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University Student’s Body Found At Black Oaks Motel

July 22nd, 2018

Late Thursday night, the body of a West Oak student was discovered by a homeless man who wishes to remain nameless. The girl’s identity is being kept private for the time being. The police, when questioned, provided only minimal details stating that “We’ve never seen anything like this before in our small town. We pray to God we never will again.”

A source who also wishes to remain unnamed stated that “The body was found in a dumpster behind the Black Oaks Motel, carved with various occult symbolism. It appeared to have been drained of blood. Black candles were surrounding the dumpster. It looked like something straight out of horror movie.”

Authorities urge everyone to remain calm and assure us that there is no reason to believe this is in anyway relevant to the recent evidence of supernatural beings within our area. A strict 9 p.m curfew has been enforced, however, for all citizens and businesses for the safety of all our residents.

Nadima: Haunted Wardrobe

It seems I have to give my usual warning early this year. To whomever keeps trying to get into the wardrobe in the corner of my classroom, the one that looks like it came right out of Harry Potter – as one student put it – it is off limits. I keep a few personal things in there, none of them worth money. There are no supplies, nothing at all of interest to a college student, and, yes, it may very well be haunted. I certainly have nothing to do with the noises it makes sometimes.

I understand your curiosity. Who wouldn’t want to see inside the wardrobe that supposedly ate one of my students? That never happened, by the way. All rumor. The student in question was having behavioral problems and college life proved too much for her, so she went home to her parents. That is all. No mystery there. I am the only thing you have to fear in my classroom, and only if you don’t try.

As for the voices that some of the rumors say can be heard at night, calling for help from within… Well, I assure you, I have worked many a long night grading papers and preparing lectures sitting next to it and never heard so much as one whisper. We all love a good ghost story and I don’t mind that you are all so fascinated with the wardrobe; it actually has quite a history and, even though it does not pertain to ancient Persia in any way, I still tell the tale at the end of every semester. However, it is imperative that you all maintain some grip on reality. I am rather fond of it, so would not appreciate coming in to find that it had been vandalized for the sake of some urban legend.

Now that I have made that clear, I must warn you all. Not only is it illegal to try and pick the lock on personal property, but whoever has been sneaking into the building did quite a lot of damage to the front doors last time. I know you all think that the college has unlimited funds and that your campus is just magically maintained by invisible fairies, but this is not so. There are strict budgets for everything and having to replace a set of steel doors means something else will be left unrepaired. You are no longer the children you were in high school. This is college and it is time to grow up, at least a little. Ghost stories after lights out might be good fun, but actually acting on them to the point of destroying property is deeply immature. I expect better of all of you, not just my students, but every young person on this campus.

On a final note, I would like everyone to help me make contact with another student, Janice Moore. I cannot seem to reach her and it is important to her academic career that I do so. I do not know which dorm she is assigned and her phone goes straight to voicemail. Any help would be appreciated.

Also, I am excited to announce that I am (finally) up for tenure review this year. I look forward to this new advancement in my career and hope to continue teaching West Oak of the fascinating and exciting history of the ancient world (and haunted wardrobes) for many years to come.

As always, my door is open to any in need of a good cup of tea and a listening ear.

Professor Nadima Darzi, PHD

Quinn: In Regards to the Recent Death

This is getting out of hand. I don’t know who killed that girl, but please make it stop. I can assure you that the supernaturals didn’t do this. It’s clearly some kind of human trying to induce panic and start a movement against the supernaturals.

Don’t let this happen. Don’t scapegoat anyone before you know what they are really about. Don’t let fear control you. This is sad, yes, but I doubt it is anything to worry about.

As a precaution, stay away from the hotel, follow the curfew, and mind your own business. Most of all, don’t provoke anyone or spread rumors about the supernaturals.

There have been no deaths in this town before this. The supernaturals have probably been here for a long time. Longer than humans, even. They mean us no harm. I know several myself.

This recent death is sad, yes, but don’t let it control you. Cook a meal for her family, make a donation to the funeral fund, do something useful. Don’t start a war when you don’t have the facts.

I wish I had never shared that video. I never meant to start a war. I just hope that we can stop this before it gets too ugly.

Greylie: Sad News on Campus

I was devastated to hear about the death of one of our West Oak University students. My heart goes out to her family and friends. For any of my students who knew her, or just need to talk about this, my door is open to you.

The death of a young person is always difficult to accept. This is especially true when the events surrounding the death are of such a violent nature. The circumstances surrounding the death are highly suspicious and it is not difficult to extrapolate that many will automatically blame the girl’s death on werewolves or other supernatural creatures. It is important to keep the facts in mind. The crime rate in our city is and has always been very low and the timing of this crime is too coincidental. If supernatural creatures were a danger to us, we would see a long history of violent crime in West Oak. This is just not true.

Supernatural creatures do not mix their media. Werewolves do not drain their victims of blood. We have no evidence that vampires exist, and if they do exist, avampire would not drain a victim and leave the body for just anyone to find. They are obviously not that careless. The use of occult symbols speaks volumes. It smells strongly of a set-up. Evil is not only found in the unknown. It is also found in the familiar. It is found in people who want to preserve the status quo.

Use common sense and leave solving crimes to the police.

 

Kirnon: Theophagy & Thanatos

She wants me to be just like her!

Toxic! Rotten! Necrotic! Despotic! Deceiver!
Hag! Hag!
She’s falling apart. She’s suffering. She’s lost in the dark
Choking on jealousy!
She’s falling apart. She’s suffering. She’s lost in the dark
Mental leprosy! Sovereign vermin!
Rats in the walls, Covered in fleas, Choking on the ashes of jealousy!

OTEP – “Hag”

You just had to force my hand, didn’t you? You’ll regret ever setting foot in this town you fucking pampered princess. I will rip the crown from your head and shove it so far up your ass you’ll choke on thorns till the day you die. Which, if I have anything to do with it, will be soon.

I started over here for a reason. What the fuck gives you the right to come in here and fuck shit up? Aren’t you causing enough havoc on your own? Or… are you losing your luster? Hmmm. I bet that’s it, isn’t it? You’re not just trying to break me, you actually fucking need me.

Too bad. I don’t play well with others.

After tongiht, we’ll know the truth.

And then, I’m coming for you.
Tell the family they’re next on my visitation list.

Fynn: Who Ordered The Prince?

Excalibur. Dear, bloody god. Excalibur. I have been seeking it for centuries. I did not ever expect to find it and why should I? It was supposed to be beyond the reach of anyone in this world. I hate princes and Arthur was just a prince that became a king, but he was honorable. Which is more than anyone can usually say about princes. They are quite without conscience. Arthur, though, always kept his promises and did not raid, plunder, or rape like the rest of his kind. When he made a promise, it stayed made. So Excalibur should not be here. No way, no how.

A word on princes in general. They are not heroes. They are not even a normal level of trustworthy. You would not leave your daughter with one unless you wanted her brutalized. Certainly, they saved a few damsels in distress. Mostly to put them in greater distress. They make certain presidents look like honest, gentle, stand-up guys. They are, seriously, the sort of people who drown puppies and take pleasure in setting horse tails on fire. I’ve seen them do both those things and more. Take your average, obnoxious, selfish frat boy from a wealthy family. Add about a hundred pounds of narcissism, a dash of Charles Manson, and a fistful of entitled douche and there you go. A recipe for instant prince.

They aren’t even human. They are one of the old faery races, one that belonged to the Unseelie Court (look it up, dears). It is said that Mab, queen of the fair folk (faeries or fairies, for those who don’t know), got so sick of putting up with them that she lured the twelve houses out into the mortal world with the promise of feasting and games. Then promptly locked the doors and left them to fend for themselves in the mortal realm. Having met my share of princes, I totally get where she was coming from.

