The Dresden Files: Portland

Scenario Five, Session Seven
Days of Future Past, Part Seven

October 31, 2012 (Midnight)

Everyone is sitting in the darkened sanctuary of the Church of St. John the Revelator. Reverend Donald Buxman has just given Gary Faith the sanctuary of the Church despite his actions against Benjamin Hutton. Dillon pulls the Reverend aside and asks him what happens next with Gary.

" I’ll be consulting with Father O’Donnovan about that. He has some contacts with Rome. "

Dillon seems fascinated by this. “Do you mean there’s a Vatican prison that he’s going to?”

Reverend Buxman shrugs. “Something like that is very likely. I don’t know the details but the Church has been combating evil such as this for a very long time and has measures against those that participate in it.”

" So, am I calling Capstone? " Nick asks.

“Yes,” Dillon says. Nick goes off to make the call.

Dillon then asks if Sabrina can get access to handcuffs or manacles with which to subdue Hutton when the time comes. She says she probably can. They decide that they’ll need two sets, for his hands and his feet. Buxman says that he and O’Donnovan will handle the gathering of the sacramental implements for the exorcism. Meanwhile, everyone just hangs out to wait for the Warden to arrive.

After about an hour, the church echoes with a knock at the sanctuary door. Dillon goes to answer it, peeking out of the nearby window. He sees a female form in a long grey cloak, slightly bloodstained at the bottom. He opens the door. The form lowers the hood to reveal Leilani Capstone. She enters the church without preamble, taking in the scene. " Mr. Salieri was very vague on the phone. " Dillon begins. “There is a situation with a demon.” This gets the Warden’s attention.

Buxman gives the Warden a bit of the history of the demon, how he and Beauvais had exorcised it twenty years ago and now it was back for revenge. Capstone responds that the White Council is not usually called in for exorcisms. Dillon agrees and says that her role would be more for along the lines of containment, that they want to set a magical trap for demon so that the priests can do their work. He wants to know if she thinks that is possible. She says it is, but that if they want to spring a trap that they need a lure. Dillon reminds her that the demon hates Buxman. She seems incredulous that they intend to use the priest as bait. Dillon also allows that the demon has promised to kill him next time he sees him as well.

They set aside the idea of the lure and settle into a discussion of the trap itself. Capstone can essentially set up a reverse ward, a powerful magical circle on the ceiling of the sanctuary. She will set herself up in the rafters in order to activate it at the right time. Yuriko thinks that the fact that they are on consecrated ground will add to the power of the warding, though the wizard and the priest is not sure as neither have performed such an act on holy ground before.

Returning to the idea of getting Hutton to the church, Capstone brings up the idea of using the demon’s name to lure him in as an irritant. She can amplify it with her power, drawing the demon toward the church.

Of course, there is still the problem of what to do once Hutton is in the ward. Can Reverend Buxman and Father O’Donnovan perform the exorcism without laying hands on Hutton? Buxman isn’t sure—he’ll have to consult with O’Donnovan. He’ll make a phone call. But his gut tells him that if he can, it’ll be more difficult. Could others perform the physical part of the sacraments—apply the holy wafers, holy water, etc.? Yes, they could. Would they harm Sabrina if she were helping subdue Hutton? Yes, they could, with her special. . .condition. Buxman returns with word that, yes, the exorcism could be performed without the priests laying hands on the subject.

Finally they decide that once he is subdued with manacles, they will strap Hutton down to a makeshift “table” made of 2×4s, allowing Sabrina to be out of the way of the holy implements. Dillon and the others will be briefed on the cues of the sacraments in order to help the priests administer them so that they do not have to enter the circle. Dillon and Sabrina will subdue Hutton while Yuriko will be on ladder detail and Nick will be on standby with the makeshift table.

Capstone points at Gary and asks “What is his role in this?”

Dillon responds that " He’s our tie into Hutton. He’s how we knew he was a practitioner and not a Wizard. He’s going to be out of the way. "

Everyone is on-board with the plan and arrangements are made to contact the Warden at least an hour before “go” time. She will be in contact with Buxman for access to church to complete her ritual preparations while everyone waits on O’Donnovan’s arrival.

Capstone then asks if anyone has Benjamin Hutton’s True Name. Everyone looks to Gary. He denies that he has it. But Reverend Buxman turns to him and rebukes him, saying that considering all that has been done for him that he ought to come out with it if he knows it. He comes clean and reveals that his true name is Benjamin Brandon Hutton. Capstone also has Buxman write down the demon’s name for her. The Warden also would like a personal belonging of Hutton’s for the ritual, if possible. Sabrina says she can get it from his apartment.

The Warden then asks if Hutton summoned this demon. Dillon says that he did. Then she asks if he will be turned over to her when this exorcism is done. “Well,” he says, “our investigation revealed that he believed that he was summoning a spirit of knowledge.” Capstone responds that the White Council will make that determination and bear that in mind.

Buxman says that he will let everyone know when Father O’Donnovan arrives in Portland. Finally everyone disperses and goes home for the night.

November 1, 2012

The next day, Nick and Dillon borrow the church’s van to go to Home Depot to gather supplies for the makeshift “table” to be used to secure Hutton. Sabrina gathers some of Hutton’s belongings from his apartment for Capstone and also secures two sets of manacles while the Warden begins preparing her rituals. Yuriko begins preparations of sandwiches and Gatorade for everyone.

Buxman and Dillon discuss the possibility further interfering in White Council business regarding Hutton. Or, alternately, trusting that the man will be found innocent and leaving it be. Buxman brings up the possibility that the Council will want to speak the two of them, being as how Dillon brought up the fact that his investigation is what shed light on Hutton’s innocence. This upsets Dillon, making him think of being railroaded into some sort of tribunal, with rubber hoses and such. Buxman thinks that it will only come that as a last resort, that they will work through the Warden. Dillon is not reassured.

November 2, 2012

During the day, the makeshift “table” is built. That afternoon, Father O’Donnovan arrives from Boston. Nick, Yuriko, Dillon, andReverend Buxman all meet with the priest in Buxman’s office.

O’Donnovan is a brusque, cranky, and rather intense. It’s hard to tell if that’s just his manner, the jet lag, or something else. He’s not happy about the part of the plan in which the demon is being tackled in the circle. He thinks its foolhardy and dangerous. He keeps saying how he’s seen people that have their necks snapped by possessed people and he doesn’t want to see it again. Finally, he relents and accepts it, moving on to talk about Gary Faith.

Gary is apparently going to be picked up in a couple of days by agents of the Church from Rome. The debate is whether to wait to do the exorcism until he’s gone in order to delay dealing with the White Council regarding Hutton. Hutton is sure to finger Gary as soon as he’s able and then that will put the Church in an awkward position unless Gary is long gone. However, Buxman reminds everyone that they have a moral obligation to deal with the demon sooner rather than later. Buxman says that he will talk with his superiors in the Diocese about backing his decision to give Gary sanctuary. He should have already done this anyway—that was a mistake on his part. O’Donnovan says that regardless the men from Rome are coming. In the course of the conversation, O’Donnovan makes it known that he probably wouldn’t have given Gary sanctuary, but then he’s a “weak, sinful man—aren’t we all?” This cynicism takes Dillon aback.

While Buxman goes away to speak to his superiors, Dillon has O’Donnavan brief him and the others on the cues of the exorcism sacrament. Over the course of the conversation, he tries to glean an insight on the nature of the man’s faith, but fails. Finally, Buxman returns and says that the Diocese will back his play—begrudgingly—though they do wish that he had consulted with them first. He believes that the fact that the gentlemen from Rome are on their way did sway their decision.

With the backing of the Diocese on the sanctuary, the group decides to go ahead and begin their plan.

Dillon takes Buxman aside and asks he feels that O’Donnovan is the right man for this exorcism. Buxman reassures him that he is the most experienced exorcist he could find, that he has seen and battled much darkness in his time. Dillon is afraid that he is much too cynical and maybe not faithful enough for the job. Buxman says that he has faith in him.

Dillon then goes to see Gary and tells him “I hope you appreciate what everyone’s doing for you, when it’s easier to just to give you over to the Wardens.”

“Oh, I do,” Gary says, though Dillon isn’t convinced he means it.

Dillon then calls Sabrina and tells her to meet them at the Church of St. John the Revelator. The plan is about to go down. He then takes Buxman aside again and asks if O’Donnovan knows about his and Sabrina’s special natures. “No. . .I thought it best to omit that.”

“Will he react badly?”

“I wasn’t sure.”

“I’ll take that as a yes, then.”

Everyone loads up in the church van and heads over to St. Johns. Pews are cleared out of the entry way and looking up Yuriko sees the magical sigils that Warden Capstone has painted on the ceiling to form the wards that will be used to trap Hutton.

Dillon uses some of the extra paint left behind by Capstone to draw two magical circles for the priests to stand in. Then they call the Warden. Sabrina arrives soon after and is briefed on the plan. About a half hour after that, the Warden arrives.

The Warden has Reverend Buxman sit in the center of the “circle” formed by her ward. She then has him begin to repeatedly say the name of the demon. “Athralanax. Ahtralanax. Athralanax.” She is up in the rafters, chanting to her self. Others can make out parts of chant including the name “Benjamin Brandon Hutton”. A warm wind of power forms in the column formed by the painted circle and the Reverend, moving his hair. “Athralanax. Athralanax. Athralanax.” Yuriko observes the ritual, noting how the wizard is attempting form a supernatural connection with Hutton’s body as the priest attempts to form a connection with the spirit within. She also notes that the some of the trappings of the spell are similar to a summoning. Dillon takes up a position watching out of the front windows of the church. Finally, after about forty-five minutes, Dillon sees Hutton walking down the sidewalk in front of the building. The sun is going down and the wind is blowing leaves across the sidewalk.

“Positions everyone! He’s here!”

Everyone moves and Capstone changes the cadence of her chant. Dillon powers up his magical circles around the priests. Hutton opens the front doors to the church. He is met with silence. He steps inside.

“Buxman, you should know better than to call my name. Even this paltry chapel won’t protect you from me.”

Buxman calls back. “It is time for you to go back where you belong.”

Hutton begins to cross the room. Once he hits the area of the ward a loud whomp is heard and a shimmer light forms around him. The priests begin the Lord’s Prayer as Yuriko begins to move out from her hiding place with the ladder. Hutton sights Dillon standing between the priests and says “You! You will burn for this! Fuego!” He points a finger at Dillon and the column of light fills with flame. Hutton howls in anger and pain but no flames leave the column. Nick begins moving out from his hiding place with the makeshift table as Capstone skitters along the ceiling rafters toward the ladder. Sabrina moves from hiding toward the warded area and sweeps Hutton’s feet, knocking him off-balance. Dillon moves forward and begins to grapple with him, taking advantage of his toppled state.

Yuriko moves forward to grab a old candlestick she might need as a weapon should need arise. Hutton continues to struggle in Dillon‘s grasp, his supernatural strength stymied by both the ward and the consecrated ground. Nick continues to standby with the “table” until Hutton is subdued. Capstone shimmies down the ladder as Sabrina manages to get manacles on Hutton’s feet. Dillon then reinforces his hold on the demon and forces him prone to the ground.

Yuriko moves a bit closer to the action as Hutton manages to break himself free of Dillon’s hold, spitting and cussing the entire time. Nick continues to stand by as Capstone joins Yuriko. Sabrina grabs the still-prone Hutton and holds him down while Dillon manacles his hands.

Yuriko then runs around the action and shuts the front door. She then returns to stand with Capstone. Hutton struggles against his bonds, describing with agonizing detail how horribly they will all die at his hands. Nick slides the “table” to them while Sabrina and Dillon secure the demon to the boards with straps.

The priests have been praying throughout this entire exchange. Now the liturgy changes to exorcism sacraments proper and Dillon begins applying the wafers, the holy water, and the stole from his fanny pack at the proper cues. Everyone gathers around the ward and watches as the exorcism takes place. Finally, Hutton ceases to struggle and spit and a misty entity exits his body from his mouth and nostrils and hovers in the air for a moment and fades away.

Hutton opens his eyes and blinks taking in the scene around him. All he says is “I’m very thirsty.” Dillon what the last thing he remembers is. After a few halting sentences he says that he remembers everything—like a bad dream.

He’s unstrapped from the boards and Yuriko digs into the cooler for a Gatorade for him. Capstone steps forward. “Do you know who I am?”

“I have a pretty good idea.”

“Then you know you’ll be coming with me.”

After everyone has some food and Gatorade, the Warden leaves with Hutton. As she goes, she turns to Dillon and says “You did good work.” Dillon watches as they head down the street. He asks O’Donnovan how they will know if the men who come for Gary will be legitimate—what if the White Council send someone after Gary claiming to be from the VBI (what Dillon has taken to calling the men from Rome). O’Donnovan says that the men will have official seals from Rome. Everyone loads up into the van and heads home, after taking O’Donnovan to his hotel room.

November 3, 2012

The next afternoon, Dillon is told that there is someone outside the church looking for him. He goes outside and is met with a stunningly handsome young man in threadbare, bargain bin clothes. He introduces himself as Trevidian and asks if they can talk.

Dillon is instantly suspicious, knowing that Trevidian is Lyst Cather’s dad and that he is supposed to be imprisoned by Queen Mab of the Winter Court. Also that he is reputed to be creative and cruel.

“How do you know me?” he asks the rogue Sidhe.

“If you must know, I got your name from Queen Mab.” This did not reassure Dillon, knowing that his name was known to the court. “I understand that you are looking into the matter of the death of my son. I owe someone a blood debt for that. How close are you to figuring out who I can exact my vengeance upon?”

“I honestly don’t know. I’m only eliminating people at this point. Hubbard was interfering but didn’t kill your son. According to the gruff, he only wanted to interfere with your ability to collect on the blood debt. But then you’ve had a long-standing friendship with him.”

“Will you keep me informed of your progress on this? If you’re already looking into this anyway?”

Dillon sighed. “Look, no offense, but I’m already tied up with you people enough.”

Trevidian‘s expression darkened. "Very well. If you will not help me find my son’s killer, then stay out of my way." Then he stormed off.

After the other man was out of sight, Dillon calls Gordon. “Guess who showed up at my house?”

“If the rumors I’m hearing are correct, I have a good a guess.”

“He wanted me to help him find his son’s killer. I told I didn’t want to get involved. Was that the right or wrong thing to say? Have I made a lot of enemies now?”

“You’re certainly asking for a lot of free advice. . .”

“No, I’m exchanging information. Now you know the rumors are true and you know he talked to me and what about. Do what you want with that. In exchange, answer my questions.”

“You’re learning to play the game very well for a mortal.”

“Will he stalk me?

“Only if he thinks you’re on the trial of his son’s killer. You have probably made an enemy of Trevidian, but he will not be distracted by petty slights at this time or he will go right back into his prison.”

“Then Mab has him on a tight leash?”

“You could say that. He was released for one purpose, to secure the blood debt against the killer of his son.”

Dillon hung up with Gordon and called Yuriko, catching her up on the latest events. Then he called Tom to arrange a lunch with him.

The two met at Darla’s Diner near the Police Bureau. Dillon caught the police detective up on the visit with Trevidian and the blood debt. He also gave Tom a description of Trevidian and a reminded him of the efficacy of iron against the fae. Tom said he would bear all of this in mind as he continued his investigation, which, by the way, had no further leads.

Dillon then returns to the church and catches up Reverend Buxman on Trevidian situation.

That night, Yuriko and Hana go running with the wolves in Forest Park.

November 4, 2012

That morning, Gary is picked up from the church by two very well-dressed men in a rental car and taken to the airport.

