Crossing the Rubicon

Crossing_the_Rubicon.jpg

Act 1: The Fall of Atlantis

The episode began with a flashback to the days of antiquity, specifically the final days of Atlantis. The scene opened upon an image of utter chaos as swarms of Outsiders battled against the forces of the Athanteen. In the maelstrom, an ancient artifact the Roark Skull, was stolen from the forces of the Old Ones, who were using it as a means to maintain a Portal to Beyond linking the Universe of Man and the Outer Gates. A hero named Roark was given charge of the item, to keep it out of the hands of the Old One Premiogothiq and his army.

As the battle raged across Atlantis, the great hero fled with the artifact. With the destruction of Premiogothiq, Atlantis was destroyed, and the ship carrying the artifact swamped and the artifact lost to the ages of Antiquity. Moments before his death Roark laid his death curse upon the artifact to prevent the item from being used by anyone not of his direct male descendant.

Act 2: Recovery from the Depths

In the present, the motorboat Juliette bobs slowly on the swells of the Mediterranean Sea. Aboard are the collected AbectioCyprus Archer Mortimer Stroud, Indra Dietrich, Emeric Dane and their prisoner Aja.

Cyprus possesses the Compass of Azaoria, which has led him to the Roark Skull, resting on the bottom of the sea. Once on the site, the group used a Bracelet of the Deep to protect them from the effects of the sea, allowing them to breathe water, tolerate the cold and crushing pressure and avoid the effects of decompression sickness.

Mortimer and Cyprus traveled to the sea floor to acquire the artifact resting there. The act of acquiring it, triggered a Thaumaturgical wave of energy which was felt as far away as Rome.

Act 3: Overwhelmed

Meanwhile back at the Vatican, Luca and the others were gathered together to celebrate the completion of another case. As Luca was carrying a meal to the table at the library, he suddenly started screaming, convulsing and collapsed.

The group rushed to his aid, but it took little time for Gerard to determine that Luca had undergone some sort of seizure. Knowing that Luca had just completed returning the wards on the Library back to full strength and that he was no epileptic, it was immediately suspected that there was an unrevealed answer to be found.

Act 4: Recovery & Revelation

Luca awoke nearly four hours later. After drinking a glass of water and marshaling his strength, Luca gave the group a partial explanation for the event that overtook him. He explained that he has been placing thaumaturgical alarms around the city. These alarms detect the slightest amount of energy as it is released. Since thaumaturgy is unique – with each practitioner possessing a very unique “magical fingerprint”, Luca has been cataloging these minor alarms as they took place around the city. To these ends, he has managed to narrow down a handful of “fingerprints” to the ownership of the Abiectio Venatores members, although he can not identify a specific practitioner from that group.

Normally the alarms give him a minor, tingling sensation in his mind, which he can then process mentally and identify. Earlier, he received a massive overwhelming sensation that caused a seizure. He knows two important facts about the event. First that it was caused or triggered by a member of the Abiectio, and secondly that it was immensely powerful. In fact, he believed that the amount of energy that was expended was normally not within the scope of that group without experiencing it.

Additionally, because of the way that his detection spell worked, he knew a rough direction to travel. He knew that if he were in the Never-Never, he would be able to guide the group to the point there that corresponded to the real world location that the event had occurred.

Act 5: Off the Rails

Luca asked liberty to acquire a small private steam train for the journey. They would need only the steam locomotive, collier and a private passenger car. The trains engineers would drive the locomotive to a point outside of Rome and then stop the train and disembark. Once they were gone, Luca would operate the train via thaumaturgy, open a portal to the Never-Never, and open a second portal back in the real world for them to emerge, at or very near the site of the disturbance. He suspected that the group would find themselves in Sicily.

When the possibility of the group arriving over water was posited, Luca dismissed it with a reminder that thaumaturgy can not operate over running water, which included large bodies such as the oceans and sea of the world.

Act 6: Into the Never-Never

After getting underway, Luca opened a tear in the veil and drove the entirety of the steam train through it into the Never-Never. As there are no railways there, he used his power to cause the train to fly through the air there. He was not concerned with the possibility of attack, as the vast majority of the conveyance was made from iron and steel; poisonous to Fae.

