Heroes of Mt. Pocono

Part VIII - The Deal at Longleat

After having sent the nameless goon on his way, the pack return to the hotel to prepare their next move. They have already tried bluffing, but unfortunately the suspected vampire, called their bluff, so now they have to try something else.

Tuesday, May 17. 2005

The next day John starts setting up a plan, in an effort to prevent as much damage as possible, if the footage of him and Max should go viral. Using some of the other footage he collected from the Longleat server, he manipulates and changes the pictures, so it looks like the footage shows ghosts and other supernatural “happenings” at Longleat. John makes sure that anybody who would investigate the footage, is certain to reveal that the images are fake. Meanwhile in N.Y. some of the Glasswalker kinfolk are creating stories on all major european newsfeeds, which tells you that several large turist attractions are trying to give the industry a boost, by giving new life to different ghost stories and tales of monsters. Amongst these are of course Longleat House. John hopes that anybody who sees either of the two, will somehow link them and by doing that lovering the credibility of the actual werewolf footage.

Out at Longleat House the situation is surprisingly calm. The house only release a short statement involving some problems they have had with their security system. As a precaution the house have chosen to close the park for a couple of days, until they can guarantee the safety of their guests. What little information John can find reveals that the overall security have been increased at the house. They have hired more guards, changed several locks and installed more lighting across the grounds.

During the day, the pack recieve a message from the Sept of stones:

As promised I have discussed your case with our sept. It is of course worrying, though it is far from the worst of its kind I have seen. There is no doubt about the fact, that you have failed the Garou nation. How this failure occured and who is to blame if any, is up to your pack to figure out. However you do deserve some praise. It’s one thing to realize that you have made a mistake. But to face your fear, recognize your errors and face your elders to tell them about your actions, is something completely different. There is no doubt, that your decision to confront me and deliver a full report, have had a significant impact on the sept’s assesement of the case

As far as I understand, nothing have happened further in the case and of course we hope it stays that way. It is to early to say if the these pictures could prove to be a problem, and as such we can’t give you a punishment at this moment. I have consulted with your sept in New York and we have decided that in time, they will deliver the punishment if needed.

Until this case is solved, there will however be some changes with your connection to our sept. You are not permitted to enter or stay at the Stonehenge Caern and you can’t contact any members of the sept. When you solve the matters involving Longleat, you will send a message to me. When I recieve your message I will find you immediately. You will be given this one chance to explain how you have solved the case.

On behalf of the Sept of Stones

Christopher

The pack is resting in their hotel room talking about what they are going to do. John does some hacking, and discovers that a company is currently working on the security system at Longleat by remote access. Through this access John hacks his way into the system and uploads a /backdoor, so he can easily access the system later. Besides that he checks the on site power connection to make sure they have a chance to turn off the power.

Faeleas uses Rite of the Questing Stone searching for the two henchmen from the car crash. He only does this to check if they still connected with the vampire. One of the henchmen is located at a hospital in the western end of London, and the other they locate in the suburbs north of London.

Faeleas and Max goes out to the suburbs searching for him. The search brings them to a small townhouse. Outside they find to cars parked. They call John and have him check the plates. Both cars are Avis rental cars rented by two different guys. One of these guys also rented the car which crashed on the highway last night. According to the data John can access, the house is owned by a local landlord, and it appears that it is still up for rent.

John starts hacking the CCTV system and runs a face recognition software, trying to find the henchman they let go last night. After w while he locates him, walking aimlessly down a sidewalk. He follows him as he walk around the city. Suddenly he pauses at a busstop. It looks like he is talking with someone who isn’t in the footage. Shortly thereafter one of the cars that was parked outside the townhouse pulls up to the sidewalk and the henchman jumps into the car. The pack decides to go and have a closer look at the house.

With the rest of the pack waiting in the car, Faeleas sneaks his way through the shadows down an alley between two houses before entering the backyard belonging to the house. The house is being occupied by four guys. They are talking in a language he doen’t understand save for one word, Fransesco. Suddenly three of the guys arm themselves with severel weapons before exiting the house. Faeleas runs back to the car, and they follow the henchmen downtown, where they enter a large black building on the bank of the river Thames. John makes a quick hack and discovers that the building is most likely owned by a powerful company under the influence of vampires. They immediately drive back to the townhouse.

Shortly after they arrive, the fourth guys leaves the house. They decide to go inside and check the place out. In the house John finds two computers. Checking them out, he is able to find what he believes is the original file containing the footage from Longleat House. They exit the house leaving no trace of them being there and go back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, the pack talks about their next move and decide to contact the vampire they think is Fransesco. John talks with him for a while and they agree to meet at Longleat, to exchange the remaining footage with the statues. They spend some time setting up a plan before they go out to the house and prepare for the exchange.