The rest of the group collect iron filings.

November 5, 2012 (Late Night)

Late that night, Dillon feels called away from the church and goes out for a walk. He finds himself in a nearby park. He hears the crunch of footsteps behind him. He turns and sees Leilani Capstone.

“I was coming to the church, but this is as good a place as any.”

Dillon blinks. "It’s kind of late to be calling. . . "

" Where’s Gary Faith? "

“I couldn’t say.”

“Can’t or won’t?”

“I honestly don’t know where he is.”

The Warden seems to read the truth on his face because she changes tactics. " Hutton says that Faith set him up. "

Dillon nods . “That’s where the investigation directed us and he admitted as much.”

“And yet you didn’t turn him over to me.”

“You were very specific about taking Hutton.”

“Is that the game you’re going to play?”

“No game. I’m giving you very specific information and he, Gary, requested very specific things. If it helps, I can testify as to what I know.”

Capstone gives him sidewise glance. " You’d be willing to testify in front of the Council? "

Dillon raises his hands. “Can’t I just tell you and you write it down? Would I have to go somewhere?”

Capstone smirks. “I can take your written testimony.” Nevertheless, she seems perturbed at the situation.

“I last saw Gary being taken away by two well-dressed men called by Father O’Donnovan. Gary asked for help from the Church and got it. It was a chance for repentance that he would have never gotten from the Wardens.”

Capstone sighs. “And you swear upon your name that this testimony is the truth?”

Dillon affirms that it is.

“Then I will take it to the Council.” Capstone turns and walks back into the night.

November 6, 2012 (Early Morning)

Dillon returns to the church to see police cars and an ambulance. Reverend Buxman is there speaking to the police about an apparent break-in. Father Tyler, one of the younger priests of the parish, is in the ambulance. He was badly beaten. Buxman, though, seems oddly confident that answers will be coming soon. Dillon wonders what that means.

He takes the priest aside and catches him up on the Capstone/Gary Faith situation. He also speculates on whether the break-in has anything to do with current events. Buxman doesn’t think so. “My gut says no. My faith tells me no.”

Dillon asks if there is anything he can do. Buxman responds only to pray and to persevere. Dillon calls Yuriko and updates her on the situation. There was no forced entry into the church. No disturbance in the sanctuary. Only the beating of Father Tyler. . .

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Scenario Five, Session Six
Days of Future Past, Part Six

October 30, 2012 (Late night)

After a late night, everyone finally goes home, Sabrina dropping everyone off. Along the way, there is a discussion of the use of magic circles and wards that may be used to contain Benjamin Hutton. Nick offers to teach the others to make magic circles that can be used by anyone as a form of protection. They all speculate on the ability to use the demon’s name to lure him into some kind of trap.

October 31, 2012 (Morning)

Hana and Yuriko do some research at Powells on demonology: how to stop a demon, protection, etc. They learn that with the demon being inside a human host that he is a lot less vulnerable to supernatural protections than if he had come across as a ectoplasmic entity on its own. They also confirm Nick’s speculation that its power would be weakened by thresholds created by magic circles.

Nick conducts a class in his home on how to infuse the power of will into a magic circle of protection for Hana, Yuriko, and Dillon. They have many questions for him and he does his best to answer them. Hopefully they will be better prepared to protect themselves against some of their supernatural enemies in future with this knowledge.

After his class, Nick heads out to talk to some of the paranetters about blood magic—primarily, what carving up a body with symbols after a ritual murder could achieve. The team still doesn’t have any leads on the ritual murder of Lyst Cathers, Brendon Adams, or Joel Hahn. At first he’s asked to inquire about the possibility of speaking with the dead spirit of Joel Hahn—maybe he can shed some light on his killer—but Nick balks at that. He says it gets awfully close to necromancy which is against the laws of magic. Plus, the Paranetters are all minor talents, there aren’t any that are probably powerful enough to pull that off. Nick also plans on checking in with John Daymar on his divination of the crime scene slag that Sabrina managed to get to him last night.

While Nick is out and about, Dillon decides to call Reverend Buxman with to get updated on the demon hunter possibilities and to ask a few questions about invoking this demon’s name. The priest tells him that the demon hunter possibility didn’t pan out, but that he has contacted an exorcist out of Boston that will be coming in to help. He should be in Portland on November 2nd. His name is Father Seamus O’Donnovan. As far invoking the demon’s name, you wouldn’t be able to summon him per se, but it would act as an irritant. Buxman would advise against doing that unless you had good reason. Dillon then asks if there is an old church that the diocese isn’t using that may be used as a possible site to lure the demon into and hold him should the need arise. Buxman suggests the Church of St. John the Revelator, an abandoned church in Nob Hill that the diocese is no longer using because it could no longer afford.

After concluding his conversation with the Reverend, Dillon then calls Tom Casing at the Police Bureau. Tom has no new leads on the serial killer case. He’s reviewing old cases to see if there are any matches in the details. Dillon asks him for permission to reveal the details of some of the carvings on the bodies to some other occult experts in order to dig up some leads on that end of things. Tom is reluctant at first—he doesn’t want to spread detailed information on the carvings around to encourage copy cats—but acquiesces finally to Dillon’s persuasive arguments.

Later that day, Nick returns from his outings with the Parnetters and with John Daymar. The Parnetters didn’t have much to offer as far as information. They were baffled as to why someone attempting blood magic would be carving a body after the fact. Blood magic is usually performed to gather power for a magical act with the death of the body being the culmination of that act. The carving would be to focus that power beforehand, not afterwards.

Nick’s information from John Daymar is much more fruitful. He recorded his session with Daymar on cassette (the diviner probably would have fried a digital recorder). Also, according to Nick, Daymar is pretty upset about what he saw and says that the group “owes him big time”. This is largely due to the fact that in the course of his vision, he saw a man get burned alive—probably Reverend Beauvais.

The recording is of Daymar describing what he is seeing and Nick indicates that he is holding the slag from the fire site that Sabrina provided:

““I see flames. Nothing but fire and smoke and heat surround me. Now I see a cross on the wall.” He taps the slag on his lap. “This. He burns this.”

“I see a man sleeping in a bed. Another man approaches, a tall bald man. I smell smoke behind me. The man in bed wakes up. Oh god, he’s burning. He’s screaming, burning. Oh god, I’m watching him burn… The bald man turns toward the cross on the wall.”

“The vision is shifting from the cross, from the house. I see the bald man. He walks across the lawn of the college. Two uniformed men approach him. He strikes one and his neck turns, hard. The other attempts to tackle him but the bald man throws him like a doll to the ground. He continues across the grounds.”

“I see the bald man again. He’s riding in a car. A cab. It’s driven by a woman in one of those Greek fisherman caps. He’s watching out the window. Her license is reflected in it. Kit Hardison is the driver.”

“He’s in the car again. Now he’s parked across the street from an antique shop. Faith Antiques.He watches as a man locks the door to the shop and makes his way down the street. He tells the driver to go to the University of Portland.”

“He’s in an alleyway and lifting a man up by his collar. An Indian man, maybe a Pakistani, I don’t know. ‘Where is Gary Faith?’ he demands. The other guy says he doesn’t know and the bald man produces fire in his free hand and brings up close to the Indian’s face. ‘I don’t believe you,’ he says. ‘Fine, fine. He’s got a shop over in Hawthorne. An antique shop. I don’t know anything else, I swear.’”

That’s all that’s on the recording. Dillon immediately calls Reverend Buxman and asks if he knows a Gary Faith or an Indian or Pakistani man that may be mixed up in this. Buxman says that he does not. So Faith may be someone that either the demon or that Hutton knows. And if so, he may be mixed up in this mess as someone who instigated this mess in the first place. He may know, or may be the one, who sabotaged Hutton’s circle.

Dillon calls Sabrina and lets her know that he has more information on the demon Hutton but it won’t pass the smell test for a court of law. As a result, he needs her to get an address for a Gary Faith. Also, could she get information on a taxi driver named Kit Hardison? These will have to be off the record, of course. She says she can and says goodbye.

October 31, 2012 (Evening)

The gang all head over to Barry’s Drafthouse to see Daymar in hopes of more details on his vision. Daymar is not happy to see them, but cooperates. They discuss the vision in more detail, but it’s clear from the vision that Hutton is more interested in Gary Faith the man than in the antique shop. Yuriko invites John back to her place for dinner, but he declines and stays at the bar.

Back at Yuriko‘s apartment, she does some internet researching into Gary Faith but only manages to pull up a non-helpful web ad for his antique store. Dillon calls Sabrina and asks if she’s found anything on Gary yet. She seems surprised and asks if there was a rush. He says that yes, actually, that he may be a target for Hutton. She says she’ll get on it and call him back. After a short while, she calls back and gives Dillon an address in Hawthorne. At Dillon’s suggestion, she’ll patrol the Hawthorne district and await their call for help if they need it. Hana will remain at the apartment.

Yuriko, Dillon, and Nick all head to the address that Sabrina provided. It turns out to be Faith Antiques. Gary must live at the shop. The porchlight is off—he must not want any trick-or-treaters. The three maintain a distance from the shop and watch. Then Yuriko strips down and changes into fox-form to check to perform a security perimeter of the house.

Going around the outside of the house, Yuriko observes that the windows all have security wires around them and there is a keypad at the backdoor. She also notes that there are lights on and a TV playing on the second floor. Security lights are on in the first floor shop area. She does a second trot around the perimeter to look for other observers and then rejoins the others and takes back on her human form.

The three discuss their next course of action. Ring the bell? Face directly? Be circumspect? He’s going to be suspicious of strangers, especially on Halloween. Dillon calls Sabrina. He gives her a heads up that they are at the address, but that he might call the police if they knock. Could she take the call if he does? She informs him that it would be a bit weird, but she could. How about if she just gives them a heads up if the call goes out? Okay, she could do that as well. . .

They decide that Yuriko and Dillon will go to the door and that Nick will stay outside as lookout in case Hutton comes calling. Dillon rings the bell several times before a slightly disheveled, balding man comes out, insisting that his porchlight was off before being brought up short by the fact that the ringers were not costumed children. “Who are you?”

Dillon introduces them and says that they have some information about Benjamin Hutton and why he might be tailing him. This pronouncement seems to set Faith aback, at first frightening and then surprising him. “May we come in and discuss it?” Faith invites them inside and leads them through the shop to a staircase leading up to a loft apartment. As they make their way through, Yuriko gets no supernatural “vibe” from the shop at all—it is full of high-end antiques and knick-knacks.

They sit down in the apartment after Gary mutes the television. “Now, who are you?”

“Well, like we said, I’m Dillon and this is Yuriko. . .”

" No, I mean, how do you know Hutton? "

“We have a mutual acquaintance.”

“Who’s that?”

" A Reverend Buxman. "

This seems to confound Gary, so Dillon takes the opportunity to start asking the questions. “How do you know Hutton?”

“We ran in similar circles. I thought we could work together—apparently, more than he did.”

“Do you have any idea why he’d follow you?” Dillon asks.

“No, I don’t have any idea.” But Dillon feels like not only does he know, but that the thought of it frightens Gary.

“Why are you so nervous, Gary? Why would Hutton rough up some Pakistani guy to find you?” This seems to get Faith’s attention even further, sweat breaking out on his brow. “Look, Gary. We can help you if you give us more information. If we know what is going on. This has gotten the attention of the Church. What does that mean to you Gary? What is going on?”

Finally, the man breaks down and seems to tell the truth. He provided Hutton with a summoning. A demon summoning, though Hutton thought it was for a spirit of Knowledge. He also sabotaged the man’s summoning circle. He thought that the demon would kill Hutton in revenge for not partnering with him in some supernatural endeavor. He felt slighted because Hutton called him an “amateur”. Faith didn’t reckon on possession. He didn’t reckon on Hutton coming back for revenge. He apparently got the summoning with one of his shipments of antiques. He stole the scroll back from Hutton’s apartment later.

Dillon’s phone rings—it’s Nick. Hutton just pulled up in a cab. “We’ve got to get out of here, Gary. It’s Hutton. Where’s the scroll?”

“Downstairs. In my sanctuary”

“Let’s get it.”

The three run downstairs as Dillon speed-dials Sabrina. They hear a booming sound as the front door of shop is kicked open with great force. “Gaaaarrryyy!” Hutton croons.

“Is there a way out of your sanctuary?” Dillon whispers, Sabrina answering on the phone line in his ear.

“No,” Gary replies

“Forget it. Let’s get out of here.” He directs his attention to Sabrina. “Pick us up at the shop now. It’s Hutton. He’s here.”

“I’m on my way.”

The three in the shop sneak their way toward the back door.

“Let’s shed some light on the subject,” they hear Hutton call out. They hear a whoosh and suddenly antiques along the walls behind them erupt into flames. At the door, Gary starts typing in the alarm code. “Hurry!” Dillon cries out as more antiques burn.

Finally, the door opens and the three spill out into the night and start running. Dillon calls out to Nick and he catches up to them. Yuriko looks back to the house and sees it glowing in flames, a figure standing on the porch, his eyes reflecting the firelight, staring at them as they run away into the night. Sabrina pulls up and they all pile into the car and she drives off. Dillon calls Reverend Buxman and catches him up on the situation. They all decide to meet at the abandoned St. John’s church.

At the church, Sabrina is obviously very uncomfortable under the holy threshold. Buxman is already there. Gary is informed by Dillon that he is basically under citizen’s arrest until they can figure out what to do with him. In the meantime, he’s safest here than anywhere else from the demon that looking for him. A long discussion ensues about what to do about Gary and about Hutton. Buxman doesn’t like the White Council’s summary execution methods but also does not condone what Gary has done and does not think the Church would either. Nick and Yuriko are for calling the Warden to help deal with Hutton—and, thus, Gary. Buxman (and, to some degree, Dillon) are uncomfortable with this idea). At the same time, Buxman does not want to lie (“bear false witness”) either. Finally, Buxman turns to Gary and asks him if he seeks the sanctuary of the Church. Gary, almost eager, says “Yes. Yes I do.” Buxman nods and says. " Very well. Call the Warden. We will seek her aid. But she will not have this man. He is under the Church’s protection. "

View
Scenario Five, Session Five
Days of Future Past, Part Five

October 27, 2012

Hana and Yuriko visit Nick in the hospital. They learn that they while they will be releasing him that afternoon, his injury is still healing and will be for a little while. They decide to hang out with him until they release him and to escort him back to his apartment.

Around noon, Dillon decides to call Jack Sigo to get updated on the plan for the 30th. The Elders still want to deal with Eris on their own. Jack is working on some mojo to help on the raid of Eris’ cave on Mount Hood. In talking out the plan, it’s decided that disguises would probably be a good thing to have, so that way the would-be victim of Eris’ sacrifice would not recognize his assailants and her saviors and they would all have more deniability in the endeavor. The two joke that Jack should have a Lone Ranger mask and Dillon a Tonto mask. They decide to show up at Jack’s house at 2pm on the 30th and they’ll head up to the mountain, hoping to hike up to the cave by 5. Then they can get the drop on Eris.

Yuriko texts Dillon from Nick’s apartment, letting him know that Nick is still not 100% okay. She then calls Dillon and gets updated on his conversation with Jack. Dillon asks her to go to the Spirit store and get some masks for them.

Yuriko then goes back to her apartment with Hana. On the way, Hana asks her “What are you doing and how can I help?” Yuriko considers this a moment and answers. “We’re trying to save a girl from being ritually sacrificed. I’ll have to ask the others if you can help. Are you up to it?”

Hana shrugs. “I’m tired of being toured around from your apartment to your parents house to Nick’s apartment and back.”

