[CofD] Sir Night Compiles Night Horrors: The Unbidden (In-Character Let's Read)

Master Planner

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From: JamesCalloway@gmail.com
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Hello there ladies and gentlemen. I am a alchemist. My name is James Calloway and I would like to give my two cents.

I have a potential idea to deal with some of the mages here although I would like to test my theory first. My plan is to lobotomize the part of the brain that allows them to cast magic.

Is it possible to have one of the mages here volunteer to a scan of the brain while casting one of your spells. A controlled electric shock afterwards to areas I expect could be responsible spell casting is also possible.(With Permission of course and this part is purely optional.)
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
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(OOC: Actually, Master Planner, did you pick up the advance PDF of Night Horrors: The Tormented? Might give you some ideas.)
 

ZiggyZapf

Sorcerer of Autumn
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From: Dingbat@FontsByThePound
To: Group

I was right about new problems. Got a motley of newbies fresh out of the Hedge, with complications. Seems we've got a new arrival over here, as well.

For dealing with Mages, at first, I was skeptical about the neurological approach, since the supernatural doesn't like to be nailed down quite so easily, but then I recalled some custom ammo Task Force Valkyrie uses: I think they're called "Screamer rounds" for a piercing shriek they produce when fired, and they exploit an archetypal mage weakness: Failed Concentration checks. Fair warning: It's my understanding that Mages rely on preparation, and with all the weird stuff they can do and encounter, they can be prepared for very strange things. I doubt they'd sit still for a hostile surgical procedure as well.

That said, little creepy that lobotomy came up that quickly in your ideas.

--Ziggy Zapf

((OOC: Officially started my chronicle. So far, so good.))
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
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quick_aside.zip

I have heard Cheiron has made some inroads into that exact field. In my experience, it's more likely a lobotomy disrupts the mage's ability to form an Imago, the mental image of a spell (which is what Screamer rounds do), than it is to put them back to Sleep in any form; the Supernal World alters the soul itself, and should the brain be repaired, it is very likely their abilities would rush back. But that is an "if", because it is still repairing brain damage.

Still, yes, it is a rather ruthless plan. Not that I will condemn it outright, knowing my own history, but be aware we do have Prometheans on this server; they get uncomfortable around medical experiments performed by alchemists for a reason.

On a side note, that may prove critical later on; Nita is researching the history of New Beth, and she wishes to ask a question-were there any Puritan settlers in New York State, at all?

The more I learn about this place's history, the more I am beginning to wonder how much of it is accurate. Or even not deliberate forgery.

---

From: SirKnight@Unbounded.net
To: JamesCalloway@gmail.com
Re: Can't hurt.

Dear Dr. Calloway,

He is desperate enough to try, and the focus of his mystical programming seems to be some very fleshy tattoos. You might be able to assist in removing them, or at least discovering if there's a biological component to his forced behavior.

Sincerely,

Sir Night
 

Master Planner

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From: JamesCalloway@gmail.com
To:SirKnight@Unbound.net

I will try to cut it out with a scalpel. If that doesn't work I will have to take more intense measures. Perhaps it might not be a tattoo but some kind of skin.

From: JamesCalloway@gmail.com
To: Group

I apologize if my lobotomy plan's sounds creepy. I do have an olive branch though. Ziggy we're both alchemists. I here you changelings have access to something called goblin fruit maybe we could exchange recipes.
 

The Watcher

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From: Jacob@TheIsland.net
To: Group
Subject: Apologies and Observations

Greetings again fellow seekers of knowledge,

First I'd like to apologize for my long absence and neglect of this project. I've been preoccupied with personal concerns. Last minute arrangements to be made to prepare for an outcome that's taken centuries to culminate and all that. In any case, I hope no one else here minds if I share my belated observations on some of cases I missed as well as the current topic.

Madame LaTourre - One thing I didn't read any mention of was that her dietary proclivities require magic be, for lack of a better word, actualized for her to devour it. She can devour magical effects and the manifestations of spirits but she is unable to consume raw magical potential that has yet to be harnessed. I know this through first hand experience a few decades back. Despite wolfing down my wards quite easily (and finding them quite delicious) she was unable to eat the Essence I offered to give her in its "raw" form. I had to use it to fuel an actual effect to enable her to dine.

