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Finding the Chapter

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  1. #1
    Aaron van Valen's Avatar

    Presence
    (Confident)
    Status
    (Academics)
    Aaron van Valen

    Aaron's voice is usually quite flat and emotionless, almost rusty, but he tries to make up for this with his facial expressions.

    3
    PRE

    Continued from here, the following night.


    Saying that Aaron was excited would be an understatement. In his rush here, he had not managed to feed properly, but he trusts he'll be fine. The Lord is waiting on a gas station parking lot, near the intersection of Grant Line Road and the Pleasurant Grove School Road. From here on out, it shouldn't be too far to the curious mansion.

    He is driving a grey Dodge Caravan, not the flashiest vehicle around, but very practical. He decided to wear a thick leather jacket, of little use to any mortal here in California. But to the Dragon, unbothered by the heat, it served as some minimal protection.

    Without my Sire to wake me up, I really ought to fight less careless.

    Truly, he is not the toughest guy around the block. However, there is his Dragon teammate Lina Moretti , who he is starting to trust a little bit. Step by step. He hopes she shows up on time, it is almost midnight.

      failure
    Date Action Roll Result
    2018-06-17 13:58:41 Aaron van Valen rolls 5 to monthly feeding roll (Str + Subt) (10 Again) 5, 1, 1, 2, 3 failure


  2. #2
    L
    Lina Moretti

    Old American muscle rumbled up next to the minivan. Moretti had to admit, she appreciated the sheer practicality of Aaron's mommymobile. With ample trunk space, that thing could definitely carry some shit. Or some bodies. It really depended on what the Lord was into.

    Shutting off the engine, Lina rolled up the open window and climbed out of her car, locking up behind her. Her hair was done up in a sensible brown bun, and the Daeva was wearing a black leather jacket over black pants and sneakers. She checks her wristwatch. She's timely.

    She waves, speaking quietly as she approached.

    "Hey. My guy couldn't come through, too confidential. Gotta keep greasing those wheels, I guess. You good to go?"

    They're not too far off, walking-wise.

    Equipment in ST minisheet.


      3 sux to feed
    Date Action Roll Result
    2018-06-17 20:42:14 Lina Moretti rolls 5 to Feed (Str+Sub) (10 Again) 2, 8, 4, 8, 10, 4 3 successes

  3. #3
    Aaron van Valen's Avatar

    Presence
    (Confident)
    Status
    (Academics)
    Aaron van Valen

    Aaron's voice is usually quite flat and emotionless, almost rusty, but he tries to make up for this with his facial expressions.

    3
    PRE

    The moment Lina steps out of her car, Aaron checks his surroundings one last time. Now, in a far less inhabited area, things feel different. But as she is alone, the Lord gets out of his minivan.

    'Hey.' Aaron shrugs, he did not expect a lot to have happened over night, 'Too bad, but it's alright.' He locks up his car behind him, wondering if there is something he needs already. But he'd rather not walk around heavily loaded with stuff he "might need."


    'Yes. Let's go.'


    As they walk their way down to the mystery mansion, Aaron sharpens all his senses. Not having to use a flashlight is extremely useful, also to keep their element of surprise. And the possibilty to hear those rumoured goblins sneak up on them - very comforting. The smell of possible vagrants - or their leftovers - will be less amusing, but he's willing to suffer that for a good cause.

    As they arrive at the front entrance of the mansion grounds, Aaron takes a moment to check whatever he can see from here.

      3 successes
    Date Action Roll Result
    2018-06-18 06:33:16 Aaron van Valen rolls 5 to Initial mansion grounds check (Wits3 + Inv2) (10 Again) 9, 6, 7, 10, 5, 8 3 successes



    Heightened Senses activated
    Is there a gate or something, or can we get right on the mansion grounds?


  4. #4
    L
    Lina Moretti

    Before they leave, Moretti pulls a backpack out of her trunk and puts it on. "Got an extra pack in here for you, if we need it," she mutters. Inside, there is a rolled up second backpack, some hairpins as makeshift picks, two flashlights and a small crowbar - just in case. Breaking and entering seemed fairly likely.

