Reality Check

Grim Frequencies 5: Catch and Release Human

Agent Steele gives the remaining members of Poison Wing a week off to recover. Agent Peyote spends the time partying with her girlfriend Chemise. Agent Weed skidoodles to Seattle for a tech conference. Agent Amy lurks about Ghirardelli Square chasing a man dressed only in chocolate. Agent Nico immediately gets on a flight to Las Vegas to get drunk, high, and laid. He wakes up in a drunk tank after having propositioned a female police officer in uniform. Agent Holly and Agent Leela appear on Angel Island dressed in each other’s clothes. They have a bit of sunburn, and circular pinprick marks on their neck and abdomen. Their memories are fuzzy, and blank from the time just before they were abducted.

Agent Peyote gets the order to sail out to Angel Island to collect Leela and Holly. The park rangers are somewhat the worse for wear.

“So are you willing to go with Agent Peyote or do you want to just hang out on the island kicking guys in the nuts?”

Agents Niko, Weed, and Amy are recalled to HQ via private flights and limousines.

Holly and Leela go back with Peyote and undergo and extremely complete medical examination. D7 medical technicians remove the tracking device (similar to the BunBun computer chips) the aliens implanted, and replaced the D7 tracking device. Poison Wing gets a week of supervised vacation on a Florida cruise ship.

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Grim Frequencies 4: Travel

Poison Wing is ordered to capture the aliens and return them to HQ. Three refrigerated coffins are loaded into the vehicles (2 in van, 1 in Tesla?)

Agent Nico goes to the Requisitions window at D7 and asks for some kind of gear to protect him (and the other members of Poison Wing, I guess) from further mind control from the aliens. The clerk hands him a roll of aluminum foil. “Here, make a hat.” After some rudeness on both sides, Nico contacts Agent Steele, who laughs bizarrely and tells him to go back to the window. The grumbling clerk reluctantly hands over temporary magical tattoos. Nico tells him, “Catch you later, sweet cheeks.” The clerk fumes.

Minor Tattoo of Will Save +1 10 minutes, 10 uses. 1 for each member of Poison Wing; these supplement their

Minor Tattoo of Natural Armor (appears as a gold shield and dragon head)
Activated instantly when touched by bearer and trigger word (Shield) is spoken.
Effect covers bearer’s skin in hard ridges providing +2 natural armor bonus to Defense.
Lasts 10 minutes.
Manifester Level 5, Purchase DC 24
No attack of opportunity.
Free action
Perm tattoo but only use once a day for 10 minutes. Can’t split the minutes.

Poison Wing loads up and heads back to the warehouse. A van is outside with its engine running. Amy waits at the front door while Leela starts tossing Reese’s Pieces through the entrance. The other agents are at the rear entrance. Nico sneaks in to start examining the chip assembly area.

Leela is freaked out by a small hand touching her on the shoulder. She dazes the individual, who seems to be another black-eyed child, and screams and runs out past Amy. The rest of Poison Wing comes to find out what happened. Peyote throws a flashbang in, since obviously that will help!? Holly picks up the child’s body and carries her to one of the coffins. The body is already starting to deteriorate. At that time, a large circular shadow blots out the sun, and a beam of light projects down on the area, including Amy, Holly, and Leela. When the beam of light stops, Holly and Leela are gone, and then the flying saucer ascends at ludicrous speed.

Weed checks that the body is still in the cryogenic coffin. Nico complains, “Why did they have to steal the hot chicks?” Peyote smacks him.

Everyone gets in the vehicles and heads back to HQ. On the drive, Weed contacts D7. Agent Steele grumbles about insurance rates when learning of the disappearance of two agents, but is very pleased when the hazmat crew retrieves the coffin from the van.

