The Dresden Files: Portland

Scenario Seven: Part One
Ghoul Hunt: Part One

November 10, 2012

Yuriko

As Yuriko waits with crowd of people waiting for Powell’s to open for the day, Aleister touches her arm and wishes her a cheery “Good morning!”. He hands her a cup of coffee. “I see you survived your ordeal.”

Yuriko smiles, taking the proffered cup. “Yes. Everything went off without a hitch.” She looks around at a crowd. “I’ll give you the details later.”

Aleister shakes his head. “No need. That you’re fine is good enough for me. I’m out of the game and wish to remain that way. The less I know, the better, I think.”

The doors open and the crowd rushes inside, taking Yuriko and the older man with it. She waves goodbye and makes her way into the deep stacks. She has work to do. A ghoul is possibly stalking the graves in Mount Calvary and her group needs information.

She spends the morning poring over old books in the rare book room and in the various deep stacks of the bookstore, gleaning small bits of information trying to put together a more complete picture of ghouls, trying to sort fact from folklore and fiction. She doesn’t find much more than what Nick and Angelica already told her.

Ghouls can appear to be completely human, blending in with society. When not blending, they are hunch-shouldered, grey-skinned fiends covered in short, wiry hairs with the worst features of humans, hyena, and baboons, all mixed together—stunted strong legs, too long arms, and hands that have spurs of bone. They can go through 40 to 50 pounds of meat in a day—preferably human. They live in a clannish society—those that live outside the clan structure seldom make it to adulthood. Within the clans, ghouls speak ancient Sumerian. Ghoul clans are known to provide muscle for various nasty supernaturals, such as Red Court vampires. Ghouls can recover from just about anything short of decapitation or a similar mortal trauma. They’re inhumanly strong and fast and have sharp claws. They can appear human at will. They are affected by holy water. They are also unable to control their appetites for long. Most are kind of dumb.

By the time she gathers all of this information, most of the day has passed. Bleary-eyed, she makes her way to the café and orders a tea and gets a sandwich. She spots Aleister sitting alone, reading a paperback, and joins him.

“Long day?” he asks.

Yuriko merely nods and tears into her sandwich with gusto. After she finishes, she turns to the older man and asks “What do you know about ghouls?”

He raises an eyebrow. “You really don’t understand that I don’t wish to participate anymore, do you?”

Yuriko shrugs.

Aleister sighs. He then lays out what he knows, which pretty much confirms what Yuriko found in her research. “So you’re looking for ghouls now, then?”

Yuriko nods. “Yeah, we think there’s one prowling about in Mount Calvary Cemetery. It may become a danger to others so we want to try and take it out.”

Aleister gets an odd look on his face. “Mount Calvary? Has anyone been hurt?”

“Not yet. Just some desecrated graves. But that’s how it starts, right? They’re not going to be satisfied with just dead meat for long.”

" Does the Warden know about this? "

“Sure. She’s on board.”

The old man rubs his face and closes his eyes. “She doesn’t know.”

“Doesn’t know what?”

" About Kendel. "

“Who’s Kendel?”

" Kendel is a ghoul who lives Mount Calvary Cemetery. He eats the dead and only the dead. He made an arrangement with the White Council a long time ago. A truce, of sorts. In return, he provides no-questions-asked medical care to any who ask for it. "

“He’s a doctor?”

“Of sorts, yes.”

“Why wouldn’t the Warden know about this?”

“I don’t know. Maybe he was forgotten about. I didn’t brief the Warden when I left, I left that for the Council to do. Maybe its the Council’s not-so-subtle way of revoking the truce. I don’t know. But if no one has been hurt, he has hasn’t breached it and should be left alone.”

“But what of the dead?”

“What of them? They’re dead. What of the living? Or the semi-living, for that matter…”

“Do you know Kendel personally or just of him?”

“We’ve met a few times. He’s helped me out of a couple of scrapes. He’s creepy as hell, but knows his business and keeps his mouth shut.”

Yuriko leans in closer. “So is the agreement only with the wizards or does he help anyone in the community or anyone with wounds or what?”

" He helps pretty much anyone in the community, wizard or otherwise, no questions asked. The truce is not only with the White Council but tacitly with other communities as well. I don’t know why the White Council would want to break it by not telling the Warden. It’s possibly an oversight, but things are seldom merely oversights with the Council. "

“How long has this treaty been in existence?”

“Probably about fifteen years now. Don’t call it a treaty. Call it a truce.”

“What would happen if somebody broke the truce?”

Aleister looks up thoughtfully. “Remember that its a truce, not a treaty or promise of protection. It’s simply a promise that due to services rendered, we promise not to kill you. So if someone else kills the ghoul, there would be no direct quid pro quo per se. However, everyone has enjoyed Kendel’s services for years. Someone may get angry and there could be some backlash. Now, if the Warden herself were to kill the ghoul…”

“Yes?” Yuriko moves forward even more.

“Then that would be breaking the truce. She would either face censure from the White Council, ignorance not being an excuse, or, if the intent is for the White Council to break the truce, then the Council would face that backlash, possibly using the Warden as a scapegoat.”

“Is the current White Council the same as it was fifteen years ago when this truce was created?”

Aleister just blinks and smiles at Yuriko. “Some things I’m not at liberty to discuss even in retirement.”

Yuriko pats the old man on the shoulder. “Thank you for telling me what you can. You’re always welcome to come over for Kraft dinner.”

She rises and collects her things. “I still owe you, Aleister. For the wards. Thanks for everything.”

She then heads out and begins dialing Dillon on her phone. They have a lot to talk about.

Angelica

Angelica gets off the phone with Dillon and then gets ready to head out to Mount Calvary to walk the grounds. She hopes to see if any other disturbed spirits can offer clues to the ghoul’s whereabouts. Once she arrives at the cemetery, she opens herself up to the spirits. She receives a fair amount of activity from the spirits in the cemetery, trying to communicate with her, telling her of their various woes. Some seem to flicker missing parts, as did the spirit she encountered before. She can discern no pattern to the victims—they lay all over the cemetery, in graves and in mausoleums. None of the graves seem to be disturbed. It takes several hours to cover all the acres of cemetery, but finally Angelica finishes up and heads home to check her resources on other cemeteries.

According to some of message boards, there have been some disturbances in the graves at Lone Fir cemetery of late. They have been attributed rogue teens or vagrants, but Angelica’s sources sense a darker motive at work—perhaps work of a more occult nature. There was also a vicious attack on a graveyard custodian there recently. The attack was chalked up to a wild animal as apparently not much was left of the custodian to identify him.

She decides to give Dillon a call with her new information. He’s a bit of a night owl and is probably up.

Late that night, the ectoplasm in her vial finally dissipates, indicating that she can make the substance last a full day.

Dillon

After getting some much needed sleep, Dillon wakes up and makes a call to Reverend Buxman on his safety sabbatical. The priest didn’t say where he went; he only had Dillon drop him off at the airport.

“It’s done.”

“The danger has passed?”

“Yep. We got him. The Warden took him away last night.” Dillon fills Buxman in on the plan and the encounter with the necromancer.

“Very well,” Buxman says, “I’ll be on the next plane back to Portland. I should be in either tonight or in the morning.”

“Good. Then I’ll return your key to the super-secret sanctum that everybody but me knew about. Not that I’m upset about that.”

“It’s good that you’re taking that so well. See you when I return.”

Next, he gives Nick a call and gives him some thoughts on organizing the Paranet for Portland. He offers to call people and feel them out. He also offers to use the church as a meeting place for an initial “meet and greet”. Yuriko could even bring snacks. It’s important for the players in Portland to develop some trusting relationships with free exchange of information without fear of exposure. There are too many big threats free to roam for the little guys not to team up and survive.

Nick takes all of this in stride and seems to have a few ideas of his own. He wants to get with a few of the community leaders—people like Kendria, for instance, that people already know and trust and kind of form a brain trust. Perhaps a unified front with people the community already knows will help. He seems a little dubious of meeting at the church—he’s not sure some of the community will go for it. The church is not exactly neutral ground and some of the community members are not exactly true believers. But it’s something to keep in mind. But he seems to be warming to the idea of organizing the Paranet.

That afternoon, Dillon gets a phone call from Tom Casing—he has the evidence box from the Ronald Feeney case from 1987. He’s willing to meet at his apartment if he likes. Dillon is willing. Dillon gets an address and heads over.

Late that afternoon, at Tom’s meticulously neat apartment, Dillon is presented with a series of files, numerous photographs, and a VHS tape. The files contain all of the police reports filed by the detectives involved in the case. The photographs are of the various victims and of the final scene of Ronald Feeney’s showdown with police and Edgar Abel’s rescue. The VHS tape is also of the final showdown. It is grainy and not well shot. It shows a makeshift shack erected near the Old Pioneer Jail on Government Island, the hideout where Feeney was finally found and 5 year old Edgar Abel was rescued. The photographs show victims carved in an almost identical fashion as the current New Moon killer—though without the new Native American symbols.

As Tom and Dillon study the evidence, Dillon receives phone calls from Yuriko and from Angelica.

