Aviario: The Archivists

02. Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind

In which getting home is half the battle ...

When last we left the party, they were standing at the front counter of Meyroux’s Voodoo Shack with a very recently deceased thug on the floor and a mysterious man with a smoking gun standing in the doorway.

Their “savior” is Darren Walker, a voodoo practitioner who wants the Book of Bayencourt for his own purposes. After a lot of freaking out, shouting, and general mayhem, the party reaches a grudging agreement with Darren: he will let them have the book, if he can just look at it for one particular piece of information. He takes the party away with him before the police arrive, bringing them to a large, Civil War-era home on the outskirts of the French Quarter, its yard teeming with kids. Shandra finds solace in playing with a few of them after the shock of seeing a man shot in the back of the head, and they all make a slight amount of small talk before being interrupted by the lady of the house: a voodoo queen named Iris.
She is none too pleased that Darren has killed a man, but tells him they will “talk about it later”, and leads them all inside. The sitting room of the house has an instantaneous grounding affect on them all, and Iris insists on putting the dead thug’s spirit to rest and cleansing the book before any of them attempt to do anything with it. She sets out a veve on the floor with flour and cornmeal and performs the ritual, while Howard “translates” for the rest of them with great zeal. Once the book is cleansed, Darren eagerly snatches it up … and finds that it will not open.

Howard and Nick give the book their best studious efforts, and finally realize that it must be situated in a particular way along a ley line to be opened. Lucky for them, Iris’ sitting room sits along one: the reason for its calming properties, and a great aid to her power. As they are working on the book, Darren explains that he wants an item that can reverse a curse laid on him by the houngan of their voodoo tribe in retribution for an accident he caused as a novice. Once the book is opened, Darren is able to look up a few items which may be able to help his cause, and the party takes the book and is on their way back to Connecticut.

They are stopped just outside Louisiana by a motorcycle cop, who takes Hali’id out of the van for questioning… which is pretty much racial profiling, really, and not cool at all. Shandra says as much, and after giving them some flack for a busted taillight, the cop lets them go. Nick is more than happy to suggest that they stop in Georgia to have Caroline fix the taillight.

At Caroline’s home, they take a bit of a breather, and while Nick and Caroline bond, Howard attempts to get to know Hali’id a little better. Since he is distracted, Shandra seizes the opportunity to hack the laptop that he stole from his contact, Edward, in the previous episode. She is able to get in and begin downloading his files, but only secures 1/3 of the data she was after before she has to abandon the hack.

On the drive home, Howard shares his misgivings about the police having their descriptions from Sally Bowens’ house: he was once a suspect in his wife’s murder, back home in England, in conjunction with a very powerful spellbook, an arcane ritual, and possibly some hallucinogenic drugs. He is innocent, but has been trying to figure out who was responsible and attempted to frame him ever since. The rest of the party is a bit unsettled by this news, but recover rather well, since Howard has already proven himself to be trustworthy.

Shandra falls asleep in the backseat and has a strange nightmare: a figure is following her through the streets of Aviario, but the town is deserted. He corners her in an alley, but instead of threatening her, he only gives her one cryptic message: “Beware of the lion”.

Once the party returns to Aviario, they deliver the book into Janus’ capable hands and are debriefed on the situation. He offers Hali’id the chance to join the Organization, but he declines and departs to who knows where, leaving the other three with more questions than they had when they left town.


  • “Will you chill? It looks like you’re possessed.” – Shandra, trying to calm Nick down before he goes in to speak to Caroline



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