(ACT NOTE: So that we don't lose the posts and if you're wanting to do the proverbial "so you meet in a bar..." or exercise some background stuff, this is the Act for you. I'm still writing up initial starting points in the sandbox [and this is a sandbox setting] and won't be ready with Act 1 until Monday/Tuesday. Enjoy!)
Location - Chicago, Illinois, US. Date - (Prior to) January 2nd, 2012.
It is today, modern day Chicago, reeling from the economic downturn that has gotten nastier. Corporations have more control locally and nationally thanks to the changes in economic power and politics. The climate has grown crazier. Things just seem “on the edge.”
What the world doesn’t know is that there is a lot more attention and knowledge of the Underworld - a shadow realm just on the other side of the mirror, or just out of sight of the corner of your eye. A realm that is seeking to reassert its old power in the world, much as it has always done in Dark Times. A place where sick individuals, evil corporations, corrupt politicians or just those seeking wealth and adventure may go.
Last Edit: Dec 4, 2010 8:18:30 GMT -6 by chicagowiz
D&D Game referee. Running a solo game for @theprincesswife. Running a D&D campaign (AD&D-lite-ish-kinda-houseruled) both online and tabletop.
Lark looked through the blinds of his grimy motel room. 3:24am, the parking lot quiet. He was glad he'd found this motel, fleabag as it was. He'd shoved a few crumpled bills at the bleary eyed clerk and signed in. Caroline was gonna be pissed when she learns he'd emptied out the bank account—all $180.
Kankakee, about sixty miles from Chicago, his body tired, but mind racing. Lark just had to get out. They'd wonder about him, probably thinking he'd dropped the truck into the strip mine...Lark had to laugh. There was nothing left to go back for, except Caroline. Maybe she'd believe him someday.
What the hell was going on? Something was pulling him northward.
Post by davidbrawley on Dec 4, 2010 9:35:00 GMT -6
12/29/11 O'Hare Airport
Rabbi Asa olmert stood waiting for his suitcase to finally make it's appearance at the baggage retrieval. Outside it was cold and gray. "If God has a sense of humor, it's got a dark side." He thought to himself. "New Year in the New World"
A few minutes later he was in a cab. "Please take me to the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies on Michigan avenue."
"New student?" the driver asked.
"I come to teach" Asa replies. "I expect to learn too."
Chicchan woke up with a start and sat up in bed. He reached over and turned on the small lamp on the nightstand. He rubbed his eyes a few times to get the sleep out and blindly reached for the pad of paper and pencil the motel maid had conveniently left by the lamp.
While the image was still vivid in his mind, he drew. First a line across the page, dividing the bottom third from the top. Above the line he placed a few smaller squares and rectangles. On the left side of the pad, above the smaller shapes, he drew an elongate three-tiered temple with two poles at the top of it; it was a much taller shape than the others. To the right of this shape, closer to the other edge of the paper, he drew a rectangle that was taller than most, but only half as tall as the temple. On this rectangle, he scribbled the word, "red".
"What the hell is that," he thought to himself.
Later that morning, sitting at the counter of a Bob Evans with his rucksack at his feet, he ate a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, and black coffee. While he was eating, he stared at the drawing he'd made, wondering where he needed to go next. The vision had changed last night. Before, he'd only been left with the urge to travel north - that got him as far as Springfield, Missouri. This was obviously something different, but what, he couldn't tell.
Lost in his thoughts, he almost didn't hear the guy next to him asking a question.
"Huh," he said, looking over at the man at the stool next to him. He was a portly man, a little rough around the edges in a cheap ill-fitting suit, though his face looked kind enough. He smiled like a salesman, which didn't end up being far from the truth.
"I asked if you were going to Chicago," the guy repeated.
"Ummm... not sure where I'm going yet," he replied. After a pause, he asked, "Why do you think I'm going to Chicago?"
