The Red Sun

Kaidan Manor
Story 3, Session 6
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The New Guy
Story 3, Session 5
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A Tale of Two Armies
Story 3, Session 4

Immediately following their strike on the Jehovah’s Flame recruitment seminars, the heroes found themselves with a couple of days to relax and stretch their legs a little bit.

The first thing Takashi did was call up his current Yakuza contact, Yuriko, and filled him in on the incident at the temple regarding the amanojaku demons being summoned. Yuriko in return told him about another summoning that would be happening in three day’s time, and managed to get him the time and place; 4 pm on Saturday, three days from then.

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The Recruitment Drive
Story 3, Session 2

After the encounter with the Red Emperors, Amatsukami Scions turned to the worship of the Titan Avatar Mikaboshi, they decided to head back to their hotel and take it easy.

Sightseeing the Imperial Palace together, they were all four surprised to learn that they couldn’t get nearby. As they neared the visitor’s area of the palace, each of them began suffering a horrible pressure headache, squeezing uncomfortably in on their heads. With no clue as to what was causing their pain, only the idea that maybe there was Divine interference here, they had no choice but to go, doing other things on their own as the days passed.

Getting acclimated to Tokyo, each had a different approach. Takashi dialed up Cynthia, deciding to take her out for a night on the town. Getting her from Yakuza protection for the night, they went to a restaurant she’d been eying. During the meal, however, a commercial came on, mentioning their good friend, Roth Foster.

The commercial was a recruitment drive advertisement. Getting the address and date while managing to still pay attention to his date, Cynthia hardly noticed his attention was divided. They went dancing, and Takashi went to take her back at the end of the night. Out of left field, on the doorstep, he asked her, “What would you think if I decided to join the Yakuza?” She had no answer for a second, and after a moment, she managed, “Are you sure you want to pay that price for our safety?”
He only answered with a cryptic “I hope you never know what price I pay.” She was uncomfortable, until Takashi finally told her that while he didn’t know what the future held, he definitely saw her there. With a kiss, they parted.

He also did some research on Foster and his recruitment drive, finding it wasn’t the first one he’d done, and decided to tell the others in a bit.

In the meantime, Felicity, knowing Randal’s admiration of good construction, surprised him with a trip to the Rainbow Bridge spanning Tokyo Bay. They walked across it, then nearly shocked the life from him by transporting them to the top of one of the support beams hundreds of feet up. They talked up there for a bit, admiring the view of Tokyo, Randal stating that it wasn’t quite Chicago. She asked how he was adjusting so far, and he told her it was his first time out of the country. She replied, “Its my first time, too,” resulting in an awkward moment of silence. Finally, he asked to be taken down to the ground, stating he had something to show her.
They walked along the quiet streets for a moment until Randal found and collected enough scrap metal for what he wanted. Making sure nobody else was around, he used a lighter and his abilities to bolster fires, melted the metal, and carefully cooled it while shaping.
In a few moments, he had crafted a figure of himself and Felicity, holding hands. Touched, she kissed him, and they headed back.

Thurston decided to concentrate on less personal and more professional goals. He dialed up Stan, and was pleasantly surprised to find that he’d already arranged for a small engagement at a theatre in Tokyo. After back and forth banter on whether or not Thurston would jump country lines on him again, he hung up on Stan, as usual. After a second, he got the address and time in a text message, and prepared to spiff himself up.
Inviting his band, Takashi brought Cynthia along as well for Thurston’s performance.
Thurston milked the crowd with his usual panache, showing off and driving his Japanese fans crazy. Just as he prepared his big finish, the trick involving swinging on a harness to transport from one side-by-side door to another, the doors of the theatre swung open.

In strode a tall man with skin the color of ebony, and eyes like onyx stones. His hair was long and pale, and he was clearly otherworldly. The people in the audience obviously didn’t see him for what he actually was, a being from a race of Aesir Titanspawn.

He formally challenged Thurston to a duel of magic, to continue until they ran out of tricks or the audience found one unworthy. Thurston, of course, accepted.

He started with a new trick, taking advantage of his new bandoleer’s ability to simply spawn knives into his hands. Using one of his two doors, he began by throwing knives while talking about how he’d gotten his start as a magician.
“And as more people saw my magic…they started wanting proof.” THUNK.
He removed his jacket. Throwing a few more knives, he continued talking until finally he was shirtless onstage, throwing knives that appeared in his hands from nowhere. The audience went crazy, and it was his challenger’s turn.

Waving his hands around in a rhythmic pattern, he conjured an orb of air and energy, shooting it upwards. From the center of it burst a crow, which Thurston was surprised to note had only one eye. It alighted on the man’s arm, and the crowd applauded in awe. With a raised eyebrow and an “Impressive,” he readied his next trick…for which he wanted Randal.

Playing up looking for a ‘volunteer,’ Thurston selected Randal when he saw him raise his hand. Bringing him onstage and having him remove some of his more irreplaceable clothing, Thurston showed off a bit before lighting Randal on fire with vodka. One again burning for the sake of Thurston’s magic, Randal took it in stride, and was out and perfectly fine, much to the awe of his onlookers. Thurston bowed, and ceded the stage to his challenger.

The dark man set the crow flying again while he pulled out a small board. He began unfolding the board, impossibly beyond what it physically could, until he had a coffin-shaped box. Laying it down, he called the crow back and settled it inside of the box. With an dark chant and a firm thud on the lid of the box, he lifted the lid. Out stepped what Thurston could swear was his missing father, Odin. The eye however, was dead and glassy, and this before him was clearly a copy.

Keeping his cool, Thurston called for another ‘volunteer,’ this time requiring Felicity. She raised her hand and was brought onstage. Borrowing the coffin box, he did his flashy magician bit for a second, spinning her into the box and slamming the lid shut. Opening it a split second later, she was gone. She’d gone invisible and subsequently shadowstepped up to the spot booth, and after the applause from her disappearance subsided, Thurston pointed up to the booth, where she tapped on the glass and waved.

The challenger’s turn had him settle his copy of Odin on his back, waving his hands over him and slowly levitating him. Running his hands all around to prove there were no wires, dozens of little bits of cloth began flying around the auditorium, shocking the audience. The cloths flew around and finally began to coalesce around the facsimile of Odin, solidifying into a single large sheet covering the whole body. With a firm downward stroke with both his arms, the dark man slammed through the cloth, revealing the disappearance of the fake Odin.
The audience cheered soundly.

Thurston applauded politely, and quipped “Now, unlike you, I can finish a trick and bring my volunteer back.”
The challenger responded cooly with, “Well, I suppose bringing him back is YOUR job.”

Raising an eyebrow, Thurston began his next ‘trick.’ Borrowing the sheet, he twirled it with a schoolgirl volunteer and Felicity shadowstepped back onto stage with the shadow the sheet created. Polite applause, and Thurston said “No, that wasn’t the trick. I just needed her back onstage.”
Gathering more young lady volunteers, he had each of them take a corner of the sheet and hold it over Felicity. A few flourishes on Thurston’s part, and she shadowstep-swapped places with Bubastis. The audience saw the cat, and he picked her up and showed her off to the audience, finally placing her under the sheet once more. Once the sheet was in place, Thurston pricked up the middle of the sheet while Felicity, offstage, prayed with her ring to make Bubastis into her black lioness self. The audience was in awe of the large cat roaring onstage, and with a flourish, he swished the sheet around again, and Felicity swapped places again with Bubastis. The audience went absolutely nuts.

The dark challenger bowed, conceding gracefully. He offered Thurston a white gold ring engraved with countless runes. It was freezing cold to the touch. With one final flourish, Thurston accepted it and made it disappear in the same motion.

His show a success, the four of them went out to celebrate by getting hammered at a bar, even Randal managing to imbibe enough to get thoroughly hammered. As they staggered back, they were stopped by a small group of mortal muggers. Thurston tried to simply talk them down (while trying to talk Felicity out of just jumping them, finding the idea of four men living with getting whomped on by one tiny woman infinitely amusing), but Randal caught wind of the ‘trouble’ when Thurston finally just smacked one of them unconscious with his cane.
He spawned every last one of the Danny’s Boys in his confusion, and before the others could stop him, the other three muggers were gone, taken wherever the Danny’s Boys went whenever they weren’t near. Randal slumped back into his drunken stupor, and they carted him back to the hotel so all of them could have a proper hangover in the morning.

Takashi, not having been as hammered, was fine in the morning and gave them a wakeup call with his information on Roth Foster’s recruitment drive through the medallions. They groaned and rolled over, intent on ignoring him for at least three more hours. They recovered in due time, however, and got a plan together.

Felicity walked in, invisible, and Thurston would assume a fake identity by disguising himself with a new face. Randal and Takashi would have to make due with fake names.

The men had to sign in and give some information to the Flame to enter the convention hall at the hotel, and Felicity just trotted in, between a few guards wearing the signature tokens of the Jehovah’s Flame.

She dodged between various people looking for the answer to life in all the wrong places, and finally passed a door that said, “Employees Only.” She was about to push on through when she heard a familiar voice; Foster’s himself. Hearing him on a raised stage giving a sermon, she heard him extol his Four Virtues:
Honor Only the One True God
Never Take the Lord’s Name in Vain
Never Question Your Faith

and his Four Sins:
Obsession
Greed
Brutishness
Believing You Are Higher Than God

Thurston, in the meantime was working the crowd and finding the various movers and shakers in the Flame, interspersed between the every day curious church-goers. He managed to learn that Foster hit the ground running in Japan, running recruitment camps and setting up various charitable organizations with massive donations. He was quickly becoming a shining example of a man from the West, and was eagerly awaiting his summons to the Imperial Palace to have his religion formally recognized in Japan.
He also had a right hand man, only known as Mr. West. He handled all of the business aspects of the Jehovah’s Flame, though he didn’t appear to be a religious man, himself. He was pointed out to Thurston, standing off to the side of Foster’s stage, mopping his sweaty brow with a sponge. He appeared, by all intents and purposes, a fully mundane mortal who looked in over his head.

Thurston went up to introduce himself (in his disguise, of course) and get some information, using the bait of wanting to give a large, discreet donation as his conversation seed. He finally got a card with Mr. West’s information on it, and he jittered out that he was up at all hours, and to not hesitate to call him whenever.

Takashi got similar information on Foster’s movements in Japan, but was distracted by the communion taking place up front. The sickly, blind, and infirm were all drinking the wine…and being miraculously healed. Each of these people, however, had a slightly glassy, dead look to their eyes. Smelling a rat, Takashi telepathically instructed Felicity to get a hold of some of that wine.

She had, in fact, slipped into the Employee’s Only area and had just passed the men carrying the wine out to the communion not a few moments ago. Seeing the door still swinging shut behind them, she slipped in and went down a set of nearly-forgotten stairs. She finally came to a large bomb-shelter door, left over from Japan’s WWII days. Pressing her ear to the door, she heard loud, labored breathing.

At Bubastis’ urging, she opened the door. Inside lay an absolutely massive creature, covered in a thick scaly hide. It was gruesomely hooked up to a machine that seemed to be sucking its blood away from its body to be processed. There was a spout with a bucket beneath of it on the end. Disgusted, she flashed the image to the others to see if they could make heads or tails of the beast.

Takashi knew it to be a beast of Biblical legend, a creature that rampaged until a woman, a saint, had tamed it with her song and prayer. Taking it to a nearby town, the people feared it and attacked it. The creature was docile now, however, and didn’t fight back. It was murdered, and the people, who touched its blood, were turned into Christians by God and were made to see the horror they’d committed. The sainted woman lived in the town, now named for the beast, until the end of her days.

This creature, a rarity in its own right, had been captured by Foster and his congregants and made to bleed to turn these people into Jehovah’s Flame adherents. After much debate as to what to do with it, they finally decided that the only course of action would be to kill it, innocent though it was, and rob Foster of one of his precious tools of corruption.
Thurston would change his face again once it was dead and pretend to be a Red Emperor Scion, and make a public escape.
Felicity rubbed the symbol of the Red Emperors onto the wall in the creature’s blood, and stood to take a point blank shot at its head just as Randal joined her, having traveled through the earth to her location. Apologizing to the beast, she fired.

The shot bounced right off the pained creature’s head. It woke, and roared to shake the whole of the convention hall above. Foster and Mr. West disappeared the very next second.

Bursting into action, Felicity first ran up a wall and landed on its back as it tore free of the tubes siphoning its blood away, and she pressed the muzzle of her gun to one of the holes and fired, not seeming to do any damage. It tried to turn its head and bite at her, but couldn’t quite get to her.
Randal, in the next instant, however, took the beast over his head and crushed it with his bare hands, ending the creature’s misery in one strong crush.

They all escaped easily, Randal sinking into the earth, Felicity slinking out unseen, Takashi going with the crowd, and Thurston, disguised as a Scion of Raiden, bursting out publicly and shouting, “The Red Emperors will not tolerate you buying your way into the Emperor’s good graces!” and running for dear life. As Foster’s followers threatened to close in on him, he shot into the air, flying away.

They reconvened at the hotel. Randal had apparently landed into a sewer during his travel through the underground, but they were otherwise unscathed. With some confidence that they’d at least confused Foster and put him on guard against the agents of Mikaboshi, they decided to make that their main tactic for the time being.

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The Journey East
Story 3, Session 1

It has been four months since the siege of Bindings & Sons Warehouse, the base of the Band’s operations.

Thurston Frost had returned to traveling the world as a magician, finally settling into a highly lucrative gig in Las Vegas. His manager was happy with him for once, since he hadn’t disappeared or anything similar for a long time.

Months of magic and partying occurred, fitting of a son of the Asgard gods. Life was good in Las Vegas, at least until four months had passed, and his manager comfortable in a false sense of security.

After one evening’s incredible show, he was leaving through the backstage door with Stan, his manager, where he found a beautiful woman holding open the door to a limousine for him. Telling Stan not to wait up, he noted the running wolf emblazoned on the side of the vehicle before getting in.

Turning back to her after getting a drink from the limo’s bar, he found himself face to face with a Valkyrie. Getting straight down to business, she informed him as they drove that Thurston’s father, Odin, the All-Father, had gone missing. No signs of a struggle, and all of his historic and legendary relics left behind. Asgard was a mess at the moment trying to find him. Informing Thurston that he was also now a Demigod, he was handed a new set of cuff links, a bandoleer, and a cane sword crafted by the dwarves he had met months previous at Disneyland.

