The Cover Story

Season 2 Epilogue

In the days after their fight with the Drum, the hunters finally had a moment to breathe before taking care of some outstanding business. Theo visited the Vitalis brothers, a family of magical arms dealers and influential house within Magio, for a magical tattoo of two scimitars.

Anna and Kira spent some time digesting the news about Agent M and their shared past. Anna also revealed that there were additional alters in Kira’s system that she had yet to contact – a young girl, a wolf, and a woman named Ruth. The next day Anna then used the Vision in Violet to transform into a random agent and sneak into EARS. While there she convinced Agent Whitewood, one of Tiff’s team of agents, to let her check out a few weapons including a mind trap.

Anna met up with Theo to give her the device, fulfilling the promise she’d made to bring Theo back something from EARS. Anna also told Theo that her existence was conditional and asked for Theo’s help to figure out who was behind it all. But first she made her promise not to tell Kira. Theo agreed and they planned to meet up at the Clockwork Child in a few days to begin their research – but not before Anna and Diego went on a date.

Meanwhile, Mark and Casey went to pick up furniture for Marks’ house and made a pitstop at a gem store called Cast of Light. Casey then asked Mark for his help in capturing Nathaniel Rose. Mark agreed but then he received a call from his mother who put Rex Crook on the phone. Rex threatened Mark and told him not to make any moves against him if he didn’t want any trouble.

A bit later Casey headed into EARS where she spoke with the Author and convinced her to turn away from the Drum and work with her to create a better organization that would protect those who can’t protect themselves. Casey then met up with Kira and Jesse to question the Director, E. Garrett Goldman. After some questioning the Director recognized Kira as Abigail and implored Casey to heed his plans for Agent M. Because, according to him, the fate of humanity depended on it.

Kira asked Casey to let her speak with the Director, but Casey worried that The Director would only take advantage of Kira. So instead she told Kira it would have to wait. Kira then handed Casey her badge and quit, storming out of EARS without another word. Casey then met with dozens of EARS leadership to decide on next steps for the organization. After some deliberation she was ultimately named the new Director of DOORS: Dedicated Otherworldly Organization Responding to the Supernatural.

Despite her new role, Casey was determined to make things work with her and Tessa. The two had a romantic dinner date, but the night quickly soured when Tessa revealed that she’d been keeping some things from Casey. Namely that she had acquired some new powers lately from her family’s bloodline, and that she was more or less using Casey as a way to get Nathaniel Rose off her back for good. The two decided it was best to call things off. And just as quickly as she disappeared before, Tessa fled town and became a ghost once to Casey once again. But Casey wasn’t alone, she had Nick Sparks.

A few days later everyone gathered for Riley’s funeral. The hunters were quite surprised when Nathaniel Rose himself showed up to pay his respects. He informed Kira that they were old rivals, but that Riley had helped his family upon a time. Kira then gave a eulogy for Riley and channeled the collective grief that Dawnbreak was feeling into something better. She promised to rebuild a better Dawnbreak and to keep Riley’s dream alive, and also threatened any enemies that would stand in their way.

S2 Mystery 10: The Drum

The Drum

The hunters returned from Chicago to plan their next move against the Drum, but first they needed to recuperate. Kira confided in Tommy about her new alter, Ember; Theo returned to her family home; Anna helped Diego return Cosmo to Minneapolis; Mark fed his bird; and Casey went dancing with Tessa.

The peace didn’t last long, however, as both Mark and Anna were plagued by visions. One where the hunters stood before a horrifying, eldritch shadow that blotted out the sun. And another, where Kira exhaled a great deal of smoke that then took human shape and came to life to join the legion of others she’d created.

The next day, the team met at Dawnbreak where Riley had a mission for Kira to uncover the Director’s true name. According to Riley, she could use this knowledge to help fight against the Drum. Kira suggested the hunters reach out to Tiff Torres to help them, and after some protesting from Casey they made plans to meet up.

But Tiff had been busy behind enemy lines, and she had some bad news. The Drum was sending someone known as Agent Seven after Kira as part of an operation known as “Agent M”. According to Tiff, Seven was a vicious agent with glowing red eyes, and was also a former Under the Stairs Kid. Seven’s goal was to “activate” Agent M, and Kira had a sinking feeling that this agent was her new alter, Ember. Using his tune-in ability, Mark sensed that Seven was headed straight for them. The team readied themselves for a fight and asked Tiff to join them at the Dressbarn.

But Tiff had to make a quick pitstop. She had to speak with Lethe, the former leader of the Under the Stairs Kids, and her ex-girlfriend. After a very, VERY awkward conversation, Lethe offered to help Tiff by performing a Tarot reading. Tiff asked Lethe for guidance on four topics: The Director’s Name, Agent M, the 10 Agents, and Kira. Lethe drew the Traitor, Druid, Mrymydon, and Horseman cards respectively to help point the way. Tiff thanked Lethe for the help, and Lethe promised she’d be there to help if Tiff needed her.

Back at the Dressbarn, Kira reached out to McLeary in her head and tried to come to an understanding with him in the hopes that he’d help her fight against Ember if it came to it. He agreed, but only if Kira would allow him control of her body – and she did.

Tiff arrived as the team finished making their preparations. But no one noticed that Theo was missing. She had stepped out and finally gave in to the temptation to shove the Dagger’s eye into her own skull. And when her vision cleared, she saw the telltale red lights of Seven’s eyes.

With Tiff’s help, the hunters defeated Agent Seven and stopped her from extracting Agent M from Kira’s mind. Thankfully, the team captured one of Seven’s cohorts – a robed, tentacled figure known as Jumbles. Using Tiff’s powers of mental dominion, the team interrogated Jumbles and learned a bit more about what the Drum was after.

It turned out that “Agent M” was the Drum’s largest operation in which they tried to make copies of a god who came from another dimension known as Ashworld. This being was immensely powerful, but when it crossed over into this world it appeared as merely a young girl who the Drum named Abigail. Unfortunately for Jumbles, he didn’t have any more information to share about Abigail or The Director’s name, so Anna killed him.

With the immediate threat out of the way, the team started planning their infiltration into EARS. They began by acquiring some magical items: two Vision-in-Violet herbs from Dawnbreak, as well as a Blooming Silence which Theo’s sister Katarina stole from their mother’s garden, for a price. Casey and Kira called on various allies, but one person they didn’t plan on showing up was Emily, the EYES Agent.

It was good that she showed up too, because she had information on how to remove the curse affecting the Director’s angel bodyguard. In exchange for this information, however, she wanted the hunters to kill someone known as Mr. Green. But when the team tried pressing Emily for information, they realized something prevented her from saying more. So, Mark peered into her mind and discovered that the same looming figure from his vision was also in Emily’s mind.

