November 9, 2012 (9:00 am)
Angelica begins to do research on the Sandstrom mausoleum and on Thomas J. Goode. Her work will take her most of the morning.
Dillon sleeps in as he’s had a long night.
Nick prepares for the fight tonight.
Yuriko heads over to Powell’s to talk to Aleister. Barring that, she’ll do research into what sort of undead the necromancer may throw their way. She finds the former Warden in the coffee shop of the giant bookstore. She approaches his table and taps him on the shoulder. “I have news.”
He looks up at her, surprised. “Oh?”
“It’s of a sensitive nature. Is there a place we can go?”
He leads her into the rare book room. She then proceeds to tell him of their pending encounter with the Shrouded One tonight in the cemetery with the current Warden.
“What kind of help do you think you can offer?” he asks.
“Well, these are constructs, right? Force can take care of them.”
“I still think it’s a bad idea for you and your friends to be involved in this fight.”
“Look, the necromancer isn’t going to fight fair. As much as the Warden has helped us, we want to get her back. We’re going to help.”
The old man seems to accept that.
“I have another question,” Yuriko continues. “If someone got bit by a zombie, do they turn into a zombie? Like in the movies?”
“No, it doesn’t work like that. At least, not with a traditional zombie. It’s just an animated corpse.”
Aleister then goes on to explain that the corpse is animated partially by the drumming sound of a heartbeat. The summoner must maintain this drumbeat somehow in order to keep the zombie animated. It can be as simple as tapping on the thigh or playing a drumbeat on a radio, but it must be maintained. Take out the source of the drumming, and you take out the source of the animation. Further, if the necromancer is using spiritual minions, such as spectres or ghosts, then they could be stopped by the use of thresholds.
“I wish you luck though I’m afraid you’re biting off more than you can chew here,” Aleister says as Yuriko turns to go.
“We need to help how we can.”
November 9, 2012 (10:00 am)
Nick texts back. DID WE WANT TO MEET?
Yuriko calls Dillon. " ‘morning, sunshine. I talked to Aleister. Let’s meet and pray they’re ‘traditional zombies’. " She sets up a meeting a Nick’s apartment.
Once they all gather at Nick’s, Yuriko catches them all up on the conversation she had with the retired Warden. They then have a long discussion of what do next—what the plan for tonight should entail. Dillon also asks Nick about the possibility of casting magic without the use of hands or the ability to speak. Nick says that it is possible but a lot harder to do. Nick also brings up the possibility of the Wizard’s “death curse”—the final hurrah that a Wizard is reportedly able to do in placing all of her power into one final spell at the cost of her life. With this possibility in the mix, it makes everyone leery of killing the Shrouded One—or, at least of giving the necromancer the chance to think their life is one the line. They also discuss various weapons to use—baseball bats, a Tazer (can Sabrina get one?), Nick’s gun. . .
It will be important to knock the necromancer down and out. But what about his minions? Magic circles may need to be employed to protect against the spectre—or spectres. If there are zombies, they will need to take out the drummer. Whatever they decide to do, they will need to coordinate with the Warden.
It is decided that Yuriko will go to Wal-Mart and get two baseball bats and three cans of pepper spray and two boxes of salt. Dillon sleeps on Nick’s couch while Yuriko shops.
November 9, 2012 (12:14 pm)
Angelica finally wraps up her research.
The Sandstrom mausoleum family has been prominent in Portland since the 1920s. The mausoleum holds the remains of Carolyn Ward Sandstrom (d. 1942) and Richard Sandstrom (d. 1937). The current Sandstrom family lives on the family estate in northeast Portland.
Thomas J. Goode (aka Thomas James Goode) was born on January 20, 1921 and died on July 25, 1983. He was a member of the local VFW and winner of the Purple Heart. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. A photograph on the VFW website shows Mr. Goode and it is clear that he lost his left arm while he was still living.
Angelica calls Dillon with her research, who, in turn, is thrilled to be woken up again. The two speculate on the possibility that the grave robbers took Goode’s Purple Heart as a connection with which to make a construct. But why Goode specifically? Was this done by another person? Was this done on a different night?
The two also discuss zombies and Angelica reveals some more information about them due to her first-hand dealings with the creatures. They are not the slow-lumbering creatures of film but can be inhumanly fast and strong. Spectres, on the other hand, are not inhumanly fast, but are inhumanly strong.
Angelica wants to get out to the cemetery as soon as possible to get the lay of the land. She will be bringing her friend from Edgefield. Dillon agrees that getting out to the cemetery is a good idea.
After hanging up with Dillon, Angelica calls Lau Hu: “Hope you’re available…” He is.
Dillon texts Sabrina: HEADING TO THE CEMETERY—INVITED TO COME, UNDERSTAND IF YOU CAN’T.
Sabrina texts back: @WORK—CAN MEET TONIGHT.
