Logs:Devil Baby's Nuts

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Devil Baby's Nuts


Characters: Pan, Damas as ST
Date: 2020-09-12
Summary: In which Pan attempts to collect a monster for Damas's Fight Night endeavors.
Disclaimers: Creepy pictures below. Don't look if they might freak you out.

<text> To Pan: Damas sends, "Hello. I need a few things for fight night. My usual contact has fallen through. Would you be interested in picking something up for me? It will probably be dangerous."

<text> To Damas: Pan sends, "You got any other details for me or just 'a few things, dangerous'?"

<text> To Pan: Damas sends a photograph of a tabloid splashed with the headline: THE GRUNCH ROAD MONSTER STRIKES AGAIN. Brilliant red text lies sprawled across a badly blurred photo of something greenish brownish grayish black, scaly, and weirdly spiky, with, of course, the obligatory red eyes. It could be an alligator. Below it all is a photograph of a beautiful blond woman with wide eyes captioned, "Victim speaks out: "I thought it was going to kill me!""

<text> To Pan: Damas adds, after the photograph, "Let's just start with this - if you're interested."

<text> To Damas: Pan sends, "Okay, I like the spikes but the color scheme leaves something to be desired."

<text> To Pan: Damas sends, "We'll spray paint it red if we can get it to hold still. And it doesn't kill us. Think of this like a lion fight - except we need a lion. Capture, not kill."

There are two legends of the Grunch Road Monster - well, all right, there are more than two, but the two main ones are thus:

When the Devil Baby was born, Marie Laveau castrated him to keep him from spreading his dark spawn. His balls fell on the ground and each became little Grunches. The Grunches beat Marie Laveau so bad that she fell unconscious, and when she awoke, they and the Devil Baby were gone. Some say that is when she gave up the life of a Voodoo Queen and became a good Catholic woman.

Long ago, the malformed and misunderstood of the city of New Orleans were mocked and derided and chased. They settled farther out of town on the end of Grunch Road, and supposedly interbred and were changed by the environment and their own infirmities until they were no longer human. As they changed, they blended better with their surroundings, and vanished from the sight of the common folk. Grunch Road became a makeout spot for desperate teenagers and new homes were built in the area, but still people occasionally disappear in the area, with stories of a goat in the area when they did. The area was abandoned by regular folk, leaving it to the trash fires and trailers of the original residents.

Regardless which of the origin stories you subscribe to, the legends generally agree that if you see a goat in the area, you should not get out of your car. They also agree that there is something special about its eyes, and that it has a terribly bad smell. Its howls are known to vary from a wolf's to an ape's to a banshee's wail. Some even say it speaks.

Grunch Road is gone these days, overtaken by an East New Orleans suburb. The particular area that once would have housed its end, the place where most of the activity was supposed to have occurred, is a grassy field on the edge of the swamp, easily knee high. And naturally, you're stuck going at night thanks to that unpleasant little skin condition.

The Left Nut of Devil Baby does not -sound- like a dangerous monster. So maybe Pan isn't taking this SUPER CEREAL Y'ALL, because when they show up, they're in a pair of short-shorts and thigh-high rubber wading boots and a tank-top with an extremely flat alligator underneath their armored leather rose jacket. They have a baseball bat in their right hand, propped up on their shoulder, and a black cat with purple eyes trailing behind them as they head from motorcycle out toward the empty field and the swamp.

"Okay, Lammikins, looks like we're going Grunch Hunting. This sounds like an Ordo Dracul hazing ritual so be prepared."

"Mrow."

"You know that I know you can talk."

"Mrrrrrr."

"You know that even if you were just a regular cat, I could still talk to you."

"Rrrrrrrowr!"

Technically this is just beyond Little Woods, heading into Bayou Sauvage, and Pan is probably trespassing. The grass is too tall for a cat to move easily, and they'll find they land in swamp water every other step. Insects hop and flit away from them and crickets sing through the night too damn loudly as they work their way across the green grass and towards the treeline. In the dark, something barks, and it sure as hell isn't a dog.

