11 AM, 30th of March, 2017. The day before Griffin starts his Tour.
Griffin arrived at the Barbican Centre to have a word with Angus Dunn, who was showing people how to perform various dances which appeared to be weakening the veil between the dead and the living, causing ghosts to appear even in broad daylight. Cheddar was waiting for him at the entrance.
Cheddar asked "Are you ready, Griffin?"
"Of course," Griffin replied.
The receptionist at the box office said "I was told that some backstage passes were given out yesterday."
Griffin produced his pass, saying "Here you are, my good lady."
Cheddar gave hers, saying "Here's mine."
The woman said "Okay, I'll take you straight to Mr. Dunn, he's expecting you."
When Cheddar and Griffin went backstage, they saw Angus Dunn in the traditional Scottish outfit, kilt and all. Angus said "I'm awfully sorry, but my final performance is cancelled. I've been called back home to Glasgow, family emergency."
Cheddar drew her wand and said "Family emergency, my arse! We know the dances are magical, Mr. Dunn!"
Angus told her "Don't be daft, woman!"
Griffin said "On the contrary, Cheddar's one of the sanest women I know. And I know that Farrow & Sons told you about my visit to their office."
Angus said "Och! This wizard fellow taught me the dances! I know nothin' about his plans!"
Griffin revealed his wings and told him "So you had better start talking. I am Griffin of the Host of Heaven. I've had to drop a few ghosts to get this far, and I'm looking for the warlock who sent them."
Angus pleaded "Och, he’s dreadful! I don't dare! I don't dare! He swore he'd kill me if I grassed on him!"
Griffin unsheathed his sword and pointed it at Angus' throat as he said "Enough. Where is he right now?"
Angus' pupils contracted as he said "L- L- Loch Tay! The wizard lives on Loch Tay, north of Glasgow!"
Griffin thought to himself 'That's the same place the Laird lives. So there is a connection!'Griffin decides to Intimidate Angus into talking. Angus has the stats of a Criminal from the Heroes Handbook with Expertise: Dance. Griffin gets 16 on his Intimidation roll. Angus gets 5 on his Will and is Coerced into talking.
Griffin said to Angus "What else does McDaniel know about all this?"
Angus went "McDaniel knows nothing! He thinks that Nectanos is an old hermit! You can tell by looking at him that he’s evil…!"
That was when five ghosts appeared, surrounding Angus, Cheddar and Griffin. One looked like a Celtic warrior armed with a spear, the other four were men and women from what looked like the late 1600s, wreathed in spectral fire. Griffin realised that the ghosts were killed by the Great Fire… And could use it themselves.
The Celt said in his ancient tongue "<Those who betray Nectanos must die!>"
Griffin lashed out at the ghosts, shouting "Let there be light!"
Cheddar banished one of the ghosts while Angus managed to stab one.
Griffin landed several telling blows on the Celt, but before he could kill him again, the Celt said "<You'll die for this, winged one!>", before he vanished.Brule (the Celt) is a Human Primitive (from Atlas of Earth-Prime) with Strength 3, Fighting 5, Dodge & Parry 6. The ghosts are actually Zombie minions from Gamemaster's Guide with Insubstantial 4 (Affects Corporeal 2, Unreliable), their unarmed attacks have the fire descriptor.
1 Blazing Ghost: 13
3 Blazing Ghosts: 6, 6, 1.
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel against one Blazing Ghost and Brule. He gets a Natural 1 against the Zombie and 23 against Brule. Brule gets a Natural 20 to resist.
The Blazing Ghost attacks Griffin, getting 9 and missing.
Brule attacks Angus with his Spear, getting 11 and missing.
Cheddar fires a Magical Blast at a Blazing Ghost, getting 18. The Ghost gets 16 and is banished.
Angus attacks a Ghost with his knife, getting 20, Crit scored (he raises the DC by +5)! The Ghost's Insubstantial was off. It gets 12 and is banished.
As he sheathed his sword, Griffin said "Now you know how much trouble you're in, Angus."Griffin attacks Brule with the Flurry of Steel, getting 27. Brule gets 10 and is incapacitated.
One Blazing Ghost attacks Angus, getting 8 and missing.
Cheddar fires a Magical Blast, getting 20. The Ghost gets 7 and is banished.
Angus attacks a Ghost with his knife, getting a Natural 1 and missing.
Griffin attacks the remaining ghost with the Flurry of Steel, getting 16. The ghost gets 13 and is banished.
Angus went "Och! You could've left me to die, but you didn't! Why?!"
As Griffin used the fire extinguisher, he said "You talked, it was my duty to protect you. Whistleblowers must be protected - and rewarded when possible - to further encourage this behaviour."
Angus went "…You mean it, don't you? You really mean it!"
