Trouble in Paradise: A DFRPG Adventure in Hawaii

Prologue
Session 0 … or The Beginning

From the Journal of Nick Dumont –
I guess I should make a record of what goes on in Hawaii, sorry that some of these beginning ones are so short, but a lot has happened and I am just now going back to make some notes. Computers and wizards just don’t mix well, so I will be giving my hand written notes to Kwuiko and she will then type them up for me.
I guess I need to start with a little introduction. My name is Nicholas Alexander Tiberius Dumont; I am a wizard – no, not the ones that do magic tricks, the real kind. I came to Hawaii by way of San Francisco, by way of New Orleans – my home town. I was raised by loving parents up until I turned 11, when they died in a car crash. After that I was raised on the borders of the Louisiana swamp by my Cajun grandparents. My grandparents were not surprised when I developed my magical abilities in my 12th year. They even knew a strange Frenchman named LeChevilier who could help me with magic. Later I learned that was in my family tree, in fact, my grandfather is a minor practitioner.
I soon found myself apprenticed to a Warden of the White Council who was gone a lot on business, so spent most of the time studying on my own for the most part. To say he was distant was an understatement and I soon discovered he thought that he was better than almost anybody – especially a ‘snot nose pup from the swamps’, I just thought he was full of hot air and a bit big for his britches. He saw himself as a traditionalist – but he was really just stuck in the ruts of propriety and time. Needless to say we were not each other’s favorites, but he did teach me a lot. I discovered I had a knack for earth magic then expanded to learn air and water magic as well.
Towards the end of my apprenticeship I killed what I thought was a mindless zombie thrall with magic, my bad. He was a thrall, but under the influence of Voodoo magic possession and would have recovered if I hadn’t ended his life. This led to no short of ugly ridin’ in on me – in the form of my teacher, the White Council, and a Warden’s Sword. The Gatekeeper saved my life – sort of. He was the deciding vote on whether to end my life, so he sent me on a mission to see if I could change. This led to me to closing and sealing an outer gate, saving my neck, and finding out an old family heirloom was more than what it appeared to be – all for the low price of losing my eyesight.
The White Council decided I needed a new teacher and I went out West to San Francisco, CA with my new teacher, Rollo Kane. He was tougher than a one eared alley cat and strong too. He was much more hands on that my previous teacher and I took the preacher’s seat more than once in my time with him. It was just what I needed, because within a couple of years I finished my training and passed my wizard trials while still blind. We learned to respect each other and became close friends during that time
It was not until finished my training with Rollo that he told me he had clear instructions from the Council to kill me if I strayed – no questions asked. The last two things he gave me as I left him were an old K-bar knife and a cufflink – not two just one. He said the cufflink was part of the previous Warden’s ‘succession planning’ in case of emergency. I needed to take it to a specific attorney office and it would identify me as the previous warden’s inheritor when matched with its mate. I would not be a warden, but I would be the White Council’ contact on the island.
That brings my story to Hawaii. I was given the task to discover why the Council had lost contact with the local warden, Ardeth Bey. Well, I found out real quick why they lost contact with him. When I presented the cufflink to the attorney, I was immediately arrested for the warden’s murder. I had been framed, but ended up getting out of the charges when the attorney who set me up had a change of heart and we found the guy who actually killed the Warden – a local hit man named Rip.

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Chapter One
Tim’s First Session or...Shellycobbs, Nixies, and Lanilolo ...Oh My!

