Log:20100408 - Shattered - Interlude

Setting

Hyde Park – University Campus

Hyde Park is located right on Lake Michigan, and borders the University of Chicago. Although it's not only a park but also a subdivision that houses more than sixty-two percent of the University's faculty and nearly all of its students; as such, it is one of the most successful racially and economically integrated communities in the United States.

The 'park' is itself riddled with parks. Several restaurants, museums, and gardens help to cultivate the area in a distinct atmosphere. The air is scented with the smells of flowers in spring time, and fresh water-purified air throughout the year. Trees, foliage, benches, tables, and works of art dot the landscape, intermingling with the places of residence. In June the Art Fair attracts national attention, as does the parade on the fourth of July.

ST

Cast

RL Date

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

IC Date

Thursday, April eighth 2010. 08:28 pm

The sun is down. The waning gibbous moon is up. <63.3% full and fading>

The tide is low and slack.

Cold rain pours from thick grey clouds, driven by a howling north wind. The average temperature is around Fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit, Twelve Centigrade.

Scene

It is well after dinner and in the wake of a third attack in the city by so-called gremlins. Hyde Park on the University campus is mostly barren save for a few joggers braving the downpour. The path leading to the Preternatural Research department is empty and quiet save for the music of the rain.

Wes' black umbrella shields him from the majority of the rain. He's brought with him his sleuthing equipment - which consisted mostly of a lot of small, plastic bags, some more handkerchiefs, a silver plated knife, a set of lockpicks, and his 'clue' - the smear of black gremlin goo contained in one of the handkerchiefs. He keeps his head up as he walks, whistling cheerfully in the rain.

There comes a tapping on Wes' shoulder, light but insistent, and delivered with a smooth, hard object. "Now sonny, you won't be finding the answers you need from the stuffed shirts up that way," comes an oddly familiar voice. It belongs to Edna Spitz, the little 84 year old lady that berated Wes for his smoking in Grant Park, shortly before stabbing a gremlin in the eye with her cane. She is tiny, broad, and extremely wrinkly. Her nose is upturned to make it look a bit piggish in her very round face. She folds her large, thick hands on top of her cane. The only immediate indication that she may not be human is the fact she seemed to have come out of nowhere. "If it's answers you seek, I'm the one you should be talking to."

Wes turns around, looking very surprised. He looks around at first, as if searching for the shimmer of some kind of magical entrance - or a wormhole exit. He looks at Edna carefully, "Hmm, well I would like a few answers," Wes says, "How many answers do I get, or how many questions can I ask, and will they cost anything besides a smile or a cup off coffee?

Edna adjusts her yellow plastic rain bonnet on top of her scraggly grey hair and grins at Wes, with yellowed, crooked teeth. She pushes thick glasses up on her squat nose and then waves at him to follow her towards one of the denser bits of greenery in the park. As she waddles along using her cane for help she converses in a sullen tone. "Normally I don't give a right squat what happens to all you folk out here, but if he gets done what he wants to do, all the lovely summer concerts on campus will be cancelled and I'll be dreadfully cross." His concerns have her chuckling. "I'm not one of those bloody bridge trolls, boy. The ‘Bannock Feet’ don't charge fees so much, but I'll never say no to something shiny to add to my collection." She waves a hand before a pile of rocks and the glamour concealing a small cave entrance fades to revealed the opening. "Come, come, I even put tea on. I figured one of you lot from the fountain would put two and two together eventually and need some information." She trundles inside.

"Well that sounds lovely," Wes says as he follows Edna towards the small cave entrance. As he does, he tries to sense exactly what Edna was, by Wes' preternatural senses. He folds his umbrella before entering the cave, "I'll see what I can do about something shiny," he says about it, mentally marking the place where the cave entrance began. "So, about the critters at the fountain - what are they?" he asks, when he is inside.

Inside the cave is actually a cozy little dwelling, with wooden furnishings, floral print cushions and wall hangings, and every surface covered in shiny bits and bobs collected from the world outside. There is a phonograph, a radio, a record player, and some more modern stereo equipment, though the latter ones look dusty due to her lack of electricity down here. Musical instruments of every shape and size hang on the walls, and there are piles upon piles of sheet music all over the place. There are many names for Edna's kind, from "Truncherface" to the aforementioned "Bannafeet". But in general she's a simple breed of Fae that are part of the Trow. Her vein is the squat, ugly troll of Orkney folklore. They have a legendary love of music and musicians.

True to her word, there is a steaming kettle over a warmly glowing hearth, with teabags already in cups on a small table. A sterling silver tea service sits proudly in the table's center. "Do have a seat and let’s ward off some of the rain, shall we? I have some cookies if you'd like. I've never known elves to be any good at baking, but those Keebler breed are bloody fantastic."

Wes takes a seat at the small table. He's not sure if he quite trusts Edna, but he does do a good job of at least looking like he was at ease. He looks around at the inside of the dwelling with the various musical instruments. Wes says, "I think I'll be all right with just the tea," he says, declining the offer of cookies. "It's an, er, lovely home you have down here," he says.

"Why thank you," the trow replies in a grandmotherly tone. The hot water is poured into the teacups and a small plate of Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies is set out, despite Wes declining, before Edna finally gets down to business. "Now, let me see. Where did I put that spellbook? Ah! There it is!" She spots the object of her interest on a shelf and plucks it down. It's a slim volume, looking very old and very damaged. "So tell me, do you have any guesses on what our little orange friends might be? Here's a hint, Gremlins aren't orange." She plops down into the chair across from the man and flips pages in her tome, looking for something in particular.

Wes looks at the volume curiously, as if trying to make out what was on the pages. "Haven't a clue," Wes says about the gremlins, "Some other sort of melting, conglomerate type of fairy?" he asks and picks up the teacup with a thanks.

"I've no bloody idea what his true name is, mind you, but some schmuck quite obviously does. He goes by Gamosh Sanguinus, He of Blood and Lightning. He's a demon. A big demon with a real penchant for throwing around electricity like a bad taser." She huffs. "He's a real pisser, that one. But he's one, and he's big, and it seems now he's many and little." Edna squints one bulbous eye at Wes. "Which means the idjit what tried to summon him screwed the pooch. He came over, all right, but he shattered into a pile of smaller pieces of himself." She turns the book around and pushes it across the table towards him. "Now mind you, I wouldn't have recognized what he was until I realized the things those little guys were stealing were from a very old bit of magic. I only put it together myself because back when I was a young filly, I had this lovely bard I kept in a hole for a few decades to sing to me. And he sang a song about some other demon who was in just the same predicament." The book is in Latin, so it makes zero sense on paper.

If it were in Latin, then Wes would have had better luck with a magical picture book. He listens carefully, then sits back a bit as Edna squints a bulbous eye at him. "What were they stealing?" Wes asks, "'ve only seen the coins in the fountain, and heard of … some type of award, or trophy, at the Starbucks," he says about it, holding the tea between both hands.

Thankfully, Edna is a helpful sort when her summer concert series is at risk. She points a pudgy finger at one part of the page. "It's a spell to reassemble himself. This here," she points further down, "states the items he needs to do the ritual. A cup of victory, coin of the realm, the crown of the false king, and the bones of the fallen." She smiles broadly up at Wes. "The softball trophy, the coins from the fountain, and an hour ago the news reported that they hit the Burger Tzar over on Clark and made off with a pile of those paper crowns for the kids meals."

"Clever," Wes says to Edna with a smile. "So that really leaves just the bones of the fallen," Wes says, as he follows Edna's fingers - more so that it looks like he's paying attention, rather than being able to understand it. "Where are they taking that lot off to? Does it have to be a specific place that the ritual has to occur?" Wes asks,

At his further question she grunts and nods her head. "Oh yes, yes indeed. The highest point in the realm. Now, that all depends on what he can rationalize as the realm? But if I had to hazard a guess, the highest point in the city of Chicago would suffice. Magic can be painfully literal at times. Especially ritual sorcery. Even though by the lofty standards of the spell's purple prose, those items are poor stand-ins for components, when it comes down to it? They'll probably work," Edna announces with a grimace that makes her homely face downright ghastly. "At this rate they could raid KFC for chicken bones and it might be enough to put him back together." She plucks the teabag from her cup and sips it with a moment of daintiness that seems ridiculous performed by such a squat, ugly being.

"'s probably on the roof of one of those skyscrapers, not the CN Tower but…Sears, innit." Wes says about that. "Unless they mean highest by some sort of pun, like a fake blow up castle or sommat." Wes says, being somewhat familiar with the city. "Aye, bones of the fallen. Though I suppose once a chicken kicks the bucket, there's not really far for them to fall. Sort of half a foot. Don't usually fly too high." He says, and strokes his chin thoughtfully. "What else has to be done to complete the ritual - require words or a particular tune?" he asks. Wes adds, "Or does it have to be done on a particular day?"