Mark reached out to Rho to see what she knew about this Mr. Green and learned that he used to be a human, but was so obsessed with control that he eventually become a god of it. And as it happened, Emily was cursed, bound to, and sustained by Mr. Green which meant she couldn’t move against him or even die while he existed.

As the day gave way to night, the hunters hunkered down for the evening. Kira spoke with Theo about her new eye. Theo claimed she needed the eye, and that with it she could get the respect she craved from her family. But this thirst for power only worried Kira, who urged Theo not to let her family turn her into something she’s not.

Casey and Tiff on the other hand found themselves a bottle of alcohol and buried the hatchet by talking about their respective dating troubles. This ultimately ended with Casey taking Tiff’s phone and sending a message to Lethe, and accidentally breaking her phone in the process. Not much later, Lethe herself showed up worried out of her mind. Tiff confessed that she wanted to be part of Lethe’s life and revealed that the Queen Concealed was still very much with her but that she wanted to get rid of her. And so, Lethe suggested that after the fight was over, they figure out how to get rid of the Queen together.

Meanwhile, Mark decided to reach out to the man known as Lowry from There. He learned that he and Lowry were once brothers who fought and died for the Sky King. Mark, also known as McCormick, had ultimately found his way back to life by hitching a ride with the soul of human Mark. But for Lowry, he was still stuck and would eventually fade away. Mark vowed that he would rescue Lowry once the business with the Drum was taken care of.

The following morning it was time to head into EARS with the goal of finding the Director’s true name. Mark tapped into his powers to create a sort of telepathic radio between all of the hunters and stayed back at Dawnbreak with Kira and Theo. Tiff spoke with the Author in the hopes of gaining more information about the Drum’s plans. Not only was she able to secure a higher level of clearance, but she also learned that the Director’s true name was John Graal, one of the four industrialists who’d opened up the door to the Infinite Hallway in 1921 and the subsequent creator of The Third Sons phenomenon.

Meanwhile, Anna used the Vision in Violet and some fake credentials that Taak created to masquerade as Jesse’s new EARS recruit on a tour. As they approached the Director’s office they found his angel bodyguard blocking their entry. So, Anna spun a wild tale to get invited inside with the hopes of distracting the Director so that Jesse could sever the angel’s charm. But things quickly took a turn when the rest of the hunters realized they could no longer hear Anna over their telepathic line.

Realizing that the Director wasn’t buying her lies, Anna attempted to knock him unconscious by using Dockers’ powers to get him magically stoned. But it didn’t quite work and got Jesse and the Angel high instead. That’s when Mark stepped in and teleported Anna and the Angel out of there before anyone got hurt. But not before Anna grabbed an important-looking document off The Director’s desk.

As they teleported away, however, Mark received an abrupt order from Rho to kill the Angel, saying he would lead the hunters to their ruin. Mark nearly went through with it too, but Anna convinced him to let the Angel live as he could have important information about The Director. That’s when Anna realized that Dockers was no longer in her head and had accidentally been left behind with The Director.

The good news was that the visit with The Director wasn’t a total loss. It turned out that the file Anna stole from the Director’s desk contained a schematic for Aaron Davis’ helmet prototype. They also started to suspect there was a connection between The Director and Mr. Green but couldn’t piece it together quite yet. But Tiff did learn through the Queen Concealed that Mr. Green was the elemental Guardian of Order.

The hunters reached out to Aaron to have him inspect the schematic. It turned out the device had been altered to attract a loose consciousness that could then be grafted onto a subject, which explained how John Graal was alive. This gave Kira a thought – could the helmet be programmed to expel a consciousness instead? Aaron seemed confident he could and got to work.

With something approaching a plan, the team reached out to their allies to fight against The Drum. Among these allies were Tiff’s high school friend Jenna and her werewolf pack who’d also found themselves in the Drum’s crosshairs. Darcy, Blink and Gavin also agreed to join the fight in exchange for Kira creating a shadow arm for Darcy. Casey then spoke with Mom who advised severing Mr. Green’s connection to his champion since that’s where the Guardians’ true influence came from. But according to the other Guardians, Mr. Green hadn’t had a champion in decades. Something wasn’t adding up.

Casey also spoke with Jeremy Stroud who informed her the Order of the Black Rose was broke and it appeared Nathaniel Rose had struck a deal with Rex Crook to find him a soul in exchange for funding. In truth, Nathaniel was conning Rex and using his soul silo to locate the soul of an old friend – John Graal. Nathaniel then used Aaron’s prototype to install Graal’s consciousness into the Director, otherwise known as Evelyn Garrett Goldman.

With the Director’s true name finally known, Riley had what she needed to perform a ritual that she believed could destabilize the connection between John Graal and Evelyn. Kira could then trap John’s consciousness inside of Aaron’s prototype and defeat the Director and Mr. Green for good. All that was left was to attract The Director’s attention. So, they hid Emily within The Queen’s shadow realm and Riley began her spell.

But something was wrong. Ethereal green flames erupted from nowhere and started to burn Riley alive. With her last breaths she told Anna that they were wrong – the Director’s body wasn’t human and that The Queen Concealed would understand because the same thing had happened to her. It turned out that Tiff had killed the Queen as a teenager, but in doing so she became The Queen Concealed herself. This overwhelmed Tiff at the time, however, so she wound up creating a copy of herself who still believed she served the Queen. And so, Mr. Green and Evelyn were also one and the same.

The hunters barely had any time to register this information as the Director began descending from the Sky. And with him were three figures they recognized as alternate versions of Kira, Casey, and Mark. And alongside Mark was the towering form of Ack who was running straight for Dawnbreak. The fight had begun.

Casey, Kira, Theo, Mark, and their allies defended the Dressbarn and dispatched the horrifying doppelgangers one by one. As for Tiff, she knew what she had to do. Only a Guardian could fight against another Guardian and to do that she would need to fuse with the Queen Concealed. So, Tiff had Lethe contact Knife, an old acquaintance of theirs who could make this merge happen. Unsure if this would work, Tiff told Lethe that she always loved her before Lethe shoved a key into Tiff’s chest – integrating her with the Queen Concealed’s remarkable powers.

With the other threats neutralized, Kira activated Aaron’s device and expelled John Graal from the Director’s body. But Evelyn’s sights were now firmly set on Kira and waking up Agent M. According to him, there was a war going on between demi-gods, and Agent M was a god that would fight for humanity.

