The Road from Salvation

Numbers Game
(March 8-11, 2031)

Content Not Found: Rem_Turner_ approached four individuals with a business proposal (Content Not Found: Arthur_Demus_, Jonas Pearson, Dr. Caroline Murdoch, and Dr. Sean Murdoch). The pitch: they’d go out and try to debunk a supernatural event, he’d fictionalize it into a blog, and then sell it to Fox-Apple. If they discovered something truly supernatural, it’d be even more lucrative. The job: New York City Councilman _Content Not Found: BenjaminRomero was getting bad press because he retained a spiritual adviser. The group turned up a name for the adviser (Jayden Lubinski) and a phone number. It was quickly obvious that he practiced a form of numerology, and his ritual technique was very good; however, he wielded no actual power. Once they saw through his scam, he admitted that though he did often fake readings, sometimes his fortunes were legit. The group had him give a reading to his mother in Ossining, whom Jayden claimed a higher success rate with. This was a dead end, but on the ride back, Jayden was attacked by a hired Lolthug. This threat was quickly dispatched, but moments later the train passed through a powerful magical anomaly, providing Jayden power for his legitimate magical knowledge. He perceived a decreasing sequence of numbers and, lo and behold, the thug was carrying a bomb set to go off when he fell unconscious! (He couldn’t have known about that… could he?) The bomb was discovered and defused in the nick of time, and everyone went home happy. Further research revealed a three-way crossroads outside the town of Sleepy Hollow to be the center of this “mana hill,” AND that the Councilman himself is a font of magical energy (maybe that’s why he gets re-elected). The newly formed group awaits an answer from Fox-Apple, but the story about a legitimate fortune teller did not make it to the evening news.

View
Escape This Summer
(March 14-15th, 2031)

Unconvinced that the two techies from the first paranormal investigation have enough relevant skills to make their salaries worthwhile, Content Not Found: Rem_Turner_ asked Caroline and Sean Murdoch to be part of a second investigation. Unknown to them, he asked more reasonably priced Content Not Found: NateTompkin and Anya to join the group in order to compare their usefulness. Rem had Fox-Apple interested in the project and finished construction of his blog, Rem Turner’s Paranoia Co. In a show of good faith, Fox-Apple fed him a tip from one of their news affiliates that there were reports of a unidentified flying object crashing into the slums of Red Hook. The group found their way to a playground in the heart of territory claimed by the Quills, a gang known to sport crude body modifications. They fought their way past a angry Quill to the small craft. Inside were two corpses covered in a thin fur, as well as mysterious alien artifacts. The only functioning control onboard was one to engage the engine; however, this ignition button just made a deep engine-not-really-working noise. Investigating further, the group found two revealing pieces of information. The introns within the aliens’ genomes were a repeating message: ESCAPE THIS SUMMER. Also, cutting a hole into the floor, the engine sound was discovered to be coming out of a large speaker. Clearly an elaborate hoax, the ship was transported to the Murdoch’s barge for further testing. Analysis confirmed that the ship was placed on site in its crashed state, that the bones and muscles for the aliens were grown in vats and then assembled to create the aliens, and escapethissummer.com is a viral website for Universal’s remake of Escape From The Planet of The Apes. The group members were initially dismayed to have been manipulated into helping Fox Apple deprive a rival studio of months of publicity, but were glad to find out that the Universal agreement provides the finder(s) of their artifact with %1 final script revision rights and %1 of all total royalties*. And then dismayed again when Rem Turner asserted that since they were on the job at the time, the profits will be going to fund the business.

