Fallen Idols

Prologue: Oct 18, 2001 (The Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist)
The Beginning

At one time you were shapers of existence, the hands of God in the world. Your breath gave life and the world shaped with your hands. Mountains formed, oceans spread. The wind blew only because your kind made it so. Music existed only to spread your messages. Such was the way of the world in the beginning.

Now, though, you find yourself in the world not as its shaper but simply a person. Your body is mortal and some memories are not your own. You don’t remember much, do you? What you do, is blurry and hazy and sprinkled with horrors that you try to keep at bay. Who are you? What are you now?

Surely, you are not the light anymore. Indeed, you remember a darkness that tore at your very being. Do you have a soul? That’s a good question.

You don’t really have that much time to deal with these thoughts, though. You have things to do. Ever since you returned to the world, you’ve found yourself mistaken for a person whose memories linger like the last rays of light in a deep sunset. You know that’s not who you are but how much do you really remember of yourself?

Still, you have to play the game, at least for a little bit. Your mortal self just graduated from college and your supposed to go to this thing called a “high school reunion.” You’re not sure if you’ll recognize anyone but you can pretend, can’t you? Besides, maybe you should go. You can make connections and maybe there’ll be some faith to find.

You need faith. You need that touch, that spark of life that drew you to this world. Humanity is not as faithful as it once was and, deep down, you know that each spark is fought over. Is it a war? Maybe.

There’s something out there. You feel it. But what is it?

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Oct. 18, 2001: The Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist (OOC: Game 11/19/2013)
Reunions and Meetings

High School Reunion.

High school was never quite the place for some of you, particularly not for some of you who were marginalized during those growing years. Well, at least the part that remembers such things. Your mortal self. Most of you know better, but there were other reasons to be there. An excuse to be near family, a planned appearance, a chance to see those who did you wrong, a cover for a job you’ve been put on… these and so many other reasons were why you went.

Things didn’t go exactly as planned. A mother died, there was a shoot out, and police ended up appearing. Not one of the best moments of this charade of a life.

You did meet some interesting “people.” Most of them remember Hell. And by Hell, we don’t mean your years in high school.

One of you was arrested and the rest left before any more trouble could come. A strange man accompanied you. He called himself a “Hunter” and told you his name was Jacob Solomon. Whatever that means.

A couple of you decided to get the one who was arrested out of jail. The rest of you rendezvoused at the motel some of you have been staying at. Jacob told you about the Order of the Sun and the Brotherhood of Knives. Something about the Eyes of Sybil and prophecy. Signs and portents. Revelations about the company you keep.

Then a girl, a daughter, went missing. The group of you, one of you being the father, left on a chase. Anger and fury in the ones who had lost loved ones. Hunting, searching, moving. It all led you to the city next door, the slums of a small city overrun with trash. Demons showed up then and you fought with the strength of potent faith.

It took a lot out of you but they fell easily under your strength.

Now we need to see if the girl is alive and what to do with the souls of the damned.

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Oct. 18-20, 2001 (OOC: Game 11/26, 12/3, 12/10/2013)
Changing Plans and New Pathways

Oct. 18, 2001 continued.

The battle was won, but some fights were just beginning. A battle of souls, fighting for dominance and banishment of demons. One lost, one won and an enemy took a familiar face.

Still, all was not lost. A host is not so difficult to find if there’s a pull and a villain can be captured. An innocent was rescued, that was the important part. The capture was, well, an added bonus.

A friend took a new form. A child was saved. Answers were plucked from an enemy. A name, Alexiel, identified the one to blame and gave hints to her powers. A new friend gave directions to new possibilities, a mortal with the gift of foresight.

Oct. 19, 2001.

Chicago.

Too late to bother an old seer and too tired from battle, sleep was found (for some, at least). Morning rose and new faces were met. Chicago is the domain of the Tyrant Balthazar, a Devil and Duke of the Fallen. Time it was to make it to a court, not something anyone is particular fond of if one values freedom.

The Court of Chicago is welcoming enough, but it’s not you that they care about. It’s the mortals that have no master but are welcomed as if they were one of them. It’s strange, very strange, and Duke Balthazar seems to have no qualms about continuing his relationships with the Hunters. Indeed, when he calls you to him, Jacob comes as well.

Looking at Hunters, Balthazar tells you, is like looking at Angels. This seems a little far-fetched, doesn’t it? Still, one of you looked at them and it was like looking at a light that filled the whole suite. Is there something true about it all?

There’s no time for that and the seer, Fr. Mark Donnelly appears before you. He is a sullen elder and speaks as if the world were on his shoulders. He tells you about the Eyes of Sibyl, its possible origins and what it does. He also tells you about the Spear of Destiny and the fate surrounding it. Is it that you are important to the Spear or is the Spear important to you? This is what Alexiel is truly after.

There’s a cost though and the cost is life. A holy man must die for the holy spear to be retaken.

