Dark City-Requim Morte

Case File One Part Five: The Case of Why's This School Open?
The Cask of Armadillo

After doing some research, Alvin uncovers some new information. Beckett moved to the City from Arkham, Massachusetts, where he had taught at Miskatonic University. He left under a cloud of suspicion for dabbling in the occult with students, which led to a mysterious death. Once in the City, he founded a weird cult called the Cult of Starry Wisdom, a theosophist cult that claimed to receive secrets from “hidden masters beyond the veil of reality,” a phrase Rufus can easily associate with various Bane cults for Banes of Secrets, or even some sort of Madness Bane from the Deep Umbra. The cult had about thirty members, until it was raided by the police and shut down in late 1800’s. Alvin can’t find any records of why it was shut down, but given that a lot of police records were lost in the labor unrest of the 1930’s, it’s not surprising. After the raid, Beckett retired from public view, leaving his position as a professor at Severn College, and became a hermit. When he died in 1904, his will specified he was to be buried in his house, which the authorities allowed, seeing as no respectable religion in the City would allow him to be buried in their graveyards, not even the eclectic secular societies, such as the Freemasons and the Oddfellows, would have him. After that, the house was rented over the years by various poor families, all of whom were dogged by mysterious illness and deaths. On several occasions, ghostly and psychic phenomena were reported, but the site seemed to be so low scale, compared to other sites in the City, that no one, other than the Crypt and Chalice Society, ever seemed interested.

J.T. gets bored waiting for intel, and decides he wants to corner the Guidance Counselor, hoping to force her to reveal what type of supernatural creature she is. He’s foiled when he gets there, as there’s a cheerfully decorated, pink sign saying she’s out to lunch and will be back in an hour. He waits an hour, but when he turns around later, the sign now says she’s gone for the day. Grumbling, J.T. returns to the club room to help decide what to do about the Beckett House. He goes through the gear again, noticing a few items that were overlooked before. He finds a baseball bat, an authentic 1940 Louisville Slugger, autographed by Babe Ruth, embedded with lots of nails, and with a pink tape wrapped around the grip, with a pink tassel. It’s labeled “Property of CeeCee.” When asked about who CeeCee is, Alvin blushes and just says she was a club member. They also find a rusty old crowbar, which gives off an oddly comforting feel. Rufus insists that it go to Tobi, who picks it up and finds it fits comfortably in her hand, as if no one was better suited to that crowbar than her. J.T. Takes the PK meter and the body armor, while Tobi takes the old black leather duster. Rufus notices that the duster is authentic leather and has been enhanced by Weaver magic. He also notices an old spot on the left chest of the duster, a faded place that looks like a star shaped badge of some sort went there once. Tobi finds inside that someone went to a lot of trouble to build into the coat a hidden shoulder holster, strap for hanging knives and grenades, as well as a sword sheath, into which she easily slips the crowbar.

Having divvied things up, they decide to skip afternoon classes and wait for nightfall, when Desmond picks them up and drives them down to the Mid-City location of the Beckett House. The house has a very ominous, brooding aura about it as they exit the limo. J.T tries the PK meter and gets a positive result, while Alvin’s equipment shows nothing. As they open the door with the realtor’s key Victoria obtained, a burst of cold air comes out. Inside, the lights work, but the air is freezing cold, and the air units are off. After some debate on recording things, Alvin straps the Go-Pro to Rufus’s head, starting Rufus-Cam. Using his Discern sight, J.T. notices that there’s an eerie green glow just out of the corner of his eyes, that fades when he looks directly at it. Rufus sniffs the door to the living room, and notices it has an earthy scent, like an open grave, and a reek of old blood. They open the door and turn on the light into a normal seeming living room, though J.T. notices a weird glow from the sofa. Alvin decides to set up shop in the living room and coordinate activities from there. Everyone except Tobi hears weird, almost sub-audible whispers about them, like many people talking at once.

Victoria then makes a joke about rooting around the couch for loose change, after Rufus sniffs it and smells that a corpse was son it at one time. She then sticks her hands under the pillows, which have an odd, soft texture and moistness to them. When she withdraws her hands, she has 75 cents in old coins, and her hands are covered in blood. Rufus’s sense of smell confirms its human blood, and Victoria is adamant that she obviously nicked her hands on something, since there’s no way human blood from some other source could have been in the sofa. After some consultation, and discussion of Rufus’s certification as a corpse sniffing and rescue dog, its decided that Alvin will monitor the team and house from the living room, while Rufus and the team will go door to door, checking each room methodically, until Rufus scents a grave. They then set out, checking the first door in the hallway, opposite the living room. Rufus smells a faint scent of what could be a grave, but on opening the door, they just find a storage area loaded with old furniture stacked haphazardly. J.T. and Rufus enter the room, and after a few minutes of looking about, some of the furniture collapse on them. Rufus and J.T. can tell the furniture was pushed by something. They manage to wiggle out, and head on.

The next door smells of mildew, and they don’t go in. They round the corner, and find the kitchen, the downstairs bathroom, and a set of stairs, leading up and down. There’s a thick scent of mildew about, the kitchen light is yellow and oddly dull, and Rufus can smell a corpse scent from upstairs. As they decide whether to go up or down, Rufus and Victoria hear a metal rattling from the kitchen. They dive out the way, but Tobi and J.T. get hit when a kitchen drawer falls out, and several knives hurtle at them. The knives hit J.T. and Tobi, but thanks to the armor they procured from the club stock supply, they manage to avoid damage. They feel now that whatever haunts the house is trying to drive them out, so that they’re on the right track, they decide to head upstairs and clear it before heading to the basement area. The head up the stairs, and see a long hallway with four doors. The first is the bathroom, and its clean(relatively) Their’s some red stains on the tub and leaking from the old faucet head, but Rufus scents they’re rust. They also hear an odd dripping noise that makes them feel uncomfortable for some reason.

They head to the next room, a bedroom. It’s dark and very cold inside, and the lights don’t work. The flashlights only show a dim glow in the room, and J.T.’s cold lantern doesn’t do any better. Rufus smells dead things inside the room. There’s an old style bed, with thick quilts. J.T. tosses in a glow stick, and it just shows dimly in the gloom. Tobi and Victoria hear a heavy breathing from under the covers, as if someone dying was laying in the bed. They enter the room, and Rufus sniffs around the bed. A sudden, violent psychic force grabs him and tries to pull him into the dark space under the bed, and Tobi and Victoria can see a human shape lying under the covers. J.T. draws deep among his reservoir of hidden power, and wards himself and Rufus. He’s surrounded by a warm, golden glow, and a white light streams out form him, driving back the darkness, which recedes like a sullen, living them. Everyone can hear a very loud, growling snarl, of something not human angrily reacting to the touch of the light upon it. The thing under the cover deflates, and the lights come on. The room suddenly smells normal, and feels normal. Tobi hugs Rufus, making sure he’s ok, but nobody hugs J.T. Nobody ever hugs J.T. Rufus and J.T. can sense that whatever was attacking them has retreated for the moment. They head to the next bedroom, which smells normal, and then the master bedroom, which smells of old blood. Rufus then senses something from the attic.

