Nightly Banes Of Fate And Faith

Nightly Banes Of Fate And Faith

March 28th, 2024 – Thursday: 8:30 PM

In the Zericho sub-district of Century Station the Church of Reflections branch located here. Had just seen a massive upheaval as its leader the ‘First Reflector’ had just been eliminated! As Gryphon, dressed still in normal clothing, dragging his two charges to the door would soon learn was another skirmish in the war twixt Light and Dark.

As Caedechron landed because Gryphon had told them that he didn’t know whom John and Stella were. They’ve likely fled outside with everyone else. Just then from Gryphon’s perspective a very confused Hank the mutant horseman came blasting through the doorway nearly knocking Cai over but they held their ground rather well against Hank’s over 7 feet of horse power! Gryphon’s companions, Black Phantom and Rubber Band Man came running up to prevent the altercation from getting any worse. All of them went chasing after this John and Stella individuals B.P. said were critical to neutralizing and interrogating as to their connection to the corrupt ‘First Reflector’

After setting the two he had been carrying outside down. Gryphon, still in normal clothing but his transformed body heads back inside to find three more church members. Covenant has transformed back to Alex the college student. Deciding to treat him like a bystander to keep his cover, while helping people he thought were innocent Gryphon leans over to the college student, “Hey kid, grab that lady and get out of here I saw a guy with a gun! It’s not safe!” Gryphon turned to pick up two men cowering near the stage and all of them head for the main door.

Alex stayed outside and Garrick/Gryphon headed back inside to an empty room. The buffet table still had plenty of food upon it to the right. Most of the chairs were still where people had left them as they scattered during the take down of the ‘First Reflector’ just minutes ago. Eventually he makes his way into a back room where the ash pile that had been known as the ‘First Reflector’ had prepared himself before coming out. Searching the room he overheard a small conversation between Trip and Black Phantom as he located a laptop. When his password hacking attempts failed he got frustrated and used one of his thumb drives and booted to a recent distro of Kali Linux Live USB.

Soon enough he had root access to the machine and quickly found files of a mystical nature. He began moving them off to show to Patsy for later review. She was the magic scholar after all. Through the mystical files he was removing from the laptop, he found what he had hoped and prayed for! This church was on a national and to a small degree a worldwide level given its creation in the 1940’s! It was indeed organized as a cult, and here was damning documents cementing that fact! Including how they financed the deeper non-public level with various illegal endeavors! Apparently there was to be rituals performed on April 8th, across the country! Gryphon aimed to gather it all up and send it to Geist and Director Balisong. Hopefully this would be the smoking gun to stop the Church on a national level from some gigantic group ritual. This took a fair amount of time as everyone else was engaged in their tasks, clean up, and whatever the hell Trip was doing.

Gryphon kept working on scouring this laptop and creating a reference document. A power point with links to the associated documents to bring Geist and Director Balisong up to speed quickly. Black Phantom, Caedechron, Rubber Band Man, and Hank apparently found John and Stella. He believed they were going to the base, which he thought was a stupid idea. Argue about it in analysis paralysis or take a page from Carl’s play book and give those that had the power ammunition to defend the team from the coming public backlash. Gryphon had hoped they would have made the raid after service was over. However, that would be armchair planning and the quote was: ‘To accept everything as it is.’

Overhearing comm chatter, Black Phantom was apparently in the building and gone downstairs to find Trip? It just click for Gryphon that Carl had transformed. As a gamer Trip was recon sniper level in cool, as anything else… Well he was really good at games. Looks like he owed Miss Amazing another dinner since he had to agree with her.

Gryphon had finally finished the power point presentation and sent it along with the incriminating evidence to the two people with the ability to stop a nationwide incident from happening through legal means. Gryphon now had magic, something or other, documents and a wand, maybe something in all of this would help get Patsy home. Given the look she gave him, he started to think maybe he had horribly misread what he thought she felt for him. It would be easier to be just friends the way he was with Mavis Beacon. Perhaps they could still be friends and Miss Amazing, Katherine, could finally calm down? He chuckled at the idea of an interdimensional pen-pal!

When he headed back into the room with the chairs he looked around at the side doors and remembered the one that had some commotion at it on what would’ve been the left if you had just come in from the outside. Entering he found a short hallway with additional doors into small rooms but at the end was indeed a staircase leading down. The din of noise from outside was fading away as he summoned his armor on top of the normal clothing he was wearing. His hand was shaking ever so slightly as he summoned his sword, Ashmadiel. Feeling its comfortable weight he steadied himself and moved forward when Caedechron came of the comm unit in his ear, “Where is everybody? What’s the situation? What’s going on?”

“Hello, hello, umm hello, I am with Caedechron,” said the Rubber Band Man.

Geist replied, “I’m just pulling up to the church. You guys alright? I’m just here to grab those captives. Alex is out here too, entertaining the crowd.”

