The City of Darkened Emeralds
October 4th-5th Journal Entry for Dr. James Warburton
October 4th, 2000
Remember how last time I said I had the worst day ever? Well, today topped yesterday. I was akowen by a tapping, a rapping on chamber window. It was Korva’s messenger bird, Alex. I opened the window and he hopped in, a little pack upon his back. Inside was a bill for last night’s information as well as a small list of mercenary types available to be hired in Seattle. The names included Inga Svanhart, Rika Somner, and Blake. Inga I had hired before to track something down, and knew she was good with hunting, but I didn’t know the other two. I folded up the piece of paper, wrote a check for the bird, and proceeded to finish waking up. Maxwell stopped by with breakfast and I instructed him to speak with my accountants about last night’s deal with Selena Childs. As I was finishing it, one of my maids wandered by with an odd glazed over look in her eyes, informing me someone was here to see me. I instructed her to let them in, and she informed they already were inside.
I began walking downstairs and ran into Maxwell, finishing up on the phone, and he raised an eyebrow at me. I told him we had guests, and I saw him breifly check his gun before falling into line behind me. Downstairs in the foyer, the door was standing wide open, and I could see a man standing nearby with his back to me, admiring one of the paintings that adorned the walls. I walked up slightly behind him, and made some comment about the painting he was looking at, and he he turned to face me. He had steely grey eyes, and a face and body as though a scupture carved them from marble to be perfect. He has two bright red forelocks that framed his perfect face, and he smiled at me in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable.
I asked him what he wanted, and he introduced himself as Justinian Raith, and asked if we could talk in private. I gave Maxwell the ok, but before he could leave, a young girl walked in the door, wearing a slightly tattered but completely slutty schoolgirl outfit, and said she’s entertain Maxwell. Maxwell looked at her oddly, and that was when Justinian made a comment about killing him if anything went wrong. He instantly reached for his gun, but the girl, Emily, put her hand on his chest and his eyes glazed over and he stood there staring blankly. It was unsettling to watch the ease with which she disabled him.
Justinian sat down and waited for me to join him. I did so, and he told me that what he wanted was for me to not deal with Selena Childs. This man frightened me about as much as Selena, and he said he’d have no problem killing Maxwell to make a point. I tried to be business like with him, but he had nothing to offer save leaving me alone. He wanted me to slight Selena Childs and he was offering nothing tangible in return. He did make mention of giving me as much of Selena’s holdings as I wanted after she was deposed. He then hit me with some sort of mental attack, twisting the worst memory of my life into something even more frightening. I was ten and my father was trapped in a cave in during a dig. A week later they finally removed enough rubble and found him alive drinking cognac, but this time I cam across his dead body. The intrusion was over quickly, but left me shaken. In the end, he invited me to his club, the Noc Noc Bar, thursday evening to talk things over more. He then took his little tart and left.
Maxwell was out of it for a about another minute after they left, and when he came to he was still slightly glassy eyed and out of breath. It took him a moment to come back to himself, and then I nstructed him to get some water and food and relax. While I was mulling over what I should do about this, my maid came and informed me another visitor had arrived. One Ms. Morgiana Blackwell. This day was getting better and better.
My maid informed me she would meet me in the garden, which was fine by me. I went out back to meet her, and we walked and talked in the massive sand garden I had had recently built here. She asked if I knew what sort of trouble I was getting myself into by dealing with vampires, and then went on to offer her help. I was suspicious to say the least. I asked her what she could possibly do to help me, and felt my own power well up in display, shifting the sands beneath her feet. She responded by throwing a bolt of force at one of the tres in my backyard, destroying it. She obviously has no idea what sublety is. But the gears began turning in my head.
She is part of this White Council that seems to hate me so. Rafihk had told me that so long as I did not violate any of their laws against them I was likely safe from their reprisal. I wonder if the same would be true of the vampires. If she was my bodyguard and became hurt by the vampires, could this spark hostilities between the White Council and the vampires? I could use those that sought to do me harm against each other, or at least i hoped it would make the vampires more hesitant to act against me. And she did have some power, I give her that. In the end I accepted, and asked her to give me all the information she knew on vampires.
For the next hour or so, Ms. Blackwell layed it down for me and Maxwell. Explaining that there are three different courts of vampires. What I had thought of as vampires, were the Black Court, typical draculas that had mostly been wiped out. The Red Court were creatures of the NeverNever, were batlike in reality and drank blood. Their saliva was an addictive narcotic, and they might be able to mesmerize people. Injuring their bellies could sap them of strength, and sunlight is anathema to them. The White Court are considerably less understood, and are apparently succubi and incubi, sex vampires. That would explain what happened to Maxwell. They are also apparently mostly human, but can be stronger, quicker and tougher than normal.
