The Case of Minnie Turner

Prologue
Minnie Harper is Discovered

Prologue: Minnie Harper is Discovered

Friday, September 1, 2017 – 12:00 PM EST:

Right at midnight, a massive burst of Essence was released somewhere between Harpers Crossing and New Hope. Every Gifted individual within over 50 miles felt it. The Essence tasted of the grave and death and something else. Something tainted. As suddenly as it began, the Essence burst ended. Something had happened. Something bad.

Saturday, September 2, 2017 – 10:30 AM EST:

A Harpers Crossing local, Trevon Caraballo, was hiking in the woods just north of the Potomac River outside Harpers Crossing when stumbled across a young woman stumbling through the woods. She had short hair dyed black, a torn and bloodied thin white dress, and no shoes. The woman was Minnie Turner, another Harpers Crossing native who disappeared a year ago.

She was clearly injured and traumatized, so Mr. Caraballo called the Harper’s Crossing Sheriff’s Department and an ambulance.

While helping her, Trevon noticed the red numeral “9” on her right shoulder blade. The police and the paramedics noticed it as well.

Saturday, September 2, 2017 – 01:00 PM EST:

The first of the reporters began pulling into Harpers Crossing in their vans and trucks. The calls to Mayor Edwin Danforth Stowell, Sheriff John Brown, and other officials had begun almost immediately after Minnie was found.

How was this possible? Kevin Meadows had been arrested as the “New Hope Devil” twenty years ago and was still sitting on Death Row. Was it a copycat? Was it possible they caught the wrong man and Kevin Meadows wasn’t the New Hope Devil after all?

The exact location of Minnie was kept secret and she was under police protection, but a press release said she was in stable condition, but had suffered significant physical and psychological trauma. She had slipped into a coma in the ambulance and had not yet awakened.

The town officials announced a vigil would be held the next night for Minnie in the Harpers Crossing town park.

Saturday, September 2, 2017 – 07:00 PM EST:

An FBI team, lead by Special Agents Giselle Elder and Tom Garland landed in the Pat Gleason Memorial Airport in New Hope. Arrangements had begun hours before and they were met by representatives from the New Hope Police Department. The newly formed combined task force arrived in Harpers Crossing about an hour later.

Meanwhile, as far away as New Hope, ghosts are drawn towards Harpers Crossing. It doesn’t matter whether they’re mindless echoes or powerful wraiths, and whether they are normally tied to anchors or free to travel as they wish, they all come. An exodus of ghosts begins to converge. They can’t cross the Potomac or Shenandoah rivers and are gathering like bystanders around an accident.

Sunday, September 3, 2017:

Our story begins…

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Chapter One - Minnie's Ghost
A Gathering of Victims and Investigators

Chapter One: Minnie’s Ghost

Summary

tl;dr…

Four of the PCs (Lina, Night, Violet, and Edwin) all meet up in Harpers Crossing. It’s a media circus and the normally bucolic Harpers Crossing is stuffed with people that night for a vigil held for the still unconscious Minnie Turner. At the vigil, Minnie’s ghost appears, but it is not like other ghosts. Her ghost approaches the display with her picture and flowers and touches her own picture, before grabbing the hands of Violet and Edwin (in spirit form). Violet and Edwin are burned by her touch, and her hand print is burned on the glass of the picture, along with the words: “Help me.” Everyone can see the hand print and writing and people begin screaming.

