Antumbra

Ch. 7: Thanks for Giving

Act III: Dark Side of the Moon

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
We pick up the day before Thanksgiving, with the Carfax Crew getting busy for the Theme party they’ve been gearing up for all month come Friday. Well, that & Thanksgiving dinner the night between then and now. Having spent the better part of self-medicating her visionary powers with what ever over-the-counter drugs she can score in secret, Athene makes her goodbyes & leaves Christmas presents (evil little boxes) to the gang before hopping in a cab to catch a last-minute plane for heading home for the holidays. Given she can’t get back into her store safely (despite repeated invitations by Angus, she just can’t quite bring herself to trust the thing possessing him). Teejay would love to get home for the holidays, but work on the show looks to be running long, so he contents himself with sending many packages home early for Christmas, and planning to host his own dinner for his fellow Crew-mates in the business who are similarly trapped in town. Jaik in turn makes his usual dangerous plans, while seeing to it he meets the commitments of his day job.

Both Jaik, Athene and Altair have taken up residence at the Carfax now; Jaik, for his part, has convinced various spirits capable of manifesting to help keep the place secure. As far as Nichole’s “gift” from two weeks before, the Count has traded guns for good favor with the Voodoo Crew, socking away the rest in a secret catch in the boiler room. Athene, before she leaves, has set up a new place for work (and sleep) in the part of the hotel known as the “barn.” The rest of the Hotel annex has been cleared of marauding homeless infestations, thanks to the persuasive haunting of Skinnyby night and the tromping through of workmen by day.

All have gotten to know the East Side of Detroit better; a place of yellow smog and industrial wreckage, haunted by bears and wild-dog packs. One curious character they have become aware of is Gilly the Toy-man, a sweet, disabled homeless-man who pulls himself about in a wheeled box stuffed with toys. Jaik has noticed the neighborhood is also infested with Black Smoke spirits, which prove more problematic the more he pays attention to them. Altair, despite her attempts at staying fed, has a few near-accidents that leave her hungrier than ever.

Two new temporary residents at the Carfax Hotel are honeymooners looking for a “Bed & Bondage,” Jack& Barbara Logan (a line-backer for the Chicago Bears & his Cheerleader trophy-wife). This adds on to the growing ensemble of concerns Count Leland has to worry about after his “old friend” Detective Shaftswings by to see what Leland and friends might know what happened to one Robert Hammond – a guest that vanished after last month’s event. Two calls come in also requesting audiences: one from a woman by the name of Dancer McCoy & her uncle, who would like to come investigate rumors of ghost-sightings (they are paranormal investigators), and another being a P.I. named Barney O’Halleran, investigating the missing Hammond on behalf of a concerned family. Shaft gets the run-around (“I ain’t no squealer” says Leland) and Dancer is dissuaded by the honest description of what they might run into if they don’t hold off until the weekend. O’Halleran however is welcomed over, and is given not only an interview, but access to gang-contacts and as much information as is of value to his investigation – that was the night of the werewolf incursion, so the story is downgraded that someone spiked the punch with LSD & let in wild dogs to disrupt the party. O’Halleran even manages to finagle an invitation to the coming event.

Thanksgiving preparations go relatively smoothly, with the Count planning to host a mid-afternoon meal, giving everyone who has family elsewhere ample opportunity to swing off and have dinner with them as well. It being an open thing for anyone already involved with the Carfax, the Watson brothers along with Teejay both make plans to swing through.

After work Jaik follows through with his threat to grab a big tub of chicken and spend the day hanging around the Werewolves’ locus at the pond, hoping, again, to talk with the lupines without getting himself killed (but giving folks fair warning he may be indisposed for the next several days). Late that night Jaik again has an encounter with the Black Smoke Pack, but this time they are led by a different man. A scruffy, hairy-man in a trench coat comes up and asks if he is indeed the man who can’t die. They get to talking (while the hairy man eats all the chicken), and the hairy man (who calls himself Marrow Wolf) tells him they’ll likely kill him anyway, but was curious what Jaik wanted. Jaik finally gets across the hope they might ally against the Hundred, and the hairy man gives him the skinny on how things work here – this is the Black Smoke Pack‘s territory, and that Mare’s Tail is the real Pack leader, not Van Luvien. After ruffing him up a little (and being disappointed that he won’t fight back), the pack drag him off to meet the boss.

Meanwhile Watsonintroduces the gang to his military consultant brother James, to a mix of impressions. Teejay spends some time working out the technical details to do a conference call with his family the next day, before swinging by the Carfax, before a night of bar-hopping. Altair, being very hungry, proves unusually hungry, and attaches herself to Teejay’s planned bar-crawl. Teejay mistakes her intensity for flirtation, and takes her on a “date,” only to become disillusioned when she keeps slipping off to take strange men off to be “intimate” in dark corners or the rest-room. Altair, for her part, doesn’t quite get why he’s unhappy, but IS well fed by the end of the night. Her loss – Teejay spots a lonely, tired (but otherwise well-toned, and drop-dead hot) woman at the bar, so he sidles up and makes her acquaintance. They hit it off, but he can’t quite shake the feeling he’s seen her before: a few more drinks and he’s got it, along with her name. Minerva Townsend, lead FBI Agent for the investigations into the Castle Mall bomb-scare last month! He takes her home to meet Cujo, and she ends up spending an intimate night that may or may not involve handcuffs.

Poor Jaik finds himself at an abandoned industrial chemical plant, filthy with decay and rust. In the Twilight lurks another Black Smoke spirit, and in this world he has almost a dozen wolves and wolf-men staring him down, Marrow Wolf & Van Luvien amongst them. But the one who speaks with him is Mare’s Tail, alpha for the Black Smoke Pack. She laughs at his offer, telling him bluntly the Pack needs no alliance with him, as they recognize this offer as nothing more than an excuse for the bloodsuckers to muscle in on her pack’s territory! With that she has him thrown into one of the mixing cisterns – since killing him doesn’t seem to do the trick, perhaps keeping him locked up can keep him out of their hair while they take the fight to his friends. After all, they can’t ALL be immortal, can they?

The next morning Mina’s screams wake the house. Moments later Leland and the others spill out to the back ally to find her shaking, pointing at the dumpster, an arm sticking out. One of the Voodoo Crew is dead, chewed and ripped to shreds!


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

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