Logs:The Raven King -- Waterfront Mysteries
|The Raven King -- Waterfront Mysteries|
How many building fires burn in a perfect circle?
|Dramatis Personae|| |
27 December, 2017
Amastacia and Aurore go to one of the burned out buildings at the Waterfront that was burned in the arson attack to collect more info.
Burned out building at the Waterfront
Scene: Darkness once again envelopes the town of Fallcoast and two lone figures sneak their way into an abandoned and recently torched building in search of answers. The Historical Waterfront district of the town is quite busy with people and cars going this way and that as the holidays are still fresh on people's minds. Four buildings were torched around the city on the same night: one in Moosetown, one in University City, another on the Historic District and the last is the Waterfront. The building is a three-story brick structure that once held a small insurance company a few years ago. Recently abandoned, prior to its burning, the structure did not have boards on its windows and doors as the owner was hopeful to lease it out quickly. However, due to the arson, they've had to seal off all of the ground-level openings with large sheets of plywood.
Kitty corner from the burned out building sits a black car of some renown, a Mclaren P1 formula car, and inside sits one Acanthus. The passenger seat has a small satchel bag unzipped at the moment, a weathered looking book with Atlantean runes scrawled down the spine, several candles and pieces of chalk, a few vials of various ingredients dedicated to Arcana amd labeled "Bottle of fate" or "Vial of time" in black sharpie over white masking tape. Last but not least the silver gleam of a Colt M1911, which Amastacia pulls out, gently pulling back the slide to make sure it is loaded before putting it back into the bag.
On the Mage's lap sit a deck of cards, but no ordinary cards, well weathered and hand drawn tarot card that look at least a decade old. She turns to these now, gently shuffling them between her hands as she closes her eyes and begins to weave an Imago. As the woman sees herself approaching the building in her mind she mumbles in arcane words, ancient Atlantean that to her is a pray to the Loom, that favor be found upon her actions this day. She pulls a card from the deck as she finishes her invoking and pushes her Will against the Weave.
Meanwhile in another part of town a grey and white tabby cat is presenting directions and guidance to her charge, leading the human towards its Master for their meeting.
Aurore and Kaitlyn the cat-form familiar arrive in a battered old Land Rover - the aged, British-made vehicle clearly having spent years doing some serious off-road work, rather than ever having been a fashionable suburban SUV. She's clad wholly in black, though at least the season and time of day combine to make that rather less unusual than it might otherwise be. Not having been told of any physical danger in this trip, she has not stopped off to acquire supplies from any of the armouries to which she has access... though her pack contains her ritual gear and a few basic exploratory supplies, including a crank-powered flashlight.
Initially, the native settles for simply assessing her array of unconventional senses: Kaitlyn is a constant 'ping' as a close-by spirit, but she is keen to passively check up on other oddities. An initial reading taken, she then leans over to delve into her bag, coming up with a candle, a crystal, and a ribbon - with which she performs a simple meditation, to assess the site via Scrying.
Scene: The building is dimly lit and that's only by the occasional passing pair of headlights or possibly some ambient glow from a nearby building. There appear to be no unobstructed entrances but this is the front view - one never knows what's possible around back. The night's sky is a haze of light pollution and random spots of light which could be stars or just the passing of an aircraft. Winter is heavy on the wind with breezes blasting icy breaths in from the coast.
With that spell done the tarot deck is shuffled one more time and then stuck into the bag. She zips it up and grabs ahold of the strap before lifting open the driver's door and stepping into the frigid air. Amastacia settles the satchel so that it rests against her left hip, her black leather jacket done up against the wind, hair pulled into a bun hidden under a red woolen knit beanie and patiently awaits the arrival of whom she had invited. As the presence of her familiar Kaitlyn becomes stronger the Acanthus looks up and spies the Land Rover, but waits for the occupant to step out, rubbing her own hands together in the cold as she eyes the building they are going to attempt to enter. While studying the various boarded up entrances the Acanthus blinks her eyes a few times rapidly while opening up her Pattern to the intricacies of Arcadia, letting the strange web of connections and destiny like golden threads blur over the Fallen World.
