Sunday, June 26, 2011

In the Sun

Glorius and Acedia are spending most of their time at the beach. I spend most of mine in the hotel room. I would go to the beach, but... well, I have a really silly looking farmer's tan, and I'm kind of self-conscious about it.

Don't you dare laugh.

Anyway, it has been very nice just lounging around and sleeping and not having to worry about psychotic serial killers. Vacations rule!

Only "work-news" I've heard is that apparently a new member is going to be added to our little team. Some Agent girl named Lexi. Apparently she'll be at our hotel within a few days.


Friday, June 24, 2011


With that Sleight fiasco behind us, we can finally relax a bit. No idea when Master will have a new job that needs doing, but until then it is vacation time.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Magician's Last Trick

Calm now. Rested. That... thing is gone now.

I'm ready to explain.

When I arrived in the Empty City, I could see birds flying in the sky. So the Convocation was there. How lovely. I wasted no time in heading for where the Hallowed had captured Sleight. Partly because I needed to be there before the Convo noticed, and partly because I had no idea when the City would shift itself next.

It seemed to be a bakery-- though there was no food in it of course. Three Hallowed held Sleight against the wall. A fourth was lying on the ground a few feet away, a knife sticking out of his throat. Sleight seemed to have given up, but when he saw me he started struggling and screaming.

"You! You sent it didn't you! It's followed me since that night! What is it!?"

Well, needless to say, I was perplexed by his words, and I wasted no time in informing him that I had sent nothing after him. I'd spent most of my time trying to find him myself.

"It had to be you. The Eye watches me. It watches... My name is John Kramer. My favorite color is blue. My favorite food is roast beef. I'm not a bad man. My name is John Kramer. My favorite color is blue..."

It was at this point that I realized he was too far gone to provide me with any useful information.

I sighed, and turned to look out the window. The street was brightly lit, and very well kept-- not even crack-- and there was a shadow...

That set off alarm bells. Shadows in the Empty City are rare, and tend to come from one particular kind of source.

Panic gripped me, and I ran for the backdoor, shouting at the Hallowed to "throw him out the window and run like hell."

I heard a crash, but I have no idea if they were able to follow through on the second part of the order, since by then I was running down an alley and the ground was shaking.

The Cardinal Rule of traversing the Empty City: never interfere with its food.

I imagine that Sleight or John or whatever was tossed onto the street just as the poor lost wanderer was passing by the shop. That poor lost wanderer, a victim of the Empty City, doomed to wander its streets until death's liberation, would be the food. And the City was angry about its food being disturbed, and its wrath was terrible to behold.

The world shifted all around me. I saw glimpses of trees and rivers and cottages and suburbs and warehouses and ancient buildings... the Empty City transformed and shuffled all within it around. Still I ran. I ran until I was out of breath, so intent was I on putting as much distance between myself and the food as possible.

It was nearly entire day before the City had calmed down enough that it allowed me to leave. Sleight won't be leaving any time soon, though. He broke the rule. He's trapped forever.

I understand that the Convocation is trying to convince the City to hand him over to them. I wish them luck. I don't think the Empty City is even capable of telling the difference between two individual humans. Nor do I think it particularly cares.

And of course, there's the matter of Sleight's ranting. The Eye. I saw it. It was just outside the window. Looked like it was growing out of a fucking tree. And it was watching me.

It was watching me very closely.

Sleight was right. It's watching me. I see it right there. Outside. Never blinking. Gaze always following me. It sees. It judges.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Twenty fucking hours stuck in that fucking City.

Food, shower, and rest now. Tell you what happened later. But the gist of it is: Sleight's dead, or may as well be.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Witch

Went hiking early this morning. VERY early. Like midnight early. We went walking around the woods in the area that the anomalous victim liked to hike. Turns out that someone was waiting for us.

At first, I thought it was the Plague Doctor-- black cloak, beak, humanoid appearance-- but as it came closer I realized that it was a pale, blonde woman, wearing nothing but a cloak of black feathers and a very large bird skull. Thunder cracked above us as she approached, and I could feel the tips of my fingers tingling from the electricity in the air. I looked up and saw blackness above-- no stars, no moon. A storm was coming.

The woman halted a few feet before us and said nothing. Just stood there. Glorius took a step toward her, surprisingly cautiously, and stopped abruptly when she let her cloak fall to the ground.

