The camera opens on the group gathering in the 3rd floor of the Greenlake Starbucks. It wasn’t crowded, but given that only the supernatural community can perceive it, overcrowding is rarely an issue.
Tasha is in a good mood, she is being treated with something dangerously close to respect at the agency. Or at least the absence of ridicule, which is an acceptable substitute. She has also been issued a laptop, the bleeding edge of 1997 technology, svelt in a water buffalo sort of way and able to be held in the lap for nearly 20 minutes before the polyester burst into actual flames.
The lighter smalltalk is finally brought to a more serious bent when Suzanne declares that she has no intention of accepting the Dark Vampire Prince’s offer, but is at something of a loss as to where to proceed. The group agrees and supports her decision and the consensus is that they need to find out why the Vampire decided to make the offer now, and how it may be connected to the strange abscense of the current Guardian of the Gate.
Deciding that the fastest way to chase down that line is the speak with the Guardian herself, Suzanne speaks to the White Council and they set up a meeting between her and the Guardian’s contact at a bar known as “Sorry Charlie’s”.
Arriving at the pub, Gabriel, Sunny and Suzanne speak with the representative while the rest of the group has some issues with on task focus. On the plus side it is discovered that Tasha can actually pull of a respectable Whitney Houston karaoke and that Jeremy, well, can’t. More relevant to the mission, they discover that the Guardian has been missing for nearly a week, with no one knowing where. Apparently the White Council is aware of the disapearance but found it more amusing to make us find out ourselves (or is a stalwart supporter of the local karaoke scene).
It is during the post bar discussions that it is discovered that Jeremy woke up next to several dismembered pieces of a woman (best not thought about is how the sex was discovered from the remaining portions) and a message in blood on the wall announcing “You’re next”. It says something about Jeremy that it didn’t occur to him to mention this until nearly a day later, it also says something about the group that no one found this in the least bit surprising. Initial thoughts go to Tony given that a) he is an ogre and b) he has waxed eloquent on the tastiness of human flesh before. However, he rapidly points out that if he was going to eat someone he would finish the meal and not leave choice bits in the bed of the his upstairs roommates. While grisly, the logic is hard to refute and he is taken off the suspect list, or at least moved to the bottom.
Suzanne calls the White Council again and is told that the Guardian often spent time at the Kalakala ferry, and perhaps she should look there. With the understanding that her investigation was off the books, her no longer being a Warden. Oh and by the way, was she aware her ex-boyfriend had listed in her official file that she was erratic and unstable? Just thought she should know, good luck on that investigation.
Several calming breaths later the group arrives at the Kalakala to find a small fey standing guard and a powerful ward on the ship. The ward will only allow the group entry if they promise “to help”. Various versions of the phrasing are attempted but seemingly to little avail, once help has been promised, the group is stuck there until help is provided.
The ship itself is larger on the inside than the outside and seems alive, if currently wounded and suffused with a dark, corrupt energy. After some exploring the group encounters a large, powerful ward containing the Summer Queen for the area. They are able to communicate with her via Gabriel’s Lense and she notes that she has been trapped by Lothar, a powerful fey of the Winter court. She is unsure of how or why, but suspects the Daemon is part of the mechanism. Oh, you didn’t know? Look upstairs.
Looking upstairs, the group find another powerful ward, this one trapping a powerful looking infernal of the Judeo-Christian form. They chat with it, but it is largely true to form and, while more than happy to verbally fence, provides little in the way of useful information.
The group tries many investigations, including a rapidly aborted attempt to commune with the spirit of the ship which nearly gets Suzanne possessed by the Daemon. Sunny also discovers one of the two fey guards Lothar left to keep people off the boat and accidently cuts both its feet off in an attempt to subdue it for questioning.
Managing to save the less than impressive guard the group is able to question it and learn that they were indeed left by Lothar and were tasked to prevent others from boarding the ship. The fey is quick to admit its efforts on that part of its mission were less than successful. More importantly the group learned that the fey and its companion were behind the murder of the current Guardian Butchy. Deciding that all relevant information had been gleaned and given that the fey had brazenly admitted to being part of the murder of the Guardian, Gabriel completed Sunny’s earlier efforts and shot the fey through the forehead.
This left finding the second guard, which Gabriel was unexpectedly successful at when he was interrupted in bringing up his Lense to search the ship by the Troll charging through it. Thrown off balance and dazed by a solid blow to the head Gabriel was able to fend the Troll off but it was not finally slain until the rest of the group rushed in and finished the job.
Unfortunately this left the group no closer to a solution. It turned out it was effectively impossible to free the Summer Queen without freeing the Daemon, and the Daemon was an iffy fight even for this formidable a group. The Queen was distantly sympathetic, but not overly helpful outside of a promise to give the group a reward for rescuing her. She was quick to point out that the reward was Required, and they were going to get it whether they wanted it or not, so she’s be happy to give it to them early. Given that most rewards don’t come with warning labels and a death threat, the group decided that they had enough on their plates without dealing with potentially explosive presents.
Finally, left with no good options, the group decides to free the Summer Queen and gain her help in attempting to defeat the Daemon. They are successful to freeing the Queen but the Daemon does not rush to immediate, and for most of the group probably fatal, combat. It spends some time attempting to tempt or threaten each member of the group, barring Suzanne who has sensibly locked herself in a magic circle. After failing to gain any converts the Daemon simply leaves, much to everyone’s surprise. Unfortuantely it is at this point that someone looks out a window and realizes the Gate has been opened.
Rushing to the control room they are able to close the Gate, but not before five entities are released. It is also then that the Queen suddenly dies when all the blood bursts from her body and the group realizes that the Daemon has no interest in a direct phsyical confrontation. Sunny immediately runs off to check on the International district, fearful that it may take its promised vengence on her protected lands.
It is also at this point that the Queen’s reward is discovered, the group has become the new Guardians of the Gate. It is a great honor and will undoubtedly get them invited to the best parties and result in their eventual horrible deaths, but the Daemon is much larger in people’s minds and their new responsiblities are brushed aside for the time being. On the plus side, it means they get to keep the ship which, once it’s no longer infested with Daemons and fey, turns out to be quite pleasant.
Realizing they have no way to find, much less kill, the Daemon on their own. The group reaches out once more the White Council who seems to properly appreciate the gravity of the situation and sends their top Daemonologist, Rashid, to assist the group.
While waiting for his arrival Sunny encounters the Daemon in the International District, where he causes the collapse of a building, killing a number of people. He makes it clear that he has no plans of immediately killing the group, but intends their ends to be long and amusing.
The more mystical of the group work on ways to bind Daemons while Gabriel uses the newly discovered manual to learn the workings of the boat.
Once he has been brought up to speed he is able to create a necklace ward that will hide the characters from the Daemon’s detection while they are worn. He promises to stay in the area and work with the group against the Daemon, undoubtely because of the serious nature of the threat but the obvious spark between him and Gabriel points to the potential for alterior motivation.