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Situation Report – Session #2 – Operation Raincoat

February 20, 2017 By: John Taber Category: Games, Godlike News

Carry Out The WoundedAuthor’s Note: This is the situation report for the 2nd session of the Godlike Hero campaign. This is my take as to what happened during the session. Please let me know if there are any comments or corrections.  ]

3 December, 1943 @ 0630 – The session begins halfway through the assault on Monte la Difensa. The Talents of the FSSF are making their way systematically through the German defenses when they hear a low rumble. With a cloud of dust SS Ubers literally roll into a nearby foxhole. As the Ubers get their bearings the US Talents press their advantage. Butcher quickly derps Ricochet leaving most of the Ubers undefended. Tank lets loose with his light machine gun taking down the deadly Abattoir. Skeet advances on the left flank taking down a sangar then the Uber named Beacon. Tap takes down enemy soldiers clearing the way for others to advance. Sparky drops dynamite into the Uber foxhole then speeds away. The explosion takes down Landslide and hurts the others. After Quicksand gets Sparky’s legs caught he uses his shotgun to take him out.

With all of the Ubers down the firing slows. FSSF commander Col Fredericks assess the losses. Thirty Foremen died, around 100 are wounded, and one of their beloved Majors has lost his leg. Fredericks orders the Forcemen to hold their positions, resupply, and tend to the wounded.

Later than night Col Fredericks pulls aside the Talents. The men are shaken after their first real combat and the loss of the Major. He puts them on the important mission of getting some hooch from the 26th regiment under Clark. After briefly rebuffing the Col the group leaves the Camino Hill Complex. On the way down the steep hillside the Talents are asked to carry down a wounded soldier named Bernie Bernstein. Bernie took some shrapnel to his side. After a brief examination Butcher suggest that they might want to go double time if Bernie has any chance of surviving. The group takes him down the hill to a mobile surgical center that has been setup at the base. At the center Butcher questions the doctors then decides that he better conduct the surgery. The rest of the PC continue on their mission.

Tank comes up with a plan of trading cigars from Col Frederick’s personal stash with Clark’s supply depot for booze. After convincing a young aide that the cigars are for the Col he reluctantly gives them up. The group then heads to the suppler depot where they trade with the Supply Sgt Buchannan for two cases of whiskey. During the trade Tap observes some strange behavior between Sgt Buchannan and one of his guards. He also notices a tent lace itself up after the whiskey is removed from the tent.

4 December, 1943 @ 1100 –The whiskey changes the mood on the top of Monte la Difensa. The Forcemen now seem ready to tackle their next objective in the Camino Hill Complex Hill 907. It takes two tries for the Brits to take a hill to the south but once taken it means that the flank of the FSSF will not be exposed. They are ready to move forward early in the morning on 6 December.

Situation Report – Session #1 – Operation Raincoat

January 24, 2017 By: John Taber Category: Games, Godlike News

Camino Hill ComplexAuthor’s Note: This is the situation report for the 1st session of the Godlike Hero campaign. This is my take as to what happened during the session. Please let me know if there are any comments or corrections.  ]

23 November, 1943 @ 0730 – Col Frederick’s aide informs the PC to collect their gear the report to the motorpool. At the motorpool waits Col Frederick, two of his Lt Col’s (MacWilliams and Moore), as well as two Forcemen Sgts (Fenton and Van Ausdale). After a quick greeting the group loads up into three jeeps and heads towards the small Italian town of San Felice. The PC realize that the trip may have to do with mining or climbing as both Fenton and Van Ausdale are experts in these areas.

