Venatori

Securing the Prisoners
The Pack secure the vamp and ghoul (quite literally), and then begin interrogating them

(This is a work-in-progress)

After defeating the ghouls in the junkyard, the pack arrives back at base mostly unscathed. As their first priority is to secure their two prisoners, (someone?) immediately takes the captured vampire ghoul into one of the spare rooms and handcuffs him to a chair. Meanwhile, Vellum takes the unmoving form of the vampire to his lab and enthusiastically begins experimenting on it.

Denton takes Ted bowling and then sleeps.
Vellum takes Natasha out of town.
Lewis heads to the Baker Street warehouse.
Summer keeps watch.
Denton goes into cab driver mode.
Lewis speaks to Adrian.

Back at Hunter and Lictor, Summer, bored after being left alone to watch the prisoners, decides to interrogate the ghoul. She unlocks the door of the makeshift cell and goes inside. The man before her is just coming to and stirs at the sound. He is surprised to find himself handcuffed to a chair but perhaps more surprised at the sight of Summer. Clearly, he was expecting someone taller.
Despite the current situation, Summer is able to use a masterful mix of body language, tone of voice and conveniently forgetting to mention her role at the junkyard, to successfully calm the ghoul and starts to build up a rapport with him. She learns that his name is Chad and that he was a small-time drug dealer before getting involved with the vampires. After some persuasion, Chad agrees to share the location of where the vampires operate from provided the pack can provide him with a blood source in return. Summer agrees and, after telling Chad she’ll let him know when they’ve found one, leaves the room, locking the door behind her.

Vellum investigates Mr Jack.
Denton meets whatshisname at the airport, and takes him to an architecture trade event.
The rest of the pack discuss things, and then speak to Chad.

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Scrapheap Challenge
The Pack fight vampires and ghouls in a junk-yard showdown

Denton runs stealthily towards the crane, keeping low.

Summer & Lewis raise buff spells and sense a strange, baleful energy coiling around the hearts of the Vampires.

Vellum jinxes the engine of the Vamp’s car with his left-handed spanner rote and casts a spell to sense the presence of cordite, discerning that the people in the car are armed.

Summer leaps out, shifts to gauru form in mid-air and lands on the bonnet of the Vamp’s car (to their shock).

Lewis dives out, slams the van door (which bounces open) and runs at a tangent to flank opposite Vellum.

Vellum jumps out of the driver-side door and jinxes the pistol of Vamp1 (the driver).

Vamps start shooting at Summer (Vamp2 putting a bullet through her hand, Vamp1’s gun jams).

The Ghoul opens the driver-side back door, ducking down and firing a couple of shots that narrowly miss Summer.

Denton reaches crane, jumps into the cab and casts a silence spell.

Summer pulls Vamp2 through the windscreen and begins biting his neck.

Vellum swings his halberd at Vamp1, smashing the blade into his skull and incapacitating him.

The Ghoul in back uses celerity to run round behind their car, keeping low and racing towards cover.

Lewis hares after ghoul (powering up his own celerity) and tackles him, slamming him into the side of a scrap car.

Denton switches on the engine of the crane and starts to swing it around towards the fight.

Summer continues to overpower Vamp2 with ferocious strength and begins devouring him as he struggles, drinking in the dark and potent essence in his blood.

Vellum runs towards the Ghoul and Lewis, using celerity to keep up with their unnatural speed.

Lewis and the Ghoul brawl in a dirty fight; elbows and knees are rammed into faces and guts, the two struggle and grapple, preventing each-other from using their pistols.

The Ghoul sees Vellum approaching with a halberd and breaks free to shoot at him, a bullet clipping Vellum’s shoulder.

Lewis sees his opening and slams into the Ghoul again, emptying a few pistol rounds into him.

Vamp1 (who was knocked out by Vellum) heals rapidly and awakens.

Vamp2’s struggles cease: the strange malefic energy inside him flares as he goes limp and starts to liquefy.

Vellum slams the Ghoul in the solar plexus with blunt end of halberd, stunning him.

Denton manoeuvres the silenced crane and drops the claw straight down onto the vamps’ car.

Summer somersaults backwards at the last second as the crane claw slams down onto the car.

Vamp2 starts to reform a few yards away; Vamp1 begins frantically climbing out, but is hampered by his injuries and the damaged caused to the chassis of the car by the force of Denton’s blow with the crane.

Summer staggers and strives for a moment with the dark essence swirling inside her from the Vampire’s blood, but manages to absorb it.

Vellum sees the crane and the healing vampires and turns to run back before they escape.

Denton lifts up the care and swings it towards Vamp2 and the Ghoul.

Vamp2 (still gelatinous) is slammed into the spinning and swinging car via a smashed window as he re-coalesces, and ends up sprawled over the back seat.

Lewis takes down the Ghoul with a finishing blow and dives for cover, vaulting over the top of the scrap car.

Vellum leaps up wire-fu style with a burst of vigour-enhanced strength and pins the escaping Vamp1 to the chassis of the car by impaling him through the heart with his halberd.

Denton opens the claw and drops the car, letting it slam onto the ground from several metres up, injuring the newly re-formed Vamp2.

Summer pounces and tears open the car with colossal strength fuelled by her newly-consumed essence. Vamp2 struggles but is hauled out and flung to the ground where the gauru Summer leaps down and devours him, watched by the paralysed eyes of Vamp1.

Turning back towards their Van, Lewis and Vellum discover that their prisoner (the Tong enforcer titled Red Stave, AKA the Dragon Lady) is gone. Turning around, they see that the sound of the fight has drawn out a pack of ghouls (the cannibal kind that attacked Denton, not the vamp kind), which charge the pack.

