Our mages woke this morning to find that the world was filled with song, either through the news or out on the street. Sleepers and non-sleepers alike were singing and dancing their feelings, particularly when they felt a strong emotion, and all of this seemed to be perfectly normal when it occurred.
While it was not outright malevolent, our heroes gathered together in an effort to determine the source of the effect.
After several musical numbers, including a brainstorming session (and a number where everyone blamed one another for things that had gone wrong), it was Cassandra Yvette Nystar who had the first epiphany.
She determined that the source of the energy was paradoxical in nature.
Around that same time Lance Cooper danced his way through a love song of revolving male partners and finally arrived at the hollard log and was able to make the next connection to the deceased Lee Crow and his Paradox spirit.
On returning to the fallen Hive a third time, our party entered the dilapidated building through the broken elevator shaft. Once within, the party found that everything was completely operational again (including technocratic agents singing and dancing as they worked), regardless of the damage to the surface.
Trent Lane and Alanna found a box with teddy bears within and spent a great deal of time examining it prior to joining the rest of the party; however, it was again Cassandra that led the team to the correct conclusion, and realized that it was all an illusion being projected by the Paradox Spirit.
Upon this realization, the illusion began to dissolve, and they found The Hive to be just as broken and destroyed as they had left it.
Mr. Crow was sitting alone with his head in his hands as he cried. He lamented that he could not have done more good in the world, but now realized that for every person he had helped as a human, he must now curse another to death to create balance in the world. While Trent and Alanna tried to reason with him, he advised that he had no choice in the matter.
It was Kaiden Alexander Grey who attempted to restore Mr. Crow’s humanity, utilizing the remainder of the phial given to Mr. Crow by Rose; however, Lance had previously attempted to examine the object to understand it, and tainted it with Paradox unintentionally.
Kaiden and Lance’s pure intentions ultimately pushed Mr. Crow over the edge, transforming him into a truly dark creature. An enormous twisted monster made of music and Paradox, brandishing a sword fashioned to look like a bow string.
The teddy bears that Trent and Alanna had found became sentient and attacked Alanna, she was knocked completely unconscious at one point in the battle; however, Mr. Richards was able to save her utilizing his enchanted ring of healing.
Eventually, it was a new comer to the party, Mr. Vic Sage who dealt the final blow to the creature, after everyone had rent it near to pieces with weapons forged of pure Prime and Quintessence.
With one last song of hurrah, the paradox unraveled and the spell over Hawthorne Heights was lifted. While only a few people in town who had particularly traumatic experiences remember what happened, the general populous of Hawthorne returned to their daily routines without question.
Prior to departing from The Hive, Cassandra’s ability to read probability was drawn to a protected Nephandic book of dark power. Her power and the book’s magic compelled her to read it, and she fell into a dark mind scape that even Rose could not pull her from.
Kaiden and Lance took her to Lance’s home where she was left to rest safely, and try to return to reality through her own power.