They pull down the fold out ladder, and J.T. lifts Rufus up to smell the air, which he confirms is old, musty, and mildewy, with a faint scent of dead flesh. J.T. then borrows Tobi’s compact, and uses the mirror to check out the attic, showing mostly boxes and old junk. They climb up and sense the same sinister, almost fluid darkness lurking about, but it recedes when J.T, gets up and turns on the light. The light swings back and forth, pissing off J.T. who loudly says the ghost uses too many old horror tropes. They search around the junk for a bit, and find a pile of dead rats and squirrels, drained of their blood and arrayed into an odd pattern that seems disturbing for some atavistic reason, which creeps out Tobi and Victoria. While they continue investigating, and old, heavy sewing mannequin tips over and hits Rufus and Victoria, bruising them. J.T. then breaks up the weird symbol made of animal carcasses, and they decide to head for the basement. The make their way down the rickety stairs, which J.T. again accuses the ghost of stealing from old horror tropes. The basement has a string smell of dead things under the mildew. Despite the fragility of the stairs, they manage to get down. They turn on the light, and it starts swaying again, irking J.T. yet again. Rufus can scent a strong smell of grave dirt and decay coming from behind the far wall. At this point, they all suddenly realize that Alvin has stopped feeding them info and guiding them.

Alarmed, they head back upstairs, and find Alvin unconscious in the living room. He seems to have a concussion, and a bloody head wound, as if something supernaturally strong struck him from behind. There’s a weird video on P-Tube running on Alvin’s laptop, showing what looks like an old school camcorder recording of a group of investigators exploring the same house, dated from twenty years ago. They get to the basement where something attacks them, chasing the survivors out of the house, where they end up killed by whatever the thing is. Worried, they call Desmond in, and he proves very skilled at first aid, bandaging Alvin up and getting him into the limo, which has a seriously well stocked first aid kit. The team then decides to finish things off instead of retreating, and head back down to the basement. Rufus and J.T. determine that the far wall is a false wall, with a narrow space behind it. J.T. borrows Tobi’s crowbar and begins breaking down the cinder block wall, which crumbles easily, too easily under the blows from the crowbar. While they are working, a beam cracks loose and hits Tobi, but she isn’t damaged by it. He cracks a big enough hole in the wall to determine that there’s a narrow space behind it, and shines a light through, at which point Tobi says “This is some Cask of Armadillo shit.” And J.T. replies “That’s dumb. Everyone knows the story is the Cask of Monte Christo.”

After the impromptu literature discussion, the team hears a scuttling and squealing from the space behind the walls. Rufus determines they are rats, and he tries to talk to them in beast speech, but realizes they are controlled by something. He then draws upon his connection to his totem, Rat, and dispels the control over the rats, allowing them to disperse. They then toss a glow stick in and shine a flashlight. Its revealed that the inner wall is of plaster, and has a very disturbing mural painted on it, of some alien city under strange stars, with deformed, sallow human figures scattered among the terraces and balconies of ziggurat shaped buildings, enjoying decadent pleasures. A huge, worm like creature, with tentacles coming from around its huge maw, coiled among the buildings, snatching the humans and devouring them. Rufus can determine it’s a rendering of the Wyrm, showing some Umbral realm, and that it’s a focal point for some Wyrm fetish. The painting jars Victoria’s memories in some way, leaving her very cold and disturbed. In the corner of the mural, Rufus can see a signature, of Belial Stillwell, and doesn’t point it out to the group. J.T. and Tobi then break down the mural, destroying it. Revealed behind the hole is a small, damp room with a dirt floor and plaster walls oozing discolored water, with mold and fungus growing over it, including bleeding mushrooms, that drip a blood like fluid.

In the center of the room is a grave, also overgrown with a weird, pale fungus that looks like discolored hands reaching from the earth. A cracked, faded, mold covered head stone lists the name Josiah Beckett, a death date of 1914, and the phrase “To serve the Master in life is to serve him in death.” The whole room feels cold and foreboding, with some angry, unseen presence held only at bay by J.T.’s power. They quickly take some photos of the grave, and a handful of the damp earth, and decide to leave. In the limo, on the way home, they discuss what to do about Alvin. Desmond points out any regular hospital will make a full incident report to the police. He says that the Stillwell family has a controlling interest in a small, private hospital called PrimeCare, and that taking him there will save a lot of fuss and questions, which after some discussion they reluctantly agree to. They drop Alvin off, and find out that his injury will be listed as an ‘accident’ from goofing off and that the Victoria’s family will cover the expenses. Afterwards, they debate what to do about the house, with J.T. insisting on its destruction, and Tobi and Victoria pointing out that it seems if the ghost is left alone, it’s not a threat. Rufus finally signals that he “knows a guy.” Who can take care of it, and decides to inform the Bone Gnawers about the place, while J.T. assumes he’s going to let the big guy they met at the Crypt and Chalice rave deal with it. They then get dropped off at their homes, and clean up and turn in for the night.

Case File One Part Four: The Case of Why's This School Open?
You Can't Take Rufus to Parties

While Victoria is still hiding in the stall, waiting for a text that Bradford has left, wondering why these girls are making up lies about their awesome supernatural encounters to each other, JT, Tobi, and Rufus are still chatting with Leonidas, while Alvin waits nervously for some sort of judgement from Ms. Grimsby and Mr. Redmond. As they glance around, our teen heroes (and dog) notice that there’s quite a few events going on at the rave. Leonidas points out that each Coven usually hosts an event, tailored to their specific goals and motif. There’s a full English high tea going on among some gravestones, attended by ravers in neon Victorian and Steampunk costumes, a picnic among some other graves, with more gothic ravers, a cricket tourney among still more gravestones, and a full bar, all while DJ Blackstar is spinning thunderous techno beats across the nearby cemetery grounds. At the high tea, an elegantly beautiful blonde woman, near the group’s age, in full Victorian regalia, with top hat and parasol, sends a page over to give the group an invite. Rufus urinates on the page’s boots, which prompts Tobi to scold him and JT to praise him. The woman herself then heads over, where she taps JT on the shoulder with the parasol and presents her hand to be kissed. She introduces herself as Lady Evelyn (pronounced Eva-Lynne, British style) Rottingham. To JT’s supernatural vision, she appears as a very decayed, rotting corpses, with piercing blue eyes and blond hair, under a shell of flesh, while to Rufus’s Scent of the True Form, she shows up as a Risen. JT manages to hide his disgust, and accepts her card, while others wonder why he seems uneasy with such a beautiful woman flirting with him.

Once she leaves, Leonidas warns against getting involve with lady Rottingham. She’s very bad news. As JT digests this news, from the picnic area comes another young lady, dressed in Southern Belle finery, with a frilly white parasol. She introduces herself as Evangeline Blackledge, and against, flirts outrageously with JT before giving him her card. To JT’s vision, she appears as one half a corpse and the other normal, while to Rufus’s Scent of the True Form, she shows up as a Skin Walker. After she leaves, Leonidas warns to not get involved with anyone named Blackledge, as they are a whole lot of bad news. At this point, Leonidas appears to notice someone or something, and takes his leave and makes his way through the crowd. Bradford then makes his way over to the group, introducing himself as Bradford Chadsworth Eddington Stillwell the Fourth. He schmoozes his way with them, like a politician pressing the flesh. To JT’s sight, he appears as a gaunt, feral, vampire-like creature, while to Rufus’s Scent of the True Form, he shows up as a ghoul/Fomori hybrid. He inquires after Victoria, stating she seems awfully familiar, but Tobi and JT cover for her, saying she’s someone else. After some small talk, he leaves, and Tobi texts Victoria it is safe to show up.

