New Babylonian Family
|New Babylonian Family|
|An initiation run for Babylon|
In which Babylon summons an Ally Spirit and makes deals for the future.
After the events of What Happened To Mary Jane? Babylon has learned that the shadow magic that is tainting her necklace is not only corrupting her magic, but risking Pump King Jack possessing her. If that wasn't bad enough, she's also been forced to go to court-ordered therapy and talk about her problems. This has led to several realizations about her behavior and the difficulties that she's created for herself within her life, often relating these problems back to the issues with her mother.
Night on the Town
After a particularly difficult therapy appointment at the local Lone Star office, Babylon finds herself angry and in desperate need of a drink. While she determines where to go in order to get absolutely demolished in the most irresponsible way she possibly can, she's contacted by Cecelia Cross. Cecelia explains that there is a lot on her mind and that she needed a drink, and as Babylon has become a close confidant to the many less-than-legal desires that Cecelia is engaged in, she is invited as well. The two elves hit up Bosco's Bar and Grill, an elf-run sports bar, but due to the surplus of crime in the Downtown area, the bar is out of alcohol and can only serve food and trids of the Urban Brawl game. Deciding that such a thing isn't worthwhile, the elves leave and Babylon rents a limo that they can drink in while driving through the streets of Downtown.
Cecelia explains that she's had a lot on her mind recently, but requires the use of a mage to perform a task for her, and given their relationship, Babylon is the only mage that she "trusts". There is apparently a spirit of man by the name of Tanis that was used by some Cross mages to attempt to find Cecelia's cousin after Crash 2.0 where he supposedly died in the plane crash. However Tanis had apparently made a deal with Lucien and took the material link, a cufflink that belonged to Cross, and disappeared with hit. Given that Cecelia herself is not a mage and doesn't trust others not to betray her, she asks Babylon to go to the Metaplane of Man and find Tanis to get the cufflink back. Babylon, feeling trepidation about the journey after her last journey ended with the Pump King Jack hitching a ride back to the material world with her, eventually agrees, and the two elves go to Club Penumbra and party the rest of the night away, ending with Babylon waking up in an unknown bed in Bellevue.
Sometimes Your Only Friend is Yourself
Returning to Tarislar and her magical lodge, Babylon thinks about what is needed to prepare for this metaplanar journey. She calls Juliette Burns and discusses her options. After going through the basics, Juliette suggests that perhaps Babylon can work towards summoning the Ally Spirit whose formula she found in the last metaplanar journey that she took. Babylon agrees and prepares for the ritual, summoning a Spirit of Man and bringing it into the world before binding it. The Spirit is rather accommodating to Babylon's will, as as the spirit begins to take form, Babylon starts the ritual to infuse it with experiences and karma to fully bind their wills together.
Once the ritual is complete, the spirit takes the form of an almost exact copy of Babylon herself, except with red hair. Giving her the name Gomorrah to follow the ancient cities pattern, she spends some time showing her things about the world and sharing more experiences with her new ally. Exhausted after the ritual, Babylon turns in for the night and dreams of her family once again. Recalling the moments before Cross fell and her life was ruined.
Return to the Metaplanes
The next morning, Babylon awakes and begins the ritual to enter the metaplanes. She ascends through the clouds and to the threshold between our world and the metaplanes, and meets The Dweller on the Threshold, a figure which is meant to test a magician's determination about the trip they are about to undertake. This time the Dweller took the form of Babylon's mother, inviting her in for an embrace, and asking about what she sought, what she desired, and what she was willing to do to obtain it. The force of her convictions was delivered, painfully, to Babylon as a form of mana backlash and, though damaged by it, pushes through the threshold and emerges in the Metaplane of Man.
