The Manitou Springs Chronicle

Grave Decisions

Those with no souls are best suited for politics...

One chilling winter day, Raina discovered a rattlesnake that had just feasted on the body of a small bird. Upon shifting to Urhan form and investigating further, she discovered several such bodies and more snakes – strange, since both of these species should be inactive or away in this weather. She spotted a large Rattler spirit and summoned the rest of the pack to inspect it. The spirit, which calls itself Deathshaker, was willing to talk to you. It beseeched you to leave it alone, as it was merely “aiding itsssss brethren in sssssurviving the winter”. It explained that, yes, it was killing the birds that were staying in the canyon, but those birds were doomed to freeze to death anyway. It said that they were trapped here because their spirits were weakened and they were slowly starving and freezing to death in the canyon.
You would have investigated further if Mike’s phone hadn’t rang. Janet Pickering was calling in her favor and asked you to meet Ezekiel at the Garden of the Gods for details. He explained that they needed your help to track down an elusive vampire that they believe was involved in an attempt on his wife, Lillian’s, life. The plan was for you to follow her after they flushed her out of her business and tangled with her goons. You successfully tailed her, but rather than going back to her place, she led you to an older, condemned house. Here, Gareth encountered her and another vampire who were more hospitable and courteous than any of you expected. The one you’d been tracking, Alexis Valentine, told Gareth some of Obadiah Pickering’s darker secrets – explaining that she wasn’t nearly the monster that he was, and that they should be more careful choosing who to associate with. Meanwhile, one of her goons took a shot at the rest of you, missing, and in the ensuing scuffle, you all left the house and she quickly left the neighborhood in her fast car.
While trying to catch her, you ran into Ezekiel again, who explained why he and the rest of his pack hadn’t followed you – apparently Obadiah halted the whole operation when they discovered a locus in the basement of Valentine’s spa. You called Morrison, who thought Janet had already called you, and in a fury you went back and threatened Ricky, the younger vampire, to tell you what he knew. He explained that he had no idea where Valentine slept. He also seemed really unhappy with his situation – he’s under her protection, but also under her thumb. He has very little will to resist her wiles, and he wants more than anything to just return to Manitou Springs, where he grew up, to take care of his aging mother and help her have an easier life and retirement. You refused him this, but told him you’d try to help his mother out, then you let him go with his life and wrecked his home so the Pickerings would believe you’d finished him off.

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