Discovery is the third chronicle of 402. It takes place in spring 2008. It revolves around the discovery of a famed magical tome, and the cabal “402”’s (formerly known as “Dishonored Dissention”) dealings with it.
After the events of Encounter, the PCs get back to their normal schedule. School starts again, Holmes begins to teach them again.
Smokey is on a date with a girl that he’d met not long after Encounter, Milly. They go to see a movie and on the way home, decide to check out an old quarry that Milly was afraid of when she was a kid. They decend into the quarry, but when they get down there, it starts to rain. They take cover in a strangely placed cave.
Soon enough they start to hear noise from deeper inside the cave. They head inside to check it out and see eyes peering at them from the dark. Smokey grabs the creature, and the two come face to face with a terrifying ghoul that neither has ever seen before. The two run screaming out of the cave, which seems to disappear into thin air, leaving only the wall of the quarry behind. Milly is convinced she didn’t see anything, and asks Smokey to drive her home.
Afterwards, Smokey calls up the rest of the cabal. They decide to meet up. Once all together, they decide to research the cave before venturing inside. They head for Tessa’s shop. Once there, they show Tessa the goop that was on Smokey’s hand and she tells them that the creature must have been magical in origin, but has no idea what it is. The cabal heads home to get some sleep before checking out the cave.
The PCs meet up at Tessa’s in the early afternoon. She’s been up all night studying the goop; but she found out nothing. The creature could be any number of things. The PCs decide to check out the cave anyway and head to the quarry.
Once there, they search for the cave to no avail. Just when they start to give up on finding it, Wiki sees the cave out of the corner of her eye. The PCs wonder the strange disappearance and reappearance of the cave door, and then head inside.
Once inside they find the cave strangely laid out; the walls jut out and passages aren’t where they structurally should be. The cave is also seemingly unstable. After following the winding cave deeper inside, they find a more open part of the cave covered in the same mana goop that the creature was covered in. Suddenly the PCs are attacked by the creatures.
After fighting their way to the back of the cave, and Wiki being gravely injured, the PCs discover a set of carved stairs leading down into a room with no goop covering the walls. This is a living space; there is a room here with multiple books, and other things inside.
On a desk in this room lies a large book with a potent magical aura. The cabal can tell by the things on the desk that whoever lived here was attempting to translate the book, which is written in a strange code. The PCs take the book, and the translation materials, as well as some other assorted books, and leave.
On the way out, they find that the last cave room is now filled with the creatures, but they seem to be scared of the PCs now. The PCs clutch the book and walk through the crowd of ghouls. When they near the entrance of the cave, it begins to crumble. The PCs make a mad dash for the exit, being chased by the crowd of ghouls, and manage to make it outside the cave before it collapses. The cave then disappears from sight again.
The PCs take the book back to Tessa, who analyzes it. She comes to the conclusion that this is Cyprian’s Codex, a very powerful spellbook which contains demon resurrection passages and other dark magic. Tessa tells the PCs that Wiki needs medical attention, and she knows how they can kill two birds with one stone; bring Wiki and the book to her uncle, Cacudeus.
The PCs and Tessa visit Portland Major and speak with Cacudeus. He heals Wiki’s wounds, and looks at the book. He confirms Tessa’s theory and believes that this is a very dangerous thing to find; there are people who search for this book. Bad people.
Suddenly, there is an explosion outside the hospital. Cacudeus tells the PCs to run.
After the seemingly planned explosion outside the hospital, Cacudeus tells the PCs that there is a back exit and they need to run. The PCs and Tessa run, carrying the codex, to the back exit and the parking lot. After a bit of car confusion, the PCs get the hell out of there.
The PCs have a bit of trouble deciding what to do next, but can decide on leaving the city for at least a little while until they can figure out what to do with the book. Tessa suggests that they visit Zion in Red Rock and hiding at her place until they figure the book out.
The PCs start the 8-hour drive to Red Rock, but along the way are tailed by a debilitated Camaro. When the PCs realize this they’re already on the highway.
Justicar, Wiki, Quantum and Tessa in Jusicar’s vehicle hear the noise first; loud, aggressive punk rock coming from behind them. When they realize what’s happening, the car has already pulled up beside them and rammed them. The players see the driver and passengers in the car are some sort of crazy punkers, who start shooting at them and, employing a chainsaw on a two-by-four, pop one of their tires.
Smokey and Mingan, in the van ahead, pull in front of the car and slam on the brakes, causing the punks to ram the back of the van and completely wreck their car.
The PCs engage the punks in a rough fight. However, no one is killed. The PCs are the clear victors, and try to question their red-haired leader. He won’t answer any of their questions, but laughs and tells them that he’s glad they slowed them down enough. The PCs then notice the convoy of Muscle cars and motorcycles driving down the road screaming, straight towards them.
