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027 ♕ [dictated/written/action]
| Did I just hear a TARDIS?
loisfuckinglane wrote in paradisa

Looks like we've got a bunch of places for you kids to head right now: make sure you're getting yourself or asking an adult to help you find one of them.  

[Added later] A nice lady named Paige Matthews has offered to help you guys get there, if anyone needs help.   Just filter to her on the journal.

The Tower - On the fourteenth floor
The TARDISes - Room 1102
The Ballroom - First floor, near the dining hall
Peace Patrol Headquarters - Downstairs

or, if you're in town right now, head down to Caritas and Lorne will be glad to see you.  Bring anything you might want to do with you from your room.  It'll be just like camping out for a little while, except... inside.  


Do we have anyone available to run full Watchtower surveillance during this?  If we get the cameras going, maybe we can slow things down and capture some images of whatever's taking these kids.


[All adult castle residents (who aren't involved in the kidnapping) - ESPECIALLY those with knowledge of the supernatural/occult]

All this talk of human sacrifice got me searching all night for an alternative.  I think I found something.  I came across a book called Bloody Branches, and there was a chapter that dealt with a situation exactly like this: missing children, a creature behind it (male, even), and a bloody mysterious tree.  It's supposed to be a true account, and, well, here's the passage that caught my attention:

Tryon Troubles

"Saw a tree like that, once," Mr. Harvey told us. Mr. Harvey had lost two grandchildren that week. "They told us to make a human sacrifice. I already lost the kids –– I wouldn't give that son of a bitch more in the hopes that he would leave. What is this, the dark ages?"

When asked how they dealt with the creature, Mr. Harvey informed us that they'd hired a local exorcist; it had taken days of set up, eighty people and a grueling eighteen hours of ritual to send the creature away.

"Did you get the children back?" we asked him.

Mr. Harvey refused to continue the interview.

The last part might be a little bit on the ominous side, but it's another option, and it's not one that could hurt to try. I've been sitting up doing research on exorcisms since... four or five, and what I've got is listed below, but I'm looking for anyone with prior knowledge on this stuff back home.

Has anyone ever conducted an exorcism, or participated in one?  And if not, I need volunteers to help me look for information on how to properly conduct one.  If the spirit of this thing is tied to that tree directly, it'd seem like we'd be attempting to exorcise his spirit out of the tree, which should get rid of him once and for all.

... The problem is, if we get rid of him, what's gonna happen to the kids who are already gone... [Lois is too tired right now for these intense ethical questions fakf;ajf]

Passages I've found so far:

On who can perform an exorcism:

 -"Not everyone is in a position to perform an exorcism. If you aren't connected to the Holy Spirit, you need to get others who are filled with God's Spirit to do it, or become filled yourself first. If you are not filled with the God's Spirit and you try to take on demons you are in a dangerous position."
- "I would include the supernatural force--the presence of God--and then suggest that the man picked to do this kind of work be wise and that he should know how to gather strength not just from within himself but from God. Because each case of possession is different, each person possessed is different. Those studying to become exorcists should also study psychology and know how to distinguish between a mental illness and a possession. And--finally--they need to be very patient."
- "But, again, to Martin, the most important thing is the exorcist's disposition and those of his assistants. Presently few exorcists choose to work alone. Three other people usually assist the exorcist. One is a junior priest who has been trained in exorcism procedures. He monitors the exorcism, helping the exorcist when possible not to be distracted by the possessive demon. Others can include a medical physician and a family member. The most important thing of all is that the exorcist and his assistants be physically strong and relatively guiltless. None must have any secret sins which the Devil or demon can use against them. In some incidences the Devil or demons may shout out the sins of the exorcist or his assistants attempting to shame them and ruin the exorcism."
On exorcising an object:

