Unreal City

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Unreal City

Postby Findtherma » November 8th, 2006, 12:36 pm

This is a transcript of my Mage: the Awakening game that I’m running for wizzard, Lars Gimletscousin and devilgirl5859. We meet once a week on a Sunday to play. This transcript represents 5 roleplaying sessions. It is the first story in my ongoing Reign of the Exarchs chronicle. If it is received well over here then I’ll post the remaining stories in the chronicle as we finish them.

Mage: The Awakening takes place in “the new World of Darkness”.

For more information about Mage: The Awakening go here:


and here:


For more information about “The World of Darkness” go here:


and here:


For all of White Wolf’s games go here:


Here are some words you might not be familiar with and their meanings:

Kindred = Vampire

Uratha = Werewolf

Awakened = Mage

Sleeper = A human who is completely unaware of the existence of magic.

Sleepwalker = A human who is not a mage but does know that magic exists and who also doesn’t cause Paradox or Disbelief

Paradox = The universe undoing the spell of a mage can sometimes have strange and unwanted affects, usually caused when casting magic in front of a Sleeper

Disbelief = When spells are cast in front of Sleepers there own disbelief can unravel the spell

The Consilium = The governing body of Mages in the city

The Shadow = The Spirit World

Gauntlet = The metaphysical wall that separates the physical world from the Shadow.

Verge = A place where the Gauntlet has severely weakened, allowing the Shadow to invade the physical world

Twilight = The sate of being both invisible and intangible. Usually ghosts, and sometimes spirits are in this state.

Resonance = The magical fingerprint let by everything and everyone, each resonance is unique and has an effect on it’s surroundings.

The game takes place in Chicago where the Consilium is mostly run by the Guardians of the Veil, an ancient Order of Mages who’s purpose is to keep all things magical and supernatural a secret from sleepers.

If you have any comments, the please post the on the Comments thread which I’ll be making shortly.

Here are the player characters. The players wrote these descriptions and backgrounds themselves.
Last edited by Findtherma on November 12th, 2006, 1:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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James Callis

Postby Findtherma » November 8th, 2006, 12:36 pm

Player: wizzard
Shadow Name: James Callis
Order: Silver Ladder
Background: Born 17th August 1975 in London, England, his father (Ian) was a train driver and mother (Betty) was a factory worker. From the age of 3 or 4 was fascinated with science fiction TV series.

Only child. Attended school in London.

1992: Began studying Physics at Oxford.

1993: Switched course and department to Software Analysis and Engineering in the Computation department.

1996: Achieved a first in a BSc. Began assisting first and second year students as a postgraduate

1997: Achieved a first in an MSc. Began postgraduate research work.

1998: Lost contact with parents.

2000: Began lecturing at Oxford as well as continuing research work.

2002: Left the UK after attaining a first in with glowing references from several members of staff at Oxford to take a position as a lecturer in the Computation department at the University of Cleveland.

2004: Discovered he was a Sleepwalker after witnessing a set of Free Council mages defending themselves against an attack from a malicious spirit. Free Council took him in as a Sleepwalker and as part of an experiment to try to intentionally trigger Awakenings by training and teaching.

2005: Helped the Free Council with security systems and protocols for large scale spells and defence systems in Cleveland *before* awakening. One of the sole survivors of the Cleveland disaster.

Known within Mage society for his advanced knowledge (for a sleepwalker) before he even awoke fully.
Character: Known for being very intelligent. Quite handsome. Suave and sociable although he can often become absorbed in something that interests him and spend a lot of time by himself. British accent.
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Don Lockwood

Postby Findtherma » November 8th, 2006, 12:37 pm

Player: Lars Gimletscousin
Shadow Name: Don Lockwood
Order:Guardians of the Veil


Don was born in the Bronx in ‘Bronx Municipal Hospital’ Don’s mum died when she was giving birth to him, so he never knew her. Don has a father and 1 brother called Sam who is 2 years older than him. Don never really talks to either of them, they both live in New York.
Don went to ‘Rafael Hernandez School’ He never really made any friends there, in the school itself. Don went to Fordham University also in the Bronx, where he joined the ROTC, ‘the Reserve Officers Training Corps’. He made a couple of friends at the uni… called Thomas Anderson and Henry splitter.
Don went on to work as a security guard for a bank after leaving Uni. He moved over to Chicago when he got married, his wife’s name is Michelle, Don met her when working in the bank, and she was a cashier there.
Michelle Left Don for another man when he was 33 years old.
Don found an Ad for a mystical worker and when he made contact, she said she was able to get his wife back for him.


It all happened when Don went to see the mystical to get his wife back. He entered her house after showing her a photo of his ex-wife, She showed Don into the kitchen where he waited for a couple of minutes. Don watched as the mystical worker started chanting and moving her hands about, after about a minute, Don tried to stop her, but got thrown back against the wall and wasn’t able to move.
Don saw what seemed to be as if the mystical worker’s hands were being forced apart, after about 30 seconds, he noticed some people that weren’t there before, a couple who were obviously brother and sister, after about another 30 seconds, after trying to ask the group what was happening, Don no longer found himself in the flat, but found himself as a lion in a forest being surrounded and watched by all animals including some that shouldn’t even be there.
Don found himself hunting a gazelle as prey. After ripping the prey apart, he found himself back as a human; there was a pool next to where Don had dragged the gazelle so he tried to clean his hands, but it stayed on his hands.
Don then noticed a path to the tower of the stone book, after walking down the path and exchanging words with an owl, Don entered the tower. After managing to clean his hands with the help of a magical wall (including writing his name), Don returned to normal in the apartment of the mystical worker.
After years of training and electrifying moments with spirits, Don got accepted into the Guardians of the Veil.


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Postby Findtherma » November 8th, 2006, 12:37 pm

Player: devilgirl5859
Shadow Name: Mia


Mia was born in Manhattan on Sep 9 1974. She is an archaeology professor at University of Chicago and has her own published book. She is shy, keeps to herself and likes others to do the talking rather than her. She is also very brainy loves going on Archaeological digs in the desert. Mia had a bad childhood, she was left outside an orphanage when she was little and spent her older years at a foster home with a couple called Sue and Mark Crater in Manhattan before moving to Chicago to study Archaeology at University of Chicago. As a child the only place she was particularly was at school and then in Chicago where she found her freedom.


