Thirty pieces of silver
|Thirty pieces of silver|
|Part of Hail to the Pumpking|
Pump King Jack
|This was a solo run.|
Babylon goes to do a Ritual of Change. She also pumps into Pump King Jack!
During a previous run, Babylon had made a pact with a powerful spirit going by the name of Shamash to find its formula in the metaplanes and make it into a free spirit. Now she has to follow through with her promise.
After passing through the Dweller, whom tested her determination by subjecting her to inconceivable suffering to see if her mind was stronger than her body, Babylon enters a familiar place. The Metaplane of Man. Finding the same pit that she'd gone to with the likes of Stargazer prior, she prepared to enter Id on the flipside of the plane.
While she was here, however, she figured she'd check in on the gum toad's 'office' if it could be called that. Surprisingly, she found not the gum toad but the Avatar Spirit of Seducer, an Avatar of the Adversary and Pump King Jack, whom had begun to try and usurp the gum toad's network for himself. After returning to the Metaplane, he hadn't rested on his laurels and wanted to do something fun, so while he goofed off and acted the fool, he also showed his trademark cunning by pointing out that the pressure that the gum toad had been subjected to by Babylon and Krimelin helped him push into those connections instead. His goal was to become a name any could call upon for help.
Surprisingly, when Babylon and Gomorrah assensed him, they found that he was not a Spirit of Man, but an Avatar Spirit. Seducer also offered to give Babylon more favor in exchange for another favor -- the royal bed of Saint Judas, the traitor apostle from the New Testament. According to her, it's in one of the chapels in a part of Id called the Consecrated Hills. Jack offers to lead Babylon to this location, and she accepts.
By conjuring the key to open a portal to Id from her memories the last time she was here, she doesn't have to bash her way through a barrier locking the thing. She enters the swamps in Id where Gomorrah's formula is stored. Gomorrah'd built a little shrine to Babylon's mother as a kind gesture and Jack waits around for them to finish their Ritual of Change. Jack elaborates that he might have found his formula
After this, Jack shows yet another unintuitive facet of Id: to enter the Consecrated Hills from the Black Swamp, one has to jump over the waterline into the pond instead of wading into it. When Babylon follows suit, they find themselves in a sunken mishmash of religious buildings all half-sunken to the ground, giving off the impression of hill-like terrain made entirely out of brick, mortar and religious iconography. Jack introduces the mage and her ally spirit to the person he knows the most: Hades Tesla, "Preacher-Priest of Heretics of the Altar of Technology." Tesla elaborates the true purpose of the Consecrated Hills: it is for ghosts to pass through, those who have deviated to worshiping false idols or straying in their faiths in their last moments. As a result, the Consecrated Hills are filled with heretics to whatever faiths they once belonged to. To spirits, faith is not purely religious, so the demographics in the Consecrated Hills are near-infinitely varied.
She does end up crossing into a heavily patrolled part of the Hills, stumped for a moment by a gate and comes across a riddle:
"Only one color, but not one size, Stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies. Present in sun, but not in rain, Doing no harm, and feeling no pain."
When she deduces the answer to be 'shadow' the gates swing open and Jack waits outside for them to find Shamash's formula. It's hidden in an altar, which turns out to be an old, scrapped scroll containing Jewish witchcraft in Enochian.
"To overcome the problems posed by the doctrine of God's transcendence, the early Jewish mystics developed an emanation theory in which the alphabet played an important part. They taught that the universe was divided into ten angelic spheres each one governed by an intermediary or emanation of the divine. There were seventy-two inferior angels through whom the intermediaries could be approached. Contact with this celestial world was achieved by manipulating the letters of the Hebrew alphabet."
Upon securing it, they make a beeline back towards the surface which isn't an easy trail either.
The good part is that Jack seems to have more clout going for himself and he helps spread good word of Babylon in his own right. Babylon hopes that Jack ends up upstaging the scumbag of a gum toad as a networker and now Gomorrah is stronger! She didn't end up finding Judas' bed in the Consecrated Hills, so Seducer must wait for her defilement urges further still.
- 13 Karma
- 2 CDP
- 1 Wild Reputation
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Another trip to the metaplanes, another strange story to tell, but I'd say it was worth it. A spirit is free to make it's own fate, Jack seems to be doing well for himself, and I was able to invest Gomorrah with more of our shared experience. Perhaps Seducer will be upset for not obtaining that bed, but I could not bring myself to take it from that place. Ah well. There are other beds.