Antumbra

Ch. 16: Through Dungeons Dark...
Act V: Madman's Gambit

Andrew Lockhart, a blogger on subjects occult & strange, has come to Detroit at the behest of Agent Massey (a contact he’d made back in Point Pleasant while investigating Mothman sightings) to lend a hand. Between Massey’s encounter with Vampires a few weeks back, and his own curiosity over the Drug-dealing Werewolves reported on by fellow Midnight Sun alumni amongst the Paranormalists, he is eager to start his investigations.

He doesn’t remember when he arrived in town, and is a little confused when he awakens, dressed as a medieval priest, one of almost a dozen people laying on the cold stone floor of an archaic dungeon corridor. Only one other is awake, a well-built girl in leather armor, who seems just as confused. Above them floats a burning sphere of ever shifting colors. More surprising is when it begins to speak. The sphere tells them that they (and the others still unconscious) have been chosen to free the Unshaken God, but first they must face the challenge of the great Paladin Angus, Champion of the Hecatomb, and prove themselves worthy. The orb then vanishes, and the others begin to wake.

Soon all are up, and introductions are made: besides Athene & Andrew, Leland & Raven are also there. Known to none are Sefer (a middle-eastern scholar & friend of Altairs’, here looking into her disappearance), Paul Brown (who’s resemblance to Teejay is supported by his revelation that he’s his younger brother, here in Detroit to see about handling his brother’s estate – his dog Bull is a litter-mate of Kujos as well), and a mysterious, monsterous, horn headed stranger (who is in truth Erikson, now horribly transformed as a Nosferatu, but unwilling to let on he’s the same fellow who gave Leland and company such trouble so recently). Each finds themselves similarly dressed in archaic clothes & medieval weaponry, as well as a note to guide them as to their “party role”:

  • Athene, party “Thief”
  • Andrew Lockheart is the party “Cleric”
  • Paul is a “Ranger”
  • Leland is a “Bard”
  • Sefer is a “Sorceror”
  • Raven is a “Druid”
  • & Erikson (using a false name, now that he’s “different” & desiring of being incognito to his old associates) is the party “Wizard.”

After a certain amount of bitching about their situation, they begin their exploration of the tunnels, noting that while the complex “seems” old, the construction is clearly new. Leland declares it is best if they all come clean, since everyone’s lives are on the line, placing Andrew under his protection as “his,” (and noting Athene is already claimed by another), so they can be open about their Vampire natures. Andrew & Athene digest this all rather well.

The way behind them is blocked by an airlock hatch, so they push forward. With only battery-powered Lamps & torches (set up to “look” archaic), they head slowly forward, until Athene (scouting ahead) discovers a secret door behind an alcove, and as the party debates which road to take, they are attacked by a hoard of extra-large rats. Raven & Paul try talking to them, only to find they are following the urgings of some other entity, so as the party dispatches them, the Kindred feed.

Moving on, ever taking turns to the right, they eventually come to a pair of doors, and decide to allow Andrew to try to summon back the glowing sphere (he found an invocation to him in his “Cleric’s Prayerbook”) to ask for some clarifications. His doing so reveals the sphere is some actually a sun spirit of some sort – prompting the vampires amongst them to struggle to hold on to their beasts or flee. Sefer fails and runs off into the darkness, followed by Paul seeking to find him & bring him back. The spirit tells them they must go “ever downwards” to find the Tomb of the Unshaken God, where the ancient Atlantians (including Jaik) imprisoned it, and that they are not the only ones released to free him. Werewolves have also been captured and released to perform this task. Whomever frees the Unshaken God will be well rewarded, up to and possibly including the gift of mortality! The God could break the curse, the sphere assures them, a reward that is more than enough motive for many of them.

After the sphere dissipates and Sefer & Paul’s return, they head through the rightmost door to find “orcs,” olive skinned, deformed men, armed with halberds and sporting chainmail, in what appears to be someone’s medieval bedroom. After a brutal fight that nearly kills Raven and a few others, they drive half of the “orcs” away and feed on the other two, realizing that these pitiful things were humans possessed and perverted by bestial spirits of the Hecatomb.

Characters Concept Template Flaws XP
Athene Antiquarian Scavenger Atlantian Psychic Dark Hero Single-Minded 3
Paul Brown Key Grip Vampire (Ventrue/Rötgraffen) 3
“Count” Leland Murphy Cosplay Dracula-wannabe Vampire (Daeva) - 3
Sefer Reserved Academic Vampire (Mekhet/Khaibit) - 3
Professor Erikson Mad Scientist Vampire (Nosferatu) - 3
Masau Esoteric Dabbler Vampire (Nosferatu) - 0
Raven Lug Vampire (Gangrel) Mute 4
Lockheart Occult Blogger Hunter (Les Mysteries) - 3
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Ch. 15: High Noon
Act IV: Blood Relations

After Court had wrapped up, but before Erikson faces the music, Masau manages to get some face-time with both Baen & Russel, offering services and such. Baen quizzes him on his qualification on being a proper monster while eating crayons, eventually suggesting he join the other Nosferatu down in the Warrens bellow the city (for “Hide & Seek,” “Spin the Druggie,” and other less savory games). He finds Bayard the Bloody far less disturbing, and Bayard is willing to give him special considerations if he does a simple little favor – find him the Sword of Dracula!

