Otters aka Roadkill
Tabasco aka Cholula
The team receives a frantic radio call from a Cutters members named Lil Caesar at The Dom – Peregrine managed to open the vault, but something came out, caused some chaos and is now chasing Peregrine. The team loads up and races over, minus Dig, who is mid-ritual restoring the golems.
When they arrive, they find LC, a Scottish Troll, waiting for them, and do some quick investigating. It looks like 2-4 large animals of some sort charged out of the bank vault, through the lobby, down the steps, and down the street towards Downtown. Cholula and CG head out to start tracking the beasts and hoping to help Peregrine, while the rest of the team keeps investigating onsite.
Creep and TD question LC a bit, and take a look at the damage inside, while Otters examines wounds outside and determines that whatever did this has both sharp claws and some kind of multi-pronged horn or antler. The beasts seems to have been just bulling through a crowd rather than specifically attacking, aside from two mangled Cutters who look to have tried to get in the way.
Lacking medical skills and supplies, the van team heads out to catch up to the trackers, who have made impressive work of tracking the trail of destruction towards Downtown. The van catches up and Otters gets Morticia out front and spots Peregrine getting cornered into a dead-end alley by the beast- there are indeed four, and something is deeply wrong with them.
They appear at first to be mutated deer, but also have the face of a bear below their twisted, dripping antlers, long hairless muscled arms ending in sharp claws, in addition to their 4 hooved legs, and exposed rib cages, dripping some kind of ichor, which seems to disappear shortly after it hits the ground- looks like we’re dealing with spirits! Luckily the team brought LC along, who says he is decent at fighting these things, and seems like a bit of a wildass.
The team engages, and finds that there non-magical weaponry is hardly having any effect. One of the beasts gores Peregrine badly, and drives him back into the alley. Creep, Cholula, and LC charge forward, trying to save Peregrine, while Otters engages at a distance with the van, TD provides leadership (which LC happily accepts), and CG fires with his shotgun and uses his spirit to lower the beasts defenses.
While the non-magical gradually chip away at the spirits, LC is doing massive damage with his magic punches, and Cholula takes a hint and starts biting the spirits with his jaw. Creep also spots that all 4 beasts have some sort of antique collars buried deep in their muscular neck flesh, glowing with strange runes and arcane sigils. Seeing that the collars seems to be regenerating the spirits, they adjust their targeting.
They eventually manage to destroy all 4 collars and 3 of the spirits, with the final spirit only attacking CG’s spirit. Otters accidentally misses with the HMG and knocks CG prone (luckily only wrecking his armor), and then has a bright idea. Since the last spirit seems “freed”, if they all play dead, the spirit may accept that is has achieved dominance and leave them be.
Cholula, having raced to the alley, slams a trauma patch on Peregrine after stuffing his guts back in, and then also drops prone when he emerges from the alley and sees everyone else doing that. The spirit raises it’s head, paws the ground a few times, huffs, and then dissaparates. The team breaths a sigh of relief, dusts themselves off, and then races back to The Dom since none of them have any better medical ideas, with Creep hanging back to collect what he can of the destroyed collars.
They get to The Dom with the trauma patch still working, but find the medical staff there overloaded and under-supplied dealing with the other casualties from earlier. LC and Cholula race across the roofs over to the Plat Zone to restock, and LC gets distracted talking to Ringmaster about suit tailoring for dwarves, trolls and others outside the fashion norms. Cholula stays on task, gets what he needs from Stitches, and they dash back.
The rest of the team heads into the Vault to check things out and collect their reward, and find it disappointingly empty of treasure. They carefully check for traps, and then investigate. They find a broken summoning circle, where Creep recognizes the same runes and sigils as from the collars. It is atop a wrought-iron gantry set exactly center in a near perfect sphere made of brick. There are bone fragments and cloth scraps underneath it, which Creep slips through and grabs. CG does some astral investigation, and finds that the ritual has been disrupted, and though this still seems like a bestial magic locus, the leylines connected are fading back again a bit.
The medical staff says they’ve done what they can for Peregrine, but he’s still in rough shape. Everyone heads back to the Tin Can to debrief and drink while Otters secretly works on the van out back, so that LC doesn’t learn their safehouse locale. They have some fun before LC heads out, and then Cholula stays up late to recharge the van since Dig is still working on his rituals. It occurs to him that LC would probably like another electro-charge-bike, so he collects some parts and runs it over to The Dom.
There, he sets up a public charging station out front, which instantly gets swarmed, while LC madly pedals away. Cholula spots a draconic form flying over him, before turning into Brunwyn Harridan as she alights into the medical area through a window. He sends LC up to investigate and takes over on the bike. LC pushes into the medical area, and sees Brunwyn and Peregrine shaking hands, seemingly cementing some sort of deal.
Pushing it a little bit, LC asks what this is all about, and Brunwyn explains that she is taking over providing supplies to The Dom, and will clean up “the mess” in the basement. LC, feeling slightly intimidated, backs out at that point, and reports into Cholula. Cholula races back to the safehouse to debrief with the team. Meanwhile, Otters has taken the VTOL to Run and Sollars private library to research the bank.
With the help of The Cartographer, she finds info that a fur and lumber fortune family scion mysteriously vanished in the late 1800’s, after he developed a fascination with the spiritual and occult. He had been meant to run a new family establishment- the bank which has subsequently become The Dom. Otters head back to report in.
Meanwhile, back at the safehouse, CG has done a Ritual of Bone on the fragments, and gotten a small amount of info- TD oversees to provide some guidance. They determine that whoever this was came from wealth and sought forbidden knowledge, that he joined and investigated various cults and secret societies in pursuit of knowledge, and that some secret society seemed to be behind it all- which the team puts together is likely the Black Lodge.
Meeting up, the team shares all their info, and puts the story together as best they can. It seems like a mana spike must have occurred to allow the ritual, but it was likely corrupted by bad or toxic reagents from the time, as well as a lack of full understanding of how the magic works. It looks the caster was trapped and killed, and slowly ground to bits over the centuries since by the trapped spirits. The ritual circle was likely meant as a controller for the collars, which would have given the caster significant power, especially at the time.
Then, they decide that Brunwyn must either be behind one of the two SK Brackhauses, or have taken over their op to supply The Dom, likely wanting control over the bestial power center as their primary goal, though the good PR never hurts. They decide to look into the famine problems next, worried about more dark spirits gaining too much power….