Gathering Shadows

A New City; A New Beginning

I love waking up on a glorious Monday morning in a foreign city. Unfortunately, this is London. They do not have glorious mornings. But at least it is difficult to beat the view from here.

I go through my usual routine. Strength training, vocal practices, hitting on women at the local pub, signing autographs, talking to my fans – that sort of thing. Mid afternoon my freight arrives. I unpack my shield and hammer, and strap on my harness. This makes me happy. I am starting to feel a bit more at home. It is later that day when I talk to Dylan. He knows why I am here, and says he might know a cabal that I might like, but he needs to speak to them first. He departs, apparently he has very important work to do tomorrow. So do I.

I wake up Tuesday morning, follow the same routine. Decided I would explore the city a little. It was not long after I returned back home that Dylan payed me another visit. Through the bathroom, as usual. I am starting to think this will be a habit of his. He tells me that he has spoken with the cabal he wants to introduce me to, and they are interested in meeting me. He will introduce us tomorrow. Sounds good. I head out to some of the local clubs, spend a great deal of time signing autographs, and attempt to find some new band members. As much as some people might like living off royalties, I do not. And they will not last forever. I am unsuccessful at finding new members that fit what I have in mind, but I did go home with a few very attractive women. A little short, but so is everyone. Maybe I need to meet a nice werewolf…

Wednesday rears its head. I am a little tipsy when I wake up, but it is nothing I can’t handle. This time I decide to stay in and have breakfast brought up to me. A nice greasy pizza from a 24 hour pizza joint I passed last night. I finish my Pizza when there is a knock. Dylan asks if I am ready to meet the Knights Errant. I nod, and call the concierge as I walk into the bathroom. I ask him to have security politely escort my guests out in half an hour. I am too busy to see them out, and they are not unwelcome, so manners are a must.

We walk into the bathroom, walk up to the mirror, and enter it. We took a horse and cart to a cafe. At least that is what it looked like. I think he teleported us to some town in Ireland or something. Everything had these weird words all over them. It wasn’t long until I was at the cafe. Dylan said he was going to go get the Knights Errant. I was so nervous. It was worse than my first concert performance. This cabal, so renown for their defeat of Legion that we heard of them in Germany, and they are interested in me. No, calm down. Know yourself, know your strengths, your limitations, and be proud and confident in both of them. Such is the way of the Silver Ladder. Such is the way of the rockstar! haha

They finally arrived, and stood with their jaws gaping at me when I stood up. Whatever, I am used to it. I shook each of their hands, trying not to hurt them. It is difficult to control my strength when I am nervous. They seemed nice enough, but… I dislike the small frail one. I really should learn his name… he looked at me as if I was some deranged psychopath. Maybe he is Jewish, and has a chip on his shoulder because I am German. I must ask him what his problem is sometime.

So they asked me some questions about my history, my beliefs, my interest in them. Apparently it is this cabal that has the artifact of the Dethroned Queen that I had heard about. Awesome! I asked them some questions. They seem like they would fit me well. We left as a cabal, and they showed me their communal sanctum. It was very tiny. I showed them my apartment. They were speechless. I don’t know why. It was only a small penthouse! We spent some more time talking, exchanged numbers, and the like. Apparently we are going to Norway, tomorrow, for something. They left, and I booked my first class tickets and hotel rooms.

It is Thursday now, and we are leaving for Norway early. I pack some warm clothes, take my shield and hammer over to the Knights Errant sanctum so that Steve can portal them to us. The rest of us leave for the airport. I am swamped with people wanting my autograph as I am trying to board the aircraft, but security is kind enough to rush me through to my seat in first class. So we take our trip to Oslo.

It takes a decent amount of time to reach Oslo, and not knowing the area and wanting to try and find out why Fragor doesn’t like me, I stick with him! As we are looking around Oslo while we wait for our connecting flight, which is in the morning, he enters this strange door. It just seems to appear out of nowhere. We enter the store and there is this strange old chinese man inside. Fragor introduces him as Orpheus, but he claims to already know me, and to have known me for a long time already. We get talking, and apparently I have an “awesome hammer” which I find.

What was this crazy chinese man talking about? I hadn’t ever found a hammer – unless he had meant that strange hammer I purchased once, and I had never met him before in my life. I think I would remember this crazy chinese man! Fragor later explains to me that he is traveling back in time as a result of paradox. This I found very freaky, and very awesome!

