To date, much has happened in our little corner of Las Vegas. As one can expect, the first few sessions were spent developing the city and the characters, as well as establishing their relationships. In short, we have the following groups and members of the city:
House Montegna – White Court, Greed. With the base of operations out of the Bellagio, Giovanni “Johnny” Montegna holds the primary seat of White Court power in Las Vegas.
House Raith – White Court, Lust. The primary antagonist to House Montegna. Headed by Nigel Raith, House Raith is looking to gain more than just a foothold in Las Vegas. Situated at the Venetian Hotel & Casino, with members in multiple locations within Clark County, Raith stands to create a decent amount of tension within the White Court. To aid Nigel, there is Arianna Casgrain (Sandra), owner of Surrender at the Encore Hotel & Casino, spreading the footprint of Raith-occupied properties beyond the doors of the Venetian. To add to that, we have Cassandra Monclave (NPC), a protectorate of House Raith, who was originally part of House Scavis. Their pocket ace, however, is Anderson Carlston (John), a firefighting wizard.
On the administrative end of the City, Leroy Caldwell (Nik), now known as Blake Morton, serves as a man in blue. After a decade of being virtually non-existent, Leroy awoke in a burning building in the Las Vegas Valley, and was rescued by Anderson. After a ‘discussion’ between Anderson and Cassandra, it was determined that the best course of action was to seek help from Arianna. Through her network of contacts, she convinced Oscar Goodwin (NPC) to pull some strings in public records and instate Leroy (now Blake) as a Las Vegas Metro Police Officer.
Now, on with the show …
After establishing relationships across the board, it was business as usual at Surrender, until Johnny Montenga decided to pay a visit. He wasn’t looking for the scenery offered by the club, but more interested in its less known and far more pricey side business – Arianna’s escort service. While reluctant to indulge Johnny in his request, she knew that to deny him would be a bad thing for White Court relations, regardless of how shaky those relations might be. Knowing full well that Johnny would completely feed on the girl she would send, Ari made sure that Nigel was well aware of the game that Johnny was about to play. After sending one of her relatively new girls into certain death, Arianna received a business card from Johnny’s assistant that had a number and a message. After Johnny and his entourage left Surrender, Ari went to assess the damage, and called Nigel for a cleaning crew.
When the next morning rolled around, Arianna called the number on the card, passed along the message that she needed a girl, and waited. The girl was delivered by two burly Asian men, and was obviously terrified. Ari eventually learned the girl’s real name (Constance Burnworth), and did what she could to befriend her, and get her to trust people – she was safe and no longer part of the prostitution ring for which she’d been kidnapped years earlier to be a member of.
Arianna alerted Blake to the illegal prostitution ring that seemed to have some local connection. As she was the only lead in any sort of case, Blake questioned Arianna as to how the girl came to her, and Ari reluctantly gave the name of Giovanni Montegna’s assistant, as well as the number from the business card that she’d received. Ari then provided Blake with the girl’s dress as evidence, not realizing that he would use part of it for a seeking spell by way of Anderson.
Upon performing a spell, Anderson was able to direct Blake in the direction of the Green Valley Motel, a way-off-strip motel that most people who see it wouldn’t give a second glance; seedy, dirty, and far from what one expects from a Las Vegas destination. With that location known, Blake mobilized the SWAT unit to raid the property. Because the ringleaders were tipped off about a potential raid, SWAT coming in found nothing amiss with the Green Valley Motel, and Blake’s use of expensive city resources without proper prior investigation resulted in Officer Morton getting severely chewed out by his boss.
In addition to going to the police, Arianna thought the girl would be comfortable speaking with someone about her ordeal, and put her in touch with Cassandra and Anderson. After the bust at the Green Valley Motel, Anderson knew there was more to it, and speaking with Constance did back up his suspicions from what he saw at Green Valley; it wasn’t just a gang they were dealing with, but with a rage spirit. Anderson proceeded to speak with Nigel, requesting a favor, and was granted access to the White Court’s library of information of all things supernatural and arcane (at least the Vegas branch of the library).
While a full on police investigation hadn’t been carried out, the prostitution ring did lead back to problems with the Triad – a brutal street-level gang that rules over Chinatown from their headquarters at the Sand Dollar Lounge. Although Blake could not go in and arrest any of the members for their links to the prostitution ring, they did realize that he was responsible for investigating them, and for the raid that almost nabbed then in Henderson (at the Green Valley Motel). The Triad was not pleased, and when Blake entered the Sand Dollar Lounge, he and his partner almost became casualties.
The Triad did not stop at the officers, however. While heading to Lake Mead for a day of R&R on her boat, Arianna was tailed and shot at by members of the Triad. Though not full, marked members of the Triad, they were (through coercion, of course) able to provide Arianna with the name of Bai Zhau, the leader of the Triad.
Upon receiving a call from Anderson to ask if she might have any way of getting a room where he might be able to perform a ritual, Ari managed to get Andy and Cassandra a room at the Gold Coast – far away from the Strip with no obvious ties back to her. Upon successful completion of the ritual Andy now had a Bonsai tree that would serve as a means to trap the rage spirit consuming the Triad members. All that was needed was a member of the Triad who was infected by the spirit.
Through miscommunication, Arianna brought the captured Triad member to the Gold Coast, rather than the selected ritual house (an abandoned mansion with years of Vegas’ blood inside it, secured by Blake). With her own goon and the captured Triad member in tow, she made sure that she was the only one to enter the room at the Gold Coast, only to find out the room had been destroyed. Shawn Goldsmith ensured her that no real harm (aside from financial) was done and things would be taken care of. While that was well and good, Arianna contacted Cassandra to find out why she was sent to the Gold Coast. During that conversation, the miscommunication was somewhat dismissed as “you know how guys are when it comes to details”. While she couldn’t hold onto the hostage for the 5 days needed, as the ritual was to be best performed at the time of the full moon, she needed to dispose of him, since the infected Triad members would quite easily be able to track down their kidnapped member.