After realizing that the onslaught of cars and motorcycles were headed their way, the PCs regrouped and got back in their vehicles. They prepared for a fight; Mingan armed himself with a squad of bees, Quantum took the grenade launcher left behind by the punks; but the star of the show was Smokey, who used, through some incredible combination of luck and skill to cause some major harm to the vehicles approaching them. Using Forces freestyle magic, he caused the sound of the engines to transform into uncontrollable flames, causing the pistons to go haywire. Due to the limited driving skills of the gang, their cars were mostly destroyed in crashes and they were easily defeated by the cabal.
Once they lost their pursuers, they headed to Red Rock and to Zion’s home. There they spoke with her and her girlfriend Rosaline. They learned a little more about the book and decided to take a much-needed rest before attempting to deliver the book to the Mysterium headquarters in Augusta.
While staying at Zion’s sanctum for the night, before leaving for Augusta, Quantum is visited by Tessa. She tells her she’s going out to meet someone she knows in town. Quantum thinks it’s a stupid idea, but lets her go.
In the morning, Tessa is nowhere to be found. The group is pessimistic about her whereabouts. Zion is also not around; she ran out to do some errands. The PCs wait a while, and decide to scry on Tessa to see if she’s okay. Wiki sees her in a dark room, tied up and hurt. The cabal doesn’t know where she is, but they know they have to save her.
Mingan decides to check around the house for any spirit who knows where Tessa went. Soon enough he finds the spirit of a stuffed parrot that was laying around just outside the room Tessa was staying in. The parrot knows where she went and keeps repeating “Ricochet”. The parrot takes the cabal on a wild goose chase all day. Later on, and after a full box of crackers fed to it, the parrot spirit leads the PCs to a biker bar in sketchy downtown Red Rock. The PCs decide to head inside.
The bar is a dank, dark place. It’s filled with mean-looking bikers, mean-looking drinks, and an even meaner-looking bartender. When the cabal enters, the stage is getting prepped for tonight’s show; a performance by the exotic dancer “Deadly Red”.
Inside, the PCs use their covert magic to get information. Wiki uses her spatial awareness to see that the dancer is a vampire and is packing heat. Justicar learns a lot he didn’t want to know about the bikers. He also learns that three bikers at a certain table are proud of capturing a girl. He then reads deeper into their minds and finds out the location of the girl. The PCs decide to leave, but Smokey stays behind to keep an eye on the dancer (quite literally.)
When the PCs head to the warehouse Justicar saw in the bikers’ head, they find the place empty. It’s less of a headquarters and more of an abandoned building. Inside they find the door to the basement guarded by two vicious attack dogs, which are put down rather quickly by Mingan and Justicar’s magical animal skills. They head downstairs and find Tessa, beaten, gagged and tied to a chair. They let her loose and start to leave. After heading back up to the warehouse, Justicar gets a call from Smokey warning them that the scene at the bar went bad; the dancer killed the bikers and was looking for the book. Smokey barely escaped.
Just after Smokey warns the group, the dancer, clad in a trenchcoat stolen from one of the bikers, appears at the warehouse. She wants the book. The PCs and the vampire clash; it’s clear that she’s plenty of trouble for all of them. After a short battle, the vampire obfuscates and disappears. However, when the PCs turn to leave, she re-emerges behind Tessa, and puts her pistol to her head. Wiki, using improvised prime magic, makes a phantasmal copy of the book in her bag, and gives it to the vampire. The vampire questions why she shouldn’t just shoot Tessa, now that she has the book.
Then, a gunshot.
The vampire yelps in pain as she is shot in the forehead. She falls backwards and disappears. The PCs look behind them and see a young man they’ve never seen before, holding a smoking M1A1 carbine. Tessa exclaims “Ricochet!” and runs to him. Smokey then turns the corner to see Tessa and Ricochet kiss.
“Aww man.” Smokey dejects.
After healing up Tessa and discussing (at length) what to do with the Codex, the cabal decides to go straight to Augusta and meet with the Mysterium lore-keepers to decide what to do with it. However, just as they leave, they’re greeted by the familiar sound of muscle cars and motorcycles heading into town; the psycho punks return. Ricochet decides to stay behind to deal with them, telling the newly-soldiered Smokey to stick with him. Tessa decides that she’d ride it out so she wouldn’t have to leave her man. The PCs climb into Justicar’s sedan, which was quickly repaired by Ricochet, and speed off to Augusta.
Along the way, they stop into Portland to finish some loose ends; they get the essential clothes and food they need for the trip, and head to their respective orders’ headquarters to aquire magical tools and items. After stocking up, they drive off towards their desination; the Museum of the Strange and Occult in Augusta.
Upon arrival, it’s late. 1:30 AM late, and the museum, and thus the mysterium HQ, is closed. However, Wiki calls one of her contacts, a girl by the name of Key who works in the museum, to take the book off their hands. They all arrive at the museum and head inside. Once there, they head into the safest room in the museum; the evidence and containment room. Key leaves the book there for the night, convinced that it’ll be safe there.
When they leave the room, Key is shot. She falls to the ground, and the vampire that attacked them back in Red Rock appears. She seethes “Enough fakes. Give me the fucking book.”
