Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lizzie's Entry for April 2012

((4 exp, because I'm not really late, because I switched with End. Also, because of Celebi.))

Hey everyone... and Austin I guess. Finally getting a day to myself. Turns out providing disaster relief to both the living and the dead is pretty much a fulltime job. I'll get to that in a little bit, though. Need to address something important first. Uh, anyone other than Rick can just skip down a little bit.

Rick, I think we both know how close we've been over the years, especially after I died. You've always been there for me when I just wanted to relax, have some fun and not have to deal with the pressures in my life. You were one of the few people in my life who didn't judge me, and I loved you for it. It means a lot to me that you'd ask for permission before leaving me. Could've asked a little sooner, but... that was months ago. I'm over it now. What am I going to say, though? No, you have to be with me? Well, as much as I wish life was that easy, I'm not going to stand between you and happiness. Besides, it sounds like Amelia needs you more than I do right now.

Wow, that whole paragraph was disgustingly sappy. It's true though. Still, ew, glad I don't have anyone to act like that to anymore. I mean, not that I won't find someone eventually, but for now... I think I'll stick with less meaningful relationships. Oh, but I will try to get up to visit you, Ricky, when I get the chance. See if I can figure out that ghost problem for you. Not sure when I'll get that chance, but... I doubt I'll be cleaning up after disasters forever.

I guess I should get on with talking about that, huh. It's been going well enough. With the Union's help, the Dim Suns have been able to move in and take over relief efforts. Despite the damage, things apparently could've been much worse. From what I hear, a group of mages (dunno which one) managed to help contain the waves. Unfortunately, Mr. White thinks that the traces of magic left over are what's causing so much activity, like the increased number of shades hanging around in the Underworld I talked about before. We've had to deal with some of Japan's braver supernatural creatures, but we have the manpower that they don't. From Rick and Darrel's descriptions, I'm most worried about a whole pack of werewolves deciding they want access to whatever's out here. Do werewolves eat magic?

Anyways, I don't want to take up too much of your time with my worries. Despite everything, I think I might be happier than ever. There's nothing more fulfilling than helping a ghost pass on. Like, for that one moment, you can feel a bit of what's on the other side. It's not an incentive to die, though, as much as it might seem like it. It's what you get for living. If you aren't satisfied with your life, you'll be stuck here obsessing over it for eternity. As you can imagine, for this reason Undine hates the feeling. Not that she enjoys it any less than I do, but... it reminds her that she'll probably not be able to go there. It's kind of sad, actually. It's only made me more determined to find Ramira after all this is over, though, so she doesn't have to suffer like that.

Oh by the way, Cheiron's been pretty quiet lately. I think we've managed to scare them away for now. Unfortunately, that means that when we went to raid that other facility, it was already cleared out. There's definitely signs that point to them knowing about what caused the tsunami, but nothing we can use yet. The Union's been conducting their own investigation, and I managed to persuade Mr. White to get them to include me should they find anything. Which reminds me... Who the hell are you to tell me what I should do, Austin? I suppose next you'll want me back in the kitchen to make you a sandwich. I'm sorry if you don't like me doing my fucking job, but I'm not going to hide out in a library while I know I'm needed here. Besides, now that they've found me again, the Dim Suns will make sure I'm fine. Now that I know why they were protecting me, I'm not in any hurry to get away again. In fact... Nevermind, that's not important right now. The point is, I'm doing what I want, because for once, I'm actually doing something right.

Sorry, my emotions get the better of me sometimes. I feel a lot calmer than I did a month ago, though.

Now, Christian... I know you know more about magic than I do, but... Could you remind me why this vow is worth it again? I'm not gonna make the mistake of telling you it's wrong, but... I can't help worrying about you. I've been making Oferendas in your name, even though people tell me it doesn't work like that. Still, maybe some ghost will recognize it and be helpful to you. It's the only thing I can think of to return the sentiment of the gift you sent me (I don't blame you by the way; I don't think fate works like that). If I discover a better way to send you something, I'll be sure to do so.

I think I'm gonna finish this up. It's a pleasant evening and this is my only real day off for a couple weeks. I want to spend some time to myself on the beach. Not that I'm ever really by myself, but... you know what I mean. It's gonna feel so nice to just relax and enjoy the water on my skin. Can't wait!

Ja Ne! 