There are some clues and troubling portents revealed:

  • Ghosts are acting really strange and are drawn to Harpers Crossing
  • Minnie’s classmates know more about where she’s been the last year than the police do
  • Minnie is being held at Cranston County Hospital; it’s a secret, but all the PCs know the head doctor (Dr. Stevens) treating her
  • Minnie appeared as some form of ghost even though she isn’t dead
  • Minnie’s touch left marks similar to the numbers on the victims
  • A seemingly mundane CSI tech (Morgan Fredericks) aroused Edwin’s suspicion
  • A unknowingly Gifted reporter (Kylee Betz) recognized Night was more than she seemed and has become curious about her
  • Something called the Soul Eater has returned after not being seen since the murders stopped
  • Adam Hoffman (a Rosicrucian and Night’s dad) has invited both Night and Edwin to dinner, though different times)
  • The Wicce consider this case their responsibility and Edwin offered to help them

Ghosts in New Hope

Lina Harper had been stalked by the media and curious acquaintances since Minnie Turner was found. Twenty years ago, Lina’s mother, Linda Harper, was the face of the Hew Hope Devil murders. She was the second and most famous victim of Kevin Meadows and every news story at the time (and every documentary and made-for-TV movie since) always displayed her face. Lina didn’t remember her mother, but she looked almost identical. Now many of those same news stations were looking to get her reaction and face to display during the new round of stories.

Lina was staying on a friend’s couch in New Hope in a crappy, but relatively safe area on the edge of the Lockam slums and relatively nicer Morgan County Reservoir neighborhood. She’d been keeping her head down and not answering any of her growing number of emails and voice mails. Eventually, Lina risked venturing out (in disguise) to a local coffee place.

It didn’t take long for Lina to notice the ghosts. Lina was a necromancer and had seen ghosts her entire life, but there were several of them out on the streets in the daylight and heading west (in the direction of Harpers Crossing). That would have been strange enough under any circumstances, but several of them were mindless echoes at best and shouldn’t have been away from their anchors for any reason.

Lina had already planned on heading towards Harpers Crossing for the upcoming vigil. Combined with the massive burst of death-flavored Essence two nights ago, it was becoming clear that there was something big happening. Odds were it wasn’t anything good.

Preparing for the Vigil

Nighteen Hoffman (usually called Night) was in the Harpers Crossing Library helping prepare for the vigil later that night. She was gathering books and materials, her aging cat familiar curled on a shelf, watching impassively.

Night had spoken briefly with various members of the media that had descended on Harpers Crossing like thick flies. The library had significant and historically significant archives, almost none of it digitized yet, as well as a large collection of local history books. The head librarian was on an extended absence while she traveled and Night was currently in charge at the library.

Night overheard some voices in quiet conversation on the other side of a row of shelves.

“…her own fault, you know?” said the fist voice.

“I know,” the second voice said after a nervous giggle, “I heard someone saw her in ”/wikis/new-hope" class=“wiki-page-link”> New Hope hanging out with Morty and Autumn."

“Oh my god, those two are so creepy. It really is her fault…”

Just then they walked around the corner and saw Night looking at them. It was two high school girls she knew, Kristin Sparkman and Cyndi Dickman. They were both about Minnie’s age and had been in her class.

They both looked at Night, embarrassed that she had obviously overheard them. They mumbled hello and scurried out of the library.

Before the door closed all the way, it was pushed back open and two people entered. One was a pretty young black reporter Night vaguely recognized from some New Hope TV station. Her name was Kylee, though Night couldn’t remember her last name.

Kylee was Gifted, though she didn’t seem to realize it. The Gifted can sense each other and Kylee realized there was something about Night, though she didn’t understand what she wass feeling. She latched onto Night based on a “hunch” that she was significant. Night brushed her off by acting obtuse and cheerful and giving inane answers, but Kylee wasn’t convinced. She left with a knowing smile, a wave, and another appraising look. She’d be back.

Across the town, Violet Holmes stood at edge of city looking at where dozens of ghosts had already gathered. The red number “7” from her murder was clearly visible and couldn’t be hidden in the Twilight Realms. More ghosts were coming in a slow but steady stream. The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, which surrounded Harpers Crossing on three sides formed a barrier they couldn’t cross, so they stood around like gawkers behind police tape.