View
Running Blind
March 17, 2031

The group was summoned to a meeting on Monday night, where they were met by a representative of Fox-Apple. Also at the meeting were assembled suits representing a confederacy of corporations. Apparently one of the members saw fit to bring her kid to this secret meeting in a fortified location. It was agreed amongst these powers that a group investigating the supernatural would be useful. They care deeply about the public good, and want the group to investigate, protect, but keep their mouths shut. Suddenly, as if a spell was lifted, the suits began to notice the random Latino kid in a (debatably colored) bucket hat. The lights go out across the city; someone— apparently the kid, identified as Eleggua, an orisha of Santeria— has hacked Con Edison. The group got through the blast doors of this too-secure conference room, and found Content Not Found: Sariel_Joplin_ in a cloud of “Mystic Mist.”
Apparently, she was a practicing Wiccan, knew a handful of real spells, but was never aware that she possessed actual magical power. The stars serve many casters as a way to access the supernatural; our view of the universe holds secrets for those who can see them, and this was the first time New York was shown its stars since before the turn of the century. She was talked down from her panicked protection spell, and the group was free from the building. As their first mandated task, The Paranoia Company tracked down surprised people who were manifesting their new-found power. This included a Catholic priest, an aging geek, a Buddhist monk, and an Content Not Found: DallasJang
. The first three peacefully made their way to the company’s new office, and the fourth ended up in the hospital.

View
Just a Fluke
March 17-28, 2031

The company settled the business with the newly awakened magicians, settled into their new office space and met the caretaker/former owner of the facility, Dean. Plans were made to try to expand their space, and software was put in place to monitor emergency personnel traffic for unusual happenings. And for a little while, nothing happened. The fledgling adventurers trained up, rested, drank heavily, and did homework. After a week and a half, the monitoring software hit on something, and the team investigated a screaming Content Not Found: Darias_Corpsman_ being transported from the scene of a burglary/homicide. When they arrived, though, the medical examiner had been killed. Some arcane research and two autopsies later, it was concluded that this was the work of a Barbed Fluke, a species of parasitic demon. The company investigated the home of the first murder victim, a noted food critic; they found very little missing, but the computer had been destroyed. On the cleaned up security footage, the murderer didn’t even look human. After the victim’s files were re-assembled and reviewed, his recent rave sent them in the direction of an all-organic restaurant called Frantique, specializing in cheap Sicialian-style snails. Effective interview techniques, deductive reasoning and mental telepathy led the company to conclude that the owner of this restaurant had been possessed by a barbed fluke and raised fluke-infested snails in his basement. They dispatched this parasitic mastermind, and sent tiny robots to deal with the dangerous, numerous, devil snailsfin.jpg.

View
The World's Fastest Roller Coaster
April 2-3, 2031

As Nathan’s monitoring program caught wind of another disturbance, everyone seemed to be having their own issues. Content Not Found: Anya_ and Arthur were missing without any explanation. Jonas was in jail, having left a pair of prints at last week’s murder scene. The Murdochs got called into service of their country and were tasked with opening a mystery package for a foreign archaeologist. Nathan’s mother started to wonder where he gets to after school, and her prying got in the way of the tight-lipped adolescent. Things became worse for the group when Anya could not be reached, Jonas ran out of meds and started talking to coffee cups, Nathan’s mom discovered Dean doing drugs while touring the office, Sean started lusting after the visiting scientist, and C.C. needed to work around her homicidal jealousy. Eventually, Arthur came back on the radar, Jonas was released, Nathan accepted a new chaperon, and the Murdochs left the mystery box sit while they joined the investigation of a phantom roller coaster. The company found another mysterious, shadowy figure (See: Just a Fluke) atop the Cyclone roller coaster and witnessed a curious phenomenon. Following some intense rumbling, a twinned image appeared. Squashed, orange roller coaster cars appeared from nothingness, slowly sliding along the steel rails. Simultaneously, an elongated blue-green set of cars sped backwards from the same point in space. As they traveled, they faded back into nothingness. The physicists of the group offered the possibility that this was an object moving faster than the speed of light and/or backwards in time. Then, to up the ante for things that shouldn’t happen, Sean rigged up a jet pack for cripply Arthur, who tried to interact with the dark, unresponsive figure. Sufficiently provoked, the hooded figure lashed out at Demus, and fell to his demise. Shadows billowed out of his sleeves, and nothing other than old clothes were left behind. These clothes were scrutinized; at least one article came from Darias Corpsman’s closet. Another was a T-Shirt for a performance by the band “Gibbous” that would occur at the end of the week. More time travel? No. The printing company that did the shirts was located in Tribeca and, as it turned out, there were a small group of those shadowy guys hidden beneath, worshiping. Jonas’ appraisal: this was the cult of Content Not Found: Trivia, the Roman goddess of childbirth, sorcery, death, and the triple crossroads; the company also learned that she had sent one of her shades out to kill again! Her next target was one roldover" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lewis Roldover, noted entomologist, and apparently not demon-infested. Further, Nate uncovered C.C.‘s secret communications with the dark power! C.C. admitted that yes, she had been in contact with Trivia for some time, and that certain deals had been struck, but that she wasn’t in league with Trivia, per se. While Sean developed some improvised firepower to take out this group, Arthur stormed in, a whirlwind of supplication, and made friends with the Queen of Ghosts. For now.

