The Dresden Files: What Happens in Vegas

Session 3: Pride Goeth Before

Thy Sins Manifest

The group has broken up to go about their various tasks with Phee leading the efforts to research the coin and the demons. After letting her into the library and pointing her in the right direction, Ian excuses himself to take care of some business. Phee finds some very unsettling information: she is unable to come up with any information about the demons, because a book is missing from the shelves. These particular books were stolen some months ago by Karisa and given to a client, but she, Ian, and Phee were able to work together to return the books to their rightful home where they’ve been under lock and key ever since. She also learns that the coin has a long history of violence, death, and destruction visited upon nearby areas. Unfortunately, she isn’t able to tell precisely when or where the coin was minted: it seems to have been old in even the first stories in which it appears. With her research complete, she calls Karisa, and they agree to meet in a few hours at Phee’s shop.

Karisa and Marcello have a more hands-on approach to research. (Jacob, too, had to leave.) Karisa brings Marcello to meet her fence and fixer, Ms. Nadia Bliss. Nadia is surprised when Karisa inquires about an ancient coin; apparently, Nadia was just about to give her the job to steal it. When Phee calls, Karisa advises Marcello to introduce himself to Nadia. He introduces himself as a con man (although not in so many words), and Nadia tells him that if Karisa is willing to vouch for him, she’ll throw some work his way.

With a few hours to kill before their meeting with Phee, Karisa decides to take Marcello out on her job. She is able to break in and grab the coin without any trouble — she’s been there once before, after all, and so she knows where all of the weak points in security are. With coin in hand, she returns to the car and accidentally startles Marcello, who had been practicing some sleight of hand while waiting.

On their way to Phee’s, Karisa asks him about being a vampire. He tells her that he isn’t a full vampire yet — he’s only been infected, and he won’t become a full vampire until he kills someone and feeds from them. In turn, she tells him about being a changeling and that she’s constantly battling her changeling nature, just as he’s battling his vampiric one.

When Phee arrives to let them inside, she makes sure the door is securely locked behind them before she begins her explanation. Karisa seems dubious about the coin being evil, though — after all, nothing terrible has happened in Vegas in the 50 or so years it’s been here. (At least, nothing supernaturally terrible.) Phee patiently recreates a timeline of the events connected to the coin, but Karisa remains stubbornly unconvinced. She has a job to do, after all, and she can’t just not do it based on a whim. She does, however, agree to allow Phee 24 hours to prove her case, and Phee wisely commissions Marcello to hold onto the coin for that period of time to keep either woman from doing something stupid with it.

The following day, Karisa tries to look into the missing book, but she isn’t able to find any information about who stole it. If it was a professional job, they didn’t tap anyone in her network. Afterwards, she goes out for a burger with Marcello. While eating, they happen to catch a news report of a drive-by shooting somewhere in town. Neither think much of it.

At the appointed time, Karisa and Marcello arrive at Phee’s pawn shop and are let in. Inside, Phee has a powerpoint presentation prepared, complete with notebooks for Karisa and Marcello to take notes in. (The pair use the notebooks to write back and forth rather than pay attention to the presentation, which is a bit lengthy and very, very detailed.)

To sum up: the coin is well-worn, but Phee was able to determine several important symbols, including: the angelic alphabet encircling a goddess and an eye similar to the all-seeing eye. She is able to determine that the goddess represents some rather positive things (and war, for some reason) and determined the eye may be related to an early version of the Freemasons. She was also able to track down the owners of the coin during its time in Vegas and presents a chart showing the ever-increasing violence in the city. Interestingly, none of the owners were particularly wealthy. In the past five years, however, the violence has actually decreased a bit, which is the period during which Jory Botterill owned the coin. She also noticed the the Pinho family owned it several years ago and that a Pinho also checked out several relevant books in the library, including the missing book about demons. The owner before Botterill (Tracie Nathanson) was shot and died in the hospital.

For some reason, Karisa can’t wrap her mind around the existence of angels and gods, causing several tangents and delays. It isn’t until Marcello breaks in and informs the ladies that he has actually purchased the coin from Nadia that Karisa remembers what’s at stake — she was far too busy standing up to Phee until that point. Before they can get too chummy, Karisa completely misinterprets something Phee said as a racist remark. Marcello leaves before things get too heated, and, after several more statements by an oblivious Phee and several deep breaths by Karisa, Karisa, too, leaves.

Outside, Marcello reassures Karisa that he’s certain Phee didn’t mean anything negative by any of it. Karisa agrees and calms down, then asks if Marcello really did buy the coin. Marcello says that he did — he paid $5000 for it — and Karisa seems somewhat touched by the gesture.

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