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Whole Kit and Kaddishle [IC]

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Date: March 15th, 2011 (Tuesday)

GM Post

Flowing down from Lantern Hill (site of some of the oldest settlements in Freedom, as well as the oldest cemetery) toward Greenbank (a depressed area once known as a railroad stop where good -- and people -- moved in and out of the city) is the West End, the boisterous, lower middle-class area of the city. A melting pot of cultures, it houses large pockets of African-American, Asian, Greek, Hispanic, Irish, Italian, and Jewish neighborhoods, and with them a plethora of churches, mosques, shrines, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship. It was also home to the Interceptors, and one of its member was most troubled.

For the past three nights, several graves in Jewish cemeteries had been disturbed. Lynn Epstein, better known as Grimalkin, had gotten wind of this after the second night, but her attempt at a stakeout on the third proved nothing -- the cemetery she thought they would hit next was not that night's target, but rather they hit a different one. Now slightly more sure of the pattern they were following, she waited, hoping that the fourth time would be the charm.

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Perched invisibly high up in a tree, Grim adjusted her legs, which were starting to cramp up.

So how come I can stop my heart, but my legs still fall asleep?

She had a good view of the grounds, and postioned herself downwind to pick up the scent of sweat, freshly-turned earth or any other tell-tale signs of human interference. All she could do was wait...

After about an hour, the changeling began to grow concerned; what if the vandals went back to one of the graveyards they'd already hit? If so, she was wasting valuble time sitting up in a tree doing nothing. There had to be a better approach to this problem. Then a thought hit her.

I should go see an expert.

In a flash, she shrunk down to pixie size and took to the air, zipping over the jumbled roofs of the West End on her way to the stately Federal rowhouses of Lantern Hill. Spotting a familiar cemetary, she buzzed overhead, softly calling out.

"Dead Head, are you here? It's Grimalkin, and I could really use your help!"

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After about 10 minutes of searching, a sound caught Grimalkin's attention: a bloodcurdling shriek! Fairly certain that it was either Dead Head or someone Dead Head had just terrified (and because what heroine could not react to such a sound?), she raced towards the source of the yell. Moments later, she saw a pair of men, one young, one old, and a young woman, all making a mad dash down Lantern Hill and towards a worn pick-up truck.

At the top of the hill, outlined by the light of the nearly-full moon, staggered the revoltin' revennat himself, holding his head up high! [bg=#000000]"Bewaaaare!"[/bg] he intoned, his voice carrying an eerie flanged, echo-y (one might even say speulchral) quality.

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Seeing the classic tableau unfolding below her, the miniscule shapeshifter did a rapid moral calculation in her head.

1. Dead Head is a good guy.

2. Dead Head protects the dead.

3. If Dead Head is scaring mortals, more than likely they're bad guys.

4. If they're not bad guys, DH is just having some harmless ghoulish fun.

5. Scaring people is lots of fun.

6. Yay!

Dropping down behind a nearby tomb, Grimalkin quickly took on a ghastly appearance: much taller than her normal self but weighing not much more, a pale gaunt face surrounding glowing red eyes, with long black hair flowing in an invisble breeze. Wrapping a diaphanous burial shroud around her skeletal form, she boldy strode from behind the tomb, one clawed hand held aloft in a warding gesture as she wailed "Beware! BEWARE!"

On the off-chance the humans were truly innocent, she didn't unload with her full-on 'boo potential'; no need to be unnecessarily cruel.

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The two men leapt into the truck, the older in the driver's seat. He started it and drove off, almost leaving the woman behind. After the younger man beat on the older man some, they spun around and she jumped into the trailer, and they sped off into the night.

Dead Head's cackle filled the night air, then cut off as he turned and looked at the new spook in town.

Who the heck is that? Don't think I seen her before. I should go introduce mahself!

Plopping his head back on his shoulders, the grinning ghoulie shambled down the hill. "Hey there, stranger!," he cheered, waving. "Don't think I seen you 'round here. What's yer name?"

