The NYC Recap

Final Update: Thank you guys for being so patient with me for getting this recap up. I really didn’t mean to get so sick and need to rest so much! Hopefully you’ll find this worth all the lulls in communication that occurred on Friday. Please feel free to ask questions if you don’t understand something, and I’ll try to answer them as soon as I can. Thank you everyone who helped out on Friday. This really was a team effort.


Introductions & The First Sacrifice

I’m sure most of you heard about my adventure just getting to New York City. To recap, I got to the bus station at 2:45 am for the 3:05 am bus. It finally arrived at about 4:00 am – and it was full of people. I sorta snuck my way on the bus while the others were doing stuff with their luggage. Which was good because that meant I got a seat. Most of the others who came on after me had to sit in the aisle for 2 hours until we got to a spot where they could transfer to another bus.

Got into Port Authority, found someplace to grab some food and made my way down into the subway. Ended up going the wrong way on the C. Got on the right train and got off at the park. Entered near Strawberry Fields (which was on my little map) but i wasn’t sure what direction I had to go in. I asked a lady who was feeding the birds (and apparently ignoring all the signs not to) which way was South. She pointed me in one direction, but looking at my map a little closer, I decided to go in the opposite one. Walked through a bunch of Italian tourists, found a little information kiosk which was chock full of information except for where I actually was. Was there no budget for a sticker that says “YOU ARE HERE”? Kept walking a bit more. Saw the Angel Fountain and the Bandshell but neither were on the map that I had. Luckily, Biff helped out immensely, telling me to walk from the Angel to the Bandshell and I’d be going South. Right after I got up to the Bandshell, I could see the Eagles & Prey statue down a small hill. It’s 9:59 am. I call Rose, she’s just entering the park, so she’ll be there in 5-10 minutes.

Walking down to the statue, I see Art hanging out on the other side of it, while Bryce (in his incredibly bright blue pants) was wandering around on the edge of Sheep Meadow. I walked down by Art, and snapped off some shots of Eagles & Prey and Bryce. Art then asks me if my name was River, or Birdie, or something nature sounding. After I told him no, he said he was waiting for her. I told him I was waiting for friends as well, and walked over to a bench so I could call and check in, and try to get some shots of Art (which never happened, he kept walking out of my view). While I was talking to Biff, BA showed up. I could tell she was bothered by my cell, so I got off really quick and ran over to her. We talked for a moment, and she told me about a dream that she had on the way to the park – which matches pretty close to what appeared on BSeeingU with the butterflies. She then started staring at Bryce, saying that she recognized him. I told her who he was, and which one Art, and asked if she wanted to go talk to them. She really wasn’t too keen on the idea, so we decided to wait for the others.

Rose finally showed up, said hi to BA, and was very keen on going over to talk to Art. We start to walk over where Art was, and I think this is when McCreepy came up and started acting all chummy. He didn’t actually say much, but was trying to get under Art’s skin. We introduced ourselves to Art, and BA started looking around the statue for the start of our mission. She found a small box, that had several pieces of paper, a couple of metro cards, a Starbucks card, and a pair of scissors.

The first note told us what the box was for:
tools

Sentry,

Enclosed you will find the tools you will need today. Hold them close.

Look around as you make your way through the city. Everywhere you look you will find a fellow Sentry. We will watch over you on this journey.


The second note told us what we needed to do at the statue:
first-sacrifice

Your first sacrifice, Sentry:

Take the scissors – Each Sentry must leave behind a lock of hair. Place the hair in the black box and leave it here.


BA, Rose and I all cut off a small bit of hair and placed it in the box. We told Art that he needed to as well. He tried to say that he wasn’t a Sentry, but we still convinced him that he had to do it. Hair in place, we put the box back, and waited for Cathy (Rose’s friend) and Johnny to show up. Once we had the entire group together, we all started walking off to a Starbucks so that we could solve the puzzle on the other piece of paper.


