Fire and Brine

Story One - A Place Called Home - Chapter Four

Chapter Four

Welcome back for the third time now! By now the players are probably about halfway through (or near to) what I planned for Story One. The new pack start to patrol their territory and start to deal with the more pressing problems. The most immediate is the subject of Black Veins.

Anyway. We drop straight back to where we left off…

Leaving Fred in the warehouse with the bloody pipe and the near-dead body the pack head out to the address of the guys that ambushed them in the warehouse. Lorcan, having discarded his improvised weapon drops off at the chase, and picks up his proper weapon, the longsword.

They trudge up to the address, down a lane of terrace houses near the middle of their territory. Through the gloom of the storm, and the lack of decent street lamps they eventually find the house, which looks like a shitty converted yard house. There are lights on within, and the pack sneak around the back, easily covered by the storm, and spy inside. The back of the house opens onto a shared yard, probably the original feature of the group of houses. Within the house there are two guys watching tv in a sparsely furnished room. The ‘house’ looks like a living room/kitchen and probably a bedroom and bathroom. What stands out is the small pile of duffle-bags and guns that sit on the table.

With a plan forming the four head back, muttering it would be easier if Blue was here and once this is done they should really find out where he’s gone. This aside, the four prepare themselves, Ethan goes to the door, whilst John and Lorcan hide to the sides and Jack slinks into a nearby alley to watch the pack’s back.

Ethan knocks on the door, and the tv inside turns off and the door opens a crack, with the door chain preventing it opening further. A suspicious face looks out.

“Yeah, what do you want?”

“Uh, you got some of that Back Vein stuff, yeah?” Asks Ethan in his best addict act.

“No. You got the wrong place man”, and the door slams shut.

Plan B is enacted and Lorcan swings around and tries to boot in the door, with Ethan joining in. They can hear the back door slam open out back, John shifts into Urhan form and gives chase, bounding after the two men who are running to a car on the other side of the yard, one of them fumbling with keys.

The thing is, chasing down the prey is what this form excels in and John easily bounds the length of the yard and the alley to the car the two men have reached, slamming into the one with the keys into the car and knocking him cold. The other, on the opposite side sees this wolf shape bound out of the darkness of the storm onto his buddy and immediately loses it, running away as far as he can. John bounds after him, grinning much like a wolf does.

Just to let you know, John’s player got 13 successes on one of his chase rolls. A combination of treating your speed as a dice pool and having the bonus for being one’s territory helped greatly here.

Lorcan and Ethan meanwhile realise they can just use their totemic gift and unlock the door in front of them, with Lorcan running into the night after the two and Ethan walking into the house and search about, with Jack closing the front door after him.

Lorcan quickly runs across the yard and alley to the car, finding one of the men from the house sprawled unconscious. He looks down the road and spies the other on the floor pinned by John in wolf form with the guy screaming “get your dog off me man!”

Lorcan obliges, grinning whilst asking John to ‘sit’. John just narrows his wolf eyes. He then points his sword at the men and gestures back to the house, picking up the other man as they head back.

Ethan, in his search of the place has found no Black Veins, but he has found a lot of guns, and about 10 grand in various duffle-bags. Eyes gleaming, he picks up a shotgun, offering the table to Jack.

“Nah, I’m good with this Ethan,” he says warily, waving his pistol.

The two outside return with an unconscious runner and the other, who they forcefully shove into a chair.

“Tell us what where is the Black Veins, or we start hurting you” Lorcan growls, point his sword at him with Ethan cocking the shotgun, Jack aiming the pistol and John in the corner staring intently.

The man pauses, and breaks.

“Holy shit man, you think that I’m involved in that? I’m just a guy who whacks people! I’m not and fucking drug dealer!”

This pauses the pack, “So why the hell were your men at the drug meet?” Ethan asks.

“We got paid to knock off some guy called Jack, he’s been asking questions…”

The pack look at Jack, who’s gun-line is now wavering. Jack takes a step back away from the scene, glaring at the hitman.

“That’s Jack.” Lorcan points out.

“Fuck man. Sorry, it’s nothing personal. It’s just a job.” The man recoils in his chair.

“Who paid you, who’s dealing in Black Veins”, Lorcan asks – still pointing his sword.

“I can’t tell you that, they’ll kil-.” He sighs, “they’re called the Schmidt brothers, they’re Euro’s who do anything in the Black Market. They’re hold up at St Mary’s School. They’re the source.” He pauses, looking at the pack, “so… Can I leave?”

The pack stare at him, then nod. Lorcan stares at him as he picks up his buddy, “get the fuck out of our territory. If we see you again…”

“Hey man, I’m getting out of this city. It’s crazy.” And with that the guy leaves carrying his compatriot.

In the corner, Jack breathes out, shaking slightly. John, as a result of taking down these mortals feels more cut off from the spirit.

Jack passed a breaking point, he’s now Guilty (as a result of being complicit in multiple murders and now intimidation, yay! The other all passed their Harmony checks, apart from John who is now Harmony *.

Left in the room the four ponder their next move, St Mary’s is an old (and abandoned) school dating from the 19th Century. It’s been closed since the 80’s, and is on the eastern border of their territory.

They reason that there’s no time like the present and move to the school, and find themselves outside the tall gates, Ethan getting flashbacks to the chain fence outside the chase from Monday. The pack climb the fence (helping Ethan along), leaving Jack on look out. Partly so they can have a look out, partly so that Jack can take a break,

Walking into the grounds of the old school, the three decide to check out the outside before inside. Walk around the school, which has a main block capped with a clock-tower, and two wings that encompass the main school yard. Off to the side is an old barn/stable/yard, that now has an expensive 4×4 sitting in it. Lorcan, before they leave the barn, puts hit sword through the tires. That should stop any escape plans.

