Norton Auxiliary Dicemasters

MotW: Into the Bay III

Back at the office

Wilson, Henry, Leonard, Phil are trying to come up with a plan. We consider breaking in to FishCo’s offices under cover of night. But when our big demon just scares the office security guard, that plan is a bust.

The next day

Setting up: The circle is under the carpet, where we will film Mariko.

When she shows up, she realizes that something weird is up, but she is not fearful, but rather snarky and bemused. “You’re the one who let me in. And all the others!” She destroys the circle with an ice bolt. “What’s the plan?” asks Leonard.

“What kind of creature are you?” asks the Phil the filmmaker.

“I am a Japanese woman, you racist!”

He plays back the video.

She takes out a cell phone. Phil takes the phone. She says, “Give me my phone back.”

“Tell me of your origins.”

“I was born on Hokkaido 68 years ago.”

She calls her people and orders the release of a video … and “start the lawyers”.

Wilson, in the other room, realizes that Leonard screwed up with an earlier spell which opened a door for many Things From Beyond.

She roughs up Phil, spits an ice bolt through his camera, and begins doing magic and monitoring out. Wilson shoots at her to no effect; she knocks around Wilson. Leonard shoots too: she screams. In comes the Henry with the flamethrower. Leonard takes a hit from another ice javelin. Phil tries to get at her waterbottle, knocking it away but taking a hard hit. Henry lights her up with the flamethrower … which bangs her up but doesn’t kill her. Wilson puts a phosphorus bullet in her. Leonard puts another bullet into her, which drops her … and Henry lights her up with the flamethrower.

The house catches fire. Wilson and Henry book it for the exit. Leonard tries to fire extinguish her, unsuccessfully. There are already sirens from police coming. Phil tries to rescue the cameras. Henry hops a fence. Wilson follows.

Leonard, in faux FBI mode, greets the cops. “The perp is inside, dead.” The cops are perplexed.

The firefighters show up. After some radio calls, they learn that there are not to be any questions.

Mopping up

Her spooky cloak survived, and was recovered by HUD.

Wilson realizes that Leonard’s earlier working was a trick by the Santera to open a doorway which brought through a bunch of monsters.

Breaking out the Ouija board

“Where did the cloak come from?”

A small village in Japan.

“Is it safe for men or women to use?”

No … yes.

“Are there precautions to take?”

No.

“How do you use it?”

Put it on. Close clasp.

Then that board catches fire!

Philip, putting on the cloak, looks like Mariko!

Wrapping up

The piranha babies are withering away. Henry has the magic disguise cloak … which can make him look like anything. But his disconcerting weirdness still shines through.

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The Blood of Misty Harbor: Blood Debt
The demons come home to roost

Whoa. A happy ending.

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MotW: Into the Bay II

Gathering and planning

Leonard and Phil are licking their wounds. They decide to upload the video. Leonard calls Wilson for help and information; Wilson heads over. Phil is concerned that “we have someone’s attention”.

Leonard calls the agency to track cyber attention to Phil’s site. The Agency geek, George, is on the case. “I’ll need root on your box. I’ll let you know when I know something.”

Wilson shows up and they fill him in.

Checking the old footage, they get the license plates of the Monster Lady’s big black car. She’s plotting to open soup kitchens all down the Eastern seaboard.

On the Gircorp website, not only are they planning to expand, it turns out there is a meeting in DC today with Senator Blumfield in his offices. Wilson is worried about Fish Stew Mind Control Apocalypse. Their PR person is Mary Williams who was at the soup kitchen; her contact information is available.

Wilson’s friend Charlie was trying to break into Phil’s system.

Our plan: Arrange a protest by activist fishermen to burst in to the Senate office. Wilson joins as a protestor, uses whiskey and a match to scare her with fire.

Phil & Wilson get supplies, head to DC to meet the flash mob. Leonard goes to meet with his boss.

Leonard & his boss

“Nice work on the were-pit-bull. But why do we have a demon in the infirmary?”

“Here’s what happened: blah blah blah.”

“You’re already over budget on this one. Get it done.”

The ID department has a Capitol Police ID ready! And phosphorus ammo! And flare gun bullets!

Wilson and Phil head to DC

Phil’s phone rings! It’s Marianne, the PR lady! “What are you doing? Why make a special effects video? My boss just makes fish broth. We will sue you into the ground.”

“If you want to avoid all this, give me a face-to-face interview with the boss.”

“Fine! You can have your interview! Ms. Mariko will be available tomorrow morning.”

Phil proposes an address for the interview. Then he calls his researcher, Betty, to prep the site with hidden cameras: a haunted house.

At the Senator’s office

“Fish for fishermen!” The receptionist calls for help. The fishermen start making some noise.