At that point, the hunters heard a helicopter approaching that Mark quickly realized was being piloted by Dockers himself, whose energy had fused with a scorpion-like robot. Thankfully, Mark was able to free Dockers and welcomed the old stoner into his head once more.

Surging with power, Tiff was now ready to face Mr. Green head on and traversed into his dimension to defeat him. With the help of her friends distracting The Director, Tiff was able to sever the connection between Mr. Green and the Director, rendering him powerless. With Mr. Green defeated, Casey urged The Director to remember what humanity was truly about and convinced him to turn himself over to EARS.

But the Director had something to share – a presentation on Operation Tourniquet that explained Kira’s past with The Drum. It revealed that Kira was a demi-god from another world and was brought here by Dad following Operation Tourniquet. The DRUM took Kira into their custody and named her Abigail. The Drum wanted to capitalize on Abigail’s extraordinary powers so they purposefully induced dissociation in the young girl to create an alter they could control – they called it Agent M.

As for Tiff Torres – she now had more powers than she knew what to do with. But that was ok, because she had Lethe to help her through it. And for the first time in as long as she could remember, she was free.

S2 Mystery 9: Double Cross

Double Cross

A voice over the loudspeaker listed off everything Cross knew about Kira and Tommy, which was also preoccupied specifically by their supernatural abilities. Kira managed to get Jacob out of his cell, and a hunt for a way out led them through a weakness in one of the walls, but that only led to more cells. There was a Doberman with a small glowing halo, a young Asian-American woman, a mumbling man dressed as a 1920s hipster, a small frog-man, and two odd cells that contained a bucket of water and a tape player respectively. Kira asked who they were, and the woman ominously told her they were “Organ donors.”

Meanwhile, the others—who didn’t know about Kira & Tommy’s capture—were packing up Theo’s things when the telltale glint of a sniper scope tipped Casey off that they were about to be attacked. A pair of armored agents ziplined into the apartment, one had a glowing right arm that radiated magic power, and the other had keyboards strapped to his belt that he was using to control the earth and metal around them.

Mark managed to teleport the one with the magic arm away—wait… Did that say “teleport”!? Yes, Mark opened up a cloud doorway and pulled the female agent through to There. After he knocked her out, he was met by Rho, the King of the Sky. She told him that she’d been looking for him for some time. Mark was—and had apparently always been—a Prince of the Sky who’d accidentally come to Earth all those years ago. He was gifted a mystic suit of armor and a flaming sword, and he returned to the battle.

Anna shot the other agent through the window and onto the street below, knocking his helmet off in the process. A third agent teleported in out of nowhere and disappeared along with the keyboard-wielding agent in a flash of light.

Back inside Cross’s building, Kira and Tommy got to know the other prisoners. The frog-man was Verdigris, the mumbling man was Jazz, the dog was named Edgar, and the young woman was named Yuna, and she really wanted her bat back. Tommy managed to get their cells open while Kira found the bat which seemed to be alive. But no sooner did the cell doors open than the bucket of water shook to life, and a monster made out of sludge burst out of it and attacked!

Kira recognized it: the beast was called a Retch, and its heart was a floating core of goo that shifted around inside of it. Unfortunately, the sludge itself was highly caustic and reaching inside to crush it risked destroying her arm. Between Tommy distracting it and Kira turning her entire arm into a physical shadow, she managed to dislodge the core, but couldn’t destroy it. Instead, she shouted “Batter up!” and tossed it to Yuna, who smashed it with her bat. Nice shot.

Anna brought the helmet to Taak who set to work hacking into their communications network, while Mark hacked into Cross’ mind network and found out he was headed to the Chicago EARS office to scrub Kira’s existence from their records. Casey wanted to head in alone, but Anna didn’t want to let her. So Mark just… teleported directly to Cross and brought him back to them. Anna sucker punched him, knocking him out. Cross, that is. Anna wouldn’t punch Mark. Not this time.

So then they went straight to Cross’s building, where the agents attacked again. It was clear now that this was Cross’s own team. The teleporter Blink, the magical hacker Gavin and Avery, the sniper on the roof. Mark tried to teleport to Avery, but overshot by a bit. Like, by a whole dimension. He wound up in a strange, melted city in a fiery hellscape, where rivers of fire flowed in every direction and dozens of winged creatures blacked out the sky as they flew towards their “Shadow Mother.”

Mark got the heck out of there right quick.

Anna made it up to the roof via traditional means (stairs), managed to take out the sniper, and found a wedge with a rune of water depicted on it. The others joined her on the roof and Theo recognized the wedge as one quarter of a sealing glyph manufactured by the Brothers Vitalis. They’d need to find three more to get inside Cross’s safehouse.

Theo astral projected inside to make contact with Kira and fill her in on what they’d learned. That Cross’s team was after them. That Cross had been trying to erase Kira from the records. That Mark was a Prince!?

Mark and Casey attempted to teleport downstairs to rejoin Gia and Diego, but, um… he missed again. And instead they wound up There. Well, at least they could talk to Darcy, where she asked Mark to take her magical arm away from her. He did so, and Casey managed to convince her to agree to help them against Cross and the Drum.

Back in the real world, the teleporting agent popped back in and attacked. The fight was bitter and violent, and her assault didn’t let up until Casey got a shot off that took one of Blink’s legs off and she disappeared. But only, it turned out, to fetch her boss.

When Cross arrived on the roof, he sent Blink in to get Kira, and immediately pinned her to the floor—reaching uncannily into the shadows as she tried to escape—and demanded that she “Summon the boy,” which it turned out, meant KID of the Invisible Family, against whom Cross had a particular grudge.

The fight upstairs raged, while a fight downstairs with Gavin was defused. At last, Mark used a plume of fire to take cross out, and Kira descended on him, her fists flying. She might have beaten him to death if Theo hadn’t stopped her. Instead, Kira used her mental powers to extract information from Cross before he succumbed to his wounds. She found that he had formerly had the same power over reality that KID now possessed, and he revealed that a general named Branca within the Drum might be turned to their side. And then Cross was gone.

They were finally able to get into Cross’s place and get his prisoners to safety. But where would they go? A talking dog with a halo? A half-man half-frog? A lady who really likes hitting stuff with a bat? Kira offered them a home with Dawnbreak, and they all accepted. Well, everyone who could accept. Jazz couldn’t stop mumbling the same ominous chant: “Runes burn like embers, embers fade to ash, ash covers the world.”

In the end, all but one of Cross’s team agreed to defect and come back to Minnesota to aid in the fight against the Drum. Avery the sniper remained unsettlingly loyal, so Casey executed her. Mark even tried to offer Darcy a replacement arm, courtesy of Kira’s healing powers. But Darcy… didn’t want it. She just wanted out.

