The morning started out as an early drive for Emma Lee Raines. With the intention of getting an early start by taking a long stroll on the beach, Emma Lee made her way, along the scenic route to the ocean. However, her trip was stopped short as papers flew against her windshield, prompting her to stop. It was there that she notice, over a sandy ridge, a car and a body along side it. It did not take long for her to get to the bottom of the hill and notice that the body was that of Arden Rice, a classmate. His body was mangled and had an unmistakable bite mark on his side. The bite mark looked closer to that of a shark than it did a dog or a wolf. Just as Emma Lee was prepared to call Deputy Cody Winters, Lilith Marid appeared, out of nowhere, to see how she could help. As the girls began collecting the papers that had gotten free, it seemed that some of them contained notes on a story he was working on regarding the occult and one paper in particular was an old, tattered playbill for Cheap Thrills, the haunted amusement park.
Before Devon Lauer and his family had to flee San Luis Obispo, he was packing up his car after a long day at school. It was Arden Rice, who seemed interested in asking Devon questions about a story he was working on. Arden’s story involved occult activities that had been going on in San Luis Obispo and whereas the story may not be perfect for the school paper, the Carney Crier, it was certainly a driving passion of Arden’s. When the questions came to the topic of Devon’s father, Tony Lauer, suggesting that he may have seen something in the woods, while tending to an illegal pot farm, Devon reacted by knocking his head against his car, ending the conversation most decisively.
It did not take long for Deputy Winters to show up, secure the scene and ask some questions before letting the girls go. It was at that point the girls met up with Simon Parker and Devon at Lilith’s house to discuss what they had found. Devon revealed that he had a conversation with Arden two months ago on what he may have been researching and Lilith, for her part, revealed that the bite mark on Arden was that of a dragon. She stated that in a vision she had seen Arden on the beech, calling out to something in the darkness which quickly resulted in a dragon swooping down from the sky, quickly killing him. What Lilith could not provide was whether it was Raphael Castalanta, Yasmine Castalanta or someone else entirely.
In an effort to make sense of what had happened and get to the bottom of what Arden had been looking into, they scoured his social media profiles and tried to hack some passwords. In the end, they thought their best course of action was to go to Lacy Cartwright’s house, as Lacy was not only on the newspaper staff but also seeing Arden. Breaking the news to her would be rough but it had to be done. They then decided they would eventually make a trip to Cheap Thrills to see what he had uncovered there.
The first stop involved the Cartwright home. They first encountered Bree Cartwright, one of the more successful girls at Carnamagos High. who seemed suspicious of their arrival but she sent them upstairs to her sister. Giving the news to Lacy Cartwright about what had happened to Arden was heartbreaking. She had not yet seen what had happened on the news and seemed to have been avoiding her phone. But she explained that Arden had been involved in looking at the some local legends involving werewolves, vampires and other cryptozoology entities and the things he had been uncovering seemed to have some merit. She reluctantly gave all his research to them and they went back to the car to review what he had uncovered, leaving Lacy alone with her loss.
The next step was to pick up some food at the local Ralph’s but while there, they had a nasty surprise altercation with Minerva Mink who made veiled threats. While the girls were inside the grocery store, Simon and Devon went through the research documents they had gotten from Lacy Cartwright. The uncovered the following:
- Arden was tracking rumors of a sexual relationship between Emma Lee secretly dating Lacy’s sister, Bree, but later discovered that Bree was actually in a relationship with Annabell Starr.
- He was researching the 1919 Disasters. Uncovered links between the Castalanta family and Mission San Jorge.
- Looked at his last appointments. Strangely, his last appointment was at 4 AM that morning with Yasmine Castalanta.
It was at this point that they continued on, taking on Simon’s idea that they approach one of the Spanish missions nearby, Mission San Jorge. They knew they would have some time to pass before going to Cheap Thrills as they figured that the entities that existed there would likely only appear at night.
Approaching the mission, everyone in the car had the same surreal vision: a strange horizon over the building and a looming creature on the skyline. The creature, determined to be a dragon, as it came into focus, strafed the structure with a massive barrage of fire. For what reason the creature attacked was unknown, but possibly due to the important items that lay within which were dangerous to it and likely, the dreaded Castalanta family.
Getting inside, the surroundings were dreamlike. They met the man in white and the man in black who introduced themselves as Cain and Abel and whereas Emma Lee and Lilith had no knowledge of them, they seemed to to Simon and he they. Without much discussion the group went to the archives that were stored in the basement in an effort to uncover what mysteries lay at their feet.
It was here that they found references to the Tome of Destiny as well as the Heartifact. They uncovered secrets of things that they had and things that they felt they needed to get their hands on. However, the hours flew by and they were met with a warning by Cain that it was best if they left before it got dark as things in the mission changed once darkness fell. With that they left, as it was time to go to Cheap Thrills.
As the group made their way to the abandoned amusement park, they knew what was waiting for them. Cyprus March, the sinister emcee of the park was welcoming when they encountered him. He freely admitted to seeing Arden Rice the prior evening and mentioned that Arden was looking for information about the supernatural activities in San Luis Obispo.
Whereas the main focus of the group was finding answers to the Tome of Destiny – the very item that Arden had also mentioned wanting – Cyrpus made it clear nothing was for free adn any information had to be paid for. Cyprus stated that Arden had made a sacrifice – he was about to bring Lacy Cartwright as a blood sacrifice to the park. This would allow Cyrpus and his ghoulish associates one night out on the town. But since Arden was dead, the deal seemed off the table, disappointing the sinister ringmaster.
However, Simon was able to pull a trick on Cyprus, suddenly brandishing the doll he had been given the last time they were here and used the power to force Cyrpus to answer a question – the question being the location of the Tome of Destiny. Reluctantly and angrily Cyprus revealed that the text was soon in the hands of Hollis Dandy. He would have the book in his hands shortly but the man would likely be disinterested in sharing it.
Upon making their exit from the haunted amusement park, they went to their car and left. Upon arriving home, Emma Lee used her abilities to divine the relationship between Annabell Starr and Carnamagos, finding that Annabell is a sworn ally, looking for more and more followers with Lacy Cartwright being one of them.