Finally pulling over to let him out, the Valkyrie wished him luck. Taking a step out into the daylight, he noticed something strange about the scenery around him. Everything was in Japanese kanji. And…he was staring right at a billboard of Roth Foster himself, crossed arms and looming over a picture of the Earth, with a glowing golden cross behind him.
-———-

Takashi had found it difficult to settle back down into some semblance of a normal life after becoming accustomed to the high-velocity life of a Scion. Doing a bit of sightseeing around Illinois, he kept in contact with his three bandmates, looking for signs of trouble that required him to happily swing his sword about some. Finally realizing that he should actually do his day-to-day life, he moved back to San Diego for a time to work at his law firm.

A bonus of that, however, was the fact that he was now incredibly close to where Cynthia and his grandparents were living, protected by the Yakuza. Taking the time to get over his general aversion to public dancing and dance clubs, he took Cynthia out often and found the difference between his right and left foot in the process.

Takashi also did some footwork in finding out more about Roth Foster’s past. Doing some digging, he managed to get the man’s life story. The son of a single, alcoholic abusive father in Texas, he was taken into protective custody in his early teens, and found solace in religion. Doing mission work and attending bible school, he got the opportunity to go overseas on a pilgrimage to the Vatican, where he stayed to study for many years, gaining the priesthood. He returned to Texas and took a position preaching there. One day though, he picked up and left without a word. He went all over the world, to Germany, China, Egypt, and spent a good long time gaining knowledge of the world. Takashi managed to find that after his worldwide sojourn, he returned to the Vatican and had appealed to see the private libraries therein. Once he had found whatever it was he had been looking for, he returned to his home in Texas and established the Jehovah’s Flame, and became the charismatic, conniving man they had grown to know and love.

He also managed to finally put the casework together to take out the BG corporation, the leader finally being without his good luck charm that had been helping him get out of various environmental lawsuits. In an impressive international scandal, Takashi finally managed to break them down, and in the process, also uncover another company that was dumping sludge into the ocean. An interesting layer was revealed to this when he found that they were Titan-spawn controlled, and the creatures that the sludge came into contact with became Nemians. Handily dispatching his enemies, he was gifted with a visit from his father, Hachiman.

In the guise of the old fisherman he’d first met him as, Hachiman passed his hands over Takashi’s sword and armor, deeming them fit for his Demigod son, and told him to keep his values clear in his mind. As he turned to leave, he told Takashi to look to his grandparents, when the time came.

These words came to fruition sometime later when his grandparents called, telling him that they were moving back to Japan to live out the rest of their days. Confused, but supportive, Takashi arranged their flights, and began making arrangements to go with them as well.
-———-

Felicity, in the meantime, had elected to stick by Randal in Chicago. Working together to take out the rest of the Jehovah’s Flame holdouts in the city, she and Randal settled into a close rapport. Taking out cultists when they could, on quiet times they’d settle down to some activity together, usually television or similar, and nestle down on the couch.

She received a call from SAGA early on in their time away from Takashi and Thurston; her offer of talking to her father for five minutes in exchange for her prophecies had been approved. Sharing her knowledge of the prophecies of the Storm God, and the one she’d told of her father being captured, as well as the one she’d told for Thurston, she finally got to speak to her father for the first time since his capture. He expressed confusion as to what was going on, and he sounded older. Felicity urged him to not let that place get to him, and assured him that she was doing just fine, but she’d love to see him again. Their five minutes up, she hung up the phone, assured of her father’s continued safety.

Keeping busy in other respects, she pulled one other theft prank on Chicago. Stealing into the Field Museum at night, she wrapped up tail bones from Sue the T-Rex safely and spirited them to a child’s playground sandbox, where the buried them. She set a sign over the site that said, “DINO DIG SITE, KIDS WELCOME!!” and signed it with the cat face she’d used when she moved the Monet.

After taking out what they knew to be the last holdout of cultists, Randal disappeared for the better part of the day. The Danny’s Boys also disappeared an hour or so into Randal being gone, and all reemerged later on. Randal had the slight glow of one who’d just received his Demigod visitation, and impressed, Felicity asked how it went. He said he’d seen his father, but something was terribly wrong. Telling her not to worry about it, he distanced himself for the majority of the rest of their time in Chicago, rebuffing her attempts to try and talk to him about things. Finally loosening up after some time, he began rejoining her on quiet evenings, and during one such evening, they chanced upon a news story breaking in Tokyo.

A reporter was interviewing Roth Foster himself. Telling the reporter that he was wanting to spread the flame of the worship of Jehovah to the rest of the world, he hoped that the Imperial Family would welcome him and his followers to Tokyo, and went on to wax bullshit lyrical about the works of the Flame of Jehovah. Through his diatribe, Randal remarked that it seemed like Foster was inviting them. So, they decided it was time to go.
-———-

Takashi, on the plane to Tokyo, was joined by Cynthia. On the plane ride, she told him that the Yakuza had actually petitioned to move Takashi’s grandparents and her to Tokyo for their safety after their usual Yakuza contact went missing and was eventually replaced by someone else. Telling them that they’d be safer overseas, they duly went. Takashi promised to look after her as well as he could, and she smiled and took his hand.

Landing at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Cynthia was led away by a Yakuza operative, along with Takashi’s grandparents. She smiled, accepting that she probably wouldn’t see him for awhile, as he was handed a card by the Yakuza. Reading a card that said “Yuriko” on it, along with a number.

Calling the Yakuza he was originally in contact with first, they expressed displeasure in not knowing anything about a change of the guard on Takashi’s family, hanging up on him. Finally dialing Yuriko, he arranged a meeting in Tokyo’s financial district.

Thurston, getting his bearings, donned his cuff links, slid on his new bandoleer, and started strutting down the streets with his new cane. He’d gone barely a single block when he heard a shriek from not too far away. There was a group of schoolgirls who had actually RECOGNIZED him. The next instant, he was on the run from a slowly growing fan-mob. He didn’t run all-out, enjoying the attention just a little bit, his immediate plans to find someplace to stay out for the time being.

Felicity and Randal, after a near snafu at O’Hare airport involving his misplaced passport, landed in Tokyo after a 16-hour flight. Immediately deciding to check into a hotel, they went to the Haneda Excel nearby and unpacked, checking over things to look at while they were there. Realizing they should contact Thurston and Takashi, Felicity first tried the medallions.

Thurston answered, being chased by his fan mob. Amused that they were in Tokyo (only stating, ‘figures!’), he asked where they were at, and he said to a confused Felicity that he’d be there in a bit.
Turning back to Randal, she saw him settling down for a nap, and decided to join him there before getting to Takashi.

In the meantime, Takashi went to his meeting in the financial district. Meeting Yuriko, the tall man revealed to him that the Yakuza had fragmented. There was the Yakuza now caring for Cynthia and his grandparents, and there was now also the Yakuza that had ordered their kidnapping in the first place; the Red Emperors. The Red Emperors are a Scion-led band of Yakuza who believed in the natural superiority of Scions over mortals, and the Amatsukami over all other pantheons. Wanting to ‘take their places’ in the natural order, they impose their will all over Japan. Asking for Takashi’s help in dealing with them, he agreed, and Yuriko gave him the information to find one of their main hideouts.

Felicity awoke to the violent sound of Randal waking from a nightmare next to her, and Bubastis being flung from her warm perch on him, shouting “No, I WON’T!!”
She asked him if he was alright, and he answered with a non-committal “Jet lag” before he locked himself in the bathroom.

Just then, Thurston knocked on the hotel room’s door, and Felicity (after undoing a multitude of locks) flung herself at him in a massive bearhug. Randal came out to greet Thurston, having composed himself, and finally they called Takashi.

Amused that all of them were actually in Japan, he only answered with a smile and a “I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Felicity gave them their hotel information, and finally he actually asked them to meet him in the financial district where he still was. Happy and surprised, they all set out to find him.

Meeting Takashi, they shared their reasons for being in Japan. Trying to decide which problem to tackle first, they decided off the bat to just relax and do some sightseeing. Randal already had all sorts of ideas of what to see, naming off architectural wonders, so they checked out Tokyo Tower to also get a good look at the skyline of the new city they were in.

Passing by the Tokyo Stock Exchange just as the bells were ringing for the day, Takashi advised standing back to avoid the crush of people. Clustered together, they began noticing something strange. As the people passed them…they made eerie eye contact. Every last one of them. Just as they began to piece things together, they heard a shout, just out of sight.
“I’ve got more for ya right here, ya undead gits!”

Three Scions burst into sight, swinging at the people around them, two men and a woman. Randal startled, and the woman made stark eye contact with him just as all hell broke loose around them.

Swinging, shooting, and snapping the necks of the people, which turned out to be a huge crowd of undead feeding off of avarice, they made short work of the creatures and turned to their allies.

Felicity was immediately put on guard by a blur of a small Hispanic woman tackling Randal to the ground. He stood, a little sheepish, and they got a whiff of the three of them. Scions of the Dodekatheon, the Azlanti, and the Aesir. Going on a hunch, Felicity walked to Randal’s side, pointedly took his arm, and asked him if he had introductions to make. Randal smiled and said he did.

The woman was Sammie, daughter of Tezcatlipoca, and one of the men was Vick, son of Frigg. He admitted to not knowing their third. Vick helpfully revealed that the third man was Edwin, son of Hephaestus. He was much, much scrawnier than Randal, and shorter, appearing to live the more mental aspects of their mutual father’s specialties. He seemed to always be smiling about something, like a joke he was constantly telling himself.

Thurston introduced the rest of them to the three, and it was stated that Vick and Sammie were once Randal’s bandmates, back well before he’d met Takashi, Felicity, and Thurston. Admitting to actually knowing about them, Felicity kept close to Randal, she and Sammie sizing each other up.

Calling the Danny’s Boys to clean up the bodies around them, Vick reacted with some horror to their transformations since he’d last seen Randal. “Where’s Billy!? I LIKED Billy! And does Tommy still play cards?” Randal could only shrug in return. They reconvened at a sushi restaurant nearby, managing to skirt any unwanted attention, and talked a bit about how Randal’s old band plus Edwin had found themselves in Tokyo.

Apparently, they had (Randal, Sammie, and Vick) killed a spider in the sewers of Chicago and taken its silk to Frances, who had woven a tapestry to see their fates. He was disconcerted, however, to notice a snag in the weave, and was concerned about its meaning. He told them to head to Germany to investigate the meaning behind the snag, at which point Randal had parted ways with them, unwilling to leave Chicago. Vick and Sammie had gone alone, finding an old hag in the swamps who said she’d read the tapestry if they would guard a touchstone for her, a place she had been appointed to keep safe by the Aesir years ago. Agreeing to this, they went there only to discover a discarded golden spyglass, which they kept.
When their allotted time guarding the touchstone was up, the hag stated that she, in fact, could not sense the snarl, although she felt that its presence had been in Germany. It would take a powerful nexus of Fate indeed to hide the snarl from her. All she could tell them was that in five moons, the snarl would reveal itself in the Far East.

In the meantime, they had helped with a giant problem in a small village, picking up Edwin there, who proved to be a huge help in fighting the giants. They, in return, let him in on their quest, and he agreed to accompany them. Deciding to head to Tokyo, since that was as Far East as they could think to go, there they were now. Only one moon left until that snarl made itself known.

They moved on to asking what Randal and the gang were doing in Tokyo, which they initially waffled about on. Thurston asked about the spyglass, thinking it could be the same spyglass he’d retrieved for his father on Mount Olympus from Apollo months previous. Vick informed him that it was one of the items they’d lost on their trip to Tokyo, having to sneak through customs and other things due to many outstanding warrants for his arrest. The life of a Scion isn’t always easy to explain. Thurston grit his teeth and dropped the matter, instead giving them an epic retelling of the Chance’s End fiasco, which they had caught some wind of. Stunned quiet, they waited to hear the rest of the reason they were in Tokyo.
After another moment of Thurston trying to cover up by telling them about the Demigod band of Ronald, Issac, and Isabella, Felicity finally blurted (justifying it by saying that they’d find out sooner or later) that they were hunting Roth Foster. Edwin, amused, pointed to a television where a commercial featuring Roth Foster had begun to air. It was an embarrassing, typically Japanese commercial that featured the dreaded Reverend giving an enthusiastic “thumbs-up” to the sky on a pink background, with a hand coming from the clouds to give him an “OK.” Thurston, disgusted, tossed a chopstick at the television and hit the channel button.

A few moments of awkward conversation followed, with Randal and Edwin sharing a tiny exchange about their mutual father, and Takashi and Thurston exchanging money under the table regarding possible future cat-fights. Eventually, the two bands parted ways after exchanging phone numbers.

After getting their money changed and getting phones that would function better in Tokyo without massive long distance problems, they began making their way back to the hotel. It wasn’t long before they realized they were being followed.

Turning a corner to lure the man out, Randal nabbed him and slammed him against a wall, Takashi asking in Japanese what he was doing following them. The man answered angrily in English, demanding to be put down before he got ‘angry and took back the offer.’ Curious, they set him down to hear him out.

Hearing that Takashi was in the country, this man, a representative of the Red Emperors, had come to extend the hand of welcome. He asserted snidely what Takashi already knew of them; he considered Felicity, Randal, and Thurston to be Takashi’s ‘servants,’ not being Scions of the Amatsukami. They would be allowed to follow, in service to him, of course. Takashi curbed their anger through medallion discourse, not wanting to muck up the opportunity to see these people at work.

Getting into a limo that had been called for their use, they were taken to the very graveyard Takashi had been told about during his meeting earlier in the day. Ancient bamboo grave posts filled the graveyard, and a massive shrine to all the Amatsukami stood near the back. Ascending the steps of the dark shrine, they witnessed a strange, horrifying ritual.

A man stripped bare to the chest was on his knees between two other men in suits. All smelled of cherry blossoms, Scions of the Amatsukami. Standing over him was a dark woman with a mask bolted to her face, a knife cutting her hand over the man’s head. He absorbed the blood she dripped onto him, chanting twisted-sounding words. He transformed into a hunched, red demon with a horn protruding from his head, howling in the night. She looked him over, pleased, and cut a hole in the very fabric of space with her impressive sword, slipping through it and disappearing.