I won't lie and say she didn't have a beautiful body... she didn't have a beautiful body. Once it might of have been, but it was so covered in scars and scabs that anything enticing about it had long since been eradicated. I shined my flashlight on her, and realized with a start that the scabs were moving.

Tiny little beaks burst out of the woman's flesh, and birds clawed their out of her body. Thunder cracked again, and this time when I looked up, it wasn't storm clouds I saw.

Birds. Thousands upon thousands of birds covering the sky, the beating of their wings the source of the thunder.

I stood before the Convocation.

The woman-- obviously one of the Convocation's Nests, spoke, and her voice was a scratchy, hellish whisper: "They have been attacked by your killer, and they are angry. He hides, but they shall find him."



The anomalous death? A Nest. One of the Convocation's Servants. Seems Sleight had begun to branch out into other Entities' domains. And now he's pissed off the Convocation.

Hiding in the Great Smoky Mountains, with quite possibly every bird for miles after his blood? You know what I'd do in that situation? Because I'm pretty sure Sleight'll do the same thing.

I've called in a bunch of Hallowed, and I've stationed them around the Empty City, in every area that seems to have any correspondence whatsoever to the Smokies. Still that's anywhere from three to three million miles (depending on the City's mood) to cover, but with a little luck, we may be able to catch Sleight when he makes his escape.

And hopefully we'll get him before the Convocation does. If he has any sense, he probably hopes that too.


Friday, June 17, 2011

A Break in the Pattern

Followed the trail of bodies to Gatlinburg. Two recent deaths in the Great Smoky Mountains, and one of them doesn't fit the pattern.

Oh, he was killed the same way, yes, but he wasn't one of Master's Servants.

This is the first person Sleight has killed who wasn't one of us, and as such it has sparked my interest. After a bit of investigating, we've found that the dead man had a fondness for hiking, and frequented a certain park in particular.

Needless to say, we'll be visiting that park tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Come on, Sleight. You can't keep this up forever. Surely you know this?

Every town you pass through, you leave a mark behind. And it's not a particularly difficult one to miss either. Someone lying in a hotel room or in an alley or against a tree, with a big ol' gash in their throat?

You're leaving a trail of corpses in your wake. All we have to do is follow it.

We're going to catch up to you soon, Sleight. No matter what.

I'm certain you know this, and yet you make it all so obvious...

What could possibly Compel you to such folly? I look forward to finding out.


Friday, June 10, 2011


Been bedridden far too long. Doc says that I shouldn't be up, but Master has a good health plan. Deaths matching Sleight's MO have appeared in the mountains of Tennessee. Heading there now.


Monday, June 6, 2011

The Servant and the Serial Killer

OK. My head feels fairly clear. Sort of. Clear enough.

Anyway, my last post ended with me chasing Sleight into the Empty City. So here's what happened next:

Ended up in the middle of a city park. Like Central Park only it wasn't in New York, and was therefore much nicer. I couldn't see Sleight anywhere. It was night (it nightish, all things considered) and he had slipped away into the shadows. I began walking around, looking for him.

I heard something move behind me, and spun around. Sleight's form was retreating into a heavily forested area, and I wasn't about to lose him when I'd spent a week searching America's toilet for the bastard. I gave chase.

I'm not sure how long I ran through those trees, but eventually they thinned out, and I burst out of the woods only to be met by a very tall building. I turned around to see the trees shifting away and more buildings growing from the ground. The grass and dirt beneath my feet melted into pavement, and soon I was in the center of an empty metropolis.

I walked through the streets of the Empty City, my eyes scanning every crack, every alleyway. Sleight was in here somewhere, hiding.

"I didn't mean to..." I heard a voice say, though from the way it echoed I couldn't tell where it was coming from. "Those people... I killed them and I don't even know why."

I heard something scrape to my right, and spun to face the mouth of an alley. I drew the pistol I had been keeping tucked in my belt.

"Just woke up and felt like I needed to... Never met them before, just knew that they needed to die.... And I felt I needed to come here. I needed to stop something. But I've failed."

The gun held out in front of me, I began walking toward the alley.

"Never failed before..."

I entered the alley.

"My head aches so much. I need to stop it... but it's already happened."

Step by step, I drew closer to the sound.

"But... there's something else."

I couldn't see a thing, but I knew I was close.

"You have to die."

A gunshot echoed through the alley, and I looked down to see my weapon laying at my feet, my hands clutching my stomach, trying futilely to hold the blood in.

