Detroit, Dresden Style

Detorit City Maddness!?!
Part I

Our adventure starts with Detroit moving even closer to it’s own demise. One individual interested in seeing who is in the front seat is Bert Cross. Bert was able to pick up on some usually property acquisitions. Knowing a up and coming Real Estate Broker, Charles Lemuix they decide to meet for coffee. Charles on his way to meet Bert receives a interesting call from “Stan” someone who seems to be more well informed on Charles latest job failure then Charles does, with an odd warning he meets with Bert. They soon discover that Charles last business bust and Bert’s reporting nose are leading them to the same place. Trying to find more info Charles suggest calling DA that has been hounding (literally and figuratively) Charles as of late. While Charles was able to clear his name there still seems to be tension between them. Charles not wanting to send bad vibes toward Bert steps outside to participate in the dying hobby of smoking. Outside Charles meets up with Father Dondarian, who oddly enough knows Bert as well. Father Dondarian while shaking Charles hands senses something that Charles may not realize as of yet. They enter the Majestic again to figure out what their next strategy.

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Wait ... how'd you get here?

Game Notes — January, 8th

- 4 mths after ending of spider-queen affair
– Chuck has eyes have been opened up to the wider world so he’s processing that and the idea he may not be entirely (or even a bit) normal … but … gotta keep closing those deals
– Dondarion has ramped up his investigations and rooted out several evils while tending to his flock
– Winter is now upon the city

Grimes
The Maid invades Grimes consciousness to summon him to her court in the nether area accessible in the dark tunnels of the old Detroit subway station
– Delivered with her unique style of condescension, brusqueness, and general indifference (but never irony) the Maid informs Grimes that there have been disturbing dark magic’s in her playground and he was to fix this
– When asking for more information he is hit with a torrent of images, sounds, etc. to sort out when he recovers

Dondarion
Father Dondarion receives a text message from his mentor, Father Adrian, to meet him at a park in Adrian’s neighbourhood without being followed and without telling anyone
– An increasingly agitated Dondarion waits for 45 minutes in a growing snowstorm and not even beating up a drug-dealer can lift his spirits as he heads back to his parish wondering what happened to his mentor who is generally mysterious but usually polite about it

Chuck
- With a big deal threatened to fall thru due beaucratic crap and no electricians willing to brave the blizzardy night, Chuck heads out an abandoned mansion in the suburbs to deal with an supposed inspection oversight
– When there, senses something like a smell but isn’t quite that leads him down into the dark, partially-finished basement where he encounters an almost imperceptible sound that is still, to his ears, clearly that of a person in anguish
– Following the sound leads Chuck to a what appears to be an earthen wall where without really knowing why he begins to dig/almost-claw into it with his hands to get at the sound
– Surprisingly this reveals not only a full door, but that the earth wall appearance was only an illusion that has dropped itself somehow due to his instinctual? actions
– Inside Chuck finds a bruised and cut man in tattered clothes huddled in a corner moaning in pain and muttering nonsense in fear. The broken man, Michael, has signs of belonging to Father Dondarion’s order.

Dondarion
- Opon his return to his parish, Father Dondarion, is told that two of his special order are awaiting him in his office. There he finds Father Reynard (somewhat senior in the knights) and Father Vincenzo (unknown to him). Father Reynard tells him that the Knights are growing complacent and corrupt and there needs to be a leadership change. A group of bold members have organized in secret and mean to enact that change and they want him to join them.
– Father Dondarion agrees to meet the groups mysterious leader at an undisclosured location and the 3 of them leave in a car driven by a rather large “chaffeur”.
– Reynard and Vincenzo remain tight-lipped about where they are going, details of the group, or what they will do when they get to their destination
– Father Dondarion’s night grows even more strange and worrying when Chuck calls him and tells him about finding Michael and asking whether Father Dondarion knows him. Dondario does not know Michael but has heard of his recruitment into the knights and that he is an impressive and steadfastly dedicated member.
– The ride grows more and more uncomfortable, the two seem very interested in Dondarion’s mentor’s whereabouts, until they arrive at an abandoned mansion in the wealthy suburbs of Detroit. The same house that Chuck happens to be at.