Fortunately, Scrying is - by thaumaturgic standards - *blisteringly* fast... so Aurore is kept busy with it for little more than a minute. Frowning pensively, she tucks away her accoutrements before flashing a smile to Kaitlyn, then stepping down and out of her rugged lump of a car. Tugging her woollen hat firmly down on her head, she hunches slightly into the cold as she locks up the car (after making sure that Kaitlyn had indeed exited it), then moves towards Amastacia... or 'Lucy', as she has been introduced. "You know the best places to take a girl on a night out," she informs the Mage. "There's a permanent weakening of mundane 'reality' in there. And... spirits are both present and active in the vicinity. No ghostly presence or activity that I can detect. Similarly, the only 'high magic' I can sense is on you."
Amastacia blinks at Aurore a few times, purses her lips, blinks a few more times. A glance to the cat that has settled its rump on the snow beside Aurore's boot and stares up at Amastacia with a rather cat like smug look of 'Nope'. The Acanthus shakes her head and returned her attention to Aurore, "Well at least... some things are made clear but.... we might have to have a more detailed talk than what I wanted..." She sighs again and motions at the building while she imagines in her mind's eye a man having come by, trying desperately to pry open a way into the building but having lost his tool in the process and pushes that Will out into the world. After her awkward silence she looks back to Aurore, "You take one direction I take the other, meet in the back?'
That moment of silence for the Sleeper pings once more those Unseen sense of the Awakened world, though what it was does not become apparent as Lucy starts walking towards the building, Kaitlyn waiting patiently by Aurore's side until the Native moves as well. As Amastacia makes her way about the building she is looking about not at the windows or entrances but nearby in the snow until as she reaches the back corner she spots the gleam pf metal sticking out of a clump of snow and reaches down to produce a cold short handled crowbar.
Aurore manages to avoid looking *overtly* smug until Amastacia/Lucy departs... at which point the native cracks a broad grin for Kaitlyn's benefit. "I probably enjoy doing that sort of thing *far* too much," she murmurs to the spirit-cat. "So, you're my bodyguard, huh? C'mon - let's see what we can see...."
In Aurore's case, that's precious little of any use, the little puddle of light provided by her crank-powered tech doing more to put shadows into starker contrast than to illuminate anything helpful. "I think I've found us a stray cat," she observes quietly to Kaitlyn, peering off into the gloom in the direction of a pile of rubble. "Not seeing much else, though those spirits are still around."
Kaitlyn promptly follows Aurore, sniffing about but letting the humans do the investigative work, she knows how fragile their poor egos are. "Yes though perhaps they will leave us alone since I am here. I think I smell fish..." the tabby starts digging about in the rubble and produces an old dented tuna can that it begins packing around as a trophy.
Meanwhile Amastacia comes about the back end of the building twirling the crowbar as she spots a board that looks ripe for the picking, already pre-wedged open, though the Acanthus waits for Aurore to arrive before she moves forward.
In spite of the cute distraction provided by Kaitlyn and her can, Aurore does indeed reach the same spot and reach the same conclusion about the board already having been 'adjusted' to allow access - and politely/oh-so-heroically invites Amastacia to lead the way inside. She does, however, tag along behind... all her full array of senses quivering apprehensively as she heads into somewhere she already knows is *odd*.
Amastacia peers at Kaitlyn, "What didn't she feed you?" but the tone is light as she giggles. Stepping up.to the boarded opening Lucy nudges it with her crowbar then begins the process of crawling through after throwing the crowbar inside.
The familiar waits for both two-legs ro climb in before following after still packing her can.
Scene: Finally inside the building, the first thing that occurs to both of the investigators is that it’s dark - seriously dark. All of the windows and doors on the ground floor have been covered by thick, plywood boards and the only gap in that would be the tiny space of the board which they entered through. Without external light, either natural, technological or otherwise, there’s no seeing what’s around them. The space, though blind, reeks of burned wood and all of the associated smells after a building has burned. The odd sound of something scurrying around on one of the above floors breaks the muffled sounds from outside.