Once Victoria joins them, JT decides to hurry things along by confronting Ms. Grimsby and Redmond. The can sense that the two Society officers have no problem letting them in, just they don’t want Alvin. After some further discussion about joining the Society or not, they agree to take the Society’s initiation challenge. They’re assigned to go to the Bradford house and bring back proof they found the hidden grave there. Alvin promises to find out info on the house, and they decide to leave the party. Before they leave, another girl comes up to JT. This time, it’s the attractive teen siren from school. She is very perky and introduces herself as Lyla Romanova. She also flirts with JT and gives him her cell number. He perceives her as a feral, dead creature with blood red eyes and fangs, while to Rufus’s Scent of the True Form, she shows up as a vampire, although a weak one. She promises to meet up with JT at school and leaves. JT is then approached again, this time by an attractive woman dressed like a sexy nun. She identifies herself as Sister Hannah, and to JT she has the intense, neon purple glow Debrelle had, while to Rufus’s Scent of the True Form, she shows up as a Mage. She asks JT what church he goes to, and when he says none, she gives him a pamphlet for the “Church of Our Lady of Martyrs” a Catholic church where she’s head of the youth outreach program, and she invites him to attend before leaving.

Before the group departs, Rufus spots a big, ripped man with white blonde hair in a ponytail and tribal tats heading into the mausoleum. Rufus nudges Tobi to follow him. To Rufus’s Scent of the True Form, he shows up as Garou, with Silver Fang tribal markings, while JT sees him as a huge, feral wolf-man beast. He heads in to the Mausoleum, where he makes his way through the crowded dance floor to a very, almost unnaturally, attractive young, dark haired woman in Steampunk attire dancing frantically and expertly on the floor. He tries Scent of the True Form on her, and detects her as a Kindred, while JT senses nothing off of her, a very suspicious sign. The two seems to talk a bit over the noise, before the woman heads off deeper into the dancing throng, and the blond man shrugs in resigned disgust and heads back out.

When he spots Rufus, he stops and starts talking to him in Beast Speech, ignoring the crowd and the three teens. He seems genuinely surprised to see Rufus there and asks what he’s doing. Rufus replies he’s watching out for the trio. The Garou says that looks dangerous, but he suspects that Rufus is doing it for someone, or something. He tells Rufus that if he ever needs help, to give him a howl. As he pats Rufus on the head, Rufus notices the Garou has a necklace of vampire fangs, with a very big scorpion stinger tip as the centerpiece. The Silver Fang then stands up and heads out, ignoring the three teens, who ponder just how smart Rufus is. JT tries, in vain, to get Rufus to admit how smart he is, while Tobi just says he’s a special dog. Rufus suspects the Garou was Storm Walker, a former Ronin and Silver Fang, who once was the local vampire Court’s Scourge. At this point, the three teens are very tired, and decided to call it a night and head home to get some sleep before school. On the way out, they run into Debrelle and Leonidas again. Debrelle warns them if they ever meet near school an older man, with dark hair and Dr. Strange white sideburns, to not get involved with him. Nothing good ever comes of it, to which Leonidas agrees. When JT asks who the man’s name is, Debrelle puts his finger to his lips and says the Devil can be summoned by speaking his name. Leonidas agrees again, and says the old man’s a meddler.

The next day, Tobi and Rufus head to school by street car, and meet JT on the street car. They get off at Orpheus street and head past the boutiques. When they pass a boarded up store, the spot the skinny, creepy bum spray painting a weird symbol in red spray paint on the boards. Rufus detects him as a Fomori, while JT doesn’t have his special sight up. JT threatens the old bum into leaving, but before he leaves, he makes the cryptic comment to “Treat your new friend at school nice. He’s had a very rough last year.” At this point, Victoria pulls up in her limo and gestures for them to get in for a ride to school. At school, they get in just as Mr. Hacker starts to call roll, and notice a new kid. He is gangly, with unruly dark hair, and he’s glaring at Mr. Hacker. JT says the new kid is cold, and doesn’t have a heartbeat. His name is not called in class. JT asks Mister Hacker about the new kid, who says his name is Chris Abernathy. Mr. Hacker doesn’t see the name, and says he’ll have to talk to Administration about this. Dontrelle say Administration is always screwing thing sup. He tells Chris to get used to this class, because he’s stuck in it. Chris replies that it seems like this year will never end. He tells the group he’s a senior and this is his final year, which surprises everyone since it’s a freshman class, to which Dontrelle says, more Admin screw ups. Just get used to it. After some chatting, JT, Rufus, and Chris hear a motorcycle rumbling inside the building. JT gets up to see what is going on and sees a man in old 1950’s style clothing, all ragged and dirty, with a damaged motorcycle helmet, riding his Chieftain through the halls before vanishing around a corner.

At this point, JT gets in trouble with Mr. Hacker who says he can see JT will be a problem student, like Mr. Abernathy, who is surprised at the hostility. Before anything else can happen, the bell rings. Chris gets a text from his best friend, Brianna, who is in another class. She commiserates with JT about his problems, and tells him he should join a club to get some relaxation, and it’s good for his resume for college. She suggests the Paranormal Club, and Chris decides to check it out. He heads to the club during lunch, since he’s not hungry. There, he meets Alvin, JT, Tobi, Victoria, and Rufus. There’s some discussion of Rufus as club president, to which Tobi replies who’s cuter than Rufus. Alvin is eager to get Chris to sign up for the club, but Chris is hesitant to commit to such a weird group and requests a probationary period. He finds Rufus to be oddly intelligent, and JT again tries to persuade Rufus to show he can communicate with humans, but Rufus plays dumb. At this point, Alvin informs all that he has some basic research on the Bradford House. It is an old, classic two-story shotgun, built in the late 1800’s by one Josiah Beckett. It has a bad reputation of mysterious deaths and murders, and is hard to rent or sell. Victoria says with her connections, and the house’s reputation, that it should be easy for her to arrange a viewing with the realtor. At this point, the group decides to do some more research before committing to a course of action.