Griffin told him "I'm an angel. It is my nature and my duty to be honest and earnest, and to help the helpless. If I was you, I'd take your luggage and fly to Rome right now for a week. It's the nearest city without Celtic influence Nectanos can kill you with."
"Och, fine. Take these." Angus gave Griffin some tickets. "My Caledonian Sleeper carnet tickets from Euston to Glasgow, including cabin reservations. I was meant to bring someone to sacrifice, but well… They're no good to me now, but you might have a chance. Nectanos is in Loch Tay, the nearest village is Killin. Whatever he's planning, all I know is that he'll do it Saturday night. Look for a wooden house built on top of the water, you can't miss it at night!"
Cheddar said "It's Thursday now. That means we only have one night to prepare before leaving."
Griffin went "Let's discuss it at your place."
As Cheddar sat down in the living room, she said "Okay, we have a night and a day to prepare before we set off. When you get home, you'll have to pack."
Griffin said "Already done. I already booked my tickets a few months back, as my tour starts tomorrow night anyway. I've even got my own Sleeper ticket."
"One less thing to worry about, I suppose. So what are we going to do with these spare tickets?"
"Simple. We get someone to come with us. Apart from us, who else has experience with fighting ghosts?"
"The Guardians have done it, no question. They're probably doing their own investigation right now, but there's no way we can afford a train and hotel for the lot of them."
"What about Goldwing? Remember how well he threw down at Halloween?"
"Okay. Do you have his WhatsApp number?"
"Yeah. Is it alright if I use your router?"
After connecting his phone to Cheddar's router, Griffin used WhatsApp to call Goldwing.
Goldwing soon said "Hello?"
Griffin said "Goldwing, it's Griffin. I'm with Cheddar, you're on speakerphone. Listen, me and Cheddar have found out what's causing all these ghosts."
Goldwing said "That's good to know, as I saw a ghostly Native American woman in traditional attire walking around Gravesend earlier! Everyone in town freaked out about it!"
Cheddar asked "Are you serious, Goldwing?"
Goldwing told her "A Native American woman in traditional attire walking around a Kentish town? There's no doubt about it."
Griffin said "That would be the ghost of Pocahontas, the first Native American known to ever come to Europe. She was buried in Gravesend, it's why they have that statue in the churchyard there. But seriously, we have a Caledonian Sleeper ticket here - with a bed for the night - if you want to join us for a mission. We know where the warlock responsible for these ghosts is hiding. I can't say more than that, not even on a secured line. If you're interested, meet us at the Bottle at seven, we can talk more about it then."
Goldwing said "See you then. I've got to go, got some rounds to run."
Griffin said "Bye, then."
When Griffin disconnected, Cheddar said "Okay. Where's Loch Tay?"
Griffin told her "I did my own research, it's about 40 or so miles north of Glasgow. The intel Angus gave meshes with what Farrow and Sons told me yesterday. Now we know where to go for a fact. How fast does your broomstick go again?"
Cheddar replied "120 MPH last time I checked. Why?"
"According to my phone's speed/distance/time calculator, it'll take about 20 minutes for us to fly there from Glasgow. And I believe that 120 is Goldwing's top speed. And I know a hotel in Glasgow that doesn't ask too many questions."
7pm, Goldwing's table, The Bottle…
As he had a mug of Bovril, Goldwing asked "So what's all this about the ghosts?"
Griffin said "Our investigation has revealed that these dances that are all the rage are funneling energy from the dancers."
Cheddar explained "We've since discovered that the energy is being diverted to Loch Tay in Scotland, and it's weakening the barrier between the living and the dead, hence the ghosts. I think it could be used to resurrect someone."
Griffin pointed out "The problem is that, to my knowledge, it generally requires a divine intervention to bring someone all the way back to life with a vital body. And I'm the last known documented instance of such an intervention occurring. I get the feeling that whatever comes back from this magic will be too undead to be anything but a mortal threat to everyone in Britain."
Goldwing finished his Bovril and said "Okay, I'm in. When do we leave?"
Griffin told him "Tomorrow night, we'll meet at Euston Station at eight. You'll need to pack tomorrow morning. Hotel's been arranged for one night, as well as the sleeper train there and back again. In your case, I must suggest sleeping on the top bunk, Goldwing."
"Why?" Goldwing asked.
Griffin said back "I've seen pictures and video footage of the Sleeper's rooms. If you get a twin bunk room, there's a ladder right in the middle, which would make it harder for you to get in and out of the lower bunk."
Goldwing said "Makes sense. I'll see you then. I have to ask... do they use the pound up in Scotland?"
Griffin told him "Yeah, they use the same plugs and money we do. They have their own banknotes, but they take English coins and notes as well. I have to prepare, so I'll see you both tomorrow. Euston, 8 PM., under the big timetable."