They are rapists and warmongers. They enjoy hurting things and they are good at it. If you see one coming at you, don’t stand around waiting for him to give you a glass slipper. Run away. These are the serial killers of the magical world, way, way worse than vampires or werewolves on their worst day. Up until this morning, I would have told you that your chances of meeting one of the princes were pretty slim; I burnt most of the bad ones to ash and the rest have been hiding out from the world for a long time. However, it would seem that there is at least one left and he must be a crafty bastard because he has Excalibur, King Arthur’s sword, which should damn well be in Avalon in a tomb.

Yes. That Excalibur. No, I don’t think King Arthur ever pulled it out of any stone.

When King Arthur was older, he made a pact with my kind. It wasn’t exactly a popular decision; his kind don’t like dragons because we have a way of ruining their plans and they can’t manipulate us because appearances and charmed voices have zero effect on us. However, Arthur was never your typical prince, though he did go to battle with more than one of us. He did not steal children to eat, he didn’t enslave men, he didn’t even go around raping anyone or burning villages, all of which was the princes’ idea of fun. I think the only reason he ever faced off against a dragon was because they could fight at his level.

At some point during his boyhood, which really was spent among mortal peasants, someone told him the stories of honorable knights, which became something of an obsession for him later on. There really was a round table and there really were heroic deeds and all that, though some have been greatly overstated. He was, hard as it may be to believe, a genuinely good guy. Or tried to be. It isn’t like it was exactly his nature. He had this idea of what ‘good’ was and struggle hard to fit the mold. A warrior is a warrior and a princes aren’t exactly born with an understanding of compassion, so he might not always have managed to follow his code of chivalry and fine behavior, but he did try and mostly succeed. That’s more than a lot of people, human and supernatural alike, can say.

When he knew he was ready for a death sleep, he made the pact. Excalibur would go with him to Avalon and there it would stay, for he would pass it on to no other. He promised that his brethren would no longer be the immortal monsters they had always been. He promised to change them. Which is a pretty tall order, even for a prince. But, of course, Arthur was not an ordinary prince. He grew up with peasants who taught him different values. He took a human wife, whom he loved deeply enough that he used Lancelot to try and give her the children he could not (a prince and a human cannot actually breed children). He spoke of honor and integrity as though both were necessary to a man, not just pretty fashions. When he used the strongest of the princely gifts, charm, he could convince even another prince to do as he said because his voice could, as my father once said, sing the birds down from the trees. Arthur, you see, was a witch king. His father had powerful fey witch blood in him and he passed it on to his son. Some even said Uther Pendragon was descended from Mab herself and I’ve never seen anything that would argue against it. In fact, since Avalon is part of faery, she must have allowed Arthur back into her realm, and the faery queen is more likely to shackle herself in iron than change her mind.

Before Arthur went into his sleep, he cast a spell on the princes. For every evil deed that they committed, they would become more mortal. While not the perfect solution, it took only three or four princes turning human for everyone to realize what sort of power Arthur really had. Since then, the few princes that were still willing to chance the consequences of being wicked have lost their immortality which quickly leads to a death of one kind or another; an immortal does not know how to live the fragile, mortal life. Especially when there is a dragon breathing fire at their face.

I have not seen a prince in almost a century. Those that were left had accepted their new reality and strove to keep themselves out of trouble. One of them found their ancestral sword and actually sold it to me for a hefty sum so he could continue his hermit lifestyle, out in the forest where he doesn’t have to worry about temptation. And now there must be one in town; Excalibur did not walk here from Avalon. The fact that he is here, of all places, does not give me comfort; if he has the sword and if he came here, there is a good bet he doesn’t mean to ask me out for coffee.

So, just a gentle request to the good folk of West Oak. If you see a man so handsome he makes you faint or squeal – or both – carrying around a giant broadsword, I’d be grateful if you’d shoot me a text. Before you faint would be preferable, but I understand if that doesn’t happen. Also, if you see me chasing said man down Main Street breathing fire, kindly step aside so you don’t get burnt or stabbed (princes like hacking off heads and nobody is safe). Thank you all!

Your own, personal girl on fire,

Fynn McTavish
Owner and Proprietor
The Dragon’s Hoard

P.S. I still have that collection of old books, if anyone wants to take a look. I’m pretty sure they belonged to Vlad the Impaler, but I cannot guarantee that. Just because there is a volume on impaling your enemies for fun and profit does not mean it was his; impaling was the fashion for a little bit and not everyone was a natural at it.

Permilia: Ennui sets in

I’m feeling isolated these days.  I do need some companionship, and it is sorely lacking here at the Manor.  And although Pater has granted us permission to venture out again, not many humans are around.  The campus seems fairly normal, but there is an undercurrent of fear that makes everyone unpalatable.

I’m glad my maidservant was able to get that Victorian set from the Dragon’s sale for me.  Lucy wanted it, but I heard about it first.  And the smoke scent on it merely adds to its appeal.

I wish I did not feel quite so out of touch with the world.  I have never been one to care very much about the news, and that is all anyone seems to want to talk about these days!  I have lived long enough now to see that none of it ever really changes, and this current story about the girl who turned into a werewolf  isn’t any different.  It may be earth-shattering at the moment, but soon enough everyone will have moved on.  Even now, I can see that happening to some degree, although I’m sure that those in the thick of it would beg to differ.

I believe I need a change of blood type for meals.  I think that perhaps all this type AB I’ve been forced to drink lately is adding to my malaise.  Lucy might be persuaded to host one of her little soirées, as long as she ends up thinking it’s her own idea.

Preston: A PSA for Journalists and News Outlets

I can’t believe the newspaper found out who Charlie is. I guess we weren’t too careful in hiding her identity on this website. Lesson learned.

However, this means a lot of trouble and damage control for us. Charlie needs to be careful now. We all do. There’s no telling who would try and capture a supernatural and what would happen to them.

Supernaturals aren’t dangerous. There would have been a lot more death and trouble in this town if that were the case. This town is crawling with supernaturals. It’s not surprising that this town has the least number of deaths in the country.

It’s the vampires you have to worry about. But they don’t seem to be killing anyone, around here at least. If there are other supernatural creatures that are into death and destruction I haven’t met them. Well, not ones that are known killers, at least.

Please stop investigating this. It’s destroying more lives than it is helping. And all the news is accomplishing is spreading panic. If you keep spreading panic, eventually someone will get hurt. Don’t try to blame that on supernaturals. It is most likely your own fault. Humans kill other humans more often than any supernaturals have ever killed them.

So stop this witch-hunt. Leave Charlie alone. She’s harmless. The most she can be is clingy and annoying. Believe me, I dated her for a year before I found someone else.

So she can turn into a wolf. That’s pretty darn cool. It doesn’t make her dangerous. Try to learn more about them before you demonize them.

Ellis – Beware the Wolves

I am deeply disturbed by the events of the past few weeks. The revelation of the existence of werewolves and other supernatural creatures is alarming, to put it mildly. The video of that Gray girl transforming into a vicious wolf is chilling. I no longer feel safe and I know many of you feel the same way. We must be vigilant now. We must not let these creatures, many of whom seem to already be threatening normal people, take over our world. Only recently, a self-proclaimed dragon lit a man on fire when he visited her shop. Creatures like this are too dangerous to be allowed to roam freely. Lawmakers, such as myself, must decide what is to be done with them. Surely, we can not expect humanity to sit idly by while these creatures take over our cities and threaten our safety. The time for action is upon us. I am committed to formulating a policy that will protect humans from supernatural creatures and ensure that supernatural creatures know that they cannot intimidate us with their fire and their threats.

Senator Ellis Monroe

Charlie: A Rose By Any Other Name

I don’t know why this should surprise me. Maybe it doesn’t, not really. Maybe it just pisses me off because I thought some of you were friends.

Guess that’s what I get for thinking though, huh?

Did the paper pay you to get your statements or did you offer them up eagerly just so you could have your name in print?

Yeah, everyone wants to see their name in lights. I get it. And now mine will forever remain there.