Oikia Foetia - What I know of this one is purely second hand. While I have not yet met the individual herself, I have assisted a close friend of mine in thwarting the machinations of a society she believes Oikia had a hand in founding. Whether this was in her current state or during her mortal days is unknown. This friend also has reason to believe that Foetia is also ultimate impetus for the downfall of her family, though not through her power alone. Needless to say, I have good reason to feel antipathy toward this entity.

Michael Wechsler - If the problem is ridding this being of his programmed compulsions, perhaps his creator could be of assistance. Yes, Konstantitov is dead. That's only a small obstacle. Has anyone ever attempted to summon his ghost from the Underworld?

Pellax - As I noted before in the discussion regarding his master Cadere, I was acquainted with members of the Prosapia family and helped broker an arrangement between them and a powerful Health spirit to have the aging of some of its members arrested in order to extend their fertile years. An arrangement which fell apart after a decade and a half, and I had good reason to believe that Pellax played a deciding factor in that event. I didn't have enough solid proof to convince the Patriarch of deliberate sabotage but I did see enough circumstantial evidence to confirm suspicions I already had regarding the spirit's true loyalties and motives.

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Private Message
From: Prospero
To: Sir Night
Subject: Re: A Mutually Beneficial Proposal

I just wanted to remind you my offer still stands to help eliminate Theo Cadere by neutralizing his familiar Pellax's ability to assist him. I believe without Pellax's help the mage would be much easier to defeat. As for Pellax's fate, do not fear. The death of Cadere will not grant him the freedom he seeks. The nature of my measures shall constrain him from running rampant or being able to cause serious harm to anyone.

--Prospero
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
Private Message
From: Prospero
To: Sir Night
Subject: Re: A Mutually Beneficial Proposal

I just wanted to remind you my offer still stands to help eliminate Theo Cadere by neutralizing his familiar Pellax's ability to assist him. I believe without Pellax's help the mage would be much easier to defeat. As for Pellax's fate, do not fear. The death of Cadere will not grant him the freedom he seeks. The nature of my measures shall constrain him from running rampant or being able to cause serious harm to anyone.

--Prospero
Private Message
From: Sir Night
To: Prosperp
Subject: Re: Re: A Mutually Beneficial Proposal

I am not at all remiss to the idea, and am willing to ask for assistance. God knows this city doesn't need one more esohuman psychopath. Neither do I-for I am getting a sinking feeling as to why Neferyah wanted me to come here. And worse, that I think she knows I am morally obligated to accept.

-Sir Night

(OOC: Update is coming, I just am juggling finals until week after next.)
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
the_abyss_gazed_back.zip

First of all - I want to apologize in advance here for my biases. I consider myself a scientist who, due to circumstances and my natural abilities, has a job that is meant more for the practical applications of researching threats and eliminating them. My instincts don't help; I am, as Nita puts it, a "dream warrior" [It fits with how much he dislikes Beasts, wouldn't you say?]; as a loyalist, my programming was one of securing the dreams of my charges from hostile oneiric intrusion, and in time I learned how to seek and destroy the eidolons (a technical term would be somnambular demi-egos, to anyone who is not involved in some very specific strains of occultism, those would be the people and animals you interact with when dreaming) born of trauma and fears to keep them sleeping sound. (Before you ask, it doesn't fix the underlying issues - nightmare eidolons are symptoms of deeper psychological causes or just not having a good night, they aren't the issues themselves - but it does lead to a less traumatic night and better rest.) [And something to do if you are an angel with literally no other interests who is bored.]

So, when I find individuals who are scientists, and were betrayed by the search for knowledge, I feel more sympathetic than I probably should be for creatures who literally remove skins and then ruin the names of the former owners of those skins. [That, and you married, oh yeah, a skinthief.] (Your "skins" are drops of blood you extract bimonthly from a living hawk. Less than two milliliters is needed to renew or even rebuild your mask.) [True dat. But if the network wants, I can tell you the tale of the Cihuatlactatl, what happens when a society is familiar with shamanistic magic and is so sexist that anything becomes more acceptable than the cage of what is feminine.] Such as it is with the Ravaged, who I have captured to emphasize with from behind a reinforced glass wall. [Neferyah has some odd friends.]

