Later in Autumn 2017
Following anonymous tip from cull sab Barbara Miller, our heroes return to Devon a month later to infiltrate the Cult of the Wild Hunt’s next gathering. The anonymous tip relayed it as a serious dog-fight, but not its full extent.
So they take the Stake Out to Devon and scout out the location. The place of the ritual is three stone tors overlooking a marshy depression.
They return at night to take a place on one of the tors.
Unfortunately, this turns out to be where the spectator-cultists gather.
They are off guard by three early young man who turned up early, so they pretended to be pagans chanting to the old gods before the gathering. (Aided by Katrina’s deployment of random Swedish). The three young men are rather more concerned with the fact that they’d met three attractive women. Martin, the most forward, offered (non-vegan) beer and started chatting up Patty (who, remember, is gay), whilst the well-built Dennis chatted up Elli. (Both PCs took two levels of attractive.) The third was Gary, but he does little more than laugh at his friends’ jokes.
When Elli & Katrina go for a tactical nip behind the bushes, Martin annoys Patty so much with his chauvinistic lines that her face began to distort in the first hints of a lycanthropic transformation. She regains control, but when Elli & Katrina return the three young men are keeping a bit more of a safe distance.
But Danny tries to restart his conversation with Elli and, in the name of maintaining cover, she lets him hang on her arm.
The crowds gather – a dozen or two on their tor, a dozen or so including a group of Oriax demons on the second tor, and handful (with drums) on the the third tor, the one without a nice gentle path up. In the boggy depression between the doors, a couple of people oversee a couple of SUV trucks backing up, and a “green man” dressed head to toe in leaves dances.
With horror, they realise that the culists on their tor include Greep junior and a couple of the thugs they fought at the Greep man. Elli casts a quick illusion to give them all “green man” masks, including Danny.
And then two lycanthropes, chained up, are pulled out of the SUVs. This isn’t a dog-fight, as Barara Miller had misunderstood from her anonymous source, but the planned werewolf vs werebadger fight, postponed onto the next full moon, with one of the cultists’ last werebadgers.
The two lycanthropes’ chains are linked together in the middle of the depression, ready to force them to fight. But the Green Man is getting too close – and one of the other men is shouting to him to keep away. And then the Green Man throws something to the ground and magical “smoke and mirrors” suddenly surround the depression – like a maze of twisting mirrors surrounded by mist.
Our heroes rush down, accompanied by Danny.
Inside the illusion, it’s impossible to see more than a metre ahead of you. They link hands (though Elli manages to ditch Danny), alternately dodging claws and cultists, before coming face to face with the “Green Man”. He says hello, and his voice is old, male, an English RP. There’s a moment of confusion (after all, everyone is wearing masks) until Katrina says “I think we’re on the same side”, he recognises her Swedish inflections, and takes off the head of his costume.
It’s Rupert Giles (whom they met at the end of Undead Dorm Depot). He mutters about rescuing his werewolf friend Harry, and dashes off, leaving our heroes to grab the werebadger and bustle them back into the other SUV.
Katrina grabs the werebadgers chain, and gets him into the SUV – where she runs into Danny. “Drive if you want to live!” she tells him, and Patty & Katrina hold down the (other) were-badger, leaving Elli & Danny in the front. He drives. They dump him on the way, and despite (or because of) all the excitement, he still wants Elli’s phone number. She gives him his.
They ask each other if anyone has Gile’s mobile number, but Elli knows from before that he doesn’t have one. Fortunately, when they get back to the bus, en route to a sab-friendly vet, Giles is already there waiting for them.
They catch up. He says he’s usually responsible for locking up his werewolf friend Harry, but this time Harry was grabbed by the cultists. And he asks if they’re coming to the council meeting a week on Thursday. The one to discuss Terralith Eco.
“What council meeting?” they all ask.
A week on Thursday
So a week on Thursday they all crash the meeting, finding their way through the abandoned tunnels under Kings Cross, and are met by a surprised Matthew Parks, who quickly concedes they should probably be in the meeting.
