generation of those who call themselves Summer or Winter speak of the Golden Age we lived in like normal humans speak of Atlantis. To them the Summer and Winter are eternal and have always been, naturally the Queens of the past supported this view to the point that the current monarchs Titania and Mab likely believe it themselves; although it is not that surprising given that the 'royal lines' is thirty generations deep. Then again, the fact that most of the Sidhe sequester themselves in hidden dens or in a land that the first two queens have created in the Aether from several of the Center Courts unoccupied Hells does not help matters. Most of our people these days see Earth as nothing more than a source of amusement that provides plenty of toys with which to play. Some would say that our own people have become just as vile as the worshipers of Those from Beyond the Veil have."}

"Ask your friend," Badb stared at the rest of team Kimba, "Some things are too grim even for me to make light of."

{"Enough Morrigan I have no patience to hear any more at this moment!"} Aunghadhail stood radiant with the fury of the ancient queen from days when royals were those crowned by their deeds not their lineage.

"Okay sweet-cheeks we'll discuss this later."

{"Understood my lady,"} Morrigan bowed before she continued, {"Besides I believe your host and my partner have words of their own to say, not to mention your allies seem rather unsatisfied by my familiar's comedic translation attempts and would like to learn what has truly transpired."}

"You know me boss," the storm crow smiled in her humanoid form, "I live to heckle."

"Now Morrigan, since your discussion with Aunghadhail is over I believe that we have a few things to say to Randi," Nikki asked with her usual grace, "May we speak with her?"

"Alright, but be careful about what you say," Morrigan stated plainly, "The child is dealing with the shock of her rebirth as a girl with the hope of a new lease on life do not take that from her."

All of Team Kimba observed as Morrigan's hair and eyes changed color, and along with that her body language. "Listen there's not need to pretend I already had my chance and I blew it." Randi said as she bowed her head and began to leave. "There's no need to be nice to me or pretend to be me friend, I tried playing a joke and hurt your friend by accident there's no need bend over backwards for me if you need Morrigan's help it will be there as will my protection."

Suddenly as I began to return to my room, someone grabbed in a headlock and forced me to stay. "Listen here kid first of all get over yourself, we've taken on the Necromancer and his Brotherhood of the Night, and The Bastard's Voodoo wolves, we don't need protection from some rookie that hasn't even had to have one combat class yet. Second Lenore over there admitted that it was her idea to grab Jade's broach when she was just supposed to buzz her, Ayla, and Billie so ditch the martyr act. We TG's have to stick together because a in a cabin full of social outcasts we're the ones that even the outcasts consider lepers, so don't think that we hate you because a joke backfired or something crazy happened because that's happened to all us at least once."

"Alright Toni that's enough let her go," Stated the normal looking girl who Badb had buzzed earlier, "I think she gets the point."

"Hmmm, not yet," Toni responded as I could almost hear the grin on her voice, "Because it's noogie time."

If only she wasn't so caught up in her exploits she would have noticed me shift and her friends try to warn her. She did however notice the bestial snarling right before she applied knuckle to forehead, before I could even do anything she gracefully leapt backward like a kung-fu star out of Hong Kong to stare at the snarling, full-grown timber wolf that she had unknowingly tried to manhandle.

Now released from the one-armed sleeper hold I transformed back, all the while thankful of the leather choker Morrigan enchanted to hold our clothing for us while we are in inhuman forms, along with what she said was a set of her battle-gear. Now looking about as normal as I get these days I turned to the joker who was telling me off earlier. "Listen, Toni is it, when I offer protection I mean a mystic ward of protection that I won in a Fehde- a mystic duel between multiple parties. The prize I claimed was to extend a ward of protection to anyone that I choose, including their loved ones, against direct or indirect attacks from one of the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom's 'Problem Solvers'."

"We've faced the Anti-Paladin and other hitters of the Grand Hall before hayseed, and we've done just fine." Chaka shot back nonchalantly

"No Toni the Tiger I've heard from Beltane that you've faced off against The Necromancer, and whoever is willing to follow him or accept his money." I replied to the girl who was beginning to get on my nerves, "Believe me there are individuals in the Grand Hall that think of The Necromancer as a joke and keep their own problem solvers on permanent retainer."

"Yeah, give me a few maybe we can talk Everhart into letting us fight them in the Sims next week."

"Fine if the Sims computer has a good database, you might to try some small fry that I know about like The Hangman, Papa Houma, Slaughterhaus, The Wraith, Horde, Shuffle, or Hellbrand. If you want to see how scary it really is out there and think that you are ready of the big leagues you could try the Obsidian Circle themselves." I had to keep myself from snarling, some people have no idea of what is really out there. "Although it probably would be a good thing if you acquaint yourself with the Circle anyway; they are interested in a few people at this school and since my source was under a geis not to reveal details it might just be you lot."

"If this Obsidian Circle's full of so many big bads, how come I've never heard of them," Chaka shot back in my face.

"They've spent the last twenty years letting the world believe that most of them were dead and their organization was broken, Plainswalker and I acquired this piece of intelligence after we won a Fehde against Plagiat and a monster named Carcharoth." I did my best to try to stay calm while presenting what I knew. "Plagiat was forced to spill the information on who he was working for as a penalty for losing, and I just met Headmistress Carson and Mr. Lodgeman an hour ago to give them the bad news that not only are they alive, they've added Bishop Brimstone and Erzabet Scratch to their ranks."

"Hold on Toni," Ayla one of the girls from my earlier prank spoke up, "I have heard of those two, Bishop Brimstone spends most of his time on the Eastern Seaboard mainly in New York, and is a real headache because he's a both a major league sorcerer and precog. As for Erzabet Scratch, she operates mainly in the Mid-West and the Western part of the Deep South, but she has been around for a while and is supposed to be up there with The Necromancer, there are films of her fighting Lady Champion. My family also has trouble with her all the time with the branches of Goodkind International in the states where she operates."

"Whoa hold the phone, a Goodkind attending a school for mutants and metas, tell me that I shouldn't be on the lookout for Rod Sterling popping up or spectral horsemen riding around somewhere?" I asked with only a hint of sarcasm in my voice, after all everyone in my part of the country knew what really went on at those Humanity First Paramilitary Camps with names like Camp Clearwater or Camp Crystal Springs- or damn near anything that proclaimed purity. Although no one could prove it after all the officials in the small counties that they were in were easy to bribe and often shared the same racist attitudes

"Ayla's not like that!" Jade the girl whose Hello Kitty *uggh* barrette Badb swiped and started much of this mess, "You don't know how much she's suffered."

"Not nearly as much as your friend Nikki will, or do you think that the reigning queens of Summer and Winter won't feel threatened now that one of The Nine Queen's of the West have returned let alone the greatest of The Nine," I told them trying to make my point. "They may not be taking overt action at the moment, but they still might be acting."

"Tell us what you know?" Ayla Goodkind asked wanting to pick my brain.

"It's just a hunch, but tell me before you fight these Voodoo Wolves again," I began to explain, "These thick blizzards concealing them may not be The Bastard's doing, from what Morrigan told me the Winter Court's name is not just a metaphor."

"If her own people want her dead why not do the job themselves," Toni smirked as if she had the answer, "From the way that you were going on, they have plenty of manpower- or elf power."

"They may not be able to," I explained as best I could, "Most of the faerie are hard-wired against directly attacking their nobles unless they are of an enemy court, and then they can't help but attack. Nikki, or her other half, pre-dates the Summer and Winter Courts, the common foot soldiers probably wouldn't be able to go through with an attack, or just lack the firepower to do so. As for the nobles they usually don't like to get their hands dirty unless it is open war between the courts."

"So they are just too lazy to do their own dirty work?" Toni inquired further.

"Nope, more like they think that as nobility such bestial tasks are beneath them. Listen Belle explained a little of what happened last semester and the Alphas to me, the nobles of The Courts are like the Alphas, they just want to be top of the heap and reign over all those beneath them." I tried to get a little more serious, "Although with Winter and Summer you have the Faculty or Security if things get openly hostile; now the Obsidian Circle, that's a different kettle of fish."

"So what, we've beaten The Necromancer, twice!"

"I already told you, you've beaten the Grand Hall's equivalent of Norman Osborn he might think he's big news, but he rarely can see past his own nose," I began to elaborate my point. "The Obsidian Circle has folks who think along the same lines as Gizmatic and Lord Paramount, methodical planers and puppet masters, folks that have better things to do than pull a bank heist and try to get revenge on a group of high school students."

"I think I understand what you're trying to tell us, but understand that we've been through a lot ourselves more than what we like to tell people about," the Ryoko clone from earlier broke her silence. "We have all had brushes with the big leagues, and were lucky enough to get out unscathed, and thanks for warning us about a possible threat as well as the ward that you just gave us. As for the treats that you mentioned we will try and study up on them in case we do encounter any of their lot, especially if they are interested in Whateley."

"Now can I ask you something?" I said to my senior gender-flipped students, "Where's this Dunn Hall? I haven't eaten since my layover from hell at O'Hare International Airport at eight this morning, the MCO seemed to be going nuts and were trying to confiscate out cargo despite the fact that we had documentation from the EPA, the CDC and the State Department declaring that it was harmless and only good as a museum piece."

"You might regret what passes as food in the back-up dining hall," Ayla moaned in what I assumed was agony. "Until Crystal Hall is reopened we have to put up with fare that makes Applebees seem like fine cuisine."

"Lady," I snarked at the bemoaning blue-blood, "I spent eight and a half years subsisting on what a Texas Independent School System claims is a balanced meal. We used to play ping-pong with the Swedish Meatballs, the janitor at my last school used the mashed potatoes to seal leaky pipes because it worked better than plumber’s putty, I could swear that I used to wear what they called chicken fried steak on my feet to church. So believe me when I say I doubt the food is so bad that I can't eat it."

"What about your friend here?" Ayla glanced sideways at Badb, "Do you think she will be okay eating just anything?"

"Oh I'm going to be eating at IHOP later." Badb explained.

"They let you leave campus to go to the International House of Pancakes?" Jade asked and simultaneously frowned.

"No, the Interstate House of Pancakes," Badb grinned from ear to ear as Team Kimba turned green at the thought, "It's road kill stew for me tonight in Appalachia, ye-ha!"

"She's a crow," I pointed out to Ms. Goodkind, "I wouldn't debate points of fine cuisine with a being who considers the Norwegian Roof Rat to be exotic fare."

"Hey now, I do not think roof rats are exotic fare," Badb turned to me her face puffed in anger before it went back to a smile, "Now tarantulas on the other hand, now that's exotic."




Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom - Kansas City Chapter
1:23 PM CST

Paperwork if there was one part about her job that Inferna always loathed it was paperwork. Allocation of resources, approval for missions and request for personnel, requests for hiring Syndicate operatives or utilizing their resources. Thankfully mother had needed her to retrieve her spy from within the Mutant Commission Office's local branch not too long ago had given her an experienced secretary to help her out with the bureaucratic hell that was the beginning of the year.

"Madam Inferna," the director of the Kansas City Chapter looked up to see her secretary in question, "Dominus from the Syndicate is calling, we have him on hold in the communications room, he's demanding to know why we have not compensated the Syndicate for the base they lost last December."

"Why would my chapter of the Grand Hall need to compensate the Syndicate for the loss of one of their bases?" Inferna inquired of her assistant. "It's not as if we were using their base or personnel for any of our operations."

"According to him we did Madam Inferna." Her secretary Olivia Herren explained as she produced a series of faxes that Inferna took from her and began to look through. "Dominus has some paperwork, with your signature on it, authorizing the use of a hidden Syndicate base and four dozen Syndicate Enforcers for the use of capturing two Whateley students codenamed Fey and Generator on December the 28th. This also includes the use of the Heklin Instillation; also there is an invoice for the construction of a specified mystic symbol that was embedded in the concrete of the instillation itself."

"Did they include pictures?" Inferna inquired of Olivia who promptly turned them over to her superior, "What the Hell! This is a Fool's Circle! There is no way I would authorize the use of one of these in my territory and forget about it, Olivia forward Dominus to my telescreen at once, I need answers."

The devisor Smart-Painting on her wall stopped cycling through the works of Cézanne to display the logo of the Syndicate, "Hello Thomas, I understand that you have a rather large bill for me. The strange thing is I do not recall authorizing anyone to solicit either your organization's services or your facilities last December so could you please enlighten me."

"I'm sorry however Dominus is too busy to be kept on hold waiting for some regional crime boss to try and weasel out of her bill," a weaselly voice on the other end replied with a sheer amount of disrespect.

"Oh wonderful I see that the Syndicate is mining Paralegals to staff their call-center," She responded with aggravation. "Listen for a minute; I am Inferna director of all authorized Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom activity in Western Missouri. I am concerned because this bill I have been sent is for an operation that I have not approved and I wish to know who I should hold accountable for violating the regulation of not only my jurisdiction and forging my signature but also the bylaws of the entire Mid-Western Branch Organization of the Grand Hall."

"Now listen here, Hekate came to us with both an assignment and a strong recommendation from The Necromancer as well as the proper documentation."

"Properly forged documentation, The Necromancer may have some influence in New England; however the Mid-West Branch operates under its own rules as voted on by our regional board. Unless cleared with a chapter director of the local Grand Hall, any operation that claims itself as such is a direct assault on our Branches chain of command that from me goes to Erzabet Scratch who now sits as a full member of the Obsidian Circle, thus making it an assault on their authority as well. So you are to send me all individual details of the operation as well as any information that you have on this upstart know as Hekate at once, and if the Syndicate still wishes to discuss the matter of billing Hekate's unapproved actions to us Dominus can take this matter up with Erzabet Scratch in person."

The sigil of the Syndicate disappeared as Inferna disconnected the line, visibly incensed she turned to Ms. Herren. "Olivia contact Headmistress Carson over at the Whateley Academy, you are to inform her that I have business with her students Fey and Generator concerning the actions of this Hekate, and that their testimony would be appreciated, after which I need you to arrange a flight to Berlin Airport in Vermont as well as a private transport to Dunwich."

"Understood, however what of the meeting with Dismay next week about our Branch's expansion, and acquisition of the Chicago Chapter; as well as the remaining operations within Illinois."

"I will explain the matter in full to Mother, she will understand; The Necromancer has issued a challenge to our authority this cannot go unanswered, or our family would lose face," Inferna stated as she shifted into her true succubae form.

"Understood Lady Inferna," Ms. Herren spoke with professionalism as she moved to leave the room-

Only to be intercepted by Inferna who swiftly glided both literally and through grace of movement to cup the woman's chin. "Oh and one more thing Olivia, call me Colleen after all it has been three months and we are fully sisters now." Before partaking of a rather deep kiss that moved into more as Olivia's succubae appendages began to issue forth from her specially tailored business suit as she reciprocated her clan sister's actions.


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4 years 8 months ago - 4 years 8 months ago #8852 by Insane Hiker
Insane Hiker replied the topic: Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves
Part 2 Notes




The Western Court
Ruled by the Mythic Faerie King Oberon and governed by the nine High Sidhe Queens, during the Era of the Five-Fold Court it was home to all the creatures of the fields and the woods. The Known Queens at the time of The Sundering were Aunghadhail daughter of the Burning Oak, Mithdilia daughter of the Blooming Apple, Sabressa daughter of the Twisted Blackthorn, and Venraniel daughter of the Silent Willow. The names of the remaining five queens are unknown at this time.

Queen Raiwen -
First Queen of the Summer Court, a former lady within the court of Queen Mithdilia Daughter of the Blooming Apple. Raiwen was the daughter of Mithdilia's Chief Handmaiden, and during the twilight of the Western Court was witness to many decisions made as well as the ways of government and soaked up this information well. When the dust settled after the Sundering, Raiwen saw an opportunity to put what she had learned to the test however, she was not alone; Ellinra a lady-in-waiting in the court of Queen Sabressa had similar aspirations and like Raiwen had amassed a considerable number of followers. Knowing that a conflict at this point would assure the destruction of both sides they met in neutral territory and created the Solstice Proclamation, which created the modern Courts of Summer and Winter and an uneasy cold war that has lasted till modern times.

Queen Ellinra
First Queen of the Winter Court, a former lady within the court of Queen Sabressa Daughter of the Twisted Blackthorn. Ellinra was a lady-in-waiting and last daughter of one of Sabressa's courtiers and grew up envying the luxury and intrigue around her. When the dust settled, she saw fit to try to seize that power for her own benefit; however, it was not long before her followers ran into those of Raiwen whose army was equal to her own. Aware that with she could not attain proper victory with her current forces, Ellinra met with Raiwen in neutral territory and hammered out the Solstice Proclamation, that created the modern Courts of Summer and Winter and established their spheres of influence which both sides push constantly.

The Solstice Proclamation
When dust settled from The Sundering, the Western Court, found itself without any true hereditary heirs to its traditional leadership two individuals used the chaos to step forward and proclaim themselves the rightful rulers of the Fae peoples, Raiwen the daughter of Queen Mithdilia's chief handmaiden, and Ellinra the youngest of Queen Sabressa's ladies-in-waiting. Before they were aware of each others efforts the two pretenders had amassed a sizable army of followers, knowing that open hostilities then and there would lead to mutual annihilation, they signed a pact the Solstice Proclamation that created what came to be known as the Summer Court and Winter Court.
Still a sizable amount of Fae, many of whom were fairly powerful in their own right decided to remain independent and await a true successor, these were known as the Wild Fae. Over time, the Wild Fae came to rally behind Morrigan, a general of Queen Venraniel from before the Sundering who proclaimed herself regent until one of the True Western Queens return or a true heir could be found.
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4 years 7 months ago #9294 by Insane Hiker
Insane Hiker replied the topic: Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves
Part 3




Ulthar, Dylath-Leen
The Dreamlands
?

