The group spends most of the day in the Library of Alexandria doing research. Darrek pulls out ‘The Dark and Divine History of the Shade on Hastur’ and begins to look through it to see if he can find anything useful. Henry asks him if that’s wise. Darrek counters that the risk of reading the tome seems worth it if they can gain information that might assist them in their current predicament. Henry doesn’t argue, but appears genuinely concerned about his mentor.
When they finally leave the library, Michele is waiting for them, looking disturbed. She goes on to say that Raphael has disappeared from Western Psychiatric. As best as the staff can gather from the security cameras, he appeared to have a moment of lucidity, stated, “Going to kill her,” and proceeded to walk out of his room and leave the hospital entirely without anyone attempting to stop him. Michele goes on to say that every kind of locator spell she’s attempted to track him has utterly failed.
Darrek suggests that instead of attempting to locate Raphael that they could potentially attempt to locate one of the students who is missing and, by extension, learn Fowler’s location. Danny calls Agent Barnes, and asks her to meet them at the Pitt dorms so that they can gain access. They debrief with her, and she suggests bringing a SWAT team in to disrupt the ritual Fowler is planning and arrest the cultists. As the group debates with her about this, Darrek invites everyone to step out of the dorm so that he can cast the locator spell. Barnes warns him not to disrupt her crime scene, and he reassures her that he will not.
As they talk in the hallway, everyone is deeply disturbed to feel a swell of Lyssicus from inside the missing student’s dorm room. A few minutes later, Darrek comes out into the hall, and tells everyone that the student showed as being near Fowler’s property before the spell fizzled out.
The group and Barnes return to the Hive Arcana. Henry suggests attempting to get more information from Kokumthena. He casts a spell, and is able to include Darrek and Barnes in his communion with her. She confirms that Hilda’s theory about Fowler drawing power from other sources in the area is correct. She also confirms that Raphael is somewhere within the Ohio Valley, although she is unable to place his exact location.
Darrek calls Daniel and Dr. Armedt and asks them to meet him at Fowler’s property. He presents his hypothesis that Fowler is somehow using gateways to access and draw Lyssicus into this reality, using his property as an example and calling it, “a little slice of Carcosa manifest.” Daniel and Dr. Armedt both confirm that this is probable, but explain that attempting to close or redirect a dimensional gateway would require an obscene amount of power…like the amount generated by a massive human sacrifice.
Darrek asks the group’s assistance and proceeds to put up massive wards all around the perimeter of Fowler’s property. The group then travels to the former site of the McAllister building and Darrek repeats the ritual. Afterwards, he presents as disoriented and exhausted, behaving as if he was drunk. Henry helps him to the car and drives him home. The rest of the group hits Eat’N’Park for a late night buffet before heading home themselves.
The next morning, Yun-Xun returns to the library to research weapons and anything that might give them an advantage in the coming fight. She finds references to Orikulk weapons and shares this information with Hilda. They reach out to Johanna Oddmuth, who agrees to loan Hilda a very valuable antique from her collection…a Orikulk sword.
At the Tinsleys’ the next morning while reading the paper and having a cup of tea, Darrek has a sudden flash of insight about how they can bring Barnes’ SWAT team into the fight safely, allowing the group to focus on the supernatural threats. He texts the rest of the group and asks them to meet him at the Hive. When everyone arrives, he outlines his plan to use his magics to essentially put magical blinders on the SWAT team, allowing the group to focus on the power players while SWAT deals with the cultists.
The group heads to the former site of Mayview well before the ritual starts. They find an area to hide and again, Darrek puts up wards. Eventually Fowler appears wearing a pallid mask and robes, and accompanied by cultists, who are none other than the missing artist college students. They carry bladed weapons and lead their parents, who are bound with rope and look absolutely terrified. Seeing this, Darrek reaches over and silently grips Henry’s shoulder.
They also spot gaunt, grey-fleshed humanoids in the area with the cultists. As the group and SWAT team move in to confront them, they also see a many-mouthed tentacle horror appear. Mack screams in terror, and Danny is frozen in fear. Winged horrors swoop in and pick Danny up and drop him.
Yun-Xun pinballs around throwing flying kicks at cultists and taking them out. Darrek tries unsuccessfully to banish the Shoggoth. Henry taps his connection to the land and shifts the ley lines to affect Fowler’s ability to access the power of the area.
Suddenly, Henry is knocked over by a wave of Soulfire and Sam appears, screaming, “You killed them! She told me!”
