Somewhere in Downtown Minneapolis, 2:36pm:
Daniel Sparrow was looking to get out of town and make some quick cash. His feet start to itch when he is in one place too long. His plans got cut short when an old friend brought up a ghost from his past. A mysterious monster, who look suspiciously like Heo Ga-yoon, which was responsible for the death of Daniel’s platoon in the jungles of Vietnam. Before Daniel can get more information, Colin interrupts their conversation with a hail of gunfire, seeking revenge against Daniel for kneecapping his boss. Daniel returns fire driving the mobster off. His friend dies from a stray bullet, but not before he is able to mutter Jade Court. Daniel decides to call Alek as he seems to have contacts with everyone.
Who unfortunately is tied up right now, or handcuffed to be more precise. Alek finds himself wearing a hospital gown and secured to a gurney, fresh from a surgery. In his other hand he is holding a bloody pen and on the floor of the room is a dead man in surgical scrubs with a bleeding neck wound. Confused, Alek cannot remember how he got here, but when he hears footsteps coming down the hallway a bad situation just got worse.
Hazard Pay and the Spirit of Minneapolis were hoping to enjoy a nice afternoon in the sun. While walking about Downtown, Hazard overhears the yells of Dr. Xiong from his free clinic, a place that has always been kind of her. The Spirit grows agitated over the Asian men in suits who seem to be clustered about the place and warns Hazard that they are going to harm the patients. Hazard decides to “create a scene” and asks the Spirit to go find Craig.
Craig is easy to find, fortunately for the Spirit but unfortunately for him, as he is gagged, blindfolded and restrained by manacles against a cold brick. Even worse, he has been stripped down to his boxers and has a massive headache when he tries to remember how he got here. Sensing that some has put the magical “whammy” on his memory he tries to slip his hands free of the manacles. The Spirit arrives, urging him to go save Hazard Pay and runs off. (The Spirit still doesn’t like Craig all that much.) Despite the dislike, Craig is able to convince the Spirit to unlock his manacles and help him to the floor. It’s just in time too, because outside the bare room Craig can hear someone talking on his phone.
Spencer Winfield is also not to be outdone in the headache department. He finds himself lying in a pile of human and animal bones in some dank, abandoned underground basement. He has an aching headache and no memory of why he is here. As he stands up in the dark, it doesn’t take him long to get his bearings. Any White Council Wizard knows when they are standing in the heart of a Black Court Vampire’s Lair, or more precise, refuse pit. Above him he can hear the sound of approaching footsteps and decides to make a run for it.
Daniel, worried that he hasn’t heard from Alek, reaches out to Jack Hunter, Alek’s new boss. Jack is also worried that Alek, along with Special Agent Alvarez, hasn’t checked in. They were supposed to be looking into the resurgence of Red Bliss in the Maplewood area and were going to have a conversation with Susuana Valencia at the Myth. Daniel hops in his truck and makes his way to the Night Club. Upon his arrival he notices shipments of organs carved in jade being delivered to the Myth, with coolers being removed from the facility and placed on a truck marked “Heo Medical Group.” He sneaks his way in, pretending to be one of the delivery men, and is able to scoop up Alek’s cell phone in the process.
Alek, still lost and confused, is able to see that a young Hispanic woman is restrained on a medical gurney being pushed by two orderlies. He knows the woman as Special Agent Alvarez, but his headache prevents him from remembering more. He is able to sneak down the hallway towards an operating room she is being wheeled too. Daniel makes his way down a service elevator and ends up in a loading area where he sees Susana speaking with an Asian woman in a black surgical gown. Susana leaves to investigate a commotion, while the Asian woman turns towards a surgery room. Daniel is in time to see Alek, drugged and dazed, burst into the room attempting to free a woman tied to a gurney.
Daniel charges in and before the Asian woman can inject Alek with a sedative, he blasts the syringe from her hand, crippling her in the process. Alek subdues the other two orderlies and they quickly free Amy, only to be surprised to see the doctor recover from seemingly life threatening wounds and attack Daniel with superhuman strength. After a vicious struggle, Alek and Daniel get free, but not before Alek gets a cryptic message that his transformation is not complete and he will die without further medical assistance.
On the other side of town, Hazard Pay senses that the situation is going to get tense between Dr. Xiong and the Asian men in suits. She notices that some of them are armed and are loading people onto a Heo Medical Group van, claiming that they are bringing them in for treatment because of an epidemic. Hazard Pay creates a scene involving a public suggestion of a contagious rash and is able to get Dr. Xiong out of harm’s way. She learns from Dr. Xiong that these men are kidnapping the patients from his clinic under the guise of some fraudulent paperwork and he has been unable to contact the authorities.
