Taki went to the Black Ale tavern to meet Amy Smith and Wren, not aware that they had been called away for a meeting of the Queen’s Inner Circle. Just before Taki entered the Tavern, the wooden interior of the structure collapsed, and moments later, she could hear the screams of those trapped inside. She moved quickly, moving wood and other debris out of the way, while the stone ceiling and walls began to make noises as if they too would soon crumble. She came across those still alive but dying slowly, and she made many mercy kills. She was screaming out for Amy and Pierre-Francois Brueria, who she finally found in the wreckage. His lower half was crushed, and his wererat ability to heal was barely keeping him alive. Taki dragged the owner of the bar out into the Circle of Underpendros. He begged her to find his son, Jacqueses, with whom he had had a falling out long ago. Francois told Taki to tell his son that he would inherit the bar, to which she told him that the bar was no more; he shook his head, and said there was magic there she didn’t understand. He told her to tell Jacqueses that he loved him, was proud of him, and that he always regretted not being their with him as his (Pierre’s) wife, mother of his son, died. Pierre took Taki’s hand, begged her not to give into the drink, as it had destroyed his life long ago, and while looking into her eyes, said:
“It’s so cold Taki…I’m so…cold…Jacqueses…I love you…my son…”
And with those final words, he died.
Meanwhile, Nathaniel Goregeous had called the Court together in Runningwater’s old court, a place otherwise condemned by Queen Sasha to never be entered again. The Queen had apparently gone insane, and now believed herself to be Lady Gaga, in a music video, as a Vampire. Nathaniel proposed warping the mind of the Queen’s body-double, so that she thought she actually was the Queen, instead of looking just like her, an idea that the body-double, naturally, objected to, and she tried making a run for it (she was stopped). Macario suggested that someone else be in charge, insinuating himself, which caused a whole lot of grumbling. Nathaniel decided a vote was needed, reminding everyone that most of Pendros would only recognize Anneliese Barkovia, Mayor of Pendros and the Vampire Princess as the ‘rightful heir’ of Queen Sasha’s rule. The group was divided between the Princess, the body-double Queen (to clarify, Nathaniel meant to find a cure to Sasha’s mental illness while the puppet Queen ruled), or ‘someone else’ (Macario). All went their separate ways, agreeing not to kill each other in Runningwater’s old court.
Yui Sakaichi, Kasumi “Misty” Flanders, and Lee, the Cherry Blossom Temple’s head of security and co-owner with Kasumi, were meditating in the Temple’s dojo, preparing themselves for their montly payment of Glamour to Mister Buttons, a changeling who had helped construct the Dojo and Temple with his ‘faire magic’. Wooden dust began falling from the ceiling, and within moments, it collapsed around them; only Yui’s ability to use telekinesis kept them from being crushed. Once away from the rubble, Yui quickly came to the conclusion that Mister Buttons was dead, and without a proper way to exchange ownership of the contract, his faire magic had undone itself.
“That’s about right,”
Michael Miller, Andy Charging Moose (One Man Bucket), and Cara had all come to the Temple seeking out Yui. They told them that wooden structures all over Pendros were collapsing, along with any that had used ‘TARDIS-like’ shaping (Bigger on inside than outside), which, as Michael noted, was most of Pendros’s any-masked-buildings. Thankfully, the magiks needed to disguise such buildings from mortal eyes was still in place, so large collapsed structures weren’t going to be on the evening news. They believed that the Dragons were able to speak with spirits, and wanted their help.
After he been scared out of his wits, Nameless found himself outside of the gates of the Cherry Blossom temple, the only other place he knew peace at. He pounded upon the invisible wall surrounding the Temple, wishing to enter, but was denied once more.
Yui knew the truth. The Sin-eaters had set up in the Temple long before it was a temple, and since they shared space with the Dragons, the rumor had developed that the Dragons could speak with spirits, another misconception, as spirits were not ghosts. It was one Yui was all too happy to exploit; while she disliked the Danse Macabre, the Kindred generally left her and the rest of the Dragons alone, out of fear.
Yui was not without her abilities. She had long ago perfected the ability to travel to the Astral Plane, and did so now. She hoped to find at least one ghost who she could make a deal with.
The truth was that the protective field around the Cherry Blossom Temple was made of ghosts. Placed there through a combined effort of the Mages and Sin-eaters, the field was a kind of spiderweb for ghosts. Once stuck there, the Sin-eaters would make a deal: if they helped keep immortal supernaturals (anyone with any template+a sin threshold of 6 or lower) out of the temple, they’d help the ghost pass on to their final destination, in order from oldest ghost to newest ghost. It also meant that they had access to an amazing network of information.
“Who amongst you can point me to the Murderer of Mister Buttons?”
The ghosts moaned, but Yui began to hear a chorus of ghostly moans.
“There there Yui!” Ghostly hands began pointing at the entrance, where Nameless stood. “The murderer stands there Yui, as does Mister Buttons himself!”
Yui made her way down the hill to where Nameless, unbeknownst to him, was slamming his fists against the ghosts of the temple, who were wailing “noooo…nooooo!” with each hit, pushing against the Kindred, and denying him entrance. Sure enough, Mister Buttons was wrapped around Nameless’s leg, looking up at the Vampire and crying.
“Why did you kill me mister? Why did you kill me?”
Yui also noticed other ghosts floating around Nameless, one humping his face out of anger. To attract such a large group of them meant he had indeed bloodied his hands many times; no wonder the ghosts of the Temple wouldn’t permit him to enter.