May You Live In Interesting Times

On Friday, March 7th a mail man finds Gordon and hands him a letter, saying he was paid extra to find him in the bar he’s been haunting of late. In Gordon’s hand as the mailman leaves is a handwritten letter. The handwriting is immaculate and meticulous, perfectly even like it was printed, but it assuredly is not.

Mr. Shaw,

You are cordially invited to join a meet and greet in London, England on the 14th of March, 2014 at 6pm. Enclosed you will find a round trip ticket in your name, paid for and leaving the 13th and returning the 15th, in addition to a two night paid for stay at the Clardige Hotel in downtown. This invitation finds you in the hopes of a new alliance between us pertaining to skills and personage courtesy of Divine Birthright. It has been seen in the Threads of Fate that there is potential for greatness for you in the proposal I plan to lay before you and a select few others in person.
I invite you to hear us out and join us for an evening of wine and wonderful food, and even if you do not accept the offer perhaps you will find a new connection to benefit your Legend.

Sincerely,
Loren Lawson

Gordon has heard the name Loren Lawson in some very odd circles. He’s known as an Acquisitions expert to the rich and famous, and a finder of lost thing by unknown and sometimes questionable means in others. Tales of him finding lost relics, places and in some cases people though the people are far less frequent, and that he is a man who no one really knows what he looks like. The Clardige is one of the nicest hotels in London, 4 1/2 starts (there is not a 5 star in London, as the critics over there don’t believe in 5 stars).

The next week, Gordon makes his way to the airport in Hong Kong where he’d been travelling in the mountains of China, getting together the few things he would need or want to travel. However when he arrived in Hong kong a few hours before the flight as the sun was setting, he was walking around downtown amongst the neon lights and tall buildings, something strange caught his eye.

Two men both wearing all black, but bright red bandanas looked around with super sneaky and shady veneers duck into an alleyway. He had plenty of time… so driven by curiosity, Gordon followed them without being seen.

The alleyway, like the rest of the city, was damp from rain and different machines from the buildings comprising the alley created exhaust and vent steam giving the Alley a very surreal feeling. The fog over the ground parted as Gordon slunk through, and the sounds of voices and metal on metal began ringing out beyond. Picking up his pace, Gordon ran to the end of the alley to see just beyond a courtyard of sorts created by different buildings, an area created and forgotten by expansion and construction.

More than fifty men were fighting there, some wearing the yellow headbands, some wearing red and Gordon realized he’d stumbled on a turf war of some kind. Thinking that he knew nothing of either side, and therefore aligning with one or the other might not be the best of ideas, he’d just turned to leave when a cloud to ground lightning strike occurred in the alley with ear shattering closeness. It was not however the natural phenomenon that drew his attention, but the massive rise of Legendary power that stood the hair on the back of his neck up.

Turning slowly as his hearing returned, Gordon saw the battle had been interrupted by the appearance of a person in a sakat, grey feudal attire and a cape standing in the middle of the group. He held up a hand and the sky overhead rumbled, and all the men wearing yellow bandannas went flying backwards, the red bandannas unharmed. Unfortunately, whatever this apparition was stank of the Titans…

“You’ve got to be shitting me…” He mutters, grabbing his staff and having it grow to full size. Gordon saunters over and asks loudly, “Well when the impossible happens and the pillars of heaven shake, you know what Gordon Shaw always says?”

Everyone stops and looks at him, the being in the sakat looks up slowly, revealing an oddly human face, but looking a bit too perfect and blue skinned, eyes glowing white with sky fire. He opens his mouth and speaks, his voice echoing supernaturally and speaking in an ancient dialect of Chinese, but through Gordon’s Legend he can understand him. “Shuí tā mā de shì ‘Gē dēng·xiào”?” Translating roughly to “Who the fuck is Gordon Shaw?”

Gordon sighs exasperated. “Gordon Shaw. Me. Old Gordon always says, what the the hell.” Depending on his agility, he speeds at the titan, his staff weaving around him.

The gangs press back, letting Gordon in and creating a kind of ring arena around Gordon and the Titanspawn. As they circled each other, the blue skinned creature smirked, hand crackling with electricity. “Yǒu yīcì, wǒ hěn xǐhuan nǐ. Dàn hòulái wǒ wù dàole tàitǎn de róngyào. Tāmen de lìliàng bǐ rènhé dānyī de shén dà de duō. Hé nǐ yīgè fùqīn de wánxiào bùnéng gěi nǐ de quánlì, tāmen kěyǐ.” (“Once, I was like you. But then I was enlightened to the glory of the Titans. Their power is much greater than that of any single god. And your joke of a Father cannot offer you the power they can.”)