Mia was on an archaeological dig when she excavated a church that was buried during the crusades in Africa. She took a religious liaison, who called himself Malkuth, and three workers down into the church with her. At the door to the church they came across a strange symbol. As they walked toward the alter they saw that the big cross was hanging upside down above the alter. Soon after she found a hidden chamber in the floor so she tied a rope round her waist, gave it to Malkuth , took one of the workers and climbed down in to the chamber. When she got down there, she found a statue of a demon with wings, then the statue's eyes started to glow and the worker she was with started to attack her as if he was possessed by the demon. then suddenly Malkuth came down the steps with a bible. A beam of light that seemed to have come from the bible hit the demon. At that point Mia felt as though she had left her body and found herself in the realm of Pandemonium. after following the Path of Nightmares, she found herself at the Tower of the Iron Gauntlet. When she Awakened she saw that she was back in the chamber, she found that Malkuth had destroyed the statue. She then went back to Chicago where he initiated her into the order of the Mysterium.


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Postby Findtherma » November 8th, 2006, 12:38 pm

Three Mages, who go by the Shadow Names of Don Lockwood, James Callis and Mia decided to meet at the Abattoir to form a cabal.

Located in Old Town among several other mid-to-high-end dance and performance clubs, the Abattoir serves as the home of one of Chicago’s most diverse and important cabals, taking its name from the club. The unique atmosphere of the of the speciality club and its official policy of tolerance gives it a resonance that imbues all who enter with a sense of peace and a tendency toward non-violence. Many supernaturals other than Mages congregate here and the Abattoir has become a frequent meeting ground for small groups wishing to resolve problems in an area of neutrality and pacification.

The club is a bizarre carnival of sensory showmanship. Renovated from the remains of a closed movie theatre, the interior is decorated in black, red and white striped circus patterns. Through what used to be a lobby are several small lounge areas with plush seating and subdued lighting, and everything is kept surprisingly clean. The air always smells like cotton candy, popcorn and a hint of fuel from the numerous performances that require fire. A main bar lines the back wall, where 30 years ago, concessions were sold instead of cocktails. Where there used to be seats, there is a gently downward sloping dance floor ending at the foot of a wide stage that was installed to accommodate performances. Along the sides of the dance floor are raised round platforms where scantily clad dancers can writhe seductively or perform exotic acts of contortion. The theatre was huge for its time, and there’s a VIP area in the back with several rooms providing more privacy and special treatments for those on the “A-List.”


When the three Mages arrived they noticed an unusual tension in the air, especially for the Abattoir, which normally has such an air of calm.

The barman, Sam, informed them that a meeting was going on between vampires and werewolves in the VIP area, and the Abattoir cabal was not in today.

After ordering their drinks, they sat down in a booth and discussed their objectives. After a long and productive discussion they had formed the Elementals cabal.

We, the Elementals, vow to create harmony between the different orders, to uncover secret knowlege and unlock hidden resources of power. To Protect the mysteries.

This in order to strengthen ties and unite all the orders of the Pentacle, under a common banner.

So say we all.


Suddenly they heard a commotion coming from the back. James got up to investigate just as a Uratha in its man-wolf form came bursting out of the back room, followed by a Kindred moving much faster than the human eye could follow. The werewolf trampled on one of the customers as it ran out of the club, the vampire following it.


The rest of the vampires and werewolves, still in their human forms, came out of the backroom. The two leaders looking really annoyed at the current circumstances.

James decided to go and talk to them, while Don went to chase the frenzying Kindred and the Uratha in Death Rage. Mia went to help the injured customer.

James, acting a lot braver than he felt demanded to know what was going on. After ascertaining that he was a mage, the two leaders informed him that negotiations had broken down when tempers suddenly flared. James then attempted to calm the crowd down, with a combination of his charming personality and a dose of mind magic. The Kindred introduced himself as Norris, and the werewolf told James to call him Shuck.

Mia, in the meanwhile had bandaged the injured man's wounds which prevented him from bleeding to death.

Don, trying to run after a vampire using his supernatural ‘celerity’ and a werewolf which is naturally fast realised he'd never catch up to them mundanely. First he cast a "Bones of Steel" rote on himself, realising he would probably come into combat, then cast a spell to run much faster. Eventually he caught up to them at Millennium Park. What he saw there was the vampire and werewolf about to pounce each other. But that’s not all he saw. Hovering above them was a huge malevolent spirit of rage, which was transmitting its anger to everyone in the area, including Don.


Mia at this point decided it was safe to call the paramedics as the Sleepers agreed that nothing strange happened except that some kind of big dog attacked someone.

James went round the back of the club and smashed in a window to make it look like the dog had come in that way.

Don gave James a ring on his Cell phone.

"Millennium Park!" Was all he said, and then hung up.

James, confused rang him back.

"Millennium Park!" Said Don, and hung up again.

The vampire and werewolf, having heard the phone ring, turned to face Don losing interest in each other. The two predators began to slowly move towards Don. Don tried threatening them with his revolver, and was disheartened when this had no affect.

Don not really himself due to the overwhelming anger he felt cast a vulgar spell to defend himself. Calling down the electricity from power lines overhead and electrocuting the werewolf and vampire. Although severely damaging them this only succeeded in making them angrier.

James opened a scrying window to Millennium Park and saw what was happening. After which he cast a Mind spell through the "window" to shut down the vampire and the werewolf's mind and put them to sleep. This seemed to visibly weaken the anger spirit, as it became more transparent.

James rang Mia told her to meet him out front of the club. She then drove them to Millennium Park.


Don in the meantime had been trying to communicate with the Spirit, unsuccessfully. When Mia and James arrived in the park they found themselves filled with rage. All three mages started arguing with each other. The spirit then became far more opaque. James tried attacking it with his pocket-knife, but just ended up waving it around in the air.

Don still angry and not thinking about the affects on his cabal called more electricity from the power lines. Although severely damaging the Spirit it also electrocuted James and Mia, James falling unconscious leaving Mia to get him out of the line of fire.

Don then began shooting his revolver at the Spirit, which hurt it enough to force it back into twilight and then across the Gauntlet.

A couple of hours later James came to in hospital, with Mia and Don there. Norris and Shuck turned up to express their thanks. Norris informed James that he owes him a favour, and Shuck also said "The Whispers Pack pays back their debts."

