Realms' End

Step Backwards

Look, Rusty, you know how I feel about putting shit in writing. First you shackle me to Warden McDoucherton, now you ask me to make a paper trail? Stop breaking my balls.

Anyway. After you, uh, “performed” for Liam Fitzpatrick and Victoria Seersucker at XLR8, you met with them at their private table (which, I should prolly point out, you told Liam was his whenever he wanted four times during the conversation. Little desperate, boss) to talk over the sale of the nature spirit everyone’s so wet over in this goddamn part of town.

The two managed to go from “You’re the lowest bidder and we’re selling it to you” to “Yeah, this thing is a fake and we want to know who’s buying it” in like ten seconds, mostly because Mr. Compensates-for-his-Micropenis-with-a-Sword couldn’t keep his mouth shut. You were particularly interested in learning the Winter Court had been chased out of town. You, what, feeling an ax over your head too or something? Not my place, I know, but that was the fact that got the ball rolling.

Obviously you don’t know who the buyer is, either (right?), so the whole pumping you for information thing didn’t go very well (notwithstanding the free table for Liam, amirite?).

You impressed on both of them your, er . . . “discomfort” with not knowing who this new power player was in the City, and suggested that the best way to proceed might be to sell the Spirit as planned and see where the trail led—since selling the fake had worked so well for the White Council (I hear the NYPD 5th Precinct is fucking trashed from the Reds’, er, “exuberance”). And then you so kindly offered my services as courier. Which, by the way, I’m still fucking bitter about. I’m a con artist, not a fucking mail boy.

So I set up the exchange at an abandoned warehouse on 11th and 23rd. I walk over, Liam and Victoria take a car. I go in, meet this nameless bitch in black, she tells me her “associates” are running a bit late.

We stand awkwardly in silence for a bit, then a Never Never portal rips itself open on the balcony of the joint. Cold. Lots of snow. Four dudes come out—three hooded Ghouls, and one magic-user complete with staff and serious attitude problem.

This part of the story is important—the dude with the staff managed to telekinetically grab the Nature Spirit out of my fucking hands (and our dear Rookie Warden conveniently forgot to put a tracking spell on the damn thing) and then set three Ghouls on us without provocation or warning. I want to repeat that—we didn’t get the money we were promised. He just tried to kill us all instead. And he brought monsters with him—these Ghouls way outclassed us, it was super transparent. So I did what any reasonable person would do, and fucking ran. Victoria and Liam, to their credit, tried to do the whole “Last Stand” thing, but were by all reports getting their asses handed to them.

That’s when a helicopter full of armed dudes blew a hole in the ceiling of the warehouse, dropped a squad, and killed literally everything that moved.

Other than Victoria. And Liam.

Oh yeah, and the boss guy. He got away. Portal—nothing we could do.

DeBlasio’s New York, man. Fucking nightmare.

-C.F.

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prdubrowski

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