Upon arriving at the destroyed Italian village the SFFS team disembarks and begins a 5 mile hike to the base of the Camino Hill Complex. On the way Col Frederick explains that the Camino Hill Complex is critical to removing Jerry from Italy. He likens it to a “cork in a bottle”. The Col conveys that Clarks 5th has tried to take the Camino Hill Complex three times and has failed. He has tried twice from the south and once from the north where there is easier access. The FSSF will be using the eastern approach which is far steeper. The objective of this trip is to scout out possible access routes up the eastern face of Hill 960. The PC split from the Cols leaving them in the able care of the two Sgts. Skeet and Tap the lead for the Forcemen talents. They both perform discover the best route possible with amazing precision! The Forcemen talents decide that the best route is up a steep path to a landing that is just 300 yards below the top of a saucer-like structure at the top of the Camino Hill Complex. The last 300 yards involve a vertical climb up a sheer cliff but the good news is that there are handholds and a seam in the rocks that should block view from the north and south. After explaining the group returns to the barracks.

24 November, 1943 @ 0800 – The next day Col Frederick leads a detailed briefing that covers his plan of taking the Camino Hill Complex. The FSSF 2nd regiment 2nd battalion under Lt Col Moore will lead the ascent with the talents in front. Once at the top they will hoist up rope ladders which will be used to quickly get the troops up to the saucer section. The men and Talents are told that only knives and grenades are to be used. Rifle fire will alert the enemy to their position and surprise is paramount to the success of the mission. After the main briefing Col Frederick and Lt Col MacWilliams approach the Talents. MacWilliams presents Tap with a brown accordion folder with a top secret report about Ubermenschen who are operating in the Camino Hill Complex area. Col Frederick explains that the Talents have two objectives. The first is to take down any Ubers who may show up on the mountain. The second is to help 2nd division with foxholes and dug in fortifications at the saucer edge.

1 December, 1943 @ 1530 – After waiting for weather then a supply snafu the troops disembark to the bivouac at the base of the Camino Hill Complex. By the time the troops make it to the bivouac points they are cold and wet. The Talents head out first with Fenton and Van Ausdale to make the ascent up the cliff. Fenton and Van Ausdale will act as spotters for the Talents. As the climb begins so does the artillery. The entire top the saucer complex is not being pounded with explosions! The climb is slow and dangerous due to the darkness and rainfall. Skeet slips once but musters on to the top. At the top Tap and Skeet hear movement. A German soldier is crawling out to the lip to examine the eastern face! Acting quickly the pair grab the soldier and attempt to throw him off the cliff. Surprisingly he grabs on tight with hand then starts reaching for a pistol. Skeets stabs the soldier allowing Tap to yank him off the cliff to his death.

At the saucer section the Krauts have mined out foxholes and setup rock barriers into machine gun pits called “sangar” by the Canadian forcemen. The PC throw grenades as the artillery is signaled to stop using a flare. Grenades from Sparky, Skeet, and Tap lead the charge! Butcher derps (aka blind and deafens) the machine gun operator as the PC advance from foxhole to foxhole. Sparky uses his power get behind a line of troops so he can drop a dynamite charge into their cave bunker. Skeet keeps one foxhole pinned using his Tommy Gun until he eventually take it out. Tap picks off threats from range with deadly precision. The session closes with the PC nearing the end of the southern side of the saucer. They wonder when the Ubers will show themselves…

Episode Synopsis – Session 17 – Three Of Wands Reversed

November 21, 2016 By: John Taber Category: Dark Waters Rising News, Games

LamashtuAuthor’s Note: This is the episode synopsis for the 17th session of the Dark Waters Rising campaign. This session was the end of the first campaign arc. This is my take as to what happened during the session. Please let me know if there are any comments or corrections.

Heads Up: For the players at the session please read the end of The Trap Is Sprung carefully. I forgot something during the session that needed to happen for the next campaign arc. It is in italics.  ]

The Cahokian Guardian Dragon
After bandaging themselves from the hell hound attack the characters approach the small structure at the old mining complex. Anne bashes down the door and confronts a tiny deformed man who is hiding in the corner. After making a bargain with Ebon Gnails he tells them that he knows the location of the sword but he has never held it. He explains that the sword is down in the mines below his shack. Down in the mines Ebon leads the way to a crystal cavern lined with sphalerite. Adorning the entrance to the cavern are Native American cave paintings. Stone deduces that the writing is from the Cahokian tribe and based on the pigments used they are from the 13 century. Anne finds a pictograph of a lion with a human head on a snake body and a long fish tail. She explains that the creature is a piasa. Piasa are actually protectors of the land and are actually a type of dragon.

