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  1. Phantom had debated strongly about whether or not to go in costume or civvies. While she was less recognizable in her civvies, and would be able to avoid a great deal more of the inevitable small talk, it really was the Master Mage that Callie wanted to see and unlike some of the other famous heroes, Phantom actually did hold onto her secret identity. So, she was there, floating over the fountain in front of the school in her full costume. The ghostly folds of her cloak floated out, blowing in astral winds. It was a very dramatic pose, one that most people would certainly chalk up to being a spooky spell caster. Only some of them would recognize that it was dread of such a large social gathering that had her hovering over the fountain to provide some sort of buffer. Hell, she hadn't talked to some of these people since JJ was little... Shying away from those memories, Phantom finally bit the bullet and drifted down to the pathway, buried deep in the shadows of her cloak. With a small nod towards the schools headmistress, she floated through the walls of the school proper and towards the classroom that she'd occasionally taught a lecture or two in for the more magically inclined to await the first student appointment. Inside the classroom, she relaxed at the familiar surroundings. Crowds had never been comfortable but classrooms... Really, what was a Master Mage but a very, very gifted nerd. With a slight smile, Phantom gestured, lighting up the room with a soft purple glow that filled the runes and ward lines etched in the walls with the fire of her magic.
  2. While it was known that the mantle of Master Mage had changed hands, the woman herself had been difficult to find for even the most skilled practitioners. In Phantom's defense, she had been very, very busy adjusting to her new role and making certain that her previous duties were still taken care of. That said, just because Taylor had the title and power, it didn't make her any more eager to leave her library for social engagements. Still, she knew that it was important to engage in the community. Not only would people have need of her skills, but she would doubtless need theirs. Apocalypse events were all too common for Earth Prime and when things hit the fan, it was critical for magic users to work together. A few social engagements went a long way towards easing tensions. The mystically inclined, inside and outside of Freedom City, found themselves informed that a gathering would be held on the summer solstice at the Elder Sign in North Bay. There were no instructions on how to navigate the wards included in the brief invitation. The Elder Sign had enough protections on it to keep random individuals from wandering into it. On the night of the event itself, from the exterior, the sign looked much as it always had but once across the ward lines, the actual event flickered into existence. Musicians played acoustic instruments on a stage at one end of the sign and the entire area was lit by witch light. The waitstaff were ghosts brought from the Farretti estates and who seemed quite pleased with a bit of fresh air and a change of scenery. Refreshment tables held food of all kinds with small handwritten labels in front to help nudge the unwary away from the more esoteric of offerings.
  3. The Parkhurst July 12, 2018 The Parkhurst had been a hotel, at one point. Between being a family home and being a haunted wreck, and long before it was a dwelling place for some of Freedom's occult community. It made perfect sense that it would serve as a gathering place for travelers tonight. Outside, in the distance, Nick Cimitiere watched the great fires lick up from Liberty Park. He had done what he could, where he could. But after the first day, he knew there was a chance this would not end as anyone hoped. He remembered the stories of the first Invasion, remembered being dragged out of school as grim angels with steel wings flew through the air and the scent of oblivion spread through the city. Now, death walked through the city again, hungry and rabid, with a taste for destruction that would make Ammut herself cringe. If there was a time for a miracle - or an infernal bargain - it would be tonight. And he could only hope for the former, but prepare for the latter. Nick stubbed out his cigarette and returned to the manor, ready to make preparations for his guests. Corporeal and otherwise.
  4. GM February 2nd, 2.22AM, 2018 The Stately Faretti Haunted Manor... Outside the world was white. All of Lantern Hill was blanketed in the same piling, driving mass of sub-zero powder. Diamonds glittered in every snowbank, deer driven from the Wharton State Forest to find forage tip-toed gingerly through the yards, leaping fences to nibble at some potted greens. Birds fluttered and shivered as they hunted for scraps to bring back to the nest, keeping an eye out for any night-prowling cats. And Taylor Xiao Chun Faretti did not have to think about any of that, relaxing after an exhausting day, strong walls and a sturdy roof(not to mention a particularly powerful elemental ward) kept the chill at bay. For all her cares as Heshem's chosen and the newly-minted Master Mage of Earth's dimension and dominions, for the moment such things could wait. Which was about when the familiar, sepulchral voice spoke. Chosen The golden light of the lamp that roiled into being, along with the robed figure whose hands held it aloft on its staff, was unmistakable. There is a crack in the gates. Through it, innocents fall to darkness. My light shields them, but the night is hungry. The light curled, and for a moment Taylor saw eyes hard with anger. Such has never been, it must never be again. With a roar of fire, the image of Heshem vanished.
