Track Four: Light My Fire

Romantic Horror in the 1960s

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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:05 am

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"That's good," says Liz with a smile. "The police must have taken him to hospital after they arrested him. He'll be in a weakened state, and his powers won't be very strong until he's gotten more rest."
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby jp1885 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:42 pm

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While Liz works on Ember, Tony tries to keep Mary calm, by keeping her occupied.

"Why don't I help you pack?" he asks. "Plus I still need to pay you for these neckerchiefs."
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:47 pm

Not one to refuse payment, Mary counts the neckties and calculates the price due.

Meanwhile, during the process of finishing packing, it is obvious that Ember hears the Master calling to her, in some telepathic way, whenever she sets foot outside the circle.
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:55 pm

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"I think it's best that you stay in the circle as long as you can," says Liz to Ember. "We'll see what we can do to stop him from calling you. Perhaps the same ritual will set him free from his demons."
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:17 am

"Now how in blazes am I gonna get the child outta this triple-cursed town if she can't get out of that hex circle?" Mary Fletcher grows impatient and scruffs at the chalk with her shoe.
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby jp1885 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:09 am

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"Let's leave that to the expert, shall we?" Tony takes Mary by the arm and tries to gently but firmly lead her out of the storeroom.

"Let me buy you a coffee somewhere while Dr. North does her thing."

If Mary is compliant, he will indicate to Zara to keep an eye on things while Liz works. He will also try to palm Mary off onto the more affable Lew, so that he can return to provide assistance.
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:12 pm

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Zara will gopher for Liz if needed.
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby Starspawn338 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:44 pm

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"Indeed Mary. I surely sympathize with your plight but it's far better to have the girl here protected in the circle rather then fighting to get back to that cursed man." Lew chimes in. "And what if she starts the place on fire. The police will never let you leave if they think Ember is a budding arsonist. Far better to let my friends sort things out and get your daughter some permanent relief from this malady."

Lew will try to walk Mary out of the back room as they talk.
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:18 am

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"Well, it only lasts about an hour," says Liz. "That's not going to be long enough, though. The man responsible is all the way back in Venice. I could stay here and keep refreshing it every hour until my friends do something about him, but I may be needed there. If he is possessed by an evil spirit, this same ritual may free him from it, and I'm the only one here who knows how to do it."
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:37 am

After making this speech, Liz recalls that the so-called Master was taken to a local hospital after the incident in Inglewood. By this time, depending on his condition, he may still be there, or he may have been released, if the police don't connect him with the riots. In any case, it's not immediately obvious exactly where he is now. (Newspaper and television reports, which at least some of the investigators will have noticed, indicate that the affair is being treated just as a violent confrontation between pro- and anti-war demonstrators, with no mention of the Children of Light at all.)

Mary is led away, not without some grumbling, by the patient, reassuring Lew. They find a local coffee shop (not at all similar to the beatnik coffee houses that still exist in larger cities) where Mary, after several cups of strong, bitter brew, begins to bare her soul.

"I just don't know what to do with that gal," she admits. "Moved here and opened my shop to get her away from that pack of devil worshipers she got involved with back in Venice, only to have her run off with 'em again. The child scares me sometimes."

Meanwhile, Ember shows signs of obvious impatience with her confinement within the chalk circle.
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby jp1885 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:26 am

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Leaving Mary in Lew's capable hands, Tony heads back to the store. Seeing Ember's obvious impatience, but not wishing to disturb Liz's work, he decides it's high time he found out what happened to the Master.

He seeks out the store's phone and, pulling out the business card given to him by the detective, gives the guy a call.

"Hi, Detective? Tony Patchpole - we spoke recently regarding that missing kid. Well, we've found her - she's back with her mum, but she's suffering from some kind of delusion. Joined a cult by all accounts - I think they were something to do with those riots at the Forum and fire at the draft office."

"Their leader - blonde pyromaniac guy calling himself The Master - has some sort of hold over her. I left him cuffed to a post during the scuffle but I think he got taken to hospital. Could you do some digging and find out what happened to him? We might be looking at more weird Embalmer-type stuff here, so you need to be careful."
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:07 pm

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"I think I saw the spirit in the fire," Zara says to Liz. "Everything it touched burned hotter. But the master was already out by then, so I don't know if it's inside him or just talks to him."
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:32 am

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"I suspected there was an evil spirit that was the source of his power," says Liz. "That confirms it. If I can perform the protection ritual on the Master, that will cut him off from it. It might even set him free, if he was merely meddling with forces he did not understand rather than a willing servant of evil." She addresses Ember. "I understand that you're bored, but you've got to remain in the circle for as long as its protection lasts. After that, you'll need to rely on your mother to look after you. She really does love you. You must resist the urge to go to him or to start fires. I know you have a strong will, and that will help. In the meantime, maybe you just need something to do. Can I get you a book, or a toy? Is there anything else you can think of that you can tell us about the Master?"