Their escort told them the woman’s story. She was once, ages ago, a Scion of Susano-o who had attained greatness during the war against the Titans at their original sealing. Susano-o told his daughter to distract Mikaboshi, Avatar of Darkness, as they sealed up Tartarus. He sacrificed his daughter’s life without even asking her, telling her that this was a suicide mission. She would have gladly, but her last view of her father before Tartarus sealed behind her was of him turning his back on her. She endured Mikaboshi’s torment for centuries, where he “showed her the error of her ways” in trusting the Gods. The Gods, he told them, were going to abandon them all like Susano-o had abandoned her, and had indeed already done so. Their only hope and salvation now lied in the perfect darkness that Mikaboshi offered…and eventually in the nothingness…because once they were elevated beyond all other men and Scions and even Gods, there would be nothing, no war, no disease, no poverty, because the world would not exist anymore.

He told Takashi that dismissing their offer of ‘friendship’ would be unwise, as he would be deemed an ‘unrecognized Scion.’ Takashi spoke with the man, lulling him into a false sense of security by going on about how he did not have any love for his father’s justice, and closing the distance between them.
Finally, he said, “The justice I enact…is my own.” With that, he drew his sword and slashed at their guide, cutting him in half and killing him instantly. At that same moment, Thurston sliced with this sword and Felicity disappeared to better get a vantage point. The tainted Scion Thurston slashed was cut straight across the throat, killing him instantly as well, and Felicity fired on the third corrupted man from her cover, nailing him in between the eyes.

Only that red demon was left, and before Randal could close the distance between it and him, it locked eyes onto Takashi. The telepathic being willed him to turn on Thurston, and in a quick, horrifying instant, Thurston was cut clean across the chest and bleeding out on the ground.

Before any of their friends could react, the beast tackled Takashi, taking advantage of the control it had over his mind. They tumbled head over heels down the steps of the shrine, and when they finally got a look, the beast had taken Takashi’s form. Perfectly. They walked back up the steps together and faced Felicity and Randal. Randal, gobsmacked, had no idea what to do.

Felicity started questioning the two Takashi/Oni, and it could answer anything she considered confidential, like Cynthia’s name and their trip to Disneyland. They sometimes spoke in perfect unison. Felicity, desperate, finally asked Takashi to heal Thurston, who was looking badly and in danger of death. The monster/Takashi pair replied that he would, if the beast wouldn’t take the opportunity to just finish him off. Telling her to leave Takashi and take Thurston and Randal and run, she finally became frustrated enough to punch both of them clean across the face.

One of the two healed their own bloody mouth. Triumphant, she pointed out the one still bleeding to Randal, swearing that was the beast. He wasted no time in grabbing the monster up and crushing the carbon-copy of Takashi to pieces. Its body reverted to its natural form in a crumpled mess, and the real Takashi quickly scrambled to Thurston to heal him.

Shaken, but victorious, the Band descended the steps and made to leave, right after harvesting the horn from the mind-controlling beast for useful purposes later. As they left, they looked up to view a huge billboard of Roth Foster looming down over the graveyard.

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Siege
Story 2, Session 4

The band of Takashi, Thurston, and Felicity all stood within the warehouse with the band of Gray, Paul, and Sheri (Powerful demigods in their own right, each a Scion of the Pesedjet. Gray was a son of Horus, Paul was a son of Isis, and Sheri was a daughter of Osiris), catching each other up on events and finally parting just as night began to fall. Saying that they had to get back to their home by the edges of town to protect the professor, they left them to planning how to best get the warehouse defensible.

Thurston first thought of calling in his new officer friend, Detective Percy, to blockade the street for a couple of nights to buy them some time. Foster’s forces wouldn’t overtly kill the law or similar for at least a few nights, so it gave them a few extra nights of valuable preparation.

Setting up cement blockades inside the warehouse and setting all kind of horrific traps in the yard with the Danny’s Boys, Takashi went to see his ‘client’ and asked Randal once they were behind closed doors to borrow the rest of the Boys for the purpose of defending their warehouse. Randal readily lent them to Takashi, and soon the warehouse was a fortress. The chain link fences had been filled over and reinforced with concrete, creating a solid wall not easily penetrated, and Felicity was ready to take positions on the roof with her sniper rifle and about four of the Danny’s Boys armed to the teeth. Thurston stayed inside with the other band, leaving the professor tucked in the back behind them. Takashi decided to take point out in the yard of the warehouse.

With their defenses decided upon, they had to prepare also to find the last little Japanese luck idol and finish preparing Randal’s case. Questioning the Professor, a Professor Coleman who was a walking encyclopedia of mythology, he mentioned that he had seen something like it with his former college friend, a man named Timothy who now was CEO of BG Gas.

Doing their research on Timothy, they found BG ran a refinery four hours away from Chicago. Deciding as they were expecting the first wave of Foster’s forces that night that there was nothing to be done that moment, they prepared themselves and their fortifications.

As nighttime approached, the other band informed them that the sieges normally started around 9 pm every evening. Sure enough, as the appointed time approached, peering down the street, Felicity could see a solid column of around twenty cultists turn the corner from her perch on the roof. Everybody could hear, however, the ominous Latin chanting they did, synced in a discordant unison. Padding alongside of them were about ten of the Nemian hounds, twisted and malformed by the coins pressed into their foreheads.

Grips tightening around their various weapons, they prepared for the first night.

Felicity took the first shots, weakening some of the hounds as they came within range of her scopes, and as they came closer, the Danny’s Boys perched with her opened fire, beginning to mow down the ranks slowly. The cultists began climbing the wall, and the hounds bounded straight over, and Takashi prepared himself and let Thurston know that soon they’d see some action as well. The first of the dogs landed straight onto a land mine buried in the earth, exploding into useless bits. Slicing his way through a few of the cultists, some simply bolted past Takashi to begin the fray inside. The fortifications did their trick, slowing them down enough for Thurston to begin firing as well. As cultists began running for the demigods in the back, Sleipnir and Bubastis, stationed by them, began doing their work. Thurston grinned in satisfaction as he heard a loud whinny followed by a panicked scream and violent-sounding crack.

Felicity, long past the need for the rifle, pulled her pistol and instructed the Danny’s Boys with her to head back inside to help with the cultists in there while she backed up Takashi. Jumping from the roof, she landed and began firing into the fray as Takashi dealt with four enemies on his own.

Soon enough, the battle was over as the last cultist fell, and they all rejoined inside. They had about three hours to go until sunrise, so they let the Danny’s Boys handle the cleanup while they prepared for Randal’s case that day. Thurston also had a plan for the final Japanese idol, and made a call. Managing to con his way into calling the CEO’s office in Britain, he told Timothy that he was his long-lost illegitimate son. Cursing a fundraiser in Dallas, Thurston played along with Timothy’s justification and said that they (him and his ‘mother’) moved to Chicago about a year after he was born. Sighing, Timothy resigned himself to the fact that he’d be going to the Windy City. Telling Thurston that he’d be flying out that day, he’d call him once he was in town.

Going to the courtroom, Takashi and Thurston’s combined intellect and charisma resulted in sheer law-wielding acts of brilliance, and Patrick Mahogany sweated bullets in his own seat in the prosecution. Takashi could just taste the notoriety. The first day in court was a success.

They even had some new ideas on defending their warehouse home. Thurston had spent some time fiddling with a fire trying to figure out how to bolster flames like Randal could, finally clicking towards evening. Coating the cement walls with kerosene, they prepared to light them as that night’s wave came for them.

Gray warned them that the previous night’s original surge was only a test of their defenses, and tonight’s would likely be worse. Of course, six months of pushing off Foster’s forces proved them the knowledgeable party in this respect, as they got a load of that night’s attack team. Twenty chanting cultists were followed by a few hounds…and two giants. Felicity immediately drew a bead on the giant in the forefront as Thurston, in the yard, lit the wall on fire, bolstering it past the need for fuel. Felicity took careful aim and fired, hitting the giant in the shoulder and weakening it. Managing to squeeze off another sniper rifle round before the Danny’s Boys opened fire, the first giant fell, obligingly falling on a few cultists.

The rest got to the wall, and the cultists looked leery at the flaming wall of concrete before them. Finally, one brave soul stepped forward and declared, “Do not be fooled by this illusion!” and ran up to climb it. He burned to a crisp.

The final giant decided to help get the cultists over the wall, and using infallible giant-logic, deduced that the best way to help the little people over the fire wall was to simply chuck them. Grabbing cultists and tossing them over the wall, that method met with varying success. Many landed on mines in the yard, and some were shot out of the air by the Danny’s Boys. Others still cracked painfully against the stone sides of the warehouse, and Felicity took the opportunity to really take careful aim on the giant.

Obviously more familiar with her new toy than she had been the previous night, she managed to burrow the slug right into the giant’s brain, felling it in one lucky hit. The few cultists that had lived through being thrown about like ragdolls were dispatched quickly by Takashi, and it looked like that evenings siege was over. Just as they were preparing to put their weaponry away, a whizzing and a zipping could be heard nearing them, and two of the cherubim flashed into sight, crashing through two windows of the warehouse to try and get to the Professor. All quickly rushed inside as Gray’s band took up positions. Felicity, Takashi, and Thurston all managed to take out the cherubim, though, and at the end of the night managed to get a few hours quick rest, safe in the knowledge that they’d once again fended off Foster’s forces.

The next court day was just as brilliant as the first, with only one minor hiccup on Thurston feeling his phone vibrate in his pocket in the middle of some amazing diatribe. The judge took a personal half-day that day, so Thurston was able to see that the call was from his ‘father’ before too much time had passed.

In the awkward conversation that followed, Thurston, affecting the nervous stammer of a man about to meet his birth father, set up a meeting at a Denny’s most of the way to Hillfield, the town where Timothy’s company had the refinery. Getting Felicity onto Sleipnir with him, they rode out early after their half-day in court, planning on being back before nine that night. Sleipnir made great time there, and getting there at about five, Felicity quickly spotted a nervous looking man dressed well and in late middle age. He wore the final idol around his neck, what Takashi had told them was the god of luck in wealth and commerce during a minor tirade on how that little idol must have been how he had been winning all those cases over BG’s environmental conservation methods.

While Felicity went inside completely unseen, Thurston hid around back with Sleipnir to wait. She nabbed the idol from around his neck after a suitable distraction of tripping a waitress into him, and Thurston had to hide a giant eight-legged horse from a man taking out the garbage. Idol in hand and eight-legged horses unseen, they hopped back on and began the ride back into Chicago. Thurston made a quick call to his ‘father,’ however, before shooting off, explaining that it was a ‘bad idea for him to ever call in the first place.’ Timothy reluctantly agreed, and that was that.

It was getting late, though, and Sleipnir had begun slowing down for the sake of it being too dark to go all-out. Thurston and Felicity were starting to get nervous. What if they didn’t make it back in time?

Back at the warehouse, Gray was eyeing Takashi critically. Asking where the two of them were, Takashi quickly assured him that they’d be there, no matter what. Just in case, however, he moved a few of the Danny’s Boys around to compensate.

Just as it hit 8:50, the two of them passed a sign that read, “Chicago, 20 mi.” Impatient and not wanting to let their friends down, Felicity ordered a stop. She hopped off Sleipnir, grabbed both her friend and his horse, and looked straight up at the moon. Using her ability to see a radius of the earth at a bird’s-eye view in conjunction with her ability to step through the shadows, she was able to step four times with both of them, landing them in the warehouse yard at 8:51. Slightly drained, she rushed to the roof while Thurston ran to make sure the kerosene was spread. Takashi heaved a sigh of relief and reset the Danny’s Boys, and they took up positions.

9:00 came. Then, 9:30. 10:00. No sign of the Flame. The night wore on, and not a single wave of attackers showed themselves. At around 1 am, Takashi, with the others nearby, placed the idols in a little semicircle together to see what would happen. They began to spin wildly in place, and Takashi immediately bent his head in prayer while Thurston and Felicity looked on in wonder. They hovered a couple inches off the table, glowed brightly for a split second…and disappeared. Hoping that it was enough, they went back to looking for any possible ambushes while taking naps in turns.

It never happened, however. When morning arrived, the three of them dressed and went to court, Takashi and Thurston preparing to wow the courtroom with yet another day’s worth of legal brilliance. When the judge arrived, however, he informed the court that due to revelations about the evidence concerning Randal’s case, the evidence had been deemed unfit and had no further relevance to the trial. Randal was to be released immediately and the case thrown out of court. Takashi despaired a bit, his legal notoriety and all proof thereof having just been thrown out, but the group as a whole was ecstatic about Randal’s return.

His things (and relic) returned, Randal left with the three of them to get to the warehouse. Looking it over, he asked what they had done so far, and began to make his own modifications. Revealing things like indoor traps, he set the Danny’s Boys to work in the way only Randal could under his direction, flitting in and out of sight, hammers heard in the distance as they patched broken windows, set up spike traps, barred entrances, creating more hazards for Foster’s forces.

Celebrating with a bit of pizza and beer, introductions made all around, the group felt ready to take on that night’s siege. Night fell, and positions were taken up. Randal joined Thurston inside the warehouse, and all remained quiet for the second being.

9:30 came around. Just as they thought it would be another quiet night, Felicity heard with a start a horrible crunching and crashing from INSIDE.

Roth Foster’s forces had tunneled underground. Coming up in the middle of the floor of the warehouse, no less than three giants, twenty cultists, and ten nemian hounds climbed from the wreckage of the floor from their half-dug, half sewer tunnel. Just as they all began to join battle, and as Felicity ran in the front door, the giants in unison flared, blinding all those within. They did not attack during the moment of their weakness, however, and as soon as sight was regained, Gray and Paul both yelled for the others to get to the Professor. Bolting across, Thurston got their first on Sleipnir to a horrifying sight.

The red-haired priest himself was in there, dagger to the Professor’s throat. Flush with victory, he sneered at Thurston until Felicity, Randal, and Takashi joined him. Seeing all four of them there, he had second thoughts concerning his own safety, and instead threw Coleman at them and grabbed the Professor’s suitcase, somehow teleporting away. In his wake there was only one red feather, floating to the ground. Upon touching, the feather flared into a phoenix, glowing with heat and tainted rage.