  5. Leviathan's Lair The depths of Great Bay, Freedom City, New Jersey Saturday February 10, 2018 Up on the surface of the waves of Great Bay, the winds still whipped the cold that had gripped the East Coast across the water toward Freedom City. But deep beneath the waves’ surface, the waters were not much colder than they normally were. Along the rocky floor of Great Bay, nestled amongst the kelp and seaweed beds that rouse up dozens of feet, lay the undersea lair that Dr. Tristan Delacroix had created to be his lair as Leviathan. It was there that the good doctor was currently located. After encountering the Deep One Aquaria (also known as the superhero Sea Devil) a few months ago, a number of different things had seemed to come up and prevent him from showing the Deep One his headquarters. But finally they had been able to find a day that fit both their schedules, so now Aquaira and her roommate Jessie White would soon be arriving.
  6. Ari

    Stay Local(OOC)

    OOC thread for this thread. Phantom does some triple-shifting. Again. @alderwitch Rolls and OOC question/answers here!
  7. alderwitch


    From the album: Alders Portrait Project

    Phantom, 2018
  8. alderwitch


    Content Notice: Character Death Date: November 6, 2017 Location: Phantom's Sanctum Sanctorm in North Bay For once, it was a quiet Monday for Taylor. Halloween was always a busy time for her line of work, but the week afterwards, she'd come to expect the lull. Today, that happened to coincide with a day off with her boys' schools. Sprawled on her stomach on the large rug of her library, Taylor's brow furrowed as she tried to stay ahead of JJ in their lego assembly project. The latest addition to the haunted castle line was halfway assembled, but where Taylor wanted to follow the directions to the letter, her youngest had a tendency to... improvise. "I don't think that goes there," she told the seven year old at his efforts to attach the constructed wall to the top of the tower. "It'th better defenceth!" JJ lisped only to scowl as he heard the distortion that his fangs made to the words. With his brows creasing, he enunciated carefully with a seven year old's scorn, "What kinda keep has open access like that. It's just asking to be caught by surprise." "Well-- hrk-" Whatever Taylor had meant to say was lost, her voice falling from human into the otherworldly echo it took on when she released her hold on Prime. JJ's eyes could only widen as his mother froze in place, her body flickering almost frantically, as if she couldn't quite sync in with Prime as all the barriers between Here and Other failed for one awful, terrifying moment. Even at seven, JJ's other senses were established enough to feel the danger even if he didn't know what it was, or what caused it. As he'd been trained to since he was old enough to understand, JJ did exactly two things; "DAAAAAAAAAD!" And then the seven year old dhampir vanished into the Void, exactly as he was supposed to in case of a potential invasion of Prime.
  9. July 2017 Greenbank As the gateway slammed shut beneath Phantom's spells, Fast-Forward reflexively threw a hand over his eyes, shielding himself from the flare of mystic energies that meant that doorway to the Mayan realms were closed - for now. Quiet settled into the warehouse now, minus the scuttling and yowling of the few werejaguars that Ix Chel had created upon her first emergence to the realm of men. Or so his mystic book had told him, when he'd gone searching through it, not long before the beginning of the investigation earlier that week that had led he and Phantom to the same spot. "Thanks for this, Phantom," he said, standing with unexpected quietitude on the burn mark on the floor where the portal had lain. "Maria wouldn't have appreciated this getting out." He sighed softly, almost imperceptibly, thinking of FORCE Ops, El Gato, and how fate had led him to be the custodian of their memory even though he'd spent over a decade as one of their greatest enemies. - There were considerably more werejaguars than Daggers had anticipated. He'd run into them running out the back of the warehouse, the group of half-dozen in what had been security guard uniforms turning out to be formidable foes. "You'll be the first in Ix-Chel's new army! The jaguar goddess will be the birth of a new age!"
