The American Dream

Moving Day
The final arrangements of two familia

SUROLAM manifests at Kether and provides support for the arch that Hank is currently propping up. With the terrrible sound of an iron key groaning in a stone lock, the geometry of the stonework alters tangibly and Hank is ejected from the structure. Iris, sensing a threat to the network of rainbow bridges that Hank was the centerpiece of, miraculously Preserves the webwork of passages. SUROLAM takes a quiet moment to himself (insomuch as an Imperator can) and takes Hank’s current form in his hand; Hank reaches out across the familia shared mind and pleads for help. Dee springs into action and relays the cry to Hank’s one-time lover Erzule. Reaching through the gate to the unformed Wild that existes in Binah, she begins to assault SUROLAM in a test of wills. Kether begins to shake as the consequence of two trascendent beings grappling for control of Hank…..

Meanwhile in Locus Raphael, Chelsea scrambles to deal with the aftermath of Firkus’ (apparent) death. She pleas with Geb to retrieve her husband, Adam Kadmon, from the custody of the Locust Court. He assures her that Adam is intact; she is less than satisfied by this. Grasping for any aid she can find, she departs for Texaterrestria and arrives on a ship captained by Content Not Found: talbot-finch in the aftermath of the False Gabriel’s extremely flashy destruction. She beseeches Talbot to have his wife intervene with her familia on Adam Kadmon’s behalf. Talbot agrees and the two of them apport to Cityback, where they find Medemia only moments before multiple instances of Infinity arrive. Infinity beseeches the whole lot of them to get out of Cityback as soon as possible, as “ANANDA does not need this right now”, on top of the desire to keep Hank from carrying through on his threat. Talbot, Medemia, and Chelsea take the hint and withdraw back to Kos, Locus Raphael.

…where the phone immediately rings as Dee attempts to make contact with the Chancel. Dee leads with his strong suspicious tha Firkus was not killed by Oren’s bullet but does not elaborate on the means of survival. Dee informs Hank (and the rest of the familia) that his son and daughter-in-law are safe, and upon learning this Hank transforms away from his crystalline form into a bird, telling SUROLAM and Erzule “Not here”. Erzule swoops him up in her wings (having matched her paramour’s new form) and the two of them fall away from Kether.

Opting for a future of revenge and murder over an existing as Erzule’s personal boy toy, Hank tells Erzule they must part ways. Erzule takes the form of the woman Hank dreamt of during his decades in prison, kisses him goodbye, and lets him go. First stop on Hank’s tour is Scotland, where he pays a visit to Mister Linus in the Unblemished Guise of Dee.

Hank makes the best case he can for disrupting the miserable status quo between ANANDA and LORD ENTROPY, but in the end Mister Linus’ oath to the Serpent wins out and the two agree to each go their separate ways.

Dee sits alone at a circular table, a ring on his finger, surrounded by the embelems of the new estates seeded during the final pilgrimage from Malkuth to Kether. There is a word to describe what he is now, but it remains known to only him.

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Verdict
Recess machinations lead to the passing of judgements

Dee’s anchor Content Not Found: folkes informs his Noble that LORD ENTROPY is scrambling during the recess to swing the voting back in his favor, currently by trying to curry the favor of HA KADUSH BARAKA by expanding the role of the Wild in Creation as a whole. Mister Linus arranges a meet between Firkus and the Power of Foundations in the hopes that the two of them can sidechannel a way to keep SUROLAM happy. Dee himself meanwhile makes a meeting with a (hopefully vulnerable) Cammora member from Mister Linus’ list.

Firkus and Content Not Found: ruth meet at the bar in Yesod. Ruth immeidately spots that Folkes (who has been sent along by Dee) is both an anchor and Cammora agent, although is more impressed than alarmed by it. Letting slip LORD ENTROPY’s deal with HA KADUSH BARAKA goes a long way towards getting Ruth’s attention. Excusing himself from Folkes’ prescence, Firkus offers to wield The Vote on behalf of the defendants in exchange for a marker to call against SUROLAM. Ruth accepts the offer, and furthermore agrees to extort additional concessions from Familia Croatoan on the principle that they won’t know any better. Sure enough, Dee signs over the Cornerstone of Vienna.

