Thursday, May 23, 2013

Darrel's May 2013 Entry

(5 exp, for the normal and Current Event, since I didn't do it last week)

Fields of Blood. For the longest time, I had always thought of that phrase as being a metaphor or concept. But never in my youth I would I have ever thought I would see such horrors first hand and look at them without remorse or pity. I suppose this goes on to prove that I am a very different person than I was.

After I had departed from Egypt and left Austin to whatever devices he had, I had set out on my way to clean up the mess our adversaries had made. The numbers of Outsiders here  have been swelling ever since the attack on the Naxxanar. I suppose they felt they thought that without his fortress in their midst, it was time to act without impunity. Just as well, it was about time that someone wiped them off of the map, before I moved elsewhere. Most of their forces scattered and hid while those that remained behind were slaughtered like the abominations they were. Fields of dark and brightened Outsider blood are the result. I don't think I need to go into the details of how it feels to stick it to the enemy.

I'm moving northwestward, towards Europe. I've got some business I need to take care of there. I won't explain much more beyond that. It'll be best if you don't know until it actually happens. I feel that this whole werewolf civil war contest isn't going to be done soon enough. I've got to take immediate action if I want control.

In other news. The Union, or atleast one faction of it, has escalated the conflict and has now begun distributing… copies of that creature that helped us out during Christmas. They're called Lilim, for some sort of psuedo-Christian reason. I'm still not sure of what these creatures even are, but it is clear that they prove to be a very powerful anti-Outsider weapon. Right now their numbers are few and far between, like at most 7 in the whole world right now. Not sure of any of their capabilities beyond their phenomenal combat prowess and this aura that weakens Outsiders. Of course, they're not the one who's looking to deploying a Superweapon solution to combat the Outsider threat. I hear for starters TF:V is looking into making themselves some sort of aerial battleship to one-up the Naxxanar. It's very likely every other big conspiracy out there is also planning on deploying their shiny new toys within the year. Hopefully it'll be enough, cause we'll need all the shiny toys we can get.

Austin, as much as you like to claim that the Exarchs rule over the heavens, in point of fact, it's been made abundantly clear to me that the heavens like to disagree that sentiment. Regardless of whether or not you feel that they are deserving of the role of Masters of the World, the World (both as an entity and collectively) just doesn't seem to care at all about them. But that's beside the point, I'm not going to get into a religious argument with you because there's more important things to do than get stuck in one, like watching paint dry. Regardless, hopefully you allies stop being fools and actually focus on the real enemy at hand.

So Ricky, what're you hoping the child to be. I can say that it is taboo for the werewolves to couple together in our culture because the child turns into some sort of spirit monster upon birth. I do not claim to know the rules for how your kind act, but I'd like to know your preference for how your child turns out.

Hopefully the… uh living conditions in that place of the land of the dead aren't unbearable. I've never been to the Underworld, but hopefully things on your end don't make you a permanent member. I'd hate having to try to summon you up from beyond the grave.

Hopefully you can get your things together Christian, we're coming down on the wire. With the rest of the world readying their big guns, it's very clear that everyone  else thinks the end is nigh. And all of us are scrambling to pick up whatever arms and armies we can field.  I cannot help but think that we're doing something wrong though. We're approaching the problem as if it was a conventional war. Which makes little sense against a non-conventional opponent. Logistics for starters is seemingly a non-issue for Outsiders. Therefore, maybe we should be focusing on ending the war with a non-conventional solution?

 On another note, it seems there's… political issues involving Africa, the Geneva Convention, and the politics of dividing up the territory.

Current Event: Readying for the apocalypse. Hunter Conspiracies the World over, including the Union have begun deploying in force powerful specially developed Anti-Outsider weapons systems. This includes the Lilim, the results of Project: Lilith. With these new weapons, Hunters across the globe hope to turn the tide of the invasion.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Austin's Entry for May 2013

 (4 points)

I know most of you couldn’t care less but here’s my situation as of now. The connections I’ve tried to establish over the past year are starting to unravel, and forging new ones is proving to be a real uphill battle. At least there isn’t much in the way of actual fighting going on for the moment. Darrel’s people were able to swing northwest and repulse the Turkish invasion much to my relief. I was able to refly the Naxxanar once a few... technical issues had been dealt with, but I’ll get to that in a moment. For now an uneasy mutual defense pact against Turkey has been struck between the Iraqis and the new Islamist government I helped to establish in Syria. That’s about it as far as good news goes.

