Collection of the Divine

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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Place Your Bets
It's not just money they're gambling with.

The next day, the heroes awoke in their luxurious hotel suite. Jackson woke to find that Morgan had left early before the rest of them, leaving behind a note saying he had gone to the police station to deal with the gang possibility. Jackson told Ken and Trey, who were preparing to begin infiltrating the vault to retrieve the Feather. Leaving them, Jackson went to the concierge desk and asked where Charlotte was, hoping the ticket would be ready. One worker said she should be in the break room, but no-one was inside save for a single Calico cat. Jackson and the cat stared at each other before the cat pressed on an electrical outlet, opening a secret panel in the wall. The cat led Jackson down to a chamber beneath the Luxor, where various forging and counterfeiting equipment was being kept. Charlotte was down there as well and Jackson told her that the cat had brought him to her. Charlotte told him that the ticket still needed a couple hours before completion, explaining that the forging equipment was part of a project she and four other people within Las Vegas knew about. Jackson asked her about the gangs in town, curious about them. She mentioned that two gangs took prominence in the city: the Double Aught (Irish mob) and the Jiang Shi (Triads). Both towered over the gangs for their inclusion of supernatural creatures (such as Dullahans for the Double Aught) and Scions. Jackson then revealed to Charlotte that Morgan had gone to the police to rustle up some heavier security, sending her into a panic. Charlotte feared that Morgan would catch the attention of the gangs, since most of the police were in their pockets. She sent the cat (named Mavis) to investigate with the help of local strays, berating Morgan for his brashness. Jackson went back to the room to relate what he’d heard to the others. Ken said the Vigil Brand he’d placed on Morgan wasn’t acting up, so he was fine for the most part, despite not answering his phone.

With a couple hours to kill, the three went back down to the casino to play some more games. Jackson was still putting Charlotte’s fake chips to good use. He tried his luck at the virtual horse races when a strange man nearby began making small talk with him. Jackson and the man chatted amiably for a while, conversing switching from favorite casino games to the approaching auction. The conversation took a more sinister turn when the man mentioned Trey, Trey’s father, and the Double Aught, concerning Jackson. The man left, telling Jackson to tell Trey that Ian Muldoon said hello. Jackson immediately found Trey and Ken at a nearby bar, telling them everything that had happened. Trey became very worried as he revealed that his dad may have had dealings with the Double Aught in the past. None of them could worry about that now, as Charlotte called Ken and told him the ticket was ready. Dressed in his best, Ken picked up the ticket from the concierge and confronted the guards. He convinced them to let him into the auction items’ vault, where he found and spoke to the painting of “The Hall of Two Truths”. However, the painting revealed that only a member of the Pesedjet could claim the feather. Ken left the vault and told the others, leaving the three to come up with a plan on how to get the feather before the auction. They needed a distraction to get the guards away, allowing them to get inside once Ken talked to the vault’s keypad. Trey put forth an idea and had Ken get him several different items, saying he was going to do something that got him kicked out of the Luxor almost 3 years ago: he would be going into the casino as the notorious card-counter Raymond Croft.

Later, Trey, dressed as Raymond, entered the casino, causing a stir among gamblers and dealers alike, and sat down at a blackjack table, where the dealer instantly recognized him. Ken called Charlotte, telling her about “Raymond’s” reappearance, sending her into a seething rage. Security from all over the building descended on the casino, leaving one lone guard at the door, which Jackson easily intimidated into leaving via his Sekhem Blaze. A quick word to the keypad and Ken and Jackson were in, quickly retrieving the Feather. The painting congratulated them, but its voice took on a horrific, menacing tone, demanding the Feather be given to whoever was speaking through the painting. Two of the masked thieves rose up from the floor, but the Scions easily outran them, locking them inside the vault. Back in the casino, security and the casino manager had finally caught Trey, who made a daring escape by tossing over $100,000 worth of chips into the air, leaving the greedy patrons to aid in his leaving. The three Scions met in the lobby and high-tailed it to the car, leaving Charlotte very confused and angry. Just as they got into the Godmobile, Ken felt a searing pain shoot through his body, revealing that Morgan was in danger, but not revealing the threat’s nature. Just then, Jackson got a call on his cell phone, the caller turning out to be Ian Muldoon, the man he’d met in the morning. Muldoon taunted the Scions, saying he had Morgan as a captive, demanding Trey and Ken give themselves up to the Double Aught. He said that he was intent on finding out where Trey’s father was before he told Jackson to give Ken the phone. Over the phone, two people, a man and a woman, talked to Ken, mentioned that they wanted him personally to pay for his slight against Ogoun. The phone went dead and Jackson demanded an explanation.

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Riches of the Pharaoh
Viva Las Vegas

The jorogumo lay unconscious at the feet of the Scions as the group set about tidying up their mess. Trey stayed with the fallen foe; Ken and Daniel went off to find binding to hold their captive; Jackson and Morgan gave the deceased museum employees their finals rites. Within the museum, the two death god Scions smelled the scent of decaying plant matter coming from within the Japanese exhibit. Inside, the Sword and Jewel were gone, with the Mirror left behind, defaced by two crossed, diagonal scratches. Smeared on the wall was the word REGARDS, painted on the wall with a foul-smelling substance made of decomposing plant matter with an unidentifiable black slime. Traces of the same substance were found around the missing items’ stands, which Morgan took samples of. Once Ken and Daniel had returned with rope (subsequentially used to tie up the jorogumo), Jackson told the others that two of the three Regalia were stolen, surmising that the jorogumo was merely a distraction. Ken and Daniel set about speaking to various objects, trying to get a picture of the crime. Daniel went to the security booth while Ken stayed in the exhibit. First he spoke to the Mirror, who could only give a vague idea of what had happened, still disorientated from the attack. A nearby wall scroll gave a better image, telling Ken of black-cloaked thieves wearing nearly blank white masks. It also mentioned a shadowy figure in the room, too horrible to look at or look away. Finally, he spoke with the stand the Sword stood on, getting less information than he could have imagined. Ken met with Daniel in the security booth, who showed him footage of the room. Interspersed with several instances of static and image distortion was footage of the shadowy figure (who disappeared from the video after a few seconds) and the thieves.

