Previously, on The Order of the Silver Key…
…Hod was seduced! Cowboy Bob rode off into the sunset! Persephone was kidnapped! Mr. Cifer did something…hinky with Lilith! Lenneth, Jasper, Desdemona, and Lilah were born! And the mysterious Peppermint entered The Burl.
Picking up our story we greet Lenneth, who is…instructing…one of her new Einherjar in…proper Valhallan etiquette. Until he disappears from her arms that is. It is soon discovered that souls are vanishing out from under Hel’s nose as well. She is pissed. Hod calls upon Lenneth to escort him to a meeting with Clair De’Lune to see what can be discovered about this phenomenon.
Even as Valhalla searches for answers for its missing conscripts, down in the realm of Tartarus Hades’ accountants are furiously poring over their figures. It seems that there are souls missing, and their lord is most displeased. It doesn’t help that they seem to lose a soul or two more every time they redo the count. Knowing that Clair De’Lune is one of the most well connected deities on earth, he sends his daughter Desdemona to contact her in Las Vegas for information. Never having really hung around on the mortal world much, Dessy decides to hook up with her old friend Lilah Morningstar, who is quite knowledgeable in the ways of mortals.
Meanwhile, on the other side of hell… Miss. Morningstar is on her way out of the blighted realm after having to see to an unpleasant, yet necessary, business meeting. On her way out she pauses, hearing the voice of her father coming out of an open office door she had just passed. We won’t go into what was happening in that room (trust us folks, the audio track Lilah got was disturbing enough, and her poor imp servitor whom she did send in for a view, was scared for life by what he saw despite the fact that he was a daemon), but after his… “companion” left Lilah went in to “say hi” to “dear old” dad. He had bird. A noisy bird. A bird he wanted Lilah to take to Clair De’Lune where, he said, it would be needed as a super-grade tracking device. Lilah was less than thrilled to be confronted with a quest from her father, and even less willing. But Mr. Cifer informed her that if she didn’t do this, then thousands of souls, and quite probably the entire world, would be destroyed. Now even less thrilled, but slightly more willing, Lilah took the bird. The noisy bird.
So Lilah soon found herself on the Las Vegas streets, where Dessy soon found her. Dessy was pleased to find that Lilah was heading to see Clair De’Lune as well, and tagged along. Lilah was just pleased to have some company other than the bird, as it was noisy, annoying, and noisy. After having to speak to her father, Lilah was fast reaching her annoyance quotient, and she thumped the cage to try and silence the bird. The bird continued to be noisy.
Soon everyone arrived at the offices of Clair De’Lune. But before things could get started, introductions had to be made. Lenneth had already met Jasper Roberts, and greeted him. Jasper also made his introductions to the two new women even as Right Said Fred played in the background. While everyone else was dressed in at least casual business attire, the newly introduced Pemperment was dressed down in jeans and a geeky T-shirt, proclaiming by her general bearing: “I’m the programmer, and I’m so valuable I can wear whatever I want and get away with it.” No one much cared anyway. Peppermint immediately took to the bird, and began to speak with it in its own language. It was unhappy. Lilah had thumped it, it had been stolen from its rightful owner, Lilah had thumped it, it was homesick, lonely, and Lilah had thumped it. One other was introduced by Miss. De’Lune, Magdalyne Tel’Mal’Edge of The Vale, The Kami of Beginnings, whom had been brought in to bless the start of the quest. Lenneth was a little nervous to have one of her bloodline involved considering the trouble her brother had unleashed upon The Burl, but her mother assured her that Magdalyne had her full confidence.
And so commenced the briefing. It seems that an evil Nazi-biker-cultist named Lars had seduced and then absconded with Clair’s daughter Felicity (named for her grandmother). Felicity the Younger is a young goddess just beginning to come into her powers. Her newest manifested power allowed her to turn back the clock in local areas. Under Lars’ “guidance,” Felicity was wreaking havoc with this talent, likely blissfully unaware of the problems she was causing. Clair asked the assembled young ladies and Jasper if they would track down Felicity, and see if they couldn’t get her to be a bit more responsible in the use of her powers, and to please call her mother every once in a while. If they could get her to see what a rotten no-good, low-down, dirty, scumbag her boyfriend was, why that would be good too. The challenge was that one of Felicity’s talents was the ability to go unnoticed, so they would have to track her down by following the path of the temporal disturbances left in her wake.
So it was off to sunny Barstow California, where weird things were happening. But before everyone left, Magdalyne offered to make everyone a set of Trump Cards of the various group members, which where cards that would allow the holder to mentally communicate with the individual depicted on them. This was agreed to be a good idea, but Lilah did arrange for a special…pose… for Jasper in her set before Magdalyne left for a fast time area to complete her work in a timely manner. Lenneth and Peppermint preferred there own means of transport, while the rest traveled in a private jet provided by Clair.
Once in Barstow, they discovered it had been transformed back to the 1970’s. Any people that were alive during this time period were returned to their state at that time, even those that had since died. This was what was pulling souls away from the various underworlds. For those that were still there at the time of the reset, they were transformed back to their previous state, their memories erased. For those that where there then, but living somewhere else now, duplicates were created. All of these things were deemed bad, and Our Heroes set off to find the origin point of the anomaly.