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Watching the three humans drive off at high speed brought a smile to Grim's gruesome mug; not too shabby!

"Hey there, stranger!," he cheered, waving. "Don't think I seen you 'round here. What's yer name?"

GhoulGrim turned to face the affable revenant, for a moment forgetting her current appearance.

"Oh hi, DH, I'm glad I found you!" Hearing her sepulchral voice, she held a hand to her pale throat and looked down at herself. "Oh yeah, right."

Mist swirled around her and Grim was herself once more. "Sorry, it's just me, Grimalkin; I saw you workin' and I couldn't resist the chance to get in on the fun." She indicated the departed trio with a jab of her thumb. "So what did they do, anyway?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Oh! Heya, Grimmy!," he said with a broad smile. "Ain't seen ya 'round in months! How ya been?"

He glanced over at the speeding truck, "eh, graverobbers." He shook his head, "older fella was the pro, but I think this was the younger fella's first time out. I don't think the gal was in on it, she was jes' taggin' 'long wit her boyfriend," he said with a shrug. "But if'n our lil' show not only stops them from doin' stuff here, but stops 'em from doin' it ever again, well, it don't get much better'n that!"

The revenant suddenly looked down at the ground beside him, "an' some help you were! What, were you chasin' after another raccoon again? Or was it a 'possum this time?"

He looked back up to Grim, "so, whatcha need help with? Got a murder mystery what's bafflin' the cops?"

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"Oh! Heya, Grimmy!," he said with a broad smile. "Ain't seen ya 'round in months! How ya been?"

"I've been good, I've been good; got engaged, started taking college classes to make my brain all big and tempting..." She gave the friendly stiff a wink. "How 'bout yourself?"

He looked back up to Grim, "so, whatcha need help with? Got a murder mystery what's bafflin' the cops?"

And now all evidence of good cheer drained from her face, and the shapeshifter looked down at her feet. "Uh, well, there've been some incidents...in Jewish cemeteries that last few days. Whoever these bastards are, they've hit three in the West End in three nights, and...I haven't been able to catch 'em." She started to rhythmically strike her thigh with her fist. "I'm pretty sure they're gonna hit Elmweir next, but they've yet to show tonight."

When she finally looked up to meet Dead Head's eyes, angry tears were burning her cheeks. "I don't just want to stop them, I want to hurt them; I know that's wrong, but...I just don't understand where the hate comes from, y'know? What the hell did the Jews really do? Other than get screwed over since the dawn of time..."

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"College?," the affable undead said, face lighting up, "that's great t'hear! College is where I became the man I am t'day!"

A beat later, he expressed a good knee-slapping laugh.

"Me? Oh, same ol', same ol', fer the most part," he said with arms spread wide. "Been havin' ta re-learn a lotta ma old tricks since Papa Ghede vacated," he knocked on his forehead, "but Nick's been a real good sport 'bout helpin' me get mah mojo back."

Grim's shift in tone as she described what brought her to him caused an equally intense shift in him, a flaring of the emerald light in his eyes from a pale glow to a burning torch. "Wish I had some answers fer ya, Grimlin'. I've chatted with ghosts from all walks, on both sides'a that conflict -- an' a host'a others besides -- an' I ain't ever heard a good answer fer it. But I do know one thing."

The revenant unslung the shovel from his back, "beatin' on folks like that always feels good."

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The revenant unslung the shovel from his back, "beatin' on folks like that always feels good."

The changeling flashed an edgy smile. "I am so glad to hear you say that; usually folks want to talk me out of beating people up." She looked off in the direction of her neighborhood. "I can fly us both over there, no problem, but, uh..." She surveyed her colleague's fetid flesh. "Would you be droppin' bits along the way? At least you could find your way home."