Meanwhile, Dee is sitting down with Content Not Found: teofil, administrator of a “misplaced” Soviet city in Siberia which he runs as his own personal fiefdom. Dee lays out an abbreviated version of his plan and offers Teofil a slot in the ground floor. Teofil is intrigued but not immediately swayed; the familia’s history of not giving a fuck about Cammora protocols creates some barriers to trust. In the end, Teofil signs onboard to Dee’s new world.

Dee then has a followup meeting with Content Not Found: moira, Power of Fate. Moira is instantly drawn the the Singular Band Dee wears on his finger. Dee tries to lure Fate in by showing her the inside of the Ark that held the offspring, she remarks that “He is going to be a lovely boy”. She wishes him luck and advises him to act while he has the opportunity. They cannot come to any greater accord and so part ways.

Court is called back into session

Scorn moves for summary judgement immediately; LORD ENTROPY calls for a vote. ANANDA obstains, all others vote aye. Upon seeing that HA KADUSH BARAKA is voting against his Familia, Oren takes unswerving action. In a single action he rises, throws back his duster, draws The Gun, and looses an Apocalypse Round at Firkus. Firkus’ form explodes in a shower of hot metal as the Powers of Familia Croatoan are apported from the courtroom by the unseen will of CROATOAN.

His surviving Powers attending him, CROATOAN orders an evacuation of the contents of the warehouse to New Eden, “where you will continue to attend me”.

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Stumbling Towards Judgement
Eleven hours, fifty-nine minutes

Oren ignores Dee’s entreaty and holds forth the offer Harold gave his life to be heard: ARAHAB could join CROATOAN in the New Eden, raise their child together in a realm divorced from the discord of the Locust Court and Valde Bellum. She does not dismiss the offer out of hand but is skeptical; she sends Daniel Boone and Latrice to investigate firsthand.

Meanwhile, Iris does damage control with Dee; he does not take this well. He is enraged by the loss of Apocalypse’s hearthstone, and demands Iris and Oren return the lost fragment of Secret Knowledge (last held by Mister Linus) or they will be denied access to the warehouse.

Oren, Boone, and Latrice are met at the gates of New Eden by Dee’s anchor. Oren scrambles to get Dee onboard for the time being, and both agree to deal with the greater fallout later. Latrice notices a “gulf” beneath the surface where the New Eden’s shadow dwells, and comments that this is not a suitable for an Aaron’s Serpent. Latrice is given a key so that she may return with her brother, the power of Engines, and give New Eden a proper ocean.

Oren and Latrice further conspire that the best way to smooth over any lingering resentment between the Imperial couple is to have ARAHAB to give the Apocalypse hearthstone to their child – as it is a part of him, CROATOAN (they hope) will accept the child, the new Power of Apocalypse, and the union.

In the few hours remaining before the trial, Oren locates and anchors Samuel Taylor to replace the anchor killed by Dee during his earlier fit of pique.

The trial begins

Cases before the Locust Court

  • Love between Chelsea and Adam Kadmon
  • Love between Oren and Iris
  • Love between Medemia and Talbot Finch

Love between CROATOAN and ARAHAB hasn’t yet been formally charged, but it is an open secret at this point.

In the matter of a violation of the Windflower Law by Oren and Iris

Oren and Iris present themselves before the Locust Court at the hour of their summoning. Oren defends himself on the grounds that he was acting in the best interests of Creation. Chelsea testifies on behalf of the defendants, and further offers that in her opinion the marriage has the approval of God and the archangels. Hakadush Baraka backs up this claim with an affirmation that “what was done in the sight of God was done rightly”.

Oren calls Iris’ father, the Aaron’s Serpent Thalmus, to testify. This yields a ripple of whispers in the court, and LORD ENTROPY adjourns court for the day so Thalmus can be “respectfully summoned”.

