A month had passed since Nigel’s death, and while things were relatively calm, there were some things that did happen. Each player is invited to add what went on over the course of the month into the comments for this session. Arianna’s month will be added within this log.
The day after Nigel was killed, Arianna left Las Vegas for Chicago, to deliver the news to Lara, who didn’t seem overly concerned by her cousin’s death. Ari returned to the city after a brief stay in Chicago, which had given her enough time to collect her thoughts. On her way out, however, she had contacted Steve Wynn to ask if he would meet with someone, and he agreed, upon his return at an indeterminate time.
Once back in Las Vegas, Arianna set up a few meetings, starting with the Mercados. She’d had plenty of dealings with them, mostly with positive results, and felt no need to hide behind the veil of the Blue Martini. Instead, she’d invited them to B+B Ristorante at the Venetian, and arranged for a private room. They shared appetizers with the owner and executive chef, Mario Batali, before getting down to business. Basically, Arianna informed Joe and Evelyn Mercado that she was by no means pleased at the fact that someone had entered each of their houses, and did his best to destroy them. While they would both recover, Ari’s tolerance had worn thin, and she needed a course of action to take, depending on Kane Kurosaki’s next actions. She was looking for weaknesses in Kane, because physically, he was undoubtedly an adversary. Evelyn indicated that his cane was definitely the source of his fire and seemed to hold magic, but Kane seemed uneducated in the use of it. She also hinted to Arianna that she may very well have kept a bit of blood and flesh… should the need arise to use it.
Within a few days of her meeting with the Mercados, Ari arranged a meeting with Han Riu. Without directly threatening the dragon himself, she did give him warning that his charge (Kane) was walking on very thin ice, and should anything else go wrong as a result of his actions, Ari told Han that she would not hesitate to tend to Kane herself if need be. While Han conceded that Kurosaki had voided the contract, but asserted that the arrangement was with Nigel and not House Raith. He went on to assure Arianna that he was deeply bothered by the harm that he inadvertently caused to House Raith, and reassured Arianna that he would take steps to ensure that the actions of he and his associated cause no further damage to House Raith.
Arianna continued to speak with Han with the utmost respect, and doesn’t want to suggest that Riu did anything wrong, other than taking Kane under his authority, and explained that she was concerned for the danger that Kane not only poses to the delicate supernatural balance in the city, the danger to House Raith, but also that there is potential danger to Han Riu.
To her concern, Han nodded with a smile and rested his hand over hers, his skin feeling thin and papery to her. “Again, I apologize, young warrior,” Han explained. “I’ve only recently awoken from a long slumber, and am unfamiliar with the ways of modern life. Although I learn quickly, I am only as I am. I remember when a ronin needed to have a sharp mind to survive without a lord. I misunderstood the tool I purchased, and I am faced with re-forging it into something more befitting of these times.”
“Riu-san, a sharp mind is necessary still,” Arianna smiled back to him. “Should the time come that you require a new tool to better perform necessary duties, please remember that we are allies in this.”
Han raised his tea to Arianna and replied, “While I appreciate your concern, and this is sincere appreciation rather than the sarcasm among you swifter kin, I suspect you will have your hands full in getting your own house in order. It is much larger than mine.”
With a bow of her head and a slightly relieved smile, Ari replied, “Yes, perhaps, Riu-san, but I do hope to have things in order fairly quickly.” Pleasantries continued for a short time, and at the conclusion of the meeting with Han, Arianna was convinced that he harbored an almost nostalgic fondness for her, which seemed unusual to her. Although she wasn’t 100% certain, it did seem as though Han wished to remain allied to House Raith.
Kane met with Han and had a discussion about the vampires they were dealing with, and asked why they didn’t just exterminate them from the city. Han told him that there were a lot of vampires and only two of them and that the math didn’t add up. When he asked whether he should contact Arianna, Han told Kane that it would be ill-advised.
As part of a punishment for Kane, Han had tasked him with reading and understanding a book: The Book of the Five Rings. Upon completing the task, Kane was to return to Han and explain what he had read, and also detail his understanding of it and what he could use to apply to his current situation.
Jump forward to session day, sometime in and around mid-December. Arianna received a text message from House Montegna, stating that there would be a meeting at the Bellagio at 11:30 am. When Arianna arrived at the meeting, about 5 minutes early, there were some members of House Montegna already there, and she was invited to take a seat in the spot directly across the table from what was quite obviously Johnny’s seat. When Johnny arrived, he explained to Ari that what was Nigel’s seat now belonged to her, and she was expected to tend these meetings on a bi-weekly basis. For the most part, it was a standard board meeting that lasted a few hours (give or take), but then Johnny addressed Arianna, asking her what she knew of the push to legalize prostitution in Las Vegas.
Ari explained that she had yet to find any House Raith involvement to the push, but was still going through things to get her position in order. She assured Johnny that while it seemed to be a natural push for House Raith to push something such as prostitution through the city council, she had as much to lose in its legalization as Johnny did. She reminded Johnny that if anyone messes with her girls, she won’t hesitate to mess right back.
While there was a degree of amusement at her statement, he wanted to know who was behind it, and that Arianna had better find out and deal with it.
