Saturday, 10 September 2016

Whoever Fights Monsters

Previous session: Till the Monster Stirred

Madison, the Witch is practising her new rituals in the woods when she sees Emily running full tilt in the direction of the dark pool. She's stripping down as she goes and turning into her wolf form as she does. Madison reaches into the Abyss and hears a chilling howl, seeing flashes of blood and razor sharp fangs attacking Brie in a wooden shack. Then she sees Chloe and Maria trapped in a dark cave and she hears Emily's voice in her head
-Got to get to her!

Aster, the Fae has gotten the warning from Ambrosia; he's with Brie and they rush to the pool to see a big red wolf running towards them. Brie pulls out her shotgun and is about to fire when Aster lifts the barrel so that the shot misses.
-She's not causing a problem right now
Brie is livid and Emily, snarling with frustration jumps past them into the pool, swimming into the centre.

Aster can feel a pull towards the pool. He's uneasy with the complete wrongness of it.
-Oberon, I want none of your shit!
Ambrosia pulls him away
-We shouldn't be here, we're too close
-Something is wrong, the barriers are weak and we need to build them back up
-We don't know how. The magick has been lost for ages.
Staring into this pool, Aster sees a book in an office, maybe in their school; he's been so adept at staying out of trouble that he doesn't recognise the office of the head mistress. The text on the spine of the book is in the Faerie tongue, and then he sees a shadow at the doorway; it's Sister Beatrice.

Chloe, the Infernal is dragged to her feet by Oberon.
-Let me clarify. I own you. I tell you what I want and you do it. If you are not useful, I will discard you in a moment.
Chloe is speechless and scared. Above her she sees the watery ceiling of the cave is broken by the four swimming legs of a red wolf.
-Your mongrel is here
and Emily is sucked in and falls into a pit, howling in rage and pain.
-Either you'll kill her or she'll kill you, whatever happens it'll be amusing and I will own the winner!
From the bottom of the pit, Chloe pleads with him, shaking her head in disbelief and screaming
-I'll do whatever you want, I forgot myself, I was just caught off guard when you twisted Maria's wish. I'll never do it again!

-I should take a bit more pleasure in this
He lifts her out of the pit, laughing, as Emily pounces and slashes at Chloe, just missing her head by inches
Francis Spencer,
Chloe's dad
-We should call your daddy dearest
and he takes out an ornate mirror, where her father appears; he's in their family home in the City and dismisses his phone call as soon as he feels Oberon's presence.
-Francis, a word.
-Oberon, what's going on?
-Your daughter, she's been less than cooperative.
He glances at the distraught and shocked Chloe
-Well, she obviously regrets it. You can make an exception, surely?
-You know my price, Francis.
He looks at his daughter, and then to Oberon, pursing his lips with a momentary hesitation
-I'm sorry, Chloe
-Daddy! No!

Suddenly another voice calls out, it's her mom.
Oberon shakes his head, he recognises her voice as quickly as Chloe does
-Miranda. This is why it's trouble when daughters follow their mother's example. You just don't know your place!
Her mom's voice is angry
-I'll call Her, and she'll rain hell down on you
-You think she cares? You know my price. Go get me the necklace
-Mom. What's going on?

She looks at Chloe
-Fine. Send her to collect it
The mirror shifts and Chloe sees her mom standing over her father's body.

Oberon breaks the connection.
-Go, and take this empty shell with you, whatever use she is
gesturing dismissively at Maria. He sends them all back to the bank of the pool.

Madison reaches the pool and Brie wonders what the hell she's doing there. Aster starts to explain the situation to Madison, but Brie draws him aside.
-Sweetie, we don't involve strangers, normal people in our business.
-She has some powers
And Brie turns to Madison
-What are you, what can you do?
-All kinds of things. None of them fueled by Jesus,
-If you can help, your crazy friend and weird girlfriend...
(this last word, she spits out)
-...are trapped by this monster in that pool
Aster explains Chloe's involvement in this whole affair and how Madison can help, specifically to close the pool so that Oberon cannot escape.
-Are you in? Even if it means trapping Maria too?
-I'm in, but we're going to find her first.

