Matt (innocent_man) wrote in mageawakening,

Murder in the Pines Update

Recall that waaaaay back here, the cabal was out in the woods in Oregon, searching for the removed souls of six campers. They'd found them, in the spirit world, trapped in the water of Crater Lake...and then the werewolves attacked.

The werewolves in question were apparently Joe Cobb's pack, who had masked his lycanthropy from the mages (not an easy feat). Fin blinded and rendered anosmic several of the werewolves, but one of them still managed to gut Asmodeus. Their pack totem spirit, a death-looking thing with a big sickle, also appeared. Falstaff used Spirit magic to read its ban, and learned that the pack bond could be broken by someone who had worn the wolf-skin belt (which had been mentioned in connection to the Via Lunari, the magic tome they were there to find). But before he could use or relate the knowledge, the spirit stabbed him and left him bleeding to death. Whim cast a geas on one of the werewolves to protect the mages, but since that would involve betraying his pack, he didn't (you don't have to follow a geas, but you suffer Great Curse if you don't).

One of the werewolves flew into Death Rage and charged Emory, but Em flipped by him and sent him into the crater. Another tried the same thing with Fletcher, but Fletcher caught the edge of the crater and pulled himself back up. The pack retreated, and the two allied werewolves recognized this tactic - they were going to hit the mages later, since humans don't regenerate like werewolves do.

And indeed, that was a problem, since the only mage with Life magic was down. Fin reactivated his brain and shut off his pain sensors, and Falstaff woke up long enough to repair the damage to his lungs and heart, and then healed himself and Asmodeus.

Looking down into the crater, the characters saw the souls floundering (they also saw the werewolf Em had chucked in, but he wasn't any threat at the moment). Whim searched for the book and found strands of fate linking the werewolf to it - right there in the crater. Bolg lowered her down with Forces and she grabbed the book, and Fin tossed her the backpack with the canisters rigged to be soul jars. They collected the souls and went back to the surface, whereupon Falstaff opened a portal back into the physical world.

The cabal walked back to where the campers' bodies were and Falstaff reattached their souls, a long and laborious process. They convinced the campers to get the hell out of there. Whim, having detached the belt from the book (it was worked into the binding), tried it on, and then used Fate to trigger it. It turned her into a wolf, a wave of lust washing over her. Fin's Mind magic gave her back her cognition, and Asmodeus opened a portal home. Whim remained a wolf until morning, and learned that belt was only supposed to work at night (per Loki), and also that it was a fetish (also per Loki).

Fletcher accepted a $2 fee from Whim and got the hell back to Philly, citing "lessons learned" as payment (he doesn't do this for the money). She kept the book as part of her new Mysterium library. Asmodeus got some medical treatment and then went the heck on vacation.

But shortly thereafter, the cabal met with Bailiff about what they'd learned here. Helen was not rightfully Hierarch, but did she know that? Her cabal had supposedly died in a fire some years back, but Helen was a Mastigos. She must have known that Red Jester survived? But why hadn't Jester come forward? There were still too many unanswered questions, and in the end the cabal decided that they needed to know more about what happened the night the Guiding Hands cabal died before talking to Helen.

So that's the next, and last, story: "Guiding Hands and Murder in the Pines."
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