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A cabal of urban of witches for any street game.
In the inner city there are a lot of poor, emotionally scarred single mothers whose lives have crashed and bounced off the crime and tragedy that chews up and swallows lives after smothering them with violence. Sometimes these young women drift off penniless and alienated into more crime and despair.
Then someone somewhere had had enough; enough of the struggle and enough of the failing social services; more than enough of the prostitutes and sharking pimps and six-year old crackheads shooting their grandmothers for twenty in change.
And she had enough of loss and the shiftless, loser boyfriend.
Allaya Dominguez enjoyed university life, the change in perspectives, the marvels of new things seen, heard and tasted for the first time. Allaya found herself moving away from the ghetto-life hip-hop scene and moving around with the interesting black-clad weirdoes. They listened to a different music and dabbled in New Age mysticism, and made do with reading books and witchcraft. And the novelty of a black Goth-chick was too ironic for them to miss.
The bomb: Allaya suddenly dropped out of her African-American history course with a pregnancy abandoned by the father, whose sudden shooting star athletic prowess had him touring the minor basketball leagues in hopes he’d jump to the major leagues.
She was already holding down two-part time jobs to make her studies and her ex-boyfriend was posing for cameras and groupies. She came home embittered.
Her father reacted negatively in his weekday Nation of Islam derision, spurting out that she was fucking lucky not be stoned with the Qu’ran’s death threat to all whores. Her brother didn’t care when he was home maybe two, three hours a day. Her neurotic, subdued mother asked if she could help out with house work.
On the weekends, her father came home from his meetings smelling like vodka-and-coke, her brother hid bundles of bankrolls in the bathroom, and her mother binged on talk shows and processed meat sandwiches.
She took the little cash she had and rented an apartment with two other single mothers and started a much needed community childcare centre.
It became a small success. It became the meeting ground for all the mothers of the neighbourhood. They lived hand and mouth for a while, getting paid in food and favours.
When a local dealer tried his hand at scoring a whore or client things got violent. He left with a warning on Tonya’s back-sassing cheek. When the cops eventually dawdled upstairs, 2BoneDog stated that things had better be different in a week. The cops just escorted 2BoneDog downstairs, took some money and left him on the curb.
That day their business dried up and the landlord suddenly demanded all their outstanding rent. They had become three single mothers in debt with no job prospects.
When, out of the blue, Erin Corvingham, an old friend from university, stopped over to spend the night wearing bloody, unexplained bandages over the left side of her body.
Erin was very quiet and slow with all that wincing she did moving anywhere. Eventually she and Allaya got to talking and discovered that Erin had dropped out too. She had found Jesus or something just like it. She said that she needed a place to stay, and throwing four-inch nails led her here.
She needed a place to crash for a few days and could pay with the pressed bills she had taped inside her jeans. She didn’t want to get Allaya involved with her shit, she just to sleep and rest a while.
Allaya then told her about 2BoneDog and his threat to teach them to be his bitches.
Erin asked if she could deal with 2BoneDog, could she forego her rent. Desperate, Allaya agreed. The Erin asked for 2BoneDog’s real name.
Two hours of tracking her brother down got her the name, Melvin Nelson.
Erin then told Allaya to devote her life to the Goddess and sisterhood, to which Allaya did.
They propped a 2X4 against the wall, wrote Melvin Nelson on big letters on a sheet of paper. Got a handful of nails and carefully taped the three mother’s names around them. Got a hammer from the begrudging landlord and waited.
2BoneDog came as sooner than expected; the next day. When Allaya opened the door, 2BoneDog slapped her, Shareeza held the board as Tonya hammered the first nail into the name-written paper, punching the tip through. And Tonya hammered another nail, and then the last. It was over before the second went through.
2BoneDog had raised his arm for another swing, tilted right back, lost his balance, screamed like a little girl and was a paraplegic when he stopped bouncing down the stairs.
Hours later when the paramedics were fishing 2BoneDog off the landing, Allaya and her two friends started the first and only Wicca coven in their neighbourhood.
Erin enacted a ceremony, ordaining Allaya in Wicca. And before she left, told her a few tricks, a couple of no-nos, and some advice about the Occult Underground.
Allaya, Shareeza, and Tonya raise children, and worship the Goddess in Maiden, Mother, and Crone triplicate, channelling them as the Flying Woman, Mother, and the Warrior.
Their small day-time operation has expanded from a larger four-bedroom apartment (were they live) and to possibly leasing a refurbished store across the road.
