We picked up still in the basement with Zane, getting out of there after disappointing him by letting him know that we couldn't just wave a hand and make the tunnel turn back into a wall.
We went back to the store and Dewey took his employee Bill out to one of the bars in town to try and cheer him up a bit after his rather unpleasant experience.
The next day, we all got together to talk about what to do now, because we had so much coming at us from all sorts of different angles. Maybe it's just my crappy recollection, but most of the rest of the session was spent debating over whether Pentex is a big enough threat to warrant getting distracted from the mayor or not and whether to give any weight to Huxley's claims that he's the only thing keeping them from using the town to take over the world or something. Dewey thinks that Pentex is probably a valid threat but Huxley should still be the priority target, and any problems that can come up afterwards can and would be better handled by the entire town working together. And while despite all manner of research we really have no way to get started on dealing with Pentex, Caduceus would prefer we go after the 5 Mages wielding unknown powers trying to control the world rather than take out the Lich and get everyone in Ramosis in on the Pentex thing. And then there's the huge host of possible threats we've identified, at least a few of which are probably background stuff at best.
Dewey suggested that part of the problem is that we can't see the forest for the trees so he thinks that the cabal should table the problem for the moment and back up and start in on a few things from the initial investigation we never got around to dealing with. Namely, the disappearance of the cabal of mages that led to the intervention of the Guardians of the Veil in the first place.
There was an interesting bit during the discussion where Rat sent us a drawing of an inverted pentagram (with the semi-stereotypical goat head incorporated into the design) with the possible layout of the Infernal Paths (like the Mage Pentagram that lists Moros, Obrimos, etc.). And while we might get some use out of it, a lot of the session was spent tangled up in the 'who is the bigger threat' argument so we decided to just start fresh with certain aspects of our investigation and see if that can clear a few things up.
Friday was... an intense game.
Things started off with the court tribunal to deal with the Sluagh that murdered the Boggan. Sure, he turned out to be Shadow Court and the murder was, like with the Scathach Sidhe, a form of protest to lash out at the Baron at the time. Also, he's a Wilder with mortal parents in the area, so we can't execute him (nor would we want to) or exile him properly. So the best thing we could think to do is to essentially chimerically kill him... we ordered him to retreat into his mortal seeming. It's not permanent, but it essentially exiles him from the local court. We really couldn't think of anything better.
On the way out, we discovered that one of the characters who usually stays in the background deciding the way to make his presence known was to randomly attack someone. Naturally, everyone else retaliated and Chimerically killed him, and when everyone's back was turned Marcus Scathach snuck into the holding cell and actually killed him himself, leaving behind some evidence trying to link it to another Sluagh by the name of Marcus who returned after a long absence.
While going over the investigation of what happened, an entity that looked very much like the ghost of a dead man stepped out of the wall of the Freehold carrying a small box. This is a being that a few of the Kithain in town have met before... a Keremet. It explained in so many words that it had the soul of a Sidhe prince in its possession that would save the world but we would have to find a host for it... a virtuous child between the ages of 6 and 8. And if we could find a second one, we'd get some sort of gift out of it.
Now, I neglected to mention that this was Friday the 13th... and in our Changeling game, Sean and I have a house rule that on Friday the 13th everyone makes a test of their Banality versus their Glamour. If they fail, then the 'magic' of the human belief in weirdness on that day takes over and the character changes Legacies for the night. So, 'coincidentally,' this would be a night when certain characters would be more... welcome to trying to kidnap a child.
A few of us went to the hospital while two of the Fae stayed behind. One of them made a phone call from the previous Baron's cell phone (which he swiped a while back) and called in a bomb threat to the hospital, causing a huge flood of patients in a panicked evacuation. With some good timing and some quick use of Chicanery, Nick managed to get one of the kids away (much to his later regret when the effects of Friday the 13th wore off). On the way out, though, an explosion actually rocked the building and took the top floor off while we heard a voice yell "Nick! Ivan! Fuck you!"
Due to the chaos we only got one and brought him back to Woodburn where we were directed through a portal into a gray, dead-looking place where the Keremet awaited us. Ivan, being a Sluagh himself, got a test to recognize where we were... we'd just passed through a Black Trod into the Shadowlands. The Keremet was there along with a weird hunchbacked guy.
We gave him the child and he put the kid on an altar and the hunchback shaped the kid's flesh, making him an appropriate host for a Sidhe prince. Afterwards he took a bite out of Roland, the being's price being a taste of Fae blood, and the fun began. Now, one thing I'd misunderstood out of character was the soul in the box the Keremet had... I didn't realize at first that the soul he had was the soul of Harroth Balor himself. Ivan was given the box to open when the time was right, and couldn't bring himself to do it. Roland stepped forward and opened the box and allowed the spirit to possess the boy.
At this point, Matthew, a crow Pooka, tried to kill the fresh body of Balor while there was still time. Nick was just thrown so completely off-balance by what happened that he just chased after the Keremet and his flunky, who left at the start of the battle. He caught up with them and he said that he was expecting Harroth to let them out of the Shadowlands, but he went back to do it himself.
The battle had finished with no casualties but no victory when we got back. We were ushered back into the land of the living, as midnight had passed during the battle and now we only had the horror that we experienced from our own actions to keep us company. And that's where the game left off.
At Greg's game we split up to do some research on the being that was located out in the woods. There really isn't that much to tell; we went to a library and a small local museum and found out about some Native American practices supposedly centered around worshipping this ancient Ahrimane that was in that crypt. I mean, I hate to make it seem short and boring, but...
The other group went their way as well, which took a lot longer and they found out some of the same stuff. They did, however, manage to make contact with a Kuei-Jin somehow. So rock on for them.
At Shomo's Requiem game we started off with everyone being invited to a little meeting at a funeral home in town. We met with an Invictus Venture who'd been away recovering from an injury at the time of the calamity in town that claimed the lives of so many Kindred.
We all talked about recent events... the fact that there have been a number of vampire-style murders that are obviously not caused by vampires, and the identities of the remaining members of the Seven Pillars of Dionysis. The meeting was interrupted by a Gangrel who burst in and started threatening us over the destruction of the Macellarius, Mr. Gaunt. He eventually left and we started debating over what to do... hunt the rest of them down and kill them before they can kill us, or try to work things out.
Kyle suggested trying to work things out and said he'd get a head start on talking to some people to try to find out who the local Hierophant would be. He contacted Ezekial Stone and found out that Ezekial's translated a bunch of Gaunt's notes from Latin into English. He found code names and titles for each of the Seven Pillars, but no identities or contact information. Also, they meet every Halloween at midnight for a special gathering, but we're trying to decipher exactly where. But at least it's a starting point.
Kyle suggested returning to Morrow Hall to see if there was anything still down there that might be useful, and we found something else... a couple of starved rogue ghouls that we had a hell of a time putting down. Sean's character mortally wounded his and took him to the hospital, and Mark (Kyle's protege within the Order) went on a hunger frenzy and drained him dry, and then Embraced him in an attempt to make up for it.
So soon we're going to interrogate the ghouls and see if we can get anything out of them about Gaunt's friends or the murders.
And on a side-note, the Kindred of Morgantown have been invited to Midnight Mass in Clarksburg with the Prince/Bishop there, which should definitely be interesting.
And I think that's about it for gaming stuff this week.
In unrelated news, Nerf is training the next generation of Green Berets.