The carnage that ensures it brief and one-sided, as the battle-ready (not to mention rage-fuelled and suddenly essence-rich) pack brutally break the charge of the ghouls and rout them.
Denton jumps out of the crane and extends his hand towards it, head bowed in concentration, as he summons lightning from the storm clouds above to strike the crane and lance out over the scrapyard, scattering many ghouls with booming thunderclaps.

Vellum strides forward and whirls his halberd, creating a spinning wall of death.

Lewis is surrounded by a cluster of ghouls, but pulls off several precise shots with his pistol that drop or critically wound several of the creatures, driving them back.

Summer simply charges into a group of the creatures, letting off steam in the time-honoured gauru way, tearing her prey asunder and sending ghouls flying like rag dolls.

Denton leaps out of the van with a shotgun, rolls and comes up firing, scattering the remaining ghouls.

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Taking out the Tong
The pack assult the Tong hideout

The Tong enforcer on the sofa cries out in surprise as Vellum’s staff impact his head, leaving him stunned by conscious. Denton leaps forward and grabs the TV remote control to switch to an action movie and crank up the volume, and then injects the Tong member that Vellum previously enchanted with a sleep spell. Meanwhile, Vellum brawls with the Tong member.

Summer and Lewis move stealthily out into the corridor and peers around a corner, watching as the two men near the staircase freeze as they hear a noise and being cautiously descending the staircase.

Vellum is able to grapple and pin his adversary in a lock, with his mouth covered so that he can’t cry out. Denton draws his tranquiliser gun and darts Vellum’s struggling victim.

Denton crouches down, using a sofa to provide cover from anyone coming through the door as he reloads the tranquiliser rifle. Vellum drops the gang member once he stops struggling and pauses to listen intently and scrutinise the area with his life-sense.

Summer calls upon her celerity and in a burst of speed she crosses the corridor and slams open the door. A Tong enforcer sits up on the bed and begins to stout in surprise, but Summer is on him before he can react.

One of the Tong reaches the bottom the the stair and quietly moves into the kitchen picking up a large knife and preparing the move around to the living room door.

The other Tong member, nearer the top of the stairs, turns round as he hears the sound of Summer’s scuffle. He brandished his pistol, but before he can move far Lewis charges him with celerity-enhances speed and Sparta-kicks him down the stairs.

Perceiving someone in the kitchen, Vellum makes a hand-signal to Denton and the moves through the kitchen door in a crouch before explosively tackling his new prey.

Denton advances into the corridor, and shoots the man who has just fallen to the foot of the staircase.

Summer attacks with some heavy punches intended to drop her foe quickly, but to her surprise the Tong enforcer blocks with some impressive martial arts. In response, Summer ups her game by changing stance and landing a flurry of swift and disorienting strikes before managing to grapple her adversary.

Hearing noise from a room next to the top of the stairway, Lewis calls upon another burst of speed and takes a running leaps up behind the door, landing as quietly as a cat.

Summer maintains her pin on her victim as she injects him with syringe of sedative and rocks him quietly, murmuring a lullaby from behind her werewolf mask.

The door to the top of the stairs bursts open, and a Tong member armed with a machete and a pistol runs out towards the stairs. Lewis lunges out and tackles him, leaving the two of them struggling and teetering on the edge of the stairs.

Summer sprints across the corridor and blocks the doorway as the second Tong member tries to leave. Summer squares off against this new foe, who is none other than the ‘Red Spear’ or ’Dragon-lady’ – the leader of this branch of the Tong.

The Tong enforcer at the bottom of the stairs shoots Denton in retaliation, but his aim goes wide as one of his companions lands of top of his in a heap, wrestling with Lewis.

Vellum finished subduing his enemy and then rushes into the corridor to provide assistance.

Faced with the Red Stave armed with a mini-uzi and a sword, Summer moves quickly, smashing the gun out of her enemy’s hand. The Dragon-lady reacts quickly, slashing Summer across the bicep with her sword and acrobatically leaping over the table. Summer responds by slamming the table forward with all her might. The Red Stave leaps up out of the way, but not before the heavy table slams into her ankle. She lands awkwardly but recovers quickly, lunging forward and slashing Summer across the neck and chest. Summer growls in furry and burns essence to regenerate, her flesh knitting before the Dragon-lady’s eyes.
Shocked but determined, the Red Stave manoeuvres around the room, creating a defencive whirlwind of steel. However, she is no match of Summer, who hits her with her best moves, combining the grace of Filipino martial arts with the power and fury or the Dalu form. After a swift and brutal exchange, Summer slams her foe down, her neck hitting a chair with enough force to knock her out.

The enforcer at the bottom over the stairs scrambles out of the way, adrenaline and fear helping him to fight off the effects of the tranquiliser. He gets and far as the door before Denton takes him down.

Lewis and the final Tong member struggle in the cramped confined of the staircase. The enforcer almost manages the throw Lewis, but the werewolf is experiences enough in a brawl to react the move in time, and instead traps the man’s leg begins pummelling him until he is stunned. Vellum walks up from behind and smacks him over the head with his staff to finish the job.

Once they get their breath back, the pack move swiftly to ransack the establishment for anything that is useful to their investigations. They end up taking a laptop, and PC tower, a box of vision, and the Red Stave (tied up an unconscious).

The pack load up their acquisitions into the van and secure their prisoner to a chair before removing their masks and driving away.

A few minutes later, they find themselves being followed. Vellum recognises the car from the the CCTV footage of the vampires abducting a woman from an alleyway near the Velvet Gown.