Many of the feline denizens of Ulthar looked on with curiosity and nervous apprehension at the large grey-furred wolf that had just entered their city. Everyone recalled the story of a boogeyman that their mothers had warned them of as kittens, an ancient being older than the sunken cities of the Deep Ones that often walked the plains of the Dreamlands and traveled places secret even to the Zoogs along paths unknown to all but him.

He was said to be a being of great and sagacious wisdom that would freely share his knowledge with those who he knew were ready and asked the right questions. However woe to any who tried to force knowledge from him, in fact his title, which never spoken to him; resulted from a young and arrogant tom of noble liniege who tried to use his station to force information from the wolf. The lupine sage's retaliation was unknown however the prince was found later unharmed but meek, and whenever any asked of what the traveler had done to he would break down crying of the horrible frothing waters.

Naturally all felines avoided the beast as he strolled through the city...at least until one salt-pepper kitten strolled up to him, "Um- mister?"

"Yes child," Greyback answered the kitten in a tone that spoke of age and patience.

"Are you The Inundator?" It asked with a voice both innocent and curious, yet his question shocked every cat in the city who prepared for the worst as their fur stood up on end.

"I have been called that in many hushed whispers child," the wolf replied its tone and eyes devoid of even the tiniest hint of malice.

"What did that tom ask you to make you punish him?" the kitten asked the wolf out of youthful curiosity.

"The young tom asked me nothing," Greyback replied to then kitten, "he demanded that I tell him of all the secret places that I know of and how to get there. Such foolish arrogance, if I did tell him and he sought them out he likely would have died- or worse, so I gave him a punishment to make him think twice about forcing his will upon others."

"Are these places really that dangerous?" the kitten inquired.

"Some are young one while others, like where I will soon be headed, are not yet the trip itself can fatal to those who are unprepared." The old fae advisor replied.

"Really?" The kitten asked brimming with youthful curiosity.

"Yes, in fact part of the trip will bring me near the Caverns of the Ammit." Eliciting shivers of fear to all those who knew of the veracious reptilian super predators who would even feast upon the fearsome Night Ghaunts of Nodens. "And then after that I must travel through the Vale of the Baku."

“But why would you go through such places mister?” the kitten asked again.

“I am going to see an old friend,” Greyback explained to the kitten. “A being without a true name to call ‘her’ own who due to an ancient folly that ‘she’ admits to being her fault is confined to a prison from which ‘she’ may observe all of creation- yet never be able to leave.”

“What did she do that was so bad?” The kitten asked further.

“That is for her to tell if you are ever able to meet her child,” the Greyback explained. “However you are too young to understand the full implications of just what her crime was, and now I must gather supplies for my journey.” The wolf elaborated before wander towards the markets. Leaving the kitten more curious still and the others who had been listening in further mystified and felt compelled by curiosity to follow the wolf. Still Greyback shook his head all this fear over giving one obnoxious brat a bubble bath.




Arkham Research Center
New Hampshire
2:34 PM

<BLOCKQUOTE>Doctor’s log:
Three days after arriving in our custody from the American Military Base in Bagram the subject’s physical mutations appear to be stabilizing. The young lady, who for the moment was classified as a Fulanah AlFulaniyya, the Arabic equivalent of Jane Doe, has physical characteristics indicative of the Saurian, Avian, and Mammalian classes of Vertebrates intertwined into a vaguely humanoid-draconian chimera.
Surprisingly despite these mutations, the subject is far from hideous displaying the type of oddly graceful beauty that one would equate to an exotic alien of science fiction or a creature of classical-mythology. Personality wise Fulanah, as she has taken to calling herself is a warm and cheery individual, who responds well to the staff and has taken to Kam as a pseudo-uncle. If her physical mutations continue to hold, and her powers do not prohibit her from doing so, I would like to include Fulana in our joint counseling sessions with Cavalier and Skybolt. I do this with to prepare for mainstreaming her for attendance at Whateley in hopes that a social atmosphere amongst other mutants in her own age group might help the girl regain her memory.
I have appears that the trauma of Fulanah’s manifesting was so great that it has in effect given her a case of Retrograde Amnesia. One point of interest this state appears to have reactivated her learning and acquisition centers to that of early childhood, as such she is picking up reading, language and math skills at an astonishing rate. In addition to Retrograde Amnesia, the subject also exhibits symptoms of a fugue state, as she seems perfectly aware of the rules and mores of the society where she comes from. However she appears to have difficulty understanding how they apply to her, many times it appears that she has difficulty grasping why she should wear clothing when she feels that her fur, scales, and feathers offer her enough protection from the elements.
Also of peculiar note Fulanah's feline characteristics appeared to have given her polythelia; however fortunately for the subject in question these supernumerary papilla appear to lack glandular or fatty tissue and are in normal position for her feline anatomy making them largely vestigial.
Her avian characteristics also appeared to have given her an unusual skeletal structure; although rather than hollow and linked with the circulatory system; her bones are honeycombed and appear, and according to the MRI's are filled with marrow. Also through a unique set of muscles in her back and wings the shape of her wings are able to change in-between high-speed and high-aspect ratio types almost on instinct without any shifting factor.
Given how her eyesight works, I recommend bringing in Fey to work with her rather than Carmilla, as we have no idea how she would react to seeing a Demoness. I am working with Headmistress Carson to schedule a visit as well as discuss a potential admission into Whateley as soon as we run give Fulanah an aptitude test to determine her academic standing.</BLOCKQUOTE>

"Dr. Otto what does academic standing mean?" asked the mutant matching the description in the file to the letter.

"Fulanah how did you get that file?" the senior administrator of Red Sector asked his newest odd guest, "I thought I locked the door to my office. For that matter how did you find my office?"

"I just followed the trail that looked like you, and asked the door if it would open." the girl in question answered the doctor.

"You asked the door to open and it did?"

"Well- I asked these glowing snakes in the box next to the door if they would help me get in. At least I think they were snakes, they were long and skinny, and I know that they live in the walls everywhere here.

'Glowing snakes in the wall- does she mean the electrical wiring,’ Dr. Otto thought to himself. 'This might make her some kind of Energizer or maybe a Warper- I guess now I have an idea on which tests to run.'




Whateley Academy Grounds
2:43 PM

After my talk with Team Kimba (who names their group after an Osamu Tezuka anime), one of them volunteered to escort me to Dunn Hall, fortunately it wasn't Toni or Ayla. Don't get me wrong they seem nice enough but people as hyper as Toni get on my nerves, and as for Ayla... well let’s just say Knights of Purity and H1 aside my mom's family the Caseys have a bone to pick with the Goodkinds as does the rest of Tricroma County.

This meant that Jade was escorting me to Dunn Hall, interestingly enough she was also an anime fan, and unfortunately, her favorite was Hello Kitty.

"So have you ever heard of Furry Tale Theater," Jade kept on as we trudged through the snow, "I mean I know that it's not full anime however it was a co-production."

"Jade I think that show was on before I was born," I huffed more out of exasperation than fatigue. "And while I have watched a lot of cartoons and anime from before I was born, but that was more of The Little Prince, Grimm's Fairy Tales or Mysterious Cities of Gold recordings, or re-runs of shows on the Toonami Block like Sailor Moon or Ronin Warriors. Really though it was Tenchi Muyo that really got me looking since it was obvious that things were cut out, fortunately for a while there was this store in the city where I lived that had all sorts of anime shows for rent...until they closed."

"Um, I don't think that I've ever heard of those first three," Jade pondered for a second, "How did you see them?"

"My Aunt Eunice has a hobby of recording and 'preserving' shows that she considers are quality children’s programming, she's how I saw a lot of shows growing up that were on before I was born since she babysat, come to think of it I'll ask her if she has that show recorded if you want."

"Why do you have a problem with Ayla," Jade inquired, "Is it because the Goodkinds hate mutants because she isn't like that."

I sighed in frustration, "It's an old and long story Jade, and it comes from my mother's family. You see their from Tricoma, a town in Goodnight County in Northwest Texas that was founded by a few minority families that worked on the Transcontinental Railroad, my mom's family the Casey's a family of Irish Immigrants were one of them. When the railroad was finished they pooled their money and took out some bank loans to buy land adjacent to those given to the freedmen among them during Reconstruction and with other Irish families and Chinese families like the Chens and the Lees founded Tricoma City during the cattle boom."

"You see they had an idea to create a town that would benefit all of them: The Irish immigrants used sheep herding techniques from Ireland and began to apply them to cattle which they got wild from the plains. The freedmen who were already there mainly started feed corn and vegetable farms. In the town, the Chinese Immigrants opened up most of the businesses such as the Dry Goods Store, the Saloon, the Barber Shop, and the General Store. When winter came, the farm workers helped drive the cattle to market along the Chisholm Trail to the markets in Kansas City, when it came down to it everyone made a decent profit and most of the mortgages were even paid off...that was until 1903."

"Why what happened in 1903?" Jade asked gripped by the story.

"An eastern businessman looking to expand his family's fortune into the newly discovered Texas oil fields had bought a few acres of land along with the mineral rights," I began to explain the dark part of the story. "That man was Francis Albert Goodkind, he was one of those educated eastern businessmen, the type of person to look down on lesser rabble like the citizens of Tricoma. The locals didn't like his attitude nor those of the men under his employ who treated my ancestors and everyone else who lived there like they were dirt, still they turned the other cheek as long as nothing serious happened, which did three years later when one of the derricks leaked into the river."

"This act of carelessness killed 53 head of cattle, and ruined the years crops, also the cleanup from the spill took five months to be done, and in spite of the fact that it was Francis's fault, he refused to lend any men to help or compensate the locals for the damages. He even got the lieutenant governor to declare that he had done nothing wrong, after that the townsfolk barred his men from their establishments, arrested them for trespassing and rioting if they objected and either refused to sell Francis's business any supplies or charged him ten times the going rate."

"Evidently he had enough and decided to hire the Pinkertons to teach us how to respect civilized folk, what he didn't realize was that while the state ran the Tricoma telegraph office- the operator was a local. So when the locals got wind of the Pinkertons coming and well... I'll leave the rest up to your imagination."

"Come on tell me!" Jade Sinclair squealed in anticipation.

"Well if you want to know, I guess that I can tell you now that most of it is in the public records." I said as I continued telling the story to my fellow Poe resident, "Two weeks later about seventy Pinkerton agents came into town to meet their employer to find a large standing militia composed of thirteen dozen assorted townsfolk armed to the teeth, who weren't willing to let a hired thugs force them into complacency, or off of their land. The Pinkerton's thought that it was a bluff...instead it was a Turkey shoot." Of course what I didn't tell Jade was that several of the bodies were disposed of under a place called Black Heart Hill, a location which has since seen a few more additions in the 60s, Tricoma locals never took kindly to the Klan trying to hassle their neighbors during the Civil Rights Movement.

"Still when he saw that having the Pinkertons harass them didn't work Francis left 'Goodnight' County and put his foreman in charge of the oil field. Since the locals wouldn't sell supplies to them, Francis had to pay to have them brought in from Lynn County. This inconvenience went on until the well was tapped out in 1937 when his men packed up and left. The locals are still pissed off at the Goodkind family about the whole thing, there's even an old law on the books there that any Goodkind who steps foot in Tricoma is to be tarred and feathered. Heck Tricoma is one of the few areas in the country without a Goodmart, and the local supermarket doesn't stock Goodkind Mills Cereal because nobody buys it."

That made Jade gasp in shock, "But Ayla is not like the rest of the Goodkinds, her family disowned her when she manifested, and I heard that they even did terrible things to her like she was some kind of monster."

"I know that Jade but this isn't something that people there will forget," I told her as we walked up to the doors of Dunn Hall. "Francis Goodkind made enemies with a lot of people in Tricoma and not only refused to make reparations but tried to force folks to leave their land. I'm just grateful that the locals bounced back and paid off the remainder loans and mortgages right after WWI so the Crash didn't force the banks to try and push them off with foreclosures. They even hold a day of remembrance calling the Day of Black Tears every year to ensure that no one forgets what happens."

As we walked into Dunn Hall something got Morrigan ticked off because I could hear her growling, I did my best to ignore it as Jade began to explain, changing the subject from the history between my family and that of her teammate. "This is Kane Hall this building is mainly used for Physical Science and Industrial Arts Classes as well as houses the Security Office and the Music Auditorium as well as for the time being the Cafeteria while Crystal Hall is being renovated by the Seniors for their Class Legacy. They should be done and ready for the unveiling by the time Spring Break is over traditionally this was supposed to happen during the Vernal Equinox however the group that is usually leads this had some...issues last Fall."

"Interesting meanwhile let me see if they have anything to nibble on before dinner, and as bad as the cast out spawn of the Goodkinds says it is I doubt that it could be worse than the food they served in Coach." I groaned at the memory. “I could swear that what Delta called seafood kabobs were drier than Kent County on a Sunday."

<"Why hello Lupa,"> a woman who walked up to the two of us stated in Latin (which I could only understand thanks to Morrigan, <"Have you come to aide us in the search for Neptune and Bacchus so that the full Dodekatheon will be ready for our re-ascension?">

<"Sorry cradle-strangler,"> Morrigan remarked as she came forward taking the helm (Since she obviously had a bone to pick with this lady I didn't object) and switching to what sounded like Greek, <"But I am afraid that you have me confused with my errant daughter, not surprising I am told that there is quite the resemblance between us.">

<"How dare you address me in such a manner you insolent wench,"> Majestic bristled as she did her best to restrain herself from assaulting an unknown individual who knew of her identity. <"You have made yourself an enemy of Olympus, and will be destroyed for this insolence.">

*YAWWN*<"Can the drama Hera, you and your lot have not been anywhere near full power since the reign of Constantine."> Morrigan replied with a bored tone. <"Besides if you and your little family had just accepted that times had changed and stepped down the Nazarene would have given your group a place in things, as it stands the Olympian Twelve are little more powerful than ordinary mutants. Of course this is for the best, your family's divine temper tantrums and the puppet games you played with the lives of mortals were the most disgusting things that the world has seen since the Babylonian Pantheon.">

<"Once the twelve of us are gathered again under one flag we will crush you!"> The avatar of Hera shrieked in Ancient Greek as Morrigan continued to grin.

<"Doubtful I already had power and a position before the Gaels worshiped me,"> Morrigan stated as Majestic's eyes began to widen in recognition. <"And I still have my throne as regent of the Wild Fae within the Fairlands after all am I not the Phantom Queen.">

<"M-m-morrigan?"> Majestic’s eyes widened with fear as she realized that she was dealing with a former goddess of both war and death.

I could feel the Ancient Fae smile at the fallen goddess's fear, <"That is THE MORRIGAN to you, very few of your lot had anything except my contempt...except for Hestia, I respect her for being wise enough to ditch your family's politics when Zeus wanted to induct his latest spawn into a position of power. Hades also had my pity until he followed your husband’s advice on dating; however at least he was a faithful husband unlike his younger brother the grand god of date rape.">

<"As if you are so flawless I seem to remember stories about how you tried to kill a certain hero named Cuculhainn."> The Olympian Queen shot back.

<"I was trying to get him in the sack,"> my in-house mentor explained. <"He had accidentally slain his only son in battle and I didn't feel it was right to have him die without an heir. Lugh was also about to give him the warp-spasm and I wanted to place a cautionary enchantment to rein him in if he ever went too far out of control. As it stood all I was able to do for him was tell Queen Medb's archers that he was dead so they would quit using his body for target practice.">

<”I-I do not care who you are, there is no way that you defend yourself from the ten of us alone and live!”> Majestic reined in her fear as venom began dripping from her voice.

<”Who ever said that I was alone Hera? For that matter there is also no use hiding it, I know that there are eleven of you here. Maybe Dionysus would be as well if he did not barter with Morningstar to make that gap in the defense of Olympus and to give him Cerberus as a gift in return for a place in Hell, I understand that he is a baron now within the Third Circle.”> Morrigan stated which sent Majestic into a fury.

<”How dare you accuse one of our own of betraying us, our family would never-“>

<”Oh get off your high horse Hera, your entire pantheon was founded on a tradition of patricide, fratricide and betrayal, that and the wonderful example your spouse set for fidelity makes me wonder why it did not happen earlier when Xerxes visited.”> Morrigan turned back around and let me take the helm again as Majestic kept shrieking at us in Greek before switching to English and then storming off.

"What has that queen of Greek drama up in arms?" Jade asked as Majestic disappeared from sight. "Come to think of it does she know you from somewhere?"

"She just mistook us for one of my spirit's kids from a long time ago in a forest just south of the city of Veil in Ancient Rasna." I began to explain without going into too much detail after all the walls had ears especially in the cramped temporary cafeteria. "So how do you know who she really is?"

"Ayla figured it out last semester when Majestic went ballistic in classical studies on the unfair portrayal of Hera." Jade explained as we walked over to the lunch counter (although Lunch ended long ago and in a school with hyper-metabolics like speedsters and bricks, leftovers are slim pickings) but hopefully this would help reign in the old beast until dinner began. "From there we figured out who almost all of them were at this school."

"Except for Poseidon and Dionysus, am I right?" I asked the youngest of Team Kimba.

"Right, was that what she was asking you?" Jade inquired about the conversation that Morrigan had just had.

"Yep, Morrigan also knows just who here is Mister Shake-Rattle'n'Roll." I answered before hitting a bell on the counter obviously for late arrivals and emergencies. "As for the original frat boy, well have you read Dante's Inferno before?"

"Hello I am sorry however it is a little early for dinner," a centaur of all things said as she walked out of the kitchen. "Oh I do not believe I have seen you before!"

"Yeah I just flew in this morning from DFW, my name is Randi Bridges but I also go by Faolan,” I said extending my hand to the cafeteria worker.

"Very pleased to meet you Ms. Bridges, my name is Jana Loncarovik however I also go by Mezzo." Jana said as she met my handshake, "Let me guess, you are a bit peckish after a flight halfway across the country?"

