Abductions and Venus
The pack joins together for lunch, a hunt planned by Walt in which they take down and devour a deer. Afterwards, Walt explains that they have been summoned to a meeting with the location spirits Burke and Local Trade. That evening, the crescent moon begins; it is Aleister’s auspice moon. Before the meeting, the pack (with the help of Peter Vandemeer) captures an intoxication spirit and bind it into an alcohol talen. On their way to the meeting, Bentley shares the libation with Burke—inhabiting an older well-dressed man’s body.
At the meeting, Local-Trade invokes the pack’s pledge to protect the territory of Trade Street from the actions of malicious spirits such as Rotting-Heart in exchange for his endorsement of Bentley’s night club plans. As a show of good faith, it asks that they find a missing homeless person called Old Joe who is well-liked by the local intoxication spirits. They agree, noticing a heavy-set man watching them and snatching a fly from the air.
Searching for leads, they find that there has been a rash of disappearances not just on Trade Street, but all around the local area. The disappearances have been occurring for weeks and have been seemingly random aside from a few obvious examples among homeless people. Also, they learn that local fly spirits have been nervous recently.
Looking for areas that the spirits have been avoiding recently they are led to a cafe’s alley dumpster, where they encounter the heavy-set man devouring maggots out of the dumpster by the handful, using his hands to absorb them. The maggots are swarming over what looks like the corpse of Old Joe. When confronted, the man grabs Walt in a bear hug and his chest opens up into a devouring mouth, dealing horrible damage to Walt. Aleister and Bentley take on their Gauru forms and attack the Spirit-Claimed man. They thoroughly beat him before demanding to know his role in Old Joe’s death. He tells him that he found the man dead and brought him across the Gauntlet to serve as a nest for the maggots upon which he feeds. Aleister decides to let him go. Needing more leads and suffering extensive damage, they decide to sleep on the events of the night and look for more information the next day.