Several other people have assembled for this meeting:
- Nuria Hönigswald (the slayer who used to help the out and make anti-vegan comments)
- Katherine Chevalier (sharp, aloof, 30s) darkhaired-
- James McGillivray (long red hair, plain-spoken Scotsman, from the Edinburgh office)
- Vanessa (who they never really met, but is an older version of this slayer)
- Rupert Giles (the longest-standing Watcher apart from, obviously, Regina)
- Lord Sweet, Chancellor of the Ducy of Ely (or minister of magic, as people younger than Giles call him)
This isn’t in a locked wood-panelled boardroom. It feels more like a London Underground staff kitchen with some extra sofas. .
Matthew initially tries to exclude the bus gang them from the start of the meeting, saying they need to discuss other things as well and he will call them in for the Terralith Eco discussion. They insist on starting with the Terralith Eco stuff, and he doesn’t exactly have a door to lock in their faces.
So they go through the evidence – the semi-synthetic blood that renders vampires more suggestible and addicted, that Terralith Eco claimed was the work of a rogue team. But then our heroes recovered far more from a warehouse.
The problem, for the council, is that Terralith Eco has been generously supporting the watchers – they set up most of the electronics and security installation at the headquarters, as well as some of the mobile ‘phones. James points out that they’re dealing with planet-threatening catastrophes on a regular basis, and enslaved vampires comes further down the scale. But our heroes argue that this control isn’t guaranteed, someone points out that the vampires began as victims, and the meeting finally agrees to cut ties with Terralith Eco.
But the moment of victory doesn’t last. It’s punctuated by a clunking sound of doors locking and alarms.
Checking the control room, Nuria confesses the base has gone into “siege mode” and locked her out. The doors are unlockable. There are magical and electromagnetic shields preventing anything from getting in or out. Evidently, they were bugged.
As if that wasn’t enough, the power fails on the speakers playing (on a loop) a chant that had restrained an iron golem in the store room, and it lumbers through the corridors.
Giles and other guest watchers head to the library and hit the books to see if they can discover a way out. The library itself has an opening into the British Library’s book delivery system above, but it’s too small for anyone to fit through.
The three slayers, including Katrina, try to hold back the golem.
Elli tries to get past but gets stuck between its feet. Struggling, she does manage to loose off a spell to steal most of the golem’s strength. But she’s still no match for its skill in a fight, and he holds her place against the ceiling, trying to strangle her.
Katrina gets past, runs to the storeroom, stops another imp from getting out of its electrified cage, finds a Hebrew text tacked next to the broken golem-sized space and shattered loudspeakers, grabs it, and runs back. Elli chants the text – and the golem freezes.
Elli and Patty now search the magical stores for something useful, and after some looking they find an enchanted cat o’ nine tails inscribed with a spell of weakening. They apply it to the vault-sized entry door that has been locked shut. After Katrina uses it for a minute, everyone realises that Elli now has most of the strength of an iron golem, and she works away on the hinges.
Meanwhile, Giles has managed to find a shrinking spell that would let everyone get out through the British Library. He strides to where Elli is working to tell her just before the hinges crack open and the door thuds down into the hall. “Cracking timing as always, Giles!” Elli tells him.
Coming up the corridor outside stand a squad of black jumpsuited security people – with submachine guns. Elli prepares Tyr’s warding hand spell to fend them off.
Katrina runs back to the storage, grabs a bunch of handguns (with silver bullets, obviously), crossbows and takes a longbow for herself. The watchers and slayers advance slowly behind Elli, taking down the troops, until a widening gives the corporate footsoldiers a chance to ambush.
One charges for the witch but is taken down by Patty. She grabs his gun, tries to get a bead on him, but (being unused to guns) the recoil throws her off. But the private militia man realises he’s now got an arrow pointed right at his head by Katrina. A shot whistles by Patty’s head, and she snaps and transform, leaping from soldier to soldier in a fury.
Before the other slayers and watchers can bring their forces to bear on them, the other troopers break and run.
Terralith Eco have been foiled, and the council is now in no doubt which side they’re on.
Thanks to Katrina’s player for her synopsis of play.