Chapter Two: Minnie’s Old Friends
Brian McRae had visions of Minnie and another Hazel Weis with a group of street kids. In Harpers Crossing, Violet was in some sort of ghost coma. The Soul Eater appeared. Lina tried to stop it, but the coven banished it with the help of Night, Brian, and Edwin. It was all over the news. They went to New Hope to find Hazel. Night went to the library to investigate while the other three found Jake (one of the street kids), who told them Hazel disappeared the same time Minnie did. Brian uses his ability and had a vision of Hazel as the 8th victim. Some powerful, evil force noticed him and Brian was badly injured. Edwin magically healed him most of the way, but they decided to go to the .Cranston County Hospital (where Minnie is).
List of clues and significant events:
- Minnie hung out with a group of homeless teens in New Hope
- Those teens hung out with a figure that was clouded in Brian’s visions
- Hazel will be victim #8 (it’s unclear if she’s already dead or will be soon)
- Violet is in some sort of ghost coma — what did she experience?
- There is something vast and powerful (like an ancient god) tied to the murders
- The symbol of a white triangle might be significant
- The Catacombs and subterranean graves are becoming a recurring theme
- Brian has scared and probably pissed off the FBI
- Some of the PCs have drawn the attention of the media
Visions of Minnie
Brian McRae had an overpowering vision at the moment of the massive Essence surge the night before Minnie was found. In it, he saw Minnie talking to another girl in an alleyway. He recognized it and knew it was in the Hoyt and Cross financial district of downtown New Hope. He went there and found several cigarette butts and other trash that he could read. He was still raw from the massive vision and lost control, getting a flood of visions instead of being able to hone on what he wants. Minnie was part of a shifting group of street kids who often met here. Brian would be able to recognize many of them later. He also saw a blurred, shadowy figure (male and adult, but otherwise unclear). The kids interacted with him and didn’t seem scared or worried, but no matter what Brian tried, he couldn’t see him clearly. Brian decided to go to the vigil in Harpers Crossing in case any of the kids (who were Minnie’s friends) showed up.
The End of the Vigil
When Minnie’s ghost disappeared, it pulled at Edwin and Violet like a sucking void. Edwin’s Essence Shield spell blocked the worst of the effect, though it almost broke his shield. He snapped back to his body. Violet was less lucky and was knocked into some sort of ghost coma.
Then the Soul Eater appeared.It was a nine-foot tall shadowed figure. It was humanoid, with a wide-brimmed hat, inhumanly wide shoulders and too-long arms that ended in talons. It appeared to be made completely of shadows, except for its eyes, which burned the same red as the numbers the victims.
Lina tried to banish the Soul Eater to protect the unconscious Violet (against the advice of her mentor, Gabriel), but she wasn’t strong enough. Luckily, Father Zachary grabbed her and teleported her away somewhere. The Soul Eater turned it’s attention to Lina and began advancing towards her. Gabriel pushed through the crowd, grabbed her by the shoulders, and forcibly shut down her death sight.
The coven of Wicce, lead by Maya pulled Night, Brian, and Edwin into their circle and with 7 members they banished the Soul Eater. With the three PCs added to the circle, the remaining three Wicce formed a second circle to hide the large amount of Essence the circle of 7 gathered to lessen attention both locally and lessen how far away it could be sensed. Several mundane bystanders witnessed and afterwards Edwin made a show of thanking the “wiccans” for including him in their prayer for Minnie.
Meanwhile, Lina was being blamed for sabotaging the picture. She tried to slip away and the crowd closed to keep her there. She tried talking to them and convincing them to let her past, but she failed badly and they became more suspicious. She was near tears.
Maya enters a small, but tidy house. Incense burns, the shelves is full of books on feminism and witchcraft. Pictures of the moon and priestesses and cats and occult symbols decorate the wall. Maya pushes through a bead curtain, then walks through the kitchen (soup boils on the stove). Through another door, this one carved with an ornate pentagram, into a Wicce sanctum. A pentagram in a circle is drawn on the floor. Familiar ritual tools are placed around at the corners. It’s a typical magical scene, except for the woman sprawled across the pentagram. Her breath catches in a stifled sob.