He was not surprised when they arrived in the lands of the Seelie Court. He was, however, surprised to see a battle between Fundicants and Grapplers and a herd of Outsider Behemoths. Unknown to them, this scene was a precursor to the events to come.

Act 7: I don’t want to say, “I told you so…”

After maneuvering the locomotive away from the bulk of the conflict, Luca reached the corresponding location in the Never-Never to the place of the event in the real world. Without delay, he opened a rift in the veil and brought the train through into the real world.

There was, however, one slight hitch…. They were 40-feet high, arrived in the middle of a terrible storm, and oh yes, they were over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Okay three hitches, and not really so slight ones at all.

With the churning ocean beneath them, Luca was unable to maintain the airborne flight profile of the Locomotive, and the train responded exactly as a train would be expected to respond- it fell from the sky, slammed into the ocean and sank rapidly just like any train should.

As the Envoys from the Vatican City SAVE Office, struggled for the surface, things became worse. An Outsider, known as an Immolaxithog arrived at the scene of the train wreck. The creature then attacked the envoys as they struggled for the surface.

While most of the Envoys struggled to reach the surface, Lodewijk was able to engage the creature in combat to protect his friends because of his abilities granted him by his Athanteen heritage. He was able to destroy the creature, saving those with him from certain death.

Act 8: The Tempest

The group clustered together, creating a living raft in an attempt to remain afloat in the churning seas. The group took stock of their situation, which at initial glance appeared to be very bleak. With no land in sight, and a stormy sea battering them, it was only a matter of time before the group grew too weary to survive the waves.

The group noted the raging red maelstrom in the distance, and as it was an unnatural color, it was assumed to be the cause of the tempest. It was also the apparent source of tear-drop shaped fireballs that seemed to rain down on the earth at some distance. It wasn’t known yet, but it would eventually be discovered that these fireballs, were in fact the arrival of Outsiders into this world.

As the group struggled to stay afloat, Liberty spotted a set of abnormal lights bobbing in the sea. The group made their way in that direction to discover that the source of the lights was a fishing trawler that had been caught in the rough seas.

Act 9: The Trawler

The group managed to get aboard the trawler, which at first glance appeared to be abandoned. It was surmised that the crew had been washed overboard by the tempest while trying to bring in their fishing net. The trawlers large drag net was deployed, and threatened to drag the ship to the bottom of the sea. To alleviate this issue, the net was cut away.

An amount of sea water had swamped the diesel engine compartment and the group started a bucket brigade to bail water from the compartment, while Luca and Lodewijk attempted to repair the engine. While below, searching for the missing component needed to repair the engine, Sven was ambushed by a Quagraemon, an outsider that had been created by the Roark Skull. It was presumably all that remained of the original crew.

Sven managed to kill the creature, and recover the missing component for the engine. Luca repaired the engine, and Oliver began steering the trawler towards land that had been spotted earlier. This turned out to be the Island of Lipari.

Act 10: Hitting the Beaches

As the trawler approached the coast, it became rapidly obvious that they ship could not be moored at the piers which were being battered by the waves. Additionally the charts indicated that the majority of the islands coastline was surrounded by treacherous rocks, making any attempt to swim ashore dangerous.

With a quick review of the navigational charts, it was discovered that there were only two “land-able” beaches on the island. Both were overseen by the ramparts of Lipari Castle. each beach flanked the castle, one adjacent to the local village on the island, and the second farther away, and with less access to the island as a whole because of cliffs and other natural barriers.

Realizing that the only way that the group would get ashore was to run the trawler aground, Oliver warned everyone to prepare for the maneuver and then he opened the throttle on the trawler all the way up. As the trawler shot towards the beach, a massive tentacle from a Septhoron, broke through the waves, slammed down on the bow of the trawler, flipping it end-over-end onto the beach.

The Envoys were thrown clear of the wreckage, and were surprisingly unharmed on the shore. However, they had just been flung into a rapidly worsening situation.

Act 11: The Horde

Almost immediately upon crashing onto the beach, a massive swarm of Outsiders numbering about 40 creatures swarmed over the walls of the castle, and down the access road towards the beach. The swarm consisted of Gorgomanteroxerix, Grand Diquor (Mage Killers), Lorachus, Narmythupatreon, Ophidinax, Zibrigoth, and Myraklovix. This impressive gourping was more than the Envoys would be able to handle in a straight-forward fight, so the group opted to evacuate the beach, rushing down the street in an attempt to escape the rapidly approaching swarm.

