Mysterious Mysteries

We manage to collect Marybeth’s mom with no hassle and head back to my house. Everything is quiet, and I gather up the ashes into vases. I have to talk to their families, but not now. Not with demons and devils after us. We fortify the study to protect everyone as best we can as some of the folk with fire spells clean up the back garden.

Someone remembers a box Remy pulled out of Marybeth’s house and we take a look at it. It’s got some serious magic on it, and the inverted Dawnmother rune from Nat’s dream. Nat manages to pick the lock on the box after only one failed attempt. She’s getting really good at that. Then she opens it, and a swirling blackness comes out. A demonic voice comes out and a black beam of energy strikes her in the chest! She staggers, but stays upright. The box is full of ashes. Remy sits down to identify it all. The box itself was covered by Non-Detection. The ashes are magical and can make you disappear and have non-dectection on you, too. They also used to be people… Closing the box will reset the trap, so we get a pouch for the ashes instead.

Everyone gets busy then. I send to Elizabeth again, but she’s busy still, but says she’ll come. Marybeth starts studying her grandfather’s papers again. Gerhardt patches Nat up from the box’s damage. Klyce and Nat then pull Philip into the hall to dig into his brain, most of us follow. Klyce explains what’s going to happen, and the risk. Philip is scared, but he trusts Klyce. When Nat’s done, she says his memories are thin and don’t go back past two and a half years ago. Around tree time. There’s a smooth globe of darkness beneath that. She can’t get through, but it feels like blood and sulfur. We ask about his past, and he has memories of growing up, but they seem a little vague to me.

He goes back into the room with the families while we ponder what this means. Did he get infected during the mind worm episode? Did something hitch a ride in his brain? And what about the cultist ashes from Porter’s room. What are we Doing? Marybeth produces an image of Porter for Nat, and she says he’s the leader of the cult. He’s the one sacrificing people. Oh Dawnmother, what do we do?

We could speak with the church of the Dawnmother. Nat could try a deeper vision of the cult. We could talk to Poissant. We could contact the Magia. What? Remy? Really? Or was that Dalish? We could ask our contacts in Xingtown. We really don’t know where to go, so maybe all of the above.

Our main goal is to get the demon attacks to stop, so I ask Marybeth about the contract. She pulls her Mom out of the study to be present while she explains. The Original family contract was for 1000 souls for a lifetime of riches. But that count has been upped to 200,000 souls recently. Marybeth’s new contract is not for riches, but rather to free her family from the contract and any future contracts.

It’s too late to go back out. So, Nat settles down for a nice tea-induced nap. I update Gerald in a sending, and he offers to help. I don’t reply, I want at least him to stay safe.

When we all wake up the next morning. She tells us what she saw. The New Gnosis skyline, the petals, the Deliberative tower. Something is going to happen soon. Three outcomes produce chaos, one produces unity. Then back to the city. Torch fires lighting up everywhere. If it is not check, it will destroy everything. The stone altar, 13 black robed figures. A rapturous man on the stone. Porter stabbing him and then he dissolves into darkness. She tried to leave the room, to see where it is, but there is only blackness. Brooklyn at the refinery. A new construction of a gradiose building. A small man in simple black clothes, preacing to a crowd. The meek shall be made strong.

We have to leave the house, and I’m scared for my guests. I send to Gerald, asking him to come home and protect them. I also send to my contact who signed me up for Remy’s political faction. He lets me know there is a deliberative scheduled in two weeks. Klyce sits Phil down to tell him we have to leave, and he trusts him to protect the family. Klyce asks Elizabeth to stay, at least for now, and she relents. Gerald takes a while to get home, but I explain the danger when he does and set him up with Orrin and Philip to keep everyone safe.

We head to Brooklyn first, to the church of the Dawnmother. It doesn’t look so good. Royalist graffiti and other things on the outside. The inside is better off, but Father Carmine tells us that Father Kevin left and converted to the new church, the One God over at the Refinery. That church showed up a couple months ago. They are strange, almost cultish. The priests dress in black and preach humility and peace. They stick together and worship nearly constantly. We ask about the cult we are after, even showing him an image of Porter and the inverted symbol. But he has no knowledge of any of that.

We head over to the One God church to look around. They are still laying the foundation. We listen to the preacher for a bit. He’s talking about forgiveness and treating others how you wish to be treated. Being saved if one dedicates oneself. The sky turns dark then. He warns against the Old Gods. He says they cannot be trusted and were forgotten for a reason. He says they strike him down, but have not power here. And lightning does strike then, but not harm him. I am heavily tempted to bring my own lightning down from that storm, just to prove him wrong, but I resist. He’s innocent so far.

