2020-06-28 - Church House


In search for the Crown, Fenris and Zee meet a Ghost

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jun 28 05:31:28 2020
Location: New York

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Fenris would have felt the disturbance the other day when the heroes fought off The Hunt. Whatever had happened that night, Zee had agreed to meet him at the Buddhist temple, Fo Guang Shan in Queens and he hadn't received any notice to the contrary.
#-1hen he gets there, the magician is leaning against a street post, just outside the temple, scrolling the screen on her phone.

She looks tired but that's about it and is dressed as she usually is when she's not performing.

"Fenris. Glad you could make it." She's no idea what he's been through this week nor of the pain he must be feeling.

The temple is open. The door displaying a welcoming sign and just inside, Fenris can see two monks. On his arrival on the street, they glance at the door nervously. Oh, they felt him - who could not. Even the Saturday crowd parts about the Old Wolf.

"I hope you bought the cat."

"I did." Fenris says, hoisting the small porcelain feline. It's in the traditional lucky cat pose and it's a bit delicate so he's been carrying it a bit delicately. He doesn't look tired, but he does look worn down. Mentally and emotionally. Which is understandable given what he's been through but Zee doesn't know that and he doesn't offer it up. She doesn't need the extra worry for something she can't help.

"Seems like my dark cloud precedes me." He notes gesturing to the monks. "Shall we go on in, though?"

That will be sure to put EVERYONE at ease.

"Good. Cause I believe you will need it." Zee gives Fenris a searching look. She can see the stress on his face which is troubling. "Are you sure you're up to this today, Fenris? We can come back later. We bought time the other night."

Giving the old wolf a moment to respond, the magician pushes the door open. The monks are standing shoulder to shoulder watching the pair, although they seem most interested in that 'lucky cat' that Fenris is carrying.

"Who sent you?" One of the monks asks Fenris. Zee for the moment is ignored.

"I am not sure, Zee. But we should not waste the time we bought. We might need it later." So steeling himself he steps in the door only to be hailed by the monks. Rather nervously.

"A man who likes to call himself Gerald." Fenris says glancing down at the Cat and then back up at the monks. "Why? Did you feel lucky?"

Fenris resists adding 'punk' to that question though he is sorely tempted to do so. He's also sorely tempted to fake-lunge at them and make them jump because mortals are kind of amusing when they get scared, or at least they are in small numbers. It's when they get scared in larger numbers that they're a problem.

Fenris gets another look for that answer but Zee says nothing as she watches the exchange. "Gerard gave you the cat and sent you here?"

"He did, yes." Zee answers "What do you know about it?"

"We know who you are, Daughter of Zatara. What we want to know is why is he involved?" The second monk answers and shushes Zee when she goes to answer. "It is for him to answer, child."

Zee does roll her eyes at the way Fenris asks his question. She knows exactly what he's thinking too.

"Let me answer your question with a question. Do you actually want to protest my involvement? Because you'd have to take it up with me. And I am right here." Fenris lets that sink in because really. Why do these people think that that is the question to be asking?

"But if you must know I am involved because New York city is mine and I object to the things that have been happening in it and I find doing this preferable to a series of brawls that would level most of Manhattan. Is there a particular PROBLEM with this, gentlemen?"

"And who's to say your involvement won't do that anyway." The first monk asks. "Also, I believe you were asked directly." They might be nervous but they are dealing with him.

The two monks look at each other, conferring silently it seems. The second one nods and turns to the pair. "You seek answers and those answers lie below. We are but the guardians for what was left by the Zatara. We knew there would be two - just not who."

The first monk slides a panel aside and shows the pair a stairwell down. "You may enter."

Zee looks at the pair, looking thoughtful before she moves to the stairs. "What do we need the cat for?" She asks

When Fenris passes the through the panel, it slides shut with the answer "Nothing really. Gerard thought it would be amusing to have you carry it here."

The stairwell is dimly lit as it descends into the basement and beyond … this is taking them to the city below.