- "Using the demons name(s) command him to leave the victim (by name)in the name of Jesus!( Eg: Bar & Rail I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to leave (name) ________'s body now!)In some cases you may have trouble but be very firm, and straight to the point with the demon(s). If you do not know the names, ask Jesus to cast out any and all evil spirits within the person.
For a Material Possession(s):The thing(s) that you suspect may be possessed need to be analyzed. Overview where the item came from. Who owned it previously. Who lived in the house. Is it a religious artifact? Does it make you feel cold and shiver? When you find out what is possessed you need to determine if you should discard the item, or cast out the demon(s).Any religious materials from artifacts, idols, books, charms, clothing, Things signifying death, etc.. Need to be discarded, or burned immediately! Things such as houses, cars, places, etc, Need to be first searched for any religious materials. After those things are found and discarded then you can sanctify the material, thing, or place."

On exorcism in general and what it requires:
- "Technically, exorcism is not driving out the Devil or a demon, but it is placing the Devil or demon on oath. And, in some incidences there may be more than one demon possessing a person. "Exorcism" is derived from the Greek preposition ek with the verb horkizo which means "I cause [someone] to swear" and refers to "putting the spirit or demon on oath," or invoking a higher authority to bind the entity in order to control it and command it to act contrary to its own will."
- "During the ritual usually salt, representing purity, and wine, representing the blood of Christ, is present. The victim is to hold a crucifix during the rite. The exorcist is encouraged to use holy water and relics, usually pieces of bones from Saints, and recite Biblical scriptures and other prayers."
-"Although all exorcisms are different in proceeding there are similar stages they follow. Martin describes these stages:
The Presence: The exorcist and his assistants become aware of an alien feeling or entity. Attempts or actions of the evil spirit appear to be the victim's. The exorcist's first job is to break this Pretense and find out whom the demon really is. Gaining the entity's name is most important.
Breakpoint: The moment when the Devil's Pretense finally collapses. This is usually a moment of complete pandemonium. There evolves a scene of panic and confusion, accompanied by a crescendo of abuse, horrible sights, noises, and odors. The Devil then turns on the victim, speaking of the person in the third person.
The Voice: Also a sign the Breakpoint, the Voice (of the demon) becomes "inordinately disturbing and humanly distressing babble." The demon's voices must be silenced for the exorcism to proceed.
The Clash: As the Voices die out there is both a spiritual and physical pressure. The demon has collided with the "will of the Kingdom." The exorcist is now in direct battle with the demon, urging the entity to reveal more information about itself so it can be controlled. As previously mentioned, there is a connection between the entity and the victim's resident. The entity wants a place to be in, or it must return to Hell. An existence out of Hell is what the Devil or demon is fighting for.
Expulsion: In the supreme triumph of God's will, the demon or spirit leaves in the name of Jesus. All present feel the Presence dissipates, occasionally with receding noises and voices. The victim may remember the ordeal or may not recall anything that has happened."
- "Still, the components of an actual exorcism remain intact. They include, according to the Rite:
Making the sign of the cross
Sprinkling holy water
Ordering the devil to leave the possessed person"
- "The Rite of Exorcism

The rite itself is described in Chapter Six of the Introduction. The exorcist begins the rite with the sign of the cross and a sprinkling with blessed water by which the purification received in Baptism is recalled. A litany of the saints follows, asking for God's mercy. Then, the exorcist may recite one or more of a selection of Psalms, which may be prayed responsorially. At the end of the Psalms, the exorcist may offer a Psalm-prayer.

The Gospel, which is a sign of the presence of Christ, is then read aloud, since Christ through his word proclaimed in Church relieves the sicknesses of all. An imposition of hands upon the possessed person follows with an invocation of the Holy Ghost and an optional insufflation (blowing on the face of the possessed person by the exorcist). The Creed is then recited, and a renewal of baptismal promises is made, including a renunciation of Satan. This portion of the rite concludes with the Lord's Prayer (deliver us from evil.).