Meanwhile (and many hours later) Altair heads home from work researching the same Sword for her own master Conrad and the Ordo Dracul, to find the Carfax destroyed. Not knowing where else to go & with no one answering their phone, she ends up heading to Teejay’s place. Finding no one home she breaks into the garage and conceals herself amongst the tarps in the back to sleep the day away. At dawn she fails to wake when Teejay arrives, frenzied and burning, to dump her unceremoniously out of her hiding spot and poorly take her place. Kujo follows him in, and is, like they, subsequently locked in by the door’s automatically closing.

Hours later, Athene awakes at the police station and decides to take her leave of their protection. The desk officer mentions an Agent Massey wishes to speak to her at her convenience. Worried about where she will live or work, she gives in and calls Angus, who invites her to meet for lunch to discuss options (he “misses” his old friend and promises she can have her old place back). He mentions all the work he’s been doing on the Castle Mall, the surrounding gated community of the Castle Village, and the Dungeons he’s been building bellow. He even hints he’s found a number of unique treasures to stock it, such as “The Turk.” Afraid however to go alone, Athene tries unsuccessfully to convince Jacobi to join her, and none of her now nocturnal friends even answer the call. Hoping she can find Teejay at his house (or at least his dog), she catches a cab over, setting in motion the tragedy to come.

Arriving to find Kujo trapped inside the garage & evidence of a break-in, she calls 911, then hangs up before giving any pertinent details and calls Agent Minerva Townsend (whom she had gathered was a mutual acquaintance, if nothing else). Rather than wait however, she manages to shake the side-door free of the stuff Altair had piled against it on the inside, and steps in to find a worried Kujo standing over the partially concealed corpses of Teejay & Altair. Rushing back outside, she urgently calls Townsend again, crying about dead bodies and urging her to hurry, along with again calling 911 and this time staying on the line to beg for ambulances and such.

Agents Townsend and her new partner Alondo Massey arrive shortly thereafter and head inside while Athene stays outside to comfort Kujo. Seeing her one-time lover dead and crispy she rushes over to examine him, and in moving him about and talking to Massey doesn’t notice the injured vampire wake. The sunlight streaming in through the side door causes him to frenzy again and scream, which in turn brings Kujo chasing in to defend her master and take a bite out of Minerva. The blood shifts the focus of his frenzy to hunger, and Teejay attacks her from behind as she defends herself against the dog. It takes two shots from Massey (along with repeated blows from the butt of his pistol when the gun jams) to put down Teejay’s defender, but by then the bloodloss is too much and Agent Townsend is dead, sucked dry in Teejay’s arms. Teejay moves on to finish off Kujo and then sup heavily from Altair before full and again sane, but by this time Massey has retreated to fetch a shotgun from the Police cruiser the Agents had borrowed from the local authorities, while Athene has fled half a block to get away from the monster her friend had so clearly become. Massey, sticking to the daylight just outside of the doorway, fires a shot into the still crispy Teejay as the latter is trying to break back into his own house (his car, and keys, having been stolen that morning after he abandoned it in his driveway with the door open in his rush to beat the sun). Teejay musters enough majesty to convince him of maybe not shooting him, and so Massey has him keep his hands on his head and kneel while he waits for back up. Using superhuman speed Teejay snatches up a tarp to wrap about himself as he charges the Agent and struggles to drag him inside, but as they wrestle all they manage to do is trade places. Teejay looses his grip on the Tarp and goes up in flames, just as Athene returns to investigate the shots.

Stunned, the two survivors pull out Minerva & Altair while waiting for the ambulances and police support, and are shocked as Altair too goes up in smoke. Agent Massey mutters that the city seems thick with vampires, and after Athene mentions there are also Werewolves, he states he’d better call in some “friends.”

That night Raven arises from where he had hidden in the earth, Teejay’s backyard, to find the house cordoned off as a crime scene, so he slips off, unnoticed, with plans to find out who did this and maybe seek a little revenge.

Characters Concept Template Flaws XP
Athene Antiquarian Scavenger Atlantian Psychic Dark Hero Single-Minded 4+2=6
Teejay Brown Key Grip Vampire (Daeva) RIP 4+1=5
“Count” Leland Murphy Cosplay Dracula-wannabe Vampire (Daeva) - 0+2=2
Altair Reserved Academic Vampire (Daeva) - RIP 2+1=3
Professor Erikson Mad Scientist Vampire (Nosferatu) - 1+3=4
Masau Esoteric Dabbler Vampire (Nosferatu) - 3+1=4
Raven Lug Vampire (Gangrel) Mute 2+1=3
Deerborn Gunslinger Vampire (Mekhet) - 0+2=2
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Ch. 14: Bang and a whimper
Act IV: Blood Relations