  10. Saturday April 23, 2016 9AM "This is Franklin Martinez at Waterplace Park in Providence, Rhode Island..." From behind the newscaster came the deafening chorus of voices raised in song - a bellowing, eerie song that could come from no human throats. He moved aside, letting the camera see the thousands of green and white-bodied creatures occupying the park, squatting in the river and the streets, hopping and singing their songs even as more came out of the water behind him. Deep Ones! Some were naked and weaponless, looking like the giant frog-fish humanoids they were, others wore black armor that looked like wrought iron and carried long, lethal-looking tridents. "Beginning early this morning, the Deep Ones began emerging from the Woonasquatucket River and occupying the heart of the city! So far the police and military have established a perimeter to keep back the invaders, but with their numbers increasing - " Suddenly, the Deep One nearest the newscaster (some thirty feet away, and behind barricades) leaped over and licked him, slapping him across the cheek with an arm-length green, bumpy tongue. The man shouted in surprise and staggered, nearly falling down, but kept his feet. He looked up at the camera, obviously rattled, and began to speak. "I, uh..." He wavered for a moment, then suddenly began stripping off his shirt. "Te veo a Jesús ! ¡Te veo!" he declared, his eyes wide and staring, a moment before the camera cut off entirely, returning to the news broadcast about the Deep One invasion of Providence, Rhode Island. At Aquaria and Jessie's apartment, Aquaria rose from her bacon-wrapped kippers and croaked, her voice warbling with the hiss that spoke of holding back a shout, "Jesssie, we need to go. We need to go there right now."
  11. August 6th, Saturday Evening Freedom City, the Boardwalk Opening Night! Sir August Card has great pleasure in announcing The High Steaks Reopening Night August 6th Entrance $500 All inclusive food and drink Complementary $50 Chips for Gambling All night Event Places Limited This is a Card Productions Ltd Event Please refer to rules and regulations etc with regards to High Steaks gambling and conduct Strictly Black Tie Only No Riff-Raff So said the "open" invitation flyer. Of course, not many could afford such a swish event. And besides, the flyers had a habit of being onlcy circulated amongst the rich and powerful of Freedom City. Or, ideally, the rich and powerful. The last words of the flyer were often alluded to with an unspoken emphasis. After all, places were limited, and choices would have to be made. The High Steaks had been closed for a few months, done up, and looked even more resplendent than ever. It had always had an excellent reputation, but now, it seemed, it was gunning for a world class one. Stretch Limos dropped off well dressed couples, or singles (and even a well known playboy with a dame on each arm). The building looked neither completely modern or completely antiquated. Built in the 70s, it kept the best of that era and had styles both before and after bolted on. Perhaps it shouldn't have worked, but the refurbishment had clearly involved some excellent architects, artists, and builders, and it most certainly looked the part, in and out...
  12. Table of Contents Hell Q The Interview Origin Story
  13. Taylor had been planning on a quiet night at home, for once, after the brief trial of settling her five year old down to bed. Unsurprisingly, JJ was largely nocturnal by nature so keeping him on a regular schedule was rather critical to make sure he got enough rest to go to Nicholson. Once their son was down to bed, Taylor had fetched a book, intending to curl up in her chair in Jack's office until he was done with his evening's phone calls. Of course, if Taylor was having a quiet night, that more or less guaranteed that Jack's evening was just the opposite. That was how she found herself answering the alarm on one of the blood banks serving the vampiric community not all that long after sunset. "'Baby, can you get that for me?'" The ghostly effect of that echoing voice was somewhat ruined by her grumbled words. Phantom appeared in the back of the darkened blood bank, an imposing figure in her cloak and cowl that billowed in wind only the guardian seemed to feel. Despite her appearance, her muttering was more vaguely disgruntled wife than Chosen of Heshem, for all that it echoed hollowly in the empty room. Her eyes glowed briefly as she switched to scanning the room. Her spouse remained too charming by half. Still, how hard could it be to route whatever had set off the alarms? "Look, come on out. I'm not here to hurt you."