A brief overview of Allaya, Shareeza, and Tonya; all of them channel an archetype and can use tilts.
As the avatar of the Flying Woman, Allaya is the leader, high priestess, and director of the day care facility.
Obsession: Making a better life herself and her baby.
Fear: Losing her baby. Someone somewhere will get the idea she’s an unfit mother.
Rage: Assuming she’s yet another ho’ child-bearing for the welfare tote.
Noble Passion: Giving people a chance to see them better themselves
Sample Body Skill: Wallflower Ninja 30%
Wallflower Ninja is Allaya’s struggle and anti-intimidation skill. She is a very slight, and small woman and appears fragile. No one will think she’s a threat until that point when she’s done talking.
Sample Speed Skill: Be Everywhere: 20%
Those kids can get anywhere, and wherever they get to, Allaya’s already waiting for an explanation.
Sample Mind Skill: Whip It Off 45%
Whip It Off is Allaya’s skill in racking up Tilt rituals on the fly.
Sample Soul Skill: The Flying Woman: 15%
Allaya is very new at channelling the Flying Woman, but given time she’ll get high up in the sky.
Shareeza is the consummate mother, she glues the coven together. She tracks all the Wiccan festivals and sacred days, makes sure the crucifixes are straight, bakes brownies for the good children and sprays mace for the bad adults.
Obsession: The coven and children are her life. She will go out of her way to keep it bound together.
Fear Passion: To be left alone again.
Rage Passion: Slights against her rounding figure make her… angry.
Noble Passion: Seeing the children do well.
Sample Body Skill: Housework aerobics 25%
Shareeza is a tall thin woman with a slow bulging in her butt and thighs. Terrified she’s going to look like her late mother, she works out doing the housework.
Sample Speed Skill: Fast Crafts 40%
Shareeza can whip up fun activities for the children and make decent handicraft to sell at the local flea-market stalls.
Sample Mind Skill: Date and a Datum Cookbook 35%
Shareeza is a walking talking diary. She instantly memorises all the important ceremonial dates, knows everyone’s names and birthdays, and can track appointment changes. And she does it with an unflustered smile.
Sample Soul Skill: The Mother 55%
Despite her calming smile, there is something in her eyes that tells the children not to press their luck. And adults too.
Tonya is a no nonsense woman. She is the rather abrupt public administrator of the three. She is the most attractive of the three, except when she gets pissed then her cute Asian-looking eyes bulge-out alarmingly.
Tonya is the vainest about her appearance; she dumped her gangsta accent and keeps up with the high fashions as best she can. The others keep her out of her way, because she’s the best at what she does, getting results.
Obsession: Keeping the children safe. Heaven knows what she will do to ensure this tenuous thread of sanctity.
Fear Passion: Tonya doesn’t know who her baby’s father is. It was one of three guys that gang-raped her. She has nightmares about the same thing happening to her daughter.
Rage Passion: The overwhelming cynicism that makes people give up caring for children. Tonya is the first one out the door and in the car if there’s a problem at 4:00 AM.
Noble Passion: Selfless altruism makes Tonya want to cry and if it’s from a man, a little romantic too.
Sample Body Skill: Sawed-off Hosepipe 50%
Sawed-off hosepipe is the result of Tonya’s self-defence classes and street-savvy. It is a length of flexible hosepipe with a bit of broom handle inserted. It curls up in her bag or sleeve, ready to be whipped out and on, repeatedly.
The Sawed-off Hosepipe is a submission weapon that deals lots of pain but leaves few bruises. Treat the attack as Firearms Damage (max cap equal to Tonya’s Body), this lasts a round or three before the damage reduces itself to hand-to-hand damage +0. If Tonya continues to righteously wail on a target, and she drops his Wounds to zero, the target just drops from the shock. If violence can’t scare the victim, the Sawed-off Hosepipe makes them do Self, Helplessness and, when they’re all alone in their little world of hurt, Isolation checks instead. A stress-check failure means the victim will be meek and pliable.
Sample Speed Skill: Hummingbird Arms 20%
Tonya has superb control of her reflexes and can physically multitask everything in her vicinity, without changing tone to whomever she’s speaking to on the phone. It is quite a sight to see her on her cell and moving things around her, away from children, the furniture, and other children.
Sample Mind Skill: Tofu Fu 15%
Tofu Fu is Tonya’s highly structure diet and exercise regime. She keeps herself in fine shape through planning, willpower and disciplined training.