Case File One Part Three: The Case of Why's This School Open?
Dead Man's Party

After returning home and heading to bed, strange dreams afflict our protagonists. For Tobi she appears in a snow swept field, among huge mountains. When she hears her name being called in the distance, she follows it and discovers a green area, where a young man is calling her name from inside a cage of ice. He is tall and slender, with long blonde hair and green eyes, and has a definite elven/bishonnen look to him, clad in silver and green breastplate and chainmail. He immediately begins berating Tobi for taking her time to rescue him. When she says she doesn’t know him, he tells her he’s Justin Greenleaf, the Spring Knight and her champion and protector, and she’s the Summer Enchantress. They’re supposed to be working for Talleryn the Gray, former High Mage of Galador, to help defeat Belgarath the Mad, current High Mage of Galador. Tobi informs him that this is the first she’s heard of any of this. Justin tries to bring her up to speed, telling her Galador is the realm of the Changelings, fae creatures of fantasy, and that the realm is under siege by its own High Mage, a madman named Belgarath Black who is drowning the world in winter’s grasp, and has allied with another evil mage called Grymme, to overthrow Eryn Winterstorm, the Winter Queen of Galador. They bicker a bit more, in classic Moonlighting style, before the sounds of horns interrupt them. Justin says Tobi must recover her magic to rescue him so they can defeat Belgarath and Grymme, by recovering certain magical items, because it’s just them. Tobi counters that they have Rufus as well, and Justin says he doesn’t trust Rufus and neither should she; after all, she’s cat friendly and he’s a dog. He points out that her teen sass and sarcasm is no help in the situation, and she replies that he’s insulted her dog. Justin then notes that Black Donal, the Erl King, ruler of the Dark Fae, has sent Branded Men, his enchanted war-slaves, after her, as well as Barghests, Worgs, and goblin riders, and that she doesn’t have much time. They have to advance the seasons, which rule Galador. By advancing from Winter to Spring, it will force new monarchs and a reset of the balance in Galador, giving the Light Fae breathing room to win. He promises to try to bring her back to the glen from time to time, in her dreams, to help her regain her powers. Tobi then wakes up in her room, but her blanket is covered in fine, soft, silvery-white snowflakes which melt away quickly. Rufus is snoring soundly, having had no dreams at all. He wakes up from the melting snow, drags the blanket to the washing machine, then goes back to sleep.

Victoria dreams of walking down a vaguely familiar hallway in a massive Georgian-style house. As she wanders through the maddeningly familiar halls, crowded with accumulated art and bric-a-brac, she can hear in the distance a low clinking of glasses, chamber music, and a low susurrus of voices indicating a party. Victoria’s natural paranoia takes her in the opposite direction, towards the sounds of weeping. She finds herself in a crowded cul-de-sac, with a massive portrait of a young, auburn haired woman who resembles an older version of herself. Victoria again tries to extricate herself, but instead ends up in a puffy white dress with a silver tiara on her head. She removes the tiara, which has spikes on it, and she starts to bleed, along with the painting which moans and cries even more, bleeding itself.

She tries to find another way out, when she wanders into a what looks like a crypt. A man is tied to a sarcophagus, and he’s being beaten savagely by a woman in a floaty white dress, which is stained with blood around the edges. Her skin is very pale, and her eyes dark and featureless. She banters about a bit with Victoria, who wants her to stop flogging the man, while the woman offers Victoria critiques on the proper techniques of torture. When Victoria snatches the length of bloody, knotted rope away, the woman tells Victoria to keep it, she’ll need it someday. Victoria escapes the room, and wanders into another chamber. Before she leaves, she looks up and sees several large, red-eyed spiders in the rafters, chittering and clacking at each other, watching Victoria with interest. Victoria passes through a classic revolving door, ending up in a very posh Victorian era study. Two men are playing chess in the room, with red and white chess pieces. One is dressed in posh Victorian tweeds, the other is a dried out corpse in a black, Victorian suit covered in dust and cobwebs. They resemble each other, and have a family resemblance to Victoria. The fancy man tells Victoria “Ah, Victoria, be a dear and fetch some sherry. Have a glass yourself as well.” The dead one groans out “Sherry” as well. The fancy one apologizes for Belial’s voice, as he doesn’t talk much. Again, Victoria banters a bit while looking for an exit, backing up along to the window to try to escape.

The window shows a moonlit moor, and when she tries to open it, a huge, ten foot, half ton werewolf shows up and starts talking amiably to her, asking her by name to walk on the moors with him, and maybe kill someone. He asks when was the last time she killed someone, and when she says never, he tells her that one only feels alive when killing someone. After an amusing bit of japery about where the exit is, with the humans pointing to opposite doors, and the werewolf pointing back the way she came, Victoria slips out again into a new room. This is an old style medieval chapel, with a full organ playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. The player is a woman, again resembling Victoria, in a full old style priest’s cassock, with a red collar. They talk, with the nervous Victoria trying to leave, but not finding any doors. She spots a statue of a Spanish man, with fangs, dressed in conquistador style armor, and spots the crucifix of the chapel has the same man as Christ on the Cross. When Victoria protests she doesn’t like the dream, the woman tells Victoria that dreams are a reflection of the soul, so what does her dream tell her about herself? When Victoria finally spots a door to leave, the woman goes back to playing the organ, but tells Victoria that the Spanish man is their master, and they must awaken him, She’s free to leave, but if she does, is she prepared for the consequences?

Victoria escapes, and ends up in a Victorian parlor, where a man and a woman, twins obviously but again resembling Victoria herself, are playing darts. Both have four eyes, one pair above the other, that glow red. When they offer Victoria something to drink or snack on, she says she wants somewhere to change. The woman cattily says she understands why, Victoria’s dress does her no favors. At one end of the room is a nude man, painted like a dart board, with knives sticking in him. The twins say they’re playing darts. Would Victoria like to join them? When Victoria takes the knife and tries to cut the woman with it, she slaps Victoria’s hand away contemptuously, and tell her to respect her elders. At this point, the door opens, and a properly dressed butler, who seems to be a stitched together corpse, tells Victoria he’s glad she could make it, and her family is waiting for her. The butler, who tells her his name is Rotterby, leads her into a vast dining room, where there is a grisly feast laid out. Nude, bound humans slowly bleed out into vessels to drink. Around the vast table are all the creatures she’s met in her dream, as well as others she doesn’t recognize. At the head of the table is a young looking man, with one half of his body pristine, the other rotting, dressed in a fancy suit. He asks Victoria if she’s staying, to which she replies with an emphatic no. The young man smiles condescendingly, and offers a toast of his blood, “To Victoria, to welcome her back to her loving family!”

Victoria wakes up at this point, with the bloody rope and blood on her sheets. She gathers up all the bedding and the rope and puts it in the trash then bleaches her bed.

Meanwhile, JT dreams he’s in deep, primeval woods, chased by large wolves. He tries to use his powers, but to no avail. Then the scene changes to a swamp, with shambling zombies after him. He passes a bear by a campfire, who points to the left, which JT follows. Then the scene changes to a Blade-Runner-esque city, where he’s pursued by sexy men and woman in club clothes with fangs and red eyes. When he’s trapped between all three groups, in a huge, Gothic cathedral surrounded by water. Inside are huge, neon-lit television screens and signs. They all flash the same message: “Burn it all to the ground!” As JT wakes up, he can hear a voice in his head asking him which side is he on.

Again, Rufus sleeps soundly.

