Collection of the Divine

Sunken Prospects
Something's rotten in the Big Apple.

Our heroes relaxed on their train trip from New Orleans to New York City, glad for the respite from their usual running, fighting, and artifact hunting. With two hours left on their train trip, the heroes were suddenly assaulted by a malevolent message coming from the train car’s intercom. Trey and Jackson heard it, but Ken did not, as strange things followed the chilling threat. After getting another prophecy from his map, Trey’s Birthright began to send terrifying messages to the Scion, with repeated mentions of his father going to die due to his inaction in finding him. Trey tried rolling up the map, but the two ends never seemed to get any closer to each other. Jackson’s were much worse, as he heard faint hissing sounds coming from the car. Turning around, he saw a massive rattlesnake, triggering his latent fear of snakes. As the others were freaking out, Ken tried to figure out what was wrong with them, but he found that nothing was triggering their vigil brands. Trey snapped out of it as Ken caught his attention; Jackson wasn’t as lucky. A familiar ringing filled his ears as he turned to find the Slender Man himself sitting in the chair next to him, causing the Egyptian Scion to jump back in fright, straight into Ken. Only visible to Jackson, the Slender Man loomed over him as Ken placed Jackson under a protective Aegis. The horror was instantly gone, leaving the three to wonder what the hell had just happened as the train finally pulled into Grand Central Station.

Exiting the train with their artifacts, the Scions were met by a strange man with orders to pick them up. His named was Esteban Rodriguez, chief of security for Amphritrite Aquafarms, a prestigious fish-farming company headquartered in NYC. Esteban told the others that his employer, Manfred Pescatore, wanted to see them immediately. The car took them to a tall skyscraper and Esteban led the party inside to the top floor. A bored-looking secretary informed Esteban that Mr. Pescatore was still in a very bad mood, having worked his way through most of a bottle of whiskey. The four went into a very plush penthouse office, which was currently in a state of disarray with books, Greco-Roman statuary, and empty liqour bottles haphazardly arranged around the room. Manfred was seated at his desk, noticeably drunk but pleased that the Scions had made it back to his office. He informed the others of trouble down at the AA docks: his ships were being sunk in the harbor by unknown means. To help the Scions in their investigations, Manfred gave them the Aegis, Athena’s mythical cloak of protection. Pleased to have another artifact in their possession, the heroes went to the AA port immediately.

The limo pulled up to the ports, with the Scions being greeted by a large, muscular man wearing a suit. His name was Maxwell Chuckman, aka “Max the Chuck-Man”, a Scion of Ares who also worked for Mr. Pescatore. Max showed them the damage: perfectly circular holes had been cut into the ship’s hull, sinking it instantly. Littered around the dock were bullet shells of various calibers. Ken spoke to the ship’s spirit, who informed him that there was a firefight on the night it was sunk, along with a terrible screaming sound. Confused but undeterred, the Scions continued investigating. With the help of Omen, Jackson found a series of intriguing clues. A curved cut had been taken out of a nearby container, lining up perfectly with one of the holes in the ship; whatever was doing this damage had some kind of powerful abilities, possibly ranged ones. Some of the shells at the scene were shotgun shells, and years of autopsy experience allowed Jackson to pinpoint what kind they were: it was a very small kind of buckshot, informally known as “double aught”. Right then and there, the Scions knew who they were dealing with. The Double Aught, the Irish gang they had faced in Las Vegas, was in New York City.