As court is breaking up Leland tells Nichole everything Deerborn told him about his dealings with Erikson and the Cheiron Group on the drive over, which she in turn shares with the Primer. Shortly thereafter Sheriff Carr approaches Deerborn and pulls off the mike he had hidden on his lapel and crushes it in his fingers. He and his deputies then escort him into another room to explain himself to Primer Malik. In the post Court-glow, Leland speaks with Dancer, who fills him in on how she and the other Paranormalists are coping with their new freedom and their plans, which mainly seem to be joining the Carthian’s Paranormal Phenomena Investigation Cadre, and negotiating a possible return to Chicago. She also tells him about what she’s discovered about the Smith-Novus brand LSD they discovered the werewolves had been hiding, and warns him of the tight security their lab complex has in the East Side. She suggests going after one of their researchers, and promises to e-mail him a list of possible names for such employees. She also tells him quite a bit about their rivals, the Cheiron Group.

After leaving Court, Teejay, Leland & Raven decide to take off to Windsor because Teejay desperately wants to blow off steam by taking pictures of pretty girls dancing at local hotspots (a bad idea, Leland warns, but Teejay is willing to take that chance). Thus they end up in Club Zero in the wee-hours where they encounter and are held up by Clayton, a local Invictus watchdog, who demands they stay put while he checks in with Duke Bayard.

Meanwhile, Erikson is summoned from his Van while he’s waiting for Deerborn to exit the GM building by Nichole’s irresistible pull. Unable to control himself, he enters the tower lobby and is joined by Carr and his boys, who make sure he gets to the penthouse boardroom securely. There Nichole questions him while the Primer & Primogen watch, and he finds himself compelled to tell her EVERYTHING, not just about his involvement in the Cheiron Group and what they’d done to Deerborn, but the explosives in the Carfax and the homeless locked up in his basement. However, as he talks, he himself gets a deeper insight into Nichole, revealing that she is demon-ridden, a fact that makes both her and her sire (Sarah Haversham) very uncomfortable. Once he’s told them all they care to know, Malik orders him killed, but before that can be seen to, Baen announces he’d make a GREAT monster, and snatching him up they vanish. Once safely away into the sewers he embraces him and leads him deeper under Detroit. The Court find the threat about Deerborn and Erikson’s death was no empty threat, as his head nearly blows off. Only their immediate application of potent blood keeps him alive, though he is again deep in torpor.

Athene starts from her desk and her late-night research hearing howls and shrieks – werewolves have again broken in to the building! As she is quietly attempting to sneak towards an exit the shrieks and howls turn to screams, and a fireball comes rolling down the hall towards her! Racing now, she throws herself out a window and slides down the fire escape and keeps running, pausing briefly to note the scared woman, Mare’s Tail, in an ally with the Toyman. Taking a brief pic with her phone to send to Teejay, she continues running. Getting a call back from the gang (still stuck in Windsor) she agrees to head for a nicer hotel downtown and let Teejay eventually foot the bill. It isn’t until she’s at the Holiday Inn and safely in a room that she recalls how she’d seen Teejay setting up faulty wiring in Erikson’s lab at the Carfax and planing accelerants in the wall. Was this a trap for the werewolves set by Teejay & Leland? Was it a plot to help Leland get the insurance money? Did they care if she was caught in the blast? Worse, had the werewolves followed her to the hotel with the keen sense of smell of theirs? Trying to seek another vision of Mare’s Tail she gets only a brief, mistaken flash of herself from outside her own window. Sure that the werewolves have tracked her down, she runs to the lobby and insists on waiting there, telling the night clerk of her being a resident of that building now on the news as yet another possible terrorist-bombing sight. He calls the police, and they call Agent Minerva Townsend.

Back in Windsor Teejay, Leland and Raven are taken to an elegant Manse resting next to the river where they are led into the presence of Duke Russel Beyard de Tremer. The Burning Baron slyly tells them they owe him a favor for trespassing on his lands. They show him the photo of the Carfax in flames, and how they managed to roast a few werewolves within, which bemuses him greatly, so the task he lays out is to find him an artifact he has heard recently arrived in the city: the Sword of Dracula! Leland is practically swooning, and readily agrees.

After their release, Teejay drives over to join Athene at the Inn, and he ends up accompanying her downtown to answer some questions for Townsend. The Agent shows them a photo of Erikson and asks what they know of him (they seem to know only that he seems a bit weird, that they’d met him at Leland’s party, and that he’d been doing some crazy bad wiring at the Carfax). She then mentions that they’re looking for him and an associate, a man named Deerborn, for the theft of dangerous explosive compounds from the University and the abduction and torture of several homeless recently retrieved in a raid on his house earlier that night. It being almost dawn, Athene asks to stay in a cell for her own safety for a day, while Teejay races home with Kujo to get in before dawn. He doesn’t quite make it, and catches fire just as the sun is rising while waiting for his garage door to rise. Frenzied, he throws himself from his car into the darkness, heaping himself under many folds of tarp, before unconsciousness takes hold…

