View Full Version : Chapter 1: Murder in the Poe House

31st of May, 2011, 03:19

Benjamin had bee out walking down by the waterfront, enjoying the breeze coming off of the harbor on what was otherwise a humid summer night in Baltimore when he felt the tap on his shoulder.

Turning, he saw that it was Evan Montrose, ranking White Council member in Baltimore, and really, the only other wizard worthy of the name in the area.

"I've got something you might be interested in," Evan said, looking out over the water. "There was a murder earlier today, looks like by magic. I called it in, but the Wardens are all busy with other matters. Was wondering if you might be able to look into it. The address is 203 Amity Street, you know the Edgar Allan Museum. Be there at 11:00."

It isn't quite a question, but still falls short of an order.


Yori had been sleeping, taking advantage of a respite when his Master didn't have some pressing business to take care of. He woke when he heard the sound of a piece of paper being slipped under his door. A quick glance at the clock told him it was just past ten at night.

The paper was a thick weave, the calligraphy of an exquisite style that Yori was all too familiar with. On the envelope was a very limited amount of information:

Paul Mackey
203 Amity Street
11:00 pm
Details will follow


Sam had just gotten back to his apartment/office after a long day of tracking down what someone had claimed was a poltergeist but what had in act turned out to be a very mischievous colony of feral cats.

"Sam? Paul Mackey of the Edgar Allan Museum here. I have something for you. An associate of mine has had a rather unfortunate accident and I was hoping you might be able to look into it. I'd go through more official channels, but well, this more in your line of work I believe. Can you be at the museum for 11:00?"


"Oh, hey Sid!"

Sidney had been out for a walk by Roosevelt Park, enjoying the relatively clean air as composed to the rest of the city.

Turning, she saw Justin, one of the younger skatepunks that she knew in passing.

"Hey, you know my Uncle Paul who runs the old Poe House? He told me to keep an eye out for you. Something about wanting to meet at 11:00 and how this might you get in good with some of the others like you. I'm not really sure what he meant by that. Anyway, if you are interested, he said 11:00 tonight. Oh, and he told me to tell you that Yori'd be there. Said you would know what that meant."

31st of May, 2011, 05:29
"Thanks, Paul. Keeping some late hours, but that's fine. I do most of my best work then anyway. I'll see you at 11:00."

Sam sat back when he got off the phone. His dogs were barking and he was sure that he had a blister forming on his big toe. He'd picked a bad day to try breaking in some new shoes. He slapped some moleskin on the blister and headed for the kitchenette--just a stovetop, microwave, and mini-fridge, really. He reached for a packet of ramen noodles and a small pot and turned on the one real extravagance, his Keurig. A cup of coffee and some carbs were pretty much all he got by on, and the energy boost they'd give him were essential for late-night work. Maybe I oughta look into that new 5-Hour energy shit all the kids drink now. That or one of those Red Bull things.

31st of May, 2011, 10:53
Sidney waved Justin off.

She stood at the edge of the park, staring at it. "In good with some of the others like me"? The hell is that supposed to mean.
A long pause. I should really just walk away. Not my job to fix things, and I don't care about the fucking "community" here.

There was another long pause, before she abruptly turned to go back to her bike.
Yori's going to be there. That'll be nice. Plus there's no way it'll as bad as last time.
She stopped again to look at the evening sky. First though, some fish and chips. Yes.

31st of May, 2011, 13:56
Yori quickly takes the note and memorizes it, then burns it. Looking around his small apartment Yori quickly goes to his laptop and Googles the address. The Edgar Allen Poe Society of Baltimore. Haven't been there before. Wonder what HE wants there. Oh well. Best prepare.

Yori quickly slips into the shower and cleans up, not bothering to shave. Getting out he quickly dresses in black jeans, black boots and a white dress shirt with a white muscle shirt underneath.

He then quickly collects his travel pack and double checks its contents. Weeks worth of no spoilable food...check, flairs...check, med kit...check, passports...check, flashlight...check, waterproof matches...check, 2 changes of cloths...check and so on making sure all the necessities were in the pack before he got near to leaving. His father had trained him long ago to pack an emergency bag, make sure it covered all the average basics and make sure it is ready to go at all time.

He then goes to his shelf, selects the case holding his Beretta M96 with ammo and shoulder holster. He opens the case, ensuring the weapon, ammo and permit are all inside and ready to go. Looking back to where he burnt the note, Yori goes back to his shelf and grabs a second case, which held a .40 caliber revolver including shells, holster, and permit. Never know what is gonna happen.

Grabbing his leather bomber jacket, hat and keys Yori jogs down the flight of stairs to his car and gets on the road, stopping to grab a coffee on the way.

31st of May, 2011, 20:36
Spinning around at the abrupt tap on his shoulder, Benjamin forces himself to relax upon seeing that it was just Evan Montrose. Studying the other man intently, he nods "Of course I'll look into it, thanks for the heads up Evan." Making the obligatory small talk about life and family for the next few minutes, Benjamin quickly excuses himself. "Typical Evan, always passing the buck. The lazy bastard doesn't want to deal with the situation himself so he sends me..." Grumbling to himself, he walks up and down the waterfront, simply killing time until the meeting.

2nd of June, 2011, 11:37
One by one the disparate indviduals arrived at the house, a small two story brick building in downtown Baltimore.

Yori was the first to arrive, his coffee about half-gone by the time he arrived.

Sam was next, limping slightly, but with an otherwise determined look on his face.

Benjamin was the third to arrive, looking like he had swallowed something he didn't like the taste of.

Sidney arrived last, though still a few moments before the appointed time.

A light could be seen inside the house, but given the late hour it was unlikely that the house was open for any normal sort of business. In fact, a sign can be seen posted to the door that reads "Closed Until Further Notice."

[ooc: Feel free to interact a bit here and let me know how your characters want to proceed.]

2nd of June, 2011, 11:37
One by one the disparate indviduals arrived at the house, a small two story brick building in downtown Baltimore.

Yori was the first to arrive, his coffee about half-gone by the time he arrived.

Sam was next, limping slightly, but with an otherwise determined look on his face.

Benjamin was the third to arrive, looking like he had swallowed something he didn't like the taste of.

Sidney arrived last, though still a few moments before the appointed time.

A light could be seen inside the house, but given the late hour it was unlikely that the house was open for any normal sort of business. In fact, a sign can be seen posted to the door that reads "Closed Until Further Notice."

[ooc: Feel free to interact a bit here and let me know how your characters want to proceed.]

2nd of June, 2011, 12:22
"Ben, how are ya? It's been a few months, but the paper's been swamped with bullshit stories and I've been stuck chasing them down. Haven't had a legit encounter since that run-in we had with the corpsetaker down by the Aquarium."

2nd of June, 2011, 20:33
"Sam!" Ben's face breaks into a grin as he shakes the other man's hand "Sounds like the papers had you chasing down Bigfoot huh? I'll let ya know if I see em..." He stops talking as Sidney arrives, his grin vanishing quickly "Great, Marica is here, as if I didn't have enough headaches already." With a sigh he turns back to Sam "So do you know anything about all of this?" he says, waving his hand at the house. "I heard something about a murder that might have possibly been committed with magic and told to be here at eleven. I'm guessing that everyone else here was told something along the same lines."

2nd of June, 2011, 22:40
"Nah, wasn't told it was a murder, but from the curator's tone, and his little hints, I suspected it was something like that." Sam glanced at his watch before continuing. "Only another minute or so before we find out what's up. I'm hoping it was nothing supernatural, but since it concerns Poe, I think I'd have to bet on faeries being involved. Did you know he sold his afterlife in order to marry his cousin like that? Should have made a better deal on compensation, if ya ask me. Poor schmuck never had an easy time of it financially. They found him wearing someone else's clothes and babbling incoherently a fews nights before he died."

3rd of June, 2011, 01:16
At this point, Sidney joined the group, smelling vaguely of fish and vinegar.
"Yori, hey! And... Benjamin. Hello."
She gave Ben a look, then focused on Sam. "And... we haven't met. Marica Leigh, but please call me Sidney."
She began to offer her hand, paused, laughed slightly, then offered her left. Sam noticed the end of a chain coming out from under her jacket, wrapped several times around her hand. He also noticed the faintest hint of 'ozone,' or something, and a feeling of static electricity.

3rd of June, 2011, 01:49
"Nice to meet ya, Sidney." Sam raised the hand to his lips and kissed it lightly. He felt awkward, but that felt more natural than trying to shake the wrong hand. It was also quite a bit less unlucky, and Sam had a really hard time doing things deliberately unlucky.

3rd of June, 2011, 08:06
"Heh, you as well. I should really figure out something better."
She smiled, then focused on Yori.
"And you. How have you been?"