  14. Phantom Power Level: 14 (15) (232/250PP) Trade-Offs: -5 Defense / +5 Toughness, + 2 Damage / -2 Attack Unspent PP: 18 In Brief: Interdimensional Guardian, chosen to keep the balance Residence: The Lair: A Haunted House in North Bay Base of Operations: In Freedom City, their haunted manor. Interdimensionally, the Void Catchphrase: Hrmmm.... Alternate Identity: Taylor Xiao Chun Faretti Identity: Secret Birthplace: Freedom City Occupation: Freelance Translator Affiliations: Knights of Freedom (Former), Midnighters (Inactive) Family: Immediate: Jack Faretti (husband), Jack Huang Faretti Jr/ JJ (son), Jack Huang Faretti Jr / Huang (son) Extended, still living: Parents, Four brothers, three sisters in law, several nieces and nephews - All Freedom local, Great Uncle Huang Chun Description Age: 26 in this timeline, chronologically, 30ish Apparent Age: 19 Gender: Female Ethnicity: Chinese American (biracial: Chinese and Caucasian) Height: 5'1" Weight: 135 lbs Hair: Thick and very straight black hair that falls to the middle of her back. Eyes: Brown Between Taylor's height, her reserved body language, and her dimpled cheeks, she still gets mistaken for a freshman at the University more often than not. Experience and increased comfort with herself have at least given her enough poise to generally correct that assumption. Having taken up jogging and working out with a sparring bag, Taylor has added some muscle to her curves. She is sturdily built and relatively fit. She still tends to dress like she's watched Indiana Jones just a few too many times, with rescued bomber jackets from the Salvation Army and fedoras that have seen better days but she's added some class to her wardrobe. Whether its her own preference or the fact that Ace has become her usual shopping buddy, most of her clothing has a 40s retro flair. As Phantom, Taylor is anything but average. In the cloak and cowl of her alter ego, Phantom is downright otherworldly. Her eyes glow white behind the three quarters black face mask. The folds of the inside of her ragged cloak crackle with eldritch energy and she flickers between solid and ephemeral states without conscious thought. Unlike most of the magically oriented, Phantom uses no arcane gestures or words of power but rather directs her fel energies with her eerie baleful glare. A creature of all dimensions and none, Phantom flickers through reality with disquieting ease. It's easy to mistake her cloak for her source of power as when she vanishes from sight, her cloak folds in first on her, and then on itself. Even stripped of the glittering Eye of Heshem at her throat, Phantom's powers are unhindered. History: Taylor was born to your average middle class Americans. Her mother was a typical wasp and her father was a Chinese American, both of whom were born and raised inside Freedom City. Taylor's childhood was a normal one. She was a studious, if shy, child that spent much of her time focused on schooling although she had her share of childhood friends. The only oddity in her normal life was her great-uncle on her father's side. The elderly gentleman was always filling her head with stories of his youth helping Johnny Danger on all those daring quests. This is undoubtably where Taylor picked up her tendency to dress like a bad pulp era character although with jeans and baseball t-shirts under her reclaimed, beaten jackets. When Taylor went into college, she was tempted to study archeology but had a natural flair for languages and instead went into the linguistics program. About this time, Taylor's beloved grandfather took ill and she received a package from him containing the Eye of Heshem, a glittering amulet with its gem larger than her thumb, and instructing her to keep it safe. For a time, the Eye travelled about in the pocket of her beaten leather jacket before, bored one night working the midnight shift at the library, she began to work on the translation of the inscription. The first time Taylor recited the ancient script aloud, she was knocked near senseless as the voice of Heshem herself thundered through her head, charging her with the defense of the pact. It’s been almost ten years now since Phantom appeared on the costumed crimefighter scene. She’s seen a lot and done more than most and still looks like she’s a college