Denton directs them to the scrapyard where her crushed the ghoul a few days previously (as it is on an industrial estate nearby).

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Planning the Raid
The pack prepares to assult the Tong hide-out

Vellum cooks bacon (some of which is pinched by Summer), goes to work for a few hours, and then visits his park-bench locus for an hour or so to draw essence.

Summerlocates and recruits the Swiftfang/Bob (the dog that the she met whilst investigating the alleyway near the Velvet gown nightclub a few days ago).

Denton heads to the street where the Tong base is located, and heads to a cafe across the road. He puts one of his phones into the empty polystyrene coffee cup and discreetly leaves it in an alleyway next to the Tong building.
He then heads back to the pack’s offices and uses magic-augmented hacking to gain access to all of the phones (that have bluetooth activated) within range of the phone in the coffee cup. He than makes all those phones ring at once, and with a modified version of his city-eyes spell he sees the view out of the screen of each phone.

Summer persuades Bob to take a walk around the Tong building and he reports back on the layout of the area. He also reports that (based on scent) none of the people in the building are vampires but some have been in contact with vamps.

Lewis visits the offices of his old firm, and after making small talk for a while he persuades some of his colleagues to give him copies of the accounts of the printing business that is the front for the Tong office. He takes a copy of the documents home and begins trawling thought them, making a conspiracy-map of the various connections to other businesses.

Vellum heads down to the basement where he is holding Natasha (the captured Tong operative), and begins questioning her. He negotiates with her for information, and eventually promises her that in exchange for information on the layout of the Tong safe-house and the description and number of people likely to be inside, she will be released the next day (some distance away) with sufficient funds to get by (if the intel proves accurate).

Summer braves the trod to briefly travel back to the USA to obtain tranquiliser rifles (which she had access to on account of her job as a park ranger).

The pack assemble and begin plotting, collating the information gained by Denton and Vellum to draw floor-plan, and the utilising the knowledge of the area gained by Summer to form a plan of approach.

Vellum heads down to his alchemy lab and works on creating a magically-enhanced foam to act as a quick-setting filler to block doors with, whilst Denton buys werewolf costumes for the group from a fancy-dress party shop.

The pack drive over to the Tong hide-out in Vellum’s ominous Van, and then don their masks.

Moving quickly and stealthily (for the most part), the pack enact their plan. Vellum glues the front door shut with his foam, Denton cuts the phone line to the property and activates a (supernaturally enhanced) program to jam the mobile phones in the immediate area. Lewis and Summer move around he side of the property, and Summer gives Lewis a boost to reach a small window to a storage room on the upper floor of the building. Lewis swiftly and smoothly cracks the latch on the window, and silently slides it up. He crawls inside, and reaches down to give summer a hand up, as she activates her Vigour and launches herself up to the window

Denton and Vellum silently vault the fence and enter enter the building via the back door. Just as their floor-plans suggest, they find themselves in the kitchen area. After listening intently for a few moments (and hearing the sounds of a television playing in the next room) they fan out. After avoiding being seen by a Tong enforcer who heads up the stairs, they position themselves at the doors of the living room.

Lewis and Summer investigate the storage room, with Summer creaking over to the door and peering out to keep watch whilst Lewis rifles through a filing cabinet, and purloins a file containing the names of some of the companies that he discovered earlier whilst looking into the accounts of the cover-business.

Vellum works a sleeping spell on one of the Tong members on the sofas, and then leaps in to the room and whirls his staff into the head of the other, whilst Denton moves around to take him down.
However, the Tong agent does not drop down instantly as Vellum hoped, and cries out in surprise and pain. Is the pack’s stealth blown? tune in next week…

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Viniculum Roulette and Noir Exposition
Blood and Hot Chocolate

(Continuing directly on from the previous session, with the pack in the Vellvet Gown Nightclub)

Denton springs forward and struggles with Lila, deliberately ripping her dress, and then steps backwards to block the door.

“What the hell do you want?” demands Lila in shock, keeping her distance from Denton and maintaining a stance poised to fight or run.

“Just to talk. I figure that that now that you are having a wardrobe malfunction you won’t be so quick to run off back into the club. Besides, it was you who lead me into here, remember”.

“Not so that you could tear up my dress!”, she pauses for a moment and then continues, “At least, not in the hasty way that you seem to intend. And I hadn’t expected to you turn out to be a werewolf!”

“Well, you didn’t tell me that you are a vampire either”. Walking over to the mini-bar in the corner of the room, but with his eyes locked on Lila, Denton continues, “Would you like a drink? That’s what you came in here for, isn’t it?”. Denton begins pouring a drink, and speculates aloud, “Perhaps a martini? But I wonder are you shaken, or perhaps stirred?”

“Neither”, she replies curtly, regaining her composure and attempting to straighten her torn dress. “What do you hope to achieve with these antics? If you think that a torn dress will stop me from walking out that door, you are mistaken. I could shout that you attacked me”.

“Perhaps. But it looks like it was good plan from where I’m standing”, replies Denton unperturbed, looing her up and down as he steps forward to offer her a glass.

“I don’t drink… martini”, she retorts with a scowl. Nevertheless, she subtly adjusts her posture, shifting her weight to enhance the shape of her figure, instinctively latching on to Denton’s gaze as a sign of an exploitable weakness.

“No?” Denton shrugs and throws the contents of the cocktail glasses over his shoulder, splashing the flammable liquid over the door and drapes. “Then perhaps a different drink…”
He takes a penknife from his pocket and cuts his arm with it, catching the blood in the cocktail glass.