A battle ensues; the PCs are a match for the vampire, who eventually disappears into thin air again. However, using Wiki’s scrying magic, they figure out that she went outside. They run past a drained security guard and head up onto the roof. Eventually Quantum speeds ahead using her Acceleration spell and catches up to the vampire, and they clash. It’s a close battle, with Quantum, Mingan and Justicar suffering almost mortal wounds, but thanks to Key and Mingan’s healing magic, and Quantum’s incredible fighting skills, they make it through. The vampire, out of desperation, latches on to Quantum and tries to drain her blood; but her magically infused blood instead hurts the vampire, who falls off the roof, but then vanishes.
While most of the cabal stays behind to help Quantum, who is still wounded, Mingan takes her gun and heads off to find the Vampire, being guided by Wiki’s scrying spell. He finds her around the corner, leaning on a tree in someone’s garden. Mingan shoots her in the back, and she falls. He walks up to her, and after hearing her final taunt, shoots her dead.
Soon enough, the group hears the sound of sirens approaching. When the police arrive at the scene, Justicar uses his “Not the droids you’re looking for” technique and the group escape the scene without a second glance. Mingan, however, is not so lucky, and is brought in for questioning by the police.
After escaping the police and collecting Mingan from their questioning, the cabal retreat. There, Key calls her superiors at the museum and informs them of what had happened prior. Key tells the PCs that support is on the way.
Soon enough a car arrives at the museum. The woman inside is Eva, the shamanistic leader of the mysterium presence in Maine and the surrounding states, who operates out of the museum. She heals the cabal, and gets her people to bring the cabal to a nearby hotel for some much-needed rest.
In the morning, the PCs are treated to some extra-perked coffee, and head out to the museum. When they arrive, they are invited to a meeting with the mysterium shaman council. The shamans tell the PCs that the book is actually a fake; a very convincing copy. The book, however, is not without its power. This copy of the book specifically highlights the demon resurrection passages, and as such is a danger to the safety of the world. Thus, it must be sealed away in a ritual, near it’s source; Old Port Quarry, in the cave Smokey and Milly found. The PCs are also told that it must be the one who originally removed the book from its resting place, Wiki, that returns it. So the PCs decide to follow the orders and head back to Portland, book in tow.
The PCs meet Corona, a driver who is hired to get them safely to Portland, as well as two cars of the mysterium’s finest “warriors”. On route to Portland, the motorcade is stopped by a police barricade; there the anarchist punks make a return and attack the mysterium protectors. An unlucky paradox cast causes one of the mages in the front car to explode the engine in their vehicle, leaving them to fight the punks. When one of the mages in the back car is shot, Corona decides leaving is a good idea and drives over the barricade and into Portland.
After hurrying to the quarry, the PCs descend the deep fissure in the pouring rain. When they reach the bottom, they search for the entrance to the cave, but find nothing. However, just when Justicar gives up his search and heads off to leave, he sees the cave in the corner of his eye. The PCs then enter the cave, and holding up the book to ward off the ghouls inside, enter the inner sanctum where they first found the book.
There, Wiki finds the scribe’s journal. He tells that the book was originally his father’s project, and after he died, he left the book to his only son in hopes that he would continue his translation. The boy worked hard for years inside this hidden sanctum, but when he tried to call a weak demon to attempt a control spell, he instead opened a portal to a realm he had never experienced before and let loose the mass amount of mana ghouls that inhabit the cave. He was trapped, and died there. However, before he died, he burned the translation, making sure no one could ever open another portal like it.
The PCs perform the ritual to seal the book without a hitch. Soon after they do so, the walls of the cave begin to change color slowly; turning from earthy grey to a slight shade of blue. When they venture back out into the central mezzanine, they see the ghouls are also changing color; some already changed completely to white, and are dead. The PCs leave the cave without much resistance. However, after they leave, they are immediately attacked by the main group of punks, who have gathered in their entirety to finally take the book back.
The punks’ leader, Sid, banters with the PCs and takes turns beating them for his audience. He questions them about the book; when Wiki gives him a fake, he burns it and gets angry, demanding the real book. When he learns the real book is destroyed, he beats Mingan savagely, and slashes and stabs him with a knife. Then, he decides he doesn’t need the PCs anymore and sets them down on the ground, execution-style.
However, his plans are ruined by the Adamantine Arrow, who appear from Helicopters and completely bust up the place. Sid and his main group of cronies run deeper into the quarry to try and escape the arrow, but run into a dead end; that is until Sid sees a cave out of the corner of his eye and they run into it, its entrance closing behind them.
The PCs have a short chat with Smokey, Ricochet, Apollo and two agents of the Guardians of the Veil. Apollo tells the PCs that he’s going to use his connections to get the quarry up and running again so they can have guards stationed there at all times, and the Guardians support this endeavor.
In a cutscene after this event, Sid and his eight cronies sit in an abandoned building’s basement in a nearby town. There they discuss what to do next, and Sid is dejected. His gang is destroyed, he’s on the run and he lost the book. He curses out his luck when a man wanders into the room.
“I’ll get you anything you want. All I ask is that you help me work towards our common goal.
The man’s half-mask glimmers in the sunset.