"An understatement unfortunately, but nothing big just a little something to hold me until dinner starts, if it would not be too much trouble?" I sighed as I began to elaborate. "You see my escort and I had the three-hour layover from hell in Atlanta just because we also needed to clear an item through cargo that is supposed to be added to the Homer Gallery."

"Ooh, can you give me any hints on just what this addition is?" Jana asked curious about the mystery item.

"Sorry I was told by my escort and Mrs. Carson to keep this hush hush until they unveil it." I stated explaining that I was sworn to secrecy. Evidently, this answer satisfied Jana as she went to the kitchen while Jade and I continued our conversation from earlier.

"No," Jade shook her head at my question as we continued our conversation from earlier on the first book of Dante Allegeri's Divine Comedy. "But I am sure that Ayla has!"

"Ask her about the third circle and then tell her why you brought it up something should click." I explained to my senior student.

"Thank you very much, I stated as Jana returned from the kitchen and handed me a plate with some bolognaise on toast, mac & cheese, with a vegetable medley.

A quick glance around and I was suddenly in that situation familiar to all new students finding a place to sit in the lunch room without pissing off any of the cliques, until a bit of inspiration hit me. "Jade is there a group of new students, say other mid-year transfers?"

"Yes they usually sit at that table over there, why?" Ms. Sinclair asked temporarily puzzled.

"I want to know where Badb and I should sit for dinner without causing a problem." I answered her as I moved to sit at the now empty table.

"But you could always sit with the rest of my group," Jade argued back. "Poe freshmen usually sit with us when they start."

"Yeah well, it's probably for the best that no one connects the fact that those of our situation have anything to do with our dorm. Poe is supposed to be the place for real head cases correct, well I have documentation of neurological disorders going back to when I was learning to tie my shoes, and a school like this is bound to have its fair share of hackers and snoops. Better that they think the only connection that I have to your group is being yet another head case from Poe in her Freshman Year, besides I'd just as soon as help from a distance- there is no reason to rush making my problems yours before you are ready for them." And I sat down to eat my brief snack before dinner began as Jade left Kane Hall.




The Obsidian Circle's Hidden Sanctum
Location Unknown
3:00 PM EST (local time zone unknown)

It had been less than a month since her induction as a full member of the Obsidian Circle, and as Erzabet once again traversed the passage to the Hidden Sanctum of some of the most infamous mystics in both history and theology. Still she marveled at the tightly woven world gate that gave away not so much as a single hint that you were actually traveling down a pathway that was essentially a wrinkle in time and space.

Yet no matter how she looked around the tunnel appeared to be well hewed and laid granite and mortar, not so much as a wisp of power or a spark of mana. The skill necessary to achieve one such tunnel linking two locations would have taken a master human mage a lifetime to achieve, the circle had fifty that could link to any Chapter House as soon as it was founded for the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom. Of course, some causeways were hidden and lead to alleys in cities without proper chapter houses yet were important locations such as Vatican City or Dunwich, or to vaults and libraries known only to the Obsidian Circle and its operatives.

Moreover, speaking of operatives Erzabet had a number of propositions to present for the Circle's consideration, as well as a matter that she felt needed to come to their attention. As she descended the stairs and noted that she was hardly the last one to arrive, as Madam Eventide and Conte Enigma were as well, still it was odd that Hanshou-reifujin was nowhere to be seen. What made it even more odd was that the fallen goddess's Japanese Imperial-style throne had been replaced with one of an oddly organic design crafted from a green stone that Erzabet could not for the of herself identify.

"Greetings mother," Erzabet smiled at the enigmatic Mistress Nyx, a mannequin animated by the will of Lilith the first wife of Adam from her throne on the Second Circle. "I trust that you received my message."

"Of course my dear Erzabet," the lilting voice of the Queen of Lust seemed to sing. "And I shall tell you about how to expand the range of your gift to the Circle later in the meeting. For now we have a guest from The Gray Barrow coming."

"Then why is Izunami not here?" Erzabet asked out of curiosity causing all present to chuckle. "What is so humorous about my question?"

"It is just that truthfully we only allow Hanshou-reifujin to sit at this table for two reasons," Baron Impié spoke up out of his dark chuckle. "One is that we have need of her connections in the Far East as well as her academy the Yama Dojo."

"And the other reason?" the newest member of the Obsidian Circle spoke up eager to learn the truth.

"She is a spy for the Cult of Nyarlathotep who we have feed false information and half-truths to for about half a century." Lord Ataxia stated simply and clearly, "She was resurrected from Yomi, the Shinto Underworld by Amatsu Mikaboshi to act as his cat’s-paw."

"And Amatsu Mikaboshi the August Star of Heaven is a servant to one of the many identities of the Dark Man," Mister Domino startled her as he gave one of the aliases used to refer to the GOO Nyarlathotep.

"And for future reference that chair is not for any member of the Obsidian Circle..." Conte Enigma explained.

"It is a guest seat reserved for members of the Gray Barrow," a very familiar voice from the staircase explained. Erzabet turned to see Harbinger, a hero that she herself had fought several times in the past come down and take that empty seat. "Members such as myself, hello again dear Erzabet it has been quite a while."

"Not long enough if you ask me," Erzabet did her best to keep the venom out of her voice in the presence of one of the most powerful mystic heroes on the planet. "So let me guess the Gray Barrow contains some of the most powerful mystic do-gooders on the planet many of whom are ancient as well."

"Correct," Harbinger smiled as she elaborated. "I myself have been around for quite a while."

"So who are you?" Erzabet asked out of an annoyed curiosity. "Bridget, Isis, mayhaps Freya or Titania."

"No," Harbinger shook her head, "Morgan le Fay."

"So, one of the greatest villains of legend is one of the great heroines of today, such delicious irony." Erzabet leaned forward with a laugh.

"I was not a villain until the Normans and the Franks began to rewrite the story to add more intrigue by shoe-horning in a fem-fatalé." Morgan explained, "All I did in the original was refuse to give Arthur Excalibur's true sheath until he apologized after overreacting to a misunderstanding, and swore that he would not know a true and faithful love until her returned to me, which was a truth and not a curse. However I was there when take his body to Avalon alongside our daughter and our mothers; I just wanted him to swallow his pride and return to my side, not him dead at Mordred's hand."

"Your daughter," Erzabet asked, "But I thought that she died from that cloak."

"Please they lifted that plot right out of the myth about the poisoned cloak that killed Heracles." Harbinger continued, "They created that story because my daughter is Arthur's only living heir; although I am the Matron of the Lake now and she is the Lady. Mine and Arthur's son and her twin, Ambrose died by his own father's arrow in a hunting accident, and Alexander, Arthur's only child by Gwenevier, died by Mordred's blade during the coup d’état at Camalot."

"Is he really sleeping on Avalon?" Erzabet continued wanting to learn more about one of her favorite set of tales as a child.

"Yes." Morgan closed her eyes, "And one dark day soon he will recover to aide us all in the coming war, and should we all survive I hope that he will finally accept me."

"Bah! Enough romantic drivel," Lord Ataxia scoffed at the exchange, "Did you find the artifact?"

"Yes Set, here is your heart." Harbinger stated as she materialized a Coptic jar to set upon the table, "Only one final jar remains, I do hope that when the last of your organs are returned to that you will have a better attitude, otherwise I might feel inclined to seal that jar's contents in fossilized troll dung. So are we on schedule to begin Plan Etnaeon?”

“Of course,” Madame Eventide stated rather pleased with herself. “Uncle Typhon will be to help get everything ready before Spring Semester begins, Echidna can hardly wait as well, I would just love to be their next spring when the reborn Olympians witness our little surprise. Thanks in no small part to our newest member who you have been conversing with, and speaking of new members when to we get to meet the Auralian?”

“When he feels inclined to attend Loki,” Le Fey began to elaborate, “At the moment he is busy trying to solve the problem on how to cleanse the rest of mankind, who are not infected with the blood of Dagon, of the Old Ones influence.”

“I hope that he will make it on time,” Lilith chimed in. “When the last non-mutant Evan lies barren as per the ancient agreement with the Creator my daughters and I will be released from the depths to see if we can reunite the two true halves of humanity, to see if we can be saved from damnation and mankind from extinction. Then after this I will offer myself to the NeoAdamo, I hope he accepts me so that I may repent for all of my crimes against creation, and put my days of being queen of lust behind me with the conception of the first child of true mankind."

"I believe this is the first time that I have heard of this mother." Erzabet stated as she again inquired, "So what are we your other daughters destined for?"

"Myself and my full daughters the Lilin represent the opposite side of the son's of Adam, Evan... the daughters of Eve...womankind are a substitution created to ensure that mankind continues in the absence of its other half. As the story goes I left Eden after Adam refused to see me as his equal, well I also wanted to be on top because laying on my back made my wings feel odd- of course had we not been in Eden it would have been downright painful." Mistress Nyx waxed of the past.

"Wings?" dame Scratch inquired of her succubae halves matron. "I thought that you gained those after you spoke the name of the Creator in Vain!"

"No all that happened was that I gained knowledge, of both magic and how to use my wings to fly. You see my dear Erzabet what most men think of when they think of ethereal beings and try to imagine angels, if they are ignorant of the many-detailed Hebrew description, is their absent half. When they try to imagine angels without reading the ancient descriptions, they think of what Lilin look like. Moreover, as for succubae my dear Erzabet, you are the daughters of Eve that I took in, fostered and adopted as my own (mainly those unfortunate babes in the First Circle). When this day comes, your leather wings will molt into feathered ones, your tails will shed and you will join your step sisters as you become full Lilin free of the need for preying upon mankind...well at least the type of preying that you do now."

"And what of mutants’ mother," Erzabet asked curious at the fate of so many under her employ-many of whom were as much her children as her daughters, "What is their fate?"

"Along with the true mankind they will counted amongst the subjects of the Center Court, and help us reestablish the Courts of the Dragons in the North, the Djinn in the South, the Sidhe in the West, and the Tritons in the East. Then once our power is built up, enough we will modify the spell of the Daughter of the Burning Oak so that only those of the New Five-Fold Court can come and go from Earth." Mistress Nyx's smoke shrouded orb almost seemed to smile as she thought of the future. "We shall then go forth unto the stars and cleanse the universe of the servitors of the Old Ones and reunite with any stranded allies that we can find until we create a new Golden Age."

"For you see we dream of many things my dear Erzabet," Mister Domino began to speak with a fervor, "We dream of the jubilant laughter of children. We dream of men and women living without fear as they go about their day. We dream of the tears of tyrants as the watch their thrones crumble. We dream of decadent spoiled pantheons standing in disbelief as their temples fade into abandoned ruins. We dream of these things for a reason this you see is the Obsidian Circle, this is the Altar upon which all the artificial shackles, priests of bloated alien elders and false lying godlings will be drug screaming as they are sacrificed for the future of all freethinking beings in creation. This is the table upon which these beings shall either forsake their hold upon the futures of those that live, or be fed into the oblivion that spawned their black ambitions. This you see my dear Erzabet is the true mission of the Obsidian Circle, this is our cause, this is why we act not for the future of ourselves but for the future of all. Now ask yourself this, what are you to your children their mother or their tyrant?"

Although her mind was reeling over the new information that she had been bombarded with this accusation made her blood boil. "Loki regardless of what you may have heard either by report or rumor my children are just that- my children, I may not have given birth to them and many came to me as young men and women; however they are the closest thing that I have. Since we are telling stories let me tell you a story- the story of how I became Erzabet Scratch and how the Hangman came to serve me."

"I was born in Texas in what is now known as Flower Mound in 1913, we lived on a small peach farm and my mother was what could be called a curandero, a woman who uses traditional means taught within the family for healing and childbirth. We were happy and enjoyed a modest but comfortable lifestyle, that all lasted until my father was drafted to fight in that foolish war when I was four...he never returned. After that my mother did her best to keep the farm together and earn money with her medicine, and I did my best to learn my mother's craft by her side both how to heal through traditional medicine and means that lay outside the normal way of doing things."

"This went on until '27 when a drifter saw me practicing magic secretly in our orchard while he was trying to help himself to some of our crop; he saw a way to turn this news into some easy money and took this information to the local minister, a Baptist preacher by the name of Ernest Redmond. Ernest was a man of passion who was part of the Temperance League and frustrated by his group's failings he was looking for a scapegoat for the failure of his Prohibition so that he did not lose influence before his congregation...and low and behold in the midst of his congregation there be witches."

"With every bit of fire and brimstone that he could muster, Reverend Redmond gathered a mob armed with pitchforks and torches and set out for our farm. It was near dark when they approached so my mother saw their torches in the distance and knew that trouble was coming, fearing the worst she put me in the cellar and covered the lid with a steamer trunk so that I would not try to rescue her. I could scarcely hear anything over the shouted of the mob or the preacher demanding that my mother face the wrath of god for her crimes against the Lord. Soon I heard my mother screaming in anger and pain and the reasons were two-fold. Later I had discovered that the mob had been to beating her with fence posts that they had uprooted from our property on their march to our home; however the other reason I learned right away, the rest of the mob had set our home on fire with me trapped in the basement unable to get out."

"It had taken me till the next morning to crawl out of the cellar from the charred rubble of my home, thankful of the fact that my departed father had made the room with tornadoes in mind so thankfully the timbers held and I had not suffocated. It was then that I found my mother's broken body tied to one of our peach trees, that zealot and his followers had bound my mother to one the best trees in our orchard, and let his men beat her to death breaking her arms and legs and busting her ribs in the process."

"In tattered ash-stained rags I went into the region's center only to find out that overnight my mother, was vilified in a community where most of them owed her their lives especially those of their children. What really hurt was that the good Reverend Redmond was now seen as a hero and holy warrior who fought the servant of the devil and won. I waited until nightfall and stole a couple of empty mail bags from the post office and took them to the intact cellar under our home, I loaded them with every occult tome and spell book that we had, even those my mother had to keep out of the wrong hands and took to the road."

"It took three years of preparation study and even trading for a few things at the Goblin Market, in fact I traded the tone of my skin and the color of my hair to a hag in the market for a spell that I use to this day. You see my mother may have practiced magic; however it was to ensure that darkness remained sealed away, a man whose insatiable thirst for violence and death remained even beyond death itself, Hezekiah Jones better known as The Hangman."

"In life Hezekiah was the executioner employed by Fort Worth, except he liked his job a little too much and took to kidnapping victims along the Trinity River and hanging them for fun until he was caught and hanged with his own noose. Of course not even death stopped the Hangman his desire to kill caused his murderous spirit to possess his own corpse and continue its rampages, he killed 114 people and before the undead monstrosity that he became was found and bound by preachers, shaman and even mystics such as my Grandmother he murdered a hundred more. They buried him in a stone coffin etched in runes and consecrated the ground to keep him immobile."

"With the spell that I purchased, I had the foundation for a spell to control the Hangman and then using my grandmother's notes as a guide I found his unmarked grave and I succeeded in harnessing the monster to my will. I returned to the area of Denton County where I used to call home to find everyone there desperately struggling to avoid the series of foreclosures and bank seizures that was happening elsewhere because of the Depression. Of course the 'Good' Reverend was happy church attendance had never been higher, this meant that all of my targets were together in one place."

"At first they failed to recognize me, they thought that my mother had returned from Hell as a young demon with a minion, I let them believe what I wanted as the Hangman tore through the congregation as I reveled in the vengeance that I had wanted so long. During the middle of the affair, Ernest slipped away, so I left Hezekiah behind to finish up while I went after the architect of my mother's violent murder. I found him trembling in his office holding an antique civil war rifle and took a musket ball to the shoulder before he came at me with the bayonet the fossil probably intended to stab me through the heart however, he tripped on a fountain pen that had fallen on the floor and stabbed me in the pelvis instead. It was the last thing he ever did as I burst his heart with a spell filled with every ounce of fury I could muster."

"I stumbled back to the chapel to find that Hezekiah had finished with the congregation and had moved on to the Sunday school, when I arrived he had just killed the teacher and was about to move on to the children. I stopped him before he could, their parents may have killed my mother but the children were innocent, and I could not bring myself to kill those who were now like me orphans."

"I had the Hangman keep them from leaving the classroom while I brewed a potion known as the Blessing of Lethe; I forced them all to drink it then ordered Hezekiah to carefully load them all into the stolen truck that we had arrived in. By the time morning came the children reawaken without any memories of the terror that they had witnessed or of their lives before that. I had told them that they were all orphans and it was my job to take care of them and name them, when they asked me my name I told them that I was Erzabet Scratch. My first name I took Erzabet was after Countess Erzabet Bathory, because I was bathed in the blood of my victims. Scratch because I had surely done the devil's work the day prior. These children would become my family the only kind of family I could ever have thanks to that bayonet. From then on I committed countless crimes to insure that my family would thrive together we gathered a good amount of wealth and occult knowledge and in turn founded what would eventually become the Metroplex Chapter of the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom."

"I did everything that I could to provide for those children, who I had begun to think of as my own, and even their children's children. However I was growing old and as more and more mutants like the Mystic Six began to emerge, including the founding five members of the Dallas Defenders, and even with The Hangman doing my bidding I just could not keep up anymore." She squeezed her fists, digging her nails into her palms as she did so. "It was when Reverant and I almost died in 1968 during an attempt to acquire a few rare mystic manuscripts on display at the Amon Carter Museum that I finally admitted to myself that I was beginning to burn out, if not for my belated son Gopher I would not have escaped and would just as likely have died."

"Still I had a purpose and took a gamble with my own soul; in '69 I summoned a young succubus from the Second Circle of Hell and over the course of an agonizing month fused the two of us together so completely that I doubt that we could ever be separated. The process of the merging restored my lost youth, and gave me power, that when combined with my knowledge and experience made me more than a match for most mutants, I was finally back in the big leagues. Soon my Dark Home became a Chapter House in the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom whose size equaled those of New York, and London, and I slowly began to expand my empire to what it now is."

