Alignment of the Stars

The Timeline So Far
The History of the Fifth Age

December 21st 2010: The Tokyo Rift (Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Tokyo-to, Japan)- The Imperial Palace in Tokyo disappears from reality replaced by a rift of unexplained origin; Most of the Imperial Family missing or dead, including then Princess Masako Kotaishi Naruhito Shinnohi her husband the Crown Prince and much of the extended line of Imperial Japan.

April 3rd 2011: The Invasion of Central Park (Manhattan Central Park, New York City, New York, United States of America)- Alien invaders attack New York, prompting an evacuation of Manhattan Island, and the destruction of several US military vehicles; The island is blockaded by then Captain Jonathan Rimes of the 1-77th Armored with the attached FBI Special Operations Division. The US government declares a state of emergency.

June 21st 2011: The Shinjuku Catastrophe (Scramble Crossing, Shinjuku, Tokyo-to, Japan)- A localized earthquake destroys scramble crossing killing hundreds and destroying the storefronts of much of Shinjuku. The area is quickly quarantined, as close to the epicenter as possible and all residents evacuated from the quarantine. Japanese Government is slow to act on either of the devastated areas.

August 1st 2011: The Incident at Giza (The Great Pyramid, Giza, Giza Governorate, Egypt)- Many perish as the sphinx comes alive murdering onlookers, no one who was near the pyramid survived to tell what happened next but the pyramid burst into they sky seemingly made out of golden light, calmly rotating even as it was shelled by Egyptian artillery. Egypt is blockaded by nearby nations as the alien craft hovers untouched over the Egyptian desert, seeming to absorb light during the day and radiating as a second sun at night.

November 29th 2011: The Second Sun Dawns over Paris (The Louvre, Paris, Île-de-France, France)- In the middle of the night, the pyramid over Giza disappears from it’s spinning location over the ruins of the Giza plaza and appears over the Louvre hovering several hundred feet above the Pyramid Inverse, bathing Paris in a second dawn. The French government responds strongly as they quickly find out they have no chance against the alien invaders and retreat the entire population of Paris, all 2million plus inhabitants.

December 11th 2011: The December Ultimatum (UN Council Building, New York City, New York, United States of America)- During what was to be a routine discussion of the quarantine on Manhattan island, the Goddess Isis appeared, near naked before the assembled, along with her councilor Hunter Rose, making a declaration of Sovereignty of the Concordat over the entire world and setting forth guidelines for their new world order, giving the rest of the world two months to comply or face the wrath of the Concordat of Directions.

December 12th 2011: China Capitulates (Beijing, Beijing Municipality, China)- The Chinese Communist party declares the return of the gods as sign of the return of the divine mandate that confirms the legitimacy of the Communist Party. Quickly through special session signing into law the capitulation of China to the demands of the Concordat of Directions, causing a cascade of capitulations within South East Asia.

December 23rd 2011: France Goes Nuclear (Paris, Île-de-France, France)- France deploys nuclear artillery on it’s own soil in a world wide condemned gesture that doesn’t seem to dent the intended target. The NATO alliance deploys heavily around Paris, shooting down several objects that try to leave french airspace.

December 28th 2011: Project MAJESTIC Formed (Washington DC, United States of America)- In response to the growing alien threat the US government along with the Pentex corporation founds a new division of the US Army classified Project MAJESTIC using technology beyond anything fielded before, attempting to assure the populous that the US was more than capable of dealing with the invaders. Agent Vanessa Reins is promoted to lead the unit, having been testing the prototype of the armor that makes Project MAJESTIC a reality, and the now Lt. Colonel, Jonathan Rimes is put in charge of the armored division, including the new M1A3-M Abrams, using new directed energy weapons and railgun technology developed in cooperation with the Pentex Corporation and their ever more popular CEO Alyssa Oppenheimer.

January 1st 2012: The Empire of the Rising Sun (Tokyo, Japan)- On New Year day with the return of Masako Kotaishi Naruhito Shinnohi from ‘beyond the hedge’ as she put it, Japan declares itself the Empire of the Rising Sun and dissolves the Treaty of San Francisco, forcibly ejecting the US troops from the island and sealing it’s borders.