The First Symbol

We walked what BA said was the “longest block in the world” to get to the Starbucks. Along the way, Art kept looking back to see if our new found friends (McCreepy and Bryce) were still following us. They were. I yelled at Art to stop worrying about them. There wasn’t anything we could do about it, and if they were going to do something, they would have done it in the park where there were less witnesses.

puzzleReaching the Starbucks, I grabbed a table and started working on the dots puzzle we had been given. As soon as I got 866, I figured it had to be the same number that Biff had told me about before. Number decoded, BA said that we should walk back the way we came to go to Tavern on the Green to call in on some payphones. We left McCreepy in line getting coffee and back tracked along the longest block in the world. By this time, the snow had really begun and it was blowing right into our faces as we walked. Art continued looking behind us for McCreepy and Bryce, but they were nowhere to be seen. We all hoped that maybe we had lost them at Starbucks.

At Tavern on the Green, we found the payphones and Johnny started checking beneath them since he had heard about the dream on Nightmare Confessions. BA found the note which had a hobo symbol on it. I called into the conference call line, had a nice little chat with everyone, and said that we would be heading off to the first webcam on our list so they could see the symbol: 49th and 7th which the conference call people told us was at the Hawaiian Tropics Zone.

webcamsWe hopped onto the bus using our MetroCards and made our way to the webcam. I sat next to Art while BA, Johnny and Cathy sat in the back. I tried to get Art to talk, even asking him about the caches, but he said he didn’t want to talk about it. He just wanted the whole thing to be over with. BA meanwhile was reading over printouts Johnny made of Pope Tattles. I showed her the maps that George had made, and she was really surprised by them.

Once we reached the webcam, I held up the symbol for a little while, before someone got the bright idea that we should call into the conference so that people would know to be looking. I made the call, while BA stood with the sign. After some discussion, it was decided that we should head off to the New York Public Library.

Rose decided at this point that it would be best for her to drop out. Her foot was hurting and you could tell we weren’t going to be doing any less walking throughout the day. And considering how much walking we did do all day, it was a very wise move.


The Second Sacrifice

Walking the blocks around the NYPL seemed even longer than the walk to Starbucks. Maybe it was because the ground was getting pretty slushy and you had to be careful about how you walked.

library-handoutAs we were walking, BA decided that she and Art wouldn’t be going into the Library since Art couldn’t get through the bag check with the cylinder. They would find a coffee shop to go to while Cathy, Johnny and I found whatever we needed to find at the NYPL. As we walked up the main steps, a masked man handed us a blue flyer, telling about a special reading by Wilfred Owen in the 3rd Floor Reading Room. As the three of us started to enter the Library, I noticed Bryce walking down the steps, possibly following BA and Art as they went to a Cossi’s.

We walk up the three flights of stairs to the third floor (this is the point where I start my mantra of hating stairs) and Johnny spots McCreepy. Cathy and I enter the reading room while Johnny goes to have a chat with him. I look up the book we need, and when Johnny got back, we all head into the stacks. After a short stop at Information to get pointed in the right direction, we find the book Knowledge and Justification by Pollack on the shelf. I would also like to point out that the book was slightly out of order and I had a brief moment of panic that someone had taken it out.

Inside the book was another hobo symbol and instructions for our next sacrifice.

library-sacrifice

Without making a sound, each SENTRY present must now leave a childhood memory behind. Write it on a slip of paper and leave it on the page. Close the book and return it to the shelf. Take the drawing with you and leave quietly. Share it with your fellow SENTRIES as soon as possible…


Sacrifice accomplished0, we head to meet back up with BA and Art. Johnny splits up with us at that point, to both follow McCreepy for a while and to buy some new equipment (which I found out about later). Cathy and I head out to Cossi’s, but due to the lunchtime crowd, we can’t see BA and Art. I talk to Biff for a bit on the phone, miss a call from Johnny, and then get confused as to whom I’m talking to. But it all worked out as BA finds us as she comes to throw out her garbage.