On the other side of the crystal cavern is a small alcove. Embedded in the rock with only the hilt protruding is a very old looking bronze sword. As the PC approach, rocks beside the sword move aside and a crazy looking creature emerges. The piasa explains that he is the guardian of the land and that a sword with so much evil must be kept out of the wrong hands. After some careful bargaining the PC convince the piasa that they plan to use the sword to destroy a demon that is even more foul. Reluctantly the piasa agrees. He asks them to return the blade within a season then to seal off the tunnel so that others may not so easily find its location. At this point Stone reaches out to touch the handle of the sword with his mystical senses. The piasa raises an eyebrow but only watches. When Stone touches the sword hilt he feels a cool wind coming from the west. The wind becomes biting cold tearing through his clothing, As he looks down terrible scorpions and spiders are climbing up his legs stinging him! He releases the sword clawing at his legs! Even though mentally scarred the entire event was something only he observed. The piasa seems content with the results and allows Ron to take the sword from the stone. Was Alastair’s vision some type of test? The PC leave the mines and return to New Orleans leaving Ebon to his shack.

The Trap Is Sprung!
Now having a weapon to use against Lamashtu the PC prepare to summon her. Stone focuses on the spell while Ron and Anne setup the location and gather the remaining components. They decide one of Anne’s warehouses will be the best location as they can keep out the moonlight and the floor is a concrete slab. They get sweat from a mother and blood from her baby by bribing a private midwife. This is used by Stone to draw the mystical circle that will call to Lamashtu. To make things tough on Lamashtu and her demons the group sets up a large salt square around the area and several strategically placed demon traps. The result leaves only one portal unprotected. Dual sets of curtains protect the area from moonlight.

Alastair starts the spell near midnight. As he chants the characters hear thunder and wind buffeting the warehouse. When the spell reaches a climax he calls out to Pazuzu for his power! The circle lights up with a red demonic glow. The characters then whisper messages to Lamashtu to draw her into the circle. The powerful messages complete the spell and now they only have to wait for her to arrive.

About 45 minutes later a black van pulls up the warehouse. Two men and two women get out of the van. Quickly one of the men walks around the build then one of the women enters the door. She walks across two demon traps causing them to merely flare up. When Lamashtu enters the second curtain the PC see a young woman in her 20’s with a pink hoodie. Around her is a glowing protection. Ron strikes out with the sword landing a massive blow to her neck. Lamashtu falls to one knee when Anne opens up with blessed M16 rounds. Anne lands several deadly shots! At that point Stone calls forth lightning that seems to cause her pain. After the barrage Lamashtu stands and enters the circle. After reaching the center of the circle the host that Lamashtu is inhabiting rips in half! A multiarmed multifaced demons woman emerges! Lamashtu taunts the characters then moves to stop Ron who is wielding what Lamashtu refers to as that “foul blade”. She strikes at Ron who takes a blow that grazes his chest. Anne then lets the PC know that a second or so after the first attack breached the shield that it was momentarily down. Acting as a team Ron waits to strike in concert with Anne and Stone. First Anne shoots another volley into Lamashtu bringing down her shield. Once down Ron strikes home with the sword and Stone lets loose with another lightning bolt! Lamashtu falls to the ground and turns to dust. The other demons see their master fall and turn to leave. One gets caught in a well-placed demon trap then stares on hopelessly as Ron cuts off its head.

After the battle ends the PC tend to their wounds and call in Winston’s crew to clean up the mess. When they leave the warehouse they are shocked to see that the clouds have not cleared. For nearly 15 minutes at several points around the city they see red lightning striking the ground. What is causing the lightning strikes?!? Is it some type of after effect of the spell?!? Within an hour the sun is shining and the clouds have parted.