“What are you proposing?”, asks Lila cautiously, with her eyes locked on the red liquid seeping into the glass.

“A drinking game. For each question of mine that you answer fully and truthfully, you take a drink”, he says, handing her the glass of his blood. “For each of your questions that I answer, you give me a drink.” He hands her the empty glass.

“Why?”

“Call it curiosity”.

She pauses to consider, swirling the liquid in her glass and inhaling its aroma. Then she smiles sweetly and replies, “Very well. Ask away”.


“Good evening”, says Lucinda Rutherford, as she glides into the rooms behind Vellum. “You would be Mr Grey, I presume?”

“Yes, and good evening… Ms Rutherford?” Vellum replied, turning round to face her with a carefully blank face and positioning himself in front the box of suspicious leaves that he had just finished examining.

“Indeed. I believe that you and your associates would like to speak to me? I have half an hour spare, if you would care to gather them”, says Lucinda, apparently oblivious to Vellum’s previous searching.

“Certainly. Summer and Denton are in the club and I was just looking for Lewis”.

“Then let us find him”.


[Summary from here on, as this is taking ages. Player input greatly appreciated.]

L: What is your business here?
D: what do you know about Lucinda?

Exchange of blood, “good vintage” comment from Denton.
Both get a rush from the unfamiliar brand of mystic energy.


Meet up with Lewis
Vellum heads off to find Summer & Denton
Lewis has a brief, private word with Lucinda


L: what do you know about vampires?
D: tell me about vampires

Lila probes for what Denton knows of the addictive properties of the blood.
Denton finds the second drink tasty, and possessed of a subtle power beyond the essence he gains. Lila’s pupils dilate and her inhibitions start to weaken as the primal and vital essence of werewolf blood takes effect.


Vellum meets up with Summer and the two of then head off to get Denton, finding themselves in the quiet side corridor with a choice of several doors.


L: tell me about lycans
D: what do you know about what is going on here?

Lila starts being alluring and seductive, ensnaring Denton to complete the viniculum (third time’s the charm…) as her own lusts are enhanced by Denton’s potent blood.
Denton finds the blood supernaturally delicous and begins to become aware of its mystical power.


Vellum and Summer find the correct door but it is locked.
Denton calls out that he will just be a minute.
Summer & Vellum exchange embarassed glances and wait in uncomfortable silence.


L: Your friends are waiting
D: I shan’t be long
L: Pity..
Lila turns on her charm (and majesty discipline), its effects enhanced by the blood-bond.
Denton is just about able to resist.
Door opens, (torn clothes provoking embarrassed glances, scent of blood provoking curiosity) attempts of charm the group (with some success on Vellum, who chalks her down as a powerful distraction)

Head off to Lucinda’s office

Drinks:
Lewis – water
Vellum – hot chocolate
Denton – hot chocolate with a dash of something (blows bubbles)
Summer – scotch on the rocks, to Lucinda’s silent appreciation.

Lucinda gives exposition, detailing political situation, and the threat of another vamp faction called the Belialans, and discusses ghouls and the mystical addictive power of vampire blood (to interest and Denton’s concern)
Lucinda seems to focus most on Summer, and also on Lewis.

On the way out, Lila (quite intoxicated and rash as a consequence of the werewolf blood high) attempts charm all round, but is resisted. (Smoothly by Denton, distantly by Vellum (who tries to avoid her, in order to maintain a clear head), and politely but firmly by Summer (who isn’t falling for any of her feminine/vampire wiles).

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Into the Nest of Vipers
The pack investigate the Velvet Gown Nightclub

Following a busy night, and in accordance with their nocturnal inclinations, the pack rise late.
Vellum is the first up, and he heads to the kitchen to prepare a breakfast for himself. After putting a generous amount of bacon in the frying pan, he nips out momentarily to check on his alchemical experiments from the night before.
To his dismay, Ted had eaten them.
The beaker that contained the liquids separated and distilled from the Vision that Vellum had set out to analyse lays discarded next to Spandex Ted, who sits swaying slightly and staring vacantly into space.
“What… you imbecile!” splutters Vellum, trying to control the rising rage that is causing his teeth and nails to lengthen, “Does that look like something you should drink? You blithering fool!”.
Ted stares blankly at the green and bubbling experiment and slurs, “Well, I was thirsty and I woke up with the munchies and it smelled good. Why are you on my case man, what’s with the–”.
Ted’s eyes widen as he turns to Vellum who is incandescent with barely suppressed rage. “–anger… argh! Teeth, claws, rage! Keep away! Get it away from me!”
The small time crook trips over as he backs away into the corner of the room, where he begins swaying and holding himself, like a victim of Lunacy.
“You will repay this…” says Vellum, advancing on the cowering and gibbering man, “since you obviously enjoy consuming illicit substances, you will now become part of my experiment, to replace that which you ruined. Come here.”
Vellum hoists Ted and marches him toward the kitchen.

Meanwhile, the smell of bacon is animating the rest of the house. Summer is quickest to react, her honed senses picking up the delicious aroma. She yawns and stretches, then briskly walks to the kitchen before her prey can escape.
“Oh, you shouldn’t have…” she says, grinning hungrily at the bacon.