In reality, it could’ve been any one of us caught on that tape. But tell the truth, it wouldn’t have had nearly as much impact if it wasn’t me, now would it?

Think about that.

Nadima: Pants On Fire

Remember. Upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.
-Alexander the Great

To my dearest Fynn, I said nothing at all except that, perhaps, you ought not set people on fire. At least, not as midday entertainment for all of Main Street to enjoy. Perhaps it is your own guilt which made you hear damnation. Or fear. Let us not forget that just because princes no longer ride around on white chargers, they still might be hunting for dragons to slay. But you are correct, as usual, about the origins of the necklace.

Alexander the Great drew – as do all powerful men – both great good and great evil to him. The order of priests which followed him out of the darkest corners of his vast empire were invested in cruel practices and hateful rites to heathen gods. That this necklace has wrecked havoc on all the continents of the world and created more than a few tombs out of loving families is no rumor at all, but purest fact.

And, so, I shall say a few words in Fynn’s defense. First, exercise caution, always, when granted great power; let setting fire to the seat of your enemy always be your final and most desperate act. And understand that true evil does not die, but breeds more evil every time it is allowed, thirsts for all that is good and kind, and destroys the helpless whenever it can. While Fynn’s choice to display her true self in full view of Main Street might not have been the route I’d have taken, stories of the necklace began long before it was strung with pearls, when it was the most prized possession of an order of priests that worshipped death. There is no question that the necklace has a will of its own and that it would quickly find purchase here in West Oak. Since I would not willingly sacrifice a single neck of those among us, I do believe that it was worth any amount of exposure to get it back.

It is said that, in order to retain his favor with his bloodthirsty gods, the priest allowed his cord to choose its victims, for it had a terrible sort of life. That the priest wore it around his own neck at all times was a brazen and proud display of the favor his gods had given to him. The power of the cord was such that it drove many who might have liked his head, including Alexander himself, to step back. It was not until he chose the daughter of a particular woman from Africa than any dared go against him. It was always the young and innocent the cord chose and sometimes, as in this case, it would choose a pregnant woman. When the woman’s mother – a witch in rumor only – discovered this cruelty, that she had been robbed not just of a daughter, but of her grandchild, she tasted the bitter poison of vengeance.

She was a holy priestess of her people and had sworn her life to peace and nurturing. She broke her vows and sold her soul for the promise that she would have her revenge. There are some versions of the tale which say that her own gods, furious with her choice to betray them, bound her spirit to the cord. Henceforth, her malicious desires were bound with the frightening life within the necklace, creating a cursed and wicked sort of intelligence. All too often, it has chosen the one which is best loved as its victim and it is always the hand of the most trusted which clasps it ’round the neck, leaving them broken for all the rest of their life.

So I say to you: sleep well, my children. For though a dragon walks among you breathing fire, she chose to do so because that necklace is the sort of evil that creeps into the minds of strong men and turns them against those they should guard from harm. For those who question her rationality, know that there has been a long trail of bodies and broken hearts left behind by this cursed rope. Know that it has been said it reaches out and whispers to any mind weak enough to hear its poisoned council. Having seen the dead and empty eyes of the thief myself, I cannot claim that to be anything but truth. That this is not the most dangerous thing Fynn has sealed away from the knowledge of those who might be bent to evil will should make it clear whose side she is on.

At the beginning of this post, I gave you a bit of Alexander the Great’s wisdom and I urge all of you, mortal, immortal, supernatural or just plain ordinary to contemplate its meaning. A single man can start a war and one bad decision can lose it. What one man chooses, all the rest must endure. Let your fear of the strange and unusual rule you and chaos will be the only result. Be it a dragon or a werewolf, remember that these are not dumb beasts, but intelligent creatures who have lived easily among us for many, many years, most of them without causing any harm. In Fynn’s case – and in her own, charming way – she has even attempted to protect us from those things against which we have no defense. It is unlikely she is the only supernatural to do so. Would you make war on one who has granted you protection? I ask that we all temper our fears with caution and do not behave on rash impulse; to disregard the good someone has done for us because they happen to be different (and a little frightening when angry) is a foolish and reckless thing.

To my summer students, please remember, I expect an outline of your final papers on Alexander the Great on my desk by the end of the week. No excuses.

Professor Nadima Darzi, PHD

Aiden: Miscellaneous Debris

Everyone has been talking about that video of Charlie.  They’re saying really shitty stuff about her.  I’d rather stay out of it but she’s always seemed nice enough for the most part and some of my brothers have said some things and I couldn’t let it go.  So now they kind of think I’m a freak, which I guess I am by their standards.  I don’t really care.  It’s not like I’m a probie or anything, and I’ll be done soon enough anyway.  And the guys who I’m actually friends with on more than just a shallow level still seem okay with me so it’s not really a big loss.

It’s been kind of a drag not being able to hang out with Lucy.  She said that they’re keeping a low profile and I guess that makes sense, but I’m about ready to drive out to the Manor myself to see her.  And it’s weird how I can’t seem to concentrate on my classes.  I would have thought that I’d be able to get more done without the distraction.

I guess I’ve been smoking more than usual to take the edge off?  I don’t even know.  I mean, I always keep track of my own inventory, but since I’ve been hanging out at the house more it’s not always my shit.

At least there are some good parties coming up and I’ll be busy with extracurricular activities, and I’ll have extra cash coming in too.  

Lane: The Joker

I bet you think now that you have a name to go along with the pretty face on that video that you’ve somehow won. You think you can hunt her down and throw stones, disrupt her life, run her out of town…or worse, just because she’s different. Because she’s something your lizard brain isn’t capable of comprehending, that somehow makes this all okay?

Let me ask you this: How many men does it take to kill a peaceful werewolf?
My guess would be one if they know what they’re doing.
Now, how many men do you think it would take to kill an entire pack of peaceful werewolves?
What about a town filled with things that aren’t as peaceful, that are much older, much stronger, and don’t have nearly as much regard for human life?
Yeah…
The joke’s on you, assholes.

Quinn: I Never Meant for This

I would like to personally apologize to the werewolf whose identity was exposed today. I am truly sorry. I never meant for everything to turn out like this.

I only meant to show the world how cool it was. To the girl, I am so sorry that you were exposed and are now in danger. I am truly sorry. If I could take it back I would.

To the rest of you in the town and in the world: please stop this witch-hunt. If they have lived among us for this long without our knowledge I’m sure they mean us no harm. We should give them space and privacy to live their own lives.

They are not a threat to us. Don’t burn them at the stake because they are different and you are scared.

Please stop reacting out of fear and take a step back.

I never meant for this to happen. I never meant for it to get so far out of hand. Humanity, you have disappointed me.

But, most importantly, I have disappointed myself for not thinking this was a possible outcome. For not thinking at all after I posted the video.

Kirnon: Out Of The Frying Pan & Into The Fire

Well, well…

Everyone wants to run their mouths about Charlie Gray. You better stop, think twice, and mull over what you plan to say before your gossip lands you in some seriously hot water.
There are other people’s lives at risk here you ignorant ass co-eds.
Do you have any idea what the hell you’ve just done?
No, of course, you don’t. You’re just trying to get your names in the paper. And what a shithole paper it is. Just like this Godforsaken town, without your college parties what would you have to look forward too when class isn’t in session? Without your booze, and drugs and sex, would half of you be worth even talking to?

Fynn: Girl On Fire

You know that person that’s annoyingly straight-laced? The one that always does the right thing and likes to lecture everyone else for not following their lead? Yeah, me too. Her name is Nadima Darzi and if she gets anymore involved with her high morals, she’ll have to change her relationship status. I know you’re reading this, Deema!

So. First of all, I’d like to thank the fire department for their swift response today. Second, I would like to point out that I didn’t actually hurt anyone… seriously. I mean, what’s a bit of a sunburn on the nether regions? Considering the nature of the pearl necklace that guy stole, he ought to be thanking me. Third, let this be a warning to the beer swilling fraternity hazers and sticky-fingered set. Do not steal from me.