Cliff’s Wish
At this point the characters visit Sutherland and try to decide what to do with him. Anne thinks back to a scene that she had with her brother Cliff. She enters his office and confronts him about the crossroads demon. At first Cliff tells Anne that he wanted the company to continue to do well. When Anne argues that the company is not doing poorly Cliff explains that he wanted to leave something for his wife, Sarah, and their two kids. Anne continues to berate Cliff who goes quiet. After a pause Cliff tells Anne that he has terminal pancreatic cancer. Doctors gave him a month to live. Cliff explains the he knew about supernatural creatures because of Anne and tried to find a cure or a way out. A member of the Rosicrucian’s told him about crossroad demons. He used this as a starting point for his research. Eventually he found a man in England (Sutherland) who offered to sell him details on how crossroads demons could be contacted. Cliff made the deal and contacted a demon. He asked for 10 more years of life and success in business. In 10 years his soul would be condemned to hell. Anne consoles her brother then the scene shifts back to Sutherland.

Anne and Stone are not sure what to do with Sutherland. Anne feels that a simple verbal agreement is not enough. Stone does not think killing him is the right answer. The two are left discussing their options…

Fortune Teller
Sleep does not come easy this night for Madame Astryd Trudeau. After tossing and turning she decides to let the tarot direct her thoughts. The voodoo priestess pulls out her deck and pulls up a chair to her table. Queen of Wands reversed. Seven of Cups reversed. The Sun reversed. The Magician upright. The Empress upright. The High Priestess reversed. The Moon upright. Strength reversed. The Lovers upright. The Devil upright. The Chariot upright. Ten of Swords reversed. With sweat dripping down her face she thinks of the dangerous game that her friends are playing with that demon bitch. Three of Wands reversed. She breathes out a sigh of release, “The fates are with you this time mes amies…I pray that they continue to be in your corner for evil is rising like a dark tide…”

Loose Ends
This section details some of the loose ends that remain after the close of the first campaign arc.

  • The Ikon Of Khan – Left hidden in the swamp.
  • Sutherland Captive – Should he live? If so what should they do with him?
  • Red Lightning Strikes – What was that all about? Does it mean anything? Stone said that spell to call Lamashtu was really evil. Is this related and if so how?

Episode Synopsis – Session 16 – Ten Of Swords Reversed

October 26, 2016 By: John Taber Category: Dark Waters Rising News, Games

Weber PictureAuthor’s Note: This is the episode synopsis for the 16th session of the Dark Waters Rising campaign. This is my take as to what happened during the session. Please let me know if there are any comments or corrections.  ]

Research Is Best Done Early And Often
The PC begin by going over all of the information that they have collected. This includes files from Anne’s former agency contact, Daisy’s journal, and Winston’s mythology tome. These documents will not be repeated in the synopsis. The players have this information in the form of handouts. During this research Aunt Eva asks Stone if he feels something strange. Stone reaches out with his mystical senses and senses an uneasy calm and stillness. It feels like the air before a storm. Aunt Eva says that the veil between purgatory and our world is weakening. When Stone asks for clarity on the “veil” Aunt Eva explains with an analogy of water behind a levee, “When the dark waters rise pressure is put on the levee.  Even just a pinprick in the levee will quickly widen causing a flood.”
Crazy People Around Town
As part of researching combating demons Ron visits a local Catholic church. As he approaches he sees a skinny college student leaving the place of worship followed closely by the parish priest who is as white as a ghost. Ron senses something strange with the young man and tackles him. After Ron quickly subdues the young man the father races inside then contacts the police. Before the police arrive the college student stares down Ron and says that he will “skin him” if he does not let him go! Detective Kaz arrives on the scene first. With Ron’s help they put the now handcuffed college student into the back of the police car. After getting statements the Detective pulls Ron aside. He asks him if there is “anything strange going on”. According to Detective Kaz this is the fifth person like this that they have brought in today. Ron says that he should contact MD.
The HOGD Team Meeting
Anne feels strongly that the Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn (HOGD) are the ones that duped her brother into making a deal with a crossroads demon. She works with Winston who contacts his mob boss friend Ernesto to setup tails on the group.