We head back to our hotel, I head up to my room, order some room service, get drunk, and fall asleep. When we wake up in the morning, we head to the airport and board our connecting flight headed to the town of Longyearbyen on Svalbard. We arrive in town, and I decide to stay in my hotel room. The others investigate the town, and learn of a crazy old man building a boat named the SS Neiflheim, on the other side of the island. We head to the rangers station, and rent some rifles and sled dogs.

It takes us 2 days to reach the crazy old man. But those 2 days were some of the most trying 2 days of my life. Our first and only night out in the weather was particularly difficult for me. I almost froze my feet and ended up with frostbite. Fortunately, with some treatment and a lot of heat I was able to avoid the loss of my toes!
We also had several encounters with polar bears. The second of which made me laugh and have hope! It was during our 2nd day of travel, and as our sled dogs came to a stop I drew my shield and hammer. Fragor says to everyone to wait until Steve can change the polar bear’s mind. I look at Fragor with a raised eyebrow and he says “yes, I know that is one way to change a mind, but it isn’t what I had in mind”. He then grinned. I finally had hope that maybe whatever he had on his mind that was being held against me had finally been set free.

We reach this crazy old man’s shack, and Fragor knocks on the door with me standing behind him. When the man answers, he says “It’s about fucking time. How long does it take for you to finally come visit!?”. We later find out he is the Arch Master of Fate, and his shadow name is Fortune. Apparently we are using his viking longboat to head to a mythic island off the coast of Ireland. We board, and start rowing. Well… I start rowing. The others contribute very little to our efforts.

I am unsure of exactly how much time passed on the water. My efforts were elsewhere – and when I stopped I would quickly eat then sleep. While on the water, however, as we approached our destination, Fortune called out that he could see a ship. It was the flag of British traders. Strange to see a sail boat on the waters in this day and age… but then I am in a viking longship. As the ship got closer the flag dropped and a new flag – a red skeleton on a field of black – was raised. Pirates. Damn.

This is just not my day. The ship starts firing cannons at us. I place my shield in front of me, hoping to deflect the incoming cannon ball, but it doesn’t work. The cannonball hits the shield… and passes through it. And through me. Huh. This is… not normal. I drop my shield and hammer, and decide to start orating. I explain why they should leave us alone, that we have nothing of worth on board. It doesn’t work. The emotions of the others seem completely unaffected… Though I think it did inspire my compatriots to feel the same as myself.

Shit… The ship turns, and rams us. I grab my shield and hammer and attempt to jump onto this… ghost ship. To no avail, before I am able to jump I am in the water, and attempting to cast some magic to raise the temperature of the water before hypothermia set in. Fortunately, Fragor was already on it before I succeeded. It was short order before we were rescued, however.

This submarine bursts through the surface. We climb on board, following the lead of Fortune who is apparently trying to take it over. I swear this man is psychotic. Typical Brit. The woman, captain of the vessel, introduces herself in that sexy Scottish accent of hers. Her name is Eva, and her submarine is named the Nautilus. It is her sanctum, apparently. And I do love it! and her. She is smoking hot! So I put the moves on her, after all I am gorgeous, wealthy and famous. She tells me I need a shower. Hmm… Maybe she is right.

We all take showers. I am the last to do so. I hear some noises of fright coming from the cabin we are sharing. I run out, wearing my towel, to find out what is wrong. Apparently the walls are coming closer and closer. It is very unnerving. In an effort to distract myself, however, I ask the others if there is somewhere we can dry our clothes. They look at me, as the submarine shudders and I lose grip of my towel while stabilising myself and they all sort of seem to be in shock. I imagine it would be the same expressions they would have if they were standing a couple dozen feet from a train collision.

“For God’s sake man, go put some clothes on” Fragor says.
“I did not need to see that” Sylas says, going an obvious shade of pink.
Keeping eye contact with me as much as humanly possible, and making it very obvious he is attempting to do so, Steve says “There are warm clothes by the shower. Go put them on”
Realising the obvious embarrassment my companions have, and forgetting how over-the-top British sensibilities are, I quickly went and got dressed.

We head to the kitchen to get something to eat when the submarine is violently rocked. The others stumble, trip or fall. I whack my head violently on a kitchen vent. I am fairly certain I would have been on my arse I had not been so tall. We all head to the control room as the submarine stabilises. I ask Eva if she is alright, and if there is anything I can do to help. She smiles and says no. We find out that it was the lock ness monster, apparently, playing tag with the submarine. This was very surprising to me. I had assumed Nessie was a myth. Eva confirms we will soon arrive in Iverness. I hand Eva my number, give her my address and ask if she will let me show her around sometime, show her one of the best views in London by candle-lit dinner.

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