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The Enemy of My Enemy
From New Orleans to New York

As Trey dropped his gun and decided how to deal with Ogden, Ken, Jackson, Fran were still stuck in the kitchen with the pirates. Thinking quickly, Ken managed to blind the sniper with light from Yata-no-Kagami. Rackham was shocked at the sudden display of divine power, her voice travelling to the other room and catching the ear of Ogden Nichols. He appeared to recognize Rackham’s voice, giving Trey the perfect opening to attack the bounty hunter, stabbing his gun hand with the Aztec knife and beating him with his cane. In an expert move, Trey flicked the gun off the floor and into the other room, into the waiting hands of his friend. The pirates were so entranced that Jackson (who was becoming steadily unhinged) fired off a couple rounds at the pirate captain, but missed and only caused her to curse in pain and shock. Ogden now truly recognized Rackham’s voice and became uncharacteristically helpful towards the other Scions. He told Trey that Octavia Rackham was a notorious pirate, taking the #2 spot on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted. She was so difficult to find that he had actually taken a break from tracking to go hunt for Ken instead. Thinking the mercenary was right, Trey allowed him a chance to perform some voodoo, going into a trance as he took control of an unknown person outside the restaurant. Seconds later a powerful shot burst through the wall behind the pirates as a massive sniper round punched a hole in Rackham’s upper arm.

Deciding to beat a hasty retreat (spurred by another taste of Jackson’s Sekhem Barrier), Rackham made a hasty exit with most of her minions, leaving a few to spray covering fire at the dutiful statue barrier. Thinking quickly, Ken tossed a fire extinguisher over the statues, firing at it and letting the chemical foam cover the attackers as the Scions fired into the pirates. Not wanting Rackham to escape, Trey ran through the walls and the foam, trying and failing to attack the pirates as he passed them, before coming out on the other side just as the captain left via a motorboat on the river. Feeling that now was the time to leave (remembering that the building was on fire), Ken untied Kitty and Gordon as they all left. As they escaped the blaze, Ken took time to even save Ogden, remembering his duty as a caregiver, but also partially to rub the act in Ogden’s face. The Scions were safe as Catherine Vasquez ran up to the group, confused as to why she had just fired her sniper rifle at a blank wall. She almost shot Ken, but Ogden ordered her to stand down just as the police and fire brigade arrived (with Trey staying well out of the way of law enforcement.

The group heard a massive explosion as they saw the Godmobile burst into flames, sending shrapnel and artifacts into the air. The party managed to retrieve them, but were horrorstruck by the fact that Morgan was still in the car. That is, until he appeared behind them, rubbing his head and holding a bottle of ginger ale. With everything that had happened to him, he took the car’s destruction and their alliance with Ogden and Catherine in stride. Ogden found a note fluttering down to the group and saw that Rackham had planted a bomb in the car as she left; one final insult in her retreat. Wondering what to do next, Mama Shone showed up and made the choice very clear for them: they all still had artifacts to find. She chastised Ogden for wasting his time hunting down Ken and ignoring his duty to his father. She also searched in vain for Trey (who was hiding in the river still) before telling the group that they would be split up in order to make the search more manageable: Trey, Ken, and Jackson would hit Amtrak up to New York City while Morgan, Kitty, Ogden, and Catherine would go to Chicago. She told Ken he and the others would be going to see and Italian fellow about an artifact possibly belonging to the Dodekatheon. With that she left to go scrounge up train tickets for the Scions.

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Corsairs in the Crescent City
There's trouble a' cookin'.

As the Scions sped off towards the restaurant, Trey used his Cheval powers to ride Kitty, seeing that she was still indeed at Meats & Sweets and had been taking a heavy beating for at least the past hour. A bored female voice told the person hitting her to start working Gordon over when Trey broke the connection, but not before sussing out the location of other goons inside the restaurant. Believing the direct approach to be the best, Trey (with severe apologies to Fran) drove the car through the front window of the restaurant, crushing four henchmen and critically wounding a fifth. The Scions leapt out of the car and Jackson, feeling particularly vengeful, punched the door to the kitchen with his enchanted hand wraps with incredible force, blasting the door off its hinges and inadvertently crushing another mook. Such was the rage of the Scion of Anubis that his body underwent another spectacular divine transformation as his Sekhem Blaze evolved into a Sekhem Barrier, covering his whole body in awe-inspiring golden light. While thugs in black armor cowered behind their assault rifles, an imposing woman in a long navy coat and an eyepatch sat behind the two captive Scions, sarcastically clapping.

