Late Tuesday, September 19th, 1850
Yada wakes up in the Astral plane far away from his body, a silver cord unspooling from over the horizon. Down below there is an old woman next to a beautiful fountain that smiles at him. “We’ve been waiting for you for a long time,” she says, a sadness coloring her words. She tells him that he must travel through to the other side to find his way back. Knowing her words to be true, Yada wades into the fountain and comes out on the other side. The old woman has been replaced with a young child. The cool blue waters of the fountain are now black as night and the shadows of the Astral plane have been replaced by light.
Awakening in the destruction of the Cult of the Maranam’s church, Mearcair throws a glamour over the site that allows the players to abscond back to the Kerberos Club. Rupert, the disconcerting butler, takes a moment (with what seems like gears grinding) to examine Yada, finally deciding to let him in and asking if he would like some lemonade.
Everyone sleeps quite soundly. It was a long day.
Wednesday, September 20th, 1815
Bree, a street urchin under Mearcair’s tutelage describes a bad dream that he is having. He is on a hillside that is doused in golden sunlight. There is a small cabin upon the hillside and the boy says that in the cabin is his true love (he thinks it was his mother) and it terrified him.
Dr. Cavindish begins buying up all the stores of Alahzhi Root in London. Alahzhi root is a key component in the treatment he developed for syphilis. He calls for a meeting of the Royal Society this evening.
Father Souisse, in the midst of early morning prayer, overhears Father Maynard Weiss reciting a poem, “Upon a golden hillside, a cabin sits with my true love inside.” He confronts Father Weiss afterward and reprimands him for not paying more attention to his priestly duties. Father Souisse receives a letter from a handler of the Cardinal’s. It informs him that, should Dr. Morgan Sinclar come into Father Souisse’s custody he is not to let him come to harm. It is a matter of both spiritual and national importance.
The decision is made to hit the Crimson Grail ship out of port to avoid any additional collateral damage. Dr. Cavindish arranges to have one of his ships, The Chaste Maiden, follow the Crimson Grail out to sea but the good Doctor is waylaid by an important meeting of his peers in the Royal Society. Cavindish instructs the captain of The Chaste Maiden, Seamus Duggan, to do the bidding of his fellow Kerberans.
Father Souisse chats with Lucien Brielle about the badge that Yada sees with his vision. Lucien is evasive and says he cannot say what it is but that he does have a way for them to figure it out. He assures them that his loyalty is steadfast.
Mearcair manages to glamour his way onto the Crimson Grail ahead of time as a crew member. He ingratiates himself in with the crew rapidly as he has lived a life upon the seas and knows which salt to rub in which wounds. He hears the crewmembers talk of a man named Malick who rides below with the “cargo”. One of them lets Mearcair know that the cargo eats but “doesn’t move around much”. The crewmember mentions that La Spezia (a small town in Italy) is the first stop on the path to the Ecclesia Occulta.
The players hitch a ride on the ship, the cloying odor of human clinging to it and them. The Chaste Maiden, armed with cannon and greater speed, overtakes the Crimson Grail quickly, firing cannonball chains to take out the sails and rendering the Grail dead in the water. The Captain of the Crimson Grail, Adrian McCormick, scrambles under the deck and with the help of Mearcair’s glamour doesn’t realize he doesn’t have the dynamite before he dives overboard empty-handed to hold The Chaste Maiden hostage. When he reaches the far ship he is blown off the deck by a darkness that arises within Yada folding the captain into a horrific shape and floating him upon the waves like a distorted manta ray for the sharks to feast upon. The crew of the Crimson Grail is put upon rowboats so they will not interfere.
Father Souisse blows the door open, killing Malick and one of the captives. The remaining captive, Dorene Bouvier, is a French woman who is obviously pregnant and has had her arms and legs clumsily removed. She speaks of Marcel Caron, the man who is Le Cameleon. When asked why she was so mangled she replies that she tried to escape. She holds up a stub with her thumb and forefinger still present. “He liked the way I wrote to him,” Dorene says. She tells the group that Marcel only let her and the other women read and speak in French. She speaks of a place she calls the Nursery where other women like her were kept. She doesn’t know the way, however. Father Souisse hears her final confession (she blames herself for all the evil that has befallen her) and begs the group to not bring her back to London like she is. Father Souisse mumbles a prayer before moving in and slicing her cleanly across the throat. Mearcair, noticing the belly of the other woman is shuddering quite horrendously. He rapidly delivers a reptilian form from the killed woman’s belly. The reptilian fetus rapidly dies. Yada goes up to the deck, the darkness within him stirring again and building to a dark and deadly crescendo. Cavindish, aware that Yada means to destroy every last bit of the Crimson Grail, has only enough time to retrieve the other lizard child from the belly of Dorene. At Yada’s coaxing, dark tentacles with molten heads rise up with steam out of the ocean that lay into the crew of the Crimson Grail. Watching from the Chaste Maiden all everyone can hear is the screams of the crew as they merge into a miasma of horror.
Mearcair confronts Yada about what he has become. Though hard fought, Mearcair manages to break through to Yada (our first concession!) and, through an odd fluke of his fae nature, manages to show Yada a universal truth about protecting the meek. Yada calms himself and walks back across the water to the Chaste Maiden which then turns back toward the scar that is London.
Mechanics note: From here on out Mearcair may buy off compels made to Yada’s Chi Master aspect. This is involuntary on the part of Yada who has no say if Mearcair can do this.