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Old 11-24-2015, 08:40 PM   #41
tshiggins
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

The group went back to the motel to freshen up and change. Frank, who had legitimate access to national databases that listed BOLOs and warrants, but who did not want the system to flag an inquiry with his user ID, helped Arthur hack into the system and pull a mug shot for Bart Krieger and any readily available information. He then took a quick trip to an office supply store, came back and changed into the sort of cheap sports jacket worn by detectives just about anywhere in the United States.

By the time he was ready, Doc Bascher and Henrietta had changed into “Lady’s Lunch at the DoubleTree” attire, while Sunmi had donned a fresh pair of jeans, a silly tourist T-shirt and a pair of cheap sunglasses, and stashed a collapsible selfie-stick in her backpack.

Beatrice stuck to her leathers, and said Grunt was fine just the way he was, goggles and all.

For his part, A.J. called up and reserved a room at the DoubleTree, and then made sure his golf clubs were in the back of his SUV. The DoubleTree has three golf courses around it, he explained, and he hadn’t played them in years.

With that, the group headed south on I-25, and reached the hotel by about 1 p.m.

Once they arrived, A.J. unloaded his luggage and had it carried up to his room. Once there, he accessed one of the cables to a video camera, and tried to use it to hack into the hotel security system. However, he couldn’t manage it, so Frank went to Plan B.

Frank went to the Front Desk and asked to speak to security, and after some back-and-forth with the guard on duty, he finally got to speak with the head of the hotel security, a man he quickly identified as a former police officer.

The Utah State Trooper confided to the security guard that he was a member of a special task force investigating the expansion of drug trafficking in the Four Corners area, and had received information that a suspect had met with a possible backer in the hotel that morning. Frank pulled the mug shot of Bart Krieger out of the manila folder he’d bought 90 minutes previously (which also had printouts of outstanding parking tickets and “person of interest” advisories), and showed it to the security man. Appalled that illegal activity could take place in the LoneTree hotel in Colorado Springs (of all places), the chief of security agreed to provide assistance.

Meanwhile, Beatrice had left Grunt in his sidecar to guard her motorcycle, while she went inside to the bar. The bartender blinked upon seeing her, and asked if there were a biker convention in town. Without missing a beat, Beatrice said there was a rally close by, and that she was supposed to have met a couple of biker buddies, in the Lobby Bar, but they may have missed each other.

The bartender acknowledged that he’d seen a couple of bikers earlier that day, dressed a bit more roughly with her, and that they’d come in for breakfast. As Beatrice tried to get more information about them, she realized he was rather deftly diverting the conversation away from details about the visitors.

Arthur, listening via Beatrice’s cell phone, deduced that the two men had come in, met with a woman who was not Beatrice and not a biker, and the bartender wanted to avoid telling her about that rather than risk a scene. With that, Beatrice shifted to more idle chit-chat while she enjoyed an excellent club sandwich, and Arthur pinged the information to Frank.

Once in the hotel’s Security Office, Frank and the security chief zipped through the CCTV surveillance tapes and, with the information from A.J., zeroed in on the Lobby Bar fairly quickly. Frank quickly identified Bart Krieger and, with a bit of hopping around recordings, the security chief was able to get a decent picture of the face of the lady who met the biker in the Lobby Bar.

Frank took some notes on the back of the printouts in the manila folder, and loaded the photo on a thumb drive, and asked if it were possible that the valet had noted the make and model of the car in which she’d arrived. The security chief took him down to the valet stand, and talked to the kid on duty, who advised him that the valet who worked mornings had already left for the day.

Meanwhile, Henrietta and Doc Bascher had arrived in the hotel’s Atrium Café, where they found a comfortable table and started to hob-nob with the female members of the wait staff. Seperately, Sunmi wandered in and got her own table, and started to chat up the young gentlemen waiters.

The women quickly learned that the staff distinctly remembered the visit from the bikers, earlier in the day, since that sort didn’t come into the DoubleTree very often – much less to meet with a lady of means. Henrietta and Doc Bascher reacted with shock at such behavior, breathlessly asked for details.

They learned that the woman had displayed the classy behavior normally associated with established wealth, which made her association that much more potentially scandalous and, since none of the wait staff recognized her, concluded that she must have come in from out of town. Sunmi kept the young men distracted by shifting into “cute Asian tourist” mode, and asking them to take pictures of her in the lovely restaurant.