The woman was impressed that the party had arrived so quickly (and made such a splashy entrance). Ken summoned his statues to block the line of guns while Jackson verbally sparred with the woman (who was revealed to be a Scion of Susano-o), each telling the other how things were going to go: Jackson told the woman how the Slender Man was coming, while she only cared for the artifacts retrieved from Crossroads Manor. Jackson suspected the woman was in league with the Slender Man, but she denied this. However, the party noted the stylized BKC insignia on the sleeves of the villains, with Ken realizing that this was the notorious pirate gang known as the Black Kraken Crew. The woman smiled at the recognition and introduced herself as Captain Octavia Rackham and pointedly demanded the artifacts, threatening Kitty and Gordon’s lives. However, Trey noted a gas pipe running outside of the kitchen and fired at it, destroying a good portion of the restaurant and setting the building on fire. Jackson smirked as Octavia quietly seethed. Not willing to give up yet, she told one of the pirates to kill Gordon, as they would leave with Kitty hostage. However, a small red bead of light shone through the window before anyone could do anything, settling squarely between Ken’s eyes. Then Trey felt a gun barrel press against the back of his head as the deep voice of Ogden Nichols greeted him with a growl.

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Terror at Crossroads Manor: Part II
The house wants them out. They're happy to oblige.

The Scions were stopped in their conversation as they were alerted to two things: the eyes outside the window and the return of Jackson’s tinnitus. However, one good thing came of this: the eyes did not belong to something malevolent. A cat pressed against the glass doors to the backyard, mewing and rubbing against the doors. Morgan let it in as the rest decided how to deal with the artifact. Finally, Ken summoned one of his statues to retrieve the artifact for them, reasoning that stone would be a better defense against any supernatural harm. The statue easily pulled the artifact out without any harm (but better safe than sorry). The artifact looked very odd, with only Jackson able to identify it: it was an ankusha, or an elephant goad, one of the sacred symbols associated with Ganesha. After identifying the artifact, the Scions noticed two very important things: the cat was talking with Omen (who was actually holding the conversation) and Morgan had suddenly disappeared from the room. The party frantically looked around the room as the cat began to exit, followed by Omen. The Scions followed the animals out into the hall (which had been vacated by the ghoul). It took everyone a few seconds before realizing the stark change that occurred in the hall: the floor was covered in gore and fresh blood, with all the paintings changed into twisted, dark parodies of themselves.

They followed the cat and dog out into the foyer and up to the second floor, hunting the second artifact in the master bedroom. Here, the carpeting was made of human skin and the walls around the Scions were melting. As they sped down the hall, a door behind them burst open, revealing a cadre of zombies backed up by a gaunt necromancer. Not wanting a fight, Ken blocked the hall with his statues as the necromancer cursed and taunted the Scions. In a rage, Jackson shot the dark mage dead for his flagrant disrespect of the dead, but not before the necromancer uttered a final spell to enchant the zombies. Their bodies became elongated and twisted as they scratched and scrabbled at the statues, dealing noticeable damage. The party burst through the door to the bedroom and found Morgan sitting on the bed with three gold rings on his finger. He looked surprised to be there, unable to remember how he’d gotten there before sudden coughing violently, hacking up dark, viscous flecks onto the floor. Trey saw that several black, sinuous tentacles were embedded in his back and sliced them off with the The Dagger of Popocatépetl. A horrible cry rang out throughout the manor as the Slender Man oozed out of the bedroom walls, angered at losing a possible new servant. Not wanting to stay any longer, the Scions burst out of the window, landing on the front lawn and fighting their way through the mass of zombies still there. As they reached the car and sped away, Ken felt his vigil brand on Kitty burn, discovering she had been tied up and beaten back at the restaurant and was in need of rescue.

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Terror at Crossroads Manor: Part I
Sometimes fear is the appropriate response.

