The Cavaliers got a text from Vic Noble thanking them for their help with his Gruff problem and asking them to stop by The House of the Rising Sun to assist him with another issue he was having.
They gathered there the afternoon of January 8th, and sharp eyed Gideon Rockwell spotted Chambord (the Benevolent Frog) leaping out the window when they arrived to talk with Vic Noble.
Vic Noble told them of the politics and opportunities he was seeing in the Cortège Gras dealing with the fallout of the Gruff, investigating who wanted him dead and who was more sympathetic, and preparing for Mardi Gras. But he also mentioned some intelligence he had heard recently that another group, the Cour Des Marais had launched some sort of attack on a local abandoned amusement park, which turned out to be Six Flags of New Orleans – New Orleans East, and he hoped they would be able to investigate that while he was occupied elsewhere. The Cortège Gras and the Cour Des Marais are often at odds, and Vic Noble feared that the latter was trying to take advantage of a moment of distraction and infighting for the former.
The group agreed to check it out, and traveled to the park that evening, after gathering information on the area from folks like The Very Reverend Gregory Lantern and telling loved ones like Betty Mullins where they would be.
The stories they heard were about vampires, not Cour Des Marais, so they were nervous to explore the area at night, but decided to stake out the parking lot of the eerie, dilapidated amusement park and see if anyone stopped by or anything suspicious happened. No one seemed to visit, but late in the evening they heard the music of a rave and decided, after much debate, to enter the park and learn more. Beaumont LeBlanc picked up a faded and moldy map of the original park design, which did not match the current changed topography since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and years of subsequent neglect, but still proved to be an invaluable resource as they plotted their exploration of the cursed area.
As soon as Luther Church had scaled the fence and jumped to the other side, though, he was attacked by a ferocious pack of darkhounds, who did some serious damage as Gideon Rockwell sliced through the chains locking the gates, and the rest of Cavaliers rushed to his aid. They shot, sliced, and force-blasted the darkhounds into bloody severed heaps, but found that the haunting views of the creepy park at night, and some psychic wards left at the entrance were compelling them to flee and come back in the morning. David Brown had to talk Luther Church into sticking it out after being mobbed by hounds, and God himself seemed to be telling Gideon Rockwell that leaving now might put even more people in danger.
As they overcame their fears, and decided to push through and learn more, Beaumont LeBlanc had the brilliant and novel idea to use his fire magic to light the entire wooden frame of the collapsing Mega Zeph rollercoaster ablaze and see if the ensuing inferno, which was certain to consume much of the surrounding overgrowth as well, would draw out their enemies or help separate any innocents from any threats.
The fire certainly caught a lot of attention, and they headed back toward the center of the park, where David Brown was almost killed by an enormous alligator. It attacked him from a swampy area, but Luther Church was able to half blind the beast with an incredible shot, and as David Brown slid in the mud trying to back away, the seriously wounded alligator slipped back into the water and fled.
Shaken and still sensing that they were being watched with dangers lurking in the shadows around every corner, the Cavaliers returned to an area near the entrance to the park, and Beaumont LeBlanc was able to use some binoculars to catch sight of what appeared to be goth teenagers and young adults leaving the graffiti covered shell of the old Gator La Croix’s Dockside Cafe to climb on the metal remains of The Big Easy Ferris Wheel and other structures, to watch in awe as the Mega Zeph burned to the ground.
The Cavaliers decided the youth seemed harmless enough that they could approach, and though they were terribly unstealthy, and readily spotted, the party-goers seemed more interested in watching and waiting than either attacking or cooperating. Gideon Rockwell tried desperately to get the revelers there in the park to take him to their leader or answer any questions. Instead, the group simply insisted that the Cavaliers were not welcome and should not be there. Luther Church even went so far to as pummel one of the kids, Brandon, with the butt of his rifle and shoot off one of his toes, which enraged them but made them no more forthcoming.