January 26th 2012: Terrorist Attack at the Dome of the Rock (Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel)- The alien terrorists attack the Dome of the Rock after declaring that they will strike down the false gods preventing people from understanding the place of the Concordat. The entire structure is leveled and the rock itself shattered and spread across the old temple mount. The US and NATO allies condemn the terrorism as the most terrible cultural loss since the 9/11 bombing.

January 31st 2012: The East Coast Goes Dark (Ravenswood Power Generation Facility, Near Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America)- A power surge from the Ravenswood Generation facility caused a cascade failure of several large power regulating facilities causing much of the East Coast to be thrown into blackout. Many locations were quickly restored but the US government confirms a terrorist attack occurred at the Ravenswood plant, leveling it. This is the first time that the alien terrorists have left the New York Quarantine and crossed the East river to attack other American Targets. Presidential hopeful Alyssa Oppenheimer who’s company Pentex owns TransCanada the company responsible for monitoring the plant has expressed her extreme concern over the escalation and held a candlelight vigil at the companies LA Headquarters for those employees lost in the violent attack, vowing a tougher stance on the Alien threat if she is elected.

February 3rd 2012: Baltimore Subway Bombing (Lexington Market Station, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America)- A large explosive device was detonated in the crowded Metro station at Lexington Market. Sources say that it was an improvised explosive device filled with ball bearings for maximum soft tissue damage. Baltimore Police were delayed from getting to the scene by a systemic activation of local bank alarm systems. The local government is looking into claims that a group of heavily armed people was sighted at the scene supposedly with connections to the terrorist organization the Concordat of Directions.

February 4th 2012: DC under Siege (Washington DC, District of Columbia, United States of America)- In an overnight bloodbath 30 senators, congressmen and associated aides as well as members of key Washington organizations were murdered in cold blood along with at least 60 others left unnamed. The murders have been attributed to the terrorist organization the Concordat of Directions as attempt at a coup of the US government. Presidential hopeful Alyssa Oppenheimer went on record as saying that this level of terrorism cannot be allowed to continue and pleaded with the current administration to take more drastic measures concerning the safety of the US public, promising that she would take a hard-line stance against these terrorists if she is elected during the next election.

February 5th 2012: Project MAJESTIC Initiative AR724 (Washington DC, District of Columbia, United States of America)- Under executive order AR724 issued today by the President of the United States, Project MAJESTIC was activated in full, with the deployment of the experimental command base MAJESTIC Command to the airspace over DC and the lock down the city under martial law enforced by the same division.

February 11th 2012: The Ultimatum Comes Due (Beijing, Beijing Municipality, China)- The Concordat of Directions by worldwide broadcast by Isis, declares the formation of New China under the protection of the Concordat of Directions, suggesting that all hostile actions, including the continued blockade of any member state would be considered an act of war and be responded to thusly. Nations nearby China expressed concern at the mobilization of large numbers of Chinese troops near their borders. The US government currently paralyzed by the Siege of DC responded with it’s NATO allies and Russia stated that they will defend any and all countries from the alien invaders.

March 11th 2012: The New Chinese Aggression (Ulaanbaishint Check Point, Russian Boarder, Russia)- The New Chinese Government crosses into Russia sparking active war along Russia’s boarder with what was formerly Mongolia. Civilian causalities are reported as being intolerably high with Russia accusing New China of targeting civilian targets. Russia mobilizes forces to combat the invaders calling on it’s allies to support them against the alien threat.

March 20th 2012: World Wide Geodisturbances (Various)- Over 60 minor earthquakes were reported around the world, which coincided with a mass die off of insect and plant life in seemingly random locations throughout the world. Scientists are unable to account for the seemingly arbitrary nature of the earthquakes and were quick to remind people that shifting earth is completely normal especially in such low tremor ranges.