-Lizzie T. O'Conner

Monday, April 9, 2012

Darrel's Entry for April 2012

(Full 4 exp, referencing everyone, but Lizzie, since I came before her this time)

Austin, if I saw any other way other than total annihilation, I would have fought for THAT without a second thought, but the Bale Hounds were too far gone. Reasoning with them was no longer possible, Denver's seen some nasty shit with it once being a nest for an idigam, one of those spiritual abominations without any real existence or substance based on the material world, way back in the 80's, this cult was dangerous and they needed to be wiped out, before they caused any more harm. For reference on how bad the idigam are, the area around his former home is now a Would, a sort of blight in the spirit world, it still covers 35% of the whole city and that's after 3 decades of next to unanimous (just try to get more than a single pack to agree on anything and tell me how hard that is), diligent, and saintly cleaning up. The Bale Hounds were actively engaged in a competition to beat that record.

A meeting with the various packs was called up since my retrieval. It didn't go well, any thoughts about negotiation flew out the window when they ambushed the Summit with war-form. It was all the convincing the Tribes of the Moon needed to declare Ascended to be wiped out. Over the next week, there was a unified campaign to destroy the damn fools before they caused even worse problems. Needless to say we were victorious, I killed like… four of them myself… such a pity, it should have never come to this. Traitors or not, the People should not kill their own brothers. Last one to go was the damn t-rex, but explosives did him in. Everything was set to the fire, not a single trace of them remains now.

I never expected any of you, not even Ricky, to grasp the true nature of the Uratha. The reality is… that all this violence, all this rivalry, I know it's all petty, it is stupid and the worst part of it all is that, there's next to nothing I can do about it. The whole world pretty much mandates it. The Uratha have been locked in a near in a near constant war of extermination since before the Egyptians first learned of using bricks to build houses. I envy you sometimes, Chris, you mages know what you really want to accomplish and you at least have the benefit of progress, I learned a bit about the whole Ascension deal from a passer by a week ago. You'd think that in the last few millennia, either the Pure or the Forsaken would make progress towards some sort of definable goal. But no, both factions have been locked stagnant, resting their laurels the moment they get the upper hand and start fighting themselves, only really getting serious after taking an asskicking. One step forward, two steps back. All the while the Spirit world encourages the factionalism, rewarding those who embrace "survival of the fittest". Our cursed biology doesn't help, we're wired up to get angered at the slightest greivances… I'm sorry Austin, I didn't mean to snap. I didn't realize it until just now, made a damn wall of text, I did. Things have been rough with… the blood and all. I should be stronger than this. There's more stuff, but I'll spare you the details and spell it out for you, werewolves are not exactly friendly for a lot of reasons.

Good news though, I've gotten some backing from some outsiders, another pack joins with mine (except for three of old guys, we're pretty inexperienced) along with a mage who called herself a Thaiphus (something about a specialty in spirit stuff). After about a month of preptime to get to know the newmeat, make our final preparations, and settling the other tedious affairs, I'm heading the expedition deep into the Shadow.

I'm glad that you've found some allies to back you up, Austin. I wonder, with all of the freaks you must be hanging around, you just might induce a transformation of some sort upon yourself. I wouldn't mind another packmate, especially not an old friend like you. On the other hand, you'd learn the reasons werewolves are so… bestial. I wonder if you can get yourself changed like Chris did, temporarily, see how being an animal is like and all.

Chris, does this have anything to do with true names or some other magic thing? It sounds like it, though I just thought it was just a myth or it wasn't that big of a deal. I guess that mage is already starting to pay his own rent, Hollywood helped too.

Well Ricky, I hate to say it, but ever since that whole "incident" on the ship, we've been in the crosshairs of pretty much anyone who has the slightest reason not to like us. It's a good thing the two of us can pretty much regenerate anything except from wounds made of silver. Pretty much the best part of being a shapeshifter, I reckon. You break anything major yet, cat?

Either way, I'm glad that I could talk to you guys, especailly after the rough month I've been having. I just wish we didn't have to be so separate. You know what, I've got my birthday coming up and  I'm going to blow out the candles to see if that'd speed things up a bit.
See you,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Rick's Entry for April 2012

(( 4 pts. On time, subplot, progress, and mentioning pretty much everyone else. Except Darrel. His posts creep me out. <.< ))

Alright... where to start... well, I'm sure you will be all glad to know that I'm not half dead or about to die this month. For once, I'm writing this in the safety of my appartment... not in the best of circumstances, though. Amelia just left for the night, more on that later. There are more urgent matters to discuss than my relationship with the vixen.