At about that time, at Frank’s urging, the security chief called the morning valet at home and asked him to come back down, on an urgent police matter. The young man showed up within 20 minutes. He saw the photo printed out by the security chief and said he recognized the lady, because she’d arrived in a nice Lexus with license plates that had a Denver prefix, but which was not a rental tag.

The valet quickly found the vehicle information, including the license plate number (the valets at the DoubleTree Hotel in Colorado Springs park a lot of Lexuses…), and Frank took a photo. The Utah trooper thanked the valet and the retired cop for all their help, and then met A.J, to whom he passed the thumb drive and a forwarded photo of the vehicle information.

Arthur took the information back up to his room, pulled up the photo from the thumb drive and then accessed the Academy Club member site he’d hacked, previously. He and Randy flipped through the member photos and chat boards, and quickly identified the woman as Darla St. Cloud, the secretary of the brutally-competitive Academy Club bridge players’ league.

At about that time, the ladies finished their lunch and went upstairs to Arthur’s room, where Henrietta joined the former aerospace engineer and the extreme athlete in some serious research into social media. After reading a lot more about competitive semi-pro bridge playing (as bloodthirsty a sport as anything Randy had ever seen…), they got a line on Darla St. Cloud.

They learned that she apparently hailed from Texas, originally, and worked in banking. She’d appeared out of nowhere in competitive bridge about three-and-a-half years previously, and started to do quite well in some of the “recreational” tournaments around the desert southwest.

About 18 months ago, she’d taken a job as an accounts manager with the Wells Fargo bank in downtown Denver (located right around the corner from the Academy Club) and soon thereafter made the acquaintance of one Lacey Vaile (nee Dugan), the wife of Marcus Vaile, the chairman of the board and a scion of one of the founding families.

In checking her background, they learned that Lacey had been an avid bridge player for many years, but had never been more than a step or two above mediocre. However, her stature began to improve substantially about 18 months ago, when she met Darla St. Cloud and the two started partnering.

About a year ago, Lacey had sponsored Darla to join the Academy Club, and less than three months later Darla was accepted. As A.J. flipped through the member site, he noted that Darla had apparently become quite the popular social butterfly, and had managed to get to know nearly everybody in the club. She’d proven popular enough to get elected as secretary of the bridge league only a few months ago, and everyone seemed pleased with her efforts.

The new information triggered a new flurry of theorizing, and the group concluded that Darla may have been sent in as a mole by the Academy Club’s mysterious enemies, to infiltrate the organization. The nature of the questions listed for “Olivia McShane” to answer seemed to indicate that, despite the fact that those enemies were most likely responsible for the death of Oliver McShane, they either didn’t have the books, didn’t have all the books, or simply couldn’t access the information.

At that point, Randy lived up to his nickname and kicked out a random thought: What if the Negro janitor originally suspected of the theft of the books really did steal them, and wasn’t just a convenient patsy for the crime who’d been quietly disappeared by one or the other of the magical factions?

(continued...)
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Old 11-24-2015, 08:43 PM   #42
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

With that, Frank pulled out his notes about the cold case and found the name of the janitor, one Cleavon Hopper. That triggered more research, and the group learned that the Five Points neighborhood of the 1920s had been centered around four neighborhood institutions:

The Roxy – a theater and jazz club, still in operation

Radio Pharmacy – owned by local business leader and political boss, Sonny Lawson, it handled most of the community’s medical need. As with many pharmacies of the day, the soda-fountain acted as a social gathering place for family outings. Still standing, and designated a landmark.

The Rossonian Hotel – the best Negro-only hotel in the Denver area of the day, frequented by many travelers, including a number of early jazz and blues legends on their way from Kansas City to the West Coast. Still standing and structurally sound, but currently vacant.

Bennie Hooper’s Casino Cabaret – another jazz club and theater that had a long-running illegal casino in the back room. Opened only intermittently through the decades, the building still stands but the venue has fallen on hard times. An examination of Bennie Hooper’s geneology revealed (good Research roll) that Cleavon may have been a cousin.

