Arcanum

16. Wit's end

“God is the God of the people who are at their wits end, who are right up against it with their backs to the wall, and He delights to come to our help when we need Him most.”


[SleepyKoala 26.02.2017 – ???]

Vanity was emptying really fast. Two parties went out to fight Sabbat – one of which included both Nosferatu and Tremere primogen. The third one, consisting of Emma, Molly and Marcus was preparing to leave when Sinead approached them. She was getting more and more anxious, seeing as everyone was going to fight Sabbat. She asked Marcus what are they planning. Marcus said they are going to inspect some of his warehouses for potential Sabbat presence, as reported by Emma. Sinead, rememebering meeting with Rob, asked her directly if they are going to check for the rose box place. Emma confirmed and invited Sinead to join.

Molly was in favor of taking as many people as possible. Marcus openly voted against taking Sinead with them. He said she poses the same threat Emma’s sword does and cannot be trusted herself. Sinead jokingly said that she should feel offended at that and asked the Elysium Keeper to keep a package for her – meaning her finger with cursed ring – but knowing that Caroline will check its content, she decided against it. Before leaving, Emma decided to summon Hawke in case they run into Sabbat.

They hailed a cab and went for the warehouse. Molly sent her people to watch the area earlier and they still were on the lookout. They reported not seeing anything out of oridinary… except for everything seemed out of oridinary for Marcus and Sinead. The place seemed dead and as they came close, Marcus experienced extreme uneasyness. As if he went on a path starting with disappointment, going through bitterness into despair, getting closer to the warehouse. Sinead on the other hand noticed absolute lack of animals. She connected it with each situation in which she met Moira. At that moment she told Emma and Molly to run.

Emma instantly turned around and bolted away, but Sheriff asked why should she. While the Ravnos was trying to hint that the demon is coming, Molly started pondeing existence of hell and consequently, of God. Sinead tried to cut the decision short, but Molly was reluctant to do so. Annoyed, the Ravnos decided to enter the warehouse while Molly send her people to fetch a carriage big enough for the rose box.

The building was full of crates, tools and furniture. Rose boxes which Marcus commited were stacked in the corner. Sinead suggested that they should inspect their weight. It turned out three of them are light – supposedly empty. Other three of them were distinctively heavier, with one of them being much more heavy than the others. Out of the heavy ones, two stood out for Marcus – one was pinpointed during astral travel, the other he determined as a source of the foreboding feeling. After some discussion they decided to check on the heaviest one, which, as it turned out, contained mashed remains of two people, forced into the box. The lighter ones were empty.

When the carriage arrived, they decided to move four boxes into it – both the cursed and real one, the one that contained the corpses (for future burial) and an empty one as a decoy – and move them into one of Sinead’s temporary havens. Upon arrival they left the corpses in there and decided to visit the First Elysium, taking a small detour passing through city borders, at Sinead’s request.

Inside the First Elysium they’ve met only two people: Gilbert, the Elysium Keeper, and Raymond Montgomery. Seeing the boxes brought, the Keeper summoned a few people – without any immediate effect. After a moment his servants informed him of commotion going upstairs, so he left check on the matter. Suddenly Hawke entered Elysium, mad at Emma for summoning him for no reason. He casually inspected the boxes, rattled the ones that contained something, and left to have some fun when his protegĂ© told him battle with Sabbat is still taking place in London. At that, Emma decided to leave, after making sure that her help covers the boon she owes to Sinead, and joined Hawke, although a bit late.

Hawke didn’t wait for her at all, although he didn’t cover his tracks. Emma followed him into sewers and started calling for him. He found her, annoyed, and explained he has an opinion. Her mentioning his name could cause the Sabbat to run and hide. They went further into the tunnels, following traces of battle – the walls were charred and splattered with blood, clearly marking thaumaturgy at use. Suddenly they run into Giovanni sheriff, battered and singed. Hawke instantly charged into the direction Fabio was escaping from while Emma stopped to ask him about events of the night. He told her that the prince has made an appearance during the initial fight with the Sabbat, but he simply passed through them, killing only the ones that were in the way, and left. The real fight started later on and it was so severe it moved to the streets. He left saying he doesn’t care any more about the traitors and backstabbers. Emma followed Hawke and found him among corpses of some shovelheads. Since the fight was over, they decided to go for some drinks. The matuzelah had so much fun he wanted to overstay for the day, but Emma dragged him to one of her havens.