Grimes
– With a combination of mystical soul searching, google earth, and a giant bottle of extra strength tylenol, Grimes decodes the message from the Maid and grabs a cab out ot the wealthy suburbs in the gathering blizzard.
– After being ripped off by a particularly unscrupulous cabby, Grimes is dropped at the end of the laneway for the abandoned mansion.
– Half-way down the drive, he is met a large, rough-looking character in a suit who flatly tells Grimes that he has the wrong address and needs to turn around now. Attempts at conversation go nowhere fast and Grimes decides that he better try the stealth approach, so he heads back up the street and circles around to the back when the goon has headed back down the driveway

Chuck
– Upon hearing the car carrying Father Dondarion and the 3 other mystery men arrive and realizing the way to his car is blocked, Chuck rushed Michael upstairs into one of the bedrooms to hide.
– Having some more time to speak with and examine Michael, Chuck learned that Michael had been likely captive for weeks and possibly used in strange rituals. However, for certain, and repeatedly he had been subjected to some strange powers or techniques that caused him to experience unbearable levels of negative emotions — fear, hate, etc. — by some of his captors ( “the pretty ones” ) that seem to greatly enjoy it. Although Michael had some cuts and bruises, it is this pyschological torture that has seemd to cause most the damage.

Dondarion
– While Chuck hid upstairs and Grimes circled around to the back of the house, Father Dondarion waits with the 3 others in the spacious living room at the bottom of the stairs that Chuck fled up.
– Dondarion continues to attempt to squeeze out more information but, if anything, Reynard and Vincenzo, have become even more tight-lipped after they hear the master will be longer than expected due to the blizzard.
– The bodyguard is sent out to speak with Grimes’ in the driveway and Dondarion intently watches Vincenzo at the window who will give the signal to either kill the unwanted guest or let him leave alive. Luckily Grimes, is nothing if unthreatening and the decision is to let him leave without arousing suscipion.
– After passing some unseen texts back-and-forth, Father Dondarion and Chuck, agree to meet in the washroom upstairs and Dondarion excuses himself.
– The two discuss the strange and dangerous situation as well as how to escape it for as long as they’re able before Dondarion will be missed downstairs. When Dondarion prepares to leave his subconcious finally figures out what has been bothering him the whole conversation — Chuck’s shadow does not match what the light-sources should be creating. When he points this out, the shadow changes shape and flees out the room. The two have been discovered.

Grimes
- Once burned, twice shy they say and when you’re been burned as many times as Grimes, you’re very cautious – Grimes discovers a nasty ward placed on the backdoor. After dispelling it and avoiding becoming a withered husk, he races the front and upstairs just after the two fathers and the goon have been informed by the shadow and they are heading upstairs to deal with Dondarion’s unexpected guests.

A quick but deadly combat ensues full of exciting moments:
– The father’s being to sling all manner of nasty spells including withering black tentacles
- Chuck scares away the goon with just the force of his glare (the power-tie probably helped)
– Dondarion is blinded and choked by the shadow’s form engulfing his head and then stabbed in the gut by the Father Reynard wicked-looking curved, glowing dagger
– Dondarion channels the fury of god before falling unconscious and blasts the shadow off his head and into the night.
– Grimes counter-spells a big blast from Father Reynard and turns it back on him, incapacitating him

Where we left off:
- Group is still upstairs in the moments after the last attacker went down or fled — the two fathers are incapicitated, the shadow’s condition is unknown, and the goon fled down the stairs about 30 seconds ago.
- Group has heard the sound of several large cars / suvs coming down the laneway — could this be the long promised arrival of the mysterious master?
- Father Dondarion has a moderate consequence knife wound in his stomach — deep but missed vital organs. he will awaken quickly but needs to keep pressure on and will be bothered by the pain for a session.
- Chuck as a moderate consequence bullet wound in his shoulder — passed straight threw but his left arm will be difficult to use for a session.
- Grimes is very annoyed by the whole situation, including the $30 he paid to come out here
- Michael is rapidly alternating between muttering panic and frozen in terror

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Okay we're leaving alright, what's the problem?
Pull up your pants

Events

- With the sound of several vehicles approaching down the driveway the blood is stemmed very quickly from Chuck and Dondarion’s bullet and knife wounds, the four of them escaped out the side window onto the icy roof of the 8 car garage.

- Unfortunately even god could not help Dondarion navigate climbing down a slick, angled roof … in a blizzard … so soon after taking an 8-inch knife wound and in a tangle mass of limbs they hit the snow in front of the garage.

- Bad guys can be dumb but not that dumb and they are heard by the last ones entering, prompting the 4 gun wielding ones to pour out of the door. A quick thinking Grimes ices up the steps and takes all down, some with sickening and satisfying bone crunching breaks. However, two new members to the party — a man and woman jump over the 15m sheet of ice with ease and turn to the group as they pile into the car.