After escaping the zombies, the party was not keen on entering a room in a haunted mansion via a spoken invitation. They were welcomed into a parlor by a mysterious figure, who appeared to the Scions as Kahlfu, Loa god of black magic and Legba’s evil twin. He mocked and taunted the Scions, calling them to be poor emissaries of the gods. He manipulated Gordon into bringing the artifacts to test the party, trying to prove their worth as Scions. The Scions question Kahlfu, wanting to know about the house, but he rebuffed them. The only time he showed any other emotion apart from smug satisfaction was when Jackson mentioned the Slender Man; Kahlfu flat out disbelieved him. He left, but not before saying that a group of necromancers had taken lodging in the mansion and would be opposing them, along with other things.

The party, feeling very apprehensive, left the parlor, deciding to go to the ballroom to look for the first artifact. Hoping Trey’s map would lead the way, they went to the next immediate door, finding a very dusty library. They tried finding another door, but were distracted by faint whispers and the constant rustle of books. They left as soon as the shelves began to fall, with books flinging themselves at the heroes. They tried the other door, leading down a long hallway, tastefully decorated with various paintings. Ken asked a painting where the ballroom was, which was at the end of the hall; it also pointedly told him that they were all going to die. As the party walked further down, a loud banging was heard as the door to the foyer burst open behind them. A giant ghoul lumbered towards the party as Jackson and Morgan shot at it, while Trey frantically picked the lock to the ballroom.. The party ran into the ballroom and barred the door. They peered through the gloom, the large hall being mostly empty apart from some discarded tables and chairs and a large grand piano. The Scions wondered if the artifact was inside the piano, but feared some grisly mishap if they put a hand into it. As they debated, Morgan turned to find an eerie pair of glowing eyes looking at them through a window. Then Jackson heard a faint yet familiar tinny ringing in his ears…

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Southern Hospitality
Welcome, foolish mortals.

After viewing the disturbing video, the party began making plans for what to do next in New Orleans. They divided the artifacts between themselves, pairing them up with those who could use them best. Mama Shone told them all that they were to meet Francine Spicer and Gordon Baker, a Voodoo and Hindu Scion respectively. Trey brightened at the prospect of meeting his distant relative when Mama suddenly got a phone call. From what the Scions could tell, Francine had called with very bad news. In an unknown fit, Gordon took the artifacts and hid them somewhere. Mama shooed the party off to Francine and Gordon’s restaurant in downtown. Upon leaving, they were faced with the Slender Man just by the Godmobile. While Morgan took aim and Ken summoned his statues, Mama Shone laughed, revealing the Slender Man to be a dummy. She told them sternly that a direct attack against him would never, ever work, with the best option being to run like hell (as Trey had done upon seeing the dummy). She bid them all farewell, but not upon giving them a special lantern, cryptically telling them that they’d soon need it.

A few minutes later, the party pulled up to Meats and Sweets, a BBQ and pâtisserie eatery, just as it began to close. Francine embraced Trey as he entered, leading him and the party to the bakery where Gordon was looking sullen. In between pulls at a bottle of rum, Gordon explained how he felt the artifacts would be safer in a different spot, saying he felt as if he was being compelled to move them. He told them that he had taken them to a local state landmark: an antebellum mansion known as Crossroads Manor, reputed for being haunted and used as a hideout for necromancers. Resigned to their task, the Scions dutifully mounted up, with Francine joining the main group and Kitty staying at the restaurant to keep an eye on things (and Gordon).

The party made it to the mansion just as the sun was setting (Jackson noticed the creepy atmosphere of their surroundings). Eager to get the items, the Scions marched across the lawn and towards the house, but were suddenly set upon by a pack of zombies. The undead creatures were no match for the divine heroes, but their numbers were steadily increasing as more of them burst from the front lawn. Thinking quick, Francine punched opened the locked doors to the house, letting everyone inside and shutting and barring them afterwards. They all took in the gloomy interior of the mansion, but their eyes were drawn to an open door, where firelight flickered within and a deep voice bid them welcome.

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Going South
A slim chance of escape.