With that, the group (except for A.J., who wanted to take a few days and play golf) headed back to Denver, and arrived in the late afternoon. Given that the sun had not yet set, Beatrice decided to take a ride up through Five Points, just to get a look-see, and on a whim invited the nunnupi (quite satisfied with their decision to stay on this side of the portal and observe the party’s antics…) to come along, and give Doc Bascher and Henrietta a break.

Beatrice arrived in the Five Points business district about 30 minutes before dusk, parked her bike and started to walk around, headed generally toward the shuttered Rossonian Hotel. Quite a few people walked around the streets, and she quickly concluded that this probably happened consistently, given the proximity of the light rail transit line and the fact that many of the people seemed to know each other.

Then an idle comment by Hops About brought Beatrice up short. The nunnupi noted with interest that the area seemed rich with spirits, but that was probably to be expected, given the close proximity Civic Center Park and the fact that a number of the intersections formed five-pointed stars (albeit crooked ones) that apparently channeled trickles of Decanic energies, and spirits were partial to magically-rich places.

Beatrice carefully asked for more information, and learned that spirits originated in living things of all sorts on one of the various material planes, or grew spontaneously from natural features rich with life. Most remained fairly weak and even mindless, but when a human shaman perceived the presence of a spirit, he could communicate and interact with it, and if he and others treated it with reverence, it could gain power. Others simply had existed so long that they had accumulated considerable power, on their own.

Sometimes, they said, a shaman could commune with a spirit and allowed it to possess him or her. Beatrice found that disconcerting since, with the exception of Grunt, each of the party’s interaction with spirits had been at least hazardous, or even lethal. The nunnupi said they didn’t understand why humans did some of the odd things they did, but insisted some human shamans did, in fact, do that sort of thing now and then.

When they did so, the essence of the spirit started to bleed over into the human, explained Circles Thrice, and the soul of the human began to resemble the spirit more and more. At some point, the nunnupi said, shaman souls became indistinguishable from the spirit and the human became little more than a glove or a puppet for the spirit, through which it could work its will on the material world.

Beatrice asked if either of the nunnupi had done that sort of thing, themselves. The scornful nunnupi responded that, of course they hadn’t, because they weren’t made of spirit stuff from one of the material realities. They were from a place completely different.

As Beatrice digested that little bombshell, the Hops About suggested that if she wanted to know why shamans invited spirits into them, then she should just go and ask a fellow across the street, since he had a spirit in him. The nunnupi pointed to an older black gentleman in a nice suit and a natty trilby, who had just emerged from a late-model Cadillac and was walking toward the door of the Roxy.

Beatrice glanced down at Grunt, and noted his emerald eyes were fixed on the figure.

With that, the session ended.

-----------------------------------------------

Funny Quotes

Not too many, this time, as the group stuck mostly to business

Bart: “Can I get ten grand back from you, if I do this for you?
Arthur: “We’ll give you all 50 Gs.”
Sam, Rebecca and Debbie (OOC): “No!
Anten (OOC): “We’re gonna wipe his memory anyway, so he won’t remember anything!’
Sam(OOC): “Oh. Okay.”

Randy: “We’ve got a lot of leads, we’ve just got no clue.”

Randy: “Y’know, if it turns out the janitor really did steal the books, I’m gonna feel really stupid….”
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:54 AM   #43
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Just for the record, Randy specifically played Vulgar Display of Power, to make noise during the fight scene, because irony is not lost on him.

Of course they had it.

Last edited by Gold & Appel Inc; 11-25-2015 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:55 AM   #44
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Just for the record, Randy specifically played Vulgar Display of Power, to make noise during the fight scene, because irony is not lost on him.

Of course they had it.
Well, yeah.

I'd forgotten about that bit. The fight scenes with the Angels had a pretty good soundtrack. :)
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:41 PM   #45
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Session 13, played Saturday, started out with some fun and ended with a bang, as the party achieved a long-sought goal.

Characters Present:


Trooper Frank Moses -- A former Marine currently working as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), based out of the Section 13 office in Moab, under Lt. Lee Exeter. Moses works with 4CSAR as needed, and has an interest in Doc Bascher. -- Played by Mike H.

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S., who couldn't make it this session. The character remained in Colorado Springs, as the session began, and then probably went back to Moab for a bit.