Oct. 20, 2001

You await the arrival of Fr. Mark Donnelly’s niece, Anna Gershon. Supposedly she may have more information or something of the sort. A little girl has visions of an angel and things start looking strange. You do a bit of research and find out that Alexiel is a Lady of the Ebon Legion, dark mistress and led Nephilim during the Age of Atrocities. One of you finds her pattern and others find their family members missing.

One of you makes the trip through the other world to find these family members. You fly to California and you find yourself following a trail north of Los Angeles. There’s a lot of activity here but you manage to sniff out the right path. Yet, you find only death at the end, death and pain. Something is wrong.

Still, you manage to draw the “She-Bitch” out with Anna’s help. Her forces are strong and the fight lasts a while. Still, you are powerful in your own right, perhaps more than you even realized and they all fall to your prowess. One of you try to take the soul but it does not work and Alexiel is captured with the dark reflection of healing.

Now, it is merely about waiting until she wakes.

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Oct. 20-22, 2001 (OOC: Game 12/21)
Muddled Signs, Muted Dreams

Oct. 20-22, 2001 (Memorials of St. Paul and St. Ursula and Companions)
A brief interlude.

It’s almost restful, this little break as we wait for our enemy to wake from the torpor that we placed her in. Emily watches over the “patient” and the rest of us take some time to ourselves. Noah keeps vigil over those who remain close to him (perhaps more zealously than any other might) and David tries his best to play the part of father to his daughter. Timothy, or rather Mugnakien, delves into his memories, the ones of a time before the Pit. Seth returns to his novel, the angelic part of him disappearing again.

Still, a man, a seer dies.

Jacob, that friend, that strange friend, returns with a gift from that seer, a last will so to speak of dreams that only visionaries can have. Wrapped in white silk and a pearl and ivory rosary, we find the writings of a man who knows he is going to die. Indeed, Hesediel (Noah) goes back and tries to find out how the priest died, the hours until his passing easy to find for one of the Seventh House.

Still, we all pick up the journal and thumb through the pages. Tightly written script goes on for ages and we try our best to discern the truth from the puzzles.

“The Gates of Hell are open yet the Gates of Heaven remain closed. There is no paradise to return to once death takes us, only more suffering. The sun must rise and fall before balance can be restored. The Spear [of Destiny] is only part of the key, for there are many keys, nine in all. The Spear is just the ‘head of the key.’”

We argue for a time about what it all means. Anna returns, relieving Jacob, and sits in on our conversations. Still, we argue.

But we have no time for this and Alexiel is about to wake. Mugnakien secures her chains and we wait (im)patiently for the Fiend to rise from her sleep.

She spits and curses us and, when we ask her questions, she refuses to speak. Torture begins and still she does not budge… until she sets sight on Anna and screams a fury of a thousand hells. Suddenly, she agrees to speak to the nameless one, the one we better know as Seth in mortal terms.

Alexiel works for the great Archduke Abaddon. The Spear is important to him and Alexiel, as the Earthbound’s right hand, wishes to find the Spear for him. That is why she was following all of us; she wanted to find the Spear and the visions all pointed to us finding the Spear. She knows nothing about Heaven or the “keys.”

Resigned to a death for her betrayal of her master, Alexiel waits for death but it does not come and, perhaps with the decaying touch of a Slayer, her bindings are released (crumbled). She pushes through the barrier and leaves into the night.

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Oct. 24, 2001 (OOC: 12/23/13 and 1/2/14)
Strange Pathways

Oct. 24, 2001

The Spear is the Head of the Key.

It was the only clue we had, a myth and a relic. The weapon of the one who first betrayed the Fallen in the War. It is the key, or so we think.

Well, some of us. We argued for a long time about the relevance, the clues we had gathered. We had little to go on but the writings of a dead seer and the words of an enemy. Still, there had to be some truth in it all. We were brought together for a reason, weren’t we?

Destiny is a strange thing. The War was all about that, in the end. The Destiny of Mankind, the Destiny of the Elohim. Though some of us do not remember much, we do remember what it felt to fight for something.

What are we fighting for now?

Maybe obtaining the Spear will give us an answer. We want to do good, don’t we? So we must find the Spear. Maybe it will point us in the right direction.

Speaking of directions, Mugnakien used his powers to find a path that would lead us to the Spear. The one we only know as Seth (though we all know that is not his real name) invoked visions to ascertain how we would obtain the relic. Dreams of monsters, demons, and angels.

So, we follow the path Mugnakien has found to Chicago, to the Art Institute. It’s too early for it to be open so Hesediel investigates. We’re not sure what he finds, but he calls out to Azazel and we find ourselves in the custody of Anna, badly hurt, and Jacob, bruised. Something is wrong and we flee the city soon after.

