More Things in Heaven and Hell

Even More Hell Breaks Loose
Raina Wallace's POV

I didn’t throw up. I still wanted to.

The attacker was completely frozen, sword upraised. The hands were suspended by him, in mid air. Suspended, severed hands. Ralph stood, staring at the stumps of his wrists, where bone and tendon and nerve were all neatly cut and mysteriously cauterized. I didn’t really want to look that hard. Rex had the smart idea to grab the severed hands. I should have, but I was, frankly, scared. Anyway, I’m glad someone did. Clockwork stuck them in his pockets. Even writing that makes my stomach churn. Clockwork (his real name is Michael) got us all (and the frozen attacker, who was manhandled a bit in the process – I am sure I heard a fingerbone snap) bundled into Rex’s mustang, and we ended up at some little place, I guess it was a bar. There was a woman there named Elizabeth, who took Ralph out back (we watched from a distance) and magically re-connected his hands, somehow. (No other word fits any of this. Magic.) She looked at some cards first, and traced a glowing blue pattern that had something to do with the large flat stone on the ground by them. Glowing blue like the blue that came from the book. Glowing blue patterns seem to be a theme here, because when Ralph came back, there were glowing blue patterns all around his wrists where the hands had been connected. “Magical duct tape” Rex said. Surprisingly clever for Rex.

Michael was out there, by a tree, smoking, and asked me about what I had done with that book. I told him that I had no idea. I still have no idea. He told me to find the bell, to keep the book safe (or words to that effect, it was a long night) and to learn more about who wrote the book. He said it was written in the “First Language”. I don’t know how I managed to pronounce a page of “First Language” but I didn’t read it with comprehension, that’s for sure. But I told him – and it was true – it was like the page wanted to be read. It was the only page I could have read. I didn’t like the idea of taking the book to begin with, but now I don’t want to let it out of my sight.

We went inside the bar, and reconnoitered, and eventually met for breakfast the next day – including Michael. The woman that stabbed Jay showed up and threatened us right in the restaurant! And then Rex pulled a big gun right in the restaurant. I don’t think ANY size tip would cover that. The woman is named Melisande, and she knew Michael, and apparently they are on “opposite sides” of whatever this conflict is, but they didn’t physically kill each other in the restaurant. She said that she wanted the book and candle, and then she would release our parents. Our parents? What? If I were being logical I should have given the book back right there, to ensure my parents’ safety. But I am hoping (against hope) she’s bluffing. I mean, I don’t see my folks every day so I didn’t assume they were gone. It all happened so fast I hardly had time to react – especially because Rex was pulling out a gun. Melisande said “Paris will be Destroyed” but I don’t know what she meant by that. She pointed at Rex and said something in another language. And vanished, fortunately before anyone got shot. She sort of, how do I put this? Turned flat and winked out of the dimension. It wasn’t like you’d expect from watching movie special effects. I guess there is no reason that movies would get it right, anyway. But we got out of there before anyone realized that, yes, we had pulled a gun on a crazy woman in a restaurant.

Michael told us to look for the bell, he would look for the idol, before the “Children of the Dragon Cult” could get it. I didn’t know what idol he meant, at the time.

Jay got out of the hospital and met us somewhere in here. I shouldn’t have waited so long to write this down, but I had to give it some mental distance before I could face it.

So Ralph and Chet (I decided I should stop calling him “Weedy” in my head) and I went back to Willoughby to look into the bell’s history, and Rex and Esteban went off to contact Jay. I think.

In WIlloughby we went to the Historical Society, which led us to the estate that belongs to Petunia McGinnis, last remaining grandchild of the Van Gorders. She was very hospitable and sweet, and let me rummage through her attic boxes looking for the sales slip from the estate sale back in the 50s, and gave Chet all the lemonade he could drink. After a couple of (genuinely interesting) hours, I found it had gone to a Professor Arthur Chubblewit (must remember that name later, when looking for novel ideas) at Cleveland State U. Dept. of Antiquities.

So we went over there. Even though it’s a Sunday, there was an off chance we’d catch him. Providentially, he was – but he wasn’t pleased to see us investigating the bell. He gave us a stern “don’t stick your nose into this, it will ruin your life, it contains forces you cannot control” sort of speech, about it opening a portal to another world (wait, what? I had no idea!), if you had the book and candle (I did NOT produce the book or candle at this point) and he looked sincerely concerned about it. When I told him that it might cost our parents their lives, and Ralph pointed out that it had something to do with his family history, well, the good Professor grudgingly gave us some information, and a scrap of paper with the translation of the bell’s inscription. He said it was in “First Language” too. The bell was hidden in a fake idol and sold to Dean Brothers art supply company, to try to get it out of harm’s way.

Well I forget what happened here, to be honest, but we ended up reunited with Jay here, if we hadn’t earlier (sorry journal) and Esteban and Rex. We were downtown, at Jay’s office/warehouse/club. I started asking if we could use his phone to find Dean Brothers, but he wouldn’t let me, because, wait for it – he had a shipment from Dean Brothers right there. Someone had been in earlier asking about it. In fact, it was Michael.

