Miami is standing behind the counter at the bookstore while the others are off doing their own thing and Dallas is left taking out the books you've been processing. The phone rings. Picking it up you hear a young female voice with a faint New Orleans accent: "Hello? Are you free to talk? I'm only going to speak to you."
"Hello Athenaeum Antiquarian Bookstore, may I ask who is calling?" says Miami.
"I can't say. Not yet. Your reputations precedes you and I ... I don't want to get involved. Not really. I just ... I ... I thought if I helped you, perhaps you could leave us alone, perhaps I could prove the Court of Stolen Shame was no threat to you." She sounds rushed and more than a little anxious. (As an aside, the Court of Stolen Shame is the Ravener Court.
"Ultimately the matter that was discussed between the Court of Stolen Shame and our groups liege lord is not my decision to make, but I would like it resolved where we come to an agreement that benefits both parties."
"No, no, you misunderstand. I just want to give you some information ... as a sign of good faith. No strings. Just remember us well."
"Okay, I'm listening," said Miami. "What information do you have to give me?"
She took a deep breath, let it out. "Something happened in your old house. I'm not sure what. I really don't. But I think its connected to ... I think a spirit may have been summoned to get something? Or perhaps it took it upon itself to fetch it? Whatever happened, it was big enough to rip a minor doorway between the realms, open Saturday nights, past midnight. Not sure where exactly but it'd be somewhere less well-travelled in the house."
"Hmm.... Interesting." Miami remains non-commital though naturally his interest is piqued. "One of my other contacts briefly mentioned some strange phenomena in the area. On what date did this happen? After my host and wife were murdered?"
"Must've been. I don't have any dates. This is all secondhand. But, er, I wouldn't suggest looking into the doorway on your own. The other side of the mirror is a really dangerous place to go."
"Okay, that is very interesting phenomena. I'm not jumping to any conclusions at this stage. I'll have a talk to some friends. So it didn't feel like a Fallen's Lore then? Some other kind of entity. Was there any physically out of the ordinary occur in the area? Any strange residue or something left behind?"
"It's not something.... I ... I haven't been inside your house ... I know because I, well, I ... take a look and you'll see. I don't know if it kept your books but I know it took them. Where? For whom? I don't know. But if you take a look, be a bit careful as the house has a new family inside it. If you don't take a look, well, it's up to you. It's some entity made of electromagnetic style blue sparks.... Engenni. That's what they call it. Anyway, I've got to go. Make of it what you will."
One night, Miami will have a dream of a storm brewing over the horizon over a wall that also looks like the view from the back fence of his childhood home. He is sitting out there and his dead wife brings him a drink, a cocktail with mint in it, and she sits down beside him but he doesn't look at her and she doesn't speak. Finally there is the clap of applause and he gets up and heads inside into the home he had once lived in with his wife and children.
He goes down into the basement, shoes dripping water - somehow he knows its salt water - and he walks to the back of the basement and climbs up the supporting struts into a gap in the rafters that seems to yawn open and darker than all of the rest. Somewhere on that rafter lies a book, open, that is slowly dragged away by a sparking shadow as he crawls towards it. Finally, as he reaches out, it is snatched away and he falls back onto the cellar floor. There is the sound of marching music and a sharp voice barking commands in some other language. There is the clomp of boots and shadows of uniformed men flash across the walls.
Finally a man lays a knife on his shoulder, crouching down behind him, and murmurs something in his ear, "It's not my fault. Save me." He sounds young, so very young, and you realise that you are standing over him and his face is in shadow and you're the one holding the knife to his throat and he repeats, "It's not my fault" but you cut him anyway and there is a resounding boom of an explosion that waves through the air behind and around you.
Somewhere, out there, the wall cracks and figures beat against it ... dead shambling creatures ... but as you watch you realise that the shambling dead are on the wrong side of the wall.