As we were finishing up our conversation, my maid came in to inform me of a phone call from one Inga Svanhart. How odd that I was likely to contact her, and yet she calls me first. I answered the phone, and she proceeded to tell me she was looking to get my help on a hunt she was doing. She made vague hints of antiquities possibly being acquired, and I informed her that I would be happy to help her in exchange for her services on Saturday at a party to act as security detail as I might be having some vampire trouble. She informed me that Rika Somner was also with her, and I extended that contract to her as well. They accepted, and we agreed to meet tomorrow morning to trek out into Olympic National Forest to see what was there. After the phone call, Ms. Blackwell informed me that the vampires likely had my phone bugged, but it is of no consequence. I’m certain they both know of the other’s visit, and I didn’t specify who I was having troubles with, just vampires.
About 10 minutes later there was a knock at the door, and Maxwell answered it to find a very tall blond with nordic features there with a briefcase. She said she was here in regards to the contract, and so I invited her in, and she handed me the contract, almost word for word what I had just been speaking on the phone with. I picked up a clear glass pen, that immediately pricked my finger and filled with blood, and signed the contract. The woman then left, and I began figuring out what my next step would be.
A bit afterwards, i came across Ms. Blackwell drawing on the carpet in my room with chalk. I asked her what in the hell she was doing, and she told me that she was setting up a ward that would repel people and could then add another part that would hit the person who entered with a lightning bolt. Interesting, if terribly impractical. She assured me that it wouldn’t set my house on fire, but I doubt that. As stated earlier, she isn’t the subtle type. I told her ti ixnay the repelling ward, and just do the lightning for now. I inquired as to what it would take to do more on the house, and she gave me a list of ridiculously expensive stuff. I seriously think Wizards must just burn money for no damned reason. I watched her finish the ward on my room, and told her I’d have Maxwell look into supplies for the house, but I’ll be damned if I’l going to let that little tramp magically bomb wire my house. Time for a little research. With a bit more power from Set i should be able to do something similar, I think.
Before I went to bed I called Korva and asked her about information on Justinian. I got a similar speech as when I asked about Selena. Powerful. Dangerous. That I would be screwed no matter what. She gave me a bit of information on Justinian’s holdings and how he carries out his plans. A bit unsettling, but now I had more than I did before. I told her to send her little bird over for payment, and she bid me a good night. With that I went to bed.
October 5th, 2000
Apparently my house took pity on me, because I actually slept alright last night. I woke up to Alex tapping on my window, and I paid the bird and go ready to hike to the middle of no where in Olympic. I met Maxwell and Ms. Blackwell and we headed out to Seatac. There we met with Ms. Svanhart and Ms. Somner, and loaded up into the helicopter to head out. The helicopter died before it got through the checklist, and Ms. Blackwell excused herself, saying she’s drive to the site. I asked Ms. Somner and Ms. Svanhart what that was about and was informed that wizards play merry havoc with technology. Lovely. It is a good thing Ms. Blackwell is staying in the servant’s house away from the main house. I suspect it might be a good idea to have some preventative maintenance done around the house now.
The flight to Olympic was uneventful if not terrifying. Maxwell always flies like he’s in a combat zone, and thankfully I think I’m getting used to his style of flying. The girls were obviosuly used to this sort of thing as well. We landed and secured the landing site, and about an hour and half later, Ms. Blackwell showed up. I’m becoming less interested in keeping a wizard around if all she’s going to do is break things and cost me money. Maxwell can do that just fine.
We hiked about half an hour up into the mountains and found a cave. The entrance looked as though it had been blasted open, likely with magic, and there was a wave of power emenating from here, but as though it was a remnant. We pulled out flashlights and proceeded inside. As we went in, the power seemed to show more about us. Ms. Svanhart had gossamer feathered wings, and armor. Ms. Somner had a strange hat, was missing an eye, and her gun turned intoa spear. Looking down at myself, I say Set’s coiled darkness and sands wrapping around me where the tattoo is. The inside was a perfectly smooth three quarters circle with a single old piece of vellum in the center. It looked as though it had just fallen out of a book, and the power was definitely resonating with the page. I tried to take a cell phone picture of the lettering, but it shorted out my phone when I did so.
The writing looked like some sort of Kuneiform, but beyond that I couldn’t tell. Looking at the page too long made my head hurt, and the words seemed to shift slightly. I looked at it to determine its origin of power, and I felt Set coil around ptoectively as a wave of power hit me. I say a brief moment of Set’s eyes widen in surprise, and then the sand protected me. I came to on my back in the cavern, with everyone looking at me. I got up, and as Ms. Blackwell moved to destroy this thing with her ignorance, I had Maxwell give me my pack and I secured it with my archaeology equipment.
After securing the paper, the power in the area began to die down. We got back to the heli, and Ms. Blackwell dove back. We met back at my place and I secured the paper in the vault. I half expect Rafihk to show up at any moment now, but I definitely need to find out what that page is. While I don’t think Set was afraid of it, he was surprised to see it. Tonight I have my meeting with Mr. Raith, and I’m debating what I should do.