Something was rotten in the heart of London. The senior mages could see that much. And when senior mages observe, delegation inevitably follows.
Moonjava and Basilica, two professors recently awakened to the darker world around them, were retained by Orias to attend to disturbed spirits at the Marble Arch. After some amount of sobering up and punk-shaming, they agreed and were off.
Taking a portal to the Arch, the intrepid duo almost immediately found the cause for the disturbed spirits in the form of a tear in the Gauntlet, the barrier dividing the real world from the world of shadows. After this discovery, and while debating courses of action, they were then witnesses to a murder. An unknown man – with whom they would later cross paths – shoved a boy into an oncoming train, drawing a flurry of attention from sprits of death in the vicinity.
This provoked two differing courses of action from our two heroes; with Moonjava attempting a sensible plan by attempting to teleport the boy out of harm’s way, and unfortunately failing by teleporting himself into an occupied train bathroom. Basilica in turn pursued a downright stupid plan by transitioning into the shadow world to confront the death spirits by himself, and found himself rewarded with some form of success when a werewolf intervened in the battle. The werewolf, who took the form of mild-mannered punk singer Julian Cope by day and a slavering vigilante by night, shared the goal of fixing the Gauntlet with the mages.
Basilica and Moonjava met up and returned to their underground Sanctum to recover and research the Gauntlet, with Moonjava discovering doing so would require exorcizing the spirits around the station. They were interrupted, however, by a messenger – one ‘Jeffrey Greenbanks’, a not-sexy vampire serving the Baroness of the Underground. Rent for their property was demanded and promised, in exchange for ‘Jeffrey’’s promise that he would return in a sexier form.
They returned to the Marble Arch, where they found waiting for them the unknown man from before – Johnny Rotten, another punk singer and a mortal Hunter – who was determined to slay those he deemed ‘witches’. He drew his sword, and between him and our heroes, a mighty battle was joined.
The said battle was very brief, exceedingly horrific, and involved a stray sword, the laws of gravity, and portals in ways portals were never meant to be used. Johnny ended up as jam smeared all over the floor and across the astonished Basilica and traumatised Moonjava. Julian joined them in the aftermath, and promised to bring a friend who could help with the tear. All Moonjava and Basilica had to do was to hold their ground until she arrived, and hold their ground they did; accounting for another materialising spirit before Julian’s friend – Lisa – arrived and negotiated with the spirits, including the station’s genius spirit.
The tear, it emerged, would be repaired in time and assisted by the station’s spirit. In return, the station was to never see Moonjava again, and was to receive five hundred pounds-worth of gold. Two successful heists from a jewellery store yielded the required amount, although the second ended with Basilica being arrested. Shenanigans with claimed legal authority, portals, and boobs were sufficient to get him free; and the duo could finally report their mission complete.
But what of the vampires, of the mysterious forces behind Johnny Rotten, and of Moonjava’s ill-advised promise to play the sitar in a band?
What of them? For now, our heroes rest easy, drunkenly, and complacent. What future calamities would have even the slightest risk of arising?
Next week, on ‘ASHES OF A FADING HOPE’…
“The bomb, you bastard! What’s the code for the BOMB?”
“No, Moonjava, I am your father.”
“OH GOD SPIDERS EVERYWHERE”
“Jeffrey? I…I’m pregnant. And you’re the father.”
“Punch the universe where it hurts, in three – two – ONE!”