From the Journal of Nick Dumont -
In a few months I found that I inherited everything the Warden had, his home, business, enemies, and his ghost. I try to represent the White Council here on the island the best I can, but I am not a Warden and I am severely lacking in refined people skills. It was fate that I found a were-shark named Kwuiko soon after I arrived here. She has become my main contact with the many minor practitioners on the island, and we have fallen in love. It does make life complicated sometimes – but definitely worth it.
I have discovered a diverse group of super-naturals on the island and a small group of them are my kind of stupid. We have helped each other out of sticky situations on several occasions. Justice a were-panther surfer crashes at my house on my couch, Kane’ – a ‘herbalist’ who is equal parts snake oil salesman and the real thing – swears he can talk to ghosts, Alex is a clued-in mortal serving in a top secret military black ops group tasked with keeping tabs on and – I think – hunting the supernatural, and Ryan, the attorney who had a change of heart.
Our adventures on the island really started when we were on the beach watching Justice in a surf completion with me tending Warden Bey’s surf shop. I still hadn’t recovered all my sight yet, but thanks to a wizard’s constitution it was starting to slowly come back. While we were on the beach there was quite a commotion stirred up by a girl of unearthly beauty. She was a Fae and not trying very hard to hide her true nature with her glamour. The commotion was caused by a group of males, mostly tourist types, who at first were just following and ogling her. We could tell she was trying to reach the water and they were keeping her from reaching it and they were quickly was turning violent. We were a might fuzzy on the particulars as to why they were after her, but we decided to try to stop them while trying not to hurt the men. We went to fisticuffs with several of them and I cast a quick evocation that turned the sand into grasping tentacles that grabbed the mob and slowed them down. However, the Fae was not totally helpless. She called up an enormous shellycobb from the water that quickly went to work tearing apart the mob. Now we had a dilemma – protecting her from the human mob or protecting
I knew Alex was a military man and had training that made him lethal, but to see him in action was something else entirely. He waded right in to the fray and jumped onto the creature driving twin knives that looked like they were patterned on old WWI trench knives. They apparently had a high iron ratio in them because they sliced right through the shellycobb and burned it as well. Needless to say Alex killed it single handedly with an impressive display of Weapons skill. She disappeared into the water, Alex called his people in to contain the mess with the monsters remain and to handle damage and PR control. We investigated and soon found that the men were under the influence of a third eye variant drug the natives called Lanilolo and it appeared to have distribution ties to a mafia group called DOLUS.
We tracked the distribution network to a shrimp truck that operated all over Oahu. With a spell I was able to track the drugs back to a house in a rundown part of town. No one was there and it had been cleared out. I left an alarm spell there that would alert me if anyone returned in the next couple of days – no one did.

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Chapter 2
Tim’s Second Session ... or Shooting Up The Wizard's House

From the Journal of Nick Dumont –
In the process of tracking down the Lanilolo distribution we found out that Rip is involved with DOLUS’s operation. I (or the old Warden) got a call from Naoya Takamasa, assistant curator of the Bishop’s Museum, wondering if we might help with a problem. When we get there we find a mysterious tome opened on the ground and a dead curator on the ground. I have a bad feeling about this and open my Sight. I see a strange fish-like creature swimming through the air seemingly tethered to the book. I realize that the book opens a portal to the Nevernever and something came through when the untrained curator decided to dabble in something that he did not understand fully.
We make several attempts to kill the creature before closing the portal/ book and sealing closed again. I realize that Naoya is a practitioner focused in thaumaturgy and ancient native magic. I confiscate the book from the museum and later discover that the curators protect and control a huge quantity of magical artifacts archived in the Bishop’s Museum. We return to my house which has since become the group’s meeting place/ hangout. While we are trying to decide our next move, I get a bad feeling again and Justice spots a van that has gone by the house a couple of times. We start to get suspicious and go to investigate.
The van is parked not far away and I look at it with my sight and sense that no one is inside. So I decide to hex it so they cannot get away. Instead of our plan (why should anything go according to plan?) the van blows up in a spectacular explosion. Simultaneously automatic gunfire opens up and starts tearing the front of my home apart. We deal with the thugs, Alex starts shooting and laying down cover fire, Ryan grabs my Grandpa’s BFG and lets loose with it, Justice changes into a panther and disappears in the darkness. I pinpoint where they are at with my sight and hold one of them with a gravity spell. Man Justice is fast, before I know what happened he took out the one I am holding and moved on to another. After we take care of the shooters Justice heard a car take off in a hurry and gives chase. He gets close enough the recognize Rip, and it looks like he orchestrated the attack. This guy has started to damage my calm! First he framed me for murder and now he shot up my house.
As we are cleaning up the mess I get a call from Afa Rubaka, the Regional Commander of the Warden’s in the Pacific – the old Warden’s boss. He was not happy with me for taking the book. It seems that the Museum curators’ are on the list of VIP’s with the White Council. After being chewed up one side and down the other I am told to give it back. It is very apparent that he does not think highly of me. He is only allowing me to be here in his area as a courtesy to Rollo.
When we return the book to the museum and apologize to Naoya, he forgives us and introduces us to another employee at the museum, a beautiful young lady named Ma’le. She instantly takes a liking to Ryan and the feeling seems to be mutual, but I have a feeling again and so I open my sight. What I see overloads and dazzles me when I look at her, she is definitely not human. We also find that the protective wards and threshold around the museum are weakened and cracked.