Not that Kira could have helped if she wanted to. She was busy. Not only was McLeary tearing into her for using her Mental Dominion powers again, but there was… someone else. A new voice. A sinister voice. She called herself “Ember,” and implied that she’d been waiting for something. And she was almost done waiting.

Meanwhile, Theo was having her own troubling conversation with Jacob, who was furious with her for coming to Chicago and screwing up his life. But Theo was furious right back, for trying to control her, just like their parents had. They parted safely, but on very bad terms.

And then the Author arrived. Just in time to offer to send agents to handle cleanup so Casey and her team could get back to Minneapolis. Their time in Chicago was at an end, but it had forever changed them all, and they were headed home with new allies, new allegiances, and new mysteries.

S2 Mystery 8: Chicago


The good news? Well, for one thing, Mark actually told the others about his ominous vision this time. For another, Nick Sparks recognized the woman he’d seen in the expensive car. Her name was Dagny Willis. The bad news? She was a combination archmage and mafia boss known as “The Dagger” a significant player in Chicago’s supernatural underworld.

Anna went to speak with Lincoln at the Clockwork Child to ask why her existence was temporary, and he discovered that that wasn’t entirely accurate. It was more like it was conditional. That someone out there could decide at any moment to get rid of her.

That night, both Mark and Anna had even more disturbing visions of Chicago. Mark saw himself being attacked by a reanimated corpse and being turned into a revenant himself. Anna saw Kira pinned as the Dagger said, “You have something I can use, Ashen One.” Pretty bad stuff. So the next day, Mark asked his neighbor, Larissa, to look after his bird, and they flew to Chicago in an EARS private jet, where Casey and Kira were instructed to meet up with an Agent Cross for assistance.

Meanwhile in Chicago, an elderly woman had practically ambushed Jacob asking for help with her husband who was dead, but wouldn’t die. Theo insisted on trying to help, and when she saw the man—pinned to a wall by means of a large dagger—he was little more than a shambling revenant. She could see that something was preventing his soul from passing on. Theo tried to help him, and… kind of did? He wouldn’t hurt anybody at least, but his condition persisted.

Arriving in Chicago, Kira and the others got some intel on The Dagger: She was part of a group they’d actually heard about before: The Under the Stairs Kids. A loosely related group of supernatural beings who nonetheless looked out for each other. Their involvement in organized crime was a surprise, however.

The next day, after Theo joined them, they learned that Jacob was actually in a meeting with The Dagger herself. But when they went to rescue him, things got stranger. For one thing, any magic spell they threw at The Dagger was absorbed by her dead right eye. Jacob attacked Kira, but that didn’t work out. In their escape, Kira got hit with some kind of dart and passed out.

They took Kira to the hospital where Theo tried to cleanse whatever was going on with Kira, but ended up taking it into herself. The growing gray splotch on Kira flowed into Theo’s right hand and a voice drew her outside where she stepped into a starscape, and met one of the Kings of There: The Star King. He offered her a deal: Kill the Dagger, in exchange for the power she has.

Mark, having followed Theo outside, saw the human Lowry, promised he hadn’t forgotten him, and brought Theo back inside.

Back at Cross’s safehouse, Anna revived Kira, and Cross suggested they contact the Council of Many, who would have authority over the Dagger, while Jacob explained himself: The Dagger had a contract to kill him and Theo, but offered him a way out if he gave her Kira.

Cross called his stylist Delia to help make everybody presentable for their meeting, and they went… to the basement of an Arby’s to make their case. They learned here that the person who’d put out the contract on Jacob and Theo was none other than Rex Crook, but also that it hadn’t been The Dagger who’d shot Kira at all, but one of her goons, who appeared to have been under the influence of the Star King himself. What was going on?

But there was no time to explore this line of questioning, as an army of revenants descended on the Arby’s upstairs. Theo and Kira remained downstairs to finish the trial, while the others ran upstairs to fight off the horde.

Ultimately, The Dagger was found guilty. And Theo invoked through Right of Blood—that she was Magio—the right to influence The Dagger’s punishment. Her powers should be taken from her, and her dead eye should be handed over to Theo as reparations. The council agreed.

But after what happened, and after outing herself publicly as Magio, she couldn’t stay in Chicago anymore. Her normal life was no longer possible here. Jacob’s own normal life was in peril now, as well. So Theo asked Kira to let Jacob out of Cross’s safehouse and send him home.

The moment Tommy and Kira stepped off the elevator into Cross’s apartment, a massive slab slammed down, blocking the door, and Cross’s voice came on over a tinny speaker: “You didn’t think the Director was just going to let you walk out of here, did you?”

They were trapped.

S2 Mystery 7: Downtime


The team had finally gotten some time to relax! Anna found herself a job at the Clockwork Child working for Lincoln/Ramsey, Mark took her shopping to finally get normal human person stuff like a phone, and Casey was back to hosting regular family dinners. Kira—who does not know how to relax—had been working. Namely, investigating Nathaniel Rose’s business. And she found that first of all, Nathaniel had been working with Rex Crook, and second, the odd chamber in the center of the building was something called a “Soul Silo.” A druidic structure that could draw in and capture loose spiritual energies. So… file that away somewhere.

The Author, a high-ranking member of EARS’ Investigations wing, summoned Captain Tiff Tores, veteran of EARS’s security wing. Which was odd. But not as odd as the reason why: The Author offered to recruit Tiff into The Drum, which she described as a sort of EARS Special Forces. Torres told her she needed time. And the Author gave her 48 hours to make up her mind.

Torres, perhaps emboldened by the new opportunity, re-evaluated her relationship with her team—Agents Lawrence, Rufus and Whitewood—and decided they’d earned a pizza party.

Meanwhile, Casey had been clued in by Mark & Anna’s now regular visions that The Drum may very well have the team in their sights and be looking to close in. Agent Davis tried to meet with the Author herself to see what she could learn, but wound up only being given a mission: A gas leak at the downtown Whole Foods wasn’t quite what it seemed.

Kira, eager to speak with DAD, went to visit the Invisible Family, but found her out on a mission. KID offered to bring her and Tommy to her, and they instantly found themselves standing on the roof of a building across the street from that very Whole Foods. It seemed DAD was already on the case.

Kira grilled DAD on what she’d learned about the Drum and found that they had a tendency to recruit agents with powersets similar to the monsters they fight. As they left DAD to resume her work, Kira insisted they still had more to talk about: DAD had something to do with where Kira came from. And DAD agreed to explain everything. Later.

