Born of Blood

"A Christmas Carol" session two

The ghosts of Christmas Past and Present...

SESSION: June 12th, 2013

CHARACTERS: Alistair, Douglas, Felicity

SETTING: Christmas Eve, 1996. The pawnshop; under the streets of Manhattan


Christmas Eve is spent shopping and eating. Alistair receives a phone call from his family; there’s much talk, nagging about the whereabouts of Seamus, and Alistair’s brother mentions a strange dream he’s been having, where Alistair is on a medical table, being transformed into a huge, brutish monster. This is a variation of the dream that Alistair has been having about his brother, and they discuss this briefly, before the talk moves on to acquiring explosives for the IRA.

The characters gather at the pawnshop when Alistair and Felicity arrive at 9pm. Felicity is delighted to see Julia (the cook) happy with her present of high quality kitchen knives, and gives Donnie a cryptography program as a present.

Douglas surprises Felicity by giving her an expensive bottle of perfume as a present (reciprocating the ‘Christmas present’ she gave him the day before – the gauntlets.)

The four of them gather at a table in the basement (the logic being is that where important, occult things were/are kept by Diego) and ten pm rolls around.

Nothing happens. The stone tablet, given to Diego by Smythe for safekeeping is brought out. Still, nothing happens. When Douglas touches it with his right hand (the one bearing the sigil of Smythe), his hand glows and the tablet seems to react. (Felicity sees that the runic writing on the tablet appears to be moving, but only to her eyes. She takes a pic and sends it to Nigel, but never hears back from him in regards to the runes before other events unfold.)

There are shenanigans and other attempts to try to find out what they’re doing wrong (or not doing), when they finally realise they need all four (including Donnie) to be touching the tablet – they are reminded of the importance of the number four and the relation to the elements.

The moment they do this, all power goes out in the building (and the entire block, though they are not aware of this.) A ghostly image of Diego is seen. He greets them and instructs them to keep quiet, so he may impart as much as he can first, as the link is tenuous.

Diego relates that he’s in England, waiting to meet with Smythe, to give him *Oxossi*’s stake, for use in the mission against the Nazi weapon (“the body of a dead god”, as Smythe once told Diego and Douglas, after Diego had a vision about the stake.) He confesses that he’s not sure if he’ll get it back and how that might affect the geas Oxossi placed upon him.

He also tells them that the King of Nothing is not destroyed, not by a long shot, and they had best keep their eyes open for the inevitable attempt of retribution.

At this point, each of the characters link directly to Diego. He tells Felicity that she must not attempt to return to Smyrna until after she has gone to see her father. He tells her he has seen it both ways and if she does not do as he warns, she will not live.

Alistair asks for any ideas on how to find his great-great-grand-uncle Seamus; Diego is unaware that he is missing, but suggests talking to others in the occult community.

Douglas asks for advice; Diego gives some, and asks that he be sure to be there for Donnie, saying that while the young man has the wits to operate the pawn shop (and the fencing operation), he does not have the rougher edge that sort of life necessitates.

Douglas asks if he should trust The Company; Diego’s answer is “not completely”.

Felicity gives Donnie and Diego a moment together, using her link with Diego to push Donnie, apparently physically, to where Diego is. This effort and use of power results in a physical backlash that knocks Felicity unconscious.

Shortly after this, the link with Diego is broken. Donnie is nowhere to be seen, then appears where he was. He thanks Felicity greatly for what she did, wishes everyone a happy holiday and then retires to his room.

The others go upstairs to enjoy some alcoholic beverages, but before anything else can happen, Festigkeit opens a portal and steps through, yelling about the goblins. A couple weapons are grabbed and they follow the dwarf’s instructions step through.

The portal leads them to sewer tunnels under Manhattan, near Chinatown. There, they see dozens of goblins building a stargate-like object, a mish-mash of electronic and mechanical parts. It seems that above them, on the street, is a building that has been turned into a battery store for mystical energy, harnessed from the chi of the city by the oriental sorcerer who was hunting Diego earlier in the first book of our campaign.

Before any moves are made, Felicity asks if Douglas brought his gauntlets; he says that he did not, and Felicity is delighted to show off – she had the items encoded so that she has a link with them at all times and this allows her to summon them. With a series of gestures and a lot of focus, in a flash, she has the gauntlets in her hands and gives them to Douglas.

Then, on a whim, she decides to try the same with the sword of the Fallen Angel, still believing it to be an aspect of herself. Amazingly, she manages to pull the flaming sword out of thin air, surprising and impressing everyone.

Felicity senses the energy and reaches out to it. Suddenly, she is consumed with erotic sensations as the power is more than anything she has ever encountered directly. Festigkeit is forced to carry her away, hoping distance will break the effect upon her, or at least keep her from triggering the power.

Douglas senses the presence of a Dark Man, but they cannot see it. Doug hatches an idea to flood the room with sewage water and, using his power, turns invisible to do so. He accomplishes this, but the goblins keep working on their construct, until the filth-water level rises enough to impede their progress… and then it seems they snap out of a fugue state.

Douglas returns to Alistair, but they are attacked by a Dark Man, who startles the Irishman by calling him “brother”. Douglas is knocked unconscious by a savage blow from the creature, leaving Alistair to fight it.

Festigkeit and Felicity (the latter having recovered from the power’s influence) return to join in the fight. Festigkeit wields a massive hammer, while Felicity uses her “silly string” gun to bind the creature’s arms.

Things turn poorly for the solitary Dark Man, now that the numbers against him. However, before a final blow can be dealt, he tells them that “this is not over,” and fades from sight as his body is enshrouded by shadow, which fades to nothing.

The goblins begin wailing at this point, and flee. The construct is destroyed, though Festigkeit says this is only a temporary fix. However, everyone agrees that this is more than enough for the night, and Festigkeit returns everyone home.

He shares a drink with everyone, wishes them all a Merry Christmas (as it is now past one am) and opens another portal to depart.

As the air closes up behind him, the heroes finish their (much needed) drinks. Before anyone can say it’s time to go home, the room temperature drops significantly, and an iron door appears in the middle of the pawn shop.

The door open and a grim reaper steps out, gesturing at them with a bony finger, and then pointing towards the open door, seemingly demanding they enter…

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