Weirdness Happening
New post from Alexander:

Guys, you remember that whole thing with the corrupt spirit down by the reservoir last year? There may - big may - be something similar happening again.

I was out in Reynolds Park and came across a wrecked camp site. There had been two women there - one had been killed, the other is missing. She wasn't alone when she went, though. I couldn't figure out where they went. That's not the weird part.

The weird part is the cat and bear things that attacked them. They weren't alive - at least not since some time before the attack - but they were stuffed with bits of cloth covered in some kind of symbols, and bit of rotted meat.

If you met and remember Skye, he was there. He's still trying to track down his friend Claire, who might still be affected by something from the original corruption spirit. Or something else, I'm not really sure. But he thinks that werewolves may be involved somehow. I don't think he was really convinced, but some things made him at least consider it.

Things like the magic being used not being like ours. There was something about the animals that was cold and oily, and it felt like it would have spread and contaminated anything it came near if it was left. There wasn't anything... this is hard to describe. It wasn't exactly that Entropy had been messed around with, but the whole feeling of decay around it all? It wasn't natural, but I don't think it was anything our kind of magic would have messed around with. Not that I'm any kind of expert on these things, but it just felt different.

The really freaky thing? There were gaps, I guess, in the animals. Not physical gaps, spiritual ones. It felt like they had holes in where the spirit had been. A spirit, anyway.

I've got one of the bits of cloth - Skye's done something to it to stop the contamination spreading for a while - and lots of photos. Given what might have happened to the spirits in the animals, I'm not taking it anywhere near Callisto. But I'd like to bring it somewhere safer where it can be looked at and burned if it does anything unpleasant.

Oh, yeah, burning the fuck out of the things seems to help kill off the contamination.

I told Skye I'd ask around for a few things. The first is that he could really use some help tracking down Claire and getting whatever it is affecting her out. He has contacts in California he can use, but given we're all here...

Regarding the camp site, I think there are a couple of possibilities. Skye is happy to share his memories of what he saw there. But I know some of us can look back through Time to see what actually happened. That might be the better option, if anyone is up for it. If nothing else, we can work out where the missing woman went and who she was with.

[Attached: Photos of lots of pieces of cloth, each with some kind of symbol drawn on it.]
At some point soon after, there's a reply from Kiara:

Alexander -

I can probably try and dig up a little information on the symbols if nothing else. If this Skye guy's friend is really out there and somehow contaminated by a spirit, we should probably try and find her as soon as we can. Depending on what's attached to her, I might be able to banish it.

I have no idea what you're talking about! Bears? Cats? Without souls or something? Don't they need souls first? or spirits? or... whatever?
But finding people? I CAN DO. Need more than a first name tho! Last name, address... ya know, all those little things people get touchy about giving away? Gimme gimme gimme! And away we'll go!

Kiara - that would be great. I wouldn't even know where to start looking up that stuff. Danny, are you still on here? You seemed pretty good at digging up material on our cannibalistic friend not so long ago - think you could take a look?

Her name is Claire Carmichael. Not a clue about address, but I get the impression that she might not be living in the city itself at the moment. It sounds like Skye has been tracking the corruption her spirit has been spreading through her and I think that's all been out in the areas outside the city. I'll see what I can dig up through my sources, but I don't know if there will be much to find through mundane channels. Worth a try though.
Hey Alex and Kiara and the scooby gang!!

Yeah it's all good. I can dig around, you all still got the work I did previously, right? Do we know anything in particular about this Carmichael? I mean, what's her particular brand of bullshit that goes out to the public? Some of this shit sounds like something that Ari can maybe be helpful with? I know she's a handful, I know she does everyone's collective heads in but really, when you scratch behind that chainmail, steel plate, the cactus and the vitriolic bitch streak she's got, she's not too shabby. Yeah yeah, high praise, right? Well, lets put it this way, she's not the crank that some of us have been in the past!! If you want me to give her a call instead of ghostbusters then let me know with regards to the symbols on the dead beasties. Might be right up her alley.

"The really freaky thing? There were gaps, I guess, in the animals. Not physical gaps, spiritual ones. It felt like they had holes in where the spirit had been. A spirit, anyway."

With regards to that, do you reckon they were cobbled together? I mean, it sounds like a jigsaw puzzle of bits and things initially, much like a chemical compound has it's parts to make it complete. Was it a rushed job? Is that why there are bits and things missing? I mean, think about it. You got this dead bear right, so you want it to walk about and shit, well not literally shit but you get the idea. So. You need to find something similar to the original spirit, you beg them or coerce them into helping, maybe they were bound to some of the symbols and things that made up the body? The gaps could be where they only needed certain amounts of compounds to create the whole effect. If so, was it a dress rehearsal for something grander? A trial run? Too many thoughts, too many questions in my head. We all need to hook up and discuss as it'll help my understanding and you never know, with a group sit down we might be able to thrash out a few more ideas?

