At the Edge of All Things

Session 11

Bleakscale, part IV

Last time, the cabal pursued some leads on the antique ley line map, and they led to a TruLife testing center, where Sinon went in and found out about how his middle-class ennui was the result of hidden alien ghosts and BJ broke into their security to learn that the TruLines charity is doing construction on ley lines.

A few days have passed since then.  It’s now Monday evening of the subsequent week, and the party has been contacted by Montesquieu.  The Consilium has done their research on the abyssal intruder in the library and is putting together a team to deal with it, and they would like your cabal in on the action.

The Sentinels and a few other interested parties are gathering at Chemical Wedding at 7 to discuss their plans.

In montage we see:

Elithora keeping up on responding to emails from Mysterium colleagues, doing research into any historical references to abyssal diseases, and taking the Jetta in for an oil change. She staples multiple copies of her research out for the rest of the cabal.

BJ working on his thesis, getting knocked around the ring sparing with Traceur, researching his famuilar and teaching Memo.

Sinon making some plans with the other Guardians on how to leverage the information on TruLife and the Eschaton Property list BJ provided him, and having a conversation with Arrowsmith/Loki about what they might want to do were they to be released once the Bleakscale has been dealt with.

Aurelia doing some meditation exercises, working her day job, and studying under Jude. We’ve been discussing the library issue. She’s also trying to impart some basic functions on her Hollow One, enough to keep her out of trouble and functioning biologically.

The hour has now arrived, and the mages show up at Chemical Wedding one by one, going down those worn steps in the back alleys of the Gaslamp district.  The classy, old-world nightclub atmosphere of the place is charged with a tense electricity as nearly a dozen Awakened mill around, some talking, others nervously double-checking their wards.

Aurelia double checks her little bronze mirror

Resists the urge to check the sword under his jacket and his pistol. Making himself sit calmly.

you guys are pessimists. Casting ‘the perfect moment’ (just this scene) to maximize social charmingness as my armor.

Most of Vancouver’s Sentinels are here tonight – Carson and Lefors, the tall Albertan cowboy and the Asian in a smart black suit.  Horatius, the monk, is here, although his karate gi has been traded in for a somewhat more innocuous track suit.

Friday, the young heiress, is here, dressed impeccably if somewhat severely in black and silver, and after a few minutes Rook, the Afro-Canadian RCMP officer, enters with Memoranda and Loki in tow.  Memoranda is dressed in a bit less crinoline than usual and Loki is wearing a Canucks jersey and jeans.

Aurelia smiles and awkwardly greets the sentinels as they come in. She ends up actually talking to nobody, just saying hi to a large number of acquaintances.

Blackjack nods to Memo and walks over. “Tonight we earn our magificent pay.”
Horatius steps forward and nods solemnly at Blackjack and Memo.  “I heard about that spirit up north.  Admirable work, both of you.  And useful preparation for tonight’s business.”
“Hopefully tonight will go a bit quieter. But while you are here…perhaps you can help me with a question….” Blackjack replies. Horatius nods.  “Go on.” “At the cabin there was a famuilar. Who is now in my possession, but he was a copy of ((Insert the crazy mage’s name here)) enemy. But who is he?”

Elithora’s usually impeccable timing is slightly off, and she finds herself interrupting people to awkwardly ask, “So uh, how about those martial arts?” She ends end up in a corner with Loki kind of stammering at her awkwardly. The mystagogue nods helplessly at whatever he’s talking about, wishing for the strongest drinks.

Sinon mingles for a bit with Rook and the other new arrivals.  “It’s nice to see a few, slightly more familiar faces.” Rook smiles.  “Don’t get too used to it.  I’ve been here two years and I still mostly hear from our ‘colleagues’ by dead drop and burner phone.” Sinon chuckles a bit internally.  “I think I know that routine.”  He notices Elithora stuck in the corner with Loki and silently laughs to himself again.

All throughout the small-talk with Rook, Sinon’s eyes flit to figures behind his fellow Guardian—Lefors and Carson. 

From behind the bar, Montesquieu rings a heavy old handbell for attention.  “Everyone!  Everyone!  If I could have just a minute.”

Blackjack shuts up and gives Montesquieu his attention.

Montesquieu begins pouring drinks.  "Ladies and gentlemen of the Wise!  Thank you for coming tonight.  The council asked me to bring you together to address the incursion that was brought to our attention by – " he holds a hand out in the direction of your group – “what is your cabal called, anyway?”

Aurelia is just kind of slack jawed. Between all the stuff that’s been happening she completely forgot.

Sinon: (Sorry, we were busy burning down Seer installations…)
Blackjack: (Hrm, something fire related?)

As they stand stand there staring, on the spot, he laughs.  “The cabal with no name, huh?  Okay!  When we’re done tonight, or rather when you fine folks are done tonight, we’re naming you, like it or not!”