This is not a joke. I’m not being coy and I’m not threatening anyone. I’m warning. Fire is just a part of me. Snakes have venom sacks, I have an inner furnace and knee jerk reactions to a few things. Collecting is a part of what I am and so is toasting low down, rotten thieves. I hope you all understand, it’s nothing personal. Okay, it is personal, but limited to the sort of people that break the lock on a door, sneak in, and steal something that doesn’t belong to them. And maybe that wouldn’t even have set me off, except it wasn’t just any necklace he took. That necklace? Put it on the ‘things you should never touch’ list.

You know how all these supernaturals are starting to pop out here and there? All those things you thought were just stories that really have been bumping around in the night? Well, it’s not limited to werewolves or dragons. There are plenty of stories about that necklace and none of them have happy endings. So, you could say I didn’t assault the thief so much as violently drag him back from the claws of certain death and or insanity. In fact, while we’re on the topic, I collect a lot of stuff like that and I put it safely away where no-one is going to accidentally stumble on it as a service to the multitudes of humanity. You know. Just in case you were thinking I was the bad guy here.

You’re welcome.

Look, Deema can back me up on this, I know things like the necklace look harmless. But they sure aren’t. Let me tell you a story to make my point. So, once upon a time, mortals went around poking their heads where they shouldn’t, getting them cut off or set on fire or any number of really unpleasant things. Sometimes they deserved it, sometimes they didn’t, but that isn’t the point. One of these not so bright people was a high priest in ancient Persia – ask Deema about him; that’s her field – and he was a great guy. Just really awesome. He liked to strangle sacrifices with this piece of holy, silk cord that he had infused with the powers of the gods. And, just to prove what a badass he was, he wore it around his neck like a necklace when he wasn’t using it to kill virgins and infants.

Blah, blah, stupid, blah, he strangled the wrong virgin in the wrong country, some kid of a mad witch or something, and the witch put a curse on him. Next time he went to sleep, boom, bang, his strangling cord sacrificed him.

So, the other priests, cause, you know, sense, put the cord in the grave with him and sealed his coffin with all their holy prayers and magic hoodoo. But, about a half millennia later, along comes some idiot with a shovel, digs up the priest and his cord which, of course, is still a beautiful strand of red silk.

So the genius strung this silk cord with fifty of the most beautiful pearls he could find and gave it to his wife back home in Britain. Of course, it doesn’t take much to figure out how well that went. But, and here’s the thing about evil artifacts like this, nobody pitched the damn thing in the fire when they found her strangled by her own pearls. Not that it would have worked, but they could have tried, right? Nope, Mr. Smarty-Pants Shovel Man gave it to his second wife instead – really, kind of makes you wonder if he just should have stayed single – and, poof, same thing. Then some idiot thief stole the necklace.

The thing about evil artifacts like this is they get in your head and dig in tight. You don’t get to just decide you aren’t interested anymore. If that was the case, I wouldn’t need to collect them. The royal houses would all have gathered these things up and given them their own room in the Tower of London. But that is not how it works. Honestly, the man with the shovel could have loved both his wives, but the necklace had its own plan. So every person who picked the damn thing up fell in a thrall to it and either died by it or gave it to someone they loved who ended up strangled. On and on it goes until it came to the priest who threw it in holy water and called me to come collect it. He knew what it was and we go way back, like, to his childhood, so he knew I was the best keeper.

There you have it, the reason I was pitching fireballs down Main Street. While I realize it wasn’t exactly the most friendly of sights, I do hope you all know I was just trying to get the killer necklace back in custody where it belongs, so I can seal it up in a way that will mean it can pose no threat to anyone ever again. And, no, don’t ask where that collection is kept.

The one thing mortals – and more than a few immortals – never seem to understand is that, really, if something is cursed/haunted/tragically ugly, it’s just sometimes better to forget about it. Like that demon infested wine box I took on a couple years back, some things will try to eat your soul. They aren’t toys and they aren’t just good stories. They are dangerous. Don’t touch them. I’m safe because I’m a dragon. When you’ve got inch thick scales made of, literally, the hardest physical material on the planet, little things like curses tend to bounce off. I’ve been using that to collect and contain stuff like this for centuries. And, FYI, I do buy or trade for haunted and cursed. I’ll help you burn tragically ugly, if you ask nicely.

So, in related news, The Dragon’s Hoard is having a fire sale this week. Stop by, have a chat, see if you like the slightly charred, eighteenth century Buddha statue or the velvet Victorian chaise lounge and armchair. The armchair only got a little singed, although I’m afraid the second armchair has been lost. All smoke or fire damaged items 75% off!

Happy Antiquing!

 

Fynn McTavish

Owner/Proprietor of The Dragon’s Hoard

Resident Dragon and Professional Flamethrower

Permilia: Prisoner’s Base?

I’m not happy at all that Pater has ordered us to stay so close to home since that video was verified.  I had to sneak out to make my kill and I hate having to be disobedient.  At least Lucy covered for me, so now I owe her.  I’m not sure that’s the best place to be in, either.  

At least the cleaners are still operating.  I think they have some explaining to do about their extreme lack of damage control on that werewolf video!  I thought they were supposed to be on top of things for all of us, not just vampires.  But maybe that pack has fallen behind on payments or something?  I have no idea.  I’m dreadfully curious about it all, though. 

If I’d been able to spend more time with Aiden I believe he would have been able to tell me more.  Alas, Lucy already had him seriously captivated by the time I met up with them, and he was more or less useless.  He would be such a fun donor!  I wish that I weren’t so bored with my choice of donors these days.  And now that I have to stay away from any of the Dusters it’s even more boring.  Sometimes I really miss city life.  

Lucy is keeping me on edge about what she’s going to expect from me for her payment for my indiscretion, not that I really had any choice.  I waited as long as possible to make my kill feeding, and it would have been worse to have turned on one of our servants or donors.  I could have appealed to Pater for a victim, but his choices are frequently distasteful.  I much prefer finding my own.  

Lucy and I have both been appealing to him to let us out for the weekend, so perhaps I will feel less like a prisoner.

Rosalia: Standing Together

I’m worried about this girl. I’m not sure what her name is, and I have no idea what kind of repercussions she’s going to face. I have no idea what her day-to-day is.

But I know what it’s like to feel alone and defensive like you must watch your back at every second because somebody will be right behind you when you least expect it.

So far, the local communities are in what seems to be a polite panic mode. There’s no major action yet, a little more speech about “protecting our citizens” and calling this girl a “new threat” than I am comfortable with at any time, otherwise, no new policies, ordinances or laws.

My goal is to find anything I can out about her, anybody like her and anybody else that might be in trouble, though. If anybody has any information on what we’re dealing with, please let me know. And when I say ‘information,’ I mean real information. Not, “Well, um, she’s an abomination, and my beliefs say that we should burn her at the stake” or something. I try to be a patient person, but understand, if you come at me with that sort of ridiculousness, I will smack you with whatever I’ve got in my hands. Being that it’s usually some ludicrously large book on international policy, I wouldn’t test those waters.

Likewise, if anybody is interested in helping gather information, let me know. If anybody is interested in coming out as a supernatural entity and giving me information, let me know. I want to help ease whatever consequences this will have, and the only real way to do that is through education and information. People are afraid of what they don’t know, and taking the mystery out of things eases their fear. That’s my goal in life, so let me know if you want to help.

Preston: I’m Sorry, Quinn

I regret having to leave you like that, Quinn. I hope you understand that I had some important things to deal with as soon as you showed me about that video. I was rude and probably didn’t have the reaction that you wanted me to have. I left you there. Confused and angry. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my best moment.