Norris also offered to heal James, which James turned down wanting to save his favour for another day.

After some healing time in hospital, the cabal created their sanctum at Torchwood House in Norridge.

This looks like the beginning of a beautiful.......... something.
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Unreal City 1 (A Heap of broken Images Part 1)

Postby Findtherma » November 8th, 2006, 12:39 pm


It is the thirteenth of the month and the Consilium is having its monthly meeting. All the cabals in Chicago are invited to this meeting as the Consilium are renewing their charter. The Consilium also officially recognised the Elementals as a cabal of Chicago.


After some hard politicking, a charter was created. Libra, the Mysterium Councillor and an Acanthus cast a divination spell over the new charter. She suddenly went very pale and looked up at the new cabal. Then she marked the charter with the symbol of Death before it was locked away. Everyone in the Consilium was murmuring and looking at the Elementals.


As everyone was leaving for their sanctums, Altus Vulcanis, the Silver Ladder Councillor and James' old mentor approached the cabal.

"Well!" He said.

"That was certainly interesting. I guess everyone in the Consilium is going to remember you now."

Suddenly all the mages stopped in their tracks as they all "felt" a kind of metaphorical thunderclap. Everyone’s magic sense is going crazy.

"What was that?" James asked Altus Vulcanis.

"I don't know,” said Altus. "But this is a good opportunity for you to prove yourselves to the Consilium."

He told them to find out what just happened. He suggested trying to find any supernatural activity since the "thunder clap" and see if it’s related.

Don sent his familiar, an owl spirit, to fly round the city to see if it could find anything out or see anything. James cast Supernal Vision to see if he could track any unusual magical resonance, only to find that the entire city's resonance had changed.

The cabal went back to their sanctum and try from there. James cast a spell to try find the source of the change in resonance. The spell led him to the Kinzie Bridge opposite Wolf Point, where the Chicago River forks just north of the Loop. He then asked Mia to drive him down there.

Don stayed behind to check the news pages on the Internet to see if he could find anything unusual. The only thing he could find was that the basement of the Nile Restaurant in Hyde Park had flooded. He rang James to let him know who informed him that it might just be a burst water pipe.

James and Mia in the meantime had arrived at the bridge. They pulled over at the side of the road to see if they could find anything. James cast Supernal Vision, which told him that there was something directly below the bridge. So they decided to hire a boat to check it out.


Don decided to pay the Nile restaurant a visit anyway. When he arrived it was closed with most of the staff hanging around outside. He asked a staff member what was happening, who told him that the basement had flooded and the restaurant would be closed until further notice. He also informed him that there was no burst water pipe or any other obvious reason for the flooding. Don then decided to go meet James and Mia.

Mia and James were speeding along the Chicago River in a speedboat. As they approached the bridge they noticed that the boat was picking up speed. James turned the engine off, but the boat continued travelling forward. He switched the engine back on and turned the boat around to travel away from the bridge. Mia spotted that there was a whirlpool right beneath the bridge and that's what was pulling them forward. James cast Spatial Awareness and saw that space around that area was warped. Mia cast Second Sight and saw that the Gauntlet was severely weakened here, in fact there was a gaping hole in it, as though something had torn its way through. They went back to meet Don at Kinzie Bridge and exchanged information. James decided that it might be a good idea to call in that favour with the Whispers werewolf pack, as he knew that the werewolves are experts in the Gauntlet and all things Spirit. He knew where they were usually seen, but he also knew that they were a nocturnal pack, so they'd have to wait a few hours.


Don's familiar chose that moment to return and told them what it saw.

- The glass-and-steel Federal Plaza on the corner of dearborn and Jackson is echoing the sound of piano music. The song is the Overture to Verdi's Aida.

- Ghostly images of demolished buildings shimmer in the skies over their sites, especially at the Northeast corner of State and Randolph.

- Similarly, the heat-shimmer of great fires rises over Jackson Park, though there is no fire.

The cabal headed back to their sanctum to try find out any more information. They marked all the sites they knew about on a map of Chicago, to see if there is any discernible pattern. They couldn't see any. They then hit the Internet to find out more information. James found some useless information about Verdi's Aida and Don found nothing about the Northeast corner of State and Randolph.

Mia travelled to Jackson Park to see the heat shimmers for herself. There was nothing else unusual there.


The Elementals have uncovered allot of questions and so far no answers.
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Unreal City 1 (A Heap of broken Images Part 2)

Postby Findtherma » November 8th, 2006, 12:40 pm


After having witnessed the heat shimmers for herself, Mia decided it was getting late and returned to the Sanctum.

James had decided it was his turn to make supper. Although not a very good cook there were not many complaints about his spaghetti with cheese and tomato sauce. Although Don mentioned something about him cooking in future.

Mia informed the others that she had seen the "big shimmering, shiny thing" for her self. But could not discover what was causing it.

After supper, James decided that it was late enough to seek out the Whispers pack. So Mia drove him to Magnificent Mile, the shopping area in north downtown where the Whispers have been known to frequent.

Using Supernal Vision, James finally found a werewolf, and informed them about the rip in the Gauntlet. The werewolf informed them that they would handle it.

Don decided to pay a visit to the Federal Plaza on the corner of Dearborn and Jackson, to hear the strange piano music. The plaza was closed at this time of night so he sent his familiar inside to have a look around. Neither of them could find anything unusual, apart from the music itself.


It was late, so the Cabal returned home to get some sleep.

The next morning the mages all woke up at different times, got dressed and had breakfast.

Just before noon, they received an unexpected visitor. His clothing was unremarkable, resembling garb worn by autumnal commuters in the cooler climbs of northern Europe or the American East Coast. Gaunt and unkempt, he had obviously fallen upon hard times. And Woe to anyone caught downwind of him. His only possessions appeared to be the clothes on his back and a shoulder pack.


"My apologies for the intrusion," He said in a crisp British accent, with a nervous glance over his shoulder. "I am Gawain, second-degree master and former member of the cabal of the Broadening Mind. I invoke the Right of Hospitality for a period of three days so I might recuperate from my wounds and gather my thoughts."

James invited him inside while Don invoked the Right of Sanctuary. Even though the Great Rights had been invoked, James still scanned Gawain's Aura to check if he intended the cabal any harm, and discovered that he didn't.