Where to start... it has been a fairly calm month this time. I said I would try myself in less dangerous situations and I almost did. I was about to tell Amelia that we should be a little less adventurous, but then I got your message Lizzie and, since it was kind of a low blow to go out with someone else during our break without telling you, I figured I should at least make it up a bit and try to stay with Amelia for you. We didn't really have anywhere to look at though, so we spent the first half of the month just trying to get things nice and neat around here. By that, I mean that we tried to be more friendly with the wolves, working on our differences and dousing the fire between us. I think it worked for the most part, thanks to the help of Darrel's friend. We agreed to stay on our side of the city and they agreed to stay on their side. We're free to go on the enemy side if it's not to hunt or to participate in gatherings of our respective gangs.

I agree with you Austin that we should stop those gang wars, but it's easier said than done when you have those instincts telling you to grab a territory and defend it to death. If someone was to take something that's mine, like my apartment, my favorite fast food place, Amelia or Lizzie, I would fight to death for it. Of course, Lizzie isn't so much mine anymore... which... reminds me that I have something to ask you, Lizzie. The reason Amelia left tonight was because things got really... err... warm between us and we almost... did the you-know-what. I wanted to, but I didn't want to betray you. I still own you, and it wouldn't be fair to you while we're on a break to... yeah. So... I would like if... if I could drop my ownership of you. I want to focus fully on Amelia now. So... what I'm trying ro say is... that I hope you're not too mad if... I want us to break up. For good. I still want us to be good friends and play games and stuff if we ever have the time for it again, but... I don't want to feel tied to you anymore. So... it would be nice if you could give me your permission, because Mr. Pant is very sad tonight. Oh, and you should visit sometime! You could spend a day or two here, and maybe meet her, and maybe go check out those ghosts on the Lake. I'm sure you could be of help. If you want to. I mean, if travelling to Japan through the Underworld was so easy, I'm sure a short vacation to Toronto wouldn't be too hard on you. Heck, maybe you could make a detour by our town and get Austin too. I my best bud and I can't exactly pay for plane tickets.

What else... hmm... I have many things to tell Austin, but I think I will wait to see if he can visit before waisting this communication channel on it. So I'm gonna talk to Chris, instead. Man, you're really freaking me out with all your talk of secret stuff. You're like, in a secret world within a secret world within our secret world. It's inception to the cube. I dunno what's up with you, and by the look of it, it's probably not in our interest to know, but I'm sure you will be able to get through it. If anyone can do it, it's you, our not-so-official-and-slightly-insane-but-inspiring-leader.

I feel like I'm forgetting something.... oh! Yeah, animal spirits. We listened to your idea, partly because the Lake ghosts tried to kill me, partly because Amelia wanted to do more exploration and researches. So last weekend, we went in a trip in the wilderness. It was really awesome, especially that part where we hunted a rabbit and ate it raw. Err... too much information, right? Point is, even far away frown the city, I felt like something was following us. As if I, or maybe Amy, was a magnet for the supernatural. I've got this little theory that maybe, just maybe, everything supernatural is trying to get us killed. Those wolves, those ghosts, everything. We all gotta be careful, but all the same, the more we feel threatened, I think the closer to what THEY don't want us to know. Maybe it's something about their weakness, maybe something to make us stronger, I don't know... but we're definately on the right track. Lizzie, don't listen to Austin, you're fine where you are. I know it's dangerous, I know people are after us, but that's what we need to do. The more we do that, the more we get closer to the truth. And maybe that day, we will be able to all get together and kick that overgrown space octopus face. Then have a wild DnD session, like the good old time. Now that will be a fun celebration.

...yeah, the world totally has way too geeky saviors.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Austin's Entry for April 2012

Ahhhhhhhhh! (punches self in face!) Sweet mother! Sweet mother! Send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear! Ohhhh... how wonderful it is that I think I know about exactly how you all are feeling right now. Ricky, Darrel... please, please, please... try to limit your participation in gang violence, please. I don't care of it's instinct, or tradition, it's a turf war, it's stupid and for the most part it HAS to be unnecessary, right? What you talk about sounds like the petty rivalries of medieval monarchs. Maybe you aren't human, but you aren't beasts either, you're something different. Of course... I'm not talking about everything... I mean... fighting a t-rex and stuff... I... I don't pretend to know what's going on there at all, but you both know what I mean. I don't want you guys to get hurt over something really dumb. Please try to keep thinking.