View
Undone
April 7-8, 2031

A case came to the attention of the company in which a young girl named Kathy Hanlon had been kidnapped. Bright green fur was found at the scene, suggesting something beyond the normal comprehension of the police. Further, Kathy’s brother and guardian, Karim, remembered hearing a deep voice singing strange music, perhaps followed by “Bye, I’m Jonas.” The latter clue led the police to label Jonas Ambrosius Pearson as a person of interest, given his convictions about the supernatural, involvement with a prior homicide, and history of mental illness. The former clue led the company to some green fur preserved within a book in Dean’s collection, chronicling a medieval demon slayer’s pursuit of the Krümelmonster. The fur was similar, as was an account of children being led off by music. In fact, the company linked this text to events in 13th century Germany, as recounted in “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.” Through some online research and with the help of the talented cybervangelist David Starsky, the company were led to the home of a Connecticut school teacher and Weezer fanatic, Emily Gardener. The company infiltrated her lair, found three children— Kathy, Erin, and Patrick— and somehow simultaneously stole the children and won her trust. Of course, until the plan was complete, Jonas, Dean, and (mostly) C.C. were the object of aggression for an indestructible green monster. From there, it became slowly clear that she had contracted her curse from Rivers Cuomo, frontman for Weezer. It seemed that he was the original pied piper, and had taken inspiration for his current form from the Weser River in Germany. The company immediately traveled to Cleveland, the site of the most recent Weezer concert, where they confronted Cuomo. Back in the city, Dean was tasked with keeping the children— who apparently had also fallen under the curse— sedated. In Cleveland, Cuomo quickly caught on that the company did not have his best intentions at heart (Arthur shot him in the chest), and transformed into a huge, multicolored, shaggy horror. Cuomo beat on the company, swallowed C.C., and was not slowed by the several bullets put into him. The day was saved, though, when C.C. hurled his heart/mystical-ball-of-yarn out of a large bullet hole and Jonas hastily unwound it. The party walked away from Cuomo’s dead human form, suspecting that this would be written off as a drug overdose. The curse lifted from the children, who retain a pretty hazy memory of the events, while Emily was returned to the body of a fourteen-year-old and was provided with some new identity information by Dean. Nate, previously involved in keeping the police away from Jonas, had some final insight on the true nature of the krümelmonster, gained from being raised bilingual.

View
Not Tron
April 10, 2031

Content Not Found: Trivia_ approached the company, looking for help on behalf of her “brother” in a place she wasn’t keen on going. Apparently, Content Not Found: Vulcan_, Roman god of fire, metal, and water, had taken to inhabiting a well known MMORPG known as Daemonspace. He was the game master for their world which simulated “Yuboto” – a post apocalyptic pulpy submarine anime. The company logged on to investigate- Nate, CC, and Sean on their main characters, Jonas on a newly created trial character, and Arthur on a recently purchased avatar. They found the world of Yuboto quarantined by the admins, but punched a hole in. They found the ocean drained and the world desolate. They located Vulcan and eventually worked out that a demonic AI had been embedded deep in this digital universe, and was pulling strings to bring the entire thing to an end. Yuboto was one of seven key worlds to bring the whole thing crashing down. The company located and cornered the demon’s agent, a unwitting player named _Content Not Found: CarnegieFurillo, portraying a Dark Keyblade Master, who quickly gave up his master when faced with the truth of what he was doing and legal action. The company confronted this AI, who called himself Obsidion, and banished him to whatever hellish dimension he came from. However, after hacking into Obsidion’s e-mail, the company observed communications between him, LakeDweller5, and another entity, LakeDweller3, who seemed to be ensconced within the Bank of America.