student outside of her cape. That’s especially frustrating when she’s got a dhampir offspring about to start kindergarten and his perpetually-sixteen dimensional doppelganger going to Claremont and immortal ex-vigilante vampire for a spouse. Well, things never get BORING. Personality & Motivation: Taylor is responsible in either persona. She really is the sort of person that her Great Uncle could trust to take care of that relic simply because she was asked to. She's still too young to see the world in shades of grey and that outlook is what makes her really quite good as an interdimensional police agent. As Phantom, she's the bouncer to Gateway's doorkeeper. She spends her costumed time finding and returning things that don't belong in their dimension. That's not to say that she's blindly devoted to the duties of her work. She's a bright young lady and can tell the difference between an Olympian that's setting up their own cozy little cult and a poor refugee but in either case she's going to find them a more appropriate local for their life. Powers & Tactics: The Eye has pulled Taylor Chun out of synch with this dimension. As a creature of all worlds and none, she is as likely to be ephemeral as solid and moves between the dimensions like a child would run through the rooms of the house. Her very body is the gateway to the holding dimension that she uses to transport creatures and objects back to where they once belonged and riding within the Phantom is an odd and distressing experience for even the most jaded. In addition to her odd and innate abilities, Phantom is an accomplished mage. She uses a dark crackling magic without either word or gesture to knock the more combatant individuals low before wrapping them in the ragged edges of her eldritch cape. Complications: Secret Identity: Although she's now out to her parents and siblings, Taylor still does her best to keep 'Taylor Chun' and 'Phantom' as disparate as possible. And although Taylor's life has certainly gotten complicated, that doesn't change the fact that Phantom is not 'out' but to a select few. Married to the Enemy: No matter how you slice it, marrying a vampire has consequences. Marrying a vampire who is not just any vampire, but the current king of the Freedom City vampires who moonlights as a masked vigilante is a whole 'nother level. Then you add starting a family to the mix, and things really start to ramp up. And Taylor's always been such a smart girl. Responsibilities: (Interdimensional Guardian, Family, Husband, Children) Taylor has a mandated responsibility to do her duties and while Heshem is not one to micromanage, the failure to use her gifts as required by the entity would likely have dire consequences. In addition, she's got multiple forces that demand a certain level of loyalty. Unfortunately, they're not always on the same side of any given issue Lost Time: Sometimes the fact that Taylor works across multiple dimensions makes trying to keep on top of things in this dimension difficult. Even the best mystics can end up with time differences across the dimensions. It also means contacting her in an emergency can be tricky if she's out of Prime Abilities: (0+0+10+8+10+4=32pp) Str: 10 (+0) Dex: 10 (+0) Con: 20 (+5) Int: 18 (+4) Wis: 20 (+5) Cha: 14 (+2) Combat: (12+10=22 pp) Attack: +6, +12 Blast/Stun, +12 Telekinesis Grapple: +6, +34 Telekinesis Defense: +5/+9, +3 Flat-Footed Knockback: -0, -16 Force Field Initiative: +0 Saving Throws: (5+0+11=16pp) Toughness: +19 (Impervious 12), +5 w/o Force Field Fort: +10 (+5 Con, +5) Reflex: +0 (+0 Dex, +0) Will: +16 (+5 Wis, +11) Skills: (76r = 19pp) Concentration 10 (+15) Intimidate 0 (+2) Knowledge (Arcane Lore) 20 (+24) Knowledge (Cosmology) 20 (+24) Knowledge (History) 0 (+4) Notice 10 (+15) Search 11 (+15) Sense Motive 5 (+10) Feats: (13pp) Benefit (Wealth) Dodge Focus x4 Equipment 4 Fearless Quick Change 2 Ritualist Equipment: (20ep) Powers: (3+29+12+68+7+3+1+1+9=133pp) Comprehend 3 (Training; Languages 3 [speak Any One/Understand All/Read & Write]; Power Feat: Innate; Drawback: Only Earth Languages) [3] Defensive Magics 14 (28 points; PF: Alternate Power) [29PP] BE: Force Field 14 (Extra: Impervious 12; PF: Selective, Subtle) {28/28} AP: Insubstantial 4 (Affected by Fire; Extra: Action [Reactive], Affect Others) {28/28} Immunity 