Something Strange in Your Neighborhood

Who ya gonna call?

Unit 13 finds itself crashing headlong into danger when they decide to chase the Squirrel Master into the deep woods of Viridian Park, after they had been told not to leave the path. They catch up to him an a small clearing with a stream running through its center. Four strange fey statues surround a large stone altar in the middle of the stream. The four statues seem to be projecting a strange beam of energy onto a poor helpless squirrel that lies on the altar. The Squirrel Master finishes his ritual just as the team reaches the altar and with a bright flash of light, the poor squirrel is transformed into…..Squirrel-Hemoth! A terrible creature 12 feet high, covered in bony plates, with oversized, razor sharp claws and teeth and miraculous ability to heal even the most terrible wounds. A few large flying squirrels perch in the tree tops, eager to attack the team as well. The battle begins as Thokk moves to engage the giant mutant squirrel, while Sakura heads off after the Squirrel Master. Sam provides covering fire for Thokk and Amber engages the minions with her icy aura. Gon notices that the four statues around the altar seem to constantly feeding energy to the giant squirrel so he uses his Earth Shaping Gift to cover the statues with mounds of dirt, cutting off their power. Each statue that is taken down makes Squirrel-Hemoth weaker in some way: one causes his bony plates to fall away, leaving him exposed, while yet another causes its great strength to diminish, while a third ends his fast healing ability. the Squirrel Master tries to dig the statues out but is quickly taken down. In its weakened state, the giant squirrel is dealt with and its minions are driven off as well.

They take the Squirrel Master prisoner and try to find their way back to the path but the team realizes that they are completely lost! Even the runestone they were given by the park guide seems to have no effect. Suddenly, hunting horns sound in the distance, along with the baying of hounds. Looks like a mysterious hunting party is headed in their direction. Just then, a small talking squirrel introduces itself and offers a way out of the forest. Itxplains that they have wound up in the Veil, another plane of existence that borders the Fey realm, and that the hunting party in the distance is actually the Green Knight, a powerful fey creature that has become angry at the team for destroying one of its Ways. It turns out that the circle of stone statues Gon destroyed earlier with an earthquake was a gateway to the Veil known as a Way, and these Ways are protected by a 500 year old treaty between Freehaven and the Fey realm. Now the Green Knight is forced to hunt them down for breaking the treaty.

The talking squirrel, who calls itself the Shaper, offers Unit 13 a deal: it will lead the team back to their realm as long as it can escape with them. Everyone looks to Gon for leadership, as this seems like a shady deal-with-the-devil situation and one dealing heavily in the supernatural. He finally agrees, as the hunting horns get closer and closer. The Shaper turns into a crow and leads them swiftly to a nearby Way and after the team hesitates a moment, they all step through. Much to their relief, they find themselves back in Veridian Park, but there is no sign of the mysterious being called the Shaper.

The team meets up with Prakesh, who ran off at the first sign of danger in the Park, and together they escort their prisoner back to the Green District Precinct. Officer Steadyhand is still there, burning the midnight oil, and demands a report. She is dismayed that Unit 13 seems to have cause an inter-planar incident and she vows that she will give her full attention to tracking down this 5oo year old treaty that no one seems to remember.

She informs the team that she has decided to suspend Guard Sergeant Evardonitio after carefully reviewing all the facts she uncovered about him. She explains that she simply cannot have a mentally unstable officer who believes he is being haunted by his dead grandfather in a position of authority. Just as she finishes her sentence, the hearthfire flares to life, all the windows and doors slam shut, and a chair flies across the room on its own and crashes into Officer Steadyhand, knocking her out. It seems that there really is a ghost haunting the precinct and it is angry over the Guard Sergeant’s suspension! Gon sends a flare up the chimney , calling for backup, while Prakesh brings Officer Steadyhand back to consciousness. The group tries to make their way down to the first floor but are assaulted by flying furniture and whirlwinds made of papers and books. Officer Steadyhand is ripped away by an unseen force and is impaled by pieces of broken furniture but is rescued and healed before any permanent damage can be done. Thokk has had enough and leads the charge downstairs, getting wounded in the process and to top it off, he is set upon by a vicious flying couch in the main hall. Sakura wrestles with the couch and pins it but not before it attacks Gon and Sam who tumble down another flight of stairs into the holding area in the basement. Prakesh uses his Gift and Phases onto the Ethereal Plane to try to confront the ghost in its own territory. As he interacts with the ghost he learns that it is indeed the spirit of Guard Sergeant Evardonitio’s dead grandfather. It appears that he was killed by the Grand Magus while he was strapped to some sort of circular torture device, which sucked out his Gifts and his life force all at once. As a ghost, he attached himself to his grandson, who developed the Gift of seeing the dead, to try to explain to him what had happened and to spur his grandson into action but it appears that the boy just didn’t understand. Rage took him over and he became an angry spirit, a poltergeist.

The team finds Guard Sergeant Evardonitio in a holding cell, being tortured by the angry spirit of his own grandfather! While the rest of the team moved to free him, Prakesh communed with the spirit once more, showing him the awful things he is doing and leadin him to believe that Unit 13 would take care of the Magus once and for all and avenge his death. The spirit is calmed and everything returns to normal.

The Guard Sergeant quits before he can get suspended and Officer Steadyhand begrudgingly promotes the team to its last district, the Prayer District, before she takes a leave of absence to process her ordeal. Unit 13 gets 3 days of leave before they have to report for duty again. What trouble can they get into in three short days?



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