Characters Concept Template Flaws XP
Athene Antiquarian Scavenger Atlantian Psychic Dark Hero Single-Minded 3
Teejay Brown Key Grip Vampire (Daeva) 3
“Count” Leland Murphy Cosplay Dracula-wannabe Vampire (Daeva) - 3
Altair Reserved Academic Vampire (Daeva) - 0
Professor Erikson Mad Scientist Vampire (Nosferatu) - 3
Masau Esoteric Dabbler Vampire (Nosferatu) - 0
Raven Lug Vampire (Gangrel) Mute 3
Deerborn Gunslinger Vampire (Mekhet) - 0
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Ch. 13: Secret Masters of the Gentle Race
Act IV: Blood Relations

Deerborn awakes from torpor in a cold, sterile room, a stake just pulled from his heart and two nervous figures in bio-hazard suits (one with a flame-thrower, another with the stake). He controls his urges and a voice from a loudspeaker asks if he’s civil enough to talk, and would hear a business proposition. After his assent, two more enter the room. Professor Erikson (who he dimly remembers from the night chasing werewolves through the graveyard), and a well-dressed businessman wearing leather gloves and an immaculate smile calling himself Cliff Medrano. Cliff offers him a proposition: do some freelance work hunting werewolves for the Cheiron Group, or go back to the lab for more “research & development.” He agrees to to take the job.

After signing his limited employment contract and getting back his clothes & gun, he & Erikson leave the downtown offices to retrieve his belongings from Conrad Vilt, who passes on the invitation to meet with the Prince that Saturday. They also drop by the Carfax to let folks know he’s back (though not to explain his disappearance), and he lets slip to Leland that Erikson is in on the truth about the Kindred (a fact Leland is both suspicious and distrusting of). Athene is happy to see him, and in her mono-focused way gets right back to discussing business opportunities regarding antiquated firearms (a convenient break from her other new search for something known as “the Turk”). Back in Erikson’s van Deerborn persuades him to assist in his hunting, so the two nab several homeless to lock up in Erikson’s basement for him to feed on at his pleasure (and for Erikson to taunt).

Soon Saturday night arrives, and the Kindred of the Carfax Crew head downtown to the old GM building, where they meet with the rest of Nichole’s new brood. Together they are taken upstairs by Sheriff Carr up to a boardroom, where they watch as their sire is reprimanded for making so many children. Here they are introduced to the Primer of Detroit, Malik Hargrove, who proves much more relaxed and forgiving than they’d expected. Though Conrad is known to many of them (more as the ranking member of the Ordo Dracul than as the Gangrel Prisci), the other four at Malik’s table are not:

  • Russel Beyard de Tremer – the FIRST former Prince of the City, “Bayard the Bloody” is both Prisci for the Ventrue and ranking elder for the Invictus, heading up the Councel of Barons. He is also notorious for being a master of the Path of Flame’s Lure.
  • Baen Rouge – Prisci for the Nosferatu and first Kindred to arrive in what would some day become Detroit, Baen is the legendary “Red Dwarf” of folklore (at least as Malik tells it).
  • Sarah Haversham – Nichole’s slightly deranged sire and Daeva Prisci is also a member of the En bloodline, and VERY happy to see so many family of hers now loose in the city.
  • Noel – Malik’s own sire, the ranking Carthian and Mekhet Prisci is both quiet and unassuming, making her terrifying given the company she’s keeping.

After the Kindred are properly introduced, Malik acknowledges them and offers the childer of Nichole emancipation from their collective sire. Only the Paranormalists & Teejay take him up on his offer. They then are given the collective task to push the Werewolves out of the East Side. Succeed, and they will recive territories & feeding rights. Fail, and they’ll be presumed dead, so no one will care.

Characters Concept Template Flaws XP
Athene Antiquarian Scavenger Atlantian Psychic Dark Hero Single-Minded 3
Teejay Brown Key Grip Vampire (Daeva) 3
“Count” Leland Murphy Cosplay Dracula-wannabe Vampire (Daeva) - 3
Altair Reserved Academic Vampire (Daeva) - -
Professor Erikson Mad Scientist Slasher/Hunter (Maniac/Chieron Group) - 3
Masau Esoteric Dabbler Vampire (Nosferatu) - 3
Raven Lug Vampire (Gangrel) Mute 3
Deerborn Gunslinger Vampire (Mekhet) - 3
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Ch.12: Resolutions
Act IV: Blood Relations

Over the next two months the Carfax Crew adapts to their new lives (or unlives, as the case may be). Nichole decides to split the Vampires into three Coteries:

  • Meade’s Posse (Mina, Ekaterina, Letisha, Barbara & Jack) act as Nichole’s personal court down-town.
  • The Paranormalists (Ambrose, Dancer, Ralph & Skinny) are hidden away to do research on strange goings-on.
  • The Carfax Crew (Count Leland, Altair, Teejay, Masau & Raven) are tasked with holding down territory in the East Side in and around the Carfax Hotel & dealing with local “problems.”

