The Story so Far
Meeting his father in an Arizona diner, Seco Selva is tasked with tracking down and uniting with Joe Fukinawa. Quetzalcoatl tells Seco that Joe is being hunted by Raiden, and that he must be escorted safely to Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, in Southern California, Joe Fukinawa has exhausted himself slaying an oni wreaking havoc. Holing up in a motel just off the interstate, Joe rests are interrupted early the next morning by a heavy knock on the door. The door is shattered, and Joe is attacked by thugs. Fighting them off, he is joined by Seco – who has spent the whole morning looking for him. They discover orders for the men to kill Joe written on stationary for Frank’s Autos. They leave the bloody scene, and investigate the autoshop – finding it to be long-abandoned. A message awaits them from “Ray,” telling them to back off.
Paying the taxi driver to take them out to Las Vegas, Seco and Joe’s plans are derailed when the vehicle breaks down on the side of a desert road hours outside of Las Vegas. Towed to the nearest town of Scarlett, they’ll have to wait overnight for the car to be repaired by Kyle Aucaman.
Meanwhile, Yves Murel and Adelina Kostos encounter one another and stumble upon the other’s identity as a Scion. Adelina has been in town for a week, waiting for the others, while Yves has just gotten into town that day, in search of some manner of spiritual disturbance. His research has turned up little, save for a string of missing persons over the past several years. Adelina and Yves contact the father of the most recently missing girl, Alison, and pose as outside investigators.
Leaving Joe in the car, Seco encounters Yves and Adelina after their meeting with the father at a local diner. They reveal their natures to one another and retire to the library to discuss their next actions. Yves isolates himself from the others and uses Alison as a cheval, seeing a burnt out church and altar before her. He relays this to the others, who can find no mention of a burnt-out church anywhere in Scarlett. When finally located by the group, the Scarlett Historic Society is amused at their search for a burnt-out church – a burnt-out church is the reason for Scarlett’s existence. Given a book to read, the group finds out that Scarlett’s Bluff was founded in the 20th Century and prospered greatly, before being razed to the ground by Paiute on the warpath.
At this point, Seco and Yves are apprehended for questioning by the sheriff. Investigating the sudden disappearance of Kyle Aucaman, the Sheriff questions the two men about their presence in town. Deflecting the questions with semblances of the truth, the pair are released after several hours and locate Alison’s father. Following their lead, they borrow his and his daughter’s ATV’s and take her journal and leave town. Within the journal, they find many entries questioning her heritage, her identity, her mother’s abandonment of the family, and a recurring image reminiscent of a tribal Trickster deity.
After some time, the Band comes across Scarlett’s Bluff and scales the narrow pathways to the top of the mesa. There, they discover a living breathing Paiute village. Unnoticed by the natives, the Band makes their way to the burnt out church and finds all of the missing people from Scarlett engaged in worship and lead by a spectral Paiute. After heatedly arguing that the people are of his blood and rightfully his, the Spirit Father materialized and stabbed Seco with a spear. In the fight that erupted, the people fought with brainwashed fervor and downed Yves while Adelina and Seco began destroying the religious idols on the pulpit to destroy the Spectre’s anchors. Abandoning this as the Spirit Father possessed the church, they smashed the doors and lead the hostages outside as the newly-rejuvenated church burned with mystic fire. Felled by Seco, the Specter vanished, and released the people from his control.
Adelina then lied to the amnesiac people, claiming they had been tricked by a cult leader. She contacted the police and lead them to Scarlett’s Bluff, finally reuniting the missing people with all of their families once again. Then, Joe reappeared, and he had with him the final Scion of the Band: Edie Eastwood, sent to collect them all for the journey to Las Vegas.