Vellum stomps into the room towards his breakfast, only to find Summer wolfing down the last of the contents of the frying pan.
Grinding his teeth, Vellum grasps Ted and turns him towards the worktop.
Once Vellum is out of his line of sight and is no longer touching him, Ted quickly calms down and becomes subdued once more. He sways slightly and sniffs, smelling the meat.
“And what do you see… Now!?” he demands, grasping the stoned dealer and turning him to face Summer, at whom he grinds his teeth whilst glaring meaningfully at the empty frying pan.
“Mmmm, pret– argh, no! Fur, fangs!”
“Hmmm, interesting”, says Vellum, propelling Ted in the opposite direction, casing him to stagger towards the sink where he begins retching.
“Er Vellum, good morning”, greets Summer, whilst hastily placing the frying pan back on the hob and assuming an innocent expression.

That evening, the pack arrive at the Velvet Gown Nightclub, dressed in smart attire courtesy of Denton and Lewis.
Lewis talks their way past the queue and the pack go in to meet with Terrance.
Mr McFabulous flounces over and greets them cheerfully, assuring them that Lucinda will see them soon, before rushing off to see other guests.
The pack then split up to mill around for a while as they try to weight up the club goers.
Summer is joined by a young couple who introduce themselves as Thomas and Lila.
Both are dressed in dark and stylish clothes, with Thomas wearing a smart-causal suit and Lila in a black dress artfully designed to show off her figure. The three of them fall into conversation, with Thomas picking up on Summer’s accent and asking what brings her to the UK and to the club.
Summer answers in polite but vague and general terms, trying to deflect the questions back at Thomas and Lila without seeming impolite.

Meanwhile, Lewis eventually grows bored of waiting and decides to head off into the staff-only section of the building with the intention of finding Lucinda and generally poking around.
After a few empty turns of corridor, Lewis hears voices and walks up to the door of the room that they are emanating from.
With his sensitive hearing, he overhears two men discussing a box, and something about betraying or working against the Camarilla.
Unfortunately, the men spot him and advance towards him, demanding to know what he is doing here. Unsatisfied with his response, the two men begin marching him deeper into the bowels of the building under the pretence of taking him to Terrance and Lucinda.
By coincidence, Terrance comes along the corridor at that point, allowing Lewis to make an excuse and extricate himself from his guides.

Vellum, suspicious that things are not are quite as they appear (when are they ever?) casts a rote spell to bring up death-sight, aiming to detect the presence of deathly resonance on any hypothetical murderers in the club. He finds rather more death resonance than he was expecting- his Sight reveals that more than a handful of people in the club are vampires.

Denton strolls over to Summer and introduces himself to Thomas and Lila. Denton ‘Sherlocks’ Lila (observing the paler band on her finger where she presumably used to wear a wedding ring), and asks her how long she has been single.
This is a conversational technique that Lila and Thomas were not expecting, leaving them momentarily taken aback.

Vellum walks over and constructs a spell to communicate directly with Summer and Denton; with it, he reports his observation that the two socialites that they are conversing with are actually vampires.

Lewis approaches with Terrance to see Lila coquettishly flirting with Denton; the two of them head off to the bar. As they depart, Lewis frowns at a feeling that he has seen Lila before.

After being told that Lucinda will see them now, Summer turns to leave. Thomas kissed Summer’s hand and passes his card onto her before he vanishes into the crowd.

Meanwhile, Vellum has headed into the staff only section and find himself in a room with a locked box. Curiosity aroused, he opens the box and discovers a selection of leaves, which he takes some samples of. He just closes the box as Lucinda slinks into the room.
She greets him cheerfully, just as his spell confirms that she is a vampire.

Lila guides Denton into an empty function room, adjusting the neckline of her dress. She locks the door behind her (droping the key down the front of her dress), closes the heavy curtain drapes, and then turns to Denton and without a word begins kissing him passionately.
Interested in seeing what her reaction will be, Denton impulsively bites Lila’s neck. She freezes in surprise and shock for a fraction of a second, and then sinks her teeth into his neck.

Then two struggle for a moment, and then Denton breaks free and puts on his game face, shifting to dalu form.
Staring at him in shock as she tastes the blood on her lips, Lila hisses “Lycan!”.

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Vision and Spirits
Further investigations into noctural goings-on

We rejoin the pack to find Summer and Vellum in discussion about what to do with ‘Natasha’ the would-be assassin from the Tong. Summer favours giving her to the police, perhaps by tying her up and then dropping her off in the middle of nowhere, along with an anonymous tip-off to the police.
Vellum argues that she could be a useful source of information, and furthermore that by capturing her and imprisoning her back at base they can keep her employers in the dark for longer.
Summer reluctantly agrees, on the condition that they have her for a couple of days at most.
Vellum leaves to pick up the Van in order to transport her, whilst Summer continues to restrain her.

Summer’s grip slackens slightly as she manoeuvres to reach the case and pistol discarded on the ground a few feet away, and Natasha takes advantage of her momentary inattention of break Summer’s lock on her and slip free. Natasha is fast and makes it though a side-door and along corridor into the factory adjoining the warehouse; but Summer catches up with her and thwarts her escape.
Moments later, Vellum arrives back with his dark and ominous van. The two werewolves bundle the struggling criminal into the back of the van, attracting the attention of a group of squatters and addicts from the far end of the factory complex. Hurrying, the pack members are able to embark and dive off before the approaching figures can get a good look at them or discover what is going on.
Several minutes down the road, they realise that they have left the empty case back at the warehouse. They double back and sneak in to retrieve it, only to find that it has vanished. The people loitering the factory are also gone.

Back across town, Lewis helps Simon Ellsworth, the old man that he defended from being mugged, into his house and falls into conversation with him. It transpires that the old man is a retired architect in his 90s, and is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable speaker (thought prone to going off on tangents). Ellesworth discuses some of his work and talks about the philosophies underpinning his designs. Lewis develops a suspicion that there may be more to this man than meets the eye, and some of his ramblings about the golden ratio, vesica piscis and ‘sublime geometries’ seems to border on the mystical, of the werewolf’s ears.
Eventually the old architect tires, and Lewis leaves after exchanging business cards.