Sample Soul Skill: The Warrior 25%
Tonya’s the Warrior against Child Abuse. She has been known for her daily dignified non-stop, two-hour screaming sessions at Social Services to get something done. She has quite a reputation at Social Services although it’s pretty undignified.
One of the children’s fathers came around with some ammunition. He’s been checking them out for a while and reckoned that these three are lesbians are some sort of porno-threesome relationship and he wants to taste that pie otherwise he goes to the authorities and papers and spilling that the three are Satanist, child-molesting perverts.
Tonya agreed to “let him in on the action” and led him into the bedroom, and then led him out moments later, hobbling, badly winded, and trying to button his shirt with shaky fingers.
He didn’t go to the authorities because she’s got a recording of his sex-wants. He’s now gone to a porn-stringer photographer and told him. The photographer is lurking about the opposite buildings and snapping shots. He’s got a couple of naked shower and bath exits and something like a religious ceremony, but not those all at once. But he is patient.
The father is not so patient. Every day that goes past makes him want to teach that man-hater a lesson that’ll make her change her mind.
The Crew Shows Some Respec’
Some of 2BoneDog’s crew recall his talking ‘bout some fine bitches nearby. He was going to make ‘em his Snoop Dog Style. He chilled aroun’ near that block there an’ there’re those three hootchie-assed mama’s wit’ alla them kids. Maybe they gone and done the whack to 2BoneDog. Them bitches gotta get some hard disrespec’ from the crew.
Fishing for Kessler
Derrick Kessler is a fucking nasty little shit. His sense of humour is plugged one-way into his spitefulness. What makes it worse is that he’s a Sleeper and now he’s just discovered the obsessive find of his tiny career. A bunch of pagan witches are teaching these innocent kids black magic, and they’re spreading the lies thick on those impressionable minds.
They must be stopped! For the sake of the children, of course.
This is despite there being any proof of mystical wrongdoing (the three keep their religion and business very far apart and quiet). The nearest link is the accident of that guy on the stairs. They just left him there for hours, and healthy basketball players don’t just fall down stairs like that; so it must be sorcery. If it isn’t sorcery, their cruelty justifies Derrick’s actions.
The second problem is that Derrick works for Social Services and has kept an extensive file of all Tonya Michaels abusive phone calls. And she is not liked, all the receptionist girls say so.
Derrick has already tried to have them shut down, but forgot the proof-file in the taxi at the steps of the court building (it has to be witchcraft) and now is waiting so the court can go around the horn and come back to his request.
In the meantime, Derrick is trying to slow down Allaya Dominguez application for a business license, while he tries to irritate authority to close the witch’s coven for illegal business practices.
Unfortunately, if anything happens to Derrick, some professional Sleepers will be sent out to investigate. And the only thing they have to go is Derrick’s one-sided reports and lethal weapons.
Shawn Erwin returns like the prodigal beau. And he’s come for his woman and son, Allaya and Brandon that is. He comes sweeping in dressed like a prince, confident and cool, he steps up to Allaya and slides his hand into hers, pulls out a chunk of cut glass, ‘cause diamonds don’t come that big, and asks Allaya to marry him and they can all live in his big new house. In spastic emotional fit, Allaya agrees.
After she has a cold shower, she puts two and something else together: Shawn is an amateur basketball pro-wannabe, how did he get so rich so fast? What is this new business Shawn is in?
And not too long afterwards something bad and seething comes out of the Occult Underground looking for Shawn Erwin.
There is a young made-man with the Mafia that cruises the neighbourhood with a thing for glittery black chicks with too much blue eye-shadow.
Through a wrangled testimony, two of the boys in their care admit to being sexually abused for years by a babysitter, for which the boys’ two-job mothers pay ten-dollars an hour for the privilege.
Crunching numbers, statistics and funds, Tonya decides to seduce the young Mafioso to get him to “accident” this literal babysitting bitch for once and for all.
The Mafioso gets tangled with Tonya and illicit sorcery and a hit against the girl that popped lots of the neighbourhood boys’ cherries – whether they liked it or not.
It can only get worse before it gets worse.
And old 2BoneDog, well it is said he gives mean head for his cellmate’s cigarette habit. Sometimes life can be very fair in quite the wrong way.
And Erin? Well, you do know that entropomancers don’t really send postcards; especially when they charge up from random, unprotected marriage to dipsomancers.
Damn this is good. I plan on using them as possible allies in Garden Full of Weeds if the PCs get over their heads.
I like this a lot, too. These three would add a lot of flavor to any city.
This is really something else. I'm very, very impressed. Well done!