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Grim Frequencies 3.5: BunBun Factory

Thanks to Leela’s tazing, Weed and Nico come back from paralysis, not remembering anything that happend since they were petrified by the thing. Weed notices 4 cryo-soldering irons on a nearby table. Holly notices foot wriggling in bushes, takes a photo. Amy sees 2 black-eyed kids approaching in the distance. A gray beckons Holly. She texts D7 and approaches the gray. Nico and Weed grab the cooler of mysterious parts and haul it out to the Tesla. They head back to HQ (notifying D7, which advises them to hurry since the cryochips likely will not last long). Leela travels with the lighting van back to the photo shoot. When they arrive, Darryl tells them they have decided to stop shooting for the day due to rain forecast. About 2pm. (So nothing interesting seemed to have happened.) Holly follows the gray a bit. The two children approach Amy, ask to come into the van. “We can’t come in unless you invite us.” Amy tells them to go away. Peyote goes over to find out what’s happening. When she gets close, she’s becomes frozen in fear. Amy bisects they boy with his sword. The little girl shreiks and slides to the left. Leela shoots and the girl screeches and takes off, missing Amy’s second blow. Peyote comes to angrily. Holly shows up and sees Amy, Leela, and Peyote. They also head to D7. Weed is investigating Darryl’s laptop, asks Holly to requisition a freezer container for the van. Weed finds a couple of the cryochips entangled in the circuitry.

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Grim Frequencies 3: 5th and Lennox

Infirmary for tattooing. One person standing in line, older man. Another heavily tattooed man comes out rubbing his butt. “Don’t get it there. It was the only place they could find room.”

Peyote goes in first. Nurse has a gold stamp and stamp pad. The stamping does burn a bit, for about 5 minutes.

8:00 Multipurpose Room 1.

Steele: Is this where you normally sit, Holly?
Holly: I don’t think so.

Car keys and a note. Holly picks up note and reads it.

Unmarked

You have till noon today. Do not fail.

Nico: This must have something to do with the Brzhinski brothers.

Steele: Looks like you have your assignment. Go ahead and find out what you can about this.

Very precise lettering.
Shumway Paper Products. Looks like a laser print but done by hand. Weed takes a photo. Take keys and note to lab. Lights flicker. Wing heads to hall. Amy slips on oil. Penny flies and hits Holly’s forehead. Nico’s e-cigarette catches fire. Leela tries to do an object reading on the penny. Peyote reaches for the doorknob and get hit by a big spark. Leela grabs Amy’s shirt and wraps it around her hand to open the door. The floor cracks. Hailstones.

Wing goes back to MPR1 and leave note with Agent Steele. Head to garage and get in usual D7 vehicles.

9:00 One white panel van, two gray. White Chevy van has lighting equipment. Holly and Leela drive it to 5th and Lennox.

Darrel Brzhinski shouting at someone in a field.
Two heavily made-up women wearing bikinis and smoking cigarettes. Ice chest and folding table with bags of potato chips.

Rodriguez was supposed to drive the van.

Holly notices something odd in the trees, a small gray humanoid peeking out and darting back.

Leela chats with one of the “actresses”. She saw a couple of kids in alien costumes like for Halloween, one of them sliding along a railroad line.

Holly: Like that one in the tree?
Second Actress (looking in the wrong direction): I’m getting goosebumps.

Another crew member mentions having heard weird noises in the warehouse.

Smartphone web search turns up 5th & Lennox Ghost Lights. Leela calls D7 and talks to a lab tech about Brzhinski films. All of them have scenes at this intersection.

Amy and Holly stay at the intersection. The rest investigate the warehouse. Leela talks with the receptionist, Nico sneaks past into the large open room filled with BunBuns being modified. Boxes of decaying spare parts with wisps of dry ice vapor. Nico takes a photo and sends it to the rest. A man walks out of a restroom and notices Leela. She says the crew needs more lighting equipment and other parts. He directs her to Jamal Brzhinski at the other end of the warehouse.

Weed glimpses 3 bony fingers at a doorway. Frozen in fear. Nico notices and texts everyone. Nico takes a closer look and is paralyzed in the rafters. Leela is creeping in via a duct, sees Weed and Nico frozen. Uses phone to try to look around corner, but phone just shows static. Tazes Weed and Nico, who collapse. Skittering sounds and the creepy feeling dissipates.

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Grim Frequencies 2: Balboa Crossing
Get the Hummer!

Poison Wing waits for Agent Steele in Multipurpose Room 1 after turning in BunBun. Agent Leela skulks in.
Agent Steele comes in, drops a dismembered BunBun on the table.
“We found this inside it.” Exotic computer chips. Agent Weed dives in.
Steele begins slide show. Boy and girl similar to those in toy store.
Black-eyed children (BECs). Seen in a few rural areas. Fear aura. Rumor: hybrid alien humans. Surveillance toy? Clip extracted from dismembered BunBun shows men moving around in factory. Voice says, “Ok, this one’s working.” Turns off. Factory is old cinderblock building: Black and White Restoration.