We grab some much needed sustenance1 and sit down to wait for Johnny. BA starts looking back through the printouts Johnny and I had made. She recognized a few things from George’s drawings, like the temple and the cylinders. She also thinks that she saw him in the Dreamscape.

I would like to take this time to apologize about our lack of contact, as I can see you guys bitching about it in my log. Using cell phones around BA would cause her to have headaches and nosebleeds and fainting, so we weren’t able to call in like we wanted. I tried to text when I could, but most of what you missed was us walking. Just us walking, taking a subway, walking some more, deciding to take a cab, and walking again. The only real talking we did were at Cossi’s, Shades of Green and at the Cloisters – and the Cloisters was the only place where we got any real information and you have video of that.

It took us a lot longer to get of Cossi’s than we planned to. Johnny arrived just as Cathy and I were finishing our food (I think Bryce snuck in at around the same time) and so we sat around talking some more. Then it was time for a bathroom break, which with only 1 bathroom in the place took a very long time. But, it was finally time to head out to the second webcam.


The Second Symbol

library-symbol-back library-symbol-frontI think we walked to the second webcam over at a TGI Friday’s in Times Square. At this point, I have no idea where I am anymore except in a very snowy NYC. I just keep following everyone, progressively getting farther behind as time goes on. I can feel the blisters starting on my feet (although they don’t end up nearly as bad as I fear). The webcam and the payphones are across the street from each other, so it involved a bit of yelling to get BA placed correctly so that you could see the symbol.

Symbol deciphered, we are sent off to the Washington Irving school, instead of a bar like I first thought. I was a tad disappointed because I wanted a drink at that point. BA, Cathy, and I get into one cab while Art and Johnny get into another.

Our cab arrives at the the school and we start looking around the Washington Irving statue for our next message. We don’t find anything. We also don’t see Art and Johnny anywhere. Well, great. We stand out in the snow for a little while longer, when I get a call saying that the boys are in a bar just up the street. BA declares that she’ll make Art buy us a round there. We enter Pete’s Bar, order a drink, and then get told that there was another Nightmare Confessions call about gargoyles or something. I dunno, this whole bit is fuzzy for me. BA decides that she’ll go check out this building down the street. I go with her because everyone else looked comfortable.

beer-can-noteWe find the gargoyle building and start looking around. Can’t see anything. Peer in the doorway and the doorman opens it up for us. We smile politely and start looking in the bushes. BA spots a beer can stuck in the bushes with a note sticking out of it. I have no idea how they stuck the note in there, because it did not want to come out. Finally get the note ripped out and it tells us we need to go to another bar. Whee! I think we were supposed to look up and wave to another webcam before we left, but the letter was worded a bit badly, so we didn’t.

Note in hand, we go back to the first bar and drink our drinks. Art is getting all antsy again. I’m just mesmerized by all the lights on the ceiling. There must be thousands of little red Christmas lights strewn through white painted twigs. It’s very surreal. Drinks finished, we all start walking towards our next location: Shades of Green.


The Third Sacrifice

A toast to you Sentries!

Get your collective Sentry ass to -> Shades of Green <- (Such a sacrifice!) Go warm up, and while you're there you must buy a lonely stranger a drink, and toast to their good fortuen! And then the fun begins! Select one Sentry to step forward and tell a funny yet humiliating tale! Wait! Before you depart, take a long look up!

-> We’re all watching and toasting you <-

Shades of Green was a lovely little Irish bar, which was a lot less crowded than Pete’s. We grab a table and I try not to laugh out loud at Bryce sitting in the corner reading a newspaper. It was completely comical the way he was trying to sit there looking all nonchalant.

