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Old 09-28-2017, 08:57 PM   #195
tshiggins
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

For his part, A.J. appeared as a 25-year-old version of himself, a young astronaut candidate in a NASA flight jacket, adorned with patches of missions he never flew.

The two decided to look around the church, and eventually found their way downstairs, which had the colors and scent of a much more naturalistic cave, as compared to the dry, dusty odor of the long-abandoned basement of the structure in Assiah, the material world.

After a few moments, they saw a bright light streaming from the room that corresponded to the old kitchen in the basement of Assiah church and, approached cautiously. The soon began to detect the unmistakable smell of garlic and spaghetti sauce and, peeking through the door, they saw a young woman dressed in checkered dress from the early 1970s, covered by a bright white apron, busy with huge pots on the stove.

A.J. entered and greeted the woman, who turned around suddenly, startled by the appearance of visitors. She quickly recovered and introduced herself as Cecilia Brown, a long-standing member of the parish.

Cecilia seemed benign enough, so Sunmi and A.J. asked about her presence. Cecilia said she’d died in a nursing home in 1979, and found herself as a young woman in this version of Denver. Confused by the absence of her husband, Charles (no relation to either Molly Brown or Molly’s descendant, Millicent), who had pre-deceased her, Cecilia had gone to her home.

There, she’d found an older structure instead of her 1960s bungalow and, once again, no Charles. Rather distressed, she’d made her way to the church, only to find it vacant, as well. However, as soon as she made her way to the old kitchen, she saw it looking much better than she’d ever remembered it, and decided to stay there, for a while.

The church kitchen had always been a place of comfort, Cecilia explained, where she and the other ladies of the parish had prepared spaghetti dinners and other victuals for church socials. So, she’d just decided to stay, and fix dinners for herself from the always-full pantry. She always made too much, she confessed, because she’d always hoped for visitors, and now she had some.

Cecilia asked if they were members of the parish, too, and Sunmi and A.J. confessed they weren’t. That didn’t seem to upset Cecilia, though, and she asked if they’d like some spaghetti and fresh garlic bread. The two readily agreed, and Cecilia bustled around a bit.

Soon, she set two steaming plates of spaghetti in front of A.J. and Sunmi, on one of the kitchen tables, and they took bites. A.J. remarked that it was the best church social spaghetti dinner he’d ever tasted, with perfect al dente.

(He noted that the huge amounts made in every other church spaghetti social he’d attended had almost always rendered the noodles into tasteless mush, but these were excellent.)

Sunmi said the garlic bread was quite good, also, and the two started to dig in as Cecilia smiled in satisfaction. However, they almost immediately woke up in their own bodies, and couldn’t finish the meal.

The two reported the presence of the ghost to Aurelia, Beatrice and Henrietta, who said Cecilia had seemed decent enough. The group decided to research her life, a bit, and discovered that her death in 1979 followed a long bout of dementia, during which the dwindling inner city parish had sold off the church and merged with one in Park Hill, further east.

The group surmised that, because Cecilia had died during dementia, she never learned that the parish had relocated and deconsecrated the church. Henrietta noted that the literature seemed to indicate that entry into a holy place of a particular religion allowed spirits to pass to their final rewards.

The archaeologist wondered what would happen if they returned, and escorted Cecilia to the location in Yetzirah of the projection of the church to which her old parish had moved?

Following that discovery, the group felt confident enough to try a little astral sparring. Aurelia and Sunmi then went into Sunmi’s sacred space, where the young sorceress started to cast.

After two lengthy rituals (which indicated to Sunmi that the spells might have some unfortunate harmonics), she cast them in hasty tattoos drawn on the arms of her and Aurelia. The two ladies also bore other tattoos with healing spells, lest the trip turn out a bit more hazardous than anticipated.

That proved a wise precaution. Sunmi and Aurelia triggered the spells, and found themselves in the projection of the church building, in Yetzirah. Aurelia noted Sunmi's unusually attractive appearance, but was considerably less pleased with the appearance of her own avatar.

The art teacher with the questionable background had anticipated her astral form would appear as a shadowy figure with red hair, but with black clothing and a face lost in darkness. What she got was a red haired figure with a blurry face, alright, but it glowed with neon color that strongly resembled a tie-dyed body-suit beneath a UV light.