Moving at the back of the building, they find an old grounds keepers hut, full of old tools. The group mentally bookmark the place and grab two battered old blinking torches from the wall. They’re lucky and the two work.

Having scouted the place, they head inside and Ethan places his hand onto the main door, concentrates and locks all the entrances and exits. The place is dead as the grave, and there is a strange dusty acrid smell in the air. The group start to look around, with Ethan leading, and investigate for any sign of people. But the group get lost quickly and Ethan leads them into the old classrooms, going inside the same one multiple times. Eventually Ethan loses patience, and throws the blinking and faulty torch against the wall – smashing it to bits.

The sound echoes around the school.

The pack, reason that they might as well follow their noses, and smell out the source of that strange smell. Following it, they find themselves in the janitor’s office looking at some stairs that lead down, adorned with pipes.

John, in wolf form elects to sneak down and scout out what’s down there. As he sneaks down, something down there notices and takes cover. John walks down the corridor, and is taken by surprise by the man hiding around the corner, who shoots with his shotgun and catches John straight in the face and blows a chunk out of it.

Five lethal. Ouch. That’s only the start.

Starting at the sound of the gun Lorcan and Ethan move towards the stairs whilst John pounces at the mountain of the first man, Dara. Meanwhile Dara’s muscled twin appears from the doorway with another shotgun. Lorcan runs into brawl, blade flashing, and Ethan covers them shooting at the new guy with Ethan’s new shotgun (whose spread of shot makes up for Ethan’s lack of skill with guns.

As the sound of the shots ring the corridor there’s a call out in a foreign accent.

“Everyone just calm down, perhaps we can come to an arrangment”, and two men walk into view from the room that Dara and his twin Michael just walked out of. They are hard looking men, blond one with short hair and one with longer hair. They both have a heavy handgun.

There is a brief ceasefire as everyone starts to lower their weapons. Everyone but Lorcan who uses the lull to swipe at Michael, but fumbles it completely leaving him open to the two Germans and Dara and Michael’s shooting fusillade and their attack blow Lorcan off his feet, leaving him in a bleeding, ventilated mess on the floor.

At this point in time Lorcan, in Dalu, is full (bar two) of aggravated damage. Ouch.

The corridor is so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Klaus Schmidt slowly, puts his weapon down, “now if we all lose it we all die. I can help your friend if you wish, if you let us go. We’re done with this shitty crazy city. This shit is not worth it.”

The pack agree, with no first aid skill between them, and Klaus quickly stems the bleeding of Lorcan. The two groups slowly, and tensely depart with Ethan, as soon as they’re clear from the building, taking some of Lorcan’s grievous wounds onto his frame.

Ethan takes Lorcan to the gate where he meets with Jack they head to the Chase to find out some way to help the groaning Lorcan.

Meanwhile John waits outside, wounds knitting. He spies five men go out of the school, on the other side of the Gauntlet he sees their bodies outlined in a strange black dust. They head out to the barn, where he can hear a “scheisse!” on the wind. Another hour passes and eventually the 4×4 trundles out of the grounds and into the night.

John heads inside and downstairs to check out the strange scent.
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Back at the Chase, Ethan lets Lorcan down onto the ground gingerly, and gets Jack to look after him whilst Ethan goes out to find the pack totem – maybe the Bleeding Horse knows a spirit who can help with the healing. At the bridge where the totem resides he finds the boundary spirit.

Ethan asks the spirit if there are any spirits that could provide healing. His totem pauses, and tells him "THE RIVERS ARE COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH LIFE. THE ELDEST OF THOSE SPIRITS MAY HELP YOU.

Ethan sits down and thinks for a while. He then heads to the supposed entrance of the spirit of the Liffey’s Court.
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Lorcan is sitting, uncomfortably, in the Chase talking to Jack. The subject of Jack’s family comes up, Lorcan using his wounds as an excuse to poke. Jack explains, “it was my father’s side. They fucking weird man, bad and… Strange. The whole thing makes a lotta sense with you guys existing to be honest. O’Flaherty is not my family’s name, it’s MacAirgead.”

At that name Lorcan has a shiver, that name roughly translates as “Scions of Silver” – which sounds awfully like the name of an Ivory Claw clan-name.

There’s an awkward conversation between them.

“Shit” says Jack.
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Meanwhile, John goes downstairs and finds a lab where the other men had come out of. There are several tables of chemical apparatus, all from something growing on the basement walls. It looks like a massive fungus, all black, slimy and furry. It seems superimposed on the world, and quivers every time John gets nearer to it. Looking onto the other side, it looks exactly the same – almost as if the growth exists on both sides of the Gauntlet.

John thinks, and decides on the only course of action, shifting into Garou and clawing chunks out of the wall. As he touches the growth it explodes in acrid black spores which John immediately breathes in, and the stuff burns the inside of his lungs. John switches down, as he stumbles out of the room and retches up black mucosal stuff. He looks back at the room.

What is this stuff?

And that’s where we leave it for tonight. This session was the start of a derail that will continue next week. But it’s a good derail, Ethan should be able to feel like a a bad ass next week!

Today we saw a combat with the group facing some NPCs actually trained for combat. No one walked away from the basement fight without some hefty wounds. Nasty, but fun stuff. See you next week!

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EdGilbert

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