Casey and her team, having been told off from the Whole Foods mission by Kira, joined Mark and the others at her home, where Captain Torres called them. No sooner had Torres offered herself as an insider agent in the Drum to aid their investigation than Casey and team noticed a cloaked car parked outside, watching them.

To establish cover, the group insisted that Tiff bring her team to them, and decided to pretend that they were just throwing a party. So a party was thrown! Flashing lights, loud music, and of course, lots and lots of drinks. Casey’s team remained in Cosmo to keep an eye on the exterior and the cloaked car, but when Kira and Tommy began dancing uncontrollably, she got suspicious and radioed Gia, only to hear… nothing.

Outside, the neighborhood had been fully replaced with the dishwater gray clouds of There. The whole house had been pulled over to the other side. They attempted to bring Kira and Tommy to Casey’s safe room, but that only succeeded in splitting the party: Kira, Tommy and Tiff & her team on this side, with Theo, Casey and Mark trapped There.

Tiff abandoned the house, leaving those left behind to discover that they’d been pulled to the other side by a Prince by the name of TRAXXAS. Inside the house, Mark was visited by the human Lowry, who claimed he was Mark’s family, of a sort, and that the longer Mark stayed away, the faster Lowry would waste away. TRAXXAS himself explained that he’d brought them here to test them. And after they defeated him in a fight, he implied that Anna owed her life to a King.

On the other side, Tiff sheepishly made her way back to the house, and between her, Theo and Nick Sparks, they were able to unravel the magic and bring the house and everyone in it back home.

Kira took Tiff aside, first to yell at her for leaving. But the secret place they went to talk in private turned out to belong to Tiff’s otherworldly patron The Queen Concealed, and Kira finally saw the horrible situation Tiff was in, and the abuse she regularly withstood at the Queen’s hands. So they made up, and got to work. Interrogating a Drum member led to the knowledge that their leader’s real name was “Mr. Green,” and Tiff presented herself to the Author and accepted her offer to join the Drum.

With everything more or less wrapped up on her end, it was time for Theo to say her goodbyes and head east with her brother, Jacob, for the promise of a normal life in Chicago. But not long after she hit the road, a vision that had been lurking at the back of Mark’s mind for days finally snapped into focus: An older woman in an expensive car watching Theo step onto an el train, only for the train to violently explode as it pulled out of the station.

They were going to have to follow Theo to Chicago.

S2 Mystery 6: Sigma


Tessa Jones. A pivotal figure in the life of Casey Davis. The first victim she couldn’t save, that would ultimately put her on the path that led to her becoming an agent of EARS in the first place. Yet now her brain was being flooded with other memories, of a new story: Casey had saved her from her assassin all those years ago, but more hired killers kept coming, until eventually Tessa ran off alone. And apparently, those assassins hadn’t stopped coming and were still chasing Tessa and her new ally, Sigma.

Casey took Tessa home to figure out a next step while Kira went to the Clockwork Child with Tommy to check on the progress with Anna’s body and found… it was ready. Shockingly, the body was perfectly prepared and all that was left was to complete the spell. And sooner than she’d thought possible, Ramsey Lincoln introduced Anna Ashwood to her sister Kira, and to Kira’s boyfriend Tommy Sparks.

Mark’s ghostly owl was behaving oddly too. Which is to say that the owl wasn’t a ghost anymore. He was fully corporeal, appeared to have a different name—Lariat—and by all accounts had become a perfectly normal pet owl. And that struck Mark Clayton as very odd indeed.

Meanwhile at the Nessos household, Theo’s brother Jacob— the only one to ever seemingly escape the shadow of the family business— had arrived to request Theo’s help with something. But there was no job. He wanted Theo to come live with him in Chicago. Away from all the magic and mayhem of the Magio. She quickly agreed.

As if that wasn’t weird enough, each of them had the same dream that night: A human figure appeared before them with a dull, gray right hand and a glassy orb helmet reflecting stars and nebula storms. He seemed vaguely threatening, but made no move to harm them, instead simply asking, “Isn’t this all you ever wanted?”

The next day, Casey looked into what had happened to Faces the assassin in this new timeline she found herself in. He’d disappeared as a young assassin, and hadn’t been heard from since. But as luck would have it, Tessa’s new ally, Sigma, contacted Casey soon after, and the voice on the other end was none other than Faces. Once Tessa’s murderer, now apparently her protector.

Mark was still trying to find out what had happened to his ghost owl, and apparently, Lowry was now a ghost human, and he spoke to Mark through his obsidian stone. He said as a human the same thing he’d said as an owl: That Mark should “come home.” Spooked and confused, Mark eagerly accepted an invitation from Anna to meet up with Dockers and get stoned.

Sigma/Faces insisted on a public meeting, and communicated via spycraft that Casey would have a meeting with Jeremy Stroud, the current head of the Stroud company, later that day. After his abrupt departure, Tessa pleaded with Casey to trust him. Of course Casey agreed. She was, after all, still in love with Tessa.

As the team regrouped to plan their next move, they were beset by two enormous monsters. One a living tornado, one a being that controlled fire. They were able to destroy some odd control charms each had inside them, dissipating the monsters into harmless energy.

Then it was time for the meeting with Jeremy Stroud. But en route, it was also time for the monsters of earth and water to attack. It was a hard fight, on multiple fronts, but all four of the archfiends were revealed to be controlled by Vanya, an “Elementomancer” that Kira recognized from her cult days. They knocked her out and took her into custody, and the other control charms were dealt with, at no small risk to the health and safety of the hunters, the Sparks Brothers, and their mother Jaime Sparks, who was in town visiting her sons after years away.

Speaking of which, Tommy Sparks had been sent off to investigate one of Nathaniel Rose’s businesses. Not only did he discover a large chamber in the center of the building that seemed unaccounted for, but he also saw a young man who looked suspiciously like Vanya, departing the office with Nathaniel himself.

But that mystery would have to wait. Because Tessa was about to walk away, without Casey. Anna, obviously, pushed the agent to finally be honest, and vulnerable, and tell the girl you like her. And you know what? It went okay.

S2 Mystery 5: Here and There

Here and There

After their last adventure, everybody needed some time apart. Kira, though brought temporarily back to the front, was still being punished by McLeary for what he viewed as proof that she really was broken. She really was a monster.

Meanwhile, Theo was taken to the family gardens by her eldest brother Bennett VII. There, he introduced her to one of the secrets to their family’s power: Magicka. A glowing dust that can be used to strengthen spells, but can only be seen by Magioni.

