After encountering a mysterious woman in a hidden room, the investigators caught her starting to transform… into circa 1953 Richard Nixon. The shapeshifter owned up to being a demon, and suggested that he would vastly prefer to return to his home dimension, if they would only let him out. In fact, he offered to answer four questions for them to the best of his ability, two before his release and two after. The team, however, were highly skeptical. Matt remembered that demons are vulnerable to cold iron, holy water, and holy symbols, so the team left on a shopping spree and returned loaded for demon fighting.
For their first question, CP asked the demon what he intended when freed. The demon responded that he had been thinking about killing them all, but it was not worth the trouble they could now cause him thanks to their armament, and he’d just plan on bailing out. Marco asked why the students had confined the demon, and he responded that they were meddling do-gooders not unlike the heroes themselves. With that, Marco very carefully opened the chalk circles, and the demon vanished in a puff of smoke, leaving behind only the words “So long, suckers. You can’t change what’s coming.”
Investigation of the hidden area revealed several ritual books and components, as well as a map with lines of colored string tacked on it. The lines all converged in an area outside of town known as “The Burn”, site of a 1953 forest fire that left the area barren to this day.
The team determined to check out the Burn. They managed, with some difficulty, to sneak into the area, and took some soil samples. CP had the idea of casting a ritual in the area to dispel magic, to see if it had any effect. However, he needed ritual components, and so the team decided to return the next night.
That evening, however, they encountered fellow ETU students at the burn. Apparently Professor Burton, a biology instructor at the school, had brought a group in to conduct measurements and study the Burn. According to the students they encountered, however, the professor had fallen ill and taken to his tent. When the team arrived at the campsite, Ryo picked up faint moans from the tent, and went to investigate, as did one of the students. As they opened the tent flap, the professor, his skin mysteriously blackened and his eyes glowing red, seized the student and tore out his throat. The heroes attacked with some success, but the creature’s claws seriously injured Matt, who fought on desperately trying to bring the professor down before he killed again…