12 (Aging, Life Support, Starvation/Thirst, Sleep) [12 pp] Magic Array 21 (Magic; 56 pp; PF: Alternate Power x 12) [68 pp] BE: Blast 16 (Eldritch Blast; Extra: Affects Corporeal; PFs: Accurate 6, Affect Insubstantial x 2) {56} AP: Comprehend 8 (Animals 2, Codes 1, Electronics 2, Languages 4, Spirits 1; Extra: Affects Others, Area, Selective [40-ft. Burst]) {48} AP: Concealment 10 (Extra: Affects Others, Area, Duration: Concentration [50-ft. Burst]; PFs: Selective, Close Range) {52} AP: Damage 14 (Cataclysm; Extra: Affects Corporeal, Area [80-miles. Burst, General], Selective Attack; Flaw: Action [Full]; PFs: Affect Insubstantial 2, Progression x12) {56} AP: Dimensional Pocket 7 (50 billion lbs; Extra: Duration [Continuous]; PFs: Progression x 20) {56} AP: ESP 11 (2,000,000 miles, All Senses; Extra: Duration [sustained]; Flaw: Action [standard]; PFs: Dimensional, Rapid x10, Subtle) {56} AP: Heal 13 (Extras: Total, Affects Objects; PFs: Regrowth, Persistent) {54} AP: Nullify Field 14 (40 Feet) (All Powers; Extras: Area [50-ft. Burst, General], Duration [Concentration]; Flaw: Range [Touch]; Drawbacks: Only Magical and Dimensional Descriptors -1) {55} AP: Stun 16 (Extras: Affects Corporeal, Range [Ranged]; Flaw: Action [Full]; PFs: Accurate x 6, Affect Insubstantial x 2) {56} AP: Super Movement 3 (Dimensional 3 [any]; Extras: Portal (+2); PF: Progression x 5 [250-ft. Portal]) {18} AP: Super Senses [All Mental Senses: Accurate(4), Acute(2), Anlytical(2), Counters Concealment(2), Counters Illusion(2), Counters Obscure(5), Extended {Five Mile Increments}(5), Penetrates Concealment(4), Radius(2), Rapidx12{Search full area in normal time}(24), Tracking all-out(3)] {55} AP: Telekinesis 22 (Str 110; PFs: Accurate x6, Precise, Indirect, Subtle, Affects Insubstantial x2) {55} AP: Teleport 16 (nearby star systems; Extra: Accurate; PFs: Change Velocity, Easy, Progression x 4 [2,500 lbs] {54} AP: Teleport 13 (Extra: Portal (+2); PF: Progression x2 [25-ft. Portal]) {54} Regeneration 12 (Bruised 1/round, Injured 1/round, Staggered 1/20 Minutes, Disabled 1/5 Hours, Resurrection 1/week [unless burned]) (PFs: Regrowth) [9 pp] Super Movement 3 (Dimensional 3 [any]; PF: Alternate Power) [7 pp] AP: Flight 3 (50 MPH / 500 feet per Move action) [6pp] Super Senses [Magic Awareness(mental)] [3] Super Senses [Dimensional Awareness(mental)] [1] Super Senses [Mental; Ranged] [1] Drawbacks: (-3pp) Vulnerable (moderate/uncommon: fire) (-3pp) DC Block: ATTACK RANGE SAVE TYPE Unarmed Melee DC15/Toughness (Staged) Bruise/Injury (Magic) Blast 13 Ranged 28/Toughness (Staged) Bruise/Injury Dimensional Pocket 6 Melee 16/Reflex Special Nullify (Dimensional) 10 Melee/Area Burst 20/Will Special Stun 13 Ranged 23/Will (Staged) Daze/Stun/Unconscious Telekinesis (Thrown Object) 18 Ranged 33/Toughness (Staged) Bruise/Injury Costs: Abilities (32) + Combat (22) + Saves (16) + Skills (19) + Feats (13) + Powers (133) - Drawbacks (+3) = 232/250 Power Points
  15. Huang bounced from one room to the next in the spacious mansion. Ever since the party he'd been confined to quarters, totally unfair of course, they came home early, it totally was going great before that. He slumped into an overstuffed wingback chair older than any of the corporeal residents of the home by at east half a century with a dramatic sigh. "Who am I kidding it was a disaster." he said to no one in particular startling a nearby ghost as she dusted the mantle, "What was that young master Faretti?" "Hmm, oh nothing Prudence." he said absently and dismissed her with a wave as he toyed with the spine of yet another ancient tome he'd never be allowed to master. Cracking the heavy leather folio open he began to study the contents once more, if only they could see him as he was and not as the five year old they knew, perhaps, but no after the debacle of his glamoured older self ritual magics were verboten. And when ones mother was arguably the most potent mage on the plane, or several others for that matter, that kind of prohibition tended to stick. He continued to read up on the dense material, High Magics of the seventh sphere. One things the hermetics had going for them. You could go though the motions without an ounce of power and not risk accidentally opening a portal through time and space to some nether realm.