As the horde bore down on the group, it became apparent to Lodewijk that he would be unable to escape them, so in a moment of desperation he used his remaining favor and summoned Theron to aid him. The Fae slowed time when he arrived, allowing Lodewijk to make his request. It was discovered at this time that there was a similar battle taking place in the lands of the Seelie Court, so Theron had little time.

Lodewijk’s request for assistance was easily accomplished, and Theron moved him out of harm’s way and reconnected him with the other envoys who were actively fleeing the horde.

As the group struggled to remain ahead of the group and out of reach, Sven and Tomas used their arts, Feat of Strength and Burst of Speed to assist the slower moving members of the group to stay ahead of the rampaging horde.

During this, despite all the noise, Liberty managed to hear the pealing of church bells. As they had seen no other inhabitants of the village, it was reasonable to assume that the bell was being rung by one or more survivors and that it must be some sort of safe place.

Passing this information on, Oliver took up a position in the lead of the group to direct the members of the fleeing party to the fact, to provide a uniform plan of action and to test a theory about the horde needing a direct line-of-sight for their pursuit.

As the envoys were each informed, they made their way down the street to a local restaurant which served as a barrier to line of sight before continuing onward to the source of the bells, Lipari Cathedral.

Act 12: “Let no Evil Enter Here”

The first to arrive at the grounds of the cathedral was Santi Nochese, who noted that the perimeter of the property was lined by a wrought iron fence. A number of red masonry bricks lined the walk to the front doors, each embellished with the names of a Catholic Saint. A white marble block was engraved across the span of the gateway arch that read “In the Name of God Almighty, Let No Evil Enter Here.”

The bell’s clarion sound seemed to create a tangible threshold, confirming the suspicions that the church might offer the group temporary sanctuary.

As the group arrived one-by-one, it was discovered that neither Agostino nor Lodewijk were capable of crossing the threshold at the fence. For Lodewijk, it confirmed his status as tainted by outsider blood. It also confirmed that Agostino had indeed made a pact with the outsider Hainkyall, although this wasn’t known by the majority of the group at the time.

Act 13: Taking Refuge and Risky Rescue

Oliver and Gerard found themselves unable to reach the cathedral, and instead took shelter inside one of the houses on the island. This proved that the horde was, in fact dependent on line of sight to continue their pursuit, as they seemed to mill about close to the point where they had last seen the group of envoys.

Wishing to let the remainder of the group know that Oliver and Gerard were momentarily safe from harm, it was agree that Gerard would use his Telepathic Sending discipline to communicate with Liberty to let her know that they were alright.

This had an undesired effect however, as the use of the art was detected by a Grand Diquor and the horde sprung in to motion demolishing the house in which the two were hiding in an attempt to locate them.

Seeing this, Sven and Lodewijk devised a spur of the moment plan to distract and divert the horde away from their friends. Using his Feat of Strength and Burst of Speed Disciplines, Sven would carry Lodewijk to attack range, so he could use his Sonikinesis attack against the horde. The idea would be that the attack would redirect the horde to chase them, affording Oliver and Gerard an opportunity to escape to the safety of the Cathedral.

The pair set out, rushing the horde and executing their plan flawlessly; the attack killing one of the Zibrigoths in the horde. The desired result was achieved, as the entirety of the horde broke off their search and pursued the two Envoys.

This did afford Oliver and Gerard the opportunity to make their way to the Cathedral and to temporary safety.

Act 14: Encounter

Meanwhile as these events were unfolding, Agostino decided to make his way towards the castle, above which the maelstrom was churning. It was apparent that the eye of the storm was a portal to beyond the Outer Gates, and more Outsiders were arriving every moment.

before he could reach the castle, however, he encountered Hainkyall, who attempted to enlist his allegiance to the cause of bringing about the end of the world, offering him a place of importance and power in the new hierarchy to come.