Thurston pulled the Professor up onto Sleipnir, dashing off into the night to ensure his safety as the other three faced the phoenix. Firing, kicking, and grappling, the three managed to finally fell the beast just as Thurston returned, not wanting to leave everybody alone. Seeing the demigods finishing up the last of the Cult monsters and tainted people in a flurry of impressive violence, the worst was over.

The warehouse was fairly well destroyed. The Professor was still alive, but his briefcase was gone. Grilling him on the contents, they zeroed in on the college thesis he wrote years ago, something he carried as a mark of pride. Saying that his topic was on the cross-pollination of mythos all over the world, he had touched upon something fairly original on his topic, something called the Book of Seshet. Egyptian Goddess of Knowledge and the written word, any book penned by her in the wrong hands could be potentially dangerous. Figuring that would be what Foster would want most out of all the information he’d find, they decided they needed to follow his movements and get it before he did.

Chicago would have to be left behind. Packing up what they could, they bid farewell to the demigods, with their thanks, and moved to the house they’d purchased a few weeks back. Deciding to stay in Chicago until they heard of where Foster was next, Randal prepared to bid a sad farewell to the city he’d worked tirelessly to protect, and heed the words of Francis’ premonitions.

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A Light in the Dark
Story 2, Session 3

Following the killing of the ice giant and averting Ragnarok (For the time being), the three of them, Takashi, Felicity, and Thurston, all went back to their warehouse base to figure out what to do about Randal’s imprisonment.
Knowing that whatever they did, Randal’s case would probably turn into a media circus once it became public, the three decided to try and damage control whatever they could by preparing to soften his public image with good character witnesses and credible counter-evidence. The goal was to make Randal out to be a victim and scapegoat.
Realizing that he was mostly a case BUILDER and not a PRESENTER, Takashi had to come up with a backup plan in order to compensate for his own selective training. It was February, and the Bar Exams were that month. Quickly recruiting Thurston and his ability to quickly pick up new skills, they decided that Takashi would tutor him in law extensively for the next two weeks to prepare Thurston for the Illinois Bar.

In the meantime, they realized that they’d need a legal address while the whole legal process was going on, both for Takashi and Thurston to receive mail, and a place for Randal to be under house arrest at should they manage to get him out on bail. Felicity decided to spearhead that while Takashi and Thurston were busy cloistered in the warehouse taking advantage of the fact that they needed little in the way of sleeping and food.

Escaping Takashi for one afternoon, however, Thurston went to see Detective Percy, the arresting officer in Randal’s case and the one who had shown them the video surveillance of Chance’s End. Finding him to be particularly smug about Randal’s arrest and not particularly amenable to the idea that Thurston and his friends were specially equipped in any way other than fantastic bullshitting skills and contacts, Thurston was finally forced to simply SHOW Percy. Stepping through Percy’s passenger side car door, the detective did a double-take and then immediately dismissed it as one of the magician’s tricks. Driving to the police station, Thurston finally convinced him of his own abilities by walking through the solid brick wall between the outside and one of the station’s empty holding cells.
Asking what the hell Thurston was, the son of Odin simply told him the God’s Honest truth. Telling him everything from Chance’s End onwards, the shaken man had to take a moment to collect himself before promising to help in any way he could, thoroughly Fatebound to Thurston now. Thurston, victorious in his own way, went back to Takashi’s harsh Japanese cram school-type tutelage.

Felicity, meanwhile, had gone to see Randal’s old foreman and boss of ten or so years, Larry May. Finding him at their latest construction site, a parking structure, she had to dodge catcalls on her way in to the head man. Very in charge of his site, she was only able to get his attention once she dropped Randal’s name. Not able to beat much around the bush about the trouble he was in, she told his old boss of him being framed for mass murder. Quickly blaming the Danny’s Boys and Danny himself, Felicity assured him that Danny was long gone and that the Randal had turned the Boys straight…they were quieter these days. Assured of Randal’s continued good nature, May agreed to get a statement together between him and Randal’s old friends in the business. He also put her in contact with one of Randal’s childhood friends he had a name for. Warning her to go ahead and scram before the other men (and one particularly husky, forward lesbian) on the site got a bit too forward, she took the hint and scampered off.

Going to see John, she dropped off a bag of jewelery from one of her two heists, squaring off their ‘accounts’ to each other for the time being. Dropping another request though, Felicity asked John to put her into contact with someone who could set up some legal-looking bank accounts, which John was perfectly willing to do. Within a couple of days, Felicity had a legitimate set of accounts totaling about $1,750,000, $450,000 of which was fenced through John from her second heist, and the rest from what was left over from their three million take from the Crimson Tide bloodsport prize money. Leaving the last $500,000 out in cash, they made sure to have a tidy sum in Felicity’s account for Randal’s possible bail.

The weeks went on as the case itself began to take form under Takashi’s strict tutelage. The day of the Bar Exam itself came, and the weeks of intense cram study had paid off. Takashi himself passed fairly well, now able to practice law in Illinois, and Thurston barely squeaked by, now qualified as well. The loophole in the system stipulating that you didn’t need a degree in law to take the Bar had served them well in this case.

The night before Randal’s preliminary hearing, Felicity decided to head down to the DA’s office to Patrick Mahogany’s workspace. Finding the prosecuting attorney’s office to be spare in terms of case notes, dissertations, and the various other types of things she’d seen Takashi throwing around over the past few weeks, she finally decided to look up the man’s home information on the computers, heading to an upscale neighborhood to rifle through Mahogany’s personal office. Finding it equally Spartan in terms of anything to do with his professional preparation, she heard movement in the house. Using her acute senses to pick up what was going on, she quickly realized that not only was Mahogany home, he also had a lady guest.

She had come downstairs for a glass of water in between rounds of some serious intimate times. Taking a peek at the woman, she saw a ridiculously attractive, but perfectly mortal woman. Curious as to the man himself, she followed the girl upstairs to peek in the room. Patrick Mahogany seemed to be a normal, even plain looking man with an awkward streak. Wondering how he could land such a hot mark, she quickly left the house before seeing things that she really didn’t care to see. Heading back to the guys, they decided to simply see his behavior in the courtroom the next day.

At the preliminary hearing, Takashi and Thurston both had suitcases both bursting with notes, legal diatribes, dissertations, and other things helpful to their cause, and Mahogany himself still had his sparse suitcase. Without much paper preparation to do, the lawyer settled for shuffling through a couple of necessary papers he actually had, and placing a tiny wooden figurine on the table in front of him. All of them quickly fixated on it, feeling the same latent magical emanations from it that they felt from their own personal relics. Recognizing it, Takashi realized it was a tiny Japanese idol of a minor luck god. Patrick Mahogany literally had a good luck charm.

Mahogany, with his little idol, seemed to rely totally on luck and the charisma and confidence it afforded him in his cases. Easily passing his evidence and witnesses through the legal tube in the preliminary hearing, and also noting that the judge at the preliminary was different than they thought it was going to be (They had originally been contacted by Richard E. Scott, Takashi’s judge friend, and told he’d be the presiding judge. This man was not Scott, stating that he had had a family emergency), they realized that with the luck of an Amatsukami god on Mahogany’s side, he would make their lives a lot harder. Resolving to steal it (Especially since Randal’s bail had been denied at the preliminary), Felicity tailed him that evening to steal it from him.

Finding him that night with yet another woman just as attractive than the first, Felicity searched his house for the idol, finally coming to the resigned conclusion that it was in the bedroom with Mahogany. Groaning inwardly, she girded herself and sneaked into the bedroom right in the middle of he and his ‘guest’ getting freaky. Making sure Thurston and Takashi knew EXACTLY what she was putting up with (flashing them an explicit mental image via the medallions and shocking the two of them right off their seats with seeing what could not be unseen), she took the idol from his bedside stand. Mahogany quickly lost his mojo, and Felicity scrammed from the house just as he prematurely finished. Takashi promised her dinner at a nice place for her troubles, as well as a (her idea) sniper rifle.

Doing their research, Takashi and Thurston together found out more about the idol itself. As it turns out, it was only one of a set of seven, each belonging to one of the seven Japanese gods of luck. Each figurine had gone to their corresponding Scions during the Seclusion Era of Japan, who in turn formed a Band during a rebellion. The Band eventually dissolved due to petty squabbles, but the idols had all come to like each other. It was said that whoever could reunite the seven idols would be blessed with luck before they went to rejoin their luck gods. Deciding they could use all the luck they could get, they resolved to find the others and see what happened.

They searched for possible locations of the other six, and were surprised to find that three of them were in a private collection right there in Chicago, as well as a fourth that had recently been stolen.

The next morning, Felicity gave John a call, hoping to find a possible lead on the stolen idol. As it turned out, he did, and was willing to share a little bit of information on it if she did something for him. He wanted a man who owed him money scared a little bit, roughed up some. Bristling at the grunt work, she went ahead and ambushed the man in the empty cafeteria kitchen he worked at in a school after hours, and called John back. John actually had the idol in his possession, and was happy to offer it to her for sale. Still less than pleased with John at this particular thing he’d asked her to do (also surmising that he had asked her to do this simply to test the limits of what she’d do for information), she said that she would like it for a discount, seeing as she was probably one of the best thieves he was ever going to meet. He demurred, offering it for the low low price of $15,000. Asking him if the original price was $15,001, she could practically hear him grin over the phone as he lowered it to $10,000. Agreeing finally, she met him and got the idol off his hands.

Joining the guys back at their new house (Three bedrooms, basement), Felicity dropped off the new idol and prepared that evening for a bit of fun she’d planned for the past couple of weeks. Going to the Art Institute of Chicago, she slipped in unnoticed (Though Takashi attempting to plan their restaurant excursion via medallion communication nearly made her trip into a pressure plate) and snagged one of Monet’s Water Lilies. Sneaking it to a public park under the cover of darkness, she hung it up high in a tree there along one of the walks along with a sign that read “Beautifying your public spaces, courtesy of Monet,” and signed it with a cat face. The next day, she enjoyed quite the ruckus that it caused in town as Takashi peered at her, trying to figure out if it was her.

The next evening, Felicity went after the three idols in the private collection, making short work of the scant security in the small displays. With five of the seven idols now in their possession, they had run out of leads. Further searching and research turned up nothing on Takashi’s end, and finally they decided to see if Frances Dumar, the seer friend of Randal’s, could help them out.

Finding his home to be just as much of a messy hovel as they had originally found it months before, Takashi asked politely if he could clean it up again as payment. Frances scoffed that off, saying “God no, I couldn’t find anything last time.”

Placing his hand over the little idols, he was initially confused since he saw it surrounded by tons of random, ragtag items. Realizing what he was seeing, he told them it was in a knick-knack shop somewhere in Chicago. Telling them that the last one would simply come to them, he said to tell Randal that he owed him one and they went on their way.

Deciding to search the Little Tokyo section of town, they all showed the little idols around the shops of the area until finally stumbling across a tiny little hole-in-the-wall shop where a kindly old shop woman pointed them to a display of holy figurines. They could feel emanations of power coming from the proper little figurine, and they paid $1.29 for the sixth idol.

Takashi also made good on his promise, taking Felicity to a sushi restaurant for her troubles, and also joking if he should have Hello Kitty’s face emblazoned onto her sniper rifle’s stock. She replied, “Hell no. Chococat,” not exactly thinking he’d take her seriously. He did.

Also, for the past few weeks or so, Thurston and Felicity had both been trying to get a hold of Isabelle, the Demigoddess running with the ones who had killed Noel. After a few nights of trying to leave voicemails and going to a park she never showed at, Felicity located a note tacked underneath of a table for her, stating the time and place where she’d finally hopefully find Isabelle. The night came, and she waited under the appointed bridge with Takashi and Thurston only a block away, keeping an eye on her with binoculars.
Isabelle finally showed, and Thurston realized with a shock that this was not the woman he’d originally met. It WAS Isabelle, but she’d obviously lost weight and looked older, more worn. She was covered in patches, and even had knick marks on major veins, eerily similar to Noel’s own death wounds. Felicity attempted to warn her of her dark fate, and tried to get Isabelle to come with her. Isabelle rambled on about how it wasn’t so bad at first…the experiments were on already dead Scion corpses, then Noel found out and they had argued that he’d had to die…she was rattled. Apparently they were going through her things as well, and the voicemails nearly got her into trouble, or already had.

Isabelle froze after a second, and hissed “Did you hear that?” With a slight feeling of infinity, Ronald appeared next to her. Felicity lunged for Isabelle, but was too slow for the demigod son of Hermes as he snagged her and teleported away from them. Swearing, Felicity had no choice but to rejoin Takashi and Thurston as they relocated back to the warehouse, needing to be under the anti-scrying protection now that the Demigods might track them.

Finally came the day of the jury selection. Richard E. Scott’s involvement in the case had at least gotten to the stage where he was able to really push the trial process through the chute, saving them months upon months of the usual legal red tape, and Randal’s trial was set to be no later than a month after his arrest.

Takashi and Thurston (working under his real legal name of Eugene Scheffing, ‘Thurston Frost’ simply being the stage name he lived under) began the process of questioning the various would-be jurors, questioning them individually on their own religious standing and their feelings on polytheism, planning on using Randal’s ‘religion’ as a trump card should everything else tank during the trial. Managing to root out a Jehovah’s Flame initiate and a few of the less tolerant individuals on the jury itself, they also all kept an eye on Patrick Mahogany himself. Seeming to be a bit less than composed, he seemed a touch flighty and dismissive. While he did know how to be a lawyer, his own lack of preparation for his cases was obviously coming to bite him as he’d relied on sheer luck alone for far too long. While it wasn’t his first case all over again, he had still allowed his general skillset to atrophy.

Feeling as if they’d had a generally good feel for the neutrality of their jury as a whole, after dismissing a few and reselecting a few more, they let the jury stand. Randal’s trial would begin in only a couple day’s time.

That evening, all of them went back together to the warehouse. Just as they were leaving the van, however, two of the little light balls from Chance’s End zipped around the corner. The three of them and the two balls stood at a surprised standstill, obviously having been simply happened upon by the lights. They got the feeling that they had put two and two together; the warehouse was their hideout. One ball zipped off as the other floated there, ready to fight them. Felicity attempted to shoot the one zipping off, but she was overcome momentarily by the beauty of the light it exuded. The remaining ball flared, and they were all blinded for an instant.