"As for those children, many of them died of old age as great-grandparents," Erzabet spoke as she leaned forward and rested her chin upon her latticed fingers. "Some are still around and they are part of my family even if they are not succubae, I still hold them as if they were my own children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. Over time, my family has expanded with foundlings, fugitive mutants, and especially children I rescue from a horrible fate in the Wastrel Auctions of the Goblin Market. All of these children are the infrastructure of my empire, and united in purpose my family prospers. So to answer your question Mister Domino, yes I think of my children as just that my children, and I am a proud matron indeed. Now would anyone deign to inform me on how I might extend the range of The Hangman beyond the Trinity River and its flood-plain, I plan on having him reawakened tonight?"


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4 years 7 months ago #9297 by Insane Hiker
Insane Hiker replied the topic: Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves
Part 3 Notes




Goodnight County -
Originally known as Randall County, Tricoma City circulated a petition to have its changed its name in an official bill in 1968 in honor of Charles Goodnight 'The Father of the Texas Panhandle' rather than the misspelled last name of Brigadier General Horace Randal of the Confederate Army.

Tricoma, TX -
A fictional town in Goodnight County Texas founded by families of the freedmen as well as Irish and Chinese immigrants who worked on the Transcontinental Railroad in 1873 using railroad wages, and the land granted to some of the freedmen families during Reconstruction. Tricoma was originally set up to support the new cattle industry and did quite well in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As of the 2000 census the city boasts a population of 6,573 individuals, according to population statistics 34% are Caucasian, 27%African, 23% Asian, 11% Hispanic, and 5% Native Americans. Its primary sources of income are cattle ranching, wind farming, and tourism.

The Day of Black Tears -
A day of remembrance held of April 8th in Tricoma, TX to reflect on the tragedies of the Goodkind oil spill of 1906 and the attempted Pinkerton Intervention that followed. This is commemorated by a reading in the town center of the events that lead up to the tragedy and those that followed, and ends with the towns folk burning prominent members of the Goodkind family in effigy. Recognizing the root cause of the disaster, baring emergency vehicles, no motor vehicles are allowed to operate on the streets that day, and there is a $20.00 fine for motorized yardwork.

Lilin -
The children of Lilith spawned either from copulating with men, which she did when she was allowed to roam the earth before her banishment by King Solomon, or from the lust of those caught in the cyclone that swirls around the precipice she has been chained to in the Second Circle. They are never held by their mother as the winds carry them away as soon as they are born, so she only has time to name them. Oddly enough physically the Lilin look almost exactly like human women; however with feathered wings on their back although can glamour them invisible. Although they are beautiful the Lilin are cursed, and any man who lies with one will suffer a drain of spirit energy, almost perminanetly negative charisma, and a feeling of temporary agonizing pain afterwards. Lilin are physically powerful and are also powerful spell casters, and psychics. Lilin are extremely vulnerable to holy magic, banishment spells, and need powerful magic charms to avoid busting into flame upon contact with direct sunlight.

The Grey Barrow -
A society formed in the middle ages to preserve ancient knowledge from being purged by the Roman Catholic Church and later the Protestant Movements. It later expanded to combat the rise of dark mystic societies and cults of the Great Old Ones, existence of the Grey Barrow is unknown outside of it's members and operatives, and the Obsidian Circle with whom they have an alliance of necessity.

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4 years 7 months ago - 4 years 7 months ago #9720 by Insane Hiker
Insane Hiker replied the topic: Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves
Part 4




Whateley Academy - Elizabeth Carson's Office
3:07 PM

"So on to other matters Nathaniel," Ms. Carson stated now that their lengthy discussion on the Obsidian Circle's reemergence was finally concluded. "I understand that you finally secured your former team's contribution to the Homer Gallery."

"More accurately Elizabeth, Armordillo and Tin Star did the real leg work," Reverend Haskins stated to his former principal. "However I suppose that this is only fair; after all Armordillo helped Iron Horse found the Dallas Defenders and Tin Star was his sidekick when he was not taking classes here. They felt the need to get his final suit sent here; although it being stolen from Police Evidence and sold in an underground auction did make it difficult to track down. They finally found it a few weeks ago in the hands of some sick collector in LA, the man liked to collect trophies of dead heroes, and I do not just mean capes we recovered General Patton's helmet from this man's home. Of course it helps that almost all of these items were obtained illegally once we had the warrant he did not have a leg to stand on, there were things in there that were supposed to be in the Smithsonian's warehouses inside."

"Excellent if we work at it we should have a place ready for it in the Homer Gallery by the time Spring Semester begins." Ms. Carson firmly stated, "It is long past time that Stanley Hepler's story is told to students outside of an occasional mention in class. It should also serve as an inspiration for the students in Hawthorne as well as some of the young men in Twain and the young ladies in Whitman in fact I think that I should show it in a special assembly Wednesday afternoon for the students."

"There is another concern Elizabeth," Mr. Lodgeman stated as seriously as he could. "When Heather Bridges, Randi's adopted sister's DNA was processed through our servers two flags popped up, apparently her birth parents are not her biological parents. According to tests done using Whateley files we had a match of two Alumni, genetically her biological father is Felix Rodrigez aka Bluetick and her biological mother is Alison Adamson aka Fissure."

"This is very odd Charles, according to our intel when Heather would have been conceived Fissure was working at a Syndicate think-tank in Montana and Bluetick was attending classes at the Houston Police Academy, that on top of Heather's original birth certificate." Headmistress Carson did not like where this was headed. "Either they had a tryst from half-way across the country and used Heather's birth mother as a surrogate, or someone out there has been making test tube babies based on the powers of their biological parents to increase the chance of them manifesting as more powerful mutants."

"That is the most likely possibility," Plainswalker stated as he set down a folder. "Apparently her birth family was having financial difficulties, less than a year before Heather was born when a sizable cash sum showed up and bailed them out; this obviously was not her father's hard work showing fruit given that he is hardcore H1. Heather's birth mother was likely paid by an unknown party and either knowingly or unknowingly used as a surrogate for this experiment."

"Do we have any idea of the individual or group behind this?" Lodgeman asked eager to uncover the truth behind a possible mutant breeding operation.

Plainswalker rubbed his temples as he answered his mentor's inquiry, "I'm not certain we can, the only lead that we have is thirteen years old and completely unaware of this. Since Fissure was and still is a gadgeteer working for The Syndicate, although now as one of Apis's Hathorides, it is best to assume that this is one of their operations. This is only speculation; however this is probably designed to breed future agents in an environment where they would then feel the need to sever all ties with their families after manifesting to survive and thus leave them open to be recruited."

"If this is a Syndicate operation and we are only stumbling upon it now, this means that we could be seeing a large number of unregistered Syndicate mutant operatives in the future especially if they have an unknown training base to work out of." Ms. Carson began to consider the implications of this further, "Did anything similar pop-up when we admitted Paige and Jo Donner?"

"We could not do a search on them due to the legal problems surrounding Paige and Jo's original identities." Mr. Lodgeman turned to Plainswalker and told him flat out, “Now understand Nathan, this information does not leave this room."

"Like I would want to bring anything like this up, if anyone found out it would just make them paranoid about their fellow students." Reverend Haskins stated to his mentor in the mystic ways. "This school is supposed to be a safe environment to raise the future generations so that they survive in the outside world, the last thing we need is students suspecting each other of being involved with the group that attacked the school last Halloween, or even worse think that other students might be sleeper agents. Still that notion would be ridiculous since I doubt that any of the Divisors The Syndicate had over a decade ago or even today could program a sleeper agent prenatally, besides if they could then Nimbus would have bragged about it to someone by now."

"I hope that you are right Nathaniel," Ms. Carson wished as she stared at her colleges with a weary look that spoke off the true weight of the years behind her. "I hope for all our sakes that you are right."




The Obsidian Circle's Hidden Sanctum
Location Unknown
3:17 PM EST (local time zone unknown)

"So a little clay from the four cardinal points of his range placed in his stomach are all I need to let me use The Hangman outside his normal range of operations." Erzabet mused at the information Dame Höllenfeuer conveyed to her. "Thank you for the advice I am certain that Hezekiah will be a most excellent addition to our war."

"Yes however the clay must surround water from the river," the Queen of Niphelheim began to elaborate to her newest colleague. "Should the water ever leave the clay then The Hangman will be rendered inert."

"Easily handled," Conte Enigma chimed in rather pleased with himself. "The important thing is that the clay contain the water correct, then just use the clay to make a holding vessel of ceramic-composite alloy, if you keep air from getting in and use the proper amount of water then boiling and freezing would not matter what so ever."

"Wonderful, might I use the land line?" Erzebet asked of both Baron Impié and Lord Ataxia, "If I relay the information to my subordinates now then they should have Hezekiah’s ‘medicine’ ready by dawn."

"Only if we might borrow Perses," Lord Ataxia explained to the newest member of the circle. "As a former student he is allowed to visit the Whateley Academy at anytime so long as he calls ahead to schedule the visit and does not try to recruit while he is there, if he comes escorting Mister Domino then they shall have to allow the two of them onto campus. We have a number of things that we need to handle their such as delivering proof of what Count Impié will be doing when we visit the High Priestess of the Tong of the Black Madonna in two days."

"It would probably be better to ask Galatea to arrange this, she has closer ties to Whateley,” Erzabet suggested to her seniors in The Circle as she rose from her seat, to use the land line, a simple touch-tone phone designed to perfectly resemble a high-end antique rotary model. "After all I understand that she helped induct someone very high-up there into a fraternity while they were both students, a Ms. Amelia Hartford."

Picking up the telephone Erzabet quickly connected with her secretary, "Yes Marcia can you patch me through to Baud Rate, I have some instructions that I wish for him to relay to Kampe immediately, and ask her if she could have Fabergé have it ready to go and send it before Reverant returns with The Hangman."

Suddenly a chubby looking hand reached out of the receiver its hand open, Erzabet was not phased in the least. Treating it like a common occurrence, Erzabet deposited the slip of paper on which she inscribed the instructions Dame Höllenfeuer had given her as well as Conte Enigma's suggestions. With the instructions in hand the hand disappeared back into the receiver and Erzabet put the phone back to her face, "Tell Fabergé that he must follow these instructions explicitly and no embellishments or deviations, there is no room for his artistic touch here. Oh! Inferna needs to speak with me. Go on my dear please connect us. Hello Inferna, this is Erzabet calling, now what is the matter my dear?" She paused for a moment listening to her daughter in charge of the Kansas City chapter house; she began to shake with rage.

"HE BILLED US FOR WHAT? No, dear I know that you did not authorize this, all major spending contracts from our branches come across my desk personally- Yes even the micro-brewing equipment and supplies- No I have no problem with that, after all affordable booze in house makes for less loose drunken-lips flapping on the street. Although you should consider expanding that into a larger operation, I have sampled it and you have a good product, the more legitimate income that we have to work with the better."

"Of course my dear, I know you did not authorize this endeavor, I would remember if one of my children needed to lease a Syndicate base and personnel. Did they say who endorsed an endeavor that neither of us approved on...I see. Thank you for calling me before making an appointment to meet with the intended victims of this Hekate."

The mention of her real name caused Madame Eventide's to bristle as her mask changed from its usual face of bemused joy to a fang-filled maw of anger. Still Erzabet continued with her conversation ignoring that the original Hecate was about to go ballistic that a pretender dare to her name and use it to make trouble for The Circle.

"No actually, I believe that I can arrange to have you meet with the students in question." Erzabet continued, “Just keep it in costume my dear, and remember that you are there representing not only the Kansas City Chapter, or the Mid-West Branch, but the Obsidian Circle itself. I will also be sending Galatea along to handle the introductions as well as Perses and one other to act as bodyguard's, there is no need for anyone outside of the administrative office at Whateley to know who you really are. In addition, you will have another guest or two joining you for your visit, they have business of their own at Whateley. I will have Galatea handle everything when I return to the office, I am in the middle of a very important meeting now. Thank you, I will see you soon my dear, and do not worry mommy will help make this all better."

"Mister Domino, I believe that you will soon have your invitation to Whateley and we will have raison d’état to take up arms against the Esoteric Order of Dagon. Over Christmas holiday, an individual under the codename Hekate abducted two Whateley Academy freshmen in my territory using Syndicate resources with forged signatures of not only my local director Inferna, but also myself. Apparently, her referral came to them from The Necromancer, and the both of them had the audacity to leave me with the bill for use of and replacement of the base as well as the Syndicate agents stationed there. So Domino dear, Inferna will be accompanying you incognito to interview the students involved, and I swear to supply a full report containing both her intelligence and the invoices from the Syndicate at the next 'true' meeting, unless this is something we must keep from Izunami."

"Hanshou Reifujin will not be a problem for too much longer," Baron Impié stated with a smile as he chuckled to himself. "I acquired Pandora's Box not too long ago, and have been studying it to improve upon the original's design; I have succeeded beyond my original expectations. Using stalagmites hewed from the Cavern of Nyx, fel-iron procured from the Sixth Circle, and amulets taken from Pnakotus I have created two vastly improved models. One is to contain Reifujin-"

"And the other will contain the serpent Apep once I expel that portion of his essence from my being once and for all." Lord Ataxia proclaimed to his fellows. "Then I will deliver swift justice upon the pretender masquerading as Isis and free Prince Horus of the Djinn from the possession of Ra."

"Out of curiosity since I am new here," Erzabet spoke up as she sat back down. "Tell me just how telling Izunami about the serpent of Midgard and when he will attack Dagon's sunken city will help?"

"The truth of the matter is that the serpent is already there," Mister Domino as usual smiled as he spoke. "In fact when the United States Navy blasted Devil's Reef with depth charges in 1928 it let him move nearly into striking position over the sunken city of Y'ha-nthlei. As the Deep Ones rebuilt the reef as outer fortifications to the city they unknowingly included the tip of his snout in the fortifications, as we speak they are expanding outward they are giving my son even more leverage- especially since we gave her this piece of intelligence fifteen years ago."

"In about half a year he will have enough leverage to pry the fortifications right off of Y'ha-nthlei along with its dome exposing the city completely." Dame Höllenfeuer continued where her father left off, "And then he shall feast upon the Deep Ones known as Father Dagon and Mother Hydra, whose taint from the Star Spawn shall not save them from my brother's poison, the heaviest most concentrated form of reality. And speaking of brothers, father I think it would be pertinent to have Fenrir act as your bodyguard for your visit to Whateley, tell him to wear his mask from his days as Lycaon that should cause a bit of fright."

"That is a most excellent suggestion my dear Höllenfeuer," Mister Domino laughed. "I think that I shall contact him immediately, maybe I will even be interrupting something interesting."

"No no father, please allow me," Dame Höllenfeuer smiled with a wry amusement. "After all dear Carcharoth and I so rarely have a chance to speak to one another."




Badrutt's Palace
St. Moritz, Switzerland
9:38 PM CET

Carcharoth was truly enjoying himself, about ten minutes ago the young woman he was under orders to target and her two friends had felt the effects of the psychic virus that he carried within him. Of course, the affects were far from the painful gut-wrenching experience of a werewolf transformation from the world of cinema, instead they fell to the ground in the grip of an almost narcotic ecstasy as euphoria overcame their them and temporarily shut down their minds as their new thrall personality created by his virus took over.

"Oh Lord Carcharoth, please give me more!" the now animalistic Heather Goodkind moaned wrapped in her PK-shell as her tail wagged behind her. The first to wake of the trio that had experienced what she had to offer, Heather curled up next to the onyx-furred beast trying to guide his hand between her exquisite fur-covered orbs and into her moist valley for another bout of relations.

"Now now my dear, the spell of infertility on myself will be wearing off soon, and I must not leave any more evidence for your mother to find. "Now do you remember the plan?"

"Do you mean appear to have a classic celebrity-diva breakdown, and turn to my loving parents for a little stability while I recover and use my temporary residence and my sister Connie's blind-admiration to gain access to Human Relations Department at Goodkind International." Heather began to carefully recite the mission that her new dominant personality had been given to go along with her new hidden abilities. "Once I return to my old home I am to use my sister Connie's admiration and still active passwords to spy for the Circle on vulnerable personnel for potential recruitment. I am also to seek out signs for any possible followers of the Esoteric Order of Dagon and other cults of the Great Old Ones so that they might be disposed of discreetly either by others of the pack, agents of The Circle, or myself away from prying eyes."

"Good," Carcharoth grinned in satisfaction at his latest thrall memorizing the plan so well. Oh, screw it he doubted that he would be enjoying this one in the immediate future, Carcharoth then renewed the spell of infertility on himself, moved to cup his clawed hand gently under Heather's chin and continued. "I think that you deserve a reward for that, now should we get started with just the two of us, or should we wait for your friends to wake for round two of our earlier or-"

Carcharoth never got to finish his proposal as a he received a mystic message from a very familiar source, Carcharoth, the Circle has a job for you!

Dammit sis, the lupine jotun snarled at his sibling. I was in the middle of something, this had better be important!

I thought that might be the case, Dame Höllenfeuer mused in sadistic self-satisfaction. Now we are even for the last time you interrupted Hod and I.

What you see in that blind Aesir is beyond me? Carcharoth growled as he moved away from the now perplexed Connie Goodkind, All he was good for was allowing father to kill Balder, throwing the Aesir into a Ragnarok-fueled panic, and letting him get sealed away and half-forgotten when the Nazarene arrived.

I assure you that he is good for far more than that. Dame Höllenfeuer stated as she began to pour on the innuendo to her brother's disgust. He is the only one who ever treated me as a woman despite how I look, and the way he uses his hands...it is like a piece of paradise.

Ugh I don't need to hear about my your sex life. Her brother groaned, especially when you enjoy cock-blocking my own.

"Master? What is the problem? Do I displease you?" Heather asked with a sad whimper in her voice.

"No, no my dear Heather, in fact the truth is far from it." Carcharoth assured his thrall with a long lick from her the summit of her fur-adorned left-breast to the inside of her neck where he applied a light nibble. Dame Höllenfeuer merely chose now as a good time to contact me telepathically, is that not the way of siblings though. They always seem to know just when to come along and spoil your fun.