BA informs the bartender that we would like to buy someone a drink. The bartender points us to a gentleman who was retiring that day. We buy him a drink, toast to his health, and then start telling our humiliating stories. Johnny’s story involved a bad taco. BA’s was about unicorns. Mine was about a closet and statues of Jesus and Mary. I can’t remember Cathy’s. :( Art started telling his, and that is when McCreepy came over and started acting all chummy.

He came and pushed Art over so that he could sit down, and even put his arm around Art. He kept telling Art that he was going to be in big trouble, that he was going to lose his job and that Art should smarten up. I asked McCreepy just what he wanted Art to do, and he said that Art should give him the cylinder. I laughed in his face at that. I tried to get him to tell me some real information, like his name, but he kept telling me that it wasn’t important. I did find out that when he was smaller he had a bike named Rowan but that it was stolen, and from then on he’d always look at other bikes to see if they were his just repainted.

BA was getting quite upset at McCreepy and kept telling us to ignore him because he was just trying to scare us. I actually was having fun talking to him. I blame all of my random conversations with strifey for my perverse pleasure in talking to McCreepy. Because it was quite similar – except for the fact that strifey doesn’t have the big bushy beard and I only talk to strifey online. But otherwise, exactly the same.

napkin-from-bryceMcCreepy said he wouldn’t leave us alone until he finished his whiskey. Art ended up finishing it for him, and then Johnny actually bought him another one at the bar. I went towards the back and called in on my cell trying to figure out what we had to do next, since we had accomplished our tasks there, but there was no new symbol. As such, I missed Bryce coming up and handing them a napkin with the next hobo marking.

In response to Johnny’s comments, I will admit I am a bit partial to taking BA’s side of things. But I didn’t feel like we had any other choice. I certainly wasn’t going to give McCreepy the cylinder. I’d rather have Peter kiss my lily white ass before I agree to help him like that. Keeping it ourselves I thought was a very risky option. I have no idea why Peter and McCreepy didn’t try to take the cylinder by force from Art, but I had the feeling that if we decided to keep it, that maybe it could (and would be) able to be taken away from us. That just left the option of BA returning it to the Dreamland. And considering that’s where it was taken from and where it belongs, it seemed like the best idea at the time.


The Third Symbol

We leave the bar to head off to the last webcam at Sheridan Square. Johnny tells BA that he did send a picture to the Sentries and that we could just call in. She decides it’s not that far of a walk, and we’ll just head over that way anyway. McCreepy is filming us with a little handheld camera as we leave. I leave a lovely little message for Peter telling him to “fuck off”. I had also told McCreepy that Peter was a bit upset with him for losing track of Art and having to resort to tracking Bryce instead. He gave me a dirty look.

shades-of-green-symbolAt the cigar store, we can’t find where the webcam is. I call in and explain what the symbol looks like, and we get sent off to the Abingdon Square Doughboy and are told to look in trashcans. Couple of blocks later and we reach the statue and start looking around. We find one trashcan with a bag on top that I was hoping contained cookies, but it was someone’s old apples and bread. Rats. We all start wandering around and Bryce actually comes up to me and asks if BA is okay. I told him not really, that she was having nosebleeds, fainting spells, and visions of butterflies. He said that it would be alright, that he had something to help her. He seemed a lot less creepy and a lot more childlike to me after that.

They eventually find a note with a poem on one side (which I believe is Wilfred Owen’s The Sentry) and directions for us on the other side. The note was extremely wet, and the writing was pretty faint. BA ended up keeping the note, but it directed us to 14th Street, to give a sock to a needy person, and to head to Notre-Dame-de-Pontaut.

BA collapses onto a bench at this point. We all rush over to help her, and Bryce puts a medallion around her neck. On the front, it’s the same as the disk that Sploit helped BA to find in the dreamscape. The back has one of the little worms like on George’s drawings. With the medallion on, BA recovered. Johnny wants to head out to the Salvation Army on 14th so we can give away our socks, but BA instead has a vision of a castle. It’s agreed that we’ll instead go down to the Cloisters, and that Bryce will come with us.


