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From the Case Files of Justin Tempest

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  • From the Case Files of Justin Tempest

    Justin Tempest is a character who I will be introducing into my SA Avengers game. He will be the PC I will be running when Kruez is GMing.

    I thought I would write up some stories of his adventure prior to joining the team.

    You can find Justin's writeup here.
    Last edited by kenseido; 10th May 2014, 04:19 PM.
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  • #2
    Case of the Demon Coin

    "Can I help you, son?"

    Justin looked at the Preacher wearing simple clothes. The church was mostly empty, except for a few people cleaning the altar area. There was one other man sitting a few rows away who seemed to be praying very softly.

    "No, Reverend. I just need to sit here for a bit, if that's okay."

    "Of course. If you would like somebody to pray with you, one of our chaplains would be happy to do so."

    "Thank you," Justin says with a nod.

    The Preacher moves on to the other man. When he whispers his question, the man jerks and screams at the man. "WHY WON'T HE TALK TO ME?" The Reverend starts to speak, but the man pushes past him and storms towards the exit. Justin gets up and "accidentally" runs into the man as he tries to go past him.

    "Excuse me," Justin says. The man completely ignores him and continues leaving. Justin looks down at the small cloth in his hand and sighs as it turns black. Well so much for the day off. Pocketing the cloth, he heads after the man.

    Outside, Justin finds the man still fuming in a nearby alley.

    "You took my wife, you ruin my business, AND NOW YOU WON'T TALK TO ME!"

    "Excuse me, you dropped your wallet back there," Justin calls out while holding the wallet he lifted from the man earlier.

    After checking his empty pockets, the man storms over and rips the wallet out of Justin's hand. "If you expect a reward, you're out of luck. I'm flat broke."

    "Not at all. Just trying to do the right thing."

    "Thank you," the man grumbles.

    He opens the wallet and looks at the contents. "Not that it matters much, there's no cash and the credit cards are worthless."

    "At least you don't have to replace you drivers license. I lost my wallet once and replacing the drivers license was the hardest…" Justin trails off as he notices the man is lost staring at a picture of a woman in his wallet.

    "Your wife?"

    "Yeah," the man says flatly.

    "How'd she die?"

    "Car accident."

    "I'm really sorry."

    "Yeah. Everyone's sorry."

    "You look like you could use someone to listen to you. My name is Justin Tempest; how about I buy you a drink and you can tell me all about her."

    "You don't want to hear my story."

    "You'd be surprised, uh…"

    "Oh. Todd. You know, I could use a drink."

    In a small bar, Justin and Todd are sitting in a booth near the back.

    "She was so amazing. The kind of woman whose smile lights up a whole room, you know?"

    Justin nods as the man drains away another Scotch. Justin signaled for the waitress to bring another as he continued to nurse his won. He knows he's going to need Todd to loosen up a bit more to tell him the whole story. Voices and demon taint can mean a lot of different things, and Justin is going to need all the details to know what he is dealing with.

    "This must be costing you a fortune."

    Justin plays it off. "Money's not a problem."

    "Oh really, what do you do?"

    "Stage Magician." Not exactly true, of course. Justin is rarely able to score gigs on stages and is forced to work on streets for tips. Fortunately, a few of the people he has helped have been more than generous. "What do you do?"

    "I own Telios Clothing."

    "Wow. Thats a big company."

    "Was. Company has been bleeding money for months. I don't know how we're going to make payroll this month."

    "Sounds tough."

    "Yeah." He takes the Scotch from the waitress and drinks half of it. "Look, I appreciate the drinks and you listening to an old man…"

    "Did your wife have any hobbies?" Justin interrupts, trying to keep the man talking. Almost instantly, he can see he has hit on something important. The flash of joy and pain was unmistakable.

    "She was a coin collector," he barely gets out. Somehow, this was connected to her death.

    He places his hand on Todd's upper arm and says, "It's alright. Don't hold back." The man breaks down crying. In between sobs, he tells Justin the story.

    "She was driving home from an estate sale. She was so excited about this coin collection she just bought. Like it was the find of the century. She crashed the car into a telephone poll. She laid there stuck in the car for over an hour. She died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. They said she was clutching on to this." he pulls out a coin in a plastic protector and places it on the table.