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As Grim looked over the unconventional undead, she noticed he did look different. When she first met him, he looked more like roadkill, wet stains here and there, bits falling off (though rumors she's later heard made her wonder if the falling-off parts weren't an act on his part), and smelling to high heaven. But now, well, he was still clearly a hideous animate corpse, but he was more dried out, more mummy-like, and even smelled... well, not good, but less horrible, like he'd been stuffed with spice pouches. "Oh, no worries 'bout that," he said, smiling, "ever since all that mess in October, I's stopped leaking an' putrefyin'... well, okay, I don't do it as much."

[bg=#0040FF]"Hey! Hey!"[/bg]

He suddenly turned his head down to the ground next to him, "what? Whaddayawant now?" Grim neither saw nor heard anything, nor could her keen nose smell anything other than normal graveyard smells.

[bg=#0040FF]"Who is she?"[/bg]

"Aww, man!," he exclaimed, smacking his forehead. "Where are my manners?" He looked back up to Grim, and pointed to the spot on the ground, "Grim, this here's Mutt. Mutt, this here's Grim. She's good folks; you c'mon out an 'say hey to 'er."

A great black form faded into view on the spot, a dark furred mastiff, nearly as big as Lynn herself! The smell of dog -- wet dog -- wafted off of it, and the eyes shown with an inner greenish light, but it seemed like a pleasant enough animal.


Edited by Dr Archeville
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Grim blinked in surprise. "Oh wow! Mutt the talking ghost dog, huh?" She gave him a casual wave. "Nice to meecha!" The tiny shapeshifter thoughtfully stroked her chin. "Okay, yeah, now that you mention it, you are sporting kind of a new look, more like...beef jerky than cajun gumbo. I like it, it suits you!"

Clapping her hands together, she indicated the West End's direction with a jerk of her head. "So unless you can fly - which, I dunno, maybe you can now - I can carry you with my itty-bitty twig-like arms all the way to back to Elmweir." She adopted a classic Muscle Beach pose, and her biceps swelled like loafs of bread. "I'm a lot stronger than I look, y'know. You can come, too, Mutt!" Then she stopped to scratch her head. "Once we, uh, figure out the logistics..."

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"Spirit Dog," Mutt said insistently.

"Aw, don't worry, Mutt," Dead Head knelt and scratch the great mastiff behind the ears, "she didn't mean nuthin' by it. Y'see," he looked up to Grim, "Mutt here's one's Legba's hound, Legba bein' the Loa'a th' crossroads, 'specially the ones 'tween the mortals an' the Loa. Without his say-so, ain't no hoodoo man's hoodoo gonna do 'boo'!," he cackled and slapped one knee. "'E's go a whole mess'a dogs 'tendin' 'im, runnin' errands to an' fro, guardin' this place an' that. Spirit Hound, native t' Guinee, like the Loa theyselves; they ain't ghosts 'cuz they ain't never died 'cuz they ain't never been alive, not like mos' folks anyways. Anyways, after what happened back in October with Samedi an' Hades," he turned and made a spitting motion, though (mercifully) nothing actually came out, "I lost a bunch'a my juju, so they sent ol' Mutt here t'look after me."

Mutt gave a short, happy bark, like any normal dog would.

"Now, as fer flyin'," he continued, standing, "well, I can, or, least, I did, once... but it was reeeaaal messy. Ever hear tell of a penanggalan? Type'a vampire native t'Malaysia. They can detach they heads," which he then neatly did, his voice taking on an eerie sepulchral reverb, [bg=#000000]"like I can do, but when they do it, they can fly. 'Course, when they do it, their guts an' entrails is still attached, dangling down like a fishin' net; they flap their lungs like lil' wings."[/bg] He plopped his head back on, his voice resuming its normal tone, "damnedest thing t'see, if'n yain't ready fer it. Anyays, I tried it once, when chasin' some drug smugglers, an' I got it to work! Was real tricky, though -- got tangled up in their plane's propeller!"

He laughed again at the memory of it.