At one point Weber leaves the group and heads out on her own. Anne follows a tracker that they placed on the car to a small rundown hotel. Outside he spies not only Weber’s rental car but the Grace family Nova. Anne bribes the man at the counter to find their room then walks close by the window so that she can listen. She hears Weber and Hunter making love. With that Anne waits outside so that she can speak with them.

After Hunter and Mags leave the hotel room the trio leave for a local waffle house where they can talk. Anne speaks to Weber and Hunter about the HOGD. She explains to Weber that Sutherland works with vampires just like the kind that killed her GSG9 brethren. Hunter confirms what Anne is explaining. This shakes Mags’ faith in her employer. While the trio is speaking the rest of the HOGD agents pile into Marcus’ van and starts heading to their location!

At this point Winston alerts the PC that the van has left the hotel and that the HOGD team is heading to the waffle house. In the parking lot the groups have a heated discussion. Anne speaks to hired members of the team (aka Weber, Marcus, and Savannah) about some of the things that Sutherland and the HOGD have done around New Orleans. Professor Hivu explains that the HOGD also desires to stop Lamashtu but they want to gather information from her first if possible. It is quickly apparent that the HOGD party line regarding the gathering of supernatural information is that the ends justifies the means. The Professor mentions concern about endangering human lives but then suggests that briefly supporting supernatural entities can sometimes bring more knowledge. Anne counters with an argument about the HOGD supporting the vampires in NOLA so that they could retrieve Orion Stone. Professor Hivu agrees and suggests that this is a perfect example of how these arrangements can pay out. Orion is a prominent member of their organization. After all of this comes out Anne speaks to Mags, Savannah, and Marcus. After Anne makes some solid points the three hired guns decide that they do not want to work for the HOGD anymore. Savannah agrees to stay in touch with the team. Marcus leaves with his van. Mages speaks with Hunter then departs via a cab.

After being left by their teammates Piers steps up and informs the characters that he and Professor Hivu would like to leave this meeting alive. Winston then asks if they know the location of a weapon that he has been researching called Pazuzu’s Cleansing Blade. Professor Hivu says that he knows who has the blade. At this point Anne makes a deal with the Piers. Piers and Professor Hivu will be allowed to leave NOLA after the PC deal with Lamashtu. Piers reluctantly agrees. At this point Professor Hivu explains that the blade rests with a sorcerer known as Ebon Gnails. He then explains that he can contact Ebon. Back at the hotel the Professor uses a strange urn and some of his own blood to cast a spell to contact Ebon Gnails. Winston makes a deal with the sorcerer to give him knowledge from a very old Romani mythology tome and a propane tank for the location of the blade. Ebon agrees then tells the PC that he is in the Ozarks. He gives them his GPS location.
“They Grow Em Big And Invisible In Arkansas!”
At this point the PC gather their outdoor gear and head toward the GPS location in the Ozarks. It is only a few hours drive from NOLA. In the middle of the rocky terrain they drive up to what was once an old iron mine. The sign says danger and warns visitors to turn around. The PC open the gate and proceed. At the top of the hill they find an old metal shack and the top of a mine head. As they get out of their cars Winston approaches the small metal shack. In the windows he spies two small scared eyes peeking out. In a rush Winston is slammed to the ground by what must be an invisible dog! A hell hound! Quickly the PC race to combat the dogs. Ron rushes up with his iron sword and cuts into the dog on Winston. Once hit MD shoots an arrow into its side. This gives the other PC a place to shoot! The second dog grabs Ron in his jaws! Winston rolls out from under the dog and sprays the ground with the propane tank sending dirt into the air. Now the dogs can be seen! Anne opens up with an assault rifle hitting one of the dogs squarely. Pissed off the hound rushes Anne sending her sprawling on the ground. With some fancy telekinesis Stone shoots a dog killing it. Ron chops the other sending it back to hell!