I’ve been dreading the day my partners would discover just who else I was in bed with no homo, and now it’s come at last. The Greeks want to have nothing to do with either the Muslims or the Jews, and they’re not too fond of Scientologists either. Michalakos is furious that I’m using his airplanes to deal with Israel and wants me to send them back along with the tiny ship he lent us. He accuses me of betraying his trust, deliberately sabotaging the campaign in turkey, and threatens to confiscate the vessel and and all cargo once it returns to the mediterranean. This wouldn’t be a problem if she wasn’t hauling my entire Arkham library AND the Fist of Zeus, something I pray the crew doesn’t find out. She’ll need a lot more protection for the final leg of the trip, but of course the Syrians and Israelis are as mistrustful of one another as they’ve ever been and they both refuse to work with Sea Org.

Israeli institutions themselves are polarized. The government has claimed they’re more than willing to accept my offer to protect Jerusalem, particularly after the deadly toppling of what was left of Solomon’s temple. But the Magi in Israel are as orthodox as the Pharisees themselves and forbid cooperation with the Exarchs. Out of everyone only the Scientologists seem to understand the concept of an alliance of opportunity and just how desperately one is needed. I have to say, I like ‘em. Chairman Mueller’s people are still wonderful. Polite. Punctual. Hygienic. Brutally and refreshingly honest. More than I can say for anyone else I have to put up with.

Around me they’re perfectly ready to come out as frauds and manipulators; none of their directing brains ever actually believed in the mythos of scientology. It was and remains a front for living comfortably at the expense of stupid, desperately bored and lonely upper-middle-class people. I can honestly respect an agenda like that.  I’d even go so far as to call it quite ethical, at least under the circumstances. We agree that fellow Cynics ought to look out for one another.  I’ve been calling in a lot of favors from them recently, and anyone else I can get in touch with. Let’s wait and see what it’s going to take to rescue us from THIS limbo.

Now to the fun bit. Like I said, I’ve been calling in favors from the Union, one of which was granted to by someone named Amon. Amon represents the ‘Ascending Ones’, vigilants in Egypt and Saudi-Arabia who I visited some months ago. Apparently he’s one of Darrel’s close associates. I didn’t know what to expect from the old man or what to ask of him, but he offered to show me through his stock of artifacts and answer any questions. We came upon an ornate iron breastplate frilled with gold feathers. Amon said it was one of the most ancient and mysterious relics he possessed and that it was called the Breastplate of the Alak’r Warrior after the heroic bedouin vigilant whose name was lost to time. The Warrior supposedly possessed the ability to transform into a mythical beast and rend his foes, and that power remained in his breastplate long after death. Harnessing that power was as simple as putting the armor on and working the slightest amount of will. The piece would change shape along with its wearer and continue to provide some protection. Removing it involved simply turning a catch on one of the buckles.

I asked if it worked, he said it did indeed. Need I say much more? Of course I asked about side-effects and complications and... apparently there weren’t ANY. It’s one of the most sophisticated enchantments ever wrought upon an inanimate object, and I really, really couldn’t bring myself to the look the poor guy in the face when I asked for it. He wasn’t expecting that. There was so much else in his collection that could and would confer weightier powers, but I wasn’t expecting to ever run across anything remotely like this. Amon was bound to an oath, and this was a prize too good for me to pass up, even if only for the chance to finally live out a childhood dream.

So that’s what I did, and all seemed well until I embarked with enthusiasm on that  joint venture to smash the Turkish reactionaries. Then immediately I was contacted by Amon, Darrel and some others who were afraid I might disrupt the balance of this land whilst they were trying to form their own consortiums. Amon promised he would take action if I didn’t withdraw Naxxanar south of the Turkish border, but I didn’t have a clue what was bothering them, let alone why they thought it was any of their business. Neither did it seem likely they could inconvenience me all that much so long as the Lords of the Sky were at my back.