    Her senses are sharp, supernaturally so, and her feet are quiet as Lina moves. Trusting to her keen eyes and sharp ears, the Daeva methodically investigates from the front gate in the orderly fashion taught to her by her mentor in the investigations business. Were there hidden dangers? Were there signs of stinky vagrants? She would catch them, if they could be caught.

    Lina Moretti is a Trained Observer. Heightened senses activated.


      4 successes to investigate, 1 to be stealthy
    Date Action Roll Result
    2018-06-18 10:50:06 Lina Moretti rolls 7 to Investigate! (Wits + Investigation + spec, take one die off if not occult location) (10 Again) 10, 4, 3, 4, 10, 4, 4, 8, 10, 5 4 successes
    2018-06-18 10:49:21 Lina Moretti rolls 5 to Sneak! (Dex + Stealth) (10 Again) 9, 1, 2, 5, 5 1 success

  5. #5
    Yumyumcrow's Avatar
    Campanella
    Campanella

    Campanella
    Ingrid
    Yumyumcrow Scenes

    2
    PRE

    The street lights are strong but widely spaced; powerlines hum loudly in the still air. The sky above is a vault of deep, rich blue: an effect of the warming weather and the pollution from the great city to the north and west. Somewhere, an ominous and singularly lonely rumble of thunder can be heard. Around them, the road is surrounded by yawning gulfs of shadow. Pin pricks of light indicate where the neighbours are, but none are close enough to disturb them on their excursion.

    The walk is pleasant enough for night creatures. The scent of rich earth and heady vegetation lingers in the air. There is dust from the road and the gentle scent of night flowers where they cling madly to the fence line. The mansion's boundary is all stone and crumbling stucco. There is a singular tag by the gateway - a pyrrhic victory for urban blight - that leads directly to the mansion's door via a gravelled drive.

    The mansion is a dark bulk against the darkness. There is a flickering light emanating from an upper room.

    And just to confirm, there is no gate at the entrance to the mansion's grounds. There is only an elaborate gateway that would no doubt have looked expensive, tasteful, and yet forbidding, during the day.


    From there position at the gateway, they can make out the large lawn, now spotted with riotous growths (from the recent rains) and patches of soil and dirt (where the lawn has not recovered from the long drought). Trees, shrubs, and climbing plants frame the boundary walls - they too have become wild, lean, and forbidding.

    Aaron can confirm with his acute senses that the other side of the property, beyond the mansion, is overgrown with trees and shrubs. His sensitive sight also picks out something unique down one side of the main building: a cultivated patch of ground well away from the main building and positioned so that it would not be easily visible from the road.

    Lina forges ahead, her feet quiet in the dusty grass and grasping vegetation. Her practiced eye picks up on how feral the place has become - yet there is no wood fall: trees and shrubs are missing withered limbs, and they should be on the ground, yet they are not.

    The Daeva prowls, and find the savaged remains of a wild bee hive. Something feasted on the hive recently.

    There is a spot where night critters fought a terrible battle. The horror of this contest is plain to see: in the shredded earth and torn up trees; in the scattered and savaged bodies left to rot, locked together in one last, hostile, embrace.

  6. #6
    L
    Lina Moretti

    Moretti paused on the way in, taking a moment to try and figure out the tag by the entrance.

    As she came across the evidence of activity, she hunkered down next to it to inspect it. The bee hive, the critters, the lack of woodfall - the oddities pointed to tending. She looked to Aaron. A finger came up to her lips to indicate the importance of quiet, and then she mouthed the word ANIMALS.

    She slowly draws a hefty knife from inside her jacket. If there was tending, there may be traps. Holding the blade in an icepick grip in her left hand with her right arm out to ward off a potential attacker, she took the lead. The little Dragon continued her clandestine advance with wary, watchful eyes.

      1 sux PER, 1 sux to identify tag
    Date Action Roll Result
    2018-06-19 00:18:02 Lina Moretti rolls 4 to Wits + Streetwise to identify the tag (10 Again) 6, 6, 8, 7 1 success
    2018-06-19 00:12:10 Lina Moretti rolls 5 to Perception (Wits + Composure. Trained Observer.) (10 Again) 9, 4, 2, 4, 7 1 success

  7. #7
    Aaron van Valen's Avatar

    Presence
    (Confident)
    Status
    (Academics)
    Aaron van Valen

    Aaron's voice is usually quite flat and emotionless, almost rusty, but he tries to make up for this with his facial expressions.