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Chapter 3
Tim’s third Session or...Time To Save The Tooth Fairy

From the Journal of Nick Dumont –
In the days that follow the attack I was so focused on fixing the house, placing extra wards around it, making bracelets for the group to bypass the wards, I also asked Kwuiko to marry me – she said yes – so now we are engaged. So I did not notice a number of strange events happening, probably the one that affected us most of all was the news of Alex’s unit being shut down and transferred on orders from way up his chain of command. What really threw me for a loop was the phone call to Ryan from Rip saying that he wanted us to help him.
Against my better judgment we agreed to meet him at the Pearl Harbor Memorial to discuss the details. I trust him about as far as I can throw him, so I ask Kwui and her school of weresharks to be in the harbor around the memorial if we need help. It seems that Rip has lost someone that DOLUS had working for them. A sorcerer named Hinder Weisenberg (I know, how threatening can he be with a name like that right? Well it seems he can be very threatening). It seems that DOLUS Hired Hinder to modify and improve the Third Eye formula. However he decided to go into business for himself and took off with some of their supplies and equipment. It seems he favors mind magic but needed a thaumaturgical link. Rip lets it slip that people who are native to Hawaii are in the most danger of mind control.
We talked with Naoya and do some of our own investigating and found that he had somehow stolen teeth (either baby teeth or forcibly removing teeth from adults) to control their actions. We decide to contact the Tooth Fairy of Hawaii, Lady Niho, (it seems they have different jurisdictions, there is not just one) by having me try to summon her in a circle. It doesn’t work, but I get the impression that it should have but something was stopping her. I ask the Warden’s Ghost for help and he explains she has a realm/ demesne in the Beyond Far Enough. We go to her demense and find that it has been overran and a huge vault of teeth are missing. We had to fight through her guards until we could reason with one and discovered she had been abducted by Hinder.
With the information we have gathered we track Hinder to a dormant volcano cave/lava tube in Diamond Head. We fight our way past more of his thralls until we find the main cave where he has put the teeth, but no Hinder. I open my Sight and look around, but all I see is a room packed with children and people, in the mix I think I see a child version of Justice. The evil sorcerer, gets the drop on us because a great veil and me being distracted with the Sight, but we put up a good fight and injured Hinder so bad he decides to kill himself and release his Death Curse on us, ‘Burn!’ at which point the volcano erupts. In the end it was a frantic race, Ryan and Alex freed the tooth fairy and Justice gathered as many of the teeth as he could. I tore open a Way into the Nevernever, not knowing what is on the other side, but anything was better than an erupting volcano.
Ryan feels he would have died if it hadn’t been for some supernatural intervention. I received severe burns that will take some time to recover from, and Justice developed a severe aversion to fire and gets some answers about his talisman that allows him to change. It has a panther tooth inside and Lady Niho enchanted it, along with others to give to those how have done her a great service. She offers to train him and place more powerful enchantments on it if he wishes.

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Chapter 4
Ben’s First Session or … Time to Meet the Lovely Ladies behind DOLUS

From the journal of Nick Dumont –
As we were all recovering from our ordeal at Hinder’s Hideout, we decided to go try to dig up some more information on what might be happening so we head to the Bishop Museum to talk to our friend Naoya. We took two cars, Justice in my jeep with me and the others in Alex’s inconspicuous black behemoth of an SUV. My jeep was run off the road and rolled down an embankment on the side of the road. I climbed back up the hillside to see what happened, but Justice stayed hidden in the foliage surrounding the area. Alex is behind me and pulls over to stop as well as another guy on that is on his way to work – I think his name was Ash. We end up subduing them and the cops come in an unusually quick fashion. They end up arresting us and we realized that these were not real cops. We are taken to an old but functional warehouse/ storage facility for the Dole Plantation.
We quickly learn that we were being held by a faction of DOLUS, it appeared that a schism in DOLUS had formed. We quickly picked up that this faction is looking for Rip because he had something of theirs and failed to return it. Alex was ‘tortured’, if you can call it that, while the rest of us were held in cells. I hexed their electronics and high tech gear. Then I blew a hole in the back wall for us to escape. Kane kept the guard dogs at bay, but was a little freaked out about the place. He said he could see and talk to the ghosts of people who had been killed here. I went back to get Alex and my wizard stuff. It seems he was treated quite well while being questioned, except for a strange cut he had on his arm where she had toyed with him. While we are exiting the building I came to blows with Anna, the leader here, and punched her in the nose. I know my grandpa taught me to treat ladies with the proper respect, but when they kidnap you and threaten you – they cease to be ladies.
Alex was no worse for wear- except for the scratch, my jeep got impounded, Kane’ is having nightmares from the ghosts he met at the facility they were holding us, and Justice found out, from the real cops, that the men who took us were wanted in a RICO investigation.

