Jessica waved and said her good-byes as she descended the stairs outside of Blackthorne’s Books and Sundries. Tonight’s meeting was blessedly different from ones in the previous months: no one lost to the Formor this week, no guest speakers polishing their self-defense skills, and no need to huddle with other ‘netters in what charitably could be called a bunker in fear of her life. It had been a laid-back affair with everyone talking shop over coffee and cakes: a rare moment of normalcy in a world that increasingly seemed to have spun out of control.
Her footsteps fell light on the concrete paths that lead away from Blackthorne’s as she moved through Mid-town towards the West-side and her apartment. Half way into her journey home her airy mood was dampened by a wave of anxiety, her steps growing heavier with each step. Her skin crawled with goosebumps, the hairs on the back of her neck stood stiff and a shiver snaked up her spine. By the time she reached Time Square, Jessica knew that something was following her.
She quickened her pace, weaving through the still packed streets of the City at night. She glanced behind her into the crowd and discerned nothing out of the ordinary: traffic slogged its way through brightly lit streets and people all around did their best to ignore each other as they went on their way. Maybe she was wrong…maybe paranoia after months and months of siege-mentality had finally distorted her sense of reality.
Closing her jacket tighter, Jessica carried on. Expeditiously, she exited Time Square and maneuvered a side street or two till she arrived on a block of old brownstone townhouses. She walked as fast as she could without running now – another five or ten minutes and she’d be safely behind a threshold reinforced by a ward, courtesy of the Paranet. The swell of hope that thought brought was suffocated when, near the end of that tree-lined block, her skin flared in a cold tingling sensation.
It was here, whatever it was. She stopped, sweeping her gaze around in a slow circle before stopping – something moved. There – across the street! A shadow stirred beside a staircase to one of the houses. It shimmered to look at and, seemingly sensing her attention, it fled its hiding place. The shadow seemed to race along the ground, disappearing again beneath a parked car.
Instictively, she ran. Her heart began to pound in her chest, partly from fear, but mostly from the effort of pushing herself to go faster and faster. Shadows were chasing her now as she fled the last half-mile towards the filing-cabinet she called home. Whispers lashed at her from all-directions: formless gasps that hungered.
She drew increasingly ragged breaths as her thighs burned from the exertion. Almost there…she was up the stairs now. She reached into her bag, wrestling her keys from within…
Too late – something grabbed her, the shadows engulfed her, and satisfied silence replaced the ravenous whispers.
Later that night, when Jessica Garrett failed to check-in, members of the Manhattan Paranet hazarded the night to see if she was alright. All they found of Jessica were a dropped set of keys on the stairs leading to her apartment building, her pentacle dangling from her various key chains, and her handbag in discarded in the bushes. There was no trace of what took her and no witnesses.
Jessica was the first to be taken in this manner – more would come in the weeks to follow.
What you have read is an introduction, a prelude to a story that will be played out in seventeen days as apart of this years BrigadeCon. This story, this casefile, will be an adventure of The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game by Evil Hat and a set of two to five players will take on roles as members of the Manhattan chapter of the Paranet (an organization of lesser talented practitioners and others that live on the fringes of the supernatural community). These players will attempt to resolve the mysterious disappearance of their fellow ‘netters while avoiding joining the ranks of the missing.
If your interested, join us on October 10th at 12:00 PM EST/5:00 PM GMT for ‘Ghosts’ and check out the rest of the BrigadeCon line-up!
Sign-up for ‘Ghosts’ here: http://www.eventzilla.net/web/event?eventid=2139083982&dateid=2138906003
Confused about signing-up? Check out the video below: