Waxing Crescent Moon
The next few weeks are quiet for the pack, especially in the Umbral portion of their claimed territory, which seems still to the point of paranoia, though Sirius states he is unable to properly pierce whatever wards or charms disguising the cause.
Nico and Cash depart to the north for a few days, petitioning the Sept of the Sentinel for a talented blacksmith, intending to have two fine, klaive-like weapons crafted. During that time Cash is invited to join the Wolves of Montauk, which he accepts.
Upon their return, Shepherd issues his formal challenge to Nico, stating that working with the Yomi Lord Mikaboshi was too questionable an act to ignore. Nico accepts and sets the terms to a duel of weaponry, offering one of the two swords over to his packmate. Being lupus and having no practice with such things did not deter Shepherd from the challenge, though it ended quickly and with a new scar on the right side of his chest.
Things settled into more of a routine afterward, though Shepherd continued to test and try the pack’s leadership throughout. Cash was shown the territory and their methods of patrolling it, and for a time all seemed well.
That all changed the night the pack woke to the shudder and crimson light of a fiery explosion just outside their home. It seemed a ship had run aground against the long-submerged breakwall stones, and survivors had far too few lifeboats to bring them all safely ashore amidst the churning, frigid waves. The pack rushed to assist, though Cash’s heavy skeleton prevented him from entering the waters. Though there were far too many to save everyone, they nonetheless managed to guide many who would have otherwise drowned. Nico and Shepherd in particular took pains to drag a young black girl aboard, at which point the ship, the bodies and even the survivors all seemed to melt away with the first rays of dawn, leaving no trace any accident had even occurred.
It was only a short time later that a fine Cadillac pulled into their drive, with an elderly and clearly well-to-do black woman that must have been in her 90s assisted out by her driver. She looked around amidst the pack before laying eyes on Shepherd, to whom she gave a very old lifebuoy, which happened to be the one they had tossed to the little girl that had vanished at dawn. Enigmatically thanking them for saving so many people, including herself, she then simply drove away.
A few days afterward, the pack hears about a rather brutal attack on a fast food employee who had both of his arms torn off in the drive-through window. He claimed he’d seen men with claws in the car, but his account was chalked up to simple trauma. Cleo and Shepherd visited the hospital, managing to talk their way past the sassy nurses and up through the police guards, though they commandeered her mail-order detective’s badge to call it in, affording them only a brief period in time with which to examine the injured teen. Though grievously harmed, it appeared he would live. Though they could discern little from him before having to depart through the Umbra.
Nico, Jules and Cash visited the O’Tolley’s fast food joint (“The Family Place”) in search of any clues that may have been left after the attack. Unfortunately the scents were very muddled and the guy behind the register couldn’t offer Jules much more information than the papers had. It seemed like a dead lead, though the pack did spy a very large, very pale white wolf that seemed more than a little out of place for the area, and obviously took interest in what the pack was up to. Attempting to pursue, they met with a point where pawprints turned to boots and then simply vanished in the soggy snow.
Jules continues his line of questioning with the Detectives, with whom he’s been working on establishing a closer connection. Van Landingham seems more than a little on edge, but tells him she wasn’t assigned to the case involving the injured boy at O’Tolley’s. Still, as she’s always interested in the unusual cases, she has some details she’s willing to share if the pack meets them at a designated place in fifteen minutes. Jules agrees and rushes back to the lighthouse to inform the pack.
While there, they hear another car pull into the drive. This time it’s a rather gaudy Rolls Royce, driven by a large man introducing himself as Samuel Haight. He tells them he’s visiting from the Blissful Friends Network, though their spiritual leader Father Jo He Hva is completely unaware of his departure. This stems from the fact that Father claims to be Shepherd’s actual, flesh and blood father and he expects that Shepherd will come to him when the time is right. Samuel believes the time IS right, and that he is serving as an extension of Father’s will whether he knows it or not. Despite being a seemingly peaceful man, he asked if it were possible for him to bring a rucksack filled with weapons and explosives into the home for a few days before sending the Rolls back.
Rushing to meet the Detectives, they’re allowed unprecedented access to an active crime scene involving two young, white men from affluent families that apparently ‘jousted’ with fence posts, killing one another. One showed signs of claws raking across his throat, which seemed to encourage the Detectives to bring the pack and their odd knowledge of such things into the mix. While they fended off uniformed officers, the pack gathered as much information as they could, leading them to the site of the former brothel they had destroyed, which now appeared to have been claimed by Omnicron for a future gas station. Though this disconcerted the pack, they came to the conclusion that it was coincidental and whoever had taken the fence posts surrounding the foundation laying was simply doing so out of convenience.
After a meeting with a new Ajaba working at Accountable Automotive named Zuberi, Cleo discovered that they had a Datsun 280ZX stolen recently, only to have it ‘returned’ to the lot covered in blood. Though not above performing illegal activities, the hyena-folk decided it would be best to simply call in the police on that occasion. Thus the car in question was at the impound, which the pack gained access through the Detectives come dawn. More clues awaited them there, in the form of a rather particular brand of clove cigarette and the case of a mail-order katana with a distinctive price sticker.
It didn’t take long for the pack to hunt down the head shop where the cloves and katana were sold from, pressing the cashier for information on the man he only knew as ‘Moonblayde.’ Apparently he was a regular there, but hadn’t been seen for a while until just the day before, when he came in with a group of thugs, bought a few things and then took the ad regarding a local LARP event to be held in Fort Hill Cemetery.
As it happened, Cash was a fan of the system being played, Revenant the Ravishing. It didn’t take long for him to create characters for everyone, and the following night they moved to infiltrate the LARP. Cash made Ruuger Lost Mage, an elven bibarian/wizard hybrid that proved overpowered but very by-the-rules. Nico created Maemlock the bloodomancer, only to discover many rules had recently nerfed a once-powerful class. Cleo eschewed a character sheet to arrive simply as the ‘Black Sorceress,’ proving more than a little popular due to being the only attractive woman in sight. Jules came as Dival of Undrehelm, a Goblin Bard, and everyone assisted in making Shepherd one Vengeance Steelheart, a paladin.
After a short time of playing the game and asking around about Moonblayde, they found word he’d been spotted in one of the mausoleums that were meant to be off-limits. The first they searched proved to be the haven of two thuggish-looking vampires that attacked the Garou on sight, believing them to be a meal. They were proven sorely incorrect when Nico, Jules and Cash began tearing them apart. Shepherd got caught in the mass of fleeing LARPers, unable to shift for fear of doing them harm. Cleo moved to investigate another mausoleum, where she found Moonblayde and another recently-made vampire. Buying time by playing the role of seductress, she kept him occupied until the rest of the pack could flood in and end him.
Left with four dead vampires and a herd of panicked roleplayers, the pack began to debate just what proof they should bring back to the Detectives to honor their end of the bargain…