After sitting down, Don started to treat Gawain's wounds, while James questioned him. He discovered Gawain's body is a parchment writ with old scars and new scars-to-be. His current injuries included burns, lacerations of varying depths and a bullet wound to the thigh (where his pant leg soaked with blood). It was apparent that he used a low-level Life spell to stem the bleeding, but there was still much heeling to be done. Don did what he could mundanely including removing the bullet, but refused any magical heeling.

Gawain admitted that he was currently being pursued by agents unknown, but immediately assured his hosts that he had sufficiently eluded his two pursuers for the time being and believes he easily gained two weeks' reprieve before he need worry about them again. James, scanning his aura could tell that he was telling the truth about all of this, but that he was also hiding something.

Gawain acknowledged that he didn't know who his pursuers are, only that they assaulted two of his colleagues and him eight months previous. His two colleagues sacrificed themselves so that he could get away.

The cabal went upstairs, on their way up, they noticed Gawain casting a spell. James realised that he was probably just checking that they are who they claimed to be. Mia informed the rest of the cabal that she had heard of Gawain and the Broadening Mind. They were a nomadic Mysterium cabal, which specialised in Atlantean Artifacts. Quite the adventurers and greatly admired in Mysterium circles.

The cabal decided that since they had a second-degree master in their sanctum, they may as well get his view on the situation they found themselves in. They filled him in on everything they knew. He told them that he found it all very interesting, but as he was a stranger in Chicago he couldn't tell what was normal and what was not. He did say that this all looked like the beginning of something and not everything that was going to happen had happened yet. That they should be patient and wait to see what else happens.

Don decided to check out the Nile Restaurant again, so he went back to Hyde Park. When he got there he saw that they were open for business again so he got himself a table and ordered some food. None of the staff seemed inclined to discuss the basement with him, so he sent his familiar down to have a look. When it got back it informed that it was no longer flooded, but there was a red stain left behind, like blood. Don then returned to the sanctum and informed the others.

The cabal decided to research the sites that they knew about. They wanted to check if there was once a concert hall at the site of the Federal Plaza. they discovered that there wasn't, but that it was the former site of the Great Northern Hotel. James also decided to get as much information as he could on the Great Fire of Chicago (see Chicago thread and links).
The cabal also discovered that Jackson Park was the site of Daniel Burnham's White City, destroyed by fire in 1894. After researching Daniel Burnham they discovered a lot of information about him and John Welborn Root, including that they both designed the Great Northern Hotel and Roots designs included a lot of Egyptian elements. Nothing unusual could be found about the Nile Restaurant.

James checked with his contacts in the Guardians of the Veil if there was anything unusual about the two architects, and discovered that Root's designs were not entirely mundane.

“The architect John Wellborn Root came to Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871 and shortly joined forces with his fellow visionary Daniel Burnham. Burnham and Root started slow, but by the 1880s was the pre-eminent architectural firm in the country. They condtructed 27 buildings in downtown Chicago alone, creating a blend of Classical, Ronanesque, and purely American architecture that remade Chicago as the "city of the century". Burnham and Root both had mystical sides. Burnham was a devout Swedenborgian, believing in angelic communication with humans and in continuing revelation. Root initially followed Burnham's lead but soon went off on his own tangents. A gifted musician, Root began to tease out the inherent harmonies in "all art expression" and pursued those connections back to ancient Egypt. He began adding Egyption elements to Burnham and Root designs throughout the city.

Root went still deeper, finally touching the edge of madness - or of Awakening. Eventually he dreamed of building the new Chicago of his visions: the glorious She-Ka-Gau, a name he took from Egyption words meaning "By the lake, the Ka is bound." To the Egyptions, the Ka was the divine portion of the soul; to Root architecture was the divine portion of the city. In the proportions and angles of his buildings, he worked harmonics and enchantments designed to translate Chicago into its divine form. But his vision for the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, one based on "authentic Egyptian designs," conflicted with Burnham's more Classical vision. On January 15, 1891, Root suddenly died of a sudden, mysterious attack of pneumonia, less than a week after his 41st birthday. Burnham built the White City of the World's Fair in a mixture of Renaissance and Classical styles, and went to reshape Chicago himself through the 1909 Plan of Chicago.”

James decided to go and check out the Nile restaurant for himself. And asked Mia to drive him there. They went and knocked on the back door and James bluffed their way inside by saying they were from the health department. It seems the restaurant were expecting them. They went down into basement, where James confirmed that the red stain was blood. There was nowhere for the "water" to drain out through either.

After it got late, the cabal shared a meal with Gawain and traded stories with him. He seemed very interested in the Cabal's adventures, and enjoyed telling them his. His adventures tended to sound like something out of Indiana Jones. Mia nervously told him of the buried Church she had discovered at an archaeological dig just before she Awakened. After their meal and story swapping, they went to bed.

The next day whilst watching the news they were informed about an outbreak of Menetriers disease in Uptown.

The news report continued; "In other Uptown news, reports of ghost sightings have been flooding police switchboards. A little early for Halloween, eh Linda?"

Don decided to send his familiar to fly over Chicago again. This time with instructions to find out about any ghost hauntings that it can.

Don decided to pay Uptown a visit, while James and Mia went to look at the Kinzie Street Bridge, to check if the whirlpool was still there.

After seeing that the whirlpool was indeed still there, Mia used Second Sight to see if the tear in the Gauntlet was still there which it was. James decided to lower his camera into the tear to see what it'd film. When the camera returned it had images of the Shadow of the Chicago River, not a pretty sight. He then tried lowering it into the whirlpool, and after losing his grip lost the camera. All this had gained the attention of a policeman. Luckily James is very good at bluffing his way out of situations like this.

In the meantime, Don had been trying to question random people at bus stops in Uptown.


It wasn't long before someone complained to the police that a strange black man had been harassing people at bus stops. Luckily the police just let him off with a warning.

Afterwards the cabal went back to the sanctum for lunch. Gawain was curious as to how they were getting on. The cabal informed him what they had discovered so far and asked him if his expertise included Egypt, it didn't. He reminded them of the advice he had given them before. Don for some reason took offence at this and mentioned that he didn't like being ordered about by him. Gawain, not one to show his anger, then advised that it was wise to show some respect to those who are superior to you and to take there advice. Don then apologised.