Capitol police show up. Leonard, disguised as a Capitol Cop, tries to stretch this out. “Keep these people here; it’s part of a security investigation.” The cops hover. Phil puts his clips on the TV. Wilson tries to flame the CEO and fumbles it; the cops pounce on him.

The protestors disperse. Leonard takes charge of Wilson to “take him in”, tells the capitol cops to watch the Senator’s office.

So that was a bust, but they got away clean.

Looking at the video, it’s clear that Kasturi Moriko recognized Leonard and Phil. Wilson is still a little banged up.

Planning for the next step

Proposed plan: We prep a magic circle to trap the creature, point the camera at that spot for the interview. Then burn down the house! If the spell fails, Wilson jumps out with a gun full of phosphorus rounds.

Phil tries scrying on Ms Mariko. She is underwater, snuggling with piranha babies. Is her coat / cape and clasp. Wilson’s electronic occult library reveal that this is a shapeshifting tool.

Wilson calls a friend. “Come help us kill some Lovecraftian Deep Ones.”

Leonard goes to the office for weapons.

And we go get a fisherman to sail out a fishing boat to scoop up monster babies in a net. (Well, we don’t tell the fisherman that. We tell him "we’re going to catch the evil CEO fishing illegally!)

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Who Is Luring the Homeless Into the Bay?

Executive Summary:
Reports of homeless individuals disappearing without trace, combined with eyewitness evidence of one such individual walking calmly off of the 55th St. pier and a biting by a monstrous creature lead to a fight with an apparent Japanese water demon (girzu) and her minions. Possible plan by the girzu to gain power from feeding off of souls of homeless to build an army of mermen for unknown purposes.

Report
4:30 am on Tuesday, 1/29: Non-human asset (name: Henry, class: Demon), noted “shabbily dressed” man walking calmly off pier into water, sans typical suicide-type or substance-effected behaviors. Asset used boat to investigate and was attacked by a toothy creature “like a piranha mixed with a small child”. Killed it with pistol, no specimen retained. Asset came to HUD Office Baltimore 3R for treatment and debrief. Marks of many thin, sharp teeth.
Recruit human asset (name: Phillip, class: reporter) for assistance due to extensive video equipment and investigative abilities.
6:00 am: return to pier. Interview various residents individuals of the 55th Street pier encampment to no effect. Meet “Mack” who has alien abduction theory to explain purported disappearance of other local homeless – gives names: Whistle, Jeremy, Cooter and Jilly. Names the “shabbily dressed” man as “Honey”. Possible report of missing pets from camp as well. Indicates that he eats lunch at St. Dominic’s kitchen.
To test for possible creatures in the water, toss in meat on a string. No response. Guess that this is a nocturnal phenomenon.
Phillip sets up a drone to watch the pier, assigns his staffer (Betty) to review the live feed.
Noon: Go with Henry to St. Dominic’s (note: Henry unaffected by Christian iconography). Meet helpful priest (name?) who introduces us to Hudson, a homeless man who works at St. D. Indicates Mack known for story-telling. Knows W, C and J. Indicates four others whom he thinks have disappeared – Tater (lived/s at 47th Street and Lincoln courtyard), Peanut, Lilly and Barth. He has been looking after Jilly’s dog – first actual evidence of disappearance?
At the kitchen, we learn that a Japanese co (“Gir Corp”) is providing the fish stock for lunch soup and rep encourages the lunch crowd to come to a rally. We attend (Henry, myself and Phillip). Mayor speaks, CEO (“Ketsuri Moriko”) speaks, both lauding the company’s generosity. (Political angle? Campaign contribution?) Phillip learns from a rent board member that Gir Corp won the contract for homeless services by low-balling next higher contract by half. Henry and I stand at the back of the small crowd, and simply observe.
3:00 pm: back in office. Verify that Gir Corp deeply underbid. Gir Corp only incorporated 2 months before tendered bid. Why? Where did they come from?
6:00 pm: meet back at pier. Henry, Phillip, myself and Phillip’s driver (“Carl” – human, and station wagon) are there.
Henry has come with a lobster trap filled with meat. This is placed into the water.
As we are waiting, an apparently homeless woman walks purposefully down the pier toward the water. We detain her, but she is distracted, and insistent on proceeding to water. As we are speaking with her, we see a group of apparent homeless approaching the pier – with similar distracted looks. There are more than we can detain.
I fire one handgun round into the water to attempt to gain attention of possible beings below the surface. Immediately thereafter an adult-human-sized aquatic humanoid (appearance similar to “Creature from the Black Lagoon”) – hereafter “merman” – climbs out of the water and scales pier, closely followed by a second of the same type.
We release the homeless woman, and she walks into the water and disappears.
As they are advancing upon us, an impressive, apparently female-gendered semi-humanoid mermaid creature appears on the pier (mechanism of movement not noted). “She” is holding an apparent ice javelin which she accurately casts and hits Henry, receiving substantial harm (fortunately he is very tough – it would likely have killed a human).
A quick review indicates it’s likely these creatures can be hurt by fire, but no fire is on hand.
I disable one merman with conventional buckshot round (badly hurt).
Phillip casts a circle – which we step into. Henry, however, steps out and is hit by a second ice javelin, again taking substantial harm. Unknown if circle can deflect projectiles – or just creatures themselves. We realize we must get Henry to care soon or he will expire with unknown consequences.
The group of homeless people walk off the sides of the pier into the water and disappear, we are unable to save them.
The mermaid then changes form, taking on the aspect of the CEO of Gir Corp – Ketsuri Moriko. “She” taunts me, asking for my name, implying she has special business with me. I take a guess, and tell her that we know about their plan to turn homeless people into “fish soup”. She laughs, “I thought you were more clever than you are – you have missed the point.”.
While she and I are talking, Phillip calls Carl, asking him to bring the car to the pier entrance – they will attempt to escape.
I shoot her with one conventional round of buckshot at close range. While she is distracted, Henry and Phillip run from the circle toward land and the car.
The “Moriko” creature looks at her wound (appearing merely distracted), says to me “See you later”, and dives into the water. Wounded mermen have been dragged back into the water by their fellows, so no samples can be retained.
Henry, Phillip and I, driven by Carl) go to Baltimore Office 7G with haste.
2:30 am: I apply successful first aid to Henry. Lacking knowledge on these creatures which we have encountered, I contact “Charlie” (class: human, description: herbalist) a friend of the asset Wilson who assisted with the Ahrens case (see file TZ-665-U). We send him downgraded images (from Phillips cameras). He immediately identifies as the “Moriko” creature as a girzu, a Japanese water demon. His information comes from a 15th century report, which would indicate that the “mermen” may be part of her force or army. The story indicates a case of a girzu attempting to build an army. They are apparently nourished by human souls, and have hypnotic powers. Historical evidence confirms our expectation that they are most effectively attacked by fire.