While at his desk, Blake was called in to meet with his lieutenant, who seemed concerned by the fact that Blake was spending time with Elsten. Sure, officers are not restricted to friendships among one another, but the lieutenant was worried that Elsten’s alcoholic influence might rub off on Blake. Blake assured him that it was of no concern, and with that, the lieutenant gave him yet another strange case to tend to: College kids who had been partying on Lake Mead had made claims that one of them had gone missing after an attack by “fish people”.
Once at the lake, there were not only police but press and EMT crews. Blake went to meet with the lead officer on the scene – Lieutenant Cortmeyer – who told him that there were 5 kids who all smelled of alcohol and showed signs of intoxication. They’d been out on the lake to have fun, but as the weather turned cold, they decided to return to the marina. On their return, a “fish person” jumped out of the water and dragged one of the girls (Karen Southers) into the water. Someone said he tried to fight off the creatures as they came onto the boat, but the one at the helm gunned the engine. When he gave it more and more gas, they seemed to have hit something, and spit what may have been blood out from the back of the barge. Courtmeyer suggested that something happened and Karen had fallen into the water, then they accidentally ran her over, and made up a crazy story to cover it up. Blake thanked Cortmeyer and took over the investigation.
The fact was, Jason had no idea that getting as drunk as he did would result in becoming as wealthy as he had. For sure the two were related. Of course, he hadn’t considered that the naked dance he’d done at the zoo with the saber tooth penguin would have had anything to do with it. But it was quite an adventure really. Only one other person could honestly say that he’d stuck his big toe between the penguin’s large-fanged beak, and came out unscathed. Unfortunately, though, that one other person who could say it had been killed by the heffalump in a tutu.
His first interview was with a Sidney (Sid) Jackson, who explained that one of the girls said it was getting really cold, and although they teased her about being cold and her resulting “goosebumps”, they turned to return to the marina. It seemed as though they got caught up on some weeds, and then they heard the girls start screaming. A big monster that reeked of rotting meat and fish jumped onto the boat and grabbed Karen. He said it had huge glowing green eyes and a huge mouthful of teeth. He hit the creature with a billhook, which kind of “thunked”, as though he had been hitting leather. As Sit was trying to hook Karen to get her back onto the boat, Brian gunned the engine, and when it seemed like they were caught on weeds or a net of some sort, Brian gunned the engine again, and when they broke free, they hit something. The engine seemed to shudder and the water behind the boat was darker than it should have been.
In short, all the other kids had told the same story. Brian had seemed convinced there were other creatures in the water, and that’s why he booked out of there. Molly told Blake that the creature had jumped up and grabbed Karne by the throat. Despite being wrapped in blankets, Molly seemed frozen, still, and seemed a little bit nervous around Blake.
Blake asked Molly about her hobbies and she seemed a little nervous as she shrugged and said she liked to go out dancing. He then asked cautiously about fringe culture and whether she was part of it, and she insisted she didn’t get into that sort of thing because her parents were really religious; she wasn’t even part of any sort of goth scene. Although he took Molly at her word, Blake got the impression that she has a higher level of supernatural awareness, even if she might not be aware of it. He asked her “So, you’re saying that it got really cold. Did things seem … different than usual?” Molly responded with the fact that it just got really cold really quickly, she felt uncomfortable, and just wanted to go home.
Blake then went to inspect the boat, and could tell that the billhook still smelled like rotten meat and bad fish, and he did confirm that the boat looked as though something had managed to climb on board.
Kane had finished reading The Book of the Five Rings, and told Han that he would like to transform his cane to something more like a sword, or something that could be split in two, and Han magically reforged the cane into what Kane had described. He then wanted to practice what he had learned from the book, and asked for permission to meet with the detective, so Kane went to the M to see if Woo could get him the detective’s number. She informed him that the detective’s number had been programmed into his mobile phone. Kane then promptly called Blake.
Blake agreed to meet with him at the M resort, and when Blake arrived, Kane suggested getting a hot dog. While Blake didn’t want one the napkin that he received from Hot Bob read: Death Lies in Still Water. Kane handed the napkin to Blake and asked if it meant anything to him, and Blake questioned the source of the message. “Bob’s just a guy who helps people out.”
They then drove out to Overton to rent a boat and see if they could find these “fish people”. By the time they got out onto the water, it was quite dark outside, though they had the saving grace of a clear night and near full moon. As they were out, Kane drew some magical symbols on the hull of the boat and attracted the drowners. A large fight, a loss of a boat, and a transformation of Blake into the … creature he is all ensued.
They did, however, come out the victors, and although their boat was destroyed, they were rescued by the team that Karen’s parents had sent out on to the lake to look for their daughter. The rescue crew saw the body of the drowner floating in the lake, and had no interest in diving, or investigating, or ever returning to the lake again.
While the fight was taking place, Arianna had been at dinner, meeting with Pashooni, to determine how they could help one another. She explained about Nigel’s death, which the spirit had known about, and she asked if there was anything that she could do to uphold her end of the bargain even before Pashooni had a chance to meet with Wynn. Assuring her that she had already done what she could, Pashooni asked how he might be of assistance to her. She explained that she needed help; she didn’t know what she was doing, but she would figure it out. She just didn’t want the position she was in, and the spirit offered to make it so that William would be in charge of House Raith. Ari said that would be a bad arrangement at the present time, but she did ask that something be done that he can trust her again. He agreed to meet with William to make it happen. Additionally, she asked for a certain level of help in getting some dirt on Montegna – Pashooni said that he would make a few of Montegna’s more easily swayed minions more receptive to Arianna.