I want to apologize to you. I also want to explain the lies that K told you when you were camped out at my car outside the coffee shop on campus. I don’t owe him money. It was the only thing this dude could think of that would make you so shocked you would leave us alone while I dealt with the things.

The girl in the video was there, too. You probably figured this out already but I know her. She’s an ex of mine, I’m sorry to say. Don’t be jealous. She’s with the asshole you met with us that day.

No. I am not on drugs. Sure, that asshole is known around town for being associated with that stuff but I don’t go near it. I don’t touch that shit. If you think about this, you’ll realize that I could never do drugs. I like staying in control too much.

I hope that explains things and I hope that you will forgive me. I will try and get in contact with you once this video has been dealt with.

If it wasn’t clear, the video you took hit close to home. A little too close.

I’ll answer all of your questions when we meet again.

You’ll hear from me soon. Don’t be a stranger, Quinn.

With love,

Preston

Greylie: Just Stay Home

With the full moon approaching, I’ve been hearing talk around campus and town of people organizing “Werewolf Hunts.” Please think twice about these hunts. I know some of you are just curious, but there are also people who have more sinister ideas in mind. Throughout history, people have persecuted those who were different from them. Let’s not repeat the mistakes our ancestors made. Let’s learn about those who are different instead of assuming they mean us harm. It is imperative to remember that werewolves have been living in West Oak for a long time and we are not overrun with violent crimes. Consider this when your first reaction is fear-based. I’d advise anyone considering joining a “Werewolf Hunt” to stay home.

Charlie: Fuck This Shit

I guess tiny miracles are still something to be thankful for…
but why do they always have to come with a grey cloud?
If Lane and K are worried, then shit’s getting serious.
I’m scared. The fucking paper just outed me. What the hell is going to happen now? No, you know what? I don’t want to even know. I’m just happy no one knows where I live.

Nadima: Evil Times

My heart is heavy, friends. Not just with what is happening in West Oak. It seems every day we see something terrible rocking the foundations we knew were so solid, threatening the beliefs we thought we could trust.

I wish to educate you, my darlings, because I love you. I would tell you now that right and wrong, good and evil, the lines between them very rarely blur. Evil, you see, is not quite so easy to spot as you have been told. It hides behind ordinary faces and tells you what you wish to hear. Yet your heart will always know when it is a daeva – spirit of malicious intent – standing before you. All you have to do is listen.

These creatures live to sow hatred. It has never really been about skin color or religion. For as long as there have been men, there has been hate and those who plant it. Oh, my children. If you take nothing more from my classes, understand this: the weak seek power in the subjugation of others and it has nothing to do with what you look like. But they will use any tactic to convince you that your brother is less human than you.

All the lines we draw, all the enemies we declare, they all have one thing in common. They are born of fear. We are seeking to raise walls, to keep out that which might hurt us. Yet, in the land of true strength, hatred has no place, for the heart of the universe needs us all. Every culture. Every color. True courage is in having faith. Trust that love shall breed love, that we might all live together in harmony without fear of losing who and what we are.

All men of the earth have evil which walks among them wearing the masks of their peoples. Wisdom is knowing that their purpose is to sow the seeds of dissention, discrimination, and war. They will tell you lies to enrage you, to turn you into their own pawns, for these are men who will never fight their own battles, but send others to die for them. Cultivate an open mind, for this is the only weapon against such creatures. Open your arms to all that lives and know that embrace is armor against the hatred. Let them not poison you, but stand fast in morality, even when you feel like you are standing alone. Many are calling for the walls, both figurative and material. Do not raise barriers against any but those who walk in the darkness of true evil. Be strong and refuse to do their work for them.

As always, my door is open to you all, at any time, regardless of gender, race, culture, human, or supernatural.
Professor Nadima Darzi, PHD

Identity of the West Oak Werewolf Confirmed

July 1st, 2018

The video released by Quinn_Evans on social media two weeks ago depicting a previously unidentified girl has been confirmed unedited. This week a source that wishes to remain anonymous confirmed that the girl in the video is Charlotte “Charlie” Gray, a student at West Oak University.

“I saw her at a party that night. When she left she was clearly upset, drunk, and high. Everyone knows she’s a partier and hangs with the wrong crowd. I’m not sure what she took, but I’ve never heard of turning into a wolf being a side effect of any drug,” Emily Duncan, a student at West Oak University, said when asked about Gray.

Several other students have confirmed her identity when showed the video, including Charles Thompson and Angela DeLuca.

“I know her from the party scene. She’s harmless. She’s always high on Unicorn Dust and chasing after any guy who pays her the smallest bit of attention,” said DeLuca.

Thompson agrees. “She’s at every party on campus. She’s gained quite the reputation for her stunts. Harmless stuff, really. I never thought she’d be a werewolf, though.”

“We will continue our investigation. We do not know yet if Gray is dangerous. If she poses a threat it will be taken care of. Our number one priority is keeping our citizens safe,” said Officer Dan Packman, who originally investigated the video.

Packman advises everyone not to approach Gray if they encounter her. “We do not need vigilante justice right now. Let us do our jobs and keep you safe. Keep a safe distance away and don’t provoke her with name-calling or insults. We don’t need an accident to occur.”

The user Quinn_Evans has been identified as another West Oak University student, Quinn Evans. When asked about the video Evans commented “I don’t think she’s dangerous. I didn’t mean to cause widespread panic. I just thought it was cool. Werewolves are my favorite mythical creature and to find out they are real was great news for me. I didn’t think it would have the reaction it did. I’m sorry.”

The Oak Times will update this story as more becomes available.

Circe: Promising Ventures

What a productive week this has been!

Humans are a little fearful of these new beings. And by ‘a little,’ I mean, ‘frantic and desperate,’ which, lucky for you all, are the conditions we thrive under. So, to answer some questions, yes, the Dark World can protect your home from any . . . what was it? . . . shapeshifting Chupacabra hybrids? Which I’m not saying exist, but I’m also not saying that they don’t, either, and do you want to take the chance? Yes, the Dark World can change your grade on your last test, but, seriously, if that’s what you’re going to ask for in exchange for hundreds of years of service, you are really aiming low and should reevaluate your future. Reach for the stars, kid. No, the Dark World cannot actually make you a werewolf. Yet. We’ve got a pretty extensive research team, though, so I’m sure the bid will be put out there soon.

Now, listen: to all of my newest clients, I can—and will—do an awful lot for you. But one thing I can’t do is babysit you, so let me let you in on an eternal struggle with the Dark World; there are creatures around that put their hawkish little noses into our business. They’re called Sirens. Like my colleagues or me, they look human, but, unlike my colleagues or me, their patriarch, Alexandros, demands that they be miserable, busybody spoilers of anything fun. Once you sign up with us, they’re your headache, constantly going on about rules and charters signed between us and the very aggressive, hero-complexed Light World and they generally try to remind you that you shouldn’t break said rules or charters. Stay away from them when at all possible.

With that said, welcome to the family, kids. We’ve got plenty of space for people who want to make an arrangement, so if anybody wants to talk, you know where to find me.

Lane: Clear the Mind, Clear the Path

For those of you who missed the…eventuful house meeting today, everything is being worked out. That means mind your manners. You mess with her, you mess with me. Possibly someone even scarier than me.

Sheena and I are going off the grid for the remainder of the day. We’ll be back tomorrow. If there’s an emergency you know how to find Preston.

I just need some time alone to collect my thoughts and to figure out our next move.

Namaste

Quinn: I Can’t Believe You!

Of all the nerve! I share something I think is cool and awesome with Preston, and he doesn’t even have the decency to act interested. He just leaves and stalks out the door like an angry bear.

Of all the things to be angry about, he chooses werewolves. Why? Does he hate them? Does he know they exist?

So I staked out his car. And lo and behold, he returns with the scariest looking guy ever and the girl from the video. And he wouldn’t give me answers.

Then the guy says Preston owes him money. What kind of effed up shit is Preston in? If I was doubtful about being his girlfriend before, there is no way I will be his girlfriend now.

