Oberlander Apartments, Tether to Infernal Fire

“It seems an appropriate time to complete our review of Big City D.A., the memoir of Mario Merola, who served as Bronx district attorney from 1973 until his death in 1987.

“The parts of Merola’s memoir that may be of most ongoing interest concern arson. He notes that in 1976, over 13,000 buildings in New York City burned in deliberately-set fires; he recounts the arrest of landlord Imre Oberlander on April 25, 1975 in a car full of gas-soaked rags, at the corner of Southern Boulevard and Aldus Street. Imre owned six buildings in the South Bronx, and all had suffered fires. Nonetheless, he was indicted only for “criminal possession of fire bombs,” subsequently pled-down to criminal possession of weapons in the third degree. His sentence? Five years probation. Merola complained that his efforts to crackdown on arsonist landlords were not assisted by the then-borough president’s insistence on press conferences on the courthouse steps, proclaiming that all was fine in The Bronx."

—from The Inner City Press Bronx Reporter of December 31, 2001

You can blame it on Imre, though he wasn’t the first, and he certainly wasn’t the last. He was, however, enthusiastic. Though five of his original six buildings have been rehabilitated, the sixth, a four-story building at the corner of Southern Blvd & Aldus St, is still a burnt-out decaying hulk, with boarded-up windows and doors that nevertheless admit their fair share of transients. But no one wants to stay there for very long. Nightmares of burning alive are common, and if someone looks like he’s getting too comfortable, there’s always Yronzit, aka Ed.

Yronzit stumbled onto the tether shortly after it was created in the 1970’s. He reported it to Belial, who attuned him on the spot. That was a good decade for Belial and Yronzit. Arsonists set over 12,000 fires a year, and the population of the Bronx fell by more than half. In the early 1980’s, however, things had gotten so out of hand that even the most apathetic politicians realized something had to be done. Cleanup efforts throughout the last two decades have diminished Belial’s hold, though not completely. And somehow, Oberlander’s last building continues to hang on in its burnt-out splendor.

Yronzit is on his way down, but it would be a mistake to consider him out. He is a nasty character to meet, as many homeless or otherwise unattached women have discovered over the years as he has captured, raped, and strangled them, finally burning their bodies in the building’s furnace. He tries to keep his Lust discord under control so that he doesn’t get caught, but sometimes it gets the better of him. His human vessel is a 20-something male, about 6’ tall and fat. He looks Hispanic, but it’s hard to tell under all the dirt — and no one wants to get that close anyway because of the smell. Yronzit never bathes. His dog vessel is similarly fat, which he generally uses on the rare occasions he has to go outside his tether. He hangs out in one of the first floor apartments, or the super’s apartment in the basement, or the furnace room.

Besides Yronzit, there is usually a small collection of Demons of Fire that hang around the tether. It’s Quiet, which means they can get away with murder if necessary. The current set is the one that kidnapped Reziphel (or thought they did).

Oberlander Apartments, Tether to Infernal Fire

Sic Transit ednoria