Attachments:
File containing stills and video from Phillip’s cameras, handheld and drone emplacement.

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MotW: That's not a dog

News report of a family — Jon & Muriel Arrens — in a fancy neighborhood who were shredded by “dogs”; the glass was shattered outward.

Sunday afternoon

At the scene, there’s a lot of blood, smeared in several locations plus big pools where the corpses lay. Under the table, there’s part of bloody pawprint. Everything is consistent with it being a large dog. The houses are spread apart; in the wooded hills there is a trail of the creature headed toward the woods. We follow the trail to a fence. Henry cuts through it with the sword. We come to a stream; it looks like it may have gone upstream, so we try going that way. It started wandering slowly. We find a (counterfeit) fancy handbag tag.

Going back and looking at the Arrens’ stuff, Wilson discovers that she is a second wife, younger than the first. She was two months pregnant. Arrens has a day planner! Tomorrow he was going to meet “Ralph”, his attorney. Maybe someone Wanted Them Out Of The Way.

Leonard casts a spell and sees a vision of the killing:

Jon is having a drink.
Muriel asks, “Isn’t it weird that she’s here alone?”
Then a huge pit bull attacks them and kills them.

No clues at the morgue. They were ripped apart by a big dog.

Leonard calls the lawyer as “Special Agent Bob Franks”. We go to his home.

He was changing his will to cut out his 32 year old wastrel son, Max, who opposed the marriage and found the body. “They really were very much in love” and married just last year. Arren was rich, import/export and finance. The lawyer has contempt for Max, who was always talking about “startups” and “investment opportunities”.

Max

Leonard calls Max, who hangs up the first time. Trying again, Leonard hints at a threat … so they plan to meet at a sleazy bar.

Laura Tinsley, his “greedy girlfriend”, is a werewolf. He’s been scratched, so we lock him in Wilson’s vault. We figure out that it will take silver bullets to kill her (duh), and Leonard goes for supplies.

Laura

She got scratched last month, killed her sister. We lock her in the bathroom, and with the help of one of Wilson’s ’net friends (Charlie) providing wolfsbane, magic-ing her so she cannot get out.

Charlie reports that another woman was found dead just a few hours ago. Then gets out.

The werewolf bursts through the door. Bang bang with guns: she’s seriously wounded and returns to human form. Leonard stabilizes her. “He made me …” Max?

We take her to the Agency, they do more medical on her.

Max

Yeah, he turned. And we take him to the Agency at the point of a gun.

The next morning

She’s stabilized and unwell. She admits that Max talked her into killing his parents. So we totally leave her at the mercies of the Agency. QED.

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