Shawn helped Arianna by providing her with an escape route down the fire access stairwell, and after collecting her goon and the kidnapped Triad member, piled into the rental car and sped off to the best place she could think – the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge (officially The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge), over Black Canyon. With a drop of more than 1000 feet, the Triad member would not survive the impact.
Arianna left the Gold Coast and made her way down the Boulder City Highway, only to find herself quickly tailed by what may have been as many as a dozen (actually 10) motorcycles, who were obviously members of the Triad. In a panic, Ari continued southward into Boulder City, hoping that the increased pedestrian and tourist traffic would slow the pursuit. While en route, she decided on the truck route, rather than the in-town route, and noticed that an odd motorcycle had joined the pack. Shortly after the odd motorbike appeared, strange things started happening to various sport bikes, causing the pack to thin slightly.
Without having much of a chance to assess the situation, the gang determined that the problems with their bikes was being caused by the one they were pursuing, not the one in pursuit of them, so they backed off slightly. In doing so, it gave Anderson a chance to catch up to Arianna, even though his bike was beginning to sputter as a result of his extensive hexing on the engines of the motorcycles. With one last epic hex, Andy managed to disable the remaining 5 motorcycles, as well as a few tourist vehicles which were unfortunately close to the bikes.
With the bike gang no longer a worry, Arianna made a U-turn at the first possible location in Arizona, and returned toward Nevada, stopping just shy of the bridge so her goon could dispose of the Triad homing beacon. The pair in the car returned to Las Vegas without incident, and Andy and his motorcycle, while tucked between vehicles, remained undetected by the armed Triad members on the eastbound side of 93.
With the member of the Triad disposed of, Arianna decided to wash her hands of any further involvement, though did not know that Andy had contacted Nigel to ask for another, more significant favor. After an agreed potential repayment plan, Nigel contacted Arianna to ask that she acquire the last necessary ingredient to Andy’s ritual stew.
Not wanting to go against Nigel, though not wanting further involvement with whatever ritual Andy was to perform, Ari agreed, but had one of her contacts at the Police Department (a former client of hers, apparently) arrest a member of the Triad; but rather than bring him to the station for questioning – so much paperwork, after all – he would be exchanged with Arianna. The next day, she met with the people Nigel promised to accompany her; one of his best assassins, by the name of William Moor, and a girl who couldn’t have been much more than 16, but who had obvious knowledge of the White Court (based on the streaks of white in her hair).
As much as she didn’t want anything to do with the ritual, or Andy in general – White Court grudge and all – she was further tossed into the fray when she agreed to let Blake know when the drop would happen, which would give the police the chance to protect the hostages held by the Triad.
At the agreed time and location, Arianna, William, and Tina met with the officer for the exchange of goods. Upon being recognized, the kidnapped Triad member, under the influence of the full moon, broke free of his handcuffs. Although it appeared he was going for the officer’s gun, William stepped in, firmly “chopping” at the officer’s neck, causing him to black out. William made certain he remained between the Triad thug and the officer. When the thug realized the situation, he darted off in the opposite direction. With it being the full moon, he was able to call upon the full spirit within, and at supernatural speed, took off in the direction opposite the White Court members.
Arianna lunged after the Triad member, doing what she could to at least keep pace with him. Caught off-guard by the huge semi with lights and horn blaring, the Triad goon slowed enough for Arianna to catch him, barely feeding on him by grasping him by the back of the neck, in the hopes of subduing him. Enter William, who’d run after the pair but not as furiously as the pair had been running, who gathered up the goon in a tight hug, then proceeded to ever-so-gently kiss the goon on the cheek, resulting in a quivering pile of lustful goo. The approaching semi disappeared into thin air. Thank you, Tina, resident half-fae changeling.
With the goon apprehended, it was just a matter of delivering him to the mansion. Arianna drove to the house, while William and Tina kept the goon secure (and still quivering) between them. Upon arrival at the drop location, Arianna remained in the car until she heard motorcycles in the near distance. It was William’s responsibility to bring the goon into the house for Andy. With the motorcycles fast approaching, she gave William and Tina the task (well, William, since she couldn’t find Tina) of making sure Andy was undisturbed, and following a quick text to Blake, drove off to be as far away as possible from the ritual.
The incoming whine of the motorcycles was getting gradually louder, and Andy knew he would have to somewhat rush the ritual that he has so carefully prepared. Despite the rush, his thorough preparation work allowed him to complete the ritual just in time. As a Triad thug was soaring through the busted in front door, William cracked him in the forehead with a bat he’d taken out of the car before Ari sped off. Because the rage spirit was now confined in the cute little red-leafed bonsai tree (an angry little tree at this point), the force of William’s blow to the head resulted in severe – a.k.a. fatal – blunt force trauma to the head.
After cleaning up following the ritual, Andy discussed an emerald necklace as a thank you to Arianna, but William offered to help out with a far better gift (still jewelry, but much more expensive). When questioned about why William would help out Andy, William revealed that considering Andy’s profession and salary, versus the wealth available to House Raith, it just made more numerical sense – It would be of little consequence to spend within House Raith, and would be a show of good faith toward Andy. Further discussions about Andy having a possible future with House Raith were also hinted at, as was a higher position within the city.