Grim and M were interrupted from their attempts at interior decorating by a knock at their door. M went to the entrance of their humble sanctum to find a battered and bleeding mage.
“’Ello, my name is Gawain, may I humbly request some assistance?”
M was hesitant to allow an unknown willworker across the sanctum threshold, so Gawain agreed to abide by the Great Right of Sanctuary (the Great Rights are not often brought up in Boston though still recognised by all) if they would open their sanctum to him. Grim was satisfied and allowed Gawain entry while M tended to Gawain’s wounds. The immediately set to discussing what exactly brought Gawain to Boston.
“I’m Gawain of the Broadening Mind, Censor for the Mysterium. My cabal was assisting me on an excavation project when we were set upon. We were able to escape, at first. Our pursuers proved themselves rather resourceful. It was no matter where we fled, they always found us eventually. We ran for a couple months and for awhile we thought ourselves free. Unfortunately for Luke and Mark, such was not the case. Last week they attacked again. Thanks to my mates I was able to escape across the world to here, Boston. I cannot stay long, but if I may rest here for a couple days, I would be in your debt.”
Grim left Gawain to rest while he sought out his one time mentors, the Shadow Chorus. He found Discordia who allowed him the use of their the Oubliette’s library. Grim was able to confirm most of Gawain’s story, but something still seemed amiss.
Back at the sanctum, M and Gawain swapped stories about their adventures working for the Mysterium. M noticed Gawain activating an enchanted ring he was wearing upon his finger. M tried to question Gawain about this. Gawain promised that he would reveal the use of the ring and more before he left, but for the moment M would just have to trust him and the power of the Right of Sanctuary.
Come dawn, Grim pulled M aside to discuss Gawain. They left Ruby (M’s familiar orangutan) in charge of watching Gawain. As they were talking outside the sanctum, they noticed a figure walking towards them. Throwing up their shields, they were taken aback to find that the stranger was a monk from Tibet named Wu Zhengfu. Quick analysis revealed he had no active spells and was physically distraught over something.
“I come to you for your help. My master Khatvanga has been slain. A powerful demon known as a Shinje escaped from my master’s control and devoured him. I need your assistance in hunting this spirit down and destroying it before he kills again.”
“Why would you come to us?” inquired Grim.
“Davy Jones of the Dead Wrens suggested you may be willing to aid me in this quest. My master and I are merchants dealing in the transportation of artifacts. The Dead Wrens are allies in our endeavors and are usually able to grant their aid, but Jones said they are busy at the moment with other business. They recommended you as a discreet cabal. You see, I wish to not alert the local Consilium if possible. No need for a panic.”
“Really, well, what’s in it for us?”
“I cannot offer money or favors, but my master had several personal artifacts. He was the only one who had a use for them, I have no need for such things. You are welcome to whatever you like.”
Grim and M agreed to look into the matter. They knew they were not on the best of terms with the Wrens, perhaps this was a trap of sorts. Returning to the sanctum they found Ruby braiding the sleeping Gawain’s hair. They woke him up and asked for his assistance in looking into the killing. He promised his aid in any capacity.
Wu took the cabal to the ship he and his master had traveled in on only two nights before. The ship had recently sailed out of Madripoor. Wu explained that the crew would only wait for eight days before they would return to China. He led the cabal into his master’s cabin.
They were greeted by destruction upon a grand scale. The entire cabin was trashed as if by some great beast. In the back of the cabin stood a mangled iron cage around which were inlaid Atlantean runes depicting aspects of the spirit and death aracana. Gawain used his mastery of time to peer into the past. He saw Khatvanga talking to an empty cage before it suddenly exploded and Khatvanga was engulfed by a strange invisible forced that seemed to rip him apart (they deduced this was the spirit Wu had mentioned). Grim and M scrutinized the resonance to see if they could track the spirit. Grim found Khatvanga’s journals, but they had been hopelessly burned to ash in the attack. Wu gave them his master’s dedicated tool he used for his ritual casting, a phurba that resonated with Khatvanga’s magic.
Grim went to find the Oubliette again to use their library in search of information of the Shinje while M and Gawain went to the Emerald Scroll to see if the Wrens or any other mage might know anything.
Within the Oubliette, Grim was unable to discover anything new. M and Gawain ran into Davy Jones and accidentally let slip that they had failed to turn up much and that the demon was on the loose. Davy seemed only too eager to report this to the Hierarch. They met back up and as quick as they could went straight to the Hierarch in Salem to report the situation.
The Nemean reprimanded the mages but promised they would be absolved if they could deal with the Shinje in three days time. He granted them access to his library, but even though it is a font of spirit information, they were unable to find anything new.
Using the phurba, Gawain was able to aid the cabal in tracking the Shinje to an unused dock. They hurried there and thought they might have the Shinje trapped withing a storage shed. Gawain was able to use space magic to trap the Shinje inside. Before thay could leave, they were assaulted by a rambling homeless man. Grim dealt with him swiftly. They did their best not to harm him too much, but all for naught. The man was torn apart by the Shinje.
The cabal tried to engage the spirit but found they were outmatched in a straight fight. Once it caught sight of the phurba, the Shinje screamed and ran off into the dusk. The cabal collected themselves and returned to their sanctum to form a plan of attack.
One day down, only two to go.