Over in the scrapyard, Denton works quickly to stuff the crushed remains of the creature that attacked him into some bin-bags and into the boot of his newly acquired car. He rests for a moment, as the aftereffects of the adrenaline take their toll, and smokes a couple of cigarettes to help calm himself. Determining his plan of action, he drives to an out-of-the-way public toilet to finish cleaning the gore off of his hands (wet-wipes only go so far), and drives to Camden Market.

Denton bursts into Spandex Ted’s cramped flat by breaking down the door, and confronts the shocked and shaken crook, holding a gun to his head and demanding to know why he had been followed. Ted, clearly terrified and angry, protests that he has done nothing.
His brain going into overdrive, Denton clocks the details of the room and of Ted’s demeanour, and deduces that something other than Denton has got him scared.
After a minute of intense and insightful questioning from Denton, Ted breaks and reveals that he has recently started working for the Tong.
Apparently, over the last few months the Tong have been making significant inroads into the territory controlled by the ‘East-End Mafia’, and the Tong made Ted a deal he could’t refuse. For the last few weeks, he has been selling their mysterious new drug (‘vision’). He’s making money hand over fist but the stress is killing him.
Denton takes him back to headquarters, partly though persuading him that Denton and his associates would be able to protect him, and partly to making it clear that he was coming anyway, either under his own power or dragged kicking and screaming if necessary.

Doubling back to Camden now that the streets are quiet, Lewis walks around the back of the Chinese restaurant that he met Denton in earlier (after detouring to an off-licence en-route to pick up some crimage) and stealthily clambers up drainpipe to jimmy open the window and creep inside the upstairs apartment.
Entering Ted’s room, it is clear that the occupant left in a hurry. Lewis performs a thorough search of the apartment and turns up a small bag of something that he is pretty sure isn’t tobacco.

Pondering his options, he decides to risk calling the spirit that he observed earlier that night, his instincts telling him that it is still somewhere in the area, watching him.
The spectre quickly appears and identifies itself as ‘Insatiable Hunger’. Lewis questions the spirit – a creature of consummation, vice, and quick-fix joy. After some negotiation, the spirit agrees to answer a few questions in exchange for a point of essence and the tribute of Lewis taking a gulp of the whisky that he purchased earlier for each piece of information that it divulges.
The spirit speaks partly in metaphors and emotions, but from its alien testimony Lewis discovers that vampires are involved in propagation of the mysterious ‘vision’ drug throughout the city in conjunction with the Tong, and that some vampires are feeding on users in order to feel the effects themselves (which pleases and amuses Insatiable Hunger).

Arriving back at Aldwych, Vellum and Summer bring their prisoner into the building only of find that the room fitted with the restraints is already occupied – Denton has installed Ted within in, and the two of them are sat eating Chinese, perturbed when a restrained Tong enforcer is hauled into the room.
Lewis stumbles in a few moments later, trying to shake off the effects of the alcohol. After overcoming their surprise, the pack relate to each-other what has happened to them over the course of the night.

Questioning Natasha confirms that the Tong are involved in the supply of Vision and that the latest shipments from the USA was supposed to be in the case that she had been sent to intercept tonight (following meddling by the Mafia that disrupted the Tong’s normal supplies). Interrogation of the Tong woman also reveals that she knows of a plot involving a supplier of Chinese food in the city, whereby something is being put into the meat (though she doesn’t appear to know the details).

As Summer chains Natasha up downstairs, Vellum begins dissecting the block of crushed metal and meat that is the remains of the creature that attacked Denton earlier in the evening.
Hitting the cryptology books in his library, Vellum finds that the remains are a close match to the description of a ghoul – a creature that hungers for human flesh, and is supposedly the result of a human eating the meat of their own kind.

Denton meanwhile, begins scouring the Internet for mentions of Philip Travers, the Tong, vision, and Victor Crumb (the courier who Natasha shot). Of the latter, clues point in a strange direction – there is a minimal internet presence which has a constructed rather than natural feel to it, apart from a few connections to some obscure mathematical forums. Denton begins to suspect that the injured courier is not what he appears.

Vellum beings an alchemical analysis of the sample of vision that Lewis found in Ted’s flat. He quickly discovers that the drug has mystical properties and that it contains traces of hemoglobin. The clues suggest that this drug my be connected to the ‘lacrimosa’ or ‘mandrakes’ the he found reference to in the British library earlier.

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Non-Trivial Pursuits
Working the Streets

Continuing his research in the obscure corners of the British Library, Vellum stumbles across another tome of folklore. In the section on vampires, he discovers a reference to the mythology of the mandrake (a story suggesting that they grew in places where vampires and their spawn were buried), and in the margin finds some scrawled notes written in a faint ink, which discuss the possibility of plants infused with vampiric blood and their mystical properties. Such plants are apparently known as mandrakes, and their sap is known as lacrimosa. The word lacrimosa in underlined.

Denton decides to arrange a new set of wheels that would be difficult to track and sets about purchasing an old London taxi-cab off the books, and getting hold of a set of fake numberplates.

Summer follows Taylor at a discrete distance through the crowded streets of London, and watches as he arrives at a curio shop called “the Wishing Cat” on Gerrard Street just south of Shaftsbury, between Soho, Piccadilly circus and Leicester square.
He comes out of the building a few minutes later, looking agitated.