  16. Silberman's Books. Sunday, December 13, 2015. Noonish. Collapsed in her chair in her office and feeling trapped behind her grandfather's desk, Lynn Epstein wondered exactly why she was so eager to own a small business during the holiday rush. Precarious stacks of cardboard boxes full of books, dvds and games that couldn't fit in the backroom filled every available inch of floor space, further increasing her sense of confinement. Between running the store, finals (thankfully over), and hitting the streets with Gretchen, the changeling felt liked he hadn't slept in months. "I need a break," she sighed. Then a thought hit her; rummaging through the garbage on top of her desk, she finally found her Android phone and placed a call to an old friend. "Hey Taylor, it's Lynn; is this a good time? "
  17. January 25, 2016 The beach at Lonely Point The dimensional incursion caught Taylor's senses like the whiff of brimstone - not Hell, exactly, but maybe worse. She knew the stink of the Erdes well enough and this one was particularly foul. As far as she could tell it was a one-off, somewhere just at the shoreline of Lonely Point; away from the base, near the small sheltered park in the area. An annoying way to start the week - but if she was honest, not an unusual one. - Sarah had been sent to the beach that morning with an assignment to meditate by the sea and then write a 250 word paper on her feelings about the dichotomy between land and sea embodied by her own 'chakra-sense'. Combining magic and secondary education sometimes didn't work very well. She had just found herself in a lotus position when suddenly the air opened up before her and a man leaped backwards through an invisible door. A big, beefy man in a brown uniform with a black hat, black tie, and the sort of pale skin that flushed ruddy red at the slightest provocation, it was easy to guess his politics. The swastika on his armband, jacket, and tie, all told that story. "Fools, you'll-hah, it worked!" He slapped himself on the thigh in triumph and turned around before fixing his gaze on Sarah. A suspicious look in his frankly quite piggy eyes, he said something in an Asian language that Sarah understood not at all. When she didn't understand, he tried again once, then again in English. "Me White Knight," he explained in a pidgin that would have sounded insulting to someone born at the time of Sarah's grandparents, much less now. "Me big cheese in skyboat," he said, pointing to the Heavens above, "You take me to chief, savvy?"
  18. Date: September 19, 2015 Taylor hadn't exactly given Elis all that much choice really. Oh, she'd promised that it was a nice, normal meeting with nice, normal people who just happened to have super powers. Other than that it was just a barbecue with friends who happened to be super parents, at least that was what she'd conveyed on the phone. In Taylor's defense, she really did feel that it was important for the relatively new super hero to have something like a support network. She certainly would have appreciated having had more of a network when she'd first started. Also, her definition for 'normal' might have gotten steadily skewed over the years. After all, Stesha was the most normal person that Taylor still knew - she just happened to be a goddess running her own nature planet preserve these days. Taylor's lack of sympathy for any attempts to cry off might have also been in part in her expectation that it took some strong arming to get people to attend parties. Jack certainly wasn't ecstatic about Taylor's 'we're all going as a family to this barbecue on Stesha's planet before dark hits. No, really. It's important to me' explanation for why everyone was being rousted on a Saturday, side dish in tow. With a soft 'pop' of displaced air, Taylor showed up in Ellis' living room. Huang had his after school job to keep him busy and Taylor didn't think that he'd enjoy a barbecue with mostly adults and the under ten crowd in attendance. Jack and JJ had already been dropped off with Jack entrusted with delivering the side dishes of potato salad and a cooler full of steaks for the barbecue. That she showed up inside the house rather than on the porch was in difference to Ellis secret identity but he might not see it that way. Except for the sudden appearance, Taylor looked normal enough - at least she wasn't in costume. With her hair pulled up in a bun and in a light shirt and denim shorts she could have been any fresh-faced college student. Well, except for the fact that she was still translucent.