3rd of June, 2011, 08:43
A forced smile appears on Ben's face as Sidney addresses him "Hello Marcia". Quite content to fade into the background as he had little tolerance for the social niceties, Ben observed the others as they talked amongst themselves. Finally deciding that he'd had enough of the smalltalk, Ben walked up to the door and knocked sharply.

3rd of June, 2011, 14:01
Yori looks over the group chatting, taking note of the minor tensions where they appeared. Yori is sitting on the edge of his car, smoking and finishing his coffee. Yori keeps quiet and lets the others talk. When Sidney points him out he acknowledges her and says "Evenin Ma'am," and to the others "Fellas". Turning his attention to Sidney he smirked a little and said with his cigarette hanging out of his mouth "I'm surviving. Seems like my boss decided to give me a couple weeks light duties so I've been relaxing. How you been?"

3rd of June, 2011, 14:53
"Super bored. Building things. Working on a Faraday cage, actually." Her lips thinned into a slight frown. "It's not going well."
She glanced back when Ben knocked, then back to Yori. "So you know what this is about or what?"

5th of June, 2011, 12:28
Yori finished the last swallow of his coffee and tossed the empty cup into the car, on the floor on the passingers side. Noding to Sidney Yori comments "Sucks it is not going well. Keep at it. You'll get it in time. "

Looking up to the Poe house with it's closed sign and lights on "No idea what is going on, but I rairly do until the bitter end. Doesn't matter much. Still we plod on. Never been here before...you? Seems like a dump. Think a guy that popular could afford something better."

5th of June, 2011, 13:05
"Heh. It is more that he stayed here, and when he did he was young."
She shrugged. "I am here more because Paul asked, apparently. He is a friend."

5th of June, 2011, 15:20
Yori nods and says nothing. He understood that people had friends, Yori just hadn't had any since Highschool. Too much to do.

Looking over he nods to Ben and says with a knowing smirk "Long time no see. Never got to tell you, nice, clean work on the thing with the thing and the thing."

Nodding to Sam he says "You never did call me about going for that beer"

5th of June, 2011, 23:20
"Sorry about that, Yori," Sam replied. "Haven't had much time for beer myself. Paper's been getting a lot of strange tips recently. Most of them are nothing, but it seems to be busier than it was a year ago. I've got my assumptions why, of course, but no one really believes the crazy old coot who claims to have seen monsters up close and personal."

6th of June, 2011, 17:01
"Oh, Yori, you know Benjamin and this Sam fellow? I should have suspected, you always... wait."
Sidney paused for a second, her mischievous grin suddenly turning into a frown. "Wait, Benjamin. Did you say murder earlier, when I was coming up? Is that what's going on?"
She glanced at the door, then at Sam, and back to Ben, before breaking off, walking away from the group and muttering to herself.

8th of June, 2011, 06:40
Yori sighs and shackes his head, removing his coat and putting his guns on. Why am I here for a murder? God I hope this is not a waste of time.

8th of June, 2011, 09:54
Benjamin glances backwards with an annoyed look on his face "Yes, I said murder Marcia." Sighing loudly, he knocks loudly again. When he still doesn't get a response, he turns back to face the others and drops his athletic bag on the ground. Watching Yori strap his guns on, Ben inclines his head slightly in a greeting.

8th of June, 2011, 10:16
Yori returns the nod and puts his jacket back on. While minding the door Yori is also watching the surrounding area, trying to note anything that might be important.

9th of June, 2011, 11:17
Benjamin was just turning back away from the door when it opened, spilling light out onto the street.

An older gentleman stood in the doorway, dressed casually. His face was pale and drawn and he rubbed at the bridge of his nose. Sam at least recognizes him as Paul Mackey, curator of the museum.

"Good, you got here. I was hoping for one or two others, but I think I'll take what I can get. Come in, come in, all sorts of nastiness is out tonight." He paused. "There's a bit of it in here too, I'm afraid."

9th of June, 2011, 16:33
Sidney pushes past, into the entrance. "Paul, what is this about? I heard something like 'murder'? I don't see how--"
The overhead light suddenly flickers and wanes, and she cuts herself off, glancing up and frowning.
After a moment to compose herself, she returns to badgering him, though much calmer. "I really don't see how this is a good idea."

11th of June, 2011, 22:20
Yori says nothing to Paul but stays in the back of the group, waiting to be taken inside or told what is happening.

12th of June, 2011, 01:27
Sam nodded at Paul and reached a hand out to shake as he walked in. "Shame about the situation. Always loved this building and its history."

