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trollthumper

Call, Raise, or Fold [IC]

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The super-revenant shook his head, "seen lots of possessions in my time, an' this had lots of the earmarks of one. But," he scratched his chin in thought, "all the cases I know where possession was tied to some object -- like a bit of jewelry or a mask -- the objects stays behind once the possession's ended. It's usually where the possessin' spirit goes back to once it's kicked out of its host. If the object's gone with the spirit, then-"

"Waitasec," he muttered as he looked over the three bodies, "they didn't put those masks on, did they? I saw 'em reach into their jackets as I was shamblin' up, but it looked like they was goin' fer guns, not masks." He knelt by one and started going through his pockets, "maybe somethin' on 'im they used to call up the spirit, a runestone or somethin'... an' maybe they didn't know just what it was they'd be callin' up, based on how a-feared they seemed when those spirits did manifest."

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Ghost Girl floated above the unconscious criminals looking glum. "Aw jams, evil spirits, making us all look bad." The teenage poltergeist kicked at the air in annoyance. "Possession's just weird. Seems like it'd be like wearing a nasty, meaty... person-suit. How does that get fun?" Shuddering and sticking out her tongue, she turned to the more experienced heroes. "So... we won, though, right? Knocked the bad guys out of the other bad guys so they had to leave? What now?"

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Nick walked over to one of the unconscious thugs, taking care to make sure that whatever had shown up and acted through his flesh was long gone. Once that was clear, he bent down and began to rifle through the thug's pockets. "Well, if he's holding some token of his rider," he said while searching, "I've got a good feeling what it'd be. Mind you, all I'm finding so far is a wallet, a cell phone, some Nicorette, and... hmmm..."

He pulled a card from the thug's pocket, of equal dimensions to a large playing card. He held it up to the light, revealing a rider on the back of a brass chariot. "Yeah, just as I thought," he said. "Shaking down fortune tellers, and then those masks..." He turned to the fortune teller. "This isn't the first time they showed up, is it?"

"I got a visit a few days ago," she said. "They told me I should think about taking a long vacation. I was going to go to the cops tonight, but... well, you saw it."

"Yeah, I did. I've heard of the Tarot having power. But sapience? That's a new one..."

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Equinox wrinkled up her nose. "Well, Ghost Girl, the problem is we didn't beat them all. There's twenty-two major arcana, plus the minor arcana. Which is the size of a deck of playing cards. That's... potentially a lot of spirits, especially if we didn't stop the spirits and just drove them out of their hosts."

She shrugged. "I can see why you'd imbue a Tarot deck though. As a symbolic object, it's got a lot of tenure even in the minds of those who don't do magic. That's got its own kind of power to it."

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"Sapience?!," Dead Head repeated, "The cards, the... whatever themselves? Hoo boy..." He shook his head, "I seen plenty o' small-time mystics try to pattern themselves after some card from the Tarot, even a few attempts at puttin' groups together based on it, but this... this is somethin' else."

"I mean," he looked up to Equinox and Nick, hoping they might have some answers for the questions he was about to pose, "how do we even face somethin' like that? I mean, yeah, we need to stop 'em -- they tried shakin' down this fortune teller, that ain't good -- but what the heck do they want? What could they want? If these are the Tarot archetypes, they's somethin' primal on a level of gods, maybe even more primal than that."

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"Oh! Oh, I know this one! 'If someone asks if you're a god...'," Ghost Girl began in response to Dead Head's suppositions, only to quiet down when it became clear how seriously the three more experienced supernatural heroes were taking the threat. "So it's maybe like evil fifty-two pick-up? That seems like it'd take a while to clean up. Would it be faster to find who threw the deck into the air in the first place?" Looking between the others, she suck a little deeper into the hood of her cloak and tapped the ends of her index fingers together pensively. "If... if that makes sense, I mean."

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"Well, I suppose there's one way to find out..."

Nick went over to one of the passed-out gangsters, who looked like he was just starting to stir. He pulled the guard to his feet and threw him into one of the chairs in the fortune teller's lobby, effectively knocking him out of his stupor. "Buh? What the --?"

"That seems to be the question on everybody's mind," said Nick. "So, let's work on that. First question. Who do you work for?"

"I don't have to tell you anything --"

"That's right!" Nick leaned forward, baring his teeth in a way that really brought out the rictus in his makeup. "But you're really going to want to. Otherwise... well, who knows what'll happen."

The gangster gulped. "Driogano," he said. "Al Driogano."

"Oh, of course. So why's the big man turning his wrathful gaze on fortune tellers?"

"He never told us. We got orders from that lady of his. The card reader."

"She responsible for your little friends?"

"What friends? All I did was pass out, and... look, she called us in, gave us a reading - said it was part of the job - and told us to go out and take care of this woman."

Nick turned back to the others. "So. Who feels like hitting the casinos?"

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