After tending to their wounds the PC head towards the shack and their meeting with Ebon Gnails…

Episode Synopsis – Session 15 – The Chariot Upright

August 22, 2016 By: John Taber Category: Dark Waters Rising News, Games

Aunt EvaAuthor’s Note: This is the episode synopsis for the 15th session of the Dark Waters Rising campaign. This is my take as to what happened during the session. Please let me know if there are any comments or corrections.  ]

Tea With Aunt Eva
Hunter and Val sit down to have tea with Evgeniya Polanov in her trailer just off the highway near Goree, Texas. Aunt Eva greets them with a shotgun but warms up quickly when she learns their identities. After pouring tea Aunt Eva begins to talk about the old times. After only a few minutes two SUV’s with blacked out windows pull up to the trailer. Three men and a very tall raven haired woman armed with assault rifles get out. The woman begins to walk towards the door to the trailer when Hunter steps out with arms raised. Hunter approaches and starts up a conversation with the woman. She tells Hunter that her name is Maganhildi Weber but that she likes to be called “Mags”. She also reveals that she is looking to “collect” Evgeniya for her employers, The Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn. While the two talk Val and Aunt Eva sneak out the back of the trailer into the nearby woods. While moving through the trap door Aunt Eva asks Val if she has acquired her Mother’s journal. Until this comment Val and Hunter did not even know there was a journal. After stashing Aunt Eva in the woods Val returns to see what is happening with Hunter. Hunter and Mags continue their conversation then eventually return to the SUVs. Mags says that Hunter will have to accompany her back to the Order. Hunter reluctantly agrees. To Hunter’s surprise Mags tells the other three men to head out then thanks them for their help. After taking off her flak vest and locking up her assault rifle Mags and Hunter start to drive back towards the highway. After only a few moments Hunter grabs the wheel of the SUV and drives it into a tree! In the crash Mags is stunned. Hunter dives out of the SUV then quickly breaks off a key in her lockbox so she cannot retrieve her assault rifle. Val gets in her Nova and races down the road nearly running down Mags so that Hunter can jump in. Once in the car Hunter grabs a pistol from the glovebox and holds Mags at gunpoint. He throws her a burner cell then gets Val and Aunt Eva and leaves. The trio decides to head towards the ranch which is not too far from Aunt Eva’s trailer. On the way they phone Stone to explain what happened.
A Thalamus Best Seller
While Hunter and Val go to the ranch Stone decides to start researching Lamashtu. On the way to the library he passes the student bookstore. At the bookstore there is some type of commotion. It appears that Thalamus has released a new book that is getting the attention of the campus. The book which is titled “The Harpies Of Babylon” includes the first eight chapters that the hunters discovered on Teresa Barker’s laptop plus two closing chapters. After buying a copy Stone reads the last two chapters. (See the wiki for all the details on the book.)

In the last part of the book Shulatam does eventually get her husband on the throne. After getting her husband on the throne she convinces him that all the dissenters that have not been fully supporting them should be slain in a ritualistic fashion to appease their god. The husband’s military starts killing dissenters while Shulatam calls the spirits from the dead to give her immense power. The novel ends with the land on the brink of war. All the while Shulatam uses her demonic powers to give herself more and more power. Critics call the book a, “horrifically representative view of the abuse of power.”

Stone deduces that the book is a retelling of the vampire Boston, the black tamanous Teresa Barker, and likely this demonic Lamashtu. He also realizes that Thalamus and Shulatam are anagrams for Lamashtu.
Daisy’s Care Package
When Hunter and Val return to their Texas ranch home they begin to recall their lives as children when life was not so much of a mess and monsters just lived under their beds at night. The gates to the ranch are padlocked with a heavy chain. On the gate is a sign that says Private Property with a phone number to a local property company. The main ranch house has the windows boarded up and the barn is closed and locked with another chain and padlock. The small garden that was Daisy’s pet project is dried up and dead.

The house can be easily entered with a pry bar. Inside the house is dusty and deserted. Everything appears to have been cleaned out. As they explore the place the only sign of their former lives are markings on one door frame with their heights at various ages.

The barn is in a similar unused state. Once crowded with farm machinery, tools, and feed it is now empty. The concrete floors appear to have been recently poured and all of the wall paneling has been stripped off and replaced.

