Julian and Traveler discuss exactly what it is they hope to accomplish in the world.
After reviewing the police files, Julian sends Connor to the Chit Chat, a place to make contact with the underworld, to find out about the bouncer who died in a bar fight there. Connor gets a description of the man who killed James Thursday, that he was there with a pretty Japanese girl, and that he was asking questions about how to contact the mercenary Peotr Vanags.
Connor spread some cash around to get this information and when he leaves several guys follow him and Thad follows the muggers. The guys from the bar fail in their attempt to mug Connor, but Thad’s interest is peaked but it’s the Dr Blake personality that follows Connor back to the penthouse. Dr. Blake agrees to help Julian and Traveler their investigations in return for protection from those who had captured and experimented on him.
It is also revealed by Dr. Blake’s mind reading that Julian is really Julius Caesar.
Investigating the hotel where Sakura was killed it’s found that the man she was with is a Finnish male model named Linus Mannekiini. Upon investigating Linus’s vacated hotel room, Julian can smell very faint traces of blood in the bathroom and there is a newspaper section left on the table. The newspaper contains a story about two hunters and a wolf found dead in central Idaho, near Warren. The deaths are mysterious and the wounds are very similar to the wounds of the criminals which the group has been investigating. Julian alerts Dt. McBride to what they’ve found so she can investigate the room further.
The group, this time with Thad, attends Fashion Week and learns from the Dior model coordinator that Linus left the previous day because of a family emergency.
The group learns from Dt. McBride that Linus left New York for Denver by the first plane he could get. She also gets them the id of the GPS in the car which Linus rented in Denver.
The car is found left in a pull off several miles from Warren with no sign of Linus. Though there are some tracks which head off into the forest but disappear very quickly.
Asking questions at the bar/café/grocery store in Warren is uneventful. The locals are very unwilling to communicate and neither Julian nor Thad can determine exactly how to break the ice with them. It’s as if they have a shared secret to hide. They do learn, and it seems trust worthy, that the locals have not seen Linus or know anything about him.
As the group is outside discussing what to do next they hear a highly modulated wolf howl echoing down from the Gospel Hump Wilderness to the north.
Traveler hears the howl as a poem
Never has my nose smelled the bedding of these deer
Never has my hide felt the shadows of these trees
I sing these words of greeting
At the place of meeting
Traveler and Linus and the venturesome Shoshone wolves return from the Meeting Cairn, pursued by wolves of the Black Pack who run down one of the Shoshone before giving up their pursuit just out of range of the Shoshone Moon Bows.
Linus barely resists the urge to start a fight with Julian over Ahn Le considering the circumstances.
There is discussion with Linus and Little Wolf about the situation. The Black Pack have moved south from Canada and seized the Shoshone tribe’s silver mine. They hunt the woods and harry the locals never making a full out assault. Rather they seem to hope to either slowly kill all the Shoshone or to drive them out of their territory. Also, coincident with the arrival of the Black Pack, the ancestral spirits of the Shoshone who protect and guide them have disappeared, leaving Little Wolf bereft of good guidance.
Linus explains that he is a shaman from a tribe of Finnish werewolves and he has had a vision of a dark spirit which works to begin a devastating world conflict between those with powers and those without and the ones who would protect them. Linus says that he can see the traces this dark spirit leaves on those it influences, which is why he hunts criminals with powers and also why he came to Warren. He also warns that the world is changing and people with powers will become more and more common.
As they are discussing the situation Wendigo howls in the mountains that he requests a parley with the strangers at the meeting cairn.
Julian quickly organizes the Shoshone. Those few with shotguns will remain in Warren to pin down any surprise attacks that Wendigo may launch while everyone else goes to the meeting cairn to launch a surprise attack of their own.
At the meeting cairn Wendigo and about a dozen wolves are waiting. Wendigo at first seems rather daunted by Julian’s demands to know what he’s doing here. Though Wendigo regains his fire as he claims that he brought the Black Pack south to defend the wolves that live here from being hunted by humans.
Wendigo demands that Julian and the strangers leave because they have no business here and they parley ends when Julian grapples Wendigo into submission, launching the attack on the surrounded Black Pack.
While the Shoshone warriors descent upon the Black Pack Julian struggles to pin Wendigo and he succeeds even though another member of the Black Pack savagely rips at Julian (reducing him below 0 Body, though not Stunning him) but is then drawn off by a silver furred werewolf. However, the slipperiness of his own blood and guts finally loosens his grip enough for Wendigo to twist his claws into Julian’s guts and to emerge into the moonlight through a black cloud of Julian’s blood and flinging the parts of his corpse in separate directions.
The sight brings out the Monster in Dr. Blake whose aura of raging fear causes friends to drawback and foes to retreat and Connor to collapse in a catatonic state.
Wendigo and the surviving Black Pack flee into the night but as he goes, Wendigo drags with him Julian’s remains and the Monster follows then into the woods but unable to keep up, Dr. Blake regains control only to find himself lost in the dark.
Scene 6 – Julian in the Spirit World
“Good. Follow and I’ll explain as much as I can.
All power comes from Spirit, not the body or even the mind. Most people identify with the mind and look down at spirit and name it the unconscious, but truly the mind is a tiny flower petal floating in the unending ocean of spirit. You, more than most, know that an army without the spirit to fight is already defeated. Well, the ancestral spirits to whom the Shoshone looked for guidance and inspiration have disappears. I believe that Wendigo has caused them to be imprisoned with the help of the dark spirit I work against as part of their plan to drive the Shoshone off these lands. We go to free them if we can, but we must be caution for if we die here in the spirit world there will be no return for either of us.”
