Ch. 8: Missed Steps

Act III: Dark Side of the Moon

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
Having gotten as far as the airport, Athene gets a call from a woman introducing herself as Vicky Hillard, a middleman of sorts, who heard she’s leaving town for the holidays and wishes to give her something of her fathers’ before she leaves. Athene agrees that would be nice, but then gets back in line and catches her flight back to California. As night falls she gets this growing, desperate need to return to Detroit, and to Nichole. Using her clairvoyant gifts, she has a vision of her getting dressed for the evening, talking to a blurry figure Athene can’t quite see, promising to give her (Athene) up as repayment for some past transgression. Once she’s on the ground at a transit point, she leaves messages for Leland, Jaik & Teejay (none of whom answer at this late hour), finally settling for a queer conversation with Jacobi.

Thursday, November 25th, 2010
Once back in Detroit, Athene manages to get word to Leland and he agrees to give her a ride to Nichole (he in turn lets Nichole know they’re coming). Once at her high-rise apartment in the Downtown area, they head up (Jacobi too, along for backup & company) and he does his best to impress his lady. She thanks him in turn, but has him & Jacobi wait outside in the front-room (not a complete tragedy as Vicky is there as well, so he has someone to bide the time flirting with). Athene, no longer under Nichole’s compulsion, demands recompense for the trip and an explanation, but Nichole proves evasive, only saying everyone would miss her at Leland’s party tomorrow night. To that end she gives her a pendant to wear and recommends she wear something suitable, perhaps in a dusky red. Confused and annoyed, Athene rejoins Leland & Jacobi, at which point Victoria delivers her her father’s parcel, another spooky, occult-symbol-covered box (this one made of lead). Athene inquires if she was attending Leland’s “event,” to which she replies she might if she’d been invited – a factor Leland swiftly remedies. On the drive back Leland looks over the chest and in rare insight makes several observations about her father’s box, and what it may signify.

Back at the Carfax, while Jacobi & Leland get some much needed sleep, Athene probes the contents of the box – a ritual knife, a strange humanoid in a jar sealed with arcane glyphs, a talisman, a vial with a die within, a tarot deck, a small bottle, a candelabra (and black candles), a mystical-looking ring, and a key. After examining them for a bit (and not having anything horrible happen to her) she tucks them away and finally gets a call back from Teejay at about 7am. It is just around then that everyone begins hearing Mina’s screams upon discovering a dead body in the dumpster out back. Leland sleepily stumbles out in his tuxedo pajamas, gun in hand, as does Athene, and they do their best to calm the girl (while surreptitiously examining the body and not contaminate the crime-scene). Leland recognizes the victim as a gangsta flying Voodoo Crew colors, but given the mauling death seems to be an animal attack, he decides to give his good “friend” detective Shaft a call about it (after giving his contact in the Voodoo Crew a heads up first), thus necessitating a visit from his friendly nemesis that eats up much of their morning answering questions, but gets more swift action than if they’d called 911, given the neighborhood their in.

Teejay drives over and gets there early on to give what support & insight he can, arriving before the police do. He also has a good chat with Athene about the pros & cons of magical boxes inherited by one’s for-fathers, and the two begin worrying about Jaik, who still has not returned (everyone heaving a sigh of relief that it’s not his corpse – again – that has to be cleaned up). Teejay eventually has to take off to manage a Thanksgiving luncheon for those in his crew who couldn’t otherwise make arrangements with family or friends, then teleconference with his own family for hellos, before returning for Leland’s planned get-together that evening. Leland gets grilled by Shaft, and floats the idea to him that maybe a new gang is muscling in to the neighborhood, especially after his rival lets slip that this is only the latest animal-mauling to have happened in the area in the last several months. Perhaps this may also explain the missing Mr. Hammond? Athene, worried about Jaik, tries to have a vision of him, but while she cannot “see” him (it being dark, where ever he is), she hears him demanding to be let out, and a gruff voice laughing, threatening to come in if he doesn’t pipe down. THe only other clues she can sense is the heavy smell of chemicals and a distant humming of machinery.

