Levine Asdrubael Velen
|Casualties and losses|
|This was an initiation ordeal for Babylon.|
In which Babylon is hired to act as an exorcist for a case of demonic possession.
Babylon is contacted by her fixer Ether and told that a retired Ancients higher-up has asked to speak to her personally at a manor house in Auburn. Arriving on her bike with her ally spirit Gomorrah in tow, the two are introduced to Levine Asdrubael Velen, who Babylon is familiar with by reputation. Curious why she's been summoned but eager to impress, she offers help with whatever Asdrubael needs; after sharing some novacoke, he introduces her to his guest, Asahiro Kunitoshi of Shiawase Imperial Kami Services. Gomorrah tells Babylon through their link that she is afraid of Ashahiro, specifically of the sword he carries - a quick assensing roll reveals that it is a high-force weapon focus on the level of a magical artifact, and the spirit tells the mage that it is forged from a shard of Sohayamaru, a legendary sword that is rumored to be able to permanently kill spirits.
Bowing to Ashahiro, Babylon complements the sword and asks what she can do for him. Ashahiro tells her that he is in Seattle in order to track and disrupt certain malevolent spirits - Pump King Jack foremost among them - and that he and Asdrubael have become aware of one which has possessed a resident of Tarislar. At that, Asdrubael produces a severed arm, saying that the victim managed to escape confinement and run off to parts unknown. Assensing the arm reveals that it carries an unknown astral signature which could be used to track the posessing demon. Ashahiro also produces a small teapot which he says has similar properties to a govi - once the demon is removed from the vessel, it will be able to contain it for a short time. However, one must be careful in its use, as it will suck in any spirit within range. Taking it, Babylon bids farewell to the pair of them and says she'll contact them once she's found the spirit.
Conjuring her bound man spirit Hammurabi, Babylon has the spirit use its search power to attempt to track down the demon's aura; while it does so, she calls up her contacts in the Ancients, providing a description of the victim and is quickly pointed towards Argent, who happens to be dating them. He provides a name - Nyon Salaine - and accounts for his whereabouts up to about 3 hours ago. Calling up Juliette Burns, Babylon asks about possession spirits and methods to deal with them, as well as who might be responsible. She is pointed towards their mutual associate Chaplain Carmilla who, in exchange for some immortal flower to regenerate the arm she recently lost, tells Babylon that the party responsible likely belong to a group of demoncallers she was formally affiliated with, and says that one of them recently broke out of a high-security prison in Everett.
Returning to her trailer in Tarislar, Babylon astrally projects from the safety of her lodge and begins attempting to astrally track the signature as well with Gomorrah's assistance. Between their efforts and those of the bound spirit, they are able to find Nyon on a small island in Outremer, behind a high-force ward - deciding that it would take too long to get to the island in the meat, she sleazes through the ward. Managing to get through, Babylon finds an oppressively-high background count and starts attempting to cleanse it away. Not wanting to bring Gomorrah inside, she locates a basement door serving as the linchpin of the ward with an alchemical preparation on it. Having little hope of disjoining it, she realizes that she may need some help, and decides to call up Zenith, who she knows has adept bulldrek that lets him get around alchemical preps. However she has some difficulty getting out of the ward, and ends up zapped fairly hard for her efforts - not wanting to risk it again, she comes up with a plan.
Knowing she needs Zenith's help, and that he'll need to bring the teapot; since Gomorrah expresses an unwillingness to touch it or bring it to him, she sends the ally spirit to Stargazer's office, trusting the mage more than the adept to know where she lives. Stargazer, who has been sleeping in her office since the events of True Names, Mood Wanes keeping an eye on Jack's spirit formula, agrees to come with Gomorrah to Babylon's place - using her commlink, Gomorrah contacts Zenith through the ShadowHaven app, and the two meet at the Daisy Chain to handoff the teapot. While Stargazer watches Babylon's body, Zenith rents a boat and speeds to the island, meeting Gomorrah there. Leaving the teapot outside, he gets through the ward without issue and disturbs the linchpin by magically enhancing his strength and pulling the door open with a crowbar - once it's down, he grabs the teapot and the two are able to enter, with Gomorrah keeping watch outside and Babylon placing a mindlink spell on Zenith so that they can speak via magical DNI.