Drs. Jonathan Marks, Maria Finnley and Theodore Watkins were once, somewhat obscure but well-regarded researchers into engineering and physical sciences. Their previous work is...honestly, not that important. To be frank, their work, while I'm sure it's valuable for someone, is concerned with matters far too arcane to be of relevance to the vast majority of people, either immersed in the supernatural or not. (I will say Marks has some surprisingly accurate ideas about Aether, and entropy that leaves a system is actually more ordered and has more potential energy than before. I suspect he always had an undercurrent of faith-but I'm getting ahead of myself.) But it did interest two techgnostic Obrimos mages, Marvin Guy and Joshua Stevens, who thought they would be excellent acolytes in their own attempt to crack the secrets of archmastery.

All three of them were Sleepers. Guy and Stevens were not Prime specialists who could banish the Quiescence easily - or wanted to, as the natural amnesia caused by the Quiescence reasserting itself would ruin some of their insights into the nature of Forces. If you feel a great migraine or a creeping sense of dread, congratulations; you understand Dissonance and/or have more common sense then they did. [I just...how? How do you get to "chasing beyond human limits" without learning that "magic + mundane people = fucking bad things"!? Someone explain, I really need to understand the difference between gnosis and actual intelligence that apparently exists.]

This ended predictably. One day, the two mages pushed their experiments too far, and the combination of the three Sleeper scientists present and the Supernal energy already present over the course of months opened a gate to the Abyss, the gulmoth that came through was beyond merely potent in its abilities, and in the chaos, both mage-physicists were devoured shortly after setting the entire facility on fire. It was only after that the gulmoth noticed them, and made a deal I would not blame anyone for taking; their lives, in return for those lives being in the image of the Annunaki that spawned it. [Technically only Theo remembered that coherently, but we forced him to spill. I don't think Maria's forgiven me for spoiling her hopes, but better to know, I say.]

So, right here in the greater New Bethlehem area in fact (because this city has nothing resembling good fortune), three mutants, gulmoth and yet not, came to. No flesh but burns, no skin but black, cracked scars. [And yes, it looks just as painful as it sounds. Yeesh.] Worse, the Abyssal reality that had remade them was one of fundamental lack of difference between energy and matter; the fire that destroyed their lab still burned within them, still raging with destructive power of heat, vibration, and electromagnetism. In time, they learned to lessen the discomfort by letting out some of the leftover energies into the world as torrents of chaotic energy. [Fire! Lightning! Sound! By your powers combined, I am Overlord Forces Paradox! ...yeah, that was tasteless.]

After about three days of living as hermits, the Ravaged realized they needed a base of operations in their attempts to return themselves to normal, and chose the husk of the stately home that had served as the cover for Guy and Steven's lab (I believe i t was originally a governement lab of some point, which implies the two were Seers; while I am eager to lay as much blame as possible on the heads of those arrogant sacks of detritus, it would fit with how the Ravaged were one of the threats Foetia sent at me given how she needed to become aware of them somehow, and being able to repurpose an official lab meant for weapons design into a personal testing ground seems like the kind of power the Iron Pyramid can wield, and seeks to wield, especially in a city they seem afraid of approaching otherwise; there's nothing here they want, so it seemed like something they felt safe letting go of). It was there, however, that they discovered that a gulmoth wasn't the only thing summoned out of nothing; the spirit of the facility itself had been quickened into sentience and fed by the power of the fire and Abyss both, transforming it into a powerful magath (a spirit that embodies unrelated or contradictory concepts) touched by the anti-nature of Paradox to become something even worse; it called itself Izimu, the Fire-Starter. [As a side note, there is a werewolf pack in Pineville, but they're Fire-Touched. The representative tried to give us the run-around by saying that the Ravaged paying living tribute to the power of Izimu and serving him constituted respect of the spirit world, and thus not his hunt nor problem. Really, I think he was scared shitless of the Ensah and really didn't want to admit it - Izimu's a freaking demon spawn of the Abyss. He's literally what happens when an Annuaki tears the Shadow a new asshole! How the fuck is that "respectful of the spirits"?]