Lewis sets off toward Camden market, with the intention of investigating the surge of drug-related crime in the area that the justice spirit had asked them to put an end to.
The resonance of the area is complex, details washed out by the emotions of thousands of tourists and shoppers, but Lewis detects a delirious and intoxicated flavour that to the area that he is concerned about. Also, the spirits of the area seem unusably watchful and suspicious. His instincts draw him towards a suspicious Chinese restaurant and takeaway.

Denton arrives in the dingy Chinese restaurant in Soho that “Spandex” Ted (one of his contacts of the periphery of the city’s criminal circles) lives above, and gains access to the noisome apartment of the black-market goods trader and small-time drug dealer. Ted seems edgy and suspicious, but Denton’s money soon salves his nerves and he divulges the name of a junkyard contact who will have the plates that Denton needs.
The affluent werewolf hacker heads downstairs and is surprised to run into Lewis. The two of them do a double-take but manage to put on enough of a convincing act to fool the gaze of the proprietor.

Summer and Vellum meet up as they head back to Aldwych, but their ruminations are disrupted by the sound of a nearby gunshot. Running towards the sound, they come upon a man with a bullet in his chest and a woman running away carrying a heavy case.
The man has just enough time to weakly utter “the statue…” before falling unconscious as his assailant escapes round the corner.
Vellum hurries over and begins casting life-saving healing spells on the fallen man, as Summer gives chase to the shooter.

As he walks back from Camden, Lewis comes across an old man and his assistant being mugged by a group of youths. Naturally, Lewis wades into the fray.

As Denton heads back to his car parked outside the junkyard, he finds that he is being watched hungrily by a hunched figure just beyond the edge of the light. After a moment’s pause the figure lunches itself after him, and Denton runs in the direction of the junkyard.

Summer swiftly stalks her prey through the streets of London, over coming all attempts by the thief to shake her off. Eventually her prey runs into an old warehouse just a few streets west of Leicester square.

The strange pursuer is fast, but with his parkour skills Denton manages to keep ahead of it over the difficult terrain of the scrapyard, and he begins luring it in the direction of the heavy machinery as he hatches a cunning plan.

Lewis body-slams one of the thugs into a wall, and throws a bin at another. He take some heavy blows in the process, but his werewolf regeneration and burgeoning street-fighting skills keep him on top. He is distracted for a moment as one of the drugged-up muggers stares right at him and begins muttering urgently about teeth and claws and one of the older thugs brings a length of lead pipe to bear, drawing Lewis back into the fight.

Once he stabilises the wounded man, Vellum bandages him up and wastes no time in calling for an ambulance.
The police arrive at the same time as the medics (this being a shooting), and Vellum swiftly gives his statement before slipping away into the darkness.

Summer breaks into the warehouse by kicking the door down, and quickly overpowers the slightly-built Asian woman who stole the case. Dropping the shocked would-be assassin to the floor and applying a compliance hold, Summer begins interrogating her target, who grudgingly and haltingly reveals that she works for the Tong.

Back in the alleyway across town, the stoned muggers don’t last long against the werewolf private eye. Lewis beats them soundly, taking a few bruises in the process.
He helps the victim up and the old man introduces himself as Simon Ellsworth, and the younger man who had been (somewhat ineffectually) defending him as Richard, his live-in nurse and helper. After giving a statement to the police who belatedly turn up (exclaiming that this is the fourth or fifth drug-related incident this week), Lewis helps Ellsworth back to his house.

Vellum arrives at the werehouse and assists Summer in questioning the Tong member. Opening the case that she stole from the courier, they are surprised to find that rather than a statue, it contains a pair of bricks and a pithy comment.

Denton tricks the man-creature chasing him into the edge of the car-crusher, and after a brief struggle succeeds in knocking him into the machine and activating it. After several gruesome and bone crunching sounds, Denton is left with the creature that chased him reconfigured as a cube. He lights up a cigarette and admires his handy work.

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Investigating Soho Alleyways
Dogs, Drunks and Drugs

The next day, the pack head to the alleyways of Soho to investigate the disappearances there.

Summer scouts around the area and finds a stray dog. After casting a spell to allow her to communicate with dogs, she discovers that the canine goes by the name of Swiftfang (though he once was known as Bob).

Upon questioning, Swiftfang informs Summer that a few nights ago he saw a young woman lured into an alleyway by a me who initially chatted and kissed her, but then bit her. Strangely, the woman didn’t scream in pain or struggle, but after a minute she passed out. The man then picked her up and carried her away, into a car.

Vellum scrutinises the mystical resonance of the area, and discovers that there is a strong level of death resonance in the alleyways, consistent with victims being injured or murdered. Additionally, there was a euphoric, intoxicated flavour or resonance; and there was a subtle tang to the death resonance, a twist that Vellum had not previously encountered.
All in all, the vampire theory was looking very strong.

Lewis bought his mundane investigation skills to bear, and discovered amongst the litter of the alleyway a business card for a Chinese restaurant in Camden town, on which someone had scrawled the name “Spandex Ted” and the word “Vision”. The also found a lighter with the word “Sandy” engraved on the side, and a handbag that belonged to a rugby player named Marcus who was out with his team on the night that he had disappeared, dressed in drag for a team initiation party.

Denton set about accessing the CCTV footage of the area, and found a recording of a red car matching the description that Bob had given. Once he enhanced the image, the car showed a woman laying unconscious across the back seat of the car, a blurry and indistinct figure in the passenger seat, and a well built man with a few days’ worth of stubble in the driving seat.