Spoiler:
Charisma roll (17 + 3[Charming] = 20) to help Ember be patient:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d20:
4
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:15 am

jp1885 wrote:
Leaving Mary in Lew's capable hands, Tony heads back to the store. Seeing Ember's obvious impatience, but not wishing to disturb Liz's work, he decides it's high time he found out what happened to the Master.

He seeks out the store's phone and, pulling out the business card given to him by the detective, gives the guy a call.

"Hi, Detective? Tony Patchpole - we spoke recently regarding that missing kid. Well, we've found her - she's back with her mum, but she's suffering from some kind of delusion. Joined a cult by all accounts - I think they were something to do with those riots at the Forum and fire at the draft office."

"Their leader - blonde pyromaniac guy calling himself The Master - has some sort of hold over her. I left him cuffed to a post during the scuffle but I think he got taken to hospital. Could you do some digging and find out what happened to him? We might be looking at more weird Embalmer-type stuff here, so you need to be careful."


"I'll call in a couple of favors. I'll call ya back. Meanwhile, just sit tight."

Not too much later, the phone rings. It seems the Master was taken to the giant Los Angeles Medical Center, under tight security. The place is downtown, next to the University of Southern California medical school. One of the nation's biggest teaching hospitals.

"I can't find out too much," the detective adds, "but it seems they're studying him because there's something weird about his brain. The dope I got from one of the cops is that they won't press any charges against him as long as he co-operates. Got him locked up tight, no visitors."
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:31 am

Mr. Handy wrote:
"I suspected there was an evil spirit that was the source of his power," says Liz. "That confirms it. If I can perform the protection ritual on the Master, that will cut him off from it. It might even set him free, if he was merely meddling with forces he did not understand rather than a willing servant of evil." She addresses Ember. "I understand that you're bored, but you've got to remain in the circle for as long as its protection lasts. After that, you'll need to rely on your mother to look after you. She really does love you. You must resist the urge to go to him or to start fires. I know you have a strong will, and that will help. In the meantime, maybe you just need something to do. Can I get you a book, or a toy? Is there anything else you can think of that you can tell us about the Master?"


Somewhat mollified, Ember points to a pile of paperbacks in one corner of the room. They appear to be mostly science fiction novels.

"Get me the third one from the top," she says.

This proves to be something called The Fireclown, newly published in the USA, by one Michael Moorcock. A quick look suggests that the plot involves a future revolutionary using displays of fire as part of his efforts to overthrow the establishment.
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby jp1885 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:55 pm

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Hearing that the Master is behaving himself, Tony sighs wth relief.

"That's good news Detective, thanks for letting me know. Listen, this may sound freaky, but the dude can create fire from his bare hands, so be prepared for trouble."

He tries to remember how Liz drew the circle around Ember, so that he can ask the Detective to do one, but alas his memory fails him.

Spoiler:
jp1885 rolled 1d20:
17
Spoiler:
jp1885 rolled 1d100:
25
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:17 pm

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Liz retrieves the book and hands it to Ember with a smile. "I love science fiction too," she says. "I grew up on it, and it inspired me to become a scientist. I've not read this one yet, but it sounds fascinating."
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:42 am

Tony's effort to relate the instructions on creating the protective circle to the detective are of no avail. It seems that it's not enough to have "book learning," so to speak; one simply has to have the knack for it, as Liz does.

Things seem to quiet down for a while, as Ember settles down with the well-thumbed paperback. After a while, the unmistakable scent of smoke fills the room, although there is no apparent source for it. Ember seems oblivious to it, and there is no visible sign of smoke nor of flame. Not right away, at least; then, almost like a mirage, a blurred, half-seen, translucent, ash-gray shape appears in mid-air. It's very hard to make out its exact form; looking at it directly seems to make it fade into a shapeless smudge. Seen from the corner of one's eye, it resembles a blob-like mass with multiple limbs or tentacles protruding in all directions, wriggling back and forth, growing shorter or longer, apparently at random. Most of these appear to be reaching for Ember, but they are unable to penetrate the area above the protective circle. As time goes by, its movements grow more agitated, and the scent of smoke grows stronger.
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby jp1885 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:41 am

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The scent of smoke brings Tony back to the storeroom. Alarmed by what he sees, he looks around for a fire extinguisher; figuring that the entity is fire-based.
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Re: Track Four: Light My Fire

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:31 pm

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Liz stays in the circle with Ember for now, though she knows that if the shop catches fire they will be forced to leave. She racks her brain trying to think of what she might know of this being and its weaknesses.

Spoiler:
Intelligence roll (14 + 1[Esoteric Knowledge] = 15):
Mr. Handy rolled 1d20:
1
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