Angelica and Dillon

After sharing what she found out about the flickering ghosts in Mount Calvary, Angelica tells Dillon that she plans to walk through Lone Fir Cemetery. If there is a ghoul at work, she expects to find the same sort of pattern. She’ll attempt it in the morning, however. There’s already been one casualty and Angelica has no desire to run into a ghoul by herself in the middle of the night. She’ll let Dillon know what she discovers.

Dillon asks “Where is Lone Fir in relation to Mount Calvary? Are we liking the same ghoul for both places? Do you have someone to go with you on this walk-through Lone Fir cemetery?”

" Lone Fir Cemetery is about 5 miles from Mount Calvary, on the east side of the river. I don’t know how far ghouls normally travel to find food, but it’s only a 15 minute drive from one location to another. Lau Hu should be able to accompany me in case there’s trouble. "

Yuriko and Dillon

When Yuriko calls Dillon, she doesn’t get into details on the phone. “Something fishy is going on,” she tells him, “We need to meet tonight. Can you meet me at my apartment later? I’ll call Nick and have him come over as well. How long will you be at Tom’s apartment?" It is apparent that Yuriko is jealous that she hasn’t been invited over for a visit.

“I guess when I am done at Tom’s, I’ll head to your place to get the news,” Dillon says.

“Great! I’ll prepare coffee and light snacks for everyone.”

Dillon and Tom

After examining all of the items in the box, Dillon is disappointed to find that none of the items belong to Edgar Abel. Tom explains that with Feeney’s death, the police did not need to build a case for Abel’s kidnapping and returned all of his belongings to his family. Abel’s whereabouts are unknown. However, he is being sought by police as a person of interest in this case. There isn’t enough evidence to list him as a suspect. Abel’s last known whereabouts was a mental health care center in Oklahoma City. It was a voluntary care center and he hasn’t been seen since September. The car that the gang had followed previously was stolen in Oklahoma. The supposition is that it was Abel.

Dillon asks if anyone has checked out the old Feeney hideout on Government Island. Tom says that he and some uniformed cops are going to check it out tomorrow. He offers to let Dillon accompany them as a consultant. Dillon says he would like to come and look around.

At Yuriko’s Apartment

Yuriko has fresh coffee and cookies ready for everyone by the time Dillon arrives at her apartment.

Perched on the edge of her sofa, Yuriko relates her conversation with Aleister. “ So, what do you think? Is someone on the White Council trying to set up Capstone? Is someone trying to get us in trouble with the Community? ” She waves her hand in the air. “This whole thing seems suspicious to me. If we. . .or the Warden killed this ghoul, a lot of trouble would come down on our heads!”

Dillon says, " I don’t think someone is trying to set us up, we just stumbled onto the ghoul. Unless you think Capstone is trying to use us? If we assume she really didn’t know about the ghoul, then it sounds like bad communication within the wizard’s council. If there is a set up it may be against her, but again, we just happened upon the ghoul, no one sent us on a hunt for it. Regardless of how much the community likes this ghoul, I need to check with Buxman about allowing grave desecrations to continue. I may have to stop this ghoul, even if the community chooses to ignore him. "

Yuriko lifts a shoulder in a half-shrug. “It’s true that we didn’t know there was a ghoul in Mount Calvary when we started checking it out. But I can’t believe that Capstone didn’t tell the White Council that the entire ‘Capturing the Shrouded One’ mission was going down in the cemetery. That seems like information she should have been told.” The kitsune leans forward slightly. “I know that Capstone’s methods sometimes differ from ours. And I know that she’s fairly. . .straight-laced. But I don’t think she’d purposefully try to use us or get us into a bad situation.”

“Also, what if this ghoul is truly trying not to be ‘a monster?’ Trying to control his baser urges without hurting anyone?” Yuriko makes eye contact with Dillon, “Would we really try to destroy him if that was the case?”

Turning back to her cup of coffee, Yuriko continues, “Anyway, I think we need more information. I want to call Capstone and see if we can meet face to face. We can ask her if she knows about the ghoul and see what she says.”

Dillon frowns. "I never said that I thought Capstone was trying to set us up. I think the Wizards are busy and old business is being overlooked. It’s quite probable that this ghoul has been forgotten while everyone is preoccupied by vampires.

“As far as monsters being monsters, he is eating the dead, that’s not controlling his base urges, that’s indulging them. As to whether or not anyone is being hurt, I suppose the ‘flickering’ spirits might disagree with you. And if your ‘look’ was to suggest that this ghoul and I have anything in common, then you must think pretty low of me. Our situations are not in the slightest bit similar.

“Capstone, give her call and let her know what you found out, but I see no reason to pull her away from her duties for a face to face. It seems to me a phone call should suffice. I’m surprised Aleister hasn’t called her already after your discussion. Seems like the kind of thing he should do, warden to warden, professionalism and all.”

Yuriko gives Dillon a hurt look. “I have the utmost respect for you. You’ve had an immense burden thrust upon you, yet you never let it get the better of you. You instead use it to bring good into this world.” She sighs and plays with the empty mug in her hands. “All I’m really saying is that this situation may be more complex than we originally thought.” Yuriko stands and begins putting dirty dishes in the sink. “I’ll call Capstone and talk to her. I’m very curious as to what she’s going to say.”

Dillon gives Yuriko a hug, “Sorry, I guess I’m a little sensitive.”

Yuriko goes to call Capstone as Dillon goes to call Reverend Buxman.

Yuriko relates what she found out about Kendel to Capstone. After the taciturn Warden takes it all in she says, “Obviously I need to get some more information and guidance from the Council in the matter. I would ask you to refrain from moving forward until I do so. For your own safety. I may not be able to help you in this matter and I would hate to see you come to harm as a result of that.” Then she hangs up.

Dillon relates what he has learned to Reverend Buxman and asks for his opinion of this truce. Reverend Buxman says, "I cannot sit idly by and allow some beast to disinter those under the care of church. Mount Calvary is a Catholic cemetery and under the control of the Diocese. It is disrespectful to those under our care and to their families. No, this must be stopped, truce of convenience with the supernatural community or not. It is unacceptable.” Dillon says that he feels the same way.

The group reconvenes and Dillon relates what Reverend Buxman said. "“That’s what I thought he’d say. It’s how I feel too. I’m willing to give Capstone some time to investigate any particulars so we can avoid creating a problem for her, but I have to do something about this ghoul. If he’s as peaceful as Alesteir says, perhaps we can encourage him to find a new food source or give him the option to leave town, but I can’t allow the grave desecrations to continue.”

View
Scenario Six: Part Four
Book of Shadows: Part Four

November 9, 2012 (9:00 am)

Angelica begins to do research on the Sandstrom mausoleum and on Thomas J. Goode. Her work will take her most of the morning.

Dillon sleeps in as he’s had a long night.

Nick prepares for the fight tonight.

Yuriko heads over to Powell’s to talk to Aleister. Barring that, she’ll do research into what sort of undead the necromancer may throw their way. She finds the former Warden in the coffee shop of the giant bookstore. She approaches his table and taps him on the shoulder. “I have news.”

He looks up at her, surprised. “Oh?”

“It’s of a sensitive nature. Is there a place we can go?”

He leads her into the rare book room. She then proceeds to tell him of their pending encounter with the Shrouded One tonight in the cemetery with the current Warden.

“What kind of help do you think you can offer?” he asks.

“Well, these are constructs, right? Force can take care of them.”

“I still think it’s a bad idea for you and your friends to be involved in this fight.”

“Look, the necromancer isn’t going to fight fair. As much as the Warden has helped us, we want to get her back. We’re going to help.”

The old man seems to accept that.

“I have another question,” Yuriko continues. “If someone got bit by a zombie, do they turn into a zombie? Like in the movies?”

“No, it doesn’t work like that. At least, not with a traditional zombie. It’s just an animated corpse.”

Aleister then goes on to explain that the corpse is animated partially by the drumming sound of a heartbeat. The summoner must maintain this drumbeat somehow in order to keep the zombie animated. It can be as simple as tapping on the thigh or playing a drumbeat on a radio, but it must be maintained. Take out the source of the drumming, and you take out the source of the animation. Further, if the necromancer is using spiritual minions, such as spectres or ghosts, then they could be stopped by the use of thresholds.

“I wish you luck though I’m afraid you’re biting off more than you can chew here,” Aleister says as Yuriko turns to go.

“We need to help how we can.”

November 9, 2012 (10:00 am)

Yuriko texts Nick and Dillon: LET’S JUST HOPE THEY’RE TRADITIONAL ZOMBIES. I HAVE SOME INFO.

Nick texts back. DID WE WANT TO MEET?

Yuriko calls Dillon. " ‘morning, sunshine. I talked to Aleister. Let’s meet and pray they’re ‘traditional zombies’. " She sets up a meeting a Nick’s apartment.