Outside, Morgan and Jackson woke up the jorogumo, tossing buckets of water on it. The two began interrogating it, with Jackson inflicting his Sekhem Blaze upon the creature as a means of intimidating it. The jorogumo only laughed, even through broken limbs, as it resisted, taunting them, asking why it would talk if its purpose was fulfilled. Suddenly, Morgan noticed smoke coming from the monster and fled, with Jackson doing the same with Omen’s warning. The jorogumo burst into flames, incinerating itself. Morgan and Jackson surmised that the jorogumo had been killed by an outside agent to preclude interrogation. Within the ashes, Morgan took a venom sac as a prize. The Scions regrouped within the museum, all now acutely aware of Kitty’s absence. Daniel guessed that she had ran back to London, unable to deal with the dangers promised in the quest. He soon received two phone calls as the group discussed the theft: one from his father, Tsuki-Yomi, and one from the group’s new contact, Charlotte DeCarabas. He pointed them towards Las Vegas, giving them room reservations at the Luxor hotel and a notice about a charity auction going on there, focusing on Egyptian items. Daniel bade them farewell as they drove off in the Godmobile, Trey setting the speed dial to 4 and cutting the drive time by two-thirds. Along the way, the radio played travel-appropriate music to set the mood.

In three hours, the group reached the Luxor, its massive beam shooting out from the pyramid’s top. As Jackson and Morgan gave the keys to a valet, Trey and Ken noticed two bouncers about to throw out a severely drunk guest with an angry woman following behind. Unable to move quickly enough, Trey had the guest tossed onto him, but steadied himself, keeping himself and the man from falling, taking the opportunity to lift his wallet. The woman was soon identified as Charlotte, greeting Jackson with a hug and calling him “cousin”, revealing herself as a member of the Pesedjet and a Scion of Bastet. She checked them all in, telling them she’d meet at their room in an hour before letting them order room service and slipping Jackson a handful of chips. In the hour, Morgan cleaned his guns (taking care to observe the rules of hospitality, having been warned of Charlotte’s fastidiousness); Jackson took Omen for a walk and gambled a bit before returning to the room for dinner; Ken and Trey flitted around the various bars, hearing stories from various guests. Once the four were all settled, Charlotte arrived, telling them about the auction and the item they would be recovering from it: the Feather of Ma’at, hidden in a reproduction of “The Hall of Two Truths”. Unfortunately, she realized that she forgot to forge an invitation to the event for any of them, but reassured that it wouldn’t take long. A plan was formed: Ken, Morgan, and Jackson would enter the vault containing the painting to “inspect” it, taking the Feather before it could be auctioned. If anything went wrong, Trey would be a proxy bidder to ensure they still obtained it. However, Charlotte warned them of possible gang activity, fearing local mobs might plan to interrupt the auction but thought it unlikely that the artifact would be taken by them. With that, she wished them good night, leaving them to sleep.

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Bug Smashing
There isn't enough Raid in existence.

Faced by three spiders and their mother, the heroes looked in horror as the jorogumo reared up and fired a sticky glob of webbing at Morgan, retaliating for the flash-bang. Fortunately, Trey thre his walking stick at the creature, disorientating it and saving Morgan from severe harm. Surrounded by his loyal statue warriors and spurred on in defense of his pantheon’s artifacts, Ken invoked a great blessing upon his band in preparation for battle. Daniel summoned forth his own followers, a band of Japanese warriors from a ukiyo-e scroll. Kitty, sensing she had no chance of having any sort of impact in this battle, elected to hide behind the empty crate until it was safe. Morgan got another chance to act, squeezing off a couple shots, wounding one spider while merely aggravating another. In response, the offended spider leapt onto Morgan, knocking him down, while another tackled Ken’s statue cohort. The third, much more wounded than the rest, elected to stay with mommy.

Joining the fray, Jackson sicced Omen on the spider attacking Morgan. Free to act, Jackson fired off a well-placed shot at the jorogumo, bouncing the bullet up onto the roof and into her back, causing her extreme pain. Trey finally made it to the main event, stabbing the spider attacking Ken’s followers in the back before throwing his cap at the jorogumo, attempting to enrage it. He succeeded, as the jorogumo tackled Trey, who held her back. Ken directed his soldiers to attack the spider, gravely injuring it, while Daniel sent his own to defend Morgan. The spider was summarily dismembered, with Omen taking a leg to gnaw on. Freed from his attacker, Morgan leapt onto the jorogumo, putting it into a chokehold as Trey still fought. The two remaining spiders still fought Ken’s statues as Jackson put a couple rounds in one of them, killing the creature.

Morgan still grappled with the jorogumo, who tried unsuccessfully to throw Morgan off of her back. Ken ordered his followers to kill the last spider, which they did without mercy. Daniel let the battle go on, knowing he would not be of any help at this point. Morgan tried to choke out the jorogumo, but her tenacity was too great. However, she was not immune to dislocated limbs, proved when Jackson wrenched her arm out of her socket. In immense pain, the jorogumo became riled and confused, giving Trey a chance to knock her out, striking her temple with the grip of his knife in his clenched fist, causing her to keel to the side.

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