Find it they did. It appears that Lars and Felicity had been sharing a romantic picnic just outside of Barstow, and Lilah, Goddess of Passion, was able to sense that all this had resulted from Felicity trying to allow them to “stay in the moment” at Lars’ suggestion. Even as they concluded their investigation into the area, A Nazi-biker-gang of returned souls arrived to terminate anyone who might be following Lars. Dessy summoned her puppy (he’s only the size of a horse after all, it’ll be a while until he reaches daddy Cerberus’ size,) Guiest. Mind the three heads folks. Together, Guiest and Lenneth charged the incoming motorcycle gang, bullets pinning off them uselessly as they streaked at their incoming victims. Lenneth got to them first, several died. Guiest arrived soon after, and more were returned to the underworld. Lilah turned the passion of half a dozen of them to despair, and they rode off into the sunset to go be depressed. Jasper shot guns out of hands, and Dessy, Goddess of Decay, caused the tires on several of them to deteriorate and fall apart, wrecking several of them. However, she caught a bullet in her shoulder for her trouble. It hurt. A lot. This angered her, so she told one to die, and he did. However, she was still seriously wounded, and was forced to call Guiest back to guard her. Lenneth was fed up at this point, so she did a mach four flyby over the group, slicing down their ranks with her Halberd, snagging their leader of his bike even as she left a sonic boom in her wake as a parting gift for those still on their bikes. Approximately six survived this on their bikes. Three more were quickly picked off, the remaining three headed for Lilah, who appeared to be a soft target.
Lenneth landed near her to assist, but she was having problems of her own. It seemed that the leader, who she was trying to save for interrogation, was not human and dark and painful magic was spreading up the hand she had grasped him with and into her arm. Dropping him and breaking contact didn’t stop it, so she hit him in the face. It knocked out the caster, but didn’t stop the spell’s progression. So she hit his face again, smashing his head to pulp, but still the spell didn’t stop. This was upsetting to Lenneth.
Realizing the peril facing Lilah, Magdalyne, who had wisely stayed back, used her Trump of Lilah to pull her out of the way of the three incoming bikers. Cheated of their prey, with only the horrible flying chick that had taken out over half their number in a single swoop standing before them looking really pissed, they chose to flee for their lives. They were permitted to do so. Jasper rendered first aid to several of the surviving bikers so they would remain as surviving bikers. Realizing that the spell on her was one of rot, Lenneth went to see Dessy, who was able to reverse it. After seeing to Dessy’s wound, Lilah decided to interrogate one of the lightly wounded individuals while Jasper was distracted with his triage. Straddling the hapless fellow, Lilah kept his “attention” on her even as she “pumped” him for information. When she had all she wanted from him, she took her true form as a demoness, tore his throat out with her teeth, and consumed his soul. Lenneth though the teeth thing was a little disgusting, preferring a blade for such work.
One of the other surviving returned souls also turned out to be something other than human, and after Jasper’s first aid treatment, he was put to question. He didn’t have enough information to answer all of the questions asked him (the leader might have, but Lenneth hadn’t been able to think of any other way to stop his magic at the time), but he knew enough for them to form a basic theory. It seemed to Our Heroes that Lars was trying to trick Felicity to resetting the time back to 1942, to a stellar alignment that would allow him to summon some island where he could resurrect some really nasty ancient dead deities so they could do nasty horrible things to everyone and everything. This was bad. Jasper insisted that the survivors be allowed to be so, and that they be turned into the proper authorities to be processed back into the underworld, rather than sent there directly by the group right away. The others yielded to him on this. There was also a dispute on whether or not Peppermint should return the town to normal, as this would have the effect of “killing” the several duplicate people that had been created in the process. After a bit of indecisive debate, it was decided to leave the fate of Barstow in the hands of The Warden Gods, and to continue tracking Lars and his wayward girlfriend…
…After a night on the town of course. While Peppermint crunched data to pinpoint a trail, the rest of the group crashed a bar, and with the help of Lilah and Jasper even the normally shy Dessy and Magdalyne got into the spirit of the party. Lenneth, Dessy, and their dates had an extra special time, but Magdalyne chose moderation. As did Jasper, leaving Lilah to take a cold shower.
The next morning, Peppermint was bullied into introducing her “mode of transportation,” her Tardis, The Pandora, which revealed her as a Time Lord. Peppermint initially wanted to just use The Pandora to just jump to the next temporal anomaly, but it was quickly realized that their quarry was actively shifting through different layers of time, and even with Peppermint’s nifty gadgets and excellent math skills it would still be all too easy to miss Lars and Felicity. The only sure way to catch up to them was to physically follow their wake. This meant a road trip to Salt Lake City. The supersonic Lenneth groaned at being condemned to the slow crawl of ground transportation….
That’s all for today folks!!! But don’t worry, our heroes’ adventures will continue. Will Lenneth escape terminal boredom? Will Lilah get into Jasper’s pants? Will Desdemona be able to find suitable chew toys for Guiest outside of battle? Will Jasper escape Lilah’s clutches, or does he even want to? Will Magdalyne get used to the amorous escapades of her traveling companions? Will Peppermint succeed in tracking down Lars & Felicity the Younger? Will anyone take Lenneth’s suggestion to ask the super-grade-tracking-device-bird for assistance? Will I ever stop asking “Will?” For the answers to these questions and more, tune in next time for:
|ROAD TRIP OF TEDIUM||or||HIGHWAY TO HELL|
...on: THE ORDER OF THE SILVER KEY!!!