"I've heard rumours that there's a city below the city." She says to Fenris. The last landing is about five stairs below them now and a breeze wafts over them. More than just a breeze though, there's a touch of magic in it. Old magic.

"There's a couple cities below the city." Fenris notes. "New York has an extensive underground and there is in fact a city of 'monsters' underneath that. And when I say monsters I mean… not me."

The Old Wolf is rather pleased he gets to keep his cat. He's going to put that somewhere in his house. His Raven will roll her eyes but there you go.

"So it does rather beg the question which city we are going to. By stairs I am going to presume we aren't going too far. At least I hope not." Because if they go a mile down he's going to be perturbed that he wasn't just told to use a Way.

"What do you know of this place?"

"Not a lot. There's all sorts of stories about the city beneath. Well cities. The original settlements that have been 'grown' over." Zee answers as they make the landing and it lets out to a broad walkway that disappears into darkness. There are more stairs that lead down - if that's what you can call them. Rickety things that are precarious and it's from there that the sense of magic is coming. That's a magic that Fenris might recognise - based on faith.

"Can you hear bells?" Zee asks. There's a sound in the air that might be bells - not the jingly christmas sound, but something more sonorous.

It's not a mile but over 600 yards to be sure, they've walked when the 'tunnel' they're in, let's out and they're standing in front of a church. Or what was a church - maybe. It's an old stone structure, with a steeple and small bell tower. Run down, delipidated but remarkably well preserved for how old this has to be. The feeling of 'faith' is strong in the area now.

The only way to go is through the door - which is locked tight when Zee tries it, Physically at first and then with magic. It 'zaps' her. "Ow … " she says, sucking her fingers.

On the door is a plaque in old english - well, not english as they know it today. "What on earth does that say, Fenris. I recognise it, but I don't… if that makes sense."

The plaque says It is the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space, the beginning of the end and the end of every space. What is it? and beneath the wording is a blank space.

"It says 'Speak Friend, and Enter.'" Fenris says. "I am kidding but it might as well. It's a riddle." He puts the cat down and thinks a bit. At the beginning and at the end of both everything and EVERYTHING. What is it? He thinks about it for a minute and then snorts. "Ah yes. E. Stupid fortune cookie."

He traces E with his finger. There. Hopefully that satisfies the door.

"Bells? Mmmm. Yes, a little bit. Ghostly."

As Fenris traces the E with his finger, the strokes glow a little and the door creaks open.

"Well done." Zee says peering inside. It should be dark in there - there's no lights after all - but a soft glow seems to radiate from everything.

"What is this place?"

At the front of the church is the alter, a christian cross displayed on the wall behind it. On the altar is what looks like a small casket and apart from the cross, it's the only thing in the structure.

"It looks very much like a church." Fenris observes probably a bit redundantly. "Albeit the oddest one I've ever seen. It looks like one that was planning on holding a funeral. Standing room only."

The Old Wolf walks up to the casket and puts the cat down near it again, pondering it before going to open it. What's the worst that could happen?

"I can't think of why one would be built down here, though. And I can't think of how one built above could have gotten down here."

"It does. Well, the structure does, anyway." Zee answers as she turns to look around.

The casket would be about 8 inches wide, 3 inches deep and 4 inches tall. Wood with a iron clasp and bands. As Fenris opens it, there's a piece of paper in there though he might not notice that immediately as a ghostly, glowing, figure appears just in front of him.

"This place exists and does not exist. That you have found it, means that you meant to. The need must be great. You … are not a child of Zatara…" It's voice is wispy and ghostly as it looks at Fenris with sightless eyes.

"No kidding." Fenris says looking at the small ghost. "She's right here. She's fine. Neither her honor nor anything else has been sullied by my presence." It does take him a moment to notice the paper and when he does he picks it up and hands it to Zee as he continues to focus on the ghost.

This would be about the right size of a casket for a ken doll or a pixie. Certainly not any kind of human, even at their smallest they are larger than that. Quite what it is doing in a church like this in this place and… well. Questionable state of existence? Yeah that he's not sure about.