Once they all gather at Nick’s, Yuriko catches them all up on the conversation she had with the retired Warden. They then have a long discussion of what do next—what the plan for tonight should entail. Dillon also asks Nick about the possibility of casting magic without the use of hands or the ability to speak. Nick says that it is possible but a lot harder to do. Nick also brings up the possibility of the Wizard’s “death curse”—the final hurrah that a Wizard is reportedly able to do in placing all of her power into one final spell at the cost of her life. With this possibility in the mix, it makes everyone leery of killing the Shrouded One—or, at least of giving the necromancer the chance to think their life is one the line. They also discuss various weapons to use—baseball bats, a Tazer (can Sabrina get one?), Nick’s gun. . .

It will be important to knock the necromancer down and out. But what about his minions? Magic circles may need to be employed to protect against the spectre—or spectres. If there are zombies, they will need to take out the drummer. Whatever they decide to do, they will need to coordinate with the Warden.

It is decided that Yuriko will go to Wal-Mart and get two baseball bats and three cans of pepper spray and two boxes of salt. Dillon sleeps on Nick’s couch while Yuriko shops.

November 9, 2012 (12:14 pm)

Angelica finally wraps up her research.

The Sandstrom mausoleum family has been prominent in Portland since the 1920s. The mausoleum holds the remains of Carolyn Ward Sandstrom (d. 1942) and Richard Sandstrom (d. 1937). The current Sandstrom family lives on the family estate in northeast Portland.

Thomas J. Goode (aka Thomas James Goode) was born on January 20, 1921 and died on July 25, 1983. He was a member of the local VFW and winner of the Purple Heart. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. A photograph on the VFW website shows Mr. Goode and it is clear that he lost his left arm while he was still living.

Angelica calls Dillon with her research, who, in turn, is thrilled to be woken up again. The two speculate on the possibility that the grave robbers took Goode’s Purple Heart as a connection with which to make a construct. But why Goode specifically? Was this done by another person? Was this done on a different night?

The two also discuss zombies and Angelica reveals some more information about them due to her first-hand dealings with the creatures. They are not the slow-lumbering creatures of film but can be inhumanly fast and strong. Spectres, on the other hand, are not inhumanly fast, but are inhumanly strong.

Angelica wants to get out to the cemetery as soon as possible to get the lay of the land. She will be bringing her friend from Edgefield. Dillon agrees that getting out to the cemetery is a good idea.

After hanging up with Dillon, Angelica calls Lau Hu: “Hope you’re available…” He is.

Dillon texts Sabrina: HEADING TO THE CEMETERYINVITED TO COME, UNDERSTAND IF YOU CAN’T.

Sabrina texts back: @WORK—CAN MEET TONIGHT.

November 9, 2012 (1:10 pm)

Angelica and Lau Hu arrive at the Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery first. Soon thereafter, a city bus pulls up and Dillon arrives with two others—a couple that was sitting near them at Edgefield the night they “met”. Dillon and the other man are carrying baseball bats. Introductions are made. The couple are Yuriko and Nick and Angelica’s friend is Lau Hu. After a brief discussion, it is decided to start at the grave of Thomas J. Goode to see if any more “weirdness” can be spotted there. Yuriko leads the way to the grave site.

When they arrive at the grave, they see that the cemetery administration has already beat them to it. Two caretakers are putting the finishing touches on a new mound as an administrator nervously paces, supervising the process. Dillon takes the administrator aside to talk to him about the situation, hoping to get information about any more oddness at the cemetery. The administrator doesn’t really want to talk about, but does spill that there have been more incidents (“though a low average for the size of the establishment”). The incidents are reportedly spread out throughout the cemetery, not localized to one particular area. Angelica recognizes one of the caretakers from one of her previous forays into the cemetery but does not speak to him. She also tries to glean information from the administrator but says much the same as he said to Dillon.

After the grave is finished, the administrator, clearly flustered at having curious visitors, gathers up the caretakers and makes his away to take care of other business. Angelica then walks around the grave, looking for spirits to talk to. The others look on, a bit incredulous—except for Lau Hu, who bows his head, respectfully. Sure enough, a spirit appears before her—visible only to her—flickering in her vision, but especially its lower right leg and lower right arm.

“It devours,” it whispers to her.

“What?” she asks.

“Us…” it says.

“What is it?” she asks.

“The thing with teeth and claws,”

The others can only her asking questions of the air above the grave, but they each feel the air pressure and temperature drop and a feeling of “the wiggins” rise in the air around them.

When the feeling fades and Angelica explains what she saw and what it means, Nick explains that it could mean a ghoul. “They’re nasty things. Eat meat. Lots of it. Definitely got teeth and claws.” They all discuss the possibility of ghouls joining with necromancers and everyone pretty much agreed it was an unlikely scenario. That wasn’t a natural fit, at any rate. So it was possible that Thomas Goode was the victim not of the necromancer’s grave robbers but of something else entirely. They agreed that they would have to table that for now and concentrate on the task at hand. It was time to go to the Sandstrom mausoleum.

November 9, 2012 (2:37 pm)

With Angelica’s help (due to her research earlier in the day), they find the Sandstrom mausoleum. Everyone checks out the area, looking for advantages in the coming fight. Dillon notes the shadowy overgrowth of the grove of trees that curl around the outside of the building. Yuriko notes the cover provided by the impressive tombstones across from the mausoleum, on the other side of the path. Angelica points out that the consecrated ground of the graves should make thresholds stronger when they form their magic circle defenses.

Angelica texts the Warden that they were at the cemetery assessing the area for tonight and asks if she wanted to try and meet. The Warden texts back: YES. Angelica asks if she wanted to meet here, now. The Warden responds: YES.

Dillon asks if Lau Hu would like a baseball bat, trying to assess what skills the man brings to the table. Lau responds “Yes, he would.” Disappointed, Dillon admits that they don’t have enough to give him one and says that he should get himself one. Lau Hu asks Angelica if this is the best way he can help, trying to get some guidance. Angelica simply responds that we need strength, so yes. The five of them then settle in to discussion of a plan.

November 9, 2012 (3:34 pm)

Warden Capstone arrives, wearing khakis and a black turtleneck and carrying a long dufflebag. Dillon describes their plan to her in detail.

Essentially, the practitioners, Angelica and Nick, will position themselves across from the mausoleum, across the path, with magic circles ready to activate in case they are needed against any spectres or rogue spellcasters or what-have-you. They can also throw spells from a distance if needed. Lau Hu, Dillon, Sabrina (who will be arriving later), and the Warden, will hide in the shadowy area around the mausoleum, facing the approach to the building, watching for the necromancer to arrive. The Warden will come out and say whatever it is Warden’s say (“Avast ye evildoer…”) while the others will come out and start whaling on him with baseball bats and pepper spray and a Tazer—or maybe a gun (depending on what Sabrina has). Yuriko will act as a roving scout, warning everyone when he’s coming and from where.

To everyone’s surprise, the Warden does not hate the plan.

Angelica also reveals the possibility of a ghoul being on the premises, though everyone agrees that they can only take on one task at a time right now.

The Warden says that she is prepared to wait here for nightfall, as no one knows for certain when this necromancer is supposed to arrive—the meeting is at midnight, but he could arrive early. Angelica and Lau Hu plan to leave to get a bat and some food. Yuriko invites herself to come along.

Dillon says that he has some stuff that he’s got to take care of but that he will be back by midnight. He texts Sabrina: WHAT TIME ARE YOU GETTING OFF? She texts back: 8 PM. He texts her: EAT EARLY. THIS GOES DOWN AT MIDNIGHT. MEET @CEMETERY @8PM. He heads out of the gates after updating Yuriko and Nick as to his plans and waits for 8 pm outside of the cemetery gates (which close at 5 pm).

November 9, 2012 (8:17 pm)

Sabrina picks up Dillon out from of Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery. He fills her in on the plan that they’ve made against the necromancer. He also asks if she has a Tazer—she does. She’ll bring it to the ambush.

They also discuss the various changes that have come over them since they’ve become “infected”. It appears that the changes have manifested in different ways for each of them. For instance, Sabrina is inhumanly strong, while Dillon isn’t. But Dillon can fade into the shadows and see in the dark with ease, while Sabrina can’t. The two have a successful “hunt” and head back to the cemetery.

Meanwhile, back at Mount Calvary, the Warden breaks out her staff and sword from her dufflebag. Angelica asks her how she thinks the necromancer will probably attack. Capstone says probably spirit evocations. They discuss various wizardly powers and the use of magical objects briefly—including the ability to store magical energies.

As the sun begins to go down, Yuriko excuses herself, shucks her clothes, changes into her fox form, and begins to scout. Back at the mausoleum, Lau Hu asks if she should go out alone. Nick says she’ll be fine, that she knows how to take care of herself. The Warden points out that her scouting was part of the plan. “Okay…it’s nightfall. Take your positions.”

Later, Dillon and Sabrina return, Dillon leading the way so that they don’t need a flashlight. He holds Sabrina’s hand. Yuriko spots them walking down the path, circles them, and approaches. Dillon asks if there’s been any trouble. Yuriko shakes her head. Dillon then pats her head and tells her she’s a good girl. Yuriko hunkers down and nips him, then takes off.