As Leland struggles out from under a mire of civil suits from the Pilgrim’s Progress fiasco (made easier by his own new gifts and those of his sires’), and Teejay adapts his work and lifestyle to his new situation, Masau chooses to join the Invictus and set up a dojo out in the Barrens of the East Side. Skinny releases him rather than associate with a Covenant he detests (though they separate amiably), and Masau debates the value of a feudal oath to Nichole vs. the freedom and hope for a better deal from his new friends in the Invictus (who wish for him to spy on Nichole’s plots). The three of them finally get together as things calm down to figure out a course of action, Masau pushing for a proactive stance against the werewolves, or at least a better set of negotiations than those of Jaik (another loose thread out there that has not been seen since that terrible night). They also try to figure out where the drugs the werewolves have may have come from, and how to disrupt their drug-trade. The drugs come from Smith-Novus Labs, here in Detroit’s East Side, and discus the possibilities of what to do about them (blowing the Lab up seems to take up much of their deliberations – a proposal very much endorsed by their associate mad scientist Prof. Erikson). They also discuss the marked rise of animal attacks and acts of road-rage in and around nights of the full moon in the East Side. All this talk is tabled when they have an impromptu visit by the Sheriff Adan Carr, who invites them to bring their Crew to present themselves to Primer Malik Hargrave this following Saturday.

Prof. Erikson & Athene have been having their own excitement in the last few months. Erikson is hired as a Field Researcher for the Chieron Group, who pay for a very special operation and give him a hefty signing bonus in return for his services, while Athene manages to get her own business back up and running out of the Carfax “Barn.” Worried about Deerborn (or at least his antique gun-business), whom none have seen since the Progress massacre, she spys out a vision, only to catch an ugly glimpse of his autopsy, or operation, where he is apparently being surgically flayed while staked in some sort of lab or hospital. The biohazard-protective-suit-wearing surgeons all are marked with the Cheiron Group logo…

Characters Concept Template Flaws XP
Athene Antiquarian Scavenger Atlantian Psychic Dark Hero Single-Minded 2
Teejay Brown Key Grip Vampire (Daeva) 3
“Count” Leland Murphy Cosplay Dracula-wannabe Vampire (Daeva) - 2
Altair Reserved Academic Vampire (Daeva) - -
Professor Erikson Mad Scientist Slasher/Hunter (Maniac/Chieron Group) - 2
Masau Esoteric Dabbler Vampire (Nosferatu) - 2
Raven Lug Vampire (Gangrel) Mute -
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Ch. 11: Howls at Midnight
Act III: Dark Side of the Moon

The Midnight Hour
As the power goes out and the howls start up, all hell breaks loose.

  • As Leland, Athene, Erikson & the Paranormalists come up into the lobby, three werewolves burst in through the front door. Within seconds one disappears though, as Nichole vanishes from her orgy in the Red Room in a blur of speed through the shadows to drag it outside. Leland does his best to distract the crowd with his newfound powers to impress, and succeeds in distracting the mob from the dangerous beasts for a moment. This does not last when the two remaining lycanthropes start chewing their way through the crowd, turning the mortal party-goers into a stampede. An unfamiliar girl appears by Athene’s elbow and offers to get her to safety – an offer she accepts.
  • Teejay, Altair, & Masau (shadowed by Skinny) all rush downstairs to help, only to be caught in the mob of terrified people rushing up. In the confusion they bump into Athene & their new friend, whom Altair recognizes as Dionnie, a ranking Ancillae amongst the Ordo Dracul, and the sire she would have had, had not Nichole poached her first. Concerned that this woman may be the mysterious person Athene has been so worried about comming to “claim” her, Teejay slips the gold & green vials he found in his grandfather’s chest, before the chaos pulls them apart.
  • The Logans & Mina also get slowed as they rush from the Red Room to their consecutive rooms for their shotguns. Ecaterina seeks out the Count, and doesn’t let the throng of people in her way slow her as much.
  • Behind the bar by the Lobby, the Count gets his own shotgun (already loaded with silver bullets) and struggles to take aim, while Jaccobi & Barney hustle into the office to get more firearms. Howls ring out in the kitchen, along with more screams, followed by the sound of gunfire. While Jaccobi simply locks himself in a closet, Barney manages to open the door connecting the two rooms, and gets caught in a desperate throng of fleeing people, only catching a gimps of two werewolves being shot up by a team of well armed, well armored men, one of whom seems to have set his fingers on fire.
  • The Count notices the Paranormalists trying to get to the bar to help him, then notices Ecaterina appear behind Ralf and drag him down to feed. Ambrose struggles to get her off of his associate, as does Dancer, though she slips and gets trampled by the desperate mob fleeing the Lobby. One of the werewolves proves far more effective in distracting Ecaterina from her feeding, however, so she shoves Ambrose between the them and leaps behind the bar. Teejay & Vincent arrive just in time to distract the lycanthropes as Mina shows up, shotgun in hand, and the two monsters fall under a hail of gunfire from Ambrose, Leland & Mina.
  • Having reached the safety of the loft beyond the library, Athene desperately drinks the gold vial before Dionnie can say (or do) anything. As she exults in the rush of power, Dionnie tells her she’s made her choice, and smiles – “I will claim you when you die” she states, before disappearing from sight, and memory.
  • Outside the hotel Raven arrives just in time to find Nichole being menaced by two more werewolves. He slips up and draws the blood of one with his claws, making him the new center of their attention, so they in turn turn on him and rip and tear until he slips into torpor. Before they can end him however, Nichole drives them off.

