Gateway to Darkness

Session 1

The story begins

The Grims
Church and Kirk Grim, proprietors of Aladdin Antiquities, have gotten a phone call asking them to take a look at an item they might find interesting. The caller is Jonathan Sandstone, another local antiquities dealer. Assuring them it’s a great find and an even better deal, he asks them to meet him at his office. The brothers agree and set out to meet him.

Said “office” is merely a large broom closet in a small warehouse in the industrial neighborhood on the south side of the city, right off the riverfront. When they arrive, a rather bored rent-a-cop escorts them from the front door, through a small and barren lobby, to Sandstone’s office. Pleasantries out of the way, he hands them a folder with pictures of the item in question: A small, gold-colored pocket watch. An indecipherable inscription is etched inside the cover, but the real point of interest for the brothers is the face of the watch itself; where the numbers would be, there are instead fae runes.

Interest piqued, the brothers ask to see the watch. Sandstone calls the the security guard and asks him to go fetch the item when they hear a gunshot outside.

Darren and Donny
Meanwhile, Darren McCaver, P.I., and Donovan Kincaid are sitting in a car behind the very same warehouse. Two days ago, Darren received a call from a lawyer; during a recent estate auction, someone managed to pocket a very important pocket watch, and requested that Darren. After some minor investigation, Darren concluded that Johnny Sandstone, known for having sticky fingers, must have taken it. He tracked Johnny back to his “office” and realized he’d need some help if he wanted to get the watch back without much hassle. Having worked with Kincaid before, he knew the man had some talent for “procuring” lost items, so he called in a favor and brought him along.

The rear of the warehouse doesn’t boast much: A single door with a security camera above it and a dumpster nearby. Darren gets out of the car and determines to sneak around front. Donny shapeshifts into the form of a St. Louis policeman and simply knocks on the rear door. Two more rent-a-cops answer, confused to see a policeman at the rear of the building. Donny hastily assembles a story about crime in the area and wanting to verify their setup, but the guards rebuff him and tell him to get lost.

Darren, up front, sees through a glass door that there’s a security guard in the front lobby of the building, but doesn’t want to go inside to deal with it. Instead, he pulls out an enormous handgun and fires a shot off in the air. When the shot goes off, Donovan attempts to pull a fast one on the guards. “That sounded like it came from out front. Let’s go!” They still don’t give him access to the building. “The quickest way is _around _the building. _You _go deal with that, _we_’re going to lock the door.” With the door shut in his face, goes outside the range of the security camera, transforms into a rat, and finds a hole near the roof to climb into the warehouse.

After the shot goes off, Darren waits for a security guard to emerge; when one does, he come stumbles out from the corner of the building, feigning a gunshot wound while moving towards the guard. The guard isn’t buying it, but his only defense is a nightstick. When Darren gets within arms reach, the guard tries to push him off with the stick, only to have Darren sweep him off his feet and knock him out cold with a blow to the back of the head.

Finlay Hogan
Earlier in the same week, Finlay Hogan received a phone call from a representative of the Runis Corporation about an appointment for his grandfather. Tierney Hogan being deceased, the representative said that Finlay could fulfill the appointment.

The day of the appointment (today), Finlay shows up to Runis Corp. HQ, a large building located in the same neighborhood as Sandstone’s warehouse. Finlay is directed up to the third floor (via the stairs, of course) for his meeting with the CEO, Celeste Runis.

The two exchange pleasantries; during the handshake, Finlay can feel that slight spark indicating she holds at least a touch of power. Celeste apologizes for not meeting Finlay sooner, offering her condolences on his grandfather’s death. She explains that Runis actually had a working relationship with Tierney. Finlay’s grandfather being a, “good judge of character,” he would “evaluate” prospective employees for the company, ensuring that they were capable, competent, and trustworthy. Runis asks if Finlay would like to pick up where his grandfather left off, at least temporarily, and he agrees. His immediate task, then, is to seek out the Grim brothers and return them to the company, as Runis has an interest in them. She adds that they should be only a few blocks away for a meeting, giving Finlay the address of Sandstone’s warehouse.