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Chapter 5
Ben’s Second Session … or a Deal with the Devil (Lady from DOLUS)

From the Journal of Nick Dumont –
After we made it back from Anna’s I went to find my jeep. It had been impounded so I had to pay for that and then to have it towed to my mechanic. So once I got it there I had to haggle with my mechanic about the price, which was a lot – but he is one of the best and he can get vintage parts for an old jeep. I struck a deal with him to teach his son some karate to make up the difference in the bill. When I finally got back to my place everyone had gone their own way and was doing their own thing. It seems Kane’ really can see ghosts, and apparently picked up a few hitchhikers. I thought I could sense some Talent in him when we first met – but there is a whole lot of fancy, made up s&!t along with it, but he really seemed to be able to communicate with the ghosts. Justice hid from the RICO investigation at a surf competition on another island, and Alex was infected with a magical poison from his cut.
I walked in the door of my place to find Kane’ doing some mumbo jumbo chanting over a foul smelling ‘herbal’ mixture smeared over Alex’s arm. Kane’ and his ‘home remedies’ took the pain away, but was beyond his expertise to heal. They let me take a look at it with my Sight and I knew right away that it was not a normal infection, I am not an expert on biomancy at all, but it was not hard to tell that this was black magic, I was convinced that it could have killed him if the wound would have been more severe. So I took some extra time and was able to thaumaturgicaly remove the magical poison and let healing begin.
I swallowed my pride and called Afa, not my most favorite thing to do, to let him know about what had been happening and that we have a lead on some dark magic artifacts. Afa warned me about powerful dark magic that was rumored to be on the island – with possibilities of Outsider Magic as well.
We thought Rip’s life might be in jeopardy, and we felt like we should warn him (don’t know why, I mean he only framed me for murder and then shot up my house with automatic gunfire). We contacted Ryan and pulled him away from his other pursuits, with a goddess. He was able to find Rip on the golf course at Turtle Bay playing golf with another ‘business man’ and eye Candy.
We had a good discussion with Rip, he was at ease and open to talk, and extremely cocky and caviler in his attitude. We discovered that he was working with the opposing faction of DOLUS and he double crossed Anna. He even mentioned that he felt pretty secure in his protection offered by his new employer. I have to say he did help us and give us quite a bit of information about the organization. For example: it has seven matriarchs each possession of a powerful magic item , and each corresponding to the 7 deadly sins and the 7 Laws of Magic.
I finally had it with Rip, I really just wanted to wipe that smug arrogant smile off his face, and get some of his blood I could use as a link for a ritual if I need to, and so I hit him
This began a firefight as Rip’s bodyguards opened fire on Alex and I while Kane’ stood back and said, ‘Dude can’t we all just get along?’ I immediately stopped so it would not escalate and Rip ended up letting us go, but he is no longer their friend. I really don’t care, I personally think this is no big loss, because with friends like that who needs enemies.
We finally decided that in order to get closer to these artifacts we need a connection with DOLUSso we attempt to mend some fences with Anna and offered our services to counter act Rip’s actions with the other faction. Anna gave us a milk run to prove our loyalty to her.
She wanted us to find the choker that Hinder stole from her associate Comore Raith. We found it in the ruins of the Lava tube that blew when we fought Hinder. We had to use some magic and some spelunking abilities to get to it, but we did finally retrieve it. I discovered it to be a powerful black magic item that enthralls the person wearing it.
I called Afa with the news that we had an item that breaks the 4th Law of Magic, and our plan to give it back to the bad guys in order to get closer and uncover the rest of the artifacts. Afa did not want us giving it back to DOLUS, so I made preparations to turn it over to the White Council. Just as I finish getting ready to turn it over, I got a call from Afa. He told me that he does not agree with the Council’s decision – but after talking with them, someone higher up the chain of command overruled him. They told him to give us the discretion on whether to use it gain the organization’s trust so we will be able to get to the other black magic items.
He also gave us tips on how to destroy it and how to prove ownership. The party discovered that because they retrieved it they are its true owners, and I soon discovered why the Laws of Magic exist – it is a slippery slope from ‘do we own it’ to ‘now I can make him do whatever I want’. However I do have to say my house has never looked cleaner.

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Chapter 6
Ben’s Third Session or ‘Yeah, Let’s Split the Party...What Could Go Wrong?’