November 9, 2012 (1:10 pm)
Angelica and Lau Hu arrive at the Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery first. Soon thereafter, a city bus pulls up and Dillon arrives with two others—a couple that was sitting near them at Edgefield the night they “met”. Dillon and the other man are carrying baseball bats. Introductions are made. The couple are Yuriko and Nick and Angelica’s friend is Lau Hu. After a brief discussion, it is decided to start at the grave of Thomas J. Goode to see if any more “weirdness” can be spotted there. Yuriko leads the way to the grave site.
When they arrive at the grave, they see that the cemetery administration has already beat them to it. Two caretakers are putting the finishing touches on a new mound as an administrator nervously paces, supervising the process. Dillon takes the administrator aside to talk to him about the situation, hoping to get information about any more oddness at the cemetery. The administrator doesn’t really want to talk about, but does spill that there have been more incidents (“though a low average for the size of the establishment”). The incidents are reportedly spread out throughout the cemetery, not localized to one particular area. Angelica recognizes one of the caretakers from one of her previous forays into the cemetery but does not speak to him. She also tries to glean information from the administrator but says much the same as he said to Dillon.
After the grave is finished, the administrator, clearly flustered at having curious visitors, gathers up the caretakers and makes his away to take care of other business. Angelica then walks around the grave, looking for spirits to talk to. The others look on, a bit incredulous—except for Lau Hu, who bows his head, respectfully. Sure enough, a spirit appears before her—visible only to her—flickering in her vision, but especially its lower right leg and lower right arm.
“It devours,” it whispers to her.
“What?” she asks.
“Us…” it says.
“What is it?” she asks.
“The thing with teeth and claws,”
The others can only her asking questions of the air above the grave, but they each feel the air pressure and temperature drop and a feeling of “the wiggins” rise in the air around them.
When the feeling fades and Angelica explains what she saw and what it means, Nick explains that it could mean a ghoul. “They’re nasty things. Eat meat. Lots of it. Definitely got teeth and claws.” They all discuss the possibility of ghouls joining with necromancers and everyone pretty much agreed it was an unlikely scenario. That wasn’t a natural fit, at any rate. So it was possible that Thomas Goode was the victim not of the necromancer’s grave robbers but of something else entirely. They agreed that they would have to table that for now and concentrate on the task at hand. It was time to go to the Sandstrom mausoleum.
November 9, 2012 (2:37 pm)
With Angelica’s help (due to her research earlier in the day), they find the Sandstrom mausoleum. Everyone checks out the area, looking for advantages in the coming fight. Dillon notes the shadowy overgrowth of the grove of trees that curl around the outside of the building. Yuriko notes the cover provided by the impressive tombstones across from the mausoleum, on the other side of the path. Angelica points out that the consecrated ground of the graves should make thresholds stronger when they form their magic circle defenses.
Angelica texts the Warden that they were at the cemetery assessing the area for tonight and asks if she wanted to try and meet. The Warden texts back: YES. Angelica asks if she wanted to meet here, now. The Warden responds: YES.
Dillon asks if Lau Hu would like a baseball bat, trying to assess what skills the man brings to the table. Lau responds “Yes, he would.” Disappointed, Dillon admits that they don’t have enough to give him one and says that he should get himself one. Lau Hu asks Angelica if this is the best way he can help, trying to get some guidance. Angelica simply responds that we need strength, so yes. The five of them then settle in to discussion of a plan.
November 9, 2012 (3:34 pm)
Essentially, the practitioners, Angelica and Nick, will position themselves across from the mausoleum, across the path, with magic circles ready to activate in case they are needed against any spectres or rogue spellcasters or what-have-you. They can also throw spells from a distance if needed. Lau Hu, Dillon, Sabrina (who will be arriving later), and the Warden, will hide in the shadowy area around the mausoleum, facing the approach to the building, watching for the necromancer to arrive. The Warden will come out and say whatever it is Warden’s say (“Avast ye evildoer…”) while the others will come out and start whaling on him with baseball bats and pepper spray and a Tazer—or maybe a gun (depending on what Sabrina has). Yuriko will act as a roving scout, warning everyone when he’s coming and from where.
To everyone’s surprise, the Warden does not hate the plan.
Angelica also reveals the possibility of a ghoul being on the premises, though everyone agrees that they can only take on one task at a time right now.
The Warden says that she is prepared to wait here for nightfall, as no one knows for certain when this necromancer is supposed to arrive—the meeting is at midnight, but he could arrive early. Angelica and Lau Hu plan to leave to get a bat and some food. Yuriko invites herself to come along.
Dillon says that he has some stuff that he’s got to take care of but that he will be back by midnight. He texts Sabrina: WHAT TIME ARE YOU GETTING OFF? She texts back: 8 PM. He texts her: EAT EARLY. THIS GOES DOWN AT MIDNIGHT. MEET @CEMETERY @8PM. He heads out of the gates after updating Yuriko and Nick as to his plans and waits for 8 pm outside of the cemetery gates (which close at 5 pm).
November 9, 2012 (8:17 pm)
Sabrina picks up Dillon out from of Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery. He fills her in on the plan that they’ve made against the necromancer. He also asks if she has a Tazer—she does. She’ll bring it to the ambush.