Agostino refused, and when the Outsider arrogantly told Agostino that he would be allowed to “take his best shot”, the thaumaturge decided that the best course of action would be to escape. He ripped a tear in the veil and stepped into the lands of the Seelie Court, away from the conflict on the island.

However, this was not a better place for him to be, as the taint of his allegiance immediately marked him as an enemy of the realm. He was forced to hurriedly retreat into the real world once again where he ended up in the courtyard of the castle.

As before he faced Hainkyall and was offered an opportunity to change sides. he refused, and no longer willing to accommodate Agostino’s allegiance to SAVE, Hainkyall released Agostino’s spirit from his borrowed body, banishing his spirit back into the inanimate and dead corpse that was his original body. Agostino’s spirit would be forced to remain conscious of the slow, now inevitable decay of his corpse trapped inside it for the remainder of it’s existence, unable to act.

Act 15: The Cathedral

Meanwhile the group had managed to return to the cathedral, after Hainkyall, concerned for the safety of the skull, recalled the horde. Inside they discovered that the bell was being chimed by a local fisherman and town drunkard named Dialo DiSola. Although he was unable to assist the group, his actions had created a temporary safe place for the group to reorganize.

Inside the Cathedral, it was discovered that the local priest was interested in monsters and had most likely been killed investigating the report of a monster in the nearby harbor. It was also discovered that the cathedral contained a reliquary made of 30-kg of silver and 2-kg of gold and contained the thumbs of Saint Bartholomew (1 AD).

At the moment that Agostino was undone by the Outsider, Tomas, suddenly was affected. This was proof that until that moment the two still shared a life-force link, which had just been severed. Quick use of arts to afford Tomas recovery restored him back to full functionality.

A quick discussion was had among the group and it was decided that the entirety of the group would boldly approach the front gates of the Castle, in an attempt to intimidate any enemy forces remaining. This hinged upon the belief that members of the Abiectio were present and that they would still be under the belief that the Envoys would be the cause of their demise. It was a gamble on the psychological aspects that Cyprus and his compatriots might possess. It was deemed more likely to give them access to the courtyard and perhaps closer to the source of the portal which may further afford them opportunity to disrupt the plans of the enemy.

Fletcher changed into the Jesuit robes of the local priest, to allow him to hide the presence of the Sword of the Cross, Fidelacchius until the last possible moment.

Act 16: Into the Valley of the Shadow of Death

The group made their way to the castle, which was oddly enough opened for them. The hubris that Hainkyall displayed allowed them into the courtyard unharmed. This in turned allowed them to better grasp the situation that they faced.

They were able to see the Roark Skull, which was transmitting a beam of angry red light into the center of the maelstrom, this was therefore the source of the portal’s power. This artifact was in turned powered by the blood running from a still living Eddie, whose body had been cut numerous times as a bloodletting instrument. Also present, but chained to a weighted rack was Lodewijk’s mother, Heidi Van Der Hoof, who although an Athanteen, was unable to heal because of the nature of her persistent injuries.

Aja, the seer imprisoned by the Abiectio was also there, chained to a chair. Finally, the outsider Hainkyall, Agostino- inhabited by a Spirit of Intellect, and the horde of outsiders were present. Once inside, the Outsider offered his enemies a fast and merciful death, rather than an elongated and painful version. They declined.

Act 17: For the Fate of the World

Things immediately became aggressive between the two groups, with Agostino utilizing Thaumaturgy to kick things off. The SAVE Envoys became entangled in the massive attacks brought down on them by the Horde. Hainkyall transformed into his true Outsider appearance, and using an innate power siphoned blood from all of the envoys, weakening them. Assured of his success, Hainkyall’s pride was once again displayed, when he jumped up onto the ramparts and temporarily called off the attack by the horde to reveal the presence of the Abiectio .

They were in possession of Sven’s young children, Bjorn and Lars. The broken katana belonging to Onima Tachibana, the nanny, was also revealed. It was at that moment that betrayal reared it’s ugly head.

Brigit Thofelt thrust her sword through Sven’s back, nearly killing him. She declared that she had, in fact killed, Donar Krigare and Onima Tachibana and had brought the children here to Cyprus Archer. She declared her eternal hatred for her husband.