From the Journal of Nick Dumont –
After we retrieved the choker Alex received a call from SPRU-11 and had to leave on assignment. So we were faced with having to bring the choker back to Anna to prove or good faith to her. I chose not to go back to Anna’s lair to deliver it. Alex was kind of our spokesman with Anna and without him with us I knew Kane and Justice would have a hard enough time without me there, so I stayed at my place while they delivered the goods (although I did manage to get a small shaving off of it in a inconspicuous place so I could track it down later.
While the two of them were gone I received a call from Afa. He had to once again express his displeasure with me that I did not turn the choker over to the White Council like he had suggested instead of following the Council’s wisdom in doing what my friends and I thought was best and using it to get more and bigger artifacts. But he said that we could not worry about that now, the ‘supernatural chatter’ he and other council members had heard was more urgent and pressing. Apparently there was an artifact, more powerful and dangerous than all others currently on the island, headed for Oahu on a passenger liner – and he wanted me to stop it. At all costs it must not reach the island; he wanted me to stop it from landing. No problem.
When the guys return they find me gathering up my magical items and preparing to assault a passenger liner. We trade stories, apparently Anna gave us our next assignment – steal Rita’s mirror. She will be away from her mansion tonight at dinner in Waikiki at The Ocean House. It is one of the most expensive and swankiest places on the Island. All we need to do is sneak into her house while she is out – the down side is that her place is crawling with underlings and guards. The guys talk me out of leading a suicide mission on the cruise liner, since we have a couple of days we decide to hit Rita’s place tonight and then go to the cruise liner. I asked Kwuiko and her school of weresharks to head out to the ship and scope it out for us while we deal with Rita.
We also paid a visit to Takemasa at the Bishop’s museum to see if he knows any more information about the artifact coming in from the Far East that I am suppose to stop. He does not know much more other than whatever it is it scares the White Council. It is big and powerful enough to get their attention during the war with the Red Court. He also mentions that as stretched as the White Council is Afa is not the type to not have a back-up plan or two. In fact, we are probably not the main attack, but just the diversion. This just solidified in my mind my suspicions about him using me as a blunt instrument to poke the hornet’s nest. I am just all kinds of happy about that.
When it is time we go our separate ways, Justice and Kane went to the restaurant to see what kind of information they can get and also to see if they can stall her. I went to the mansion and found it crawling with men and security surveillance. After scoping it out and seeing all the cameras and 8 foot tall wall around the property. When I looked at it through my sight I saw it as a hornet’s nest (nice!) with a lot of worker hornets buzzing around, probably about 30. I also saw a powerful magic item in about the center of the house. I decided to hex a camera and then move around to the other side, hex another camera and hop the wall. So far so good, once I got over the fence I cast an Air Evocation that bent the light rays around me to hide me from casual observers.
I made it across the grounds and the first camera hex acted quite well as a diversion. I managed to find a servant’s entrance into the pantry/ kitchen area of the mansion. Just before I opened I happened to notice that it was set with an alarm. I hexed it and continued into the mansion. I crossed the threshold and felt some power go out of me as I crossed uninvited. I did not expect much of a threshold, so it was more substantial – but not enough to worry me too much, I just felt uninvited. I continued deeper into the mansion in the general direction that I had seen with my Sight. I passed a couple of off duty guards and made it to the open foyer/ lobby – like entrance. I listened to the woman left in charge and the head of security discuss the strange happenings of cameras going on the fritz. Then they received the report that the service entrance alarm had been compromised as well – so she doubles the guards (Great, just what I need!)
I quickly found a walk in linen closet and hid until it died down, but it did not die down – if anything it got busier. I meditated to aid in my concentration and see if I could shake this uninvited feeling that was making me anxious. After that I waited for a break and cast another veil over myself and made a break for it. I made it passed the foyer and hexed the main control panel for security and communications. I thought it might help me and also the other two when they got here. Big mistake, she called for more guards and stared dispatching runners out to those stationed on the grounds outside. Great I had to hurry now. I turned the sight on again and homed in on where I needed to go. My veil held through some close calls on the way until I found myself in front of a thick reinforced door.
“This must be the place then”, I said to myself as I studied the problem before me. Now I have basically been law abiding most of my life so I am somewhat lacking in the understanding and ways of thieves and the criminally minded. I was somewhat flustered as to how to disarm an electrical lock that is fail-safed to more mechanical ones besides the one mechanical one I could see. As I was pondering my predicament I heard the woman’s voice talking with the security chief coming down the hall. With my veil still intact I ducked into a side office and hid behind the desk in the far corner of the room.
They discussed the need to keep Rita’s possessions safe and eluded to terrible things happening to the employees if she were to lose them. They ended up leaving two somewhat thuggish guards behind to keep an eye on the vault. The two men decided that the office I was in would be a good place to hang out. One leaned against the bookshelf and the other sat down in the desk chair not inches away from me!
I cast a simple air magic spell to make the sound of a noise that appeared to be coming from inside the vault. This distracted and upset one, but the other one closest to me and the more veteran of the two talked him out of shoot his way into the vault to get to whoever was on the other side. It did get them both out of the room and in the hall, but then the experienced one thought he saw something in the corner where I was. He still couldn’t see me but could tell that something was there – so he opened up with his gun and started firing in my general area. Lucky for me I had meditated earlier and stayed calm and collected. I did not flinch, and he did not hit me. The gun fire brought three more goons running to the hallway. I knew my time was running out and I had to do something quick. So I called up some lightning in the hallway, this put three of the men into convulsions similar to a high powered Tazer, while the other two were a little tougher and were not taken out, just dazed and confused.
I then mustered more power than what is good for me and ripped the vault door out of the wall and sent it flying down the hall at the remaining two which left them alive but contemplating on the fact that there was not a door on them just a moment ago. Now I had a migraine and could hear more men running to the sound of the commotion. I stumbled into the vault and cast a spell to make the metal in the safe malleable enough to wrench the door open and pull out the mirror. I wish I had more time to look around the vault because it looked like there was a lot of valuables and documents that would be interesting to get my hands on – but like I said thieving don’t come naturally to me. Just before the reinforcements arrived I could swear I heard a voice telling me to put down the mirror and that he / it would destroy it.
“Yeah, I’m not going to listen to the voices in my head right now, probably too much magic mucking up the brainpan.” I replied to myself as I ripped a hole in the Nevernever and stepped through. I just hoped that I was prepared for whatever awaited on the other side. My last thought as I passed through was, “I wonder what happened to the other guys. I could have used at least a distraction.”