The entire party began fleeing for their lives, knowing that the Slender Man was in hot pursuit. However, an unwelcome scent met their noses: smoke. They soon figured out its origin when they came across the source: the Ravenwood Psychiatric Institute was on fire. Tyler fell into a panic, but Ken swooped up and carried him as they all ran around the facility, straight to the Godmobile. Trey suddenly received a prophecy from his map, but was horrorstruck to see an indescribably terrifying image scrawled across the paper, complete with a taunting message from the Slender Man. He overcame the fear, impressing the monster. However, the car was still not functioning, leading Ken to call on his statues to help push the car. The car only moved slowly, worse still in the direction of the Slender Man. Jackson, Omen, and Tyler were screaming in fear as Trey desperately tried getting the car to work. With nothing else to do, Morgan began squeezing off shots at the creature, but his gun jammed with each pull of the trigger. This gained him the Slender Man’s attention, who assaulted Morgan’s mind with images of past failures, placing him in the trials at Hades, specifically the one devised by Persephone. Kitty noticed Morgan’s disturbing behavior and attempted to free him, but to no avail. Frustrated and frightened, Trey pounded on the dash as both he and Ken were surrounded by pillars of light, noting their ascension up the scale of divinity, granting them new powers. Trey inadvertently merged with the spirit of the car, driving at top speed to escape the Slender Man. In a last-ditch attack, the Slender Man grabbed onto Kitty, tormenting her mind as well, drawing on her childhood fear of mummies and mentally trapping her inside a sarcophagus. Jackson beat the monster back, saving Kitty. Trey raised the car’s roof, psychically shielding them all from any more assaults as they sped off from the hospital.

They dropped off Wilhelmina and Tyler at another local Kansas City hospital just as Trey got a call from Mama Shone. She was pleased to hear they had all survived, reminding them to get down to New Orleans as fast as possible. Trey obliged, fearing the woman’s wrath if he was late. He sped down south, getting to Mama Shone’s bayou home around mid-morning. All five of the heroes were exhausted, both physically and mentally. They dragged themselves up to Mama Shone’s door, enticed by the smell of breakfast. The woman let them in, setting out a massive spread for them, knowing the hardships they’d faced. Everyone ate well, but Trey was still on edge after his lengthy and grueling training under Shone. Shone finally got around to explaining the Slender Man. She told them he was an ancient monster, intelligent and malevolent towards all life. While he wasn’t a Titan, he was at least as old, but she couldn’t say what he was exactly. She said that he had been seen and mentioned in all of the world’s religions, taking various forms and names, such as Lommance (from the French l’homme mince, the slim man) of Voodoo lore or the Black Pharaoh from Egyptian tales. The Slender Man was reputed to have ill effects on nature spirits (such as kodoma and nymphs) due to his associations with fog and trees. She told them about his minions: Maskies, spectral entities used for the more brutish work, and Proxies, humans who were either enslaved to his will or willingly followed him in worship. She had no idea why he was stealing divine artifacts or his apparent hatred of Egyptian Scions. All she knew was that the Slender Man was incredibly dangerous. Finally, she showed them a videotape taken from a simple video camera. It was evidence in a string of gruesome murders of young teens. For the most part, the video showed the teens playing at a local park, but then the image tore as the faceless menace appeared near the end of the tape. Mama Shone explained that the video had been recorded a few days ago in the New Orleans area. All of the kids on it were either dead or still missing. The message was clear: the Slender Man was everywhere and most likely in New Orleans right now.

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The Slender Man Cometh
To know him is to fear him.