The next day, at school, they all get texts from Alvin, telling them the rave of the Crypt and Chalice Society is tonight. JT sneaks out of school to shop at the Mall. He tries Ward 13, a Hot Topic-like store, but the girl behind the counter, dressed in a leather corset, with white and pink hair, is eying him like meat. He goes to an actual Hot Topic, and buys over-priced raver clothes. Victoria leaves during lunch to get her hair bleached and spike, and returns. She dismisses JT clothing choices out of hand. Leaving school, they run into Alvin, who goes on about his costume. When Tobi asks Victoria about a corset all four head downtown to a shop Victoria knows, Asylum Fashions, in the old Blackwell building. The building gives JT a very bad feeling, as if its watching him. Its old classical style, early 20th century, with most of the top floors boarded up. The bottom floor has a diner, the clothing store, a video store, and a bar called “Gayfellows.” They enter Asylum Fashions, and meet the proprietor, a buxom, blonde, pale skinned Southern belle Goth in white named Bethany Blackledge. She seems very young to be the proprietor. Rufus doesn’t like her or the store. JT uses his power and sees that she’s a walking corpse. Rufus uses his Scent of the True Form and determines she’s a skin walker, a very rare undead type. She’s a soul escaped from Hell inhabiting her old body. She eyes up JT like meat. When the think about leaving, Victoria and Tobi are piling up the clothes they want. Rufus gets a top hat and monocle, JT gets some steam punk clothing, and the two girls get a full classic Goth makeover. Victoria pays for it all out of her petty cash allowance, and when the check the receipt, they find Bethany gave JT her card and phone number. Victoria then remembers something she learned in her childhood about the founding families of the City: Stillwell, Wincott, Blackledge, and Loveland were English, Des Santos and Montalbano were Spanish, and de Marais, de Meraux, and D’spayre were French. She thinks there were others, but her memory is a little hazy.

They head back to Victoria’s place to get ready where they meet Victoria’s maid, Mrs. Marrywell. They then get dressed, and Tobi uses her skills to give them the final touches. They then head out to the rave, at the Spiral Mausoleum, an epically huge marble mausoleum located in the vast City of the Dead Cemetery. The party is in full swing when they get there, both inside and out, with several bands playing. Rufus hates the smell of the place, and JT sees a weird glow from the large tower attached to the side. They mix and mingle a while, and run into Debrelle, who seems a little older and is flirting with all the ladies. JT observes with his second sight that Debrelle has a glowing, neon purple aura. Rufus notes he smells sharp, like electricity and ozone. He talks up the women, to no avail, and talks a bit about the Society. They spot Alvin arguing with a thin woman dressed like a Victorian librarian, and a slender man in steam punk clothes. Alvin argues about paperwork, and how exploring the haunted house should count, and they tell him he needs something more than a newbie zone to qualify. When the see Rufus, they squee, especially when he offers them his paw. Introductions are offered. The lady is Eleanor Grimsby, the Society’s librarian, and the man is Jordan Redmond, the Society’s archivist. Debrelle then saunters up, where Grimsby greets him with a drawn out, wary, “Hello Debrelle.” Debrelle tells her the foursome are his friends, and he’ll nominate them for the Society. The two Society officers withdraw to talk it over, while Debrelle tells the group about how awesome the Society is.

He tells them how the Society is organized into Covens, based out subject, and that they have an extensive library and information network. While talking, Rufus notices the petite, darks-skinned girl from school, holding court among admiring boys and girls. He smells her as a vampire. Then, a hand falls on Debrelle’s shoulder. A young, muscular, handsome man in leather, Victorian garb, tells him “Hello Debrelle, Long time no see.” In a French/Cajun accent. He then tells Debrelle in a whisper that he heard Debrelle was talking to his sister. He also tells Debrelle “Wylde’s here.” At that, Debrelle mutters about seeing someone and takes off. Rufus and JT read the new guy, Leonidas Lazar de Meraux, as a dhamphyr. Rufus can tell he has silver on him. He kisses Tobi’s hand European style, and asks if she has a sister. When she says no, he says he met a young lady named Sarah, who looked just like her. He then chats with Victoria, saying he knows the Stillwells. He then warns Victoria her cousin Bradford is at the party as well. Victoria spots him, and ducks out to avoid him. Leonidas then makes small talk with Tobi, but keeps his eyes on Rufus the whole time. He then takes over talking about the Society. He notes that it is fun, but also like MENSA, in that those who would be considered cool enough for the Society would be too cool to actually join. He then points out the Society is also pretentious as hell, but he stays for the social life. He then asks if they see the Society as a means to an end, looking at Rufus intently and implying monster hunting. He asks if they look around the school yet, and tells them the Occult club tried to clean up the mess, but ran short of members. He then lets drop that the ledger secret, that the red X’s are deceased members, and the red circles missing members.

He then tells them getting in they have to do a run at a site chosen by the Society, and bring back proof they encountered the supernatural. He tells them that the school is a bad place, but it also has those who want to keep it that way, and that they have powers and people to enforce that. Victoria complains about the suburbs ghost, and Leonidas sheepishly says she is a special case, as she is grumpy. He then says, as a professional monster hunter, it is a bad profession to get into. Rufus then spots Bradford heading over again, and can tell he’s a ghoul. Victoria sneaks out again, to the ladies’ room, to avoid Bradford. In the ladies’ room, she overhears fragments of conversation:

“We got to the second floor of the Brentwell Mausoleum, before the walls started bleeding real blood and we left.”

“We got to the abandoned area of the Broadmoor Slums, before Bob was pushed out of the third floor window by something we couldn’t see.”

“We snuck into Casa Rojas, and saw a woman in a red dress drifting about the bottom floor, but couldn’t catch up with her. One of the windows shattered, and Steve and Rick went to the hospital with bad cuts.”

“We went to Old Spanish Creek Cemetery, and saw a thin man get out of a grave, with an axe! He chased us out the Cemetery.”

After hearing these stories, Victoria decides to head back out to find the rest of the group

Case File One Part Two: The Case of Why's This School Open?
Ghosts are NOT Kosher

While the new club members are debating about whom to nominate for club president (Victoria and Tobi nominate Rufus; Alvin prefers a human in the role) the newest member, J.T. appears. J.T.’s tragic story involves a family camping trip in his native Wyoming. The park rangers said his father and little brother were horribly killed by a bear, but J.T. knows better. What killed his father was an eight-foot-tall, 800 pound wolf-man covered in native tribal markings, who ranted about all the wrongs the white man did his people and to Mother Gaia. Despite his insistence about what really happened that night, adults have dismissed him. Now, his mother has moved to the City to start a new life together. He is already familiar with Tobi and Victoria, having met them at the group therapy sessions at Lakefront Pines Hospital, where none of the others listened to his explanations about how bears would be hibernating at that time of year, and other bear facts that proved his werewolf theory, prompting Dr. Hatchet to prescribe several drugs to stabilize him and help get rid of these ursine delusions; drugs which J.T. has been happily pouring down his drain.