With the siege broken, the gang takes stock of the damage:

  • Two werewolves dead in the lobby, two more vanished from the kitchen (apparently dragged away by the mysterious gunmen). More than thirty party attendees dead or injured between the slaughter in the kitchen, lobby & “barn” (over a dozen were butchered there alone, trapped with no exit with a lone werewolf), and the feeding frenzy in the Red Room, though many more have taken superficial injuries from the mad rushes to escape the more violent confrontations. The police eventually arrive early that morning, but accept the arguments that this was, yet again, more gang violence.
  • Athene finds herself feeling more alive than ever before, with a gift for excellence and grace that is a step beyond the norm. It doesn’t stop Nichole from wiping her memory of vampires and werewolves when she catches Teejay telling her all about his own changes however. For that breach in the Masquerade, Nichole takes the time to tell him of the traditions, and warns him that such breaches could land him in hot water – but he is protected for the moment as the third tradition – that of Progeny – states that until his release it is his sire who is to be punished. And for that she forces Altair to drink from her, increasing the bond between them.
  • When Nichole is told by Leland of Ambrose’s “balls of steel” while standing inches from an angry werewolf, she decides to add all three of the Paranormalists to the young brood, pushing the number she’s embraced that evening to a dizzying nine – a fact that both sickens and terrifies Altair.
  • No one seems to take stock of Barney or Erikson in all this confusion, or of what they saw or heard as they scrambled through the chaos of the night. Each is contacted the following day by one Cliff Medrano and given very interesting, and lucrative, new employment.

Characters Concept Template Flaws XP
Athene Antiquarian Scavenger Atlantian Psychic Dark Hero Single-Minded 19
Teejay Brown Key Grip Vampire (Daeva) 19
“Count” Leland Murphy Cosplay Dracula-wannabe Vampire (Daeva) Embarrassing Secret 22
Jaik Mkor Mystery Man Immortal (Purified) Amnesia 10
John Watson Doctor Ghoul - 3
Altair Reserved Academic Vampire (Daeva) - 15
Donto Brickhouse - - RIP
Deerborn Gunslinger Vampire (Mekhet) - 5
Professor Erikson Mad Scientist Slasher (Maniac) - 10
Masau Esoteric Dabbler Vampire (Nosferatu) - 7
Raven Lug Vampire (Gangrel) Mute 7
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Ch. 10: Wolves at the Door
Act III: Dark Side of the Moon

