The Sunflower Staff van
Despite Patty turning into a were-Badger, only one of the vampires turns up to have a sniff. Patty decapitates him in a single move, and the van drives on for another quarter of an hour.
It drives into an old brick warehouse. The driver gets out and starts to roll up the door at the back of the van, before he sees the lycanthrope and double-takes. Misunderstanding, he shouts to his supervisor that one of the workers has “gone full vampire!”.
The depot supervisor is Kelly Tibbens, an ambitious Terralith Eco manager using vampire labour force to cut costs. She pokes her head round the corner, and shouts to close the door.
This doesn’t buy much time – Patty tears the van door off, and keeps hold of it in her claw, using it as a shield. All through this, the remaining vampires stay sat down in the van, ignoring the ruckus.
The vehicle area is caged off from the main part of the warehouse where the supplies are kept. The depot used to be a factory, and there are two stories of offices against the far wall.
Kelly has bought enough time to get the offices. But the driver hasn’t, and is quickly grabbed by were-Patty & Katrina. “Please, please, don’t eat me” he begs incoherently. He quickly points the finger at Kelly as the cost-cutting supplier of the new cheap undead labour force.
The office door and windows are reinforced – Patty only manages to dent it. On the other side, Kelly is making a phone call.
The three tie up the driver, and unable to get through the bottom door, try the metal staircase leading up to the top floor of the offices.
The door isn’t locked, and it gives way to an unkempt dorm room, with half a dozen bunk beds and a door at the end.
That door gives way to a similar room, but this one is full of labourers drinking from the familiar cylinders, some chatting, and some resting. Katrina mutters that they’re all vampires.
But nevertheless, as our trio of sorceress, were-Badger, and slayer walk through the room to the door at the far end, they are ignored.
And that door gives way to another room of vampires. There are two big differences: a trap-door at the far end, and some of the vampires are beginning to wake up.
Surrounded by a dozen vampires it’s an unequal fight.
Arms grab and punch at our heroes, even Patty. Elli begins singing her spell of protection, so fiercely that she succeeds in knocking back three vampires who were advancing on her.
Katrina and Patty manage to beat some of them off, but not even Katrina manages to stake any before they make their way to the trap door.
Patty claws through it with her feet. Katrina jumps down into the darkness. It’s a storage room, and she finds the lightswitch and a couple of ladders before putting one of them against the trapdoor for the others.
Elli manages to get down onto the ladder and onto Katrina’s shoulders to keep pointing her spell at the door.
Patty tries to use the van door to cover their retreat (and the trapdoor), but is grabbed. Katrina manages to get pull her down.
In the chaos, a couple of vampires manage to follow them down before Elli, still singing her warding spell, manages to maneuvre to block the trapdoor. But Patty and Katrina manage to knock them out and dust them before retreating through the next door.
Blocking the door behind them, they look through the other offices & kitchens. Kelly has fled – there’s an open door leading to the rear of the warehouse. They quickly take some files about ‘Project Rudolph’ and ‘Rudolph Blood Factor’ from the office, and (from the extra fridge in the kitchen) 5l of blood and a vial of clear substance.
Outside the Depot
Patty follows Kelly’s scent outside, but quickly loses it. However it’s a fair guess that she went around the building to the front. Their mobiles tell them they’re in a tiny industrial estate near the hamlet of Morley, set about a kilometre from a main road.
There’s a man at the front of the building trying to get their attention, but after much hesitation (and waiting for Patty to calm down and return to human form), he turns out to be a driver trying to pick up fruit and veg. After they quiz him claiming to be looking for tomatoes for their food truck, he heads off.
As he drives off, they hear a helicopter approaching. The three take cover under one of the vans parked outside the depot.
It lands in the car park, and the demon Tsoudain’a gets out, accompanied by numerous security. He opens the door and enters the depot, angrily interrogating the driver and summoning Kelly back to the warehouse..
After Kelly returns, he puts together what happened, and arranges to send someone to Dharmafest to take care of the witnesses to the vampire attacks.
So this settles it – they have to get back.
After much muttering about when, if, and how, Patty beings to lose her control and revert to were-form. This brings things to a head, and Elli manages to disguise them as rabbits as they run for cover.
Once Patty has calmed down, they manage to hitchhike back to Dharmafest with a friendly old couple.
In desperation to protect their friends, they decided to take the bus out of Dharmafest straight away.
They also see Santakaashraman, the Dharmafest security chief. But they don’t tell him the full story, and he doesn’t see what he can do about things that are happening outside of Dharmafest. Nor is he very convinced by the threat of a local invasion – there are a few local kids every year.
At the bus, Salvatore, the chef, argues vigorously for keeping the cafe at the festival over the weekend (even if others leave) and stays behind as they set off.
But unbeknownst to them, someone was watching the bus leave Dharmafest.
Bus vs Helicopter
Katrina drives the bus in the direction of London, and has 10-15 minutes of driving to do on country roads before it gets to the motorway. And the helicopter appears over the horizon.
When it gets closer, Katrina starts unexpectedly swerving the bus from side to side. When Elli asks what Katrina’s doing, they realise that she’s seeing illusory obstacles – cars on the wrong side of the rode and concrete blocks.
T’soudina is throwing illusions from the helicopter to make them crash.
Elli calls The Council and gets hold of Matthew Parks. But he says they’ve no resources in Devon apart from an old watcher there.
It’s only when T’soudina trick a group of cyclists into a collision that the wheels begin to lose traction on the tarmac.
Meanwhile, one of the black-bodysuited security guards rappels onto the top of the bus. Katrina swerves to lose him, and the front left wheel gets stuck in the hedge.
The bus is now stuck.
Several more agents drop from the helicopter and are catching up. Katrina gets out to beat back the guard (pictured) and look at the problem, but manages to jump back in, adjust the gearing, and reverse out of the hole.
As the bus pulls away, some of the agents draw pistols, blowing out the bus’s tires. It slows down, sparks flying along the road. But that’s enough to outrun agents and get to the next village, Wenly Cross.
Thinking they’re safer in public, they stop the bus by the Red Lion pub. (Patty, who has gone back to were-form, waits in the bus.)
Whilst they’re trying to sort out a vegan food, T’soudina walks in, in full, darkness-in-humanoid-shape demon-form.
He calmly announces he’s going to wipe their memory.
From behind them, the publican loudly shouts “You’re barred.”
Some of the patrons try to run. But Elli stands firm, hoping to deflect the spell. Magical sparks fly. And T’soudina, perhaps because he’s cast so many tears already, can be turned back.
He politely apologises for forgetting why he came into the building, turns around, and walks out.
The police arrive, and then the aforementioned old Watcher (one Rupert Giles), who helps them smooth things over with the police. And then they head on to London