"So. Who are you and what are you doing here?"

"Fenris… I don't think they were implying anything of the sort." Zee says with a sigh, stepping into the line of sight of the ghost. "I am here. Zatanna Zatara. Who are you?" She repeats Fenris' first question.

"Ah. Daughter of Zatara. I can see the resemblance. Selims dark hair and bright eyes. I am Geoffrey, bound to watch the secret that Selim placed here till it was claimed by one of his line."

"Secret?" Zee turns the page over in her hand. When Fenris held it, it was blank, but as Zatanna touches the other side - words appear.

"In the place where liberty was fought, on the island that is long, 600 paces from the sea, you will find the next part of your journey."

The works island and long are underlined.

"Jeff? Your name is Jeff?" That isn't what the ghost said but Geoffrey is… Jeff. Just a slightly fancier form of it. To be fair 'Jeff' probably wasn't a thing when the binding happened but still.

"So, revolutionary war era battle on Long Island, a bit inland. Actually that happened in Brooklyn and Brooklyn heights." Two places but one is near the river, technically, and not the sea so that will narrow it down for them. Six hundred paces for a man of Selim's height will give them a rough idea of where to look. There is one small problem with that is that that ENTIRE part of the island is now just 'Brooklyn' and has been built up or built over for the last couple hundred years. Which means what whatever they're looking for, if it's not ON a building it is either under one, or else under the street.

There's also a cemetary on one of the areas. Maybe what they're looking for is there and if they're very lucky they won't be arrested for grave robbing - or whatever it is for defiling resting places these days.

"My name is Geoffrey." The english accent really comes through now and the ghost actually sniffs. No, Jeff certainly wasn't a name back when this ghost was a living being and he's very sure of his name.

"I have a message for you, child of Zatara and your companion. Selim foresaw this day and set me to deliver it. Be very sure you want what you seek - once you have it, it will not be easy to be rid of. If at all."

That very, very likely refers to the Crown of Command and Fenris is well aware that it must have drawbacks. After all if it did not there would be little reason for Selim to have hid it and not just used it. So this news does not surprise him.

"Did Selim provide any more specific guidance? Did he say what might happen once we have it?" Well once Zee has it. Fenris doesn't want the damn thing except for the fact that other people are fighting over it.

"Selim was always full of guidance. Much of it specific. Not much useful." Geoffrey grumbles. "He did give one more thing to say if ever I asked. The taint can be cleansed by burning it away but it has to be the hottest of fire from the core of the earth."

The ghostly figure shakes his head "I have no idea what he meant, so don't ask."

"Right. So helpful your ancestors were, Zee." Fenris says, turning to look at the young woman. Taint is not a good thing. He can hope that it was related to something other than the crown of command but the fact of the matter is there was a reason the ancient - or well mildly old - Zatara hid it away in the first place. Taint could well be one of them and if he does not later want a repeat of Gurim he had better pay attention.

"Well. We have a place to go look into. I hope you're good at talking to people Zee because we're almost certainly going to need to be in someone's house or yard when we work out where Selim hid his next clue."

Brigid had said the crown had been corrupted.

"Thank you Geoffrey." Zee says politely "Is there um … anything we need to do to help you? I mean will you be alright now that I've been here?"

"All will be well, child of Zatara. Selim and I planned for this day and when you leave, I shall finally find my rest. Now … go."

Zee glances at Fenris, and leads them out and back to the stairs. "You know I am, Fenris. I'll just smile and say I'm doing a candid camera or something." As they start up the stairs, there's a wash of power and when Zee turns to look …

The church is gone …

Fenris looks back and has a pensive look on his face. Then he shakes his head. "I am not walking all the way back up there. Come." He opens a WAY right down there in the tunnel and gestures for Zatanna to come in. At least she won't have the reactions that Ambrose usually does. He seems almost allergic to the magic. But Zee SHOULD be used to getting around like that.

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