Chicago Nightlife (Saturday, April 24, 2010)


·         Hank (Alan)

·         Gabriel (Joe)

·         Jack (Paul)

·         Nathan (Darren)

We arrive in Chicago with the intent of investigating a couple of places, based on things retrieved from our last big encounter.  One location is a haunted house that *may* have something to do with the “Chicago Plan”.  The other is the Succubus club, which we are almost certain has something to do with the Chicago Plan.

The club is a renovated warehouse in the warehouse district, surveilled by cameras and with a few ghoul-type thugs.  Hank’s See-through vision nets us a map of the place which shows a hardened vault below and a strange labyrinth that separates the interesting and useful parts of the basement from where the riff-raff hangs out.  It seems the maze’s primary use is for people to go therein and have either elicit sex or to drain one another of blood, as there are several vampire on premises.  Thing is when we sneak down there to have a look, and presumably the sneak through the maze (toward a distant corner where there seem to be people chained up), a young and outrageously attractive woman takes a liking to Jack.  She beckons and he follows.  The collective group try to pull him back, and that’s when, there out of sight of the other patrons, Nathan tries to put her down with the anti-vampire round from a gun.  Problem is, it does nothing to her. She’s either protected somehow or she’s no vampire.  No one has time to really analyze her now and since we’ all have the strength of mere children, Hank seems to push right through us.  But that’s when another stranger who happened upon the struggle steps in.  This fellow (Terpin, John Terpin) assists us in dragging him out of the club.  We play it off to the bouncers that he’s simply drunk, as Terpin John Terpin keeps him in a chokehold.  Fortunately for us the succubus is more amused than angry; and when you can have anyone you want, why concern yourself with the one that got away.

TJT is a blood junkie.  He looks like a ghoul to our aura-sense, but he’s in the habit of killing and draining vampires (True-Blood style).  He wants our help taking out someone else who is a local vampire troublemaker:  A man named Maxwell, who also happens to be on one of our previous notes.  Turns out he’s in the top several floors of the Sears Tower.  A tour of said tower (assisted by vision powers) tells us that it’s mostly living quarters and such.

The haunted house (Harvard House) is a haunted house that seems to have a few painters working on renovations therein.  A brief talk with them (and some pretense of being amateur ghost hunters), tells us that maybe we come back after hours some night.  Which we do.  We aren’t very far into the place when something locks the door behind us, then tries to possess Hank (the axe-wielding fellow of the quartet) and make him attack Gabriel, who has his back to him.  Gabriel’s newly acquired Death sphere powers tell him that there are ghosts all around us imploring us to leave while we still can.  Unable to fight what we can’t see, Nathan kicks in his Astral Projection which can only help him see the other side; in this case he sees a demon with many ghosts tethered to him by chains.  There seems to be no tether between the demon and anything so we can’t tell if he’s bound there.

We know, again due to looking-through-things vision, that there’s a ceremony in the basement (Hank thinks it just ended).  Nathan decides that being unable to attack anything up here doesn’t mean he can’t go down there, crush the enemy, and perhaps find some implement that he can use to get rid of this demon.  Problem is, that’s not really the case.  Instead we merely end up fighting on two fronts, as the folks in the basement are vampires & ghouls performing a ceremony on a woman.

Keeping up with Nathan is Gabriel, who arrives at the door first.  (Keep in mind that upstairs Jack is trying to keep Hank incapacitated so that he doesn’t again try to kill us.  He’s making him sick through mystical means.)  Gabriel opens the door, sees the assemblage, and tosses a fragmentation grenade in, which knocks of the vampire, shreds the ghouls, and turns the female victim into pulp.  Nathan arrives next and pitches the anti-vamp flashbang in, with great accuracy, but to the tune of ZERO damage.  At that point, with fighting on two fronts, he opts to burn an XP and rerolls the damage.  He gets only a couple successes, but the blinding damage attached to it messes with the vampires Auspex (which he currently has up).  In short, we blew his mind.  The basement is effectively cleanses, but there’s nothing there to use against the demon, so we decide it’s time to get out.