With the Godmobile still out of commission, the party shacked up at the guest rooms in the hospital for the night. Awaking in the morning (with Morgan and Kitty sleeping in for personal reasons), Wilhelmina met them and told them that they could see Tyler now that he was awake and had breakfast. She assured him that he was both lucid and safe enough to speak with, but cautioned them against doing or saying anything to upset him. The Scions entered the room, finding the walls to be covered in hundreds of Polaroid pictures, with Tyler sitting on the bed and facing the wall. All of the pictures were either within the hospital or on the grounds, all of them with random subjects. Only after Jackson made their presence known did Tyler begin to interact with them. What Wilhelmina said was true: he was open and talkative, if somewhat unhinged. Despite talking with the Scions, Tyler seemed withdrawn and reluctant to talk about the incident. He did seem attracted to Kitty, most likely based on their relation to the Norse gods. However, Tyler still didn’t answer questions very well. All he said was that the artifacts were in a box on the grounds and the thieves were possibly nearing. As this was going on, Trey searched Tyler’s bathroom (also covered in pictures) and found a single hair, attaching it to a voodoo doll. Wilhelmina entered the room after a while and took Tyler away for his therapy session, leaving the Scions alone in the room with more transcripts of Tyler’s therapy sessions.

Ken spoke to the spirit of Tyler’s camera, who told him that Tyler began taking an inordinate amount of pictures after leaving the infirmary a week ago. The group read the transcripts, finding that Tyler was suffering from terrible hallucinations and psychotic episodes, leading him to create disturbing drawings and eventually stabbing himself in the neck with a pen (explaining a bandage he had around his neck). The documents stated how Tyler saw haunting words on his walls that no-one else did. Thinking they were ethereal words, Ken asked Yata no Kagami about them, but the spirit of the mirror said that there were physical, visible words on the walls under the pictures. Meanwhile, Morgan’s detecting skills led him to a secret box Tyler was apparently keeping, containing a dictaphone with a log of Wilhelmina’s and the pictures mentioned in the session logs. The Scions debated briefly if disturbing Tyler’s pictures violated either Harmony or Order, but the random placement of the pictures led them to just go ahead and remove every last one. Underneath were a variety of short, threatening messages, written in the same scrawl as the previous messages the Scions saw, with all of the O’s crossed out. Trey had a faint memory of a similar symbol from his time learning under Mama Shone and called her up to ask her about it. Mama Shone grew very quiet told Try and the others to leave the room immediately. She asked if the symbol had been written in fresh blood, which Trey said it wasn’t. Mama Shone said that it was very important that he and the others finish their work, stay away from trees and fog, and get to Louisiana as soon as possible, otherwise there could be fatal consequences.

Suddenly there was a piercing scream that resounded throughout the halls, prompting the Scions to investigate. Trey stayed behind to look in on Tyler and Wilhelmina through Rada’s Eyes (with Morgan guarding him) seeing the psychiatrist had left the room and Tyler. Ken, Jackson, Kitty, and Wilhelmina met outside the cafeteria, finding a freshly-eviscerated body and the words FOUND YOU written in the man’s blood, with both of the O’s crossed out. Jackson became more and more worried as the ringing in his ears returned, with him starting to see things that he thought weren’t there. Meanwhile, Trey wrote a short note for Tyler, warning him to keep away from the (X) symbol. Tyler reacted with intense fear towards the symbol as Trey released control over him. Trey and Morgan raced back to the party with Mama Shone on speakerphone. With the symbol written in blood, Mama Shone told the Scions to find the artifacts and leave immediately, but another scream was heard. This time it was Tyler, as Wilhelmina returned to the room to find Tyler distraught, finally remembering the location of the artifacts: the cherry orchard on the hospital grounds. He begged the others not to go, saying he wanted them to go out there, but they ignored him. The Scions sped off to the orchard, locating the box with the help of the friendly spirit of a water spigot. Omen dug up the box to reveal three artifacts: Megingjörð (Thor’s belt of strength) Pecos Bill’s Six-Shooter, and an unidentifiable obsidian knife. Victory was at hand, but all was not right. Jackson’s tinnitus turned into a full-blown migraine as eldritch words began forming in his head, turning into threats and demands in English. Jackson saw a shape coming through the orchard and fired the revolver at it, but the bullet was batted away by a long, black tendril. Out of the trees came a tall figure, twice the height of a normal man. He was dressed in an immaculate black suit and tie. And the man had no face. Taking the artifacts, the Scions raced off, trying to get out of the trees and back to safety as the pale, slender man gave chase.

