Matt (innocent_man) wrote in mageawakening,

Murder in the Pines Update

The chronicle picks up for the new story six weeks after the events of Lightning Genesis and Elusive Unity. During that time, Falstaff has worked more on becoming a respectable journalist (and is making progress). Bolg, now called Vulcan (though that may change, since there's already a mage of that Shadow Name in Cincy) has legal rights to Hades' house, meaning the group has a Sanctum again, albeit one with rather weird vibes. Asmodeus went out to visit Hades (we'll be talking about that, Aaron). Fin's been working on the house. Echo's been dealing with Guardian stuff (simplyendless, I'm having brain problems about specifics).

Whim has been seeing Emory. You'll note, though, that Emory's pack alpha forbade him from doing that, so this relationship has the potential to be problematic. Whim also started looking into weird items, in hopes of using Fate magic to "summon" them. She found a scholarly paper entitled “The Sorcerer, the Werewolf, and the Church — Using Myth to Further Political Goals,” talking about the Peter Stumpf werewolf trial in Germany, and mentioning a book called the Via Lunae, a book supposedly containing information about Stumpf's congress with the Devil and how he went about changing into a wolf. She's now looking for more on this "Lunar Way."

But, tonight, we begin on 7/21/05. It's Vulcan's birthday (or near it), so the characters are out giving him gifts and having chili at Skyline. Echo gets him a new gun. Falstaff renews his subscription to the paper. Whim gets him a monocle, because she thinks he's look cool with one. Fin...hell, I forget (hobbesthetiger?). Anyway, from outside, they feel something supernatural happening.

This probably happens often with mages, but it's worth looking into. They throw on various spells and peek outside. Falstaff notices a spiritual disturbance around a man across the street. Characters step outside, and Loki tells Whim that this guy just feels weird, spiritually speaking. She casts Interconnections on him.

Well, she tries. The spell is normally covert in aspect, but a big ol' Paradox comes in. Whim, not expecting it, doesn't contain it, and an Anomaly occurs on a crowded street. Fortunately, Whim is an Acanthus, so it's not as flashy as it would have been for, say, Vulcan. All of the mirrors within 60 feet of her break, even the ones in people's purses. The guy sure as heck notices this, and stares, mouth agape, at Whim.

Fin tries to read his mind, and gets as fear as his name (Quentin Ester) before a mental shield slams into place and he starts walking away. Fin notices, too, that his Read the Depths spell somehow became vulgar.

The characters follow Quentin and tell him that they don't mean any harm. There's some brief conversation (during which everyone sort of assumes that Whim did something on purpose), and Quentin explains that he was working in a Wal-Mart a few months ago when he saw this "tower." At this point, they figure they're dealing with a new Awakening and ask if there's somewhere more private they can go. Quentin says there's a bar he likes, so they go there to chat.

He tells them about his Awakening, pretty clearly to the Primal Wild. From his explanations of his magic, it's clear he's got some facility with Life, Spirit and Mind, and a good instinct for shielding himself. Fin, after asking permission, uses Know Thyself on him to make sure he's no possessed. The spell kicks up Paradox, again, but it succeeds, and Fin realizes his mind isn't being controlled. It seems, though, that any spell cast on him is vulgar - why?

Crescendo calls Echo, asking what the heck is going on (shattered mirrors are all over the police band). She explains, and Crescendo reminds her that new mages are potential spies and to keep an eye on this guy and on Whim. Vulcan calls Bailiff and asks what to do. Bailiff says to bring the new guy to the Guardian Angels sanctum - hard to be more secure than that. Echo balks a little at the Adamantine Arrow's claim to be "in charge of Consilium security," but they go.

En route, Whim, riding with Vulcan, gets a call from Emory. When Vulcan hears her say she's "in a car," he tries to tune in to the call, but Whim feels the spell and tells him he's being rude. She reveals she's talking to Em, and Vulcan disapproves, not because he doesn't like Em, but because he doesn't want Em going behind his pack's back (this could, after all, lead to trouble). Whim says that she'll try and get back into the pack's good graces; Vulcan gives her a week. Whim finishes her conversation with Emory - he's coming over tonight. He gets so aggressive on the full moon.

They arrive at the Sanctum, and Bailiff meets Quentin. He explains that the Consilium is a governing body for mages, but Quentin is under no obligation to stay and play this game. It's just safer. He offers Quentin (who's now calling himself "Nick," per the cabal's suggestion to pick a Shadow Name) a room, and then gets the cabal alone and tells them that there's been a weird murder in the club district. Since they're getting a rep as investigating this kind of thing, maybe they'd like to check it out?

They trek out the club district and find the circus of flashing lights. Whim scrutinizes the area, looking for pine-like resonance. She finds something similar spread out over the area, but figures it could just be because a murder was committed there.

Echo looks back in time and sees a hairy, naked dude kneeling on another guy's back, chewing his throat and drinking his blood. Then he gets up and runs away. No fangs, no obvious supernatural stuff.

Falstaff asks some questions of the cops, and then sneaks over and gets a blood sample from the trail leading away.

Vulcan monitors the police bands, but hears nothing of interest, except that the cops are kinda baffled by where the killer might have gotten to.

Fin uses Astral Projection and slips into Twilight, and finds the victim's ghost. He uses the Heal the Dead Mind spell that I wrote for Mysterium, and the guy remembers his death. He tells Fin that the guy came out of nowhere and pounced on him, bit him, and then everything went black. Fin asks if there's anything he can do for the guy, but the guy says just to find the guy who did it. "Already on it," Fin replies.

Whim looks for threads and finds one leading away (Fin does this with Death and Fate, too). Falstaff finds the blood trail. But it all dead-ends in an alley nearby. Whim traces the trail back to the murder-alley, but the trail begins under a dumpster. To Whim's House of Ariadne eyes, it looks like this killer was created in that alley specifically to kill, and then ceased to exist when he wasn't useful anymore. But the killing itself was random. That guy died because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Falstaff peeks across the Gauntlet, and sees something weird - the ephemeral pavement is cracking, as though weeds are coming up. He uses the Road Master spell to step across, and tries digging, but the murder-spirit taps him on the shoulder. The spirit notes that Falstaff is now on the spirit side of things, and Falstaff doesn't leave. The spirit attacks, using the Blast Numen.

Now, that's 35 dice for that spirit. I rolled 4 successes. arkhamhorror can just thank his lucky stars, yeah?

Falstaff cancels his spell and returns to the physical world, bleeding from pine needles. The cabal shares its notes, but it doesn't really have much to go on. Whim decides to walk home, wandering the city to figure out if these spiritual "roots" are a problem. By the time she gets home (with a naked werewolf waiting for her in the shower), she figures that these things are new, and that they have a kind of sticky feel to pine sap.

But this is forgotten in the wake of sex. After, she asks Em for help in locating the Via Lunae. He says that he doesn't really truck with old books, but there are werewolves of his tribe who do that, and he'll see about contacting them.

Fin and Vulcan swing by the Guardian Angels sanctum to pick up Fin's car, and chat with Bailiff. He says that Quentin isn't a Lich or a Scelestus, and while Crescendo might think everybody's a spy, Bailiff isn't willing to live his life like that. They'll just have to wait and see.
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