Deeply annoyed by the obvious result of Sunmi’s flawed spell, Aurelia declared she had no intention of stepping outside while glowing in such a way, and said she and Sunmi should practice inside the Yetzirah version of the church sanctuary.

So, the two ladies squared off and got ready to engage in a bit of sparring – Aurelia as a street-brawler and Sunmi with her karate skills -- just as the doors behind Sunmi, which led to restrooms in the really-real world, burst open. Seven parasitical spirits that vaguely resembled shadowy black rats charged out of the darkness and attacked – a much more serious consequence of the flawed spell-casting.

Deeply alarmed, and realizing they had no way back into their bodies until the 10 minutes had passed to end the ritual’s duration, Sunmi and Aurelia found themselves swarmed and fighting for their lives (or, at least, their souls).

Restricted to hand-to-hand combat (no Stasis Boxes meant no astrally-projected weapons, and nobody in the group had studied combat magics, yet), the two ladies tried to parry the “rats” that tried to jump on their faces and heads. Aurelia did reasonably well, but Sunmi found herself in dire straits as the parasite spirits began to tear away and consume chunks of her astral form.

At one point, Sunmi had a parasite spirit clinging to the back of her head while she tried to bash one on her arm into the floor of the church. Aurelia found herself losing chunks of legs and ankles, mostly, as well as a few bits from her arms.

Eventually, the two astral visitors prevailed, and Sunmi recalled that, should they return to their bodies with wounded souls, it could result in permanent psychological damage. Accordingly, the two triggered their healing spells, and saw the wounds partially heal up, but both avatars still looked pretty tattered and chewed up.

Realizing they had only a few minutes left, Aurelia and Sunmi staggered out into the misty, but bright, light of Yetzirah Denver and, thinking quickly, stumbled toward the nearby hospital district at East 19th Avenue and Franklin Street. Behind them, they heard the squawking of bats from the belfry of the church (another consequence of Sunmi’s spell casting).

Half-panicked, the two young women covered the few blocks to the hospitals surprisingly quickly, and went into the Emergency Room entrance of the astral St. Joseph’s hospital.

In place for more than a century, the building closely resembled the original brick structure rather than the modern glass and steel building in place, now. The two mages figured that, as originally a religious institution, it had the greatest chance of offering them help.

As they stumbled through the door, nurses and doctors dressed in a wide range of uniforms from different eras rushed to assist them. The two explained they’d been attacked, and the nurses quickly rolled out IV racks with clear bags of some viscous fluid that strongly resembled ectoplasm.

The doctors poked and prodded them, listened with stethoscopes and said “Hmm,” a lot, in exactly the way living doctors did in the material world. Surprisingly, between the ministrations of the doctors and the IVs full of ectoplasm, they found themselves recovering quickly. Soon, all signs of the attack had disappeared and, a few minutes later, they woke in their own bodies.

A.J. noted they’d certainly seemed to rest peacefully, during the trip, and Sunmi and Aurelia promptly delivered loud and lengthy reports of what they’d actually gone through.

Rather unnerved, Henrietta decided she’d pass on another trip, herself, which left Beatrice and A.J. as the rather-less-than-enthusiastic next voyagers. However, they figured the combination of healing spells and the clever decision to visit the astral hospitals meant they’d likely survive the experience.

From the lofty vantage, the two looked around Yetzirah’s Denver. They noted that Capitol Hill, to their south, has far fewer high-rise apartment complexes, and many more of what looked like the old mansions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The downtown business district appeared modern enough, up to about the fifth or sixth floor, but then the buildings seemed to rise into the astral mists, leaving only the brightly-lit windows to hang, seemingly unsupported, in the fog.

To the southwest, they looked toward Civic Center Park, the locus of decanic energies in Assiah Denver, and saw there a vast, green expanse with glowing structures rising around it.

To the north, they looked toward Five Points, and saw clean brick buildings in an old-fashioned style. Intrigued about what they’d find in the astral version of center of voodoo energies, they decided to jog that way.

(continued...)
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Last edited by tshiggins; 10-01-2017 at 02:52 PM.
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