Then “even more hell” broke loose, because Michael showed up and told us “they’re coming” to fight. I, for one, was not really sure what that meant, but then Melisande showed up, with a horde of actual monsters. Some came right through the walls like ghosts.

I hope we win.

A Weird Dream and Weirder Reality
from Ralph's POV

So one night I had a really weird dream. Maybe I had too much spicy sausage pizza for dinner and it gave me indigestion. Mom always said that could happen. Anyway, in this dream I was in a room with a lot of books all around and there were these other people in there with me. This kind of weird old lady showed up and mumbled some stuff I didn’t understand and all of a sudden these tentacle things reached out of a fireplace and grabbed her and she’s gone. Goofy stuff. Well, the next day I didn’t think anything about it until I was downtown after visiting the training center and I meet up with all the people that appeared in the dream. I swear I never met or even saw any of these guys ever before, but somehow we all got together. And we all had the same exact dream. I was really bugged by this. It was kind of creepy, but I really don’t believe in astrology psychics or crystal balls or stuff like that so there had to be some reason it happened and I wanted to know what it was. It was just the weirdest thing that ever happened to me. I decided to go along with the group because I think the Spanish dude, he’s a wrestler, might be able to get me a job. I really need some cash. My unemployment will run out next month, I think.

Somebody (I can’t remember which one) figured out that the room in the dream was in the Cleveland library and so we wound up finding the room and we were looking around in there when things got really out of hand. A crazy woman comes in and stabs one of the other people, a Middle Eastern or Pakistani guy (I don’t know really what country he’s from), and I thought she might attack one of the others. My dad always said don’t ever hit a girl, but this was one mean bitch, you know, and I thought maybe I could knock the knife away. Me and the bicycle dude and Rex went at her and she got KO’d. The cops came and so we decided to go grab a bite to eat and catch our breath.

Rex loaned me a couple bucks so I had some eggs and ice water. I got to keep up my protein, even though I’m not really in training. Rex is a loud, kind of rude guy with some strong opinions. I wonder if he’s one of those skinhead Nazis. He doesn’t like foreigners at all. He keeps picking on the Spanish wrestler. Sometimes he gets on my nerves, but he did give me a ride a couple times so I guess he’s not all bad. Foreign people are not all bad either. I met a lot of them at the Games. There was a Jamaican guy who I fought. Beat the hell out of him, but then I ran into him at Closing Ceremonies and he asked to see the gold medal and then he slapped me on the back and gave me his warmup jacket. He was the happiest fighter I ever saw. Really cool guy.

Anyway, they were all in the restaurant looking at this old book that the bicycle guy borrowed from the library. I think it was written in another language, but I wasn’t paying much attention. I flunked Spanish in high school. It’s too bad because I think maybe the Spanish wrestler and I could talk in Spanish if I knew it better. He’s pretty cool, I think. We fought a little when we met, not serious, but just showing off our moves. I went easy on him, but he’s not bad. He must make some decent money. He dresses up.

The group decided to go back to library again and they messed around with the book and this candle they found. I didn’t get that. I mean, there was plenty of light in there. There was something weird about the mirrors, I guess. All I know is that the girl and I peeked at one of the pages and I got a little sick. I think my blood sugar might have dropped or something. Might have been some vertigo, too, I suppose. Lew Benson got me with that right hook at Nationals and ever since then I sometimes get a little dizzy. Don’t tell that, though, because they might not let me fight again. I’ve heard of that happening to boxers.

The bicycle dude found a note in one of the other books with an address on River Road. We decided to check it out and wound up at Squire’s Castle. I hadn’t been there in years, but it was just the same as it looked when my fourth grade class went there. We hiked around and then ate bag lunches. Man, that was a long time ago. The other folks went up to the castle, but I hung out near the parking lot with Rex. He really fusses with his car. It’s a Mustang. It’s nice, so I don’t blame him for being so fussy about it. I almost bought a Camaro before I got laid off. I got to get a car as soon as I can. Dad lets me drive the Mercury and he doesn’t complain as long as I pay for the gas and run him and Mom to their doctor appointments whenever they need to go. Man, I hope the Spanish guy can get me some work pretty soon.

The others came back and then we went on a drive around Willoughby and stopped in at that nursing home on Euclid. Van Gorder, I think it’s called. I think we have to find out about a bell. Maybe they read about that in the book. The girl was able to read some parts of that book. She’s in college and she seems pretty smart. I guess she’s okay looking. I mean, I’m not going to ask her out or anything. I don’t think she’s my type. But she’s nice enough. Kind of shy I think. Anyway, I still kind of have a thing for Patty Reese. She graduated from North and I think she went in the Navy or Army. She was a runner. A really good one. Awesome legs. I’d like to see those legs again sometime.

We went back to the Castle. I think the bicycle guy wanted some more drugs. That’s really a shame, you know. I never smoked, drank, or did any drugs. You can’t do that and be a winner, Pete always said. That bicycle guy should stop that and start some kind of conditioning program. There’s no better high than being in peak physical shape, that’s what I think.

Well, Rex and I were hanging out near the car again when another nasty dude shows up with a sword. Yeah, a friggin’ sword! We tag teamed him, but this guy was TOUGH.

[to be continued]

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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