Domination of Black

My Favorite Sin (Zoe) Pt 3
Beauty's sister and daughter.

Zoe Sawyer was under suspicion for the murder of her two friends, and feeling claustrophobic and paranoid in her own empty apartment. She knew she had to get out. Her head was constantly pounding with the sounds of drums. She got out of her apartment to head hurriedly to the Olive or Twist, hoping to run into “Frog Boy” there—or at least escape the solitude of her apartment.

There, Zoe ran into “T-Man”, whose name she couldn’t actually remember, the barkeep. He asked her if she was all right and fixed her up a heavy drink on the house. She found there was a seat waiting for her, right by the front, and when she sat down, Prince Amon walked in, and he actually said he was dedicating his night—to her! Zoe was completely enthralled, leaning in and listening to him. His songs got her high—and each time he was quiet it felt like the worst withdrawal.

He finished his set, and Zoe felt distressed. Prince Amon walked down the stairs and started to slip through the crowd, before pausing and holding his arm out for Zoe. She was elated as she went to him. The drums in her head were pounding louder and louder. They got into the car. Amon lifted Zoe’s hand, giving it a kiss, and started lightly tracing on Zoe’s wrist. She knew it should feel good—but the drums kept pounding in her head, and because of that—because of them, it felt painful. She saw blood dribble down her wrist as his finger apparently tore into her skin—and then the world around her changed.

She found herself on top of a large elephant like beast—Amon was becoming a monster, a giant cat-thing roaring and intent on eating her. The city streets fell away to dirt paths, clustering trees, vines and tripping roots. She tried to fight Amon, but his giant claws scratched her face, and she fell off the elephant, landing hard, but within a moment she was up and fleeing. She heard the soft thump and the growls as Amon followed her.

The drums were pounding in her head, and all around her, causing the trees to throb violently. Her feet pounded to the beat of the drums, as did her heart, and she could hear the roaring monster behind her as she burst from the thick copse of trees, coming to the edge of a cliff. Unafraid, Zoe ran forward, drew in a deep breath, and leapt, free falling—and as the ground came to meet her, she prepared her body, and landed, hard but unscathed. She tore off running to a tower she saw in the distance through the trees.

Once there, she flung the stone doors open and quickly climbed to the top, the monster forever on her heels—feeling the wet sticky hot breath on the back of her neck. She scrawled her name in the stone book there, and a moment later opened up in an alley, her wrist and face bleeding, and the bartender standing over her. He introduced himself as Carbene and pulled her to her feet, congratulating her on escaping a demon.

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Exegesis and Summoning (Damion) Part 5
Most of us are pawns.

Damion Toll woke up in a squat stone building, laying on a hard stone table. There was a door, in front of which was a person wearing a long black robe. Damion felt at ease, even as he realized that he was missing a large chunk of his shoulder and throat and that there was no way he could be alive.

He slowly pushed to his feet and moved to the person in the robe, who flung it around his shoulders. The person revealed himself to be Frankling Hamilton, the guy Damion had killed. Frankling opened the door to reveal a place of marble and graves and gold and silver. Franklin pointed at a tower int he distance. Damion began to move that way, and paused, and then bent to beg Franklin’s forgiveness—“I thought it was just a game. I’m so sorry—it’s all my fault.”

Damion then made his way to the tower—a bone tower. He opened the door, and inside found a huge pile of gold, which he found himself oddly disinterested in. It’s odd how Death can make you think—and he began to climb it, up to a ledge at the top, where he found a book with thousands of names scrawled into it. He focused his will and managed to write his name—and he felt a sense of rejuvenation flow into him as in the back of his head he heard someone cussing in the back of his head.

He awoke to find Victor standing over him, cussing. And when Victor saw Damion opening his eyes, Victor starting cussing more. Victor then starts yelling at Damion, informing Damion he’s summoned an abyssal into the world, and then he pulls a dagger out and points it straight at Damion: “Are you a fucking scelesti?”

Victor—obviously pissed and being adversely affected by the fact that he’s, you know, been living in a place where there’s a hole in the abyss for a long while—isn’t too apt to listen, but he finally manages to calm the hell down. They talk, and Victor explains a few things, and then gets Damion in contact with some mages who will tell him more — and tells him to fucking figure out about this “goddamned abyssal summoning game.”