Gryphon replied, “I’m going down to assist Black Phantom in rescuing Trip, I think, from cultists.”

“Ahh, so we confirmed then there was something going on about this place?”

Nearly cutting Geist off, “I sent you and Director Balisong all the information.”

Caedechron tried to ask, “Okay does anyone…”

Cut off by Rubber Band Man, “Señor Geist the captives are at headquarters.”

[silence for a few moments]

“I must have misheard you about the captives when you asked me to come here. Well, there’s something about the cultists let me come in then.”

Caedechron said, “Yeah, if you could go in with Gryphon we’re on our way.”

“Are they secure?”

Caedechron replied, “They are.”

“Alright. Shorty, Cardinal, make sure you keep an eye on them. The rest of you why don’t you come in on this location.”

Caedechron replied, “Roger that.”

Shorty #5 replied that he’d been kicked out of his office. More silence for a few moments, “You don’t need to be in there to keep an eye on the captives do you?” Shorty #5/Cardinal in training gave a reply Gryphon had to stifle a laugh at. He told Geist no but he was making a sandwich first. Geist was calm, he did not appear frustrated and he kept his words even the way Gryphon did with kids at the center. When he mentioned for everyone else to go then Caedechron mentioned Rubber Band Man and he would find Hank and join them.

Gryphon heads downstairs very slowly and Ashmadiel realizes he is burying his fear that something else might blow him up or kill him. The Celestial watches from the swirling desert inside the sword as he pushes past his fear with each step. He feels shame that he is not brave right now, and yet Ashmadiel sees him not giving up or running from trouble. As he made it to the door on the lower level Gryphon could hear some of his teammates coming up behind him. Steeling his courage to know that his days were to be filled with more near death experiences he flung the door open to squash his fear from shell shock.

Only to run in five feet, clearing the doorway and getting frozen a few inches in the air! People DO NOT transform like that! This felt like a Tokyo Ghoul Anime meets superheroes and all he could think of in his head was, ‘What the hell is all this, looks magic to me!’

Then Hank the Horse-Man was flung through the doorway by Rubber band Man at one turned into a giant bull! As the other members were coming into the room and most were subsequently stunned as he by the metamorphic changes in those present in some sort of ritual gathering. One human began to show sores all over his body in which a few sprouted tentacles! Another looked like a gigantic rat with robotic legs! Then as though this couldn’t get weirder Gryphon heard Alice yell out, “Black Phantom! You stupid racist Gaijin! These are my people, stop fighting!” Apparently they were no longer saving Trip, but Alice now? Was this even becoming a rescue mission anymore?

Then as Gryphon noticed Alice’s location, mirrors in the corners of the room behind her began to darken unnaturally! Before Gryphon could do anything the room began to rebound and reverberate all the noise! Clearly a power Alice had, and then she screamed which made it the only sound he heard. While nearly everyone else whom was here previously appeared to have been blinded by something. Gryphon watched as three of the transformed monstrosities turned invisible. He began to take stock that this situation was still non-violent. As Alice walked away from the mirrors reverted to a normal state. As he began to fly over to one of the mystically invisible human turned monsters he continued to think, ‘Magic, yep definitely magic!’ Gryphon tried tapping the fellow on the shoulder gently to attempt a parley before things get much worse.

Caedechron, was somewhat successful in canceling out some of the reverberation. The recently transformed monster tried to brush Gryphon’s arm off while Hank tried to make peace with the bull. Seemingly unaware his voice would add to the sound reverberation Hank attempted to offer the bull a beer as a peace offering. Gryphon found it odd still, seeing Hank naked except for a shirt. He thought briefly this would make a good comic book! Gryphon tried to respect the personal space of the ‘person’ he tapped on the shoulder. Reminded of his father saying to not judge a book by its cover he was trying – hard – to find a non-violent way through this. In that moment he realized this was still a duel only he wasn’t using a sword, physically! He had new questions for his instructor when he saw him next time.

Gryphon started making the “T” gesture with his hand and mouthing “…TIME OUT, WHOA…” in hopes people would stop and this doesn’t turn into a real fight. His sword, Ashmadiel, is transformed back to an ornate armband, which looks like angelic ornamentation upon the bracer on his left arm. Geist got into the room and called out, “Alright everyone, clam down!”

Gryphon heard someone in the room cry out, “Oh! By the night!” Everything then went dark! ‘Well,’ Gryphon thought it was nice that at some point the sonic reverberations had stopped. Then Gryphon heard the sound of rushing hooves moving farther away from him. He wasn’t sure if it was Hank the Horse-Man or the monstrous bull running away? Gryphon summoned his sword to regain the power of heat vision while he held it, because all he could make out where the shapes of those that were mystically invisible. Once heat signatures similar to a certain alien predator movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger were visible as he held Ashmadiel once again made him re-think, ‘Yep this is definitely magic.’