I heard a click as Sleight prepared for the second attack.

I fell backward, using the last ounce of my strength to reach out to the Empty City, and show it Master's mark upon my being, entreat it to...

A Door opened behind me, and I plummeted through it.

The next thing I remember is waking up in a bed in some back-alley doctor's office, with Glorius and Acedia standing over me.

Heh. Guess they did something useful after all.



Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Birth of a God


This hurts like hell. The doctor wants me to rest, so I'll try to keep this brief. Well, as brief as I can anyway.

We managed to corner Maxwell at some amusement park called the Land of Make Believe. The Timberwolves had him surrounded, so me and Charlotte headed for where they were. Glorius and Acedia were still out of commission. Maybe I wouldn't be lying in a doctor's bed if they hadn't been, but whatever.

Along the way, I noticed a certain pair of traveling journalist-wannabes trying (rather pathetically I might add) to hide behind the horses of a merri-go-round. I waved to them. Let it never be said that I am an overly rude man.

Anyway, when we got to Maxwell, he was freaking out. A few Timberwolves were lying dead here and there, and Max was waving a gun around, pulling the trigger and fiercely releasing a series of clicking sounds. I guess he didn't bring enough ammo.

"Get away from me!" he shouted. "I have the watch! You stay away!"

Charlotte moved toward him. Well, glided towards him. It was like her body was suddenly lifted into the air by an unseen force, and her limbs went limp and sort of hung there, her wrists lifted as well. When she was a few feet away, she alighted on the ground and flicked her wrist at him. Maxwell struggled against a mass of invisible strings, and Charlotte calmly turned around and walked away.

Max somehow managed to get the watch out, but sadly we shall never know what it is he intended to do with it.

Because the watch sank into his skin like a rock sinks into a lake.

Suddenly we were no longer alone. I saw Master emerge from the darkness, and I saw the Wooden Girl appear behind Charlotte. I saw Gas Mask opposite of me, behind Maxwell. He looked at me, and temporarily shifted into Crystal's form, winking before returning to its more familiar shape.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the gray shapes of the Choir, for once not altering the sound around them. To my left the Rake stood, hunched over with its claws rested on the ground. And I could feel one more Entity behind me, its gaze upon us all, though I didn't turn to see who stood there.

I was too enthralled by the sight before me.

Maxwell screamed, and his body contorted, and I could his bones cracking. Gradually, his shrieks turned to gurgles, and the skin along his arm split apart, blood pouring from the wound as if it were being forced out. His shirt tore, and his chest after that. I heard (and saw) his ribs shatter as a mechanical creature clawed its way out of his body, its metallic joints creaking and groaning as it tore through Maxwell's flesh.

Finally, what was left of Maxwell crumpled to the ground, and there above him was a creature of metal and machinery, assembled in a shape not unlike a human fetus, its small arms ending in two long knives. It seemed to float in a nearly invisible sphere, and extending from its stomach was a fleshy and no doubt organic umbilical cord.

"Manufactured Newborn". That seems a good way to describe the new Entity, wouldn't you say?

The Newborn shrieked, and then it was simply gone, along with all the other Entities. No fanfare. No flash of light. No claps of thunder. Just... gone.

That's when I saw three men standing off to the side. I don't know when they got here, but I recognized all three. Hunter, Peter, and Sleight.

About damn time I found that bastard.

I didn't even hesitate. I rushed at Sleight. He saw me coming and turned and ran through a Door, and I gave pursuit.

Ugh. Doctor just injected me with something. Gotta end it here. Post what happened next later.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fuckity FUCK

Maxwell escaped. Took the fucking pocketwatch and ran like hell.

We're giving chase, obviously. The birth has to happen. There's only a narrow window of opportunity, or else we'll have for wait for the next cycle 100 years from now. (and no there are no eclipses or comets or solstices or whatever involved. That would be silly)


Friday, June 3, 2011


Glorius and Acedia are still recovering, and Master has sent forth a command to aid Charlotte for the time being. Seems reasonable. Having a lot of humans trying to defy you is a big embarrassment, and Wooden Girl and Archangel are the only two allies Master currently has in the Game. Plus Sleight's trail has gone cold anyway.

So I've spent some time among a group of Archangel cultists cum drug dealers calling themselves the "Timberwolves" and any of you who've managed to pick up my general personality and outlook don't need me to tell you that relations between me and them are strained at best.