“That’s the last of them. They’re all gone,” Maya’s voice fills the room, thick with grief. Brian can’t see the dead woman’s face.
Edwin reached the front of the crowd and had much better luck calming them, talking to several of them individually by name. However, he didn’t try to remove suspicion from Lina; instead he put the blame squarely on Lina in order to provide a clear mundane explanation, but convinced everyone to have sympathy. Lina was not thrilled. Then Brian did a “Sherlock Holmes” and showed off knowing a lot about the FBI agents (from his psychometry) and intimidated and stunned them into silence before they got involved. He succeeded with a dramatic flair and videos of his show soon went viral. Meanwhile, stories of Lina and her emotional disturbance would be front page news (though the coverage was sympathetic, with many of the witnesses interviewed quoting Edwin’s comments about being understanding).
Looking for the Other Kids
Edwin, Night, Lina, and Brian (all of the PCs, except Violet) gathered in a meeting room in the Town Hall to compare notes. Based on Brian’s vision and drawings, Night recognized the other girl as Hazel Weiss, another run-away (though she was 18 and so not reported).
Edwin ensured that Violet was okay, then the rest of them went to New Hope to find her. As they drove out of town (in Edwin’s car), Lina saw that many of the ghosts gathered at the periphery of Harpers Crossing were gone now — they’d been eaten by the Soul Eater.
It was late, so they began searching the following morning (Monday, Sep 4, 2017). Night went to the library to investigate, while the other three talked to homeless until in Grand Junction, the rundown bus terminal were many of the poor entered the city, they found a kid Brian recognized from his visions. The kid gave his name as Jake. He told them that Hazel and Minnie were close, but that Hazel disappeared the same time Minnie did.
At Brian’s request, he lead them to where Hazel slept last. It was an abandoned three story brick warehouse also in the Grand Junction neighborhood. The street kids had squatted there for a couple weeks until rougher elements drove them out. It was a crack den now. Jake found an old hat that Hazel had used and gave it to Brian.
Hazel had lost the hat before she disappeared, so Brian couldn’t simply read the past. Instead he had to read the future, which was harder and also more dramatic to witness. There was a block and he couldn’t see anything from the time the hat was lost until the present. He pushed further into the future, past the block and felt an ominous sense of danger and that something was beginning to notice him. He refused to stop and pressed on, knowing the danger. He found himself in what at first seemed like hallways, then he realized they were the tunnels of a catacomb, complete with corpses laid into tombs and slots in the walls. There was a glowing triangle in the distance. He approached until the triangle had grown into a large portal. On the other side he saw Hazel with a number “8” on her. She was dead. Then she convulsed and screamed silently like Minnie had. Behind him, something wet and tainted and wrong gurgled. When he turned, it slashed his face with dripping appendages somewhere between fingers and tentacles.
Brian snapped out of the vision, but the deep cuts were carved into his physical face. Bone showed through the deep cuts and black and green ichor was mixed in with the blood. All of the crack heads had started moaning and thrashing during his visions and many had screamed at the same time he was slashed.
Edwin rushed Brian, Lina, and the kid out of the crack house. The Essence in the crack hosue was terrible to begin with and worsened by the fallout of the vision and Edwin didn’t want to try to heal him there. The kid ran off. At his car, Edwin began regular first aid while he channeled enough Essence to heal Brian magically. Edwin felt all of the pain while healing and stifled his own screams. The wound closed most of the way, but even with magic it remained raw and loosely scabbed, ready to break back open. The infection seemed to be abated.
Brian needed further medical attention. They decided to take him to the Cranston County Hospital. First, the head doctor, Dr. Thaddeus Stevens, was known to all of them but more importantly at least partially clued-in. Second, it just so happened that they knew Minnie Turner was being kept there, so maybe they could pay her a visit and kill two birds with one stone.