Family Reunions

I headed out back with Klyce and Orrin, and watched him make quick work of the burial. Then I asked about my brother. He tells me that he let the succubus take him, and they’ll be back by tomorrow, after Phil is gone. He really believes she’ll do it, and that she loves him. UGH! They’ve only known each other for a couple of Days! He does agree we can hunt her down if they don’t show up.

Then the conversation turns to demons and the Machines, as Klyce wonders about feeding them into it for Mana. He’d rather that then all the human suffering of the mines, or the fae suffering in the current machines. I’d rather it just be undead in the mines and not have to deal with demons anymore. But that’s all long term, how are we getting Mana for the group now? 

He says he’s going to be talking to the Magia soon. I ask him to be careful, but he isn’t worried about them anymore. Not after everything we’ve gone through. I mention his family could be in danger, and the look in his eyes, as he said he would take them All Down… I tell him I’d help, my family’s all gone. He reminds me that I still have Gerald, and he’ll be back tomorrow. Then… Klyce gave me a hug… and went to take his family home. I wish he’d been my big brother instead of Gerald.

I stay outside for a long time after that. Looking at the graves of all the household staff. The people who had been my real family, when my parents and brother had been cruel to me. These people who had cared for me my whole life. Gone in one afternoon, to Demons! I still had to tell their families. I’m not sure how I’m going to do that. It’s all my fault they’re dead. I shouldn’t have brought this trouble home. I sit there, and I cry, finally, for all of them.

The sky is starting to get dark by the time I look up. Nat is laying on Orrin’s grave and Dalish is floating above it. I… I can’t deal with that, too. I head back inside, and find Maribeth and Remy drinking in the lounge. I stop to tell them that they and their families are welcome to stay here as long as they need. She asks what happened, and Remy and I tell her the story of the fleshy mansion and the ritual of Hell. I ask about how it affected Grandfather, and she said he was awful the whole time, but we did make him sweat so much she had to prove she was really there.

I head up to bed, and send to my brother. Tell me you’re alive. I expect to see you tomorrow. He replies that he’s alright, and with Crystal, and he will see us tomorrow. Ugh!!!

In the morning, Remy goes to fetch fresh food, Klyce brings over baked goods, and even Philomena comes to breakfast, though she doesn’t eat. I fetch Nat and Dalish from the grave, and we have a meal. They immediately go into a debate over spell scribing and mana, so I just enjoy the fresh bread. Ethereion’s Machine comes up, and then the voice’s desire for a body. We really shouldn’t let a spell free to roam, but they discuss it for awhile.

Then it turns into a discussion of mana versus genocide. Porter chimes in that demon machines would be far more difficult and dangerous, with less return. Plus, summoning demons usually requires murder in the first place. Klyce wonders about mechanical solutions to mana mining, but mana would rust out machines faster than it does people. Julian offers to get them a good deal from his father, and I tease him a little about the theft ring from school. A suggestion is made to check with Rictus, but Dalish doesn’t think we have enough new evidence for more mana.

What else is on our plate? The Church of the One God seems super sketchy, and we should probably do something there, but what? Nat wants to start by countering their anti-mage campaign with our own soup kitchens. Klyce suggests we use the Dawnmother’s church, since it is close to the One God church. We have the Deliberative coming up, where we have to vote on new primes and campaign against the Machines. We still have the Black Knight on the loose, not to mention Hank and friends who we have to meet up with again “when the time is right.” Nat wants to buy up some property somewhere, and Dalish has to write a report on the planes for the Deliberative.

Philomena then asks if we have plans for Remy’s Dad and Philomena’s Mom. They’re okay here temporarily, but there was a big financial hullabaloo, and we’re not exactly safe to be around in times of upheaval. Remy says he wants to send his Dad to join up with the rest of their Royalist family, just teleport him away south. But that’s tricky, so he suggests they both go live with the Rathbone family for a while, to get away from the city politics. I can take them in the afternoon, and we can get some raw mana for Gerhardt to refine while we’re there. Dalish and Gerhardt are going to set up an alchemy lab in my house for that.

Porter says he has to hash things out with Rictus, and then take care of things in the south. He allows that we can contact him through Dreams, but not with anything traceable. Klyce suggests they go check on his hideout first, make sure everything useful is cleared out of there before anyone else finds it. He agrees, and he, Klyce, and Philomena plan to do that in the afternoon, after Klyce fabricates me a new wall where the demons exploded part of my house and starts cooking up stew for the soup kitchen.

So, we break for the morning. Dalish goes shopping for scribing and alchemy lab materials. Remy goes to Etherion’s to get the last of the mana from his Machine. Maribeth, her mom, Nat, and I head down to the Dawnmother’s church. Maribeth takes the chance to talk to her mom about heading up to Bangoria in the afternoon, and she seems agreeable, though sad that she will be away from her children.

We arrive at the chuch in time for morning services, and it’s nice and relaxing to sit in worship. I’ve said my prayers, but hurriedly of late. After service, I have a chat about our soup kitchen idea. He’s happy to help easily listing off all the contacts and resources we’ll need. I let him know that Klyce will be helping on the food side of things. He says what the people really need is economic activity. Since the Petals were completed, a lot of mage business has left Brooklyn, and they are all hurting. I check my purse, and hand him all my money, about 500 gold, to get started with whatever he thinks is needed for the soup kitchen. Hire people to clean up the church, build an extension, whatever he thinks best. Nat adds on another 100g as well, leaving him astounded and eager to get to work.

Gathering back up for lunch after a productive morning, Remy explains to us that taking all the mana from Etherion’s place would collapse the mansion, killing the voice. That might not be a bad idea, and Porter and Klyce both agree. We might want to at least bring Rictus in on the decision, this is above our pay grade. Dalish ponders giving the voice a body still, but will talk to Rictus this evening about it. He was able to get 40 spell levels worth of materials, and discussion quickly falls into who gets what supplies.

Then the door opens, and Gerald arrives with Crystal. My heart is pounding in my ears, I’m so mad at him. I barely hear when he tells me they’re in love, and he’s sorry. She says she was just trying not to die, and that she was summoned here against here will. But she likes it here a lot better than Hell. They’ve even brought a picnic basket of food. I snipe a bit more about the murder and death, but we all head out to the front veranda for lunch. Klyce suggests they stay here for now, and Crystal asks me if that’s okay. I tell her sure, I have friends that can banish her if she doesn’t behave. Dalish takes this awkward silence and starts grilling her on Demon society and the history of the Towers. I just glare at my idiot brother for a bit, and then tune out, concentrating on images of the Rathbone residence for my spell this afternoon.