I mean, come on, he owes a creepy, tattooed guy who looks a little high and has a bad aura about him money, won’t give me answers, then just leaves again with the werewolf chick.

If I didn’t know any better, I would think you might be a werewolf yourself, Preston. You haven’t given me a reason to think otherwise.

Plus, it all fits! The anger at the video, going off to find that chick and returning with her, refusing to give me answers. It all fits with you being a werewolf.

Which, I have to admit is pretty awesome. And dating a werewolf? That would be even more awesome. My favorite mythological creature, real and wanting to date me… is this a dream come true? Except for the moody, angry, brooding personality type you have.

But there’s a reason you kept this secret if what is happening on campus and around the world is any indication.

Okay. I guess my anger has fizzled out. I still don’t have an answer as to whether or not I will be your girlfriend. But I forgive you for leaving, twice. Just try and do better next time.

Quinn: That Bastard!

Of all the nerve! I share something I think is cool and awesome with Preston, and he doesn’t even have the decency to act interested. He just leaves and stalks out the door like an angry bear.

Of all the things to be angry about, he chooses werewolves. Why? Does he hate them? Does he know they exist?

So I staked out his car. And lo and behold, he returns with the scariest looking guy ever and the girl from the video. And he wouldn’t give me answers.

Then the guy says Preston owes him money. What kind of effed up shit is Preston in? If I was doubtful about being his girlfriend before, there is no way I will be his girlfriend now.

I mean, come on, he owes a creepy, tattooed guy who looks a little high and has a bad aura about him money, won’t give me answers, then just leaves again with the werewolf chick.

If I didn’t know any better, I would think you might be a werewolf yourself, Preston. You haven’t given me a reason to think otherwise.

Plus, it all fits! The anger at the video, going off to find that chick and returning with her, refusing to give me answers. It all fits with you being a werewolf.

Which, I have to admit is pretty awesome. And dating a werewolf? That would be even more awesome. My favorite mythological creature, real and wanting to date me… is this a dream come true? Except for the moody, angry, brooding personality type you have.

But there’s a reason you kept this secret if what is happening on campus and around the world is any indication.

Okay. I guess my anger has fizzled out. I still don’t have an answer as to whether or not I will be your girlfriend. But I forgive you for leaving, twice. Just try and do better next time.

Greylie: Proceed With Caution

With the confirmation that the werewolf video is, in fact, real, we must all take a step back and acknowledge what this means. The world is not the way we thought it was. This can be an exciting revelation. It can also be a scary one. It can be terrifying to have your worldview turned upside down. Let’s not jump to conclusions about werewolf behavior, though. There is no indication that werewolves are dangerous. Werewolves are still people. Hold your judgement, do your research and please leave the girl alone. She is the victim in this situation. Remember that it was her privacy that was violated. It was her secret that was spread across the Internet for all to see.

Kirnon: Territorial Pissings

“Never met a wise man
If so it’s a woman” – Nirvana

And score 1 for Good Cop, Kirnon.
Who would have fucking thought?

Your hierarchy is bullshit. At least your ruler is sane enough to understand reason, though, unlike most of those in power around the world today, or hell, even here in The States…

But that’s another matter for another time.

We’ve got things much closer to home to worry about, don’t we?

Yeah, the world is fucked up and going to Hell in a handbasket, but our little slice of the pie is at stake at this very moment, and if something doesn’t change we’re all going to have front row seats very soon.

I don’t know about you but I’m not ready to die just yet. I have plans.

So stop barking up the wrong tree and start sniffing out the culprit you mangy mutts.

She may be your “family” but I’m the one who protects her. I’m the one who will always protect her.

Nadima: From Darzi’s Desk

There are times when I miss my homeland. Today was one of them. All of my extra credit classes were in an uproar. None of the students who bothered to show up wanted to focus, and who can blame them? They are so busy planning out their lives as werewolves and vampires that there was little headspace left to think about ancient places and dusty old trade roads. And yet. I cannot help but wish this had not happened. Khoda, but this is disturbing on so many levels.

I do not mind that there are people in West Oak who are different. We have always known there was something about this place that did not quite fit in with other smaller college towns. I do wish that this secret had not been exposed. Part of me is worried for those who are human; will this make it alright for these vampires or werewolves or any of the myriad other supernatural beings coming out of the woodwork to prey upon the weaker mortals? Now that they are exposed, what is holding them back? And I worry about the other side, as well. After all, we have seen it time and time again throughout history. Those who are different are outcasts at best and hunted at worst. Just the rumor of witches in Europe was enough to spark hundreds of fires. What will happen in this age of instant news and video phones? There can be no doubt that there will come to West Oak those with their stakes and their pitchforks and their torches, for it is the nature of man to fear that which it does not understand.

Our life is going to be drastically altered from this moment on, that seems very clear to me. Be it tourists wishing to catch a glimpse of those they think to admire, like those who always worship the vampire without pausing to consider the cost of such a long life, or those who wish to wipe the supernatural from the face of the earth, there can be no doubt. West Oak will have to adapt to this new life. This makes me sad; in the six years since coming to West Oak, this has become more a home to me than any other, save for the land of my birth, Egypt. I worry that I shall soon see here a mirror of the cruelty and unrest that shook my homeland not so long ago, but there is nothing that can be done about it. Secrets like this simply cannot be covered over once they are discovered. We will all have to ride through the coming changes together. All I can do is offer my shoulder. For my students, this changes nothing. I have always offered you my help and will continue to do so, no matter what you are. My door is, as always, open. Just like I say in class, trouble has no business hours and neither do I. Please remember, your papers on Alexander the Great and his climb to power are due before the end of the month. If you are having difficulties, please come and see me. I will accept no excuses for late submission; you will be docked one letter grade and do not think recent events will change my policies.

I will see you all soon.

Professor Nadima Darzi, PhD

Daphne (Permilia)

I really wish Lucy hadn’t shown me that video.  She takes such delight in the misfortune of others.  It’s like she doesn’t even realize the backlash won’t just be against Shifters.  Or maybe she’s right.  Our ways often do seem more civilized, although I suppose those we kill might think otherwise.  

That poor creature, though!  I know her pack will not be kind to her.  Well, maybe I’m wrong about that.  I know if she were a vampire, she would not be long for this world.  I can’t imagine Shifters are any different.  

In the meantime, I am just going to pretend things haven’t changed.  It isn’t like I can do anything about it.  And so far I don’t believe Lucy has had the nerve to show Pater the video.  I know he will be most displeased, and he is often inclined to lash out at the bearer of bad news.  Especially when it might require action on his part.  

I do hope we won’t have to move again, though.  I do like West Oak, and not just because of certain inhabitants.  

 There is going to be yet another big party tonight over at that warehouse.  It might be interesting to attend, although I’m sure everyone will be talking about that video.  Humans are so predictable.  It does make one wonder about other supernatural beings, however.  I sometimes think I’ve seen an Other, but I just can’t be sure.  And I’ve learned it’s best not to dwell on such things.  It can be so dull being such a young immortal.  Everyone still treats me like a child, or maybe they just think I’m stupid.

Krosbie: Sad News….

I’m sorry little Hellions, but I regret to inform you that our recent tour has been canceled until further notice due to a family emergency.

I’ll keep you updated, promise.

XoXoXo

Death wishes & bloody kisses,

Krosbie

Greylie: West Oak Vortexes

Many are drawn to West Oak for its lush forests and unique plants. Some, to the pristine beaches along the coast and still others are drawn for reasons they might not realize, such as the vortexes that can be found along the perimeter of the town, as well as at its heart. The vortexes are like magnetic fields, drawing other kinds of energy. Examples of this energy can be seen in the way trees exposed to the energy grow so that their branches, and often the trunk, itself become twisted.

In light of the recent videos exposing the reality of werewolves, if the video is indeed real, and not some elaborate hoax, the existence of the vortexes in West Oak would explain why those of a supernatural ilk are drawn here.