The Final Sacrifice

We head off to find a subway that will take us all the way down to the Cloisters. BA stops and hands someone a pair of socks, taking care of the Third Sacrifice. On the subway, Bryce and Art both sit off by themselves, while the rest of us make small talk and BA keeps saying that it’s almost over. Johnny I believed tried to talk to both Art and Bryce, but they were both off in their own little worlds.

Once off the subway, we call in just to verify that Notre-Dame-de-Pontaut is at the Cloisters. 2 Heading up out of the subway, we enter an elevator where BA makes the remark that it would be the worst place to die in. “It seems big, but it’s not.” That’s a lovely sentiment right before our last mini-mission.

Out of the elevator, we meet a masked man (who may or may not be the same guy from the library). He demands that Art hand over the cylinder to him. Everyone just kinda stands there for a moment before I decide to step in between him and Art and demand to know why. He tells me that he is the Gatekeeper. I counter that I’m the Keymaster and that he’s not going to get the cylinder without a very good reason. I don’t think he was very pleased with my answer. He turns away and tells us to follow him.

Up more freaking steps – there is a lot more snow down here than elsewhere in the city. Across a parking lot and at the entrance to the Cloisters, he turns around and hands us a piece of paper telling us about the Final Sacrifice – one of us will have to take the cylinder into the Cloisters with him. Bryce agrees to take it. Art practically throws the thing3 in his hands and runs off. We have a tearful goodbye and watch as Bryce walks into the Cloisters with The Gatekeeper.


Meeting eXu

Before he left, The Gatekeeper told us that we would meet someone down below, so we start walking back to the subway. On the way, I spy Art’s sunglasses in the snow. I become really worried that maybe he had already been picked up by McCreepy and Peter and that he wasn’t around any more either. We catch him coming up the subway steps, BA gives him his glasses, and then he runs off again. Never did get to say good-bye to him.

Down in the subway, we see an old man approaching us. BA recognizes him as the Drummer and he introduces himself as Jakub U. He tells us he has one more mission, for which I thought BA was going to deck him. He gives us the letter, and tells us to deliver it to Spukhafte Fernwirkung4 at the bar Druids. Let’s repeat that together: Druids. One more time: Druids. We get the idea, eXu.

Jakub runs off, demanding a 5 minute headstart. We stay and read the letter he gave us. His handwriting is really bad, which is why BA was having such a hard time reading it. We’re all really surprised when we read who the letter is actually from: Anwell Barierascu. I thought that Jakub had said that he had written it, but looking back at Johnny’s video, he never actually says that he wrote it. Just that Spukbarf Ferngully was waiting for him at the bar. So either Jakub is Anwell, or he’s just a gopher for him, sorta like we are. Either way, I’m still not sure what side they are on. Just because Jakub/Anwell is/are against SF doesn’t mean they are necessarily against the rest of Chorazos.


Druids and The Sculptor

There wasn’t anything that we could do about Jakub now except deliver the letter to Druids. We checked in one last time with the Conference Call and told everyone about Bryce and that we met eXu. Got directions (which we ended up forgetting so we had to call back again) and got onto the train. BA wanted to make sure we had a copy of the note, so she set about transcribing it. After she was done, I also took some photos of it. After we got off the train, she sealed it with black sealing wax (almost setting the envelope on fire) and pressing the medallion into it.

letter-page1 letter-page2 letter-page3

BA decided that we needed caffeine and sugar before we met up with Spukhafte so it was off to Starbucks. We had $60 to spend (plus we could sign the card up online for extra benefits as well). I had hot chocolate and cookies. The rest got various coffees, snacks and sandwiches. We gave Cathy the leftover card. BA was really weepy. She kept wondering why things like this kept happening to her.