" That’s fair. Anzu sent you to me to learn about fox things. Maybe we can train with a wolf pack I know? Learn more about hiding and running and being a fox? Would you like that? "

“Okay, I guess.”

Yuriko texts Dillon with Hana’s offer of help and asks if it will be a problem. Dillon responds that test it would—it’s not a good time to vet new talent. She then brings up the idea of honing their talents with the wolf pack. Dillon reiterates that this outing is a bad idea but the wolf pack might work for later.

Yuriko then calls Cali and asks her for a favor. Could the pack help her and her cousin with some training exercises in Forest Park at night? She also updates her on the goat-man situation, letting Cali know that it has been resolved. Cali thinks the training idea is a good one and offers to put in a good word with Troy, who is still alpha of the pack. She’ll let Yuriko know what he says.

After that, Yuriko and Hana go get the masks for the others. For Nick, she gets a Yoda mask. For Jack, a Lone Ranger mask (at Dillon’s insistence—something about an inside joke). For herself, a fox mask. And for Dillon, a ninja outfit. Finally, she and Hana go to Powell’s to do research on ritual magic. Essentially, common protections involve disrupting either the caster or the linked objects involved in the spell. Also, all magic dissipates in sunlight. Some casters even go to great lengths to keep their hair and nails from falling into the wrong hands so that they don’t become sympathetic links for ritual spells. Yuriko passes on the fruits of her research to Dillon and Nick.

That night, Dillon goes on “Demon Patrol”— essentially, tailing Buxman (with his knowledge, of course), making sure that Hutton doesn’t show up and cause trouble. Dillon also lets Buxman know what he’s doing on the 30th regarding Killian Eris (mostly so that someone knows what happened to him if something goes wrong). Dillon also gives the priest Tom Casing’s and Sabrina’s contact information, just in case. Buxman says that he will pray for his success.

October 28, 2012 (10:00 pm)

Dillon receives a text from Sabrina: “On a job. If I don’t txt back in 2 hrs send police” She then texts an address.

Dillon texts back: “Oh crap. What’s going down?”

“Don’t worry. Have back up.”

“If this is Italian bloodsucker related, you have to call me first.”

“No time. In motion. Just be there for me.”

Dillon calls Yuriko and relates the text conversation. He’s worried about what he should do. She’s obviously going after Armando, which is a bad idea, but he has to guard Reverend Buxman. After a brief discussion, Dillon decides to go to the address while Yuriko watches Buxman.

Dillon lets the priest know about the change in the guard and leaves the address with Buxman, just in case something goes wrong. Meanwhile, Yuriko asks if Hana wants to accompany her to watch Buxman. Hana says she will go. They head over to Buxman’s home where she hands him her phone. Yuriko also explains to Hana who they’re looking out for and that, above all, she is to not engage with Hutton.

Dillon heads for the address Sabrina had texted. It leads him to a small marina on the waterfront. He checks out the exterior of the marina—quiet. He then walks along the exterior, gazing toward the various slips and outlying buildings. Also quiet. Suddenly, the ground beneath his feet ripples in a very localized earthquake, originating from within the marina. He skulks into the marina proper in hopes of finding the source of the disturbance—and Sabrina. As he investigates, he hears the bloodcurdling scream of a man in pain. He can’t pinpoint where it comes from, so he frantically searches for the source. Then he hears a bestial shriek—familiar from his memories of when he was attacked by a Red Court Vampire. This sound he can pinpoint and follows it to a lit, empty slip. He cautiously approaches from the rear and peers inside.

Standing on the ledge around the empty dock is Sabrina. She is facing a winged, demonic beast with a wickedly broken leg. It kneels on its one good leg, gazing up at the implacable face of Warden Leilani Capstone. Capstone brings a her sword down on the beast’s neck and severs it from its shoulders. Dillon backs away slowly, careful not to be seen, and then takes off. He catches a bus to take him back home. As he rides, he gets a text from Sabrina: “Everything is good”

“What’s good?”

“Our Columbian friend is not a problem anymore”

“I can’t say I approve of you going after Mr. Italiano”

“Capstone had a plan. Risky, but got the job done. We both take risks”

Dillon is silent for the rest of the ride home.

October 29, 2012 (2:00 am)

Meanwhile, Yuriko and Hana have been having a quiet night watching Buxman’s home. Dillon returns and tells Yuriko what he witnessed, telling her to not reveal to anyone that he was actually there. Hana and Dillon exchange numbers, since Buxman still has Yuriko’s phone, and the two girls head back home while Dillon remains on watch. Yuriko reassures Hana that she won’t have to worry about Armando anymore.

October 29, 2012

Buxman returns Yuriko’s phone to Dillon to return to her. Dillon takes the opportunity to fill Buxman in on the end of Armando. There are still other vampires in Portland, but at least this one has been dealt with.

Cali calls Yuriko, letting her know that Troy says that it’s all set with the pack for her training exercises. Whenever they’d like to start, the pack is in. She gives Yuriko Troy’s contact information. Yuriko contacts Troy and they set up a meet that evening in Forest Park.

True to their word, the pack meets Yuriko and Hana that night at Forest Park. Troy is his usual cocky self but the rest of the pack seems glad to be there. They set up the rules—essentially tag with a 15 minute head start for the foxes. No biting, no blood. They’ll play for two hours and see how the foxes do. Hana seems a bit nervous and terrified, but, after they get started, settles into the game fairly well. Nevertheless, neither kitsune fares very well during the inaugural games. Still, it seems like a good time was had by all and it will suit Yuriko and Hana’s training needs really well. They all agree to meet again and go their separate ways.

October 30, 2012

Buxman wakes Dillon up in the morning with some bad news: Reverend Beauvais was killed last night. Apparently his house was burned to the ground around him. The cause of death and of the fire are being investigated. A few of the University security personnel were severely injured, but not killed, as well. Dillon asks if this is normal for the demon. Buxman responds that if he wanted the victims to suffer, then certainly. Dillon asks if Buxman can handle this demon alone. The priest honestly doesn’t know. It was hard enough with two of them twenty years ago. Now and alone? He doesn’t know. But, Buxman says he may have to recruit someone. Dillon asks if there are exorcists available and Buxman says that there are some, not a lot. Even amongst the faithful, who have fought evil for two thousand years, there are some who think of it merely as mysticism.

“Do you have any kind of plan?” Dillon asks. “Waiting for him to come to us sucks, as Beauvais can attest to. Can we track him? Trace him?”

Buxman shrugs. “Not my line. Perhaps a magical practitioner could.”

Dillon calls Nick and asks him about tracking the demon. Nick confirms that they’re talking a possessed mortal, not an ectoplasmic construct. So, no, not really, there would be a demon trace any more than the DNA of the mortal person he’s riding in. But, if he used magic to start the fire, then maybe that could be tracked. If a diviner could get a connection to the site, the closer the better, then it could be done remotely. Dillon talks him into contacting John Daymar to do the divining. Nick warns him that it could cost them a favor.

Dillon tells Buxman to start recruiting that fellow exorcist. Dillon then calls Sabrina. “I need a police favor.”

“Oh really?”

“Yeah. Reverend Beauvais got killed last night in a fire.”

“I heard about that.”

“I think our friend Mr. Hutton may be involved.”

" I see."

“I need something from the site. A piece of the house. Something like that. Something close. Can you get me there?”

“I don’t know about that. Neither Tom nor I or working that case.”

“Can you get on-site?”

“Probably.”

“Can you get something from the scene?”

Sabrina sighs. “Probably. Yeah. Okay.”

“Okay. But I’m on a schedule. I got some place to be by two. Can you drop it off for me?”

“Yeah. Alright. I’ll cut it close, but alright.”

“Great. I owe you one.”

Dillon then waits for Nick’s call back about Daymar. Sure enough, Daymar will do it for a future favor. He calls Sabrina back and tells her that the drop will be made to a John Daymar at Barry’s Drafthouse.

Dillon tells Buxman to stay at church tonight and he agrees.

Yuriko calls Dillon and they set up the arrangements for the three of them (she, Dillon, and Nick) to meet at the bus stop to get to Jack’s.

When they get to Jack’s, they waste little time in loading up in his beat-up truck to head to the mountain. Jack is suitably amused at his Lone Ranger mask. He also loads up a large rifle with a scope into the gun rack on the back panel of the truck’s cab. As they drive, they discuss the plan—such as it is. Jack reveals that he has his rifle loaded with tranquilizer darts that have been “mojoed” to slow down Eris’ magic, should the need arise. They will get there and have Yuriko and Dillon hide inside the cave with Nick and Jack outside. If Eris approaches with a willing companion, they will let him get inside and start his ritual before interfering—it will be better if the victim knew she was a victim and not be a “companion” of “good ol’ Dr. Eris.” If he’s dragging an unwilling victim, Jack will tag him with his tranq dart before he even gets to the cave. Regardless, Nick will have his revolver ready—in case things go really badly, he can take out Eris.

They park the truck away from the trail they found on their earlier excursion and camouflage it with netting that Jack takes out from the back. They all climb the trail as the moon starts rise in the evening sky. Yuriko takes on her fox form and goes inside the cave with Dillon while Jack and Nick take up their position outside.

As Yuriko and Dillon begin to take up their own positions inside the cave, they note that there has been an addition to the inventory since the last time they were here—three bags of lime have been brought in since they were here last. Apparently, Eris doesn’t intend for the body to be found at the bottom of the cliff this time. Yuriko wedges herself into a hiding spot while Dillon finds a place in the shadows. Both sit and prepare to bide their time. Yuriko listens with her keen ears for the approach of Eris outside.

After about an hour of waiting, both Nick and Jack can see the approach of two figures up the trail, lighting their way with a lantern. One is clearly leaning heavily on the other. The one supporting the other is also wearing a pack and carrying the light. As they get closer, Jack recognizes the one with the light as Eris. Unfortunately, Eris seems to have spotted Nick in his hiding place. The shaman drops his light and casts his hand out in Nick’s direction, spouting some words that neither Nick nor Jack understand. Suddenly Eris is surrounded in electric sparks and is burning and twitching. He falls to the ground. Jack takes his shot and puts a tranq dart in the man’s neck. Eris ceases to twitch.

Meanwhile, the other figure sits heavily on a nearby rock. Her head lolls heavily. She’s obviously been drugged. Jack calls for the others to come out of the cave. Yuriko and Dillon emerge warily and survey the scene as Jack and Nick catch them up on current events. Dillon checks the woman for ID and finds none—only a fanny pack with condoms, birth control, gum, and other assorted odds and ends. He assumes she’s a prostitute. Eris’ pack contains a bone knife and an earthenware bowl with various glyphs and sigils etched on the inside. Jack heft Eris while Dillon takes the woman in a fireman’s carry and both head down the trail back to the truck. Jack binds Eris with rope in the back of the truck while everyone else crowds in the cab.

Dillon calls Sabrina. She informs him that she made the drop as asked—though that Daymar character was a bit squirrelly. Dillon agrees. But. . . “I’ve got a drugged up prostitute. . .” he begins. Eventually, he talks Sabrina into meeting them at a rest stop near Mount Hood and picking them up to take the woman to an ER.

Jack drops them off at the rest stop and tells them “Vaya con Dios”, promising to keep them posted on how Elder Eaglestaff was doing.

As they wait for Sabrina, the woman begins to become more coherent—though she is obviously confused about how she got where she is. Dillon isn’t very forthcoming, wanting to keep her in the dark as much as possible—for her safety as much as theirs. Apparently “some Indian guy” offered her a job at the University and then next she knew she was groggy and near Mount Hood. Dillon does offer her a ride to an ER and she accepts. He also chit chats a while as they wait, trying to keep her calm.

Sabrina arrives after a couple of hours and picks them all up. She later pulls up to a hospital in the city and walks the woman into the ER.

View
Scenario Five, Session Four
Days of Future Past: Part Four

October 25, 2012

After staying the night at Buxman‘s house, Dillon accompanies him to the church. From there, he calls Yuriko and informs her of his encounter the previous evening with Hutton. He then calls Tom Casing to ask if there is a DNA link in the evidence between the serial murderer’s three victims. Tom tells him that, yes, there was a DNA link between the material found on the bodies that could ID the perpetrator. The information is being sent to Quantico for comparison in their serial killer database.

Dillon also asks if Tom wants in on their hunt for the " goat-man. " Tom declines, stating that he want plausible deniability in the event things go south and, also, if the goat-man is tracking him, he won’t be looking for Dillon and his friends, and thus they may rely more on the element of surprise. Dillon then calls Yuriko again to update her on the information Tom gave him. He then checks in with Sabrina, who is doing fine and apparently on the job.

That evening, Dillon spends time at Yuriko’s apartment with her and Hana, having Kraft dinner.

October 26, 2012 (Morning)

Nick calls Dillon at about 10am the next morning. He apparently has finished the tracking map he was working on and has some “scuttlebutt” about the supernatural practitioners’ meeting he attended last night. He seems nervous and jittery. They make arrangements to meet at Nick’s apartment.

Hana is apparently coming out of her delirium tremens and feeling better for it. She is still a bit surly, but subdued. Yuriko asks if she can drop her off at her parents’ house while she takes care of some business and Hana agrees, though she does ask for her phone back. Yuriko considers it and hands the device back over to her cousin.

Nick‘s place is nice, but definitely not outlandishly so. It’s decorated with a particular bachelor-geek aesthetic. Their host is a bit nervous and shakily presents his tracking map. It is a typical laminated road map of Greater Portland with a line of thin, metallic runes and symbols lining the outside border. According to Nick, all he has to do is invoke a brief incantation and the map will show them where the former owner of the bullet is on the map—so long as they are still in Greater Portland and only for a short time. Eventually, the sympathetic magics of the map will wear away, but it should prove useful for some time yet.

They all then discuss whether they are ready to go after the goat-man yet or not. When they use the map, they need to be ready to move and act. They figure it will be best to act during the day, as he usually strikes at night, probably due to his outlandish appearance. They will need to gather their iron gear (rebar, etc.). Nick reminds them that he also still has an unmarked gun that he got from one of his contacts. They also decide that they need some mobility—far more than what public transportation can provide. Dillon decides that, when the time comes, he’ll ask Reverend Buxman for the use of his car.

Next Nick asks if they want to hear his “scuttlebutt”. Last night he attended the meeting of the supernatural community called by a woman from Chicago named Abby. She’s apparently come because she had created an organization in Chicago called Ordo Lebes, a loose confederation of low-level supernatural denizens: minor talents, practitioners, etc. Such organizations in other cities are starting to band together in something they’re called “The Paranet”, sharing information and trying to look out for each other. The world they know is already becoming more dangerous due to the war between the White Council of wizards and the Red Court vampires. She’s come to encourage the community in Portland to form such an organization and join the Paranet.

The meeting was held at Edgefield, in a warded conference room on the property. About 20 or 30 people were in attendance. Toward the end of the meeting, three Red Court vampires burst into the room and started slaughtering. Four people were killed, six were injured. Some of the more powerful practitioners tried to fight them off but quickly driven back. Nick left as soon as the fighting started. However, he heard afterwards, that apparently the wards protecting the room had been tampered with—presumably by a fairly skilled practitioner. No one is sure if it was one of the practitioners in attendance or some outside player. Also, apparently the Warden was out of town when this happened—she was in Eugene.