Upon his arrival at his new school, J.T. is startled by the number of obviously supernatural occurrences and beings about, all of which no one seems to notice but him. He senses something very dark about the Pellagro beverage delivery man delivering fresh Golden Bull and Urge! Cola. At school, he senses dark energy from an old, rusted, locked locker, from which he has a vision of blood seeping around the edges of the door. He also sees in a class, a very pretty, raven haired, dark skinned young woman, who has a coterie of adoring young men around her, drawn in by a dark, seductive power emanating from her. For a brief moment he has a vision of blood dripping from her mouth, and then she returns to normal. J.T. Makes mental notes to deal with these things later. In the meantime, he finds his home room, and then is summoned to the guidance counsellor’s office. Inside he meets the eccentric guidance counselor, who he detects is not human, though his powers can’t determine exactly what. He also briefly sees her “hang in there’ poster turn from a kitten to a teddy bear, then back again. She herds him along to join the Paranormal and Occult Club, and since he’s a slacker, he goes along with it.

At the old library, he heads to the basement, and notices some dark force emanating from the old boiler. Inside, the club room, he arrives just in time to find Rufus elected as president, to Alvin’s dismay. After a brief re-introduction, Alvin tries to describe what the club actually does, but again is evasive about details, from not wanting to scare off new members, especially girls. He finally points out that in three nights, the Crypt and Chalice Society will have an open rave at the Spiral Mausoleum in the City of the Dead, and that thee Society is a very cool organization, but they only let in people who have investigated and documented at least one haunted location. He then suggests they attend the rave, while Victoria muses if the Society’s DJ’s will be good enough; if not, she can always hire a good one. Alvin then says the Society used to use a famous DJ, officially called Gypsy Danger, but referred to as DJ Dracula, behind his back because of his accent, but he disappeared from the rave scene several years back. Victoria and Tobi agree he sounded lame. After they agree to check the Society rave out, Alvin then goes through a list of haunted locations the Club just happened to have on file.

He suggests a houses across the river, the site of a hideous family murder, where the husband, wife, grandmother, 16-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son, as well as Mr. Barks-a-lot, the family dog, were murdered in their sleep by an unknown assailant, a case unsolved after fifteen years. Only the infant son survived, overlooked in his crib, and no one knows what happened to him after that. The site is now rumored to be haunted, and investigating it would be a good introductory case for the club. J.T. Seems interested, while Tobi is indifferent. Only Victoria is opposed, as she feels modern tragedies are to close in time; she would prefer at least Victorian ere ghosts, to give a sense of distance from the crime. After some debate, they agree to take up the case, and decided to investigate the location after school on the next day. Tobi and Rufus head home to prepare, while J.T. decides to use his new contacts in the City to help prepare. He heads to “The Witch’s Cauldron,” am occult store that guarantees to stock all you occult needs.

It is an interesting shop, run by the twin sisters Hope and Charity de Claude, and reflects their eccentric tastes. Divided down the middle, the left side contains dark, brooding, and gothic merchandises, suitable to the brunette Hope’s classic Gothic tastes, while the right side has many uplifting and spiritual items, reflecting blonde Charity’s New Age mind set. J.T. runs into Victoria, who is shopping for an Ouija board, and maybe a cat-themed tarot deck. They talk a while, as J.T. finds out the store doesn’t stock the sort of ghost hunting gear he wanted, so he settles for some kosher salt, while Victoria purchases a cachet of herbs that drives away ghosts, with a horrid stench, a spiritual candle that soothes ghosts, and her Ouija board and cat tarot. They then part ways to prepare for the expedition.

They next day, after school, they load up into the limousine, since Victoria volunteered Desmond to drive them there and back. Alvin brings along a lot of jury rigged electronic equipment, just like the Ghost Chasers (most bearing the trademark “Made by Marcus” logo) and they proceed across the river. On arrival, the house seems lonely and foreboding. Rufus and J.T. sense something watching them, and J.T. catches a glimpse of a goth looking teen watching them from a bottom floor window. The house has in its front yard a for sale or lease sign, with a sticker reading reduced, and another reading reduced further, on it. Alvin has a key to get in, and is evasive on how he obtained it, while Victoria points out she got a legitimate key from the realtor by asking to see the house, an adroit use of her family’s connections and wealth. Inside, Alvin gets to work, setting up his equipment, and unplugging the cable so her can record the TV’s white noise. Tobi, meanwhile, senses an intense aura of sadness from the house that affects her mood. J.T. settles back to watch, while Victoria Pengles the best way to deal with ghosts.

Alvin gets good reads from upstairs, while J.T., Tobi, and Rufus senses something in the front bedroom. Victoria has the blueprints, and the Pengle articles on the murder, and says it belonged to the teen daughter. J.T. tries to keep an eye on Alvin and the others, while Tobi, Rufus, and Victoria explore the front bedroom. The bedroom is obviously colder than the rest of the house, and they sense something from the closet, which is where, according to the news reports, the daughter’s body was found. They pester Alvin to come in and do a reading, which he announces shows nothing in the room. Victoria then sees the reflection of the girl in a mirror, pale and blood stained, standing menacingly behind her. Alvin checks the mirror and reports he detects nothing on it, and heads back upstairs. J.T. follows him, and trips over a stuffed bear, that has an odd, cold scent and texture to it. Grumbling about bears, he takes the bear downstairs, while Victoria tries to coax the ghost to talk to them, eventually lighting her candle, which has a clean, soothing scent.

Upstairs, Alvin maintains he’s getting the best reading from the bathroom, and enters it against everyone else’s advice. Meanwhile, J.T. attempts to exorcise the bear by throwing kosher salt on it, which causes him to hear a teen girl’s voice clearly saying “What the Fuck, Dude.” Upstairs, Tobi and Rufus catch a glimpse out off the corner of their eyes, of the teen girl, standing rigid, that appears to float from one room to another. They go to investigate it, while Alvin investigates the bathroom. In the upper bedroom, the room is very cold, and the window mists over. Rufus and Tobi clearly see words forming in what looks like blood on the window. It starts to spell out “Get out the house!” but trails off suddenly with “WTF?” Rufus confirms the liquid writing is not in blood, and it fades away. Tobi senses a mood shift in the house from sorrow to anger, and suddenly the bathroom door slams shut, trapping Alvin inside. Tobi tries to break it down, but suffers a bruised shoulder while Rufus then manages to get the door open. Alvin is ecstatic about the whole encounter, mumbling about how the stuck up snobs at the Crypt and Chalice Society will have to accept him now.

Everyone then decides they’ve had enough fun for one day, since night is falling and they have to get home before curfew. In the car they compare notes, while Rufus and J.T. spot the girl’s ghost again at the bottom floor bedroom, making a rude gesture at J.T. J.T. merely makes a note in his journal that ghosts don’t like salt thrown at them. Rufus shrugs, for a dog, and barks a very good approximation of “Who knew?” before they all head home.

School's In: Case File One
The Case of Why's This School Even Open?

Our three protagonists enter the scene: Tobi, a middle class high school student, Victoria Stillwell, an upper class high school student, and Rufus, a dog. Tobi has been having health issues, particularly odd nocturnal dreams and disjointed lucid dreams of a land of vast, ancient castles, mages and dragons, noble warriors and fair princesses. Her issues resulted in a brief period of treatment at Lakefront Pines Hospital, where her psychiatrist, Dr. Sylvia Hatchet, treated her for her bouts of anxiety. Once home, she adopted a stray dog wandering her neighborhood, a scruffy mutt named Rufus, who has been adopted as her service dog. Victoria is also having health issues, and her family sent her to the same facility after a breakdown, where thanks to Dr. Hatchet’s expert treatment and liberal use of drugs, she also is now able to face the world again. Finally, Rufus is an insightful Bone Gnawer kinfolk who is accompanying both girls because he suspects something foul is going on at their new school, Warren High School #20, and he feels both would end up badly without his keen insight and unique talents.