But that’s what they did. Even though we all seem to be strangely guarded against sympathetic magic, somehow Amon was able to get to me via the same iron vestments he’d reluctantly given up a few weeks earlier. The curse made it so I couldn’t disengage the armor. Believe it or not I was actually trapped in the shape of a griffon for several days, which meant I could no longer pilot the Naxxanar. When a mage tried to interface with the stellascopic control column he started retching up blood, and then we all fell right out of the sky.

We’d have been stuck there a lot longer if Darrel hadn’t eventually turned up. Once it was safe I left for Amon’s Nile estate some two-thousand miles away, or I dunno it certainly felt like that flying the whole way by myself. Not that it wasn’t an incredibly mellowing experience.  You’ll recall I wasn’t in the same exultant mood as the month before. I was ready to discuss terms and forswear myself if necessary. It was late when I finally arrived, but the porter assured me I was expected and it would be no trouble to fetch his master. He directed me to wait in the expansive oasis in the courtyard,  home to a menagerie the likes of which hasn’t been seen in Egypt since the reign of the pharaoh. At that hour the air was full of the piping of what must have been thousands of frogs and bloated Nile toads. To think that not much more than a year ago I wouldn’t have found those cracked chimes the least bit frightening! It recalled to me many a chilling poetic verse from the Necronomicon. How does anyone sleep at night in a place like that? Amon took me inside without a word. Not much needed to be said. I think he understood better than I how I felt.

Anyway, yes, he lifted the curse then and there, though he suddenly seemed quite insistent that I should keep the armor, partly because he had no intention of having me escorted back to Syria. Evidently the griffon is an ancient commanding symbol in the Middle-East, demanding the respect of all who were symbol minded. Once I was human again we stepped outside thinking to cut across the garden to a far wing. We were both astonished to be greeted by a sudden, perfect silence. Though perhaps it was a coincidence after all, at my step the cracked jeering notes of the frogs and night insects all ceased. But whether this was of any significance isn’t important compared to what thoughts struck me. I remembered that dead Cthulhu and his hosts were and are entombed in R’lyeh for a reason. They lost. It was the people of Leng, our forefathers, who thwarted their malign desires unto death, even the designs of Elder Gods.

Even the puffed Shoggoths mourn the loss of our first parents, the Elder Things. Now they look to us their brethren with a glimmer of hope, and I know now exactly what I must do. While there is yet time I must return to Leng and plumb its depth more fully. I know I will be welcomed there.

It never occurred to me that Awakening would be such a long process. I’d thought it ended months ago, but it continues even now.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rick's Entry for May 2013

(( 4 pt. 1 for time, 1 for mentioning others, one for local plot, one for main plot. Although technically, I think those last two are one and the same in this case. ))

Hello, everyone.

I'm going to be quite, quite quick this time. It's not that I don't want to talk to you guys, but I've read Chris's message not so long ago and apparently, no one told us about that before now. I guess I should have watched the news instead of... anyway... point is, time to go to Shanghai to help Chris and Rami over there. I wish we would meet in better times, but it's an emergency, I ha... we haven't gathered and prepared an army to stay quiet when things are getting hot. Nope, we're going there, as soon as in the next 10 minutes. If the plane is on time. Many have already left in the last few hours, planes after planes crammed full of people and material. I wish we had been more prepared, we aren't bringing our A-game, but it's better than nothing. I spent those last few hours trying to convince Amelia to stay behind for the safety of the baby, but she wouldn't listen. I can't say I'm exactly surprised, I mean, she has been pushing me around for a year now and things aren't getting any better with her body being messed around by influx of hormones of all kind. So, I guess I will have to just watch over her a little more.

As for you guys... keep up your good work Darrel and Austin. Christian and Ramira, we will see ourselves soon, so it can wait until that. And you Lizzy... hey, you should come over with your ghost mob group! Then we can have a double date with good ol' Chris and Amelia, it's gonna be awkwardly awesome! I still don't get what you see in him though, I mean, you should have fallen in love waaaaay earlier, you've known each other for longer than we do. Having it happen now is... random and weird to me. But then again, I can't say I've ever understood people. I prefer animals and it's reciprocal. Wild love! (Rimshot)

Oh, look like I gotta go! Amelia is waving at me. Darn, I wasn't doooooooone messing with the new couple of the month! Meh. Bye guys, let's see if we survive China!