The biggest implications about the attack is that the Red Court has blatantly broken the Unseelie Accords— Edgefield is accorded neutral ground. What this means for the supernatural community is anyone’s guess. Further, why attack a room full of, for lack of a better word, “nobodies”. None of these people were heavy hitters or really a threat. Perhaps it was a message to the heavy hitters that no one is safe. Perhaps it’s a message to the Warden that she can’t do her job. Perhaps the vampires had no fear of retaliation for an attack on supernatural non-entities. It’s hard to say. In the course of the discussion, it is revealed that Nick has heard that Abby is still in town, staying in a hotel downtown, though he doesn’t know which one.

Dillon calls Sabrina, asking if she has heard anything regarding an incident at Edgefield last night. She hasn’t. He clues her into the fact that three full-blooded vampires attacked a group of “little guys” in a conference room there. She asks if Armando was one of them and Dillon says “Hopefully—otherwise there are four of these things in town.” He also describes the nature of the meeting to her and speculates as to whether the attack was a message for someone else. At any rate, he wanted her to know that Armando was not the only red vampire in town. He also says that he is going to be taking care of something today and that he will text her an address later. She should come looking for him there if he doesn’t contact her back in two hours from the initial text. She agrees, but warns him to be careful.

Yuriko gives Nick one of the ward keys for her apartment and both she and Dillon catch him up on other current events, including their dealings with the possessed Hutton. They also discuss what to do with the gruff if they manage to subdue him.

First, Dillon calls Reverend Buxman and asks if he can borrow his car. After establishing that it is a small hatchback, the priest asks him if he is doing “God’s work” with it. After a moment of thought, Dillon answers “Yes.” “Then the car and the keys will be waiting here at the church for you.” Nick says that he can get some legitimate, law enforcement-grade handcuffs from one of his contacts. Yuriko still has the rebar that they collected a while back at her apartment. So Yuriko and Dillon leave to pick up the Reverend’s car and the rebar while Nick goes to get the handcuffs.

October 26, 2012 (3:00 pm)

While Yuriko and Dillon wait at her apartment, Nick calls them and says that he’s got the goods—two sets of legit handcuffs. The two leave and pick up Nick at his apartment, map in hand and handcuffs and gun in pocket.

Sitting in the backseat of the hatchback while Yuriko drives, Nick casts his incantation. Dillon watches with wonder as a glow crawls its way across the archaic script surrounding the map and then a small blue orb appears about a millimeter above the map. The orb indicates an address across the St. John’s Bridge in North Portland.

They drive by the indicated address, both Nick and Dillon watching the map make minute adjustments as their target moves about within the residence indicated. The house is in a slightly run-down industrial district with sparse pockets of residential zones. After driving by the house, noting its overgrown lawn and paint-chipped exterior, they park the car at a nearby sparsely populated strip mall.

Yuriko and Nick trade places in the car and Yuriko strips and changes into her fox form. She then exits the car to go and scout out the premises. Soon after leaving, though, she returns and paws at Dillon’s phone to remind him to text the address to Sabrina. Dillon gets the message and does so.

Yuriko (still in her fox form) and heads down the back alley behind the house indicated on the map. Each of the houses in this neighborhood have back-facing garages and this house is no exception. There is also fenced-in yard. An inside padlock secures the back-most gate that opens into the alley and another, smaller, gate opens onto the driveway. This gate is secured by a padlock on the outside.

First, she heads into the side-yard and checks out one of the windows along the side of the house. She opens her senses wide and hears the sound of a TV playing some sort of courtroom program. She also hears something like an object being set upon a table, as well as a crunching and smacking sound. She also smells the strong scent of gruff—something akin to the crossing of skunk with rotten eggs. Satisfied, she sneaks back around to the backyard.

Sniffing around the fence for a bit, Fox-Yuriko finds a place that she can squeeze through into the yard. Shuttling through, she sees an overgrown yard and a small slab near the house, probably a place to set-up a backyard grill. There are windows, but they are shuttered by blinds. A backdoor also has a window set into it. She cautiously makes her way to the door.

Yuriko rises up on her hind legs and looks inside the backdoor window. She sees the flickering light of a television in the hall beyond the door. The door seems to open into a small kitchen area—she can see counters and a small range. She also sees the edge of a metal sink beneath one of the windows. The gruff-stench is fainter here, but still discernible.

She sneaks away from the house and back through the fence to check out the other side of the house. Here she finds more blinded windows and overgrown grass. She then heads back to the car to change and tell the others what she found. After a brief discussion, a plan is formed and the three proceed.

Yuriko reverts back to her fox form and follows Dillon and Nick into the alley behind the house. She carries the two sets of handcuffs in her mouth. She then darts through the hole she found in the fence and takes up a position in the yard in the tall grass toward the back. When her compatriots get into position, she’s to start whining and yipping to get the resident’s attention and lure him outside—where Nick and Dillon will pounce.

Nick and Dillon pass their rebar through the hole that Yuriko squeezed through. Nick then scales the fence and drops into the yard on the other side. He gathers up on of the rebar poles and scurries over to the west side of the back door, laying flat on the ground so as to avoid detection from the windows. Before making his climb, Dillon texts Sabrina to “reset the clock by one hour”— he’s heading in.

After a couple of attempts, Dillon manages to scale the fence and drop to the other side, where he sees that Nick is in position. He also notices the back door opening, revealing the shadowy form of the gruff—and he’s holding a gun. Dillon crouches low and grabs the remaining rebar.

Yuriko springs and moves toward Nick, leaving the handcuffs behind in the grass. Nick attempts to cast his force spell at the gruff—but apparently fails, as after a “whoof” of air, Nick’s nose starts to bleed. The gruff responds by pistol-whipping Nick, whose head jerks back hard at the blow. Dillon moves forward and swings his rebar at the goat-man, who nimbly dances back.

Yuriko bites into the gruff’s leg and refuses to let go, digging in with her teeth as hard as she can. Nick has drawn his gun and attempts to shoot the gruff, but manages to only wing him. It’s apparent that the blow to Nick’s head has impaired his ability to aim the weapon properly. The gruff then takes a swing to pistol-whip Dillon, but misses him. Dillon spits a wad of venom into the gruff’s face—and the gruff seems to be affected, as his expression takes on a distracted aspect.

As Yuriko furiously continues to keep her jaw-hold on the gruff, Nick manages to slam him hard with the rebar. The gruff tries to fire a shot at Nick with his own weapon, but misses. Dillon spits another wad of venom into the gruff’s face, hoping to overwhelm the creature with the narcotic effects of his saliva.

With Yuriko’s jaw-hold further distracting the goat-man, Nick swings the rebar again and misses. It takes another shot at Nick, missing, but surely alerting the neighbors to the violence going on in the yard. Dillon spits another wad of venom into the gruff’s face—and, finally, it collapses to the ground.

Yuriko jogs back to the grass and retrieves the handcuffs for Dillon, who places both sets on the creature’s wrists. She then enters the house, changes back into her human form, and looks to see if the dark Lexus that had been seen fleeing the scene of Tom’s shooting was in the garage. Sure enough, there is a dark blue Lexus inside. Meanwhile, Dillon searches the gruff for keys, finds them, and then he and a dazed Nick drag the heavy, smelly creature into the house.

All three of them then drag the gruff into the garage and place the creature in the trunk of the car. Dillon doses the goat-man with saliva one more time for good measure. Then he and Nick go outside and try to cover up the blood stains outside from their fight. They also wipe their prints off of the doorknobs and such with a dishtowel, returning the towel back to where they found it. They leave the gruff’s gun in the yard.

Dillon explores further in the house, finding it sparsely furnished—pretty much the only furniture is a TV stand with a small set on it, a large camp chair, and a tin TV tray. The tray holds a tall-boy lager can and a burner phone. Dillon takes the phone and heads back to the garage to meet the others. Nick and Dillon leave in the Lexus while Yuriko runs back to the Reverend’s car parked at the nearby strip mall.

As Nick and Dillon drive away in the Lexus, a police car passes them on the oncoming side of the street. Dillon calls Sabrina. “I need someplace to go. Someplace discreet.” Sabrina suggests the waterfront and gives directions to a block there that could fit the bill. There are lots of warehouses and back alleys there. “Has there been any police chatter? Anything about shots being fired?” Sabrina pauses and answers “I’m petty sure he’s the one who wrote Revelations.” “Are you alone?” “No. But I’m not on that call.” Dillon asks her to call him later and hangs up.

Meanwhile, Yuriko sees the patrol car pass the Lexus and scurries under the car and changes into her human form. She then gets into the car, dresses, collects her phone, and realizes that she doesn’t have the keys to the car. She calls Dillon and he turns around to come back to the parking lot to deliver the keys. Nick isn’t looking too good so he gets into the car with Yuriko who takes him to the hospital. Then she drops off Buxman’s car and takes the Max back to her parent’s house to check in on Hana. Finally, she heads off to her apartment to await a call from Dillon.

As Dillon heads to the waterfront to finish his business with the gruff, he calls Tom. Unfortunately, Tom is not alone and can’t speak openly. Dillon just let’s him know that he’s dealing with the goat situation and everything is looking good so far. He tells him that there could be chatter about shots being fired at an address in St. Johns. There’s a gun in the backyard that may need to be picked up. Tom wonders if he can justify a trip out there and do this himself. Dillon tells him that it would be the best thing to do in order to deal with any unwanted questions regarding that gun and the bullet they pulled out of Tom. He also asks Tom to inform him if any police chatter happens about a dark blue Lexus. Dillon warns the cop to continue watching his back—even if they deal with the goat-man, someone was setting him up with a house and a car. Tom thanks him and hangs up.

October 26, 2012 (5:00 pm)

Once he gets to the destination Sabrina described, Dillon finds an abandoned warehouse and pulls the car inside. He steps out, surveys the scene, spotting a small, empty office and no one in the room. He uses his shirt to wipe down the steering wheel and door handles. He hears some shifting going on in the trunk, so he unlocks it and carefully opens it, ready to slam the lid down again. The gruff gazes up at him with a slightly dazed expression, but does not appear to be struggling.

Dillon starts talking to the gruff, taking advantage of the addictive state that the creature is in to extract information from him. It turns out that the gruff was hired by a sidhe named Hubbard to kill the detective in order to stop the investigation into Lyst Cathers’ death. The gruff, called Valen, is a “free agent”. The hope was that the boy’s father, Trevidian, would lose face if the killer was never brought forward—Trevidian would owe the killer a blood debt and would not be able to extract his vengeance. Even if Trevidian is currently imprisoned, Mab’s whim could swing the other way and allow Trevidian to be free to collect. Hubbard wanted to make sure that couldn’t happen. Neither the gruff nor Hubbard know or care who killed Lyst.

Dillon gives Valen a choice: does he turn him over to Summer or to Winter? Valen chooses Summer. Dillon asks him if he has the Summer envoy’s number—he does not. Dillon shuts the gruff up in the trunk and calls Yuriko. He asks her to contact Peep and to Verikai to come claim the gruff.

Yuriko tells Hana goodbye and heads to Dungran’s to find the diminutive informant. She orders a beer and affixes a Peeps candy to the top, a calling card of sorts. Sure enough, in one of the darkened corners of the pub she is accosted by the tiny pixie. She tells him that Dillon has the gruff Verikai’s been looking for and asks if she can inform him. Peep responds that the news will come “from my lips to his ear.” She gives the pixie Dillon’s address at the warehouse and he heads out. Yuriko then calls Dillon to tell him that Peep is on his way to Verikai. Finally, she heads back home where she calls Nick at the hospital where she had dropped him off. Apparently they are going to hold him for awhile as he probably has a concussion. She lets him know that things are moving in a good direction and wishes him well.

Meanwhile, feeling generous to his talkative guest, Dillon removes the hateful rebar from the trunk with Valen and asks if it was Hubbard that supplied him with a car and a house. Valens responds in the affirmative. Nodding with affirmation, Dillon closes the trunk.

October 26, 2012 (7:00 pm)

Finally, a large black Expedition pulls up and four men emerge from within. One is clearly in charge while the others are clearly muscle. The leader steps forward, close enough to talk but not within arms reach of Dillon or the car, and says “I understand you have a package for me.”

“I do if you’re the person I’m waiting for,” Dillon replies. “Which season do you prefer? Summer or Winter?”

“The Summer nights are very sweet. The days, equally so.”

Dillon nods and tosses the figure the keys to the car and indicates that it and the “package” are his. He keeps a hold of the rebar and eyes the trunk. The leader asks him to stay until the “package” is confirmed. Dillon stays.

The leader opens the trunk, carefully, almost as if expecting a bomb or some other surprise, and gazes upon the bound gruff inside.

“Verikai,” Valen says.

“Valen,” says Verikai.

“Do you know him?” Dillon asks.

“We’re acquaintances,” murmurs the Summer envoy. He barely glances at Dillon. “Thank you. That will be all.” Dillon is apparently dismissed, so he leaves the warehouse. Soon, the Expedition and the Lexus both leave.

As soon as the Summer entourage has passed, and he has moved a few warehouses away, Dillon calls Gordon and informs him that he has information that the Winter envoy would be interested in. Gordon gets an address and says that he will send a car.

October 26, 2012 (8:00 pm)

After a while, a luxury car arrives with Gordon inside to take Dillon to see the Winter envoy. Dillon gets inside, still holding onto the rebar from his previous encounter. Gordon raises his eyebrows and asks if he is expecting a confrontation. Dillon says that he is not and tosses the rebar our of the window.

The driver takes them to Edgefield. Upon recognizing the grounds, Dillon comments, “I trust there will be no vampire attacks tonight?” Gordon responds with a cold stare.

Dillon is taken to the bar in the main hotel. The bar is empty but for Abby Miyazaki waiting for him in one of the booths. Dillon approaches and asks to sit, and the envoy motions for him to do so. Gordon takes a chair at a nearby table.

“I was told you had information for me.”

“The gruff was a free agent named Valen—not working for Summer at all.”

“Who was he working for?”

“Um, bonus information involving bigger people, bigger people for whom there may be a backlash to me and my friends. I would require discretion and protection.”

“Are these your terms?”

“Think of it as a request.”

Abby thinks on this for moment. “Very well, I agree to discretion and protection for the information.”

Dillon nods. “Valen was hired by a side called Hubbard.”

Abby’s eyebrows rise. . .and then she smiles. “That will do nicely. Why?”

“Blood debts and saving face.”

“Of course, yes.”

“Then you can protect me?”

Abby nods. “My position will help in this. And I find this information very useful.”

The two consider each other for a moment.

“I owe you a boon, do I not?” Abby says. “Do you wish to claim it?”

“Do I have to?”

The envoy seems annoyed. “Not if you don’t wish to.”

“Then I’ll keep that in my pocket.”

Still annoyed, she murmurs “Very well.”

“Is that wrong?”

Abby sighs. “It is never. . .comfortable. . .to be under the weight of a debt. But it is yours if you wish to claim it.”

“I feel like we have a good relationship. I don’t wish to jeopardize it.”

“You have pleased me with your information.”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“You may,” Abby replies cautiously.

“Will I have to agree to terms?”

“I’m feeling generous. . .”

“Why would the Red Court attack nobodies?”

Abby ponders this for a moment. “They knew that it would not please the Accord holders. It is a thumb to the nose to the other powers. The breaking of the Accords confirms that they are at war with everyone. Perhaps they are overconfident. Perhaps they wish to convey that those that think they are safe are not. This was not the only strike that at the Red Court made that night. It was a large scale strike, not a strike against this group in particular.”

“As far as the protection you promised, what are the weaknesses of the Red Court?”

“Sunlight, mostly. A blow to the gut.”

Abby rises, calling the meeting to an end. “You have Gordon’s number if you wish to claim your boon.” Dillon excuses himself and Gordon gives him a ride home. Once back at the church, he calls Yuriko and catches her up on the situation.