Even though the security has been increased, they manage to infiltrate the park without being spotted. Midnight draws close and Faeleas is sneaking around the park while the rest of the pack is waiting on the Umbra. Suddenly he notices four guys all dressed in black hiding in the park. Faeleas talks with Corriuch, and they start noticing that some things have changed around the park. All the lighting on the house has been turned off, and the security guards that were patrolling the park is gone.

Faeleas continues sneaking around with Corriuch as backup. From out of nowhere Faeleas is shot, the bullet leaves a massive wound at the side of his head. Corriuch brings the unconscious body of Faeleas to safety were he is guarded by Max, before hunting down the sniper. He crawls up to the top of the house where he has located not one but two snipers. He throws one of them of the roof as the other tries to escape by going inside the house. He doesn’t get very far before Corriuch catches him and takes and takes him out.

Outside John summons the packs totem, who basically have been on standby since they got out to the house. He ask the Stag to help the pack find any enemies located in the park. With the help of the stag they find 2 snipers along with 5 other henchmen. Corriuch takes out one sniper as John deals with the other. With help from Shaira the quickly take out the 5 soldiers, but not before the same Shaira is hit by a shotgun shell loaded with silver. After this the pack dig in, waiting for the vampire to show up.

A few minutes after midnight a guy wearing a suit appears. Shaira believes he recognize the guy as Fransesco. John is waiting at the foot of the large statue containing the gargoyles, and the rest of the pack is close by on the Umbra ready to attack, waiting for John’s signal.

As the guys comes closer John is certain it is Fransesco. The guy pulls out som discs from his jacket and without hesitation John changes to Crinos, pulls out his klaive and with a single strike takes off the vampires head. As he picks up the discs from the crumbling remains of the now dead vampire, Johns suddenly hears a helicopter taking off close by, but it disappears in the dark night before he has any chance of locating it.

Max takes Shaira and Faeleas back to London in the truck while Corriuch and John cleans up at the house. John pulls a hack and finds the suspected destination of the helicopter. When Max and the two wounded wolves arrive at London. They contact one of the Bone Gnawers who’s camped at Hyde Park, and he helps Max with Shaira and Faeleas.

John keeps tracking the helicopter. He sends a message to some local Glasswalkers to inform them about the situation. The helicopter has already left the city again, according to the local Glasswalkers Fransesco was probably on board when it left. John stops tracking it when as it enters France. John and Corriuch goes to London in a stolen car, where they pick up Shaira and Max. They leave Faeleas with the Bone Gnawers, where he can get some needed rest for both his body and spirit.

Wedensday, May 18. 2005

It’s early in the morning before the four Garou return to their hotel room. They are fatiqued by mental stress and physical exhaustion, so they spend the rest of the day recovering.

Thursday, May 19. 2005

Early in the morning they drive to Hyde Park, where Faeleas have been resting. They stay for a while at the camp, talking about what happened and what went wrong at Longleat. They discuss what their next move should be regarding Longleat and Fransesco. They decide to go out to Stonehenge to make contact with the sept.

At Stonehenge Christopher agrees to talk with the pack, and they manage to resolve som different issues about what has happened and what is going to happen. He tells them that thay are welcome to stay at the caern again and that they can continue their stay in England. As a precaution the sept has demanded that the pack shall not be allowed to travel alone until their business in England is finished. The pack is therefore introduced to a local Fianna Garou, Myrrdin McCain. He’s is going to keep an eye on the pack as well as try to help them tie up some loose ends.

After having talked for some time the pack and Myrrdin agrees that they need some more information about what these Gargoyles actually are and why the vampires are so interested in getting their hands on them. First stop in finding this information is the British Museum in London, where they know that at least one Gargoyle is on display.

They learn that the Gargoyle most likely comes from Longleat House. The museum have had it in possession for nearly 100 years. It was originally donated to the museum by a anonymous collector. Finding a dark corner in the room, Myrrdin sidesteps to take a closer look on the Gargoyle. He discovers that the statue is containing a powerful spirit but apparently the spirit is not active.

Afterwards they go to Longleat House, as they believe that their chances of investigating the Gargoyles are better there than at the museum. At Longleat Myrrdin spends five hours preparing a Rite of Summoning, trying to get into contact with a local Ancestor spirit, whom might have some connection with the house.

