The Pinehurst Horror

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The Pinehurst Horror
LocationHelsinki, Finland & Pinehurst, Everett
Status Threat Level: Extreme
Factions Involved
Elder God Cult
Wychking The Burned Man
Haunting Terror
Casualties and losses
Blackflame Manor is incinerated, hundreds of square meters of forest are slashed, Wychking is taken to trial and her primary fake SIN is burned. All of her bound spirits are freed from service. Terror was banished, The Burned Man was cooked to well done.
Initiation Ordeal IG7


Taru goes to therapy, but it comes at a cost.

Moment of Weakness

Having struggled with rehab for the longest time, Wychking's increasing obsession with the forbidden Fourth World knowledge drives her to almost take horrid substances. Woedica lost a blood sample of Taru's blood and Wychking, thinking back on what she knows of this mysterious ancient power, realizes blood magic might be helpful to understanding it and agrees. Her answers aren't fully answered, however. She ends up resisting Aisa's lure, but acquires Crimson Orchid instead to try and get a good trip to divine her answers, simultaneously treating her recovering heroin addiction with Awakened methadone.

This is too much for her weakened body which ends up utterly immobile in her bed. This is when an Elder God cultist appears in her bedroom, having gotten past her ward entirely without warning. It's about to reach out to her and form a mindlink when Taru channels the son of Iku-Turso, a great form water spirit to make her body move with the spirit's power fueling her nervous system. The cultist channels a spirit as well, but Wychking is about to come out on top and push the cultist away, who retreats. The following day, as Pain Girl detoxes Wychking before the crash, Wychking reinforces her security by telling all of her bound spirits to be on guard against the intruder and to stop unknown entries at any cost. Otso Mesikämmen, the bear herald of the forest and Great Form spirit of beasts is ired when the forest is lit on fire in the distance, clearly the attempt of the cultist to lure them out one by one. Wychking doesn't take the bait, but also realizes that something is amiss.

Fork In The Road

Realizing that she's sliding into drug abuse once more, Taru curses her weakness and calls Interpol, asking for their help. Believing she's being targeted by cultists, Interpol uses plenty of astral security to get her to a protected rehab center in Helsinki, Finland. Taru merely takes her foci and ally spirit, leaving almost everything else behind. Adeptus often gets offers from clients asking for Wychking's services, but she can only woefully answer these clients that the mage is not currently available. Some of the clients are more desperate than others regarding Invae threats, a fact that grows unchecked now that the insect slayer's not in Seattle.

Good Intentions Are Rewarded With Evil

While Wychking's undergoing withdrawal from the nagging itch of Betel, the night terrors and sudden bouts of anxiety from Guts and the headache and overflowing depression that Hurlg abuse had masked for so long, her manor gets increasingly targeted by a peculiar critter and the cultist. On a rainy night, the cultist makes his attack, but Otso the Great Beast is able to fend off its attacks with miraculously amazing resistance and fierce howls. The Daughter of the North and Aarnivalkea, Guardian and Fire Spirit respectively, join the fight while Iku-Turso, the Great Water godspawn goes to protect the magical study. The spirits fight bravely, but the cultist is an exceptionally talented mage, trapping spirits inside barriers to remove them from the fight, flooding areas with anti-magical static, using magical telekinesis to fly a sword into the fray without risking himself and remaining hidden elsewhere.

Aarni, sometimes called Kratti, a screaming spirit of fire known for secrets and vows, refuses to break its oath to defend the place and unleashes an apocalyptic firestorm, hitting the cultist no matter how well he attempts to hide. Incinerating flame engulfs him, knocks him to the ground and lights his armor on fire -- something he quickly responds to by leaving ASAP. The great fire sprite controls the flame enough to not cause human collateral or too much property damage, but his choices were entirely his own.

This is mostly due to the fact that while all this was happening, Taru was having a really bad time. Increasing hallucinations, suicidal tendencies, lashing out at even her ally and losing faith in everything she'd done all compounded into crashing serotonin and dopamine levels. Therapists could only do so much to a borderline catatonic giant who now remembered more vividly than ever the death of her girlfriend, reliving it as a nightmare every single night over the course of her five week rehab program. During these moments, she lost her confidence in herself and felt the connection to her ally spirit who was physically in pain from sensing the sheer volume of anguish radiating from her master. Pain Girl left to the metaplanes to cut the sensation short, having limits herself as a mere avatar of one of the minor death gods. Taru reached out to all of her bound spirits and declared that she was undeserving of their power and their service and that they're free to go, to seek their own causes or find more worthy masters. This happened before the cultist assaulted the manor, so technically all of the spirits were unbound, majority of them simply respecting the mage enough to fulfil this one last task and guard the area until she returned.