Leela psionically scans camera eyes for info on last owner of BunBun:
age 25
human male
white skin
blond hair
beefy
looks like just released from prison
B&W Rest
almond shaped black eyes
psionic jolt

Scans chips:
Hears some questions from BunBun
psionic jolt

We should investigate toy store to track the origins of the BunBun shipment. Also, where did the broadcast come from? Cuthbert’s indicates only those aware of Shadow have received the broadcast.

Agent Steele: “Do some research on B&W Rest”

2 BunBuns:
1 intact
1 bisected by Amy
Weed examines lithium battery in BunBun butt, searches for antenna. It can record, receive, transmit: electronic/psionic/magic from sickly green crystal, exactly identical to burnt crystal from other BunBun.

Weed probes BunBun while the rest go out looking for clues. Radios come on, staticky. Holly hears someone calling in Celestial “Svetlana! [her given name] Go to the Balboa railroad tracks, within 20 minutes, you must be on time, Stop the gray Hummer from crossing the tracks.”

Holly directs team to use vehicular synchronicity watch devices and proceed immediately to crossing
Tesla (Nico, Leela): E crossing
Van (Holly, Peyote, Amy, Chemise): W crossing

D7 reports dozens of gray Hummers in Bay Area. One registered to B&W Productions, address is PO Box. Weed reports a train scheduled to pass through Balboa crossing shortly. Holly calls D7 to have train stopped before it reaches crossing.

Tesla encounters gray Hummer and van encounters another gray Hummer.
Leela psi commands east Hummer to pull over
Korean family

Holly veers in front of west Hummer, Amy punches fist through van wall and grabs Hummer
Beefy blonds shouting in Russian
Darryl Brzezhinski and Jamie Shosticknaya

Crossing gates malfunction and do not close. Train passes at high speed, smoke from engine, passengers panicked.
Stopped people shocked and very grateful to Poison Wing.

Nico talks with Brzeshinski about Bloody Death (winner of the Golden Beaver award) and his other great films, currently filming Iron Guts II. Leela, Holly, and Peyote search the Hummer.
Hummer has boxes of film in cannisters for Iron Guts II.

Leela finds circuit board in Hummer, looks like from BunBun.
Weed: Train finally stopped before any major damage or injuries.
Brzeshinski suggests Chemise appears in his upcoming film, Lesbian Amazons of Mars
Holly to Brzeshinski in Russian: “By the way, my parents were actually married.”
Holly texts D7: Found folks matching desc, detain them?
D7 texts Holly: No, let them go but track them.
Peyote takes pictures of VIN & license plates, plants GPS tracker.
Poison Wing returns to D7 HQ.

Amy’s arm is slightly scratched. Amy has Poison Wing stop at Chocolate Heaven for a reward.
Mechanic at D7 stares agape at hole ripped in van, tears off 3’ strip of golden tape and patches up hole.
[Peyote has Tape of Repair: golden duct tape (2 rolls, about 10 uses/roll)]

Chip from Hummer indeed matches BunBun.

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Grim Frequencies 1: Far Voices
Enter the Rabbit

Poison Wing turns in the crows for analysis at D7.

Agent Steele sends out team looking for more Fu Dogs, word has it they’ve left town.

Van: Peyote (driving), Amy, Holly
Tesla: Nico (driving while blasting K-pop and Tupac), Weed

Agent Leela is distracted killing fish in a koi pond that reminds her of her former boss/pimp/owner.

D7 smart phones have peacock-like opalescent teal metal case.

Agent Weed has D7 laptop similar in design to D7 smart phones, keyboard is detachable for use as tablet.

Nobody notices anything amiss.

Agent Peyote’s girlfriend Chemise says the Fu Dogs left.

Agent Weed finds evidence through his computer hacking (police, etc.) that Fu Dogs are gone.

Car radio cuts off, static blasts, can’t get music back. Same from phones. Cant turn down or off. A voice breaking up in some strange language. Holly hears it as Celestial.

Agent Weed can’t capture the sound, so it’s not an electronic transmission.