We walk off to Druids. When we get in, Johnny goes straight over to a guy at the bar and starts talking to him. After a few minutes, Johnny starts to introduce us. I have a very brief moment of panic that Johnny has just been playing us the entire time, that he’s been the one leading us around by the nose, only to introduce us to his boss, Spukhafte Fernfigwergin. But it turns out he was just The Sculptor. He took the letter from us, noticed that it had “the Seal of Truth” on it, and told us to enjoy a drink. We didn’t really feel like it so we decided to call it a night.

Off to the subway again. On the way there, BA tells me about how she liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer when she was younger. She said back then, she didn’t understand why Buffy was constantly whining because she was a kick-ass Slayer. Now she does understand, because all she wants is to be normal and to find some rich guy who will buy her a house in an isolated spot.

At the A Line, Kathy and I say our good-byes to BA and Johnny. When we get down to the platform, I notice the Sculptor over in the corner, looking like he’s reading the contents of the letter to someone over his cell phone. I snap off a few pictures before we get onto the train.

I leave Cathy at Port Authority, where I quickly learn that the storm has canceled all buses back to Binghamton. Crap. Call up Johnny5, get directions to his place, and set back off on the train. A little while later, and I’m at Johnny’s place and Lulu is making me tea. Next morning I sleep in a little later than planned, but not too badly. Hop on train back to Port Authority, miss meeting up with Rose6. Finally get on the bus (which only leaves 15 minutes late) and make it back into Binghamton with a lot less drama than there was getting out of Binghamton.

And that’s it. Sorry this is so long7, but I hope it makes up a bit for being so out of touch the whole day. And if not, well, next time you’ll just have to come out with us :)


Footnotes

0: At some point later, I think at one of the bars, BA asked us if we still had our childhood memories. I told her that we do. I mean, I think we do. How could you tell, really? Unless you find an evil sorceress collecting your memories in little crystal balls, how could you?

1: What the hell is up with all of the iced tea in NYC having sugar in it? Last time I checked, NYC was north of the Mason-Dixon line, not south. Sweet tea should be a very rare exception, not the norm. At least I could tell beforehand that all the tea was sweat from the devil since they have to put nutritional information up and all the teas were listed as 5-80 calories. TEA SHOULD BE ZERO CALORIES! It was extremely annoying as I really could have used some caffeine.

2: I really apologize for not being able to hear me on the phone. Payphone suck. If it’s any consolation, I couldn’t hear you guys that well either :) But if it wasn’t for all of you at home, we wouldn’t have known where to go. It felt a bit like Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego? You know, where you have to go question people to know where she went, and then when you got there, you looked for the henchmen right away because otherwise you were in the wrong place? Except in this case you weren’t reading words on a screen. You were talking through tin cans underwater.

3: I didn’t get a real good look at the cylinder. There wasn’t a whole lot of light, and my glasses were all icky from the snow, but it was a lot bigger than I expected. Very dark in color, with the red dots on it like on George’s drawings. The one end that I could see didn’t look like it had any way of opening it – at least not without a blowtorch or something else to break the seal.

4: This really is the most annoying name to type. Hell, I can’t even say it. Apparently, I can’t even pronounce Chorazos correctly either. Why do cults have to have such weird language?

5: Thank you Mapmaker for your help on the phone for a: trying to find another bus that night and for verifying Johnny’s cell for me. And thanks to Johnny for offering me a place to stay earlier on that day.

6: No worries Rose. At some point after I had called you, I checked my phone and saw I had 4 voicemails and thought they were all from you wondering where the hell I was in Port Authority. :)

7: And I promise never to make fun of Mapmaker for his recap of WV again.

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2 Responses to “The NYC Recap”


  1. That was an amazing summary/tale of events. And you are amazing for braving through the snow on Friday to do all those missions for us. Thank you sooooooo much Rowan. You have no need to feel bad about the delay on the recap. It was totally worth it.

  2. enaxor

    Fantastic recap! Thank you for trekking through the city.