Mark was getting odd messages from hisghost owl—you know, telling him he’s not human, offering him unspecified powers in return for destroying the sweater his mother made—so he went to visit Theo to talk about it. That… didn’t go well. First of all, Theo’s twin sisters, Cathline and Katerina tried to drug him to force him to answer any questions they asked, then when Theo tried to hide him, he wound up locked in the bathroom with the family cat Psevdomenos. Who could talk. And could sense lies. But was otherwise pretty cool.

Theo pushed Mark to leave, and made him promise that if he was going to visit, he’d call first. Her family wasn’t safe, she explained. And he wasn’t safe among them.

Kira, meanwhile, was looking into making a gift for her sister Anna. So she and Donovan headed to the Clockwork Child to pick up spell components, but they were surprised to find someone from Kira’s cult past: Clara. Before Kira & Donovan could put her into a magic sleep, she caught sight of Kira and muttered the phrase “Ashen one…” which isn’t ominous at all.

Lincoln Ramsey, er, Ramsey Lincoln (it’s confusing) offered to deal with Clara while Kira and Donovan headed to the converted Dress Barn that Dawnbreak was using as a headquarters to question Riley to see if she knew more. Apparently, the prophecy involving Kira wasn’t finished. If Clara—and the writings of their former cult—were to be believed, Kira may have “The Blood of the Ashen One,” which would explain her ability to stabilize and destabilize gateways between worlds, but would also make her a target for Divinity’s Shadow, or anyone else with an eye on that kind of power.

Across town, Casey Davis took her brother Jesse to visit the Invisible Family, to see if they had any advice. In a way, they did. DAD angrily told Casey to leave. Immediately. It seemed whatever tether to the world’s memories of Casey was fading fast, and if it happened while she was in their Elder House, things would go bad. Casey had to choose. Allow herself to fade and be a ghost agent? Or fight for her place in the world.

She called Mark, Kira and Theo and asked them to meet her at Boom Island Park. It was time to get Casey back.

Kira opened the gateway to There, Mark offered the being on the other side his wings in exchange for a guide to a door into the Infinite Hallway. Here they were introduced to the Charming Coachman. The shrouded, silent pilot of a horseless carriage that would guide them safely through the dim, dishwater grey that was all they could see of the other realm.

It was a good thing they had him on their side, as they were first attacked by a group of giant eagles, then approached by a tall, tailed demon named Traxxus who taunted them, but did not attack.

Ultimately, the Charming Coachman brought them to a spot where they could tell the boundaries between There and the Hallway were weak. Mark was able to pull a doorway open, due to his own connection to There, but he would have to stay behind to keep it open.

The rest of the team went inside, where the Infinite Hallway raged with its distant purple and orange lightning, the place itself still ate at their very being, and faraway voices reached out to each of them. Kira in particular, who heard once again from The Creator, who had founded her former cult.

But there was no time for that. They pressed on and found a flickering, staticky image of Casey, frozen as she was in the moment she saved Donovan all those months ago. The process itself wasn’t easy, but in the end, Casey was able to take the tether back into herself, re-establishing Casey Davis as a presence in the world. Hopefully.

That done, they returned to There, rejoined the Charming Coachman, and were piloted safely back to the gateway into the real world. It was finally over.

And yet.

Casey was relieved at first to see her Van had become her beloved Cosmo once again, but there was something else. A young woman from her past leaning against it. Tessa Jones, Casey’s high school love, had been murdered when they were both teenagers. And yet, here she was. Alive and well.

And she needed help.

S2 Mystery 4: Exploding Boy

Exploding Boy

Across the city, a new electronic musician was taking the local music scene by storm. Exploding Boy’s new single was on every radio station, but its success seemed to be inversely proportional to its quality. Because it sucked.

When Kira reported back to EARS, she was summoned to see The Director himself. The Director—who had limited exposure with anybody at the agency—had heard of Kira’s repeated contact with The Drum and directed her to continue her investigation into them. But, he said, she should do so secretly, reporting directly to him. It seemed straightforward enough, but the team was not exactly inclined to trust anyone from EARS. Least of all The Director.

Especially because when they reconvened Kira’s house, Anna—Kira’s headmate/protector/sister—had noticed something in the apartment building of Kira’s mind: there was a surveillance camera that hadn’t been there before. Together, they were also able to discover that her car, her phone and her EARS badge had similar tracking technology. Nick Sparks was able to use sorcery to put the camera on a “loop,” but she knew that it would take someone like Jesse Davis to help remove it personally.

As that was happening, a yellow Volkswagen was pulling up outside of Kira’s home, and out poured three people with distinctly Yorkshire accents. They soon discovered that they were all agents of EYES—East Yorkshire Elder Sciences, a kind of transcontinental equivalent to EARS—and they were here to organize a prisoner exchange. The team had possession of a Dr.Michael Umm from EYES, and EYES had custody of Mark and Kira’s boss: Editor-in-Chief Kent Clark. The main agent, Emily, seemed to have information concerning the Drum as well.

But the conversation was cut short by an imminent attack. Emily’s two subordinates, Jamie and Dorian, rushed into the house and barricaded the door. It seemed that dozens of people were shambling towards the house.

When Mark and Theo used their extranormal senses to investigate, they could see they were not normal people at all, but were possessed by the shade of some kind of horned demon. Each of their souls had purple, demonic horns attached, and they were trying to break down the doors and windows to get inside.

But they were just people. So, when the team sprung into action, they did it as best as they could without killing anybody. Theo—with Dockers in her head—was able to exhale a magical gust of weed that slowed down or konked out a majority of the attackers. Mark & Kira set about punching out the rest, while Casey tried to incapacitate the rest nonlethally—to mixed results.

After cleaning up the attack scene (and dealing with the local police), they talked further with Emily and made further deals for ever more information on The Drum. In exchange for the location of the EYES agent Casey had murdered last year, Emily revealed that The Drum had been active for at least 15 years, and their history began with something called “Operation Tourniquet.” Also, she had a name: Lisa Byron. Member of The Drum, and currently a Producer within EARS.

As Casey and Kira dealt with Emily, Mark, Theo and Nick were dealing with one of the survivors of the attack. And Theo was interrogating him—mercilessly. She was using her supernatural lightning to act as a taser as she questioned him. They learned that the culprit was a Prince of There named Hestor who wanted to expand his empire into the real world. Theo continued to electrocute him for more info, learning further that it was someone named “Karl Rathke” who’d become his initial foothold in our world. But before she could go any further, Nick Sparks pulled her clear of the man, finally pointing out the damage she’d done: This otherwise innocent person was nearly completely fried. Horrified at the damage she’d done, Theo ran off.