Joining the fight, Takashi began slashing at the deadly little light, Felicity barely managing to get out of the way of one of its attacks. Looking up at the moon, she located the other one about two blocks away at this point, and Thurston summoned Sleipnir to chase after it. Joining Takashi in the fight against the other one, after a moment, it looked about desperately before beginning to flare brighter…and brighter…and brighter…and they both heard a voice shout, “GET AWAY FROM IT!!” Felicity grabbed Takashi and leapt clear just in time for it to violently explode.

Thurston in the meantime was dashing after the second light, spotting it zoom around a corner and into an alleyway. Following it, the little thing seemed to be cornered…until a door opened beside it, and out stepped the glowing man they’d dubbed Lite-Brite. The ball alighted in the glowing man’s hand, and Thurston got the distinct feeling that he was being laughed at. Suddenly, bright, huge wings sprung from the man’s back, and he crouched and leaped straight into the air…well out of Thurston’s reach. With no other choice, he headed back to the warehouse.

Takashi and Felicity were introduced to three other Scions, one of which was the one who’d shouted for them to get clear of the exploding light, Gray. His bandmates were Rob and Sheri, and they informed them that they were all the last Scions in town. They all went into the warehouse, and he stopped them from making immediate plans to abandon the warehouse, compromised as it was now. He told them also that the demigods had left town that day as well. Thurston got back, letting them know that the light ball had escaped with the glowing man. Once again having to stop them from just abandoning the warehouse, Gray, Sheri, and Rob told them that they were indirectly responsible for the massacre at Chance’s End.

As it turns out, they had been charged by their parents to guard and keep safe a professor of some knowledge and renown. Roth Foster, the Jehovah’s Flame leader, wanted to ‘meet’ with him, and when rebuffed by the Scions, decided in a sledgehammer-like fashion to simply remove all Scions from Chicago, drawing them to the bar and slaying them, and then working to wipe up the survivors. They had survived all this time, even with their hideout compromised as well. They told the three of them that since then, Roth had been working specially to have them killed, sending waves of minions to their hideout night after night.

Noting the defensibility of the warehouse, he strongly suggested that they all team up, since now Roth would send waves of minions to them as well during the nighttime. He never attacked during the day, Gray explained, and this place, their tricked-out warehouse, seemed to be far safer than their own hideout. Resolving to join them, they said they’d bring their charge, the professor, to them the next day. Stating that it was to be only the six of them versus the forces of the Jehovah’s Flame, Felicity corrected him by adding Randal. They knew of Randal, the Scion who worked against the gangs. They didn’t know that he was still alive, and in jail. Telling them that his trial was only in a few days, they nodded and said that this was going to make things interesting.

Either way, Roth Foster’s forces were due to come that very next night. They had a warehouse to defend.

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A Catburglar and His Daughter
Story 2 Session 2

Picking up right after the men returned to the warehouse with Noel’s body, the group hung around silent, wondering what to do next.

Randal, finally breaking the sullen silence, apologized to the other three, saying that if he’d never gone to Olympus, they’d never have left and Noel would probably still be alive. The others hushed him, Felicity saying that they’d all asked the five fellow Scions to leave their responsibilities in Los Angeles to join them in Chicago, and Thurston biting back a smartass extension of logic about how it would have been Hephaestus’ fault for calling Randal to Olympus in the first place.

Finally moving on to what they’d do, they listed off their major threats: The cult, Jehovah’s Flame, and the Demigods. Feeling the Demigods out of their range for the time being, and promising to not go looking for them like Noel did, they decided to focus on the threat of the cult. Thurston, having already checked out their recruitment stands previously, and as the person with the most personableness in their group, decided to spearhead the attempt. Once in, he’d try to indoctrinate Takashi or Felicity.

Also deciding to start patrolling the city at night, Randal and Thurston took the first watch, going around town and making sure things were quiet, while Felicity and Takashi stayed at the warehouse. Takashi was working on studying Noel’s body for more clues while resuming some online medical degree classes, and Felicity was mercifully distant from Takashi’s sensitivity to her activities, researching some jewelery stores in town to rob in order to catch the Fed’s attention.

The next day, Thurston went in the early afternoon to one of the streetside Jehovah’s Flame recruitment stands. He was cheerfully ordered a personality test, which he cheerfully accepted. Felicity and Randal kept nearby just in case he needed any backup. After taking his test, which was full of roundabout questions like, “Do you ever wish you had the career you didn’t have?”, he was declared a prime candidate for the Jehovah’s Flame, and was invited to a casual meet-and-greet later on in the evening. Agreeing to be there, and asking if he could bring a friend, he left. He also quickly dashed off and away from Felicity and Randal to another mysterious meeting he had arranged the previous night.

Takashi, in the meantime, was researching Noel’s body, and performing an autopsy on the strange incisions found on the major arteries of the poor Scion’s body. Finding evidence that they had inserted tubing into Noel’s body, Takashi still wondered at the true desiccation of the corpse, as it seemed the essence itself, as well as blood, had been sucked away from him. Having to remind himself that Noel was a Scion, Takashi reeled in horror from the corpse, coming back into the main room just as Thurston returned, following his meeting.

“What the HELL is wrong with these people!?” Takashi shouted, seeing Thurston. At Thurston’s confusion, Takashi continued his rant. “They SUCKED the Ichor from his BODY!!”

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE!?” Thurston shouted back, equally horrified.

Just then, Felicity and Randal returned as well, resigned to not seeing Thurston again for the day. They were greeted by Takashi and Thurston’s shouts, equally horrified once they were clued in as well. Takashi deduced, once totally calm, that the Azlanti Scion of the Demigods was using Noel’s blood and divine ichor in who-knows-what kind of rituals. Distraught, the group had Danny’s Boys lay Noel’s body to rest. Thurston shared with Takashi the fruits of his meeting, a golden coin with a wolf embossed on the front. Agreeing that the wolf was distinctly Norse, and vaguely Fenris-like, Thurston pocketed it for later.

Going into his room at one point in the day, Takashi found on his pillow a letter addressed to him. It was from his father, Hachiman. Urging his son to teach an ‘undefeated warrior’ a lesson in humility, it said that Takashi would be well equipped to take this challenge on. Patrick Mahogany was the man’s name, and he was a prosecuting attorney in the DA’s office. With a bit of research, Takashi found out that he’d won 32 cases thus far, and was considered nigh on undefeatable. Tacking the letter up for later, he prepared for the rest of his evening.

In the evening, Thurston decided to take Takashi with him to the Jehovah’s Flame meet-and-greet, with Randal and Felicity perched on the roof of the building. The two were cheerfully greeted by a nice young man named Ron at the door, slapping nametags on them and directing them to the fondue. Idly chatting about how they’d meet some higherups in the Church tonight, he mentioned that they could be spotted by the distinctive gold coins they wore with their patron saint upon them. Thurston made a beeline for one of these men, while Takashi tried to get a feel for the room as a whole. Finally, he came to the conclusion that this was the cheerful public face of the Flame, and most of these people were not part of the darker aspects of the cult.

Thurston, on the other hand, was chatting up the higher member, making smalltalk and charming the man supernaturally. The evening wore on, and the church member, now totally enthralled with Thurston’s magnetic personality (Despite a strange occurrence during the chat, Thurston being distracted by the faint howling of a wolf), declared him to be a prime example of a future mover and shaker within the Flame. After the regular visitors left for the night, he and Takashi were brought a suitcase. Telling them to take the suitcase to a particular address, they were told if they did this to their satisfaction, they would be considered for ‘private events’ in the Jehovah’s Flame later.

Leaving, they caught Randal and Felicity up through their medallions (The gifts from Hephaestus allowing telepathic communication between the four), and they came up with a plan to properly impress the Flame’s representatives. If they were to survive a “Scion Attack” then maybe the Flame would let Takashi and Thurston in even deeper to the workings of the Cult. Peeking into the suitcase before going, however, they found that there were fifteen coins, ready and filled with taint to be distributed among the masses. Agreeing that it couldn’t be helped, they went on with their plan.

Deciding to have Randal and the Danny’s Boys ‘chase’ the two of them, they dashed off to the address, panting and huffing as they ran inside the house. Locking the door behind them, a couple of bored men greeted them with a “Well, do you have the suitcase?”

As the two of them breathlessly explained their circumstances, a car was thrown by Randal into the house. Thurston and Takashi each saving one from being smashed to pieces, the grateful men led them to an escape into the sewers while Felicity combed the place for incriminating evidence. Finding none, she left to rejoin Randal as the two men went through the sewers with the cultists.

The grateful cultists invited Takashi and Thurston to a “Summoning” the next day, and showed them a way out of the sewers, while they dithered on about “Scions being here” and how they were “impure servants of the Devil.”

That same night after midnight, Felicity dashed off to her chosen theft target, a nice high-end jewelery store in the main drags of town, one she knew wouldn’t have night security, only cameras and motion detectors. Breaking in through the back doors facing an alleyway, she dashed in, cut the cameras, cut the motion detectors, and cleaned out the cases quickly. Moving into the office, she cracked the safe and the private ‘high dollar’ customer pieces, tossing them into her pack as well. Destroying the computers in the office just in case she missed a camera, and therefore destroying evidence of her being there, she scrammed with a pack full of jewelery.

Takashi had to cover his eyes as Felicity came in, Lalalaing his issues with her lifestyle away, but shouting in dismay when she opened the pack and began showing off her haul to Thurston. At seeing Randal’s sheepish expression, however, Felicity finally took the large pack off to her room to be sorted there, setting aside little trinkets she liked best.

The next morning, news of her heist had made the television, but apparently it had not yet been a high-profile enough case to attract Feds.

Takashi and Thurston, that day, went to the appointed Church for the Summoning. Being greeted by priests in black robes, they were told a bit more about the coins. Apparently, they had the Catholic Patron Saint of Light upon them. A single note was played on an organ, and the organ slid away to reveal a passage leading downwards into catacombs. Moving along the passage, Thurston saw flashes and shadows along the stained glass windows lining his walk. Distinctly wolf-like in shape, Thurston had to avert his eyes as he fiddled with the gold wolf coin.

Instructed to stand aside as they emerged into a large, wide-open space with a summoning circle inscribed onto the ground, the priests gathered into a circle. A head priest stood at an ancient bible at the altar, and began to pray in Latin. Translating into English, it said “And we looked like grasshoppers in their eyes, and we knew we looked the same to them.” The priests saying “Amen” and making the sign of benediction, they began.

Dragging out a dog on a leash, the priest pressed a coin to the dog’s head and ‘blessed’ it. The dog howled in pain, and was transmogrified into a Nemian Hound, the same variety that the Band had seen previously. Doing this to a few more dogs, they stated they were moving on to the final summoning. Placing a coin in the middle, the gathered chanted around the coin until a pillar of light temporarily blinded the assembled, revealing a giant standing in the circle.

“These are the tools we use to combat corruption and the pagans,” the priests said to Takashi and Thurston, and made to dismiss them before asking them to come to another meet-and-greet for ‘cleanup’ that night. Agreeing to be there, they scurried away.

Relating to Felicity and Randal what they saw, they agreed to stake out the roof of the building once again while Thurston and Takashi went inside that night. Doing the normal meeting, Thurston eventually ran off to relieve himself while Takashi got a call from Randal, which he stepped outside to take.

Asking why he didn’t have his medallion and simply using that, Randal stream-of-consciousnessed its last location…“Oh, it was by my wallet, wasn’t there when I went to grab it, I asked the Danny’s Boys to look for..oh, there they are, thanks guys…ANYWAYS.” Switching to the medallion and hanging up the phone, Randal asked how it was going.

“Well, this is possibly the most boring thing I’ve endured in my entire life,” Takashi went on to say, describing horrific things he’d RATHER be doing than dealing with Ron’s ridiculous cheer and the cult’s sycophantic members.

Stepping back in just as Thurston returned from the bathroom, they were horrified to see the head priest slicing the throat of the last guest with a sanctimonious flourish.

Yelling in protest, the two demanded to know why he had just killed his followers. The priest, wild-eyed, said that they must die for the greater glory of the Flame, and that their blood was required to construct the coins. Sure enough, the blood from the victims that night was pooling and congealing in the center of the room into a shining golden coin of the Flame. The priest then demanded that they kneel now as well to be sacrificed, that their quick two-day rise to seeing a Summoning worried some higher-ups. Promising them eternal glory and comfort in Heaven, he strode up to Takashi and Thurston.

At Takashi’s cue, though, Randal, positioned on the roof with Felicity, jumped and stomped as hard as he could, crashing through the ceiling in an impressive display of strength, landing in a crouch. Felicity bounded in after him, and they took up battle positions.

Quickly, they realized that they weren’t hurting the priest, taking Felicity’s bullets, Takashi’s sword, and Randal’s agonizingly strong grip with equal fervor. Finally, in Randal’s clinch, Thurston walked up to him and drew a line along the priest’s throat with his dagger, unable to cut. Taking the coin from around the priest’s neck in frustration, the four saw the priest howl in agony as two bullet holes, a sword gash, and a cut along his throat opened, and his bones breaking in Randal’s grip. Dropping the body, they made to leave, when a very unwelcome sound greeted them: Police sirens.

A huge horde of police had been called out to the scene somehow, and they immediately began trying to find ways out. Thurston easily used his ability to walk through walls, and Felicity began looking for convenient shadows. Not seeing any that could get her outside, she looked to the roof. Urging Randal and Takashi to jump with her, she quickly realized that Randal was panicking. Telling him to calm down and trust her, Randal explained that he didn’t want to hurt honest policemen. Takashi wanted to simply knock them all out, but was stared down by a sobering Randal. Once again tugged by Felicity to try and make a getaway, he reflexively grabbed her when he heard them breaking down the door, and tossed her out through the hole in the roof, to her shock.

The door was broken down just then, and Takashi and Randal were handcuffed and taken away. Not able to watch more people she cared about be dragged off by the police, Felicity shadowed the cop car on its way to the police station, instructing Thurston to get back to the warehouse to see what kind of coverage and trouble they might be in.

He turned to do so, when suddenly he was confronted by the wolf again. Large and white, the creature snarled and paced around him. Saying, “YES, I SEE YOU” to the wolf, he stood his ground as it charged and pounced at his throat…disappearing right before landing. Once again preparing to leave, he was instead greeted by something else that wasn’t an illusion.