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Deliberations
The Familia hypotheses at length, realizes some disturbing possibilities, and provides intelligence to an enemy

In the aftermath on the Jerusalem vault heist, the ill-gotten gains are inventoried and sorted. The Familia has acquired eleven periapts, along with a variety of other artifacts. Most notably acquired is a Templar tabard which has never been worn – it is theorized that this was to be worn by Mister Linus during his grand working. Certain members of the Familia (most notably Secret Knowledge and Entropy) seem to look forward to Linus attempting to reclaim his lost property.

With the Midsummeer Ball approaching, the Familia decides that it is in everyone’s best interests to warn Mister Linus not to butterfly any members of Familia AEACHUS, lest the Excrucians establish a foothold beyond Linus’ carefully constructed (if hopelessly flawed, in the eyes of some) Fourth Age. Secret Knowledge uses means unknown to reach out to James, the former Power of Apocalypse, and warns him that AEACHUS is suspected of being a Mimic. James is understandably taken aback by this news, and assures Secret Knowledge that he will take this under advisement.

What begins as idle speculation in the aftermath of the parley with James becomes a series of disturbing conversations amongst the Familia – what if Linus is engaging in all of these activities with CROATOAN’s consent? What if Linus thinks he is severing all ties with the Third Age, only to be used as a stalking horse and bringing CROATOAN forth as the sole, single Imperator of the Fourth? The Familia realizes that they have never received explicit instructions to derail Linus’ plan, even when the full extent of his enterprise was only speculation. What if CROATOAN’s agenda is not to foil Linus, but rather sit back and just watch if he succeeds, then claim the spoils of his victory? Secret Knowledge finds these possibilities particularly disturbing, as he must remain Faithful to whatever agenda CROATOAN asks him to pursue. If, at any time, CROATOAN grants his imprimatur to Linus’ plan then Secret Knowledge must also fall in line; this would place him in direct conflict with at least one member of the Familia (Apocalypse), and possibly more. Most disturbing to Apocalpyse, Secret Knowledge most likely would not inform the Familia if he were under orders to assist Linus, and thus the trust between brothers would be irrevocably torn.

In the end, the Familia decides that this matter must be settled if they are to have faith in Secret Knowledge, and be able to move forth with confidence. It is resolved that several members of the Familia will present themselves in the Holiest of Holies, and ask CROATOAN directly whether or not Linus is to succeed…..

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Background Check
Entropy claims a new anchor, and the Familia performs a minor heist

After much deliberation on the afternoon of July 25th, a vote is taken and the majority favors sparing the life of Emma. Hank further decides that the best way to make use of her is as an Anchor, and he does so without hesitation.

The doors of Emma’s mind are laid bare to Hank, and the Familia learns much of Mister Linus’ plan. He intends to create a new reality without any spiritual ties to the Imperators, and thus entirely removed from their conflict with the Excrucians. The butterfly effect that occurs at each corner of the year is a ritual to convey that aspect of reality for into Linus’ New World (which, Hank learns, will claim 81 victims at Midsummer). The ex-Powers who take Linus’ deal will live on as demigods in the New World, but consent is not necessary for a Domain to be distributed if need be. The plan will culminate in a little over three month’s time, one year after the first Manifestation.

The Familia also learns the location of the Emma’s (other) periapt, the creation of which was instrumental in her de-Powering. It is stored in a bank vault within Jerusalem’s Old Quarter, and the Familia decides that now would be an excellent time to reclaim their Anchor’s property (and anything else which isn’t nailed down in the immediate vicinity).

Hank, Oren, Harold, and Dee exit the Warehouse in Cairo and proceed overland to Jerusalem. Once within the bank, Harold performs a Lesser Change of Metropolis and opens every door in Jersulaem. Every. Last. One. With the Warehouse mystery cult providing suppressing fire, the Familia strolls into the now open vault, where they come face-to-visage with an Ofanim guarding the teleport pentacle inscribed on the vault floor. Oren dispatches it with an Ogun-bullet, and the Familia proceed on to the other side of the pentacle – the secret Templar vaults beneath Jerusalem.