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My Favorite Sin (Zoe) Pt 2
Beauty's sister and daughter.

Zoe Sawyer and Caroline are meeting to go out and see Prince Amon. The two have become closer ever since Rachel’s death, attending her funeral together and figuring out the guitarist’s schedule. Tonight the two girls are planning on going out together. However, Caroline doesn’t show up, so Zoe calls her—first time, the phone rings and rings and rings. Second time, however—she gets an answer. Silence, at first, followed by a gurgle and a choke of “Help…me…” before the phone goes dead.

Zoe hurried out the door and took off running to Caroline’s dorm, calling 911 in the interim. She dashed up the stairs once she got there, and flung herself against the door, only to find it locked. She listened at the door, but heard nothing beyond it. She backed up and then flung herself forward against it, hitting it hard. Finally the door broke inward.

Zoe was immediately hit with the scent of shit and vomit, and blood. She saw a form on the floor, and she approached it. “Caroline?” She asked. Slowly, the fetal-positioned body opened up like a flower and then stood up. It was Caroline; her body covered with oddly carved sigils, leaking blood. She stood stiff, one shoulder higher than the other and with her legs turned inward. “Caroline?” Zoe asked.

Caroline began to move toward Zoe slowly. “Come…to me…Zoe Sawyer.” Zoe saw that Caroline was dead and began to back away and cry. “Come to me…” Caroline repeated. Zoe—starting to cry harder, turned and walked away from what she saw, moving downstairs to meet the police. Zoe doubled over, feeling sick and struggling to contain everything inside.

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Exegesis and Summoning (Damion) Part 4
Most of us are pawns.

Having completed both his murder and his debauched act, Damion Toll had his avatar in game head off to locate the Temple of Ethyra. He finds it near the end of his beta testing session: a cave, with dried blood noting it as the temple, marked only by a pillar with a strange sigil on it. Damion wandered inside and was pointed the way to the book. Welcomed as a Brother, he saw plenty of sick sights — men and women getting raped by strange monstrous beasts, people having their skin peeled off, walked passed people begging for his help. When he finally found the grimoire, he found a book that seemed to be breathing, made up of human flesh.

As soon as Damion added the Grimoire to his inventory, Brad the Shard Employee informs both Damion and the professor in beta test that game time is up. Frustrated and annoyed, Damion heads home. Once there, he comes up with a plan: He’s going to hack Shard’s servers and download Kingdom of Heresy on to his home computer to play it all the time. At first, hacking it was going as planned, but then his computer announced that he had a trojan, and then more and more viruses, and then his monitor flashed, and then a buzzing came from his speakers and he heard chanting and smelled blood and he tried hurriedly to stop everything. But suddenly he found himself on the ground, dizzy, and sick to his stomach, with blood all around his head and his precious computer case smoking.

After taking care of his bleeding, Damion went to the game again. Once in, he found the ritual in the book: Use the blood to make a pentacle, place the diamond and the flesh in the middle, and then violate a virgin and kill him/her while reciting some words from the book of Exegesis and Summoning. He traveled quickly to the temple of the priestesses he had previously asked questions, and attempted to lure one out to use her for the ritual. She saw through his ruse and cast him out from the temple, informing him now that he was going to summon a demon out to the real world.

Damion has his avatar leave the temple quickly. He heads to a brothel house to purchase a virginal spinster—who, crying, is lead out to him. He leads her upstairs and performs the ritual. Damion suddenly snaps out of the game as he notices both Brad and the professor stumbling back from his terminal, and for a moment he doesn’t know why—until he sees the demon floating above it, staring down at him, and it shoves out a hand and grabs him around the throat and starts lifting him up.

The demon thanked Damion for summoning him, allowing the demon to aid his brothers by influencing other mortals playing the game to summon more—and then leaned forward to devour him.

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Plague of Locusts (Jeremy) Pt 3
Brief cracks of light between long darknesses.

Jeremy Power, walking around a deserted campus, ran in to a frantic Melody Jackson who was trying to get in to the library. She explained she was trying to find a book to help Chance Spires out because he was infected with Mongolian Death Worms. Jeremy cast a fate spell to help him find the book she was searching for — “Xanxen’s Absolution” — and the spell led them to a little occult shop in Canton. Upon finding the book, which Jeremy noticed was glowing, the duo headed back — Melody going to go read the book (and thus get Chance Spire’s moving on), and Jeremy venturing downtown.