Breaking News
Action News November 29th 2011

The text “Breaking News” appears over the TV screen and a woman dressed in appropriate news-anchor attire appears on the screen, she shuffles some papers on the desk and goes straight into a rehearsed speech. “We interrupt the regularly scheduled program to bring you this breaking news.” She turns to the side and a box appears with what appears to be amateur video of the pyramid at Giza, and it’s floating golden glow, hovering over the sands outside Cairo “Today at 1:32 am Local time the pyramid abnormality created during the terrorist attack on Egypt, disappeared in a flash of light,” as she says in the corner of the screen you see the slowly spinning pyramid release a blinding burst of golden sunlight and then vanish from sight. “only to reappear in the center of Paris hovering just meters above the Lourve’s famous Pyramid Inversee,” The picture in the box changes to show what appears to be live footage of the pyramid now spinning slowly over the Lourve, “turning a night in Paris into brilliant daylight, local authorities have ordered a full scale evacuation of the local districts of Paris, this applies to Arrondissements one through eight immediately with a travel restriction for the remaining eleven Arrondissements.” As the woman speaks you can hear a loud explosion from the live feed and the ground around the Lourve appears to glitch, shuttering like a computer mistake before loosing it’s appearance as earth and grass and instead appearing as an almost translucent blue diamond-like crystal. The woman looks over at someone off screen looking for what she’s supposed to say, a flutter of activity cuts to a solid tone and a Please Hold placeholder card.

Je t'aime Paris
Act 2: Paradise Lost; Chapter 2: The Glass Pyramid

Writing in Progress

The Village of the Damned
Act 2: Paradise Lost; Chapter 1: The Darkness

Writing in Progress

Through the Rabbit Hole
Act 1: The Beginning; Interlude: Dreams within Dreams

Time seems to fall apart around you as the world of sleep shatters and reforms to the tea house floating in the endless starry space. The woman begins without preamble as you pickup a cup of the indescribable tea almost resigned to the series of events.

“Down the Rabbit Hole, Alice chased the white rabbit, through time as it skipped by fractured and erratic as it had become. To a battle field our heroes had already been on high above the earth on ships of steel and magic mounted with fantastical weapons beyond the capabilities of the second age to create. They were all there, the woman in red with her army of Drakes and a lance of red and gold that resonated deeply with the gem against her breast, the woman in blue seemingly in charge of the ships they were on, men waiting on her orders, below them the woman in pink and her Gigas, giant biological constructs, walking weapons of war, the woman in black and her artillery and armor, giant weapons of ancient lost technology, even the woman in green at the front of the more mortal troops rallying them to greatness alongside two others, animas of gold. Aligning themselves against a moving sand dune, the Juggernaut of Sand Undying, a primordials terrestrial form, thousands of souls bound together in an impossibly large creature of sand and wood. And then the battle began, the giant mechanized constructs and the flying ships cannons tearing into the monstrous creature with little to no effect, sand being blown away from underlying wood just to be filled back in with sand within fractions of moments. The woman in red lead her mounted troops on a charge towards the creature’s apparent head, great red lance pointed to pierce, great flaming dragon between her legs. She crashed through the creature and into paradise, sand and sea and simple perfection, not fooled by the projection she slammed her lance into the ground, as the woman in blue shifted her attack line to encircle the beast. The paradise lit on fire around the edges loosing coherence, seeing the illusion falter she slammed her weapon into the ground again, shattering it into thousand of little shards of jade and falling out the bottom of the creatures head, leaving behind her companion the gem heavy on her chest at the loss. Now aflame from within the monster doubled it’s rage, spewing little wooden constructs which covered themselves in sand in odd mockeries of humanity. At this time the giant maw of the creature swallowed up one of their number, the man with the eagle aura, everything seemed lost, most of the armada was either downed or incapable of continuing the battle, the ranks of the hundreds of thousands of troops was numbering closer to tens of thousands, most of the Gigas were destroyed and or functioning improperly, the giant cannons silent, clogged with sand their operators fighting for their lives. Just as all hope began to fade, a bright white light burst from within the creature, consuming the creature’s head and revealing the man with the eagle anima, saving the day against all odds, The First Hero.

Time moves again shifting quickly away to the streets of a city they don’t recognize, once again they are all there, all five of the princesses, bound by strings of fate forward and back in time. They attend a meeting in the Court of the Six Kingdoms, discussing the growing offensive verse the fairfolk, a reclamation project bent on expanding the Kingdoms deeper into the wyld. The woman in red trys to explain her memories of the future to warn of the impending doom but no one of the princesses seems to believe her. Although the woman in blue notices the man with the eagle aura becomes distracted after the description of the shadow dogs, and he does take the sighting seriously dismissing all the lesser advisers to council in private with his princesses on the topic of where, when and how many of the beast the woman in red has apparently seen, dispatching his assistant to gather men with spirit sight capability to do a full search for these creatures. Everyone leaves except for the woman in red and the woman in blue, they stay to discuss matters more, having determined that both of them are currently dreaming, and both have memories beyond the current time scale. Upon leaving the study room the woman in red notices that the assistant to Kaine is hanging around."