They also discuss the various changes that have come over them since they’ve become “infected”. It appears that the changes have manifested in different ways for each of them. For instance, Sabrina is inhumanly strong, while Dillon isn’t. But Dillon can fade into the shadows and see in the dark with ease, while Sabrina can’t. The two have a successful “hunt” and head back to the cemetery.
Meanwhile, back at Mount Calvary, the Warden breaks out her staff and sword from her dufflebag. Angelica asks her how she thinks the necromancer will probably attack. Capstone says probably spirit evocations. They discuss various wizardly powers and the use of magical objects briefly—including the ability to store magical energies.
As the sun begins to go down, Yuriko excuses herself, shucks her clothes, changes into her fox form, and begins to scout. Back at the mausoleum, Lau Hu asks if she should go out alone. Nick says she’ll be fine, that she knows how to take care of herself. The Warden points out that her scouting was part of the plan. “Okay…it’s nightfall. Take your positions.”
Later, Dillon and Sabrina return, Dillon leading the way so that they don’t need a flashlight. He holds Sabrina’s hand. Yuriko spots them walking down the path, circles them, and approaches. Dillon asks if there’s been any trouble. Yuriko shakes her head. Dillon then pats her head and tells her she’s a good girl. Yuriko hunkers down and nips him, then takes off.
Dillon and Sabrina arrive at the mausoleum, take up their positions, and hide.
November 9, 2012 (11:46 pm)
While scouting in the graveyard, Yuriko hears movement that gets her attention—the crunch of footsteps on leaves. She settles into a bush and sees, coming down a hill toward the rear of the Sandstrom mausoleum, a cloaked figure accompanied by a glowing, semi-transparent floating figure. She bolts into action, running toward the mausoleum, hoping to beat the figure who is going to ruin the ambush by coming into it from the wrong direction.
Yuriko runs into the grove with the mausoleum and finds Dillon, yipping and looking behind her. He manages to catch her meaning, confirming it with a question that she nods yes to. He then texts everyone to alert them to the change in plan. Their prey is coming from the rear. Then he sees the glowing apparition through the trees and the cloaked figure emerge from the grove. So far, the man, the necromancer, doesn’t seem to have noticed anything amiss.
Suddenly, Capstone emerges from behind the mausoleum—between Dillon and necromancer! Sabrina won’t be able to get a clear shot with the Tazer. “Stop in the name of the White Council!” she cries and strikes her staff upon the ground. The earth shakes and what looks like a localized earthquake rocks the necromancer off his feet forcibly, and the snap of a breaking leg is heard above the rumble.
“Kill her!” the man croaks and the spectre begins to move.
The necromancer throws a bolt of energy at the Warden but she catches it on sword and throws it away. Lau Hu runs up and does a sliding kick into necromancer, catching him in some sort of leg hold. Dillon and Sabrina begin to move around the grove, positioning themselves across from the necromancer, and then Sabrina fires her Tazer—missing him. The spectre attacks the Warden, hammering with hard blow of its fist. The Warden attacks the spectre, a flash of light emerging from her hand and striking the creature. Angelica emerges from hiding and attempts to get the spectre’s attention, to no avail.
The necromancer attempts to break free of Lau Hu’s hold, but cannot. Nick runs up from his hiding spot with his baseball and clobbers the necromancer upside his head with it—knocking him out. Angelica evokes an attack of spirit magic against the spectre, hitting it hard and causing a ripple of ectoplasm to spray from its form. This gets its attention. Then Nick hits it in the back of the head with the baseball bat and it dissipates into ectoplasm.
Angelica quickly collects some of the ectoplasm and places it in her specially-prepared vial. Congratulations on a good battle go up all around. The villain is unmasked and revealed to be a twenty-something Hispanic man with curly hair and boyish good looks. Dillon plucks a few hairs from his head. Angelica checks him for pages of the book, they only find a paper bag with a stack of twenty dollar bills inside.
There is a brief discussion of finding his lair and such but Capstone assures everyone that the White Council has resources and would be pursuing that course of action. Dillon gets an assurance from Capstone that she will contact them if this was “right guy or not.”
Capstone packs up her gear and props the unconscious necromancer on her other shoulder and starts walking toward the gates. Everyone follows. When they get to the gates, the Warden attempts to open them but fails. Nick manipulates the locks with a bit of force magic and then opens them, letting everyone out.
The Warden loads the necromancer into her car and takes off.
Angelica and Dillon shake hands. “Good working with you.” “You too.”
Dillon asks about the ghoul situation. Angelica agrees that it’s got to be looked into, but “to be honest, my talents would be more for any disturbances it left behind.”
Dillon asks if the spirits are ever very specific, or are they always vague like the one in the cemetery today. “It varies.”
Angelica asks Dillon, “What is on your list of things to do?”
“Ghoul hunt, now that necro-hideout is off my list. Can’t have all these grave desecrations.”
Yuriko, Nick, and Dillon all pile into Sabrina’s car and head home while Angelica and Lau Hu pile into hers.