When Luther Church started firing bursts of gunfire into the air and Gideon Rockwell and David Brown tried cutting down some of the few remaining structures in the park with their swords, eventually a woman made her way through the crowd of observers to confront the men.
As she demanded they leave, they decided that she, like the others, was not particularly afraid of them nor a real threat, and likely not Black Court either, so David Brown opened his third eye to better understand the nature of these stubborn youth. The horrific, nightmarish vision showed him conflicting powers both enslaving and consuming the goths, and he realized they were in real trouble from not one source, but two!
He also knew with a certainty that they were being watched.
Around the same time, Betty Mullins called Luther Church hoping to get ahold of David Brown but knowing that he was uncomfortable with cellphones. Remembering that he had told her he would be at the Six Flags of New Orleans – New Orleans East, she was concerned when her department and boss, Earl Knottyham, were called in to address the bonfire of the Mega Zeph and seemed to be bringing in resources from out of state as well. She warned them that something serious was going on there and though she did not know all of the details, they should get to safety.
Under further questioning, the goth woman – Angela – became possessed, and spoke with the voice of a man, telling the Cavaliers to leave, as no one who came here was safe, and that their help was needed, but they would likely not be able to do anything to save these kids.
Gideon Rockwell carried Angela to the nearby Sim Ex Pirates building, but the crowds of her friends blocked Gideon Rockwell and demanded to come along. The Cavaliers acquiesced, and the whole group hid in the building while Beaumont LeBlanc and David Brown prepared a complex ritual on Angela to better understand the nature of the conflicting forces disturbing her. Luther Church made a lookout post on the top of the building and discovered three important things: (1) the sheriff’s department had arrived in force, (2) they were not entering the park and seemed to rather be barricading people inside, and (3) no one was fighting the fire that had been started earlier on the far side of the park! With Gideon Rockwell praying for them, the two wizards were able to discern through their thaumaturgy that all of the partiers at the park where being dominated by Black Court Vampires, likely John and Wayne Carter, but simultaneously those same dominated mortals were infected with a horrific and highly contagious pathogen, introduced into the area by the Cour Des Marais. It was a disease that was meant to kill undead, but was also transmitted by and lethal to the living! And worse still, The Crescent City Cavaliers had caught it, too, from their time in the park!
David Brown decided their best hope for an antidote would be to travel to the booniewonder and question the Cour Des Marais. With his world traveller gifts, he was able to open a portal in an ideal area to quickly locate several interesting members of the Cour Des Marais, including a Nuggle and one of the daughters of the Patriarch, who introduced them to her father. There they obtained a cure, learned that the pathogen was pulled up from beneath the ocean floor by the Deep Water Horizon, and taken by a rogue agent or faction of the Cour Des Marais who wanted to stop undead and human threats to the natural world through measures of biological weaponry and terrorist extremes.
The Patriarch provided cures for The Crescent City Cavaliers, and said he could make more for the other infected individuals, but would need some promises protecting areas of nature from the mortal world, and that he would notify his ambassador Hugh McKay through the messaging service of Carl and work out a deal with the mortals to distribute the antidote if he could get guarantees of protection for certain lands. He specifically mentioned the “Little Lake” area of the bayous around New Orleans, but the Cavaliers were never able to learn why he was more interested in that region than the site of the Six Flags of New Orleans – New Orleans East.
Cured and more aware of the power dynamics and agendas in the area, The Crescent City Cavaliers cut a portal back to New Orleans, but outside the park and behind the line of quarantine that the Sherriff’s Department and CDC had formed to prevent anyone from leaving the contagion zone.
On the outside, they were able to call Betty Mullins, talk to Earl Knottyham, and let them know of the offer of the Cour Des Marais Patriarch to help save more mortals in exchange for some specific protections. The Crescent City Cavaliers retrieved their motorcycles from quarantine and headed home for a well deserved rest, leaving the land and cure negotiations in the capable hands of Hugh McKay and whoever Earl Knottyham was able to put him in touch with.