Morning finds Tobi waking after a dream of an elderly wizard warning her of something. The dream fades fast under the rush of readying for school. She and Rufus rush out and take the streetcar to Orpheus Street, then get off and walk down to the turnoff on Daedalus Street, and then down to Foucault Street. On the route, they pass by an alleyway between Shapiro’s Tailoring and Liang’s Laundry, where a disturbing old bum, unclean and with a warped face, is spray painting disturbing slogans on the walls of the alleyway in bright yellow paint, things like “Beware the Pale Man,” “It lurks in the shadows,” “It hungers for flesh,” “it hides at the school,” and “Wylde sucks!” Rufus senses the bum is very Wyrm tainted and tries to get Tobi to move along, but she seems intrigued with the graffiti and influenced by some odd power emanating from the bum to give him money. The bum then tells Tobi: “If I were you, I’d walk the other way. That school is hungry.”

Rufus finally herds Tobi away and down the street, passing such local spots as the Orpheus Street Diner, the Orpheum Theater, and the many new boutique shops and restaurants along the gentrified street, until they reach where they can see Our Lady of Thorns Church and School, a fancy, elite prep school that they are not attending. While looking at the fancy school and its students, one of the female students runs over and starts making a fuss over Rufus. Rufus detects her as normal, but with something odd and a little off on her, he doesn’t know what. The girl seems very friendly and chats a bit with Tobi before recognizing Tobi’s uniform and asking her if she’s going to Warren #20. When Tobi affirms this, the girl gives her a dream catcher necklace, formed of some odd symbol in turquoise and silver, on a leather strap, and tells Tobi to wear it at all times and to never go off alone around the school.

Rufus sniffs the necklace and his senses tell him it’s a talisman of some sort. While the girl and Tobi talk, another girl, who looks way too young to go to a high school, with a white-blonde haired, white Gothic Lolita look to her, comes up to the first girl, and calls her Amy, and tells her it’s time for school. She has a quiet, calm voice that makes Rufus feel creepy, and his supernatural senses tell him she’s actually a dead person, not a vampire, pretending to be alive. Amy, the first girl, calls her Madelyn and tells her she’s coming along. She then gives Tobi her cell phone number, and tells her it’s a Gaia phone so she never drops calls. She tells Tobi to call her if anything bad ever happens to her at the school. Tobi tells Amy that she only has a track phone, because all the awesome P Phones her parents buy her seem to disappear. Amy says goodbye, and heads off to Our Lady of Thorns, while Tobi and Rufus head down Daedalus to reach school.

Meanwhile. Victoria is at her apartment preparing for her new school. Her health issues are under control, but her bout of sickness made her miss out on enrolling at elite prep school Ecole Icarus (their motto is Academia Superiorem Crusta.) As a result, the family’s head, old great-grandfather Elias Stillwell, head of Stillwell Properties, and the Stillwell Trust, is very disappointed in Victoria, and has declared she must prove herself worthy of her family. As a result, she is living on her own in a comfortable but small apartment on Saint Georges Avenue, on her own, to show she’s matured. Her driver, Desmond, picks her up in a limo, on schedule as usual, as old Elias said specifically he does not want her walking alone in the Orpheus Street area. As Desmond expertly navigates the limo down the narrow streets, they pass down Orpheus and the same old bum that stopped Tobi stops the car, seemingly offering to clean the windows. Desmond asks if he should activate the car’s Taser based electrical security system, Victoria tells him no. When Victoria feels the urge to give him money, she rolls down the window and gives the bum $20 dollars. He thanks her in a very gravely, not human voice and asks her if she’s seen the Yellow Sign and that the school is a gorging maw. While Victoria ponders this, Desmond steps on the gas and leaves the bum in their exhaust.

When Victoria reaches Warren #20, which she insists is her new charter magnet school, she notices that a large crowd of students are dutifully filing in through metal detectors. She heads past the Pellagro beverages delivery truck, dropping off new supplies of URGE! Cola (Feel the Urge!) and Golden Bull (It Gives You Horns!) She compliments the school on its dedication to security, and gets in line, coincidentally next to Tobi and Rufus. Rufus has noticed that the driver is very Wyrm tainted, and notes to look into him later, perhaps killing him and burying him in the backyard, along with Tobi’s old P-Phones he’s been taking care of. Tobi and Victoria start chatting, and a skinny black kid in line, named Dontrelle, starts talking to them a mile a minute about the school, how its rumored to be haunted, how people have been murdered over the years. He fills them in on the dead quarterback case, the dead teacher case, the ongoing deaths among cheerleaders and prom queens, and the old school fire. He also tells them about the website StrangeShitatSchool.com.

Once through the security search and metal detectors, they head to the gym/auditorium for the opening day speech from the new principal, Ms. Zenobia Kilgore. Dontrelle says it’s taken eight years to find a new principal, since the last one was murdered horribly and dismembered in his office by three members of the infamous Red Cobras street gang. He also tells them about how in the Seventies, the old gym was burned down during a Fourth of July party and over fifty people burned alive. He also tells them about CityofDarkness.com, a website that lists all of the odd stuff that happens in the City, run by the Crypt and Chalice Society. In the gym, Rufus spots an obvious ghost, a young blonde girl in an old style ponytail, with an old school uniform (poodle skirts, bobby sox, etc.) sitting in the rafters, watching the ceremony. Then, the school disciplinarian, Mr. Richard Meansley, addresses the students, with a long, rambling speech about fitting in and how deviants and malcontents won’t be tolerated. Rufus senses he’s normal, just a dick.

Ms. Kilgore then steps up. She’s a normal human, and she radiates hope and energy. She gives a very peppy, inspired speech about finding one’s true potential and how everyone there IS a special snowflake. Her perky speech is in marked contrast to the angst, depression, and sullen rage the school radiates to Rufus’s senses, and he feels the principal is not going to last very long at the school. While talking during a pause in the speech, a well built, handsome young black kid with dreads, comes over. He says his name’s Debrelle, and he talks with a Jamaican accent. He tries his charming best with Tobi and Victoria, talking about school and extra-curricular activities, then gives the girls his cell phone number and hustles off, startled by something they don’t notice. Rufus notices Debrelle has some sort of supernatural abilities, as he literally disappears when ducking behind a group of students. After this, the speeches go on for another 30 minutes, before the students are released to Homeroom.