"'Stead'a doin' that, though," he finally said, patting Mutt's on the head, "I'll jes' hang on t'Mutt here. He's a Spirit Dog, gravity ain't got no hold on 'im -- he can fly faster'n any Greyhound can run!"

Mutt barked again, and smiled.

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Dead Head's stomach-churning description of his penanggalan-eque adventure made Grim's smile falter for a few seconds, but she quickly regained her composure.

After all, a lot of the stuff I do is pretty damn freaky, so it's not like I can point fingers.

"'Stead'a doin' that, though," he finally said, patting Mutt's on the head, "I'll jes' hang on t'Mutt here. He's a Spirit Dog, gravity ain't got no hold on 'im -- he can fly faster'n any Greyhound can run!"

"Oh, okay, cool." There was a quick in-rush of air, and the shapeshifter was back in her pixie form; her tiny wings fluttered and flashed in the moonlight, and she playfully zipped around both animated corpse and spirit hound a few times before stopping to hover in front of DH's face,

"Let outta howl if you can't keep up, okay?"

And then she was off into the air like a rocket!

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"Whoa, hold up!" he called after her. Turning, she saw he was sitting atop Mutt, clinging on for dear life. Er, unlife. "Mutt's fast, but not that fast!"

Soon enough they reached the fourth Jewish cemetery Grim thought the vandals would hit, and she was both satisfied and distraught to find people gathered there, people clearly up to no good. Three people in dark robes stood around a grave, chanting in a vaguely Middle Eastern language she did not recognize, while two in the hole were struggling to pull up the coffin within. Suddenly the coffin lifted up and was tossed out, crashing to the ground several feet away! The three above continued chanting, while the two in the grave had harsh words with the one who had been crouched to lift the coffin, and now stood to reveal his peaked white hood wreathed in an aura of white fire: the White Knight! He seemed quite unimpressed with the two who were in the grave with him, and simply boosted himself up and out on a jet of white flame.

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A cold fury mixed with nausea hit Lynn in the gut as she saw him, in the burial ground of her people, desecrating their graves. Her tiny claws came out and bit into her tiny palms as she clenched hands into fists of rage. Her voice was tight with anger when she spoke, somewhat incongruously coming out as a malevolent squeak in her current form.

"I want to hurt them, 'Head; I want to do horrible things to them, even though I know it's wrong."

She hovered in front of his cadaverous face, her miniscule body quivering with restrained violence; under different circumstances, it might have been cute, but not right now.

“I'll be honest, I don’t know too much about your powers other than your scary and really hard to kill since your already dead. Oh, and your head comes off.â€

She actually almost managed a smile.

“So what have we got to work with?â€

She peered down at the desecreation still in progress.

“Maybe I should drop a few sofas on them…â€

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"Cain't do as much as I used ta," he said between gritted teeth -- Grim could see he looked as angry at the scene as she felt! "Used ta could make the bodies they was diggin' up get up an' slap 'em, but I lost that, and ain't figgered out how ta do it 'gain. But I can sure scare 'em." He looked back over the defilers, then back to Grim, "I'll take the cultists, you go fer the big guy, I'll join in once I get 'em scattered?"

Run up, spook 'em -- hopefully these ain't more'a them 'stupid fearless' types -- should be a big enough ruckus for Grim t'get in there an' wallop White Knight.

White Knight propelled himself out of the grave on jets of white flame, landing next to he coffin he had so casually tossed aside. With seemingly no effort he set the thing up on end and tore the lid off, revealing the long-dead corpse within. It had been a man, maybe twenty years ago, in a nice (worm-y) suit -- and, adding injury to insult, White Knight had held the coffin so the corpse was upside-down! The two in the grave hoisted themselves up, aided by the three (still droning) cultists above.

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"I'll take the cultists, you go fer the big guy, I'll join in once I get 'em scattered?"

Grim nodded firmly.

"Works for me."