After exploring the structures Hunter remembers their Mother and Father and how the ranch came alive because them. Their Mother’s spirit lifted the place and made it a home instead of just walls. As they walk the grounds with Aunt Eva thinking of her and where she could have hidden something they remember the pond and a small grove of trees nearby that was their favorite place to go during hot Texas summers.

As Hunter and Val reach the top of the trail memories also return to Hunter of the last time he was here. When he awoke to find Val’s blood on his hands. After reaching the spot they find the tree with “D [heart] M” engraved in the trunk. Searching among the roots uncovers a Tupperware container roughly 9″x12″x4″. The plastic container has the following items:

  • Large leather journal. Embossed daisy on the front cover. Letter sized pages. Roughly 3″ thick. Many objects are taped into its pages. Everything is either written in Daisy’s hand or is on computer printouts that are taped onto a page. (Brian has a handout of the journal contents.)
  • Picture of the Grace family at the pond. Taken by one of the ranch hands. Shows Martin with his hands around Hunter and Val. Daisy is at his side giving him a peck on the cheek.
  • Silver knife with a kris like design. Has exotic wooden handle. At the pommel is a silver acorn. (Used in ceremonies but looks dangerous. Stone will confirm that the knife is not magic but strangely “hollow”.)

Bed Bugs
Once the group is back in NOLA they meet at Hunter and Val’s hotel room. It is in a voodoo themed kitsch hotel. At first introductions are made and everyone is brought up to speed on what they have found so far. Hunter asks Stone if he has ever heard of a warlock named Ebon Gnails who apparently summoned Lamashtu the last time. Stone does not know him but a quick internet search reveals that Ebon Gnails was a hanged as a warlock in Salem in 1693. Before talking about what to do next MD decides to check the place for bugs. To everyone’s surprise they find one in a lamp with a skull shaped base. Once a bug is found the group realizes that it must be the Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn. Anne shoots over a report that details the Hermetic Order agents that are in town. She apparently got the report from a contact at her former employer. The information is VERY detailed and on top of the text there are handwritten notes giving analysis on each member. The report also includes a photograph of each member. Here is a list of the Hermetic Order agents that are in town:

  • Maganhildi “Mags” Weber – Hired gun with a heart. One of the only women ever to graduate through the infamous Gvenzschutzgruppe 9 (aka GSG9). (GSG9 is an elite anti-terrorist group in Germany.) Left the organization when her team was killed by a group of vampires. She came to the HOGD for answers. Emo – Loves big guns but surprisingly not killing people. Actually much better with a knife than a rifle. In general thinks that agents need more power. Not fond of authority figures especially if she does not respect them. Guise – Giant German pale raven haired woman built like a linebacker. Speaks English with a slight German accent.
  • Savannah Woodridge – Carina from Chuck plus Bella from Supernatural. Thief who specializes in the recovery of rare artifacts. Reputation among highly placed collectors or law enforcement personnel. Emo – Wildcard. Does not like too much planning. Often argues with Hivu who she thinks plans too much. Guise – Southern belle with a strong Georgia accent. Thin and fit. Shoulder length straight hair. Crooked looking teeth that mar her otherwise attractive face.
  • Professor Hivu Malhotva – Expert on ancient cultures and religions. Worked at Oxford with Stone. Emo – Harsh realist. Often disagrees with other if he feels a plan is too risky. Thinker not a doer. Guise – Bald Indian professor. Speaks with slight Indian accent. Wears glasses when reading texts.
  • Piers Chapman – Super scavenger and provider. Can get anything the group needs. Emo – Arrogant and confident. Knows his role and relishes it. Listens carefully and only speaks when it thinks it is the right time or to get the conversation moving forward. Guise – English butler but young and handsome. Dark hair cut so it waves in the front. Wears button down perfectly fitted silk shirts and slacks. Expensive loafers. Always dresses perfectly. Would expect his to appear in GQ Magazine.
  • Marcus Jackson – Hacker and surveillance expert who has seen far too many ghosts. Former corporate hacker who is haunted by his four grandparents. Got him interested in the occult. Hacker name is “4S1vrF0x5”. Emo – Jovial fellow who loves to poke people to see what makes them tick. Guise – From San Jose, CA. Handsome black man with close cut hair. Addictive smile. (Think Hardison from Leverage.) Carries the best gear money can buy but covers it in stickers related to his favorite band at the time. Will sometime talk to the air as if it was one of his grandparents.