The crowd disperses after his miracle and there is talk of a sacrement meeting on Sunday. We wander over to the foundations, looking for a way into the lower levels where the giant worm head should still be secured. But it’s been covered over. It looks like they intend to put a way down, but they aren’t ready for that yet. We head back over to see if we can talk to him, but he’s surrounded by followers. He breaks from them and comes to us. Remy asks him about the One God. He introduces himself as Arch Deacon Lewis Woods. I’m not really listening to his answers, but he says he was visited by this God. Not in a vision or anything, but more of a feeling. Four month ago. Since no one was using the building and the mages had cleared out, he decided to build it up for his God. He doesn’t mind the worm in the basement, it seems trapped enough. Then there’s a rambling on about the old gods falling to reason and logic and then his One God came to replace those. The One God is eternal. Then he catches my attention again, saying that Mages are not welcome in his church. The Old Gods are responsible for magic, and therefore mages are an abomination before his God. I try to argue a bit, but he says magic was a test, and mages failed to resist the temptation. We try to ask about the cult bringing chaos, but he doesn’t know anything about that, and doesn’t care.

Frustrated with Brooklyn, we head out to the Petals to check on the Deliberative in case the something happening isn’t going to wait the two weeks for the meeting. Once in the Tower of Justice, we head up to the top, to the Deliberative chambers. When we arrive, we are not alone. There is an older man with a military air, and a younger, pale woman dressed in leathers. Remy approaches and introduces himself. The man introduces them in return. Other Pendleton and Satiel. Remy claims we’re just out looking around. They say they’ve come because of the recent news about the meeting to come. They are discussing the coming Prime nominations. Many say Diedre, Wiest’s daughter, should take his place as Prime Evoker. He, himself, is more on the Conjuration side, not wanting to be put up for Evoker.

She’s become unstable since her father’s death and is on a rampage to hunt down those responsible. Remy asks if there’s been any actual evidence that the Black Knight is responsible. Hard to get in Atheria’s case, his mansion collapsed with him inside it. But Jor was found beheaded, and the knight was seen in the area. Wiest was stabbed through the heart with a large sword, so it seems plausible. He’s afraid that she won’t be able to focus enough to be a Prime.

He wants Satiel to put herself forward, but he doesn’t stay to chat with us. She’s unalligned and previously apprenticed to Rictus. Remy asks about the mage-slayer, but she’s never heard of him. Nat asks about being able to speak with those who died. She’s a little cagey, but then offers to trade spells with us. We offer her Dawn and Sunbeam, and she includes the ink and paper we need to scribe Speak with Dead in on the deal. While Nat copies the spell, she tells us that Diedre is enraged and lose any sense of proportionality or control. We tell her we’ve been tasked with investigating the Black Knight as well, and she suggests we go look at the scene in Wiest’s mansion.

Once she’s gone, we have another arguement about contacting the Black Knight. We decide to first check out the mansion and then go talk to Poissant. The mansion, it turns out, is here in the petals, flown here by Wiest himself.


The police separate everyone back into lounges, adults in one and kids in the other. Apparently, they don’t suspect us kids, because as they interview the adults they let them then join us. I’m not staring at Oliver talking to all the cool kids, I’m not! Hey, where’s Klyce?

When he shows up, Klyce drags us all out of the lounge to go searching for clues. Why are we Doing this? The Police are here… But we go look at the bedrooms upstairs. We find a spot of blood, a knife, and some bloody clothes in Philomena’s dad’s closet. That was easy… a bit too easy… You don’t kill someone and then leave the evidence in your hamper. You just don’t.

We head to the next room, which is full of police. Dalish starts to spill, and Klyce cuts him off, backing us all out of the room. Over in Philomena’s mom’s room, we find an old desk, that Maribeth breaks into. She reads a bunch of letters from several different men, but then puts them back, insisting they aren’t relevant to bloody murder. Love seems a fair motivation to me…

Next we go down the back stairs and hear the police talking to the kitchen staff. They don’t seem to know much, but are lamenting Karl’s death. Klyce asks them forcefully about a basement and they insist that only the Butler has the key. The butler, Ulysses, is very polite, and Klyce is actually nice to him. He takes us downstairs, and watches us, getting nervouse when we get near expensive wines. Nat uses a wand to discover a secret door in the back of the cellar, but Ulysses is Not going to let us go down without the family’s permission.

