Things calmed down slightly and we considered our next course of action. It seems there were several leads but since we were already on the west coast we decided to head up to Washington state to investigate the reported incidents in Wa’ach.
So we rented a van and drove up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway?). It was a pretty drive and there didn’t seem to be any particular hurry. It seems that this is the end of the whaling season and the town (composed of the Macah tribal peoples) is having a Cultural Day to celebrate their final hunt of the season. Word is that the tribe voluntarily stopped hunting whales in the 1920s. After decades of cultural aimlessness, they started again in the 1990s and regained their cultural heritage, at least according to the sources we found. Before this resurgence, the whaling families (the only people allowed to hunt by the Tribal Council) underwent a year of “spiritual cleansing”. It also seems that they used “traditional” methods. Men throwing harpoons from a 20 man canoe. Sounds moderately dangerous.
John also uncovered some information about the wolf serpents and some references to the thunderbirds who taught the Macah to whale. It flew out to sea and scooped up whales to bring back to the mountains to eat. The lightning and thunder we considered to be the fight between the whale and the thunderbird. The town banner is the thunderbird carrying a whale flanked by lightning snakes.
We arrive in town driving north on highway 112 around 1530 while storm clouds gather over the pensula. We know we need to investigate the Wa’ach Cultural and Research Center. We find a couple of motels but there are only rooms at one called the Hideout Motel. We stop to get a late lunch at the Whaadah cafe and then head to the grocery store for supplies. Andy and Sharon want some beer but the store seems poorly stocked. Not very many brands of any product and absolutely no diet sodas (??). The brands they do have seem … out of date but the packaging seems modern. Odd, very odd.
While checking out, Andy offers the checker some cash ($100) to ask a few questions. His name is Guy Bud and he has some interesting things to say about recent events. It seems a week before the “rain of fish” (cooked cajun fish fell from the sky on September 1st) there were six deaths in the grocery store, four locals and two tourists (four inside the store and two walking by on the sidewalk out front). They all seemed to drop dead from what seemed to be heart attacks. However the Tribal Council hushed up the incident so Guy was very nervous about relating these events to us.
Aug 26th – coronary incident (6 die in or near grocery store)
Sep 1st – the rain of (cajun) fish
Sep 6th – vandalism at the Cultural Center
Sep 15th – serpent incident (vision of the wolf serpent)
Sep 26th – tomorrow, there should be another event soon
The grocery store closes at 1600.
Serpent incident: a giant snake like creature with the head of a wolf crawled out of the marina, slithered through the streets of the town in an apparently random pattern and then headed up into the mountains.
We leave the store and announcements indicate that the Festival princess will be selected momentarily.
Just before the princess selection we attend a storytelling by one of the elders, a Thomas Carter (who is also on the Tribal Council). He speaks (apparently) in the tribal language and it’s translated for the crowd by Janine Cloud (the sheriff’s daughter?). After the story is over, Andy raises his hand to ask questions and he ends up telling a story about Hermes. After he’s finished the crowd moves slowly over to the princess selection ceremony and a greek fellow named Yarris remains behind, having recognized Andy.
Sharon talks to Janine about the Cultural Center vandalism incident and we discover that she is the curator/director. They arrange to meet at 1800 while the sheriff talks to us about “adding” performances to the various festival activities. He seems to frown upon it and we are thrust further up on the sheriff’s sh!t list.
Andy gets ambushed while we’re walking around the festival by a woman named Theresa McCall. She belongs to some sort of UFO group that is up here “investigating” the same strange occurrences we are. She did have some more detailed information about the rain of fish. It seems it lasted for 13 minutes and there were a total of 502 pieces of fish that fell. Most of it was gathered up and the sheriff actually still had a sample preserved in formaldehyde. That might bear investigation later. She also has information, of uncertain credibility, of a “rain of chili” in Mexico City in 1973. She tells us that she’s here for “the mystical vision”, whatever that means.
We also see two men wearing what have to be government issue black suits. Andy and I go out of our way to greet them and they respond with excessive “furtiveness”, dodging out of the way and pointedly ignoring us.
Andy promises to meet her later and we make our way to the Cultural Center to meet with Janine and find out what we can about that incident. It seems she was giving a tour when the vandalism happened and she was out of view of the artifacts which were affected for no more than 10 minutes. She says that a whaling canoe and a number of other artifacts were “painted red” but it seems that their consistency and material were altered rather than their surface being painted. It seemed like they became made of red latex suddenly. Sharon does one of her investigation tricks but it reveals that there were no crimes committed within the Cultural Center. Andy casts a spell to see the magic web and it shows that there was a very powerful magic presence here but it is gone. Additionally the whole town seems to have a web of magic across it. The threads which lead up into the mountains seem to be the strongest however. He also finds that Janine is tied to the Fates somehow. The magic residue here fades as he examines is and gets less toward the grocery store. The threads going into the mountains seem to be getting stronger.
There is a Japanese family that seems to show up every place we go to, taking pictures of everything (including us).
Will summons his jaguar warriors and sets them to watching a balding man which had come to our attention in the crowd. We follow the thread back to the grocery store, which is closed by now. Out back we find an old beat-up 400cc Honda motorcycle parked. There is a light from windows on the 2nd floor. Will climbs up and uses his mojo to part the window open. Guy Bud is in the living room watching I Love Lucy on an old tv. Guy freaks out as Will asks him “You’ve been keeping information from us, Guy!”. Guy picks up the phone to try to call the sheriff but Will uses his Cheetah speed to close the distance and pull it out of his hand.
Out front, Andy starts an impromptu magic show, drawing a larger crowd than the princess selection event has. (he gets 11 successes on his performance roll) and I get a photo of the daughter of the Japanese couple to rival the famous National Geographic Afghan photo of the late 70s. As the show ends Sheriff Cloud shows up and begins to give Andy grief for interrupting the festival. Andy responds by asking about the six dead at the first of the recent series of incidents. The sheriff becomes defensive and evasive, avoiding the question.
We walk down to the food stalls to get dinner and see the men-in-black. I try to take a picture of them and get the “no photos” hand action. While at the stalls, Brand meets the “fish plate guy”, a balding man who has a plate of fried fish piled impossibly high, which he consumes with gusto. Brand gets his own plate but when fish-plate-guy finishes his and then begins to lick the plate, he gets unnerved by the dish and gives it to the fellow, who then digs in with even more gusto.
After some snacks we head down to the marina to locate the beginning of the trail the serpent creature used. Hoping to find some clues and follow the trail out of town. We do meet a fellow named Mike Nolan who runs a mail boat and talk to him about the serpent incident.
About this time the leader of the jaguar warriors returns to find Will and report that there is some sort of attack going on at a tailor park near the edge of town. We run toward the sound of the guns and find the rest of his warriors knocked out around a trailer who’s door was blown off it’s hinges. Another RV was on fire. We quickly start fighting the fire while Will examines his minions to find that they are only unconscious or slightly wounded, non are dead. We did notice that the interior of the doorless RV is covered with blood and we find out from the jaguar warriors that the fish-plate-guy had gone into it and a naked man had come out after the door was blown off. He waded through Will’s warriors without being slowed appreciably. As we are fighting the fire the sheriff shows up and begins to organize.
After the fire is out he begins to investigate the situation. We tell him what we know (omitting the fact that the people naked guy attacked were Will’s jaguar warriors) and we accompany him down to the sheriff’s office to give our statements. He seems to warm a bit to us as we talk about what we’ve learned and what might be going on. He admits to believing the supernatural aspect of what seems to be going on.
[end of session]