While the cultist was beaten back with an inferno of cataclysmic power, this also attracted the fire department, Knight-Errant and more - the ward was shattered which alarmed Pain Girl and she was present to explain the situation to the authorities, as well as promising that the owner of the estate would arrive within some weeks to respond to any consequences personally. Knowing Wychking's reputation and getting the spirit's assurances, they didn't storm the torched building.

A peculiar black snake-like creature stalked Wychking all the way to Finland thanks to divination, however. It nearly bit her head off, but Pain Girl was there to be by her master's side just in time, and with a team effort they banished the foul creature back to its eldritch masters. Having yelled for help, gained witnesses, gotten a picture of its aura and seen its form clearly with both of their eyes, Taru finally had evidence that something was after her. She alerted her Interpol contact who came by, took the astral photograph, looked into Taru's mind for a better look at the creature and sent the information on - nothing of what they'd do was revealed to Taru due to opsec reasons, which she herself agreed with.

Purged of all toxins, Wychking communed with her mentor spirit, Louhi herself, the matriarch of the North and the greatest witch in history - whether this was the person herself or merely appeared that way to Taru is a different question. True to the tales told of her, she offered to bring Wychking back to her former glory in return for three great labours: To confront the finality of death and understand its relation with life. To discard material bondage and elevate mind above matter. To break free of undeserving masters and be held only to the values her covenants hold dear. Some of these were easier said than done, but the chosen follower of Louhi agreed.


When Taru returned, the FBI and Interpol used some of their influence to prevent Wychking from being arrested, using cover stories to redirect a lot of the heat away from the mage. However, this protection wouldn't last for long. Taru realized she'd have to start gaining more powerful allies and support, some of that meaning more than just her old contacts in Interpol. She'd have to look into her origins with Erika, decide for good whether to ever owe favors to blood mages and dragons, rid herself of being so dependent on drugs and materiel and most of all, come to terms with Satu's death.

During her rehab, she recalled what she'd truly done. Satu had been right behind her, running for the old Winter War bunker's exit, but realizing she wouldn't get out in time, Satu slammed the bunker door shut in Wychking's face, trapping the giant outside and leaving herself to be grabbed and torn by the roach hosts. In despair, banging on the door and looking through a tiny glass window panel in the door, she'd heard a voice asking her if she truly wanted to save the one she loved. To do so would require accepting her own death and the death of everything that exists. In that moment, the desperate giant took the offer and Slashed the entire door off its hinges as well as every roach - this included her girlfriend who she had unintentionally killed with the first spell she'd ever cast. This trauma had long been buried in her mind, something she'd lied to herself about and fabricating an alternative story that the insects had already killed Satu by the time she Awakened.

Now she has to accept that she's the one who killed her own first love, blamed Invae endlessly for it, ran away to drugs in a moment of weakness to escape the guilt and pain and now has to face much of her past if she wants to honor her memory. Taru may never find true salvation or love again, so scarred is her mind by her teenage love, but maybe she can one day find peace of mind. Until then, she returns to her Magical Investigator office, picks up 32 missed calls and accepts every single job simultaneously.

And she burns all the tomes containing forbidden knowledge. She can't trust herself to treat this wisely.


  • 35 karma (25 + 10 RVP)
  • 12 CDP (5 RVP)
  • IG7 discount
  • 2 Interpol rep
  • -10 Streets of Everett rep
  • Everett High Lifestyle as well as attached SIN are literally incinerated - A favor is owed to law enforcement for helping to smooth this over
  • 1 Notoriety
  • 1 Public Awareness
  • 1 Rank of A Terrible Fascination (2 Ranks Total)
  • The Burned Man as a dedicated Elder God Cult enemy
  • Buying off all addictions due to therapy

Wychking's After Action Reports (AARs)

"I cannot believe this is what it's come to. I should've listened to my gut when I first saw the damn tomes and now I'm Alice going inside the rabbit hole. This man, this piece of shit haunts my shadow thinking it'll be for the better. I don't have the time to waste on this distraction when Invae work against my efforts every second, every hour, every day. He's working with the enemy even if he doesn't realize it."