Frost and Fire, Earth and Sky

Homecoming Week #5
Homecoming Night
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Homecoming Week - #3
Thursday

When Matt awoke Thursday morning, he discovered himself covered in mud, leaves and bits of debris. The near scalding water did nothing to relieve the soreness of his aching muscles and he felt as though he had not slept at all. He was in the shower when he heard his mother shriek. She pounded on the bathroom door and demanded to know why there were muddy footprints leading from the front door to his bedroom but he didn’t answer. Instead he waited until his mother was distracted by other things, dressed quickly and sprinted down the stairs to head to school.

School passed by slowly as it always did. For the most part the students seemed more somber.

When Dr. Vulcan’s class came around he finished off the lecture about Gettysburg and began discussing the events leading up to and the aftermath of the battle. The students again sat enraptured, pausing only to ask the occasional question and receive a detailed answer.

After the class was over, Emma Bennet headed off to her Math class while Matt went to his Spanish class. Tired and distracted he did not see the linebacker in his path until it was too late. Matt walked smack into the middle of #41 Michael Davidson’s jersey numbers.

Michael_Davidson_Football_Player.pngwas naturally not amused. He yelled, and the hallway’s traffic came to a halt. When Matt tried to go around him, the behemoth slammed him bodily into the nearby lockers. Emma could hear the crash, and what must have been half the student body chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight!”. Math, she thought, could wait.

The fight did not last long and had an outcome that is still talked about twenty years later as ‘The Davidson Beatdown’. With some assistance by Emma, Matt managed to drive Davidson’s to the floor and got out before Dr. Vulcan showed up and started to clean house. The escape was short lived, however, as the schools closed circuit cameras had caught the action from a higher vantage point than the myriad of cellphone cameras that would later upload to youtube.

Marblewin and Davidson both ended up in the Vice Principal’s office where Davidson was stupid enough to try to kick out Matt’s chair in full view of the waiting room’s camera.

I’m not a troglodyte I’m a Christian. Stop insulting my faith!
Michael Davidson

They were both suspended after some witty banter. But it was made pretty clear that Davidson would be expelled if he caused any more trouble. As it stood he was barred from the homecoming game. Needless to say, this wasn’t a popular situation with the football team.

On the way out of the school, they noticed Eli kneeling next to his dirt bike with a socket wrench and a spark plug in his hand. Emma asked him what the problem was and the boy responded that his bike had been backfiring a bit lately so he was taking a look at it. When he did, he noticed that someone had tagged the seat of his bike with a symbol in magic marker. Two concentric circles that contained some sort of stylized eye.

Emma looked it over and was partly convinced that it was some sort of protective symbol. It was hard to make out, being that it was in black marker on a black motorcycle seat but it almost looked like some sort of bug in a circle. Matt got a picture of it on his cellphone just in case he needed it later.

Matt got home to a ticked off mother with a carpet steamer who put him to work cleaning up the mess left behind by his rapid departure that morning. After arguing with her for a bit Matt found himself grounded and relieved of his xbox, cellphone and tablet.

Emma got home to find all classical music blaring out of all of the windows and doors and all of the furniture from her living room and bedroom out on the lawn being aired out from all of the indoor weather of the previous night.

Emma pulled out her phone and showed the picture to her Grandma who immediately asked her "What are you doing with the eye of Moloch? The elder witch went on to tell her that Moloch was a Canaanite deity, and was also the name of a Duke of Hell in Judeo-Christian lore who was said to have gained power from and granted power to those who sacrificed children to him by fire.

Emma was noticeably startled and asked her grandmother to look into it while she went over to Eli’s place to let him know what was going on.

After dealing with the rather large Rottweiler that was the boy’s pet, moloch.pngEmma examined the markings she found on the front and back doors and the windows of the house that faced east and west.

Most disturbing perhaps was that they found the decapitated head of a bull in the crawl space underneath the house at the center of the circle. A much larger version of the symbol that was drawn on Eli’s motorcycle seat which Emma did her best to remove with acetone.

Grandma did her best to inform them that it appeared that someone was attempting to call upon the demon lord and use Eli as a sacrifice to some unknown end. To protect him, the Bennet’s decided to bring Eli to their house and explain the situation.