- Channeling a terrorized Mario Andretti, Chuck keeps control of the car in terrible blizzard conditions … mostly (he only took out 1/2 the gate) and they can see their escape. The requisite guns are blazing from some of the goons but that’s not the real problem — one of the hooded newcomers is gathering a huge fireball between his arms to hurl and the man and woman are now catching up to the car even as it crests 40 km.

- The fireball washes over the car ruining the wax jobs and doing a number on the electronics.

- Quickly putting out his eyebrows, Grimes squeezes off a shot from the magnum and hits the racing woman solidly in the should. She spins and disappears into the snow on the shoulder.

- Chuck decides to use an even bigger weapon and draws the pursuing man in close then slams on the breaks. The freak of nature almost manages to leap over the car to avoid collision but his lower legs are clipped and flies end-over-end over the car and lands with a thud in front of it. After the car struck him, Dondarion notes that a pile of black ichor or venom was forced out of his mouth but the impact but it was quick and couldn’t identify.

- Grimes steps out and blasts away at the body to no effect but Dondarion notices that the woman has surprising gotten up and is bearing down on the group with fury. They decide that discretion is the better part of valor and speed off in the singed and battered Lexus.

- The adrenaline of the escape quickly gives way to the realization that two members are still suffering from recent knife and bullet wounds and that they are accompanied by a former priest reduced to a glibbering madman. Grimes decides that this situation is right up Artemis alley and give him call. Artemis is even more gruff than usual ( he has been trying to divert a city-wide manhunt against an unknown serial vigilante — him ) and cannot be connected to their situation at all. Chuck requests connection to someone capable of patching them up discreetly and Artemis complies.

- The group meet a surprisingly friendly and pleasant (especially for 3 a.m. in a blizzard) Dr. Sharon Williams at the county morgue. She takes them inside and proceeds to patch up the wounds.

- The excitement dying down, Grimes notices he has felt an strange unease about Dondarion’s knife wound and he checks it in the nether. There he finds that Dondarion has been magically poisoned, a poison that will consume him in days if not dealt with. Grimes pushes his magical abilities and manages to suck the poison from the wound.

- Then it was a requisite stop after encountering something just too weird for words — Madame’s coffee shop. Unfortunately she had little to offer from the various, small pieces of information they had so far (or she just wanted to get back to her customers?). But she did offer to put them in contact with one of the most knowledgeable wizards she knew in case he could tell them something about the situation given its apparent connection to the dark arts. The group heads out to Father Dondarion’s parish to ask some questions.

- After interrogating a confused Sister Margaret at the two men who arrived at midnight and finding no additional evidence at his church, he leads the group into the inner city and to Father Adrian’s modest church. Where Sister Agnes is again asked about Adrian’s whereabouts without luck but Dondarion does uncover something while scouring his mentors office. Some folded notes, stashed in the front of Father Adrian’s favourite bible that raise questions about various possibilities for a strange vibe he’s been getting from his recent investigations — the vampires (conjectures on all 3 courts), one of the fallen?, winter court, were all possibilities he had scribbled down as possible behind-the-shadows reasons.
– meanwhile, while waiting for the good Father to return noticed that the church’s candles with dimming and “flaring” just at the edge of perception. They seemed to be following some pattern but definitely not a regular as the brightness grouping would slowly sweep one way then the other. After a minutes, it stopped completely.

- Grimes and Dondarion headed out to speak with Madame Love’s contact while Chuck stayed.

Currently …

- Grimes and Dondarion have just finished their greatest challenge — a 15 minute conversation with Bobbie (15-yr-old wizard prodigy and mall-gangsta-wannabe) that didn’t end in a smack and old man proclamation to pull up his pants and put his cap on straight. Bobbie listed the creatures he knows that are physically capable of looking human and doing what they man and woman did — “werewolves, vampires, demons (who knows what they can do), greater dragons (but they would have just ripped the car in 2), oh and Fallen and Angels I suppose (depending on which way you’re swinging), . But the ichor, I dunno, that definitely sounds demonic or maybe red vampire. The whole crazy emotion thing this guy Mike is talking about, that’s classic white vampire I suppose but could be demons or fallen too. But heck, maybe this is just some powerful faerie messing with you guys?”

- Chuck has remained behind at the Father Adrians’s church to see if/when the strange man who was earlier in the morning asking if Father Adrian had returned.

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So ... who brought the hooker?