There's a whiff of something like rotten eggs or boiled cabbage coming from the trees.

Trespassing is a horrible crime. Pan would never commit a crime!

Unless it was mildly more convenient than not committing a crime. Or fun. Or a cop was watching.

As they walk through the grass, Lamashtu eventually decides fuck this noise and leaps up onto Pan's left shoulder, sinking sharp claws into leather in a way that Pan will have to have repaired at some point. Okay, that was a...sound. A...bark. Pan's senses are supernaturally sharp, the smell of sulfur is impossible to miss. They pause, closing their eyes to breathe in the air, taking in all the complexities of plants and animals and decay and growth, to let their ears parse out the shuffling of mice fleeing snakes, bugs skittering over blades of grass. While they do this, they raise their left hand, press their thumb between their lips for a moment, then smear a thin coating of vitae from a pierced thumbpad over the side of the bat, along where it's engraved with 'THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS'. The vitae -soaks into- the aluminum outer shell, imparting Pan's divine will into the very metal of the weapon disguised as a sporting implement.

There are things out there. To your right, a large, shallow swamp lies overgrown with algae, and you might be able to pick up the slow beating of multiple reptilian hearts within it. Something large moves in the grass much nearer, sending the blades swaying as it sidles between them just a little closer in your direction.

There is a shrieking howl like a monkey's from further in among the trees. The motion near the edge of the water ceases.

In the quiet of the knowledge of being stalked, Pan decides to...play it cool. They begin to wander at an angle to their pursuer. Toward the swamp, away from the houses. They even go a bit further. They reach down and pull out their earbuds - wireless, bluetooth - and slip them in. Their phone unlocks when they hit a button on the earbuds, and they draw out the phone to hit a couple of spots on the screen before music starts to play in their ears as they lock the direction and intensity of the scent in their mind, letting a gestalt of senses paint a picture of -exactly- where the thing stalking them is.

"Iiiiiiiiii look at all the lonely people!"

The alligator which had been considering coming towards you turns and slips into the water and away from the noise. One can almost imagine the snort of disgust it would give if it had a care for such emotions. The shrieking howl doesn't come again.

What does come, in spite of the noise, the music, the comforting weight of the cat on your shoulder, is the sense of creeping, crawling, slinking dread. The scent grows stronger in the trees, sulfurous and underlain with something vile and bilious.

Further and more distant, something shrieks maliciously. If rage had a voice, that would be its sound. Much closer, you hear, through the music, a wet crunch.

So here's the thing about Conquista del Pan. Conquista del Pan is an extremely powerful supernatural creature who has dealt -almost- exclusively with vampires like them. Understood entities. Werewolves: vampires but they shapeshift and hunt spirits instead of humans. Changelings: vampires but they drink emotions instead of blood and their sires are bigger assholes. Pan has had one big run-in with ghosts and it sucked and was so scary it caused them to join the Ordo Dracul. Pan has had a near-brush with angels and it killed two of their closest friends.

This thing creeping up on them is supposedly some kind of demonic nard. Like the devil's nard. What does that even MEAN. How do you pretend to be fine while a demonic nard comes up on you? How do you not imagine what it looks like?

Scarier Voldemort.jpg
Pan's fear drives them into stopping, turning, and looking back to see if they can -look- at it, instead of luring it into an ambush. The ambush is tactically sound, but they just can't -stand- not looking, ruining the surprise.

That wet crunch comes again. Turn and look, then, and you will see a ghostly white figure crouched over the fallen body of a Grunch Road Monster, its quills jutting to the side and its body covered in algae, mottling its scaly hide. The white thing looks up the instant you look at it, its masklike face empty, lifeless - assessing. Its spidery, six-fingered, extra-jointed hands still from the process of peeling back the creature's windpipe to get at the vocal cords within - and it tilts its head just so, its eyes gleaming red. The lifeless, massive Grunch Road Monster lies immobile. This new thing... is not.


