Seventh session, short but sweet.
People of Interest:
Dom Poe, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny thief who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a runaway princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.
Sariell Akilo, an extremely fashionable recluse.
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.
Father Felux, a blind priest with melancholia.
Sister Miche, an absolutely huge French muscle nun.
Jackson De La Sangue, smug and loud leader of Cobra House.
Jenny Bones, noseless and unlucky leader of Viper House.
Zitia Chrime, tall, long haired woman who is being followed.
One wooden lockbox, containing:
A picture of Jenny Bones and the mysterious assailant, her brother, dated five years ago
A latex nose
Pearl earrings and a pearl necklace
Two notes saying "I'm sorry", "It's okay."
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade
Donation records to the Heterodox Church of St. Felicissumus, mostly from Deep.
Lots of stolen money
Really cool fashion!
In the midnight streets of Croixsing, Dom returned to the motel the party originally rented out, only to see that the proprietress and a cop were both discussing the matter of a room's questionable payment. Dom was asked if he had met Hypatia Muldoon yet, to which he replied no, to which she told him she would be kicking them all out if the issue wasn't resolved by tomorrow. He went to sleep anyway since he wasn't the one who paid.
Aria returned to the church and fell asleep on a pew, curled up in her clothes. The day turned to Friday, and at six in the morning the church bells began to ring.
Sariell was the first to awake, going to his usual seat in the church to pray for his fashion.
Alice woke up next, going to the belltower where Sister Miche was ringing all three by herself: a rope in each hand and swinging the third to every unused hand. It visibly took strength and concentration, so Alice decided to wait.
Aria woke up next and harassed Sariell about his faith, then broke off to go sleep in his bed.
Dom continued to sleep.
When the Sister was finished with her bell-ringing, she was surprised to see Alice just standing there. Alice complimented her on the sound quality and learned that it happened every day at six in the morning, noon, and six at night. Supposedly to bring people in for Mass, but obviously there hadn't been anyone who wanted to come in the past five years.
Alice then asked if Miche knew about the 'highest rooftops', because the group was looking into a kidnapping; the Sister was confused, then tense, then hurriedly left after letting slip that the church's bellower was in fact the highest point in Croixsing. Sariell had come by then, and commented that this was the first time he had ever seen Miche do her bell-ringing and then immediately leave the tower. Alice thought she was concealing some information.
They two made a plan wanting to get a better viewpoint of the belltower, scoped out a small locked building in the churchly courtyard with a sloped roof and a roof access hatch, and Alice decided to improvise a gripping hook from some rope and her arrows. First she would need some rope, and asked Sariell to accompany her—since he was established to be the one who kept her out of trouble—while she goes to the wharf. They go there, and on their way they encounter Dom, who had abandoned the motel and advised them to do the same.
Aria woke up once more, rifled through Sariell's things, found nothing, and went off to wander around the church's back rooms until she ran into Father Felux at the chapel's podium, muttering to himself. When they talked his voice sounded much better since he had cough drops, and Aria promised she won't threaten anyone else in a house of God. A sudden loud noise, echoing throughout the whole building, startled the priest momentarily. Aria then went off to take a shower, found there was some blood on her clothes.
At the wharf, the group scoped out a swimmer, a sailor, and a fishing person on the docks with a few boats moored. Dom suggested they steal some rope, Alice denied this vehemently and instead went off to make friends with the fishing person. That same person had a very wide-brimmed hat that hid most of their face, shiny teeth, and a strong southern accent.
Alice managed her small-talk friendliness incredibly well, and got the woman with the large hat to ramble extensively about her own life while getting the rope they wanted. She told that she only fished and sailed in the morning, worked at a clinic all night, and felt she would never run out of energy even though she was around eighty, having worked three decades in collections.
Specifically, Viper House.
The woman knew Jenny Bones, Orrin Valdecar, and Zitia Chrime all from her past, was pleased that Alice and co. had an interest in working there, and mused about how much safer the business had gotten. Collections, back in her day, were very much more like bounty hunting than accounting. The woman said her name was Sal'anglii Chancre, and would be very pleased if they four could meet again.
