The Iron Templar
h4. Act 1: The Frenetic Father
On March 27, 1936, a priest within the ranks of the Papal See arrived at the Library of Esoteric Studies a bit frantic. He was desperately in need of a conversation with father Fletcher, who was absent at the time.
Gerard was present at the library at the moment that the priest visited, and despite his best attempts t illicit information, the best he could acquire was a hand written note from the priest addressed to Father Fletcher. The priest after handing Gerard the note, left hurriedly.
Unfortunately in his hurry, the priest failed to blot the note, leaving the ink exceptionally wet. Gerard’s handling of the note left it illegible and as Gerard did not ask the priest’s name, it was unclear who had written it from the provided evidence.
Gerard immediately set out to locate Fletcher, but was only able to make contact with Oliver. Oliver knew Fletcher’s whereabouts and made contact. Fletcher left the apartment and made his way to the library.
Act 2: The Search
Upon arriving at the library and realizing that there was no actionable intel to be had, Fletcher placed members of the club on the task of locating the priest who had visited. He asked Agostino to use his thaumatury to try to identify the priest who had visited. He also contacted Liberty, to ask her to “read” his pen, which the priest had used. Oliver began a calling campaign through Father Fletcher’s rolodex for the Vatican.
The thaumaturgy created an image from the ink left behind n the page, but Fetcher did not recognize the individual. Liberty’s reading, however, revealed the text of the letter as it had originally been written. This information included the writer’s signature.
Act3: The Statue
With the name of the priest known, Fletcher made a phone call to him to receive details on the perceived emergency. During this call, it was disc overdid that the cause of the concern was centered around the theft of a statue of Roger De Lluria from the norther Papal gardens. Fletcher was told that the statue had to be returned within three days or that there would be dire consequences. Despite the obvious danger, though, no one would tell him what form the danger would take, or why a singular statue was so important. One other piece of information was uncovered; a papal guardsman had stumbled upon the theft and had been injured. Gorlan Marteen had been so seriously injured that he was transported to a special hospital. His involvement was kept even from his superior officer Captain Antorinno Descortes.
Armed with this very little information, Fletcher contacted the other members of the clubhouse and had them assemble at the library. It seemed that had a very time sensitive case.
Act4: Divide and Conquer
With the Vatican so unyielding with information on the nature of their case, Fletcher determined that they needed to divide into two teams to gather more information. As the group had only two real leads, they would divide into two teams.
The first team would consist of Liberty, Oliver and Agostino. They were responsible to check out the site of the theft. The second team consisting of Tomas, Lodewijk and Gerard would visit the Ospedale Santo Spirito to question the injured guardsman.
Act 5: Ospedale Santo Spirito
The team arrived at the hospital and were surprised to find that it was a “special” hospital dedicated to aiding all signatories of the Unseelie Accords. Upon their arrival they were cordially led to the room of the injured man.
The group discovered that the guardsman was placed into a traction cast, due to the extreme injuries he had suffered. He was also placed in a special medically-induced coma. This made conventional communication with the guardsman impossible.
The Hospital however, was able to bring in a Mind Medium. This individual was able to make metal contact with the injured man, which allowed questioning.
The interview revealed the identity of the statue, and most importantly uncovered the identity of the Brotherhood of Iron as the perpetrators of the theft. The led the interviewers to the belief that there was something more to the theft then simply a defacing of the Papal grounds. This was especially true since the brotherhood tended to undertake grand plans for the purpose of destroying the Papacy.
Act 6: The Northern Papal Gardens
The investigators arrived at the northern Papal gardens and began their review of the crime scene. Oliver was able to ascertain that a number of workers had used chisels and hammers to cut the statue from it’s base. In addition a magical barrier was in place during the theft to hide the noise of the work. It appeared that the guardsman simply stumbled upon the scene of the theft by accident before being attacked and nearly killed.
Agostino managed to use this ritual magic to discover two distinct tears in the view between the real world and the Never-Never. One was most likely the entry point for the heist team, but the second was placed on a horizontal plane near the statue’s pedestal. It seemed that this second tear was the means of egress for the team and the statue.