Randy "Random" Shoop -- a twenty-something, semi-pro mountain-bike competitor who has trouble staying focused, but is basically a good and reliable member of the team -- Played by Gold & Appel, Inc.

Dr. Belody "Doc" Bascher -- a local veterinarian for both large and small animals, who frequently fixates on her job and uses 4CSAR as her primary social outlet. -- played by Samantha H.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S., who also couldn't make it, this session. This character remained in Colorado Springs, making a lot of telephone calls to NASA buddies and playing golf. He'll have returned to Moab in time for the Aug. 25 new moon portal opening.

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who only volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. -- Played by Rebecca W.

Beatrice "B" Lawrence -- U.S. Army veteran who works for a local air charter service as a helicopter mechanic. A cynic about men, and accompanied by "Grunt," the biggest, best-trained pit-bull anybody has ever seen (purchased as an ally, and a totally badass dog, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P.

NPCs Present

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit.

Hops About: A nunnupi (one of the "Little People" from Comanche folklore) who frequently takes the form of a quadruple-sized magpie. The party has determined that she is a faerie, and as such is mischievous, rather random, inhuman and appallingly dangerous. Likes ants, ham sandwiches and Looney Tunes.

Twirls Thrice: Another nunnupi, and the sister of Hops About. More laconic and observant than her rather hyperactive sister, but at least as dangerous in her own way. Likes ants, ham sandwiches, and particularly Bugs Bunny.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The session began with a call from Beatrice in Five Points to the rest of the group, about the black gentleman with the spirit inside him, who had just disappeared into The Roxy Theatre, at 25th and Welton.

Somewhat disconcerted by the report, Randy, Frank, Aurelia, Doc Bascher and Sunmi drove down to the Rossonian Hotel and took a look around (Arthur had remained in Colorado Springs to do some golfing and some serious networking with old NASA contacts, and Henrietta decided she needed a break and stayed at the LoneTree Hotel, as well). The group decided to try to gain entry, but were rebuffed by an employee who told them the place wouldn’t open for several hours and told them (in no uncertain terms) to come back, later. Rather than make a scene on the busy street, the group backed away and set up a casual surveillance.

The man emerged a while later, and when his car pulled away from the curb, Frank, Randy, Beatrice and Aurelia decided to tail him. They watched as he spent the next couple of hours visiting another couple of entertainment venues, stopping to chat with people he knew, and generally making his rounds.

Aurelia and Frank did make one interesting observation; at no point did the man stop to chat with anyone who was obviously a gang-banger, even though he drove by several on the way from Five Points to his (apparent) home in Park Hill, just off Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

Along the way, the group jotted down the man’s license number, and then did a 411 Reverse Address lookup. Based on that, they learned the man’s name was likely Clarence Dulake. Aurelia called that in to her contact, Wren.

Within 30 seconds, a somewhat exasperated Wren told Aurelia that Dulake worked as a music promoter and had his own Web site.

Sheepishly, the group perused the site and found out that Dulake was apparently from New Orleans and acted as agent for several bands – hip-hop and R&B groups – who played in venues in New Orleans, Austin, Houston, St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver.

By that time, the hour had grown late and the group decided they’d take in the hip-hop show at The Roxy, and bought tickets. At about 9 p.m., Sunmi and Randy went in together (Sunmi changed into club attire), and then Beatrice, Doc Bascher and Aurelia came in a bit later. Much to the consternation of the group, Hops About and Circles Thrice decided they wanted to see the show as well, but the nunnupi agreed to go in invisibly. Once inside, they fluttered to the top shelf of liquor behind the large bar (and probably had the best seats in the house…).

Frank, whose attire and demeanor screamed “Cop!” to anybody who knew what to look for, decided to hang out with Grunt on a bench down the street. Five Points was still jumpin’ on the warm summer night, and they alternated attention between the Roxy, and watching people walk up and down the street.

The roadies on the stage had started a sound-check and about a half-dozen regulars were scattered about the place. They eyed the newcomers curiously but didn’t mess with anybody. Aurelia noted the presence of six sizable bouncers, who seemed pretty relaxed.

Outside, Frank eyed the doormen and decided they probably looked more intimidating than they actually were. However, as the evening wore on, Frank observed with surprise that only a few obvious gangsters tried to gain entry, and the doormen firmly turned them away.