Dividing the remaining relics of the Spirit Father amongst themselves, the Band took to the road for Las Vegas, and arrived several hours later. There, they convened at the MGM Hotel for dinner with their parentage. The situation was explained to them, and their task laid out:
Many gods inhabit the world, weakened as their worship waned, and barred entry from the Overworld for refusing to fight the Titans. One such group is the Chiindii, gods of earth and spirit who half inhabit the underworld and half inhabit ours. Quetzalcoatl sought to extend his invitation again, but his planning was interrupted by its discovery at the hands of Apollo. Working together, they selected a guardian for their children – entering Hachiman into their fold – and a representative of the Underworld to officiate the negotiations: These were Seco Selva, Adelina Kostos, Joe Fukinawa, and Yves Murel. When their number became stranded, the collective was left to accept a fifth member, as time was of the essence: Thus, Edie Eastwood, tasked with transporting the band. Arrangements were made such that the Chiindii would be divided amongst the Atzlanti, Pesedjet, and Dodekatheon – the Baron Samedi has no interest in the Chiindii, and Hachiman was in no place to bargain for his sons safe journey out from under Raiden’s influence.
Beyond this, each of the Scions speak to their parents one-on-one.
Quetzalcoatl informs Seco that he should try to secure a treaty solely to the name of the Atzlanti, since it was his idea to give the Chiindii a second chance at joining his pantheon.
Meanwhile, Bastet informs Edie of the Chiindii, and similar immortals, place amongst the Pesedjet hierarchy: she demands Edie bind the Chiindii to this ancient order.
Likewise, Apollo makes it known that a compact that favors solely the Dodekatheon would not be frowned upon in the least.
Hachiman has no stomach for these negotiations, and wants only that Joe test himself against what challenges lie ahead, and protect those around him, as per his duty.
Finally, Baron Samedi explains that no compacts are valid until ratified by the death deity overseeing negotiations: in this case, Yves. Only by Yves word on a compact by compact basis will any deals be made final and binding.
Parting from their parents, the Band is treated: Seco receives a Satchel of Sacrifice; Yves, a Wizened Hand; and Edie a Pesedjet Decree.
In two days time, the Band attends the premiere of the Drama of Panegyris at the Sunshine Amphitheater. Infiltrating the establishment through stealth and subterfuge, they reunite and enjoy the performance. Thereafter, they meet the Chiindii’s representative – Hank – in the lobby and retire to his private booth for the Second Act…encountering enforcers from the mob when they arrive. Lead by the man known as Milo Harris, he recognizes stacked odds and he takes his leave without incident. After the show, the group goes to dinner and enters negotiation: They need to make a deal, for which they need the Elders. Hank can get them to the Elders, but he’s busy at the moment, and he needs their help.
Hank works to fund the stray Chiindii scattered throughout Las Vegas, and every once in a while he commits a job of epic proportion: he uses his abilities to make off with $7 million from a casino’s back room card tables. To help accomplish this, he needs enforcers and a driver. The Band fits the bill. Over two days time, the Band prepares – using Hank’s assistant, Louis, to ferry their requests to and fro (and to collect black market weapons for this planned escape).
When the day finally comes, things go wrong rapidly: attempts to disable the security room fail, alerting the casino to their presence; attempts to escape out the front door are met by Milo Harris and several well-armed mercenaries and a thunderstorm ex nihilo; Milo and his men are revealed to be empowered by an otherworldly source. In the fight that erupts, the Band suffers harm but manages to escape through fire and crowds to their car and engage in a high-speeds, action-filled get-away through crowded Las Vegas streets. After successfully concluding their escape, the Band arrives at the Bellagio – the secret residency of the Chiindii – to deliver Hank’s illicit earnings. Upon their arrival though, they become privy to the information that Louis is suffering; he was struck by lightning shortly after the storm broke over the city, drowning it in unheard of amounts of rainfall. In the presence of the Band, Louis’ suffering deepens as the nature of his malady comes to light: his body has become host to a lightning creature, servant of Raiden come to hunt Joe again. Louis’ body is engulfed in flames as the Raiju crawls free, and its immense bulk fills the hotel room – setting it ablaze in the process.
The fight breaks out onto the streets through the use of divine powers, as the Band tries to deduce some way of stopping the rampaging servitor of the God; Yves remembers the importance of mulberry fields in relation to thunderstorms and Japanese lore. Trapping the Raiju within the hotel’s mulberry garden, the Band coats their weapons in the leaves and sap and kill the creature. In the wake of this, their renown grows, and Fate enchants the mulberry leaves to protect the Band should they use them.
The Band asks after Hank to honor their arrangement. He says he will, but with the hotel decimated, the continued rainfall, and the now-homeless Chiindii clan, his part of the bargain will take time. He mourns the death of Louis.