In homeroom, the girls find themselves together, and with Dontrelle. The homeroom teacher is Mister Hacker, an old, very cranky, uptight old English teacher. When the bell rings for First period, everyone heads off except the two girls, who are called to see the Guidance Counselor. Along the way, through the crowds of students, Rufus keeps noticing weird things no one else sees. He sees a very thin, tall man clad in a ragged tuxedo, with a top hat and carrying a bloody axe disappear into one of the classrooms. He also sees a fat clown in a blood spattered white outfit juggling blood-filled balloons in the courtyard area. The clown will every now and then throw one of the balloons at a student, who doesn’t seem to notice the blood splatters. Oddly, the clown makes a courtly bow to Victoria, who doesn’t notice. They round a corner and spot the tuxedo man coming out of a different classroom. He doffs his hat to Victoria, who again doesn’t notice, and Rufus can see then that the man is missing the top half of his skull. They head into the old admin building, which is connected to the new admin building by an improvised built access way.

Inside, the old admin building has unused offices, mostly used as storage space. They step into an old office, with the words “Guidance” on a piece of construction paper taped to the door, with a smiling face, stars, and a Hello Kitty sticker. Inside is a very young looking woman, dressed full scale Goth style in black and white lace up dress, with elaborate hair braiding, and Doc Martins, in a cluttered office full of old books and movie posters. She radiates to Rufus a weird blend of Weaver and Wyld energies. She immediately squees when seeing Rufus, and pets him, picks him up (its oddly comforting to Rufus to be held like that) and gives him a treat. She then notices Tobi has the dream-catcher necklace and tells her to wear it at all times. She then opens a ledger and writes down the girls’ names, and Rufus’s too. She then puts on her “serious” glasses, and asks what the girls want to accomplish in the school year. Tobi responds with “Live through it,” while Victoria thinks. While the girls try to expand on that line of thinking, Rufus notices that the Counselor’s eyes are giving off these weird matrix-type displays of code and images, that are reflected onto her glasses, and he realizes she’s some sort of spirit.

Tobi finally replies that she’s interested in people and crafts, while Victoria is interested in fashion design. When asked what they think the biggest problem in the City is, Victoria replies “Yuppies” and Tobi says “Potholes.” The Counselor then asks what they think about spooky things, while scritching Rufus’s ears, such as ghosts, vampires, etc. The girls seem intrigued, so the Counselor tells them they’ll be perfect for the Occult and Paranormal Investigations Club, which is down to two members. She then gives directions to the club’s meeting room. Rufus tries to prompt Tobi to asks the Counselor’s name, but Tobi mistakes Rufus’s actions as a need to go outside. They take Rufus outside, then head back to class, where they find they have Mr. Hacker for First Period English, and there is an announcement over the intercom that Metadata Systems is providing free P-Phones and Persimmon tablet computers free of charge for all students. Rufus mentally notes to make Tobi’s tablet and phone disappear later.

Lunch time rolls around and while they are eating, with Victoria talking about how good her special diet vegan organic tofu sushi is. While eating, the girls and Rufus spot Debrelle flirting with another girl. He does very well, and ends up giving the girl his number, when he suddenly takes off running and disappears around a corner. This time, Rufus can see that something with an invisibility cloak is chasing Debrelle. Tobi and Victoria then realize Debrelle was hitting on them and seem surprised. After lunch, they head to the old library building, where the club is located. The inside of the old library is filled with stacks and boxes of books. They make their way downstairs, past a door with a sign that says “Do not feed the leopard.” In the basement there is an old beat up boiler room, and storage room, and the club room, which has a handwritten sign on it. Victoria knocks and goes in. inside, the room is a weird mix. There are bookshelves with old books, old filing cabinets and file boxes piled in a corner, as well as two sofas and a coffee table. There is also a very modern custom computer rig, as well as a 92-inch flat screen TV and a P-Box system, with a complete set of games. There is a medical skeleton in an overstuffed chair, reading an old copy of Edgar Allen Poe, and an actual coffin being used as a table.

Inside the room is a skinny white kid named Alvin, who asks if they’re joining. He seems excited and says the club has only one member left, himself. He seems evasive when asked what happened to the old club members. He gets out a really old ledger book, with club members names in it and adds Victoria and Tobi’s names. Everyone notices red X’s and dashes next to certain names, and Alvin says that they’re notifications about the current status of former club members, for example, red X’s are members who left on bad terms. He then talks a bit about how the club investigates weird occult stuff, and that they run the StrangeShitatSchool.com website. He also mentions he’s a junior, and the club archivist, responsible for converting the old paper files to a digital format. The girls and Rufus then take an inventory of the club’s stuff. There’s a half copy of a book title Der Vyrmiis Mysteriious, which Rufus senses Wyrm taint on, a half illegible book called Keys to the Twilight Vault, a copy of Tobin’s Spirit Guide, a fake Necronomicon, and a untitled journal of an 18th Century vampire hunter. There’s also a copy of the Lex Infernalis in Latin, which also has Wyrm taint on it.

There’s also weird board game from Black Dog Game Factory, a game that Rufus senses gives off a weird mix of Wyrm and Wyld taint. It’s called Annie and depicts a tied up little girl in wild west clothes being pulled along by a rope through a blizzard. Rufus looks through the box and it’s a board game/card game combo, with all sorts of weird west style cards in it. The purpose seems to be to rescue the girl from her kidnappers, but the environment and encounters seem stacked against the players. Rufus tries to get Alvin’s attention about the game, but Alvin instead breaks down and blubs about how lonely he is and he needs hugs. Tobi feels he’s very bi-polar and needy. Victoria thinks he’s just needy. Tobi opens another closet and there’s monster hunting gear ( Current List of Club Items)in an old, classic steamer trunk. There’s also a poster on the wall for the death metal band “Knights of Gormathond” and a poster for the last Rap-Apocalypse from Black Pharaoh Productions, feature lead rapper Brotha’ Paine. Rufus also discovers a small rosewood box holding two fetishes as well. The trio then decided to spend some time taking stock of the club, and Alvin.

The New School Year
Can this school get any more evil?

Its a new school year at Warren #20 Middle and High School, so every one is preparing for a fun school year. Pools are already starting on how many cheerleaders are going to die ‘accidentally’, how many students will ‘disappear’, how many drug dealers will be brutally murdered, which ghost stories will haunt the campus, and who will you take to the prom, if the prom is held this year after last year’s unfortunate axe murder incident. The new Principal, Ms. Zenobia Kilgore, welcomes all new students and hopes to have a fun and productive school year.

View From Below

This campaign area will be for any future campaigns dealing with Dark City that don’t involve the meta plot. It revolves around a group of characters working for an agency that skirts around and investigates the fringes of the supernatural aspect of the City. Character types allowed will be ghouls, revenants, dhamphyrs, sorcerers, kinfolk, Orpheans, mortal vampire hunters, imbued Hunters, and plain old mortals. Organizations that may serve as the framework for the campaign are Zero Options, of course, but the Orpheus Foundation is also a good choice, as would be working for the City Police Department’s Division 10. Another idea would be working for either the Arcanum or the group of mortal hunters called the St. James Society, or even as young members of the Crypt and Chalice Society. The idea of the campaign is to focus on case based investigations and the idea of coming across the fringes of supernatural control and dealing with it. I’d also consider another school based campaign at Warren #20 but only with lower powered characters.
As for straight up supernaturals, a high Gen vampire of no lower than 12th Gen, a Bastet, or a Mage limited in Sphere level MAY be approved, but only if there’s a very good story idea behind it.

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.