9pm: Leaving Deerborn behind to stalk the Werewolf at the graveyard, Leland rushes the distraught Dancer back to the party, along with Erikson & the Paranormalists. They return to find Altair & the Brides have everything at the party well under control and in full swing. Teejay is still keeping Athene company (and out of trouble), though she is getting ever more stressed-out over this mysterious figure to whom Nichole has promised her. Nichole herself seems to have situated herself in the Red Room with the Honeymooners, where she seems to have placed herself at the heart of an orgy. Newcomer Masau manages to pull himself out of the pleasure to stumble downstairs to the bar for a drink, but finds himself sans clothes (he’s been loosing things all day – his wallet, the friend who invited him, and now his pants!) – he runs into Leland, who takes pity on him and lends him leather pants and one of his tuxedo tee-shirts. He, Leland, Athene, Erikson & Teejay all get acquainted at the bar while the Paranormalists retreat to the basement to do more research (and get their heads on strait and call the authorities), while Erikson disappears into the Lab to fetch his outfit and get distracted by willing volunteers. Vicky appears, thanking Athene for the invitation, and asks where Jaik is. Athene bargains a bit with her over what she’s been able to discern, and Vicky in turn tells her the “mystery woman” is in the Hotel and plans on making her move tonight. Victoria then takes her leave.
10pm: Masau encounters the strange Shriner car zipping about the party and hops inside while eating. After stuffing himself for a while he gets out and chats with Leland, who tells him of how it’s really remote controlled by Jacoby. Teejay and Athene retreat to barricade themselves upstairs for a while, but Athene finds it difficult to stay holed up for long. Meanwhile Jaik, still locked up in the Chemical Plant, and still leaving his body in a coma while he works on a way to escape in the Shadowlands, sees an approaching light. Victoria approaches, accompanied by a will-o-wisp of light, and she offers to help him get free, and even reveal to him certain truths, if he can keep the source of them a secret. He does, and she soon manifests within the mortal world, inside the cell, and reveals more than he had ever suspected: he is, apparently a descendant of Atlantis. After Atlantis sank thousands of years ago, survivors scattered across the world, and some settled here. In the region eventually to be known as Detroit they encountered the Unshaken God, a monster they bound deep in the earth. It was after that they discovered the Elixir of Immortality, and created rites with it that created the first Purified amongst them. Much later war broke out between them and local Indian tribes, resulting in the slaughter and destruction of their colony. So they retreated for hundreds of years into hidden towers in the Shadowlands, and did not return until the arrival of the europeans and the supernaturals that came with them. It was Jaik M’kor, the “Duke of Detroit,” who forged the Accord that created the peace between Vampires and Werewolves, Mages and Spirits, and it was the Purified who served as the middlemen that kept that peace. But a conspiracy grew, the Antumbra Association, which discovered their secrets, and betrayed them, seizing power over 50 years ago, setting Jaik up against the Snake King to destroy him, and when that failed, Nichole somehow had someone steal his memories. She and the others amongst the Triumvirate took control of their various factions, ruling themselves for decades in a loose peace, a peace that has been crumbling ever since. Now that Nichole has lost her post as “Prince” amongst the vampires and the support of her allies amongst the Triumvirate, some sort of civil war is brewing, one that is likely to end what is left of the Accord.
11pm: Leland, having slipped off to enjoy the orgy, finds himself the subject of Nichole’s Embrace, and he is not the only one. His Brides, along with the honeymooning Logans, have all been turned as well, and within the confines of the Red Room the blood flows freely and all are rosy and full. Slipping out to tend to the party and exalt in his new state, he is immediately accosted by Athene and struggles to assure her, though against what and how so he is not sure. Jaik and Vicky return through strange ways, arriving in an abandoned room upstairs, and come down to the joy and relief of his friends. After he grabs a bite to eat and a shower (and persuades the Paranormalists to leave the basement for a better vantage point to protect the Hotel from what ever disaster they seem sure is coming), he joins Athene and Erikson in trying to find ways to defend her, but eventually gets so annoyed that she won’t accept his heavy handed help (which would involve leaving her handcuffed to something, possibly himself, possibly to the structure, and homemade napalm – a compound Erikson seems to think he can just whip up in the kitchen in short order), that he announces she’s on her own and leaves, taking Leland’s shotgun with him. Teejay, having taken a break from Athena-watching, is getting to know Vincent and Vicky at the bar, when Altair finally takes her cue to make her own childe, having spotted her sires new childer stalking the party. Lazily approaching the bar, she grabs Teejay when he turns to greet her and plants a mighty kiss on him as an “apology” for how she’d been treating him of late, before dragging him off upstairs. He fails to put up much resistance as she goes all out to show him a good time, then at peak grants him the Embrace. The pillow talk after leaves him less than thrilled, as the full weight of what she’s done to him sinks in. Vincent has a curious conversation with Vicky, and bemused, Vicky shares with him the secret about the shriner car and his earlier hunger (Arthur the giant spirit cockroach). Outside the Hotel, an upset Jaik begins walking towards the park where the Night King resides, and when he notices a gangbanger snatched into the darkness of a nearby ally, he shouts out the werewolves can have the vampires of the Cafax – as far as he’s concerned, their the ones who broke the Accord, so the Pack is welcome to them!
Midnight: The lights go out, and howls go up outside the Hotel. Panic ensues! Vicky thanks the Count for a wonderful party, steps into a shadow and vanishes. Masau asks Leland if he has a sword handy (mentioning something about being a Kendo instructor in his spare time), and is directed to the Library. While he’s there, searching for the sword, he is surprised by Skinny who, after a brief conversation, persuades him to accept his “gift” to better fight (or flee) the werewolves. With Masau’s agreement, Skinny takes him up, and gives him his own, frightening Embrace.


Characters Concept Template Flaws XP
Athene Antiquarian Scavenger Psychic Single-Minded 2+3+3+4=12
Teejay Brown Key Grip Vampire (Daeva) 3+3+3+3=12
“Count” Leland Murphy Cosplay Dracula-wannabe Vampire (Daeva) Embarrassing Secret 4+4+3+3=14
Jaik Mkor Mystery Man Immortal (Purified) Amnesia 4+0+0+4=8
John Watson Doctor Ghoul - 2+0+0+0=2
Altair Reserved Academic Vampire (Daeva) - 3+3+2+3=11
Donto Brickhouse - - RIP
Deerborn Gunslinger Vampire (Mekhet) - 0+0+3+0=3
Professor Erikson Mad Scientist Slasher (Maniac) - 0+0+3+3=6
Masau Esoteric Dabbler Vampire (Nosferatu) - 3=3
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Ch. 9: Pilgrim's Progress
Act III: Dark Side of the Moon

