Jan 18 2020
It's finally feeling like winter, proper. With a feels-like in the negatives and rain coming down that freezes as soon as it hits, the roads are treacherous. Salt trucks are out, trying to get ahead of it, but the morning may bring a lot of wrecks to the hospitals. Let alone the body count in homeless that will freeze.
The space has been cleared of the usual sportsball accessories, the room is arranged into a compass rose, loosely. To the North rests the seating for the Wise, to the South, the Kindred. West for the Wolves and the East for those of the turning Seasons. Servants of various natures are at beck and call, the gaps between the points filled with seats that, overall, form a massive circle with a round, red carpet in the center from which announcements might be made. Or pleas for mercy, depending.
To the South, an expensive leather boardroom chair is filled with the presence of the Prince of the North, Enrico Salvatore, in his sharply tailored suit and perfectly combed hair. Even relaxed, he feels like a shark - ancient, primordial, and calculating.
Left of him, in the center of the three seats is a throne wrought of twisted, rusted rebar and old bones. An old scythe rests against the back of it, casually leaned. Tillo Protz is lean and long, patient seeming in the way of a spider in it's web. Inhumanly gaunt, there' an air of -hunger- that lingers on the Haunt, as if he could suck the world dry and still yearn for more.
The last of the Kindred has put to use one of the provided seats, one leg hooked over the arm. A fur coat has been shrugged out of to display the ink that covers him throat to wrist and disappears into the snug white jeans. Feet are clad in black riding boots. Raul Alvarez, Savage Shepherd of the South Praxis sprawls with predatory menace and a lion's arrogance.
The West is still devoid of leadership, the Urdaga of the city left in a lurch since things exploded with the Pure and the Bale Hounds, both of which have been unexpectedly quiet since the fires began.
To the East, Verglas on her throne of ice, dressed exquisitely in a fine silk that mimics the flow of frost, the Winter Queen regal and proud as ever, her hair made of flowing ice, and skin blue, frigid. The air around her is crisp and cold, causing breath to plume from the presence of the woman. To the left of her is a tall, broadly build male figure with a down of light brown fur on his exposed arms and comically elongated ears. The scars on the Guard Captain's body speak of things that are neither 'cute' nor 'fluffy'. He's wearing heavy boots, bdu cargo pants, and a military blouse that has the sleeves torn off. To the right of the Queen sits a massive, rotund woman, and ogre in her glory with age whitened hair, rippling muscles, and a corpulent everything. Baba is smiling with teeth too big, expression as sweet as she is unpleasant to look at.
Vella steps in from one of the hallways doors, except behind her through the doorway is not a hallway. The view is of an expensively decorated, modern decor office. She closes the door behind her and releases her spell. When it next opens it is a hallway again. Vella makes her way to a seat in the north with the mages and settles in, pulling a phone from her clutch to keep her busy until things get started.
Rashida walks into the meeting, a living porcelain statue of pure white, intricately carved by the hands of creatures not of this world. Golden stanzas swirl around her entire body, different notes of silver lighting up whenever she speaks. Intricately carved clothing covers her features and gives a sense of modesty to the striking creature. She walks to the east, standing behind Verglas on her right and folding her hands in front of her body.
Even as a new arrival to the city, Maxwell has heard of the allthing and so finds his feet drawn there. He is wearing a black suit, clearly expensive in make. The suit coat, buttoned though the bright white dress shirt is left unbuttoned at the top to expose a bit of chest. He has loaded his clothing with items fitting his profession. Upon entering the room, he glances around and easily spots the section for the Kindred. He walks towards the three Princes of the city and bows towards them with a bit of a florish. "Prince Salvatore, Prince Protz, Prince Alvarez. My Princes." He doesn't introduce himself not really seeing that this is the time. They will ask what they wish to know.
Leah moves in, her steps slow and cautious but not hesitant. towards the seats set aside for her people on the west. She'll eventually take one of the seats as her eyes look over the others gathered and gathering.
Alvin comes in wearing a black Chicago Bears hoodie, his eyes flicking around the room to the attendants with a neutral expression. He knew better than to try to play nice. It would be wasted on the old guard. The new folks were a lot more friendly but he didn't see many faces that were both familiar and friendly. "Daaaaa Bears." He makes his way over to the window down to Soldier Field, looking out to the gridiron where they play. He does it pretty much every trip to this meetings, but it never got old. After a moment he makes his way over to the north section and sits down next to Vella. "Hey there, stranger. How's business? Good, I hope. For me, anyway..."