Without delay, Agostino dropped through the horizontal gate and found himself in the tunnels of a mine. investigating further, he moved towards the entrance of the mine and discovered a group of workmen loading a crate, presumably the statue, onto a german made military style heavy truck. He also spotted another Thaumaturge, Elymas Bar Shuma and a Master knight, Soloman Pakipkis. Both of these men were members of the Brotherhood of Iron. They were presumably under the direct orders of the The Architect. Agostino also managed to spot a sign written in Italian, indicating that this was a closed Silver Mine.
When a group of knights were sent to “secure the entryway” Agostino returned to the Northern Papal Gardens through the same tear through the Never-Never. He then closed that tear to prevent any unwanted disruption.
By this time, The hospital team had arrived at the Garden. Oliver noticed that some of the bricks were crumbling rapidly and that there was an accretion of salt forming inside a space behind the wall.
These clues would prove to be critical discoveries.
Act 7: Looking for Answers
After a brief discussion about what was learned, the group determined to work some of their contacts to find other information about the situation, that might determine what they are facing. Using the name Roger De Lluria as a clue, the group did some research on the historical man that the statue represented.
With that information they were able to place the character in the historical War of the Vespers. With some additional digging, it was discovered that a second statue of the same man was located in Madrid.
That led the group to a list of important people that were prior Knights of the Cross. The name Roger de Lluria was located on that list. This led the group to note that the statue, which was also poised in the traditional “Guardian” stance, must have been acting as a sort of key to powerful wards. It then became clear that something of great power was imprisoned behind the now crumbling brick wall. It was also now exceptionally clear why there was a three day limit on the return of the statue to it’s normal position.
Act 8: Unmasking the Threat
The meeting revealed that the Venatori have been systematically attacked and reduced through the efforts of Cyprus Archer and his Abiectio Venatores. This information could prove useful to building a possible future alliance against a common foe.
More importantly, Josef was able to provide Agostino with critical information revealing the presence of the Oblivion Vault and its imprisoned occupant, Edo. Now armed with a better knowledge of what they faced the group reconvened at the library to best determine a plan of action.
Act 9: Planning for the End of the World as We Know It
The group decided to get Luca involved in their case. They realized that the situation may need the assistance of additional Thaumaturges. The group decided to contact The 9 for assistance.
Meanwhile Tomas tracked the Brotherhood of Iron to the El Escorial, their headquarters in Rome. They also determined that the statue was located there in the western garden under the protection of wards. As all they needed to do was wait out the time limit before Edo’s escape, or destroy the statue, the group realized they were in a difficult position.
Knowing that the Envoys could never penetrate such a stronghold and protect the statue without a significant chance of failure, they came to the conclusion that rather then wait for a uncertain time for her to be released, that they needed to release her at a time of their choosing.
The plan was to encase her inside an Impenetrable Sphere, the entirety of which would then be transported into the Never-Never using three Thaumaturges to create a rip large enough to encompass the sphere. Once in the Never-Never, Edo would be rendered too weak to return, and Erato would open an escape route back into the real world as an escape route.
Act 10: Implementing the Plan
The Hammer Brothers tele located into the gardens at El Escorial, where they proceeded to destroy the statue of Riger de Lluria. This immediately destroyed the Oblivion Vault, releasing Edo.
As planned the group then drew her to attack those assembled against her, until she was close enough to Father Fletcher, who encased himself and Edo, along with some of the group in his Impenetrable Sphere.
With the Sphere up, Luca, Tomas and Belkino opened a prolonged tear between the Never-Never and the Real world, forcing the tear to expand to a large enough size to encompass the sphere. They then began the process of encapsulation.
Inside the Sphere, Oliver, Liberty, Gerard and Lodewijk fought to protect Fletcher. outside the Sphere, Erato, Ivaro and Tomas protected the Magi sustaining the tear.
Things became complicated when a group of The Scourge were drawn to the opening. The Hammer Brothers handled the larger specimens while Tomas, Erato and Ivaro dealt with the spawn dropped by the mature Scourge.
With a successful transition to the Never-Never, Edo was abandoned there, and Erato Opened a tear to the Real world long enough for those originally in the Sphere to escape the Never-Never and return home.
With Edo banished to the Never-Never, the world was once again safe from her influence. Afterwards, the Hammer brothers returned to El Escorial to reduce the power base of the Brotherhood of Iron.
Act 11: Aftermath
After the Battle, Lodewijk and Oliver went to return the Sword, but they were seemingly ambushed, badly injured and the Sword stolen; leaving the fate of the blade in uncertainty.