He is succesful is casting the rite, and with the help of the pack they manage to summon Sir Bradbury Wiltshire’s dad. He can’t tell them any useful information about the Gargoyles or anything else for that matter. He does give them a hint though, that Bradbury actually never left the house. They start searching the house for any evidence. Usinge the Questing Stone they learn that he seems to be located in the collapsed part of the basement.

Getting in to that part of the basement proves rather difficult, but in time the pack manage to enter the collapsed part of the basement. The air is thick with a scent of decay, making your stomach turn and beathing difficult. In one of the old cells they find the remains of Sir Bradbury. His condition can only be described as being basically rotted away. Closer inspections show that he somehow is still alive. They try communicating with him and they quickly learn that he can only barely manage a simple yes or no.

From him they learn that Rosemary is his mother, and that she was hung by his farther when she confronted the family with the truth that Bradbury was her son. His farther apparently had an affair with Rosemary resulting in the birth of Bradbury. He doesn’t know how he ended up with his farther instead of Rosemary. He actually didn’t know anything about his real mother until she showed up at the house one evening, where she crashed a party at the house yelling about Gargoyles and curses. At that moment she confronted Bradbury with the truth in front of his family. And later that night as she hung in the tree gasping and jerking, she cursed him with her final breath, as he stood there doing nothing looking from his farther on his horse to the dying eyes of his mother.

Friday, May 20. 2005

The pack gather at the Stonehenge caern, where Myrrdin starts preparing a Rite of Summoning, trying to contact Rosemary. He is certain that the ritual is succesful, but for some unknown reason nothing happens.

Corriuch summons the Stag and asks him for help. He tells the Stag to locate Rosemary’s spirit. They give the Stag what knowledge they already have about Rosemary, as well as their suspicion that she is somehow being held captive. If the Stag finds Rosemary he must contact the pack immediately without doing anything else.

After several hours the Stag return. He have located her spirit in London. The pack follows him to London, where he takes them to the “Black Box”. The pack realizes that this is the building where one of the old Longleat Gargoyles is located, and where the helicopter with Fransesco landed the other night.

They go back to Hyde Park to figure out how to deal with this situation. They have finally located Rosemary who they clearly need to get the final answers about the Gargoyles. The problem is that she is located in one of the most secure vampire locations in the city. Not a place they willingly wan’t to be. They seek some advice from the Bonegnawers, who’s got more experience with vampires than they do, and they learn that it is more or less impossible to leave that building alive once you’re inside, unless you have some trick up your sleeve they don’t know. Meanhwile John has set up a meeting with some local Glasswalkers, in one of their offices which is located near Waterloo Station.

At the Glasswalker office they meet Patrick (Homid, Philodox). they brief him about their situation and the current issue with “Black Box”. The pack tells him abut their plan which involves infiltrating the box from the Umbra. A difficult and very risky task, which requires someones who knows how to get there and how to get in. Patrick agrees to help the pack and he think he knows just the man for the job. The Glasswalkers of London has a Ragabash amongst them, who simply goes by the name “Locksmith”. If anybody can get the pack inside the box it will be him. Locksmith shows up a bit later and they start making a plan to get in and out of the building. Suddenly the pack recieves a warning from their totem. Rosemay is weakening and she is crying out for help. Without further delay they set of with Patrick in the lead.

Patrick opens the door to the Umbra and the rest follows him across the Gauntlet. Together they charge across the cityscape without any consideration to their own safety our to staying hidden. There is no doubt that time is of the essence.

They manage to fight their way to the “Black Box” and by using the many spirit webs connection the building, they reach their destination. Patrick convices a Weaver spirit to clear a path and open a door into the building for them. Once they’re inside Myrrdin sidsesteps and activates his fetish. Invisible to everybody in the building he quickly starts seraching for Rosemary. As soon as he finds her, he contacts the pack and they come running to her rescue.

They find her spirit trapped in a large black metal container. Some kind of strange device is attached to the container. It appears that the device is basically draining the essence from the spirit and going through a series of crude metalpipes, the essence ends in a machine where it is transformed into a green substance which resembles Banefire. When they enter the room an alarm goes off and a deafening sound fills the room. The sound is so high it pierces the mind with a numbing pain. After having overcome the initial shock the pack sets into action. With John and Patrick at the door having a minor shootout with some guards, the rest starts working on the machine. Myrrdin pulls out his sword and with a single powerful strike he cuts the connection between the container and the machine which then explodes in his face. Locksmith starts working on the container and after a short while he manages to open it. At this point the spirit of Rosemary is so weak it is barely visible. Shaira and Faeleas enter first, and they immediately start asking Gaia for help offering to weaken their own connection with Gaia in exchange for giving Rosemary parts of her strength back (in-game: they give up temporary Gnosis points to heal the spirits essence). As soon as Rosemary’s spirit is powerful enough, she disappers without a trace. The pack fight their way back to the place where they entered the building and the escape through the Umbra running as quickly as possible back to the camp in Hyde Park.

