In which a body leads to the babysitter
In an attempt to freshen up the action, I try my hand at telling two stories at one time, weaving back and forth between them over the next several game sessions.
- Claire and Marco get a call from Diane Bissell. She needs their help. They arrive to find the dead body of one of Diane’s servers in the walk-in cooler at the Whiskey Barrell. Claire calls for Majors to report the crime and cancel their date.
- Majors arrives, along with the homicide squad, and begins the investigation. After collecting initial info, Majors has some free time while the homicide team gathers forensic evidence. He takes Claire for a quick cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop. While they are chatting, he points out that every time Claire and Marco make a move lately, the Black Court is hot on their heels, as if they know the heroes’ every step. To wit, there’s a spy in your group. Claire is afraid to begin thinking about it. There are too many possible candidates: Isaac, Selena, one of Braun’s many faceless contacts who make frequent appearances at the estate (the retained lawyer, accountant, business associates), the housekeeper who comes by twice a week, a faceless spy they’ve never seen? Heck, even Pip could be under suspicion, given her vampixie curse.
- Meanwhile, Marco is wandering the pedestrian mall, killing time. He is accosted by two brigands. Literally. They’re his old shipmates, Raul and Donaldo, last seen in Jamaica when he foiled their recreational thievery (session 2.18). Evidently they have been kicked off of the pirate ship due to being captured by police in Jamaica and having the massive cargo of stolen electronics seized. Now they’ve come to Charlottesville for the expressed purpose of making Marco’s life miserable. They blame him for their situation. They warn him that they’ll be watching and lurking and will jump him when the time is right. Then they scurry off, back into the crowd.
- Having their evening derailed, the PCs go home. Detective Majors told them he’ll call if he needs them, otherwise they should stay out of the way.
- Next night, Claire, Marco, and Selena accompany Braun to a dinner party in town. It’s a posh political event, the sort that will influence local business decisions for weeks to come. It promises to be a long and boring evening.
- They get a call from Majors, he wants them to chase down the girlfriend of the dead waiter, Dania Lansey. She’s been eluding the authorities all day, but he’s tracked her to a suburban residence where she’s babysitting.
- Claire and Marco go to meet Majors. Selena stays with Braun. The PCs and Majors rendezvous at the house where girl, Dania … is babysitting. Claire will knock on the door and try to talk to the girl. Majors will be standing in the background in plain sight, but not crowding the porch. Marco takes up a position beside the house in case they need to cover the rear door.
- Sure enough, the girl slams the door in Claire’s face and runs through the house. Marco and Majors run for the backyard. Claire enters the house and is accosted by an 8-year old boy who throws his toy at her and attempts to flee through the front door. Claire wrestles him to the ground and closes the door. Now she’s trapped in the house with the precocious brat.
- In the back yard, Dania has a similar lead on Marco and Majors. While they were waiting for Claire to knock on the door, Marco had begun a snare spell, just in case. Now as they’re running, he sees the perfect opportunity, as Dania runs past a volleyball net in a neighboring backyard. Marco releases the spell, focusing his energies on the woman and the net. The net immediately rips free of the poles and wraps itself around the woman, bringing her down. Majors grabs her and they escort her back to the house.
- In the kitchen, they finally get some information from her. She’s been dating the waiter for only a few weeks. He didn’t show up for their date the night before; he was supposed to meet her after he got off work at the Whiskey Barrell. She evaded the police all day because she was scared. After further persuading, she admits that she’s afraid her ex-boyfriend might be involved. He’s always jealous of her interest in other guys since they stopped dating a few months ago.
- Having just learned that her boyfriend’s been murdered, Majors decides that Dania is in no shape to finish her babysitting job, so he has a uniformed officer escort her home, while another stays with the child (who is a major brat) until the parents return (they aren’t answering their cell phones). While Majors is debriefing with Marco and Claire outside in the street, the child once again comes running out the door. He runs off down the street. Claire grabs up a soccer ball from the yard and throws it as hard as she can. Her aim is true and she knocks the child down, allowing Marco to catch up to him. They carry the child back inside to find the officer handcuffed to a piece of furniture. Majors frees the officer and the parents finally arrive just as they’re considering cuffing the child.
- Finishing up there, Majors heads downtown to begin investigating the ex-boyfriend, Martin Capulet.
- Claire and Marco return to the dinner party, hoping that Braun is ready to leave. As they pull up in the parking lot, they see that his car is still there, but as they walk past it, they hear a noise. They turn to find Selena pulling herself up off the ground between cars in the lot. She’s a bit battered and shaken. She collapses onto Marco and says that Braun has been abducted by Nelson and his goons. Nelson has issued an ultimatum: bring him the Bloodstone by dawn or Albert Braun dies.