October 26, 2012 (9:30 pm)

Dillon calls Tom, hoping that he is alone. He is. Tom has collected the gun from the house where they fought the gruff earlier. Dillon informs Tom that the goat is off the case, but that the power behind him is at large. It wasn’t personal, but about the Lyst Cathers case. Tom asks if he needs to know more. Dillon responds only that the mastermind is not the killer, but will not give up trying to keep the truth secret. Tom responds that he will simply have to protect himself because he’s not letting go of the case. Dillon warns him that this guy is “high up”, powerful, and may be untouchable. Tom asks if Dillon is still helping on this case.

Dillon ponders this. “Well, I’ve fulfilled my duties. . .but if you want to me to still be involved, I will.”

“Even with the danger?” Tom asks.

“Don’t know that it will be, for me, as I’m not official or anything.”

“If you’re willing, then I am. And thank you.”

After hanging up with Tom, Dillon sends Sabrina a text: “All good now—business concluded.” After sending the text, he reconsiders and calls her, giving her all the information on the Red Court power play and assuring her that he’ll keep her informed of all vampire-related news. Finally, he touches base again with Yuriko and calls it a night.

View
Scenario Five, Session Three
Days of Future Past: Part Three

October 23, 2012 (5:00 pm)

Hana hands over her phone to Yuriko at Dillon’s urging before they leave for Hutton’s apartment. Yuriko and Dillon meet Sabrina outside the narrow townhouse at Hutton’s address. The detective moves aside the police tape and allows the two “consultants” inside.

The apartment is tidy, very impersonal. The furniture and such is expensive and modern, but soulless. According to Sabrina, the basement that the police discovered was added after the floor plan for the house was created. Hutton has lived at this residence for about a year. A search of the house reveals a sense that Hutton was not close to anyone—there are no photographs or mementos to be found. The secret staircase to the basement is behind a bookcase.

The basement itself is tidy, though clearly a workroom of some sort. Metal stairs lead down into a broad chamber. The walls of the basement are made from cinder blocks and the floor is concrete. There is a bookcase and a wooden work table. Shelves have been braced onto the walls. In the center of the floor is a circle inscribed into the concrete, as well as a separate pentagram.

A search of the pentagram reveals a flaw in the design—most likely the result of tampering. Dillon necks the books in the bookcase for reference to Athralanax, but to no avail. The circle seems to be tampered with as well. Dillon then gets the idea to go back upstairs and look in the vacuum cleaner, found in a hall closet. Incense is found in the vacuum’s reservoir. In a nearby wastebasket is found a jar with a handwritten label with foreign characters written upon it. Yuriko takes a picture of the label and Dillon sifts the incense from the vacuum leavings.

The three continue to investigate the house. Inside a wardrobe in the bedroom, they find nothing more than several expensive, tailored suits. The remainder of their investigation is unfruitful.

The three speculate as to the motive of the summoning. Perhaps Hutton was gathering power in the form of a patron. Perhaps he had enemies that he wished to dispatch. At any rate, it’s clear that he had an enemy that knew about his supernatural dealings and sabotaged them.

Dillon tells Sabrina about the wards that have been set up at Yuriko’s apartment and invites her to come there to stay behind the ward while her maker is out and about. She says that she will consider it, but, for now, will respectfully decline. They decide to take the incense and the picture of the label to New Horizons. Perhaps Kendria would have a sense of where the incense came from and if it is used in such summonings.

October 23, 2012 (8:45 pm)

When they arrive at New Horizons, they find that the lights are on, but the “Closed” sign has been put out. Dillon knocks on the door and Kendria comes to the door, apologizing for being closed. He asks if they can just take a few minutes and have her look at something important. Lives could be in the balance. She says she will and lets them inside.

They go to the back of the shop, where Kendria keeps her alchemical supplies. She takes a sniff of the dusty incense and the photo Yuriko took of the jar. She tells them that the label is written in Sanskrit. She goes to a shelf and pulls down a jar of powder—a jar with a very similar label. She doesn’t know what the powder is and it would take some time to break it down—especially with the sample being contaminated by vacuumed dust. However, she gets some of her supplies with these labels from a man named Kumail. He’s a bit of a shady dealer, but the best place she knows to get some of the more rare ingredients. She jots his name down on a card and asks them not to mention to him that she sent them. Dillon shows Kendria Hutton’s picture, but she does not recognize him.

The three then return to Yuriko’s parent’s house to retrieve Hana. She has apparently been sitting around pouting all evening. Dillon has a pleasant conversation with Yuriko’s mother. They then all head back to Yuriko’s apartment. They let Hana hold one of the keys to get through the wards placed on the apartment. Sabrina leaves and Dillon heads back to the church.

Dillon meets Reverend Buxman on his way out of the church and asks to have a brief, but private, conversation with him. They discuss the intrusion into the church. Apparently nothing was taken in the break in. Dillon shows the incense powder to the priest and asks if he recognizes. Buxman’s face blanches a bit and says that he thinks it’s a mixture called “Black Soul”— it is rare and hard to find, and used in dark rituals. Dillon has Yuriko text him a picture of the label and asks if the priest can read Sanskrit. He believes the label reads “Black Soul Mixture”. Dillon then tells him about Kumail and the underground market. Buxman indicates that he has some acquaintances that have been known to hunt demons for the Church—it is possible that he has a few avenues to explore but it will take time. Dillon makes his exit and texts Yuriko what he has found out about “Black Soul.”

In the meantime, Yuriko conducts some research and corroborates the translation of the label as “Black Soul Mixture.” As she and Hana hole up in her apartment, Hana seems to be going through the symptoms of withdrawal—she is ill and shaky much of the time. Dillon, on the other hand, spends his time at Saint Andre’s, as well as patrolling the area around the church and around Buxman’s house.

October 24, 2012 (Night)

As Dillon patrols Buxman’s residence, he sees a shadowy figure emerge from the nearby shrubs. “You can’t protect him, you know.” It’s Hutton! The larger man shoves Dillon down to the ground, hard. Dillon attempts to kick the man’s legs out from under him, but misses as Hutton nimbly steps back, laughing. Hutton watches as Dillon picks himself up.

Dillon starts to play to his strengths, talking to Hutton, pouring all of his will not to fail into the conversation. He asks the demon-possessed man why he is doing this as the two circle each other warily. It says that “Hutton was the fool who called him for this power that now flows through his veins. The door was open and I walked through—then I will have my vengeance.” Dillon asks if this was his first and only summoning—it says “Yes,” though Dillon senses it is lying. It also indicates that “The priests sent me back before my fun was done.”

While (hopefully) distracted by the conversation, Dillon attempts to spring onto Hutton. He attempts to get in close and lick him with his vampire venom. Hutton shrugs him off easily and laughs at him. Then Dillon spits at him and misses. “That was unexpected. . .” Hutton muses. Dillon shrugs and says that he didn’t know what else to do. Hutton laughs. “There’s nothing you can do.”

Hutton turns to walk away and Dillon springs again. Hutton backhands him—hard. Dillon bites—embracing his inner demon—hoping to inject some of his venom into him. He latches on, hoping to inject more venom into his victim. Hutton flings Dillon off of him. He then moves his hands and whispers words that Dillon doesn’t understand—perhaps casting a spell. Whatever it was, it doesn’t work. Dillon latches onto the man again, but Hutton, once again, casts him away.

“What are you?” Hutton asks. In response, Dillon brandishes his crucifix and invokes the name of Christ. Hutton backs away. “This just got interesting. . .” he mutters. “You want to flee but jump my back when I walk away. You serve the Church but are not mortal. . .”

Dillon takes a step toward Hutton and the man steps back.

“We will do this another time—next time I won’t let you live.”

The two back away from each other and both fade into the darkness.

Once Hutton is out of sight, Dillon starts dialing Buxman on his cell phone and heading for the house. He tells the priest to let him in, he’s on his way. Buxman meets him at the door and comments that he looks like he’s been in a fight. He invites Dillon inside.

“I ran into Hutton standing outside your house.” Dillon then describes the encounter in detail, including the fact that he backed away from the crucifix. He also tells the reverend about the threat to kill Dillon next time. He asks if the reverend has taken protections for his home—if he will be safe here. Buxman responds “I think so.” Dillon asks if he can rest here and Buxman says “Of course.”

View
Scenario Five: Session Two
Days of Future Past: Part Two

October 22, 2012 (9:00 pm)

Sabrina, still shaken from recent events, manages to drive everyone to Saint Andre’s. Dillon leads everyone inside and they all meet Reverend Buxman in his office. For his part, Buxman is visibly agitated. Sabrina, upon entering the church, has become visibly uncomfortable, hugging herself and shaking.

The priest is introduced to Yuriko and Hana, though the latter is still unconscious. After a brief discussion, Buxman lets the two women take Hana to one of the side offices. Once the young woman is settled in, both Sabrina and Yuriko check her for any bites or indications that Armando was feeding on her. They find nothing and return to Reverend’s office. In the meantime, Dillon is catching the priest up on the current situation involving their confrontation with the Red Court vampire.

In the course of the conversation, there is speculation as to why Armando was dating Hana, and not feeding on her. He has proven capable of savage attacks (Sabrina‘s ordeal being the prime example of that). Why not Hana? Perhaps it is because she cannot be turned as she is not human. . . At this point, Yuriko reveals to Reverend Buxman that she, and her cousin, are kitsune—werefoxes. Buxman indicates that he has never heard of a non-human being changed into a vampire before. Perhaps Armando sensed that she was not human and was trying to suss out what she was—and if there were other potential threats like her in his territory. Nevertheless, it is possible that she has been made addicted to the Red Court vampire’s venom.

Suddenly, Yuriko realizes that Armando may have been to her parent’s house. In a panic, she calls her father. She tells him that Hana will be staying with her for a few days, doing “woodsy” things. Mr. Nakamoto seems to understanding her meaning. She asks if Hana had ever brought Armando by the house. He seems surprised that Hana has a boyfriend, and that, no, she had never brought him. He also indicates that Anzu would never approve of such behavior. Yuriko gives her father a description of Armando and tells him to “never let him in the house”. Her father seems a bit confused by the request but assures her that they will not.

Dillon asks the Reverend for any advice on confronting the vampire. He says that his only advice is not engage with him. Dillon insists that something must be done about him.

Dillon also inquires as to whether or not Buxman has been in contact with his friend, Beauvais, regarding the other looming problem with the demon-possessed Benjamin Hutton. There has been no contact as of yet. Yuriko wonders about informing Sabrina about the demon and Buxman gives them permission to catch her up on that situation. Right now, their only plan is to subdue and exorcise the demon—how to go about that has not been determined.

The group decides, with the priest‘s permission, to hide that night in the church. Sabrina, however, wants to go home. She gives them her address, in case they need to find her. Dillon makes her promise to call when she gets home. As the group settles into the church offices to sleep, Dillon gets that call—Sabrina’s fine.

October 23, 2012 (morning)

Yuriko and Dillon awake the next morning in the church. Soon, Hana stirs groggily from her slumber as the others watch over her.

“What happened to me?” Hana asks.

Yuriko slowly explains that she and the others got her out of the club and away from Armando because he was very dangerous. . . and a vampire. She also explains that that is why they are currently hiding in a church. Hana shakes her head, not believing her cousin, and realizes that her drink must have been dosed. Yuriko focuses on the danger of the situation and the need to get Hana away.

As Dillon observes the conversation, he starts to feel his preternatural hunger stir in response to Hana’s latent addiction to Red Court saliva and becomes alarmed. He is then drawn into the conversation as Yuriko tells Hana that Dillon knows first-hand about being attacked by such a creature. He acknowledges that, yes, he had been attacked by one before and that now he was a kind of half-breed, walking in both worlds. It is only through the power of faith that he has not succumbed to the power of the beast.

Hana still expresses doubts and Yuriko gives Dillon a look. He then sighs and extends his latent fangs. At first, Hana’s breath catches in her throat in fear—then she seems to become excited and breathless. She approaches Dillon and gently, sensuously, touches his face.

“Do you believe me, now?” Yuriko asks.

“I believe him,” Hana says.

Dillon extracts himself from the fascinated young woman and asks “What kind of relationship did you have with Armando?”

“We went to the clubs a lot, made out a few times. What are going to do now?”

Dillon looks sternly at Hana. “Don’t see Armando until we know what to do. He’s dangerous.”

Then Dillon and Yuriko discuss the defense of her apartment against such a creature, especially the relative strength of her threshold. They explain to a confused Hana the nature of the threshold and its defense against the supernatural. They hope that it will be enough to defend against the powerful—and now probably angry—vampire.

Dillon goes to talk to Reverend Buxman. Apparently Father Beauvais finally contacted him. There was a break-in at his house last night, but he if fine. Buxman filled Beauvais in on the situation with the demon. The two are going to meet at the church today at 1 pm. Dillon and the priest discuss the addictive nature of vampire venom and Dillon’s belief that Hana may be addicted. He describes to the priest her reaction to him this morning. According to the priest, the addiction to the venom in general, not necessarily the source, thus her reaction. She could recover from such an addiction over time and with some physical reaction—just like recovering from drug addiction. Dillon asks that the Reverend call him after his meeting with Beauvais to let him know what is going on.

Meanwhile, Yuriko and Hana are left alone in the office. Hana checks her phone messages. Armando has apparently left a few inquiring after her. In his final message, he tells her that he’s had enough and for her not to call him. Hana is visibly upset. Yuriko assures her that it is for the best, that he’s dangerous. She also apologizes for not protecting her better. She asks Hana why she came to America. Hana resentfully responds that she came to America to have fun and that Yuriko is distinctly not fun.

Dillon returns from speaking with Reverend Buxman and takes Yuriko aside. He has bad news for her—Hana is probably addicted to vampire saliva. She could come out of it, but it will take time and be physically taxing for her. They also discuss possible plans to do something about it—speaking with Kendria or Aleister, for example. After their brief discussion, they return to the office where they left Hana to find that she has just finished a phone call with Armando. Yuriko takes her phone and deletes Armando’s number from it. Dillon calls upon his new preternatural connection to Hana’s addiction and speaks with her, reinforcing the fact that she shouldn’t contact Armando because he is extremely dangerous. She seems to take his words seriously.

October 23, 2012 (afternoon)

Yuriko and Hana go to Yuriko’s apartment while Dillon goes to Powell’s to speak with Aleister. At the bookstore, the old man is friendly, but obviously wary. Dillon asks if he can ask him some discreet questions and Aleister arranges for them to use the now-empty Rare Book room. The two discuss some of the differences between Black Court and Red Court vampires—particularly how they can control others. For the Black Court, they actually mesmerize and psychically control their victims, breaking their minds. For the Red Court, they use the addictive nature of their venom. Unfortunately, Dillon’s friend with the addiction will simply have to take time to recover—but she should recover. They also discuss the power of thresholds and the ability to strengthen them with wards. In an effort to convince the ex-Warden to strengthen the threshold at Yuriko’s apartment, he tells him a bit about the threat of the Red Court vampire, Armando. In the course of the conversation, Aleister reveals that he has heard that the Red Court and the White Council are at war, and advises Dillon that a call to the current Warden may be in order for their situation. As far as Yuriko’s threshold, Aleister could strengthen it with a ward that would have to be revitalized periodically. He will do this in exchange for a a favor in return, to be called in later. Aleister will establish a ward that can only be breached by those wearing 5 “key” talismans. He says that he will have to gather some accountrements and will meet them at Yuriko’s apartment later in the day. Dillon gives him Yuriko’s address and exits the bookstore, calling Yuriko to keep her apprised as to what is going on.