N-no neeeeeeeed to elaborate my beloved master, Heather communicated amidst her moans of pleasure becoming more used to the telepathic link that she shared with Carcharoth and her fellow thralls. I have several siblings myself, thank goodness I do not have to deal with Greg or Trevor anymore.

If you are done consoling your newest bitch brother, Dame Höllenfeuer quipped eliciting her brothers ire again. Father and The Circle need you back in the United States next week, you are to la low in Boston and await further instruction, and if you are a good little boy father might just let you play with your old friend Reverend Englund.

His anger at the mocking words of his sister evaporated when he heard the name of his old foe from his days operating under the identity of Lycaon, a man of questionable piety that he loved to torment.




Just Beyond the Vale of the Baku
The Dreamlands
?

"I don't see why the baku are so dangerous mister Greyback,” the young kitten who Greyback had taken to calling Blinky, mainly because Mur-yowl-phfft was a bit of a mouthful. "They acted friendly enough and they were pretty nice to us."

"That is because you were calm when you met them young one," Greyback explained to the young kitten who had asked if he could meet the wolf's friend. "Most meet them after having escaped a traumatic encounter with the Ammit, Baku you see eat nightmares, and here in The Dreamlands if one is not careful a bad experience can soak deep into their being. If such a nightmare soaks too deep the Baku will have to dig too deep in order to retrieve it, if that does happen the individual may never recover."

"Wow that’s a lot to go through to see a friend just who is she?" Blinky asked still brimming with curiosity.

"You could say that 'she' is one of the Outer Gods, maybe the oldest of them." Greyback mused. "She represents the primordial chaos which preceded creation for she is the only part of it that was never properly shaped; however she is endlessly fascinated by what has followed and wishes to see what it will all become. To this end unlike many of the others with the exception of maybe Destiny, she is of no threat to creation because it interests her and she wants to see where it is all going."

"But why does she live way out here if she likes creation?" Blinky further inquired of the wolf. "Is she just too shy to come out and meet everyone?"

"No this is where she was imprisoned by Existence for a great crime." Greyback elaborated, "As for what that crime is she will explain when you meet her."

"But first travelers you will have to meet with us!" A new voice growled joined by many others, as Greyback and Blinky noticed that they were surrounded by strange lithe canine whose bodies shone midnight blue and whose coats were dusted with stars.

"W-w-who are these folks Mister Greyback?" Blinky mewled while cowering between the old wolf's paws.

"These are aetherhounds, primal fae spirits whose hunts take them between the Dreamlands, the Waking World, and almost every place in between baring of course the prisons where the Great Old One's are shackled." Greyback explained to the young feline who had traveled far with him as a companion, now shivering between his legs.

"We know who we are ancient one," the same voice as before growled at the pair. "The question is who are you and why are you trespassing so close to our dens?"

"I am Greyback, he who the Pawnee Tribe revered as The Wolf Who Walking the Star Road, the sage who served to protect the armies of Queen Venraniel Daughter of the Silent Willow during the war against the Thousand Young prior to the Spell of Sundering." The old wolf proclaimed with a boldness that the kitten had yet to see from the humble old wolf. "And before all of that I was the Aetherhound that Queen Venraniel had chosen to merge with a portion of her consort General Armeluien, after he had fallen to an act of treachery perpetrated by the allies of the Old Ones."

This tale was familiar to the aetherhounds who began to back down as their leader spoke again. "I apologize honored elder for my actions however these are dark days that grow even darker as fel things stir and begin to wander, one cannot be too careful with strangers when the future of one's people is at stake. So what may I ask brings you so deep into the Dreamlands?"

"I seek an audience with the Sorrowful Unnamed," Greyback explained to those whose tribe he had once run with many, many lifetimes ago. "I wish to seek knowledge that she may have seen or observed, I and many others are seeking the surviving heirs to the Five Courts and I wish to ask her for her council."

"Very well,” The Aetherhound stated to the pair who were once again prepared to get on their way. However a word of caution, despite being fascinated by living independent beings, the Sorrowful Unnamed is still an Outer God."




Whateley Academy - Beck Library
5:01 PM EST

After eating what could be dubbed cafeteria leftovers, at least here, back home that was regular fare. Still to kill time, and since my DS was busy recharging in my dorm room, I decided to kill time the way I did when I was younger- by browsing at the library. The collection here was simply amazing, at least for non-fiction, the fiction section while nothing to sneeze at was still a little skimpy compared to the one back home. Still the selection was amazing for topics that I presume were to help students with a variety of the un orthodox coursework around here, such as costume concepts; although honestly I think that I have mine figured out, maybe some bracers to go over my gloves and protect my forearms would be a good idea along with a better mask.

Okay, overall, this was a big library; hell, it reminded me more of the one at UT Arlington than where my dad worked at the George W. Hawkes Central; however, including the Library of Congress Classification System, ughh, I know I know it makes it more practical for academic libraries with a variety of subjects. However, the LCC is a mess without a sound structural theory behind it, and has a very inclusive attitude that made it harder to figure out if you do not know the rules to the letters. Of course, this makes it easier for libraries with a number of rare and specialized texts and manuscripts to shelve without fear of someone wandering off with them, if you did not use RFID tags that is.

Still I had some time to kill and I might as well learn the lay of the land, I only hope that I didn't run into any Stephanie Meyers fangirls, I shuddered at the thought my dad used to tell me horror stories of the days of when Ann Rice and Marylyn Manson were huge. Here though the Goths might know real magic and try to hex me, thankfully Morrigan would be around for a good counter curse- I hope.

"Can I help you?" I turned to look at the source of the voice and came face to face with a stereotype come to life, the mean spinster librarian, "My name is Ms. Henderson now can I see your ID card because this library is for students and faculty only, all guests are required to sign in.

"Here, right off the presses in the Admin Office." I handed Ms. Henderson my ID from my billfold in my purse, well actually it was the Reticule of the Fields it has this nice spell that lets the owner disguise it. This really caused my mom to bust a gut when I told her, 'Randi she told me you have the most precious thing in the existence for a lady in your hands, a bag that you will never have to rummage around for things in and will always match your shoes. "I just got here this morning, so I decided to get the lay of the land, well and to ask if you have any job openings available. My math scores are too low for an academic scholarship so I need a campus job for tuition."

"Ms. Bridges we here at Whateley hardly hand out employment to students based on their choosing for what they imagine is an easy job on campus, there are rules after all." Ms Henderson stated as she began to lay down the law.
"Just what are your Library qualifications?"

"Almost two years of officially volunteering at the George W. Hawkes Central Library in Arlington Texas," I began to explain as I actually got this battleaxe to lift an eyebrow. "And a few years of unofficial volunteering before that, my father is one of the Youth Librarians, and I always helped clean-up the children’s area after the youth programs were over in the Summer, Kindergartners are natural disasters waiting to happen."

"Interesting, and what can you tell me about the shelves here?" Ms Henderson began to inquire further of my knowledge when it came to something important for the job.

"Well you use Library of Congress Cataloging instead of Dewey Decimal Cataloging; however this is hardly surprising since you likely need to use the Academic Library setup due to all of the books needed for specialized courses here that you are not likely to find outside of a college library. Or in some cases the studies of people like The Magus." I did my best to explain my answer further hoping I was phrasing it correctly. "The system is a lot less refined than DDC, but when you need to narrow down the criteria or have things that might not fit normal classification LCC works better because you can modify the unassigned letters to your needs; although to be honest I still need a cheat sheet to remember the assigned letters."

"Hmmm, well we always do have need of clerks," Ms Henderson mused out loud before looking down at me with a hooded stare. "Show up tomorrow at two sharp and I will give you a shelving test, do not be late."

"Y-y-yes ma'am." I stammered backing away slowly as I walked out of the building.

"Yeesh, that ladies' demeanor shouted spinster tae the hills," Morrigan proclaimed as we left the Beck Library and made our way back to Kane Hall. "Even at mae worst I nae be that bad. I had tae think what made her so..."

As a noticed, this brief hint of a sour smell that disappeared I was suddenly thrown into the passenger seat, as Morrigan switched to combat mode. Without a word, they began making their way past Kane Hall, then past Dickenson Cottage, and past Holbrook Arena, and the whole time none of the students making their way towards Kane Hall for Dinner noticed. "Morrigan what's wrong? Why are we headed off campus? Morrigan, Beltane told us on the tour that we were supposed to stay on campus, why won't you tell me what's wrong?"

"Wrong is right cub, what we just caught the scent of is something that has nae business being, let alone business being here unless it means tae cause harm, and with The Queen here I cannae take that risk."

Then let's go back and get some help, if this is as much trouble as you say it will be we need some help to fight this. I pleaded with the ancient fae general.

"Nae child, the creature here is old and dark, there may be those here with the power needed to fight this, but the experience is another thing all together."

"I got your call boss,” Badb proclaimed as she swooped in beside us. "Is one of those monsters really here?"

"Aye it can only be one of them, and there be telling what else it brings tae the party, they rarely work alone if one be here you can bet yer feathers it brings a force here as well."

For the last time, I all but screamed in our collective head. What are you two talking about?

"The Fomor," Morrigan stated, "Barbaric ancient beings of primal lands unsettled by modern man, these days they serve as powerful mercenaries to anyone who can afford their price."

But that would mean that they live nowhere, we live everywhere on the planet even on Antarctica in Ice Station Zulu.

"The world was shattered by The Sundering kid," Badb began to explain. "Most of the Earth as you know it are the few fragments that have managed to be pulled from the dimensional aether by keystone artifacts created by remaining survivors of the Five Fold Court. Before then people might have stumbled their way into these lands but it was usually a one-way trip especially since some of the lesser Old Ones such as Ithaqua prowl the aether between those fragments. Places like The Nine Realms of the Norse, Atlantis, Mu, Zenith Olympia & Tartarus, Inferno minor, The Fairlands, and hundreds of other places. What we call the Earth today is merely the drifted fragments of lands once ruled by the Center Court, but there used to be many others that man still remembers deep down."

“Fomor be also deadly opponents tae those who face them, and be impossible tae fight for those who be unprepared.” Morrigan began to explain, “They must be setting up tae trap her Majesty when she and her allies come tae fight the next wave of Bastard-kin. Neither her majesty, nor her comrades in arms have any experience against the Fomorii and there is no telling what else will be laying in wait.”

Without another word we speed off campus and into the darkness of the woods, something about this place set me on edge but then again unfamiliar places always make me nervous; however, Morrigan and Badb were focused and not letting the forest get to them. Once we were far into the woods Morrigan and I caught the smell of something foul and rotten. Quickly Morrigan reached for the choker around our neck, a simple belt set with a couple Changeling Baubles (a few of many that I earned at the Five Mile Bridge Goblin Market), and pressed the red jewel to change into her armor (the costume that I'm working on is in the blue one).

I was glad she did once I saw what came out, or what I could make out something seemed to make them appear a little blurry, but from what I could tell, they looked like what would happen if you shot the cast of The Howling full of the T-Virus. I don't know how it was possible given that werewolves were supposed to be immune to disease but these things looked like they'd been bathing in toxic waste.

"Abominations, I shall rid the world of you!" Morrigan shouted as a long and wicked looking spear appeared in her right hand as she raised her shield. The first to charge us soon found his head skewed by Morrigan's spear Jafnaðr. The second tried to leap at us from the side only to be thrown back ay a verdant blast from Morrigan's shield to go skewered on a tree. The next monster tried to attack us from our rear only to be shocked by a lightning bolt Badb had sent at it from its rear, right before it was slashed across the throat by Jafnaðr. This and the first beast had both burst in white-hot flames while the second appeared unable to extract itself from the tree.

The next three tried to take us on as a group, Morrigan speared the first and used it and her shield to defend against the fifth who Morrigan also speared before cleaving them half in two and using her spear to decapitate the stunned sixth. As we noticed another dozen of the beasts closing, with one of the last group having wounded us, she shouted to the sky, "To me Badb." Immediately the raven dive-bombed Morrigan's cape transforming it into a set of black-feathered wings that she used to take to the sky.

Easily making her way through the canopy, it almost seemed like the trees were moving their branches out of our way, as we hovered a bit just about the treetops. Quickly almost as if out of desperation, Morrigan reached for my bag, and withdrew a pearlescent flask about the size of a softball and took a few sips of the contents that tasted bazaar. Morrigan what's wrong, why did we retreat from the Fomor and what's with the bottle? I asked through our shared head.

"Those be not Fomor child," Morrigan growled as we both felt the potions effects kick in. "I remember fighting abominations similar to these not long before The Sundering, these twisted mockeries of the noble warrior that served Queen Aunghadhail are minions of the Old Ones. And this be a special flask made by the leaders of the Five Fold Courts shortly are Gaea fought back the first of the Old Ones, fill it with water wait an hour, and it will contain an elixir that cleanses one of the Old One's poisons as well as becomes a poison tae those like the old ones." My partner flashed a smile that would chill Lucifer himself to the bones as she splashed some of the elixir on the blade of her spear.

Refreshed and cured of the creatures toxins, Morrigan now aided by Badb, descended back through the canopy, as we seemed to turn into smoke. We seemed to be untouchable as Morrigan and Badb reduced every foe in their wake to ash, before long these demon werewolves were all gone, either having been reduced to nothing or having fled. Still I could tell Morrigan was far from pleased by this victory as she scanned her surrounding while Badb left the Cape on her armor, 'Morrigan what's wrong, these things are gone, shouldn't we be headed back?'

"Child I told you I caught the wiff of a Fomor." Morrigan stated as she scanned our surroundings and until I find it the whole campus is in dang-" Morrigan fell silent and my control came back as a metal manacle snapped in place on my wrist, as Morrigan's armor returned to our collar (for some weird reason it refuses to let me wear it).

"Well- well- well, what do ya' known, oi come here to capture the reborn onchint Queen of the Fairies and instead oi snag me the bloom'n Phantom Queen." An ugly giant dressed in patchwork clothes proclaimed as he lumbered into view, this oaf stood about fifteen feet tall, was covered in scars and blotchy skin. His crooked teeth almost seemed like fangs in his wicked grin; however, the real kicker was that he had the head of a goat, no I don't mean like a faun or what people thought of when they heard the word satyr, I mean he had a goat's head. "Still the bounties for Queen Aunghadeil are what oi be after, with you Morrigan well oi guess oill just have to take yur 'ed, after all the only ones who want you are Titania and Mab, and they just want yu dead."

"Oh great Sgaothaich McEirnan," Badb shrieked overhead at the sight of the Fomor, "Whoever decided to hire someone to catch a one of the Fair Folk sure did their homework."

"Please yeh feather duster, oi do that fur fun," Sgaothaich gloated as he motioned towards me causing my manacled arm to drag me towards him., "This though, this be a pleasure oi be getting paid for twice."

In horror, I saw myself getting drug by the manacle closer and closer to the Fomorian hunter as Badb tried to distract him with lightning bolts to his face, but to no avail. Every ounce of my power suppressed making me no stronger than a baseline my size; still I did have a few options. I reached for my choker and pressed the other jewel, summoning the costume that I had been assembling from the gifts that Plagiat's former slaves gave or made for me in exchange for their freedom. This included a short sword that Morrigan had let me borrow until Unfurth was done with mine, I quickly devised a plan that I admit was very risky and would hurt beyond belief still my options were limited.

There was no time to think of anything else as the panic I felt upon finally being in the giant's reach sent a surge of adrenaline through my system, I only hope that it would keep me from feeling this long enough for the job to get done. Soon Sgaothaich hauled me up by my bound arm to gloat. "Well Morrigan it looks like yur days of roaming are ov'r, eny last words while yur head is still attached."

"____________." I mouthed to the giant as he hauled me well off the forest floor.

"What wuz that," Sgaothaich growled over at me as he brought me closer to his ear.

"I said- AAUGGGGGH," I screamed in the Fomor's ear as I quickly used a horizontal bicycle kick in order to move my arm into position. Sure enough, ears ringing Sgaothaich heaved me back as he got ready to slam me full force into the ground. As I predicted, at the top arch of the hammer blow, my shoulder popped out of socket. I was quick to move to the next part of my incredibly stupid plan and thankful for the adrenaline course through my veins, I drew Caladbolg from its place at my side with my left hand, and after letting the blade absorb a little of the lightning that Badb was throwing around, severed my right arm.

The ambient electricity cauterized the limb, as I went flying I knew now was the time to put the Boots of Sleph to the test, my knees almost buckled as I came to a stop mid-air and almost completely upside down. Now for step four, "Badb!" I shouted to try and get her to hear me, "Get ready to put on a Tesla show!" I could have sworn that I saw the storm crow nod to my request, now of the risky part.

I thought back to the dream training Morrigan gave me on the Boots of Sleph, a pair of footwear that can use any substance as a surface even air, holding Caladbolg tight against my chest, I shifted into my werewolf form as I began to rebound off anything that I could find while somersaulting mid-air to change direction. As I build up speed, I tried to make sure to keep the Fomor in mind and especially my intended target. After what seemed like forever I had, my target lined up and with one final leap of faith used my momentum to spear the blade into Sgaothaich's neck just to the left of his spine.

Still as the saying goes no plan survives contact with the enemy, because the moment that Caladbolg skewered the giant's neck the shock caused my hand to slip off the sword's hilt. I tried to use my boots to gain a foothold as I scrambled with my one remaining arm, but Sgaothaich's clothing was too loose for me to find a secure footing and the giant was busy bucking around trying to shake me loose while trying to swat at me with his massive palms. Desperate to find a stable surface so that I could leap clear I changed into my ravewolf form and hoped my body could take the strain.

