In which the heroes take on a coven of dudes, and Braun acts out of character
Thugs, investigation, and a taste of cosmic horror
Local wine merchant, George Flannery, approaches Claire and Marco with a strange bottle of wine. He received a case of exotic wine by mistake. Problem is that the bottles contain a small octopoid creature. The PCs accompany him back to his store to examine the wine and are ambushed by two thugs who are looking for the wine. After subduing the thugs and calling the police, Marco and Claire investigate the wine shipment.
The intended recipient was one Malcolm Flannelly, a wealthy, young software developer across town. Paying him a visit eventually leads them to a coven of young men seeking power by consorting with the Dark Arts. After spending lots of their monies on occult trinkets, they finally came into possession of a dangerous tome devoted to a cult called the Denarians. Along with the tome, they obtained a set of gold masks, each in the shape of a vile, demonic creature. Suddenly their “party coven” was in a dangerous situation.
What’s more, tonight they are attempting a ritual summoning spell found within the tome. Their intent is to call forth a demon who will provide them with even more wealth and power. What really happens is that they summon a shapeless horror that attempts to drag them into its gaping maw. The monster’s giant tentacles fill their basement, preventing escape.
Fortunately, the heroes have followed young Malcolm to the ritual and are breaking into the house just as the foolhardy young men begin their ritual. There’s some great roleplaying as the PCs try to talk their way into the ritual, but the appearance of the dimensional rift and grasping tentacles interrupt their parlay. Eventually, Marco uses the tome to summon all-cleansing fire, destroying the demon and most the house too. Most of the five occultist-wannabes survive. The ritual masks and tome are destroyed in the fire.
Marco explains that he’s read of the Denarians, that they are very evil, very powerful demons that should not be trifled with.
Albert Braun is acting strange
Claire has been noticing a lot of erratic behavior from Braun. Since he started using the Bloodstone to stave off the vampire curse, he has been living the life of a wealthy playboy. Rather than focusing on his business and political interests, he is only attending to his social life. Lots of parties and lots of women.
One night, while attending a fancy party downtown, Braun is lured outside to the parking lot by a dazzling socialite. Claire’s fairy senses start tingling and she and Marco run outside to find him. He is in the middle of a parking lot brawl with four vampires, one of whom is the beautiful woman. As the heroes approach they realize that Braun is actually holding his own against the vampires! He lifts one attacker by the throat and hurls the creature across the parking lot onto the hood of a car.
Another vampire sees an opportunity and lunges at Braun’s back. Before the beast can land his attack, he’s shot down. He falls to the ground with an arrow protruding from his chest. The PCs look around and see a hooded figure standing atop a nearby delivery van, bow and arrow already taking aim at another vampire. Claire and Marco help finish off the remaining assailants. Afterward, the mysterious archer is nowhere to be seen.
Claire finds that Braun has only light scrapes and bruises and is mostly unperturbed by the attack. Rather, he relishes the adrenaline rush of the combat and wants to return to the party, but Claire persuades him that he shouldn’t return with his tuxedo all ripped and torn from the fight. Begrudgingly, Braun consents to heading home for the night.