Session Ten: Welcome to Caro. Our Churches Welcome You.
The game opens in the Motel 6, outside of the town of Caro. The heros have two adjoining double rooms, with a door that seperates them.
Maxwell goes outside of the Motel 6, and walks down the road a bit. He finds a pay telephone, and after dealing with Information, gets through the FBI office in Detroit. He deals with a receptionist, who connects him to the man he needs to talk to, Agen t Joseph Donahue. Maxwell pursuades the agent to come up to a diner in Caro (which is randomly chose out of the phone book) at 7:00pm to "explain the situation." Then Max returns to the group.
Inside, the group splits in two. Star and Daimon go into one room and close the door. They enjoy each other for a while. In the other room, Blitzen turns on the television. He realizes that there is nothing but religious programming. He gets frustrated, but finds a channel where a preacher is going off about the sins of fornication. He turns it all the way up, so that the others in the next room can hear it.
Afterwards, Star and Daimon talk about the problem with the Geas and Andrealphus. Star realizes she's already talked to the Prince of Lust once, and is proud that she blew him off. Daimon is fairly adamant about going off to get his ass kicked. In the other room, Jered, Blitzen, and Maxwell discuss stuff, of which the GM hasn't a clue.
Blitzen gets into his head that he needs to go to the store. He gets the cigarrette request from Daimon, and takes off in his truck, to go off to find a party store. So he drives through Caro, and things get bizarre. There is a sign at the enterance to the city, "Welcome to Caro, Our Churches Welcome You." He sees some fairly bizarre sights. Street signs with nonsense Hebrew written on them. A Bible store with all the crosses in the window hanging inverted. Children in front of the small Catholic C hurch singing a satanic rhyme. The children stare at Blitzen with baleful eyes as he passes. And people coming into town, and streaming all in one direction. Blitzen circles around the town, and takes a back road. He hits a barrier in the road, drives a round it, and drives up a hill. He can hear the slow tide of voices, as he realizes he's pulled up to the back end of en enormous parking lot. Over the area the Symphony churns, but it is no tether. It's something else entirely. He drives away, and fi nds a liquor store outside of town, where people seem sane, next to a gas station. He buys really really weak cigarettes, two lighters, a ton of Fig Newtons, and a gallon of gasoline. Then Blitzen returns to the Motel.
Maxwell and Star discuss various subjects. They cover Maxwell's impending meeting with the FBI, the Tether, relationships, all sorts of stuff. They drag Daimon into it, and attempt to discuss what's going to happen with him. Daimon is as sullen and coo perative as he ever is.
Blitzen shows up, hands Daimon his smokes (which suck, but what is he going to do), and describes what he saw in town. People are suddenly interested, and everyone talks. Daimon goes outside to smoke after he proclaims that the entire group of angels ar e simply completely insane, and shares with Star, who is mildly disgusted. They also talk about things, then come to the conclusion to just ditch the rest of the party and get this over with. They start walking along the side of the road, into town.
Dana and Terry finally pull into town. Dana resonantes, and realizes the people she came for have already gone on ahead. Maxwell comes out and tries to get into the car, but Dana is already pulling out of the Motel's driveway. They catch up to Daimon a nd Star. Terry gets out of the car, grabs Daimon, and throws him to the ground, saying that he's not really keen on anything that is going on here. Star looks upset. Dana tries to figure out what is going on. The other three, Maxwell, Jered and Blitze n pull up in Blitzen's truck. They get out and try to figure out what is going on.
Some silliness occurs. Terry resonantes on Blitzen, and gets him to believe there is nothing in Caro of worth. Every time Terry opens his mouth, Jered says, "He's lying." And then Blitzen makes off with Terry's phone. He runs around in circles, playing with the memory dial. Terry and Maxwell talk, while Blitzen giggles madly. Blitzen, while hitting numbers, gets Malik, all the way in Los Angeles, along with Nome Alaska and Bono. He's highly amused.
In all the confusion, Daimon sings a song of Form, and walks down the side of the road towards Caro, completely invisible. Star finds him up the road when she notices he's gone, and uses her Song of Attraction to find him. She locates, and runs up and h ugs and invisible person. They start moving onward, and then decide that splitting up would be the thing to do.
Blitzen starts to shake off Terry's bad mojo, and starts to get his act together. Terry gets tired of screwing around with angels, and approaches Dana. They go after Star and Daimon. Dana takes Daimon, and Terry takes Star. He figures he can con her o ut of going anywhere near town... but Star is a little more determined and not real interested in what he has to say. Dana and Daimon have a talk, standing out in the middle of a field (which is a little strange, because he was invisible at the time.) She asks him about Andrealphus and Brightness and all that, and he gives new meaning to the word "Waffle". But he gets her to take him to the tether in town anyways.