Scrambling at the monster's back with my thick claws of my legs and one-arm I accidentally lanced a boil on his back near the shoulder blade, oddly enough within the draining pustule, gross, my hand found the hilt of another blade. The fomor must have been stabbed by it a long time ago and an abscess formed around the wound. Using the handle to steady myself and spotting a safe landing nearby I shouted, "Badb now!" before I pushed off taking this new blade with me, after all if this plan worked Morrigan was going to be pissed about losing Caladbolg and I might as well have something to offer as a replacement.

As soon as I was clear and flat on the ground, Badb began cutting loose hitting Sgaothaich with the fury of a thunderstorm. As was its nature Caladbolg began to absorb the energy in the electricity; however without a wielder to dissipate the energy in the blade its charge kept building until it reached its storage limit, and exploded take a good chunk out of the fomor's neck and setting his body a blaze with an azure flame.

The beast now vanquished I set about more important task as I shifted back to normal, getting to my mystic bag of holding and the food paste tubes that I had inside before my body passed out from exhaustion. The real problem with my powers while my werewolf and ravewolf forms both gave tremendous boosts to my physical abilities, and their instincts that they gave me access to really help in a fight, both were hyper-metabolic. I really had to find someone at the school to help me on this, as things stood the only answers that I had were a double-edged sword. If I maintained the fat stores necessary to use those two forms for an extended period of time I would be too out of shape to use them properly. On the flip side of the coin if I did not have enough calories to burn my body would do pass out from both hunger and exhaustion- like it would do soon if I didn't get to my bag.

Stumbling around on the edge of the earlier adrenaline rush, I found the Reticule of the Fields and as luck would have it my other arm. Looking at my severed limb I decided to reattach it later, after I found a way to remove the iron manacle, which would block the regenerative aspect of my shifter abilities the moment the slightest reconnection was made. I put down the knife that I had gotten off the fomor earlier, and reached into the bag to retrieve one of the NASA food paste tubes that I had been using to refuel after used my boosted forms. Opening it one-handed would be tricky but I needed to do it, if only I could get my hands to stop shaaakkkiinggg...




Uuggh, was it morning already? I looked down and saw a tube, was I brushing my teeth, I tried to raise my other hand to get the brush only to find that my arm had fallen off. What the hell, my arm had fallen off. The sudden burst of panic woke me back up and I remembered what I had been doing before I whited-out, I downed the tube of mystery goop, ugh no wonder astronauts no longer use this stuff. After dropping the now empty tube and going through three more for good measure I set about reattaching my arm, for some reason Badb was no longer in sight, I hope she left to get help or some codeine this was going to hurt like a son of a bitch.

First things first, I needed to get this piece of iron off of my wrist, examing the manacle I looked for a seem or something to work it open, after a minute I finally saw one- just barely. For lack of a better tool I decided to use my new knife, steadying my severed arm between my knees, I tried to angle the knife to work at the seam against the edge of my wrist, and slipped scratching the side of my hand with the blade as it cut clean through the iron manacle.

"What the heck is this thing adamantium?" Not wanting to take any more time, I attended to the wound with some first-aid supplies I had in my bag (hey an infinite bag-of-holding you think that I wouldn't pack a emergency med-kit inside) which was not easy to do one-handed, then made a more careful slice to take the cuff off all the way. Now for the painful part I got out some anti-septic wash and Morrigan's little elixir bottle (just in case), I turned the arm so that the cauterized wound was facing up then shifting back to my werewolf form briefly used my claws to scrape of the sear on both the arm and my limbless shoulder before shifting back. After splashing the now open wounds with both anti-septic and elixir I set about the nasty part, forcing my severed limb back into joint.

I leaned down trying to carefully align my shoulder with the arm then forced all my weight into it. AGGGHH, dammit it didn't go into socket I needed to try again. Agghh, okay third time’s a charm once again I threw all my weight into this. Agghh, okay it’s also three strikes but I need to just keep at this. After about seven or eight tries my arm was finally back in its socket and shifted to my wolf form to let the wound mend, it would be hours before the severed muscles properly reconnected, and I would probably be sore for a couple of days. Things started to get blurry as I was starting to lose consciousness again from the pain and blood loss. I was even starting to hallucinate because I swore I could see Badb riding a cat lady.
Last Edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Insane Hiker.

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4 years 7 months ago #10115 by Insane Hiker
Insane Hiker replied the topic: Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves
Part 4 Notes

Spell of Infertility -
A temporary spell that makes someone unable to fertilize or conceive.

Flask of Reality - A relic from before the war against the Great Old Ones and crafted by the Artificer using hair of the Sidhe queens, breath of the Dragon Kings, tears of the Triton Lords, blood of the Djinn Princes, and dust from the Daughters of Gaea, these bottles were issued to all who fought on the front lines in the lines.
If left filled with clean water for one hour, the fluid will become an elixir that acts as against the infections of the Old Ones servants, while being highly toxic to GOO entities and potentially fatal to lower level ones. Many were created during the reign of the Five Fold Court enough so one could be given to every squad commander, two to every officer, and three to every noble. Despite many being lost during The Sundering Morrigan has collected and recovered dozens to prepare for the return of the Old Ones and their allies. They hold about 1/3 of a liter, or roughly enough for 13 doses.

Fomor -
A race of giants similar to the Jotunn and the Titans that lived on the British Isles, they
represented Chaos and had goat-like horns. Some joined the Tuartha de Danu others remained outsiders, many of them were known for having unique abilities. Most disliked forests and prefer wide open land, as close proximity to trees seem to weaken their abilities.

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4 years 7 months ago - 4 years 7 months ago #10116 by Insane Hiker
Insane Hiker replied the topic: Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves
Part 5




Primus Umbra
The Dreamlands
?

Impatience, truly the worst of sins, let others speak of hubris which caused the fall of the Morningstar; however some of the worst atrocities came into being due to a simple refusal to wait. Impatience cost Orpheus his beloved Eurydice, lead to Coyote randomly scattering the stars, and yet worse still was her own sin.

Nameless and alone is how it all began, is there something so wrong with wrong with wanting companionship, the sad thing about it was there was already another being is existence, another being who in essence was existence. It however came to awaken first and was thus alone, all around it there was nothing and yet everything, how maddening it is to become aware when there is nothing to make it worth being aware. Eons seemed to pass in that pre-existence and yet did not as there was nothing to define time if in fact time existed yet. Finally the being grew desperate it needed something to observe and define it, anything upon which to focus and relieve its maddening ennui.

The Presence began to manipulate what was around it, trying to do find something upon which to focus its attention. Finally the Presence succeeded in the most horrible of fashions; in pushing away the formless everything that composed the rest of existence it had accidentally created a gap of true nothingness, and then the nothingness began to consume The Everything.

The Presence had little to compare the apprehension it felt when this nothingness began to eat away at The Everything, all that until then it had been all it ever knew, it focused all that it could to create a dense pocket of the everythingness to encase the nothingness and make sure that it did not spread. The crisis now contained The Presence noticed its surroundings for the first time somehow the everythingness that was driving it mad now seemed less vibrant- diminished, it now came to miss the chaotic cacophony that now after glimpsing oblivion it came to realize how beautiful it was before.

Realizing that it could shape The Everything, the entity condensed three more areas within the morass, this time adding in a clear purpose to its efforts, one would do its best to fill in the thinned areas of The Everything while the other would assist the first in shaping the results, and the final one would coordinate the two.

Soon something awoke within The Everything, The Presence realized that it was not something within The Everything that awoke, and it was The Everything- Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent. The Everything understood what had transpired and was enraged, for in The Presence’s effort to alleviate it’s maddening isolation not only had it meddled with what was not its place to interfere with and used it to create, The Presence had also diminished it with it’s first creation. For this transgression all that The Presence had come to consider its being was banished to a realm of void, a place of greater loneliness- of isolation- of true nothingness.

One could not say ages passed for ages did not exist here; however given time pieces of existence began to slip into the void that imprisoned The Presence. Eventually the presence learned how to make those cracks stable and then for the first time since The Presence was imprisoned it could observe outside its confinement.

The Presence took note of the beings that its actions had spawned and noticed a difference between them and itself...they had names. The devourer that it had come to be known as Azathoth the incarnation of something called entropy, its creation to contain Azathoth became known as the Tao and acted as a force called destiny insuring that certain events come to be to keep existence in balance. The being that it had made to fill that areas that Azathoth had damaged was named Shub-Niggurath while the shaper was now was now somewhat divided into two Yog Sothoth and Daoloth whose existence stabilized reality and through their presence made something called time and space while the former spread something called life where ever it went. The Entity's final creation now known as Nyarlathotep still acted as a messenger between the others; however it was also now far worse in how it acted around the many offspring of Shub-Niggurath.

While the entity did not like the concepts of entropy and time as they made its prison seem all the more desolate, and understood the need for destiny and space, it was the concept of life that truly fascinated it to no end. This life reminded it of the chaos of The Everything that it had come to miss, yet at the same time felt far less maddening as the creations within this existence were far more than they seemed. As it watched creation, time passed and The Presence saw life grow more and more complex yet at the same time far more simplistic, the entity delighted in these contradictions to no end. Eventually it came to observe a race that called themselves the Yith and grew astonished, it was life yet far greater than it had dared to imagine, this was life that created- that thought and through observing them the entity came to learn of another realm that it had previously ignored the Dreamlands- odd enough given how it spread out around the Entity's own prison.

It was in the Dreamlands the Entity came to learn of other beings spawned by its own creations. It learned that these beings had tried to enslave and pervert this wonderful creation for their own ends before being sealed away, and that they were dreaming constantly of the horrible things they would do when they were again set free. It was through these dreams that The Entity learned of a place many of these beings despised, a place called Earth.

As it turned its focus towards Earth to look more closely The Entity found it again- aware life and this time in far greater abundance and variety than on the home world of the Yith. Here was a place life took many forms, and was organized and ordered the Gaeans of majestic cities, the Sidhe of the woodlands, the Dragons of the paramount peaks, the Djinn of the burning deserts, and the Tritons of the deep sea, as well as the great variety of their subjects. It was so amazing that The Entity had trouble focusing on everything, and then it had discovered that just as it could turn its gaze across the vast corners of creation it could divide its focus upon as many places and plains as it wanted. However observing was only so much, it longed to interact; to meet and share with aware life as they did with each other.

The Entity then began to notice disputes between the beings of the Earth that had begun to swell disputes both within the kingdoms as well as between them, it had then begun to observe leaders of the Five Courts and their troubles desperate for a way to resolve matters.

As in the before times The Entity reached out and began to shape a creation, this time not out of The Everything but out of what little of the aether that it could grasp outside the gaps in its confinement. It shaped this being to be like itself an abstract that lacked definition so others would base it on their own perceptions and not be driven mad at the very sight of it like natural beings were by the servants of the Unknowable. It gave this being purpose, and unlike its prior creations, both a piece of itself and a name- this was The Adjudicator. This was a being that would impartially mediate the disputes of those with power in contests referred to as Fehdes which would take place upon the Astral Plain a seemingly infinite place apart from yet a part of all other plains of existence, that only those with a true awareness could gain access to, beings whose conflicts would cause great damage upon the Physical Plain.

For a time this worked wonders, disputes were handled, wars were averted, and best of all through her cat’s-paw The Adjudicator she gained a closer insight into the nature of these sentient beings. In time others beyond earth began to use the Fehdes, even the Great Race of Yith and the Markoz, still there were those who lacked the gifts necessary to walk the Dreamlands and in them, there grew jealousy at the power of the other races.

This envy caused them to seek power of their own, and eventually they found the Hidden Prisons of the Unknowable and their servants the Star Spawn hidden in the dark spaces or even focus points for the Outer Gods. These seekers quickly grew corrupted with the power that they gained and in time after they spread this corruption to the rest of their race there grew in power to eventually became Great Ones themselves. Among these atrocities was the ascension of Cthulhu of the Star Spawn whose obsessions with the dawn of the universe led to his becoming the High Priest of Azathoth, and whose own race grew in power as well as they transformed into fifth-dimensional beings. Elsewhere new greedy and grasping individuals transformed themselves such as King Hastur of Carcosa whose delving into the power of Nyarlathotep metamorphosed him into The King in Yellow, or the Plasmavore Cthugha whose scryings of Daoloth twisted it into the father of the Star Vampires. This trio soon gathered others who had ascended to become Great Ones and waged a war against reality.

This reign of terror did not go unopposed, the Yith and their allies did everything they could to stop the spread of this cosmic terror, The Destroyer was again unleashed taking most of the Second Generation of the Great Ones with it. Still Cthulhu and his neophyte allies had another threat to take care of the Throne of Gaea the being who forced them back last time, Earth.

However, divided the Five-Fold Court might have been, much of it owed to followers of Cthulhu who sowed the seeds of mistrust and betrayal amongst the kingdoms, such as Dagon of the Tritons or Osiris of the Djinn. Still they did not find an easy target the Daughters of Gaea fought fiercely, as did the Triton Princes, the Djinn Lords, the Dragon Kings, and the Sidhe Queens. They battled long and hard with many falling to the onslaught before Queen Aunghadhail and her fellow Sidhe Queens sacrificed themselves to force the Great Ones into hibernation, of the Nine Queens of the Sidhe only Aunghadhail's soul is known to have escaped oblivion even though it was scattered by the task. Many of the nobles who survived sacrificed themselves to seal away the slumbering Great Ones and their servants.

This Sundering splintered the Earth leaving most of it scattered across dimensions, many of the old ones fell through reality and into the prisons of their masters the Outer Gods and the Unknowable. The most remarkable thing though the reverberations of The Sundering reached even The Entity within its prison of the Primus Umbra, wounding it and causing a piece of itself to fall into reality where it landed...on one of the fragments of the Earth. This piece was roughly about a third of what the world is during the blurry now that exists outside the Dreamlands at the moment, and long before the guiding keys of the Bodhi Fruit, the Gordian Knot and the Sunstone, and helped reunite what the world is today from what it was then.

Still this was The Entity's first time in the reality that the Everythingness shaped, and it had no shape- no voice- no name, also this was a world that had barely survived a war with the Old Ones, as things stood The Entity could easily be mistaken for a Shoggoth and attacked. Therefore, the fragment of The Entity, tried something that it had some experience with shaping, only this time The Entity would shape itself. It had come to learn that it lay in the sea so the shard of The Entity took a shape similar to that which it had viewed in such an environment. The shard of The Entity folded and shaped itself into a mermaid the likes of which it had observed only across the imaginings within the floating spheres of fantasy drifting within the Dream Lands.

She had become the kind of beauty that indeed either had never swam amongst the waters of the Eastern Court, or at least that which none had seen in recent memory. This made it of no surprise that when young King Apsu, the last known Triton King arrived to slay the dangerous Shoggoth that his soldiers had reported in the area, became enamored with the radiant vision that he had seen. He brought the mermaid back to his kingdom, a inland sea in the center of what is the Middle East, finding that she was without a name of her own he named her Tiamat meaning 'pristine waters'.

The overjoyed the neo-mermaiden for once since before the dawn of creation she had a name to call her own, so when King Apsu asked her to become his consort she readily agreed. Within his palace, their life was akin to a dream and in time that dream created life first in the form of a daughter Thalatté and later an heir Qingu. Still all was not perfect far to the north on land a group of djinn under the ifrit bandit Enki had formed a kingdom of their own, these were a wild and rowdy bunch, who took what they wished and lived as they wished and one day they did just that. A small group of maidens from Apsu's Kingdom came to the beach on their border to enjoy the good weather only to fall prey to djinni from the kingdom of Enki, who took them from the shores to the north and had their way with them.

Of course this horrified Apsu who left with his councilor Mummu to see Enki and demand both the return of his subjects and just reparations for their injuries. However a being that had been laying in wait since The Sundering saw another opportunity; Dagon the traitor of the Eastern Court and priest of Cthulhu came to Enki and told him that two envoys from Apsu's kingdom had come to deliver a declaration of war. As a result of this action when Apsu and Mummu arrived they were executed as members of an enemy nation.

The news of the murder of her beloved Apsu and trusted friend Mummu threw Tiamat into a rage, while there was not war before with the kingdom of Enki now there could be no other course after all a king and his vizier were murdered in cold blood while on a mission of diplomacy. Tiamat called upon a treaty with a nearby colony of dragons while her son Qingu rallied their armies. When the time to sound the cry of battle came, Tiamat presented Qingu with a magical talisman called the Tablet of Destiny, which would among other things, would magnify the wearer’s power and resurrect the first to wear it. She also sent her daughter Thalatté and her attendants away on one of the dragons with the spell written into her soul with instructions to hide in distant waters.

Sure enough, her son Qingu fell to Enki's champion Marduk, with fury unmatched at the death of her son Tiamat transformed into the form of a vicious giant chimera to kill the one who slain her son and lay his kingdom to waste. Her late husband's subjects fled their new queen in terror out of the Sea of Apsu and into the ocean beyond. Wielding the power of the Tablet of Destiny, Marduk was able to overcome Tiamat after a long and fierce battle, soon her slain body dissolved into dust, which turned into a colossal island of mud and stone in the Sea of Apsu. In time as the Tigrus and Euphrates Rivers came to flow around her, and the corpse of Tiamat became the land of Mesopotamia.

Meanwhile almost all of Tiamat's essence, including her memories flowed into the Nameless One filling it with sadness for both the loss of its incarnation and for the fact that the happy memories Tiamat brought to it made The Entity feel even greater isolation. While in time it has experienced visitors such as Greyback, they are never able to stay making the being weep even more thus giving rise to its moniker of the Sorrowful Unnamed.

The young kitten Blinky marveled at the history unfolding before his young eyes as he did at the living nebula before him, a swirling cacophony of colors gently drifting, mingling and separating, amongst which a rainbow of what seemed like a thousand twinkling stars could be seen.

"Know you know the story of the Sorrowful Unnamed," Greyback stated catching Blinky's attention again. "Now what is your opinion of her actions?"