So basically, here's what's going on: Some guy with an asshole family named Peter has teamed up with some dickface with a dead family named Hunter and now they're after some dumbass named Maxwell (who is also the former leader of the Timberwolves) stole Peter's watch. Said watch has many strange and supernatural properties because, as Charlotte has informed me, it is not a watch at all but rather the larval form of a new Entity. Charlotte is here because the Wooden Girl wants the new Entity to be born. The Timberwolves are here because the Archangel wants the new Entity. I'm here because Master wants the new Entity and I've got nothing better to do anyway. Also, we apparently have a pair of very inept investigators following us.

Oh yeah, and the Timberwolves have captured Maxwell. He's in solitary confinement at the moment. When the time comes, we'll use him to birth the new Entity.

I have to say, the Timberwolves are fucking psychos. There was this one guy, Bill Something, who would not shut up about the Archangel. Kept talking about how I'd avoided my fate but the Archangel was gonna come get me and I should embrace it and blah blah blah.

And then, while I standing on the roof of the office of the cemetery where the crazie had set up camp, Bill comes over to me and says this: "She was a hot one. That Crystal chick. The great Archangel took her form and let me fuck her. Fucked her good. You know she had a really loose cu--AAAAAAH!"

I pushed him off the building.

His neck made a very satisfying sound when his head hit the sidewalk.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

An Eventful Morning

It was a diner, and I arrived as soon as I was able. It was fairly early, and I walked in with Glorius and Acedia right behind me, scanned the area, and immediately recognized three figures. Well, OK, one figure, but it was easy to deduce the identities of her two companions because I actually read information that's made public to me (seriously, Peter, aren't you some sort of secret agent or whatever? How did you NOT figure out who she is?).

Anyway, I walked over to Charlotte, Hunter, and Peter, and promptly introduced myself. I don't think it was a rude introduction, I just said "Hello, my name is Steward. I don't believe we've met." That's not rude or offensive is it? You'd think it was from the way they reacted. Really, they all went stiff (except for Charlotte, obviously, remember her? The Wooden Girl's little puppet with a smile that is WAY too old for her?)

Then Peter and Hunter pulled guns on me.

Admittedly, there weren't many people in the diner, but the few who were there got real quiet. I gestured to those people. "Really?" I asked. "That's how you say 'hello'? You shoot me? In front of all these people? I think that kid over is like five. You'll scar him for life. Do you really want that your shoulders."

"Get out," Peter told me. "Now. Take your little freaks and leave."

I turned to Glorius and Acedia. "Did you hear that?" I asked. "He called you circusfolk."

That's when Charlotte lunged.

She had a knife in her hand, and went straight for Peter's throat with it. Unfortunately, the bastard was fast (almost disturbingly so) and managed to not only dodge her but also grab her and push her away. And it looked like the end had come for dear Charlotte, when Hunter, bless his little confused brain, tried to protect her from his ally. His only ally.

You see? This is what happens when you don't communicate.

Charlotte slipped away and gave me that too old smile. "Hi, Stewie," she said. "Remember me?"

"Of course," I told her. "How could I forget? You're creepy as fuck."

She giggled. "There's a lot we need to discuss. Shall we?"

I nodded, and opened up a gate to the Path of Black Leaves. "Take care of the two morons," I told my two associates, and stepped onto the Path, Charlotte behind me.

She told me a lot of strange things. Peter, did you know that your pocketwatch is, in fact, the larval form of a god? Funny how that works isn't it? Shame you lost it to this Hunter guy. And Hunter, shame you lost it to this Maxwell character.

My readers may be wondering why I'm addressing dead people, so I might as well tell you: Glorius came back with a hole in his shoulder and promptly collapsed. Acedia was shot in her thigh and is too hysterical to tell us whatever the hell happened. Guess I'll have to wait for one of the morons to blog about it.

Anyway, tonight we're heading to some graveyard. Apparently some cultists meet there or something.

Cultists. Graveyard. Dead....



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An Invitation

I met a strange man in the woods today. He wore a really odd looking clown mask and didn't utter a word, just gave me a piece of paper and walked away. Ordinarily, I'd question such things, but given that he walked with an odd looseness, as if some external force was controlling his limbs, I think I can hazard a pretty good guess as to who he's working for.

On the paper were written three things:

A time

A location

The words "meet the doll"

Well, this ought to prove interesting.