Jered, Maxwell, and Blitzen are now up to no good. They get into Blitzen's truck, to head into town, and they pass Terry trying to convince Star on the way. They taunt him with his phone, and drive off. They three of them pull up in front of the Catholic Church where the children were singing. They are long gone, but now there is a priest dressed in black, including black gloves, patiently sweeping the stoop. Jered gets out of the car, and goes into the church, and is watched carefully by the priest. Jered names him as Mikhail. Blitzen and Maxwell follow suit, and try to engage Mikhail in a little conversation, but he's not the real talkative sort. They notices that the church looks like a completely normal church, and after deciding that this cou ld be a haven, they leave. The three of them walk up to the collesium at the end of town. Jered takes Blitzen's truck, while Blitzen and Maxwell hoof it.
Dana pulls up to the small white house of no note on the edge of town. Daimon gets out of the car, and knocks on the door. He is met by a blond woman wearing a full robe and a collar around her neck. He waves back, and enters the house. There is a long pause when nothing happens, and then the disturbance in the Symphony hits as a Superior decides to show. Some of the celestials in the area notice.
Maxwell and Blitzen have an interesting time walking up to the Collesium. On the way there, things get bizarre. They see rotting crucified human bodies hanging on telephone polls and street signs. The people are like zombies, and the traffic is well ba cked up. Maxwell feels the disturbance in the Symphony, and asks Blitzen for the "quickest route to Andre." What he discovers, much to their amazement, is that the path leads straight ahead. "It must be a non-Euclidean thing." When they get to the gat e, Maxwell tries to pay with Traveller's Checks. The girl at the booth recognizes the name on the checks, and turns to make a call. Then she hands them their tickets, down in the front row. They look pleased, and turn to enter the Collesium. But they don't get very far, as they are stopped by Mr. Gray and a small legion of armed goons, who tell them that their Boss would like to talk to them. While they are sorting things out, Maxwell looks over, and sees a darkhaired man with sunglasses in a black su it watching them with a notepad. Suddenly, two small black creatures, one with a video camera, morph into existance and skitter off into the crowd. Maxwell looks again, and the man is gone. They are prodded onwards through the crowd. Maxwell calls up Jered to tell him the story.
Jered gets to the ticket booth after Maxwell and Jered are long gone. He gets a normal seat, no problems, since he pays with cash. Then he calls up Blitzen on his phone -> Terry's phone (still in Blitzen's possession). There are some problems, and Blitzen ends up smashing Terry's phone. On the way through the gate, he sees a blond woman, also dressed well, also with a pad of paper, watching him with interest. He goes to speak to her, and names her as Natasha (Lahariel). He turns on his lie detector, and tries to get her to cough up her Superior. She evades the question, and he doesn't get real far with her. Eventually, he goes in, and sits in Maxwell's seat, down in the front. The entire place gets bizarre every once in a while. Sometimes it jus t looks like there is a Christian Rock Concert going on. But sometimes, the Collesium walls are covered with barbed wire, the people in the crowd look less then human, and the sky goes as red as blood.
Ignoring Terry the entire way, Star makes it to the House and knocks on the door. Terry climbs into Dana's car, and sits there, shaking his head sadly. After Star knocks, there is a long pause before anyone answers the door. It's the same blond woman, now far more disheveled then before. She lets Star in after initial confusion, and Star insists on being let into the action. The woman leads Star through a perfectly normal house, and then down through a door down stairs. Through the house, Star can hear snippets of a conversation in a language that she cannot understand. The basement of the place has been turned into a massive bondage dungeon. Star emerges in the dark room with nothing but a blacklight. There are four figures in the room - the blond woman who answered the door, a tall woman with black hair in dominatrix gear, carrying a riding crop, a female figure kneeling, forehead to the floor, and a large black winged mass with glowing red eyes. Behind the figure, there was a wall with a curtain over it. But now the curtain has been drawn back, and Star can see the street that leads right up to the front door of Andre's palace in Shal-Mari. The tether has ripped a small hole in the fabric of reality. The winged demon alights it's eyes on Star.