View
The Call of Khai'le
April 16, 2031

C.C. and Arthur were contacted my Curtis and Pembroke, two well dressed, polite gentlemen who were interested in talking about what the world is coming to. Both quickly realized that this was some kind of cult, said as much, and it was revealed to them that this cult teaches that Khai’le, a gigantic tiger, will rise out of the ocean and devour the world in 3057 after his book of 18,000 prophecies is fulfilled. And C.C. & Arthur are likely identified in the book. And Pembroke has the ability to manifest a water elemental. Willing at least to investigate further, the two went to a meeting of this cult at the Governeror’s Island Marina. It was foretold that C.C. would go to an island and speak to an octopus, and they were greeted, after a lengthly sermon, by Content Not Found: Ultros, a genetically engineered psychic octopus. Arthur was foretold that the Knights of Antonius will help him to find his wife’s killer. However, the cult could offer him little more. Jules, however, telepathically promised them both their heart’s desire should they arrange his escape. Neither really believed him, but C.C. wanted a psychic octopus, so they snuck into the marina that night. C.C. seduced Curtis while Arthur made use of one of Dean’s spells to transmute himself into slime. He stealthily sunk down into the shark tank, through an air lock, and grabbed the octopus while C.C. realized that she bit off more than she could handle. Arthur snuck past the shark a second time, tricked the guards into the tank, and the two ran off, leaving Curtis with a mystery to clean up.

An addendum:

Following this adventure, a trailer premiered for the new Planet of the Apes movie. It looks pretty good.

View
In Which There Were Both Dungeons and Dragons
April 24, 2031

Dean alerted the group to something on YouNews; some wacko, made up to look like a demon, was caught on tape screaming “It will all be ours again!”, wandering around a Sheraton Inn in Massachusetts. The company quickly figured out that was not make-up; it looked like a human being that’s been warped into a Hellspawn. It turns out that this man, Greg Milholand, is an accountant for Bank of America and lives in Westchester. Coincidentally, this is the same bank that dealt with Obsidion. When the team arrived, the cops had the place surrounded; felt they were dealing with a hostage situation. They told the company that screams were heard and a few guests escaped, claiming a demon had herded a lot of the guests into the lobby. After the company snuck into the hotel, they were confronted at every turn by the risen corpses of the guests. Not a hostage situation after all. With the aid of a shotgun and the by-now-old trick of pretending to be a zombie, the company were able to investigate Greg’s room, finding a tablet PC in his room, containing a copy of the demonic AI. He seemed to have been approaching this piece of code as a possible virus, or at least a glitch in the system. As it was handling large sums of money, though, one might guess that he was waiting to figure out what it was before he alarmed the company. At some point along the lines, the demon struck out an attempted to possess Greg, a procedure which only partially succeeded. The company tracked this insane hellspawn to a ancient passage beneath the hotel, dug when Irish monks, accompanied by norse sailors, to the land of St. Brendan to safeguard the historical, religious, and magical wisdom of the West from the Dark Ages. Also in the lair was a cache of treasure, including Christian artifacts and some orichalcum viking blades. Two dragons slept, guarding the tomes, and one greeted the party. Pretty apathetic to the affairs of mortals, he had allowed Greg to peruse the spells, but when Greg started to get annoying, he tricked him into a different chamber and sealed the orichalcum door. Apparently, Greg explored his new demonic powers by raising zombies. The company approached him as friends, but then sucker punched him. With the new blue axe. And a shotgun. The party left the zombies and the hellspawn’s remains for the cops to sort out and headed back to New York. Peter requested to come along, and brought Molly with him.