El-Cupacabra.jpg

The next howl of rage from the forest comes nearer, much nearer - an even bigger Grunch Road Monster comes shrieking out of the swamp, its goat-like face contorted with red-eyed rage and fixed on the white monster. It has teeth, and they're more like a lion's teeth than a goat's. Congratulations - there's always a bigger fish.

Okay. Okay. Okay.

Pan reaches up and hits a button on the outside of the earbuds. The sounds of Eleanor Rigby fade. This is not a fight scene from Umbrella Academy or Guardians of the Galaxy. This was supposed to be a fight scene from Umbrella Academy or Guardians of the Galaxy.

Pan locks eyes with the horrific six-fingered Scarier Voldemort, for a second, then there's the sound of Right Nut coming to the rescue, and it becomes clear that Devil Baby had a very lopsided scrotum. But nothing is...attacking Pan, yet. So. Uh. Who's the bad guy? Pan doesn't know. Pan is frozen, staring.

Good damn question. One potential issue is that you are way, way too close to what's about to become a brutal battle.

The Collector's fingers are tipped with razor-sharp little scalpel claws, and they nimbly, in an instant, cut the fallen Grunch's vocal cords free. It should be noted, perhaps, that there is blood on its fangy mouth - this thing is clearly a biter of some kind.

In the next instant, Righty slams into it at top speed. It's like listening to a catfight, pure violence and raw rage, aggressive shrieking. Both of the monsters come tumbling towards you, Righty's back - and thus quills - pointed in your direction.

"Lamashtu," Pan says, quietly, in an all-too-calm voice, "Go back to the--" And the cat's already gone, sprinting through the grass off toward the bike. Pan leans down in those moemnts as Righy charges 'The Collector', and places the end of the bat on the ground, letting the handle lean against their thigh while they zip up their armored coat. It's this sort of thing that makes you wish you'd worn pants to the monster fight. Pants would have been great. Why didn't Pan wear pants. Or a helmet. There -is- a helmet, back on the bike. Pan could have worn a helmet, and gloves, and pants. They pick back up the bat and--whoop, there goes the Collector's day, Right Nut to the face. It's the most violent, bitey teabagging--wait, no. Pan's seen one teabagging bitier and more violent. It's up there, though, and we don't talk about The Montrose Incident.

Hmm. Quills. Those look...pointy. You know the myths that porcupines shoot quills? This is a mythological monster. So Pan...kind of scoots, sideways, watching the fight as they sliiiiiide around in a circle to not be where quills might explode outward. There's still no real clear answer as to who Pan should be hitting with a baseball bat here.

The rolling. The biting. It's happening at speeds fast enough to be considered supernatural - and then the white thing vanishes, spreads out into an ephemeral mist to flow away... and that leaves the Grunch, shrieking at it, bristling with impotent fury. The massive beast, its in-turned front feet bulldog-like, turns to sniff its dead friend... and then snarls a rippling, soft, grief-stained noise, and turns your way. The stench intensifies. "Run," it growls in a rippling, throaty snarl, its goatlike face a rictus of mad fury, "or your blood is mine." Yes, the Grunch speaks English.

Oh. It talks. We're not going to mindlessly beat up and abduct a talking thing that's mourning its Left Nut.

"Hey," Pan says, not looking like they're about to run, "Your friend still breathing? Like, if they can swallow, I might be able to save them."

Can you ghoul a Grunch.

An aggressive little butt of its head and the beast makes a lunge in your direction, but pulls back at the last moment. "Who are you," comes the tearing snarl of its voice, "that you would say such a thing?" One paw has settled firmly on the fallen Grunch's side, which is, on closer inspection, still faintly moving.

"I mean, you're basically a chupacabra or something, right? Blood-drinker. You're basically vampires. Makes you almost Kindred. I'm Conquista del Pan, Primogen for the Praxis of New Orleans. So." Pan puts down the baseball bat and brings up their left hand to their mouth, bites down into it, and wills two drops of dark crimson vitae to well up. "If I put some effort into it, giving my blood can let a human or an animal who drinks it heal like I can, so. Maybe stop looking like you're going to bite me and let me give some to your friend and see if they count?"