12th of June, 2011, 10:09
Given a proper invitation, the House's threshold proves no problem for Ben as he steps inside. "I'm afraid that details were a tad light, what can you tell us about your... situation?"

14th of June, 2011, 11:26
Paul snorted, moving deeper into the house. "Given what you all know, what some of you are, do you really think I'd want to say anything other than in person. I'd call the police, but well, this isn't really their area of expertise."

The inside of the house is fairly spartan. A few books on the shelves, the walls whitewashed, and a few spare pieces of furniture is all that marks the house. Still, there is a certain heaviness in the air that caused everyone to pause, especially Sidney and Benjamin. The threshold was weak, as it had been many years since anyone had actually used the building as a home, but it felt as if emotion had been buried deep in the walls.

"The body is up in the garret." He pointed up the stairs. "Through the master bedroom and up the narrow stair case. Sorry if any of you are claustrophobic. I'd rather you see the body first before you ask your questions."

14th of June, 2011, 15:39
Yori nods and heads to the stairs, looking around the rooms as he passes, checking for any thing that looks to have been damaged recently, say by being knocked over or something like that.

Yori stops at the stairs and offers to let Syndey go first but heads up himself first if she indicates he may. Yori pays close attention for anything indicating a struggle or an accident before entering the bedroom, and does the same in the bedroom before entering the garret.

14th of June, 2011, 16:07
Sidney grumbles under her breath at Paul at the excuse.
As he finishes, she darts up the stairs, through the bedroom, and after barely acknowledging Yori, up the last set of stairs and into garret, leaving the more methodical and perceptive Yori behind.

15th of June, 2011, 05:08
Shrugging, Ben heads up the stairs, though not quite as enthusiastically as Sidney. Much like Yori, his eyes are flicking about as he looks for anything out of the ordinary.

15th of June, 2011, 05:47
Sam laughed internally as he watched both Ben and Yori in investigation mode. He knew these guys had a bit of training in such things, at least based on his previous interactions, but he was pretty sure he had them both beat, put together even. He took his time and kept a close eye on nearly everything. He listened to the way the floorboards creaked, kept track of the way dust had settled, and looked for scuff marks or smudges on things like the bannisters and stair treads. He was fairly sure he wouldn't find a whole lot of oddities among those observations, or, indeed, much evidence of anything until he made his way upstairs. He figured anything that mundane would probably be evidence of something the police would get involved in, and the way Paul was acting, he figured it must be something a bit less obvious. Still, he didn't slouch on the observations, just in case.

23rd of June, 2011, 00:14
The staircase up to the second floor is spacious enough for a 19th century house, and none of the gathered individuals notice anything untoward. The staircase up to the garret though... well, it wasn't designed with even the average sized 19th century person, let alone a full grown man from the 21st century.

Yori ends up having to squeeze through, and is probably thankful that he wasn't trying to navigate the stairs in any kind of haste.

The first thing everyone notices is the smell. The overpowering, gut twisting smell. It smells of a charnel house, as there is blood everywhere and bits of meat stuck to the plaster of the walls and the ceiling. What had been, you think, a person, is n the middle of the floor, butchered beyond recognition. A glance cannot tell you whether it was male or female or how old.

The second thing of note is that, despite the summer swelter and the decided lack of air conditioning, is that the temperature in the garret is chilly enough to raise goosebumps.

Crudely painted on the floor in drying blood is a G.

Paul follows the rest of you up the stairs, a handkerchief over his mouth and nose. "Now do you see why I called you? Why I didn't want to say too much before you saw it?"

23rd of June, 2011, 02:22
A pause. "Well I guess I'm somewhat relieved."

Sidney crouches down, next to the body, staring at it. The situation had rapidly tripped over into 'weird shit' territory, and a sense of detachment was now taking the place of what would normally be shock and disgust.
"Hey Benjamin. Dare you to open your sight." She glances at Ben, grins, then walks away to a relatively clean corner of the room, looking through her bag and beginning the process of working a spell.

23rd of June, 2011, 13:48
Yori stands back, letting Ben, Sidney and Sam look over the scene. Yori is a little shocked with himself, as he looks over the scene he is more curious then disgusted over the scene. Yori looks more at the body, trying to decern what could have caused that much blood over the room.

23rd of June, 2011, 20:56
Ben glares at Sidney before returning his attention to the gruesome scene before him. "Paul, do you have any idea who this could be? I can't imagine that many folks had access to this part of the house." He glances back at Sidney and smirks as he watches her pull the various components from her bag and begin her spellcasting.

