The session began with hell breaking loose: A dark-clad stranger has just killed someone in the back of The Second Circle, Darren was witness to at least the immediate aftermath, and a swarm of armed gang-bangers just broke into the club and started shooting up the place. The patrons panicked and fled in every which direction; those who couldn’t get to an exit huddled in any safe spot they could find. The bouncers and the dancers, on the other hand, began to fight with the thugs, returning gunfire and engaging them in hand-to-hand fighting.
The Grims began by leaping behind the bar, trading magical blasts for gunfire. Church assisted one of the dancers being assaulted, but ended up succumbing to several bullet wounds and passing out. His brother attempted to bring the whole affair to a fast close by chucking a handful of liquor bottles into the air and then blasting them with a burst of fire magic, but only succeeded in furthering the chaos; while many of the thugs took a faceful of flaming glass, so did the dancers, as did Finlay.
Finlay ran down from the VIP level to engage the thugs in combat. He eventually opted for grabbing a chair and smacking the goons around. Donovan joined him eventually, though he tripped down the stairs on his way to the main level, and then spent some time sneaking around the room, trying to look like a fleeing patron to the thugs.
Darren, meanwhile, got the jump on the man in the suit and plugged him in the shoulder at close range. Panicked, the man scrambled up the wall and crashed through a small window near the ceiling. Drawn by the sound of gunfire, Darren went back out to the main floor, witnessed the chaos, and began helping Finlay fight off his attackers.
When the chaos finally settled down, Kirk began working on patching Church up, who eventually came around. Finlay was approached by one of the dancers, who was oozing an unsettling pink blood from various small wounds. She thanked him for lending a hand during the fight, and Finlay replied with a warning to keep their holdings on high alert.
Darren and Donovan snuck back to the office to scope out the scene of the crime, eventually joined by Finlay and the rest. A quick survey tells them that the deceased is Will Paxton, now-former manager of the club. Darren notices a chunk of suit jacket on the broken shards of the window, left behind by the fleeing stranger. He also spies a small safe in the corner, and politely asks Finlay if he’d “magic” it open so that he could check for any clues to the crime. Finlay complies, revealing substantial piles of cash and several bags of crack. Darren pockets the cash, mumbling something about, “Evidence.” Finlay mops up a small bit of the blood from the stranger, courtesy of Darren’s quick reflexes, and the group makes its way back to Finlay’s home.
Once back to Finlay’s, Church and Kirk prepare a spell to track down the mystery man, using the piece of coat and the swatch of blood retrieved from the office.
While the twins work the spell, the remaining three find Krystowicz to ask him a bit more about the situation. They describe the stranger to him and ask if he knows him, or why this man might be involved in the death threats. Krystowicz is absolutely stumped, but he thinks he’s seen someone similar before; he may have seen someone of that description talking, away from the office, to other members of the board of Runis. The thought depresses him; he’s partly worried for their safety, partly aghast at the thought his colleagues and friends could be involved.
The spell complete, the group takes off, with Kirk leading the group after a trail of blood only he can see. The path takes them to another seedy neighborhood on the north side of the city, several blocks away from the house the ghouls came from. There are people out and about, but when the group reaches its destination, a miserable-looking apartment building, there is not a soul in sight. Most of the external lights on this building are out, and none are visible through the windows, the lobby being a single exception.
The group finds a side entrance to the building, and Kirk gets the door open with a crushing kick. The door flies open, and a dark stairwell is revealed beyond. A few people hit their lights, and reveals a tall stairwell drenched in blood. Most of it is long dried, but there seems to be a fresh trail of it slicking the stairway as it leads up.
When they finally reach the 8th floor, the seeming location of the stranger, Donovan shifts into an insect and crawls beneath the security door to the floor, then pops up to let the rest of the group in. The hallway is one long room with doors on alternating sides; there are no lights on, but the group’s lights reveal a dead man at the end of the bloody trail, his neck completely torn apart. The group moves on to the apartment at the end of the hall where their mark is, and Kirk once again smashes the door open, despite the locks.
Feeling the thrill of the hunt, the two Grims rush into the apartment. It is quite well furnished, given the poverty of the rest of the neighborhood. A well-lit living room is at the end of a short entry way, with a couch, a computer desk, and a TV. From out of the darkness of the bedroom, out of view of the entrance to the apartment, the stranger leaps out and lays an incredible punch across Kirk’s jaw. Shortly thereafter, his skin melts away, revealing a hideous bat-like creature beneath; the stranger is a Red Court Vampire.
The group makes quick work of him; the magic of Church, Kirk, and Finlay is enough to put a big hurt on the vampire, and Darren’s combat shotgun finishes the job. After the vampires collapses, Finlay drags the dying vampire up to the roof, while the rest of the group searches the apartment. The magic used to down the vampire fried the computer, but near the printer the group finds a list of names. In the bedroom, they also discover an ID badge, but it bears only a barcode and a logo for a company named Cyberia.
Up on the roof, Finlay has assembled a fast ward to prevent the vampire from escaping. The vampire started coming around right about the time the rest of the group returned from their search. The vampire made a few half-hearted attempts to break out of the ward, but his injuries prevented any real success.
The ultimatum was clear: Dawn was coming, and the vampire needed to tell them what he knew. Why was he trying to have Krystowicz killed? Boss’s orders. Who is the boss? He refused to answer. How many of them were there? Well, there were 5 others leading the charge, but soon they’d be drowning in vampires. The names on the list? Targets. When did they make it? Before they came to St. Louis, about 6 months ago. One of the people on the list, Thomas Downs, was already dead when they arrived. William Stephens may as well have been. Tierney Hogan, Finlay’s grandfather, was also on the list. The vampire laughed. “Don’t really know how your grandfather died, did you, boy?” Finlay was not happy to hear this, but the vampire stopped talking and stared at the sky, waiting for the sunrise.