A plume of fire erupted before him, and out stepped Loki, the Norse mischief-maker.

“I see you’ve overcome your fear of the illusion, very very well done. As you can possibly tell, I am Loki.”

Thurston introduced himself, but was waved off as Loki continued. Telling Thurston that he was indeed cursed by that coin he had come across, the God of duplicity told the Scion that he could have the curse removed for a simple favor. Loki handed Thurston a letter, and said that it was to be delivered to a shipyard nearby. Once the letter was delivered, the curse would be removed.

Telling Thurston that opening it himself would be ‘cheating’ and not recommended, Loki urged Thurston to think about it while he mulled over the possibilities of either being cursed or not. Loki guaranteed that the curse would continue to distract him, without fail, at the most inopportune times until it eventually caught him off-guard enough to kill him, or the curse was passed on. Disappearing in another impressive plume of fire, Loki left Thurston to think over his options.

Felicity, in the meantime, had reached the police station, and saw Randal get processed. Just as they were about to get to Takashi, however, a phone rang in the room. The sergeant watching over the proceedings answered, and immediately looked to Takashi.

“Yes, Your Honor. I’m very sorry….oh…yes, I see, a misunderstanding, of course, we’re sorry Judge Scott. We’ll release him right away.” Takashi’s judge friend in Chicago, Richard E. Scott, had found out just in time and had pulled strings to have him freed. Telling Takashi that he was a good enough lawyer to get Randal off with a five-year sentence, he hung up, reminding him that bailing him out of jail like that was a one-time occurrence. Takashi was good to go, and urged Felicity through the medallions to come back with him, knowing her to be invisible nearby. Thurston, now clued in to the situation through his medallion as well, urged her to leave the station before destroyed everything in her path, but they only got angry growling in response.

Instead, Felicity went to Randal’s holding cell and kept him company for awhile, trying to convince him to simply leave with her. Telling her no, he said he’d rather try it Takashi’s legal way first, not wanting to consign himself to the life of a fugitive. Finally defeated, she took out her frustrations on another jewelery store in Chicago, cleaning it from top to tails like she had her previous mark.

Takashi, meanwhile, had begun working on building a case for Randal’s defense, while Thurston stared sullenly at the coin and the letter for hours on end, until Felicity’s own grumpy re-entrance later on in the night. Hefting her pack full of jewelery onto the table, Thurston lashed out to shove it off, revealing his letter and coin again. Asking him what was up, Thurston only replied, “The Trickster.”

Finally gleaning his meaning after a moment, Felicity and Takashi both spoke to him at length about his encounter with Loki. Takashi, ever the lawyer, offered to open the letter for Thurston, since Loki only had specified that Thurston shouldn’t open it. Going ahead, the letter simply read,
“Begin construction on Naglfar.
-Loki”

Thurston, remembering his Norse mythology (and possibly one of his father’s spiels), he realized that Loki meant to begin Ragnarok. Naglfar was the ship of human nails that Loki would have frost giants construct for him at the beginnings of the End. Knowing this, they couldn’t allow the letter’s intent to get across lest the end of the world start. Also knowing that Loki wanted the letter ‘delivered’ in order for the curse to be lifted from Thurston, they constructed a plan. Blotting and inking out the letter’s contents, Thurston also placed within a joker card. Their idea was to deliver the letter, and then promptly murder the frost giant meant to be the recipient.

Needing some sleep and an opportunity to see Randal at the police station before seeing if their gamble would pay off, they rested for a bit before heading off in mid-morning.

Arriving, they went through checks for weapons and other contraband, and were led to a holding area where they were to see Randal. An officer, however, got in their way and asked if he could just go over something with them really quickly. Stepping into a small room with a television with it, the officer, a man named Percy, pressed play on a cassette tape.

What Takashi, Felicity, and Thurston saw shocked them. It was footage from the alleyway behind Chance’s End. The back door they had used to escape, to be specific. The door burst open, and the four of them stumbled out, dashing around the corner and out of sight, as flashes of light continued to reflect against the open door. Percy pressed stop on the tape and leaned forward.

“Now, these four people in the tape are definitely you three and Mister Gravil. Once we processed him, we were able to match his fingerprints to a LOT of strange sites and happenings all over town. So what I want to know is…what were you doing at that massacre!?”

Stunned for a moment, finally Felicity said, “What massacre? That would have been in the news, right?”

The officer sighed, obviously frustrated already. “Yes, yes, of course it SHOULD have been, but some people thought that it was too much, that some things the public didn’t need to know, and so it was covered up. Now you guys are hiding something…”

They ‘observed’ that the people in the tape, whoever they were, looked like they were being chased, maybe even in trouble, but the cop blew over them, nearly exploding in his frustration. “I don’t CARE, now you four are those four in the tape, so if you don’t start talking I’ll…”

At that moment, a man walked in, wearing a coat and a stern expression. “Sorry you guys, upon further examination those people in the tape are not you, so you’re free to go.”

The officer wheeled on the newcomer. “I don’t care what fancy papers you have, Mister Varley, those four are the four in the tape, and if you just let me take them in you’ll see they’re responsible for most of the weird crap going on in this city…”

Felicity was immediately locked onto the newcomer at hearing the name ‘Varley.’ Varley wasn’t done with the officer, however.

“I can have the President on the line in half an hour if you like. Let them go.” The officer turned red and whirled out of the room, obviously holding back some serious anger at being overstepped.

Varley faced them once the officer was gone. “Sorry about that. He was pretty tenacious. Now, I’m Agent John Varley. We’re unable to do anything about your friend in jail at the moment, I’m afraid, but you guys we could get to in time.”

Felicity cut him off. “First off, what’s going on here, and second, you’re the FBI agent who arrested Dorian Clouseau. Give me back my father before I hurt somebody.”

Varley regarded the obviously angry young woman sternly. “Now, hurting me would not be in your best interests at all. As for what’s going on, I’m NOT with the FBI. I’m with an organization called SAGA, the Scion American Guardian Association.”

Seeing their expressions of shock, he continued. “We’ve been around for a very long time. Some of our founding fathers were Scions, though I’m not at liberty to say who. Even our current head of SAGA is a Scion, though I’m not much a fan of that myself. Either way, we’ve been keeping a close eye on you four. Apparently, you guys are important, though we don’t know why yet. That’s the funny thing about relying on prophecies, they don’t always give you the why or the how, just clues. You guys proved pretty hard to track down…but YOU,” he said, pointing at Felicity, “we were able to pinpoint exactly what had to be done to get you to Chicago. You see, we had to make you into a Scion…a REAL Scion.”

To her horror, John Varley went on to tell her that her mother had never planned on paying her a Visitation. In order to lure Bastet out to her daughter, SAGA had to stage an FBI sting on the Clouseaus operation, and force Felicity out on her own. Once alone, Bastet would not be able to ignore her daughter out in the cold, and would have to give her the tools to survive. Broken-hearted, she listened as he told her that it was the only way to get her to come to Chicago and fulfill her destiny, whatever that was.

“You see, I don’t hold much stock in prophecies, you guys could just kill a decent amount of titanspawn in your time alive. Hell, maybe you’ll even get lucky and become Gods in your own right. And once you do, try to remember the contributions of SAGA and remember your country when the time comes.”

Trying very hard not to attack the man in front of her, Felicity asked after her father. Varley told her that he was being given every comfort possible, and didn’t quite know much about what was going on. He wasn’t an idiot, however, and knew better than to question what was going on too much, lest he actually be removed to a prison and brought up on charges. He told her that once her destiny was fulfilled, her father would be released and all would be well.

“Yeah, let’s see how long that lasts,” she replied.

Misinterpreting her, he urged her not to try and find Dorian Clouseau, as he was well hidden. Correcting him, she stated with some snip that her mother, whether she liked that role or not, was a Goddess of Prophecy, and Felicity had seen some things herself. The Seers of SAGA apparently didn’t know about the parts about Felicity’s father being kidnapped by the Titans, or a few other specific things she or Francis had seen. She went on to say that she’d be willing to share these visions of hers with SAGA for a price; a phone call to her father.

Stroking his chin, Varley said he would have to take it up with his superiors, to see if they thought it a fair trade. Eyeing Felicity hard, though, he addressed her snip towards her mother. “Now, from what the Seers could tell, your mother does love you, Felicity. Sometimes, though, they don’t always Visit a child they care about…sparing them,” he said, making a grand gesture with his arms, “all of this. Maybe that’s what she’d wanted for you, but Fate seems to have other plans.” With that, he made to leave the three of them.

Turning back at the door, he seemed to remember something. “Oh. Roth Foster. Look that guy up.” The guys, remembering hearing that name somewhere before, realized he was a famous catholic television priest…and now, apparently the leader of the Flame of Jehovah. Urging the Scions to bring him to justice (“Yeah, if you can catch him, great, we’ll bring him up on charges…but seriously, kill that son of a bitch.”), he left them to finally visit Randal.

Bringing Randal up to speed during the visit, Takashi promised he’d do whatever he could to get Randal freed. Asking if he had any character witnesses, people who he might have saved over the years in Chicago, Randal thought for a moment and said he’d get the Danny’s Boys to put together a list for Takashi. His goal was to make Randal out to be a scapegoat, caught at the wrong place with plenty of positive character witnesses to state his upstanding and valiant character.

Finally bidding Randal farewell, they went to the shipyard to take care of the frost giant and Loki’s letter. Thurston rode forward on the dock area upon Sleipnir, causing a man to call desperately for his giant master at seeing the impressive approach.

A large frost giant lumbered into sight, thundering at Thurston and demanding the delivery. Trotting forward, the giant closed the final gap, taking the letter. The giant opened the letter, and seeing the black blotted surface, rumbled “What is this!?” before having his hand shot off by Felicity, perched on the nearby roof. They sprung into action then, hacking and shooting at the giant until it fell to pieces, the four titan blood slaves of the giant trying and failing to defend their master against a coordinated assault. Wiping up the last four of the goons, they disposed of the bodies.

Thurston retrieved the letter from the ground, and promptly burnt it. Looking in the flames of the letter, he saw Loki’s grinning visage peering out at him as it burned. Taking the hint, Thurston removed the wolf medallion and chucked it into the lake’s bay, ending his curse. Loki’s love of technicalities had saved them from Ragnarok for the time being, seeing as how they had delivered the letter, and Thurston hadn’t been the one to open it. Loki had never specified that they not have the letter tampered with otherwise, or to not kill the recipient.

With that done, they returned to the warehouse, Takashi already beginning to prepare a case for Randal’s defense against Patrick Mahogany, who had been declared the prosecuting attorney for the case. This was the battlefield he would have to face his foe on, so had declared his father. So Takashi would.

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Olympiad
Story 2 Session 1

Picking up exactly where they left off, the Scions plus Cynthia made their way back to the warehouse. Felicity called Frederick, letting them know of Rafiq’s death, and they cleaned up and went to sleep just as the sun began to rise.

Finally all waking in mid-afternoon, they headed to the kitchen to make some coffee, only to find a young man wearing Nike shoes marked with wingtips sitting on the counter, finishing off a fresh pot.

“You guys need more coffee.” Randal recognized the man with some surprise, and the man obligingly introduced himself as the God Hermes. He informed Randal that his father, Hephaestus, required his attention on Mount Olympus, immediately. Holding out his hand, he said to Randal, “Now you don’t want to keep him waiting.”

Randal was reluctant, however, to leave his Band behind in Chicago without him, so Hermes took a look over them and nodded. “Sure, they can come.” Thurston left to put on some pants, and Felicity shot a mass text out Frederick, Samantha, and Noel stating that ‘Parents’ required their presence and would probably be back in a few days. Holding onto Hermes, the four of them were teleported directly to Mount Olympus.

Gaping in wonder, Hermes urged them on, saying that they would continue on foot as Hephaestus disliked Hermes popping in unannounced. Passing through the main city of Olympus, Hermes pointed out various buildings and who they belonged to, even passing a few of the Dodekatheon themselves, such as Apollo and Hera. Greeting them, the Gods only smiled a strange, knowing smile and continued onwards.
Seeing a large, grey-black gate in the central part of the city that seemed out of place in the shining opulence of the area, Hermes explained to them that it was not only a physical gate, but a metaphysical one meant to help keep the Titans sealed out of the main cities of Olympus. Hephaestus had put it together in record time once the siege of Olympus had begun, and was constantly guarded by a God.

Asking Randal when the last time he’d seen his father was, he told Felicity that it was actually during his Visitation at his mother’s funeral, some two or three years previous, and looked nervous to see him again.

Coming to Hephaestus’ workshop, they witnessed strange gadgets from every period of history, up to the furthest reaches of mortal achievement at this point. Approaching the God, they saw him finishing up the craftsmanship on a small disk in front of him, and turned to face them.

Boisterously greeting his son, he expressed joy at seeing him again, and asked Hermes if he’d told them why they were here. Grinning, Hermes said he didn’t want to take away Hephaestus’ fun, and urged him onwards.

Hephaestus proceeded to tell the group of them that the siege of Olympus had let up for long enough to allow the Gods to decide to hold the Olympiad once again, a set of games the Gods held every few hundred years or so for their Scion children to compete in friendly events against each other. He also went on to tell Randal that he had a specific purpose in these games.

A few months ago, he had forged a powerful weapon for a son of Ares, who went on to win a glorious victory with that weapon. Ares had been greeted with congratulations in court that following day, and failed to mention any thanks to the craftsmanship of Hephaestus for his part in the victory. As luck would have it, this particular son of Ares, Nikolas Pavlos, was the son he had chosen to represent him in the Olympiad, and Hephaestus, wanting to have this slight avenged, had chosen his son Randal to represent him in the games, feeling him the most capable of his children for this task. He stated that he didn’t even mind if Randal didn’t medal, as long as he prevented Nikolas from winning as well.

Naming the events that Nikolas was going to participate in (Boxing, Equestrian, Discus, Throwing, Marksmanship, Wrestling), he asked Randal if he felt he could overtake him in any of those. Randal, uncomfortable, stated that he felt confident about Boxing and Wrestling, but was unsure of the others. Hephaestus looked at Takashi, Felicity, and Thurston, and proclaimed happily that the three of them could participate as well, as long as they got their Divine Parents to come for the competition as well. Hermes quickly named off Odin, Hachiman, and Bastet for confirmation, and went off to collect their parents. Assuring them that there wouldn’t be a problem, Hephaestus said that their parents would jump at the chance for their children to compete in an Olympiad.