    3
    PRE

    For a while, Aaron's eyes are fixed on the flickering light. Someone or something is definitely there. But as Lina is on to something else outside, he follows in her footsteps.

    The Lord makes a weak attempt at being subtle, but he has never been too bothered in life. Of course, he avoids the gravel and he nods to Lina, silence seemed smart right now.

    While she goes to inspect something, Aaron continues his way to the other side of the property. Cultivated ground?

    Definitely no crocodile.

    He decides to check it out. Is anything growing there? Not that he is a master of gardening, but he hopes to recognize any plants used in rituals - or any completely unnatural vegetation for that matter.

    Meanwhile, he keeps his eyes on Lina and the building every now and then. Is there a side entrance from his standpoint now?

      stealth fail, occ (if applicable) 4 sux
    Date Action Roll Result
    2018-06-19 05:20:30 Aaron van Valen rolls 9 to (Int + Occ) Any unnatural vegetation? (10 Again) 4, 2, 6, 4, 10, 9, 3, 5, 10, 7, 9 4 successes
    2018-06-19 05:04:04 Aaron van Valen rolls 1 to Dex 2 - Untrained Stealth to give "soft walking" a shot (10 Again) 4 failure






  8. #8
    Yumyumcrow's Avatar
    Campanella
    Campanella

    Campanella
    Ingrid
    Yumyumcrow Scenes

    2
    PRE

    Moretti pauses and retraces her steps to take a look at the lone tag. The Daeva learns everything and nothing: the graffiti is less a gang tag and more like a hobo trail sign. From its placement on the wall, it has must have meaning, but beyond that she has no clue.

    The Daeva heads back into the property on silent, shadowed, feet. Renewing her investigation, she finds nothing new as she closes on the mansion proper. The lawn must have suffered terribly during the drought; even after goods rains it is still covered in dried and yellow patches.

    The building was never boarded up, it seems. The first floor windows are broken in, and the impressive front door hangs open.

    Aaron takes a different path as he crosses the lawn to the cultivated ground. He too notes the patchwork growth: alternating spots of surging vegetation and yellow decay. If the wild vegetation was much more uniform, he might have conjectured that the area was bathed in vital energies of some kind, but the many dead patches undermine that hypothesis.

    The cultivated ground is the work of a serially hapless gardener. They have tried and tried again to grow produce from the good soil but either lack the time or the staying power to complete the task. Yet they keep coming back. Again and again they try.

    Aaron takes stock of his position. There is a side entrance to the house - part of a conservatory toward the back. Once it would have been a very tranquil spot; now its just a ravaged pile of wood, twisted metal, and broken glass. But it would be a means of entry into the building - or a means of accessing a back window on the upper floor if he felt like climbing.

  9. #9
    L
    Lina Moretti

    Lina moves up cautiously onto the front porch, watching for dangers. Still, she put her knife away - if need be, she could get that thing out in the blink of an eye, and if someone was within, she'd present far less threateningly without a big ol' knife in her mitt.

    Peeking through the wide open door and focusing on what she could hear, she let her heightened senses and talent for observation take over.

      1 sux to listen inside!
    Date Action Roll Result
    2018-06-19 22:30:28 Lina Moretti rolls 5 to Hey! Listen! (Wits + Composure) (10 Again) 2, 6, 10, 5, 7, 2 1 success

  10. #10
    Aaron van Valen's Avatar

    Presence
    (Confident)
    Status
    (Academics)
    Aaron van Valen

    Aaron's voice is usually quite flat and emotionless, almost rusty, but he tries to make up for this with his facial expressions.

    3
    PRE

    Due to the decay, Aaron indeed rather suspects the opposite of a vital energy. Reminding himself that probably murders took place here, the mansion might be haunted or otherwise perilous. However, as it is simple vegetation, it could be that some homeless person was trying to make a living here.

    The Lord takes note of the side entrance. It is always good to be aware of multiple access and exit points. However, he does not particularly feel like climbing.

    Instead, he heads back to the main entrance. It would not be wise to lose sight of each other. They're a team, so they should act like it. Aaron waits outside while Lina peeks inside. He keeps an eye on her as well as on the first floor of the building. The flickering light might reveal some moving shadows.


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