Aurore takes care maneuvering inside, not wanting to spill any of her ritual kit (or rip her clothes, for that matter)... but once inside she cranks up her flashlight a bit more, inwardly regretting that she *hadn't* 'borrowed' a set of night-vision gear from the Vigil's resources at The Kennel. Still, as her hand works on (marginally) improving the lighting, she closes her eyes... trying to identify in which general direction(s) the various spirits and active numina use might be found.
Scene: Aurore's flashlight brilliantly illuminates what appears to have been the rear storeroom of the old insurance company that was located on the ground floor. Old metal shelves are bolted to the wall on both sides of the room and the door ahead of you is closed. Newspaper is strewn here and there on the floor as if they were once stacked neatly but were knocked over either in the blaze or in the attempts to suppress the fire. The room is roughly ten foot from side to side and twenty feet long with the door on the opposite side. A drop ceiling of partially-insulating tiles hang precariously above your head.
...And then, as Aurora swishes her light to the other side of the room you spy a thick, congealed substance dripping from a top the tallest shelf. The material is slimy in consistency and nearly transparent with an oddly green hue. Drip. Drip. It slowly falls to the floor and onto some of the newspapers below.
The cat sits down and starts licking at the can it has collected but does eye the goo somewhat, sharing mentally with Amastacia that it needn't be something she concern this investigation with but remains silent to Aurore on the matter.
Amastacia meanwhile opens her satchel and digs about for one of her candles, then pulls a Bic from her pocket to light it, she was old fashioned in some senses. Leaning down once the wick is going she retrieves the crowbar from the ground and tucks it into the satchel's strap across her chest. "I need to find where it started, Kaitlyn you know what to do." Cupping her hand about the flame she begins making her way towards the door she had spied earlier in the cone of Aurore's flashlight.
"That might be... well. It sounds dreadfully Ghostbusters, but that might be ectoplasm. Not ghostly, but a... side-effect of something forcing its way through what is often termed the Gauntlet: the boundary between supposedly mundane reality and the realm of spirits." Aurore sounds wary, and less than delighted, but considerably less creeped out than Mages would tend to be taught that a mere 'Sleeper' should be; she even rises up onto the balls of her feet to get a little more height from which to survey the dripping ooze... though she stays well back from it. "It's possible that there's something in here with us. And if that's still dripping... it came through recently." Looking to the now-moving Amastacia, she arches a brow. "Be careful, okay? And it might be wise to let me handle the talking... if anything's willing to talk."
SCENE: As Amastacia pulls open the door that -should- have lead into the front of the building or possibly into some connecting hall, what she finds is even more blackness. The faint amber light of her candle extends like a bubble around her giving her some idea of what's ahead of her but not necessarily what's below her. The next step would have been straight down to the cold, hard and stony floor of the cellar if she didn't catch herself at the last moment. The door opens up onto a pit - the floor before her burned up and open to the basement below. There appears to be a cylinder of building missing from right ahead of her from the basement, through the first and second floors up to the top. The building has been hollowed by the arson or so it would appear. Those with any structural knowledge might find it odd, however, that the fire - wherever it started burned up, not around. How many building fires burn in a perfect circle? And then...
The window board that was slid upwards a bit to let them slide in comes crashing down to seal them in. Was it the wind or possibly something else.
'*Why...have...you...come...?* a disembodied voice asks of Aurore. The hissy whisper doesn't seem to be emanating from any particular location but a generalized 'near you' as though anyway you might direct your head the voice is coming right behind your ear. For such is the way of spirits.
Amastacia gasps loudly as she stumbles back and catches onto the door frame, the candle spinning downwards, flame winking out and the soft thud of it hitting the bottom. Then she almost leaps down into the pit as the board falls into place, "My goodness above and below what is happening." She looks up and down the shaft then turns back to the room to look at Aurore and Kaitlyn.
The cat seems annoyed, making a hiss as she can also hear this voice and broadcasts in the Spirit Tongue rather than English, "You will make yourself known to me and mine companions, I am Cu're'tah and you will respect -me- and my Awakened brethren."