Thinker is late, coming in and stuffing a phone into his pocket as he goes. There's a hop-skip step to get to his place and settle on the Northern point of the compass rose.
There's tension in the room that isn't usually there during the gatherings. Tillo, prone to being expressionless, has a dark scowl on his face. Thinker seems harassed and hurried. There's a lone wolf to the Western point. Only the Changed to the East seem serene and untouched by troubles.
Tonight, it isn't Tillo that rises from his throne to open the meeting, but Raul, covered in tattoos, bare chested and displaying the shift in status between the three Princes. It is, however, Tillo that nods to Maxwell in greeting.
"The city is in strife we have not known in five decades. The Undercity burns with flames we cannot extinguish. Whispers of spirit wars brewing that can have huge consequences for the city."
"Who brings knowledge of these things before the council?"
Vella smiles to Alvin. "Hey. Sorry I haven't been around." Her light voice has a touch of sadness on it. "I've been busy. But I haven't forgotten about everything. I stay on top of my responsibilities." Vella just gives Thinker a glance, but turns gracefully to look at Raul when he speaks. She draws back a bit at the pronouncement and question. She has little first hand information and looks around the room seeing mostly new faces. She turns then to Alvin, raising a questioning eyebrow.
Rashida remains silent on this current issue. She's not one to go out and seek such things, she is the one to run her haven and keep the bad things out. She has not been to the Undercity, nor does she intend to go to be honest. She remains silent behind Verglas, her hands never unclenching.
Maxwell moves first to the side of the three Princes so as not to be in their way. He then moves behind them in order to be out of the attention which he something he has to consciously do. He does make sure to not get too close to the Princes so as not to appear a threat. He isn't new to this type of dance. Once in position, he glances around at those in attendance. A fire? Great.
Leah leans back a little in her chair, frowning as she seems to be the only one in her quadrant of the gathering. She shakes her head a little as she has no information about the situation with the fires though she might have to find the others of her kind and beat some information out of them soon.
Alvin squints a bit at Raul from behind his glasses and turns to Vella with a shake of his head when she looks at him with a questioning look. He shrugs and looks back to the rest of the court. Hearing very little he stands and says, "There's not much that's been found out since the last time we met. But not for lack of trying." He motions to Vella and says, "Both of us have done extensive research on the black ooze under the city which is now on fire. We have been trying to find something like this that has occured before and we can pretty definitely say there isn't anything like it that we could find. And we searched multiple cities. We know that the black ooze was set on fire and it started the blaze - because it was vulnerable to ifre. We know it existed in the spirit world in a place where the spirit world and the material world are basically linked. You just walk out of one and right into the other. We know it was once attacked by a huge spirit of... like... an old construction site. So it had enemies. Natural or otherwise we don't know." He adds after a brief pause, "We also know that the spot where the black ooze was set on fire was first flooded with gasoline, but we're unable to determine the source of the gasoline itself. But neither of us are really versed much in things pertaining to spirits and this is definitely pertaining to spirits."
Tillo sits up a little straighter, the scowl deepening. "This is tied to the black ooze we found?" That is not good news for him. He was pushing to get that destroyed. And now his Praxis is lost to the flames. Not a good position to be in, at all.
Thinker rises and interjects. "There are reports that the flames are feeding a spirit, and it has grown large enough to challenge the, well, it isn't a -leader- per se. But there will be war. And the challenging spirit is calling itself Smolder. The problem is, truly, the Undercity itself."
Tillo waves a hand dismissively. "The Breach. There's to be done about that. But it does mean the war will spill over to the flesh."
Vella elistens along with the information but can add little and do little about it. She had little interest in the spirit world and knew even less about it. She looks to Thinker upon adding his information. "That's not good," she mutters. She says out loud, "If spirits mirror the material plane, then this Smolder has to be put down in order to extinguish the flames that are destroying us here. Or vise versa. I suspect some combination of both must happen simultaneously, but that is simply conjecture."
Leah shakes her head again. "Good luck with that. If you don't take out the source, the rest will not go away." she offers from her seat before falling quiet again.