The tiny shapeshifter flew straight up, turned a graceful loop in the air, and then plunged straight at White Knight, her miniature claws sharp as glass. As best she could, she tried to drive him backwards in the hope he would drop the casket to one side after the impact. Bracing herself for the contact with his flames, she shredded a long tear across his chest.

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White Knight at first appeared to stagger back from the blow, but when Grim turned back to see, she saw he stood as tall and irrationally proud as ever!

I had planned on runnin' up an' scarin' these fools, the zombie thought to himself as he shambled quickly towards the group, but I really, really don't want them gettin' 'way.

Dead Head walloped the cultists with his trusty shovel, punctuating each hit with a roar. "Stop! Disturbin'! Tha! Dead!" He took out the cultists in the simplest robes first, leaving the one in the slightly more ornate finery for last. "Let 'em rest!" he roared as the shovel connected, sending the cultist flying back several yards!

White Knight looked around to assess the situation.

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Pixie!Grim's strafe seemed to land a solid hit on the hotheaded hater, but as she wheeled around she saw that his aura of eerie white flames (which had done a number on her hands) turned in on him for a moment, cauterizing the wound! He glared at her through the eyeholes in his peaked hood, and rose into the night sky on waves of superheated (super-hated?) air. [bg=#FFFFFF]"What the **** are you? Some kinda ****in' bug! Ya know what bugs get, right? Bugs get zapped!"[/bg] A bolt of white flame flew from his outstretched fist, but luckily for the tiny Grimalkin it missed (though only by a few inches!).

Mutt charged forward, silent as the grave and invisible as the Reaper, as was his natural state of being, his spiritous paws carrying him up into the air in defiance of gravity and all other laws of nature (as mankind understood them). He lunged with his mighty jaws at the unaware super-bigot... but missed by a country mile! [bg=#0040FF]I'm a scouter, not a fighter![/bg]

[bg=#000000]"Hold, revenant!,"[/bg] the one conscious cultist intoned to Dead Head in a very gravelly voice, rising from the spot Dead Head had sent him sailing on demonic wings made of some weird crimson energy. [bg=#000000]"You shall not stop us from defiling these corpses and summoning the Daeva Aeshma! All shall fall to his bloody mace!"[/bg] At that, a mace-shaped construct of crimson energy flew from the cultist's hand, smashing into Dead Head's chest, blowing a hole clear through him -- a hole which just as quickly healed over! The cultist's sneer fell, and he took to the air. [bg=#000000]"Y-you shall see!"[/bg]

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  • 2 weeks later...

[bg=#FFFFFF]"What the **** are you? Some kinda ****in' bug! Ya know what bugs get, right? Bugs get zapped!"[/bg]


This guy was bad news! He could heal damage, was covered in flames and could throw them as well, but luckily at this size she was too small and fast for him to land a solid hit, though her luck could always run out. Maybe she could bring him down another way.

The miniature brunette swiftly darted back and forth to make herself a challenging target, but then she suddenly began to circle the flaming bigot, trailing a slender silver chain she conjured as she flew; despite its delicate appearance, it was as strong as steel, and hopefully enough to bind him good.

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Like a spider eying a juicy fly, Grimalkin swiftly wraps the superpowered superbigot in conjured chains!

Aeshma! Dead Head's months of study under Phantom and Nick Cimitiere had been productive ones. Zoroastrian Demon of Wrath an' Rage an' Fury. Hates cows, too, for some reason. Better known as Asmodeus! Not good! Although... I think the Daevas are more anti-social jerks, not eeeEEEeeevil... any rate, they're defilin' graves, that ain't gonna stand!