Montesquieu continues.  “I’ve been asked to convey that this is the most official Consilium business – it’s a Sentinel operation on direct authority of the council.  That means gripes, beefs, all that folderol gets left behind.  You’ll be under the authority of the senior Sentinel present.”

Horatius bows, fist in hand, kung-fu style.  “I’m honored to lead some of our city’s finest tonight.”

Montesquieu continues, “…the Guardians have also sent one of their top men, although I don’t know if he’s been held up or…oh, maybe this is him.”

The door opens and four young people pile in.  You recognize Donatella, the art student Sentinel, but the others are new to you.  One is a thin black hipster with wild hair, another is a square-jawed blond man in a turtleneck, and the third is a shaved-headed tan guy covered in tats.

“Sorry we’re late!” Donatella smiles wanly.  “Meditation ran over…”

Montesquieu’s lip twitches.  "You’re* late, young lady.  Your cabal wasn’t invited in the first place."  He sounds more amused than annoyed.*

Lefors scoffs from behind his black shades, and Rook purses her lips, but Horatio nods warmly at the newcomers.  “The Minutemen have proven themselves before.  Your cabal is more than welcome to join us, Donatella.”

Leonardo, the thin hipster, sees the drinks being poured and shuffles over to the bar. “Oooh, I could go for that,” to no one in particular.  He’s got a corduroy blazer over a white shirt, super-tight black jeans, and Converse All-Stars.

While he picks up a rye and coke and starts drinking, the door opens again.  “Oh, this must be it,” Montesquieu says.

A tall figure in black robes, an enormous wide-brimmed black hat, and skull face-paint strides in, followed by a young Asian man.

This is Harpocrates, the Guardian Interfector.

“What’s with the get up?” Aurelia says to nobody in particular.

(“Subtle.”)  Sinon thinks to himself.

Blackjack looks him over and raises an eyebrow. Across the room, Elithora simultaneously raises an eyebrow.

The young man steps forward.  “My apologies for my tardiness.  I trust I have not kept you waiting too long.”

“Since the Abyssal infestation came to our attention, I’ve taken a personal interest in its provenance, and now that our newest cabal have recovered some useful information, I am prepared to share what I have learned and join you in the banishment.”

Harpocrates steps forward and produces a roll of paper from his cloak.  He unrolls it on a bar table.  A blueprint.  Behind him, the Asian man, hands folded behind his back, continues to speak.

“Plans of the public library’s basement.  The sealed collections, archival material, and so forth.  Our likely target.”

The library, the central branch in downtown Vancouver, is a sleek, modern building in a curved spiral shape, like a conch shell.

“The artifact in question is a grimoire – a cursed grimoire, naturally.  It doesn’t need to be handled to take effect; proximity is good enough.  Some of the library’s night workers and archival staff have fallen ill in recent months, or have reported depression and hallucinations.  One committed suicide in February.”

“So what’s the plan of action? Storm the library?” Aurelia asks.

Harpocrates nods at Aurelia.  The man behind him continues.  “Yes, but there is a…complication.” Harpocrates holds up a warning finger. “Destroying the book will not suffice.  It’s a creature of the Abyss now, and will just re-incarnate somewhere else, in some other dusty collection.  The book has to be dis-enchanted, purged of its magics, and held still while the operation proceeds. And while this happens, it will attempt to defend itself.”

Elithora raises both eyebrows and peers at her empty drink with dismay somewhere in the background as she hears this. (“It’s never easy, is it?”)

“I suspect it may have something more painful in mind then simply death by a thousand paper cuts,” Blackjack dryly states. “Do we know what it can do?”

“I went to the library myself over the weekend.  The book recognized me as Awakened and assaulted my mind as I headed downstairs. I had to turn back before I could catch sight of it. Mages with Mind shields will therefore go in first.  Horatius will set about carefully dispelling the various wards and enchantments that infest the object, and then I will undertake the banishment personally.  An outer ring of Sentinels will deploy outside its mental range to deal with…the unexpected. Are there any questions?”

Blackjack shakes his head. Has an issue with this plan but can’t put his finger on it.

“What happens if we can’t contain it?” Elithora wonders aloud.

“What about sleepers?” Aurelia inquires.

“The Guardians have made calls and emails suggesting to the night shift workers that someone else was going to be covering for them and they should take the night off.  We should have the building to ourselves. If we can’t contain it, the Arrow and the other Guardians are on standby with orders to do whatever is necessary.”

Sinon sincerely hopes no one has to see that.  “What is our cabal’s particular assignment in this?”

Elithora clinks the ice in her glass. Right, when has burning a book ever failed to contain it?

“Those of you with Mind will join us in the inner circle and keep myself and Horatius safe while we work.  The rest will take up position in the outer ring, either to fend off curious Sleepers or, should someone in the inner circle be taken control of, to subdue that mage.”

Aurelia flexes and cocks her neck. It would look badass if it didn’t look slightly ridiculous.

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MrAnthropy

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