—To Be Continued

The Time Warp
Act 1: The Beginning; Chapter 3: Dreams of the First Age

The shimmering darkness of sleep slowly coalesces in a familiar shape, that indescribable tea-house, between time and space, a small collection of finger foods is lain out with the tea, all in the classic realm style, rice balls and seaweed chips, sweetened bread and small meat buns, it looks delicious, your gaze passes up to the only other person in the room, the same woman you’ve meet here many times before, and she speaks ‘Now where were we, ah yes, at the castle of the woman named Black, Baroness of Manhattan.’ You reach down and take some of the snacks as you listen to the story play out, ‘Our heroes together again, pursue their own agendas, the Chosen of Journeys learning the intricacies of piloting the large metal transports that this world calls Cars, while the Endings and Serenity dive deeper into the history of the Kindred, learning all about the ’first’ city Enoch and it’s wayward children, learning what haunts each bloodline of the Cain. While the Chosen of Secrets perfects his ability to detect spirit creatures, to further assist in the original mission of sniffing out the source of the black shadows hanging over their respective hometowns. To better understand the spirits of this world, and the world they live in, the Umbra, the Secrets ventures back to the Central Park Caern and speaks with the Garou, Walks-in-the-Code says that traveling the Umbra isn’t really her thing and that he should speak with the wolf who fought him before if he wants to travel to the Umbra. After telling Touches-the-Wind his intentions she tries to teach him to make the step through the Veil to the shallowest of the Umbra, he fails terribly only succeeding in giving himself a terrible head ache. The wolf doesn’t give up on him and slices open his hand placing it with her own sliced hand and claiming him as kin, begrudgingly respectful of his ability to stand his ground against her and shrewd enough to understand that beings of his power might be good allies against the Wyrm if they can be shown how the Wyrm corrupts all. Having been claimed as kin she allows him access to the core of the Caern where on a ghostly tree waits a creature that the Secrets can actually talk to, a glowing blue owl of extraordinary size. Introducing itself as Owl, they have a conversation concerning many things about the spirit world here, and how Owl could take them to the Deep Umbra where he suggests they might find the creation they have come from, a place called the Shard of the Third Age. During this conversation, the Secrets reveals that they have been staying with a Baroness, which sends Touches-the-Wind’s hackles up and she jumps through a shimmering circle of light and disappears without much explanation. After spending some time talking with Owl, the wolf-lady returns with two men that are unknown to our heroes. Our hero takes this moment to shift to the Umbra so he can understand the words of these men through the gift of Owl, but notices something odd as he passes through, little white spiders gushing through the edges of the hole he used to pass over, in just moments the men throw him backwards as a giant mechanical spider like creature burst through the wound. Dragged away through a moonlight portal to the surface while he was channeling a spell, bronze skin shining over his as Touches-the-Wind dashes back into the structure, now seemingly over-run with little white spiders, turning what they touch into this weird calcified mass. The sun going down and dinner time beginning, Ms. Black gets a phone call, and tells her guests that another event has occurred in Central Park and the Serenity and Secrets confirm a return and regroup at the tower of Black. Ms. Black suggests that they make themselves scarce until she can get her men in a row. The heroes attend a party while they wait for their anima banner to die down, in a throbbing glowing smokey place called Club Nightfall, surprisingly full for a city under siege, using his last motes of essence the Secret views the creatures known as Kindred for the first time in the half-step umbra seeing them for dead bodies forcibly animated with life. Their aura having calmed our heroes head back to Central Park, deftly avoiding the barricade around the park and easily making the mirror with the intention to quickly check on the other side while things calm down here in the burg of New York, named Manhattan." You take a sip of tea the story’s pacing seemingly familiar to you, like this has happened already, like you know what happens next, only that feeling slips away so fast you can’t get a hold of it before the woman continues speaking.