The meetup
After the gunshot, Church gets out of his seat and sets up a glamour, concealing the two brothers and Jonathan within it. “Show us the watch, now!” Johnny, completely rattled at this point, leads them into the warehouse. He’s too nervous at this point to think about why the two guards in the warehouse don’t notice their entrance, but he unlocks the display case housing watch. “How much, Sandstone?” “Uh . . . $5000?” “Half that and you have a deal.” “Done.”

Finlay pulls up to the warehouse just in time to see Darren cleaning the clock of the unlocky rent-a-cop. They exchange pleasantries, Finlay chiding him for attacking someone who probably didn’t deserve it. The two enter the building, seeing no sign of either Sandstone or the Grims. Darren peers into the warehouse and spies the two remaining guards. He attempts to roll past the door and behind some nearby crates, but he’s not nearly as stealthy as he thinks he is, and one of the guards comes over to investigate.

Upon seeing this, Sandstone freaks out and bolts for the front door. Despite not paying Sandstone, Church snatches up the watch and the brothers make for the front door directly behind Sandstone. Poor Johnny smacks right into Finlay in the lobby, but doesn’t miss a beat and continues on his way out the door. The Grims sneak around Finlay and make their way out the door.

Darren pulls his big gun on the guards and convinces them they don’t make enough money to worry about this situation. They agree and slip out the back door. Donovan has been watching this from the ceiling with a “rat’s” eye view the entire time. He slips out towards the front to continue watching.

The Grims step out from their glamour once outside. Moments later, Finlay and Darren also exit. Both are fairly certain the Grims have the watch, but they admit to nothing and nobody wants to start a fight. Finlay convinces the two to accompany him to Runis Corp., at least. Donovan, meanwhile, finds himself spent and pops out of his rat form, only to fall to the ground and lacking his clothing from before. Darren picks him up and the two follow Finlay and the twins off to Runis Corp.

A part-time job
Finlay, Church, and Kirk head up to Celeste’s office. Once up there, Celeste lays her cards on the table: One of the Runis board members has been receiving death threats, which could culminate that night. They need protection for him, but all of their local operatives are out of the country. For $10k a day, the Grim brothers would be hired to keep the board member safe and work towards determining the source of the threats. Finlay is invited to participate as well. The pay would mean nothing to him, so Celeste emphasizes that it would be a personal favor to her if he would help. Finlay agrees. The three meet the board member and head out to the car.

Upon their arrival, Donovan steps out of the car to “get a soda.” After he’s out of site of the car, he turns into a raven and flies up to find a window from which he can eavesdrop on the Grims’ meeting with Celeste. He finds the right window, but it is warded to prevent any eavesdropping.

When Finlay, the Grims, and the board member emerge, Darren is there to greet them. It turns out the board member also hired Darren to investigate the death threats. Donovan returns, and the six of them load into a limosine and head out.

The board member, Mark Krystowicz, has no idea where the threats are coming from, or why. The most recent one, threatening him today, was slipped under his door. Darren examines it, but there’s nothing that indicates its source. He insists on inspecting Mark’s home for clues. Mark was on his way to a meeting, but relents and has the driver take them to his home.

The limo pulls through a gate and up a long driveway to a rather large home in the western part of St. Louis. Large bushes line the yard, and block the driveway from the next yard over. Kirk gets out to investigate, seeing a disturbance in the bushes on the far side of the yard.

As he nears the bushes, a clawed hand reaches out and yanks him inside. A ghoul pops out in his place, and another one emerges from the bushes adjacent to the limo.

The battle is chaotic. Kirk continuously tries to emerge from the bushes, only to be pushed back in by the ghoul. He eventually settles for blasting fireballs at the ghoul from in the bushes. Darren pulls his gun on the ghouls, but they’re too fast for him to get in a good shot. Church uses magic to make himself appear like Krystowicz. The nearby ghoul falls for it and follows him into the house, but not before getting a nasty attack on Church. Once both are in the house, the threshold of the place saps both of their powers. Donovan turns himself into a werewolf and attempts to duke it out with the ghoul, but doesn’t make much progress. Finlay attempts to blast the door off the limo, projecting it at the ghoul, but misfires and blasts the windows out of the limo. In the end, he settles for launching the other ghoul into the house as well.

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