Downtown, he ran into Cassie Wilkeshire and Charlotte Miller. Charlotte was reading to Cassie, who immediately got distracted when she saw Jeremy. Jeremy was disturbed to notice that Cassie had no aura. He spoke to the two girls for a short while, before Charlotte had to leave because — according to Cassie “Mean Mr. Andrew called.” As they were leaving, Charlotte handed Jeremy a note that read:

###-###-#### . This is my cellphone. I can’t give you the actual phone number in case my mother answers.
Cassie’s in danger of being used to make the holes to the darkness wider. I can’t help her. I don’t know how to help her, but I know I can’t. I do know one way to stop some of the growth. It isn’t pleasant. It involves you, the hammer, the bard, and some others. I don’t know what that means.
Take care. Stay under the radar.

Jeremy, baffled by the note, then found Victor standing near him. Victor pulled him into an alley and revealed himself to be a mage—he told Jeremy the basics of being an Awakened. Jeremy didn’t care; he just wanted to figure out more about Cassie. Victor told him to “talk to a damned Mystagogue” and told him where to find them — 13th floor of the Battery Park Hotel.

Jeremy used a fate spell to lead him that direction, where he ran into Pandora. She was carrying an object under her arm she needed to get rid of. The two talked as they hurried along, and she helped Jeremy figure out what was going on with Cassie, and gave him some ideas as to how to fix her, but also noted that her research wasn’t focused on Abyssal Children/Bad Luck Batteries and he might be better served doing his own research.

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Nobody Likes Me, Everyody Hates Me (Chance) Pt 3
Just like what happens to us.

Chance Spires was hanging out with Melody Jackson while she read a book trying to find a cure for his worms. Melody finally found the cure, which called for a few different things — some incense, some rust, and something to help ease whoever the spell was cast upon’s mind.

Chance and Melody drove out to Canton to an old occult shop. Chance marched up to the old lady running the shop and asked her about Mongolian Death Worms. The old lady slowly creeped out from behind the desk and moved down one of the crowded aisles. She picked up an old rosewood stick, with a preserved snake over it holding a black onyx in its jaws. She pressed it in to Chance’s hands and said “To ease one’s mind.”

Melody then went around collecting the rest of the needed items. She got some rust and they picked some “fugitive” brand incense that reminded Chance of his baseball mitt. Once they had purchased their items, they got home. Melody used the rust to draw a large pentacle on the floor and put odd symbols on the floor and then had Chance lie down in it. She told him to go to sleep and began waving the strange wand over him while saying some words she obviously didn’t know the meaning of—and Chance, meanwhile, found himself suddenly sucked into a dream.

He found his mother and brother, alive, downstairs. He tried to get them to talk to him and they were confused by many of his statements. He recalld what Melody had told him to do (go somewhere important and find your daemon), and he gave them a hug and a kiss and then slipped out to go to his old baseball fie.d There he found his coach, Amir Jones who said he was his daimon. Amir bade him to pitch— and Chance did, and found a hole ripped to allow him to go deeper into his mind.

However, when he slipped in deeper, he instead found himself in a place called the Aether. With some angel companions, Chance went to sign his name and gain some magic power, though to get to that point he first had to fight off several huge throbbing bloody worms that were covering the area. He harnessed the power of the golden rain and of the rumbling lightning overhead and of the air around him to destroy the worms while the angels destroyed them with their blades.

When Chance woke up, infused with magic, he found his Coach asleep on the couch. He had Awakened life explained to him (while Melody, apparently a Sleepwalker, stood baffled).

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Exegesis and Summoning (Damion) Pt 3
Most of us are pawns.

Damion Toll finally had to start looking for the last item on his quest list. Disturbed by the news of Franklin having died (of as lit throat, exasctly as he had died in game) he shook it off, deciding that a coincidence didn’t necessarily mean causality. He showed up to settle in and get back to playing the game and collecting the Grimoire of Exegesis and Summoning.

He began his searches in dungeons, but came up short. He turned to the NPCs in town and first asked a help NPC, who simply informed him “it’s an item needed for the VIP questline!” which frustrated him to no end. Finally, he approached one of the many temples in town to speak to one of the priestesses there. She informed him that it was a very evil item and that no temple in the town would have knowledge of it — that the purview of a malicious item such as that would be entirely under the God Elthyra’s domain, focused primarily on terrible debauchery and murder as he was.