Once it (we do not know Izimu's gender, so I am using a gender-neutral term that is respectful to the Forsaken that seek to prevent creatures like Izimu from coming into existence) became aware of the mutated scientists in its home and territory, it willed the revived computer system to offer a deal, a sort of "totem bond" not dissimilar to werewolf packs. [He didn't exactly phrase it like that, of course; Jon got religion in the wake of his mutation and seemed pretty convinced it was the text message of God until we explained what a spirit is.] In return for causing similar destructive fires that awoke Izimu in the first place, it would offer its help in whatever occult areas it could, knowing much of the relationship between the mortal world, Shadow, and Abyss by its very nature. And in time, Finnley found precisely the thing; a skintheiving ritual, not dissimilar to Nita's own shapeshifting - unfortunately, one requiring the full skin. And it was not adapted to semi-gulmoth biology, much less a gulmoth-type spirit being the mystic patron of the flaying and enchantment ritual, in the slightest; the skins would last at most a month, boiling away instantly if they unleashed their powers. And unfortunately for everyone, said skins also turned out to be the only reliable way to dull the pain of their ever-burning internal fires. I estimate they killed about an average of 25 people among them to stay inside working skin. [Yeah, that's why he felt he needed to apologize for defending them.]

Before their capture, all three Ravaged shared a similar methodology; find someone who disgusted their moral sensibilities, or otherwise they felt were not good people (with said judgement being guided by the fact they very much desired their targets' skins, mind; they admit to not being the most impartial sorts, not by a long shot), kill them discreetly, then drag their body off to Izimu for the flaying ritual. Then, once in a new skin, proceed to use their new identity to research whatever occult lore they thought could please Izimu or lead them to a cure (except for Watkins, who resigned himself to his condition and simply sought to master and enhance the powers inherent in his new biology), and to enjoy the bank account and identity of a person they are only going to be for a month. The Ravaged lived fast in their stolen lives, eager to have any amount of the pleasures of being normal, to the point where everyone could tell something was wrong. [They ain't good actors, I'll say that much.] Beyond that,however, all three are unique; Marks genuinely believes he is being divinely punished for his previous atheism, so he flatly refused to attack members of Judeo-Christian clergy (including Jews and Muslims, which I feel speaks well of him) or convincingly devout laypeople, Finnley was the most focused on learning occult lore, and Watkins targeted individuals that allowed him the most comfort and power, especially in the long term. [We're talking about things like laundering money into Cayman Islands accounts and the like. Man's a creep, but he knows how to make the best of things.] Izimu itself was permanently fettered to its home lab, remaining largely an aloof mastermind of the infamous "Bernie" arson incidents. [Yes, this is the level of wit you encounter in New Beth. Pray for us.]

As far as combat goes, the Ravaged were not especially mighty, but they had a universal trick that made them ideal anti-Awakened agents. While the Quiescence was more or less ripped out of them by the Abyss, their very biologies are living altars to the Annuaki, and so they cause Dissonance like Sleepers - and make it impossible to contain the resultant Paradox within the victim's pattern, effectively guaranteeing warped spells that the Abyss often nudged to their advantage. [Say what you will about the Great Old Ones, they're apparently good employers.] (In fact, that's why Cichol isn't here; he's both recovering from a hex that ended up hitting his hand as well and trying to fix a temporal anomaly in an area wounded by the fight with the Ravaged.) In addition, their skin, while painful, has the consistency and resistance of hardened carbon compounds like diamond - it's thin, but it can absorb small arms fire without issue and in conjunction with other armor can make them quite hardy. All three possess their own unique abilities too, each based around an aspect of the disaster that remade them, as well as an Abyssal inversion of the raw Forces they can utilize; Marks is a pyrokinetic with a range of about 30 American feet, and he can conjure an "anti-flame" that heals himself or his fellow Ravaged by "burning" the damage in the tissue away (it does not seem to corrupt them more than they already are), not to mention he was a talented boxer even before survival taught him some practical fighting skills. Finnley can redirect electrical energy from any source as a lightning bolt naturally undeterred by anything except Forces-related Supernal phenomenon, and she can sense the Abyssal energies briefly surge whenever the Awakened cast a spell near her, though she cannot differentiate between mortal, mage, or Supernal entity based on that sixth sense alone. [Part of why she's the purest occultist among them, though all of them are pretty damn smart and more than capable of engineering clever traps. Tim was limping for days.] Finally, Watkins has control over local soundwaves, allowing him to unleash stunning and disorienting blasts [Steve got an earful of that, but he's as amazed as we are he just got deaf for a few hours.], as well as lightwaves, giving him invisibility and the ability to visually displace himself. I thankfully accidentally discovered Izimu's Ban when my current partners helped cut the connection between it and the Ravaged with their new paralyzing skin grafts, when it suddenly fell into a catatonic state, but from Marks' testimony, I can assume it had similar abilities to all the Ravaged plus its own Influences over fire and the facility itself, but was disoriented whenever Marks used his healing abilities nearby; I can assume any form of medical treatment, even Abyssal, is antithetical to the spirit of an explosion and its aftermath.

