Whew! Sorry that took so long my peeps. Work has been crazy, and I haven't had a much free time as I'd like. Hopefully you enjoy the post, and the new little plot mechanics. If you have any questions, ask here or shoot me a PM.
The Home of Alice Trune Salem, Massachussets 2:20 PM
Atticus was smiling as he took Nestor’s proffered hand, and shook it warmly.
“It has been awhile, Nestor. Too long.”
A wave of welcome nostalgia lapped at Atticus as he accepted the cigarette from the demonspawn. The two sons of Hell had been comrades in the last battle for the salvation of the world, and it was a bond that Atticus was not soon to forget.
Snapping his fingers to produce a small flame, Atticus lit the cigarette, and gave Nestor a knowing look as he took a drag. “I haven’t worked with any of the others before, but most of their reputations precede them. If Archibald Bain called upon them personally, apocalypse certainly isn’t out of the question.”
Atticus’ crimson eyes tracked along with an approaching car, and when it was clear that its destination was the house, Atticus stepped towards the drive. He blew out a small cloud of smoke as he did so, and smirked at Nestor. “We’re getting too old for this shit, buddy.”
The car door opened, and Atticus moved to greet the new arrival. He was instantly intrigued by the figure that fumbled out of the vehicle, and into the cool afternoon air. Though dressed impeccably, complete with a fine hat and a bespoke doctor’s case, it was impossible for Atticus to not take note of the man’s grotesque features. The Veiled World was filled with all manner of creature and being, and Atticus was familiar with many. However, whatever classification this man belonged to was a wholly new one for the incubus. Atticus’ senses could glean little from the man that his traditional senses could not--the stench that wafted from him was almost all encompassing.
Atticus kept his expression pleasantly impassive as the man introduced himself as Dr. Leonard Winfield. Shaking the doctor’s hand, Atticus gave him a polite nod. “The pleasure is all mine, Dr. Winfield, and thank you for joining our team. I’m sure we’ll have the opportunity to both benefit from our time spent together on this case. If Archibald Bain sent for you personally, you must be a gifted prospect for the company, apprentice or not.”
Dr. Winfield moved to extend a greeting to Nestor, and Atticus turned towards the house. He took one final drag off the cigarette before smashing it beneath his boot. As he ground the cherry into the dirt, Atticus felt something ripple through the air. It was a nearly imperceptible disturbance, but it set the hair at the back of his neck to prickling nonetheless. Beneath his coat, the inked demons on his flesh narrowed their eyes suspiciously. In the next moment, Atticus heard the sounds of a sharp bark, and a canine whine. Turning towards the forest, his deep set eyes lifted along with his full attention.
The woman that emerged from amongst the trees was lithe, dark, and exuded a rough feminine quality that was both attractive and mysterious. This could only be the fabled ghostly-shapeshifter known as The Black Dog. Atticus knew only a little of her from her time with the Bain & Hoyle Company, and the few references made by the werewolf Reginald Hoyle.
“You must be Fei?” Atticus said. Facing her, he bent at the waist, and did his best lupin impression of a humble greeting. It was an affectation a werewolf friend had taught him years ago, and Atticus hoped he was not too far out of practice. “My name is Atticus Mac Cléirich, and I’m the agent in charge of this team.”
Standing erect, Atticus swept a hand back to encompass Nestor and Dr. Winfield. He was about to introduce them to the Black Dog as well, when a Jeep rattled its way up the gravel drive. Atticus fell silent, not wanting to try and talk over the din of the thing.
Atticus pushed his hands into the pockets of his jacket as a massive, dangerous looking man stepped out of the Jeep. From the oil slick depths of his eyes to the broad set of his shoulders, the newcomer’s presence was imposing--even in spite of his utterly silent steps. Atticus could also feel the otherworldly power nestled within the man, and he knew that this had to be the being known as Ahanu.
Nestor was right, Atticus thought. Are we starting an apocalypse? Or ending one?
Nodding in agreement at Ahanu’s statement, Atticus moved towards the side door of the house. “You’re right, of course. We can get started, and I’ll catch up the last member of our team when she arrives…”
As he spoke, there was a flurry of fading black feathers, purple hair, and a wide, radiant smile. Atticus snorted a short laugh at Sal, and smiled. “Speak of the Devil, and apparently wizards appear. Glad you could make it, Ms. Lou. We were just getting the investigation underway.”
Turning back to the side entrance, Atticus gripped the doorknob. Focusing, his eyes narrowing, the incubus forced infernal energy through his fingers, and into the brass fixture. Inside, the thin tumblers and springs warped and twisted beneath the onslaught of the focused channel of hellfire, and in a few seconds the door popped inward with a screech of old hinges.
Stepping aside, Atticus turned to address the five members of his team. Tilting his bearded chin up slightly, Atticus spoke loudly and clearly.
“You were all handpicked by Archibald Bain for this assignment. That alone speaks volumes, so it’s an honor to get to work with you. Once again, my name is Atticus, and I’m the agent leading this team and this investigation. If you need anything, or have any concerns, come to me first. I’ll do what I can.”