Chris, you're the one I'm most worried about right now. I take back what I said, what exactly have you gotten yourself into? I hope they aren't making you sacrifice anything fundamental to who you are. What could be more precious, and not just to you. We like you the way you are, Chris, or at least I do. I want you to become more like yourself. I think you're scared, and I think you're pretty obviously unhappy and you feel swept up. It might be tough, but for a moment you should try entertaining the idea that you aren't where you want to be right now, and you aren't following your own will. It sounds to me like you've just been convincing yourself to go along with it all so that you don't have to endure the knowledge that you've passed the point of no return. But I'm sure you haven’t, Chris, you're too smart for that. If you think you're in real trouble, get out. Run, or resist in whatever small way you can until an opportunity comes up. There's probably something that's safe to tell us; think real hard about it. If you can let us know indirectly where you are and what you're doing, we can help. I'm sure we all trust your wishes and your judgment but please, be brave and think really hard about this so you're sure what's the right choice.

And now a plea to Lizz. Lizzie? Lizz? Hello, you reading this? I've got two things to... insist of you, if I might. First, stay out of danger. Keep your head down. Come home, if you can. Remember, you aren't the one whose really in danger... when you're in danger. Everyone IN THE WORLD besides you is in danger... when you're danger. You're not gambling with your own life poking your nose around, you're gambling with the lives of about seven billion people. I'm begging you, don't risk their lives. Your place is to be a scholar, that should be obvious. You're not only fantastic at doing your research (it saved your life!) you have to accept it, you are a liability whenever you're out there “in the field”. We all know what happens to a mortally injured sin-eater. If a risk like that doesn't bother you, I... I don't even know who you are anymore. Come home, please. I'm starting to think it was dumb, dumb, dumb for us to split up so completely right now. It's so much easier for us to be picked off like this. If Darrel and Ricky could come back now that'd be excellent to. In case you didn't think more bad schiese couldn't possibly go down, I'm here to tell you, the schiese is goin' down. The reason I've been out of contact the last month is because... well I've sort of had to go into hiding. Not just me, a lot of us in the council, and especially in the Union.

I can't say for sure whether anything specific has happened, but we know there are people in two of the big mage orders, the Mysterium and the “Guardians of the Veil”, who are making very serious accusations and threats against us, particularly the five of us. The way I've had it explained to me is there's this world, mundus, the supernal worlds which are the source of magic, aetherious and such, and between them is the awful gulf: the void. Any magic spell that isn't done right, or that gets witnessed by someone who isn't in the right mindset, widens the gulf. The trouble is apparently that these sorts of things are happening a lot now, a lot more than they used to. People like me who aren't ready for magic are dabbling in it like it was a hobby they could pick up, while a lot of mages feel like they can relax their standards and practice openly now that the cat's out of the bag. Frankly this all makes sense to me, it means despite everything we've seen the real disaster is that our world and the higher, purer worlds are rocketing apart, like two galaxies hurtling away from each other on opposite currents of space. I don't know how they can pin that all on us, though, or even the Union. What do I know, I don't know anything.

So... the Necronomicon is in Harvard. (looooong sigh) The only thing I think I know about Schrodinger's paradox is that it's all bollux. It's not a fair criticism of quantum mechanics, so I'm not sure what you're talking about, Chris. Is the book cursed or something? Is it enchanted to warp my soul or my mind? Or is just words and symbols on paper? I wouldn't be surprised either way. But competing truths, Chris? Come on, now let's be careful how we phrase things. Explain to me how two contradictory things can be true at the same time in the same reality. We've been learning about... something similar, something like that, but it's not really the same I don't think If you can't explain... well I simply don't buy it. It's not that I think I know everything or anything really, it's just I don't have any reason to believe that in particular. Maybe there's a lot in between us and the real fundamental nature of the world, but I don't know what else to expect other than something completely consistent and predictable. Otherwise who cares, right? We might as well welcome the dreadlord's nihilism, revel in it, celebrate it. The children of the elder god have come to tell us that nothing matters and nothing is true, that all life ought to be a party oozing with drink and sex and violence and babbling. Are they wrong or are they right?