Events

- As Chuck waited patiently to spring his trap on the man who had coming for them earlier at Father Adrian, Sister Mary alerted him to a suspicious looking vehicle across the street. It became more suspicious as it was the same type of high-goon-capacity, black SUV that had arrived at the abandoned mansion the night before. While wondering what to do, Sister Mary suggested he go out the side door into the area where he could make his escape unseen. Ah Nuns, so helpful. What crap! Chuck learned as the door was slammed shut on him and he saw the alley was a dead end. The alerted gang of thugs blocked the other end with the SUV and piled out to capture (or kill, gulp) Chuck.

- Meanwhile, Grimes and Dondarion were rolling back with their newly learned info that was painfully gained from Bobbie (wizard-extraordinare yo). Would they get there in time?

- Seeing he was heavily outnumbered Chuck didn’t fight back as he was held fast by one large man and then worked over a bit and questioned by the cultist. However, Chuck’s incredible presence and coolness under pressure came through and he managed to give them pause with an intimidating bluff. Two of the goons even started to panic and wanted to leave fearing repercussion. However, the cultist was winning the debate and it appeared he might eventually succeeded in getting people back on track and taking Chuck in (after beating him up some more). As the one, on-side goon restrained Chuck and began to pull him into the SUV, Chuck slipped out the desert Eagle and fired a surprised shot to take out the goon. All hell broke lose as a livid Sister Mary bursting through the door exclaiming, “Why the fuck can’t you idiots kill this guy” and began to sling dark magic.

- But all heaven was about to arrive as Grimes and Dondarion raced to the alley after hearing the shot. After some proclamations on top of the SUV, Dondarion charged the nun and took her out with a garbage can (not quite Captain America, but he tries). Grimes slang’ed a spell of his own then downgraded to fists for a few good shots. Soon two goons had fled and one goon and Sister Mary were subdued.

- The new time-honored tradition of interrogating a villain/henchmen/random-unfortunate every session continued as they worked over the cultist and goon in their … unique style. They were not forthcoming, but an unlabelled phone number was found, that when looked up pointed to Martin Ford — one of the lower ranking but still rich and powerful Ford clan. The White Council wizards popped-in and teleported away with the dark magic user for his (likely quick) trial. The goon, Frankie, was released (or so he thought) after Chuck ensured his silence.

- What do you do after a lively interrogation? Why an exorcism of course. Being one of his favourite activities to pass the time, Dondarion has the act done pat and within 2 hrs, Sister Mary was unconscious and hopefully bearing a buffed and waxed soul.

- Not knowing which of his several residences that Martin Ford was at, the 3 decide to call on Frankie (since they’re chums now) and, it turns out, his mother at the goon’s home. With some urging, Frankie decided to come out and play and drove the group to where he was supposed to deliver Chuck — the exclusive, well-guarded Bayside condominium complex (secretly owned by the Ford clan). They lied their way past the speaker/camera at the guard gate by claiming to have a the call-girl that Mr. Martin requested.

- Now they just need to find said call-girl … in the 50 meters between the driveway and the front-desk guarding the elevators.

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Frankie Goes to Weirdwood

- Despite not having the promised prostitute, and lacking the supplies to make Grimes a convincing disguise, it seems any doubt in their scheme and guile was misplaced as the lobby guards passed them through and into the elevator without incident. But then it quickly became apparent the doubt was fully justified as Martin Ford stopped the elevator and, under threat of who knows what he could do them in an enclosed box 100’s of feet in the air, invited them to make talk not war. To which they warily agreed.

- After a long cagey conversation filled with “you show me yours …” manoeuvres, Martin finally put his cards on the table and admitted he was a White Court vampire in exchange for their open-mindedness. During the surprising pleasant conversation (hey there was expensive alcohol even), they learned:
– Martin seems to know a lot about Chuck
– Martin seems to have had surveillance on the same individual who ran down their car the other night (and seemed only slight annoyed by being run over by a car … twice). The surveillance was being carried out by a private investigator operating out of the seedy side of town who reported in every few days but was late in doing so.
– According to Martin, the man is actually a red court vampire — Klaus Hemmer — ranking fairly high in the Detroit organization and has a severely hawkish bent when it comes to escalating the war between the red and white courts. The woman from that night is his sister, also a red court vampire.
– Therefore, Martin’s theory about the emotion-linked tortures that Father Michael had gone through, although seemingly White Court vampire modus operandi, were the results of a ruse by the Red Court / Cultists to divert any opposition away from them and towards their enemies (i.e. the Whites). Of course, it’s just as likely that Martin’s theory is a ruse to pit the 3 against the Red Court without cause …. isn’t it? Or maybe it’s all trickery by the re-animated Colonel Sanders to disguise his motor city power grab …
– Martin had no idea about the cultists.

