Chapter Three: The Plot Thickens
Alone in the basement of Caliburn House, our unlikely investigators are left to lick their wounds after confronting the Demon that had a hand in the Archangel Cassiel’s murder. The Demon had been banished, but not after doing a number on Liam Diggle’s psyche. In spite of this, the reporter was more than strong enough to press on.
The party knew enough about Demons to know that creature needed help in order to draw Cassiel to Caliburn House, even with the corpse of the angel’s mortal doppelganger, Cassie Eltzroth. Additionally, the ritual used to pull the Sigillum Dei Aemeth from Arthur Godson’s painting could only be performed by a powerful Magician.
And that’s what led the party to Ashton Connors — father of Landon Connors… and a man who has been dead for almost ten years. But signs still pointed to the elder Connors, for in the absence of his son, Ashton was the only other person capable of letting a Demon into Caliburn House.
John Winslow and Dan Remington decided to search the basement a second time while the rest of the group gathered around Dr. Neil Gruber, who planned on using a book he had found to summon the spirit of Cassie Eltzroth, hoping she could tell them more about her murderers.
The conjured spirit whispered to the group, explaining that she had been deceived by three individuals who took her to the abandoned office of a private detective named Sam Hill. Once there, the three killed Cassie Eltzroth and performed some kind of terrible ritual to conjure Cassiel to them.
When asked to describe the people who had deceived her, Cassie identified Maddie Blake (the Demon’s former guise), as well as a steely eyed man refereed to as “Ash”. The third person was an attractive, red haired woman, who’s description reminded the group of one of the guests upstairs. In fact, the steely eyed man, they believed, had also been seen upstairs!
The group decided to speak with these two guests, but first they had to find John and Dan, who had shouted something about the ceiling opening up above them. Looking into one of the rooms, the party found a solid metal wall blocking their way. After some studying, the party guessed that their two friends had activated some kind of one way elevator to the second floor of the house.
Making their way up to the first floor, the party was met by Alethea Hill, who was informed of the events that had transpired in the basement below. The party asked if they could speak with two of the guests, who they believed were Maddie Blake’s accomplices. Alethea agreed, though expressed her doubts that the woman, Scarlet Sabet, had anything to do with the murder. The steely eyed man however, was a mystery, though she knew he went by the name of Clark Ashton Smith.
The group waited in the parlor for a few long minutes until Scarlet Sabet and Clark Ashton Smith entered the room. The party inquired about their reasons for coming to the art show, and whether they knew a woman named Cassie Eltzroth. Scarlet Sabet explained that she had never heard of Cassie Eltzroth before, and that she had come to the art show in the interest of acquiring a painting for her paramour, Jimmy Page.
“Oh that Scarlet Sabet,” Arthur murmured under his breath.
Clark Ashton Smith came across as a simple admirer of art, and he too, knew nothing about Cassie Eltzroth. While it was easy for either person to lie, Arthur’s power to look into a persons thoughts showed him nothing unusual, as though they were telling the truth.
The group dismissed the guests and pondered about what to do next. They had no other leads, and the house was still on magical lockdown. That’s when Bastien Moreno-Calderon had an idea. Using his angelic wings (and Arthur’s not-so angelic wings) they might be able escape the house in order to investigate Sam Hill’s office downtown.
Everyone agreed to the idea (some more readily than others), and they began their trip through the planes, with Liam traveling with Arthur and Neil traveling with Bastien. Once there, neither of the mortals remembered their adventure, and were probably thankful for it.
After breaking into the office, the group found blood staining the floor, and evident signs of dark magic permeating the air. Arthur examined Sam Hill’s main office, finding a number of books detailing summoning rituals very similar to one that had been used on his sister Cassiel. Liam, Neil, and Bastien found a bedroom nearby, which housed a sleeping Native American man, who awoke at the sound of intruders. The man was John Whitefeather, a friend of Landon Connors, and he wanted to know why an angel had entered his home.
The party explained their reasons hastily, though the information was more than enough to put Whitefeather at ease. He told them that three days ago he had found that his home had been polluted with dark magic, that some ritual of blood had been done upon the secretary’s desk. He also explained that Sam Hill, the detective that had previously owned this office, had been Landon Connors mentor, and that many of the old man’s books were still present.
Whatever these people were up to, they had gained quite a bit of knowledge from Sam Hill’s books. But Whitefeather knew even more about these nefarious individuals, specifically Maddie Blake.
Before she had been replaced by a Demon, the mortal Blake had frequented the same bar Whitefeather did, and the last time he saw her she had been with an elderly, bearded man. Diggle called up his photos from the event and Whitefeather identified yet another guest at Caliburn House, and man named Brother Presson.
Whitefeather began making phone calls, deciding to get one of the Outriders, an organization of monster hunters, to come and search the office with the party present, hoping some kind of DNA or fingerprint sample would help to unravel the mystery that loomed over the city of Wabash.