So let me get this straight, you think someone wants to summon a demon to eat me? Not to like, diss your religion or anything but this is some really weird shit.
Eli

Matt was banished to his room and felt himself lucky that his mother had forgotten about his laptop. When he scooped it up to hide it to prevent it’s confiscation a picture fell out of it. It was a picture of Matt , Eli and Emma at a gaming convention the previous year.

bennet_house_fire.pngHe picked up the picture and as his finger grazed the image therein, he felt the familiar tug of his visions. The vision was a very clear image that he deduced would take place about an hour and a half later, of the Bennet house engulfed in flames. The vision made him sick to his stomach and bloodied his nose. With no way to text or call Emma , he instead used his laptop to IM her a warning before grabbing his stuff and running for the stairs. His mother was in the kitchen on her third glass of whine when he ran past, gathered up his cellphone and ran out the door. If he hurried, he’d have just enough time to make it.

Grandma enlisted the help of Eli in drying and moving the furniture back into the house. They had ordered pizza by way of a thank you for the help.

The pizza delivery guy wasn’t what he appeared and brought a little something extra to the house: An incendiary device hidden among the boxes. Eli was the first person to open the pizza boxes and took the blast in the face.

[:rebel17yearold | Eli]] would most likely have died in the fire were it not for Matt arriving and charging into the flames only to haul the biker kid bodily through a broken window.

The rest of the Bennets managed to get out of the house intact but shaken up while Matt performed CPR on their badly burned school mate.

Emma noticed the pizza delivery driver walking slowly up the street whistling to himself and ran to confront him. There was a brief tussle and Emma met gazes with the man for a second too long, triggering a soul gaze.

What she saw terrified her. The driver was possessed by the creature known as Moloch?, a Duke of Hell. Towering above her in her minds eye, the creature resembled a Minotaur wreathed in fire. Summoning up her courage, she started to try to get information from the monster though it mostly just laughed at her.

When finally she asked it why he was planning to kill everyone at the homecoming dance it replied: “Why does the fire burn?”

With that Emma was shoved out of the soul gaze and the pizza delivery man slumped to the ground and began to have a seizure. Detective Harvis Kramer arrived around then, and arrested the man who would be brought to the same hospital as [:rebel17yearold | Eli]] and slipped into a state of catatonia.

The Bennets watched the home that had been the family for generations burn for a while in tears as memories went up in smoke. When they could take no more, they all retired to a nearby hotel, and Matt returned home. After some difficulty, they all slipped into a troubled sleep.

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Homecoming Week - #2
Wednesday

palos_verdes_peninsula_high_school_sign.jpg
Naturally after being up so late at the police station, Emma Bennet and Matthew Marblewin spent a large part of the school day drifting around in a fog of exhaustion.

By first period’s end, the entire school had heard the news: Morgan Folger was dead.

The reaction from the student body was fairly typical when a school loses a beloved teacher. Some students were in tears and others, such as ‘Evil’ Eli Malone, barely noticed except that they wouldn’t have to show up in English, English Literature or History that day.

Only slightly less well known was the news that Emma Bennet and Matthew Marblewin had been arrested for being out on the athletics field that night. The rumor-mill, naturally worked overtime in both cases.

Sixth period History class brought an emergency substitute teacher: Doctor Amadeus Vulcan. He was an strange looking man, seeming almost as wide as he was tall with solid features, a thick brown beard and widely spaced brown eyes. To Emma Bennet’s surprise there was something about the way the man held himself and the way that he spoke that kept the class hanging on his every word. What might well have been a rather dry lecture about troop movements during the Battle of Gettysburg seemed to flash fire into their imaginations. It was almost like Doctor Amadeus Vulcan had actually been there, even he did seem to focus quite a bit on the influence of the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry Freemasons] in the battle.

All too quickly, the class was over and the students prepared to leave. But rather than head straight home, Emma Bennet found her grandmother, Elspeth Agatha Foster waiting for her on her bicycle. She was pleased to meet Matthew Marblewin but had come out to take a look at the site where the teacher had met his end.

The group waited until after the school had completely cleared out and approached the still glass strewn and blood stained asphalt of the faculty parking lot. Elspethexcused herself and laid down a circle of salt around the three of them. Emma Bennet explained, not for the first or last time, that her grandmother was a witch and she was doing a working. Fog began rolling in from the sea and gathered ankle deep as the temperature rapidly dropped.

Elspethcalled upon the spirit of Dr. Morgan Folger Ph.D. three times, pointing a knife she called an [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athame Athame] into the four cardinal directions as she did so. After several minutes, something vaguely human shaped and formed of mist rose from the fog, bringing with it the vaguely visible form of the deceased teacher to appear within the circle’s confines. The mist creature moved around the circle and approached the teenagers like a panther curious of some new prey item. Elspethtold them not to be afraid as the circle would protect them.