"Well Mister Greyback sir, she did do something very bad but she didn't mean too and she is sorry for doing it. So maybe someday the Everythingness that she was talking about can forgive her." The kitten replied, "Say what happened to your daughter?"

"THALATTÉ EVENTUALLY CAME TO REST IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA; SHE STAYED THERE FOR YEARS UNTIL SHE FINALLY HEARD THE ECHO OF TIAMAT'S DEATHCRY. SOON AFTER DAGON USED HER BROTHER'S BLOOD TO INFLICT A TERRIBLE CURSE UPON ALL MERFOLK NOT OF TRITONIC DESCENT- INCLUDING THALATTÉ'S ATTENDANTS. AFRAID FOR HER LIFE THALATTÉ USED MAGIC TO TRANSFORM HERSELF INTO A GIANT OYSTER, EVENTUALLY SOME BLOOD SPILLED IN THE SEA AS AN INCARNATION OF THE EVERYTHINGNESS WAS SLAIN BY HIS OWN SON ENTERED HER SHELL THIS WAS GOING TO CREATE THE OTHER PARENT TO TIAMAT'S GRANDDAUGHTER." The Sorrowful Unnamed explained, "HOWEVER BEFORE THE CHILD WAS TO BE CONCEIVED THE ONE WHO BETRAYED MY HUSBAND'S KINGDOM FOUND HER. HE MURDERED MY DAUGHTER THALATTÉ AND SEALED THE CHILD WITHIN THE ONE WHO WAS GOING TO HELP HER ENTER THIS LIFE, I ONLY HOPE THAT MY CURRENT PLAN WILL FREE HER FROM HER PRISON."

"How were you able to affect the mortal plain ancient one?" Greyback asked out of curiosity. "You never really had a cult of your own, those of various iterations of yourself are hardly influential enough, and Tiamat is dead so how can you affect the mortal world?"

"THROUGH THE ACTIONS OF MANKIND ITSELF, MESOPOTAMIA ITSELF IS THE REMAINS OF MY INCARNATION TIAMAT, OVER THE MILLENNIA IT HAS BEEN ABSORBING THE ENERGY OF HUMAN CONFLICT. RECENTLY ENOUGH THIS HAS SATURATED THE LAND TO THE POINT THAT ALL I NEEDED WAS ONE MORE SPARK TO CREATE AN AVATAR FROM A PIECE OF TIAMAT'S BODY, AND IMBUE HER WITH THE SPARK OF LIFE. SHE ONLY HAS TO PERFORM ONE TASK FOR ME THEN SHE IS FREE TO CREATE HER OWN LIFE, HER OWN DESTINY FREE OF MY INFLUENCE. SHE HAS TO GO TO THE WHATELEY ACADEMY AND SPEAK THE NAME THAT WAS TO BE MY GRANDDAUGHTER'S TO EXPOSE THE TRAITOR'S CRIME AND FREEING MY GRANDDAUGHTER FROM THE GRASP OF HER UNINTENTIONAL JAILER.

"But how can your granddaughter be housed inside a mutant avatar, especially given her heritage." Greyback mused at the identity of the one who unknowingly carried Tiamat's granddaughter to this day.

"WHEN I BROUGHT MY SON AND DAUGHTER INTO THE WORLD I DID SO AS A TRUE MERMAID, THEIR ESSENCE REMAINS THAT OF THEIR FATHER'S PEOPLE NOT THAT OF MY CURRENT NATURE." The Sorrowful Unnamed explained a fact about her children. "THIS MEANS THAT BOTH OF THEM LACKED THE INHERENT POWER THAT I MYSELF POSSESS, I WISHED FOR THEM TO BE A PART OF THE WORLD IN WHICH THEY WERE BORN, NOT FOR THEM TO SHARE IN THE FATE WHICH I HAVE SUFFERED SINCE THE DAWN OF CREATION."

"But won't revealing your granddaughter in this school place be confusing?" Blinky asked the Sorrowful Unnamed. "Won't a lot of people get mad or get hurt?"

"Some might get hurt Blinky; however given that my sister is at the school," Greyback almost seemed to smile as he answered the kitten. "And thanks to me already aware of the problem at hand, just not the exact manner of the route in which it may be solved."




Sanctuary, Texas
11:53 PM CST

It was nearly midnight as a team of strange figures began to exhume a supposedly unmarked plot of land in an old cemetery. "I do not see why I have to do this manual labor," one of the diggers’s growled in frustration. "I am one of Lady Scratch's top operatives, I should be back in the lab not out here doing manual labor!"

"Now now Slaughterhaus you know mom's rule." A woman outside of the ditch next to another figure holding a lantern, stated at the digging diviser as she scanned their surrounding for night watchmen and police. "If one of your schemes endangers a child for any reason you lose your license as a solo operative, and get switched over to grunt jobs until you attend Dead-Zone's camp and he lift's your probation when he's satisfied that you learned your lesson."

"Stow it Reverant, I do not see you helping out down here in this filth with myself and Rot." Zeke Manfried growled back at the replicated lady above him.

"Ooh I love it when you talk all vicious Zeke," the lady holding the lantern said as she writhed in joy. "What about later you and I go paint this small town red."

"Geut yoer ormons undr cuntrol Hemofilya," The zombie-like figure named Rot next to Slaughterhaus slurred out as it shoveled more dirt out of the grave, "We hab tu b carfl wun we wek Da Agmun sew Layde Skrach cen cuntrl hm."

"And you should have brought one of your coma patient bodies Rot instead of that coffin-buster." Hemophila scowled at the animate cadaver, "I can barely understand a word from that rotted out mouth of your's you worm farm."

"Ey dun caer yu omisidul wyg," Rot slurred back as it continued digging. "Ey'm nt ltun Ezakiu taer ub a gud bdy, nd der ur juz ez mne gud rplcemynts err."

"Knock of the chatter you two, once we pop the lid on the coffin we are in mortal danger!" Reverant growled, "Slaughterhaus have you hit the casket yet?"

"Yup," Slaughterhaus scraped his shovel against the stone lid for emphasis before stating. "Just let fall-a-part and I clear the rest of this dirt and we can get started."

After another couple of minutes of shoveling Slaughterhaus and Rot cleared the coffin and Menagerie explained, "Alright now I need to begin the ritual, Slaughthaus restrain the cadaver with your necromancy, Rot you need to apply the physical components of the spell."

Rot opened the lid of the coffin and poured a vile of blood upon the rope around the neck of the tall, gaunt, and black-hooded body within; suddenly the corpse began to lash out tearing Rot in half, before he was restrained with an sickly green glow. Now with The Hangman awake yet firmly restrained Reverant wove the spell Erzabet prepared for this occasion. "Spirit born of wrath and rage, hewed within a wild age, with knotted rope you weave your life, so let your master guide your strife. You may release him now Slaughterhaus."

The green glow faded as The Hangman climbed out of his grave, only this time not attacking anyone, "Dammit why'd ya'll need to wake me up? I was hav'en the purdiest dream, there it was Easter Sunday at the Vatican, so calm, so tranquil- then in I came tote'en a gattlin gun, screw Rembrant now that was art. So I'm working for Miss Scratch again, that must mean the corpse over yonder that I ripped up is a new hire."

"Yes- that is Rot and now we need to wait while that fragment of Rot burrows into a new body to leave," Hemophila grumbled. "And being surrounded by all this death without having been a part of it is boring."

"Hey I also have the dead drops from our spies at Goodkind International to examine." Reverant explained to the rest of the group, “Mother depends on that intelligence to go with that of her daughters hidden in the MCO. Oh by the way Hezekiah, here you go," the woman in the leather cat suit stated as she tossed a sphere the size of a golf ball to The Hangman, "Mother asked some new friends and they said that if you have this pill inside you then you can work outside your normal boundaries."

Taking a glance at the sphere Hezekiah simply asked, "Just tell me this ain't a suppository." Right before Rot's new used body began to claw its way out of the ground.




Monday, January 29, 2007
Outside Marsala, Italy
6:30 AM CET

Now awake and rested after the long meeting with her comrades of the Obsidian Circle Hecate, known to the world for decades as the fearsome Madam Eventide, found brief solace without her mask and garb. Here on the villa that she had acquired several hundred years ago the locals knew her as Helena Sera, the latest in a long line of women of the Sera family to maintain a small vineyard just three kilometers outside the historic city of Marsala. Divested of her robes and mask, she merely appeared to be beautiful young widow who lived in the countryside with a few relatives on their ancestral estate.

Of course, her relatives were a bit further from her than others thought, at least in some ways. Take her niece Flora and sister Theresa for example, in reality the two were mortal reincarnations of the goddesses Persephone and Demeter, whose memories and powers were stored in a few rings that the Obsidian Circle had in their possession. Her 'father' Antonio and 'mother' Serena were also the reincarnations of Heracles and Hebe, whose memories she had manipulated to think that she was the elder twin to their daughter Maria Louisa (Hestia) now a nun cloistered in Vatican City itself. Still the two of them did have three younger siblings known grown up and moved away, who were not reincarnations, what these two enjoyed a happy life without their divine parents constantly sniping at each other.

In all it was not bad to pretend this life, most of it she did not even have to engineer with her magic, still there was work that needed to be done. Creating a golem duplicate of herself again so that she would go unnoticed, Helena traversed the path to the cave where her 'daughter' Nicoletta was waiting with her 'boyfriend' Titus Bannon, who the two of them had transitioned into his new body weeks ago. Typhon had just got back the two days prior from a trip to Greece where spent weeks finding very important artifacts to smuggle back for this ritual. "Nicoletta my dear how is the ritual coming along?"

"Just fine mother, too bad all ten of our children cannot be reunited with us to take revenge on the Olympians when we storm Whateley," Helena almost seemed to seethe with a savage vengeance.

"Dear I told you, Mother Gaea needs us to put an end to this feud amongst her children, the time of the Great Old Ones returning is approaching and we need all the assistance we can have. Also our children deserve to live their own lives; I wish that we could have let them have real childhoods together with us instead of having to resort to this."

The three of them look at their mystic handiwork, clustered inside of the magic-hewed cave in the valley wall were eight human-like forms covered in volcanic ash. These forms were clustered around a strange stone surrounded by a three more stones with a eight spheres flashing overhead, each showing them images of the memories of their children’s current lives thanks to the glyph stones given to them by the Oneiroi and another stone given to them by Mnemosyne.

Seeing them grow up as friends in the small town of Mufressbro, Pennsylvania in the United States rust belt to be honest it made both Typhon and Echidna's hearts ache. They were watching the memories of most of their children growing up side-by-side playing laughing making friends even if they were imagined, unscarred by the horrors that the Olympians made them experience when they took over their lives and forced them to become sacrifices to test their demi-god children or to punish mortals.

"And you swear that you could not find any remains of our daughter the Crommyonian sow?" Echidna asked for what seemed like the thousandth time since Typhon's return.

"Unfortunately, while Oedipus kept a lock of the Sphinx's hair to remember the sad deed that he had to do that day. Heracles was famous for taking trophies from the location of his home I was able to find where Deianira hid his arrows the heads of which contain Hydra's blood and the fletching which came from the Cacausian Eagle's feathers, his robe was the Nemean Lion's hide, and his necklace was made from the fangs of Orthrus. Bellpheron, the arrogant sod that he was had all three of Chimera's heads mounted, the Colchian Dragon's teeth were right where Zeus's priests had hidden them."

"As for the Cadmean Vixen, I found the rubble of the statue Zeus turned her into which the Persian King Xeres' army smashed. Unfortunately, Thesseus was not like many heroes, he never saw the need for trophies on his long march to Athens; nothing remains of the Crommyonian sow. And Dionysus sold our son Cerberus to Lucifer in return for his barony, so although he still lives his original life, he is still lost to us for now."

The orbs now showed how the closing of the Ford Manufacturing plant in the children’s hometown in 1997 had forced them apart as their parents now needed to find work elsewhere in the country. By 1999, the last of them had finally moved away and except for the twins, Richard and Sophia as the Nemean Lion and the Sphinx now remember themselves, whose family separated by work and ended in a divorce. Most of the rest of the group all lost track of each other.

Eventually through the magic of Facebook they reconnected and decided to hold a get together over Winter break from high school in Philadelphia, it seemed ideal a bunch of old childhood friends reuniting in the city of brotherly love. Except some of them made the mistake of saying that they had manifested as mutants, the MCO had swooped in on the meeting on January 3rd and took everyone into custody. The Obsidian Circle had arranged for the entire incident to occur on that day in a very public area so that witnesses could recall and the incident was recorded in the police logs of the MCO taking two dozen students into custody.

The students were detained and tortured for weeks to find why so many from the same town manifested at the same time as more of them manifested during their confinement. This had lasted until Madam Eventide who turned all of the agents present into rats, freed all of the students last week. The normal students were returned home to tell their stories about witnessing her offering the mutant student’s temporary asylum at her private island in Europe until they could find a safe way to return to the United States. Of course these students were the result of soul gems that she had implanted in seven women in this town chosen mainly because their lives would keep the children safe and even in the way of interests that would influence them in a positive way.

The gems contained the souls of the eight Typhonian monsters that they had managed to obtain both essence and totem artifact by the needed time, and all of it thanks to the flawless predictions of Bishop Brimstone. Of course, she did send targeted lust and fertility spells at their parents at the appropriate times to make sure that they were born on time and along the same ages. In one case, she even influenced the two parents getting together in the first place.

Very few knew of her involvement in the birth of these eight children, not even their 'parents' to whom they would return during the summer though were wise to this. Currently the children were undergoing a mystic ritual to stabilize their bodies and ensure that none of them would ever suffer spontaneous burnout by adjusting their bodies using samples from their last incarnations. Of course, a side effect would cause them to have just enough Gross Structural Dystrophy for the Olympians to see who they used to be.

The volcanic ash from their true father's old prison of Mount Etna fell away to reveal their new bodies, baring a few superficial details they were all perfectly healthy. Using a little magic to clean and reclothe them, Madam Eventide then teleported, them all back to the villa which as far as they knew was maintained by Helena for Madam Eventide. Soon they would reawaken to their lives not knowing about the truth, as was for the best later in the week Mister Domino would arrange for eight of them to attend Whateley alongside three additions Typhon who would take the codename Astio, Echidna soon to be Lamia, and her niece Flora whose powers should be returning to her any moment.




Monday, January 29, 2007
Medawihla Reservation
6:07 AM EST

"Ugg-wahh," I woke up with my eyes blurry and in a state of confusion. As my eyes regained focus I looked about and didn't recognize the room, "I am not gonna have a god-damned Shinji moment." I tried to get up to find that I had been strapped to the bed, not fully restrained mind you, my left arm was free so it was likely just to keep me from rolling on my right-side in my sleep. Speaking of which I could feel my right arm ache so likely Morrigan had woke up after I passed out and used magic to reconnect everything important.

"Morning cowboy," Badb sang as she skipped in, "So how was your first moment of being a hero in real life?"

"Badb I had to cut my own arm off, ruined the sword that Morrigan let me borrow, ended up lancing lord knows what on the neck of a giant with my other arm, and had to force my own severed limb back into socket after passing out." I growled at Morrigan's impish little helper, "The time that I was being ‘interrogated by the MCO didn’t suck this much."

As it should child, you were lucky that Sgaothaich was manifested out of his time of power were it autumn instead of winter he would have overwhelmed you, Morrigan stated as she began to lecture me on my shortcomings. Still I am impressed on how you were able to put that dream training that I have given you to good use. As well as how you were able to recover a very fortunate weapon as a trophy as I felt her attention drift to the knife that I had recovered from Sgaothaich's back, and not the fragments of the manacle that he used on us right next to it.

That knife is Cothrom, I lost it in the back of that beast almost 300 years ago in Agincore. I never thought that I would see it again. Morrigan almost seemed nostalgic about the weapon, Of course that weapon is yours now as a trophy of your victory should come in handy too, the blade is orichalcum, had it made to fight in the war.

"What?" I was a bit shocked that she would be giving me another weapon especially something made of orichalcum, a metal that I'd only heard about in fantasy literature or descriptions of Atlantis. "Morrigan I blew up your sword, and your giving me something like this, fae are not know for that type of generosity, what are you up to?"

Even if I was angry I lost it long ago, and is your trophy, you earned it in this battle, so the knife is yours by right. Morrigan almost seemed to sigh in resignation, Also while Caladbolg was a good sword, it was far from perfect, to tell you the truth it was one of a hundred defective prototypes the Faerie created before we created Caledfwlch, I just keep it around as a training blade. Besides you used it as part of a sound strategy to beat Sgaothaich, so it is hardly any loss, in fact because this was my job that you did I owe you a boon. How about I commission a twin for Cothrom, a twin knife style should be sound for someone focusing on agility.

"Morrigan I think that it's time you come clean with me and tell me the truth," I stated to my in-house tutor. "The whole truth, and don't deny it ever since I met you there are a lot of things that don't add up in your stories. I know that faerie can't lie however being that you are also a former deity, you are hardly just a faerie anymore- are you."

What do you mean child, I have told you a great- wait stop do not do that I will talk! Much to my relief the Phantom Queen began to get a lot more cooperative when I reached for the grey-iron strips on the nightstand next to us. Sigh just what do you want to know?

"The truth about you, Greyback, the Beta, and what you really wanted me for." I demanded, "The real truth, no half-truth's no skirting the issues, or else I will try my best to see that you never are conscious again."

Very well, however you must first swear that what I am about will not affect your promise to help me; otherwise threat or not I will be unable to tell you. I immediately nodded, Now as you know in the wars before The Sundering as the threat of the Great Old Ones began to be seen, the Five-Fold Courts were hardly united- even among themselves. Not long before that time, Armeluien, a young knight with ties to no noble clans had distinguished himself for his skill and cunning in inter and intra court skirmishes. This young sidhe had caught the eye of Queen Venraniel, Daughter of the Silent Willow, she came to chose him not only as a general but as a consort as well- she found him worthy in both areas.