An addendum:

What’s In Molly’s Library
(listed with spell, college, and language of the text)

Alter Body (Hermetism, Latin)

Zombie (Hermetism, Egyptian)

Fire Jet (Hermeticism, Latin)

Haste (Hermeticism, Greek)

Major Healing (Christian, Latin)

Glow (Christian, Latin)

Illusion Disguise (Wicca, Old Irish)

Shield (Wicca, Old Irish)

Wind (Wicca, Elder Futhark)

Shocking Touch (Wicca, Elder Futhark)

Further information, from in between adventures:

Believing in transparency, the government made no attempt to cover up this event per se. They just tried to investigate it discretely, responsibly, and scientifically. Without using the zed word. Of course, the media is buzzing with rumors of this zombie incident.

The company used the information gained from Greg’s computer to hack into the Bank of America and delete the demon infesting it.

View
The Manhattan Pillar
May 6, 2031, 9:30 am - 4 pm

The company was briefly overwhelmed. While Nate dealt with the aftermath of the encounter with Greg and Jonas attempted to pinpoint a sudden surge in Manhattan’s magical field, Arthur was contacted via Daemonspace by one Cambria Chung, aka Kumulous, from New Holland, Pennsylvania. As the company left New York, they were surprised to find a new and marked dropoff in the magical energy in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. One advantage of this is that Sean’s still experimental tachyon detector worked perfectly, since there was no background noise. She heard rumors about what they did for Vulcan, and wanted them to look into the murder of a friend of hers. At the time of the crime, the neighbors saw some smoke and called to the police. There was no evidence of fire, but poor Robert Parish looked as if a refrigerator had been dropped on him. Using Sean’s invention, the group traced the attack back to an abandoned barn, where it was surmised that a Content Not Found: Smithy_Devil had been trapped behind a powerful hex sign. Apparently with the magical field suddenly turned off, the warding keeping the monster in place had failed. The company located the smithy devil and stalled it, talking to it in German, as Sean prepared his (locally grown) fruit-powered lightning gun. Although resistant to technology, strawberry lightning went through the clicking fiend like butter.

Back in New York, the company found the source of the magical disturbance deep beneath the city. They snuck into the dig for the 2nd Avenue subway, following the tunnels to deep beneath Central Park, and came upon a tremendous tree, made entirely of orichalcum. Passing the dead bodies of a team of excavators and occult experts, they realize that the diggers have seriously injured a root of this tree, specifically one reaching to the west, and that mana is leaking into the cavern at a fatal rate. This overpowering magic allows laymen to cast magic, so the mages arm Nate & Sean with books so that they can vent this surplus energy through casting spells. In fact, magic allows them to easily seal up the tree’s injury. Crisis averted, the company discovered another body on the floor of the cavern, though not dead. He claimed to be Content Not Found: Reimund_Minuit_, one of two brothers who tricked the Canarsie Indians into selling the island of Manhattan to the Dutch (and thusly the name for the island comes from the Canarsie phrase for “place where we got cheated”). Angry, the Canarsie called on an old mystic named Montowese, who cursed him with eternal life and trapped him within the roots of the tree that supports the island of Manhattan. Years later, as the population of the island and the tree itself grew, it pushed through a rusty, forgotten water main. Reimund was cursed to spend eternity with rusty water dripping several hundred feet into his face. He was, however blessed that the years of marinading in the mana flow of the world tree had granted him amazing powers. The party frees the tortured soul, only to bring him to the surface and have him start to start going beserk. The centuries had not been good to Reimund’s mind. His body, though, began shedding its hair; he slowly transformed into a colossal snake and slithered into Central Park, eating those who stood in his way. Some quick research led the party to realize that Montowese was Canarsie for “sleeping wolf,” and Arthur left to confront coyote" class=“wiki-content-link”>Dean.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.