Agent Holly gets call from Agent Steele.

Agent Steele: Agent Holly?
Agent Holly: Yes, Sir.
Agent Steele: Did you hear that?
Agent Holly: Yes, Sir.
Agent Steele: We just recieved it…Seems to be a psionic transmission in Celestial, Elven, and Draconic. Check it out.
Agent Holly: We’re on it.

Chemise calls Agent Peyote.

Chemise: You hear that?
Agent Peyote: Yup.
Chemise: So did we but we didn’t understand it

Texts pops up from Holly and D7, with translation.

You must [STATIC] the SuZ Toys store
[WHINE] Charles Street and acquire a BunBun
electronic rabbit within [BUZZ] hour. You must go
to that [WHINE] store. You must [STATIC] this
task within the next hour. You may go with as
many people [BUZZ]. You must not fail!

Team converges on toy store, display advertising cute bunny with switchblade. Agent Amy grabs BunBun. Small boy and girl walk up. Boy asks for bunny for his sister. [Entire party fails will save and is terrified.] Agent Amy hands over bunny. Boy and girl look up smiling, revealing sharp teeth and solid black eyes. Once they glide 10’, the spell breaks and the whole team goes into attack mode. “Children” are 20’ by the time Agent Holly shoots at the boy. Boy stops moving, girl shrieks loudly, grabs the bunny, and runs for the door, crowd starts panicking. Agent Holly runs toward the girl. Agent Holly feels no magical ensorcellment. Agent Amy runs up and cuts girl in half…as well as bunny. Boy falls over, girl starts to disintegrate with a slight smell of ozone, crowd panics further. A normal-looking black girl with pigtails comes up and gives her bunny to Amy. “You can have mine, I’m sorry he took yours.” Agent Holly insists Agent Amy give the girl some chocolate. Agent Nico grabs duct tape from car and binds boy.

Police cars arrive.

Agent Holly: Thank you for participating in The Bone’s Dirty Thursday! Tune in tomorrow!
Agent Weed texts brief headsup to D7.
No body in body bag. Slight smell of ozone.

Agent Steele: Yeah, nobody’s been able to capture those black-eyed children things. We think they may be in league with the Grays.

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Session 14. Counting Crows
When the crows come home to roost

The party is awarded 900XP each for roleplaying.

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Session 14. ¡Bad Piñata!
That's not chocolate

[This is how far I got before my brain fried:]

Closets filled with fabulous costumes. Rotary phone. 3rd floor inventory and bathroom. Woman with apron bangs on door and yelling in Chinese. When she sees the window open, she asks, “Where Maury?” Agent Weed comes to door and greets her in Mandarin. She explains in rapid-fire, heavily accented Mandarin that black birds with red eyes have been pecking the fruit at her produce market next door. Agent Weed brings Agent Nico and Agent Amy to investigate. They find two enormous black birds with glowing red eyes perching above them. One of them drops a pebble from its beak, and a 5-foot sized area of impenetrable darkness appears below them. The birds fly off to the awning of the chocolate shop across the street. Agent Leela picks up the pebble of darkness and throws it at the crows. They duck. She throws a piece of rotten fruit, which hits one. It hisses at her. Agent Leela hisses back. She asks Agent Amy to walk over and grab a crow. He does so, and it hisses and pecks at him. He bangs it against the ground. The other bird flies away. Agent Holly takes a picture and a blood sample with her phone and sends the info to [D-7 HQ]. [Agent Steele] ordered her to destroy the body. They discover more pebbles of darkness inside. Agent Peyote incinerates the body in the alley. Agent Holly collects up the pebbles in a bag while Agent Weed finishes installing surveillance microcameras.

Everyone is watching the surveillance feeds through their phones. Except Agent Nico, who’s watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers—until Agent Peyote notices and whacks him upside the head. Poison Wing retires for the evening. Agent Holly notices something in the monitors and texts everyone. Agent Peyote notice the doorknob to the alley begin turning and knocks the door

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Session 13. Mr. Ti says, “I pity the Fu.”