Now with rope, Alice and co. returned to the church to wait for Aria and enact their plan.
While they waited, Sariell talked with Felux some more: the priest seemed more melancholic than usual, distracted, expressed he felt like a useless figurehead. They talked about the status of other religious buildings in the city, Felux revealed the church doesn't get much support from the Vatican, but there are some other big structures for Judaism and Islam. When specifically asked about the tiny wharf-side chapel and if it had a name, Felux said even if it did have a name everyone would have scrubbed it from record; in his thirty years of religiosity, Felux had heard many rumors about esoteric ritual from that place. Nothing verifiable, but certainly a lot of rumors.
Felux then asked Sariell if he had seen Sister Francesca, or any of the other clergy who were supposed to be showing up for an event on Sunday. Sariell admitted it slipped his mind since he really didn't go anywhere save his room and his pew, but he would tell Felux or Miche if anything happens or anyone showed up.
Due to a mistake in order, Aria had long since left her shower and wandered around more, passing by Miche at least three times and pursuing the sister into whatever room she kept disappearing into; it turned out to be a storage room for communion wine and the eucharist. Aria was disappointed.
Alice and Sariell then went to the courtyard building to test out her improvised grappling hook, and it stuck itself into the wooden room frame pretty deeply. However, Alice was not strong enough to lift herself up the rope. Sariell, on the other hand, executed a perfect parkour climb up the building and landed solidly. He went into the roof hatch, through rooms apparently for records, and unlocked the door for the others.
Alice set up an attic stakeout, Dom and Aria went to go get food, and Sariell glanced through some records to see that they were all donations to the church. On a personal hunch, he looked for the name of Deep, and found three whole pages of donations from the man—uniformly huge donations, seven thousand to fifteen thousand a month, with little addenda for what the money was intended for. In recent months the donations had dropped to just hundreds of dollars, or even nothing at all. As well, he found a donation of fifty-thousand dollars from thirty years ago, sourced from Felux himself.
Suspicious of why all this money was going to a single church, Sariell went to the roof and joined Alice in the stakeout. The day went on, but a few hours in small migrations of birds thickened into a mass of sparrows, crows, magpies, rooks, pigeons, all which landed on the belltower's roof as one. Alice wanted to get both closer and a better view of the city, so she shot another rope-arrow across rooftops to the church and made a sort of high wire.
Unfortunately she fell quite painfully, and decided to stay on her own roof. Sariell did his parkour again and made it. This attracted the attention of the birds, who all began to stare at him as one.
Aria and Dom returned with food. Alice threw a roof tile to distract said birds from her friend, which scattered some but also had them land around the princess to also stare at her, watching her face. As if studying it. Dom joined Sariell and scoped out that someone else was standing on Viper House's roof: someone bald and noseless, looking around as if expecting company, then sitting down with head in hands.
Alice, freaked out, began murdering the birds with her bow, one by one. This did not scatter them, and they continued to examine her face as they died.
Feeling like nothing was getting done, and motivated by Jenny Bones' sadness, Dom resolved to do the second nice thing he had ever done in the past week and return Jenny's stolen prosthetic nose. Sariell followed, but slipped on the low-quality high wire and fell hard.
Hard enough to put him into a dying state.
Aria rushed in with her stolen medical kit and stabilized her friend, but didn't patch him up fully. Sister Miche, alarmed by a scream, rushed out to see what was the matter; she took in the high-wire, the birds on the belltower, the blood and corpses of the birds on the ground, and Sariell all in turn. There was an accusation of why they all wanted to know about rooftops, if it was some new kind of sport, if Sariell needed an ambulance. He said no, and said he would call if he got worse, which was just sufficient enough to make the sister go back inside.
The session ended with Aria helping Sariell limp to Sal'anglii's clinic, Dom going off to return Jenny's nose, and Alice hiding in the attic continuing her stakeout.