"What is the cost," growls the creature, glowing red eyes fixed on you. "Nothing is free." The one on the ground gives a coughing, choking little splutter.

"I mean, they'll want more later, if they live, and going without will suck. If they drink a bunch and it works on you like it works on us? It'll make them like me more. -That said-, my dude, your buddy's about to -die-, and you seem like you give a shit, so you can choose to have someone who might be addicted to vampire blood a bit and feel kind of nicer about me than they otherwise would after I saved their life, or you can have a dead friend, your fucking choice. -If- it works, until my blood works out of their system, they'll -probably- also be stronger and faster and better able to fight off Scarier Voldemort, too, so like. Before they choke on their own blood, you should decide if they can have some of mine."

The larger Grunch snarls softly, ongoing and rough. "I will kill you if you keep him from me." It draws back, still snarling, to let you near the wheezing creature, yet its clawed feet paw at the ground uneasily and it opens its mouth to let out a cooing, eerie cry.

"I don't want to steal your boyfriend." And with this, the vampire walks over to the Left Nut, bends down, and inspects the...best entry point for vitae. Like, its vocal chords have been torn out, but that doesn't necessarily mean its esophagus is compromised so. Pan reaches out and begins to let vitae drip in big, viscous globs into the mouth of Lefty, assuming they will know what to do.

"He is Firstborn, first child of my womb," snarls the bigger one, shifting in place in agitation, quills flexing. "You will not keep him from me," the monster repeats. It has a tail, and that tail is lashing. The one on the ground makes a wet little coughing noise and begins to breathe easier. Its mouth turns towards your arm and... if you aren't careful, those fangs will latch on.

"Yeah? Congratulations. I got a kid, too. They're -terrifying-, right?" Pan is fast. -Probably- faster than a Left Nut. They draw back a bit, dripping blood into its mouth rather than letting it bite down. Pan bites can heal with a lick. Grunch Bites, probably not. "Tell him not to hit me with its quill-tail and not to bite me."

The noise the Grunch mother makes is somewhere between a purr and a rustle of wind. Their voices are truly marvels of flexibility - no wonder the Collector wanted one. The fallen one begins to move, rolling to his feet, unsteady - but he's up, and that's an excellent sign. No tail nor quills swing your way - well, unless you fail to get out of the way.

"Aaaand, ta-da. Proof that chupacabra can be ghouled. I feel like I just leveled up in Ordo Dracul." The vampire raises their wrist up to their mouth and runs their tongue along the wound, cleaning away the last of the vitae and closing the two little holes. "He's going to want more but if you don't want him -thoroughly- up in my business? You should discourage him for at least a few months from coming to get more. And if he has weird sex dreams about gender-fucked vampires, that's normal. True Blood got more right than it did wrong, to be honest. I gave him enough that he shouldn't be in horrific pain and should be able to move around fine, regular healing - however y'all do it - should be enough for the rest." There's a bit of hesitation, and Pan asks: "So -are- y'all chupacabra? And what the fuck was Scarier Voldemort."

Pan has Occult 1. Please never forget that Pan has Occult 1. This is why Pan thinks ghouling a chupacabra might work.

"He is Firstborn, first child of my womb," snarls the bigger one, shifting in place in agitation, quills flexing. "You will not keep him from me," the monster repeats. It has a tail, and that tail is lashing. The one on the ground makes a wet little coughing noise and begins to breathe easier. Its mouth turns towards your arm and... if you aren't careful, those fangs will latch on.

"Yeah? Congratulations. I got a kid, too. They're -terrifying-, right?" Pan is fast. -Probably- faster than a Left Nut. They draw back a bit, dripping blood into its mouth rather than letting it bite down. Pan bites can heal with a lick. Grunch Bites, probably not. "Tell him not to hit me with its quill-tail and not to bite me."