Just then, Chloe emerges with an angry Emily and a catatonic Maria in tow. Madison goes to Maria to see what's wrong and then starts to mull over what kind of ritual could help her. Chloe walks away single-mindedly, heading back to the dorms. But Brie goes after her and Chloe angrily tells her
-Stay away from me, or I'll shove that shotgun up your ass
Brie is stopped momentarily, but draws a knife and Chloe just turns tail and runs. Brie can't chase, as Emily leaps on her. As soon as Chloe's out of danger, Emily gets off Brie, but Brie goes to attack her again. Aster interferes with her, his slighted Faerie sensibility (for being abandoned at the dance) has her trip over an unseen tree root and miss the opportunity.
-Deal with them later. We need to seal the pool first.
And Emily runs after Chloe.
Brie tells Aster
-This won't last. Chloe won't stop and Emily won't allow us to take care of her
-Hopefully we can do something less extreme
And Brie nods indulgently

Madison leaves the pool with Maria to go back to the dorms. It's a challenge, but she totally 'weekend at Bernie's' it and gets back to her sanctuary.


Victor, the Ghoul is in bed with Emma, and she rolls over to smile at him. She touches his scars
-It's just amazing. Did you mean what you said earlier?
-Absolutely. I don't lie much.
-It's a lot to ask. We need to research this. To study you. You could cure people, save lives. If they figure you out, they'll be able to defeat death!
Victor is deflated. This isn't what he meant earlier. The greater good is of no interest to him.
-I never beat death. It just doesn't want me.
-I know you're nervous. I won't let them hurt you
He chuckles, rolling out of bed and heading to the bathroom. She hears the breaking of glass and seeing him standing over the sink with glass from the broken mirror in his closed fist. She tries to stop him but he explains
-You don' one should feel like this. It's so quiet. You can hear your own heartbeat. You don't know what it's like to not have that much.
-Oh Victor. I'm so sorry, I didn't realise
She hugs him, and he takes her hand and presses it into his chest as he clenches his fist again. With a surge of pain, she thinks she can feel the glimmerings of a heartbeat inside him. She's horrified.
-It's all I've got
-This can't be the way. Is this why you're always beat up so much?
She pities him now.
-This is a mistake. I shouldn't have done this. You're obviously very fragile. You should go.
-In many ways, this is the best thing that's happened to me. I've always been self-destructive.
He tells her about his first death. The car crash which killed three of his friends, but left him like this. He gets her to take out the glass shards in his hand, and she hugs him again
-Victor, I...

Sidney, Madison's room-mate
and a member of her coven
Madison is still trying to recruit people into her coven. She grabs Sidney.
-That stuff we were trying to before, it's real. I need your help.
Sidney is having none of it
-Oh hell no! You're bat-shit crazy. I'm calling the police and going to Sister Beatrice.
Madison is furious at this betrayal, her darkest self coming to the fore, she withers Sidney right there and then, before she even gets to the door.
Sidney's teeth start falling out, Sidney is panicked and horrified, screaming out for help
-Do you want to help me now?
Sidney's tongue fall out as well and she can feel herself dying, starting to cough up her insides. Madison steps close and kisses her on her rotting mouth to take back the hex.

Sidney sits in the corner, crying and whimpering as she feels the rot stopping. Madison stands her up
-You understand now, right. Clean yourself. You're in the coven now.

Madison gazes into the Abyss. She hears Oberon talking to Chloe about Maria
-She would've been dead soon anyway. She didn't have the strength to continue for much longer. Two weeks tops I give her.
He's holding a beating heart in his hand. It's everything that is Maria. Inside Oberon's head she can sense that apart from retrieving the heart, the only thing which could restore Maria's self is to "get Her involved, and she wouldn't do that". She sees Sister Beatrice's office. But her visage shimmers and it's not her. She's wearing a pendant which would be very useful for this.

Aster needs a distraction to steal Sister Beatrice's book, so he heads to Victor and Cameron's room. Victor hasn't been around for ages, but Cameron is there.
-Look, I need some help. If you could distract Sister Beatrice to get her out of her office?
Cameron admits he might've been hasty before
-Maybe that one-time thing could turn into a two, three, four-time thing? You want that right now?
Cameron asks, and when Aster goes in for a kiss, he waves him off
-I meant the distraction. Do you want it right now?
Aster has left Brie behind for this. Probably not the kind of thing she wants to be part of.

By the time he's made his way to the office, he can see Cameron and Jordan having a fight in the yard. Teachers are hearing about it and are going to break it up. Wells and Armstrong are getting Sister Beatrice as well. When she leaves her office, Aster breaks in without too much trouble, gets the book and adjusts the shelves to hide its absence. (Guerilla librarianship at its finest!)