Saying that they would be staying in the Champion’s Quarters for the duration of the Olympiad, Hephaestus led them there, asking them to pick their events.

Randal decided to go with Boxing, Discus, and Wrestling. Takashi signed up for Boxing and Fencing. Thurston signed up for Equestrian and Throwing. Felicity signed up to compete in Boxing, Racing, Jumping, and Marksmanship.

Shown to their rooms and leaving them to it, Hephaestus declared that it was a momentous occasion and hobbled away, in his own happy world, confident in Randal’s ability.

Greeted by the other Scions of various Gods of the Dodekatheon and the Dodekatheon’s God children, they met Willas, son of Hera, who seemed to give off a cocky attitude as his status as son of the Queen of Gods. Noting Randal’s parentage, he asked what he knew of the gates his father had forged, and quickly realized that Randal didn’t quite have the knowledge he wanted. Introducing Erin, a timid Scion of Poseidon as a son of one of the three great brothers, he excused himself as his mother had requested his presence.

As the crush of Scions began to dissipate around them, one young Scion went up to Thurston, and stated that his father was here and would see him.

Following the Scion to a dark room, he found his father sitting on a bench, head down. Raising his eyes to greet his son, the All-Father Odin expressed (if not in his body language) pleasure in Thurston competing in the Olympiad. Saying that it also gave him a unique opportunity, he commanded Thurston to acquire from the God Apollo a telescope that would help him see ahead and into the future. Going on about Ragnarok’s inevitability, he said he wanted this telescope from Apollo in order to find a way to prevent the disasters that were said to befall the Aesir during it. Expressing his desire to not rob his hosts during his stay on Olympus, Odin misinterpreted (or simply chose to ignore) his son’s protests as humility, and said that he believed his son was capable.

A moment after Thurston left, another Scion approached Takashi, announcing the arrival of Hachiman. Taking him to a secluded garden, Takashi greeted his father sitting underneath of a cherry blossom tree, the eight banners of Hachiman inscribed upon petals around him. Letting Takashi know in his own reserved way that he was glad for the work in Chicago, and glad that he was participating in the Olympiad, he said that he had a task for his son as well. Whaling was getting out of control in the oceans around Japan and otherwise, and Hachiman wanted his son to open up discourse with the God Poseidon to hopefully make an alliance to protect the waters of the world.

During this, Hermes reappeared to Felicity. Asking after her mother, Hermes told her there was bad news. Bastet was unable to leave, and she, along with the rest of the Pesedjet, were occupied with an emergency in their underworld, Duat. When asked what the emergency was, Hermes said that all he really got was that it had to do with “The Shame of Set,” and that her mother had given her formal blessing for Felicity to participate in the Olympiad anyways, and wished her luck.

Disappointed, Felicity went instead to see if Randal was available to have a look around Mount Olympus. Happy to do so, they walked around until finding a decline into a dark forest filled with life and game. Randal chased some deer for the fun of it, Felicity following close behind. Hearing Randal suddenly get knocked down, however, she found the Goddess Artemis standing over him. Admonishing him for scaring the game, she noticed Felicity and recognized her heritage. Stating that she and her mother were friends who would hunt together at times, Felicity continued to chat Artemis up, presenting Bubastis to her and so forth to keep Artemis distracted from her anger at Randal. Finally getting out of the forest, they headed back to the Champion’s Quarters.

As Thurston was leaving his father, he noticed the son of Hera pacing around the Titan-repelling grey gate, keeping a wary eye on it. Going to greet him, Willas excused himself quickly with some snipping remark about how his reason for being there was done anyways. Takashi was leaving his father and noticed Erin nervously pacing nearby, greeting the son of Poseidon while a plan began to form in his mind regarding his father’s task. Going up to him, Takashi asked if it were possible for him to get an audience with Erin’s father. Quietly stammering that he could certainly try, Takashi gave a letter from Hachiman to Erin for Poseidon’s perusal, and left him, meeting with Thurston and heading back.

The next morning was the first day of three for the Olympiad. The first event was Boxing. After a processional of the Gods and their competing Scions, and a word from Zeus himself, they began.

Felicity was first up against a son of Heracles, who was simply too slow for her.

Randal was next up, going against the son of a minor god, who couldn’t stand up to Randal’s blows.

Takashi then went up against the flowing blond-haired son of Zeus, who milked the crowd, and was quickly noted to be the only one wearing a toga. Zeus, a few cups in, boisterously egged his son on as the match began, and Takashi, irritated with the Scion’s ridiculousness, aimed his strike carefully and launched forward, cracking his sternum with one firm blow. The Son of Zeus went down, unconscious immediately. The crowd went silent, Zeus’ cup fell from his hands, and Hachiman gave his son an nearly imperceptible smile.

In the semifinals, Randal immediately went up against Nikolas Pavlos. They traded hits for a bit, Nikolas knocking Randal down, but Randal returning by throwing Nikolas clear across the ring, and getting far too many good hits in to recover from. Randal was declared the victor and moving on to the final round.

Takashi and Felicity were the next semi-final match. Takashi managed to get a hit in on Felicity, but backed away in horror when he realized that he’d hit a woman. Felicity, having no such qualms, returned fiercely and drove him into a corner until declared the victor of that match.

Next, Takashi was pitted up against Nikolas for the bronze medal distinction. Possibly angered at his loss to Randal, he was simply a bit too fierce for Takashi to handle, and was knocked out by a blow to the side of the head.

For the finals, Felicity went against Randal. Launching himself at her, hoping to get the drop, she got out of the way for a few of the strikes, but Randal, knowing a bit about how she moved, managed to get a hit in to her side. She returned by tackling him to the ground and hitting his chest with a flurry of punches, flipping off him. A little dazed, he didn’t quite recover in time for the bell to ring, and Felicity was declared the gold medalist, Randal getting the silver, and Nikolas Pavlos earning the bronze.

Next up was Discus. Randal was the only one of the four participating in that, and after each Scion had their throw, the Son of Heracles was declared the gold medalist, Randal the silver, and the son of Zeus the bronze.

Finally for that day was the Equestrian event, a race a few laps long around a track. Thurston summoned Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of legend with a great amount of flourishing and cape-tossing, and proudly mounted his steed. As the race began, it was obvious that the race wasn’t for the gold, but the silver medal as Thurston readily lapped his competition within moments. Thurston was declared the gold medal winner, Erin, son of Poseidon the silver, and Willas, son of Hera, the bronze.

That day of competition ended then, with a strong hint from Zeus for the Dodekatheon’s children to take a few more gold medals the next day.

Randal quipped with a grin to Felicity that he thought he actually had a chance against her in their final match, and they went off to a massive feast that was going on continually in Zeus’ palace during the duration of the Olympiad. Meanwhile, Takashi and Thurston both puzzled at how to accomplish their father’s tasks, no time to really join their friends at a feast just yet.

Thurston decided to try the direct approach, not wanting to rob his hosts and believing he could get the telescope from Apollo by simply asking. Approaching the Ampitheatre where Apollo made his home, he went inside and was immediately confronted by the God, demanding to know who was calling. Announcing himself, Apollo recognized the son of Odin and bid him come closer, curious. When Thurston carefully outlined his father’s wishes, Apollo scoffed and said, “What body part is your father willing to part with THIS time?”

At first trying the tact of “The world won’t end,” Apollo dismissed that and instead took a long look at Thurston. Finally, he said, “You are young, but Fate has you already tightly wound in its grasp. I find that fascinating. I will give you the telescope, but you must be ready to do a favor for me at a time of my choosing.” Thurston agreed, and as they shook hands, he could feel Fate binding himself to Apollo. Telling Thurston he would find the telescope in his room, Thurston left triumphant, but not quite feeling so as he headed to the feast hall.

Takashi on the other hand, received word from Erin that his father would see him. Going to a secluded pond area close to the central plaza of the city, Takashi spoke at length with Poseidon as Erin stood guard near the door, facing the grey gate. Hearing him, Poseidon asked Takashi if Hachiman would have him abandon the fishermen in this, who give worship to Poseidon. Buying a moment of time to ponder his answer, Takashi looked out the door to see Willas lurking nearby the gate, and staring into the small conclave where the three of them were located. Noting that someone else might want his attentions, Poseidon barked an order to Erin to see what Willas wanted.

Forming an idea in his mind as Erin stammered about, Takashi finally proposed to Poseidon that possibly helping to establish fisheries and breeding programs on a God-level scale would be beneficial to the both of them. Keeping the whale population up while not forsaking the men who would fish, he even proposed that Erin might be a decent hand in this task as well. Poseidon mulled over the compromise in his head, and finally agreed to meet with Hachiman himself and open formal discourse on the matter of keeping the sea balanced. Dismissing the victorious Takashi, Poseidon hollered for his son as he went to join Felicity, Randal, and Thurston at the feast.

The next day of competition consisted of Throwing, Jumping, and Running. First up was Throwing, with Thurston competing. Each had their javelin throw, with Thurston’s not quite being up to scratch.

Jumping was next, with Felicity competing. Each hurtling themselves as far as they could go, Felicity managed to get the bronze medal, with the son of Heracles coming in silver, and the son of Aphrodite taking the gold.

Finally for the last event of the day was running, with Felicity competing. The race was close, with Felicity’s main competition being the son of Hermes, but she managed to get the gold, with the child of Hermes getting the silver, and the Scion of Artemis getting the bronze.

Zeus announced a fervent desire for more Dodekatheon victories the final day, and dismissed them for the evening.

Takashi and Thurston both visited their fathers again, Takashi apologizing for not engaging Felicity in the boxing match with more enthusiasm. Dismissing his son’s apologies, he said that his intentions for his son being here were regarding the task he’d given him. Reporting his success with Poseidon, and the nature of the compromise, Hachiman nodded, pleased. Telling his son that he chose his representative wisely for this task, he asked to see Masamune, Takashi’s sword, for a moment. Fencing was still ahead, and with a wave of his hand over the blade, he stated his confidence in tomorrow’s event.

Thurston had the thanks of his father for the telescope, either not knowing or not caring about the implications of the price Thurston had to pay to acquire it. Congratulating his son on also winning a gold medal in the games, he dismissed Thurston to study the telescope.

Both coming from their father’s quarters, Takashi and Thurston found themselves in the central plaza, with Willas lurking suspiciously near the gates again. Erin retreated into his father’s conclave as they approached him, and Willas made some weak excuse to flee the scene as well. Instead choosing to chat up the minor deity guarding the gate, he gushed at Thurston over the games thus far, and at seeing Sleipnir. Then, asking who he’d be rooting for tomorrow, and stating that everybody would be at the games, Thurston and Takashi asked the excited diety who would be on guard duty for the gate during them.

“Why, nobody! Everybody goes to see the games! Anyways…nobody would dare open this, right? I mean, all the gods are here!” Both immediately sensing trouble, and recalling Willas’ constant need to be near the gate and desires to learn about it from Randal earlier, they ran to grab Felicity and Randal from the feast hall away from their ambrosia cups, and ran to Odin, the one who they thought would be most inclined to hear about doom and gloom on the horizon.

Listening to his son and his companions, he agreed that the games would be the perfect distraction in allowing the Titans to overrun Mount Olympus. Stating that he couldn’t allow that to happen, they laid out a plan. He would loan Hugin and Munin, his crows, to Thurston for scouting purposes. One would stay near the gate, and the other would watch the exits to the stadium to see if anyone was leaving the area. The Scions were instructed to behave as normal, competing in their events until such a time as they were needed.

The next day, the first event was Wrestling. The three of them cheered Randal along, who was handily making his way through the competition, as one of the crows landed on Thurston’s shoulder, alerting him that two Scions had just left the stadium. Thurston ran out, deciding that he wouldn’t be missed as he didn’t have an event that day, and Felicity sent Bubastis along for backup. Dashing towards the plaza, Thurston came upon Willas, lying wounded on the ground.
Willas revealed that it was Erin attempting to open the gate, he had been keeping a close eye on Erin the entire time during their stay on Olympus. The crow stationed at the gate landed by Thurston at this point, saying that there was someone opening it. Summoning Sleipnir and ordering the crows to alert his father, Thurston rode the rest of the way to the gate, seeing Erin on the mechanism to open it, forcing it just as he got there.

Trampling Erin with his steed, Thurston managed to hold Erin off just as he looked down, seeing Titans rushing up along the base of Olympus.

The crows, in the meantime, had reached Odin and were chattering in his ears just as the final Wrestling match between Randal and Nikolas Pavlos was going on. Standing from his seat beside Zeus and calling loudly for silence, the arena became still, save for the violent final CRACK of Nikolas’ bones as he slumped from Randal’s grasp.

Zeus was aghast that the leader of another pantheon would call for silence during his Olympiad, but Odin’s announcement that Titans were coming up the mountain and that the gate was open led to murmurs of panic, quickly confirmed by Takashi’s suggestion that Apollo use his ability to see wherever the sun touches to check the gate. At Apollo’s curt nod, Zeus bellowed, “Well what are you all waiting for? Defend Olympus!” With that, a surge of Gods flowed from the stadium, followed by the Scions.

Zeus and Poseidon arrived by Thurston’s side first, quickly assessing the situation for what it was, Erin having just raised a large trident to strike at Thurston. Spinning his Scion around, Poseidon said, “I’m very disappointed in you, son,” just as Zeus, enraged, grabbed Erin by the head and chucked him clean down Mount Olympus into the crush of Titans making a mad dash up the mountainside. Giving his older brother a cold glare, Zeus turned to the quickly assembling deities and said, “The Olympiad will continue! Competitors, return to the stadium,” and strode off. Sparing enough Gods to defend the mountain, the competition continued.

With Randal obviously having taken the gold in Wrestling, Marksmanship was next.

Felicity took her ten shots, making a straight bullseye with each. Taking the gold, she was followed by the Scion of Artemis in silver, and the Scion of Aphrodite in bronze.

Just as the marksmanship contest ended, a proud shout went up from the plaza that the Titans had been successfully driven away, the gate back up and running as normal.