Harpers Crossing was old and full of ghosts. The two other powerful ghosts in town were also nearby watching. Father Zach, an old ghost of a priest, a little addled, but charming and chatty (during the day at least), stood by Violet’s side companionably. The other ghost, known only as “Blue”, stood apart, radiating cold and anger. Blue was a terrifyingly powerful ghost of an unnamed Civil War soldier and normally never left the caves in the rock ledge that “Lower Town” Harpers Crossing sat on.

Father Zach talked to Violet about the ghosts gathering. It had happened before, he told her, when the murderer Kevin Meadows began murdering in Harpers Crossing two decades ago. He glanced at her number several times. He knew she didn’t remember being murdered or anything until after Meadows was caught. Father Zach continued, saying that the buzz in the ghost taverns in New Hope was that the Soul Eater was back.

Violet hadn’t heard of the Soul Eater but felt a chill. She decided it was time to talk to Edwin. They’d made a pact, sealed with a shake, years ago and she could sense him and appear in his presence at will as easily as any of her anchors.

The Harpers Crossing Town Hall was a small brick building in the heart of the historic district of Harpers Crossing. Inside, Mayor Edwin Danforth Stowell came out of the second meeting of the Harpers Crossing Town Council that day. The other six members besides the mayor were all wired, ranging from worried to poorly hidden excitement. Edwin calmed and chatted with each in turn. Once he was satisfied that everyone was at least reasonably level-headed, he begged off saying he needed to call his wife, Marie. He stepped into the small hallway, crossed to his small office, and called her. They talk briefly before the ghost Violet appears next to him. Edwin acknowledged her presence with a nod and wrapped up his call.

Edwin hung up and turned to Violet. She filled him on what Father Zach had said about the Soul Eater. Edwin had heard of it back when he’d first arrived, but didn’t know much. It was some sort of ghost or spirit that ate ghosts. It was scary and powerful, but disappeared as soon as the murders stopped without a trace… until now.

Then there was a “pinging” at the wards Edwin had placed around his studio. It felt like someone or something systematically testing those wards. Worried and disturbed, Edwin decided to check it out right away and Violet came with him. His studio was nearby and it didn’t take long to reach it. Edwin peaked around a corner to get a glimpse without being seen.

Morgan Fredericks, a CSI tech from New Hope Police Department was causally standing on the street, looking bored, and throwing small stones at the foundation of the studio (not hard enough to cause any damage).

He appeared completely mundane to both Edwin and Violet, so Edwin approached. Morgan looked up, not seeming worried or furtive and smiled at Edwin. Edwin put on his most winning smile and turned the charm up to 11. Morgan didn’t stand a chance and a few minutes later was sitting in the studio sipping tea and telling Edwin his life story.

Morgan was excited about the murders, but as a cool technical challenge, not maliciously. Violet watched him closely; like all ghosts she could see the surge of Essence that unshielded humans released when lying. Morgan was guileless, with no flairs, except for one topic: When Edwin asked him about his boss, Morgan talked about his supervisor at the New Hope Police Department and Edwin picked up no change in his voice or face, but Violet saw a flair. He was lying about something. Violet told Edwin and Edwin asked more questions. Morgan’s answers were all fine on the surface and Edwin wasn’t able to find any clue what he was lying about.

Edwin was paranoid at the best of times, due to his secret identity and secret mission as a ranking member of the Knights Templar and his paranoia was now in full gear, but he let Morgan leave with a cheerful wave.

Approaching the bridge over the rivers into Harpers Crossing, Lina didn’t slow her moped when she saw dozens of ghosts gathered. They saw her and several moved in her direction, begging her to take them across. Lina ignored them uncomfortably and they fell behind her as the sound of the road under her changed as she pulled onto the metal bridge.

On the other side of the bridge Lina was officially in Harpers Crossing. Matthew Schul, the deputy of Harpers Crossing and one of the only two law enforcement in Harper’s Crossing Sheriff’s Department, greeted her. He knew her from her visits when she was younger. He says he hopes she already has arrangements because there are no empty rooms anywhere with all the media squatting in town. She assures him she does, hoping that’s true with her few friends in town. It’s almost dark now and people are gathering for the vigil.