Then it was time for research. First was to finally learn why Exploding Boy was becoming such an obtrusive part of their music scene. Him and Karl were one and the same. And he had a new single that Internet fans had tied to a deceased collaborator: The late Click Track. Theo looked into the realm of There and learned that the place was a collection of three Kingdoms, with a single Greatking who ruled over the entire realm. The current Greatking, it seemed, was considered by many to be a usurper and a false king. Who was currently fighting a war he claimed to have already won.

At last, Jesse Davis arrived and was able to use a combination of proprietary technology and the basis of Nick’s magic to remove the surveillance camera from Kira’s mind. And on that topic… Kira used a version of her reversed life-drain powers and blood magic to take all the memories she could collect of Casey and send them into Jesse’s mind. At last: Jesse Davis remembered his sister.

But then it was time to confront Exploding Boy. They learned that he was going to use his next concert at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium to mind control his entire audience into finally summoning Hestor into this world. Mark snuck in ahead of everybody else by walking through the walls, but found himself stuck in some kind of trap. When everybody else joined him, Theo recognized it as an Ambition Ward. Mark simply couldn’t bring himself to want to leave the circle.

Then Exploding Boy took the stage, and dozens of fans descended on the dance floor. Casey and Theo did what they could to hold them back while Kira did something she’d sworn never to do again. She used her power of mental domination to override Mark’s own will, practically forcing him to step free. And she didn’t stop there. She turned her power on Exploding Boy, compelling him to smash his synthesizers, and give up the fame he’d gotten from his deal with Hestor, ultimately ending the contract between the musician and the prince.

But it was too much. The stress of using her powers combined with the shame at what she’d done was enough for McLeary—Kira’s punisher alter—to take control. He was not happy with Kira, and he walked her right out the door to take her who knows where.

The rest of the team knew they had to intervene, but how? Theo tried to cast a spell to magically bring Kira back to the fore, but she needed help. Casey would have to do everything she could to remind Kira of herself, and of their bond. She did that, and more. Casey set herself between Kira and the exit, confessed that she was in love with Kira, and kissed her.

The good news? The spell worked. She came back to consciousness. The bad news? Kira was so thrown by the kiss that she walked out the door anyway. And Tommy saw everything.

Now what?

S2 Mystery 3: The Visible Family

The Visible Family

In the weeks since their trip to Duluth, Mark, Theo, Casey and Kira were plagued by bad dreams. Kira was haunted by a phrase whose origin she couldn’t trace: “Rex Crook has no soul.” Casey learned from her therapist Dr. Mehndi—who did remember her—that the possibility to get her memory back into the world was fading. Theo was spending her waking hours dodging her brother Deacon. And Mark kept having visions of himself and his friends being attacked by enemies he knew to be dead, wearing a sinister ceramic mask.

Kira went to the Third Sons where Aaron Davis’s mind-mapping machine had finally been perfected. She hoped to use it to pull her memories of Casey out and implant them into the mind of someone else. If the world couldn’t remember Casey, then maybe just some of the most important people could. But it didn’t work. Kira’s mind isn’t an easy one to map, and the two of them got lost in it and viewed an odd flashback to a battle involving the previous incarnation of the Invisible Family, and the troubling implication that DAD had something to do with Kira being “created.”

Also at the Third Sons, Theo inspected Quinn’s body and saw that a kind of “manufactured soul” was keeping the body animated. In her ethereal vision, it appeared as a small mask at the base of her spine. And its energy was fading.

Mark decided his new house was feeling awfully empty. He wanted to reach out and make peace with his estranged mother, but first, he wanted a pet bird. So he took Theo along and hit the pet shop, where he came home with a talking owl ghost. Wait, what?

That done, Mark went alone to his mother’s house. But when the door open, he saw another version of himself on the other side. After a panicky, confused conversation, the other Mark ran and hid when Mark’s mother came into the kitchen with an older man named RJ. She seemed to think that Mark had never left. It was odd, but the two Mark’s promised to help each other and parted ways.

Kira visited Tommy Sparks, who was on a hunt in Iowa. She was feeling weighed down by the guilt of what happened to Casey. Closing the Infinite Hallway was supposed to be her destiny. But Casey had saved Donovan for her, and now she was suffering for it. Tommy reminded her that their world was full of impossible problems, and somehow they solved them anyway. It’s just a matter of finding the right way forward.

Back in Minnesota, she learned from Tommy’s brother Nick that the reason he was in Iowa was because Sarah Flass—his ex-girlfriend and werewolf sire—was back from the dead. And he’d kept that from her.

Theo’s brother Deacon also knew about an odd werewolf with some connection to There lurking around Iowa, and he pressed her into accompanying him.

Casey and Kira met up with Mark in his mother’s neighborhood, and he consulted his obsidian stone, which gave him some fractured visions of himself as a child. They didn’t have much time to ponder that, because a sniper had them in his sights. Numbers the assassin—whom they’d killed months before—was on the attack. They closed the distance, and learned that he was working for Rex Crook “The King.” Numbers’s body had also been animated by an “anchor,” just like the one Theo had seen on Quinn. They managed to put a stop to him and rejoined Mark’s mother, where Mark admitted, “I’m the other one.”

It was finally time to get some answers. As a child, Mark had been killed. But his mother Samantha—a magic user herself in a coven of witches called the Sorores Silentium—had made a deal with someone from There. As it’s a kind of waypoint en route to the afterlife, she was able to get Mark’s soul back, but something else hitched a ride. That other consciousness would go on to become the Mark Clayton we know.

Digesting that information would have to wait: an armored vehicle pulled up to the house and several agents from The Drum piled out. The fight was more brutal than usual. The Drum didn’t fight fair, and Samantha Clayton cast a spell on Casey that sent her into a berserker rage. As the fight started to turn in their favor, Kira realized she recognized one of the Drum agents… from EARS. He claimed that EARS had lost its way and the Drum would be how they found it again, before taking some kind of explosive suicide pill.

After the fight, Samantha cast a spell that required wealth and a signature. RJ was happy to provide, but Casey realized that he didn’t sign “RJ.” He signed “Rex Crook.”

They got word that something was going down at the Third Sons: Quinn had awoken and started attacking. Not wanting to leave Samantha with RJ—Rex—they sent her to Dawnbreak’s headquarters: a repurposed Dress Barn on the edge of town.

At the Third Sons’ mansion, a full-on battle was underway, with ghosts flying around, and Quinn in the basement wreaking havoc. The team fought their way in and down and managed to get the anchor free from Quinn. But then something came over Mark. The anchor was a mask, after all. So what would happen if he put it on?

Well what happened is he lost complete control of himself. He reverted somehow to the other-side consciousness he’d been before he became “Mark,” and only by physically restraining him and reminding him of their connection to him could Kira and Casey get him to take it off.