‘As our heroes step through the mirror they find themselves somewhere completely new, a woman in white on a staircase turning to them and asking them if it is done. They all look to the person being addressed and see a woman in red, confidant and strong with a dress in a style unfamiliar to our heroes, the woman looks confused, but not as confused as the rest of our heroes as they slowly realize they are no longer in their bodies but instead in the bodies of four princesses climbing a spiral staircase. The woman responds in the negative and the woman in white frowns, quickly the woman corrects herself saying that she believes it has been done and they head up the staircase to a room with a giant black orb in it, with a woman in full black jade and starmetal heavy plate standing on the ceiling doing some last minute modifications, the device clearly ready for what ever purpose it is meant to serve. Our Chosen of Serenity starts to remember that this has all already happened, that she or he remembers standing here and completing the ritual. The Chosen of Secrets now in the body of a childish woman in pink interrupts the woman in white who is saying the preparations to seal away Kaine are almost complete she just needs the items they all brought. Trying to explain to the woman in white the time traveling jumps they have just gone through, the woman in white clearly believing that her friend has been manipulated by Kaine into trying to stop them from sealing him away, trying desperately to convince her friend to hand over the item so they can complete the ritual, one insisting that in order for the first age to continue they must not do this, the other insisting that they have considered all other options already and that they can’t let Kaine continue his destruction of all they hold dear. A small battle breaks out Pink against White, Red siding with White, Green siding with Pink, Black siding with White, and Blue siding with Pink, a battle fought to a standstill with the immense powers of Elder Exalted wielding weapons of great power, until the woman in black starts the orb spinning in place, each one of the gemmed items evaporating in kind, a heart of fire on a golden chain, the forest’s eye set in a golden ring, a black teardrop dangling from a silver earring, the frozen hearts blood of the greatest tree set in a golden comb, the depth of the sea set in a bracelet of black and silver, and lastly tiny stars fallen from the sky set in the crown atop the head of the woman in white. The woman apologizes for having to activate it without their total consent but that this is how it has to be, as her body slowly dissolves in what appears to be excruciating pain, ripped apart by some unseen energy. The woman in red realizes this is how it always was, how it always had been, that the woman in white could never betray her emperor, and in doing so sacrificed her own life so that this seal could be created. Falling out the far side of the mirror and into the caverns near Dragon’s Reach, our heroes regroup and try to figure out what just happened, the Serenity explaining that they couldn’t have changed the ending of that memory how ever hard they tried, that he remembers that event, slightly differently now but still a memory hidden away deep in the mind of his past incarnations. None of our heroes are sure how to respond and instead go check on Dragon’s Reach which seems to have only experienced the time that they were in the First Age as actual time passing.’

‘Returning back to heaven our heroes spend a little while trying to figure more out about the people they once were, the Secrets coming to a roadblock no matter what he does to search their past he never finds the people who he remembers being mentioned anywhere, the only reference he finds at all is a book written by Aisha Flameheart, who isn’t even listed anywhere else, it’s a heavy book made of bronze sheets and bound in deep red leather, a book on first age tactics, mostly the use of three dimensional combat against the armies of the Primordials, written by someone who was clearly a tactical genius. The Secrets brings it to the Serenity who says definitively upon seeing the final page that something is missing, leading our heroes to a gate to creation, shaking his head free of whatever influence he was under as he stands on the other side in the snow and cold of the north. Our Secrets turns on his spirit sight and sees hordes of the shadow dog creatures moving towards the west from the glacial area to the east, and the Serenity realizes that this is very close to the Jarldom of Tagun Sleeping-Bear and his barbarian tribe. They visit the Jarl who recieves them heartily even though it appears that the disease is spreading here as well with many sick. They as about the heart of fire, the item missing from the book, and the Jarl tells them a tale of the Glacier known as the Frozen Death where in is said to lie the heart of a beast that burns with an inner fire. After getting equiptment from Tagun our heroes head out to check the glacier, only to find the symbol of our villain carved into one of the walls of the glacier bones of dead creatures frozen solid in the ice around it. After attacking it to try to rid themselves of it, they spend a mote into it and the walls slide away to reveal a great hall carved from solid ice, a bridge spanning the large structure with a figure wrapped in chains standing on it, who congratulates them for figuring out this location, motioning to the shimmering mirror on the first floor as she takes her leave saying very little except to let them know her name the Bloody Maiden of Chains and that yes Abyssals were once Solars but are no longer such, chains writhing like living creatures around her as she leaves.’

