Chapter 1: Ante Bellum
Session 4: The Demon Within
This session begins with Wil in the Elysium, watching Howard. Jane unceremoniously unscrewed the suppressor from her 12 gauge shotgun, then took down the barrel and packed the entire thing. in a nondescript black duffel bag. Jane exited as the Detective entered without exchanging a greeting. Wil filled Louis in on the goings-on of the last few nights and they chatted briefly about the rioting in Ferguson.
The rest of the coterie made their way to the Elysium, Charlie bringing a pizza with all of the worst toppings for Howard. Wil had Howard bathe in the bathroom over a bucket with the door open. The coterie continued to question Howard, but he remained hostile without using Dominate or Presence. Howard’s faith in his unholy master seemed unshakable.
The group was finally able to glean from Howard that his master was in search of infants that were unbaptized Christians. The group also reached out to the Sheriff to update him on the findings of the group. When the Sheriff called the Elysium line back there was a lot of noise in the background, he was obviously still somewhere near the rioting. The Sheriff advised he’d join the coterie before the end of the night.
The Sheriff arrived at the Elysium and in the course of conversation was challenged not once, but twice, by Avi. The exchange intensified, and most members of the coterie stepped back as the Sheriff’s patience expired and violence was imminent. Wil stepped into defuse the tension and guaranteed results from the investigation.
The group retrieves the cell phone but keeps the battery and phone separate. They tended to their separate lives as they counted down the days until the demon would reach out to Howard. All but Barlow took turns looking after Howard in the 4 nights that remained. Howard worked two of those evenings trying to contain the riots. Nikolai continued his research, Wil visited with his sire and attended an public Elysium, Avi spent time within the Jewish community and Charlie tended to some personal business.
The night came, and the coterie convened. As soon as the first one wakes they put the battery into the phone. Barlow secured kevlar vests through criminal contacts with Nikolai’s money. Barlow also brought the shotgun from his police car. A handgun was secured for Nikolai, and the rest of the party brought their own weapons. The group retrieved Howard’s car and waited in a lot near his house for the call.
As the call comes Nikolai Dominates Howard to comply with the meeting and not tip off the demon. He is successful, and the details of the meeting place are exchanged without Howard saying anything out of sorts. The group immediately moves towards the meeting point, located in a rough part of North St. Louis, A black and a half away from the meeting point Nikolai left the car, but Avi moved into the trunk after dropping the back seat. He kept a gun aimed at the back of Howard’s head.
Howard then drove to the address, which was an empty lot. The phone rang, but it remained in Nikolai’s possession. He picked up, and the voice that was little more than a low growl said to enter the building. Nikolai then hung up, and relayed the message to Avi who told Howard to get out of the car and go into the building.. Howard then got out and Avi, unable to get out of the trunk for fear of being seen, could hear Howard’s footsteps move away.
The rest of the group left their car and immediately started running towards the building, trying to stealthily move toward the buildings next to the empty lot. Avi slowly opened the rear passenger door and slid out, but was unable to close the door quietly enough. He stood still for a several minutes, not wanting to alert the demon to his presence.
The other four coterie members moved between the building, looking and listening carefully for any sign of Howard’s passage. Wil masterfully climbed into one of the broken windows and carefully stepped into the building. After hearing voices in a distant part of the bulding Wil lifted Nikolai in behind him. Barlow and Charlie went to the back of the building.
Avi punctured the fuel tank of the car, Charlie stayed on the first floor to watch the exit, Barlow crept up the rear staircase, while Wil and Nikolai crept across the first floot. Wil determined that the voices were coming from the second floor and, with the stairs in disrepair, chose to lift himself up onto the second floor in the open stairwell at the front of the four family flat. He then lifted NIkolai, but the floor creaked as he did so.
The voices stopped immediately, and once Wil realized that he started running full force towards their source. Just as Barlow reached the second floor a choking, gasping Howard came stumbling through the doorway, and fell over the rail… followed by a large snarling figure clad in black tatters. The figure leapt over the rail and nearly landed on Charlie. The figure grabbed Charlie and started dragging her away
Wil smashed through the decaying walls of the flat, driven by Charlie’s screaming, and came crashing through the rear window, Avi walked quickly from the car as he set it alight, and Barlow started firing from the second floor at the figure while it dragged Charlie away, Nikolai made it to the balcony beside Barlow and leveled his gun at the figure. At the same time, Charlie retrieved the contents for a tiny flamethrower in her purse and opened up on the figure, setting it alight.
The figure kept pulling her along, the tattered rags flapping and on fire. Charlie, with the flames so close to her face, began to panic and succumbed to Rotschrek. Barlow, Nikolai and Avi continued to open fire on the figure and Wil positioned himself in front of it. Wil blocked the route of the figure and started attacking it as well.
Through the combined damage put forth by the group the monster is eventually brought down, just as Charlie comes back to her senses. The group approaches the downed behemoth and Wil pulls away the black tatters, exposing a warped creature mangled even before the violent exchange. The creature is dragged back to the car and placed in the trunk, Avi crawls in and keeps a bun to it’s chin. Wil drags Howard’s corpse to his burning car and throws it in, the group piles in and quickly flees the scene.
As the group arrives at Elysium Nikolai samples the blood of the creature. The blood is potent, and it is Nosferatu. The coterie reached out to the Sheriff and asked him to appear. The Sheriff arrives with Jayne and an unfamiliar man, who does not set off the predator’s taint. After a brief exchange the Sheriff congratulates the coterie on their success and retrieves the Nosferatu, who he says isn’t a declared Kindred from St. Louis nor is it familiar, to his knowledge, to the St. Charles or East St. Louis Kindred.