Dillon and Sabrina arrive at the mausoleum, take up their positions, and hide.

November 9, 2012 (11:46 pm)

While scouting in the graveyard, Yuriko hears movement that gets her attention—the crunch of footsteps on leaves. She settles into a bush and sees, coming down a hill toward the rear of the Sandstrom mausoleum, a cloaked figure accompanied by a glowing, semi-transparent floating figure. She bolts into action, running toward the mausoleum, hoping to beat the figure who is going to ruin the ambush by coming into it from the wrong direction.

Yuriko runs into the grove with the mausoleum and finds Dillon, yipping and looking behind her. He manages to catch her meaning, confirming it with a question that she nods yes to. He then texts everyone to alert them to the change in plan. Their prey is coming from the rear. Then he sees the glowing apparition through the trees and the cloaked figure emerge from the grove. So far, the man, the necromancer, doesn’t seem to have noticed anything amiss.

Suddenly, Capstone emerges from behind the mausoleum—between Dillon and necromancer! Sabrina won’t be able to get a clear shot with the Tazer. “Stop in the name of the White Council!” she cries and strikes her staff upon the ground. The earth shakes and what looks like a localized earthquake rocks the necromancer off his feet forcibly, and the snap of a breaking leg is heard above the rumble.

“Kill her!” the man croaks and the spectre begins to move.

The necromancer throws a bolt of energy at the Warden but she catches it on sword and throws it away. Lau Hu runs up and does a sliding kick into necromancer, catching him in some sort of leg hold. Dillon and Sabrina begin to move around the grove, positioning themselves across from the necromancer, and then Sabrina fires her Tazer—missing him. The spectre attacks the Warden, hammering with hard blow of its fist. The Warden attacks the spectre, a flash of light emerging from her hand and striking the creature. Angelica emerges from hiding and attempts to get the spectre’s attention, to no avail.

The necromancer attempts to break free of Lau Hu’s hold, but cannot. Nick runs up from his hiding spot with his baseball and clobbers the necromancer upside his head with it—knocking him out. Angelica evokes an attack of spirit magic against the spectre, hitting it hard and causing a ripple of ectoplasm to spray from its form. This gets its attention. Then Nick hits it in the back of the head with the baseball bat and it dissipates into ectoplasm.

Angelica quickly collects some of the ectoplasm and places it in her specially-prepared vial. Congratulations on a good battle go up all around. The villain is unmasked and revealed to be a twenty-something Hispanic man with curly hair and boyish good looks. Dillon plucks a few hairs from his head. Angelica checks him for pages of the book, they only find a paper bag with a stack of twenty dollar bills inside.

There is a brief discussion of finding his lair and such but Capstone assures everyone that the White Council has resources and would be pursuing that course of action. Dillon gets an assurance from Capstone that she will contact them if this was “right guy or not.”

Capstone packs up her gear and props the unconscious necromancer on her other shoulder and starts walking toward the gates. Everyone follows. When they get to the gates, the Warden attempts to open them but fails. Nick manipulates the locks with a bit of force magic and then opens them, letting everyone out.

The Warden loads the necromancer into her car and takes off.

Angelica and Dillon shake hands. “Good working with you.” “You too.”

Dillon asks about the ghoul situation. Angelica agrees that it’s got to be looked into, but “to be honest, my talents would be more for any disturbances it left behind.”

Dillon asks if the spirits are ever very specific, or are they always vague like the one in the cemetery today. “It varies.”

Angelica asks Dillon, “What is on your list of things to do?”

“Ghoul hunt, now that necro-hideout is off my list. Can’t have all these grave desecrations.”

Yuriko, Nick, and Dillon all pile into Sabrina’s car and head home while Angelica and Lau Hu pile into hers.

View
Scenario Six: Part Three
Book of Shadows: Part Three

November 6, 2012 (Approaching midnight, Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church)

Dillon patrols the interior and exterior of Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church, looking for any sign of trouble until his meeting with Sabrina at midnight. He uses the keys to the Church provided by Reverend Buxman for his various late night comings and goings.

Meanwhile, Angelica has come to the church to look for another spectre attack. She parks her car a few blocks away from the church building and performs a “quick veil” to depart from the vehicle. She then tries to find a stealthy place from which to watch the building for any sign of trouble.

As Dillon makes his way outside, he suddenly sees a woman approaching the church from across the street, seemingly coming out of nowhere, and then set herself up at the curb and begin to watch the church. She doesn’t seem to have noticed him in the shadows. He sends Sabrina a text message that he’ll be late and settles in to watch the woman for about twenty minutes. She makes no move other than to watch the church building.

Finally, at about a quarter after midnight, Dillon stealthily makes his way around to approach the woman from behind and says “Is everything okay, miss?”

Startled, Angelica squeaks. She scrambles up and steps back. She notes the young man in hand-me-down clothes wearing sunglasses behind her who says, “I didn’t mean to startle you. Do you need assistance?”

“No,” she manages to say, calming down and getting her defenses up.

“I couldn’t help but notice you were sitting here alone.”

“I have a ride coming,”

Dillon insists on waiting with her and introduces himself. “And you are…”

“Occupied,” Angelica responds.

The two sit in silence for the next fifteen minutes until Angelica gets up and says “I guess they’re not coming. Be safe.” She then starts to walk away. Dillon offers to escort her. “No thank you,” she says and continues around the corner.

Angelica makes a block and then continues on to her car. She then heads home. Dillon, for his part, hides in the nearby shadows and then catches the next bus to make his rendezvous with Sabrina. He sends her a text to let her know that he is on his way.

November 7, 2012 (12:45 am, Shakey’s Bar)

Dillon meets Sabrina in a booth at Shakey’s, a laid-back bar and grill in the downtown area. He explains to her why he was late, describing his odd encounter with the woman outside of the church. Sabrina asks if he thinks it is connected to what he has her looking into. “Living on circumstantial evidence like I do, I say yes.”

Dillon inquires as to how Sabrina has been and she uses that as a segue into why she asked to meet with him. Apparently she hasn’t fed in a couple of nights—she finds she’s having a harder time maintaining control over her “urges”. She wanted to be able to talk to someone about it. Dillon says that he doesn’t think going “cold turkey” is the answer—“Don’t starve yourself and then go on a binge.”

“Do you have a system?” Dillon asks. Sabrina looks at him quizzically. “Regarding selecting the right foods…”

“I have some rules, though some of them have changed recently,” she says, referring to her previous habit of feeding in a more vigilante mode.

Dillon says, “The trick is not to overeat. Avoid food with an emotional response associated with it. Maintain a level of detachment.”

She nods. “I appreciate you talking to me about this.”

“Would you like some company for dinner? A chaperone, maybe? It’s important not to cross that line. If you overdo it, overeat, you’ll change forever. You don’t want that.”

“No, I don’t want that. Yes, please come with me.”

The two then go out and hunt together, looking out for each other as they successfully, but humanely, feed from a couple of derelicts. They decide to make plans to do this together nightly and leave each other for the evening. Dillon then returns to the church and his patrols.

November 7, 2012 (9:00 am, Powell’s Bookstore)

Yuriko goes into Powell’s to research on necromancers and “The Shrouded One”. She goes deep into the stacks and access the rare book room, finding tidbits here and there and piecing them together to try and put together a more complete picture. It is a time-consuming process. She finds no information about a “Shrouded One”. However, she does find some information on necromancers.

Necromancers use the power of death to muck about with all sorts of things. They are usually wizards that have broken the Fifth Law of Magic: “Thou shalt not reach beyond the borders of life”. They also have dealings with demons, vampires, and other such nasties. Ghosts fear necromancers because they can enslave, control, or destroy them.

Necromancers can do all sorts of creepy things like animating and controlling corpses, manipulating ghosts, accessing the knowledge stored in dead brains, inhabiting corpses with their consciousness or possessing other mortals, bringing folks back from the dead, and numerous freaky things involving the soul. Plus using the dead as henchmen.

They also tend to be powerful. And the study of necromancy doesn’t preclude the study of other forms of magic.

The White Council has a zero-tolerance policy on necromancers and hunt them with prejudice.

Yuriko’s research efforts take her most of the day.

November 7, 2012 (9:00 am, Portland)

Angelica calls Warden Capstone. “Good,” the Warden says, “I was going to pay you a visit today.”

Angelica updates the Warden on her visit with Reverend Buxman and the Gnostic sigils on the inner door of the sanctuary. She also lets Capstone know about the spectre and her theory about how to track the creature back to the necromancer. Capstone allows that she has dealt with Buxman before.

“Do you believe the book is safe?” the Warden asks.

“From spirits? Yes,” Angelica says.

“Have you found anything more on the Shrouded One?”

“No, but there is the tracking spell I’m working on if he sends another spectre.”

“I will trust your expertise in this matter, for now. We are still at war with the Red Court, but another distraction has resolved itself. Keep me posted.”

November 7, 2012 (1:00 pm, Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church)

Dillon receives a phone call from Nick, who has received some information on Angelica Underwood from Kendria.