"I'm more'n a revenant, ya Nazi scum!," Dead Head spat, and threw his shovel to the ground. Bot hands went up to his head, and he began to pull, "and I don't know what yer doin' tryin' t'summon a Persian demon! But if'n y'all are tryin' ta get multicultural, lemme introduce ya to a lil' somethin' form Malaysia... [bg=#000000]a penanggalan![/bg]"

With a sickening tearing sound, the super-zombie tore his head off, but it was not a clean tear. Organs, horribly animate viscera, trailed behind, flapping lungs and writhing intestines, all twinkling with motes of an eerie gray-purple light. The head and dangling viscera rose into the air, and made a beeline right for the (momentarily stunned) demonic-winged cultist! Dead Head collided with him in a potent headbutt, sending him down to the to the ground, but at the last moment the cultist caught himself and stopped, hovering on his demonic energy-wings, mere feet from the ground.

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White Kinght's flames danced across the chains Grimalkin had bound him in, but the glamour-forged bindings held! [bg=#FFFFFF]"Stupid ****in' bug!"[/bg] he screamed as he strained against the bonds, [bg=#FFFFFF]"when I get outta this,"[/bg] links began to pop and snap, [bg=#FFFFFF]"I'm gonna burn them ****in' wings off! I- what the?!"[/bg]

Mutt, still silent and invisible as a chill graveyard wind, lunged out at the bound bigot, and hit! But the fiend's superhuman flesh suffered not a scratch! Worse, though, was that his aura of hellish flames struck back at the spirit-dog, as surely as if he were corporeal! Mutt let out an inaudible howl as his invisible body was consumed by White Knight's flames.

[bg=#000000]"Stay back!,"[/bg] the now panicking Head Cultist screeched. The demonic wings melted off of him as he thrust his hands out and uttered more fell words of arcane power. Skeletal hands of that same weird crimson energy shot out at Dead Head's flying head, and seemed to get a solid grip, but the revoltin' revenant slipped free from the cultist's power! The cultist staggered back, trying to put some distance between himself as Dead Head's headless body, which still stood like a grim sentinel.

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White Kinght's flames danced across the chains Grimalkin had bound him in, but the glamour-forged bindings held! [bg=#FFFFFF]"Stupid ****in' bug!"[/bg] he screamed as he strained against the bonds, [bg=#FFFFFF]"when I get outta this,"[/bg] links began to pop and snap, [bg=#FFFFFF]"I'm gonna burn them ****in' wings off! I- what the?!"[/bg]

She wasn't sure exactly what happened to the Nazi scumbag (was the ghost pooch up to something?), but Grim was more than happy to take advantage of his momentary distraction. She quickly spared a look in Dead Head's direction to see how he was doing...and instantly regretted it as she almost lost her lunch at the sight of him in full-on 'flying head and entrails' mode. With great force of will, she tore her eyes away from the horrific spectacle and back on her opponent; resuming her normal size, she landed facing him, hands defiantly on her hips.

"Hi there, you bigoted hate-filled SOB! My name's Grimalkin, and I'm the little Jewish girl who's about to make you crap your pants!"

With that, she rose up several feet taller, her face now pale and gaunt as she became as the Angel of Death; covered in a hooded cloak, she pointed a long finger at the so-called Knight and began to recite in Hebrew a prayer for the dying.

"Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad. Barukh sheim k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed. V'ahav'ta eit Adonai Elohekha b'khol l'vav'kha uv'khol naf'sh'kha uv'khol m'odekha..."

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  • 2 weeks later...

White Knight's flame flickered and dimmed as he cowered in pants-soiling terror before the Angel of Death, and actually broke down sobbing!

Dead Head's headless body shambled towards the head cultist, shovel raised high above its shoulders. It brought the weaponized tool down, hard, on the cultist; his crimson force field flickered from the force of the impact, but did not fall. Before the cultist could ready a counterattack, though, Dead Head's bodiless head swooped down to deliver a mighty headbutt of justice!


The one-two combo overwhelmed the cultist, and he (and his crimson force field) fell.

"[bg=#000000]Nice work,[/bg]" the flying head said as it turned to Death!Grim, its voice carrying an eerie flanged reverb effect which made the sigh of its dangling entrails just a touch worse. "[bg=#000000]Nice threads, too.[/bg]"

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