Star realizes that the kneeling figure is Daimon, in female vessel. And like any other female character in the face of an overwhelming evil, she has been dressed stupid and her hair has been done. (You just can't fight it. It's a cosmic thing, like demons in Denny's.) Andre forms himself into a more pleasing, human shape, as Star comes to stand right next to Daimon. Daimon tries to pull Star down into the proper submissive position, and she goes with it. Andre starts explaining how much... fun... he's going to have with her. In detail. With a big grin on his face. Star keeps asking Daimon to do something, and (s)he doesn't budge. When Andre kneels down to run his hands through Star's hair, Dai's hand goes up like a shot and grabs it. There is momentary surprise on Andre's face, as his servitor crosses him. Dai sits up, and cocks back a fist to cold cock his master, when she gets flung back and plastered against the opposite wall, spread eagle. Star cries out, "Oh, I wish Eli were here!"
And what do you know, it works. Many people detect it at once, all over Caro. Terry decides to cower, because it's the safe thing to do.
Eli looks confused, but it's him in all his glory, shaggy hair, trenchcoat, t-shirt and jeans. He walks down the stairs of the house slowly, and leans against the back wall. And then the Impudite/Mercurian catfight begins. Eli does score the line of the night, though. With Andre going off about how he is going to hurt people and destroy, Eli says calmly, "Poor Andre. How are you ever going to get laid talking like that?" Eli makes it clear that the servitors - BOTH of them - are under his protection, and that everyone will be walking out of here, nice and easy. And Eli teleports Star and Daimon out onto the lawn outside.
From the house comes flashing lights from the windows, and it shakes. The Symphony shakes. Daimon gets up off the lawn, and makes for the door, yelling, "Eli is in there, and hell if I'm going to stand by and watch." Star grabs her by the strap of some rather entertaining leather bondage gear, and they both go down in a heap on the grass. Then the tether collapses. Eli walks out of the house, looking confused still, and beginning to fade. Daimon gets up off the lawn, with a little yip of joy, and grabs the Archangel in a hug, and won't let go. She gets a bit teary-eyed. Eli says some rather consoling, happy things to Star, and says, "Daimie, it's going to be all right, you can let go now." Then he wonders if anyone can pry the Lilim off of him. When they do, Eli is fading fast, claiming that he's already having a hard time remembering any of this. Star asks, "Wait, Eli, will you take Daimon into your service?" He gets a benevolent look on his face, and says, "Why, I did that years ago." And then he fades away.
Star and Daimon walk over to Dana's car, and Daimon has this "man who is not used to wearing heels and tight corsets look", mostly having to do with figitting. There are shoes thrown at the defunct tether in anger. Star climbs into the car, and Dana wonders who the other chick is until she gets a clue. Terry gets up from cowering, and there is much goofiness. No one mentions the matter of the unfilled Geas, or what kind of deal Daimon struck with Andrealphus before Star arrived. But hey, the question of going Renegade seems to have been answered. Someone reminds Daimon that it's convenient to have two vessels sometimes, and the change is made.
Maxwell and Blitzen are still being lead around the Collesium. Maxwell is bugged, because he knows that Star is in trouble, and he's feeling the need to rescue her. They are lead to a locked door, then down a stairwell into a heavily finished area. The y are lead into a dining room, where Billy Ray Horton himself is sitting at the head of the table. They have an interesting conversation about Kezef, and the FBI. Billy Ray offers them some deals, gives them some facts, and informs them if they run off too far, he WILL find them. It's sort of a zen conversation, but halfway through, Star is no longer in danger. They leave, and find Jered, down in the Collesium. Blitzen and Maxwell see sort of the same things going on that Jered did before. They d ecide the leave the Collesium, and get out without too much fuss, other then some minor harrassment. Maxwell calls Dana. Then Terry gets Dana's phone. Any subsequent calls are answered with a busy signal.
Dana, Star, Terry and Daimon return to the Motel 6. As does Maxwell, Blitzen and Jered. They get there, and start sharing information. People start to plan, and plot. Terry is ecstatic, this is all going exactly as he would like. He helps them with this plan (They give Daimon over to Billy Ray as Bait, and get Billy Ray to do a crucifiction, and then tell Kezef, who Dana can get in contact with, that this is going on...) And it seems to be going well until Jered just outright says No, and starts to point out how stupid this all is, and how stupid they all are for listening to a Balseraph. (This is one of those, "Are you out of your minds?" moments in history.)
Daimon goes inside and talks to Star. Star is real real unhappy about this plan, and Daimon has this really really weird look on his face. Sort of somewhere between confusion and religious ecstacy. "It's nice to have your faith ratified sometimes," he says.
Finally, the group decides to just get RID of Terry. And Maxwell does so, but he's SUCH a nice guy, that Maxwell would rather go get a drink with him instead at a sports bar in a nearby hamlet. But Maxwell needs to be back at 7pm, to talk to the FBI, and the big Show starts at 8....