    Justin's eyes widen when he sees the image on the coin. He knows that face. He picks up the coin and looks at it carefully. He then looks at Todd, who is desperately trying to compose himself. The waitress brings over two more Scotches, signaling they are on the house. Justin nods appreciatively, then looks back at Todd.

    "When did you stop hearing the voice?"

    "What?" Todd is shocked back into reality. "What voice?"

    "I heard you in the alley. Tell me about the voice."

    "You'll just say I'm crazy like all the others." The defeated look on his face tells the story. A man tormented by a voice with no where to turn for help. Thats how they usually win.

    "Not at all. In fact, I think I can help."

    "How can you help?"

    "Tell me about the voice."

    Todd grabs one of the new Scotches and takes a gulp. "It started on the way home from the hospital. It started out warning me about bad things. At first, I tried to ignore it but the things it was saying started coming true." He pauses and takes another drink. "Then the messages started getting dark. I tried to tell people, but no one would believe me. The psychiatrist just wanted to prescribe more and more drugs."

    "When did the voice stop?"

    "About four days ago."

    "So that's when the coin was switched."
    Last edited by kenseido; 11th May 2014, 08:28 AM.
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    • #3
      Re: From the Case Files of Justin Tempest

      Is the cloth a magical problem-detector?

      I am looking forward to more.
      Last edited by Ysariel; 11th May 2014, 01:17 PM.


      • #4
        Case of the Demon Coin - Part 2

        Outside the office building, there is only one car in the parking lot as Todd pulls up with Justin in the passenger seat.

        "Whose car is that?"

        "That's Evan's car." Todd seems surprised by the car.

        "What's he do?"

        Todd lets out a sigh. "Evan is our Operations Manager. He has a reputation in our industry for turning companies around. We hired him a few months ago, but now it looks like we waited to long. Even with all the extra sales and business he has brought in, it looks like it's 'to little, to late'." Justin gives Todd a minute. He can see how personally he takes the company's problems - not because it impacts him directly, but the employees who will be out of work when it finally does go under.

        He is stirred into action when he sees a man come out of the side entrance. "Is that Evan?"

        "Yes, that is him." Evan is a short man, but dressed immaculately. The latest Sartoria Rossi suit, a pair of Tanino Crisci shoes with a perfect shine, and a platinum and diamond Rolex on his wrist. Even his expensive Italian silk tie screamed out class and elegance. Except...

        "You should introduce us." Justin gets out of the car and heads in the direction of Evan. Todd is surprised, but rushes out of the car to catch up with Justin.

        "Todd?" Evan is startled to see him there. "What's going on? And who is this?" Oh, he is definitely hiding something.

        "Hi, Evan. Just came in to talk to Mr. Tempest about that... event you were talking about. You know a company party to raise morale."

        Justin raises an eyebrow at Todd. For not having rehearsed anything, Todd covered the situation very well. The talk about demons being trapped in silver coins and possessing their owners on the drive over here had not rattled Todd as much as Justin had thought.

        Turning back to Evan, Justin hands him one of his few printed business cards. A plain card with his name and the title Stage Magician printed on it. The phone number on it hasn't worked in years. Evan takes the card and his demeanor changes from a man found out to a man protecting his territory.

        "Well, make sure he submits a written quote so we can review it," Evan says cautiously. Legitimate magicians wouldn't have a problem with that. Hucksters would be a little more challenged by written quotes and company checks. "We have to keep this thing under budget." Evan checks his watch and then rushes off. Justin wishes he had time to reset the cloth, but it was still black from testing Todd, and would be until he could let it sit under the light of a full moon for an hour.

        Hopefully, Evan was just embezzling from the company and not the person who stole the demon coin. But Justin never was that lucky.

        "So why are we here?"

        "You said you are only ever here or at home. Somebody swapped the coin, they had to do it here, since you don't even have a housekeeper anymore."

        Todd opens the door and begins walking through the maze of corridors to an elevator. "I'm still not convinced about this whole demon thing. How do you know the coin was swapped and isn't the same one my wife bought?"

