The group interviews the family they rescued from the zombie attack to discover that Melinda is a divorced mother of 17yo Thomas and 7yo Sally. With some searching questions they learn that Melinda’s ex-husband Randal Pierce was indeed into the occult, especially Egyptian lore. He was also an active Mason and had a tight kit group of peers that would visit the house. Randall had not seen his kids or wife in months although Melinda recalled recently receiving an invitation to a Masonic family event. Unfortunately the invitation with date and details was back at their now zombie infested house. Thomas recalled hearing the “Transgressors of the…”. From this Dwayne made the jump to a small cult in the city called Transgressors of Midnight’s Veil. The four decided to investigate Randall’s address.
Randall Pierce lives in a three bedroom home in a wealthy subdivision off Hyde Park Drive. No one was home so they took that as an invitation to enter. On the main floor they found an office crammed full of papers and occult drawings that covered the floor and a small mahogany desk. A wire waste basket next to the desk was filled with several half burned papers. Dwayne and Berkeley crossed the room carefully and began picking through the papers. The papers were mostly photos and rubbings of Egyptian hieroglyphics surrounded by books to interpret them. Lisette finished checking out the barely used kitchen and joined the others in the office. Attracted to an obelisk on a book shelf she crossed the room and felt a soft crack beneath her feet. The air dropped a few degrees and the three investigators in the room felt something tug and pick at something core inside of them. Dwayne and Berkeley exchanged alarmed looks and fled the room. Lisette paused, scooped up some papers and followed them out. Meanwhile Mike had been upstairs looking around the bedrooms. He found two dusty, bare kids rooms confirming what Melinda had told them. Randall’s bedroom was neat and Spartan. A Mensa plaque hung lonely on the wall. On the bedside table was a manual on making homemade explosive marked with page tabs. Mike browsed this a moment and returned downstairs to find the other three digging through a pile of Randall’s writings in the living room. Dwayne was intently studying a large sheet. On it was a handful of sketches of a feather and a short prayer to Anubis translated with precise descriptions of the pronunciation. Mike grunted and redirected his flashlight to scan around the living room. On the west wall a detailed map of a room was drawn in a drafter’s style with a webwork of occult notations. After a few minutes of study Berkeley realized this particular neo-gothic layout had only been used in a handful of buildings in Detroit. One of those buildings was the grand Masonic Temple of Detroit. The last thing to check out was the crawlspace beneath the house. It was entered from the outside. Cautiously descending the stairs they were attacked by a half-naked feral man who took a couple bullets with only flinching. Reeling from the deafening crack of Mike’s gun Berkeley, Dwayne and Mike dismembered the pathetic thing bringing it peace. Like the others this man had been dead awhile but this zombie behaved and looked different than the others. Faster and more purposeful. His exposed chest was carved with hieroglyphs and his mouth was stuffed with a parchment marked with another glyph. Further into the basement stood an altar with chains and blood. A quick look at it and Dwayne guessed this man, and at least a few others had been tortured to death on it.
The Choice: Mark of the Hunter
On the ride downtown to the Masonic Temple Mike’s police radio is barking non-stop requests for police assistance including one for a public disturbance at the Detroit Institute of Art. The city’s chaos is increasing without nearly enough emergency personal to respond. He dropped the other three investigators off a block away from the Temple and headed out to try to quell a street riot on East Grand Blvd. He made a tentative promise he would rejoin them in a half hour. Lisette sat down to finish inscribing the feather rune on the last of a dozen bullets and a nightstick while Dwayne pronounced the prayer of Anubis over them with exaggerated emphasis hoping he had gotten every syllable right. He had remembered reading somewhere that in the Egyptian afterlife each soul is brought before Anubis and judged against the weight of a feather. Some old hunter lore told of marking their weapons in this way to remind the restless soul it was due for judgment. Considering their bullets had done almost nothing to the zombies this far Dwayne thought it was worth a try.
While Lisette and Dwayne were busy Berkeley was circling the building sizing up the best way to sneak in unnoticed. He found himself wrapped into a conversation with a homeless man. The man was conversational but vague, either cryptic or a little psychotic. A simple question the man asked jarred Berkeley into a consideration of just who and what he was. Even more, what he was to become? the question felt immediate, like the choice was right now. With effort he pushed this aside and rejoined the others.
The three made their way up the back of the Masonic Temple and in through a second story window. Navigating their way through the halls and stairwells they followed Lisette’s ear avoiding guards and eventually ending outside a large brass rimmed door. The sound of chanting was now clearly audible to everyone. Lisette could hear a supernatural resonance in to rhythm. With a little poking around Berkeley found a way up onto a darkened balcony overlooking the large ritual space that they had seen mapped out on Randall Pierce’s living room wall. 7 exhausted, chained cultists chanted hoarsely chained to a booby trap of four drum barrels full of explosives. With some skilled footwork and some zombie powder from Miss Jeanette Berkeley scaled around the room and knocked out a zombie guard. Lisette climbed down and rounding a corner killed a guard before it knew she was there. In the adjoining room were more than a dozen spouses and children of the cultists. While Lisette calmed the families Berkeley began cutting the wires to free the chanters. It was at this point that Mike caught up with the others and with a few deft snips disarmed the four barrel bombs.
Some pressured questioning of the weary chanters revealed that Pierce’s true target may lie buried somewhere within the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Walk Like an Egyptian
Arriving at the Detroit Institute of Arts the four find a small crowd just inside the front doors. Dr. Meru, the DIA’s Manager of Antiquities, is on a tirade pulling at his hair and threatening to fire the security guard if he doesn’t go back in and shoot someone. The guard is talking gibberish while the small man berating him screams about all the irreplaceable artifacts being destroyed. With a glance Officer Peterson takes control assuring Dr. Meru they are here to take care of it.
Down a long hall and through alcoves filled with art Peterson leads the group into an Egyptian exhibit. A security guard lays crumpled into a shattered case of clay figurines. Following the trail of blood the group finds a pair of mummies wielding ceremonial weapons. Their enspelled weapons stun and batter the creatures and eventually bring them crashing down.
A conversation with Dr. Meru next sends them all down to deep storage where a fierce argument between the Dr. and Peterson ends with the DIA’s Manager of Antiquities tasered and bound on the ground. The argument was loud and long enough to alert Pierce to their presence. Their exploration of the storage space revealed an abandoned break in attempt at a large chained cage holding a large chest. They had interrupted Pierce but he had escaped. Later video surveillance revealed a man matching Pierce’s description breaking into the basement with the help of three armed, lumbering thugs.