The noise the Grunch mother makes is somewhere between a purr and a rustle of wind. Their voices are truly marvels of flexibility - no wonder the Collector wanted one. The fallen one begins to move, rolling to his feet, unsteady - but he's up, and that's an excellent sign. No tail nor quills swing your way - well, unless you fail to get out of the way.

"Aaaand, ta-da. Proof that chupacabra can be ghouled. I feel like I just leveled up in Ordo Dracul." The vampire raises their wrist up to their mouth and runs their tongue along the wound, cleaning away the last of the vitae and closing the two little holes. "He's going to want more but if you don't want him -thoroughly- up in my business? You should discourage him for at least a few months from coming to get more. And if he has weird sex dreams about gender-fucked vampires, that's normal. True Blood got more right than it did wrong, to be honest. I gave him enough that he shouldn't be in horrific pain and should be able to move around fine, regular healing - however y'all do it - should be enough for the rest." There's a bit of hesitation, and Pan asks: "So -are- y'all chupacabra? And what the fuck was Scarier Voldemort."

Pan has Occult 0. Please never forget that Pan has Occult 0. This is why Pan thinks ghouling a chupacabra might work.

The bigger of the pair makes an odd crooning noise at her fallen spawn, and the smaller one moves its head as if to croon back and... doesn't. Tail down and barbed tail-tip twitching, the juvenile prowls to its mother to shelter with her. It should have recovered its voice, but ghouling doesn't fix everything. The mother wraps her own tail around the smaller one, and bristles larger, if that were possible.

The adult then fixes her red, gleaming eyes on you, hulking and wary. "You talk too much." From a creature whose voice is so bizarre that a monster would steal it, that's saying something. "There are many things in the swamp. Not even I know them all."

"Insults are a weird way to say 'thank you for saving my kid even though you had no reason to save my kid, especially since you're about to both offer to hunt down the thing that hunted my kid -and- offer me one or more jobs that might improve my lot in life considerably'." The vampire crosses their arms over their chest, lifting the bat up to rest on their shoulder, again. "Do you have a -name-? Are you on the Shadow Accords?"

The mother rumbles at her child, then lets out a goatlike scream, short and high, followed by a throat-warble. Congratulations, now you know her name. Sort of. "We cannot go into the city," she hisses, "the city comes to us. No, we are not Accorded." But at least she knows the concept. The voiceless one curls up and settles behind her, camouflage blending him so that he simply vanishes.

"Yeah? Well if you can turn fucking -invisible-, then I don't see why you can't come and go anywhere you'd please. If you had a -sponsor-, you could join the Accords rather easily. If you had a -friend-, you could earn some money. Establish yourself. Buy some land out here that belongs to you, where nobody could fuck with you. If you - as a -vampire-, pretty much - had a friend on the Primogen council? You could have exclusive feeding rights on your land. If you feed on goats like you're rumored to? Then you could have a whole fucking goat farm with the money you could make. Humans employed to keep those goats fed, to breed them. A safe place, with human guards who wander around with shotguns and shoot anything that might be dangerous to you and your kid. You'd just need a friend to work as a go-between while you set all that shit up, and -maybe- you wouldn't have a problem where, say, somebody says 'hey there's a monster out in this field, you should go hunt it, capture it, and forcibly bring it back to me'."

The Grunch monster trills faintly in her throat, narrowing her eyes. "Very well," she says, rough and raspy. "If you survive the Collector, we will accept your help." She too hunkers down next to the camouflaged shape of her spawn, and begins to hum in her throat, creating an odd bass beat. She begins speaking in some other language to the rhythm of the beat - it's a song, a simple one. Somehow she overlays both of those with a quiet translation in English, "Meet his eyes and realize, he sees no matter where you hide, and soon he comes to take his prize. Seven nights and seven spites, Collector hunts without a light, seven gifts he takes by might. If by chance you keep your life, beware the thirteenth finger-knife." Fading into invisibility is certainly one hell of an exit trick, and she makes use of it now, melting out of visibility, though one can catch the glimmer of an outline as the camouflaged creatures begin to move.