As the pack discuss their investigations back at their Headquarters, the Justice Spirit “Mi’Luad” (to whom they owe a favour) materialises before them and instructs them to investigate and disrupt the trading of a new drug, the nexus of which appears to be the Camden Market area.

Vellum rang Sebastian Lowe of the Ventatori, and questioned him on what he knew about vampires.
Lowe explained that their vary many types of vampires, unified only by their habit of stealing life from the living to sustain themselves. There are tales of physic vampires that feast on the emotions and dreams of humans, but most vampires feed on blood. Of these, the most common type refer to themselves as “the Kindred”.

These vampires drink blood to survive, but are unageing and seem to be immortal unless they are slain. Sunlight is highly damaging to them, and they can be destroyed by decapitation or other massive corporal damage. However, garlic seems to have no effect on them in most cases, and religious objects have an erratic or minor effect on them at best. A stake through the heart will always stop them, but some say that is puts them into a state of torpor rather than destroying them. They cast no reflections, and they appear blurry and indistinct on camera. Their blood has many mystical properties (such as granting a degree on vampiric power to mortals who consume it) and is highly addictive. Seb tells them that the dominant political faction of kindred in London is a group known as the Camarilla, and warns the pack that they are powerful and should not be needlessly antagonised. Finally, he suggests to Vellum the titles of some obscure tomes that may give him more information, and Vellum heads off the the British Library to track them down.

Arguing that they will need suitable attire if they are to go into the Velvet Gown to talk to Lucinda Rutherford in the course of their investigations, Lewis takes Summer (who dosn’t own much of a wardrobe of clothes in the UK, having arrived here by unplanned and supernatural means) on a shopping exhibition.

In the reading room in a corner of the library, Vellum notices that he is being watched by a tweed-clad figure, who looks to be in his thirties. The man comes over and introduces himself as Professor Philip Travers, the director of antiquities at the British Museum. Travers explains that he has an interest in the myths and legends of the supernatural, and the two fall into a conversation, discussing history, language, myths and legends as a pretext to discern the real motives of the other.

As they leave the shops, Lewis is buttonholed by an old colleague. Heading back on her own, Summer unexpectedly bumps into one of the last people that she had expected to see: Taylor Black, her best friend for back in Colorado.
After greeting each-other warmly, Summer is surprised to find that Taylor is strangely elusive about his reasons for being in London. She suggests that they grab a coffee together, giving her more time to question Taylor and try to find out what is wrong with her friend.
Summer is persuasive, and Taylor reveals that he travelled to the UK because he believe that an old friend on his named Zack Chase stole a scroll from a museum in Colorado and fled to the UK following falling into trouble with the wrong crowd of criminals. Thinking that he has perhaps said too much, Taylor makes an excuse and leaves.
Summer realises that he had been guarded with his responses because he is trying to protect her from something. She sits of a while locked in internal deliberations, before deciding to follow him.

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The Bakery Job
Agents and Muffins

The pack get together at their Aldwych headquarters and discuss their recent activities. Denton, Summer and Vellum lay their plans to observe and possibly capture the Chiron operative at the meeting at the bakery, aiming to get to learn more about the artifacts being brought over from the USA.
Lewis decides to focus on the case of the disappearances in Soho, and begins correlating the information that he has been given with news reports of disappearances and crime in the area. After much work he discovers that all of the victims were in Soho for the night life, and were last seen late in the evening or early in the morning. Additionally, the information that he collects leads him to suspect that they are all drug users.

Denton goes to the bakery that is his latest acquisition, accompanied by Vellum and Summer.
To his surprise, he discovers that Adrian Larch (the big fellow from the Baker Street Irregulars) works at the bakery (and that he makes exceedingly good cakes). Denton gives all of the employees the day off, and the pack make their preparations for the meeting with the mysterious Johnson404.

When the time of the meeting arrives, there are three customers left in the cafe: a man in his late twenties dressed in fashionable business attire drinking a coffee and trying to catch the eye of Summer, a strawberry-blond woman in her early thirties working on an ipad, and a suited gentleman in his 60s reading a newspaper.

Summer wonders over to sit next to younger man and begins making conversation. The man flirting with her identifies himself as Joe Gunnel and describes himself as an up-and-coming guy at Winterblack Finance. He comes from Cambridge but Summer’s questioning reveals that he was educated at Hull.

Denton sets up his laptop to hack into the woman’s ipad, and once he is satisfied that his programs are running correctly he takes a coffee over to her, complements of the house, and sets about distracting her.

Vellum plants a coin specially prepared as a scrying focus in the elderly businessman using a space spell that he has devised for reaching into other people’s pockets from a discrete distance, and then prepares to do the same to the other two suspects whilst they are distracted.

Denton strikes up conversation with the woman, who gives her name as Rose Price, and soon the two of them are engaged in a strange conversational dance. They each seek to use their charms to discover as much as possible about the other, whilst trying to minimise what the other person learns about them. It soon becomes clear to Denton that he is pitted against a witty and guileful opponent but over the course of the conversation he manages to discover that she works in PR for a division of Chiron.

After half an hour of skillful effort, Summer is left with the telephone number of the brash young banker, Vellum has a handful of arcane sympathetic links to his targets, and Denton has a date with a charming woman who is potentially also a dangerous Chiron operative.

Back at their headquarters, they assist Vellum to scry on their suspects.
Joe Gunnel is seen playing solitaire, the older gentleman is revealed to be researching property information whilst sitting behind a desk with the nameplate “J Hartley” covered in paperwork bearing the letterhead of a firm called “Polygot & Norne".
Rose Price is seen logged on a forum, leaving messages as Jonhson404.

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