I’ve been looking through my father’s journals recently and came across a passage here about a relatively large group of people who fought the supernatural in Chicago in the 1920’s. Before finding this I was sure that the famous, or should I say infamous, Harry Dresden was the only one to have been somewhat publicly battling the supernatural in Chicago any time in the last century.
I should have known better. With how much of a battlefield that Chicago has been in recent times, it’s obvious that these rivalries didn’t start overnight.
The entry begins with some rumors about rumors about Al Capone seeking power by “any means necessary”. The strange thing is, that when it all started, my father hadn’t even met this strange group of individuals. That actually came later, and their story doesn’t begin with a face off against Al Capone.
They were certainly a rag-tag group: an honest beat cop in Chicago; a human reporter with a faerie girlfriend; a fallen angel with a mortal soul; a changeling with a Fetch, of all things, as a father; and a Kitsune.
The action started with a bang, or at least a couple of them. The heroes found themselves chasing after a car full of hoods, and a trunk full of innocent victim in the form of a virgin woman.
They used a modicum of team work, and some quick thinking, to slow down the car they were pursuing and get them to pull over.
But the story didn’t begin here. Knighton, our reporter, had been tasked by Ripley, the famous Ripley of Believe it or Not fame, to find out what was going on with the disappearances of some women around the city. This lead him to the Accorded Neutral Ground, where strangest of all a man named McAnally runs bar, or is that speakeasy, in 1926.
Something has the Red Court up in arms as they are even willing to try breaking the Unseelie accords by hunting in McAnally’s. Benny, the Fallen-Angel heads off the vamp, and the misfits gather for the first time.
After Knighton makes a fabled blow to Henry’s head, which the Son of a Fetch barely felt, the group decide to get some sleep and go at this fresh the next day.
After a night’s sleep, the group went their separate ways, or more specifically Kris went to his cousin’s (Andreas Ostrowski’s) precinct and looked into the disappearances. Andreas was made the head of a special task force for the disappearances by the Chief, Luigi Amario.
While Kris was doing this, the rest of the group followed up leads on two of the missing girls. They found some hair at the first girl’s house, but Henry got arrested at the second girl’s house by pretending that he was a ventriloquist and taking the heat for Kyle’s trickery. Henry brought Kyle with him as a stole around his neck.
While Henry was in jail, a panicked Andreas contacted Kris asking him to meet at Wrigley Field. Benny and Kyle went with him as backup. They found Andreas dead by some strange attack.
Kris called the precinct that Andreas was in and they helped to get the body to the morgue where Kris met the ebullient John Johnson. The coroner found a note in Andreas’ pocket that led the group to the dock where they found evidence of the missing girls. They set up a Veil to get them onto the ship. Kyle forgot completely that water cancels out magic, and they became visible as they crossed from the stone pier.
After a brief battle with the individuals on the ship, a car chase ensued, bringing us back to the beginning.
Knighten let the girl, Karen Masters, out of the trunk and calmed her. Meanwhile the other four members of the team took on the task of interrogating the mobsters. They made sure that Krys saw nothing, but there was some threat of force used to get the information.
Krys and Knighten went to the police station, escorting Karen. Knighten calmed Karen again and helped her to give her statement. When done he tried to get Krys to head out with him to the address they’d gotten from the mobsters. Krys declined vociferously, scaring Knighten out of the precinct.
The other three; Henry, Benny and Kyle; went to the address they’d acquired. After Henry smashed the door to the basement, the location they’d determined was the most likely to house an evil sorcerer. Once down there they realized that their suspicions were correct.
Unfortunately for the team, Kyle was targeted and immediately fell into a stupor, surrounded by his true memories. He remembered for the first time that he was actually half-human. He was a changeling much like Henry.
What followed was a stumble through the dark as Benny, overconfident in ignorance, sent Knighten to take Kyle out of the line of fire. Benny and Henry did their best, but without magic to aid them, even the Scotsman’s strength was not enough to overcome the barrier that the Sorcerer had erected.
Krys arrived, late but not never, and rushed Knighten down the stairs. Once his magic was brought to bear, and using Henry’s power of fear, they were able to bring down the sorcerer.
Unfortunately my grandfather chose this moment to arrive. I’ll admit that he handled the situation poorly, as he was acting in his office as Grey Warden. He slew the sorcerer before any information could be gained. Benny took an immediate dislike to him.
Benny took the offered opportunity to relive the sorcerer’s last twenty-four hours. His strength of will kept him uncorrupted and he collected a phone number. A number where a compatriot of the sorcerer could be found.
Knighten did his best to heal the damaged mind of the kitsune. Kyle awoke a much different person that before the attack. He remembers both his past as a human, and his past as a kitsune.
Henry took the time to look up his band. They were playing at the Red and Blues club. Henry and Knighten worked their way into the back room and spoke to the manager. Henry, with Knighten’s help, convinced Seamus that he deserved a chance to challenge for a place in the band.
They sabotaged the other player’s music using magic. Henry won, but not without difficulty. The other musician had been very good with the power of a demon flowing through him. They’d made a pact with a demon in order to improve their fame and talent. Henry took offense at this as they were sacrificing people to the demon to keep themselves in their fame.
