It was a bad night at the outset, and it kept getting worse. Our heroes found themselves riding like the devil in a decommissioned school bus on a moonlit desert road, with a pack of werewolves on wheels chasing them and their cargo of evangelist mimes.
Callahan Donnough, hard-boiled ghost-whispering detective.
Sorcha Shanahan, Druidic wizard of the White Council, born of an ancient yet tainted bloodline.
James Kojiro, blind teahouse owner and Immortal blademaster.
Nora Clarke, insatiably curious mortal reporter.
Jason Drake, fire-breathing were-wolverine pawnbroker.
Callahan was hired by slaughterhouse owner, alleged gangster and reputed werewolf Eddie Poole. Sorcha was dragooned by Warden Dan Woodrell. Drake was dispatched by his mysterious patron. Nora was acting on an anonymous tip. Kojiro was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The net result was the same for all five: they were trying to rescue Eddie Poole’s nephew Brian and his fellow Mimes For the Messiah from the Big Chief Junkyard, where Big Lou and his fellow Lobos Loco had been interrogating Brian as though they believed him to be moving in on their business.
After a dangerous and destructive chase that left a couple of the lycanthropic bikers h’ors de combat and gave Big Lou some new scars from Kojiro’s sword and Drake’s teeth, they escaped, and moved to deliver Brian to his uncle at Poole’s place of business, the Pack. Drake shepherded the other mimes to safety, learning that they were coming back from Mexico after a Spring Break mission trip, and had no idea what was going on.
Brian was a different matter. While waiting for Poole to arrive and collect him, the rest of the party interrogated him, finally utilizing thaumaturgy. But either some kind of compulsion was on the boy, or there was something scaring him a lot more than our heroes.
When Poole arrived and took his nephew away, Nora stalked after them, and overheard the gangster angrily questioning the boy himself, and smacking him around some when he didn’t give any answers. Clearly, Eddie Poole didn’t know what kind of bad shit Brian was into either. She did not share this with the rest of the group.
They proceeded to search Brian’s Kia, still parked outside of Kojiro’s teahouse, where the abduction had taken place. Drake’s keen nose found the drugs right away. A briefcase full of cocaine, and another one full of marijuana, stowed in the car’s trunk out of sight enough to escape casual inspection, but not really well hidden. Callahan, going over the car more thoroughly, found something even more interesting: a very well hidden compartment inside the driver’s door, about large enough for a half-pound stash bag, but completely empty. It seemed Brian had been smuggling something else, something he wanted to keep far more secret than the drugs he was running.
Rather than involve the utterly corrupt Sheriff Wilson Garnet, they opted to take the drugs to Father Martinez, the most trustworthy man they could think of. However, on visiting his church at 3 AM, they found Martinez was at home in bed, the church occupied instead by Father Thorvald, recently arrived from Minnesota.
While discussing what might have kept Brian from talking, and speculating about the possibility of some kind of geas or binding oath having been placed on him, they were startled when Father Thorvald calmly joined the conversation like it wasn’t even a thing.
Deciding that some assistance was called for, Callahan decided to step out and get some help from the other side. A shade who owed him a favor agreed to keep an eye on the Pooles, and the party retired for some sleep.