Damion immediately delved into attempting to find the temple. The result was mostly fruitless, until finally in the depths of a forest he happened to glance at some ruins and found some weird and disturbing writing on the side. Though he knew he shouldn’t be able to read it, he was still able to, and it read “THE TEMPLE OF ELTHYRA: ONLY THE DEBAUCHED MAY FIND IT.”

Damion fast traveled back to the city to speak to the priestess, where he asked her what that meant. She noted that only those who had murdered and committed one of the debauched acts in honor of Elthyra would win. Damion asked what those were—and she named them: Necrophilia, Rape, and Pedophilia. Damion had his character kill some thieves outside of town, and perform the first of those three. He watched the disturbing CGI that came with it.

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Exegesis and Summoning (Damion) Pt 2
Most of us are pawns.

Damion Toll’s day dragged on. All day he sat around and stared at the clock, waiting until the clock ticked to the time when he could go and play Kingdom of Heresy. Finally, he scrambled out of his office, dashed passed the secretary without—for once—saying farewell, and drove hurriedly over to where the beta testing was taking place.

Once there, he had to fill out a comment card about what had occurred the day before. He did that, swiftly. And then he launched in to the game. As he started to play, he got to his quest where he had to get the flesh of an ally. He quickly fast traveled to town to hire a mercenary. He led the mercenary out to a dark and secluded area and killed him. No flesh of an ally was available on his person, and the dagger he had on hand showed no commands.

Frustrated, Damion had his character go back to town and talk to one of the Help NPCs. The Help NPC noted that, in game, “allies” were other players who aided you on quests. Jordy then looked at his fellow beta testers, and focused on Franklin, a kid he had seen in a few classes. He told Franklin to join him on a quest. Franklin didn’t want to; he was in the middle of his quest. Damion then lied, informing him that if he joined him on his quest, Franklin would be able to become an elite member as well. Franklin hesitated and then agreed and traveled back to town.

Damion led Franklin around. When Franklin was about to buff himself up in preparation, Damion lied and convinced him that the cave they were going to would destroy all magical effects so it would be worthless to cast them. Damion tried to sneak around behind Franklin’s character but was caught, as Franklin kept asking “What are you doing?” And finally—Damion seized his chance when Franklin was distracted by an approaching enemy cave bear. Damion killed Franklin, slitting his throat, and then skinned the flesh.

As soon as he was done, however, there was an emergency call from Shard corporate, and Brad the employee had to shut the game down for the night. Damion, frustrated, shut down his computer while Franklin freaked out, realizing he had to make a whole new character, as apparently all deaths were permanent in KoH (at least, the beta.) Damion went home to his bed and woke up the next morning to information that a Franklin Hamilton had been found in his dorm room with his throat slit — exactly like Damion had killed his character in the game earlier that day.

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Domination of Black pt 2
"Make yourself honey and the flies will devour you."

FA150, the Thursday that the groups had to do their presentations. Jeremy Power, Zoe Sawyer, and Chance Spires were in the process of rating the other students going before them. They were all lulled into a bit of boredom, considering the topics at hand (being, mostly, doorways). Suddenly, in the middle of a presentation, they noticed some text appear that no one else could: “Those born during tribulation have the lies wiped from their eyes only to have the broken world thrust in to their palms. Holding it, the Borne stand before glue and chisel. Which, then, will they pick?”

The group was weirded out by it as a whole, but after the house incident, there was some minimal camaraderie between them—with Jeremy writing it down, the other two nodding that they’d seen it, etcetera. The thrilling conclusion to one of the presentations being nigh, there was a knock at the door. Korowitz, their professor, looked insulted as Melody Jackson opened the door. She told Chance she needed him ASAP and then squinted at Zoe and said she should come too.

Jeremy meanwhile started Awakening: Where both Zoe and Chance saw Melody, Jeremy instead saw a little
girl, Aisling, with glowing green eyes, long white hair, wearing furs. She begged Jeremy for his help.