Following her new ally, Babylon finds her way to the Agora, a place of learning and sharing amongst the Spirits of Man. Sitting down, the mage begins listening to the various stories about the experiences of the spirits, and eventually Gomorrah shares her experience about going through the ritual of Ally binding, and Babylon begins to discuss how much she admires the spirits. However there is a spirit by the name of Barbatos who interrupts the mage, claiming that she's just as bad as all the other mages that practice binding. While the runner is annoyed by this, she stays composed and Barbatos is eventually shouted down by the rest of the Agora. After the session is over, Babylon approaches Plato, the spirit that runs the Agora and asks about finding Tanis. Plato is obviously disturbed by the idea of Tanis, and informs Babylon that Tanis deals with the darker sides of magic, including blood, toxic and shadow. He also informs Babylon that he is hidden, but Barbatos might have more information about how to find a key to Tanis' domain. Babylon thanks the elder spirit and finds Barbatos, surrounding him using Gomorrah and starting to question his distaste for mages, as well as information about Tanis. Barbatos explains that he was bound by an executive in Ares Macrotechnology and forced to suffer the drain of various rituals. He sought out Tanis for revenge, but the powerful spirit wasn't interested in helping out the fellow spirit. Barbatos lets Babylon know that if she wants to meet with Tanis, she'll have to go to the parts of the Metaplane that are touched by the darker magic. Given that she knows of such a place from her last journey, Babylon thanks the spirit and leaves the Agora, heading towards the Shadow Swamp.
In the Swamp, the water is corrupted a purple-blue and there is a dark fog that just barely obscures an island in the center of the lake. Creating a boat with their force of will, Babylon and Gomorrah board and begin heading towards the island. While they get across the river, it's clear that shadow spirits are watching them, waiting for an opportunity to strike. The mage and her ally reach the island and move forward to a Babylonian-style ruin where they find a sphere of mana being held in by the pedestal. Gomorrah takes the orb after they examine for any traps, and is almost immediately attacked by a Wraith. The creature is fast, but Babylon manages to use the power of her will and knock the Wraith out of the way. The two astral forms flee the swamp and the orb takes off on it's own. Following the floating mana, the mage and spirit find a giant mana barrier that seems to be guarding something. When the orb touches the barrier, it parts and reveals a staircase that leads up, which eventually leads to a medieval castle like domain. Waiting in the courtyard is Tanis, who seems able to see into Babylon's mind.
The mage and spirit have a verbal sparring match, each seeking a weakness to exploit, until Babylon spots something that throws her off. A small woven bracelet, made more than a decade ago as a present for her mother. Demanding to know where Tanis got the item, he begins to try and barter for what she will offer as a part of this deal, while Babylon tries to come up with something, eventually Tanis suggests that she should give him Gomorrah, which leads to a palpable anger from both parties as she casts a foreboding spell and begins to circle him, attempting to intimidate the spirit. Eventually they stop and return to a more civil conversation, and Tanis offers the cufflink as well as the bracelet for a favor from Babylon, specifically getting him a vessel with the ability to travel. When asked about the bracelet, Tanis agrees to give it to Babylon, and explains that it was the link that was used by a concerned woman who completed a calling ritual in an attempt to find her family.
Before leaving the domain, Tanis once more suggests that Babylon should give him Gomorrah and both mage and ally spirit slap the spirit and leave his domain, completing the journey.
Arriving back at her body a day later, Babylon is greeted by missed messages from her parole officer. Taking some time to mock him and poke at his family troubles, the elf returns the cufflink to Cecelia Cross, and returns to her normal life of debauchery and crime.
- IG3 Discount
- 18 Karma (18 RVP)
- 2 CDP
-Gomorrah and Babylon, after slapping a Force 9 Spirit of Man
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Wow... I'm still processing things. I have an ally spirit now... Gomorrah. I'm still getting used to her presence and will need to spend more time getting acquainted, but I already feel as if I've known her all my life - it's like suddenly having a twin sister or something. Not to mention all that business with Cecelia and Tanis and Old Man Cross' cufflink... and my mother of course. Extracted by Ares... and she managed to call a spirit just to try to find me... I'm going to have to start saving money so that I can pay a team to get her out - I will need Cecelia's help I think, hopefully finding that cufflink earned me some goodwill. Not to mention this bargain with Tanis... I will need to find him a suitable vessel, perhaps that executive who mistreated Barbatos - two birds with one stone as it were.
The journey itself was something of an odyssey. The Agora was fascinating, hearing all of those spirits speak and share their stories. Going back to that dark lake was harrowing, and fighting those spirits in that old temple - I was better prepared than my last voyage, but I still found myself afraid for my life at several points. It was good to have Gomorrah along with me, I must return soon to have her show me around more. For now I think that I will get her acquainted with the material world.