After finding the bug in the room the group checks their vehicles. There is a tracking device on Stone’s car. Hunter curses Marcus Jackson. The group then calls Anne and Winston who is with Sutherland. They ask Sutherland about Ebon Gnails. He says they have contacted him in the past. Surprisingly he says that Professor Malhotva knows how to contact Gnails. They also ask Sutherland if he is the leader of the Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn. He says that he is one of the inner members along with two others. (Anne has a report on these three as well.) With that Hunter calls Mags on the burner phone. He sets up a meeting at a local diner so that Stone and Malhotva can “talk shop”.
Spontaneous Combustion?!?
Detective Takashi gives MD a call. He has found some very strange remains. When MD arrives at the scene he realizes that it is only a block away from where he had previously overrun a construct with his pickup truck. The stoic homicide detective shows MD a bus stop bench with a scorched mark roughly in the shape of someone sitting on it. Kaz’s detectives comb the neighborhood but besides a local palm reader there is nothing remarkable in the quiet neighborhood. After getting a report on the body the Detective sends the details to MD. The body was almost entirely turned to ash. The only remains that are not ash are the dental work and bits of the skull. The local medical examiner says the victim is a woman in her mid 20’s. Hunter gives a picture of Daisy to MD and asks him to give it to Detective Takashi to see if anyone with the name “Isabella” might be in town. MD lies to the Detective and says it might be related to the case. So far the Detective has not turned up anything.
An Order Of Black Eyed Demon Pie For Dessert
Before the meeting at the diner MD and Ron go down to the area and check it out. Their goal is to look for anyone that might be watching the place or anyone that does not look “normal”. After carefully examining the area the two spot a city electrical truck where there is a person just sitting idly in the front seat. While they are watching the man in the front seat gets out, pulls down his hat, then comes across to the diner. Ron and MD guess that he is going to plant a listening device. Ron is closest and moves to intercept. At the front door they meet. Ron recognizes the man as Piers Chapman from the Hermetic Order. Ron accosts him and tells him to leave. As Ron is talking to Piers the back door of the van starts to open. MD sends an arrow through the back door pinning it closed. As the van drives off MD can hear someone yelling from the back of the van, “Damn hunter put an arrow through my van!”

First Hunter and Stone arrive at the diner. They sit at a booth near a window. Mags with Professor Malhotva arrive next. While Stone and Malhotva start discussing Babylonian mythology then Lamashtu Mags and Hunter stand guard inside. While MD and Ron are watching from the outside they see an unshaven black man in an olive green army jacket and blue jeans approach. Ron can immediately tell that something is wrong with him. He is walking in a stiff manner that is not natural. While MD gets some innocents out of the way where they cannot observe the front of the diner Ron rushes up to the man. Inside the diner Hunter and Mags also notice the threat. When Ron attempts to push over the man with a massive shove he merely goes down to one knee then turns towards Ron with solid black eyes and utters, “Leave it alone!” He is a demon! Hunter starts pouring salt over the portals to the restaurant while Mags watches over Stone and Malhotva. MD puts an arrow through the possessed man’s thigh which makes the demon scream out in pain but he keeps moving. The demon yells that he is only the first thing that “she” plans to send. The demon then grabs Ron with telekinesis and throws him through the glass doors of the diner disturbing the line of salt. While Stone uses his spell to pull the demon’s coat over his face Ron strikes with his cold iron sword aiming for the creature’s neck! In a blur of motion the blade strikes home sending the body rolling to the side. As the head falls to one side a thick black smoke starts pouring out of the headless neck! When the smoke clears Mags grabs Malhotva and Hunter grabs Stone. The conversation will have to continue at another time. Winston’s crew gets a quick call for a cleanup as the group hurriedly departs.