- The group leaves Bayside Towers and decides to find this private dick and pump him for …. wait let’s start again. They decide to go speak with Raymond Flint about his findings.

- Unfortunately, for everyone involved, they find Raymond Flint very dead in his office. The body’s condition clearly points to either someone with alot of determination, time, and anger issues or a supernatural capable of ripping up a body through brute strength. Keeping down their dinners, they get to the task of digging up any useful information in the mess of papers in the office.

- The frustration for all the searchers’ mounted quickly as nothing was turning up, but Grimes was further compounded by the fear he was finally losing his mind. He heard a voice continually requested help and explanations as to why he was ignoring him, but he couldn’t see the asker in the office. Grimes shifted to weirdo-vision and saw that Raymond’s ghost was still tied to his office and able to communicate with him.

- Grimes cast a spell to allow Raymond’s ghost to become visible to the whole group and he eagerly answered all there questions. Turns out Klaus had been meeting with all the cultists all over town and disappearing into various locations for hours on end. Raymond indicated a map of the locations (including the abandoned mansion they had been attacked at) but couldn’t figure a pattern to any of the varied locations. Dondarion saw a pattern immediately — connecting the dots made a pentagram except for one missing point. Some quick research revealed that point to be a shut-down chemical factory on the outskirts of town.

- Eagerly our 3 heroes set out to figure out what the hell is going on, stop it, and (if they have time) free Raymond’s soul from staring at his mutilated body for all eternity. They head straight to the chemical plant, scoff at the various bio-hazard signs, and scramble over the fence to investigate the various buildings and get to the bottom of things.

- Two unfortunate things compounded to turn the day even worse. First, a priest, a real estate agent, and a … (does Grimes have a job?) are not as ninja-stealthy as you’d think. Second, this location seems to be much more important to the bad guys than the house. Instead of also being unguarded, it turns out to be very guarded. Two auto-rifled, body-armored guards seal off one end of narrow walkway between two tanks while two more seal off the other. A quick thinking grimes conjures a local blizzard that allows them to push past the guards and make a break across an open stretch to one of the factories’ buildings. Unfortunately, two snipers had been previously warned to be on the look-out for them and rapidly fired off shoots … seems like the cult isn’t as willing to talk things out as Martin. Yeah White Vampires …

- The session ends with the gang pinned down and wounded — Chuck has been shot in the ass (moderate physical wound), Dondarion has a shoulder bullet wound that has rendered it unusable (Serious physical wound), and Grimes has a minor headache from spell casting. Just how are they going to get out of this one?

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A Kidnapping Most Foul!

After a a most awful winter and a attempted demonic invasion of the city of Detroit. Our heroes try to recover from their adventure. But like all things, peace and quite does not last long and an emergency situation soon arrived.

Enjoying a warm beer in a dirty glass. Grimes soon was found by resident wizard Billy! Billy in his annoying manner soon let him know about a situation at the Majestic. Getting the crew together minus Chuck, who is on sabbatical. They discovered two bodies in the cafe, but no Madam Love. With assistants from Raymond (RETCON who was brought there to help pass on to the other side with help of Billy). They discovered while one the one body who was shot was a frequent customer of the Majestic. That the other was a thug who was killed by a what could be deduced to be a sharp blade. The thug had a tattoo which Father Dundrian found to be that of a Red Court Vampire Clan, but not one he is familiar with. Going to the back they found two more thugs with similar tattoos. quickly freezing and de-legging the thugs. Billy was able to let everyone know they were Thralled. By what it was not determined, but assumption would be Red Court. To their shocking discovery an elderly man by the name of Eldrick came in to the shocking scene. A male friend of Madam Love, they were able to find out that one of last people that she meet before this mess was a Rastafarian male who seemed to put off the lovely Madam Love. Investigating a lady of the night next it was determined that another person also entered. This one looking like a matrix character reject. Going back to the scene they soon discovered the thrall bodies gone and Artemis nose and blood soon lit up. Ghouls had arrived.

Following the scent of the Ghouls they discovered a bloody trail that led to three ghouls finishing what was left of the thralls. While things looked bleak, with Grimes and Artemis quickly freezing/killing one of the ghouls. The other two fled. While Artemis wanted to peruse even more he was convinced not to. Going back they found the police finally arrived to look at the bloody murder scene (5 hours after the fact). Following Eldrick to Madam Loves apartment they found a name, Eric McCullough, circled in red. Also a hit on the people Artemis took photos of. They hang-out at a emo-dance club.

What to do…what to do!

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