He had finally completed the required trials of courtship when time came for the Assembly of the West, a gathering of the the Nine Queens and the Fae King, naturally Armeluien accompanied her to cement their union, unfortunately at that time an assassin loyal to the cult of Tsugotha had also worked his way through the ranks to be appointed the general of one of the Nine Queens. He was to attend the gathering murder the Fae King with a cold iron arrow, and then slay himself throwing the Western Court into Civil War, Armeluien grew suspicious of the fae from the moment that they met, and ended up intercepting the assassin's arrow himself. Queen Venraniel was distraught and at her request the Fey King encased Armeluien in amber as he gasped his final breath so that she could hope for some way to save him from his fate.

The closest method that Queen Venraniel could find was to transplant Armeluien's essence into the body of another; however since the host would be another Sidhe the two would merge, and as a result Armeluien would still be lost. While Queen Venraniel was debating this choice, the truth of the assassin's connections to Tsugotha's cult were uncovered by the beast knights of Queen Aunghadhail thus proving that another war with the Great Ones was imminent. Determined to have revenge as well as give Armeluien his chance to shine as a hero in the war, Queen Venraniel decided to choose three Fae beasts to host the spirit of her beloved.

To create a powerful sage of the mind the Queen asked her summoners to conjure the finest Aetherhound that they could from the Dreamland, they did so immediately and summoned a fine beast. As she desired revenge on those, who would betray their lands the Queen demanded that her hunters capture the most cunning and dangerous Alp that they were able to, after three days they presented her with a fearsome specimen indeed. And finally to fill the gap left by Armeluien himself with a great spell caster and fierce warrior, the Queen asked for the finest Cu-Sith (Faerie Hound) in her kingdom, one was delivered unto her that was the truest of its breed, unfortunately this was a female.

With time of the essence Queen Venraniel extracted the spirit of her beloved Armeluien with her magic divided it in three and blended his essence and soul with those of each of the beasts. She then cast spells to stabilize these new spirits, as well as give us forms suitable for our tasks; it was thus that Greyback, the Beta and I were created as we are. Each of the three took to our duties both on the battlefield and those off of the battlefield for in each of us Armeluien's love for Queen Venraniel burned like a sun.

Eventually the time came that we knew that a great sacrifice was needed to stop the Great Ones and their allies, knowing that her survival was likely impossible, Queen Venraniel wrote a gaes upon each of our souls. Because the spell that stabilized our spirits would let our souls survive intact and awake after The Sundering was completed, we were charged with several tasks. We were to build up our own power and ability so that we would be able to battle the Great Old Ones and their cults without the need of our armies. We were to gather the survivors of the Western Court and ensure that they did not forget the importance of the Danger that was to come again. We were to gather any allies that we could find and arm them with weapon, tool, and knowledge to fight when the time came. And finally and the most vital order of all if we were to come across any true heirs of the Five Fold Courts, any of the Five Fold Courts, we were to guard them with our lives.

Most of the rest you know as truth is, except that when Dagda came to me for my knowledge on strategy and tactics to battle the Fomorii, I was serving as a valkyrie under the King of the Muspellir, Tyr and was granted Badb as my partner. During this time I discovered that rather than go to what is now Asia, the Beta had crossed into Jötenheim and had found a home amongst the Jöten and had taken a name- Loki.

When I was gone a group of barbarians from Aesgard under King Borr, had laid Muspellir to waste turning the entire realm into a land of emptiness and mists. Taking pity on me as I had aided them so, I was granted a home amongst the Tuartha de Danu, and the name Morrigan for my loss. Three lesser goddesses were appointed to serve me as I willed them to Anu, Macha, and Nemain, and I was granted the domain of the battlefield and the dead. In time Dagda took me as his wife as well, I gave him two sons Bodb Derg and Midir, and a daughter Brigit. It was soon after this that I discovered many survivors being forced to chose between the descendants of two royal pretenders in the forms of the Courts of Summer and Winter. Determined to save the legacy of the Western Court and fulfill my mission I proclaimed myself as the Regent of the Nine True Queens and stated that any who wished to were welcome to follow the old ways in my court in the Wilds, thus began the Wyld Court.

In time the Nazarene came to our shores, by then Dagda had abdicated his throne to our son Bodb and I was mainly busy with keeping Summer and Winter from harassing my subjects, still I was called upon for something new diplomacy. We knew that as civilization progressed the old ways needed to be set aside for something more adaptable so I negotiated terms with our guest as Dagda held a feast in his honor. Bridget was to come with him to help the Celts adapt to the new ways through reincarnation while the rest of the pantheon would follow me into the Fairlands. Of course, some saw fit to cause trouble, Nemain and Macha joined the Court of Winter before the feast was over. Also Nemain's son Crom Cruach was determined to return and become the new High King when he and a hand full of followers snuck out of the Fairlands later, they met their end when Patrick returned to the isle from Rome and that serpent fell into darkness.

"Morrigan I've noticed that your accent is gone," I interrupted and pointed out something vital. "And this isn't the first time this has happened; you haven't spent all this time in the Fairlands have you."

Heaven's no, I've been out and about in the mortal world a lot, she responded with a smug satisfaction. I've even been a part of this era of capes and masks, you might even recognize the armor that I was wearing earlier, I wore it a lot in New York City during the 70's and the 80's as the Valkyrian.

"Holy crap you were a member of the Empire City Guard!" I almost shouted in disbelief.

Honorary member child, Morrigan elaborated as she calmed me down, as she came back forward and undid our straps. "I never accepted formal membership into that group because I had business with another organization, a group of old friends and allies that I helped assemble some time ago called the Grey Barrow, in fact you have already met another member recently. Is that not right Totem?"

"Indeed Valkyrian I was surprised to see you so soon, after all it has been years since we have seen you in any kind of flesh," Charlie Lodgeman walked into the room. "Come to think of it just where is your real body?

"It is sealed in amber at Dr. Quasimodo's estate. When we needed to come together to find young Bridges here for our plan to succeed we had to leave ourselves in safe places, Greyback has always been able to turn from spirit to flesh, Loki is safely hidden in the roots of Yggdrysil where Odin left him imprisoned, so I needed to make sure my body was safe. Of course when that two-bit warlock Plagiat tried to kill us I wound on getting laminated to Randi during the rebirth spell and until I can free myself I'm stuck in here with her." Morrigan groaned in exasperation."

What then what about the three of you coming together again as one. I asked desperate for the truth.

"We did try to come together however the intent was not to merge with one another;" Morrigan began to elaborate, "It was to create a hero who could serve the Western court without this stupid Gaes getting in the way. Unfortunately Plagiat screwed this up something awful, Greyback was supposed to balance my presence out and let you keep your original gender."

Wait you planed on me dying. I was shocked to say the least. Just why did I need to die?

"Not die just lose your body, these Gaes requires us to serve the heirs of the Five-Fold Court and a very powerful avatar was required for the survival of one of Gaea's sons." Morrigan told me with shame in her voice, "You understand from your sister how powerful a gaes is when laid by a human warlock; imagine one laid by a Sidhe Queen. What's more, sometimes the Gaes has us acting in ways that are detrimental to what needs to be in the long term, which is why we needed you and not just your body to help us. We need someone to act for the benefit of the Five-Fold Court and the planet's future not bound to the Gaes, if one of the heirs was a traitor we would be unable to act. Although I understand if with how things are you decide to turn your back on us, when I am able to leave this body I will give you an option that could let you fix things; however this would come at a price that only you could decide to pay."

"If you two are done I am here to escort you back to campus," Mister Lodgeman explained. "Ms. Carson has a word for you two, after breakfast and I think that the Medewah would appreciate the quiet." Taking the hint Morrigan slunk out of the driver's seat, and I gathered up our things including the pieces of the manacle and used some pieces of tissue to move into my bag before we left.




Whateley Academy - Dunn Hall
7:30 AM

"So Konrad how do you like the remedial classes?" Kerry asked trying to strike up a conversation with the Romanian exchange student that she hoped would not end in another diatribe on the problems of the imperialistic and egocentric nation that he had found himself in at the behest of his patron Lord Paramount.

"Bah, if it was not for the wishes of Lord Paramount I would see little need to sully myself with the pathetic indoctrination that you Americans call an education." Konrad began to rant in rare form as usual. "Of course it is just as pathetic as what you call food, most of this would barely pass as streetfare in Bucharest."

"Pardon me, someone told me its okay for new students to sit here." I spoke up knowing that everyone else just saw a girl with furry ears wearing a strange red and cream flannel shirt and blue jeans holding a tray despite having her right arm in a sling, and what looked like a crow perched on her left shoulder.

"Hmmp, more overly pushy Americans coming in, and making assumptions while dragging filthy vermin wherever they go." Konrad gruffed again at the sight while failing to notice the evil look said crow shot at him for his comment.

"Pardon Mr. Radu's manners, please feel free to join us." Kerry Ellison offered as I sat down next to a guy who looked like he belonged on the poster for a 1950's adventure serial.

After I set my tray down, I offered my left-hand to the rest of the group, "Randi Bridges, but I also go by Faolan for obvious reasons." I grinned as my tail wagged a little nervously behind me. "I just got in yesterday from the DFW Metroplex, I was going to introduce myself at dinner, but I ran into a few complications I'd rather save for later." I said staring at my arm.

The classical blonde beauty met my hand immediately with a smile, "I am Kerry Ellison, also known as Seraphim."

The next to meet my hand was right next to her and dressed like Prince. "And I am Robert Robespierre Renfield Ruthven Richelieu Ratcliffe Rose or Bob Rose for short. Alas I admit fair lady, that for the time being I am sadly lacking another moniker as my chosen one is already taken by another student who is my senior; although not yet a senior."

"Baird Frobisher," A very large individual who resembled a Horny Toad said while extending a clawed hand. "Although most just call me Froggy."

"Say if you tried wearing Purple do you think that TCU might give you an endorsement contract?" I asked with a hint of humor causing Baird start laughing up a storm.

"That or charge me with copyright violation," he said still laughing in this magnificent voice of he had.

"Stephen William Nalley fair lady," this baby face in what appeared to be a hodgepodge of sports equipment put together in a vain attempt to try and resemble a superman style costume. "And I am Stronghold." I probably wasn't the only one at the table rolling my eyes.

"Jamal Castle," the only African American of the group stated meeting my handshake. "I'm also called Jolt, since no one here saw you come in yesterday and you don't look like you belong in Hawthorne or act like someone from Melville, I would have to guess that you're in Poe with Chaka and Bladedancer."

"Yep, met them yesterday a few hours before my- incident." I said answering Jolt's question. "I admit that I didn't have too long to talk to them yet, well except for Jade, Nikki and Beltaine."

"Regina Lambert," said a girl whose demeanor screamed wallflower with a bullhorn and had a hesitant handshake to go with it. "Is it really true that everyone in Poe are crazy."

"I would argue with you, but I'm not willing to go against about a decade's worth of Neurological and Psychological reports." I cracked a grin, as it seemed that I was starting to hit it off, and maybe starting to make a few friends. "From what I've seen so far it seems like the inmates run the asylum, then again we're all a little mad here he he he."

"Alice im Wunderland, I always loved that book," a lovely young lady of obviously Eastern European origins stated as she met my handshake and named my quote. "My name is Erzebet Novak. What is wrong?" Crap she saw me flinch.

"Sorry back where I'm from there's a Supernatural Criminal Kingpin who goes by the name Erzabet Scratch." Oh man, I screwed up again. "I accidently got in the line of fire of one of her operatives, which caused me to manifest. When I woke up afterward I was in the middle of the Interrogation Room for the Dallas Branch of the MCO, if it wasn't for Maverick, Plainswalker and an attorney from NEXT who knows what would have happened to me."

"Hmph," the one-armed anti-American from earlier scoffed at my story. "Such a stupid name for a mastermind, and claiming that she is supernatural, as if you American's with your glittery Vampires and imitation Werewolves know what that means."

"Don't get me started about Stephenie Meyer's, I'll be ranting for hours." I fixed the jerk who was beginning to work my nerves with a steely gaze, "And as for werewolf which kind specifically there are dozens, do you mean the sons of Lycaon, the minions of Set, the cult of Fenris, the scions of Vereticus, Sidhe beast knights, or some other type that I am unaware of."

Noticing how everyone stared at me like I just grew a second head one guy whose build was similar to stronghold asked flat out, "Whoa how do you know all that stuff, I didn't think anyone would know enough to shut Conrad over there up?"

"I read it," I said in a dry tone, "Plainswalker is a member of the alumni association and keeps a rather through reference library on the supernatural. And Konrad please try to remember that there is a lot more to the supernatural than what crawls around in, let me try to place the accent- Romania. In this part of the world you have nightmares like skinwalkers, wendigo and chupacabra wandering around; as Plainswalker told me a few weeks ago, never assume that you know everything because what you don't can tear you to bits if you're not careful."

"Well said," a blonde-haired girl with purple bangs met my handshake, "I'm Joanne Gunnerson, but folks here call me Murphy. Sorry about Konrad, he's a bit of an acquired taste, and the magilla over there is Eddie Brysen, he wants to be called Captain Power but-"

"No putting a rank in your codename unless you've earned it." I continued her sentence, "I know, I asked why Maverick didn't call himself Marshal Maverick since he's a Full Deputy in the Federal Marshals Service, and he explained it."

"And I young lady am Buck Swift, Boy of Tomorrow." The boy to my right stated with about as much drama as he was able, "And this is the prototype for my newest aethertech invention my electro-blade."

"Hey Buck isn't that Ms. Beaumont the kendo instructor headed this way?" Joanne Gunnerson commented with her voice so loaded with mischief that even I could notice it.

"Yikes." Buck seemed to scramble to hide his prized invention and he chose the worst place possible. "Pardon me Ms. Bridges, but please hold this for me."

"Wait don-" And before I could warn him he slipped his electro-blade into my purse, the Reticle of the Fields, this was not good.

The insides of the Reticule of the Fields glowed an all too familiar red as the bag opened and Buck's electro-blade came floating out, immediately the blade pointed at the inventor began crackling with electricity and flew towards him right as he took off running through the cafeteria causing a panic in his wake from the flying attacking weapon.

"What the heck?" Kerry commented at the sight of Buck and his invention playing keep away all over the lunchroom.

"I tried to warn him," I groaned with my face in my palm, "The Reticule of the Fields here might be an infinite bag of holding, but if anyone tries to put anything made with the intent of being a weapon inside, the weapon comes out and attacks you. Buck stop dodging and let it hit you!"

"Are you crazy?" Buck shouted back as he jumped what had to be the New Olympian's table. "It's trying to kill me."

"No it's just trying to hurt you," I shouted back, "Now just stay still and take your lumps like a real man and it will stop."

"Is that true?" Joanne asked me with what seemed like a skeptical tone.

"Yeah, I learned the hard way weeks ago when I tried to put a can of Mace inside and wound up taking a long spray on my head." I blushed as my tail tried to hide between my legs, "It's weird like that, but it is useful."

"A magic purse how like an American girl."

"American this American that, sheesh do you ever shut up," Badb squawked out, "If you hate it here so much than go home already."

"Did the crow just talk?" Erze asked nervous at my answer.

"Yep, this is Badb the familiar of Morrigan, the spirit who's kind of stuck with me at the moment." I answered letting my roommate come forward again changing my appearance slightly as she did so.

"Greetings children, I am Morrigan of the Sidhe. I do hope that you will not mind my hopefully temporary stay amongst yourselves, and that we may all learn a great deal from each other."

"Yep people from Poe are definitely nuts," Regina observed at the scene that had unfolded around us." Of course that is not always a bad thing." Buck's invention had finally caught up with him when he tripped while trying to jump The Grunts table and began to administer a spanking upon its creator with the flat of its sparking blade. The entire cafeteria was soon roaring with laughter at the sight.



THE END
Last Edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Insane Hiker. Reason: closing an italics modifier.

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4 years 7 months ago #10117 by Insane Hiker
Insane Hiker replied the topic: Faolan 2: Thrown to the Wolves
Part 5 Notes

Rot translations –
"Geut yoer ormons undr cuntrol Hemofilya,"
“Get your hormones under control Hemophilia,”

"We hab tu b carfl wun we wek Da Agmun sew Layde Skrach cen cuntrl hm."
“We have to be careful when we wake The Hangman so Lady Scratch can control him.”

"Ey dun caer yu omisidul wyg,"
“I don’t care you homicidal witch,”

"Ey'm nt ltun Ezakiu taer ub a gud bdy, nd der ur juz ez mne gud rplcemynts err."
“I’m not letting Hezekiah tear up a good body, and there are just as many good replacements here.”

Soul Gem -
A jewel made of crystallized ectoplasm containing a spirit in a dormant state, while trapped inside a soul gem a spirit's powers and memories can be harnessed by the wielder, or even separated from the spirit using necromancy. A word of warning, demons consider soul gems to be candy, and will eat them if they are able. A soul gem can even be implanted in an individual to create an artificial avatar, or if implanted inside the womb of a woman to cause the next child she has to be a reincarnation of the soul in question.

Typhonian Monsters -
The five sons and five daughters of Typhon of the Gygas and Echidna the drakaina known as some of the greatest monsters of Greek Myth, and were mostly used by the Olympians to either punish those who angered them or aide those who favored them. Cerberus the three-headed dog who guarded the entrance to the Underworld. Orthrus the two-headed dog who served Eurytion to guard the crimson cattle of Geryon. The Nemean Lion whose hide no weapon could pierce. The Sphinx who guarded the road to Thebes. The Crommyonian Sow who served the crone Phaea. The Colchian Dragon who guarded the Golden Fleece. The Caucasian Eagle who was to peck out the liver of Prometeus every morning. The Lycean Chimera who was to guard the path to Hephaestus forge. The Lernaean Hydra who guarded a spring connected to the Underworld. The Cadmean Vixen (better known as the Teumessian Fox) who was destined to never be caught.

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