“First of all, Kendria insists that Angelica is a good person that helps people out. And she definitely not involved in any black magic. Kendria was a very clear about that right up front. But she did say that Angelica is a practitioner that deals in rituals involving spirit magic.”

“What does that mean, Nick?”

“It means that she might be an ectomancer.”

“And what does that mean?”

“She works with the dead but this side of the line. She sends spirits back where they belong. That sort of thing.”

The two discuss the implications of this new information for a bit and Nick also indicates that Angelica is, according to Kendria, an extremely private person and “a bit skittish”. So if a meeting is set up, they may not want to gang-rush her.

Dillon suggests that Nick keep tomorrow night free—he’s thinking of trying to meet with Angelica then and wants some friends available at the time. Nick says sure and also offers to keep looking into “The Shrouded One.” Speaking of which, Kendria had also heard some rumors in that regard as well. Apparently, according to some of her clients, this Shrouded One was having some meetings at Mount Calvary Cemetery. What kind of meetings or with whom, she didn’t know.

Dillon then calls Yuriko, who is still in the middle of conducting her researches into necromancers. She suggests that she call him back later when she has more information and they can catch each other up.

November 7, 2012 (4:00 pm)

Yuriko calls Dillon and sets up a meeting at Yuriko’s apartment to catch each other up on the latest information each has gathered. They all decide that Dillon will set up a meeting with Angelica at Edgefield tomorrow night. Nick and Yuriko will take a table nearby so as to be near but not make Angelica feel crowded.

Dillon then calls Reverend Buxman. He inquires after Father Tyler, who is doing as well as can be expected. Dillon also described his encounter last night with the mysterious woman watching the church. He describes the woman to Buxman who confirms that she fits the description of Angelica Underwood. She did not specifically say she would be watching the church, but Buxman seems to take in stride. Dillon also describes what he has learned of necromancers and the distinction between full wizards and mere practitioners. He asks the priest if he has any safeguards in place for his own safety—as necromancers can apparently take the information they want from the dead minds of their victims. Buxman says no, he doesn’t. So Dillon suggests that perhaps he go out of town until this crisis blows over. The priest agrees that he could take a sabbatical. In his absence Father Riley will be in charge of the church. Father Riley is not “in the know” as far as areas of the supernatural.

Dillon then takes out Angelica’s business card and dials the number. She answers.

“I am a friend of Father Buxman’s and my name is Dillon.”

This seems to fluster Angelica a bit. She is cautious and quiet. The discuss the general health of Father Tyler for a bit. Finally, Dillon gets to the crux of the matter and sets up a meeting between the two at Edgefield at 8pm the following evening. Angelica cautiously accepts.

“Is Buxman okay?” Angelica asks.

“Yes, he gave me your card.” Dillon proceeds to read her card to her. Finally, the two hang up.

Dillon tells Yuriko that its a date, but that Angelica was hesitant and seemed surprised that he picked Edgefield. He then calls Nick and tells him to be ready for dinner tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, Angelica calls Lau Hu Chen. “Someone connected to the Church happenings called and wants to meet Can you help cover me?”

“Yes,” he says. “Name where and when.”

“Edgefield at 8:00 tomorrow night. I don’t care if he sees us together. If you can just take a table nearby.”

“Will do.”

November 7, 2012 (Evening)

Dillon sees Reverend Buxman off to the airport. Fortunately, the trip is uneventful. Later in the evening, he returns to his usual patrols of the church grounds.

Angelica makes her way from her car, which she parks several blocks away, to the church, and casts a veil over herself as she tries to find a suitable hiding spot to try and watch the building in peace. Unfortunately, she fails to do a very good job of hiding herself once the veil wears thin and Dillon spots her as he makes his rounds. He begins to approach. She casts a quick veil and disappears, running around a corner and making her way to her car for a quick getaway. She goes home.

For his part, Dillon is making one of his patrols when he sees the mysterious woman, whom he now knows is Angelica, lurking across the street. He begins to approach her when she disappears! He tries to track her but fails to find any trace of her steps.

After he is done patrolling, Dillon meets Sabrina to go feeding. In the course of the evening, she reveals some of the information she’s gathered on Angelica Underwood. According to DMV records, she’s lived in Portland for six years. She’s also apparently consulted with the police department as a medium (though Sabrina seems a bit a guilty about that, asking Dillon to keep that information under his hat. Apparently the department sometimes calls them in at the request of victim’s families and such). She’s worked with cold cases and with missing persons over the past three years. Interestingly enough, she was a “person of interest” in a recent missing persons case involving a Tim Mulligan. The case was closed by the “powers that be” for “administrative reasons”. This pissed off the detective on the case, Walter Fadil. Angelica was the last person to see Tim Mulligan, apparently after an altercation at the Laurelhurst Theatre. This was about a month ago. The two have a successful night of hunting and not crossing the line and end the evening with a hug.

Meanwhile, Yuriko and Hana run with the wolf pack in Forest Park and then hang out at Flanagan’s Dog.

November 8, 2012 (6:45 pm)

Dillon calls everyone to gather them up and ensure that they all meet at Edgefield at 7:30 pm. Nick tells Dillon that he has heard that the Shrouded One was involved in a zombie attack at the Laurelhurst Theatre about a month ago. Dillon tells Nick what he has heard about Angelica’s involvement in an altercation at the Laurelhurst Theatre and speculates about an ectomancer’s potential involvement with zombies. The two also discuss the Paranet situation in Portland and Dillon’s theory that Nick should head it up. He also asks Nick to send a text to the Warden warning her of the necromancer activity/the Shrouded One in Portland. He also asks Nick to leave him out of the text as the Warden is a bit peeved at him and the church right now. Nick says he will and hangs up.

Dillon then checks in on Father Tyler and makes sure he is doing well. He is.

Meanwhile, Angelica catches Lau Hu up on her meeting with Dillon outside the church last night on their over to Edgefield.

At 7:30, Nick and Yuriko arrive at Edgefield and select a table near the one Dillon has staked out and wait for Angelica’s arrival at 8:00.

November 8, 2012 (8:00 pm, Edgefield)

At 8:00, a young woman and an athletic Asian man enter the restaurant. The woman is the same one that has been watching the church. Dillon doesn’t recognize the man. He takes a seat at a nearby table. Angelica seats herself across from Dillon. Yuriko, for her part, eagerly eavesdrops from her and Nick’s table.

“I suspected you were Angelica,” Dillon says, “Buxman says you have information. . .”

“What do you want to know?”

Angelica is cautious and on her guard. Dillon is open and wanting to talk.

“How do you know that there’s a necromancer involved in these attacks?”

“Because of the nature of the attack.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“Because what I think attacked Father Tyler is a necromantic construct.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“A spectre. He’s taken a ghost a made something else. A foot soldier.”

“But I still don’t understand why you think this necromancer did it.”

“I’ve met his handiwork recently. He’s been stirring the spirits. He’s been directly involved in people not taking magic very seriously. Causing trouble in the city.”

Dillon sighs, exasperated. “You’re being very vague.”

Angelica asks him “What’s your relationship with Buxman?”

“He’s my mentor, I suppose. What’s yours? Did you call upon him or did he call upon you?”

“I sought him out.”

“Why were you there?” Dillon asks. “That’s what bothers me.”

“I was there because I heard a rumor that there was something in the church that the necromancer would be interested in.”

“That bothers me too—everyone seems to know about this super-secret object.”

“So you know about the object?”

“Yes, but only recently. Apparently I was the only one who didn’t know about it. So you knew about the necromancer. What makes you think he’s interested in the book?”

Angelica takes a deep breath and leans across the table. “Spirits talk to me.”

“Is that common for ectomancers?”

“No.” The young woman then asked, “You’re also patrolling the church at night.”

Dillon blinks at the change of subject. “Yes, well, there was an attack.”

“Do you think the item is safe?”

Dillon shrugs. “I don’t know. How did you know about it?”

“An interested third party.”

“That bothers me. A super secret item that everybody knows about. I need to confirm that there is a necromancer.”

Angelica says, “There have been specific things. His stirring of the spirits. He took pages from a book in Portland. . .”

“Is that something I can check into?”

“No, not really. I also had to deal with the ghosts he summoned.”

“Where did you get the name ‘The Shrouded One’?” Dillon asks.

“One of the spirits.”

Dillon opens his arms. “What can I say to make this more open? I feel like gotten off on a bad start here.”

Angelica just looks at him.

“Why midnight?” Dillon continues.

“The spirits are more powerful then,” Angelica says. “If The Shrouded One plans to send another spectre, I figure he’ll send it then. I plan on attacking it and trying to get some ectoplasm with which to track it back to its source.”

“I have information that says The Shrouded One conducts business out at Mount Calvary Cemetery,” Dillon says.

“Yes, I followed someone out there that was causing trouble.”

“Did this have to do with the zombie attack at Laurelhurst Theatre?”

“Your investigation runs deep.”

Dillon shrugs. “It helps to know people.”

“Yes, it have to do with that.”

“And Tim Mulligan?”

Angelica blinks. “Yes, and Tim Mulligan. Tim Mulligan was the one raising the zombies.”