"It has to be done of a midnight," Edna replies. "No particular day that I could suss out in the text, but there was a lot of damage to it. I'd guess that once you hear about them having the bones? The following midnight will be when they perform the ritual." She nibbles a cookie, and the crumbs get caught in the wrinkles of her voluminous jowls. "As for what else he needs? If he knows the components then he has the words for the ritual. He just needs to put them together, gather his parts, and draw a circle of power to cast the spell in." She leans forward on the table to say quietly, "The fact he's in bits is why you weren't able to work your mojo on him, boy. All he had to do was shut off his connection that that little gremlin limb of his and you couldn't get to him. Lights were off, and nobody home. Then he could just reopen the connection later and resume control. But he seems to be having trouble with cohesion after he breaks off contact from the rest of the collective. I think that's why they turned to goo. Don't see the Borg ever having those issues on Star Trek. Hmph!"

Wes was tempted to ask how Edna even watched Star Trek without electricity, but he says instead: "So aside from breaking his circle, assumably, is there any way to keep him from reforming?" Wes asks. "Salt, iron, silver, crosses, the usual work on him?"

"None I know of. But I've an inkling that even if he finishes the ritual, he won't be back together quite the same as he started. You've killed off a goodly number of his bits, you see, and I think he'll need some months to regain his former strength and power. If you strike when he first reassembles? You might be able to end him." She drains her teacup and scratches at a grizzled ear.

"T'wont be easy to get up on the roof of one of those buildings. I'm thinking you have the right one with that Sears Tower. Let me see if I have something that might be able to help — If you're of a mind to stop this demonic blowhard from laying waste to Chicago, of course." She gets up and totters around, shoving tchotkes aside here and there and digging into baskets and woven boxes in search of something. "Ah ha!" She comes up with a small ceramic jewelry box and opens the lid. It's empty. "Son of a— oh wait, I hung it up for safe keeping." She heads to a coat rack and plucks an amulet on a cord from it. "This has a glamour on it, t'will make all eyes slide off you and everyone you are connected to. If you all hold hands, and you put the amulet on, you won't be noticed. Not even by folks watching cameras and the like. But it will only work once, and it will only work for about one hour."

Wes almost looks disappointed as the jewelry box is revealed to be empty, before Edna remembers where it is. "That's just the type I am, innit - one of those helpful, city saving types." Wes says about being willing to help out. "Will that charm ever wear out if it isn't used in a few days?" he asks about it, looking the amulet. "N' how do you turn it on, I suppose," Wes adds, as if it were a light bulb.

She hands it over. It's a simple amulet, nothing more than a stone with a naturally worn hole through the center, holding an aura of light magic which emanates from it, the magic of tangible illusions. Folklore often stated that Trow could make themselves invisible. In all likelihood it's nothing more than Fae Light magic. "Put it round your neck and let it rest over your heart. Then turn three times widdershins. That will activate it, and it will keep til that happens. Then whomever's hands are joined to yours in a chain will also share in the glamour."

"All right, I'll keep that in mind," Wes says with a nod. "Is there anything else you think I should know?" he asks, still holding his tea.

Edna scratches at the side of her head. "No. No nothing that comes to mind. He'll bleed like any other if he's too weak to gather his magic. It's a bit of a gamble you'll be taking, sonny, but you're a smart fella; you'll run if he starts flinging lighting at you." She grins at that.

"Aye, either that or plant a great big lightning rod somewhere else," Wes says about it. What would (possibly) be more useful might be a faraday cage, but Wes wouldn't know about that. "I'll see if I can bring a few of my friends with me, they might be willing to help." Wes says about it. "Thank you for your lovely help, by the way."

"Like I said, Gamosh is a pisser, and he'll wreck my sweet summer nights of music," and potential kidnapping of college musicians. Cough. Edna smiles and she stands up, heading for the cave entrance to escort him out. "See if you can find some of those folks who have already fought them. When you hurt one like him, you gain a little bit of power over him. Even if it's only the power of intimidation," she advises.

"Aye, I'll see what I can do," Wes says with a nod, "N' is there somewhere I can find you later?" he asks, "I'd like to give you something in return for your help," he says, as he follows Edna towards the cave entrance.

"The night after you finish him off, walk the same path you did tonight, and I'll find you," Edna assures. She leans on her cane to watch his departure.

"Hmm," Wes says, as he's about to leave. "I just have one more question - any idea who summoned him?" he asks.

Edna chuckles. "None, but I'd bet good coin on it that he didn't survive the summoning. If Gamosh shattered, that meant the spell misfired. The sorcerer's circle wouldn't have protected him from the demon. He is most likely waste those little demonlets have shat out by now." What a lovely image.

"All right then," Wes says, and then gives Edna a somewhat theatrical bow as he leaves the little cave. "Thank you again for your lovely help. Hopefully we'll meet again, innit."

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