Upon returning upstairs, Nathan manages to get out by driving his shoulder through the door, but the door closes behind him.  Gabriel has to fight with the door; between he and Gabriel, he gets out.  But the pool table is blocking the exit, and Jack and Hank alternate between trying to kill one another and trying to leave.  Gabriel gets a side window open (almost shooting the two men on the other side of it) and everyone gets out.

Whatever we did downstairs (likely destroying the pentagram on the floor during the explosions) freed the ghosts bound to the demon, but didn’t kill it.  We’d have to go back later and fix that.  Ryan (our groundhog of world-ending) pokes his head out and tells us the forecast calls for oblivion falling a week later than before that encounter.

A later entrance during the day (after the building is police taped) helps us find the axe that Hank left behind but also a porcelain box hidden in the mantle of a fireplace.  About now the lady from the Rotary club who is heading up the place’s restoration shows up and she seems nonplussed by our weird and mystical ways.  I think it’s a relief to most that we can do this stuff in front of somebody so at one point pretty much everyone in the part is casting an enchantment of some type in her presence).  She is Agatha Harkness, and seems to be a low-level “dreamer”; a sensitive, basically.  We discuss the demon and how to dispose of it.

The box is 2,000 years old and holds a fetus in it.  The corpse is ordained with the “true name” of the demon, thus binding him here.  Opening box would be bad.  However, using powers to open it the right way may let us banish him, so we assemble the God Squad!  Reverend Gary, Sullivan Dane (I keep wanting to type Solomon Kane) with his piece of the true cross™, and our own experts.  Plus we have a brief meeting with a friend of Agatha’s (Jackson) who we decide is too big a douche to bother with.

So Dane & Gary argue over theology and eventually Dane accedes, letting the Rev take the lead.  First thing the Rev does is botch, thus unsealing the demon, which manifests and terrifies folks who haven’t seen such things before.  Dane steps up with the his holy-cross action and sizzles that puppy, sending him back to hell.  The demon, not the reverend.

One thing we found out from our brief meeting with Jackson (and Harkness) was that there was a guild of guys who consider themselves “magicians” in China town.  We go there and pretend to be interested in their brand of mysticism.  We set up an appointment, but we never kept it.  Right now though we decide we want to go there and find out what they REALLY know.  So we enlist blood junkie TJT (with shotgun and Molotov action) and set to the job of raiding the place.

The guy who answers the door won’t go down quickly; he decides to run for help, but Nathan has put up D&D-style “silence” on an object that he’s carrying around so he follows the guy through the place keeping him quiet as he goes.  The group finally catches up to them in another room and a fight ends relatively quickly as TJT throws some fire on him and then blasts him through the door* (Actually don’t remember exactly what he did; I think he shotgunned him after fire didn’t do much or something like that).

The Vampire Downstairs takes the opportunity to come up and say hi.  We start with napalm Molotov cocktails and progress to an hors’ doeuvre of bullets and such.  The vamp is actually handled pretty well.  It’s the guy who shows up next immediately on the heels of that fight which presents a problem.  The Oni proceeds to try and crush TJT, and likely would have done so, had the guy not been a ghoul AND Paul been rolling on behalf of Mark to spectacularly bad effect.  Sometimes he’s rolling 19 dice and getting 4 successes or so.  But anyway the guy’s soak and Vamp-blood enhanced physiology help.  Not only does TJT survive with the aid of Hank, who is trying to parry some of the shots (and get hit by others) but blood junkie also manages to put some serious hurt on the big lug with his shotgun.  Add to this the minor bit of Molotov that Nathan manages to keep stoking into a full flame using his powers.

We check the place out and find that not only is the Sears tower important, and the place we just raided, but the Harvard House and the succubus club are as well.  In fact, they compose 4 points of a 5-pointed star that covers the city of Chicago.  The fifth one it seems I the Museum of Antiquities.  All of these places seem to be nodes of power.  Noted that Wrigley Field is not one of them.

Working Theory:  the Chicago plan may involve possessing humans, or some sort of pact with demons to enslave people.  We do harken back to the line in a previous note that said that the Chicago plan didn’t necessarily have a way to reverse it.