“What happened to Tim Mulligan?”

“He was turned over to the proper authorities.”

“Capstone?”

Angelica pauses. “Yes.”

Dillon sighs. “Then we know where Tim Mulligan is. Does she know about the necromancer, The Shrouded One?”

“Yes, she tasked me to find him.”

“Does she have knowledge of the item and the attack?”

“I have told her what I know. So you know the Warden?”

Dillon purses his lips. “We’re not on the best of terms. Still, I think it’s pretty crappy that she warn us about this. Can you ask the spirits questions?”

“No, it doesn’t work like that. They seek me out and make their presence known.”

Dillon asks, “Is there anything you want to ask me? This doesn’t have to be one-sided.”

“Is your goal to protect the church and Buxman or get rid of this necromancer?”

“Seems like both. That’s why I’ve sent Buxman away. In case this necromancer gets any ideas.”

“My goal is to get this necromancer stopped so he doesn’t hurt anyone,” Angelica says.

“Me too.”

She continues, “I’m not sure working alone has been successful in making that happen.”

Dillon says, “Working alone is a bad idea, back and forth, sharing information, is good. I don’t have a plan, and I’d like to have a plan.”

Angelica describes her past case in which she purged a haunted house of agitated spirits that were stirred up by The Shrouded One. He apparently took pages from a book hidden in the house. She doesn’t know what was on the pages but the book was a book of drawings by an increasingly insane woman that lived in the house. One of the spirits in the house mentioned The Shrouded One.

They also discuss the likelihood of The Shrouded One sending another spectre to take the book. It’s hard to say. The book is protected pretty well from spiritual interference.

Angelica asks Dillon for his last name: Krister. She also asks him “If I did research on you, would I find something interesting?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Who in the community can I ask about you?”

" There’s John Daymar. Though I’m not sure how he feels about me right now. Last time we dealt with him, he saw some things he didn’t want to see. Kendria, though I’ve only been in her shop once. And Warden Capstone, though she’s peeved with me right now. "

Dillon goes on to describe the situation with Gary Faith and how it was resolved with Gary not being turned over to the Wardens.

“If I were to ask Capstone about you, what would she say?” Angelica asks.

Dillon frowns. “We don’t always see eye to eye on things. I’m here to help, but we don’t always have the same methods.”

“How would you describe you?”

Dillon smiles. “I’m a good guy. I protect my friends. Mundanes get the short end of the stick, so when a necromancer comes to town and a spectre beats up a little guy, I get nosy.” Dillon points to Angelica’s companion. “What about your friend there?”

“What about him?”

“Is he a practitioner?”

“No.”

“Is he ‘in the know’?”

“Yes, I would say that. What about you, Dillon? Are you a practitioner?”

Dillon laughs. “No! Not at all. I know people.”

Angelica nods. “I see. I think it only fair that I look into your background.”

“Okay. Buxman knows me best, but you could talk to the others. If it helps, I no longer think you’re the necromancer.”

Angelica shrugs. “As an ectomancer, I’m always cautious.”

“Is that an ectomancer trait?”

“We tread a very fine line, but I walk on the side of the light. Some people don’t understand that. I stay out of trouble. I’ll be in touch tomorrow.”

She stands to leave and her companion rises as well. Both she and the Asian man leave the restaurant.

Nick and Yuriko leave their table and excitedly join Dillon to hear the latest—though, to be fair, Yuriko overheard the whole conversation. Over the course of the conversation, the trio decide to check out Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery as their only lead to The Shrouded One. Dillon also lets them know that Buxman has left town.

Dillon calls Sabrina to see if they can meet for “dinner” a bit early this evening—after their meeting with Angelica (which went fine, by the way), they want to check out the cemetery. He also invites her to come. She accepts.

Later that evening, as they are hunting, Dillon catches Sabrina up on the conversation with Angelica and the supposed fate of Tim Mulligan—including the implications for the in influence the White Council may have on the Police Bureau.

Meanwhile, Angelica goes home and calls Warden Capstone, informing her that she just got back from a meeting with Dillon Krister. He is working in the interests of Reverend Buxman. She would like some information about Krister as he clearly had information about her. Capstone confirms that she’s had dealings with Krister before, that he does try to help, but that they’ve come to loggerheads on methods. “I believe that he will do what he believes is right.” She also tells Angelica of a text she received from one of Dillon’s associates warning her that a necromancer called the Shrouded One has come to Portland and that she should look into it. Angelica thanks her for the information and hangs up.

She catches Lau Hu up on her call with the Warden. He expresses some concern that the book is not as protected as she thinks and that Angelica didn’t tell the Warden that that was why Dillon sent Buxman away. Angelica takes Lau Hu home and then heads to the church to begin her vigil again.

November 8, 2012 (Midnight, Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery)

Nick, Yuriko, Dillon, and Sabrina all arrive at the cemetery gates. Yuriko excuses herself and goes and changes into her fox-form and slips through the fence. Meanwhile, Dillon and Sabrina scramble over while Nick waits with the car. Yuriko will cover one end of the grounds while Dillon and Sabrina cover the other. Each will be looking for anything “weird” or out of the ordinary.

Yuriko trots through the grounds, sniffing and looking about. Eventually she comes across a disturbed grave. The marker reads “Thomas J. Goode.” It appears to have been forcibly opened. The casket is still inside. She jumps inside and transforms, lying naked in the open grave. She opens the casket revealing the deteriorated corpse inside. It is missing its left arm. She scrambles out of the open hole and transforms again into her fox form and goes, yipping, to find her friends.

As Dillon and Sabrina make their way through the cemetery, Dillon notes that Sabrina takes care to avoid stepping on the consecrated graves, always sticking to the path. Dillon sees the glare of a flashlight in the top of a dome on a mausoleum marked BIRNBAUM. Sabrina draws her weapon and the two approach, Dillon leading the way. Dillon stealths his way to the door, crouches low, and opens it. The door’s lock has been forced open with a crowbar. The door creaks open. He sees two slabs with stone caskets resting upon them. One of them is disturbed. He also sees a man crouching in a corner of the room clutching a crowbar, a large maglight is resting on the ground beside him along with a plastic shopping bag.

Dillon describes the scene in a low voice—it is apparent that Sabrina cannot see in the dark like he can. She stands in the doorway and proclaims “This is Portland Police Bureau. Drop your weapons!”

Dillon watches as the man releases the crowbar with one hand and makes a gesture toward the door and a bright light goes off—but in the man’s own face. Sabrina fires her weapon into the light, winging the man. Dillon spits on the man. He then tries to barrel through Dillon, succeeding, but then Sabrina clotheslines him, bringing him to the ground. Dillon and Sabrina manage to subdue him while Sabrina cuffs him.

Dillon checks out the Fred Meyer’s bag the man had and finds a severed dead hand inside.

Yuriko, having heard the gunshot, arrives at the mausoleum. She circles the scene in her fox-form while Sabrina interrogates the man. Dillon calls Nick and updates him on the situation. He then calls Angelica.

Dillon takes a picture of the man they’ve apprehended and texts it to Angelica. He asks her why they would be collecting body parts. She answers that they could be collecting them for some sort of construct or as connections to summon particular ghosts. She asks if they want her to come out there. Dillon says he doesn’t know—he’s afraid she may be a target if she’s thwarted this necromancer before. Angelica responds that she’s not letting fear of the necromancer keep her from getting this done. She’s coming there.

She also mentions that she spoke to the Warden about Dillon and that it wasn’t entirely unpleasant. Dillon is surprised by this.

Dillon warns Nick and Yuriko that Angelica is coming.

Sabrina isn’t getting anywhere with the man interrogating him as “bad cop”—even though they caught him “right handed”—so Dillon tries playing “good cop”.

Finally, they get somewhere. This guy is obviously in fear for his life—especially when the idea of the Warden is invoked. He’s not the Shrouded One (obviously) but is supposed to meet with him tomorrow night at the mausoleum marked SANDSTROM. Who put him in touch with the Shrouded One? Nicky Zang. He hangs out at Skully’s, a bar in Chinatown. He’s a contact for people who study this stuff on the down-low.

Dillon calls Nick. “Should we give this guy over to the Warden or the cops?” Nick thinks he’s dirty, but should give him over to the cops.

Sabrina says, “I’ll take him in. It’ll take some creative paperwork to explain why I’m here, but I’ll take him in.”

So Sabrina takes the flunky in, leaving Nick, Yuriko, and Dillon behind.

Meanwhile, Angelica notes that Fadil is following her on her route to the cemetery. Cursing, she calls Dillon. She let’s him know that she’s being followed by the officer that was on Tim Mulligan’s case. He surprises her again by knowing his name. Dillon catches her up on the situation. “Are you calling the Warden or am I?” she asks.

“I’m going to,” Dillon says.

“Please keep me involved,” Angelica says.

“I’m keeping you 100% involved,” Dillon says and hangs up.

Angelica texts Lau Hu. “Have you heard of Nicky Zang? He may be tied to the necromancer. Hangs out at Skully’s.” He responds that he has not heard of him.