Inside, Aurelia noted the faint smell of old cigarette smoke, despite the fact that Colorado law prohibits the use of tobacco products at indoor venues. Rather more recent was the smell of marijuana and sex from the bathrooms at the back of the hall. Randy, who worked as a bouncer in clubs to make ends meet, quickly evaluated The Roxy as a “locals” venue for second-raters, up-and-comers, or on-the-way-outers, rather than headliners.

To Sunmi’s shock, the nunnupi (rather matter-of-factly) observed that The Roxy seemed to be a place where humans went to meet each other for sex. Hops About and Circles Thrice told the group that the place had a trace magical aura of peace and relaxation, which was probably responsible (at least, in part) for the smells.

The observation proved accurate once the band took the stage – two front-men vocalists, a turntablist, and a keyboardist. The place quickly filled to near the 500-person capacity, and the beat went loud. Aurelia noted that the bouncers remained surprisingly relaxed, despite that, and decided to let herself into the office near the front entrance.

With a quick nod to Randy, who created a diversion by “accidentally” knocking over the drink of the guy next to him (the bouncers materialized quickly, but a fight did not break out and the guy willingly accepted Randy’s offer to buy him a new round), Aurelia quickly picked the office door lock, and went inside.

She found a fairly straightforward closet office, with framed autographed pictures of artists on the wall, and papers in neat piles on the desk. She flipped through them and located the one for Clarence Dulake. He apparently had a group booked at the venue a couple of weeks hence, and from that Aurelia surmised that he’d come into The Roxy, earlier, on business.

Outside, Frank grew increasingly dumbfounded as the evening passed and no fights broke out at The Roxy. Everyone seemed to have a good time without looking for trouble, and two visits by DPD patrol officers seemed utterly routine.

(continued...)
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:44 PM   #46
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(...continued)

At one point, Aurelia emerged and the two took a quick walk to check out the back of the place. Frank became convinced that magic must be responsible, as he watched the two bouncers at the back door chat amiably (“Damn, girl! You look fine, tonight!”) with the stoner crowd purchasing ribs, burgers and fries, and fried peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches from the take-out window of the restaurant across the alley.

Inside, Doc Bascher’s life took a turn for the surreal as she watched the two nunnupi, still in their indian dresses and invisible to crowd, try out hip-hop dance moves (including twerking, by Hops About) from the top of the liquor shelves.

The remainder of the evening passed pleasantly enough, and the group decided to head for the Motel 6 after the first set ended at midnight.

Late the next morning, Beatrice, Frank and Aurelia visited the Clarence Dulake’s home and were greeted at the door by a stunning mulatto woman with a “chahmin’” New Orleans accent. Frank found himself instantly smitten, much to the annoyance of the ladies.

She introduced herself as Lilibet Blank, and told them Clarence had already left for his office. A quick perusal of Dulake’s site found several pictures of the woman, and they identified her as Elizabeth Blank. Originally from New Orleans (and, along with Dulake, part of the post-Katrina diaspora) Blank had a reasonably decent reputation as an R&B singer, and was nearly 10 years older than she appeared.

The trio made their way to Dulake’s office, and Frank elected to wait outside as Beatrice and Aurelia entered. The receptionist, a middle-aged, no-nonsense black lady stopped them firmly, and advised they needed an appointment. From beyond the inner door behind the receptionist, they heard Dulake arguing on the phone with somebody who was apparently trying to cancel a gig, and made an appointment for 2 p.m., that afternoon.

That was several hours away, so the group returned to the hotel. Frank decided to chart out the network of information they’d discovered, thus far, and Sunmi wanted to hit the library. Doc Bascher decided to return to Moab to try to keep her veterinary business from folding, and headed west on I-70.

Frank and Randy stayed outside as backup while Aurelia and Beatrice showed up for the 2 p.m. meeting, and were politely informed by Dulake that he didn’t do dog acts. They informed him that Grunt was a foo-dog and, moreover, they knew he had in common with the dog a certain “spiritual presence.” (Subtlety abandoned…).

With that, Dulake sent his receptionist, Margaret, out to get him one of those “chai-mocha-latte things” he liked from the Starbucks on the corner. After she left, he informed the ladies, in no uncertain terms, that anybody who wanted to discuss such matters with him needed to visit the Academy Club, first.