        "Demons were bound in coins in Medieval times. Medieval coins were cold struck; this coin was cast. That's how counterfeiters fake old coins. They make a mold of a real coin and produce many duplicates." Justin takes the coin and shows him the details as he explains. "See how the detail gets more faded at the edges? Notice the light pitting? See the seam on the edge? Those are all signs of a casting."

        "So how do you know it was swapped?"

        "Well, primarily, this is a pretty bad job. Anybody who collects coins like your wife did would be able to spot a fake this bad. And then there are the voices that suddenly stopped." The elevator doors open and the two of them go inside. "Why was the security desk unmanned?"

        "Oh, we can't afford 24 hour security guards anymore. We really only keep the guard there during business hours for appearances."

        "So what about the voices? I thought you said the demons bound in coins possessed the owners."

        "They do. But your coin was in a plastic protector, like this one. That prevented the demon from getting out, so it did the only thing it could do and talked to you. It started out by being helpful so you would listen, and then it started turning on you."

        The elevator arrives at the top floor and Todd instinctively heads to his office. "Where is Evan's office?"

        Todd stops. "What?" He looks down the opposite hallway. Not a poker player, this one. Justin shrugs and and motions to go in that direction.

        "Surely you don't suspect Evan." Yeah, people really are that blind sometimes. Justin chalks this one up to his grief over his wife, though.

        "Having a coin cast from a picture is not something just anybody can arrange." Todd's eyes show a total disbelief in mere idea that Evan is involved. "Let's just look around and eliminate him as a suspect."

        Todd nods uncomfortably and the two head down the hall towards Evan's office. Todd pulls out a ring of keys when they come to the door with Evan's name and title on the brass plaque. No surprise, there. Everyone else had faux wood plaques.

        "I get that you want to find the coin so it doesn't hurt anyone, but why did you come to me? Did you have a premonition or something? Or maybe you just approach every crazy guy ranting about voices in their head?" Todd seems perplexed that his key doesn't open the door. Justin motions him to slide over as he pulls out his own keyring. He slide his "skeleton key" into the door lock and opens the door. "He changed the locks. Why would he do that?"

        "Pretty standard practice for someone with something to hide." He then pulls out the black silk cloth and hands it to Todd.

        "What's this?" Todd rubs the cloth. "Silk, so what?"

        "It's how I knew. I touched you with this while you were leaving the church."

        "I don't understand. How does a black cloth tell you I had a demon coin?"

        "It's normally white. It only turns black when someone has been in recent contact with or under the influence of a demon."

        "So it's like a demon 'litmus test'," Todd says, handing the cloth back to Justin.

        "Pretty much." He looks around the office. "Check the desk."

        "What am I looking for?" Todd says as he does over to the desk and begins looking at the papers.

        "Evan didn't take the coin to keep it. He is selling it. For him to go to this much trouble means that somebody told him how rare a coin like that is. And given his rushed appearance, it's probably happening tonight."

        "Rushed appearance?"

        "His tie was off center and loose, his top collar button was undone."

        "That was unusual. He always looks perfect." Justin nods. Todd begins opening drawers until he gets to the big one on the bottom. "This drawer is locked."

        Justin notices a notepad on the side table next to an empty glass with ice in it and a phone. Justin picks up the notepad and crosses the room, pulling out his keyring. He hands the keys to Todd and picks up a pencil and piece of paper from the desk. Todd is surprised to find a key on the ring that not only fits the lock but opens it as well. He begins to go through the contents and finds a notebook. Pulling it out, he begins going through it while Justin does his pencil rubbing on the notepad.

        "SON OF A..."

        "Problem?" Justin interrupts without looking up from his rubbing. He had hoped Todd would find some evidence of embezzlement.

        "He has been stealing from the company, almost from the day we hired him! That bastard! I trusted him!" Justin doesn't say anything. "No wonder he was trying to get me to let him access the 401k funds! He has bled all the other accounts dry."

        "Well, you go through that, I am going to go and stop the sale of the coin."

        "How do you know where it is?" Justin holds up the pencil rubbing with an address on it.
        Last edited by kenseido; 27th May 2014, 10:35 AM.
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