Finally, fencing was the final competition in the Olympiad. Fencing was a term used very loosely, as competitors had Roman swords, epees, broadswords, and someone with an axe, along with Takashi’s katana. Slicing his way readily through his competitors with his father’s blessing, he made it to the finals to face off against the son of Heracles, the wielder of the large axe. Not quite able to figure out how to defend against a giant axe, he took a large gash to the chest and came out with the silver medal.

Two days of solid feasting followed the Olympiad, with Hachiman and Odin bowing out and heading back to their Overworlds, bidding farewell to their sons and giving them encouragement for their progress in Chicago.

During their final day, Hephaestus called the four of them to his workshop, where he congratulated his son for avenging his father’s honor, and for being the Dodekatheon Scion with the most medals, Randal having taken two silvers and a gold medal. Also thanking the others for their part in keeping Nikolas from gaining any significant honors (His two medals both having come at the expense of defeat at Randal’s hands, and his other events successfully blocked by the others’ successes), he gifted each of them with a special medallion he had been working on that would enable telepathic communication between them at will, no matter what plane of existence they were on at the time. Be it the Underworld of Duat trying to reach the Overworld of Olympus or similar, they would be able to communicate through these medallions.

Thanking them again, and bidding farewell to his son proudly, Hermes arrived and escorted them back to their warehouse home in Chicago.

Meeting them was a panicked Cynthia, who they’d forgotten to tell they were leaving. Takashi went to comfort her and explain what he could of the situation, while all of their phones went off. Checking their voicemails, they found a series of messages from Noel Backwater, each updating them on his progress in trying to infiltrate the Flame of Jehovah cult they’d been facing.

Finally expressing his desire to find other Scions, he’d found the Demigods that Thurston had led to Chicago, but they had seemed to go mad, and believed that Noel wasn’t just infiltrating, that he was actually a member of the cult. His final message was panicked, giving them his location and hiding place, a moonshine cellar near the lake.

Deciding that Felicity would get their fastest on her motorcycle, she went to go collect him. Upon entering the abandoned house, however, there seemed to be many signs of a struggle, and a broken wall leading to a secret cellar burst wide open. Entering the room, a horrifying sight greeted her. A single light was hanging above a dusty table, where the dead, dried husk of Noel lay. His beautiful harp lay broken on the ground nearby, and all Felicity could find was a bloody scalpel. Taking the harp and scalpel back to the warehouse, she told them of what she’d seen.

Randal took Takashi and Thurston there to further examine the scene and take Noel’s body, leaving Felicity to keep Cynthia company. Takashi’s examinations revealed that he had been cut on every major artery in his body, but no blood was anywhere at the scene of his death. He had simply been sucked dry.

Calling the Demigods in a rage, Thurston demanded to know of Isabelle what they had done. She replied hastily with a quiet, “…I didn’t want to do it!” before being forced to hang up.

Coming back to the warehouse, Takashi decided it would be safest for Cynthia to go stay with his grandparents under Yakuza protection for the time being, and she was escorted safely to the airport, while Takashi began delving into this new mystery the party had been presented with.

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A Story of Revenge
Story 1 Session 7

The story picks back up at the diner with the eight Scions gathered. Agreeing to not all eight live together, Randal and his band showed Erik and his LA Scions where the warehouse was located in case of emergencies, exchanged numbers and went their own ways.

Back at the Warehouse, it was a quiet evening. Randal approached Thurston, stating that while he couldn’t remember a lot of what happened to him when he was under the dark sway of the taint, he did remember a few things he’d said and done. Apologizing profusely to Thurston, he handed an envelope to him with a smile, saying that while it wasn’t practical, it was still a fun bit of intelligence the Danny’s Boys had managed to procure.

Opening the envelope, Thurston discovered a photo of Ivan Ivanovich, his Russian rival, using spirit gum to apply his proud, full, ‘natural’ mustache.

The next morning, Felicity went off to what she called her ‘new dayjob’ of haunting the poor zoning man’s office, while Takashi fielded a call from the Yakuza, requesting a meeting. Going to the Chinatown district of Chicago, he found it teeming with carts, stands, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants with colorful banners. Making his way to the restaurant that was appointed as a meeting place, he felt a brush at his pockets, turning to find a child pickpocket. The kid, surprised he’d been caught, was then made victim to Takashi giving the child a stern talk on ethics and the possibilities of prison in the future if he kept up with his current path. Finally setting the child free (to possibly pick more pockets), he located the restaurant and awaited his contact.

An older, well-dressed Japanese man greeted him, and speaking entirely in Japanese, the man congratulated him on his swift work for the Yakuza. He told Takashi that his grandparents had been released, and were even given a hefty allowance for their troubles. With it, they would be comfortable for the rest of their lives. Thanking the man, Takashi made as if to leave, but was stopped. There was something else. Apparently, the Cold Blood Killers had somehow managed to get one of their men high up into the Yakuza, and had found files on Takashi useful to them. They now knew everything about Takashi that the Yakuza did. Warning him to watch his back, the old businessman stood to leave.

Thurston, that night, had a show which Randal, Takashi, and Felicity attended, the flamboyant Thurston in his element.

The next day, Randal gathered his friends together in the warehouse and frantically showed them some news footage of Lake Michigan’s docks. Apparently, a giant kracken had surfaced there, and their attention was needed immediately.

Rushing out, they made their way to the docks only to be met there by Noel Backwater, the Scion of Frigg with the fantastic harp crafted from wood of the World Tree. Asking if he wanted to join up and take care of the little problem, Noel flushed and said that the kracken was already dead. In awe, the Scions instead went out for lunch, where Noel informed them of some small things he’d found out about the Flame of Jehovah cult that had been causing problems around town. He’d seen the dogs, and the light orbs, and planned on trying to find a way to gain more information. After declining their offer to join up, they went their separate ways, and afterwards, Felicity had a phone call.

It was from her FBI contact, who already knew of her success in getting the man out of the office earlier that day. (She had let him get comfortable for about an hour, until she grabbed the end of his desk and violently shook it, causing the last bit of his self-control to snap and cause him to run out of the office screaming about how they’d taken the land from its true owners, Indian graveyards and the like.)

He already had a case file on her father, commenting on how strange it was that there wasn’t huge press surrounding this the moment he was caught. He told Felicity that her father was at the Indiana State Prison, not more than an hour and a half away from Chicago. Giving her the cell number, she hung up, going to the guys. Takashi decided to hang back, since his nature simply screamed against helping in this particular case, so Thurston and Randal went her in the van, convincing Randal that they had to go quickly. Felicity, before even meeting the three of them, used her powers of prophecy to see that her Father stood a very high chance of being kidnapped by the Titans straight from his prison cell.

Getting to the prison late at night, Thurston and Felicity argued for a bit about the best way to keep things quiet and get it done, until it was decided that it was best for her to just go in alone.

Creeping in, invisible, she snuck to a computer to find out how the prison was laid out. Locating a map and finding the correct way, she made her way there. Approaching the cell, she had to bite back a snarl of rage at finding it empty. Taking it out on the guard on duty, she quietly slammed him into a corner, a dark spot in the camera’s views, and held her gun to his back demanding to know where the prisoner in 3C was. He managed to stammer out that they were ordered to keep that cell empty, and she tasered him. Going back to the computer before going back to the guys hidden outside, she found out that the FBI were the ones who had ordered that. Angrily, she went back to the van and determined that she’d simply have to bring the Feds into Chicago.

While the three of them were in Indiana, Takashi got a phone call from an old flame, Cynthia, during which he decided to meet her in Chinatown the next day. Upon Thurston, Randal, and Felicity’s return, he was gone, out and having a long walk to clear his mind.

((DETAILS OF CONVERSATION/TAKASHI ONLY?))

The following day, Takashi went to the place he was to meet Cynthia, and was there hours early. Waiting patiently, she didn’t show on time, and finally he called her office. Being told that she had taken a personal day, he called her phone. It rung a few times until finally it picked up. An unfamiliar voice at the other end said, “Cynthia can’t come to the phone right now.”

Demanding to know who he was speaking to, the voice said that Takashi had been causing too much trouble in Chicago, and in order for Cynthia to live, he had to leave town immediately.

Going back to the warehouse, Randal let them know that the LA gang of Scions had just called, and was on the line with them. Apparently they had just come into some information on the Cold Blood Killer’s hideout location. Carefully guarding himself, Takashi let them know that he had an old friend taken by them just today, and needed to get her away from them. Going to Felicity, he asked her to extract her, thinking that possibly the best way would be through her stealth. Also playing with the idea of actually leaving town until Cynthia could be grabbed by them safely, Randal stated that he wanted to get this strike done, and quickly. Tonight, if possible, and the LA scions were all four in agreement, saying that they’d be careful since there was a personal prisoner involved.

Talking it out, it was agreed that Felicity would scout for a couple of hours before nightfall, Takashi suggesting that a couple of the Danny’s Boys go with her for protection, which Randal readily agreed to.

Going to the compound’s location, she noticed it was heavily fortified, barbed wire solid fence, keycode entry, barely any windows on the place to speak of. Knowing what she knew of Rafiq, however, she decided to scout through the surrounding sewer system, finding a path that looked like it would take her right inside of the compound. Coming up to a solid iron grate barring any further progress, and unable to command the Danny’s Boys to fog up and reappear on the other side, she had to go back. Letting the other seven assembled of the defenses, they split into two teams depending on their needs.

Erik went with Randal, Takashi, and Felicity through the sewer entrance, and serving as a distraction for the sewer team would be Thurston, Howard, Samantha, and Frederick coming in the front way.

((THURSTON ONLY SECTION))

Quietly heading through the sewers, Felicity led them back to the heavy iron bars that had stopped her progress earlier, Randal reaching out and making short work of bending them open enough for them all to get through. Slipping in, they located a manhole heading upwards, Felicity going first to look for danger. They were in a box-filled storage room, so they moved ahead. Using her new relic to totally silence her gun, she fired it at a camera in the following hallway, finally emerging into a giant central room just as Thurston, Samantha, Howard, and Frederick all came in through another door.

The doors began to shut as a blue gas was pumped into the room. Randal rushed to a door and desperately tried to hold it open, but the hydraulics on the door slammed it shut on his fingers, pulling them free with a howl.

Everybody tried to hold their breath, but as Samantha, then Erik, then everybody else began dropping, they realized that it was a skin contact poison as well as breathed. Only Randal and Takashi remained standing, only to be confronted by two teams of four men in hazmat suits coming in through the hydraulic doors, holding dart guns. Takashi managed to kill one and wound another before succumbing to the darts, and Randal managed to harm one before falling to the poison himself.

Everybody began to wake up one by one, alone in a room some hours later, each tied to a chair. Takashi, unable to free himself from his bindings, noticed the camera trained on him over the door in front of him, and began to tell the camera the entire story of his life, starting of course, at the beginning.

Thurston managed to use his experience as a magician to successfully worm his way out of his own bindings, finding that since their enemies couldn’t figure out what his Relics were, they simply took off everything from him that could possibly be a Relic, including his shoes, though they missed his sash. Managing to open the cabinet behind his chair, he gathered up his things to work his way out of the door.

Felicity wiggled free of her bindings fairly easily, and went to pick the lock at the cabinet, having to dodge a frantic Bubastis rocketing out at her face. Soothing her feline, she replaced her relics and said to her camera, “It was a mistake to let me live, Rafiq.”
Walking out, she noticed two guards, one on each end of the hall, and fired on them both just as Thurston emerged from his own room. She killed the first one and nearly finished off the second, which Thurston dispatched with a knife. Going into the other rooms, Felicity freed Frederick and Thurston freed Takashi, finally taking the door out to freedom.

The four of them saw absolute carnage. Bodies were lying everywhere, and Randal was standing in the midst of it, crushing the life out of one last man, and Samantha was on the ground, crying her eyes out over someone. Frederick pushed past the three of them to go to her, recognizing the body she was weeping over. It was Erik, and Howard lay nearby, both dead. With a jolt, they realized that Samantha and Erik had to have been more than just friends. She was inconsolable, and couldn’t be moved, either. Randal explained that they had woken first, and had dealt with all of the guards. In the crush of battle, Howard had gotten separated from the group and Erik went back for him, but it had ultimately proven their ends. Frederick, enraged and sad, said for them to go finish it, which they quickly promised to do.

Making their way down another ladder and into a secret system of underground sewer rooms, they came into a room filled to the brim with bloating corpses of varying age and ethnicities, though Mediterranean, Latino, Asian, and other familiar heritages jumped out at them from these faces. Realizing that Rafiq had been killing other Scions that remained living after Chance’s End, they moved on to a large, circular room with a platform in the middle.

Emerging from the shadows, Rafiq appeared with a stunned silent Cynthia with a machete at her neck. Felicity opened the conversation, stating it had been awhile. Rafiq sneered at her openly, saying that he had wanted to kill her immediately, but his new employers had required his attention at that exact moment. He scoffed at her mercy during their first meeting, saying that he was now killing Scions to quell the nexus of Chaos that surrounded them all for the good of the world as a whole.
Raising an eyebrow, Felicity asked when the last time it was that he’d spoken to his father, the God Sobek. Avoiding the question, Rafiq said that his father lacked the vision to go forwards with something as ambitious as he did. Further goading him on with their previous confrontation, and with Takashi adding his own quietly enraged voice to it, they got him to charge them both in rage, dropping Cynthia safe to the side.

Felicity immediately jumped off the tip of Takashi’s proffered sword, getting height on Rafiq’s charge and firing down onto him, harming him considerably. Rafiq’s giant crocodile, Big Bob, slid out of the water, and Randal jumped onto it, engaging it with his bare hands. Thurston slid in the way of Cynthia, protecting her while throwing knives in Rafiq’s direction. Rafiq stunned the lot of them, and Bubastis broke the freezing control on Felicity by tackling her before Rafiq could slash her. Thurston tried to stun Rafiq with a strange strike to the backside, and Takashi slashed repeatedly at Rafiq’s armored skin. Rafiq’s need to kill the spry Felicity first, however, proved his downfall as it allowed Takashi an opening to strike the killing blow to the Son of Sobek, his anger evident in some vehement choice words as he drove the blade into his enemy. “You know WHY Sobek’s crocodiles ate Osiris’ genitalia those years ago? Because he was a cock-sucker.”

Upon Rafiq’s death, Big Bob dematerialized, and the fight was over.

Cynthia, stunned but unharmed, was picked up by Takashi, and the triumphant group set fire to the warehouse and left.

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