Checkers has been all in the back being quiet. Just waiting for his time. He picks now as that time and he strolls out to the middle where everyone can see him. "OKay so. Spirit shit. I'll start off with, it's bad." He flips his long fur coat open and looks around with that pause. "I'm understating how bad. It's epic and if uou don;t all want to get yeeted.." He looks towards some of the younger attendees to see if he's using it right. "..into an ash pile, we need to work on this." He points towards the floor as he walks in a circle. "The burning ring of fire has ignited a war in the Hisil." A pause. " Spirit realm." ANother pause then he continues. "Smolder who was already powerful, has become GREATLY more powerful. Enoigh to channelenge and possible consume the current spirit court." He winks and finger guns towards Vella. "True. But some of the fires can't be put out with normal ways. Need magics. Probably spirit magics." He grins widely as he looks around again. "ANd we need to kill Smolder. Not an easy task." A flask is pulled from his coat and he takes a drink from it. "How? I can see you thinking it. We need water that's never been touched by pollution. I can provide but I need fed." He bares his teeth and pats his tummy. "Or if someone can get us a glacier. But that's probably the easy part. We need that water blessed by Michi Seppe, that's a powerful water spirit here whos insane becuase of the polution. Or another suitably powerful water spirit."
Black ooze on fire. Spirits large enough to challenge this group. Maxwell picked a great time to move to a new city. Someone should consider posting signs up around a city. Warning: do not enter. Giant flaming black ooze spirit running amuck.
Rashida listens to the testimony of those that are gathered, but if she is concerned it does not come across the porcelain face. She simply moves her head slightly to peer at the person speaking with porcelain eyes. She doesn't add anything at this time, as none of this is familiar to her.
Alvin looks up towards Checkers and listens, looking hungry at the information that has eluded them. He nudges Vella at the mention of getting a glacier and grins at some private joke. He continues to listen and then asks Checkers, "Do spirits have minds? Or just natures? If it has a mind I might be able to help calm it. Otherwise," Alvin shrugs and continues, "I'm here to help in the most direct and passive way. If anyone knows how to do something, but just needs to do it better, that's my bag. Think Ando, from Heroes. I can't do a whole lot on my own, but I can supercharge what you already can do to make sure you do it well." He nods in his seat, sitting comfortably. "If this is that important, I'm here to help."
Raul crosses his arms over his chest as he listens to the information, nodding a few times and studying the floor. "Excellent. There will be coins for those that put an end to this. If this rain keeps up with this temp, you want need a glacier." he adds, flopping down on his seat and reclining, then lifting a hand to wave his fingers in a lazy circle, summoning the team of assistants to circulate with refreshment of varies types for those that have gathered.
Vella gives Alvin a look and then returns to the conversation mutely. Finally she speaks up, just after the idea of the glacier is dismissed. "Well, if you do need a glacier, I might be able to provide one. I've never moved anything of that size, but I'll have help." She glances at Alvin shortly, then back again. "Just keep me in the loop on when and where and I'll make sure I do my best. The more lead time I get, the better I can deliver." Moving things from place to place was her actual business, after all.
Leah takes a deep breath but keeps herself silent for now. The fact that each order seems to have a stake in this and yet none seem to have the full picture. She looks towards those not speaking of the other quadrants.
Checkers holds an arm out towards Alvin and wobbles it. "Sort of. BUt you probably can't change it. THe insanity." He waves an arm in a grand sweeping gesture. "Her..his...it's nature has been altered by the polution in the river. The only real way to fix that is to get rid of the polution and garbage in the river." He lets his arm drop back down to his side. "That's the hard part. CLean the river and make all the humans stop putting shit in it." He arches a brow and stares at Vella. "I so very want to see you move it. Move it. Move it." He cackles at himself and wanders over to sit on a random chair. "My guess is that to get the blessing, we'll be sent on some impossible and non sensical quest that will make Michi Seppe happy or something. BUt from what I could gather, she...I'm just going to use she from now on...is pretty much the hard counter for Smolder." He goes silent and waits. Then leaps to his feet, snapping his fingers as he remembers. "Oh, right. SMooldar also has to posess something and burn it while possesing it at pretty much all times. If it's alive, the being will be left aware while it's being comsumed by fire." He shrugs and sits back down. "I don't know if that part will be useful to anyone but if you see someone one fire. PUt them out. Or kill them." ANother shrug. "If the fire won't go out, it might be SMolder's meat sack."
As the refreshments come, Maxwell reaches out for a chalice of blood. He lifts up the glass and catches the blood in the light. Sipping the blood, he listens to the requests for a glacier. He look down at the blood again. O+. A nice type. He continues to drink and listen until the blood is gone. Balancing the glass on the palm of his hand, he then places his other hand above the empty glass. Suddenly, he moves his hands together, and the chalice is gone.
The lofted lap of luxury. The flooring consists of tiles with the stats of the player of the year and the yearly numbers of the Bears all the way from 1924 to current. The filler tiles are alternating in the team's colors: dark blue and orange.