In the basement/bomb shelter, they wander about, finding a living area and an old computer terminal and hearing some people watching a trideo set in the next room. Zenith prepares a flashbang and readies to breach-and-clear, however Babylon pokes her astral head through the door and comes face-to-face with an inhabited Vrygoth - however to her surprise the demon does not attack, instead inviting her inside. Signaling to Zenith to enter with his gun at the ready, the two find Krimelin there with a trio of Vrygoths and Nyom, who seems mostly unbothered by the lost arm and who Babylon is able to determine is inhabited by a Gum Toad - the same one that she encountered on the Metaplane of Man.
Krimelin greets the two runners amicably and asks them why they've come - Babylon tells him that they're looking for Nyon, that they're not going to leave without him, and that more will come if they don't return. Persuading Krimelin that it's in his best interests to go along without things coming down to a fight, he agrees to give Nyon back showing Babylon a technique he learned to coax the Gum Toad out of the vessel which he manages to perform despite a lack of magical talent. As the Gum Toad is expelled, Babylon takes cover and Zenith unseals the teapot in order to capture the spirit. Before leaving Krimelin also gives Babylon some old robes which can help with her conjuring efforts, and says to give his regards to Carmilla.
Now with a ticking clock, as the vessel won't hold for long, Zenith grabs Nyon's unconscious body and heads to the rented boat as Babylon has Gomorrah use her commlink to contact Asahiro. She explains that she has the spirit contained, but that he can't kill it - from what she's learned in her previous encounters with this spirit, it is not particularly powerful on it's own but it has created a web of deals and bargains across the spirit community which would lead to great harm were it to dissolve, with many spirits being harmed or placed into indentured servitude as a result. Asahiro says he does not care for the consequences to the spirit community and that his concern is with the harm the spirit's presence can do to metahumanity, so Babylon convinces him to allow her to banish it instead since it will escape before he can get to it otherwise.
Zenith tosses the teapot into the air and shoots it, freeing the Gum Toad just in time for Babylon to banish it back to where it came from. Taking Nyon to Dr. Isabel Wirth to get his arm - which Babylon has put on ice - reattached, Zenith calls up Argent to give him the good news (and gets a nice cash reward for his efforts) while Babylon returns to her body and takes Stargazer out for breakfast.
For Babylon: 9 Karma IG Ordeal Discount 2 CDP Vashon Island: Steampunk "Demoncaller Robes" with the following modifications: - Gel Packs - Fire Resistance 6 - Nonconductivity 6 - YNT Softweave - Voidblack Coating - Shaman Tuxedo functionality towards Spirits of Man Total Cost: 28,750 Nuyen (7 RVP + 1,250 Nuyen)
For Zenith: 10 Karma 12,000 Nuyen 2 CDP
For Both: Optional Contact: Krimelin, 3/1 Demoncaller (3 RVP) Optional Contact: Levine Asdrubael Velen, 5/1 Retired Ancients Colonel (5 RVP) Optional Contact: Nyon Salaine, 2/1 Hottest Elf Around (2 RVP)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Well, that was something - it was great to finally meet Asdrubael, and I'm proud he sought me out on this one. I joke about summoning demons, but I suppose one needs a reminder sometimes about what actual demon summoners are like. That fellow in the bunker was deranged, but at least he knew enough to know when he was outmatched, and we managed to get Nyon back without a fight. I didn't like having to call Zenith in to bail my ass out of getting stuck behind that barrier, but it was better than having to subject Gomorrah to those bad vibes or ask Stargazer to put herself at risk when she's still convalescing from the trip to the metaplanes. To think we'd run into the same Gum Toad... I was very tempted to let Asahiro destroy it, but it wouldn't have been right, there's too much to unravel first before that can happen. Still, I must gather the others so that we can discuss the issue. I should also look more into exorcism techniques - all these issues with possession spirits lately, not to mention the trouble with Jack and that vessel of his... yeah, defenitly need to figure out how to deal with them.