After these rites the exorcist shows the possessed person the cross of the Lord and traces the sign of the cross on the forehead of the possessed in order to indicate the power of Christ over the devil. A prayer to God follows, along with, if it seems appropriate, an imperative formula by which the exorcist the devil to leave the possessed person. This rite may be repeated, as deemed necessary by the authorized exorcist. The entire rite concludes with a canticle of thanksgiving, a prayer and a blessing.

The Introduction to the rite reminds the exorcist of the importance of prayer and fasting and the roles which the parents, friends, confessor and spiritual director of the possessed may take. An exorcism should be conducted in church whenever possible and in the presence of images of the crucified Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The exorcist is urged to note the importance of a constant knowledge of the physical and psychological state of the possessed person along with the necessity to patiently support the possessed person, never doubting the help of God or the office of the Church.

While a small group of the faithful may be present for the exorcism, they should pray only their assigned parts and refrain from pronouncing the formulas which belong only to the authorized exorcist. Finally, the Introduction offers guidance for the happy occasion when a possessed person has been delivered from demonic oppression."

It's a... start.  Come down to the library, anyone who wants to help me keep looking....

[Added filter to: Jilly & Lana]

Bruce and I thought it would be a good idea to have someone check with the townspeople, see if they've had any children go missing.  Could either of you two deal with that?

[ooc;  Open for library spam too.]

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Before we do anything, blood donations, exorcism, whatever it is we do... We need to make sure we're getting those kids back. That should be priority number one: making sure that innocent lives aren't lost.

I agree, completely, but eventually we're gonna want to get rid of this thing and make sure it's not coming back, once they're safe.

placeholderish thing since it's 2.30 over here ;;

[silently stares at that tl;dr, almost as if to say "you must be kidding," but it's...the product of effort...and there isn't much in terms of countermeasures which have been uncovered at this point.

A sigh, then she makes her way down to the library, thinking this would surely be far easier if the culprit was anything like the kind she's "exorcised" in the past]

[Lois looks up when she enters, from amid her pile of paperwork.] Coming to help?

assuming he's adult enough for filter...

I've never done an exorcism, but...I've fought ghosts and stuff before. Heartless-ghosts, anyway. So has Sora, I think. I don't know if that would help, though.

Considering we'd have no idea what this place would stir up if we tried this, seeing as how Paradisa seems populated with ghosts, it couldn't hurt to have you around.

If we try this, I mean.

It's a thought.

Better than nothing, for now.

[Ugh, exorcisms] How about learning about exorcisms from an actual demon? We're not the same thing, but, I dunno. It might be worth something.

It has to be the demon's true name, if you're going down that route. And trust me, we guard those things more than anything in the universe. Lot of power, in a name. I doubt it's going to be recorded anywhere unless this thing is a complete idiot.

Most of that stuff about reading from the bible is bollocks, too. I can read any of it out to you right now without any ill effects. Holy water works wonders, but none of you can actually see it to use it. You could sprinkle it on that tree, I guess. See if it does anything.

Just let me know if you lot decide to do anything around that route. I'll make myself scarce. I don't really fancy being banished to whatever this place calls Hell.

Should've thought of that. But I'm running on not much sleep right now.

So unless we figure out its true name, it doesn't matter how many prayers and Lord's names we shout at the tree, it's not gonna do anything?

Don't worry. You'd get fair warning.

[oh hey, someone she hasn't met, but she's had your little map open all night]

My name is Paige Matthews. I'm with a small group trying to get the ballroom ready and protected for people to stay there safely, too. A lot of people seem to...listen to you. But then, you do have really informative entries.

If you talk to any kids who need a chaperon to get somewhere safer...please give them my name. I can help move them between places. It's...just something I do. I mean, I'd rather keep it all need-to-know, but...it's quick and safe, and it's...something.

I'll add that into the entry. It's a good idea to have people walking them to these places, instead of just expecting them to find them on their own.

[A long pause as he reads this....]

[What the hell...]

Exorcism isn't like that at all!

You know, it didn't even hit me until now that maybe it works differently in different worlds. How would we even know which ritual to go with?


he's staying quiet for the moment, but watching this (especially Allen's temper tantrum up above heh...)

