Isn't It Amazing What People Will Do For A Word?

By James Walker


Maybe the police will put the pieces together, while investigating the disappearance of young girls. Possibly a curious journalist will stumble over the story while wondering why three aircraft are hired every year, heading out at the same time to Mt Erebus, Nyiragongo & Mauna Loa. Or possibly Heaven will notice. The young Shedite responsible for the scam would prefer it if Heaven didn't notice first; they might work out that he's not sacrificing maidens to the volcanoes.

It's quite simple, really. All three volcanoes are open mouthed, and all are Tethers to Divine Fire. Most humans have heard tales of sacrificing maidens to appease volcanoes; if they 'discover' that the practice is being continued, the public outcry should cripple all three Tethers, and start the process of twisting them towards Demonic Fire.

Of course, since each volcano has a powerful Seneschal, actually sacrificing maidens would be instantly stopped. Instead, the Shedite has been recruiting kooky individuals who were in the vicinity of young girls when they disappeared, and once recruited, the kooks take a privately funded flight to one of the three mountains each year. Careful use of his resonance to corrupt the memories of the kooks means that several of them believe that they have participated in sacrifices to the volcanoes, and the paperwork for the trips shows that the kooks went on their first trip the year the girl disappeared.

Sooner or later, someone is going to 'discover' that a secret cult has been sacrificing maidens, and The Media will have a field day. At that point, the Shedite plans to explain what he has been doing to Belial, and ask for three volunteers to load up their Vessels with water barrels. The kooks will insist at their trials that unless the sacrifices continue, the volcanoes will erupt; on the day the kooks name for the ceremony, the three volunteers will go Celestial, and materialise under the volcanoes; instantly boiled, the water & Vessels will explode, triggering all three volcanoes simultaneously. As all three volcanoes are frequently active, the triple eruption could just be coincidence....

By this point, the Shedite will be riding already suicidal girls and pushing them to jump into the volcanoes - "be a heroine, and save the day". He figures that between the Word shift caused, and having to deal with Triads determined to punish the Gabrielites who have been allowing human sacrifice, the Seneschals won't be able to prevent the suicides.

If it works, Belial gains three new Tethers; perhaps the volunteers for Vessel explosion would be interested in becoming Seneschals? As for the Shedite, well, the Demon of Sacrifices to Volcanoes has such a nice ring to it.

Unless he's stopped, of course. What are the PCs doing? And no, they don't even have the Shedite's name - just a suspicious character or three, who belong to the same organisation and all of whom where near a girl who disappeared in suspicious circumstances...


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