It was at this time Don's familiar returned. It had come across a few hauntings of interest, and decided to leave out those hauntings that had already been there prior to the "thunderclap" with the exception of one.

- The grave of Ludwig Wolff at Graceland Cemetery, had long been haunted by a spectral green-eyed dog. The dog appears to have changed location and now howls at the grave of John Wellborn Root.

- A ghostly boat has been seen at night on the Midway Plaisance in Hyde Park, floating to the east on a shimmering canal.

-There are at least four ghosts attacking people in Uptown, this seems to be the cause of the outbreak of sickness.

The familiar also reminded Don of the ghostly buildings and fire shimmers.

Don then informed the others of what he had found out.

They decided to wait until evening and check out the Midway Plaisance and pay Graceland Cemetery a visit.

After seeing the ghostly boat for themselves they did some research, discovering that that stretch of Hyde Park was a canal during the 1893 World's Fair, the boat appears on the old site of the "Street in Cairo" exhibit. Mia noticed that the boat was sailing eastward, which is the direction the Boat of a Million Years sails in the Egyptian underworld.

They then travelled to Graceland Cemetery and climbed over the fence. Without getting too close, they noticed that the spectral dog was not a dog, but a wolf. They tried researching Ludwig Wolff, but all they discovered was that he was an actor.


The next morning, after the cabal had breakfast, they discovered that Gawain had left. He had left a note for them on the table in the foyer along with a rather curious object.


It appeared to be a bell clapper roughly nine inches in length, the head is spanned along its equator by 10 evenly spaced, small stones: a diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, onyx, amethyst, moonstone, amber, jade and aquamarine. On the head's bottom is a sigil akin to Atlantean glyphs, but none of the cabal could decipher it.

Gawain's note thanked the cabal for their hospitality and apologised for his hasty departure.

There was another small note attached to the bell clapper, which read;

"By her grace She leaves this Ring,
So all may find the Truth they seek." - Gawain

James cast Mage Sight and determined that the Bell clapper was indeed a magical Artifact of some kind. He advised against trying to use it until they knew more about it, and whether or not Gawain really left it. Don decided to check the security cameras to make sure. He saw Gawain leaving the bell clapper and both notes, cast some kind of spell then leave by the front door. The Camera outside did not show him leaving. Don decided then that he wanted to get a sound system for the security cameras. Agreeing with Don about not using the Artifact yet, it was given to Mia, the cabal's Edgetender, to lock away until they could learn more about it, when they have finished the current business they are involved in.

James decided to see if he could track the strange resonance he discovered at the Kinzie Bridge, this took quite a few hours but it eventually led him back to Uptown, specifically a parking lot somewhere on Peterson Avenue. The resonance seemed strongest over some freshly laid asphalt. After some unsuccessful attempts Mia and James both manage to cast scrying spells to see what under the asphalt. What they see are four male bodies who look like they are of middle-eastern descent. They appeared to have been attacked by some kind of large animal as they had claw marks all over them. Eventually Don arrived so they filled him in. Don tried to get his familiar to see what’s under the asphalt who refused, saying "I'm an owl, not a mole." James ten placed an anonymous phone call with the police, informing them of suspicious activity at the parking lot.

Detecting another resonance in the parking lot the cabal tried tracking it to see if it'd lead them to the ghosts of these four men. The resonance led them to an open sewer pipe. Don cast a spell to allow him see Spirits, which did have a limited use with detecting, ghosts as well. When they found something that may have been one of the ghosts, the cabal realised that they were ill equipped to deal with it. So they decided to go find a Necromancer.

Don had some contacts in the Cassandra's Visions cabal so they decided to try there.


Tucked away in an unremarkable part of the Near West Side, the tiny storefront bookstore called Cassandra’s Visions maintains an ever-shifting inventory of rare and occult books as well as more trendy metaphysical “best-sellers.”

They spoke to Cassandra, asking if they could 'borrow' Deathsong, Cassandra’s Visions’ Moros. After passing Rebus in the hallway, who reacted rather strangely to them they found Deathsong.
Deathsong who is part Japanese Hawaiian and Anglo American, is small, with a trim figure and powerful arm muscles. She has long, straight black hair and dark eyes that always seem to smile even when she is being serious. Her olive skin never pales in winter. She enjoys wearing colourful clothing but also wears black from time to time.

After telling Deathsong as much as possible about the four ghosts she said that she'd handle them.

The following day, after seeing on the news that the bodies had been dug up, the cabal decided to pay a visit to the morgue. Some mind control spells on behalf of James got them admitted into the morgue.

Just as the bodies were about to be uncovered James threw up.

Apart from the fact that they were all illegal immigrants from Egypt with jobs in the same construction company they had nothing in common. Three of them were Coptic Christians while one was a Sunni Muslim. All of them had claw marks on them and they each had a different vital organ missing.

- Hossam Armanious' lungs were missing.
- Boutrous Fathy's Liver.
- Saad Batrawi's stomach.
- Mohammed Nawal's intestines.

Mia pointed out that these are all vital organs that were removed by the ancient Egyptians during the process of mummification.

The cabal decided then that they had no more leads to follow, so they went back to the sanctum. Don got sound installed in the security system while Mia and James got on with their own business.

Just as the cabal was getting ready for bed they received another unexpected visitor.

They were unable to see the man's image clearly on the security monitor, for some reason he came out blurry. James cast a scrying window to see who was out there. He saw a rather strange looking man. Really ugly wearing really unfashionable (and rotting?) clothes. And were those insects crawling out from under his sleeves?

Over the intercom the man said his name was Mr Scratch, he mentioned that they had a common acquaintance in Norris.

"He's a Vampire,” said James "be careful with this one."

They let him in all the while keeping a careful eye on him.

He introduced himself as Scratch and said he was a member of the Ordo Dracul, and ancient mystical order of Vampires. He said that his order as been maintaining several Drago....... Ley Lines within Chicago, when they noticed a sudden change. He said that the Ordo Dracul had located the source of the change but they were unable to enter there as it was only open during the day. Also figureing that others familiar with Ley Lines should probably investigate Scratch was charged with contacting the Elementals cabal.

"The source" he said "Is located in the Field Museum."

The cabal asked him if the museum had anything to do with Egypt.