The spirit of spoke out in an otherworldly tone, strained by the effort of being pulled back from the other side. Elspethquestioned him for a while asking him if he knew who had been his murderer.

I name my murderer as my nephew Odysseus Carter Folger. His ambition to take control of the Masonic lodge is no secret, even to me. But he is not ready, and must not be allowed to seize power or disaster will follow.
- The Ghost of Dr. Morgan Folger Ph.D.

The energy holding the spirit on this plane expended, the mist thing collapsed back into the fog and the spirit faded into nothingness leaving only a feeling of unease in its wake.

Matthew Marblewin then received an odd MMS text containing a view from what was undoutedly the announcer’s box at the high school athletic field. It showed very clearly Matthew Marblewin, Emma Bennet and Detective Harvis Kramer having their chat from the night before.

Naturally like any good teenager Matt crept out of the house to investigate. In the announcer’s booth he found a large dent in the corrugated metal wall, a small spot of blood in it’s middle. He’d also uncovered a small scrap of dark brown fabric that had snagged on an old staple under the desk. Reluctantly, he touched it.

The vision came upon him rapidly and overwhelmed him in a seizure. Emma and Mrs. Foster saw him drop and came running to keep him from hurting himself.

The vision was of a figure garbed in a set of darkly colored robes. He was watching something out of the front window of the very announcer’s booth in which they all stood. The side door opened with a sudden flash of cold blueish white light. The hooded figure was struck by something so hard that knocked it back against the wall hard enough to dent it and leave a scant bit of blood behind. A scuffle ensued, leaving behind a bit of the robe’s fabric before the figure was dragged out into the darkness.

Mrs. Foster helped the boy to his feet and with the assistance of Emma they managed to get the boy back to his house before supper. Annette Marblewinwas not amused at her son coming home late.

That night, Emma dreamt of Matt. He was digging for something behind a great table made of stone. The table had an inscription upon it that was too blurry to read. She watched him for a while before he slide something into the hole and began to cover it up. Then Matt paused and began to look around as though he’d sensed her presence. She woke up at that point only to discover something even stranger.

The first thing she noticed was how cold she felt. As she became more awake and aware, Emma noticed that with the faint light coming in through the window she could see her breath in the air. Then something touched her face.

She reached over to flick on the light on her night table and realized with a start that it was in fact snowing in her room. Given that a quarter inch dusting had fallen all over her room and her things it had been snowing for quite some time. Startled, she screamed for her Emma and grandmother who came running with several crashes.

The experienced Witch could detect nothing hostile or out of the ordinary about the indoor snowstorm. Which in and of itself was strange. Emma was resettled back down in the living room and grandma warded her bedroom, locked the door and went back to bed, content to clean up the mess in the morning.

A few hours later though, Emma woke with a start, realizing she was quite wet. Thunder rumbled overhead as a storm cloud had gathered at her living room ceiling. Lightning flickered here and there among the miniature thunderheads and as she lay there in amazement, hail began to fall along with the rain.

She summoned her grandmother again. The older Witch was able to dismiss the storm easily, but the rain and hail turned into ectoplasmic slime after only a few seconds drenching everything in a thin layer of goo. For lack of a better idea what to do with the child, she relocated Emma to the bathroom, put a circle of protection around her specifically, warded the room and went back downstairs to deal with the cleanup.

Emma was not the only one to have strange dreams and happenings that evening. Matthew Marblewin also had a dream. In his dream he was standing outside of a poorly kept ranch house. A partially disassembled motorcycle decorated the overgrown lawn and a thick necked Rottweiler slept on the front steps.

From a first person perspective he saw himself pull on some sort of mask. He then saw himself throw something to the Rottweiler on which the dog began chewing contentedly. Matt had never done anything close to breaking and entering before but he then found himself breaking into the house. Inside, he checked the bedroom seeing an older looking man with a woman in bed, sleeping.

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Homecoming Week #1
Tuesday

Peninsula_logo.gifIt was a typical Tuesday at Palos Verdes Peninsula High and things were certainly hopping. While it was fall and sunset was rapidly approaching the weather was clear and balmy as it usually was. The Panthers were tearing up the athletic fields and the Pantherettes were practicing loudly nearby. The theatre was filled to the brim with the singing chorus members and the halls were festooned with black and yellow ribbons in celebration of homecoming week.

