It’s late in October in Winnipeg and the weather is unseasonably warm.
Roger Nanton is meeting a prospective client at the King’s Head, a fussy middleaged man who has lost a champion Bengal cat. He’s brought Roger the cat’s collar, found in the road after Ferdinand Fortworth III disappeared. Roger strips off a glove and brings his psychometry to bear, but doesn’t catch much more than a whiff of catnip and lilac perfume.
Joe O’Keith is called into the office of the Head of the Subcommittee on Minor Talent Relations and sent off to the Exchange to look into complaints about supernatural disruptions. “Shake some hands and calm them down,” is the message, but Melissa Goodearth, one of the broompushers whose job it is to tidy up the supernatural messes and keep the mortal populace in the dark, catches up with him as he leaves and tells him there may be more to this than the usual bitching and moaning from the peons – there are traces of some kind of ritual casting in several locations around the Exchange. Joe heads down to the King’s Heel (the ANG bar hidden behind the King’s Head) to talk to the proprietor, Riley, who tells him that the rumors are more than just talk. A pipsqueak ectomancer raised a ghost in the bar the other night, despite the bar’s position between several leylines which turns it into a magical null zone.
Arni Goodmunson wakes up that morning to see an Asian girl with a punk haircut sitting in the tree outside his window, persuading an entire hornet swarm to abandon their nest and fly into the large jar she has tucked under her arm. One of the hornets escapes to land directly on Arni’s hammer pendant, and then off to his front door. This seems like a fairly clear sign from Thor, and Arni follows his guide down to the Exchange.
Lennard Taylor is in the middle of a set at the Cube as the rest of the gang converges. They are all in place when the leyquake happens. Lennard, Joe, and Roger (thanks to some really crap Discipline rolls) lose control of their talents for a moment as the background magical energy surges wildly. The leyline running under their feet jumps the confines of its carefully ritualized route and then falls back down. Things are Not Right.
Investigation of Melissa’s tip reveals that someone has been conducting rituals on rooftops and in alleyways directly over or under the sites of the major rituals that hold the leyline in place and tap its energies. Roger finds a candle stub and gets a brief flash of faces in a circle, mostly bored, one ecstatic – a girl, mid twenties, Asian, punk hairdo.
Lennard recognizes her from some clubs, thinks he might have seen her with some friends of his. Roger heads home to do some research, and the other three follow up on Lennard’s lead. It pans out – she’s Megan Aso, theatre student at the U of W, and she’s scheduled for a performance of traditional Ghanian folkstories at the main stage the next night. Meanwhile, Roger hits the jackpot with research (Superb!) and finds reference to legends of the Ghanian trickster god Anansi, who can be appealed to through a ritual involving a hornet’s nest, a tiger, a snake and an invisible spirit.
Everyone reconvenes and decide to make a pre-emptive strike by breaking into Megan’s apartment and attempting to retrieve the components before she can enact the ritual. Roger and Lennard sweettalk their way past Megan’s landlady and up to her place. They find the hornets, the cat, and a snake all lined up neatly, but before they can make their getaway Megan shows up with three mean looking thugs in tow. Roger and Lennard take a bit of a beating before Joe and Arni can get up the fire escape and step in. They take out the thugs, claim the hornets and the snake, but Megan makes it out the window with the Bengal kitty and vanishes into the night.