We must all proceed with caution in regard to the potential existence of supernatural creatures. However fascinating, or scary, you may find the idea of their existence, remember that West Oak is a real town where real people must continue to live their lives. People, all people, whether they are different from you, have the right to their privacy, as well as the right to exist peacefully.

Rosalia: Well, Then….

One minute you’re studying for a midterm in international conflict resolution. The next minute, you find out “international conflicts” have been completely redefined.

Werewolves? Seriously? If it weren’t the local paper, I would assume this was some sort of joke. To be honest, I thought the whole thing was a hoax.

But people are coming out and proving they have these supernatural powers, and, really, how do you answer an essay question about how to approach a struggle between two countries vying for much-needed resources when you don’t even know what resources they need? It’s not as though a werewolf would need the same resources as a human.

Or maybe they would? I’m not sure, we haven’t really covered that part in class. I do know that this isn’t just across the ocean, though–we have students here that are supernatural, as well. Speaking of conflict, I know what’s going to happen when the locals start deciding on new ordinances based on these people. It seems that a lot of the affected are just people trying to live their lives in this world. Are students going to be kicked out over this? If they do, what happens to students on an F-1 visa? What if one of them have to go back to one of these countries already talking about detaining them?

I guess we’ll have to see. I have friends that have already been outed. Their education is the most important thing to them.

We’re going to get to the point, I think, where we have to decide whether we support or condemn these individuals, and I’m stating for the record that I support any person that just wants to live their life without harming others. If anybody feels like they’re in some trouble, come find me. I promise we’ll figure something out.

In the meantime, back to theories on solving human problems. I never thought I would consider this the easier task.

Circe: Oops? Sorry, Not Sorry

In case people have been under a particularly secluded rock (even rocks have Wi-Fi nearby these days), everybody has heard that there are “strange beings in this world with terrible, awe-inspiring capabilities that we aren’t even sure of and blah, blah, blah, words, words, words, I have too much time on my hands so let me speculate about speculations.”

More importantly, if you live in this . . . charming little town of West Oak and go anywhere near the West Oak University and speak to that obnoxious tool who can’t handle the consequences of her life’s decisions, you’ve been told that I’m one of those supernatural beings.

Let me put the rumors in their place: they’re entirely true.

Yep, West Oak University, I am going to be completely honest with you. I’m what is called a Dark Lord. It’s a pretty generic name, but it’s something that you may want to take note of. I have powers to make anybody’s dreams come true for a small price–that part of you that feels altruism, connection, empathy and all of those other human things that, let’s face it, hold you back from getting what you want.

I know, I know, “But, Circe, these things stop me from hurting people with no remorse. What would I do without them?”

Let me tell you a story of a little girl about 400 years ago. This little girl was told that the goodness inside of her wasn’t enough–that there was a place full of fire and brimstone and agony and suffering if she took one step away from that shaky ground of morality and salvation that she stood upon. She was to be obedient, never talking back, never arguing, never questioning.

And she tried. She tried to do so when her parents flew into rages and lashed her. She tried to do so when she was made to mend garments for 14 hours straight until she lost feeling in her 8-year-old fingertips. She tried to do so when she was denied food because they only had enough to feed either her or her brother, and he would carry their family name. She tried to be an obedient, dutiful daughter when the town told her she was a disgraceful child for appearing so dirty, so malnourished, so unclean.

And then, one day, that little girl met a strange man. He told her about how he grew up, 300 years before her, and how his town hated him and his whole family. He told her how they had killed his little sister, burned her at a stake as a witch. And he told her that he got revenge with the foulest, cruelest plague upon them all. He told her what a joy it was to watch the slow suffering of every person that had cheered for his little sister’s demise. He offered the same to the little girl.

That little girl took his offer. And just like that, the pain, the fury, the rage disappeared.

As her town began to dwindle to an unknown disease, as her parents begged her for help, the little girl finally knew freedom. That empathy? That compassion? It’s a prison that others will keep you in.

I won’t lie to you, West Oak, I was doubtful, too. But think about those things that people hold over you. Think about the things you can accomplish if those mental bonds just disappeared. I have the power to give you that. You’ll get one dream fulfilled and be rid of the barriers to the others. You’ll join a cause greater than anything you could have imagined before: the purging of the prison guards that hold you. You have to pay with your humanity, but after you get used to your new reality, you’ll feel as though I paid you twice.

My name is Circe. I sell dreams and miracles for a fee that you’ll be glad to part with, and I am officially open for business.

Fynn: The Dragon Is In

Good Evening West Oak, Fynn McTavish at your service. We’ve had some rather… surprising developments today and I feel that it is best if we get this out of the way right now.

Yes. Okay. I’m a bloody dragon. Get over it. YAY, all you paranoid little humans were right, the world isn’t nearly as boring as it looks. Let’s move on. I am still the same grumpy antique furniture and jewelry dealer I’ve always been. Now you just know why I’m so fond of gold. And silver. And anything else that sparkles. Seriously. Bring your jewels, but feel free to leave the princesses at home. When I told you I am not as young as I look, I wasn’t lying, so can we dispense with the ‘where’s your mother, little girl’ jokes? I am, as a matter of point, around 2225 years old. I lost count somewhere. Could be older. Could be younger. Calendars change, you know? It isn’t like dragons celebrate birthdays or anything. But, to be clear, I do not plan to steal your livestock. I buy my meat at the butcher’s, just like everyone else. And I have not burned down anyone’s castle in at least three centuries. A couple garden sheds, maybe, but they had it coming. Always pay me what you owe me and no leprechaun gold, either. You know who you are.

Anyway, I haven’t burnt up private property since I discovered the fine art of blowing up people’s lives in 1923. It’s a simple matter of digging up enough dirt – and I have all the dirt – and it doesn’t bring some idiot in armor to the door trying to cut off my head. I also don’t steal princesses. Whiny, entitled little brats. They always did give me headaches. No thanks. I did once steal someone’s maid, though. She was magic at getting the stains out of linen. She was actual magic, FYI. I think she was a fairy or something. Eventually, she went off with some prince who thought she needed rescuing. We didn’t see much of each other after that because I simply do not like princes. Of all the idiots in armor trying to cut off dragon heads, they have always been the worst. Smarmy little blighters. Trust a used car salesman before you trust a prince, consider that a free tip. I do happen to be very fond of their armor, though. So I have a nice collection of that, for those of you that can afford it. Don’t worry. I removed the princes from it before I put it up for sale. The bits that weren’t too burnt on.

Which brings us to the shop. The Dragon’s Hoard is still open and will remain so. I will be available to ignore your feeble attempts at haggling while checking my Facebook just like always. Price is on the sticker, people! Don’t bother with the pitchforks or the torches; all those princes with their enchanted swords couldn’t hurt me, what do you think you can do? And fire isn’t really going to work on me. All you can do is burn down my shop and, friends, this is not a smart move. I’ve never singed so much as the hair on the tail of one of your alley cats. Let’s just keep it that way, hmmm? You don’t have to like what I am. Just don’t step on my tail and we can all stay happy.

For those of you not put off by the fact I happen to have this giant, winged reptile side that prefers sleeping in a nest in a cave to a regular bed, feel free to come by the shop, Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. If you do mind, there is always that dingy little shop two towns over. Just be aware those side tables are not Chippendale. More like chipboard, courtesy of Walmart Special and cheap varnish. I will always buy loose stones, gold and silver, and the occasional set of books. I may do an old-fashioned trade if I like what I see. Just don’t bring me that collection of tin and try to pass it off as Georgian Silver. Again. You know who you are.

On a business note, I’m thinking of adding a partner for art and more crafty type things, so apply now if you are interested. Also, I am looking into starting a morning tea club for those of you interested in learning more about actual antiques so the thief three towns over can stop selling his imitation Rococo to the good and honest folk of West Oak. Feel free to comment below if you are interested.