Next, I overview another way werewolves aren't the only creatures to deal with the Shadow corrupted, with a very unique species of Host (or at least, I believe them Hosts), the Shard Crows.

------

(New York Containment and Research Facility Y-29, "Limbo", Interview Record 44023, Part 7, subjects "Cato Morgenrot" and "Item #531-CHYMERA-B")

CM: "So, you were right, in a sense. God is indeed naturally distant; He needs tools, and sometimes, those tools develop a mind of their own. Or at least, something that looks like a mind."

#531-B: (chuckles)

CM: "Hm? What appears to be funny?"

#531-B: "Nothing. It's just been a wild year or so. Start as an atheist, end up being tricked by a demon after seeing God, captured by a fallen angel who knew he was backing the wrong side (Transcriber's note: CM is using cover story known informally as "Regretful Vassal", in which he portrays himself as a knight of the heavens whose lord sided with Lucifer and he felt his honor and ethics obligated him to follow), now I'm debating the divine with him. I'd find it absolutely hilarious, except, well..." (#531-B gestures at synthetic skin, specifically sensors and power source for tasers in case of containment breach.)

CM: "... It isn't your fault, you know."

#531-B: "The accident wasn't. Everything...everything else was." (#531-B pauses for several seconds.) "But...you don't just want to talk to a washed-up engineer turned serial killer, do you? You want to know about...'Shekhinah.'"

CM: "I enjoy talking with you, Dr. Marks, but yes. She is a pretender to that name, just as Izimu is. She is also a danger to my wife and children, so-"

#531-B: "Leave."

CM: "Dr. Marks, I understand that this is uncomfortable, but please-"

#531-B: "The city. You're fine, but I recommend you move out of New Beth and into New York as soon as possible. Don't care about the costs. Just go."

CM: "...I don't quite get what you mean-"

#531-B: "The only reason she's targeting you is because you're an obstacle to her real goal. Because, the dream she appeared to me in?"

#531-B: "'And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep away and not forgive the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?'"

CM: "...Genesis 18, verses 23 and 24. The mercy pleaded on behalf of Sodom."

#531-B: "I suppose I should expect an angel, however fallen, to know his scripture. She wanted me to find something important, something that would prove the city was worth saving...but nothing she asked for was anything other than magical items. Nothing that would result in a kind judgement. In retrospect, that was probably the point."

#531-B: "There is something in New Beth she loathes, something that frightens her, something...something she wants to trap in New Beth, if what you've told me is at all true. The mission of the other Ravaged was to make something that looked to me like, well, a city-wide mount for a nuclear reactor containment unit. There is something here she wants to kill, and the whole city is acceptable collateral damage to its end."
 

Master Planner

Registered User
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From: James
To: Group

These entities (I am not quite sure if they count as people anymore) are rather worrysome. They should be eliminated as fast as possible before they kill anyone else.

So any ideas on how to kill them without being rendered deaf, burned alive or electrocuted? I am not exactly a professional on Spirits or the abyss.
 
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