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Where Madness Lies
"But the devil when he purports any evil against man, first perverts his mind." -- Athenagoras of Athens

With the room completely blacked out, the fight took a very different turn, with only a few of the combatants able to see in the warehouse. Morgan stole a shotgun from one of the mooks, beginning to get threatening. Jackson located Muldoon in the gloom and turned his Sekhem Blaze on him, thoroughly terrifying the gangster into forcing his minions to stop fighting. However, Ogden and Catherine were not backing down, still blindly trying and failing to attack their targets (faring no better than those attacking them). Finally, both of the opposing Scions were down, thanks to Morgan’s new shotgun and Omen’s large body. Morgan demanded that Ogden and Catherine stop stalking Ken, but Ogden wasn’t responding. Ken, having had enough of being marked for death, told Morgan to cut off Ogden’s gun hand to ensure his safety. Trey tried to turn the lights back on, but nothing happened; if anything, the warehouse got even darker. Suddenly, a gravely, resounding voice was heard by all in the warehouse, speaking directly to Muldoon, scaring him even more. The voice said it was displeased with Muldoon’s efforts, considering leaving him to his fate. As the voice spoke, the ringing Jackson previous heard was getting louder to the point of being painful. Muldoon begged for a second chance, which the voice provided. A wet tearing sound was heard and the voice said that the portal was open. Seeing a chance at escape, Muldoon took it, as Ogden evaded Morgan and fled with Catherine.

The lights came back and a horrifically disgusting scene met the Scion’s eyes. Two of the four Double Aught goons had apparently been ripped apart, their remains spread across the floor of the warehouse. The heroes used their acute occult knowledge to gauge what kind of magic could use this. Kitty realized that this kind of magic was ancient and was not connected with any known pantheons. The others suspected Titans at the very worst. The other two goons, shaken by the horrors they’d experienced, were interrogated by both Morgan and Jackson. Using the Feather of Truth, Jackson realized that one of the gangsters had piracy, shipjacking, and sabotage on his heart, not the typical criminal acts for a landlocked thug. The goon tried lying his way out, but was defeated, getting more and more agitated. He pleaded for a cigarette of his to smoke (which Ken graciously got for him), but the Scions discovered the smoke was laced with cyanide, killing the thug instantly. This was no problem, as Morgan summoned the dead man’s soul back to the world of the living. The ghost, shocked at how he had been cheated out of his suicide, finally gave in. He told the Scions about a phone he had, a tattoo on his arm (revealed as the letters BKC stylized in the form of a squid), and gave them the name “Captain Octavia Rackham”. Satisfied, the ghost was allowed to depart by the party as they began to get their bearings for the next part of their quest. Jackson followed Omen outside, who had been sniffing around the front door. They found a raven standing on the hood of the car and drew the others outside. The raven gave Jackson a note before flying off, which said that the Scions were to drive to the Ravenwood Psychiatric Institute and meet one Dr. Wilhelmina Lalonde. The party was there within a day, taking some time to rest at a motel on the way to Kansas.