The Vigil Begins

Night was greeted by all the locals as she walked into the park where the vigil was being held. She saw Kristin, one of the girls she’d overheard in the library, with her mom, Abby Sparkman. Abby approached her and started talking, trapping Night unless she wanted to be rude. Abby was worried and scared and talked a lot about how Kristin was the same age as Minnie Turner and wasn’t that terrible. Kristin looks embarrassed and avoids eye contact, scanning the crowd instead.

Then Night saw Kylee Betz, the reporter from the library. Kylee hadn’t spotted her yet, but would momentarily and Night was sure she’d approach for an interview with cameraman in tow. Night excused herself, saying she saw a friend, and ducked away.

It was true, too. Eli Turnbow was in town and had spotted her. Eli was a Rosicrusian and old family friend. Night’s father, Adam Hoffman, had been his mentor and had never hidden that he thought Eli was a proper match for Night. Night didn’t mind Eli, though she wasn’t romantically interested. He was so… white bread.

Eli greeted Night brightly. After initial small talk, during which Night positioned them to be out of the reporter’s line of sight, Eli confessed that her father had given him a message for her. Her father wanted her to leave town and lay low. Things might get dangerous in the area. Night was dismissive saying he could tell her himself if he wished. Eli smiled, unfazed, and said that he’d also invited her to dinner on Sunday at 6:00 PM and he could tell her then. Night said she’d consider.

Kylie the reporter has moved on, and Night ventured back over to Abby and Kristin. Abby excitedly asked if that was her boyfriend and opined that he was cute. Night said no, jsut an old friend.

After Night left, Eli made his way towards Edwin. They were both Rosicrucians and knew each other fairly well. Eli greeted Edwin, then talked business. Most of the Rosicrucians were dealing with issues in Philadelphia and would be less help than usual. Nathan Lacroix, the highest ranking Rosicrucian in the region (and also a fellow Knights Templar, though only Edwin knew that piece) had expressed that he was confident Edwin could handle this, but he should reach out if things went pear shaped. Edwin had another surge of paranoia.

Then, clearly as a separate topic, Eli said that Adam Hoffman had something important to talk to him about and asked if he could come to dinner at Adam’s house on Sunday at 5:00 PM (an hour before Night was invited, though he didn’t know that yet). Edwin agreed.

Violet was by Edwin throughout this conversation, though Eli didn’t detect her. There was nothing suspicious about Eli. Violet did detect the flare of paranoia from Edwin, but she’s used to that. Edwin hides it well, but he’s paranoid and intense underneath.

On the other side of the park, Lina hovered at the edge of crowd, looking around. She saw Gabriel Silva, her old mentor who had introduced her to and inducted her into the Twilight Order. She smiled and cut through the crowd to his side. He nodded and they caught up briefly. He’d also seen the ghosts driving in, of course, which was why he was there. He asked if she’d seen “Blue” out and about. He seemed worried.

Meanwhile, Edwin saw a Wicce coven standing in a tight knot. At their front was Maya Ramsey, the infamous “queen of the Wicce” who headed the Drover’s Park Coven (the oldest and most influential Wicce coven), though if rumors were to be believed she was a controversial and unpopular figure among her fellow witches, only liked by her own coven, though all feared and respected her power.

Eli also saw her and looked eager to avoid her attention. Seeing that, Edwin smiled and dragged Eli over towards the coven. Eli looked pale. Violet trailed along. None of the Wicce seemed to notice her.

Edwin greeted Maya and the rest of the coven respectfully. He was friendly and complimentary, playing Maya and the coven up. He introduced Eli, enjoying the discomfort on both sides. Then Edwin let Eli flee. Edwin told Maya that he respected their expertise and authority and wanted to help them. They were surprised and flattered. Maya said that if he discovered where Minnie had been found or, better yet, where ritual had taken place, to pelase pass that along to them. Edwin agreed.