Furnishings are comfortable chairs, long tables, and what one expects in a vip lounge like this - massive televisions so even from here, the movers and shakers can see the beads of sweat on the players' faces.
Rashida looks at the others, "We won't stop them from polluting the rivers before this war starts, and bringing a large supply of fresh water to the area is near impossible. What about the Great Lake to our north, can we use that and perhaps flush out the river? Bring in a large supply in all at once?" As she speaks, the mouth on her face doesn't move, and it's as though she is speaking behind a mask.
Alvin shakes his head at Checkers' reply. "Then I'm out. Can't help there, sorry." He opens a hand feebly and listens on, cutting in to ask, "How clean is clean? I mean, would a significant reduction work or does it need to be, like 100 percent pure?" He follows up with the question, "And how long does it have to be that clean in order for the insanity to go away? Something like that, even assuming it could be done, is not going to be 100 percent and it is going to take time. More time than we probably have. We could mind freak some government officials into a city works project, but would that accomplish anything in the time frame we need? We're probably better off on having someone accomplish the insane quest." He shrugs at that and sits back again, letting more of the information get processed.
He listens to Rashida and nods in her direction. "Yeah, what about that? If we can find someplace to put the polluted water, we might be able to trade out the fresh water for it. Toss the glacier in the lake, take the same amout and put it in the river, take that much out of the river and put it someplace else." He sits forward and asks, "If Michi Seppe is the counter to Smolder, what would happen if we flushed the parts of the underground that are on fire directly with the water from the river. Would that make the situation better?" Always count on Alvin for a crazy idea that he could never pull off by himself. Someone else would have to put themself on the line for that heavy lifting.
"To fix her?" Checkers just shrugs. "I don't know. SHe might be forever changed. For a weapon, we need one hundred percent pure water." He looks at ALvin then Rashida and jabs himself int he chest with his thumb. "I can provide that. If we can get it belessed, we just need a delivery source. I was thinking wate balloons and squirt guns." He nods at ALvin. "Sure. A clean river has it's own benefits even if it doesn't fix her. I would much rather have water spirits than sludge and waste spirits in abundance." ANother shrug after he listens. "I mean, it's probably just water and nothing special. I'm sure some fires would go out but a spirit that powerful can make fire that just doesn't go out. Ever."
Vella thinks on it a moment then nods and says, "Swapping out water from one place and putting it in another is doable, yes. Again, I just need to know starting and ending points. Where everything is coming from and where it is going to. And I won't be liable for any of the damages it causes." She follows Checkers with her eyes and asks, "I think the point of using the water from the river on the under ground fires is that the river water is michi seppe's water. Michi seppe is the counter to Smolder. Smolder is creating the under ground fires." She bounces a finger in a line on each point then bounces it back to the beginning. "But not everything is so connected. Who knows. Anyway, just let me know how I can help." She motions towards Checkers and asks, "Are you point person on this project?"
Rashida looks at Checkers and nods her head, "I merely attempted to offer an alternative to the iceberg. Taking water guns and balloons into something so dangerous, if we could find an alternative..." She turns and listens to Vella and then turns back to Checkers.
Leah flexes her fingers a bit as she listens to the major players, but keeps her hands settled in her lap. She's as relaxed as she can be in this place, occasionally shaking her head at the thought of the powers some of these people are speaking of.
Alvin waves a hand from the comfort of his chair and says, "Its cool Whatever gets the job done if fine by me. I'm just here to help." He looks from Vella to Checkers and back again before Alvin pushes up to his feet and takes a moment to get in a deep breath and let it out. "Real quick, since we're talking about the fires and all... I wanted to propose something that might be a little touchy for some of you in the room." He scans the crowd, avoiding any accusatory stares as he speaks. "After the incident with the underground fires, which was regrettable, I thought it might be a good idea for the Accords to do more than just parcel out the city into territories and look for information. We've all agreed to some neutral ground so I think we should put that neutral ground to some good use."
He motions around the room with a gloved hand. "I'm suggesting that those who are willing work together to establish multiuse facilities for all of us. We can have safe places to go to during emergency situations. During the fires, when many people living underground are run out of their homes or barred from them, it would be useful to have a place they knew where to go just to make sure they weren't in danger. I'll offer up my hotel, currently under construction, as a safe space for now, but what I'm proposing is a reinforced residential building with medical facility - all on neutral ground, all exclusive to the members of the Accords."