‘Through the looking glass once more our heroes travel, to find themselves back in the bodies of the past, staring out at an approaching army on the balcony of a large redstone pyramid, pathway stretching out to the walls, city beneath with people scrambling to hide and towards the pyramid palace, a giant red drake made of solid flame crouched on top of it, and a full first age legion of troops aligned in perfect order. Beyond the walls chaos, black waves of darkness flowing through the desert towards the strong walls. A device makes noise at the woman in red’s hip, holding the disk up she sees the woman in white in hologram, the woman in white tells her to hold out that Kaine and her are coming as fast as they can, that they won’t let what happened elsewhere happen to this place as well. The woman doesn’t know what to say but takes control, mounting her dragon she begins calmly issuing orders, formations coming into being, her four allies moving to their places within the ranks of the army. The wave of monsters strikes hard tearing down the walls and falling into the city below, the army pressing hard to prevent the pyramid from falling too, amazingly holding the line as the woman in red calls tactical retreats, her men following her orders with surprising skill and discipline, until the woman in pink decides to not fall back becoming over run by the creatures of shadow and steel, the right flank of the army almost collapsing as in the distance the two solars, one with the anima of a down-pointed sword and the other a regal eagle, destroy the first of the distant crystal juggernauts causing a whole group of the monster to evaporate. The battle rages on for far too many minutes, as Kaine and the woman in white destroy the monsters leading the army causing them to evaporate. The woman in red realizes this too has already happened, although this time she was unable to save as many people, thousands dead in the city, and thousands of soldiers dead protecting the pyramid with the last remains of her nation within. The battle won, they find themselves in a sandstone corridor, blinking at the darkness, our Serenity reads the walls by castemark-light, he determines they have found themselves in a tomb of some sort, after a short exploration of the very limited location they find a sarcophagus made of glinting Oricalcum, removing the lid they just find a crusty old mummy, who disappears when they look away. Reading the walls they learn that this is the tomb of Amon Ra, God of the Sun. Making an exit up into the river above by destroying a wall they see in the distance a city beyond a grouping of pyramids, the eagle eyed amongst them catch the purple burst smoke that signals the appearance of something resembling the mummy as it raises it’s hands towards a statue of a half man half cat like creature, animating the monster as it attacks all the pedestrians nearby. Taking their forms the heroes dash forward and manage to subdue the Sphinx with minimal effort, but are surprised when the man name Ra returns, the Secrets throwing a rock at him, Ra extends his hand and energy starts coalescing around him forming a beam of purple light which lifts the Secrets off the ground and almost kills him before the Serenity interjects and calms Ra temporarily.’

The Garou and the Kindred
Act 1: The Beginning; Chapter 2: A World Appart

The familiar scene shimmers before your eyes before solidifying into the teahouse in the sea of stars. “So many characters to introduce to the story, try to keep up,” the woman says as you gaze around almost resigned to your mechanical non-control ‘First we meet the FBI Special Operations and the FSB DSS, a lot of confusing acronyms and even more confusing people, our heroes try to help the FBI stop the chaos in ’The Central Park’ only to be abused and arrested, intercepted on route to what ever prison the FBI had in mind by the FSB who upon determining that the hero was not the creature they were looking for, left him without memory of the encounter to wander into the unfamiliar halls of a structure deep in a region he did not know.

Enter the Kindred, the bouncy, more than slightly insane girl, Samantha who gleefully declares that she has ‘found her moppet’ and that she knew he would be here, dragging our hero outside with surprising strength. Where he meets hunting companion, who seems more in control and sane than Samantha. Samantha’s insanity takes a hold of her a little stronger and she bites down, drinking up the lifeforce of the one calling himself Hunter Rose, giggling and acting the child as blood messily flows between and around her lips. Her companion attempts to erase the event of feeding from Hunter’s mind but can’t seem to make it stick, confused at both this and the fact that Hunter isn’t freaking the fuck out she decided he’s something that needs to be reported and shoves him in another moving box while Samantha crawls all over him. They are taken to a very large tower just south of the cordoned evacuation area. Where a fat guard sits on a polished marble floor and lets them up to the floors above via a hidden button. Arriving at the top of the structure Grendel, under his assumed name, meets with another Kindred, a larger gentleman who refers to the person they are going to meet as ‘the queen bitch’. Feeling the odd energies around him Grendel decides to activate his martial arts form, focusing his chi and slipping a half-step into the spirit realm and is shocked by what he sees, the two people he has been traveling with appear as a dead doll like creature and a dead creature with sunken eyes and a regal stance, and the man in front of him seems to be a large dead thing brimming with rage and hatred. He quickly drops his form, and the man at the big double doors stomps off to the box down, leaving him and the girls next to meet with the ‘queen’.
On the far side of the doors, the three enter a very long room, done up in a very rich decor in dark woods, blacks and golds, with a floor raised three steps up on the far end with a desk made of ebony woods with ivory and mother of pearl inlay. Behind the desk staring out a window that reaches wall to wall is a woman with dark hair and even darker eyes, the woman is wearing a style of outfit a level of status higher in this world than Grendel has seen before, and is clearly someone of great importance. After a brief conversation, Grendel and the woman retire to her quarters.