With regards to the site required to safely deal with the cloth, I can suggest a cabin that I got last year as a musical retreat. Y'all are welcome when you need it to chill your heels, hide away. Just let me know so I can sort out the spare set of keys for you.

Claire Carmichael herself though, could we sort out a meeting with Skye? It'd be good to get a feel for her as a person, maybe Skye's got some personal artifacts we can use to get some kind of a spiritual trace on her to get maybe a general location? Dowsing rods? Dunno. This bit is new to me. Info hounding is more my thing than combat, but this is what I bring to the table. Thoughts and wild ideas.

I can I dunno, hire a PI if need be to track information right back into her past?

Grace, can you help with this? You're like Sekrit Skwirrel extraordinary along with all your gizmo's to deal with finding online traces? Track her bank details? Find what car she drove, maybe we can track her through that? Talk to her friends? You know how this stuff goes better than I do. I just watch too much NCIS!!

Anyhow, hit me up with shit when you need me to bankroll some of this. Kay?

Peace, love and good happiness shit to all!

Kalen, we so need to hook up.
"It's in the blood,
It's in the blood.
I met my love before I was born.
He wanted love,
I taste of blood.
He bit my lip, and drank my warmth,
From years before, from years before." ~ AFI - Love like winter.
Hey guys,

I don't think this is Claire choosing to go around causing carnage. I'm pretty sure there's a spirit riding her somehow. A spirit of contamination maybe? But unless we can track her down, I don't think any of us are going to get a decent look at whatever it is.

About the animals. There was a spirit in there, although I have no idea if it was from the animal they used or something else they pulled in from the Umbra. Either way, it wasn't like something dying and the spirit separating from the body. I don't quite know how else to put it other than there was a hole where the spirit should have been. I dunno, maybe someone with more experience of spirits can meet up with something who can actually look back and head out to the campsite for a peek?

Couple of extra bits of information, though. The woman who was killed was Allison Clarke, an ER nurse who loved the outdoors. Her friend seems to have been Brooke Sullivan. She is apparently alive and, apart from a concussion, well. She was found at another park with no idea how she got there. I'll see if I can track her down for a little talk.

Possibly related? Something is killing off cattle down around Reynolds Park.
A little while after Alexander's latest Ginger update comes this one from the Verbena:

Alex -

Turned up some info that might be interesting re: Reynolds Park weirdness. Turns out those symbols you found are actually hieroglyphics. Some of them seem to be extracted from the Book of the Dead, the funerary text of the ancient Egyptians. A lot in that book about protecting the deceased in the afterlife, spells to ensure they never worked or wanted for water and of course a lot about judgment from the big guy, Osiris.

The interesting (or creepy) part is they're slightly modified from the original incantations the Egyptians would have used. I couldn't translate all of it but there's some unsettling stuff coming through about hunger and devouring and maybe something about an abyss. My best guess right now with what you found is that somebody (or a few somebodies) had those animals there to be used by spirits, sort of like temporary hosts. The question is - why and to what greater purpose? It's not impossible to attract or even bind a spirit to an object, I've seen the women in my old coven coax spirits to awaken or bartered with them for favors but this seems to be on another level.

Turns out Denver has its own Ancient Egyptian Study Society so I tagged along the other night since they were discussing something that might just fill in a few blanks. Maybe not, too, but according to this presentation, the Egyptians used to make use of these statues called Ushabti (at least, later on) and they represented the servants of whoever had died. Apparently on the other side, they could be called into service. Now originally, the servants were actually sacrificed but they eventually decided that was unnecessary and the statues would do the job (nice, huh?)

Here's what I thought was really interesting - these little likenesses? They used to inscribe them so they could be 'activated' when the need for their services arose in the afterlife. Maybe our mystery mastermind is trying to summon some sort of spiritual servants to do their bidding.

I also met a guy there, claims that he's in town for school, anthropology focusing on American Folklore, seemed just a little skittish and has some recent (from what I could sense, we're talking weeks here rather than months) injuries to his left forearm. I'm not saying he's the one responsible but it might be worth checking out his story, see if it adds up.

His name was Etienne Delacroix.

I've got some updates on this.

That man you met - Etienne. He's one of us. I met his sister, Sabine, and she told me what caused that attack in the park. Skye was on the right track, but it's not a werewolf - it's a werecat. Sabine said he's corrupted and that those undead animals are his "abominations." She says that this werecat has been sending those things after her and Etienne. They're his primary targets, but he doesn't seem to have any qualms about innocent people getting caught in the crossfire.

I got her to agree to work with us so we could find this werecat and figure out a course of action. She gave me Etienne's phone number and I told her we'd set up a meeting. Before I call him, is there anything anyone else wants to add? And who wants to be there with me when we meet?

Etienne is one of us?

I knew there was something about him.

There's no denying the sense of validation from Kiara, even through text.

Having a face he knows there might help. I'll cover your back at the meeting.


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