Dillon calls the Warden. “I’m calling with some intel on the Shrouded One. His flunkies are collecting body parts. They’ve set up a drop off tomorrow night at the mausoleum marked SANDSTROM at the Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery.”

“Are you confident of the information?”

“Fairly certain he’s telling the truth.”

“Is this flunky secure?”

“He’s in police custody. Desecrating a corpse, resisting arrest, etc. If TV is at all accurate, he could be in jail for a while.”

“Good, then I’ll be there.”

The two then discuss if there’s anything the “Scoobies” can do to help. The Warden wants them out of the way because she doesn’t want any mortal casualties. Dillon says that hasn’t been a concern when they’ve helped before and chances are good that this necromancer won’t come alone. The Warden finally relents and accepts they’re help. She also, somewhat, apologizes, for not coming to Dillon with the word of the necromancer sooner, citing “other obligations” as the reasons, saying that she doesn’t expect him to understand. He says he doesn’t but accepts it.

At this point, a taxi is called and everyone goes home for the night. The next day will prove to be a busy one.

View
Side Job: Book of Shadows (Part Four)
Part Four

November 6, 2012 (Late Afternoon)

Angelica spends the afternoon researching ghosts and spectres, hoping to get a better idea of what it was that attacked Father Tyler. Her researches and knowledge lead her to believe that it was probably a spectre—a necromantic foot soldier of sorts.

Spectres are a type of construct created by necromancers as spiritual troops for their armies. These creatures are essentially created from the same ectoplasmic material as ghosts, but are semi-corporeal—they can actually affect the physical plane. Further, they are not restricted like ghosts in only being affected by magic users or by those that know their name—this could be an advantage in fighting these things. However, being ectoplasmic, there is probably no residue left with which to make a proper tracking spell—such residue dissipates far too quickly to still be around at this point. The thing should have been affected by a threshold, but Father Tyler’s opening of the doors would have weakened it—perhaps that’s why it was able to enter.

After conducting her research, she calls her friend Lau Hu Chen and catches him up on what she is up to. He is concerned but can’t break away from home just at the moment—his father is cross with him still. He wishes Angelica good luck and hangs up.

She then goes into her sanctum (aka, her basement) and begins to light candles. She takes a small, glass vial from a cabinet and selects small etching tool from a leather case and then seats herself in her etched magic circle. She then begins to meditate. After about an hour of meditation, the blade in her hand begins to etch a rune of preservation into the glass of the vial. She murmurs to herself as the tool does its work. Finally, the rune is finished and she opens her eyes. Now she holds a vial that she hopes can hold the ectoplasm of a spirit for at least a long enough time to allow her to use it in a tracking ritual.

By this time it is almost midnight. Angelica rises, stiff and a little mentally tired. She gathers her things and heads to the car. Her work for the night is not done…

View
Scenario Six: Part Two
Book of Shadows: Part Two

November 6, 2012 (Evening, Powell’s Bookstore)

Yuriko heads over to Powell’s to see Aleister, hoping for some insights into this “Shrouded One.” The store itself is pretty busy, packed with shoppers and tourists looking for books. She finds the old man sitting in the coffee shop, reading a worn paperback, sipping on a cup of hot tea. She quietly takes a seat across from him and smiles. “Hello, Aleister.”

He looks up from his book, sighs, and sets his book down. “Hello, Yuriko. How are you?”

“I’m fine.”

“Good. And the security measures at your apartment?”

“Fine as well.”

“Then is this just a social call?”

“No, not exactly.”

The old man nods. “Didn’t think so. What are researching now?”

“Have you ever heard of a necromancer calling himself ‘The Shrouded One’?”

Aleister shakes his head. “No, I can’t say that I have. A necromancer you say? In Portland?” Yuriko nods. “Then this may be a new player in town. I haven’t heard of an actual necromancer practicing in the city since 1930s. And she didn’t call herself ‘The Shrouded One’ or any other such thing.”

“Could this necromancer have returned to Portland?”

“No. I saw to that and so did the Council. She won’t be troubling anyone ever again.”

After a significant silence, Yuriko rises to leave, but before she goes, Aleister catches her hand.

“If this actually is a true necromancer, then you get with the Warden and don’t take this one yourself. This is danger of a magnitude you and your friends do not want to tangle with.”

Yuriko nods and says “I understand. Thanks, Aleister,” and heads out into the street.

November 6, 2012 (Evening, Nick Salieri’s Apartment)

Dillon sits down at the table and tosses Angelica’s business card in front of Nick. “ Nick, have you ever heard of this woman before, ever met her? Let me catch you up to speed. There was an attack at the church and this woman, Angelica, approached Rev. Buxman after the attack with a story of a necromancer called the Shrouded One. I spoke with Father Tyler, the victim, and he did describe an unidentifiable shadowed form that attacked him. it seems suspicious to me that this woman would show up after the attack having knowledge about it and not being involved in someway. Father Buxman is going with his gut and trusting her, but I want to know if you’ve ever heard of her. Also, have you ever heard of the ‘Shrouded One’, and what can you tell me about necromancers? ”

Nick says, " Angelica Underwood. Angelica. Underwood. Yeah, I’ve heard of her. She keeps kind of a low profile, but I’ve heard of her. She’s kind of a paranormal investigator. Apparently she’s into hauntings and such. And she’s also part of the supernatural community. I think she’s a minor talent or maybe a practitioner of some sort. I don’t know what, though. Kendria knows her, though. "

“A practitioner, huh?”

“I don’t know. Something. She’s in the know, whatever she is. And if she’s at the Church she must be investigating something. Her reputation is pretty good. She helps people out. She stays out of trouble. That’s what I’ve heard, anyway.”

“What about the ‘Shrouded One’?”

“No, never heard of him. But if he’s a necromancer, he’s bad news. Necromancy is breaking the Fifth Law of Magic. Bad, bad mojo, man. Reaching beyond the veil of life is lawbreaking of an order the Wardens highly frown on. And they tend to be powerful, too. It takes a lot of power to work that kind of magic. They summon and bind ghosts and spirits and the dead to do their bidding. Bad stuff all around.”

“Nick, help me out here, see what you can find out about the ‘Shrouded One’ through research and your contacts. Something big is going on at my church and it may involve this necromancer.”

“Of course. I’ll help however I can. But be careful. You don’t want to be on a necromancer’s bad side. At some point, we may need a full blown Wizard for this. I mean, I use a bit of spirit magic in my work but I can’t compare to a full-on necromancer. Much as it pains me to admit it.”

Dillon gets a call from Yuriko who has just finished meeting with Aleister. After finding out he’s at Nick’s apartment, she says that she’ll meet them there and hangs up. Soon thereafter, Yuriko arrives and catches both men up on what she found out from Aleister. Nick shares with her what he knows about Angelica Underwood.

Yuriko just shakes her head. “What are we going to do about a necromancer? If this ‘Shrouded One’ is targeting the church, is he ever going stop until he gets what he wants?” Yuriko looks at Dillon. “Should we ask Kendria about Angelica Underwood? She might have more information … but do we want this Angelica person knowing someone’s been asking about her?”

Dillon says, “Well, do any of us know Kendria well enough to question her about Angelica? Our dealings with Kendria have never involved practitioners before. I don’t think she knows us well enough to open up. Our next move is probably to talk directly to Angelica.”

Shrugging, Yuriko replies, “I don’t know if I’d be able to get Kendria to open up about others in the magical community. I don’t really have that way with people.” Yuriko looks at Nick. “How well do you know Kendria? Dillon and I only met her once when we asked about the symbols carved into the victims’ bodies. Otherwise, I think you’re right, Dillon. How do we want to do this? Just call her and ask to meet?”

Nick says, “Sure, I could talk to Kendria. I know her well enough. I’m just not sure how much more we need to know. I think we should go ahead and talk to Angelica.”

Dillon says, " Before we do that, let me call Sabrina first. " He excuses himself and makes a phone call.

“Hey Sabrina, I need a favor…I know, I know, as usual, right. Did you hear about the attack on Father Tyler at my church? It’s starting to sound supernatural, based on Tyler’s account. Even more interesting is that earlier today, a woman volunteering at the church approached Buxman claiming that the attack was by a necromancers called ‘the Shrouded One’. I know, sounds made up. Buxman’s gut says she can be trusted, but I was hoping you could give me some police Intel on her, I can’t decide if she is legit or creating a boogeyman to distract us from checking into her as a suspect. Sabrina, I don’t mind admitting to you that after all we have seen and dealt with, I might becoming paranoid. I think I am losing my ability to trust people outside my little circle.”

Sabrina says, “Sure, I can look into it. It might take me a bit of time, though. And you’ll owe me, of course. I also need to talk. In private. Not on the phone. About my…special food allergy. When you have the time.”

“I’m available at your leisure, just name a time and place.”

Sabrina says, " How about we meet later tonight? Around midnight? There’s a place called Shakey’s downtown. "

“Shakey’s its is, I’ll see you then.”