One by one the cast are horrified and their perception rocked as Fowler removes his mask to reveal the indescribable horrors beneath.
Raphael wanders out of the woods and looks terrified when he sees Fowler. He falls to his knees, pleading.
Henry casts a spell at Sam and a wall of solid air erupts around him, containing the sorcerer.
George (the earth elemental) punches the Shoggoth!
Darrek throws Soulfiire at the Shoggoth and it explodes all over Hilda and Yun-Xun. He sheepishly apologizes to both of them.
Danny, Yun-Xun and Hilda all fight their way to Fowler at last, while Mack calls upon his chi to fire mystical bullets at the Herald. Their attacks are overwhelming and, despite taking serious damage themselves—Yun Xun nearly dying—Fowler is at last defeated. Before meeting his demise, the Herald croaks, “I have seen the truth…her power rises…you’ve done well.”
Suddenly, Cassilda appears, holding Michele by the back of the neck. Mack attempts to shoot at her, and suddenly finds himself a good hundred yards away on his back, his gun simply gone.
She says, “You didn’t tell me you had an exile…and a greater seraph.” She wraps her arms around Michele.
Looking at the group, she sneers, “You’ve taken care of three of my heralds, but will you take the fourth? I guess we’ll find out on opening night.” With a parting snide comment to Matthew about taking care of Camilla, she disappears with Michele, leaving Sam and Raphael catatonic and the group with the sinking feeling that things have just gone from bad to worse.
Darrek’s phone rings. “WHAT?” he snaps as he answers it. It’s Joanna Oddmuth, saying that she has been asked to negotiate regarding an artifact by a Mr. Wyndham Price. She tells the group to come by in the morning.
Memorable Quotes and Great Moments
Re: Drag Queens
“Not that I am unwilling to be educated…but I know next to nothing about drag queens.”-Darrek
“Really? Oh, we are so going to a drag show.”-Henry
Re: The Dark and Divine History of the Shade on Hastur
“Um, Darrek? I’m under the impression that Anita has a friend who can get us a large quantity of C4. Isn’t that a better option than you reading that book?”-Henry
“Sorry. I just thought perhaps since the solution we currently possess involves not one, but two potential murders, that I might find an alternative in here, so…”-Darrek
“Right. Anyone else want to argue with me?”-Darrek
“You lot are quite lucky, huh?”-Darrek
Michele glares at him
“Right. So that explains that.”-Darrek
When Darrek casts the locator spell from inside one of the missing students’ dorm room, everyone senses Lyssicus and gets very anxious.
“Uh…is that what I think it is? What’s he doing?”-Mack
“Is Darrek alright? Should we see if he needs help?”-Yun-Xun
“This cannot be good. Should we stop him?”-Hilda
“I’m pretty sure he’s just doing what he needs to.”-Danny
“…yeah. I got nothing.”-Henry
“I don’t want to go to Hastur.”-Yun-Xun
Darrek introduces Mack to Dr. Armedt and Daniel, explaining that they are “associates” of his. Mack is disturbed by how much Daniel resembles the Joker and starts to go for his gun. Danny stops him and Yun-Xun explains that Anita informed them that the Heralds can resemble anyone living or dead.
Everyone hears Darrek address Dr. Armedt as ‘dominus’ (‘master’ in Latin) and ‘pater’ (‘father’). He also calls Daniel ‘frater.’
To Darrek “Meus filius, you are the expert when it comes to Lyssicus, not Daniel or I.”-Dr. Armedt
“…right. Well, then.”-Darrek
“Wow…warding magics really gives one the worst case of dry mouth. Does anyone have any gum?”-Darrek
Darrek is completely exhausted and almost entirely tapped of Essence after casting 2 massive wards. His behavior is akin to being drunk. Henry drives him home. Darrek crawls upstairs on his hands and knees and into bed with Emily, where he promptly passes out cold.
Re: The earth elemental
“His name is George. His actual name is unpronounceable.”-Henry
“Right. Just don’t let him track dirt all over the carpet, alright? Em will throw an absolute tissy.”-Darrek
“Oh! Oh, I’m having an idea! Oh, there it is!!!”-Darrek Grabs his wife and plants one on her
As the rest of the group anxiously awaits the start of the ritual, Darrek and Henry have a calm, quiet, casual chat about the legal drinking age in Greece, and discuss plans for their vacation.