Klyce heads upstairs to get that permission and returns a few minutes later with Philomena in a huff. I can only imagine the horrible things he said to her. She tells Ulysses to open it, however, so we are allowed in. Remy immediately begins detecting really strange magic, and as we walk down the catacomb path, the door slams shut behind us.

I do not like this, I do not like this at all! Ulysses doesn’t like it either, and as we continue on, he begins coughing horribly. There seems to be an increase in mana in the air down here. Suddenly, there is whispering in the air.

“More Meat!”

NoNoNoNoNO! I tell the others what the strange whispers said as tiny creatures begin to attack us all. Klyce tosses Ulysses into a Rope Trick and I Levitate up to the ceiling, curling up into a little ball. Maribeth falls, and I go down and drag her up into the Rope Trick, pulling the rope up behind us while the rest fight off the little monsters.

Klyce comes up after the fight is all done, and Alters Ulysses so he can breathe, but he’s still unconscious. We leave him in the Rope Trick, with the rope pulled up and we keep going. Nowhere to go but through. The Mana gets thicker and thicker as we travel, and even Klyce starts having trouble breathing with how thick it is. I use Gust to keep it out of my face, but it barely helps.

Towards the end, we find all the recent graves have been messily robbed. What is Going On down here? Are they eating the corpses? Are there skeletons walking around? We start hearing moaning. Nat says to hit undead things with sticks or spells. Gerhardt casts Grease on the ground in front of us, and we prepare to burn them down.

The Grease works, they all scramble and fall and get lit on fire. I control the fire a bit, to keep them burning, these horrible moaning undead things. The others finish them off. This is the worst place we’ve been, yet. Soon we start seeing liquid pools of mana on the ground, it seems to be seeping through the ground. The tunnel ends then, no more graves have been dug.

Nat thinks we’re under the stables or servant quarters, so we head back, to get above ground. The Rope Trick and Ulysses are gone! We make it back to the door without getting attacked again, at least, and Nat finds the way out. The police are still there, with different servants. Don’t worry, they tell us, the father has been arrested, it’s all over.

We head out to the servant’s quarters at a run. We find a door to a basement and head down. GREEN! No!NO!NO!NO!No! I stare, unmoving, while everyone else spreads out. They find dead bodies everywhere, in a variety of states of decay. The whispers start again. Nonononono… Nat asks me about my dream. I was just running, and they were whispering. Just running.

I step forward, trying to hear better. Just whispers.

“Where are you? I can’t hear you.”

“She approaches. Shining as the Sun.”

I keep walking through the green. The others are talking, but I have to find the whispers. I keep walking. The Green slopes down. Maribeth and Klyce slip and slide past me. Featherfall. Dalish runs after them. I keep walking. Nat slides past, but Nat has Featherfall. The tunnel stops and there’s a huge chamber of Green. I can hear chanting now, but I still can’t make it out. Another tunnel, and I keep walking.

There’s a smaller chamber here, more finished with an alter. Ulysses is on the alter. There’s a corpse floating above him, with vines all through it. Eugenia, Philomena’s mother, is there, too, with a jagged dagger poised over Ulysses. There’s an archway beyond them.

“Sacrifice the mean. Open the door.”

“Stop Them!” I shout at everyone before running forward to tackle Eugenia.

She gets away and stabs Ulysses, but he’s not dead, yet. Maribeth puts her to sleep before she can kill him, and I find keys in her pocket to let Ulysses free. The others fight the plant corpse until it collapses and the gateway closes. It’s finally quiet again, as I Levitate Ulysses, and carry him away from the alter.

The plants are withering away, as we head back to the previous chamber. Klyce says someone will have to take the fall for this. There is no evidence that will convince the courts a person wasn’t at fault. They wake Eugenia up, but she doesn’t remember a thing. Ulysses wakes after some healing, and we tell him everything. We drag them both back up to the servants’ quarters, where all the plants are gone, and only massacred bodies remain.

Klyce goes to fetch the Inspector and we tell him the whole story. As we finish, and discuss what will happen next, Ulysses steps forward and confesses to all the crimes. He has served his family long and well, and he will not see this take them down. The Inspector grudgingly agrees. This is awful! Magic is real! Why can’t that be the answer!? That’s just the way “justice” works, Klyce informs us. We all take our leave and head back to school.