Agent Steele puts a small lead box on the table in front of Agent Holly. “We enclosed the entire birdcage in lead to keep out prying eyes. Take this to Maury Ti in Chinatown on Stockton and California. Also take these copies of Agent Weed’s sketches of the heiroglyphs,” he says, as he places an envelope beside the box. “He will have something to give or tell you as well. He doesn’t like modern devices like mobile phones.” He twiddles with his smartphone and a picture of an eccentrically dressed Asian man appears on their screens. They go down to a storage room to find a cloth birdcage cover and use it to conceal the lead box.

Poison Wing goes over to Chinatown and Agent Amy frees up a parking place. They walk down the block to Maury R. Ti’s Ti Shoppe. Inside are a large number of shelves and apothecary boxes, bins with dried herbs, delicately fashioned room divider screens, jade carvings, fine porcelain, paintings, books in Chinese and languages from shadow, antiques, curios, uncategorizable objets d’art. Wary of the creaking wooden floor, Agent Amy remains outside. The ogre ogles the chocolate shop across the street. A small puddle of drool begins to collect on the sidewalk.

Maury Ti flings open the draperies behind the counter and flounces through them. He is dressed in flamboyant steampunk apparel. “Why, hello, my dears! You must be from Department-7. Mr. Steele said you had something for me to look at.” Agent Holly hands him the lead box. “I’ll just put this in back for now,” he says as he carries it back though the draperies.

Several of them notice the front door open briefly, but only Agent Nico sees an Asian man enter the store with very long straight black hair tied in a pony tail, black leather jacket with a fu dog on the back with Chinese writing underneath. His skin is very gray. He examines one of the display cases. “Get out!” yells Mr. Ti.

“But we just got here,” says Agent Holly, puzzled.

“I didn’t mean you, I meant that thing,” says Mr. Ti as he points at the man in the jacket. Now that he’s pointed him out, everyone can see the man walking away. Agent Nico snaps a picture with his phone. As the interloper saunters out the front door, Agent Weed reads the words “Fu Dogs” written in Chinese on the back of his jacket.

“He’s from some new gang called the Fu Dogs. They’ve been harassing me and some other shopkeepers lately, stealing things. I hear they’re pushing some dreadful new drug called Bad Blood.”

Agent Holly asks what he knows about the crystal. “Oh, the crystal!” he exclaims as he dashes through the curtain. There is a noise of scuffling and a sharp cracking sound, so Holly and Peyote vault the counter and follow after him into the back room. Mr. Ti is lying on the floor with the broken stub of his cane still in his hand. “The ruffian out front was apparently a mere distraction so that a second thug could sneak in here and steal something. Fortunately, he didn’t have time to grab the crystal, or anything else. I gave him a good thrashing with my walking stick, and he absconded out the door. This makes me think I should take the artifact back to Department-7 and study it there. ”

As other agents help Mr. Ti, Agent Holly moves to the door that leads out to an alleyway. The door lock has been broken. The hallway is cloaked in an unnatural darkness. Agent Holly phones Agent Steele, who agrees that bringing Mr. Ti and the artifact back to D7 HQ is best. Agents help Mr. Ti board up the door.

Back to D7.

After dinner, Poison Wing is summoned to Multipurpose Room 1 by Agent Steele. Mr. Ti is still studying the artifact in back. More info on the Fu Dogs and Bad Blood. Another strain of it. Causes addiction and physical changes on third exposure.
Steele shows them photo of Fu Dogs, long hair and jackets. Were in L.A. until relocated to SF.

Ben Hu: Convenience store thug from L.A. missing, seen with Fu Dogs.
Lu Huang: leader of Fu Dogs.

Solid amber eye in Nico’s photo, teeth all pointed, otherwise appears to be Ben Hu. Been harassing Maury. Fu Dogs trying to acquire ‘herbs’ (spell components).
D7 needs more info, assigning Poison Wing to staff and surveil the Ti Shoppe, gather info.
300XP

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S12. We all float down here.

When Agent Wander escaped, he apparently used explosives to block Poison Wing from following him back into the abandoned building next door. Therefore, Poison Wing heads to the other exit: the stairs to the lesbian section of the club. On the way there, they hear an explosion from that direction and they find the way blocked by large chunks of broken stone. Agent Amy easily removes a massive fragment, but it is replaced by two others falling down. Poison Wing is now trapped in the basement. Agent Holly asks Agent Peyote to assess whether the passage can be blown open, but Peyote concludes anything powerful enough to clear the passage would also bring the roof down on the wing. Agent Holly heads to the passage leading to the abandoned building (to see if they can get through that blockage more easily), and notices the carvings in the gold-flecked quartz wall include one that appears to depict Isis facing back towards the way they came. Agent Weed examines it, and presses it in. A button! They hear a click and a deep whirr from within the wall. Retracing their path back toward the room Agent Wander was tied up in and beyond, they encounter a series of Isis buttons, and press each in turn.