The group left, following Melody out where she explained weird things were happening in her house. Hallways seemed too long and distorted and rooms seemed to vanish and “I KNOW IT SOUNDS CRAZY BUT yesterday I had a sister and this morning she never came down for breakfast and my parents said I’D NEVER HAD A SISTER!” They all charged across the parking lot to Chance’s truck, hopped in, and drove across town. Jeremy hopped in the back seat, talking crazily and shouting things like “HOOOOO TARRAGON!”

Jeremy found himself in a world full of green—beautiful vines climbing all over, a field of flowers, fairies lighting the path. Aisling led the way. Aisling explained raiders were attacking the Hollow and she needed Jeremy’s help to clear them out. She led him outside to the fastest way to get to the hollow—a large ruby red dragon named Tarragon. She and Jeremy climbed aboard to fly to the Hollow.

As the group was driving along, they found a few really creepy things happening. Animals were just freezing and staring at them. As they got closer to Melody’s house, they were diving down and attacking them. Chance managed to keep on the road during this, driving slowly as the birds smashed and broke his windows.

Jeremy, Aisling, and Tarragon were attacked by some people riding birds. Jeremy valiantly fought them off, sending them crashing to the ground; Tarragon also flamed several.

When they finally reached the house, the group had to leap out and dash inside, as there were birds and squirrels there attacking them. Jeremy blocked Melody’s way briefly so she couldn’t get the key in the lock, but she finally did, and the group entered a dark mostly empty home.

Jeremy valiantly battled the raiders until he demanded they leave or be cursed. Then he spoke to the Sages, who called him Camilla’s grandson, and bade him to go up to sign his name and accept his fate. He signed his name and Awakened Acanthus.

When the group finally made it upstairs, they found a neverending hallway there. It took them a long time to get down it (and at some point, Jeremy stopped Awakening). They made it to Melody’s mom, who was creepy and off and told them they had five minutes to get out of the house before they too were pulled in. The house around them started melting in to blackness.

The group managed to get Melody’s notes (to help Chance), and found Melody’s little sister, Harmony, and dragged them out. At a moment when the group wasn’t looking to when they were, the house had disappeared entirely—and the whole neighborhood seemed a bit smaller, as if the house hadn’t ever been there.

Chance offered Melody and Harmony homing at his place. When he spoke to his neighbors later, he found that they all spoke about Melody and Harmony as if they’d lived there for years upon years—all the way back when their parents died while they were young.

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Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me (Chance) Pt 2
Just like what happens to us.

Chance Spires was heading from his classes begrudgingly to a frat party being held to perk up the baseball players after the death of their pitcher, Trevor Hemsworth. He got to the party and headed inside. He grabbed a beer, and was immediately accosted by McKayla. McKayla started chattering to him — she told him about how she’d totally be there for him and no she wasn’t still dating Randall he said they were taking a break and then like totally cheated no her and ohmygawd could Chance believe what a jerk Randall was and ohmygawd!!!

While Chance was considering taking McKayla upstairs to sleep with her and get her off his case, he heard a scream from outside. He shoved past McKayla and ran outside where — over the music pounding from his frat house, he heard another scream. He ran across the street to Sigma Nu’s frat house and in to the backyard, where he found a chubby girl struggling with a frat guy from Sigma Nu, who had blood leaking out of his mouth. The girl was being strangled.

Chance ran forward and yanked the guy off of the girl, and told her to run. The other frat guy—Jeff—turned on Chance and started trying to strangle him, and it was then that Chance saw a worm in the guy’s mouth. Chance got a good punch in on the guy before Jeff managed to grab hold of Chance and start strangling him.

Chance was struggling to get Jeff off of him when Jeff was hit with a heavy backpack—apparently the girl hadn’t run off. Chance managed to punch Jeff in the face, and the combined assault between Chance and the girl caused the guy to fall to the ground, writhing and spazming. The girl freaked out as Jeff started vomiting up bloody teeth worms, saying: “Oh MAN he’s vomiting up MONGOLIAN DEATH WORMS I THOUGHT THEY WERE FAKE!” and then, after Chance ordered her too, began dialing 911.

After the EMTs arrived, the girl — Melody Jackson — was about to head off, when Chance grabbed her and begged her to help him. She cheerfully pointed out that Chance had gotten a MDW on his cheek and likely was infected, but she’d be happy to help him. She gave him some information he hadn’t had before, as well as a way to keep the worms sedate for longer, and then left to go her own way.

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