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Chapter 7a
Nick's Point of View

From the Journal of Nick Dumont –

So I found myself in what I would consider an almost prehistoric Hawaiian landscape – a desert island theme. Within moments of me appearing I see people coming out of hiding. They all look like castaways or shipwreck survivors. The start shouting ‘He has appeared, go get the leader.’ I start backing away from thm as they move toward me telling me not to be afraid, that they have been waiting for me. Soon their Leader comes and tells me he can destroy the mirror I grabbed from DOLUS. Somehow I don’t trust him and I tell them to stay a respectable distance from me. They tell me they have been watching and helping us get the mirror and they have been in contact with Kane’ and can help me get back. I ask him to show me how to get back to Kane’ and then have him verify his story. He tells me he can do that and does dispatch a messenger to make contact with my friends, but he also tells me that Kwuiko is in danger and the sooner I give him the mirror the sooner he can help me save my fiancé. So I give him the mirror, against my better judgment. He responds with telling me the quickest point to get back then telling his gang, ‘I‘ve got it now you can kill him’, as he fades away with the mirror.

So I ran. I figured these were the ghosts Kane’ had mentioned talking to and I was in their demense. They could physically harm me here and I did not want that to happen – besides they would be more powerful here. Thanks to my enchanted shirt and hat I managed to stay far enough ahead of them for me to open a way back. I did a spectacular dive through the opening and splashed into a shallow lagoon nowhere near the mansion I had escaped from. About the time I dug myself up on the beach the rest of the gang and Afa drove up. Just great.

Afa was not happy with us not going out to the ship right away. Even though we told him we went after another artifact. He asked where it was and I told him I had destroyed it in the NeverNever. He mentioned the mirror sucked the life out of victims to keep the bearer young and vibrant, and if a ghost who was killed with it ever got a hold of it he could bring himself back to life – but it would also destroy the mirror.

I told them I could get us there in less than a minute. I had put a sympathetic link on to Kwuiko’s engagement ring so I could use it in a thaumaturgic ritual to create a wormhole so I could travel to her almost instantly. Afa leaves to make backup arrangements in case we fail. I spend a few minutes drawing a circle in the sand there on the beach and arranging the necessary implements to do the ritual. So I get us to the boat and find the were-sharks beat up and held captive in the forward cargo hold. They tell us they made it aboard easily and started exploring the ship starting in the front. When they got to the back upper decks they were attacked by a masked ‘ninja-samurai’ guy dressed in black.

We finally managed to break out of the hold and into a bigger mess that ended in a firefight with some thugs and at least some of the were-sharks shot and possibly dead. Kwuiko stayed with us and I gave her my enchanted sword and her Bowie knife. As soon as we got out of that fiasco we made our way to the engine room.