“So, here’s me telling you, that it’s not too late to turn back and if the titans were so mighty why are we still here…blah blah blah friendship is magic.” He produces what’s left of a bottle of wine from his bag and kills it. Falling into a drunken stagger he says with an indolent grin, “But I don’t think you’re too keen on any of that.”

With a sneer and no warning, the Titanspawn thrusts his hands forward and lightning shoots out at Gordon. With grace and speed, Gordon dodges out of the way by planting his staff on the ground and flipping over it. The battle has begun. As it rages, the gangs mostly watch in terrified awe, splitting back into their blue and yellow groups.

Parkuring off buildings, flight, the sounds of martial exertion and staff on skin breaking bone happen, and Gordon knows that for at least a little while he’s going to be fate bound to something in this alley. If this spawn was once a scion, he was a touch more powerful than Gordon was.

However Gordon didn’t give up and not only held his own, but gave as good as he got. After what felt like a small eternity however the titanspawn was about to execute a kick Gordon knew was going to hurt, and might end the fight, when there was another crack of thunder and the voice of an older Asian man called, “Tíngzhǐ!” Meaning “STOP!”

Gordon and the spawn both froze, the spawn’s foot half an inch from Gordon’s temple. Behind the Spawn there was more magic, and both red gang and yellow gang members started freaking out and scrambling to run from the alleyway. As Gordon leaned to look around his opponent (moving the foot out of his way), he saw a man.

But it was not a man, not by definition of the word, merely male. It was a male ghost, manifest so powerfully that it looked solid. He was in a kimono and obi of very old styling in brilliant colors on black. his long mustache and goatee were immaculate and the head dress he wore made him appear to be almost eight feet tall.

He chuckled, a disturbing laugh that was tainted with Titan stink and Gordon’s opponent stepped back. “Mr. Shaw,” the old man said in a heavily accented voice. “A pleasure to finally meet you. I have heard much of your exploits over the last few years since your chrysalis into the Divine. I look forward to killing you one day. But today, is not that day.”
Shaw rests the tip of the staff on the ground and leans against it with a smile.

“Now that’s more like it!” He looks at the titan he was fighting. “See Sparky, he knows who Gordon Shaw is.” Shaw looks back at the new comer. “Now I feel bad. You know who I am, but I don’t know who you are.”

With a wide smile that showed many yellowed, crooked teeth, the ghost inclined his head in a bow. “Xiang Lu of the Zhou Dynasty Merchants, and He Who A-Bi Diyu could not hold.” Letting that sink in a moment, he clicks his tongue in disapproval. “But another time. My servant and I have more pressing matters than a nosy, Ichor bathed brat of the the Gods.”
Before Gordon has a chance to retort, Xiang Lu opens his mouth and a blinding white light bursts forth. The searing pain in his eyes and sudden pounding in his head leave Gordon reeling and eventually knocks him unconscious.

When he wakes, he’s no idea how much time has passed and is lying on something hard, uneven and cold. And wet. The sounds of dripping water echo all around him and upon opening his eyes, thinks he might be blind.

“Shiiit.” Shaw mutters as he rubs at his eyes and tries to get his back against a wall or something. His back hits what feels like a cave wall and his eyes feel fine, but its not until he hears a zippo clicking and a tiny flame bursts to life that he can see, realizing wherever he is is just that dark.

The face holding the lighter is one of cool concern. One eyebrow raised, his long, dark hair is slicked back and just past his collar. The man wears a nice suit, long, tailored jacket over a green shirt and back tie, immaculate even in what appears to be a very dark, damp, muddy cave.

“Well, Mr. Shaw, I would have been here to retrieve you sooner, but it seems whatever this place is would not allow me to locate you while you were unconscious.” Stepping forward, the man offers him a hand to help him stand and reaches into his jacket pocket, producing Gordon’s relics that had apparently been taken. “I believe these belong to you. The rather nasty demons that had them and were guarding you are no longer a problem.”

He gives a small smile and shakes Gordon’s hand. “I am Loren Lawson. I presume you would like to get out of here, yes?”

He looks a little surprised and returns the handshake.

“Yes please! Damnedest thing happened on my way to see you. Obviously.” He adds with a grin.

“So I see.” With an expenditure of Legend that tells Gordon Lawson is a demigod at least, Gordon finds himself in his most recent haunt in New York’s little China. “I’m sorry to say you’ve been missing for two days. The meeting has passed, but I wanted to let you know that there will be another chance soon. I’m sponsoring a band of scions that it seems are Fated to help stop the coming Ragnarok. I do hope you’ll consider meeting with us again.”
Lawson begins to step between words and tosses Gordon his card with a phone number on it. “I’ll be in touch.” And with that, he’s gone.

Gordon looks about after the disappearance and makes himself at home. Which is to say, find the booze, take a shower, and enjoy a bed.

May You Live In Interesting Times

No World For Tomorrow - Scion NoGoblinsPlease