With the Abiectio revealed, Sven leapt onto the ramparts to confront Archer, but was unable to take action without fear of harming his children. This deadlock was broken, when Father Fletcher shot Archer with two Solomonic Bullets, breaking his grip on the boys. Sven acted quickly, rushing his boys away from the threat. In retaliation, Brigit stabbed Father Fletcher several times in the back with her sword, killing him. Luca then destroyed her with thaumaturgy.

Luca encapsulated the horde in an impenetrable sphere, strengthened by a life-siphon, to maintain his life while trapped with them. This effectively removed them as threats from the group allowing the Envoys to focus on the real threat- the outsiders and the Abiectio.

Tomas and Santi engaged Agostino, attempting to destroy him. Tomas beheaded him, but watched in horror as the head reattached itself to Agostino’s body. Santi attempted to blow the skull apart using Sven’s automatic Mauser, but also had no effect. It wasn’t until the skull was destroyed that the spirit of intellect was neutralized.

Oliver, Santi, Lodewijk and Tomas joined Sven on the upper ramparts where the Abiectio were located. Tomas rushed forward and using his sword Beheader decapitated Cyprus Archer, triggering the thaumaturge’s death curse against him, which was “You will never leave this place alive.”

Santi and Sven unloaded multiple bullets into Hainkyall, which although they did not harm him, did knock him from the ramparts, off the wall and into the sea. This would be repeated several times, every time the Outsider managed to climb back from the sea below, effectively keeping him out of the fight.

Oliver freed Eddie from the bloodletting contraption, and then proceeded to do the same for Lodewijk’s mother. In completing the latter, Oliver fell from the walls of the castle crashing to the rocks below. However with Aeonia, he survived the fall and began his climb back towards the ramparts.

Santi and Sven then turned their attention to Mortimer Stroud, and unleashed a barrage of bullets. He was protected by a shield, which absorbed the impact of the rounds, effectively neutralizing the attack against him.

Liberty, meanwhile, used her Silence to nullify Indra Dietrich’s Death Curse, and with the help of Lodewijk, they killed her. Their next opponent was Emeric Dane. Tomas wounded him with his sword, but Liberty once again silenced his death curse and managed to finish off the badly injured thaumaturge. She then knocked the still shielded Mortimer off the ramparts and into the sea below.

In the fight, Oliver had returned to the ramparts and overturned the silver dish containing the Roark Skull. The artifact bounced down into the courtyard, but continued to maintain the ever-widening portal.

In a stroke of inspiration, Santi grabbed up the Sword of the Cross, Fidelacchius and drove it through the Roark Skull and into the stone of the castle courtyard. Attempts by Santi, Sven and Tomas could not dislodge the sword.

As the sword began to balance the powers of the Skull, the portal above collapsed, sending a powerful shockwave into the island. The normally dormant volcano began to rapidly awaken, threatening to explode. As the tempest began to rapidly subside, the Envoys decided it was best to evacuate. Luca, with his Impenetrable Sphere remained behind to finish off the remaining Outsiders, which he transported into the Seelie Realms for their destruction.

Unfortunately, Archer’s death curse was fulfilled, as Tomas died instantly upon leaving the castle grounds. Aja was freed by Santi and accompanied the Envoys to safety.

Act 18: Escape

The Envoys, Sven’s children and Aja made their way down to the remains of the marina, where they were able to locate a seaworthy vessel. Hurriedly, they boarded it, cast off and sailed as far from the island as they could in the time allotted to them.

They witnessed the explosion of the volcano, and the burial of the Village in volcanic ash and ejecta. All evidence of the attack had now been wiped clean, leaving only a volcanic eruption to explain away the disappearance of the villagers and the destruction of the village.

The Envoys and passengers were able to safely return to Rome, although heavyhearted at the loss of their companions. Of those that fell, only father Fletcher’s body was recoverable. Brigit, Agostino and Tomas’ remains were never recovered.

Act 19: Epilogue

Liberty

After assisting Luca with cleaning the Library of Esoteric Studies of all dangerous artifacts, books and all SAVE case files, she returned to the Vatican to continue her career as an art curator and authenticator. With the German Invasion of Italy, she fled the country. After the war, she assisted in the recovery and repatriation of thousands of stolen art works taken from Jews and stolen from national museums by the Nazis.