"It only has the largest mummy collection in North America." Said Scratch.

Was that an evil grin, or is it just his grotesquely deformed teeth that make it look that way?

He then offered the cabal a payment of their choice. They asked for a favour that they could collect in the future. Scratch reluctantly agreed, as this was not the type of payment he enjoyed giving.

Afterwards they showed him out.

Was he laughing just then? No surely not, its just your imagination. :wink:
“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, You are talking anti-Semitism.” -Martin Luther King Jr
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Unreal City 2 (That Corpse you Planted)

Postby Findtherma » November 8th, 2006, 12:43 pm


The following morning the cabal woke one by at different times. As usual James was the last to wake. While Don and Mia were eating breakfast they heard footsteps coming down the stairs. They looked up and were surprised to see Deathsong, from Cassandra’s Visions Cabal, wearing virtualy nothing except one of James’ shirts.

“Good morning” she said.
“Mind if I have a cup of coffee?”

Don got up, surprised and suspicious.

“How did you get in here and where did you?” Said Don, a little flustered.

“Excuse me?” She replied

“How did you get in here?”

“Through the door.”

“Oh so you didn’t come in through the chimney.”

“Er no.”

“Who let you in?”


“Oh, that’s alright then” Don said, somewhat relieved.

About an hour later everyone had woken up, eaten and got dressed. Deathsong had returned to her cabal and the Elementals sat down to discuss their plan of action. They checked the opening times for the Field Museum and booked tickets for 11:30. They drove down there in both cars, James riding with Mia.


Once inside the museum James attempted to see if he could sense any minds that were unusual, but there were only the usual museum patrons. Since their mystery had an obviously Egyptian theme they decided to head towards the mummy exhibits. On their way there they suddenly heard a loud crash coming from the entrance gallery. Heading towards the crash, they were greeted with a rather strange sight. Sue, the worlds largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, had just fallen over flat on its face. With the use of Mage Sight the cabal could see that this was no accident. They then noticed that the T-rex’s head and arms were pointing northwest, towards Wolf Point, where that strange whirlpool still churned. Don decided to check for any spiritual resonance, only to see that the whole building was churning with it.

Figuring that there was nothing they could do with the skeleton and being urged away by Museum staff, they resumed their journey to the mummy exhibit. As they got there they heard screaming as museum patrons rushed out at them. After dodging out of the way they saw what had everyone so scared. The mummies on display were hammering weakly against the glass of their display cases. Six mummified heads were chattering their teeth and hissing with rage. Suddenly out of the back room, where the rest of the mummies were kept in storage, a swarm of at least thirty of them came shambling out, following a security guard who was firing his gun ineffectually at them. The mummies surrounded him and crushed him to death.

“That’s it I’m leaving.” Said James as he walked out, leaving Don and Mia to deal with the mummies that were heading in their direction.


A minute later James returned with a small cut above his forehead. Mia and Don thought this was strange but really didn’t have time to think about it as the mummies were getting closer.

Don opened fire, but this didn’t appear to have any affect. James attempting to scan their minds to see what he could learn saw that they had residual memories from Ancient Egypt. He shared this information with the rest if the group.

The mummies were moaning strange phrases like, “To the Doorway… the Door to the West.”

It wasn’t long before James found himself being crushed by a mummy with its supernaturally strong grip. Mia cast a spell on the mummy, making him think that James was the Egyptian Deity Anubis. The mummy got confused, then knelt before him. Realising that the mummies were trying to get somewhere and were only attacking them because they were in the way, the cabal took the confused mummy to a quiet corner to question it. All they could get out of it was “the door to the west” and “the Opener”.

Mia remembered that there was and Egyptian deity known as ‘the Opener of the Roads to the West’. The deity called Upuaut, also spelt Wepwawet, or Ophios in Greek. Upuaut is an obscure g-d originally worshiped at Lycopolis (Asyt) in Upper Egypt. The ‘Lord of the Necropolis’ had many overlapping responsibilities with Anubis, whom Upuaut closely resembles. (Some killjoy Egyptologists believe that Upuaut in not meant to be a wolf at all, but a grey jackal.) Over the centuries his cult became more and more important until he became Osiris’ prime partner in governing the underworld and judgeing the dead. Upuaut helped pilot Ra’s boat, and his standard rode before the pharaoh in battle and in city building ceremonies.

The cabal decided to follow the mummies to see where they were going, hoping they’d lead them to the source of everything that’s been happening. They followed them down to the basement of the Museum and after making sure some guards were put safely out of the way into the catacombs beneath.

Somehow the cabal lost sight of the mummies, so they decided to keep heading west through the tunnels. It wasn’t long before they arrived at the entrance to the rest of Chicago’s coal tunnels. James cast a Space spell to find the shortest route through the tunnels west.


In a particularly flooded tunnel the cabal found themselves attacked by three very large fish monsters.
They got past them by casting spells to trick them into fighting themselves.

They came to another tunnel swarming with rats. It became apparent that these were no ordinary rats. Don could see that they were actually gnawing at the Gauntlet itself, allowing spirits to escape. Mia looking into their minds saw the history of these nasty Rat Hosts and learned of their primal fear of werewolves. Eventually seeing that the rats were not actually going to attack them unless they attacked first, they carefully walked to the other end of the tunnel. Don and Mia the saw a crouching shadow in the darkness.

“Hello?” said Don

The crouching dark shape stood up to its full 9-foot height. A half rat half human monster.
It was apparent that the rat thing was not going to let them through. Mia cast a spell making it think there was a werewolf amongst the other rats then quickly got out of the way. The Monster went to attack its imaginary foe and the cabal was able to get past. However the next tunnel proved to be an enigma. James space spell no longer seemed to be functioning properly as the tunnels he could sense were not there and there were tunnels there that he couldn’t sense. The cabal had stepped into a verge.

Changing tactics, James attempted to locate the resonance he first sensed at the whirlpool at Wolf Point. He found a strong trail and the cabal followed him down the spirit infested tunnels.

