As Otsuchi opens the door to the main floor he encounters familiar surroundings. He remembers the daytime tour of the asylum he and Kronate took yesterday morning…
Flashback – Wednesday, June 24th, 2009, 10 AM – Danvers Asylum (Investigative Tour)
- A pretty tour guide, in her late 20’s explains: “This is the main Kirkbride building. From here we have the East and West wings which were used to house patients. Other buildings were added on over the years…”
- As she continues speaking to the six tourists, Otsuchi casts Supernal Vision to examine the Resonance of the area.
- He senses a powerful Resonance coming from the end of the West Wing, though the tour does not lead them there.
- Kronate activates the Abedju Cipher [1 Mana] to look for Ghosts, Spirits, and Mental Projections in Twilight. He catches glimpses here and there of many Ghosts and even the occasional Spirit, but they seem like they are trying to stay out of sight.
- As they are taking the tour Kronate is paying special attention to any areas he sees that are off limits on the tour. He flirts occasionally with their guide. Otsuchi is paying attention to entry and exit points, including any barred windows in the many rooms of the institution.
- Otsuchi casts Read Matrices to examine the electrical power flows throughout the facility. He notes the location of various security cameras. It seems that the facility is getting its power from somewhere beyond sensory range down below the basement to the east. There are no abnormal power readings.
- He uses his smart phone to take relevant pictures.
- Examining Resonance, Otsuchi notices a black taint throughout the facility, almost akin to black body radiation, but splotched more strongly like black paint into some areas of the asylum. It has the feel of something sinister [1 success].
- Under his breath he asks Kronate if he sees the same thing, which prompts him to cast Sybil’s Sight. He notices the same thing, but sees thin strands of varying thickness connecting some of the darkly tainted areas, not unlike a spider’s web [1 success]. Kronate relays this information to Otsuchi, who is not sure what it might be.
- Kronate notes that the tour does not go very far into the West Wing and it’s a place of interest they should probably explore upon their return.
Flashback – Wednesday, June 24th, 2009, 11 AM – Danvers Asylum (iScrying)
- Okazo has set up a laptop in Arachne’s basement Demesne and is viewing a photo of the interior of Danvers Asylum that he has found on Wikipedia.
- He begins chanting mathematical equations in the High Speech while clutching his laptop on either side with both hands.
- Okazo has opted not to use a sacrament and the ritual spell is proving more difficult than he had anticipated.
- After three and a half hours he successfully penetrates the outer Ward on the asylum [Scrying 10 + 2 (High Speech) – 1 (No Sacrament) – 4 (Known Sympathy) = 7 × 3 hours = 21 dice → 8 successes].
- The image on the screen becomes more real as Okazo casts his consciousness into the institution.
- From his laptop he surveys everything he can with Eyes of the Building until he reaches the end of the West Wing, where his gaze can go no further.
- He uses Spatial Awareness to analyze the area and determines that there is an extremely powerful Ward shielding it from viewing.
- With an improvised Mind and Forces spell he dumps everything he has seen while viewing the asylum into his laptop for later use.
- Arachne arrives home with architectural plans for the asylum and gives them to Okazo for digitization. He transfers all of the information he has acquired thus far to his iPhone.
- After looking over the plans and conferring with Otsuchi, they decide that the best way to enter the facility would be through the tunnels leading up from the nearby power plant.
Flashback – Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 9 AM – Danvers Asylum (Arachne)
- Arachne calls Chain Parris to thank him for the asylum plans delivered to her the day before by Silentium, a White Putnam Moros mage she has never met before.
- Cuchulainn calls her wishing that she had accepted his direct aid. “Be extremely careful. May you usher many souls to Summerland tonight”
- Arachne heads downstairs to check on the body she temporarily animated and brought back from the Obsidian Palace the day before. It is laying in her Life Demesne, ready for whatever she has in store for it.
- Arachne has an idea and goes back upstairs to ask Otsuchi if he would like to further his study of the Mysteries by assisting her in a ritual to animate a corpse.