You travel through the quiet darkness, completely unable to judge the passage of time from an eerily lack of external reference and a dreamlike difficulty focusing your train of thought. Eventually you begin to distinguish the darker openings of caves and doors some of which Linus takes and some of which he passes by. Doors and passageways become more common and the architecture becomes less like a cave and more like an impossible castle. You follow Linus through several left turns that ought to lead you back to the original corridor but instead opens into the corridor of a dilapidated Japanese palace. The floors of the rooms are reed mats that have become grey brown with age and tinted with green mold. Many of the rice paper doors have ripped or decayed panels, and everything is thickly enshrouded in cobwebs.
As you follow Linus through the rooms and corridors the cobwebs become thicker and thicker until they’re like a mist before your eyes and brushing softly against your face like Ahn’s hair when she bends over and kisses you when you’re sitting at your desk. Like her soft fingers when she runs them down your arms and pinches your skin. Your vision seems to be getting blurrier, a few times you lose sight of Linus, and then you remember that Ahn never ever pinched you and you slowly look down at your arms and find black spiders with bright red heads crawling all over them. You can feel their venom now, like acid seeping through your veins.
Slowly and clumsily your clean them off while trying to call to Linus, finally you manage to get free of the spiders and speak something that sounds a bit like a word when you see Linus and his wolf companion stumbling out of the thick mist of cobwebs brushing and scratching at their faces and bodies. He grabs hold of your arm, concentrates for a moment and then reaches down and lifts up one of the moldy floor mats to reveal a field of tall grass waving gently under a bright sun. You leap down into the soft grass followed Linus and his wolf spirit.
Standing unsteadily, you both wander through the grass that towers far over your heads feeling the spider’s poison getting stronger and stronger until at last you reach a clearing in the grass. Just before you collapse from exhaustion and venom you can see a little stone cottage with a thatched roof that gleams in the sun and a pale young Japanese boy dresses in black with white hair drawing water out of a stone well.
You wake up sometime later on a grass mat in a small comfortable room that you share with Linus and his wolf. Linus seems to be unconscious, but the pale Japanese boy is there offering you a cup of cool water.
The boy says, “Drink and rest stranger, you have been poisoned but I can heal you.” You drift in and out of awareness dreaming here in the spirit world even stranger dreams that you can’t recall, but often the Japanese boy comes with water and says again, “Drink and rest stranger, you have been poisoned but I can heal you.” You sometimes here Linus groan as the boy gives him water too. Despite the boy’s words you feel no better after who can say how long and one day when he comes with water you hold it in your mouth until he leaves and then spit it out under your bed. The more you do this the clearer your mind becomes until you feel certain that this boy is actually slowly poisoning you.
As Julian is gone, Linus growls out, “Quickly, two scout the town, the rest finish these Black Ones.” Traveler busies himself trying to rouse Connor and tries to ignore the grisly sounds behind him. Returning from Warren the scouts report that there is fighting then as Traveler and a few of the tribe slowly leads Connor through the woods, Linus leads the rest to Warren to rout the other half of the Black Pack.
After which the Shoshone wolf Fast Arrow leads Traveler back into the woods to seek Dr. Blake and finally all back in Warren the tribe gathers in a quiet basement.
While Dr. Blake helps Connor with his issues, Little Wolf explains to Linus that the ancestral spirits to whom the tribe looks for guidance and initiative have disappears and Linus says that he will seek them out and Julian too. After a short ritual song he seems to disappear into a small silver mirror that he wears around his neck.
Traveler, Connor, and Dr. Blake leave for the silver mine to find Julian with Fast Arrow as their guide. Little Wolf wishes them good luck and gives them all silver daggers saying “We cannot heal wounds while silver remains in them. Stab these in the hearts of the Inglut.”
Their way is uninterrupted until they climb up the narrow ravine leading the mine entrance and they are attacked from either side by Black Pack guards. Dr. Blake’s sense the malicious thoughts just in time to dodge a silver arrow and Fast Arrow blocks the spear attack of the other. Fast Arrow was about to pounce upon the spear wielder, when Dr. Blake succeeds in using his mind control to force the black wolf to accept him as alpha. While Dr. Blake questions the black wolf, Fast Arrow bounds up the other side of the ravine to track the other guard before he can sound an alarm.
At Blake’s command the black wolf leads them to Julian’s corpse through a long and barely wolf sized tunnel into a larger gallery with a floor split by a wide and deep chasm.
There is one visible passage which leads out of the gallery and it’s from its mouth that a small bit of light filters.
Traveler climbs the 35 meters down to the floor of the chasm and in the pitch black manages to find the upper half of Julian which he fastens to himself as best he can, but as he climbs the body slips and Traveler’s forced to climb back down the chasm more than once to recover it.
While waiting for Traveler, Fast Arrow returns, and the black wolf finally shakes off Dr. Blake’s mind control.
In the Spirit World Julian threatens the white haired boy who reveals himself to be a Japanese Spider demon who’s imprisoned the spirit ancestors of the Shoshone.
He agrees to release the spirits and Julian and Linus make their way back to Julian’s body where they find Traveler still attempting to climb up the pit.
As the recently mind controlled black wolf howls out a warning of intruders, Fast Arrow drops down from an unseen opening pinning the black wolf to the ground his jaws crunching into its skull. He then digs a claw into the black wolf’s privates and comes out with a fist sized bladder that he sprays over Dr. Blake and Connor. “This will disguise your scent. Run for the village.”
Connor and Dr. Blake, however, remain until Traveler climbs up with Julian’s body and Linus appears out of the shadows.
The group returns to Warren and decides that the Shoshone can handle their own affairs from here and so return to Julian’s mansion near Vista del Mar.
Dr. Blake and Julian discuss their approach to choosing what to do next and catch up on the news of the day.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo the Silver Warrior seems to have singly handedly quelled the rebel armies in the east.