Eventually the cabal reached a chamber half-full of stagnant river water, thick with algae and muddy weeds. The chamber was about 25 feet wide and 100 feet long, ending with a door shaped concrete plug at the end. The Door had hieroglyphs carved into it. On the cabal’s side was the vast form of a part crocodile, lion, hippopotamus spirit. Mia identified it as Amemet, the Eater of the Dead. Behind Amemet appeared to be a corpse lying on a rudely dressed stone slab sticking up out of the water. The corpse was dressed in buckskins, with a scanty beard growing from the yellowish folds of its leathery face. He was on his back, his head pointed west, with his arms crossed over his massive chest and his talons tangled in his long black hair. Mia identified this as an Egyptian funerary pose.


“Give me your soul, that you may face your proper fate.” rasped Amemet, and a battle broke out.

Realising that they were outmatched and that there was probably more to the corpse that meats the eye, James attempted to implant the thought of attacking Amemet into the corpse. He felt the spell succeed which indicated that the corpse did indeed have a mind however it made to attempt to move. Don sensed that the corpse had a large axe wound in its back

Mia cast her own mind spell on the spirit making her think that the corpse was on fire. Amemet reacted atempting to put out the imaginary flames. This gave the cabal some more time. Don went to examine the door while James scanned the corpse’s mind and Mia maintained her spell.

Looking at its thoughts James encountered the nightmares of a vampire in Torpor. He decided to try and wake it, realising his mistake when the frenzying Kindred killed Amemet with just one swipe of its talons then turned its attention to the cabal. Mia and James combined their powers of Mind to stop the frenzy. Luckily it worked and the vampire looked around and the chamber and began speaking in a strange dialect.

James cast a spell to translate what he was saying.

“Where am I and who are you?” said the ancient vampire.

“Well you’re a long way from home.” James responded.

“I am hungry, I must have some Vitae.”

“We can sort that out later” said Jame, wondering why that last word was translated into latin.

“I must feed.” said the vampire.
“The Beast is close to the surface and I must heal.”

“What beast?”

The vampire glared at him.

“Oh that beast. Which of us is the least injured?”

Mia volunteered to feed the vampire. The Kindred bit into her neck and Mia succumbed to the pleasure of the dark Kiss falling into unconsciousness. The vampire offered to help heal her, about to bite his own wrist when James stopped him.

“Mortals.” Said the vampire, shaking his head.
“Well if you will not let me heal her I will heal myself.”

The cabal watched as blood flowed to the wound on his back, knitting the flesh back together again. Suddenly there was a loud bang as the concrete Door cracked. The whole chamber began to shake and pieces of the ceiling began falling on top of them. Water began to come through the cracks in the ceiling as the only barrier holding back the Chicago River got thinner.
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Unreal City 3 (Burst in the Violet Air)

Postby Findtherma » November 8th, 2006, 12:44 pm

The chamber was falling down around the cabal and the Chicago River began to gradually fill the chamber. Mia was still unconscious, while the others began desperately to figure a way out.

Acting seemingly on a “hunch” James cast a Space spell to try locate a hidden exit. Having found one he began push against a wall. Not having any luck he asked the vampire for help. Everyone’s magic sense went off as the vampire called upon his supernatural ‘Vigor’. He pushed against the wall which swung inwards like a door, then stood back to let the cabal go through. James shouted for Don to carry Mia. As they stepped through the doorway a large chunk of ceiling fell, trapping the vampire in the chamber behind them.

The cabal now found them selves in a hieroglyph-marked-tunnel.


They could still feel the shaking from the destruction behind them, so they hurried as quickly as they could to get to the end of the tunnel. Eventually they found themselves in some kind of basement, heading upstairs they emerged in the Atwood Café in the ground floor of the Reliance Building, also designed by John Wellborn Root.


It was now evening, they had been underground for so many hours that they had lost sense of the passage of time. All the customers were staring at them. James headed to the person behind the cash register.

“Hi!” He said. “Would you mind calling an ambulance please?” and collapsed into a chair.

Some time later they were all being treated for their injuries in hospital. Mia had regained consciousness. Two police detective arrived to question James. James made up some story about following a cat in the coal tunnels when a cave in started. The detectives didn’t seem to learn much from him, but James did learn that a few minutes before the cabal had emerged in the Café, a large grey dog or wolf had come out of the basement, scaring the customers.

Don poked his head round the door and informed James that there was something urgent he had to take care of and he would see him later.

After being discharged early from the hospital, thanks to a little Mind magic, James and Mia retrieved her car from the museum and went back to the sanctum to discuss what they’ve learned and plan their next course of action.

Based on what they learned from the mummies, they theorised that their foe was the Egyptian deity, Upuaut, or at least something that as taking his form.

They decided to look back at the beginning and work there way forward and combine this with Mia’s knowledge of Egyptology to see if they could guess their opponent’s next move.

It all started when a breach in the Gauntlet was made beneath the Kinzie Street Bridge opposite Wolf Point. What they didn’t know was whether Upuaut caused this breach or if he had just taken advantage of it. Since the breach was made the cabal had consistently encountered supernatural activity with Egyptian motifs, the ghosts of the dead and the designs of architect, John Wellborn Root. The ghosts of four dead Egyptian immigrants, each with a missing vital organ, usually removed in the process of mummification.

James, getting all “thoughtful”, eventually determined that perhaps Upuaut was building himself a body, and perhaps he had finished the job. Next they thought about what they saw beneath Chicago. I thinning of the Gauntlet between this world and the spirit world, which according Mia was consitant with Upuaut trying to merge the living world with the Duat (Egyptian land of the dead). Somehow the cabal had managed to close the doorway to that world, at least for the time being, but it was obvious that Upuaut would try again and soon.

Looking back at what they knew about John Wellborn Root, they remembered that he was trying to rebuild Chicago as “She-Ka-Gau”. Everything they had seen so far indicated that Upuaut wanted to finish Roots plan. As tempting as it was to have a newly Awakened city on earth, both James and Mia knew that the world was not ready for such an obvious magical presence. They had to stop him, but where was he going to be next.

Figuring that most of his plans took place at Wolf Point, with the chamber being directly beneath it and the secret backdoor from the chamber emerging near by they figured that would be a good place to start. They headed back to the Kinzie Street Bridge and began to track his resonance from there. Driving along the powerful resonance trail. As they had figured the trail didn’t lead them very far away. It lead them to Block 37, an uncannily empty lot right between the Reliance Building and the Butler Building.