Geist yelled out in a more reasonable tone, “We need to hold off! S.A.V.I.O.R. let’s stand down!”

From inside his head, “I have seen many strange things in my existence. And you do not forget the look of those who are the bane of the night. These people here they are not like you, they are not like others, they are Nightbane. They are those who will fight against the darkness of the other world. They are our allies.”

With a deep breath Gryphon cries out, “Everybody! These people fight against Night Lords!”

From out in the darkness the heat shape that resembled Hank the Horse-man asked, “So they fight Dracula?”

To which the Rubber Band Man replied, “No, Señor Hank, they fight Chupacabra!” There was no heat signature for him in this room though – did he not give off any heat?

At this point the darkness vanished and the group leader said to Caedechron’s plasma arm cannon pointed at him but still blinded from some event earlier, “We just wanted to help Trip, what it happening?” The room finally looked to Gryphon as though they may avoid an all out slug-fest! It looked as though there was an opportunity to address everyone again.

Gryphon states, “Okay, okay, putting it away!” A brief pause as the swirl golden mercury once again transforms the sword back onto the vambrace on his left arm, “These are Nightbane, they’re our allies. They fight against Night Lords!”

“Like Dracula,” asked Hank?

“Yeah, like that,” replied Gryphon.

“So are they from the ‘Belmont’ family,” asked Hank?

“Kinda, but I didn’t play that video game all the way through,” replied Gryphon.

Caedechron calls out, “This one is not what he appears! He’s fighting with the Night Lords.”

As Gryphon turned his head to see the man in question lunged for Caedechron snarling, “I’ll tear you to pieces!”

ZAP! The smell of electricity and burning flesh took to the air as Caedechron fired in self-defense with a direct hit from his plasma arm-cannon! This individual had managed to punch his body armor leaving a respectable dent on Caedechron. However, the plasma arm-cannon was a point blank into his face! The resulting explosion quite literally covers the room in far more blood than would seem possible! Huge globs of a dark reddish viscous liquid hit everyone, with varying sizes of bodily chunks tagging quite a few in the room. Gryphon had been never more thrilled to be flying. However, from the middle of his chest down to his boots he had been hit with the gore, viscera, was that a toe?

Gryphon looked up hoping to diffuse the current situation, “Okay, so who needs a shower?” [Silence] “Okay, rough room tonight.”

Alice replied slowly also a little taken back by the recent explosion, “Uhh, everyone.”

Black Phantom started to ask, “Okay, with Con-dick gone. Who’s in charge now? Step up.” He watch the monstrosities begin to retake their human forms, so he holstered his weapons. Provided something didn’t attack the city tomorrow Gryphon pictured a night of him cleaning his weapons. As he was holstering so covered in blood, Alice, also dripping gore walked up and asked if she could trust him. Gryphon said nothing, just ‘accepting everything as it was’ and letting two adults once again sort out their differences by talking. He had a quiet hope seeing them talk would inspire similar actions in the others once they came out of shock. He looked down at the blood once again and slowly clenched down his fists, internally repeating, ‘This isn’t me. This isn’t me. This isn’t me.’

Poor Alice and Rubber Band Man were just trying to catch up to all the weird this year had been so far. When she asked for the Beast to be brought out. Gryphon saw a nearly comic level of shock come over Rubber Band Man’s face, as he appeared to see it as a sexual reference. The former jockey turned superhero was not deterred in trying to safeguard the young Japanese looking girl in just the top half of a authentic Green Hornet ‘Kato’ uniform. He wrapped himself around B.P. when Gryphon tried to explain how Alice, Trip, and the Beast were multi-faceted manifestations of a core identity. Alas, he was unsuccessful but told B.P. to continue and then he would understand.

“Hey everyone, I’m going to go and prepare a room for everyone, I’ll be right back,” Caedechron stated.

“Señor Robot Man, never go alone, please take someone with you!”

“It’s fine I’ll be right back,” Caedechron told him and effectively everyone as they leave.

Just then Alice changes into the brownish, sandstone colored, rock-scaled, six-limbed, now bald, Beast.

Dios Mio!” The Rubber Band Man let go of Black Phantom (B.P.) and stretched quite a distance away.

“That’s what I was trying to tell you,” Gryphon replied with a wave of his hand as more gore flecked off of it, internally repeating, ‘This isn’t me. This isn’t me. This isn’t me.’ “The centaur, the little girl, the monster are all the same person.”

“No comprender,” replied the Rubber Band Man is somewhat stuttering speech.

“Se habla monster español,” asked Gryphon hoping simple words might help focus the poor guy clearly not used to how weird it can get. It failed, kinda, as it did get others talking.

Hank asked, “We’re good right? Because I need some dessert.”