Back at the apartment, Yuriko tells Hana that an acquaintance of theirs is going to come by and cast a spell to help protect them from Armando. Hana, who has been sitting off to herself sullenly, just shakes her head in response. Dillon arrives, followed before too much longer by Aleister, who is lugging a large duffle bag.

The old man is invited inside and starts making preparations for his ritual. He establishes a chalked-off perimeter of the whole apartment, muttering in Latin to himself as he draws the lines. Then he establishes a circle in the carpet of the living facing the door. He draws rays protruding from his circle and joining with the lines surrounding the door. He then removes some candles and incense from his duffle bag and sets them up at the point of each ray. In an adjacent circle, he places a ring of large skeleton keys that he had gotten from a hardware store—he thought them “appropriate” as talismans. He then settles into the circle and begins muttering to himself in concentration. After a few moments, the air in the room grows more electric and the observers can see Aleister growing more and more stressed in his concentration. He seems to be jarred a few times, as if slapped. Finally, the air settles down and the old man opens his eyes. “It’s done,” he breathes and slowly picks himself up off the floor.

Aleister then explains to Yuriko that he will be back in a month to reinforce the ward, as part of the agreement he made with Dillon. He also mentions the existence of a group known as the Fellowship of St. Giles that have been known to help victims of Red Court vampire attacks. He wishes them all well and makes his exit.

Dillon calls and checks in with Reverend Buxman. He and Beauvais met at the church and discussed their current predicament, but came to no conclusion as to how to proceed—other than with extreme caution.

Then Dillon texts Sabrina, “Are you okay?” She responds with “Fine at work”.

Dillon then calls Nick. Nick lets him know that he’s been working on the divination device for the bullet and that he should be please with how it will turn out. He just needs a couple of more days on it. Dillon then catches Nick on the various irons they have in the fire. He tells him about the stakeout planned on the full moon (October 30) at Mount Hood. He tells Nick that they “met a demon” who’s trailing Reverend Buxman and that they’ve probably angered a full-blooded Red Court vampire. He also informs him about the ward around Yuriko‘s apartment and that they’ll be giving him a “key” talisman. Dillon also informs him of Hana‘s probably addiction and her connection to the vampire. Finally, he tells nick about the apparent war between the Red Court and the White Council. Nick gives Dillon Leilani Capstone’s contact information. Dillon gives Nick Armando’s description, as well as that of Benjamin Hutton. Nick also gives Dillon his address, in case he needs anything. He also mentions that some of the practitioners in the area are getting together at Edgefield to meet. Apparently a practitioner from Chicago is coming to discuss with them some means to protect themselves in these troubled times.

Finally, Dillon calls Elder Eaglestaff. He asks him about what decision the Elders have come to in regard to handling Killian Eris. The Elder tells him that they want to work alone and not call in any other groups. The Elders will be conducting their rituals at the same time as Eris attempts his—their work will (hopefully) counteract his. They will sendJack Sigo to help them (Dillon and the others) deal with Eris “in-house”.

Yuriko then calls Leilani Capstone. The Warden answers her phone with “This better be good.” Yuriko informs her that a Red Court vampire is stalking her cousin, explaining their current situation. She also gives the Warden Armando’s name and the fact that we works in the port and frequents The Zoo. Yuriko also indicates that an “anonymous acquaintance” has strengthened the wards on her home and that her cousin is showing signs of addiction to vampire venom. Capstone gets Yuriko’s address and assures her that she will be returning to Portland to deal with this matter. Later, Yuriko taps into Hana‘s phone account (with her reluctant permission) and gets Armando’s cell number, which she texts to Capstone.

Dillon calls Sabrina and explains to her that they have called the Warden to deal with Armando. He has to explain a bit about what Wardens are to her in the process. He also explains that an “anonymous acquaintance” has strengthened the defenses of Yuriko’s apartment and about the key talisman. In the meantime, Sabrina should “lay low”, unless it is necessary for her to come out. Sabrina reminds him that they were supposed to go to Hutton’s apartment today to see the secret chamber. Dillon had forgotten about that in all the excitement. They will meet her there today at 5 pm.

In the meantime, Hana cannot go to the crime scene with Yuriko and Dillon, so they agree to drop her off at Yuriko’s parents’ house en route to Hutton’s apartment.

View
Scenario Five: Session One
Days of Future Past: Part One

October 21, 2012

Northwest Portland, Near Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church

After getting back to the shelter at Saint Andre’s, Dillon changes his clothes with what’s available in the donation bin. He selects a blue-gray flannel shirt and ripped jeans. Then he goes to meet with Reverend Buxman for lunch.

While the two discuss the various cases that Dillon has been working on, including the conclusion to this morning’s excursion, Dillon notices that a man sitting in the bar area is staring intensely in their direction. The man is bald and well-dressed and doesn’t let his attention waver from the two men having lunch. Dillon points him out to Buxman, who says that he doesn’t know the man.

Dillon and Reverend Buxman finish their meal and head out of the restaurant. Dillon lingers behind a bit to see if the man from the bar follows them. Sure enough, the man emerges from the restaurant and starts following the priest. Dillon follows.

The man turns suddenly into a nearby alleyway—Dillon’s been made! Dillon runs up to the man and introduces himself. The bald man turns and faces him, quirking an eyebrow in inquiry. “Hutton,” he says, by way of introduction.

“What do you want with Reverend Buxman?” Dillon asks.

“We are. . . old acquaintances.”

“Well, if so, why don’t we go and say hello?”

Hutton smiles and says “I will see him soon.” He then turns and continues down the alley. Dillon feels that he is both amused and evasive, and the man’s intense green eyes give him the creeps.

As soon as the other man is out of sight, Dillon calls the Reverend to inform him of the encounter. Buxman has never seen the man before and knows no one named Hutton. However, he will keep on the lookout for him, as the entire affair is very strange and troubling.

Dillon calls Yuriko and arranges to meet at a bus stop to go visit Elder Eaglestaff in the hospital. He tells her of his encounter. For her part, Yuriko is troubled as well.

Northeast Portland, Hospital

At the hospital, the two are able to visit alone with Elder Eaglestaff. He lies in bed surrounded by flowers brought to him by friends and family from the NAYA center.

The Elder believes that he was attacked by a Shadowwing, an evil hunter-killer of legend. It is possible that Killian Eris had summoned the creature to dispatch his enemies. The three discuss various possibilities of where or how Eris is going to complete his plan, whatever it may be. Elder Eaglestaff believes that he is using a place of power on Wyeast to complete his rituals. If they could find that, then perhaps they could stop him.

As he is still recovering, the old man recommends they contact another Elder, Jack Sigo, and gives them his number. He is aware of what is going on with Eris—he was with Elder Eaglestaff when they confronted Eris about his actions.

After meeting with the Elder, Dillon calls Jack Sigo and arranges to meet as his home at 8:00 pm.

Southeast Portland, Barry’s Drafthouse

As they expected, Dillon and Yuriko find John Daymar inside Barry’s Drafthouse at his usual booth.

Yuriko asks the diviner about the possibility of creating a “magical Geiger counter” to use to find the place of power that Eris may be using to complete his ritual. Daymar doesn’t think he could that—magic doesn’t really work that way. Magical power would really only gather if it was brought to a certain point. But it is possible to construct a ritual to find a power “beacon”—that is, if he is using a magical confluence point to conduct his ritual, it may be sending off a great deal of energy, energy that could be detected by the ritual. It would be especially effective is performed while Eris was gathering power. Despondent at their chances of finding Eris, the two leave the diviner at the bar.

As they leave, Dillon calls Sabrina Manheim and arranges for her to have dinner with them at Yuriko’s apartment in the Pearl District.

Northwest Portland, Yuriko’s Apartment

Yuriko invites the Red Court Infectee/Police Detective into her home. Dinner has been prepared and she, Sabrina, and Dillon gather around Yuriko’s dining table.

Dillon gives the detective a description of “Hutton” and asks if she can look into him. She agrees that what he describes of their encounter is disturbing and says that she will check him out. He also asks her to get involved in the Danielle Fletcher case—especially regarding the potential involvement of Killian Eris. The two also discuss the details of the case, including the discovery of bone shards in the stab wound on the body of Ms. Fletcher. She says that she will do what she can, but it is not her case—that could take some time. Dillon warns Sabrina that they believe Eris will kill again on the 30th—the next full moon. After their discussion, Dillon sees her out.

North Portland, Jack Sigo’s House

Jack Sigo lives in an older, industrial neighborhood of NoPo. Yuriko and Dillon arrive to an older home with a battered Jeep Cherokee parked out front. A middle-aged Native American man answers the door with Southern Comfort on his breath. Sigo genially invites them inside and offers them a drink, stating that “Paul” (Elder Eaglestaff) has told him about them. They discuss the Eris situation at length. They also discuss the various ways that they could find where Eris is performing his ritual. Sigo believes that if they found a place of power that he could sense it, but without a lead as to where to look, they’d end up combing the entire mountain.

Dillon texts Sabrina regarding the details of Danielle Fletcher’s death on Mount Hood. Then he calls Tom Casing to get the actual location where Fletcher’s body was found. Tom sends an image of a diagram of the mountain and the body’s location to Yuriko‘s phone. Dillon then contacts Sabrina again to get her to focus on Eris and Hutton, versus Danielle Fletcher (as they already have the information they need from Tom). Sigo agrees to take Dillon and Yuriko out to the mountain tomorrow to visit the site where Fletcher’s body was found and to look for Eris’ ritual site.

October 22, 2012

Mount Hood

Dillon and Yuriko take a cab out to Jack Sigo’s place and the three load up into his battered, old Jeep Cherokee and head to the mountain.

They take one of the trails as high as they can go in the Jeep and then park to get out and hike up to the ridge where Danielle Fletcher’s body was found. Once on the ridge, Jack sits down and meditates for a time, mumbling softly to himself. After a few minutes of contemplation, the Elder rises and starts leading them up a trail. After a few false turns and double-backs, the trail eventually leads them to a large fissure in the side of the mountain. Dillon goes inside, undeterred by the darkness thanks to his preternatural senses.

Inside the fissure, Dillon finds a chamber with a worn stone table at its center. There are bloodstains on the table. The walls have been painted somewhat recently with various whirls and symbols. Dillon goes out and borrows Yuriko‘s phone to take pictures of the symbols on the walls. Jack’s questions about how Dillon is able to see inside without a flashlight go unanswered. Dillon returns with pictures of the cave paintings. These he shows to Jack, who identifies them as ancient symbols of earth and of breaking. He believes that what Eris is doing is breaking powerful elemental seals, seals meant to be kept closed by the rituals performed by the Elders each moon. That it is of earth could explain the earthquakes—he succeeded in breaking the earth seal with the death of Danielle Fletcher. He will continue to work on the others until whatever power is here is no longer held in check.

Dillon asks Jack what the Elders intend to do now about Eris. Will they work to stop him on their own? Let the police handle it? Let other outside forces handle it? Jack says that he will need to discuss this with the others—there has been no demonstration of such power in his generation. The three then make a beeline back to the Jeep and head down off the mountain and back into the city.

Northwest Portland, Powell’s Bookstore

Dillon and Yuriko find Aleister in the Rare Book Room in Powell’s. They offer to buy him a coffee for a bit of private conversation. He agrees, though it is obvious he has reservations.

The two ask him about how Wardens would react to a hypothetical situation such as has arisen with Killian Eris. Would they allow the police to simply handle the murders involved our would they step in directly and hold the practitioner? Can the police hold a practitioner? The former Warden tells them that the Wardens would act as both judge and executioner in such a case and that what is taking place in the hypothetical situation clearly violates the Laws of Magic. Whether or not the person would stand before the White Council or be executed on site depends upon the situation at hand and the Warden in question. Further, Aleister intimated that there are connections between the White Council and the Police Bureau. Further, he indicated that whether a practitioner could be held by the police varied according to the type of magic the practitioner specializes in. However, as they did not have access to many of the accoutrements of magic, it would be difficult for them to perform any rituals of much power from behind prison walls. The two thank the old man for his time and leave the bookstore.

Northwest Portland

As Dillon and Yuriko make their way toward Yuriko’s apartment, Sabrina Manheim calls Dillon. There is apparently a Missing Person’s file open on a Benjamin Hutton. It’s been five days since the man reported to work and one of his co-workers became worried and filed the report. She sends a picture of Hutton to Yuriko’s phone—it’s a match for the man that Dillon encountered the previous day, but with a couple of exceptions. In the photo, which was obviously taken at some office event, Hutton doesn’t look creepy at all—he seems downright happy. Further, he seems to have blue eyes instead of the intensely green ones that started at Dillon with such dark amusement in the alleyway. Sabrina also informs him that when detectives searched Hutton’s downtown home, they found a hidden door behind a bookcase that lead into a secret basement. Inside the basement, they found various occult paraphernalia and a pentagram painted upon the floor. She indicates that she can take him there tomorrow as a consultant, if Tom gives the okay—she doesn’t want to step on his toes with his occult consultant.

Once Dillon gets off the phone with Sabrina, he calls Reverend Buxman. He has Yuriko send him the photo of Hutton that Sabrina had provided. He then tells the priest about Hutton’s secret basement and the pentagram found within it. He also tells the priest about the apparent change in eye color. Is there anything he can think of that would change a person that distinctly?

Obviously shaken, Reverend Buxman says that, yes, he has encountered such a thing before. Some twenty years ago, with a fifteen-year-old boy named Daniel Holloway. The boy was possessed by a demon called Athralanax. He and his partner, a Reverend Beauvais, had exorcised the creature from the boy. While possessed, he underwent numerous physical changes—including a change in eye color. He warns Dillon to be careful of using the creature’s name and that he must immediately contact Reverend Beauvais. Dillon asks him what to expect of this possessed man. Buxman answers that he will be strong and quick and very cunning. He then hangs up so that he can contact Beauvais.

Now Yuriko’s phone rings—it is her cousin, Hana. She wants Yuriko to meet her new boyfriend, Armando. Can they swing by tonight on their way to the club? Yuriko says sure, they can come by around 7:00. She and Dillon continue on to her apartment, where they discuss these latest developments.

Northwest Portland, Yuriko’s Apartment

At 7:00 pm, someone rings the bell at Yuriko’s apartment. She answers the door to find her cousin Hana and an attractive Latino man standing in her doorway.

“Yuriko, this is Armando. My boyfriend.”

Armando takes Yuriko’s hand and kisses it. “It is a pleasure,” he says.

Yuriko invites the two inside while Hana insists that they can’t stay long; they are on their way to The Zoo. Apparently the two met there a couple of weeks ago—which would mean they met soon after Hana had arrived in Portland. They have been dating exclusively for the past few days.

Dillon gets a bad vibe off of Armando. He notices that the man’s eyes keep flicking to Dillon’s crucifix. Acting on a hunch, Dillon announces that he and Yuriko would like to come to The Zoo with them. They can all hang out together. This is obviously not something that Hana or Armando had planned on but they accept Dillon’s suggestion politely. Yuriko follows Dillon’s lead.

Northeast Portland, The Zoo

They all load up into Armando’s small sports car and head out to The Zoo.

The club, as usual, is very full and busy, but Armando manages to get them all past the long line of club-goers eagerly seeking entrance.

The group makes their way to one of the few available booths in the club. Dillon offers to get everyone drinks. He goes to the bar, gets everyone’s drink orders and then surreptitiously puts a dose of his saliva into Hana’s beverage. He brings the drinks back to the booth and distributes them. Hana takes a single sip of her drink and then goes a little dizzy and passes out.