Minnie Turner’s Ghost

Then Minnie Turner appeared. The number “9” was glowing a disturbing red on the same spot where it was on her phsyical body. Like Violet’s number, it shone through clothing and couldn’t be hidden. She was a ghost, but she also wasn’t. She seemed to only be half there and she reeked with an overwhelming smell of death and rot and damp, like buried leaves turned to black slime. There was something deeply subterranean about the smell. It was a smell of ancient buried death. She looked around the crowd and her eyes locked on the dais at the center of the park, where a large photograph of her was wreathed in flowers, forming an altar of sorts. Minnie began floating towards the altar. People instinctively moved out of her path. When someone couldn’t move and she passed through them, they shuddered. One boy gasped out loud.

Lina saw her first and pushed through crowd towards her. Gabriel followed her gaze, then followed. He was several feet behind.

Violet noticed next and told Edwin what she saw. Edwin told the Maya and the coven an abbreviated version and asked them to watch his body. Before they had a chance to do more than nod, Edwin found a corner and sat down. He projected his spirit and his body’s head slumped onto his chest. The Wicce began looking around and casting sublte spells of their own, but they stayed in a circle around Edwin.

Minnie turned to look at Lina, Edwin, and Violet in turn. Her eyes were black and bottomless voids. They pulled at their souls, threatening to pull them in and endlessly down. Each of them choked down the supernatural pall of fear and kept approaching.

Lina reached Minnie first, jsut as Minnie reached the dais. The difference between the smiling blonde picture in the frame and the too thin figure with crudely cut and black dyed hair was striking. Lina was now standing out in front of the crowd by the picture. Several people turned to look at her. Minnie reached out a hand and pressed it onto her shoulder in her picture (where the number was on her body and on her ghostly form). A blackened hand print appeared, followed by the hand-written words “Help Me”. These appeared in the physcial world and people started screaming when they noticed.

Then Violet arrived, followed shortly by Edwin (in spirit form) and Gabriel (in physical form). Minnie grabbed Violet’s and Edwin’s hands. Her touch burned. When she let go, both of them had red finger marks on their hands. They were the same red as the numbers, though not quite as vivid. The same mark appeared faintly on Edwin’s phsyical body.

Minnie opened her mouth as if screaming, but no sound came out. Then she was gone, but the air was filled with rotten leaves and the smell of decay.

That’s where the session ended.

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Chapter Two - Minnie's Old Friends
Retracing Minnie's last days

Chapter Two: Minnie’s Old Friends

Summary

tl;dr…

Brian McRae had a vision of Minnie, with another girl. He investigated and had more visions of a group of street kids. He went to the vigil in Harpers Crossing to see if any of the kids showed up.

Picking up where last session ended, when Minnie’s ghost disappeared, it knocked Violet into some sort of ghost coma. Then the Soul Eater appeared. Lina tried to stop it, but she wasn’t strong enough. Father Zachary grabbed Violet and teleported her to safety. The coven banished it with the help of Night, Brian, and Edwin.

Lina was blamed for sabotaging the picture. Edwin strengthened that beleif (to give a mundane explanation) but pushed for sympathy towards Lina. The whole exchange was caught on national television.

The four PCs (except Violet) compared notes and Night recognized the other girl in Brian’s vision as Hazel Weiss, another run-away. They went to New Hope to find her. 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.

Jake lead them to where Hazel slept last and Brian uses his ability to see into Hazel’s future. He saw a vision of of Hazel as the 8th victim. Some powerful and evil force noticed him and attacked. Brian is badly injured, but Edwin heals him most of the way and they decide to head to the .Cranston County Hospital (where Minnie is).

That’s where we ended.

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.

Edwin, Brian, and Night heard the commotion and pulled away from the coven. As they were leaving, Brian touched Maya, the high priestess, and got a vision from her past:

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.

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