Mark reached out to Theo, they exchanged information and decided to all meet up in Iowa. Nick Sparks used a spell to teleport the group of them to the motel Tommy was staying at—which also happened to be where Theo and Deacon were.

Kira immediately lit into Tommy for not telling her who he was hunting in Iowa. He claimed he wasn’t trying to be dishonest, he was trying to protect her. After all, he’d nearly killed her the last time Sarah came back into his life and took control of him. He could never live with himself if anything like that happened again.

And then it clicked. It was all connected. Numbers’ resurrection, Quinn’s rampage, Sarah Flass’s return. Rex Crook was using these bodies, and these anchors to attempt something called a “soul cracker:” a moment of such violence and trauma, that the soul of the person viewing it would come unmoored and be taken. And then Rex Crook could have a soul again.

Casey connected some dots in Tommy’s investigation notes and figured out that Sarah Flass was based in an ancient abbey nearby. Inside was Sarah Flass and her entire undead werewolf pack. Seeing as they’d teleported, not driven, Casey hotwired a fancy Rolls Royce to drive them there.

Unfortunately, that car belonged to Deacon Nessos, who Theo had been magically keeping asleep. When he woke to find the car gone, he hit Theo in a rage and left to find a bar. Theo cast a flight spell on herself and joined the others, refusing to acknowledge the growing bruise on her face.

Inside, the battle with the werewolves was as hard as it was personal. Many of the hunters had history with Sarah Flass. But since Tommy had stayed behind, she wasn’t able to use what could have been a secret weapon, and the fight ended in her defeat.

They barely caught their breath before a drunken Deacon, having trailed Theo through the sky, burst through the door. He waved a gun around, and a set of oddly runic tattoos on his arms and shoulders glowed with magical energy, but at the end of it all, there was little he could do before he passed out.

And it was finally over.

S2 Mystery 2: Duluth


Mark and Kira—still technically journalists—were sent to Duluth, MN by their newspaper, The Daily Tuba, to investigate an artistic oddity: Renowned artist Tank had opened a show featuring dozens of portraits of the same sinister-seeming man. Theo, meanwhile, was sent to investigate the same thing for different reasons: The man in the portraits was named Lysander Sideris, and he’d been killed hundreds of years before by Theo’s ancestor.

Casey Davis opted to stay behind to recover, and investigate potential fixes alongside The Invisible Family (the powerful, mysterious quartet who’d helped out before).

Their investigation took them first to Tank’s art show, where something was clearly off. Tank himself was a zealot, utterly enthralled by his subject. And his paints were laced with blood. Communing with that blood through a combination of Mark’s and Kira’s natural magics sent them to their next destination: a cave by the lake where the blood’s … former owner had been killed.

Inside, they found a group of hooded figures as well as Tank himself, gathered around a roughshod altar on which a man was having his blood drained into a ritual bowl. Obviously, the team leapt into action. But after a series of backfiring spells where Mark’s body was taken over by Dockers, the stoner ghost that’s hitching a ride in his head, and Kira’s body was fully merged with the shadows of the cave, things were NOT going well.

That is until a husky, mustachioed stranger showed up and turned the tides. His name was Yano, and he was a local handyman who did much more than mow lawns and fix sinks. They were able to rescue the man from ritual exsanguination and knock out Tank. But Yano knew their troubles were only beginning. The ritual they’d interrupted was intended to transfer Lysander Sideris’s spirit to a new vessel. As a blood mage in life, Sideris had put a failsafe in place to bring himself back from the dead, but it hadn’t taken root until now. But he wasn’t done looking for a new vessel.

They’d have to purge Sideris’s remains from this world, and that meant finding the original medium he’d used to enthrall Tank. But first, Mark realized that his visions were showing him that he was at risk of becoming the blood mage’s next vessel. Theo connected with him psychically to try to get a read on where Sideris’s spirit currently was, and they found a trail that lead to the Glensheen Mansion, a Duluth landmark. Theo also accidentally pulled Dockers into her own mind, which was a little awkward, but not so bad.

At the mansion, they got more bad news. Tank had broken free and stolen the original Lysander Sideris poster. So the team made a bee-line for the artist’s home, where they found squalid living conditions, and a number of people chained up in his basement. One of whom was just as invested in tracking down Tank: the artist had kidnapped her young daughter Kumani.

Mark could track the blood mage magically, but something was interfering with his powers: the protection bracelet Theo had made him. So he took it off, which only made him vulnerable to being possessed by Sideris, who forced him to attack his friends. Kira tried to help, but that only made Sideris turn his eyes to her, and take over Kira’s body instead. The possessed Kira overpowered Mark and flew off.

Mark, Theo and Yano returned to the ritual cave, while Kira attempted a desperate plan to exorcize the blood mage: Kira was still host to the mysterious “ deadlife,” which Anna (Kira’s alter and sister) believed would purge the intruder. But to access it, they’d have to go into the basement of her apartment mind palace. And there were monsters there.

Theo knew that they would need to force Sideris out of Kira and into a vessel, but one that they could control and affect: The original painting. While Theo prepared a rune to infuse into the painting to trap the mage’s spirit, Mark reached out to Tank and, impersonating Sideris, ordered the artist to simply bring the painting to them. Which saved a ton of time.

Together, the Ashwood sisters braved the darkness, and faced the monster: A twisted version of Kira’s own father. While Kira distracted him, Anna managed to wrangle the pale green serpent that was the deadlife within her. They still didn’t know much about what it was, but it seemed like the only option.

Tank dropped off the portrait, Mark retrieved it, and Theo set about inscribing the binding rune. She empowered the spell with her own blood, which, while definitely effective at super charging her magic, is still a forbidden art. And deeply concerned Yano. He returned to his truck, leaving Mark and Theo to rescue Kira and the girl alone.

What could have been a huge fight was avoided when Mark intimidated most of Lysander’s followers into fleeing in terror. And the possessed Kira was taken out of the fight when Kira and Anna thrust the deadlife into the ethereal portrait representing Lysander’s possession, banishing the blood mage into a new vessel… But the runes on the painting didn’t work. And Lysander possessed young Kumani instead.

But this time, Mark was in control of his own body and Kira was… not made of shadows. So they restrained the girl, fought back her magical abilities, and Theo pulled the mage’s spirit out of the girl and into the painting which Mark lit up, ending the threat.

Afterwards, Theo headed to Yano’s house to apologize. She didn’t like using that kind of magic, and wanted to let him know that she wouldn’t do it anymore. But there was someone else there waiting for her: Her violent older brother, Deacon. And he was overjoyed that his little sister was breaking rules.