Everyone is surprised and concerned for Hana. Dillon insists that they need to go and they’ll take Hana with them. He’s going to call for a ride. Armando is indignant, saying that he can take them to a hospital if they need to go, he’s right here. Dillon insists on calling for another ride. As Armando protests, offended, Dillon tells Yuriko to get Sabrina on the line. Yuriko does so, asking her to pick them up from the club and makes a point of indicating that Sabrina was a police detective. The entire time, Dillon and Armando eyeball each other.

As everyone rises to leave, Armando continues to protest. He doesn’t understand why they do not allow him to help. Dillon tells him “You need to get another mark.” Armando seems mystified. “You know what I’m talking about. Leave her alone.” He and Yuriko manage to maneuver Hana out of the club and wait near the valet parking area for Sabrina. Armando continues to push his way through the crowd toward them.

Finally, Sabrina arrives. The two friends carry Hana to the car and get inside, with Dillon sitting in the passenger seat. He points Armando out to Sabrina as he continues to make his way toward them. The detective takes a look at him and goes visibly pale. Then she turns the car and bolts from the parking lot as fast as she can.

Obviously concerned and confused, Dillon asks Sabrina what’s going on. She is pale and breathing heavy. “That was him. The one on the docks that night. The one that attacked me.”

Visibly shaken himself, realizing that he had stood up to a full-blood Red Court Vampire, Dillon tells Sabrina to take them to the church where they can regroup. . .

View
Side Job: Book of Shadows (continued)
Part Three

November 5, 2012

Angelica reported to work on-time at the Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church to work in the food pantry. Several experienced volunteers wasted no time in putting her to work. The food pantry was actually pretty busy—a steady stream of patrons came in while Angelica worked at both the public counter and at stocking the shelves. Eventually, she was offered a break, during which she went to the sanctuary to examine the engraved door she had encountered on her earlier visit.

As she examined the door for any clue to what it was protecting, she was approached by Reverend Buxman.

“Hello, Ms. Underwood. Are you enjoying working at our food pantry?”

“I am, thank you.” Looking at the door, Angelica murmured “It is reassuring to know that the church is so devoted to protecting others.”

The Reverend quirked an eyebrow. “Yes, it is the part of the mission of this church to offer sanctuary and protection to our parishioners.” Looking at Angelica and again at the door, the priest sighed. “What really brings you to this sanctuary, Ms. Underwood?”

Angelica looked the priest in the eye and said, “Trying to protect others from evil.”

“I see. Shall we return to the pantry?” He stepped aside to allow her to pass and then two walked back to the mission wing of the church. Buxman excused himself to discuss the day’s business with the more experienced volunteers and took his leave of Angelica.

Angelica worked for the rest of the day in the pantry and ended up signing up for more hours during every day of the following week.

Returning to her car, she looked around to see if Fadil was still following but caught no sign of him. She then drove to the library to do some research on the Gnostics.

She didn’t learn much. Only that the Gnostics were comprised of a variety of pre-Christian and early-Christian sects that worked to achieve “gnossis” or a direct experience of God. Some were believed to be practitioners of magic, using spells and symbology to achieve their goals. Her research made her ponder the possibility of the power of the truly faithful and their ability to counteract and protect against the magic that she knew was real. Was there a divine power that could be used to protect whatever this book was that the Shrouded One wanted? She didn’t know. There was still a long gap between having the knowledge of the nature of spirits and ghosts and belief in the divine. Disappointed in her lack of answers, she returned home and went to bed.

November 6, 2012

Angelica reported back to the pantry first thing in the morning. Everyone seemed to be ill at ease. She finally heard from one of the volunteers why: apparently there was a break-in at the church the previous night. One of the priests, Father Tyler, was injured during the break-in. Father Buxman had spent most of the morning speaking with the police.

During her break, Angelica sought out Reverend Buxman’s office. She found him inside with the door open, reading.

“Hello, Reverend. I’ve been thinking about what you had said before, about God placing people in each other’s paths. . .”

“Yes, come in Ms. Underwood. Have a seat.” He motioned to one of the empty chairs in front of his cluttered desk and put away his book.

Angelica sat. “I heard that there was a break-in here last night. That a priest has been hurt.”

Buxman nodded. “Yes, unfortunately Father Tyler was severely beaten. Whoever broke in failed to steal anything or do anything else. It was quite an unfortunate incident.”

“One of the tenets I live by is to never let people get hurt.”

“An admirable tenet, but I don’t see how you could have protected Father Tyler or how you would be responsible.”

Angelica changed gears. “Were you aware of the Gnostic sigils in the sanctuary?”

The priest nodded. “Yes, those were inscribed by one of the founders of the church back in 1919. He was a scholar of ancient texts. They represent protection, I believe. I’m surprised that you recognize them for what they are.”

“I do a fair amount of research in ancient texts, myself.”

After a quiet moment, Buxman sighed. “Ms. Underwood, I feel like you want to say something to me, but something is holding you back.”

Steeling herself, Angelica replied, “I’ve heard rumors that this church may be holding a particular book that those with ill intent may wish to obtain. The fact that a priest has been hurt seems to me to be an indication of how far someone would go to obtain it.”

“I’ll be honest with you, Ms. Underwood. The fact that you have been very curious about our church of late, and then your interest in that particular door in the sanctuary when it was that door where the attempted break-in occurred, make me very curious about your motives in this. Now you tell me of ‘rumors’ that you have heard and your concerns about one of my colleagues. It’s all very curious. Perhaps if you could tell me more about the source of these rumors?”

“That secret is not mine to tell—however there are those concerned about the artifact falling into the wrong hands. Part of the reason I came to the church specifically was because I believe that a force, an evil is looking for something here.”

Reverend Buxman steepled his fingers in front his face. “I believe, as I said, that people can be brought together by God for a reason. But my faith tells me that, though these coincidences say otherwise, you are not responsible for what happened here last night. I can assure you that the Church has protected secrets and artifacts for millennia. Can you give me any information to help us in this?”

Angelica nodded. “A person known as ‘The Shrouded One’ is looking for a book here. I know that he is willing to send others after it and that it is important that he not get it, whatever it is.”

“‘The Shrouded One’?”

“I know very little else about him. I don’t know what book he’s looking for, or what he hopes to find inside it, but I know that his motives are not on the side of good.”

“Is that what you hope to accomplish here? To warn me of this?”

“I was hoping to ascertain if there is truth to what I have heard—if there is a book here that he might be after and whether or not it needed protection.”

Reverend Buxman simply blinked at Angelica, saying nothing. She tried another direction.

“Does Father Tyler know who or what attacked him?”

“He did not see his attacker.”

“The attacker came up behind him?”

“It’s. . . unclear.”

“The Shrouded One often sends others to do his work.”

The priest gave her a fatherly smile. “I can assure that if this ‘Shrouded One’ is looking for anything at Saint Andre’s, it is well protected.”

“Does the church have the protection to ensure that the attacker doesn’t come back?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that whatever this creature wants here is well protected by the church, but it still sent someone or something and it attacked one of your priests. Can you ensure that won’t happen again?”

Buxman frowned. “You seem to know more about our attacker than I. You tell me. Will they strike again?”

Angelica nodded. “He’s going to keep trying—that is my fear. But I don’t know what he thinks is here in order to get a sense of how or why he is doing this or what he is capable of to obtain it.”

Buxman pursed his lips. “Ms. Underwood. You’ve come to my church under suspicious circumstances and give me nothing but rumors and vague threats as to reasons for your behavior. Then you wish me to reveal secrets which are not mine to give in order to help alleviate your fears of what is to come. I do not understand why you need to know what the church is protecting or why I should give that information to you.”

“If I know what it might be looking for then perhaps we will know its nature. I’ve encountered its handiwork twice.”

“Handiwork? It seems to me that that would give you more of a clue to its nature.”

“Both times it involved interfering with the dead. My only guess is that there is something that it thinks will be helpful in this regard.”

As the priest thoughtfully stroked his upper lip, Angelica was struck by the fact that he did not seem incredulous regarding her assertion about the dead. Perhaps he knew more than he was letting on. . .

Finally Buxman said, “The dead. That is an interesting assertion.”

“You didn’t seem surprised.”

“I know that evil comes in many guises. How would knowing what it is allow you to protect others?”

“Its true pupose, its abilities, its ambitions. All of these will help. He has only recently surfaced as a threat. Things seem to be stirring in this city.”

“I agree. Things have been stirring. If I give you this secret, will it be yours alone?”

“No.”

“That was quick.”

“It was honest. Those that have pointed me in this direction are concerned about the city as well.”

“We are at an impasse. You want information that I am reluctant to give and give me know compelling reason to do so. You even assert that you would share this information.” The priest sighed. “You have to understand, while evil comes in many guises, there are those would do harm in the name of good.”

Angelica nodded. “I understand.”

Buxman continued. “You say he is associated with the dead?”

“Yes.”

Rubbing his eyes, the priest nodded. “When the church was founded, we were given the duty to protect a grimoire. A book of spells, if you will. It is called ‘The Book of Shadows’ and contains a variety of rituals and practices of a dark nature. Included in the book is a ritual to summon a being known only as ‘He Who Rises’. It is possible that this Shrouded One seeks out The Book of Shadows.”

“Since we’re being honest, how was Father Tyler attacked? Was he physically attacked by someone he couldn’t see? Or was he psychically attacked?”

“Physically assaulted by a presence—according to him, it was semi-transparent and glowed in the darkness.”

“Was he assaulted by any emotion that was not his own?”

“Nothing like that—he was physically beaten to unconsciousness.”

“When did this occur?”

“Around midnight.”

“Did anyone else see or hear?”

The priest shook his head. “No.”

Angelica took a deep breath. “Frankly, it sounds like he is sending the dead after you to secure this book.”

“If so, then you should know that the Church represents the triumph of life over death. We can protect against such attacks.”

Angelica rose from her seat. “You have entrusted me with some great secrets, I will trust you with one. If you need help against the dead, I can help.”

Buxman shook his head. “No. Focus your efforts on finding this Shrouded One. I believe the Church has the advantage in the fight of life versus death.”

She handed him her business card. “Contact me anytime.”

The priest nodded as Angelica left. “God be with you.”

Her mind was filled with trepidation as she drove home, with no sign of Fadil following.

View
Side Job: Book of Shadows (cont'd)
Part Two

November 4, 2012 (cont’d)

The PIPs squad and Angelica arrived on the twelfth floor without much fanfare. The elevator opened into the intersection of two corridors. Charlie set up their equipment in the intersection while Gemma applied sensors to the walls down one of the corridors. The corridors were dim, lit only by a weathered skylight and a series of running lights applied to the floors of the hall. As Angelica waited, she felt a cold draft waft across her skin. She then heard a male’s voice whisper “It’s not fair. . .”

A series of beeps issued from Charlie’s gear. “We have a cold spot,” he said.

“He whispered to me,” said Angelica. “He said ’It’s not fair.’”

Charlie smirked. “Well, I don’t know about that. But I definitely read a temperature drop. Gemma, you and Simon split up. Take each of these corridors.”

“What about me?” Angelica asked.

“You can follow behind Simon. He’ll leave the doors open for you.”

Charlie handed Simon and Gemma keycards that he had obtained from the hotel manager. “These should get us inside each door.” He also issues everyone Bluetooth headsets that were apparently controlled by the apparatus he had set up.

As Gemma took one corridor, Angelica followed Simon down the other. He had some sort of video recorder mounted on his shoulder and a boom-light out ahead of him. She let him explore a room and then came along behind him when he left. The going was slow, but thorough.

In 1215, Angelica was turning to leave the room when a shadowy form manifested in front of her. It was a male, wearing pajama bottoms. She heard “It’s not fair. . . It was only a bit of fun. . .” She called Simon inside, but that time the manifestation had disappeared again, leaving only a cold spot behind.

As the team made their way slowly back down the hall, they heard a sharp report sound over the Bluetooth and Gemma mutter angrily “What are doing here anyway?”

“Just be patient, Gemma. We may not find anything this time,” Charlie said.

“Dammit, don’t patronize me, Charlie,” Gemma growled.

Angelica asked Simon if this was normal behavior for Gemma; Simon said no.

“It’s so cold in here,” Gemma said as Simon and Angelica caught up to her.

“Definitely reading a cold spike,” Simon confirmed.

Angelica explored the room while Simon tried to calm Gemma down. She found nothing but the cold.

“All right, split back up and lets finish this place up,” Charlie ordered.

The team split back up, with each side taking the rooms the other had just gone through, double-checking everything.

In 1237, Angelica felt another breath of cold air and the male voice whisper “She got what she needed. . .”

She went to Simon to tell him what she’d experienced and he snarled “Why don’t you just back off!” Both were standing in an icy draft at the time.

Charlie called over the Bluetooth, “Okay, okay, lets regroup at the center.”

Everyone returned to the entryway onto the floor. “Well, gang. We haven’t got much. Just a couple of cold spots,” Charlie said.

“Oh, he’s here all right. He spoke to me,” Angelica said. “And I think he’s angry.”

“Well, we don’t have anything on tape. Nothing tangible. Sorry, but we need more than your hearing voices.”

“Nevertheless, he’s here. And he’s only going to get worse. I want to talk to him again.”

“Don’t you want the camera with you?”

“No, I really don’t.”

Simon asked, “Don’t you want people to believe you?”

“I’m not really worried about that. People find me if they need me.”

“Fine,” Charlie said. “The rest of you, let’s load up.”

As the others began loading up their gear, Angelica called out to the angry spirit.

“Jonathan Sundry!”

Suddenly, she was buffeted by a cold wind and felt the grip of anger on her heart. The spirit of Jonathan Sundry screamed in her ear. “It’s not fair! It was only a bit of fun!”

“The man that did this is dead. He paid for crime! Fiona divorced him!”

“Was that her name?” The spirit chuckled as it continued to try and attack Angelica’s psyche.

“You need to go! You don’t belong here anymore!” She placed all of her conviction in her heart in the wrongness of his being here, hoping to force him back into the Nevernever.

No dice.

“It’s not fair!” the spirit shrieked as it exited the corridor in a wave of cold anger.

Angelica turned to the others who all stared at her in astonishment.

Charlie frowned. “And you didn’t want a camera on you. Do you realize how many believers are ridiculed for their belief without any evidence? Do you realize how much that would have helped?”

“That’s not why I do this. I do this because I can and to help ease the suffering of others. Not to prove anyone’s theory or belief.”

They all rode the elevator back downstairs.

“So, did you see it?” Charlie asked.

“I heard it.”

“No cameras. No equipment. You know, lady, lots a of believers are ridiculed every day because they have no proof of what they say. Why should we believe you?”

“If you don’t believe me, believe this. This is serious. That spirit is consumed with anger and its manifestations will only grow worse with time.”

Downstairs, they met the manager.

“And. . .” he said.

“We didn’t get much,” Charlie said.

Angelica interrupted. “You have a very angry spirit up there.” Charlie‘s stare shot daggers at the medium. Angelica continued. "There are two options to get rid of him. I may be able to convince him to go on his own. If that doesn’t work, it may rile him. In that case, I’ll have to make more preparations and return."

The manager turned to Charlie, who answered. “That’s not our forte, sir. We just investigate and gather evidence. She’s not with us. If you want to get rid of this spirit, you’re going to have to go with her or someone else.”

The manager turned back to Angelica. “Let’s try and convince it.”

Angelica turned to the others. “Do we have any information about Jonathan Sundry?”

“Not much,” Simon said. "Just that he was a traveling salesman who had a tryst with one of the chambermaids, a Fiona Watley. She was married to one of the bellmen at the time, a Samuel West, who found out about the tryst and shot Sundry on the twelfth floor. "

“Traveling salesman,” Angelica mused. “Interesting. . .”