With the Spirit’s help, Craig breaks free of his manacles and is able to knock out the guard with an air evocation. He steals the guard’s clothes then hides under a veil when the Spirit reports that more people are coming down the stairs. He sends the spirit back to Hazard Pay, requesting that the Spirit tell the urchin where Craig is. Craig finds himself confronted by two groups of people, a young woman who is a white court vampire. She also hides in the shadows from the other group when it becomes apparent that she doesn’t find Craig restrained anymore. The other group is none other than Steve McCellan, who appears to be accompanying an Asian woman in a smart business suit. Unaware of either Craig or the female white court vampire, the Asian Woman begins a ritual spell to locate Craig. Craig is surprised as her incantation pattern is remarkably like his own, but he disrupts the ritual by using evocation to cause a water pipe to burst. The female white court vampire uses the distraction to ambush the two, knocking them unconscious. She sees Craig and gives him back his Big Book of Divination before shouting, “Come on we have to get out of here.”
Spenser darts down a dank passageway, confused and slightly lost he utilizes evocation to generate a faint breeze to help him find the way out. He can make out two Asian women, one with long red hair and the other with short, laughing and taunting him as he runs. He is briefly confronted by the ghost of Big Tom, but he recognizes a Black Court Vampire in disguise and easily dodges him. He collapses the tunnels behind him, only to have some respond with a magical signature, much like his own, and destroy the rock wall. Spenser continues to sprint, seeing daylight at the end of tunnel. He dives to the outside, narrowly avoiding a gout of flame blasting down the corridor. Coming out of his roll he finds himself face to face with a concerned, bookish woman waiting by his motorcycle, who yells out, “Are you ok? We have to get you back to Witch’s Hat Tower!”
When the Spirit rejoins Hazard Pay, she makes her move and distracts the two business suited thugs in the clinic. She dodges gunfire, blinding one of the men with some spray paint. As the truck marked Heo Medical Supplies pulls away, she jumps on the back, swinging from the door. Alek, Daniel and Alvarez manage to steal their own Heo Medical Supply vehicle, when they hear over the radio that a homeless girl is trying to destroy one of their vehicles in Downtown Minneapolis. Alek and Daniel recognize Hazard Pay’s description and start driving there.
Spencer tries to remember who the girl by the bike is, but his headache prevents him. She introduces herself as Bethany Tempest and they were here investigating the Ghost at the Abandoned Hamm’s Brewery. Spencer overhears on his bike’s CB that a truck is being assaulted by a homeless girl. Bethany convinces Spencer to get on the bike and take them to help. The woman with Craig introduces herself as Virginia Raith, she came to the Twin Cities to warn the White Council about the Jade Court’s arrival and its desire to unite the Vampire Courts. They run up the backstairs and out to an alleyway to Craig’s Indian motorcycle parked behind First Avenue.
Hazard Pay, with the aid of the Spirit, holds onto the swaying back door long enough for Spenser and Bethany to arrive. Spenser pulls in front of the vehicle and focuses his magical energies for long enough to Hex the vehicle into a stall. The truck screeches to a halt, slamming into a nearby fire hydrant. The driver and his passenger is knocked out and with the arrival of the rest of the investigators; Alek is able to call emergency responders to help with the care of the patients in the back of the truck.
Witch’s Hat Tower, Minneapolis, 5:28pm:
The investigators make their way to Witch’s Hat Tower where Craig and Spenser are able to engage in ritual magic to remove the blocks on their memories. (All the while Alek is being affected by some fire based ritual magic.) They remembered the following information:
- Virginia Wraith came to Craig to warn the White Council that the Jade Court is making a move in the Twin Cities. They are reaching out to the other Vampire Courts and seeking the unify them. Craig had decided to visit Steve McCellan to appeal to old friendships and see if he can learn anything more about the Jade Court movements. Instead he gets ambushed by Steve and one of the Jade Court.
- Spenser had come to Witch’s Hat Library investigating Big Tom, he believe that the spirit is really a Black Court Vampire. He spoke with Craig and Bethany and there was concern that the Jade Court would reach out to him, so he and Bethany went to check out the Abandoned Brewery. While searching inside, Spenser was ambushed by two members of the Jade Court and leapt over a railing to avoid a fireball into the pit.
- Craig, on his way to First Avenue, called Alek about the Jade Court issue. Alek was investigating Red Bliss and decided to nose around the Myth. When he got there, he ended up confronting one of the Jade Court. Alek remembers that he was in surgery and that they took his liver replacing it with….something else.
The investigators had also done some research on the Jade Court and were able to combine that information with some of Virginia’s knowledge. They know the following:
- The Jade Court feeds on memories, they are able to steal memories and block memories
- They can also steal the knowledge and ability of their victims
- The Heo Medical Group is remodeling HCMC, there are rumors that they are involved in black market organ trade
- The Heo Clan is a powerful family within the Jade Court
- There are five prominent members of the Jade Court in the Twin Cities, they are as follows.