That caught Aurelia and Beatrice by surprise, and he informed him that certain things got done in certain ways. As such, he had come to understand that, in Denver, a check-in at the Academy Club was simply, “how things are done.”

With that, the ladies took their leave, and passed Margaret in the hallway as she got back with Clarence’s mocha frappuccino.

Seemingly stymied, and with the Academy Club Labor Day picnic more than a week away, the group broke up. Beatrice returned to work at the airfield in Moab, while Aurelia, Frank and Randy decided to remain in Denver. Sunmi chose to stay, as well, and ensconced herself in the Denver Public Library, where she spent all of her time in the stacks, looking up the history of Five Points and checking the archives for any additional information about the murder of Oliver McShane.

While checking into the family histories of various business leaders in the 1920s, Sunmi stumbled onto several references that indicated the Rossonian Hotel had formed the actual center of the Five Points community, and that more information about the community could be found at the Black American West Museum and the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, each located a few blocks from the Rossonian.

With that, Sunmi relocated her efforts and, with the help of the staffs at each place, discovered the Rossonian had hosted a monthly meeting of an informal group known as the Five Points Economic Council, made up of the business and community leaders in the neighborhood. The business council had acted as a patron organization, of sorts, helping Five Points residence find jobs and, in an era of nigh-absolute segregation, provided small business loans for startups.

One of the businesses that received such aid was the Five Points Contracting Company, a black-owned business that built homes and did remodeling of all sorts. Sunmi found evidence that the contractor seemed to hire as many people as it possibly could (and more than it probably needed), and got a lot of business in the area.

Intrigued, Sunmi check the business records and found a small blurb in a local paper that said the company had secured a contract for some work in the basement of the Rossonian, to repair some water damage from a plumbing leak.

Sunmi checked the date, and found it took place less than a week after the murder of Oliver McShane, and the disappearance of his library. (Crit success on her Research roll.)

She picked up her cell-phone and made some calls. (“Hey guys, I think the books are in the basement of the Rossonian Hotel!”)

(continued...)
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:47 PM   #47
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

Everybody (except Arthur and Henrietta) rolled back to Denver a week after they'd left. On the morning of the Thursday before the Labor Day party at the Academy Club, the group assembled in a room at the Motel 6.

From there, Aurelia, Frank and Beatrice headed into Five Points to case the abandoned hotel, and soonrealized that the main reason the Rossonian acted as the center of the community was because it lay at the center of the community.

Located on a triangular lot bounded by Washington Street to the east, Welton Street (and the light rail line) along the northwest, and an open alley with a parking lot and vacant lot to the south, the location provided absolutely no cover to anyone trying to gain clandestine entry.

Based on the recon, Aurelia declared the group had to go in during the wee hours of the morning and that a side entrance on Washington Street offered the best chance at entry with minimal risk of discovery. However, because the location was so open, and the main floor had so many large windows blocked (if at all) only by a few handbills, they’d need a distraction, and quickly knocked a plan together.

Beatrice also said she’d purchase an RV camper and park it on the street at the door, to provide additional cover and to give them a means to haul the books away, should they find any. She then proceeded to find a decent bargain on a used vehicle, and stocked it up with supplies as a precaution.

At 2:30 a.m., Doc Bascher drove another rental car (she’d flown back from Moab) up Welton Street, two blocks to the north, and Sunmi tossed handfuls of tens and twenties out of the back-seat windows. Once the hullabaloo commenced, Aurelia and Randy emerged from the camper, crossed the sidewalk to the door, and Aurelia promptly found the lock more difficult than she expected. Frustrated, she took a breath and tried again, more carefully, and got it on the second try.

Aurelia, Randy and Beatrice entered the building and realized the large windows meant they had to use their flashlights sparingly, although the light from the Welton Street side helped a lot. After stumbling around, a bit, and the careful use of Beatrice’s red-filtered flashlight, they found the interior hallway with door to the basement.

The lock on this door also proved of much greater quality than expected, but Aurelia picked it reasonably quickly, and the trio (with Grunt) went down the dark stairs to the deep basement (the building had no power, so the light switches did nothing). Once down there, the group realized that their lights weren’t enough for the large, pitch-black basement, and they called for help.