Emma’s periapt is discovered nearby, along with a veritable trove of artifacts kept nearby (most notably 27 pieces of silver at the bottom of a bowl filled with water). Goods are shoveled into black duffel bags as quickly as possible (the silver receiving special handling), and the Familia exeunts back to aboveground Jerusalem. As a parting gift to Mister Linus, Harold performs his second Lesser Change of Metropolis that day and retracts the boundaries of the city several hundred feet upwards. This has the tragic consequence of filling all the Templar vaults with bedrock, much to the fatal annoyance of anyone down there (and the slightly less fatal annoyance of Mister Linus himself).

Meanwhile, the city is attempting to deal with all manor of mundane and supernatural breaches in security in the wake of Harold’s opening miracle. Wanting to contribute in some way to the cleanup effort, Harold performs one last miracle, a Lesser Creation of Apocalypse in which all the firstborn sons of Jerusalem are given knowledge of the arts of Solomon to bind demons, for a period of exactly seven days.

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Working Vacation
A new locus of activity is found in New Orleans

The familia discusses the necessity of wiping their memories regarding the False Ark. Harold and Hank each are voluntariliy redacted (does Oren?). Dee considers it unnecessary given his nature, and Hope cannot spare the miraculous energies required.

The Babbage Engine finally completes its processing, and identifies the most likely ritual site as a row house facing Congo Square in New Orleans. Hank, Hope (as Ralph), Dee, and Wilson (unoccoupied) travel to New Orleans to gather more information. Further research on the house indicates that it was constructed by August Notie, former mortal agent of the warehouse and subsequent member of the Cammorra.

Oren is dispatched to Washington D.C. to collaborate with Ligea regarding opposition to URIEL’s imminent Enchancellment.

Hank demonstrates just how impressive his shapeshifting abilities are, and easily penetrates the security of the row house. Once inside, he finds that the geometry of the interior is flexible, and reshapes itself to keep him contained within. Hank makes the acquaitance of one Captain Latrobe (or the shade of the captain, rather). The Captain is polite, but requests that Hank not distubs “the legation” any more than he already has. Hank identifies himself as an agent of Heaven, and withdraws rather than provoke further confrontation.

On his way out, Hank is subject to the attention (but not interrogation) of an Ofanim shard. From there he rejoins the others who have gone to the bayou for further investigation.

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Testimony

July 20th, 2011

The familia returns from Eden, separated.

Hank reemerges in Afghanistan; and is evac’ed out courtesy of the Warehouse mystery cult. The nature of his allegiances to either Heaven or the Wyld are as yet unknown, possibly not even to Hank himself.

Oren exits via Hell, and after a brief scuffle finds himself face-to-face with Minos. Minos takes his fruit of Life as surety until such time as Dee delivers the fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Dee innocently strolls out of the gate Gardens provided in Pasadena. From there he makes his way back to the Abyss, and concludes the deal with Minos. Before doing, he miraculously extracts the seeds of the fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Dee hands over both the fruit and the book containing the Warmain to Minos (noting that Minos has similarly removed the seeds from the fruit of Life). Minos seems almost giddy (for a lord of Hell) to begin interrogating the Excrucian contained within the book.

Harold presents himself before CROATOAN and attempts damage control on the incoming Ofanim inquisitor; he is charged with preventing the Ofanim from entering the Warehouse proper, and in turning the impression of Lillith into an ally. This is, rougly speaking, par for the course. Harold confronts the Ofanim at the threshold, and agrees to answer its questions so that it will not enter the Warehouse. The gates of his mind are thrown open by the angel, and it knows all that he knows. Ofanim-shards are observed speeding off to every significant place on Earth that the familia is aware of. The Heavenly Host are nothing if not thorough.

Of greatest concern is the shard heading for the island near Galvaston, site of the tryst between CROATOAN and ARAHAB. This could potentially give Heaven ideal leverage over CROATOAN in any upcoming conflicts, and the familia decides a coverup is in order.