That evening, after a nice (if slightly overcooked) turkey dinner, Teejay & Athene are invited to watch as Leland reaffirms his bonds of family and covenant with his other housemates in a ritual of blood-sharing and drinking. Newcomer Altair eagerly participates, giving Leland a little swell of pride (and something else, as he manages to draw the vitae she provides to the rite into himself). Afterwards the girls help Athene pick out something nice for the party, before Athene slips back to her rooms in the “barn” with Teejay to see if they can’t track down more information on Jaik, and Altair revels in the Carfax Crew’s renewed interest in her. Leland leaves a friendly note for Skinny above the fireplace, and is pleased shortly thereafter to find him at his elbow, warning of “Wolves at the Door,” causing him to send out an immediate text to everyone else in the Hotel to baton down for an imminent gangster drive-by warning (except for Athene, Altair & Teejay – to which he adds “werewolves!”). Teejay & Athene already know however, as they can hear them sniffing and scratching at the door to the outside, and are busy heading further back in. Meeting up, they slip to an out-looking window to watch the wolves (or are they merely big dogs?) sniffing about the Cafax’s confines, before a distant howl calls them away.

Altair makes calls to both sire and mentor, though she only manages to reach Nichole, and Nichole seems less than helpful (“try not to die before the party tomorrow, darling!”), while Leland debates whither these may in fact be the same pack, or a different pack scouting out the territory – either way he decides he’d best give the Voodoo Crew a heads up that it looks like another gang is stepping up to move in on their territory (likely those 6-pack bastards). Athene tries to get a clearer vision of where Jaik might be, this time with coaching for clarity by Teejay (the first of her friends she’s admitted to having these gifts to) and focusing not on Jaik himself, but on the voice of the one she heard holding him. Suddenly she sees a large, hairy man running on all fours through a graveyard (one not too far off, between the Carfax and the old GM plant), up to a grave-site where a number of other wait for him. A woman with a scared and balding scalp chews him out before sending him into the open grave to pull out a coffin. She and the others then open it and empty it of its’ contents, a large number of little plastic bags filled with tablets. Their task done, they then put the coffin back and re-burry it before scattering. A few facts she makes out include:

  • The woman’s name is Mare’s Tail. The hairy man’s called Marrow Wolf.
  • Though the section of the graveyard seems old and overgrown, there is a fresh, unmarked grave nearby.
    After the gang is gone fore a few minutes, she observes a pair sneak up to poke about. An attractive woman turns to a man holding a camera and says “Can you believe it! Werewolf Drug-dealers in Detroit!” she announces to the cameraman, adding “you heard it here first! This is ”/campaigns/antumbra/characters/dancer" class=“wiki-content-link”>Dancer McCoy reporting live for the Midnight Sun…"

The vision ends, and Teejay is already looking it up on his iPhone. Dancer’s report is already going viral on the Midnight Sun‘s web-blog. He also finds her prior post, from a week before, where she and her uncle Ambrose Greer, along with parapsychologist Ralf Butler attend a Seance in Chicago with famed medium Amy Seton, wherein she warns that a terrible evil will arise in Detroit right around Thanksgiving! They bring this information to Leland, who puts two-and-two together and realizes they must be the same people who where trying to conduct an investigation at the Carfax the same night as his upcoming "Pilgrim’s Progress." While he leaves a message following the number they left, Athene & Teejay send and email to touch bases, the upshot of which is to try to meet up with them the following day, hinting they may know something useful to their investigation.

All other avenues spent, they finally toddle off to bed for some much needed rest.

Characters Concept Template Flaws XP
Athene Antiquarian Scavenger Psychic Single-Minded 2+3=5
T.J. Brown Key Grip 3+3=6
“Count” Leland Murphy Cosplay Dracula-wannabe Ghoul Embarrassing Secret 4+4=8
Jaik Mkor Mystery Man Immortal (Purified) Amnesia 4+0=4
John Watson Doctor Ghoul - 2+0=2
Altair Reserved Academic Vampire (Daeva) - 3+3=6


GrendelTodd GrendelTodd

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