Meanwhile, under the ground in The Central Park, the rest of the heroes are reunited and introduced to the other Garou of Walks-in-the-Code’s pack, and in an attempt to assert dominance the Alpha wolf challenges Tepet Drak to a bout. To all of the wolves’ surprise he manages to handle himself quite well, earning the grudging respect of the alpha and the other two newly introduced packmates. Recovering from the fight the heroes stay the night at the Caern, for that is what they have learned this place of energy is called. In the morning Grendel, wearing new clothing tailored in the style of the fifth age finds his friends and they trade information about the goings on that have happened. As the sun sets and Grendel receives an communication he suggests to them that they return to the lodgings they had acquired before to pick up some stuff and get better situated. The heroes agree and head out to meet a long black car driven by the disconcertingly distant One, who brings them past the barricades with little fuss and straight to the Queen’s tower. Where after a small misunderstanding, involving the drinking of Grendel’s vitae, they have a brilliantly prepared meal that rivals and exceeds any that they have had before, and retire to amazingly lush accommodations within the structure, omnipresent maids attending their every need." The woman pauses and looks at you, “Sounds good doesn’t it, maybe you are hungry? I cannot say that my cooking is as good as the stories, but if you wait a moment, I will return with some repast.” She smiles softly and stands gracefully heading into the next room, as you fall sideways back into reality.