Eventually, a section of wall slides away to reveal a room decorated not with Celtic patterns, but covered in symbols resembling Egyptian hieroglyphs. Although Agent Weed cannot read Ancient Egyptian, he recognizes that there is something strange about these hieroglyphs, and attempts to consult D7 for deciphering. At this time, the party realizes their eldritch phones have become non-operational, unable even to snap pictures. Agent Weed sketches the hieroglyphs in his notebook. Pressing a final Isis button in this room reveals yet another chamber, this time with completely blank walls of the ancient gold-veined quartz and incongruously a rather modern looking 5′ × 5′ × 5′ concrete cube in the center of the floor. Hoping that this might hide an exit, Agent Amy shoves the block. It shifts more easily then expected for a solid concrete block, and an eerie green glow shines through the crack. (Has Poison Wing discovered a cache of Kryptonite?) With help from the other agents, Amy topples the block, which is actually hollow revealing a strange sight indeed: a double-terminated crystal the color of green calcite glowing brightly, floating a few feet off the bare ground, and contained within a levitating antique-looking golden birdcage with an Isis motif running around the upper band. Mustering her courage, Agent Holly reaches around the cage and feels a tingly force underneath it and a slight resistance to touching it. Tying some rope through the loop at the top of the cage, she tugs the caged crystal after her.

Continuing to search for an exit, Poison Wing investigates a hole in the wall near where Agent Wander was tied up. It leads outside the quartz to a passageway that appears to be cut through the conglomeration of dirt and rocks one would expect to be used for filling in the South of Market area. Agent Leela is bored and decides to poke her sword at the wall. Some water trickles through. The trickle builds. They try to shove a piece of stone debris in to block the water. This works for a few seconds, then the briny bay water begins gushing in faster and faster.

They run through the basement desperately seeking another egress. Someone notices banging and scraping sounds from debris-clogged lesbian play space door. Nobody knows Morse code, so they bang a shave-and-a-hair-cut cadence on the ceiling. The noise from above stops, there is a two-bits reply, and after a moment the scraping and banging sounds resume, more loudly and quickly this time. The sound of the rushing water drowns out the noise of the scraping and the water level rises past their ankles. A small hole through the debris opens, and Agent Steele calls out to them, “We’ll get you right out of there. Hold on.”

Agent Holly replies, “We have something you need to see, boss.” The workers above widen the hole enough to get everyone out (though Amy does present a challenge). Agent Holly shows Agent Steele the birdcage, floating at the end of a makeshift leash. “We tried to call you earlier; is that crystal blocking our phones?” “No, Agent Wander deployed a disabler. When we lost your signals, we figured you’d gotten in over your heads. Anyway, cover that up now.” Agent Nico lends his jacket to hide the artifact, and they walk back to their vehicles. They notice a blond man in a golden suit talking with Agent Steele. The blond man seems to have eyes that are completely white. Once everyone has left the building, there is a loud thunderclap, and the club collapses in on itself. Poison Wing rides back to HQ in the Presidio. At HQ, Agent Steele takes possession of the crystal as well as the silver letter opener and the cash-filled envelope recovered from the adjacent building. He debriefs the wing and learns that the wing has discharged its duty to make contact with Wander, as well as Wander’s refusal for fear Larson Kulling will harm Ann Marchment, whom he is currently holding hostage. He informs them that the basement was from a Shadow analog of Egyptian culture, and had somehow been magically teleported South of Market, and has now been sent back through Shadow [along with all its flecks of gold :(]. The crystal is one of five parts to a Shadow artifact coveted by Kulling and believed when fully assembled to provide a vampire with a number of invulnerabilities. The Wing disperses for some well-earned R&R (Agent Peyote discovers that Chemise has the evening free!) before their next mission.

1000 XP each for escaping from basement with clues and crystal.

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