While there we were attacked by two of the ninja guardians that attacked the girls. Kane’ was not a lot of help as he fell into one of his drug induced convulsions saying that he had a vision. Meanwhile Alex discovered the things did not like water and while Kane and Kwuiko kept the thugs out, Alex and I melted the constructs. We then thought to question the thugs we had captured earlier, so we went back to the hold where we had them tied up. As we questioned them they told us we could not win. Then a weird déjà vu feeling came over us and we were right back where we started when we first came onto the ship. The artifact on board controlled time and sent us back in time. Talk about a Law violation!

We decided to not be so subtle this time and just try to sink the ship. I started ripping holes down through the ship with my magic and then with the were-shark’s help we swam away as the ship sunk. We soon discovered that the time distortion only was around the ship, because as we watched it sink we watched it rewind like a movie and come back up to the surface as if nothing were affected. As we were staring in disbelief we heard fighter jets overhead and heard the roar of several missiles destroy the ship. We asked Alex if it was his people that did it. He said no.

When we got back we found Afa Waiting for us. He told us that he called in the fighters and expressed relief we had made it out, but it was not very convincing. I think he just used us to provide a distraction, so he could call in a favor from his contacts in the military to sink the ship. Now I just feel used.

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Chapter 7
Aboard the Hibiki Maru

Afa was upset that Nick had gone after the mirror instead of a ship that he warned was carrying something dangerous and heading to the Hawaiian shore: the Hibiki Maru. Nick Dumont had sent his girlfriend Kuwiko and her weresharks to check it out while he explored Rita’s beachfront mansion. Unfortunately for Nick, he now faced troubles of his own!

In a desperate escape from Rita’s mansion, Nick had torn a hole into the never-never (beyond far enough) to get away from certain death at the hands of Rita’s goons. There he encountered a somewhat unwelcome friend of Kane: the Ghost of a gangster named Lucky. Lucky was willing to help Nick return to Hawaii in exchange for the mirror Nick had just claimed from Rita’s vault. Without much in the way of options, Nick accepted, only to discover that Lucky was not nearly so trustworthy as both he and Kane had thought. The mirror allowed the owner to manipulate the very powers of life, in violation of a law of magic, and Rita (as the Lady of Pride) had used it to keep herself perpetually young. Lucky claimed to want to destroy it to help himself and the spirits who followed him finally have peace, but in reality he wanted the mirror (as Afa later speculated) to return to life himself!

Once the mirror was in Lucky’s hands, Nick was chased down and forced to make another desperate leap back to the mortal world, fortunately able to reconnect with Kane, run into Afa, and eventually join Alex as well.

After an angry lecture from Afa, Nick and his friends decided to check out the Hibiki Maru, using a magical link with Kuwiko’s ring to transport to her location. They discovered that she and most of the Sisterhood of the Wave had been taken captive in a fight aboard the ship. They had encountered a ninja being of almost godlike powers, who looked a little like Raiden.

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Defeated and thrown in a tight storage hold, the ladies were now joined by the intrepid heroes, who devised a plan to escape the hold, with a little of Nick’s magic, and explore the ship some more. Unfortunately, a truck had been parked over the trapdoor into the hold, and so they melted a hole into an adjacent, much larger open shipping hold that was being actively patrolled by guards. After a fierce firefight with snipers above deck and gangsters below, Kane cutting down netting and Alex taking impressive one shot kills of criminals blocking the metal staircase up to the main deck, they felt they had the advantage. Tragically, many of the Sisters of the Waves were gunned down as they raced to the upper deck and tried to leap into the water.

Alex, Kane, Nick, and Kuwiko headed to the ship’s engine room, still below deck, only to encounter two of the raiden-like ninja sentinels, who clearly had the upperhand in their battle. Facing gunfire from behind and unstoppable, apparently inhuman, ninja masters ahead, Kane fell to the floor of the ship with a herbal drug induced vision or dream, witnessing a bleak mountainside, a massive clocktower being struck by a tsunami, and various time pieces melting into the scenery. His companions took his vision to suggest that water might be a “catch” against the formidable foes they faced, and that time itself would be an issue in their futures.

Alex found a firehose in the engine room, and with gunfire puncturing the outer hull of the ship allowing water to begin flooding the vessel, and concentrated streams of high pressure water from the hose, they confirmed that water was, in fact, one of the only weapons that seemed effective against their adversaries. Combining magic and technology, they quickly dispatched their previously insurmountable opposition.