Gryphon turn, “Oh hi! You’re Hank, right?” He smiled and waved at the mutant Horse Man, and his gore soaked top. Seeing Gryphon try and be upbeat made a few people in the room chuckle at the exchange in the now macabre surroundings.

Hank replied, “Yeah.”

“Nice to finally meet you,” Gryphon floats over and he shakes Hank’s hand. The Geist walks up to us both but addresses the room, “S.A.V.I.O.R., let’s take a moment here. Everybody this is Hank, he’s joining us alongside Victor.”

Stuttering Victor aka: Rubber Band Man interjects, “Que le paso a la niña? What happened to the little girl?”

In perfect Spanish, granted unto him by his sword, with a flawless accent, “El centauro, la niña pequeña, la bestia son todos la misma persona.” While this inter-lingual exchange was happening the Beast walked over and thanked two of the Nightbane for taking care of Carl. Gryphon realized that this was the first time they responded to anything spoken amongst them. He could understand the shock, the gore disassociating them from the present moment. When they talked it was calmer than he thought it would be, which Gryphon found encouraging. They mentioned needing to figure things out for themselves as they looked around. Then they emphasized that he, the Beast, was not alone and he needed to know that.

“I have Dissociative Identity Disorder. There are four of me,” chuckled the Beast as he tried to explain the issue. A few more of the Nightbane, all of the ones left were back into their human forms. They came around to the Beast and one of the two talking with him nodded and agreed that would explain it, or some of it. “Carl, was the primary personality before our first change when we were 16.” Another of the Nightbane asked if that was when his mind broke, and the Beast mentioned he has strong suspicions someone helped it break. He went on to mention a Pharmacologist that was prescribing drugs to Carl in hopes of stopping the change. Everyone in the exchange chuckles a bit when they mentioned that it clearly didn’t work.

Gryphon floats over to the Nightbane nearest to him, “Um, excuse me you are Nightbane that fought the Nightlords right? Or are you younger versions of them?”

The one Gryphon had spoken to turned and replied, “What, you said that earlier, what, no we didn’t fight…”

“But you are Nightbane, right?”

“Yeah its what we’ve been told,” said the one speaking to him and another one now listening, nodding to each other, “That would explain our weird abilities here.”

Black Phantom interjected and explained about the captives: John & Stella. Only to find out both of them were Nightbane as well. Both Black Phantom and Gryphon found out as everyone else was listening that these Nightbane explained the ‘First Reflector’ created the whole church. The Nightbane seemed perplexed when Gryphon explained he had been corrupted and was working with the Nightlords, also that he was dead as well. The Nightbane said they knew the Nightlords were the rulers of the Nightlands and they were trying to get back to the homeland they had originated from!

Everyone now looked confused, but no one looked like they were ready to fight. The night was officially looking up to Gryphon, whom was keeping his blood soaked hands down so he didn’t have to look at them. He was saved from his internal monologue by the Beast talking, “Yeah, I know a lot about ‘Super Hero Lore’ which includes a number of things that are similar to superheroes, like the Nightbane. At least in all the old tales the Nightbane were revolting against the Nightlords, they didn’t work with them.”

“Well…, We were told differently by Conrad, and the ‘First Reflector.’ That we would be welcomed back to the Nightlands.” replied at least three of the Nightbane. They continued on by various ones in their group, “We were told the Nightlands were our home. That we’re trying to get back to. Because we’re not normal people, like you,” gesturing at the Beast, “… The Nightlords would welcome us. We had been sealed away from this dimension for a long time. At least, well, at least decades.”

Gryphon watched as the Beast spoke up, “Well, let me point something out. A member of our team had been given super powers to seek after a great supernatural evil, somebody who was seeking to end the world. His powers were designed for one thing and one thing only. When he confronted the ‘First Reflector’ he recognized his ancient enemy. A single shot from his specially prepared weapon killed him and completely destroyed his body.”

During that statement Victor and Hank head out of the room followed by Geist as Black Phantom asks, “So are John & Stella Nightbane or Nightlords?” Confused slightly the group responds that they’re Nightbane, and when B.P. tries to get them to clarify. They remark that nothing is certain right now because everyone is telling them that all or at least part of everything they knew was wrong. Gryphon was relying on complete faith of what Ashmadiel had told him, and it had appeared to be correct, making him look “in the know” far more than he was. He had been waiting to find a nice quiet time to try what he was about to attempt. It was taking a page from Aaziakel’s play book. He remembered how resplendent he made Patsy look. He hoped trying this now would appeal to his celestial guardian’s sense of seeking to right wrongs. Into his mind he went to speak with her.

 


Come watch the next game at: HippoTV!
Art by: AZ_Artisan

 

2 Replies to “Nightly Banes Of Fate And Faith”

  1. Of all the seemingly-impossible things in this log, the one that stands out the most is that Garrick ever had time to watch Tokyo Ghoul. lol!

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