Our miscreants er… heroes are asked to investigate another area in the country that is supposed to be similar to Normington with regards to cooperation between the various supernatural factions, To be found there was a Necromancer – Giovanni – who may be able to help cure Cyrus (I think) with his slight case of death. Off to the Northwest they fly, to a little town on the West Coast in Oregon. Upon their landing, they find things SLIGHTLY different than they were lead to believe. IN town, there was cooperation between factions (mainly Sabbat and Camarilla vamps with a couple of lone straggler Mage/Promethian/Geist) but anyone supernatural was prohibited from leaving the town by a 200-strong werewolf pack. This dictate includes the guests from IL, but not local mundanes.
Everyone spent some time exploring the town and meeting supernatural residents making sure they got the local rules before any breaches of etiquette happen. Residents of note – The Baron: Camarilla leader and resident for 60 years, Mother – Sabbat leader, Solomon – Geist who has lived in town since 1850, Auntie – old Mage with high Death arcana, The 3 Brothers – monastic and secretive vamps, Dennis – a simple but STRONG vampire and a rare werewolf child allowed to visit town.
“Voluntary” mandatory attendance at a weekly midnight ceremony at the local church was explained and participants were “requested” to partake in a congregation-wide bloodletting/communion. Quick scans showed the ritual did include some real power and the group’s mages (Finn and Drake) ensured their protections were up before drinking… which did absolutely nothing to protect them from the effects of the blood… everyone felt a subtle “connection” with another random participant. The only connection of note was Arty’s link to one of the 3 Brothers – Ezekiel. Seemingly only a feeling of good will and trust.
After finding communications with the outside world were being monitored/censored by spirits under the control of the Garou, the team starts poking around and asking questions. They were unable to learn exactly WHY the supernatural residents were forbidden from leaving, but they did learn of a mysterious “dead” zone in the nearby woods where spirits and animals wouldn’t go. Finn, Drake, Dr Hill and Arty (Holland McLeary was busy drinking Irish Whiskey) drove out to the woods to investigate.
Magical sight shows the taint of death and Death sight reveals that all life in a small area is being drained away. Sucked inward to something underground. Animals and spirits have all abandoned the affected zone and all nearby plants have died with a ring of yellowing/dying plants extending out in about a 40 yards radius. Footprints are visible in the dead dirt a few days old – 3 sets: 1 barefoot, 1 pair of sandals and 1 pair of moccasins. Finn, Drake and Arty stay outside the area as Dr. Hill moves in for a closer look. Due to his Promethian nature, the Death field has very little effect on him. He wants to dig around to see if anything is buried here. About 6 ft down, he encounters a stone slab. Further excavation shows it’s rectangular – very coffin-shaped. Finn levitates over the hole in the ground (wanting to stay out of the anti-life area) and can see that the source of the field is WELL below the coffin – by 30 yards or so.
Curiosity ALMOST prevails, but the cat remains in a Schrodinger-esque limbo and Finn convinces everyone to hold off on unearthing the coffin until a little more research is done about the history and local folklore for the area . A day or two at most. Initial queries reveal the area is part of a wildlife preserve set up around 1955 by the Pentis family. Held in trust by the Suty Society as no family members are alive. They all lived in the area but died off fairly quickly and mysteriously. Finn, Drake and Arty head back to town to question the towns oldest residents and those who would be most likely to know about things. Dr. Hill stays to re-bury the coffin.
Auntie tells the group a little about the town’s history but is unaware of the details of the dead zone. She had seen it briefly years prior but was unable to make use of the anti-life field so left it undisturbed. She was very surprised to learn the team had detected a mind deep underground. She thought the area was simply the Pentis family graveyard. She did recognize the 3 footprints as belonging to the 3 Brothers (big surprise there). Dr. Hill rejoined the group and everyone went to speak with Solomon (the Geist). He informed the group that the only other unusual activity in that area was a cargo ship beaching nearby in 1955. The crew were all dead with no suspicious marks. Internet searches showed the cargo ship’s itinerary: Philly, Algiers, Cairo, Bombay, Hong Kong, L. A. and finally (it beached before it arrived) Anchorage.
The team now goes to visit the 3 Brothers at their chapel. They are invited to join the Brothers in a ritual of their church – Arty and Dr. Hill agree and drink from a golden chalice that mysteriously filled with liquid as Ezekiel was chanting in an unknown language. The 3 Brothers agree to come back to the Dead Zone in the woods but give vague responses when questioned about why they were there previously. They then ask if we want to see the caves leading from the nearby beach to a place directly UNDERNEATH the Dead Zone. Of COURSE we do… and Arty (connected with and trusting Ezekiel after the initial church ceremony) sees no reason not to think the best of his friend.
Nobody should be surprised to learn that the cave contained an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus holding a vampire in Torpor and slowly draining the life from the area. 2 Brothers (Samiel and Galadriel… yes, I think Galadriel is a girl’s name, but ignore that) leap to the sarcophagus and strain to lift the stone lid, Ezekiel commands Arty to freeze and Arty happily complies. A wild melee ensues with Finn and Drake throwing attack spells at vamps who attack them in return, Dr. Hill Hulking out and picking up the entire sarcophagus and trying to run out of the cave, the jostled Elder (whom we assume is Set) beginning to stir and commanding Dr. Hill to put him down, remove the lid and hold Arty still so Set can drink. Dr. Hill responds with the quick, witty repartee of “yes, Master” and obeys like a good blood-bound thrall. NEVER drink anything at a party if you don’t know how it was prepared. Galadriel and Samiel are dispatched, Ezekiel is furious, Drake and Finn are almost dead and the enthralled Dr Hill is holding Arty as an Egyptian Capri Sun for a thirsty and feeble Set. Everyone then notices a shadowy figure watching quietly from the back of the cave. The team pleads for assistance and a figure they had seen only briefly in Normington emerges and quickly makes a potion with the blood of Arty, Dr. Hill and himself. Once the two thralls drink, it replaces the bonds on Arty and Dr. Hill and they are free to act. Ezekiel is quickly dispatched. Multiple attempts/methods to kill the weakened elder fail, so Set’s sarcophagus is filled with quick-drying cement, anti-Set graffiti is scrawled on the outside of the sarcophagus and the caves are collapsed behind the team as they head back to town.