- He asks her about the body and she reminds him that it was one of the Banishers [mages that hunt and kill other mages due to their own flawed Awakenings] that killed Adam.
- Given the origin of the corpse, Otsuchi finds the idea acceptable and even interesting.
- Arachne warns him that it will take at least 5 hours to complete the spell and she plans to incorporate a lot of Wiccan symbolism into the ritual.
Otsuchi: What kind of ritual exactly?
Arachne (cheerfully): Oh, nothing too unnerving. All the animals incorporated into the ritual are already dead…
Otsuchi (skeptically): Animals huh?
Arachne: Yes. You know. The usual. A roach here, a newt there…
Otsuchi (jokingly): Raccoon tails?
Arachne (seriously): No raccoon tails. I have everything we need downstairs.
Otsuchi: Ok then.
- They head downstairs into the Demesne. Arachne prepares her boiling cauldron and begins by adding some pickled newt tail and mandrake root.
- The soil floor of the basement is soft around the edges of the foundation. She chants a Wiccan verse while burying her open palm into the Demesne enriched soil. Half a dozen large earth worms coil around her fingers. Pulling her hand out, she sets them aside for later consumption.
- During the course of the Quicken Corpse ritual, the body slowly animates, first opening it’s eyes, then sitting up, and finally stands up, regarding them with dull eyes.
Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 10:25 PM – Danvers Asylum (Kirkbride Building – Main Floor)
- As the group emerges from the basement, Okazo casts Angle Vision as Otsuchi opens the door just a crack. The coast seems clear.
- He notices the darkness and casts Nightvision on the entire cabal [8 + 2 (HS) – 4 (Targets) = 6 dice → 2 successes].
- They can see about as well as they could in an unlit house on a cloudy day.
- Okazo casts Eyes of the Building and dumps the resulting data into his iPhone [1 Mana, 6 + 2 (HS) = 8 dice → 4 successes].
- They find themselves in a large lobby and decide to head west toward the heavily warded area they believe is of importance.
- The group passes the laundry and the kitchen.
- Arachne notices a ghost 40 feet down the hallway that looks like a strung-out junkie. He’d stand six feet tall if he didn’t slouch nearly six inches of it away, and his gauntness borders on the appearance of severe anorexia. The scores of holes in his arms, legs, and elsewhere continually weep what looks to be a mixture of blood and heroin. He is dirty and his hair is a clumpy dark tangle that perpetually hangs in his face.
- He is walking toward the group, but turns into a side room to the cabal’s right.
- Otsuchi stops the group and uses an improvised Forces spell to cause an overhead security camera to see the same static image while the group is passing by.
- They continue to the entrance of a room that was once the pharmacy and observe the half-dazed ghost rummaging through boxes of tour pamphlets, to no avail.
Arachne: What are you looking for?
- He regards Arachne briefly, shrugs his shoulders, walks through her, leaves the room and makes a right turn to go back the way he came. He smells of old sweat and the faintest whiff of piss and shit that soil his threadbare jeans, while his shirtless torso is adorned by a small, faded tattoo of a four-leaf clover on the right side of his chest.
- The cabal follows him west as he passes three rooms, before turning right into a small room formerly used to house a patient. He sits on the edge of a bed.
- The mages’ Unseen Senses trigger as he attempts to show Arachne and Kronate something telepathically, but fails to penetrate their defenses.
- The ghost sighs and stares blankly into the distance.
- Kronate feels like the ghost was trying to show him something important. He reflects on their mission:
Flashback – Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 8 PM – Danvers Asylum (Hathorne Manor)
- The group is making final preparations for the night’s investigations.
- Kronate expresses his frustration that they’ve been forced into going on what is potentially a dangerous mission just to placate The Nemean. He fully expects to find that the Tremere have come back to Danvers.
- Arachne muses that she hopes to collect future favors from the Consilium after The Bulwark of Shadow proves itself invaluable and promises the group that one day they will call the shots.
- Otsuchi is suspicious of the powers that be, but looks to Arachne for guidance on political matters.
- They all agree to tackle the mission with confidence.