  19. Location: Claremont currently, later ???? Date: 9/21/15 In addition to the school's regular curriculum of classes taught by the stable of professors, there were the occasional guest lectures that were, perhaps, more akin to a college than a traditional high school. Of course, no one had ever accused Claremont of being a traditional school ever. Typically, from what the upperclassmen said, the guest lectures were for the one-off classes that the headmistress could rope active heroes into 'giving back' to the school. They were typically optional, although the staff wasn't above exerting pressure when they felt the topic was necessary for one of their students in particular. The blurb for this one had read: An afternoon lecture in magic and the greater worlds beyond. Most people will never end up trapped in an entirely different dimension but it happens to super heroes far more often than one might think. For those who signed up, they had a pass on their typical afternoon classes to attend the guest lecture right after lunch. School gossip whispered that the elusive Eldritch might have been tapped to make a rare appearance. As the students headed towards it, post lunch, it was in a small classroom located far from most of the currently active classrooms. Likely, because, magic was more of an art than a science and the headmistress was hoping any incidents would be contained in a more manageable locale. Encouraging! The room itself was small, currently empty, with a loosely arrayed ring of desks in no particular arrangement. The lights were off when the first student arrived.
  20. There was a field trip. To the Hunter Natural History Museum no less, which was basically from what Huang guessed a visit with his namesake minus the chance at decent dim sum. Reasonably enough he found both reason and means to evade the buddy system and do some research of his own. It was like ferris bueller's day off meets the craft, so bound to be full of awesome right? The sun overhead was still too bright as he slipped unseen out the employee entrance to the Hunter museum and jogged across the street toward the park. Pulling his sunglasses from the void, with some aid from the ever helpful denizens that allowed him to find his things despite his corner of the void looking precisely as one would expect a realm of chaos and shadow imprinted by the mind of a sixteen year old boy, he gathered his bearings. Finding a likely gate he began to make his way through the tree lined paths towards heroes' knoll hoping to use the sympathetic energies of the hero statues therein to trace a theory he had developed about the mysterious Hepcat. Of course keeping his eyes from the sky avoiding the brightness of the sun he took no notice of the gathering of unatural shadows over the knoll nor the slow thrumming build of dark magics in the heart of the monuments.
  21. From the album: Alder's Artistry

    I think I'm going to keep these black and white for now. I like the pencil sketch look of them.

    © K Keppeler

  22. Ocean Heights Amusement Park August 22, 2015 "But I do not carry mortal firearms," Sekhmet pointed out with rapidly growing irritation, crossing her prodigiously toned arms across her chest and glaring at Set with the smoldering golden eye not covered by her asymmetrical hair. It had been hard enough to convince the warrior goddess to waste time at a location so frivolous it was literally called an 'amusement park' and so far the shorter Heliopolian hadn't done much to convince her otherwise. Sighing theatrically, Set lifted the novelty tank top higher to make the text more clearly visible. "I sometimes suspect you are in truth She Before Whom Metaphor Trembles, Sekhemt," she clucked, meeting the glare with stormy grey eyes full of amusement. "Your arms are the guns, you see, and being a solar deity the sun be forever 'out' in your presence! Eh? Eh?" When a positive reaction was not forthcoming, she jutted out a brown-black painted lip in an exaggerated pout. "Fine. If I cannot persuade you to don the hilarious and I dare say flatteringly fitted garment, at least hold still whist I take a self portrait." Without waiting for permission the chaos goddess produced her smartphone from somewhere in her cross halter and held it at arm's length, artfully managing to get the tank top, Sekhmet and her own broad smirk into the frame all at once. Tossing the shirt back on the rack she tapped away quickly, uploading the photo and tagging it appropriately. "Now! Corndogs! I am positive you shall enjoy corndogs!"
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