Alvin opens his hands and says, "If we work together we can achieve a lot more than any of us can do individually. I've experienced that with some other in the city and I'd like to keep that ball rolling to some greater future good. If you're interested in helping out, let me know. Thanks for your time." He nods respectfully and heads back to his seat, relaxing back into it.
Checkers nods at Vella then Rashida. "Im not saying and ideas are bad or can't work. What I know for sure, is the blessed pure water is how to kill SMolder. At least, the..." He air quotes. "..easy way. Or we can go all claws and guns at a fire god and see how that goes." He shakes his head to show how he feels about that. "SPecifically, I can create fresh, new, untouched water in a two mile wide area. If I have the juice. I don'y myself and would need others feeding me essence." He listens to Alvin with a brow raised and hops to his feet to saunter over. "I have a total of like three dollars. I'm hungry so I'll keep it." He holds a finger up. "But I call dibs and accept the offer of your hotel. I will turn it into a speak easy." He grins widely and turns to look around the room. "They can have the hospital."
Vella looks at Alvin when he proposes group space, but had heard the pitch before so is not surprised. She nods along to show her silent support and had her part mapped out already. When Checkers gets up and just makes jokes she gives Alvin a glance that is clearly read as a very early 'I told you so'. She turns back to him a moment and studies him a while before sighing and standing. She takes a card from her clutch and leaves it on the table. "For whoever is the point person." She never did get an answer there. "You folks have a good evening. Good luck in your decisions."
There's a murmuring from the different compass points - except the West, of course. It's one of the Changed that speaks first, the rotund Ogre with the white hair and the kind, if toothy, smile. "Aww, darlin', Baba's always willin' to help the lil'uns in need. You jus' let me know what needs doin'. I can bring cookies!"
That seems to break the tension, Thinker rising up. "I will begin fundraising amongst the Wise to see what can be done."
The Kindred, though, exchange looks, and Tillo's scowl turns his lips down far enough he could be doing a very serious impersonation of the late Grumpycat. It's Raul, the Shepherd, that adds their hat to the pile. "We'll look into it as well. It may take some time, but I'm sure we'll *all*," Tillo's upper lip twitches, "make contributions to the cause."
Rashida looks at Verglas, not answering the question about whether they will be a part of the hotel idea even though she likes the idea personally.
Alvin glances around the room as he gets some positive feedback and support. He looks surprised. He looks back after Vella but she's already gotten up to leave. She'll likely not believe it to hear that she was wrong, though her suggestion of condensing the idea to one place instead of spreading it all over time might help. He stands again and gives a nod in different directions. "Okay. Thanks. I'll make arrangements to see that it gets started on as soon as we have enough to start." The answer comes smooth and deliberate without the awkwardness of the surprise he felt. He looks then to Checkers and asks, "Anything else we should know? Anything else we should be doing in the meantime?"
Verglas is silent, despite the outburst from Baba. "I will not force the Lost to contribute, but I will not hinder them, either." Once more, the East doing their best to simply exist and *be*, without drawing too much attention to themselves. "I will post notice of your desires towards such a thing, but I do caution you to consider that gathering in one place, under such circumstances could attract unwanted attention."
Rashida turns her head towards Verglas and then looks back at the others in the room, gauging the interest. She doesn't say anything at the moment, the previous outburst she gave being embarassing enough for her.
Checkers shrugs at Alvin. "Um...don't go into the Hisil and try not to catch on fire. I need to go meet with the spirit court to see what I can find. See what allies we can get there." He taps at hip lip as he thinks. "CLean, preferably new water storage tanks? If you can get those I can start filling them instead of having to try to do it all at once." He stands and dusts himself off with a look around. "I'm going to go to McDonalds and spend my three bucks." WIth that, he waves and makes his way out.
Alvin nods to Verglas and conceeds, "I understand. We certainly are not trying to attract attention. Quite the opposite." He shakes his head and says, "Maybe I was unclear, the hotel arrangement is for temporary shelter now for those displaced by the fire. The proposal is for a future location in neutral territory only to be be used in emergencies. A panic room of sorts for those with no where else to go. Or who need medical treatment they can't get from someone else or can't show at a hospital without answering difficult questions. It would not be a gathering spot or hangout place. Just a bastion of last resort for emergencies like we experienced with the fire. To look out for each other." He nods in Verglas' direction again and says, "This is for everyone so if you have further suggestions as to what would make this comfortable for you, please do let me know. You will understand your needs much more than I."
Rashida stands up, nods her head to Verglas, a polite gesture of good-bye before she walks out of the meeting.