Once again, Angelica found herself on the twelfth floor. She stood in intersection of corridors, gathering her inner strength for the task at hand. The others milled about and watched.

" Jonathan Sundry! " she called. “Come out, Mr. Sundry!”

A shadowy form of a man in pajama bottoms appeared before. She is gripped by an icy blast of anger, but Angelica managed to push past the emotional onslaught and found her voice.

“Jonathan. It’s time to move on. To the next place. It’s not fair! You should have to suffer here! Move on!” She gripped firmly on her knowledge of him as a traveling salesman, a wanderer, a man who moves on when it is time. Then she gave him a gentle, psychic “push” in the right direction. “It’s time to go!”

Finally, the vision fades away and the room is empty.

Sighing heavily, Angelica turned to the others. “It’s done.”

The group rode the elevator back down to the lobby and met the hotel manager.

“Well?” the hotel manager asked. “Is it done?”

Angelica nodded. The skinny man eagerly shook all of their hands and thanked them for their help. As she helped the others load equipment back into the PIPs van, Simon asked her if she wanted to join them. They could use the help. Angelica hesitates but then Charlie steps in and says, “I don’t think that would be a good idea. What she does is different that what we do.”

Angelica nodded. “Yeah, thanks. But here.” She gave Charlie one her business cards. “If you ever need me, give me a call.”

On her way back to her car, Angelica was intercepted by Jean Ling. “So, what happened?”

“I convinced him to move on.”

“That’s wonderful! How much do I owe you?”

Angelica shook her head. “On the house. He needed to go.”

Jean shook the other woman’s hand and the two parted ways. “See you in the forums!” Jean said as she bounced away.

Finally, Angelica made it to her car. Looking up, she noticed a familiar sedan waiting on one of the nearby side streets. Setting her jaw, she stormed up to the car and rapped on the window. Detective Fadil rolled it down.

“Why are you following me?”

" Because even though we’ve been taken off the case, Tim Mulligan is still missing. I think you know more than you’re telling. I need to find that boy. "

Angelica‘s anger cooled in the light of the detective’s honesty.

“I hope you find him.”

“Do you, Ms. Underwood?”

With that, Angelica returned to her car and drove home.

View
Side Job: Book of Shadows
Part One

November 1, 2012

“Bye! Have a great day!”

Angelica ushered out her last client of the day. She had been seeing a boom in her business of late and today was no exception. Between the pressures of the sagging economy and the strange earthquakes that were rocking Portland down from Mount Hood, people seemed to be in desperate need of stress relief. Angelica rubbed some lotion on her tired hands and sighed in relief. Just as she settled into her easy chair, she heard a rap at her door.

Standing in the late afternoon mist was Leilani Capstone. Moisture rose off of her grey Warden’s cloak. “May I come in?”

Flustered, Angelica stepped out of her way and stammered “Um, yes, of course.”

The Warden stepped inside and unclipped her sword sheath from the belt beneath her cloak before sitting down on the sofa. Angelica took the easy chair.

" The White Council has a task for you. " The Warden was never one for small talk. " We managed to retrieve some information from the necromancer, Tim Mulligan, that you turned over to us. Apparently this being known only as ‘The Shrouded One’ wanted Mulligan to retrieve a book for him. The book is located in the church of Saint Andre Bessette. The Council wants you to find out what book this is, why this ‘Shrouded One’ would want it, and if it needs to be in the custody of the Council. "

Angelica blinked. “I see. Do we have any more information that I can use to go on?”

“No. And our interrogations were quite thorough, I can assure you.”

The ectomancer nodded. The Warden continued.

“We’ve come to you because you’re already involved and, frankly, with the current situation, I can’t be everywhere at once.”

“Current situation?”

" The War. With the Red Court. Fortunately, there has never been a great deal of Red activity in Portland, thus my services were needed in Eugene. Speaking of which, speak with Kendria in the Alberta district. She may have some information for you on protecting yourself. She has a shop called New Horizons. "

The Warden rose and re-attached her sword to her belt and headed to the door. As Angelica opened the door for her, she turned to the ectomancer and said, “Oh, one more thing. You should not be bothered by any other visits from the police regarding this matter.” Then she exited the house.

Angelica sighed and settled into her chair once again. A war with vampires? The White Council wants her to investigate this? It was a lot to take in. She called Lau Hu Chen, but he said it was not good time to talk. He sounded stressed. Probably family issues.

Her computer pinged, indicating an incoming invitation to a chat room. It was from user ChinaDoll7, a frequent poster to some of the paranormal forums that Angelica frequented. Apparently ChinaDoll7 worked for an unnamed hotel that was reputed to be haunted. She posted various disturbances that guests have reported and seemed to be interested in the paranormal “scene”. Angelica logged in as Silvercircle3 and entered the chat room.

ChinaDoll7 wasted no time. “Do you do paranormal investigations?”

Angelica hesitated a moment before answering, “Yes.”

“Good. My hotel has had a lot of activity lately and people are starting to get worried. Can we meet?”

“We can meet . . .”

“Tomorrow lunch?”

The two arranged to meet at a local restaurant for lunch. ChinaDoll7 indicated that she would be an Asian woman in a blue hat. Angelica replied that, to live up to the stereotype, she’d be in black.

After logging out of the chat room, Angelica decided to pay Kendria a visit. She had visited with the woman before—they ran in a lot of the same circles. Kendria was into aromatherapy and Reiki treatments and both were licensed massage therapists. Kendria was also a practitioner, an alchemist, to be exact. So Angelica got in her car and drove over to Alberta.

Angelica entered New Horizons as another patron was leaving.

“Hi, Angelica! It’s been a while. I have some great new oils you might be interested in. . . " Kendria was a pretty, fit young woman with brown dreadlocks and an infectious smile.

“No, thank you. That’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to talk about more. . . private. . .matters. "

The other woman walked over to the door and locked it, and then turned over the CLOSED sign in the window.

“Okay. I’m all ears.”

“I need something for protection.”

“Physical or more mystical? I don’t really do wards, but. . . "

“Physical protection.”

“Angelica, is someone trying to hurt you?”

“No, nothing like that. Not yet, anyway.”

" Okay. You have to be careful out there. I don’t know if you heard, but the White Council is at war with the Red Court. For now, I’d travel with a friend if I were you. "

Angelica smiled. “I usually do, but he was busy tonight. And yes, that’s why I want something protective.”

“Come on.” Kendria took Angelica to the back room of the shop. “Some of us are banding together to join something called the Paranet. Have you heard of it?” Angelica shook her head as Kendria continued. “They have groups in Chicago and New York and few other places. Where people like us can protect ourselves when the Council can’t.”

“So has this group formed yet?”

" No, not yet. We had a preliminary meeting at Edgefield, but we were attacked by a pack of Reds. "

Angelica was taken aback. Edgefield was Accorded Neutral Ground in the supernatural community. “Was anyone hurt? I thought that place would be warded.”

" A few were injured. A couple of us killed. We were lucky that it was just a lightning raid of some sort. Probably to send a message. As for the wards, some think they were sabotaged. Solomon is not happy "

“Who’s Solomon?”

" Solomon Chalmers. Caretaker at the Edgefield. "

“Oh.”

“So, about that protection.” Kendria pulled a vial off one of her many shelves. “This is Red Court Antivenom. If you take a dose, you should be able to stave off the effects of their venom, for at least a short time.”

“That would be helpful, thanks.”

Kendria sighed. “You do realize, of course, that this is how I make my living.”

Angelica wanted that vial, but wasn’t sure that she could afford it, it being a fairly rare and hard to manufacture substance. Angelica pleaded her case to the other woman, who relented and said that she could have the mixture in exchange for a favor later. Angelica agreed.

Kendria told her that she would contact her with the next Paranet get-together, if the community can regroup. Angelica said thanks and left the shop.

November 2, 2012

Angelica walked through of one of her favorite restaurants, looking for her contact. She didn’t have to wait long before she spotted an attractive, Asian woman, about her same age, sitting in a booth wearing a cute, blue floppy hat. The woman extended her hand before Angelica sat.

“Silvercircle3?”

“Call me Angelica.”

" I’m Jean. Jean Ling. "

The two shook hands and Jean took a seat across from her black-clad contact.

“You know that my hotel has had a fair amount of strange activity. Enough that it has a reputation. Until now, that reputation has actually brought in more customers than it has scared off. But now, the management is starting to worry that there may be something wrong with the building. They’re not willing to say what—but just that something is wrong.”

“What hotel is it?”

" The Miranda. It’s in Old Town. Anyway, it’s going to be closed this Sunday for ‘reasons’. The management won’t say why. So I figure that I can get you inside to take a look and, well, do what you do. "

Angelica nodded. “Tell me more about these incidents.”

" Well, it’s mostly cold spots and stuff like that. Rather benign, just more of it. It all takes place on the twelfth floor. That’s why most of the old timer’s think it’s Jonathan Sundry. He was murdered on the twelfth floor back in the 1920s. It was a bit of a scandal because he was sleeping with one of the porter’s wife at the time and the porter found out and shot him. "

“Do you know who shot him?”

Jean shook her head. “No, just one of the hotel’s employees. So, are you willing to help?”

Angelica smiled. “Of course.”

“Great! How much will I owe you?”

“We’ll talk about that later.”

The two agreed to meet on Sunday morning about 8 a. m. on a nearby corner to The Miranda. Jean will then lead the way to a staff entrance and get Angelica inside, near the stairwell. The two shook hands and left the restaurant.

As Angelica made her way to her car, she got the distinct feeling that she was being watched. She looked around, trying to see if someone was following her, but saw nothing. Disconcerted, she got in her car and headed to Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church.

Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church was a church known for its missions against poverty and homelessness. Angelica found a line of homeless people going into one of its side entrances, with traffic being directed by a priest. She headed toward the main entrance into the sanctuary.

Inside, she approached a young priest about getting a tour of the building. He told her that such a tour would be unusual, but he may be able to arrange for her to be shown the public areas of the facility. She then mentioned the food pantry and other ministries and was told that these were facilitated by Reverend Buxman. The young priest seemed please to be able to pass Angelica over to the older the priest.

Buxman was a kindly, older man, busily directing a lot of the chaos in the mission area of the church. Angelica was introduced and inquired about having a tour of the facility and in volunteering to help at the pantry.

“That would be most generous of you, Ms. Underwood, to volunteer your time so. I believe that God has a plan for everyone. Perhaps this is your calling.”

“Perhaps. I do like to help people.”

“As far as a tour, would you be able to return tomorrow? As you can see, I have my hands a bit full today.”

“That will be fine.”

“Good. Here is the number of my secretary. Contact her to arrange for volunteer hours at the pantry.”

Number in hand, Angelica headed out. She did not have a sense of being watched anymore, but figured that if anyone was watching her, all they saw was that she visited a church.

Before heading home, Angelica decided to stop off at the library to do some research about the Jonathan Sundry case. He was apparently shot by a man named Samuel West, who later received life imprisonment for the crime. It was described as a crime of passion, but there were very few details in the old papers.

Finally, Angelica visited with a local security company and had a basic security system installed on her home. Nothing fancy, but enough to give her some piece of mind against intruders.

November 3, 2012

As Angelica parked her car on the street near Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church, she noticed that a car had been following her. It continued down the street and passed her. She didn’t recogonize the vehicle, but she did recognize the man behind the wheel—Detective Walter Fadil. This was the detective that had questioned her about the disappearance of Tim Mulligan. The one who the Warden had said would not be bothering her anymore. Leaving that problem for later, she walked up to the church to meet with Reverend Buxman.

She met the Reverend in the sanctuary. After exchanging pleasantries, the older man took the young woman by the arm and escorted her about the premises. The church had opened in 1919 and had a lot of history in the community as a mission-oriented church. After about half an hour, the Reverend had shown her most of the administrative areas as well as the various missions of the church, including their art program. Angelica asked him specifically about the church’s library and she was shown the administrative library—a small room stocked with high shelves and a small internet-ready computer. Disappointed that she seemed to be no closer to her goal of finding the book, she nevertheless took the tour in stride and even volunteered to work in the food pantry the following Monday. Pleased, Buxman got her information and gave him his card.

As she walked from the sanctuary back out into the street, Angelica caught the glimpse of some strange writings in the older door frames in the sanctuary area. She made a mental note of the carvings and made her way back to her car.

Getting back home, Angelica conducted some research on the glyphs she saw in the door frame at the church. She concluded that they were ancient Gnostic sigils of warding and protection. But what were they protecting? And how?

November 4, 2012

After getting up early and finishing breakfast, Angelica made her way toward her meeting withJean Ling.

She parked her car in front of a shop a few blocks from the rendezvous point. She didn’t know if she was still being followed by Fadil or not but she didn’t want to take that chance and get Jean into trouble. She wandered into the shop, hoping that Fadil would take notice. Then, before she left again, she gathered a small amount of power about her and shaped into a veil that snapped into place as she left the shop. Light bent around her in a way that shielded her from sight. She maintained the veil as she moved down the street, trying to avoid fellow pedestrians while concentrating on her spell. After about a block, she ducked into an alley and released her hold on the powers of spirits, disrupting the spell. Hopefully that would fool her surveillance detail. She then hurriedly walked down the alley toward her meeting with Jean.

Jean was at the corner, just like she said she would be. She explained again to Angelica that she would get the investigator into the hotel’s twelfth floor and that she could look around if she wanted to, but they probably wouldn’t have much time. What would she do if she got caught? Jean frowned. “All right, then,” she said. “I’ll come with you. Take full responsibility for you being there. It’s the only thing to do.” As they made their way down street to The Miranda, they saw that a van had pulled up with a bright logo: " PIPs: Portland Investigators of the Paranomal. "

Three people hopped about the van, bringing out equipment. A fourth person, probably a very nervous hotel manager, paced on the sidewalk.

“That’s my boss,” Jean said. “So that’s why they closed the hotel. Did you still want to go in?”

Angelica nodded. “I do.” PIPs had a bit of a reputation in the online communities. Earnest, but amateur. She didn’t think that they could she what she would be able to. She truly wanted to help Jean and her employers as well as the distressed spirit himself. She wanted to do what she did best.

She turned to Jean. “Thanks. I’ll take it from here. No need for you to get in trouble. I’ll let you know what I find out.”

Jean smiled. “Okay. Be careful.” Then she walked away down the street, away The Miranda.

Angelica took a deep breath, squared her shoulders, and walked up to the large man with a metal cane who seemed to be in charge. If her online contacts were any indication, this would be Charlie Huffman—ex-firefighter and paranormal investigator. She stuck out her hand to the large man, who took and shook it firmly.

“My name is Angelica Underwood. I was wondering if I could help?”

“I think we have it covered, Ms. Underwood. Simon, go ahead and grab the temperature sensors.”

“I have certain. . .talents. . .that could be of use here.”

Another of the PIPs team, a young bookish woman asked. “Are you a medium or something?”

Angelica nodded. “Yes. Something like that.”

Charlie interrupted. “That’s not our usual method. We want to pick up and detect evidence of physical manifestations. Then we refer people to folks like you if their into—well, that sort of thing.”

“Well, if anything, I can be an extra set of hands if you need it.” Angelica eyed the increasing stacks of equipment being piled out of the van.

Charlie sighed. “All right. But two things: I’m in charge and you stay out of the way.”

Angelica smiled. “Fair enough. In fact, if you don’t mind, I have no desire to show up on your cameras here. I want to be anonymous.”

Charlie nodded. “We can arrange that. Okay, then. grab that case and head inside.”

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