Aurore is more than a little distracted by the voice in her mind... but does hold out a hand to Amastacia/'Lucy' in case some physical anchoring is required to regain her balance after her mishap. Kaitlyn, she shoots a glance to - before replying in a manner comprehensible to spirits as well, the Natural Medium able to not merely hear but respond to such entities when they choose to initiate contact with her. The result is that her remarkable voice sounds even *more* unusual than it generally does. "We are here to determine what happened in this place, and why," she says. "If we are trespassing upon your proper territory, then we can offer recompense. But a parley would be welcome."
SCENE: ...and the candle tumbles from Amastacia's hand in her quick attempt to catch herself. She's now caught in whatever darkness or shadows left by the edge of Aurore's flashlight's cone. Below, in the empty blackness of the building’s subterranean level, the hissy-skitterings of ‘something’ or ‘somethings’ can be heard as though the tumbling of the candle woke up dozens of cat-sized cockroaches.Thankfully, however, there’s no light to confirm or disprove the existence of such creatures.
'*This is our new feeding ground, Cu’re’tah. Do not let your brethren come too close lest they be mistaken as our food* The hissy-skittering starts to grow louder - possibly from a faint whisper to that of an actual murmur. *We know not what opened the door but we are glad of the new lands for our young*
Amastacia figures something more up Aurore's sleeve is happening and defers to her as she reaches back into her satchel and pulls out the book, "You got this yeah? Just point your light this way and buy me a few mintues okay?" Lucy turns about back to the open doorway, opening up the book and starting to paw through it from memory where the spell she is searching for is inscribed but then holding it up so when the light is brought her way she can begin studying the arcane rights.
The Weave however is unyielding and fights, but the Guardian must not let this future come to pass nor will she allow her mistakes to hurt the Veil and thus as she pokes a hole in the tapestry she pays the price with a nasty bruise across her face as if she had been slapped the day before.
And just like that the spirit had not spoken, Aurore had not warned her, there was time to get away now. Lucy turns, pulls the crowbar from the strap and runs for the boarded window, repeating out loud almost yelling the exact details Aurore had just said, or would have said if the present were the future she left behind, "We need to leave now, I don't have any preparations for this, they are bone eaters and have been feasting on bodies, and I guess they can maybe fly but we gotta go."
Aurore, at least, feels a surge of World-Breaker magic as the world finishes its reset - which provides at least one possible explanation for quite how 'Lucy' is abruptly spouting warnings and information. "I think they're *all* on the material side now," she agrees worriedly, as she turns to hurry back to help with re-opening an exit. *Fast*.
(The following scene happened and it didn't. These events were unwritten with a localized time effect)
"Take my hand," Aurore quietly instructs Amastacia, even as she obeys the Mage's instruction and turns her flashlight's beam towards that dark shaft. "Sticking together would be wise." Then she returns most of her focus to the spirits in the vicinity... even while realising unhappily that she can no longer feel their presence via her 'additional' senses, even though she can *hear* them all too close by. "A parley has been requested, and an offering in recompense has been made," she points out to the unseen territory-claimer. "If you wish, I could converse with you in the Shadow-realm, so that you and yours are truly at home. Or we can discuss matters here. We are interested in learning more of what has happened here, if we possibly can, and did not come with the intention of disturbing you."
SCENE: The whispered hissing of chitinous scales across each other is an odd sound on the ears - not exactly comfortable; rather like hearing a room full of dentist’s drill on low speed. *Do not press us so, Hunter. We know not what has happened in this place - only that the breach was large enough for us to pass through. That which made it left us...gifts. Many many gifts.*
More of the skittering can be heard as though the ‘somethings’ were crawling up the sides of the cellar walls - possibly to greet their new guests. *We do not wish you harm but you are so close and smell -SO- good. If you must know our name then we tell you that we are Knochenesser..the Hungry. *
NOTE: These are, if they are to be believed, carnivorous spirits that devour any organic matter they can get their bone-chipped mouths on. They're specifically interested in the bones."
Reverting to mundane English in her (comparatively) normal voice, Aurore looks to Amastacia. "We need to leave *now*, or raise a ward - and I can't get one up fast enough. They're bone-eaters. They've been feasting on bodies," she urgently tells her bipedal companion. "Even Kaitlyn's body's in danger. So open us a route *out* of here. And I think they can fly, as a warning."