29th of June, 2011, 10:30
"Oh, I know exactly who it is," he replied. "Or at least I have a reasonable good idea. Sara Dodson was a grad student at UMBC, and she came here quite a bit. I think she was working on her MFA in English, and she liked the vibe that the attic gave off. It was a bit outside of protocol, but I let her come up here. In retrospect, not the best idea. She was the niece of a good friend, though. I was downstairs, and didn't hear a thing. No one came in or out of the house, and the only reason I knew anything was wrong was when I came up here to tell her I was heading home and not to forget to lock up."

29th of June, 2011, 11:11
"Well, if I didn't know better, I'd say it was impossible that you didn't hear it. Looks almost like she exploded."

Sam was doing a remarkable job of keeping down his lunch, but only because of sheer effort and his uncanny ability to pretend he wasn't really seeing this.

"Okay, easy question first, and ones I'm sure I probably know the answer to. First - she have any companions, or ever come here with anyone that you know? Second - what kind of things did she do up here? Third - is it usually this damn cold in this room?"

29th of June, 2011, 22:11
"My first inclination is towards some sort of powerful thaumaturgical effect, as Paul here has said that she was alone. As for the chill, the first thing that springs to mind is the Winter Court. Perhaps she crossed the wrong Fae?"

Ben falls silent as he continues to examine the body, now looking for the telltale signs of magic in an attempt to figure out what sort of spell might have caused this.

6th of July, 2011, 10:41
Paul shrugged at Sam. "Not sure what to tell you. I let her up here, and she was alive and alone. When I came up to check on her, she was like this. She never came here with anyone. If you want, I have the number for her aunt downstairs. She might be able to tell you more.

He then turned to Ben. "I wouldn't know anything about that," he said. "Still, it could be the Good Folk. I'd be careful jumping to conclusions at the moment though, otherwise you are only going to see what you want to see."

"Anyway, I don't see any reason for me to stay up here. I'll be downstairs if you need me."

[ooc: If you are using any skills, go ahead and roll them here as part of your post.]

6th of July, 2011, 13:56
"Wait a sec. She came here 'quite a bit,' meaning how often? A couple times a week, daily, at the same time every day, when she could, or what?"
Sidney looks at Paul. "I'm working out a spell. There's this one I managed before. If she had a specific pattern of activity, I can try to get a vibe for what she usually did and what happened differently this time."

7th of July, 2011, 20:20
Ben waves a hand in a slightly dismissive manner. "Yes yes, it's simply a thought is all." Glancing at Sydney, he smirks slightly "Why Marcia, I'm surprised! You know a spell that does more than simply blowing something up?"

7th of July, 2011, 21:21
Sam set about looking at the gore, doing his best to keep his stomach contents from making an even bigger mess.

OOC - a whole bunch of skill checks. Investigation (Examination) -- 4 (ouch!) = [roll0][roll1][roll2][roll3] + 5, Lore (Mystic Perception) -- 5 = [roll4][roll5][roll6][roll7] + 4, Scholarship (Answers: Is there a history of similar types of deaths, and if so, what do I know about them) -- 5 = [roll8][roll9][roll10][roll11] + 4, Burglary (Casing) -- 3 = [roll12][roll13][roll14][roll15] + 3

10th of August, 2011, 11:41
Ignoring Ben, Sidney kneels down, sprinkling copper dust in a circle and sealing it.
From her bag, she pulls out an old 60's Polaroid camera. It's been modified somehow, with thin copper wiring strung all over the outside. She then pulls out a sheaf of parchment paper, sliding it in to the bottom of the camera, and finally sets the thing down on the ground, sitting beside it in the circle.
She begins to pour energy into it, slowly, faint bolts of electricity sparking within the bounds of the copper circle like a plasma lamp.
After a minute or so, the sparking seems to fold in to her, sucked into the camera. She smiles, then picks it up and breaks the circle, relasing some remaining static electricity.

[Uh still not sure how all this works. First Conviction, then Discipline (Lore?)? The spell is going to temporarily infuse the camera with a weaker version of the Sight, so she can get indirect information on what happened. Channeling, to get an Examination effect? Conviction 5 + [roll0], Discipline or Lore 3 + [roll1], figure I'll have to make a few more so second Conviction [roll2], second and third Discipline/Lore [roll3][roll4]]