Atticus paused to give the group a determined look. His eyes were bright with conviction, and the afterglow of what could only be a distant memory of boyish excitement. “Let’s get to work.”
I M P O R T A N T I M P O R T A N T I M P O R T A N T
GM Notes: Characters are free to explore anywhere on the house or grounds. You can describe any of the rooms or areas however you like, as long as it won’t affect the core facts I’ve outlined in previous postings (i.e. the witch that opened the demonic portal had blonde hair and blue eyes, and was not a unicorn).
Clues: Jinkies! There will be important clues that I sometimes list that are related to the core storyline of the RP. Since it would take a crazy long time for me to coordinate with each of you for you posts in advance, I’m going to list them here. Your characters are free to find these clues, interpret them as they see fit, or even miss them. I’ll leave that up to you, as each of you are all badass writers/storytellers.
Clue #1: There is a lingering, palpable demonic energy within the house and its surroundings. Especially within the conjuring room. To those familiar with this energy, it is discernible that powerful beings were summoned here, and not run-of-the-mill demons.
Clue #2: Within the conjuring room, above where the corpse of the witch was discovered, is a portion of large symbol scorched into the wall. The majority of it was burned away, but some remains.
The incubus known as Atticus Mac Cléirich wretched over the balcony. From his place on the fourth story of the apartment building, the sound of his vomit splashing upon the concrete below echoed up from the alleyway, along with the exclaimed curses of an unfortunate passerby. Though mostly unseen across his covered flesh, the living tattoo depicted there writhed with angels and demons reacting in revulsion, mirth, and drunken pride as their benefactor swam in the storm of his drunkenness.
Wiping bile from his beard, Atticus stood, and brought his face to the overcast night sky. He breathed in the cold air, sucking through his teeth, and forcing the healing properties of his infernal nature to rid him of the worst of the alcohol’s poison. Atticus was sure to not banish it all from his system, however. He still desired to be drunk, and deeply so.
Behind Atticus, through the pane glass of a pair of closed French doors, the sounds of the orgy happening within the flat assaulted his keen ears. Humans and other supernatural beings met in a confluence of lust and mind-altered euphoria, and the din of their efforts was an organic maelstrom. It was a strange thing for a demon spawned of lust itself to feel disgust at what he had just partaken in, but Atticus felt it well within his throat nonetheless. Or was that the Jagermeister coming up again?
His crimson eyes were shot with black blood, and the lines of his handsome face were etched with deepened self-loathing. Running his fingers through the matted tangle of his greasy hair, and down the breasts of his rumpled suit jacket, his mind pulled towards the gravity of the past, and the associated guilt that swirled with it.
The years following the events of the thwarted Ragnorök had started off with a note of hope for Atticus. Love--that of the heart, and not of the flesh--had been the driving force within his life. He had given up his career as an active agent of the B&H company to fulfill this new dream, and he had taken to it with all the conviction of a devotee. Yet, the truth of his nature had called to him. It lapped at the banks of his soul, slowly and continuously like the coming of the tide, until the worth he placed in love eroded away. And as it washed from him, he had lost everything that had given him a higher meaning besides that of his basal existence.
He was nothing but an incubus now--seducer with a demonic soul, an illustrious past, and a future lacking in defining prospects. The thought of returning to his job was a constant presence within his mind, but so was his pride. Atticus had began his sabbatical form the B&H company in the wake of having taken part in saving the world. What more could one hope to accomplish?
Atticus scowled as his mind wandered. The demons on his skin silently mocked him, while the angels offered quiet looks of pity. Resolved to his fate and the reality of his present state, Atticus made to smooth his appearance before returning inside. Turning on the heels of his wingtip shoes, he took a step towards the doors when a silver orb, the size of a half-dollar, floated before his nose.
Focusing upon the orb, Atticus immediately made out the flourishing script initials ‘B&H’ engraved upon its metallic surface. A rush of excitement overpowered the self-loathing and the Jagermeister, and Atticus’ hand shot out to grip the orb. As he clasped it, the metal seemed to dissolve and evaporate in his grip, leaving in its place a handwritten letter.
Breaking the red wax seal, Atticus unfolded the pressed-paper, wetted his lips, and scanned his hellish eyes over the ebony script. His heart quickened as he recognized the handwriting.
It has been a long time since we have spoken, and I am truly sorry that our first exchange in so many years is one of business. Yet, it cannot be helped. The world turns in spite of our lives, and I need your help.
26 days ago, our regional seer detected an abnormally strong spike of demonic magic in Salem. As you know, such spikes are often associated with the summoning of a powerful demon. Pursuant to our agreement with the Vatican, we contacted the local archdiocese, and informed them of the event. Ten days ago, local police in Salem discovered a deceased woman whose whole body had been attrofied to the point of death. The woman was identified as Ms. Alice Trune, 32. From our records, she is a known witch of the demonic orders, and the site of death was the same as that of the detected spike in demonic magic. 6 days ago we entered into an investigative contract with the Vatican to look into Ms. Trune’s death, and determine what, if anything, she has to do with the possible summoning of strong demons into the mortal realm.