At exactly 3:33am they spotted a large grey dog heading towards the lot. As it reached the centre of the lot they saw that it was not a dog at all, but a gaunt Middle Eastern man in a long coat. The character then saw him draw power into him self from the two 17 story buildings and send it arcing and swirling across State Street, to the dumpy chain pharmacy opposite the Butler Building. The power splashed and clung against hidden steel girders, flowing down the ground and leaving stripes of bright terra-cotta in its wake. Root’s magnificent Masonic Temple, the tallest building in the world when Burnham completed it in 1892, appeared out of the stuff of dreams and Shadow. The Temple also erased the pharmacy out of existence.


James turned to Mia and said "Ram him."

She then sped the car toward the gaunt man, missed him, and then tried to back up into him. James opened his door, ready to leap out, but changed his mind when he saw how fast the road was moving beneath them. The car came to a screeching crash as the rear bumper completely caved in. The man, apparently unharmed, now appeared in his full glory as Upuaut. A wolf-headed man clad in Egyptian battle armour.


James and Mia quickly left the car.

“Excuse me.” Said James, glancing at the impressive sight of the Masonic Temple.
“Do you have planning permission for that?”

Upuaut did not even glance in his direction, not believing these “insects” to be worth his time. He continued his transformation of Chicago. The few sleepers up at this time stopped in their tracks to watch this impressive but terrifying sight, as the ghostly images of Egyptian buildings became more solid.

James, his pride hurt and not believing it would work but hoping it might, ran towards Upuaut and shoved his pocket knife right between his eyes. Upuaut screamed in pain as the knife went in. He shoved James away with supernatural strength James managed to keep hold of the knife and wrench it out of him.

“Foolish mortal!” Said the wolf-headed deity.
“You cannot comprehend what it is you are dealing with. I am the one with the sharp arrow more powerful than the g-ds, I am the one who separates sky from earth. I am Wepa—“

“Blah, blah, blah, blah!” Interrupted James.

“You are not worth my time.” Said Upuaut.

He turned his back to James and continued with the city’s transformation. James attempted to attack Upuaut’s mind with magic, only to encounter a mental resistance unlike any he had encountered before. Upuaut turned back round to face James.

“Insignificant conjurer, your feeble tricks cannot harm me!” He said as he walked right up to James, apparently about to attack him with his claws.

While all this was happening, Mia was putting her own plan into motion. She succeeded in borrowing a lighter from a passing sleeper. She then tore the lower half of her shirt, which she placed sticking out of the petrol tank of her car. Jamming the accelerator down, lighting the fuse and removing the hand break, she quickly jumped out the way of the impending explosion.

James, seeing all of this over Upuaut’s shoulder, also quickly jumped out of the way as the exploding car plowed into the Opener of the Way.

Upuaut screamed as the flames burnt his supernatural flesh, using what remained of his magical Essence to put out the fire. Badly injured and realising that the mages actually posed a challenge he ran from them at supernatural speed.

Mia and James, realising there was no way they could catch up to him and lacking their own car did the only thing they could do, they hailed a cab.

“Follow that man!” Said James, casting a mind spell on the driver so he would ignore the new Egyptian city around him.

“Are you a cop?” asked the driver.

“Yes!” said James.

“Cool, I’ve always wanted someone to say that to me.” And sped off.

Upuaut loped down Randolph and skidded into a turn on Michigan, arrowing north for the Tribune Tower.


Realising this Mia also remembered that a large chunk of the Great Pyramid of Giza was embedded in the Northwest corner of the Tribune Tower. She shared this information with James, who realised that Upuaut must be able to somehow use this to gain more power.

As the Taxi pulled up, James leaped out of the car leaving Mia to pay the fare. He headed straight for the Northwest corner just as Upuaut approached it. He glanced at James and placed his hand on the stone of the Great Pyramid.

When his talons first scraped the stone, a shaft of golden light poured up the side of the Tribune Tower, refracting through the flying buttresses and Gothic crenelations atop it. Lighting flashed as the power surged out of the Tower. Pyramids began rising to the north and east, replacing the Hancock Building and Sears Tower. Root’s designs, riotous with colour and ornament, spread across building fronts and towered over dull office blocks. The Chicago River seemed wider, lined with palm trees and smooth, colonnaded temples. Street lights suddenly resembled giant, blossoming brass acanthus and papyrus plants, glowing with vermilion and lapis radiance. Chicago had become She-Ka-Gau, a city of Awakened architecture, its design in pure and perfect harmony with the elements.


James tried once again to attack Upuaut’s mind and failed, but it managed to get the deity’s attention. He turned to face James. As he removed his Talon from the stone, all the images of Egypt began to fad away. She-Ka-Gau had become Chicago again.

Upuaut, wrapped his talon around James’ neck, squeezing the air out of him. Upuaut, not being able to find the words to express his anger at James barred his sharp teath and growled at him. Then looked rather hungrily at James’ throat.

Mia calling on all her knowledge of Egyptology decided to try something. Overcoming her shyness she stepped forward and spoke in a commanding voice.

“Opener of the Way! I am Nada, High Priestess of Ra!”

Upuaut slowly turned his head to look at her.

“In the name and by the dictums of Ra, release that man!”

Upuaut put James down slowly.

Seeing what Mia was doing, James decided to try join in.

“I am a High Priest of Ra!” He said, not having any idea of what he was talking about.

“In Ra’s name I command you to leave this place!” Said James

Upuaut did not leave, but stood there looking very confused, however it was obvious that he was not attacking them, nor did he seem about to start.

“Do you still have that lighter?” James asked Mia.

“Yes.” Mia replied.

James then threw his can of spray-on aftershave, which he always keeps with him in case of “emergencies”. Mia getting his point combined it with the lighter to create a makeshift flame-thrower.

Upuaut screamed as he caught fire. His skin liquefied, his flesh began melting off his bones. Upuaut stared at the mages with malevolent eyes. He didn’t say anything, but his eyes told them that he would be back, and that they had made an enemy in the Underworld. The Ancient Egyptian Lord of the Dead disintegrated before their eyes, leaving absolutely no trace. It was as if he never existed.

The first rays of the sun began to appear over the horizon as once again Ra began to take his place in the heavens.

“Come on.” Said James to Mia “I’ll buy you breakfast.”

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The Ring 1 (Frame Up)

Postby Findtherma » November 12th, 2006, 1:11 am


Coming Soon!

Watch this Space!
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