After a while at the camp, Will joins the pack along with their Totem and Rosemary. They spend the rest of the day recovering together at the camp.

Saturday, May 21. 2005

During the day Rosemary’s is finally strong enough to tell her story to the pack.

Rosemary’s real name is Eilín Catraoines. She was born of an irish family, who moved to England when she was still a baby. The family was very poor, and as a result they lived on the road in the company of local gypsies. When her parents die of disease, she’s adopted by one of the gypsies families. This is where she finds her interest for Gaia and at a young age learns that she is gifted with a natural and strong connection to the mother. As Eilín grows older she becomes a very beautiful and attractive woman, turning the head of every young man she walks past.

One night at a village festival, she runs into a young man she has never seen before. For the first and only time in her life she gives in to her tempation and lust. By the grace of Mother Gaia, Eilín becomes pregnant and 9 months later gives birth to a boy. She knows who the farther is, but not that he is the Count of Wiltshire. Few months after the birth the boy disappears. She suspects that he has been kidnapped but she has no knowledge of who might have done it.

Years go by and Eilín mourns the loss of her son. On several occasion she prays to Gaia asking her for help. Almost 10 years pass, before Gaia shows her the way towards Longleat House. When Eilín sees Bradbury for the first time, she has no doubt who he is. At the age of 10 he has already been named the heir to the house, being the only son in the family. Afraid that his farther will recognize her, she changes her name to Rosemary, before she settles down in a small abandoned cabin in the woods. From here she keeps an eye on her son, but wathing him grow up without being able to do anything, proves to be very hard for her. People at the house and the surrounding villages quickly decide, that the crazy woman living in the woods is a witch and at some point somebody names her Rosemary Blackeyes.

As Bradbury turns 15 his step-mother dies of “natural causes”. Eilín starts spending more time close to the house. She feels it might be time for her to tell Bradbury the truth. One night Gaia tells her that something is wrong at the house. When she gets there Eilín sees three mysterious figures lurking outside the house. Watching them from the distance she sees them performing feats beyond human ability and strength. Without hesitation or difficulty the three shadows removes one of the Gargoyles from the roof and brings it to the ground, where they load it up on a waiting wagon. Just as they are about to leave a guard suddenly appears. Before he can do anything one of the figures attacks the guard and after having struggled for a while the guard falls to the ground. As the wagon pulls away from the house, Eilín sneaks her way over to the guard. She is shocked when she discovers that he is dead, lying in a small pool of blood from a large wound in his neck. The second she touches the body an image flashes before her eyes of the assailant. She can’t see who he is, but she clearly sees his long fang and red eyes. Guided by Gaia Eilín learns that the Gargoyles somehow are cursed and fearing that their curse might somehow fall on her son she decides to warn him and the family.

Onseveral occasion she tries to convince Bradbury and his farther to take down the three remaining Gargoyles, doing so without revealing who she really is. Until one night she finally can’t take it anymore. She breaks into the house and confronts Bradbury and his farther not only with the curse but also with the truth. First she is thrown out of the house, but later a group of men, including her son and his farther takes her away and hangs her.

Having failed to do anything about the Gargoyles while still alive, she dedicates her afterlife to make sure they do not fall into the wrong hands. With the help af Gaia, some spirits and a little bit of good luck she is able to secure the Gargoyles in the secret compartment.

As the pack learned, the vampire Fransesco is indeed involved in this matter. Somehow he learned that the Gargoyles had once been on the house, and following many of the same leads as the pack did he finds Rosemary. With powers granting him control over spirits, he managed to summon and capture Rosemary. Having done so he forced her to send the visions to the pack luring them to Longleat, as he had learned that he would only be able to get his hands on the Gargoyles with the help of some Umbra travellers. What Fransesco doesn’t know, is that she collected several memories from their dreams, which she meanwhile used trying to scare them away and maybe warn them about who they were up against.

After Eilín have told her tale, they tell her that they have talked with her son, and that it is their belief that he is ready to ask for forgiveness. John offers to help her remain safe in the future by either crafting a fetish for her or with her. She is very grateful for the offer but she needs to think about before doing anything she might regret. She also has some unfinished business with her son at Longleat.

The pack talk with some of the Garou they have worked with in London, informing them about their finished business before they leave the city going back to Stonehenge to do the same. They decide to stay for a few weeks, to make sure that there won’t be any more problems with Longleat, Eilín or Fransesco.

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