I have limited resources to spare on this. Most of the Boston field office is caught up in the werewolf turmoil, and other pre-existing contracts. Atticus, I kept track of you during your sabbatical, and I know you could do with some direction. Take this job--if nothing else, it will get you away from the booze for a few days.
Your team has already been notified by me personally, and will meet you at the site of the murder in Salem.
Sir Archibald Bain
Atticus reread the letter four times. He felt the once familiar tingle of intrigue spreading from his fingers, and up into his chest. For the first time in a long time, the first pulls of a true smile tugged at the corners the incubus’ mouth.
Salem, Massachusetts 2:00 PM The Same Day
Atticus, clean and fresh in dark jeans, a black t-shirt, and a leather jacket, leaned his back against the side of 4758 N. Elenore Ave. The house was small, quaint, and well off the main road. Hidden from view by numerous old-growth trees, and with its property butting to the forest, Atticus could instantly see what had drawn the deceased witch to such a locale. Summoning was not an event for spectators, especially the nosy mortal kind.
Police tape still wrapped around the porch posts, and CSI door seals still covered every entrance to the house. Atticus could’ve entered without a bit of fuss, but there was no point. He would wait for his team.
With his hands in the pockets of his jacket, Atticus absently rubbed at the smooth, cool surface of the stone dodecahedron within. The object, known as an obscuracon, was a magical fetish, and would hide his presence from all except those who knew to look for him. Archibald Bain had made contact with the rest of his team via the same silver-orb letters that Atticus had received, and he knew they would be explicitly seeking him out at this location, and at this time. The magic of the obscuracon would reveal him to each of the team as they approached.
The witch knelt upon a floor of oak planks, her dark robe draping from her shoulders like a silken, watery shadow. With her gaze downcast, the flaxen strands of her hair obscured the ethereal smoothness of her cheeks, and the stark azure of her eyes. All ten crimson-tipped fingers of her hands were splayed before her, pressing firmly into the five-sided center of the pentagram, which was drawn in gruesome red tallow upon the floor. All five points of the inverted star were marked with a burning candle--their shifting flames granting the only light to the bare room.
“Elemanzer, come to me.” The witch breathed, her voice filling the room.
“Elemanzer, come to me.” The room darkened, the blackness encroaching over the light of the candles.
“Elemanzer, come to me!”
Upon the third utterance of the witch’s command, the flames atop the candles roared. Tongues of fire spouted forth, licking high enough to lap at the plane of the ceiling. The darkness that had filled the room was banished in an instant, and every corner was bathed in intense, blinding light. The witch’s eyes lifted, wide with shock as the intensity of the flames pushed her off or her knees, and back against the closed door behind her. A scream built within her lungs, and her mouth opened like a gaping wound in the porcelain mask of her face, yet no sound escaped.
The gouts of fire began to pulse then. They took upon a rhythm, their light and heat wavering in exacting crescendos. It took only the breadth of a moment for the witch to realize that the beat of the flame matched that of her own racing heart. A second more, and she became aware that with each new thrum she could feel the force of her life draining from her body. Weakness crept over her, and she found herself melting towards the floor on atrophied limbs.
“No, not like this…” The witch mouthed soundlessly. “I have served you faithfully?”
As if in answer, the flames were extinguished. Three cracks resounded like rending bones in the now total dark, accompanied by the growing stench of smoke and brimstone.
“Faithfully, indeed, my child,” said a new voice amidst the dark, feminine, and soft as down. “You have served your master with distinction.”
“And thus we honor you,” said another voice, this one trill.
“Your soul alone has brought about the dawning of a new era,” a third voice sounded, slick like a serpent’s hiss. “With your sacrifice, you have gifted us passage, and a means to carry out the master’s command.”
The witch stared into the dark, her face now resting upon the floor. She was so weak now that the muscles of her neck could not bear up the weight of her head. Her mind raced, trapped within a husk that no longer could muster itself to her command. So many questions tattooed themselves upon her thoughts. She attempted to give them voice, but only a choking wheeze broached her lips. Terror was the only sensation her senses could perceive as her whole body wilted around her, and her soul became untethered from its mortal threads.
About halfway through writing my opening posts. With any luck, they should be up in a few hours or so. Just a quick note that there is no posting order, just a general commonsense feel for replies. If you want to work with any of your fellow players on formulating any associated backstory between your characters, I highly encourage it. That kind of thing is always fun, in my humble opinion.
[center][color=c8c7be][sup][x]-ALWAYS SEARCHING FOR THE NEXT GREAT TALE-[x][/sup][/color][/center]
<div style="white-space:pre-wrap;"><div class="bb-center"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/bc3U8fk.png?1" /></div><br><div class="bb-center"><font color="#c8c7be"><sup>[x]-ALWAYS SEARCHING FOR THE NEXT GREAT TALE-[x]</sup></font></div></div>