Friday, November 25th, 2010
3am – After everyone else is practically in bed, Altair gets a call from her Mentor amongst the Ordo Dracul, Conrad Vilt, that a distinguished member of the Order is arriving shortly at the train station at the behest of her Sire, and so it falls to her to pick him up and tend to his needs. With much grumbling she acquiesces, and after failing to persuade Leland to give her a ride and help her pick him up, she finally calls a cab. Athene gets her interest piqued and attaches herself, promising to help with cab-fair, and uses the time on the drive to dig a little deeper into the Carfax’s mysterious librarian. At the station they both make the acquaintance of Mr. Deerborn, who seems cool but gentlemanly, and takes Athene’s pestering questions with good grace, despite otherwise feeling rather “peckish,” and Athene apparently not on the menu. Altair first tries to dump him off at her Mentor’s Haven, a fact which seems to annoy him no end. He agrees to stash Deerborn’s possessions until he finds other accommodations, but insists Altair see him fed and housed before dawn. Altair drops him off at a sleazy bar with directions to a motel and abandons him, something Athene finds insulting, but allows as Deerborn insists it is ok. Once the two are off, he sets about hiring a pair of hookers for the remaining hours, sakes his thirst (leaving them both dangerously depleted) and kicks them out with enough time to sun-proof his motel room.
10am – Leland gets up to show his landscaper Donto what work he’d like to see around the Carfax, and Danto gets to see some of the odd inhabitants as they’re getting their first cup of coffee. Once he has Danto aimed at the shrubbery, he then meets with fellow enthusiast Professor Erikson, who’s passion for science, and capes, has led the Count to offer him one of the larger spare rooms for a Laboratory. The good Professor immediately decides the room must be rewired… and have Tesla coils!
Noon – Everyone pools together for lunch, and greet Teejay as he comes in, well dressed and ready to help get things up and running for tonight’s party. Leland finally gets a call back from Dancer McCoy, who would love to swing by later that afternoon for an interview and to discuss her story on the drug-dealing Werewolves of Detroit.
3pm – Donta, in going about his work, has noticed a variety of wierdos about the neighborhood, from the creepy legless Toyman Gilly who’s been panhandling in front of the Carfax all morning, to the black Van with suits keeping an eye on things, to the annoying wolf hounds running about, making every car in sight (including his own). When Dancer and the Paranormalists arrive to talk with Leland, Athene & Teejay attach themselves to the meeting to promote their own concerns over the werewolves abduction of Jaik. Leland chooses to invoke the Awe in everyone that was Nichole’s gift to him by blood, so the Paranormalists let much of their own information slide in favor of interviewing the Count, as what he has to say seems far more interesting than what they know. That being said, Dancer produces the drugs found in the graveyard, and her uncle asserts though he’s discerned it is LSD, he can’t tell what it’s cut with. Leland calls up Erikson, and the two Professors head off to the University to see what they can find out. In the meantime, Leland allows the Paranormalists to take over an empty room upstairs, as long as they stay out of the way of the party & don’t harass or film his guests at tonight’s party.
8pm – As folks begin arriving for the party, so too arise and arrive their hidden Kindred parasites. Deerborn arrives, impecably dressed, if archaically (not that anyone is likely to notice, given the nature of the party). The Professors return, having finished their analysis – the LSD is laced with an unusual, and unidentified, biological compound. While the makeup of the drug itself defies identification, the source does not – laced microscopically is the signature of local biopharmaceutical company Smith-Novus, who’s labs are curiously enough also in East Side Detroit. Dancer causes something of a stir when she storms up to her uncle with a note – apparently her cameraman slipped out to do some follow-up shooting back at the graveyard some hours ago and has yet to return! Concerned that the Werewolves may have got him, Dancer takes off, and Leland, Deerborn, Altair, Donta, Erikson & the Paranormalists follow to make sure they don’t get her too. Packing guns (and a small amount of silver shot), they zip over in Leland’s stretch-hum-vie, arriving at the graveyard just in time to hear blood-curdling screams! As they close in however the screams die out, and as they reach their source, they find a scene of carnage that make several ill. The grotesqueness and bloodiness of the cameraman’s demise proves too much for Donta, who runs off screaming into the wooded portion of the graveyard, while cooler heads study the scene. Ever bastions of stability in the face of the supernatural, the Paranormalists note evidence of wolf-spore and wolf-tracks, indicating the Loup Garou as the culprits. Meanwhile Donta attempts to hide, but is ambushed by Marrow Wolf. As the gang hears his screams and readies themselves to go charging after, his head comes flying back at them. By the time they reach his remains, the werewolf is long gone!


Characters Concept Template Flaws XP
Athene Antiquarian Scavenger Psychic Single-Minded 2+3+3=8
Teejay Brown Key Grip 3+3+3=9
“Count” Leland Murphy Cosplay Dracula-wannabe Ghoul Embarrassing Secret 4+4+3=11
Jaik Mkor Mystery Man Immortal (Purified) Amnesia 4+0+0=4
John Watson Doctor Ghoul - 2+0+0=2
Altair Reserved Academic Vampire (Daeva) - 3+3+2=8
Donto Brickhouse - RIP
Deerborn Gunslinger Vampire 0+0+3=3
Professor Erikson Mad Scientist Slasher 0+0+3=3
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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
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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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