We rendezvous at Hesediel—no, Noah’s—home. Hesediel lays atop of the roof, drunk and despondent. Abyzou, Mugnakien, and “Seth” bring Anna inside and Azazel removes the poison from Hesediel. It is not a bad time—it is almost happy—but we are all anxious to hear about what is going on.

Hesediel explains that he had found Balthazar, that Tyrant of Chicago, (along with his cronies) in the midst of beating Anna to death and forcing Jacob to watch. So, he destroyed the assailants. Well, at least their mortal hosts.

Something is definitely afoot. Abyzou tends to Anna’s wounds and we all wait for her to wake. As we wait, we speak to Jacob who is reticent and unable to answer us with what we seek. Hesediel and Azazel debate about what to do and, afraid of brutality, Abyzou, Mugnakien, and “Seth” decide to take matters (delicately) into their own hands.

Gently, they wake the woman hunter. She rises, her wounds completely healed and she seems amazed. Still, we have questions and we ask her about what and why. But she doesn’t really have answers for us, just an idea. Killing her, she says, was what Balthazar had thought would further his goals. Whatever those may be.

Anna is still a mystery and we are no closer to the Spear (we think) than we were at the beginning.

We begin to discuss things when the police and an FBI agent appear outside the farmhouse’s window. This looks bad. Very bad, indeed. Hesediel had shot up the Art Institute of Chicago and Azazel (or David, in mortal terms) had effectively kidnapped his daughter.

Almost all of us flee the scene, except for Anna and Hesediel, who puts on the face of Noah as we are approached by law enforcement. We try to talk our way out of it, but it takes much convincing and, at the sight of David (Azazel), the FBI agent pursues.

There is a struggle and the FBI agent appears more than any mere agent, but something closer to us. Azazel escapes, still, and Hesediel and Anna are left to clean up the mess. Hesediel manages to convince the agent that his intentions are not all bad and, while they are taken into custody, they continue a dialogue.

Eventually, the FBI agent relents. We get his name and we convince him that we are not the enemy. He agrees to meet with us at the high school (back there again we go). We all talk individually with him and, though he thinks us strange, we convince him to help us. We are one more stronger than before.

Still, much has happened in the last week and there is still lives we have to (at least pretend to) attend. One to Chicago, another to Iowa, another to New York, another to stay at home and another to go out and continue the search.

It is only a matter of time now.

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Oct. 25-Nov. 11, 2001 (OOC: 1/14/14)
Riots and Revelations

Oct. 25-29, 2001 (Feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude)
Lead Us to Salvation

Hesediel searched while dreams were potent. It was to find the parents of his comrade, Abyzou who was Emily. He searched by every means, with powers and with mortals. The trail had led him to South Central LA.

He could not do this alone. Noah does not belong in LA and neither does Emily’s parents.

But the dreams are potent these nights and a few of us dreamt of past lives, of past battles, and even of things we perhaps have not seen before. Are they memories or are they fantasies?

We do not speak of these as Hesediel gathers us to LA. Excuses are made to mortal friends and acquaintances and we all make our way to our comrade. We are on a quest to save those close to one of us and perhaps to find our enemy yet again.

When we arrive in LA, nothing is quite as it appears. The place is a powder keg waiting to explode. Something is not right here and we rush to find Emily’s parents. The trail leads us from South Central LA to East LA and we find ourselves at the steps of the Mission San Gabriel Archangel.

There is potent faith here; it echoes in each of us and some cannot bear to enter the hallowed grounds. Still, Emily’s parents are here and we must save them.

And yet, there are familiar faces in the bustle of people passing by. Jacob is there and he walks into the Mission as if he belongs there. Something is strange in LA and there’s not much time to figure out why.

We search the area, trying to hide ourselves as night begins to settle in. Some of us sneak in, others wait outside. We find Emily’s parents but there seems something strange. They appear like prisoners and yet not. We look for a way to get them out.

The mother is escorted out and we follow, only to find ourselves face to face with Jacob. We demand answers.

Jacob is irritated and then tells us why exactly it was so suspicious. They weren’t prisoners, but under the protection of the Order of the Sun.

We are about to ask more questions when something strange happens…

Oct. 30, 2001 (Devil’s Night) (to Nov. 11, 2001)

An earthquake the size LA has never seen wracks the city. Everyone in the area feels it and it sets off a blaze, both figuratively and literally. People run into the streets and riots break out all over the city.

Humans aren’t the only ones in the streets, though, and we find Fallen (and worse) preying on the shocked and troubled people.

Violence and destruction reach new highs. LA burns for many, many days.

We try to save who we can and we destroy those who would abuse mortals.

On the 11th night, something “miraculous” happens. An angel, the angel, appears like the sun above LA. There is only one angel that appears as the dawn and all who see it know.

The Morningstar lives and he, the First of Us, has shown the world that angels (or at least that which once was) still exist.

People flock to the places of worship and pray.

The fire has started and we feel Faith breathe life again in the stagnation.

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