Frank arrived with his first-responder floodlight, and Doc Bascher with her emergency lanterns (on their character sheets, even…) and they made their way down to the basement. That did the trick, and at about 3:30 a.m., Sunmi noticed that the south wall of the basement was inset at least five feet too far. Beatrice pulled out a pry-bar and peeled off the paneling in a spot Frank identified as having potential, and found a metal door partially welded shut, but with the hinges on the outside.

Beatrice popped the hinges loose, and then she and the rest of the group put pry-bars in that edge and slowly wedged the door partially open. Sunmi wriggled inside, and reported a five-foot wide passageway that seemed to run from one side of the building to the other. The ends of the passage looked to be made of the foundation walls, but the south side was built of old cinder blocks, the entire length.

The group broke a couple of the welds and got the door open enough to get everybody else through. Frank put the end of his screwdriver against one of the blocks and smacked it with the end of his flashlight, and broke a hole. A few more hits later, he’d chipped through to the other side.

He switched the flashlight around and beamed the light in, and saw the spines of old leather books. The party cheered just as two humanoid leopard spirits appeared in green flashes, at either end of the passageway.

The spectral figures roared in challenge and charged the party. Beatrice and Doc Bascher hauled out shotguns and jammed in a couple of shells of rock-salt, while Frank and Aurelia readied their iron breaker bars, and Sunmi and Randy hammered hastily at the block wall.

Bascher dissipated the attacker on her side with a rock-salt blast, while Beatrice hit hers with the edge of a shot and dissipated it, as well. However, in a few seconds, the one on Beatrice’s side materialized right in front of her, and swiped an ectoplasm claw through her. The mechanic suddenly felt cold and weak, missed her return blow, Randy moved to help and got tagged by the spirit, Frank missed as well, and Doc Bascher shouted at everybody to duck. Her rock-salt blast took that one high in the chest, and it dissipated with shriek.

About 30 seconds later, with the hole rapidly growing larger, the spirit on the west side materialized, again, and its claws sliced into Bascher before she could react. She managed to blast it away, again, but now she felt sick and weak, as well.

Realizing the salt blasts wouldn’t dissipate the spirits for good, Sunmi slid out the door and dashed up to the RV to grab the canister of Morton’s salt (“When it rains, it pours!”) that Beatrice had purchased, earlier. The spirits attacked once more, while she was en route, and hit Beatrice, Doc Bascher and Frank so hard that the veterinarian hauled out the epinephrine shots.

Sunmi made it back down to the passageway and, with shaking hands, poured thin lines of salt across the passageways to either side of the group. Just as she finished the second line, a leopard spirit manifested and took a swipe at her, only to roar in frustration as the salt-line blocked the strike. The second appeared shortly thereafter and found itself blocked, as well. The two spirits then disappeared through the wall, out into the basement.

Aurelia filled her pack with a load of books, and decided to make a run for the RV. Beatrice ordered Grunt to “Guard!” and the two struggled up the stairs. About halfway up, the spirits sprung their ambush, hit Aurelia with a glancing blow and hammered Grunt hard.

In return, the foo dog sank its teeth into the leg of one shocked spirit, causing ectoplasm to spray out, as Aurelia defended herself from the other with her iron pry bar. Grunt wheeled and took a chunk out of the second spirit, and both glowing green figures vanished.

Meanwhile, Frank, Aurelia and Randy had started to stack the books outside the door, and Sunmi used the last of the salt to make a thin ring around it large enough for the stack and one person. Frank carefully crossed into the circle, filled his backpack with books, and handed it out. After a few minutes, all of the books were in packs and bags, and the group made their way out of the basement.

The spirits hit the group again on the sidewalk outside, in the predawn light. Beatrice, Bascher and Grunt held them off, while Sunmi, Frank and Randy loaded books into the RV in a haste that bordered on panic. Aurelia shoved her pack in, dashed up to the driver’s seat, started up the RV and yelled at them to hurry.

Finally, the last of the books got tossed on the RV’s table, and the defenders piled aboard as Aurelia screeched tires pulling away. A block later, they slowed down enough for Grunt to jump inside, slammed the door shut, and peeled out as the humanoid leopard spirits faded away in the morning light.