After hanging up with Sabrina, Dillon returns to find Yuriko sitting Nick’s couch, resting her chin on her hands. She says, “So, do we call Angelica tonight? Or do we wait to hear back from Sabrina? And what’s the plan, anyway? If this woman’s really behind the attacks on the church, I don’t want to just walk up to her and say ‘Hey, we think you’re really the one trying to get the Book.’”

Dillon says, “The probable next move is to contact Angelica and get introductions made. Buxmon has ‘faith’ that she is legit, so I’m not going to condemn her yet, innocent ‘till proven guilty and all. However, circumstances of her involvement are suspicious so I say we keep investigating her as much as we can, but I don’t think we have to wait for Sabrina’s Intel to move forward with a ‘meet and greet’, besides, I got the feeling Buxman wanted me to meet with her. I would like to get a bit more info on our end though.”

“Scooby gang, this is what we need to get done. Nick, sweet talk Kendria and learn anything you can about Angelica, if she came in the shop and bought a ‘necromancer booster pack’, that would be good to know.”

“Yuriko, Aleister was not much help but maybe you could hit the ‘stacks’ and dig up some useful tidbits on necromancers and how to stop them, their dreams and motivations, something more than ’they’re dangerous, avoid them’. This one is attacking my home, I can’t avoid it.”

“Once we have all the info, then we can set up a meet with Angelica," Dillon looks at Nick, "in a situation that hinders magical abilities and will give a non-practitioner an advantage. And Nick, when you’re done at Kendria’s, maybe you can come up with some tools for countering Necromancers, aside from a Warden; that tool is peeved at me right now, we’ll probably need more than guesses and Angelica’s opinion of necromancer involvement to get the Warden to show up, especially to help the church.”

Nick says, " Short of tricking her into a magic circle or into running water, both of which are pretty antagonistic, the best place I can think of is maybe setting up a meeting at Edgefield. It’s neutral ground. Plus, there are supposed to be protections in place against conflicts, or so I hear. If she’s legit, it will put her at her ease. If not, she’s still trying to maintain her cover so she’ll behave. "

He grabs his jacket. “It’s getting late, but I’ll go see if Kendria is still at her shop. Sometimes she works late in her lab. I can see what I can find out. You guys are welcome to stay here or whatever. If you head out, lock the door behind you.”

Dillon heads for the door. “I guess we’ll go too, I’ll wait to hear back from you guys before making contact with Angelica.”

Yuriko nods. “I’ll hit Powell’s first thing in the morning. I bet there’s more information that I can find in the deep stacks.” She touches Dillon’s shoulder before she heads back to her apartment. “Be careful tonight.”

View
Scenario Six: Part One
Book of Shadows: Part One

November 6, 2012

That afternoon, Dillon goes to the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Hospital to visit with Father Christopher Tyler. Before visiting with the priest, Dillon contacts Reverend Buxman to find out how “in the know” Father Tyler is about matters of the supernatural. Reverend Buxman indicates that Father Tyler is not “in the know” in the fight against the supernatural. Speaking of which, he would like to speak to Dillon after his interview with Father Tyler.

Father Tyler is a younger priest at the parish who identifies well with some of the younger, more educated parishioners. He was raised in the Church and went straight into the seminary and sometimes comes off as a bit naïve, which puts off some of the more seasoned members of the congregation.

Father Tyler is propped up on some pillows in a hospital bed. He is connected to some monitors and has a few bandages on his face. His arms, not covered by the hospital gown, are heavily bruised. He turns slightly in Dillon’s direction as he enters the room and tries to smile warmly. “Dillon, how are you? Have a seat.”

At first the two talk about his injuries, which are substantial but stable. Mostly, he is battered and bruised, but should pull through. Nothing is broken. The doctors wish to observe him overnight, but will probably release him in the morning.

Dillon decides to steer the talk to the crux of the matter—what actually happened in the sanctuary last night. At first, Dillon can tell that Father Tyler is reluctant to talk about what happened. He’s hesitant, but Dillon skillfully guides him into revealing what actually happened to him last night.

“I was lighting the candles in the sanctuary. The outer doors were open. I open them sometimes to allow some of the indigent folks to come in and pray. It was just past midnight at this point. I…I know we don’t normally open the doors at that hour, but I wanted to show that we open our arms to the poor, the needy. I am sometimes thought to be, well, cold, to some of the less fortunate in our congregation and I wanted to make a gesture, however small, that we, that I, am open to their concerns. It is prideful, I suppose, but , well, it was such a small thing. But last night was different. I was in the older part of the sanctuary, near the locked door. I felt a cold wind blow in. And then I felt a force. A presence. A sense of menace. Then I saw it. It was semi-transparent. Man-shaped. And it glowed slightly in the candlelight. Then the blows came. Hard and fast. And then I was unconscious. That’s all I remember. You must think I’m crazy.”

Dillon reassures him that he does not think him crazy and thanks him for the truth of his story. He notices that while he’s been talking to Father Tyler, Tom Casing has texted him, asking Dillon call him.

Dillon asks Father Tyler to clarify about the figure that he saw—did he see any details such as a face or anything to identify the figure? “No,” Father Tyler says, “It kind of glowed around the outside and was shadowy in the middle. It was just vaguely man-shaped. I didn’t get a good look at it before it started pounding me.”

“Is there anyone who would be angry enough at you to do this?” Dillon asked.

“No, no one that I can think of. Besides, I don’t think it was there for me. I think I just came upon it in the old part of the sanctuary there near the locked door and it just came at me.”

“Locked door? Have you ever been in there?”

“Yes, only once. It’s a scriptorium with a small library.”

Dillon thanks the priest for his time and wishes him a speedy recovery. He then heads out and texts Tom Casing, asking if he wants to call or meet somewhere or what. Tom texts back: CALL BACKBREAK IN CASE. So Dillon calls him.

“We got a break in the ritual murder case. We’ve been looking at older cases, trying to find a link and found something. Back in 1987, there was a series of ritualistic murders by a man named Ronald Feeney. They all bore markings very similar to the ones we’ve been seeing in these murders. Feeney was killed in the final raid of his hideout. He had taken a kidnap victim, a five-year-old boy named Edgar Abel. Edgar was to be his final victim, but was saved. Since then, Abel has been in and out of institutions, diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. He has a history of violent outbursts, but no homicides. However, his last known whereabouts was Oklahoma—where that car was stolen from. He’s now a ‘Person of Interest’ in this case and we have a APB out for him.”

Dillon asks if there is a picture and if he can have it. Tom says that there is and that he can, so he sends it to his phone. Dillon also asks if there is occult paraphernalia with the Feeney case evidence that he can look through. Casing is reluctant at first, but says that since he is an occult consultant that he can probably look at it once he gets a hold of it. Once Dillon gets the picture of Abel, he indicates that it is the person that he and Yuriko and Nick had followed that night from the youth hostel. Unfortunately, as Tom puts it, there is no A-B-C—no chain of evidence, to link Abel to the murders. Only a chain of coincidences. Dillon confirms again that he can look at the evidence with Tom once he secures it and hangs up. Then he goes to Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church.

Before heading into Father Buxman’s office, Dillon goes into the older part of the sanctuary and takes a look at the locked door. He notes a series of scratches and carvings around the frame of the old door. Then he goes to meet with the priest.

Buxman indicates that he had a very “interesting” conversation with a young woman that’s been volunteering at the food pantry this afternoon. She seems to have some insight into the attack on Father Tyler, in fact. It seems this woman, by the name of Angelica Underwood, believes that the attack was motivated by someone called “The Shrouded One” that is targeting the Church. Much to Dillon’s surprise, Buxman reveals that the Church has charged Saint Andre’s with protecting a certain book, a magical grimoire, from being found. Apparently this Angelica knows about the book and believes that this Shrouded One is trying to get it.

Buxman is confident that the Church can continue to protect the book, but Dillon is not as confident about this Angelica character. He suggests that Reverend Buxman hide the key to the scriptorium, beneath which the book is apparently hidden. The book is also protected by the spiritual wards (only against spiritual creatures) and has other “physical” protections. Apparently the fact that the sanctuary was open lessened the protection of the Church’s threshold. Dillon is also afraid that Buxman is the next obvious target for this Shrouded One—or Angelica—or anyone else who may know about the book. Buxman also feels that Angelica means them no harm, but Dillon is not so sure. Buxman suggests that Dillon speak with Angelica and get some of his questions answered and gives him her card. It lists her as a licensed massage therapist and has her name and number. He’s skeptical but takes it. First he wants to talk to some people before talking to her, get some information first. The priest also entrusts the key to the scriptorium to Dillon. The two then part ways.

Dillon then goes to visit Yuriko. She is also skeptical of the coincidental nature of this Angelica person turning up just before the attack on Father Tyler and her information on the book. She agrees to keep the key safe in her apartment behind all of her wards. After discussing the matter, Yuriko decides to follow up on the Shrouded One with Aleister to see if he has ever heard of such a person. Dillon is going to see if Nick has ever heard of Angelica or if he can find out anything about her and also will follow up with Tom Casing about the evidence from the Feeney case.

View
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. . .

View
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.

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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.

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