Happy Days all, I look forward to seeing you soon!

Fynn McTavish, purveyor of fine antique furniture, silver, and jewelry

Kirnon: Apocalypse Now!

Repent you lousy scum for the end is nigh!

Lucifer’s beasts have been set loose upon the earth and they’re coming for you, you child abusing priest, and hypocrite Christian hiding behind your Bible while spewing hate, you greedy fuck healing people “in the name of God” as long as they give you their last dime, and you disgusting racist pieces of shit lying through your teeth that you’re doing God’s work, you asshole who hides behind religion and refuses service to same sex couples, and you wannabe Alpha males who think a woman’s place is on her knees or in the kitchen subservant to your every whim… You’re all going to BURN!

And I’m going to laugh and cheer them on as your souls are ripped to shreds!

Okay, honestly, no the end isn’t here. This is not the apocalypse. Trust me, I’d know if it were.

It’s just a little stick in the spokes. I’m sure it’s not even real. You idiots will believe anything online. #FakeNews

Aiden

Damn, I hope Charlie gets out of this okay.  That Lane chick is definitely not anyone I want to be on the wrong side of.

I hate getting dragged into drama.  Usually I’m pretty good at staying out of it, but lately it seems like things are just really fucked up around here.  That video is gonna be a big problem for everyone.

I’ve got that gig tonight at the Kappa house.  They like such crappy music (no offense, guys, but you do!), but I try to fit in some good shit so not everyone leaves early.

I’ve got to write that paper sometime, too.  Lately I don’t feel like my brain is working as well as it used to.  I thought cutting back on weed would help with it but it seems like it’s something in the air.  That sounds kind of weird but I kind of think everyone’s kind of messed up right now.

Maybe Lucy will bring that friend of hers to the party.  I think she said her name was Permilia but she’s calling herself Daphne?  I don’t really get it but girls are weird.

Shit, I have to go pick that keg up for the house.

Preston: I’m Coming for You

I can’t believe you would be so stupid! Not only are you psychotic and clingy but also you put the whole supernatural world in danger. People will be calling for your head, including me. I can’t wait to get my hands on you and teach you a lesson. Just because we dated for a while does not mean I will not punish you. You are not invincible, and I plan on making that very clear.

I mean, shifting in front of a human? Letting yourself be caught on tape? What the hell were you thinking?

And I had to hear this from Quinn, my mate! I was planning on telling her that werewolves exist myself. You put me in a precarious position, Charlie, and you are going to pay for it. I’m not going to lose the love of my life over this… mistake that you made.

I don’t care what Lane will say. I’m going to get justice my way. You are an idiot, thinking only of yourself and not being careful at all. You are going to get it.

You think you’re invincible just because you slept with me? That you say you love me? Just because I am in a position of power doesn’t mean I’m going to give you a free pass on this. What you did was unforgivable. I’m coming for you, Charlie. So watch out, because when I am through with you death will seem more attractive than staying alive.

And so help me Goddess, if the repercussions of what you did throw the world into chaos you will never see the light of day again. Already people are going crazy and disappearing, people are searching for supernaturals and locking them up, doing Goddess knows what to them. And it is All. Your. Fault.

I hope you’re happy now because you’re going to be miserable when I find you.

Sorry, Lane, if this disobeys your orders. I know you’re all about peace and shit, but I need to deal with Charlie my way. She won’t learn any other way. Trust me. I know how she thinks. A week of dating her was enough. She’s an open book, and she won’t learn unless the repercussions are personally painful. I can’t have you interrupting me, Lane. Forgive me. I’ll gladly accept whatever punishment you think I deserve.

Quinn: I Shouldn’t Have Posted the Video

Uh oh. I may have unleashed a set of events that I can’t take back. And I may have ruined a lot of people’s lives. If you can call werewolves people.

I saw this girl crying and running through the woods when I was in my usual wooded hideout that I go to when I need time to think. Preston had just asked me to be his girlfriend and I said I had to think about it. I felt bad but he is such a player. I don’t know if I can trust him.

Anyway, I was trying to record the sounds of the woods and this cute rabbit on my phone and ended up pulling it up just in time to videotape this crying chick running through the woods. She jumped and, midair, her clothes tore and out came a wolf. I was beyond excited. I mean, I had proof that werewolves existed! My favorite mythological creature ever.

So, in a haste to share this awesome news with the world, I posted it to YouTube almost immediately.

When I got back to campus all hell had broken loose. People were all watching the video and talking about the possibility. Some people thought the video was photoshopped, but more often than not, they believed it was real.

People from the botany program started telling everyone that the video was taken in the woods around the school because of some sort of specific plant species only found in West Oak.

Scientists started speculating on how they could get their hands on a werewolf and if other supernatural creatures existed. No one thought it was just cool. It had suddenly become three groups. One wanted to co-exist or collaborate with the supernaturals. Others wanted to study them. And, of course, there were those who wanted to destroy them.

I started what is beginning to look like a war. And I regret it like crazy.

So, please, if you’re reading this and care at all, how about we just leave them alone? There’s a reason they have stayed hidden so long, and I made a huge mistake. I can only hope they forgive me.

Strange, Potentially Dangerous Creature Spotted Near West Oak University Campus

June 17th, 2018

A disturbing video of a potentially dangerous creature is making its way around West Oak and calling into question the safety of the campus and surrounding areas.

The video, uploaded by user Quinn_Evans, shows what seems to be a young female transforming into a large, canine-like creature in the woods near the campus. Originally thought to be a hoax, the video was sent to local law enforcement for identification of any local wildlife that may match the later transformation and ease the minds of worried students and locals alike. Officer Dan Packman said that he was set to reassure the public that there was nothing alarming or any more dangerous than the usual local wildlife.

“At first, I thought it wasn’t anything,” Packman told The Oak Times upon showing our reporters the video. “I figured one of our more talented graphic design or film students had caught footage of one of the local wolves and spliced something together with their friends.”

Upon further investigation, the video proved to be too seamless and too consistent to brush off.

“It gave me a chill when I couldn’t find some glaring stitch,” he said. “I decided to go ahead and pass it over to our video forensics team.”

After twenty-four hours, the video forensics team came back with the same, chilling findings; the video, showing the young woman making a disturbing transition from human to canine, appears to be real beyond any reasonable doubt.

The Oak Times have not been able to verify the identity of the individual in the video and West Oak Police have not released any statements citing the identity of either the subject or the video’s poster, Quinn_Evans. West Oak University declined to confirm any enrollment of either individual, citing student confidentiality but assured The Oak Times that they are working closely with local law enforcement to ensure that campus safety remains uncompromised.

“Our students’ safety is our number one concern on campus,” West Oak University spokesperson Sheila Avery promised in a statement released by the university this morning. “We are committed to working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the efforts to protect our students from any potential threat that this may present.”

Meanwhile, local representatives and religious leaders alike have weighed in on the potential discovery of what many are calling the West Oak Werewolf.

“If this thing does exist, it is proof that we are at the edge of a spiritual attack,” Pastor Ralph Attman said in an interview from his office in Oakwood Universal Church. “Faithful followers of God should be prepared to reject the Devil and all of those that he poisons. This young woman may have once been human, and if that’s true, we can see the depravity and perversion that the Devil can bring on us if we don’t harden our hearts to him. This is a war on good Christians, and we need to be prepared to fight any of these monsters that Satan may bring against us.”

Local council member Arnold Rather made a promise to keep citizens safe from any potential threat.

“Like everybody else, I’m not sure what I’m even looking at right now,” Rather confessed. “But I promise that I will do everything in my power to protect residents from whatever this thing might be as more information is made available to me. I will raise my voice all the way to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC if I need to; residents and students of West Oak, Oregon will not fall victim to any violence or dangers that can be avoided on my watch.”

The Oak Times will update this story as more information becomes available.