It began to rain heavily as the Scions drove into town, getting heavier as they came closer to hospital. Suddenly, the car stopped in the middle of the road with no discernible reason for breaking down. Ken used his powers to speak with the spirit of the car, which told him that an unknown force was stopping the car from coming any closer. The Scions were forced to make the rest of the trip on foot, arriving at the institute’s gates in ten minutes. The party was buzzed in and brought into the foyer, where the receptionist told them that Wilhelmina was with a patient called Tyler Mikkelsen, affectionately known among the staff as “the mad Swede”. The nickname piqued Trey and Ken’s interests, remembering the prophecy they’d received. The Scions waited, with Jackson passing the time by brushing Omen. As he looked out the window at the rain, one of the trees outside seemed off to him, but he was distracted by a flash of lightning and what appeared to be the same man from the warehouse rafters appeared for a brief moment outside. Soon Wilhelmina showed up, thanking them for their patience. The Scions asked about the artifacts she had for them, but she frowned, admitting that something had happened that had caused her to forget all about them. She brought them into their office, explaining something had happened a while back at Redwood National Park. She, Tyler, and a third person called Pedro were there retrieving artifacts, but a chunk of time was cut from her memory, ending with Tyler insane and Pedro dead. Only Tyler knew the full details, but his psychosis meant it was difficult to understand him at times. She showed the party a transcript of a taped therapy session, which revealed that an unknown figure attacked them, resulting in Pedro’s death and possible Tyler’s madness. Wilhelmina closed her computer and told the party to return the next day, when she would allow them to speak directly with Tyler.

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The Bonds of Camaraderie
The cat came back the very next day.

As the Scions drove, Jackson demanded an explanation from both Ken and Trey. Ken came clean, telling Jackson about the incident in Brazil and his pursuit by Scions of Ogoun. Trey, still unsure about his relation to this affair, said he believed his father had some dealings with the Muldoon and, by extension, the Double Aught. Jackson mused about his friends’ situations as Trey got a phone call from an unexpected caller: Kitty, still posing as “Alexis”. She was calling from a nearby bar, admitting that she had fled from the quest after the fight in the museum, but her father had forced her to return. They met her there, with Jackson testing out the Feather of Ma’at on her. With it, he learned of her various crimes, including thievery, grifting, pick-pocketing, and attempting to steal the Crown Jewels. However, she did have excellent taste in clothes and skill in drink-mixing. They drove to the warehouse, formulating a plan as the sun began to set.

Meanwhile, at the warehouse, Morgan was slowly regaining consciousness after having been beaten and drugged by the malicious mobsters. Within the warehouse, he saw Muldoon, a handful of thugs (four humans, two dullahans), and two Scions: Ogden Nichols, Scion of Ogoun, and Catherine Vasquez, Scion of Tezcatlipoca. Muldoon made threatening small talk with Morgan, who gave as well as he got, while Ogden and Vasquez grumbled about how late Ken and the others were. Morgan was becoming such a nuisance that Muldoon had him gagged and knocked out again as they all waited more.

Unbeknownst to them, the Scions had finally arrived outside of the warehouse, a plan fully formulated. Kitty snuck around to the back, picking the lock to the backdoor and slipping inside. Ken, Trey, and Jackson listened at the door as the people inside spoke more. Kitty weighed her options: whether or not to engage them directly in combat or try her own silver-tongued skills first. She went with the latter option, disguising her flashbang and hiding it in her cloak before presenting herself to the group. Muldoon fumbled a little before finally placing her as the Tower Thief of 1997 back in London. She chatted pleasantly with him, turning the conversation to the other Scions, telling him they hadn’t left the hotel. Muldoon was furious, angrily calling Jackson, allowing Kitty with enough distraction to drop her flashbang and run. The other Scions kicked the doors open, bursting into the warehouse as the mobsters were disorientated. Morgan burst out of the chains as Ken summoned his statues. One dullahan whipped one of the statues, leaving a large gash down its front. Jackson shot at one of the thugs, but missed, distracted by the crack of the dullahan’s whip. Catherine hunted down Kitty, slashing at her with a nasty-looking knife. Ogden focused on Ken, firing at him with his submachine gun and missing. The second dullahan attacked Morgan, giving him a nasty whipping of his own. Trey took initiative and attacked the first dullahan directly, punching it with a golden ring on his hand. Morgan took a different course of action, turning off the lights at a breaker box and plunging the whole warehouse into darkness, the only light coming from the setting sun outside. Suddenly, Jackson heard a sharp ringing in his ears as he looked up and saw someone standing on a catwalk in the dim light of the building looking down at the scene: an unknown man dressed only in a black suit. Jackson tried but was unable to see the man’s face.

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