(( PS: Kris, next month, Rick, Amelia and about... 2000 ferals of all species will have joined you guys. Feel free to have anything happen, you have free reign over everyone for that month. Lucky you! ))

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Christian's Entry for May 2013

(( Five points. One for on time, one for subplot, one for others, one for progress. And a WORLD EVENT: Shanghai becomes a battleground as a war between competing factions of mages aided by other supernatural allies battle for control of the Earth.))

Onward Christian soldiers, marching on to war. With the cross of...

I swear the pun isn't intentional. Actually I didn't have much to do with the actual conquest side of things. That's not really my strong suit, let's be honest here. Remember when I tried to rebuild the Diamond Nation? I do! How’d that go? Oh, I‘ve had to start tearing it down? Yeah, that happened. Or it's happening right now. Work in progress, but much more progressed than it was back 1n the Dreamlands. There’s so much to talk about I don't even know where to begin! Let's start with the Diamond. I’m sorry you don't want me to succeed, Darrel. Please don't think I mean this new organization to rule the world and all who live upon it. The Diamond Nation was once the ruler of humanity. That doesn't include you or Rick or even Lizzie technically. Some mages think that it ruled the entire Earth way back when. I’m not so sure about that, just like I’m not sure about the history of the spirits and that whole thing shamans talk about sometimes. You’re right that we are going to need something new Darrel, since the world of the past is gone. No more secrecy and no more lies. I love the Union and everything it stands for... but before we can contribute like we need to, we need to be united. That’s why this has been my main priority since the very beginning.

I applaud every worthy effort that has been engauged by our various members. And if you look at the different individuals in our group, I see that every one of us has became a leader in our own right. Everyone has made an impact. Even you, Justin. Don't tell yourself that you're meant for the background. No wlllworker is made for that. You like I have tasted of Supernal fire — this fire is meant to change the world. It is humanity's birthright, but not all of us can channel it yet. Not everyone has tasted of this living water. As one of the few, we have a responsibility to be a beacon. Do not abandon your efforts. Do not abandon your city. I have faith in your ability. Besides... I think we’ll be needing that city to be intact.

The Undying Ones have dreamed again. They dreamed that our great council shall be built again atop your powerful Egyptian relic. Their ancient magic shall make of it a fortress that the Outsiders will cower to see. We shall weave anew the rends they tear in the tapestry. There are many; many more every day. There is work enough to do.

Along those lines, I fear I gave the wrong impression about my allies (mostly to Darrel). The Undying Ones are not truly immortal. They are not the invisible Masters with their world-shaping elder magics. Those I have not met since my days with the Order. They are ordinary mages of ordinary power, who have earned their name because they have become beings of soul, not body, and so are not affected by time. They are the Undying Ones because they come from hundreds of years of history. Thousands of years, really. The dreaming minds of the greatest men and women to live among the Awakened, and many who were not awakened 1n their life but had the secrets of the Dreamlands anyway. Here on Earth they are very mortal. So far as I know, none of them has ever been killed. If they did... I have good reason to suspect they would end up in the Underworld, almost without fail. They are basically the ghosts of dead mages more able to learn and to grow, and fully physical. Kill them, and they die like ghosts.

You might ask now I know that. Well, as you may've heard by now, there’s been a hit of a war lately. Sorry about causing so much death and strife, Lizzie! I hope you'll still love me. Alas, we’ve had no choice. The unity of the Orders I created has been working toward our destruction... all of ours... in the insane hope that the Outside might be placated somehow, as though it were an ordinary abyssal acamoth that could be paid off with a few souls and sent back to its gnawing unknown home. That would have been enough were they not trying to kill us as well. All legend and occult insight agrees we are surely the only way to bring an end to this. And can anyone fail to see why?

Look at the impact we have had! Rick and his uniting of the ferals, Darrel and his war for dominion of the Earth with the others of his kind. Lizzie and the Dim Suns. And Justin, you too. How could anyone not see the difference we're all making here! There is more to do; much more. This enemy was mighty. They have been too occupied with killing me, as a rival for power among our kind. With me dead, I have no doubt they would have turn on all of you next. Justin first, then the others. But that is not a concern anymore.