Plans are discussed of varying levels of advisability, and in the end it is decided to plant a false trap there (ostensibly placed by the Excrucian Strategist) to convice the Ofanim to conclude its investigation without discovering the site’s true importance. The payload consists of a fake Imperial newborn, with Excrucian DNA spliced in and set to trigger upon discovery (the supposed point of the trap). This is constructed by Ralph, using gloves made of the shed Serpent’s Skin (taken from Eden) so as not to reveal any of the familia’s fingerprints. An ark to house the egg is built from available materials, and is an exact copy of the ark that houses the actual offspring of the tryst.

A potent conjunctional miracle (requiring a Word of Command by Hope) slips the payload in beneath the Ofanim-shard’s watchful eye, and there is nothing left to do but wait.

Warehouse acquisitions

Seeds of the fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil
Gloves made from the shed skin of the Edenic Serpent

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Session 7

Noting that the Imbolc ball is on February 1st, the Familia Croatoan accelerates their timetable a bit to make sure that the public unveiling of the Space Elevator is done beforehand. Thus, January 31st is established as the day when the Elevator will touchdown to Texatlanta and be formally operational.

Amidst the flurry of preparation, a discussion ensues as to just what the Space Elevator is in the Mythic World. Or rather, what it shall be, because it exists in a largely undefined-conceptual space. Numerous suggestions are broached, with the final candidates being a Tower, a Bridge, a Tree, or a Road. The Bridge is ruled out for largely political reasons, the Tower for conceptual ones. A vote is taken amongst the Familia, and the Road is chosen as the winner. Thus, the familia seeks to cement the Space Elevator’s Mythic aspect as a Celestial Route 66, the American Highway to the Heavens. The Power of Roads is all-too happy to assist with this endeavor, and strings are pulled to have the terrestrial boarding facility built in the Prarie style with flanking lions, to mimic the start of Route 66 in Chicago at the Art Institute.

On the day of the unveiling, things appear to be going smoothly when a minor anomaly is noticed during the docking procedure – an increased fuel usage stemming from the Elevator being a few tons heavier than expected. Secret Knowledge investigates with the assistance of Entropy and Hope, and it is revealted that a hidden compartment has been built into the Elevator shaft, with integrated power to the Elevator as a whole. Upon further inspection, they appear to be Martian War Machines which are now missing from the Warehouse. Entropy makes short work of the payload, but not before Secret Knowledge salvages the telepathic transceiver that (apparently) serves as the activation mechanism. A converstaion ensues with….something….on the other end, apparently Martian in origin. He extends the thanks of Yoh-Vombis to Hope for leaving Mars.

Earthside, Texas is primarily engaged in his anchor as governor of Texatlanta, while Apocalypse serves as chaperone for the various Powers who are attendance; invited were one Power from each of the Consilium Americana (to be filled in later). While the matter of the Martian War Machines is being dealt with, Apocalypse engages in damage control with the various Nobles. He breaks the news to Towers that the Space Elevator will not be considerd a Mythic Tower; annoyance is expressed on both sides, and Apocalypse eventually dismisses Towers with his usual lack of aplomb. He then probes Mars on the issue of the War Machines themselves – Mars recongizes the name of Yoh-Vombis on the other end of the transceiver, but disavows any involvement in the installation of said murderious tripods.

Apocalypse also does a brief divination to locate any nearby individuals who are having a severely….apocalyptic reaction to the installation of the Space Elevator. An Air Force officer is having an adverse reaction, and Apocalypse forwards his dossier over to Texas for transfer off the base. More worrying is an executive of the European Space Agency in attendance, who is having a moment of profound secular nihilism. He proves to be of more serious concern, as he is in control of the Kotonou launch facility codes and may choose to make his private apocalypse public in the months to come. Apocalypse enlists Secret Knowledge in creating a CIA dossier on this person of interest, and his long-term monitoring and eventual neutralization is thusly subcontracted to the mortals in Langely.

In the end, the Elevator fits safely in its docking collar earthbound and the inaugeral transport begins its ascent. The Powers, meanwhile, turn their attention for the Imbolc ball to be hosted the following evening…

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Session 6

While enroute to confer in another Chancel, word comes from Croatoan that a decision has been reached – they must bring a space elevator into being.

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Session 5
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