What you're describing is a Christian exorcism. Other religions have their own methods. Of course, I'm not certain if they would conflict with each other or not, nor do I have the spiritual power necessary to accomplish them.

Yeah, I'm reading a book right now on Shamanism and African rituals of exorcism. There's stuff in here too about Haiti and voodoo...

I am reasonably well versed in performing exorcisms. This is certainly a better option than offering a blood sacrifice. If there's a way to cast out this demon, then we ought to try. Having the true name of the demon or at least an awareness of its true nature would help immensely in confronting it.

Unfortunately, the tone of the article suggests that the exorcism merely drove the creature away or banished it. The recovery of the children does not seem certain.

We need to find a way to get them back from this thing first, before we send it away.

Finally, someone who's not bloody insane. Giving this creature what it wants isn't going to help anything. Or if it does, the thing'll come back next time it gets hungry.

And seeing as how it was here before once, I wonder if that's not exactly what they did last time.

Not that I've ever performed an exorcism or needed to, but I know where to find the stuff on it in the library. It was one of the nine hundred possibilities I ran through when trying to get Isis out of you -- so, if you don't have anyone with the experience, let me at least help you look into that.

But that passage ... you don't think the exorcist was just the one to take care of the sacrifice ritual, do you? [ sigh ] I'm getting seriously tired of this human sacrifice crap.

Great, then you should know right where to look.

I haven't read anything that would connect exorcists with running those kinds of rites, so I think this is something different. And Mr. Harvey said they didn't want to conduct a human sacrifice, so that's what they did instead.

I think I forked over my right to do an exorcism when I jumped ship. Here's a thought though- this thing's got more in common with a god than a demon and, by all means, I'm sure the locals who vacated wouldn't know one from the other if they wore signs. All's I'm saying is just because the Power of Christ compels it to move its ass don't mean it always has to move.

So if this was a god, how would we get rid of it?

[she sounds tired, but determined.] Of course. I... I should have thought of that.

[there's a rustling sound as she sets aside the books she's been looking at]

Lana's looking after Justinia. I don't have any kids with me, though. I can go ask.

Thanks. I know we're all burning the candle at both ends, but we shouldn't over look any possibility.

[ ugh seriously, she just got to the castle after that gross tree fiasco. B( this is why she's having julian watch justinia for her, so she can remain at the castle and help research.

buuut maybe it would help to get fresh air again. away from bloody trees. yuck ]

All right. I'll let you know if I find any news.

Actually, I just heard from Jilly and she said she can handle it, if you want to focus on the kiddo.

[ Lois pretty much has everything covered so she's just mentally saving this and stalking the rest ]

['exorcising' was so much easier back home]

Do you think the stuff you found applies to here?

Not a clue. But it's all I've got for right now.

[ oh hey, you're the lady who saved me from Damian when I was a kitten! ]

I am currently residing with Lana Lang, in her home. It is where I feel safest. Should it come down to it, I will find Lorne! I work at Caritas with him..

[ a tiny pause ]

It is an inopportune moment, but I wished to properly thank you again. While I was under a loss, you saved me from Damian -- I was a kitten.

Edited at 2011-03-04 10:39 am (UTC)

You should be safe with Lana. [She hopes ;;] I just didn't want anyone out there alone.

[BRAIN BREAK WUUUT] Kitten-- You mean that was you he dangled out a window?

I've been in and out of there since it started, but I can't touch anything in there without nearly breaking it. [if it wasn't such a dangerous time, it would be hilarious to watch. It's as if he's a human Rube Goldberg machine, he does one thing which he drops and that just sets off a chain reaction of him fumbling for it... falling over... you get the picture]

I'm going to see if Lana can help out. She ran Isis, so she's good with these sort of things. [plus - she already has a key]

Maybe you need some more sleep.

Good idea. I just asked Jilly to handle talking to the townspeople: Lana's watching Justinia, but they should be as safe at Watchtower as anywhere.

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