But not everybody was celebrating. In the lunchroom, under the watchful eye of Morgan Folger their student adviser the Fellowship of Frost and Fire was having their usual eclectic Wednesday evening club meeting. Originally three or four smaller clubs each faced with a lack of school resources to support them, they merged into one of the largest non-sport organizations in the school. In the lunch room, they took up quite a bit of real estate.

At one set of tables sat the Drama students, preparing to propose a script for the winter theatre season. At a second sat the Gaming group, a large D&D map spread out before them covered in various miniature monster figurines. At a third table was a group of students who loved literature and were reading quietly to themselves. The last table, closest to the windows were a group everyone called the Scooby Dooers, because they had a penchant for mystery novels and spoke of investigations into the para-natural.

Emma Bennet, Matt Marblewin and ‘Evil’ Eli Malone sat at the last table quietly talking among themselves and doing homework.

The Captain of the Football team, a couple of toadies and some cheerleaders came banging into the lunchroom intent on disrupting the club meeting but they cut things short when they realized that Morgan Folger was also present.

Matt was too busy suffering from a migraine to notice the jocks but starting having odd flashes of images forcing them into his head. He’d been experiencing such visions since childhood so they hadn’t really been much of a surprise. The content, as always, was bloody and disturbing.

Headlights. I saw headlights and they ran me down in the parking lot. I felt bones crunching as they ran over me.
- Matt – Police report 20141511/2105/c

When Emma and Matt left and started across the parking lot not a half hour later a dark shape, resembling a muscle car screeched into the parking lot, blinding them with it’s bright headlights and revved it’s engine. The pair managed to get out of the way as the dark car screamed past them. The pair were both unnerved by the event but assumed it was high schoolers playing pranks and headed home.

About an hour and half later both students received a mysterious phone call which being part of the ScoobyDooers clique within the Fellowship of Frost and Fire both had their curiosities piqued.

Both made their way to the school and met up along the way. Matt ‘s migraine returned almost immediately. They decided it would be best to ditch Emma’s car about a block or two away and make their way across the athletics fields to find out what was going on. They could see a number of police vehicles, their lights whirling like a carnival, sitting in the back lot of the school.

Emma decided to sneak closer and try to get inside the police cordon while Matt stayed up on the bleachers with a decent enough view to record things on his iphone. Up on the bleachers Matt noticed that the high powered sodium stadium lights had all blown out, leaving chunks of glass strewn about the area that crunched under his feet.

Just as Emma was about to sneak her way past a police officer, Matt texted her to ask how it was going. The resulting music from her pocket nearly got her busted. She was able to talk her way around the officer but ended up back behind the cordon.

the_car.jpg

From her perspective Emma was able to see a man’s arm laying on the ground near a beat up looking Mazda and recognized the distinctive tweed sport coat with elbow patches that their favorite teacher had been wearing only a short time earlier that night. The fingers on the visible handle, noticeably mangled in a manner that seemed out of place for a hit and run car accident.

The car itself had been struck by something hard enough to rip the driver’s door completely off. Tire tread marks, as far as she could tell, did not indicate a car stopping but rather speeding up.

Emma decided to go and made her way back to the athletic field to meet up with Matt who had been busy poking around on the bleachers on his own. They’d only been there talking a minute or so when an investigator for the Palos Verdes Police Department caught them there.

Detective Harvis Kramer , questioned the two kids briefly but quickly figured out that they were lying to him about why they were at the athletic field. Given the possibility that they might be responsible for the death of the teacher or might be material witnesses he arrested the both of them and took them down to the precinct house.

The two teens were separated from each other and made to wait in interrogation rooms until their legal guardians could make an appearance. While Matt was bemoaning his parent’s potential reaction to his arrest, he found himself sitting in a chair where a man had been killed. The revelation The Murder of Ernesto Garcia came to him like a knife to the ribs leaving his nose trickling with blood and his head throbbing.

Matt ‘s mother wasn’t happy. Nor was the Bennet family lawyer, Reince Priebus of The Law Offices of Crowley, Manson, Kearney, and Bianchi. A long time retainer of the Bennet family, Reince instructed Emma to cooperate as she was in no actual legal trouble at the time. They told the story of what little they had seen and admitted to having gone to the school’s athletics field to get a look at the scene after a particularly odd and mysterious phone call they’d both received.

Matt ’s mother grounded him, but Emma ’s grandmother, Elspeth Bennet, seemed more irritated with the police than with her granddaughter, calling them all jack-booted thugs on the way out. The both went home to get some much needed rest.

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