Emily catches up to Chloe and calls to her. Chloe turns around, she's impatient and a little cruel
Miranda, Chloe's mom
-I need to go
-We can't just go along with what he says
-That's the only reason we're alive.
Then, as Chloe turns away to leave
-Come with me or not. I don't care

She changes quickly back at her room and grabs a cab across the city to her parents' place. Oberon talks to her about Maria, but she's too busy trying to keep herself together to respond to him.
Her mom answers the door, and hugs her so fiercely
-Chloe, I love you. I'm so sorry baby
And then she puts the chloroform over Chloe's face

Victor is struggling with this new awareness Emma has of him
-Victor, it's not that I don't care. It's just irresponsible of me
-Emma, we've talked enough about me. I care about you. We can't go on like this. You can't spend all your energy on people just to have it thrown back in your face. There's nothing worse than a life wasted
He wants her to use this vindictive energy on Armstrong, but she turns it around on him instead.
-You don't know what I want or need. Just leave now
Victor storms off, but leaves her with a parting shot
-Just do something

When he spots the fight starting with two of the people he needs to hurt, he charges in gleefully.


Aster has the tome for Ambrosia, and as usual she just pops up when he needs her. After perusing the relevant sections, she shakes her head
-We can't. It's not a matter of trapping him again. That was a one-time thing. We can only prevent him from getting the last element.
-We have to be able to reinforce the bonds somehow.
-There is a way to kill him that's much surer. To trap him we need a Fae to lay down their life, this lost necklace and the blood of an Elder God.
-Not bloody likely then. How do we kill him?
-We get him to drink this potion
-Sounds easier than the blood of an Elder God. What's the recipe?
Easier still sounds pretty difficult: the fur of a werewolf, the blood of one who cannot die, a vampire fang and a powerful witch to brew it. Of course getting him to drink it would be a challenge, overpowering Oberon to force him to drink it won't be a cakewalk

In the meantime, they'll just have to stop Chloe, and Aster goes to find Madison to get her onside.

Madison goes to get Sister Beatrice's pendant. She sends Sidney to find Ash, and then sneaks into Sister Beatrice's (unlocked) office, but realises that she must be wearing the pendant. So she breaks into her apartment instead and lies in wait there.

Amanda, usually overlooked
and obviously just unlucky
Aster finds Maria just lying on the bed and leaves a note for Madison on her lap. He goes looking for Emily instead (werewolf fur, right?). He finds Emily, a sad look her face, with her room-mate, Amanda out cold and over her shoulder. Aster talks calmly to her
-Put her in bed. It looks like she needs sleep
-I don't want to hurt you. Get out of my way
-I need something from you. It'll help your situation
Emily dumps Amanda on the bed and just rushes him, forcing him up against the wall.
-You stupid idiot. I tried to get you to leave
and she lashes out with one hand that's morphed into a claw and it rips deep into Aster's belly. He screams out
-You promised to protect me. I'm just trying to help you!
-I can't help it
-Maybe you aren't worth helping
Oberon's obviously changed his mind, and now Emily's trying to knock him out. He runs as best as he can and somehow gets far enough away that she gives up and goes back to get Amanda.

Aster turns up at the edge of the fight, and his very real wounds attract some attention there.

Victor fights savagely, going after Cameron first (who he blames for this whole thing). He's using the glass still embedded in his palm as a weapon, shocking Cameron
-The fuck! Dude!
His savagery has united his enemies, and Jordan joins in on Cameron's side and they double up to beat Victor to the ground.

The teachers break them up. Mr. Armstrong drags Victor away. Victor stares him in the eyes, sensing the vulnerability hidden behind the outward strength. With real hunger, Victor tells him
-You've got one chance to run, Pete. I'll even give you a head-start and then you'll get what's coming.
Armstrong suddenly realises that he's not in control.
-What the hell Victor? Stop this.
Victor laughs like a psycho
-I can't
and he launches at Armstrong, biting him. Armstrong tries to overpower him, but Victor's just getting on top of him to pummel and Armstrong's damage control strategy isn't cutting it
-Why can't any of you people realise how good you have it!
as he bashes Armstrong's head against the concrete ground
Ian clocks him from behind with a baseball bat, and that should have killed him.
But Victor just gets up, meaner and angrier and hungrier...

Chloe wakes up in her mom's car. She's tied up securely, but the bonds are hidden under a cosy blanket. They're driving towards school.
-We're picking up your brother
-What about the necklace
-Listen, we're not going to do what he says. We're going to pick up Luke and figure this out
-But I have to do what he says
-That's why you're tied up, dear

Chloe stares as her as she negotiates traffic. She should be trying to find a way out of this, but she can't help but wonder how she didn't see it before. Miranda's weakness is her (and Luke); she loves them more than anything else in the world.