My foolish Diamond Nation is no more. I cannot share with you the joy I felt to see that city fall. The mightiest elder magics... among my kin and vampires both... was employed 1n protecting it from any threat. But they were totally unprepared for what happened. I would not be at all surprised if the population of mages in the world was significantly impacted by this invasion. Thousands, and more than a hundred thousand others among past dreamers who were not Awakened themselves but wielded our Enlightened weapons. Many vampires were slain by Supernal sunlight. I have never seen justice so liberally administered.

By all accounts the battle was a rout. It never helped that the Arrow has been loyal to me from the beginning, as well as the Mysterium. Seeing our army at their gates with the banner of the Undying Ones, most of the security force defected. The Arrow are an honorable lot. They would not turn and slaughter their charges... but left as a group all at once, nearly two hundred battlemages, to do honorable combat as they have been waiting to do for some time.

It did me no pleasure to see the Chancellor of the Veil and many of the Seers standing and fighting to the death when they discovered that the Undying Ones had created a dead zone in the city, preventing all supernal influence but our own. Not that such was easy. But I will spare you the detail of price. Right now we estimate the loss of life on both sides and civilian bystanders was nearly ten thousand. A great victory, won at incredible cost.

It's been a somber moment for Rami and I. The snake no longer has a head, but the war isn't won. Just because the heads of those orders that wished humanity harm (even if they didn't understand it) have been killed or imprisoned (so far as we know, nobody escaped who was in the city at the time)... this does not mean we have won the loyalty of the Veil or the Ladder, to say nothing of the Seers (their head surrendered, so we're not entirely hopeless there). As a matter of fact... plenty of the Ladder have since openly stated they intend to wage a war for revenge for the overthrow of their dominance. The Veil isn’t inclined to declare much of anything, but the Undying Ones warn me their heaviest hand remains unplayed.

But there is hope. The Arrow is ours again, honored and willing to serve. The Free Council and the Mysterium were with us before the war was even over. There is not much left to build our center here... so we shall move on. There are far too many men for this city to support. I cannot say where we are going next, except that it is important. I don't know how we will make the other Orders kneel. Perhaps we never will. But I am getting reports that significant numbers... those that have supported us from the beginning... are defecting to the Arrow and the Mysterium. The Free council doesn't need anyone else... it's been the largest of the orders ever since the world’s been falling apart anyway. All the newcomers. Can't say I’m upset about that either.

Be safe, everyone. This is a great time to be alive!

Oh, and congratulations Rick! To create life is a sacred responsibility. Now that you've done it, you have to stay true to that. Your child deserves a father who can raise them to be better than he was. This is your new responsibility... in addition to somehow helping us to save the world. Is the child of two ferals more likely to be teral too? I’ve never really understood how you left humanity to begin with. I know that you're not numan. You've got a dualistic spirit-soul nature like werewolves do, and don’t go to the Underworld like werewolves don't. At least usually. That's the trouble with stuff like this. There are always exceptions. But you get the point! Let us know when you know its sex. Keep your mate safe.

Lizzie, I expect you to stay safe too. For similar reasons I suppose. Though so far as I know there aren’t any babies on the horizon, are there? Is that even possible for Sin-Eaters? I get that you’re not entirely human, but it seems like you’re alive enough for that. From what I remember you are. No double-entendres there, I swear. I've missed you, Lizzie. Rami and I have got loads closer out here... being together in the Dreamlands for more than a year can do that... but it's nothing like... well, she does know my secret as I've said, but more to help us hide than anything else. On the plus side, she's learned some damn good Japanese because of it, so that's cool! Helps me a whole lot during those times, since my English hasn’t improved yet. It's sorta like a reset each time. which she finds endlessly hilarious.

Alas, I'm out of time. We've one more night here, then it’s time to mobilize. Dai, everybody!


((Sorry you all probably got this way late, and chances are not even because of Kirby. When I get everyone's posts a day before the month ends, it's very hard to have a reply written in time for the next month.))