The Brimstone Law Associates have just found a charming, relaxing moment in seeing Mephisto reunited with his lover.
…The nemean lion killed a guy. That’s not good? Perhaps trying to keep a giant, compulsively man-eating supernatural wild animal around isn’t the best plan. There is some debate about what to do with the lion ranging from ‘it kills people, whatever’ to ‘it would make a good rug’, but decisions on what to do with the giant, compulsively man-eating supernatural wild animal get shelved since Amos walks in.
“Did you know that you guys don’t have any manticore parking?”
Amos probably had something important to tell us but he gets sidetracked by the giant, compulsively man-eating supernatural wild animal in the basement. “Is it safe to pet?” – Amos is adorable. But the lion likes Hobbes the Housecat, so maybe it’s not all bad?
Amos brought a powerpoint presentation. Powerpoint presentations can’t be stopped, though they can be fairly easily sidetracked by giant, compulsively man-eating supernatural wild animals. Distraction complete, Amos fills us in on the B-team’s actions re: manticores and Babel Stones, complete with an (out of date) map showing the ley line distribution in Boston. Amos’ theory is that each of the points of the triangle is guarded, and that’s where the remaining Babel stones are and he feels we should make a plan to attack the triangle’s other points.
(Mike, meanwhile, is trying to read the diary included in Mephisto’s envelope. This proves difficult because the text keeps shifting – it’s encrypted with magic that’s unfamiliar (and which doesn’t register as gramarye magic). Raleigh recognizes it as similar to the effect created by John Dee’s Quill – the 16th-century astronomer created several quill pens that encrypted what was written with them. None of us has a means of decrypting it (it requires another of the quills) so it’s going to have to wait for later.)
Annay brainstorms several possible plans to try and protect the city. The vampiric warmongering that we’re seeing isn’t at all common (they tend to be a bit too selfish to work together), but there are between 400 and 500 vampires in the city right now (given that the city normally has between fifty and eighty, tops); it’s clear that there’s a master vampire of some kind pulling the strings. We’re worried about contracting vampirism (or something else) in the upcoming fighting and discuss the possibility of getting a supernatural prophylactic from Leo’s family. We get assurances that it will be provided, because nobody wants to see a few dozen new vampire sorcerers running around Boston.
Mike is still digging into the information he got from Mephisto, trying to find clues as to the string-puller’s identity. Going through the pictures, the group photo of “The Departed” are people Raleigh recalls: they were a group of 20+ monster-hunters who considered themselves ‘dead’ and had sworn to have no family and dedicate themselves wholly to killing a particular great evil. They eventually completed their quest (or so they thought, at least), but Raleigh doesn’t know exactly what that was. Mike’s parents settled down together after the quest was completed, and then were later murdered by the string-puller.
In addition to the indecipherable diary and the photos, there’s an oblong piece of silver stamped with something in Middle French. What it says is ‘THE BEAST, 1764’ a reference to la Bestie des Gévaudan, a Lycan Rex that terrorized France in the 18th century. Most Lycan Rex are born with some capacity for rational thought, but the beast was a purely murderous being. On the record, it was killed: the conclave allied with werewolves to destroy it, but it caused significant chaos until it was put down. So far as we can tell, the Beast is *not* the particular big bad that The Departed were chasing; they were most likely fighting a vampire in the 70s.
Raleigh feels that we have enough information about the string-puller’s activities over time to try and connect the dots to an identity, but there are still a few too many pieces missing and the clock is ticking. After some hasty preparations in the lab (mostly conditional spells and charms being prepared), the group makes their way to the
footballhandegg stadium where the second cache of babel stones are.
On arrival, the entire place is cloaked in clearly-supernatural fog. That’s not spooky at all. On entering the field, the team is set upon by a pack of massive wolves, the offspring of Fenris. The initial rush goes moderately well for Team Loup: Leo’s arm is mangled, Mike and Yanay are set upon, and the alpha rushes Aldrick. An unlucky wolf attacks Raleigh and ends up faceplanting on the turf instead. The team fights back: Raleigh with spells and flaming sword, Mike with his holy blade, Aldrick and Leo both going bestial and tearing into the enemy, and Amos flinging a super effective stunning spell that gets reinforced when Yanay does the same. Unfortunately for Yanay, her Moonfire spell makes her a target; even more unfortunately, she suffers some bad rolls and gets mauled. Mike and Aldrick beat the wolves off of her, and (thanks mostly to the reinforced stunning effect) nobody is significantly threatened for the remainder of the fight.
Huh. Turns out that magic fog wasn’t *just* screwing with vision, as it starts seeping into Yanay’s wounds and turning them black. Raleigh tries (unsuccessfully) to simply dispel the fog, with no luck; instead the angel focuses on healing Yanay (using a grimoire borrowed from Amos) while Amos uses one of the artifacts he’s carrying – a magical dispelling ring – to get rid of the fog. Good news: Yanay survives. Bad news: the wolves left a mark. I promise we can fix that scarring later.
The cache of babel stones is surrounded by an incredibly powerful ward. After some discussion of how to deal with it, Raleigh slaps another ward-breaking charm up against it and blasts a hole in the ward big enough to let the skinnier members of the team (Raleigh and Yanay) squeeze in. Once there, Raleigh uses the spell Amos cooked up to hijack the stones’ communication magic, and for good measure also wipes out the wards’ Exclusion Lists: now, anyone who *was* allowed in no longer is.