Luca

Luca returned to Romania during WWII, where he fought as a partisan against the Nazis. He had several encounters with the Abwehr, and the Sturmreitter, and managed to foil some of their more dangerous plans. Afterwards, he returned and he and Liberty worked together to repatriate art work. Though they never married, they had a son.

Fletcher

Father Fletcher’s body was returned to his wife and infant son. He was buried in Austria, where his body remained for nearly two decades, before Luca and Liberty were able to recover it and take it to Kemet. There it was restored and Fletcher was returned to life. However, he was unable to leave Kemet, except for very short periods of time. He used this time to watch over his family and occasionally assist in protecting those closest to him.

Sven

Sven returned to Sweden, where he trained extensively for the Berlin Olympics. He won the gold medal there in August. Later after eventually leaving the military, he would found the Stockholm office for SAVE, and raise his two sons to become SAVE Envoys.

Lodewijk

Lodewijk left Rome to discover more about his heritage. He and Eddie along with the assistance of Heidi would begin researching the means by which the Taint caused by the blood of the Old One could be purified. He would advocate a return to the role of Protectors for the mortal world among his people, causing a nationalistic revival that would result in the reformulation of a secret Athanteen nation on Earth.

Tomas

Tomas’ body was never recovered it is generally believed that he was murdered during the course of an investigation into the kidnapping and murder of an orphan whose body was found on the Vatican City grounds.

Agostino

Agostino’s spirit remained trapped inside his decaying corpse until there was nothing remaining of it. After that time, the spirit was thankful for release from the remains of his mortal shell. The last of Agostino’s body resides within the Hall of Cardinals in Naples.

Oliver

Oliver returns to Germany at the outbreak of war, where he quickly makes officer in the Waffen SS. In 1945, during the final days of the war Oliver is accused of committing heinous war crimes against innocent Jewish prisoners of War.

He is tried in Nuremburg after the war, and is hung for his crimes. His son, becomes a member of the East German Statsi and is responsible for the brutal persecution of political prisoners in Germany through the cold war.

However, when the Berlin Wall comes down in 1989, the son discovers his father’s history and seeks out his grave site. After some time, he discovers it, only to find it empty, save one fragment of Sanskrit Writing. It says simply, “so it is, that which fools believe true.”

Gerard

Gerard would return to Milan, where he would operate a successful veterinary practice. When the Nazis invaded Italy, he became a partisan and was responsible for rescuing and smuggling dozens of his fellow Jews out of the country. After the war, he immigrated to the United States.

Santi

Santi remained in Rome, eventually owning his own taxi company. When the Nazis invaded Italy, he assisted in forming partisan groups against the invaders. He survived the war and re-established the Rome SAVE Office. He became it’s leader, and would go on to solve many cases.

Brigit

Brigit’s body was never recovered, and while suspicion fell upon Sven for her disappearance, a lack of evidence meant no charges could ever be filed. Her family was targeted by the Father of Martin Fletcher, and they were eventually financially ruined because of the role that she played in the death of Father Fletcher.

Dea

Dea moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she eventually established a SAVE office. She was responsible for the establishment of several SAVE Offices throughout the Arab world, although she was never the leader of any single office for long. For a while, she was considered one of the most influential SAVE Envoys in the region, and was selected to negotiate with other signatories in the region to consolidate SAVE interest there.

Leonardo

Leonardo moved to Moscow, where he became a staunch supporter of the Communist party. He was instrumental in the development of the Stolvoyka, the Russian Governmental program responsible for the investigation and resolution against the supernatural. His framework was built on the SAVE Model, but with complete government support. He served as the director of that organization until 1967, when he died from a brain aneurysm.

Piero

Piero served as a partisan during world war two in the employment of the Nazis. He was killed by his old friend Santi when it was discovered that Piero was spying on the group for the Nazis.

Aja

True to her predictions, the Abiectio were destroyed by the Vatican City SAVE Office in 1936. Aja joined the Pythia in Rome, before relocating to a new undisclosed location. To this day, she has been known to appear at various SAVE offices with information vital to their investigations. For this reason, she has been made an honorary member of the organization.

1936 Season 1, Index

Crossing the Rubicon

SAVE Rome Nicesociety