"Your drawing there. That's the Sears tower, innit?" he asked as he pointed at the temple. "Though some f**kin' English guy says we gotta call it the 'Willis' tower now. Ain't that some nuts? Only in America do we have someone from another country changing the names of our buildings. At least they still call it Wrigley Field, right? Well, for now, anyway. The economy the way it is, bound to get bought out sooner or later and then we'll all be taking our kids to see the Cubs at British Petrolium Field or BBC Stadium." He paused for a beat and then chuckled, "Or Inbev Park - wouldn't THAT be some ironic nuts? f**king Cardinals..." he stops and looks around. "Sorry," he continued in a whisper, "I forgot I'm not at home; can't talk like that here is Missouri."
"But how do you know that's Chicago," Chicchan asked.
"Because I've lived there my whole life," the man answered. "Well, a suburb of it, anyway. Nobody can f**king afford to live in the city anymore but all of those big-business yuppies in their million dollar lofts. Us lowly salesmen gotta live out in the 'burbs."
"But that's the Chicago sky line you've drawn there. And that is the CNA Center," he added, pointing to the rectangle with the word 'red' written on it. "I work about a block away from it. Gotta be there tomorrow morning, in fact..."
Chicchan's interest was suddenly peaked. "You're sure this is Chicago? And you're headed there today?"
"Yeah," the guy said. "I was down here in BFE Missouri for a regional sales meeting, but I'm heading back up this morning."
"I thought we were in Springfield," Chicchan said, a quizzical look on his face.
"Yeah, that's what I said - BFE," the guy answered.
Chicchan still didn't understand, but he didn't really care. He didn't understand a lot of things these days, like where he was going or why. Apparently his vision was taking him north, to Chicago. And the spirits had even provided him with transportation!
He put a few dollars down on the counter to cover the bill, shouldered his rucksack, and asked, "Can I hitch a ride?"
Last Edit: Dec 4, 2010 23:18:47 GMT -6 by ehiker133
Something is going down in Chicago. I think the straights have f**ked their world up beyond repair. People are in despair and are with little hope. The darkens below are paying attention. The barrier is getting thin. These will be interesting times. Maybe an opportunity for glory like in the days long past. Where there is glory, there is blood. And the blood must spill, a debt always to be paid. Better theirs than mine. I don't have much, but I have enough. I have my father's axe. Time to get to work.
After a long car ride, made longer still by the obviously wild stories he had to endure, Chicchan arrived in Chicago. But he wasn't really sure where to go from there... he felt like he should be in an active part of the city, like he should be in a crowd.
"The buildings I saw in my vision were downtown, anyway," he thought to himself. And then more loudly, he asked, "Can you take me to downtown? Someplace to eat? I'll make my way from there."
"Sure, buddy. One of my favorite places is Miller's Pub, down on Wabash - I'll take ya there."
Chicchan grabbed his rucksack as he climbed out of the car in front of the restaurant. "Thanks for the lift," he said and the guy drove away.
He went inside and got seated at a small booth with a green vinyl seat. The waitress came over and took his order, leaving him with a glass of water.
And there he waited, feeling he was in the right place - that whatever was going to happen to him this evening was probably going to happen here.
Post by davidbrawley on Dec 9, 2010 21:33:49 GMT -6
"I'll tell you Asa, it isn't kosher, but Millers Pub up on Wabash has the best prime rib." The elder Rabbi suggested.
"And which way is that?"
"Oh, head that-a-way about 6 blocks, up on the left."
A short cold walk later the Rabbi entered the pub. Signed photos and old oil paintings covered the walls, and the smell of delicious food filled the air. The greeter welcomed him, and escourted him to a small booth. Asa removed his overcoat, and settled down into his seat.
"The prime rib comes highly recommended." Asa said to the waiter.
"And how would you like that?"
"And to drink?"
"Whatever you think will go well with the rib."
A scruffy looking man with a rucksack caught his eye. He clearly wasn't from around here, but then neither was Asa.