Henry took this information back to Benny. Realizing that they needed a place to research information on the supernatural, and feeling his memories from his past life as an angel fading, the group contributed all the knowledge they had about the supernatural entities in the town. Benny could feel the knowledge fading from him even as he wrote it down feverishly onto paper.
When he was done, he researched the information that he’d recorded about the demons. They began to prepare when there was a knock at the door to the chapel. A strange latin man came through the door. He introduced himself as Silas. They’d just begun dealing with a Grey Warden and here was a person who seemed to skirt the lines of magic. He was a necromancer, something many consider to be the darkest of dark arts.
True, he never raised anything with intelligence, but Wardens rarely give passes where lawbreakers are concerned. There was something even more sinister about the wizard: he was a time traveler.
They quickly dispatched the demon, their preparation telling on the unholy beast, and killed Seamus. Silas used his power to open a portal to the nevernever where they deposited the corpse.
Benny and Kyle took this opportunity to go seeking the boy who helped the sorcerer. They missed him after being caught in the midst of a raid by the FBI on the deli across the street. The boy had called it in to escape.
Krys becomes a member of the FBI. Eliot Ness tells him that there are too many strange cases going around these days, and tells him that the FBI needs Krys’ services. Krys will be filing his cases under the letter X. Eliot smiles at this. He is an occasional fan of Science Fiction. The X moniker seems to appeal to him for some reason.
Henry receives a strange trunk filled with treasures, including some strange gold coins and a sable cloak.
After the mess with the boy and the demon, after becoming an FBI agent, Krys and Knighten go on a double date with a couple of nice Polish girls. It goes poorly.
I almost failed to mention that Krys gets the first bits of forensic evidence, of course they plan on a wizard using it to shortcut the search of the monsters who killed the people in the morgue.
They track the ghouls and see themselves outnumbered in their lair. They prepare for the ghouls, and go to meet them in the park that John Johnson states that the body parts came from.
They arrive and begin their local preparations to take out the ghouls. Silas spends time to create a spell that will remove the Ghouls’ natural resistances. The rest simply prepare to gain him time. A dwarf on a small cart piled with bodies appears out of a rift in the air. He has just come from the nevernever and he is making some sort of deal with the ghouls. Could he be creating an army of the foul creatures under Chicago?
They attack, but the dwarf gets away. Knighten, frustrated at his inability to stop the diminutive creature, slams a huge chuck of earth into the Ghouls, smashing them into a fine paste. Henry was on the verge of giving himself over to the fetch inside. The darkness is beginning to try to take him over.
The team regrouped after the battle. They decided to go to the Summer court and seek help. Henry was rebuffed and turned back. Henry was the most affected as he gave up the fetch. Almost as if his Uncle Phillip had seen the future, as if his death was ordained to protect his Nephew, Henry took upon himself a new cloak with mysterious powers.
They took the bodies to Knighten’s garage and turned them into Ghoul Suits. They were going to infiltrate the Ghoul lair. They searched the sewers, and eventually made it there. Henry took the form of the big ghoul, and confusion ensued.
The ghouls soon realized that the team wasn’t fighting. The illusion fell apart and a battle ensued. The party was quickly overwhelmed and began to run. Silas finally recovered from his shock and opened a way into the Never Never and a place where there were dragons.
The dragons quickly destroyed the ghouls and turned toward the rest of the team. More and more dragons entered through the rift. They burned Chicago to the ground and formed a new nest. From there they covered the face of the earth, nothing able to stop them.
The next entry was even more confusing. Each of the members of the team seemed to agree that they dreamed of a wizard named Silas. This Silas assisted them for a time, but then destroyed the world. Silas was never really a member of the group.
The team, however, used this prophetic dream to easily overcome many of the difficulties that they had gone through. Kris did his best to keep people to history as he remembered it from the dream, but other members of the group were not as influenced. Henry immediately dropped being a Fetch and took up the cloak of Merlin.
They did face off against a child, or a seeming child, who used magical toys to attack the team. They chased the child off, eventually, but one individual almost took them all out. This would be a major foe in the future.
Something had changed. Something significant. Dr. Johnson invited them to a party because he felt someone was going to die. The team snuck in as wait staff, well all but Knighten who went in as an invitee.
Renato, who was throwing the party, was a bit of a jerk to the party, but he had a sense of humor, one that Kris did not really agree with. Even with an offer of alchohol, it did nothing to assuage our honest cop. The cop began to realize that he was not going to get along with this sixth member of the team.
Renato was not just the rich man he appeared. Renato apparently was a man who had been living for thousands of years. Beyond that he was human.
They stopped a couple of corrupt cops from taking Renato into custody and used the teams own rum run to bring the FBI into the mix. Kris had the case declared an X-File and closed it.
Rose, Renato’s wife, made Coffee. This wasn’t coffee, it was the Coffee that other coffees aspire to even hope to be.
Kris was told he would have to head to New York.
They realized that the murder, the cops, and everything at the party that went wrong were tied to Lorenzo, the leader of the red court in Chicago. The team was going to go against him next, something that would greatly divert from ‘history’ as they knew it. They still had time before they met the ghouls last time.