Matt (innocent_man) wrote in mageawakening,

Murder in the Pines Update

The characters, recall, had just learned where Aaron Murphy was...but he knew that they knew. They started discussing their options and trying to figure out how to approach him. They figured that getting the werewolves on their side might be good, so Asmodeus scryed him - nothing. Added Death - nothing. Added Spirit to see beyond the Gauntlet, and found him wandering in between pine trees, apparently at the old shooting range. Bolg called the pack's house to ask about Emory. Blake told him that Emory had disappeared after he'd learned of Whim's death and hadn't been seen since.

About then, the power died and something attacked the characters - scorpion spirits. Bolg, in perhaps his only successful roll of the night, turned the power on, but by that time Fin and Asmodeus were both unconscious (dying of scorpion poisoning). Falstaff healed them enough to get them back on their feet, but with the lights on they could see the spirits and the three mages who'd gotten in somehow - one of whom was Aaron Murphy. He got Bolg in a headlock and tried to bite him with ugly spider-like fangs, but Bolg resisted the poison. One of his compatriots sent the scorpions after Fin, who tried to text Bailiff for helped but failed. The other hit Falstaff with Trigger the Lizard Brain, and he hid under the table in terror. Asmodeus teleported the characters out to the Hallow, and Fin called Bailiff for aid. Bailiff arrived via portal with several other Arrows, but by that time, Murphy and crew were gone.

Bailiff insisted that they come back to the Guardian Angels sanctum for the night. In the morning, Falstaff contacted his mentor up in Cleveland, Chupacabra, for some healing help (Falstaff can't heal aggravated damage on other folks). They zipped up there via portal (popular way to travel), and met with Oswald, the highly paranoid Mastigos of the Untold Secrets cabal (first introduced here). They talked with Billy Pilgrim and Chupacabra, who healed up Fin and Bolg. They asked the mages about Aaron Murphy, and when Oswald saw a picture (a memory, really), he recognized him. Oswald was ex-Marines, and had played football against Murphy once - Murphy had been in the Army out in California.

Oswald helped the characters figure out who the DI had been back then, and Bolg (whom you'll recall is retired Army, too) called him up and asked for help in identifying a soldier that he'd met in the Gulf. The DI, now a Colonel and an administrator, identified him (by picture, faxed) as Donald Clay. One superb Manipulation roll later (aid by Fin), the Colonel revealed that Clay had lived on the streets of LA for some time before enlisting, and that he'd been strange - maybe a sociopath who'd slipped by the psych screening. He'd been discharged after an "incident" in Kuwait involving multiple bodies, but not dishonorably. Apparently he'd conned his CO into covering up some of the details.

The mages went home and started digging up info on Clay. Bailiff informed them that Helen had stepped down as Hierarch, and a contingent of mages was going to Chicago to get Red Jester and bring him back. Asmodeus learned that Clay was actually from Dayton, Ohio, and that his mother had died in 1994 (about the point that Clay was back in the States). He also found that the mother's murder case had been reopened recently, when a necklace of hers had turned up in a pawn shop in Phoenix, AZ...and remember, of course, that Falstaff's hometown was Page, AZ, where first all the spirits and then all the mages had vanished. Fin, during this time, built up a powerful Psychic Assault and hung it in time for later.

Bailiff came to find them and told them that the mage contingent was dead. On the Ohio/Indiana border, the Proximi and Omnus (one of the former Hierarch's cabal) had been killed, and one Proximus was missing. The characters continued casting spells to buff themselves up. Next time, they're going hunting for Donald Clay.
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