Hex and the City

Episode 2: A Hairy Little Christmas

After an undignified withdrawal from the fracas at Jezebel’s, Alix, Christmas, and Big Moe piled into Alix’s car and left. Alix dropped Moe at his home and Christmas at his steam-grate, and went to visit her brother, Max—a White Court vampire.

Alix brought Max up to speed on the strange dealings that were going on at Jezebel’s—apparently with Aunt Lillian’s approval—and noted the clear risk that Aunt Lillian would drag the White Court into a conflict with the Winter Fey. Max took this intelligence under advisement and promised to discuss it with their father and get his take on it.

We did not hear back from Vampire Dad for the rest of this session.
[That is such a dad move. ~Alix]

With the dawn came another unpleasant surprise for Christmas: he was awakened by kicks from four leather-jacketed ruffians.

The Winter thane quickly identified the leader among them, and with a single slash from Slan Grian, his weapon, bisected him at the hips.

To Christmas’ chagrin, the rest of his assailants did not flee. Two piled onto him, holding him down just long enough for the third to produce a pair of shears and cut off some of his hair. Having apparently gotten what they came for, they ran off.

Just then, around the corner came Tilda Perth, out walking her dog. She and Christmas were friends, more or less; their paths had crossed before, twice, both times in bloody fights, and they had formed a mutual respect. Tilda saw the downed figure of Christmas, and gave chase to the fleeing bikers, but they reached their van and sped away before she could reach them. She hurled a well-intentioned shoe, but to no avail.

After retrieving said shoe, Tilda Perth returned to check on her friend. The ragged man had left the battlefield with a leather jacket and biker boots, as well as the wallet of his slain enemy—containing the ID and credit card of one “Edward Samuelson” and $45 cash. But there was only one reason the bikers would want his hair; they, or someone employing them, wanted to make him a target of ritual magic.

Christmas cut a cloth patch featuring a snarling dog off the back of his new jacket and pocketed it. Tilda suggested that her friend Cassandra—who works at a biker bar called “Leather ‘n’ Chains”—might be able to identify the patch from the dead assailant’s jacket.

After reconnecting with Alix, the three took a field trip to “Leather ‘n’ Chains.” Tilda got Cassandra to spill everything she knew, and she identified the patch as belonging to a gang called the “Devil Dogs.”

Guessing that Nina and the Bastards contracted the Devil Dogs to obtain a ritual link to Christmas, the group decided to go after them directly. They found the Bastards’ website and contact information, and discovered that the group was managed by another of Alix’s relatives, William Raith. Armed with this information, they made up a story about a phony event coming up, and arranged a fake “audition” for the band to bring them out in the open.

While the band played, Tilda surreptitiously opened her Third Eye to observe them using the Sight. She was immediately overwhelmed by a terrifying vision of the Axe of Atomusk—Nina Mori’s guitar. She struggled to close her Third Eye, and only with the greatest effort was she eventually able to do so.

After the audition, Christmas borrowed a cellphone and hid, invisible, on the luggage rack atop the Bastards’ van. They eventually arrived in an alley on the far West Side, at an adjoining pair of garages, which seemed to function as a combination living area and practice space. The band set up again and began to practice.

Meanwhile, Christmas called Alix and Tilda and let them know his exact location. They arrived some distance away and Christmas rejoined them.

As the Bastards practiced, Tilda observed them using the Sight once more. She was able to detect the following from Nina’s aura:

  • Nina herself was represented, in the Sight’s system of visual metaphors, as a mirrorlike shard of ice … which also symbolized the power she serves.
  • Nina hated her father, and was also obsessed with taking revenge on Christmas (for reasons yet undefined).
  • Nina was also portrayed as a sort of “anti-Christmas”—a more-or-less exact duplicate of him, although also his opposite.

Christmas sneaked into garage #1 and sabotaged the band’s van so it slowly leaked radiator fluid. When the Bastards left for their next show at Jezebel’s, Alix and Tilda followed them at a distance in Alix’s car. Christmas once more took a position atop the van, invisible.

The sabotage worked. The band pulled their disabled vehicle onto a side street, then all piled out to pop the hood and look at the engine. Christmas lowered himself, entered the rear of the van, picked up the jar of his hair, and prepared to leave. But in doing so, he knocked something over. The Bastards’ drummer—who, improbably at best, had the most refined hearing among them—detected this and intercepted the Winter thane before he could make his exit.

Melee ensued, and it wasn’t pretty. Nina Mori threw a blast of fire into the van with Christmas, which he was only barely able to dodge (leaving him Lightly Singed).

Then everyone’s attention turned suddenly to the fast-moving car in their midst. The Bastards scrambled out of the way, but Nina only partially escaped Alix’s vehicular assault—ending up with a Broken Foot.

Seeing an opportunity, Christmas lurched halfway out of the van and smashed Nina’s damaged leg with the blunt end of his weapon. The blow connected, but he was immediately grappled by the rest of the band.

Alix backed up the car and revved the engine. With a last burst of effort, Christmas broke free from the unnaturally strong grip of his enemies, sustaining a Dislocated Shoulder in the process. He staggered to the car and fell into the back seat.

It wasn’t much of a victory, if it was one at all, but at the very least they retrieved Christmas’s hair. And Nina Mori may be crippled for life.



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