Lark's vison blurred a little as he pulled off the interstate. The letters on the large green sign seem to swim in front of him. Always was that way when he was tired. Lark never was one to take to the books. Early on, his teachers gave him the green light...just passing him on. Lark kept quiet and stayed on the fringe of the classroom. That's what it felt like to Lark right now...being on the fringe.
As a child, he made the mistake of telling his friends that he somethimes saw things on the edge of his vision. When he turned his head, the figures were gone. He never really was scared by this, but wished he hadn't mentioned it...
Lark beat on the dash, d**n heater was acting up again. He pointed the old pickup towards downtown Chicago. Finding a busted meter, Lark pulled in. He locked it, hoping the battered condition of the truck would discourage anyone from snooping behind his seat where his 870 lay. That shotgun was probably worth more than the truck. Lark felt a little uneasy as he drew up his collar and stumbled off into the fringe of the evening.
Post by Koren n'Rhys on Dec 10, 2010 23:27:02 GMT -6
Sam pushed himself back from the table where he was studying and rubbed his eyes. He glanced at the clock on the wall and wasn't surprised to see he'd been hunched over the same book for almost 6 hours. That seemed to happen to him more often than not. As was usually the case, it was his stomach which dragged him away from his research.
Seeing that the archives would be closing soon anyway, he returned the books to their carrels and tidied up his notes in the same fastidious way he always did. The mark of a good historian is his attention to detail - Dr. Harrison had drilled that into him very early on. Heading for the exit, he stopped at the desk to ask where he might find some decent barbecue - he had a wicked craving for ribs and decided it would make a nice change from the same old deli food he'd been living on lately. The docent clued him in to a place not too far from the Museum Campus up South Michigan St.
The walk up to Miller's Pub took longer than Sam expected - that old lady must have decided he needed the exercise. Still, it was a beautiful evening despite the cold and he hadn't minded. As soon as he walked through the doors, he had the oddest sense that he'd been here before... or, needed to be here? He tried to shrug it off, but couldn't shake the feeling. Settling at the bar while he waited for a table, Sam ordered a beer and looked around. Maybe something would jump out at him and quiet that little voice that was nagging him.
Lark shuddered with a chill. An icy wind blew him down the street. But Lark stopped to look behind him, not sure whether the reaction was from the temperature or from the memory that haunted him. He scanned the steet. Nothing more than the bustle of the city. Folks here were still moving around, quite different than the small town he thought he'd never leave.
Lark felt in his pocket for the crumpled newspaper article he had saved. Not much information there, but it was all he had to go on. An article in the Tribune about a young college student who was wandering in some place called Robinson Woods. Lark hands trembled when he read that the man had claimed to see something quite beyond explanation...something strangely similar to Lark's own encounter. Unfortunately for the young man, he fell into a catatonic state for several weeks. Lark wished the same had happened to him, that way maybe he wouldn't reach for the Southern Comfort when he woke every morning.
How hard could it be to find this guy? Someone would know about him at the University campus. If Lark had no luck there, he'd try poking around Robinson Woods himself...but for now, his stomach told him a burger was the most pressing thing. As if on cue, a sign flickered ahead of him, "Miller's Pub" It looked a little upscale from the dives he normally frequented. Lark hoped they didn't have a dress code.
While sipping his water and waiting for his order to arrive, Chicchan overhears a conversation in the booth behind him - two young women talking about heading over to the Red Lion Pub at the intersection of Lincoln and Fullerton to check out the haunted tunnels underneath.
Chicchan shakes his head at the idea of "having fun" checking out portals to the underground. When their conversation gets interrupted by a phone call, he turns to the one who isn't on the phone and tries to warn them off such an adventure.
The conversation goes poorly and the two women get up and leave, casting wary gazes at Chicchan as they do so.
He shakes his head again, wondering if young American women TRY to fit stereotypical images or if it truly isn't a stereotype!
He catches the eye of a Rabi an shrugs his shoulders while smirking.