Chloe tries to think of who else could get them out of this trouble
-They all hate me at school. None of them are going to help me
-Don't worry. I'll figure this out. We might have to just get far away from here
-Mom. How does Oberon know you?
She looks over at Chloe, who's just shedding some of the blinkers she has on
-I'm not human. When Oberon and I were thrown from power, he was trapped and I was made into, this.
-You used to be married to Oberon? Ew! So, now you are normal?
That truth hits Miranda hard. Crueler punishment than Oberon's imprisonment. But Chloe's already moved on
-So, you're why Oberon had his claws in me?
-That was your father.
She fingers the necklace at her throat
-Is Dad really dead?
The look on her mom's face says it all

Oberon is furiously impatient
-Tell her that I can kill you
Chloe repeats that, and wonders
-Do you have someone with a sniper rifle nearby...or you've implanted a cortex bomb in me?
Oberon isn't sure whether she's serious or messing with him

They've pulled up in the school's car park, as Chloe is untied and takes the necklace from her mom, Oberon chimes in again
-The deal has changed. Now she has to come to me
Miranda leaves behind her phone, handbag and the car keys.
-Of course. Just remember, I always loved you and your brother
She kisses Chloe, who tries to convince her to stay, but Miranda is defeated.

Chloe plucks up all her courage and races to the pool, getting in between her mom and the dark water. She promises Oberon the moon to save her mom from going into that dark pool herself.
-I'll never act like that to you again. I'll do whatever you want, no questions asked.
Oberon chooses to indulge her
-So sweet. I'll just take the necklace. She doesn't have to come into my realm. You've pleased me now that you're a good minion and know your place.
Miranda is holding back tears
-Don't get in deeper Chloe. I'm trying to save you.
Chloe takes the necklace and pushes her back towards the car.
-Better get home and tidy up
-I'm so sorry I failed you. Don't let him get your brother, please.

Oberon is sitting on his throne like a conquering hero. Chloe approaches the dais with nervous deference. Displaying the necklace on her palms, she bows and hands it over to Oberon, who takes it triumphantly.
-You must stop the Fae boy, Aster
-Tell me what the lynchpin is, because stopping him, and Madison and Brie seems unlikely
-There is a book. It has information on this prison. Learn what they intend. It's in the possession of so-called Sister Beatrice; she is dangerous
Chloe tries to plumb that 'so-called', but he says she's not ready for that


To the onlooking Aster, it looks like both Mr. Armstrong and Victor are both dead. But then Victor gets up and takes the baseball from Ian's grasp
-A big change, huh? To have me stealing something of yours!
But before he can whale on Ian, Ms. Wells and Sister Beatrice combine to grab him and they quickly bind him. Charlotte Abbington is organising everyone, and she notices the striken Aster standing nearby.
-Aster, what's happened to you?
-Emily, she tried to stop me. She was taking Amanda
But Charlotte sees the claws marks and doesn't believe a word he says

Brie overhears the exchange though, and she heads off with murderous intent.

Sitting in the nurse's office (this school really needs an ER, or maybe the nurse deserves to be working at one instead) Aster seeks wisdom from the Abyss; in his drained state he sees Madison waiting for Sister Beatrice in a smoky room. Behind her is a closed cabinet, which he's sure is filled with ingredients for witchcraft.

Sister Beatrice enters her apartment with Victor over her shoulder. As the door is opening, Madison can hear her talking to herself
-Oh, Caine. What did you do now. You just keep on being reborn, and doing the same stupid shit. I wonder if you have the better curse, to not remember and just be ignorant.

She is surprised to see Madison just sitting on her armchair waiting her arrival.
-How did you get in here, and why?
-Hoping we could have a chat
Suddenly Sister Beatrice sees her a little clearer and she leaves Victor down in the other chair, tying him up with a spectacularly easy display of magic.

-What do you want my dear
-Well, we have a mutual enemy in the pool outside
-Oberon's making trouble again?
-He did something to my...friend
Madison is trying to avoid explaining her true relationship with Maria
-Don't worry. I've heard all about you and Miss Beauvier. Your mother is in quite the hissy fit about it.
Sister Beatrice's true form: Lilith
She drops her disguise, and Madison sees an extraordinary women in a middle eastern outfit.

So, Madison tells her about what's happened to Maria and what the vision suggested could help her reverse the affect. Sister Beatrice thinks
-That would be a big favour. This pendant doesn't exactly have unlimited uses.
-I'm coming into my own. I think I can help you out in future
-I suppose it's time. I can help you for your allegiance. They call me Lilith, if you haven't guessed already. Why don't you tell me what's going on; I've heard all about Brie from Chloe.
Madison tells her what she knows about the dark power's control over Chloe, and as she talks, Lilith starts getting the ingredients out of her cabinet.
-In my office, there's a book...