Inside, sick and weak and shivering with cold, Beatrice, Doc Bascher and Frank huddled in blankets and stared out the windows as the camper headed for the Motel 6, and then out to I-70 on the way west to Grand Junction. A few minutes after they made it to the highway, the three passed out from epinephrine crashes.

-------------------------------

Funny Quotes

Frank (realizing that The Roxy might be magically-enhanced to reduce anger and violence): "We need to put this on a conveyor-belt! You just solved 90 percent of cops' problems! We need a Wal-Mart dedicated to selling peaceful clubs!"

Sunmi (upon learning that people might sometimes have sex in the bathrooms at The Roxy): "Ooh! Eww! Have some pride, people!"

G&AInc (OOC): "McCoy's Diner, at 50th and Federal, just down the block from the Motel 6. Open 24-7, and they serve baked potatoes the size of golf balls. It's the best tiny baked potato you've ever been ripped off by."

Frank: "Maybe this is his beachhead? Maybe he's planning to take over the world?"
Aurelia: "Taking over the world by opening cool, mellow bars? I'm good, I'm there."
Frank: "But what does he do after he takes over the world? Open up an assembly-line that turns out robotic top-hats?"
DM: "Maybe you should start a campaign."


Aurelia: "So, do I go straight in and ask about the spirit possession thing?"
Randy: "I wouldn't lead with that."
Beatrice: "You need to go in and man up and say, 'I have it on good authority that you're possessed.' <pauses for a moment to visualize that> I'll do it. I'll go!"

Sunmi (when told she had to help search the abandoned Rossonian Hotel, in the middle of the night): "Hey! I did my part! Y'all do it! I'm not about this life!"
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Last edited by tshiggins; 12-28-2015 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Minor corrections to events
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:39 AM   #48
acrosome
 
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
The agents requested the help of 4CSAR team to locate the suspect, as he had disappeared into the Dark Canyon Wilderness Area, south of Moab and due west of Monticello, Utah, GPS coordinates Latitude : 37.800676 | Longitude : -109.7873.
Neat. I just did a hike in Dark Canyon this May.

Your coordinates are on the mesa east of Peavine Canyon, though. We were further downcanyon. Blonde Coyote was in that region last year, though.

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
The group traveled to the location of the suspect's -- "Señor AKA" -- abandoned rental Chevy Suburban. After searching around a bit, the group picked up the trail of "AKA's" heavily-laden cargo-bike. Bizarrely, the trail headed down into a northern tributary canyon -- a stupid and impossible route, given that the cargo-bike and its load probably exceeded 220 pounds (100 kilos).
So, into Poison Canyon?

Last edited by acrosome; 12-03-2015 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:32 AM   #49
tshiggins
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
Neat. I just did a hike in Dark Canyon this May.

Your coordinates are on the mesa east of Peavine Canyon, though. We were further downcanyon. Blonde Coyote was in that region last year, though.



So, into Poison Canyon?
Pretty much, yeah.

I got the coordinates as close as I could, given that I haven't actually been there. I've gotten hold of much better maps, since that session.

I wanted to set the campaign in a place with a diverse population near dramatic wilderness areas, where a SAR team would be needed. I thought of Moab, straight away, and then learned about the well-funded Grand County SAR team, so I went with a slightly expanded version of that. Besides, with the name, "Dark Canyon," how could I pick anywhere else? :)

Also, the fact that a lot of people around here go to Moab for wilderness recreation made the area immediately accessible as a campaign site. Pretty much everybody in the group knows what the area looks like, and we have a lot of literature readily available.

Your pictures are awesome, though. My knees won't let me do stuff like that, any more, and I'm carrying an extra 30 lbs, but it looks like it was a great trip.

Are you stationed down in C. Springs, or do you live there, permanently?

Amusingly, because I camp some, myself, I'm on the REI mailing list, and just before the third or fourth session, I got a magazine in the mail with Utah mountain biking locations. It had lots of really good pictures, and the synchronicity was pretty amusing. Especially given the background of G&AInc's character, "Random" Randy Shoop. :)
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"Some days, I just don't know what to think." -Daryl Dixon.

Last edited by tshiggins; 12-03-2015 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:12 PM   #50
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Great photos; thanks, acrosome.
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