They returned to the earlier hold where they intended to question the yakuza thugs they had incapacitated, asking Kuwiko to translate. The prisoners mocked the group’s efforts, and were insistent that no matter what they did, they would never defeat Keilana, the captain of the vessel. Just as the interrogation was getting ugly, though, the party had a wrenching sensation and deja vu experience, and found themselves “back in time,” still in the dark, cramp hold they first entered when arriving on the ship! Fortunately, their friends in the Sisterhood of the Waves were alive again, but they knew that all their stress from the prior battles remained but all their progress had been undone.

Kuwiko finally realized the subtle meaning in the Japanese name of the ship: Maru is the word for ship, but it also means “circle” (as in a loop or repeating pattern). And Hibiki translates to “mountain echo”: another image of repetition.

The group knew they were in trouble, and that another direct assault would probably kill them, and not prove successful anyway. And knowing that their enemies were closing in on them, they decided to escape through the bottom of the ship, employing magic and the assistance of the weresharks to ride out through the water, springing some leaks that would hopefully sink the vessel.

Their plan seemed to be a success, until they watched, from outside the bubble of her temporal manipulations, the Hibiki Maru rise again from the water! Their efforts truly did feel futile, and just as they contemplated having Alex call in an air strike to sink the ship before her crew or captain would have time to react again, an airstrike called in by someone else pummeled the cruiser! Delivering a massive payload, it did seem to work, and the adventurers rode the shockwaves of water back to the Hawaiian shore.

Later Afa told Nick he was surprised and glad he “got the message” to get off the ship before it was hit with an airstrike that Afa had ordered through other channels. Of course, Nick never got such a message, and still cannot shake the feeling that Afa probably views him and his friends as completely disposable, perhaps even decoys for the air assault . . .

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Chapter 8
Matthew’s first session… or Ghost Stories

_From the journal of Nick Dumont – _

In the weeks that followed after the ship wreck a lot of things happened. On the White Council front, I received the news that Simon Petrivich’s compound – Archangel -was attacked and wiped out by the Red Court, including Simon – a Senior Council member. This was bad. I am not really concerned for safety here on the island. We are pretty isolated and according to Warden Bey’s records – there has never been any record of Red Court activity here as long as there has been a Warden on the island. Still it doesn’t hurt to make some preparations. Good news though I recently finished putting the final touches on a new focus item for my Crafting Thaumaturgy.
Things had slowed down for a week or two around here and we all decided to go out to eat one night. Alex gets a call from a friend in the DEA that knew that Alex and his unit handle strange cases. He needed Alex’s expert advice so Alex asks if we want to tag along. We all go to the docks where the DEA has seized a huge shipment of cocaine coming in from the Orient. Apparently some weird things have been happening around this shipment. Malfunctions and accidents that are not out of the realm of possibility, but yet happen rarely – if at all, have happened repeatedly and often to the DEA agents who have seized this shipment.

After examining the pallet stacked with shrink-wrapped bags of cocaine with my sight I discover a dark black pinprick in a field of white in the center of the pallet. This concerns me – this dark object is so bad that it makes an addictive substance like cocaine appear as pure white. We decide it would be best if I put up a magic circle around it to help shield everyone from whatever we might uncover.

Kane’ stays in the circle and unstacks the cocaine until he uncovers a small Tiki Doll made of some kind of dark wood. It is what I sensed, so we decide not to touch it and get it in a safe container and take it back to my place. We take precautions to keep individuals from stopping us and get it back to my home despite having a couple of mishaps along the way with our vehicles. I put it in a more powerful magic circle but it is still not enough to block it completely.

We decide to travel to the address up on Nua Pali Highway that was on the shipping manifest. We find a ramshackle set of homes – almost a compound or housing project. We meet and talk to an old Hawaiian man on the porch of one of the homes. He tells us all the mysterious ‘accidents and deaths that happened up here along the old Pali road. We investigate the remains of a home across the street and have dinner with the old man (rice and Spam). We decide to spend the night and sleep outside where Kane’ communes with ghosts and Ryan decides to accept the power that Pele’ has been offering and he officially ‘ascends‘as her Emissary. Who knows what kind of powers he will manifest in the future. We are told through the old man, ghosts and other investigation we perform that the artifact brings bad luck to the owners and that it will always return – unless it is freely taken by another individual and in order to destroy it – we need to take it past the Night Marchers and throw it off the Pali cliff. We try to do that and are stopped by the Night Marchers who inform Kane’ that as payment for us to pass we need to bring to them a living descendant of King Kameamea.

We leave that night wondering if we will ever be rid of the bad luck idol or if we will have to sacrifice an innocent person to some vengeful ghosts.

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