Not to say I'm in any hurry to find or read that book. If you have a better idea of how we can learn about our enemy, pitch it. All I care about is knowing my foe, and my way seems like the only way to me right now. You mentioned something about a stone? I'm sorry, I'm exhausted, I really am. Maybe you could go into more detail about that. Not much to talk about on this end. Right now I'm living quite literally underground, in this beautiful old stone room like something out of an Elder Scroll's game. The ceiling is very high, sort of feels like an old chapel down here, and it's nice and cool. It's part of a pretty big network as far as I can tell, but they haven’t let us explore very far. And for once, though there are actually far fewer people coming and going... for once in a long time now I don't feel completely alone. There are two people I'm working with down here, neither of them exactly human. One is a very unique and friendly werewolf who has taken for himself the name of Logosh, which seems strangely familiar to me. I think he's someone both Darrel and Ricky could learn a lot from, and me too for that mater. He goes his own way, he doesn't run with anyone's pack, he fights for the Union. He seems to be in his bestial form very often, but it doesn't really prevent him from being delicate and patient. He also doesn't mind it when I scratch his head... which is good... because... that's a weakness of mine.

The girl is changeling, like your sister Chris, except she frightens me. She always wears a long purple cloak with a hood that mostly obscures her face. The texture of her skin when I catch a glimpse of it seems like sandpaper, rough and splotchy. She's thin, and... well in many ways I'd be tempted to call her a girl after my own heart, she's very polite and straight forward and motivated and serious and intelligent... once she looked me in the face, and it was like a skull. Though her movements and her posture are healthy and vigorous, she looks as if she's been dieing of starvation, and her eyes are filled with some murderous, unappeasable hatred for someone or something. I don't wanna' talk about it anymore more right now, I'm too tired. Her name is June, by the way, or it is now since she's a member of the summer court. Next time I'll talk about the research we're doing. We spend a lot of time with these awesome sort of... extra-planar telescopes... and what happens when you look through one can be really exhausting.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Christian's Entry for April 2012

Lost. Dark. Alone. I am sorry if my message is either short or dark, because I feel an awful like both. I know I prepared for this, I know that none of this should phase me... but it does. The good new is that I’m apparently very good with languages. Dunno how that is, but... at least I can talk to people before they... nevermind. I don’t wanna think about my life right now, I really don’t. Suffice it to say it is... very difficult. So how the vow works is that you swear to give up stuff, and... you’re a different person. I can’t say when or what without breaking the vow, but... I don’t wanna be this person. And neither does anyone else, I don’t think. It sucks to be so... nope! No details, dangit! I can’t tell anything, except that... I’m not real anymore. Not like I used to be. Not like any of you are. I guess that’s how the masters who complete this process come back so differently than they left. I wonder who I’ll be when I finish this... who I am or who I used to be. The Order wouldn’t tell me, so... I don’t actually know. Guess what? When it’s wet and cold and lots of people are on the streets with you, they do what they want. None of my magic works. All that stuff I learned... it’s like heaven doesn’t want to acknowledge I even exist. But... enough about me.

Darrel, I’m glad you’ve got a pack. I don’t know much about much of anything, but what I know about werewolves indicates you shouldn’t really be /trying/ to live without one. Especially considering how difficult our goals are. It was stupid of us to try and take this enemy by ourselves, even if we are apparently important for some reason. Professor Armitage was right about that, though. I’ll never forget what we saw. Or... what happened to us. Although I guess it was mostly just you, Lizzie. I hope the magic I used to send that object to you didn’t have anything to do with you being captured and imprisoned by Cheiron, because... At least you can die less permanently than the rest of us. Whatever good that does you. I’m glad you made it out okay at least! Stay safe! There’s bound to be something to what’s going on... A method behind all the madness. Somewhere. Can you... it’s awful to imagine what you went through. What I did... Can you remember when we were just ordinary people? Back when we used to eat fast food and play video games and roleplay? Sometimes I think about that one with Ashton and Parker. I can just imagine how well they would do in conditions like this! Little fairies falling apart like wax paper. Let me know if the artifact... momento... works for you. Because I dunno if it does what it says it should.

Ricky, don’t get discouraged! That sounds scary... but it sounds to me like that fox is perfect for you. Someone to get you out and doing things. The world doesn’t need cowards right now... it needs people who get out and gets the stuff done that needs to get done. You will be successful... but that doesn’t mean you have to try and figure out a problem that isn’t your natural sphere. I mean... maybe you should avoid /human/ ghosts and focus on the animal world. Figure out the sort of stuff a fox and a cat can figure out.

As for me, I’ll keep on trudgin’ forward. It’s hard, but... I won’t give. There are lots of people out there... one of them is bound to know how to help me... be... alive again. Please... it might be one of you. Try to... be nice to... people... you... see... Stupid vow! -Dies.

((Oh, and score. 4 exp on time, subplot, progress, others.))