Cake Rabbits
Act 1: The Beginning; Chapter 1: Dramatis Persona

“Cake rabbits,” the woman begins, “who designed the cake rabbits? Guess we will never really know, probably no one, they probably have always existed, we just never took the time to notice them.”
You look at the woman confused, dream and reality blending together till you are sitting in the teahouse, floating through the endless sea of stars. She looks back at you, sitting properly like a lady on the far side of the tea tray. She notices the confusion in your face, “Cake rabbits,” she repeats, "we were talking about cake rabbits. Guess that’s not really a huge part of the story. Japan, through the looking glass once again, Alice followed the Cake Rabbit down the hole, straight into the lap of,Amaterasu. Oh yes but I’m getting ahead of myself again, first our heroes need to meet their villain, the woman in chains that murders the selves that are not their selves and rises them to greatness." You pick up a tea snack the gentle vanilla flavor melting on your tongue. She pushes a small tray of sweets towards you as she continues "Five dead in as many minutes and five new fated children, born again. A looking glass calling to them, letting them know that the future beckons. Where in they found a wondrous world, a place called, Japan, with people speaking a bastardized version of Low Realm and holding up black boxes at the antics of confused second agers, with buildings of metal, glass, and stone, and a more recognizable palace of realm style. Following a storm brewing in the sky above the palace they ventured forth and met the fair lady,Amaterasu who requested of them a boon, retrieve a mirror just beyond the edge of her home, and she would reveal to them truths about where they were." The woman stands in one graceful motion, walking to the door out to the starry abyss staring out as she continues telling the tale.
“The chosen five returned to the goddess, the mirror Yata no Kagami. After absorbing it into herself, she begins to explain to the gathered how her age, the Fifth Age, the Age of Darkness, differs from there own Age of Sorrow, only to learn that they have no clue what she is talking about. She urges them back to creation to visit the heavens and learn of their purpose. Upon arriving back across the mirror we meet another of our protagonists,Silver String of Fate looking to see what has happened to his force of men and women, laid dead at the foot of the mirror. They seem to catch him by surprise, as they chatter on about Deathknights and Fairfolk all the way up to Yu-shan, where they are granted the knowledge of what they have become, a cog in the bureaucracy of heaven. They meet some important but not really interesting people, and return back through the portal in Shanrei to Japan where we have finally caught up with the cake rabbits and Amaterasu, finding her palace pressed further into the wyld-lands, and surrounded by strange metal beasts with flashing lights." She turns and walks back to her cushion, pouring you another cup of the indescribable tea, your hands going to the cup as if drawn, bringing it to your lips, the hot liquid slipping deliciously down your throat. She smiles slightly, continuing "Passing back through the mirror our heroes notice they are being watched, by dogs of shadow and steel. To further their quest to figure out the source of the growing darkness they head to the side of the Imperial Mountain to the home ofFifty Autumns, where he learns his teacher of many years Ragara Ursa is a sidereal as well. After exploring the connection of the shadow creatures to the growing disease, they find the beasts congregating around another mirror to the future, stepping through without hesitation they find themselves in an even more fantastic place, where they promptly gain the attention of the local constables, sweet talking their way out of serious problems, they are pursued by an unknown person and find refuge in a local inn, marveling in the conveniences of the manse they take up residence in. Watching a transmission device on the wall they learn that the city they were in before, Tokyo has declared a state of emergency and has closed down all access to it’s central region following a terrorist attack that left the princess of their land missing. Discovering that they can learn information from these devices they learn more about the world they are in. To test out his new found knowledge one of their number summons the Azure Chariot in the central park of the city and proceeds to fly up, only to be buzzed by a metal frame moving at speeds well beyond the chariots capabilities. He returns to the ground where they are surrounded by men who point objects at them in front of flashing lights, after several moments of conversation they don’t understand little metal projectiles strike their armor, while the two who did not go up watch the events on a screen a few blocks away. Two of their number retreat quickly to the portal while the third unconcerned by the weapons of the mortals walks away slowly. Only to be greeted by a loud disorienting explosion, sending him to the ground but doing no real damage. Making him almost want to vomit everywhere his vision swimming he tried to run away further, as more objects land around him and explode, then four flashes surround him and he is suddenly not on his feet at all. Enter the Garou Nathan North who carried the stunned sidereal all the way to his Cairn, with the intention of finding out what the heck is going on, and why he would risk exposing all of them. After being questioned by Walks-in-the-Code, they gather all three of the sidereals still in the park as the two sidereals outside the park see pictures of giant beasts of steel and fire being torn apart leaving trails of smoke in the sky above the park." Once again you feel sleepy, slipping sideways into the world outside the teahouse.

What is a Story?

You find yourself sitting in a classical teahouse, very simple in the realm style, you are unsure how you got here, or even where here is, you feel you must be dreaming, but for some reason you also feel that this is more than a dream. In front of you sits a woman preparing tea in a measured and professional manner, wearing a kimono that would not be out of place at a funeral. You open your mouth to speak but no words come out, panicking you attempt to stand up, but find your body does not want to respond, you look out the window of the teahouse hoping to understand better where you are, but all you can see out the open door is an abyss of stars extending forever into the darkness. You look back to the woman who places the cup of tea in front of you, in a delicate and well practiced manner. She smiles at you slightly, the corners of her painted on red lips rising ever so little. You reach down to the cup of tea, seemingly compelled, and as you raise the cup to your lips she begins to speak, starting from a mid-point in a conversation you don’t remember starting.

“What is a story?” She asks the air, “A collection of words, a memory of things in the past, a view to the future? This is a story, perhaps even a true one, of five people trapped throughout time, from the Utopian First Age, paid for with the blood of countless, to the Decaying Second Age, collapsing under it’s own weight, to the birth of the Unknown Third Age, the stars aligned for it’s coming, to the Mysterious Fifth Age, cast forth from the past into the future. But,” she leans back and you take your first sip of the tea, the flavor something beyond anything you have imagined or could put to words, “as with all stories, we must pick a beginning, at least for this telling, it begins in the depths of the Second Age, where in Darkness with an unknowable source has begun to threaten the homes of five unconnected people, and compelled them to seek out hope from an elderly seer in the city of Shanrei. None know how connected they will become, how the strings of fate have already begun to tighten themselves around their futures.”

You feel drowsy all of the sudden, and the woman’s smirks hand reaching out to catch the cup as you pass out sideways, slipping back into reality or maybe away from it.


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