Meanwhile in the first Elysium Sinead and Marcus were debating if they should check what’s inside the rose box. Montgomery was getting ready to leave, but curiosity made him stay. The Ravnos and the Malkavian opened the box. They saw a tiny woman with three eyes wearing crusader tabard over a curaiss inside. Marcus recognised the Salubri – it was Marylyn, whom he met in Vienna, now known as Flora. They didn’t have time to ponder it, because the other box burst open. Moira, who was losing her patience, waiting for the rose box to be opened, walked out of it. Montgomery tried to run this instance, but the demon stopped him with a wave of a hand. As she was sizing the surroundings and throwing quips, doors to the Elysium opened and Aaron entered.

Marcus connected with Flora mentally and tried to wake her up from torpor, hoping she will help them in fight against the demon. He channeled all the pain caused by her proximity into through the mental link. She woke up from torpor, hungry for blood. Sinead jumped back reflexively, but seeing as the next closest person was Montgomery, who still was rooted, she came closer and allowed her to feed of herself, calling others for help. Molly, at first baffled, helped to stop the Salubri from diablerie. Marcus told one sentence:

“She is not your enemy and there are people in here that need your protection.”

Marylyn went back to her senses. She was surprised to see Marcus, but grasped the situation immediately. Moira gave her brutal and brief summary of what what happened during couple of centuries – how her clan was destroyed by the Tremere and how she is going to the people that oppose them. Sinead chimed in, saying that Moira is going to lead her to the very same Tremere. Flora looked at her odds and decided to follow the demon. Moira wanted to clean up the place, as the dawn was nigh. She wanted to kill Montgomery, but Aaron said Raymond stood up for his clanmate when Camarilla wanted to dispose of him, so he should be spared. Then she turned to Molly and looked deep into her eyes, at which the sheriff flinched in terror. As they were leaving, they turned to Sinead, telling it’s her time to pay her debt. At that, Marcus asked about Stepano’s whereabouts. Moira told him that the Sabbat Tremere know where to find him, but soon they will be all dead. She also mentioned Sinead might help him with finding him if she wants to. While leaving, Sinead asked Marcus to take care of Norton while she was away. He in turn asked her to find Stepano. The Ravnos promised to do her best before leaving with Aaron and Moira.

The moment they left Elysium Keeper came back. He was equally miffed by his mortal guests frenzying upstairs and doors refusing to let him back after the situation was dealt with, even after beeing chopped to pieces. He siezed the situation downstairs and offered Montgomery and Marcus rooms for the night.

Sinead on her way to docks learned that Victoria Harlow died tonight and discussed briefly what is waiting for her in Sabbat’s den. Then she turned to talk with the Salubri and gifted her one of her swords, but the discussion went sour as she insulted Flora unwittingly. The crusader kept the sword the Ravnos gifted to her.

Comments

Emma: This was one tense night, I’ll say that. Maybe more tense than it needed to be on my end – what with Sinead, Molly and Marcus accompanying me, you’d think a team of that many people might take the edge off a bit, but nope, not a bit of a difference. I was expecting something to pop out of the boxes any moment, and lifting the damn things was eerie, especially after we found the remains of those two poor buggers inside. I’m just really glad I managed to get out of the Elysium before they opened them. Yes, I’m curious what’s inside, but after what happened this month leading up to the discovery of the real box, I’m not nearly curious enough anymore to risk my neck to find out. I did my part, I paid my debt, and now I have no remorse leave this mess to the others to sort out, if they feel like it.

I do wonder what happened with Gabriel, though, and what he was talking about when he mentioned traitors; did he get backstabbed by someone? If yes, then I wonder who could have done it. That he’s still alive means he either got away before they could finish the job or that he wasn’t the target. Maybe I should do some digging on that … it could turn out to be a powerful bargaining chip if I do manage to unearth something. But first, I will need to ask the others about how the business with the box turned out. Hopefully it really is solved as far as I am concerned.

16. Wit's end
sleepykoala

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