Aster's lying on the bed in the nurse's office. He struggles to his feet and goes looking for Madison. He bumps into her almost immediately, but she's with Sister Beatrice. He tries to make Madison understand him without giving anything away
-Did you get my note? About the thing?
But Sister Beatrice elbows her way into the conversation
-Aster, dear boy. You're his son.
-Whose son?
-I shoudn't be telling tales. We need to get that book
He replies and then whispers to himself
-...that's not going to cause any problems. Madison, what's going on?
-I was being proactive about that thing you asked me to do for you
Aster slumps and explains about the book and Ambrosia and Lilith is worried
-You didn't think there might be some who are still loyal to him?
-Not my sister
He shakes his head, but Lilith says the fact that she's his sister makes it even worse!
-She's been helping me against him
-Well, you go fined your sister. And get that book back

Ambrosia, Aster's big sister
So he wanders into the woods, hoping that she'll just turn up as usual. After a while, she's nowhere to be seen, so he gazes into the Abyss once more, and is startled by his cousin Anders. He knows where Ambrosia is, and he leads Aster into a small clearing where Ambrosia is tied up (with the book beside her) and two other Fae stand guard. They jump to grab him when Anders gives them the nod.

Anders declares to him
-We're bringing back our King
-He's there for a good reason
-Well, he's suffered enough

Aster refuses to be forced down and breaks free, running past Ambrosia to grab the book. He escapes the other Fae and yells back to her
-I'll come back for you!
They give chase, but he loses them on the way to Madison's room

Chloe is there when Amanda is dropped into the pool. The other girl looks at her, pleading
-I just wanted to be prettier
-Suck it up. I've got my own problems.
And she climbs out to head towards Madison's room


Lilith helps Madison with her ritual to bring back Maria. A red heart appears in the room above her body and Madison takes it and pushes it inside Maria's chest. Maria gasps and is herself again. She hugs Madison and gasps
-Where were you?
and breaks down sobbing.

Lilith tells them, bluntly but not unkindly
-We don't have time for this. Don't be alone while we're gone and we will see an end to this affair
Maria asks Madison what's going on after she calms down a bit
-Don't worry. We're going to make sure that thing can't hurt anyone ever again

Aster arrives with the book, breathless and Lilith whisks it from his arms
-Very fortunate for you
-I've got to save my sister
-We have to act quickly
-Oh, I already have some werewolf fur
He smiles, reaching into his pocket. They head back to her apartment.

Chloe is almost there when she sees them all parade back from Madison's room
She and Oberon say simultaneously.
-Well, I guess you just need to provide one more for me instead

She wanders around until she spots Sidney and Ash. Taking a deep breath she approaches.
-What's up?
And then as she sees the state of Sidney, she asks Ash
-What's wrong with Sidney?
But Sidney just stares at her, grabbing Ash's and covering her mouth. Staring with scary intensity, she mutters a hex and Chloe starts seeing horrifying illusions, false prophecies of what is to come
She sees Oberon escaping from his prison. Using the pendant and then locating her mom. Rampant in the world and wreaking havoc everywhere.
Chloe can barely stand this terrifying thing she's going to let loose on the world, but she knows she has no choice. She punches Sidney in the face and knocks her over. Climbing on top of her and starting to throttle her, she feels Sidney begin another hex and she doesn't think she can stop her in time.

So she runs, and the binding doesn't entrap her.

Jimmy, prize douchebag
She needs someone else, quick! And then she spots Jimmy, sitting on the steps alone. She quietly walks up behind him, and puts her hands on his shoulders.
Jimmy turns around, looking a little bit confused. This isn't how Chloe usually is.
-I noticed you ditched that bitch Maria
-Yeah, what's it to you?
-Well, I was wondering if you and me could, you know, go out?
He smiles at her
-Want to go out tomorrow?
-Sure. But if you're bored, do you want to do something now?
He doesn't need a second invitation to ditch homework on the weekend, and she brings him to the pool.

It's dark and Oberon is hungry and Chloe is about to make her pitch when Brie jumps out wielding a katana
-I've been waiting for you!
Jimmy tries to talk to her
-Hey Brie. Chicks shouldn't fight
But Brie sneers at him and advances towards Chloe, who yells
and directs him towards the pool. As soon as he steps into the water it envelops him and he's taken by Oberon.

Chloe keeps stepping away, angling for a way out of this.

Sister Beatrice walks into her apartment, Victor is still tied to the chair.
-Oh good. You're awake
He hasn't been entirely asleep for the last few minutes and he can see her true form
-Am I in trouble?

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