After the big confrontation at the Venatori museum, Luke did some terrified research at the college library, hoping to uncover the weaknesses of Ghouls and Vampires, since he expected to have to deal with some pretty soon. That night, Zhishen was awoken by a voice coming from the golden coin he was given by Tyler Durden at the Cheshire Cat Club, warning him that he was about to be attacked by a demon in 60 seconds.
Zhishen rushed into his friend Padrovsky’s room, woke him up, convinced him they were about to be attacked, shattered his table and door in a failed attempt to create a barrier, tried to fix it, failed, called Luke, and had another conversation asking for his help against the demon. Apparently the voice in the coin counts seconds differently than we mere mortals do.
Eventually, though, a demon did in fact come, one none other than Kalshazzak, the toad demon, who was surprised to find that someone had smashed down the door in anticipation of his arrival. Zhishen noticed it had a brand burned onto its chest: the symbol of Alpha Sigma Sigma. Apparently he’d pissed off Derek enough for him to sic a demon on him. A terrified Padrovsky responded with a prayer of rebuke in Russian, which forced the demon back due to his powerful faith. Perhaps due to Alpha Sigma Sigma’s poor control, the demon quickly retreated after a powerful blow from Zhishen. Luke showed up just in time to accomplish absolutely nothing.
After calming down Padrovsky and explaining that yes, magic is a thing, and demons are real, Luke asked to examine the coin that was speaking to Zhishen. It spoke further to him, explaining that it was the soul of Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés, a claim that Luke and Zhishen found skeptical at best. Examining with his ability Luke could tell the coin was drawing away life energy from Zhishen in a vampiric manner, and decided the prudent solution was to destroy it with his magic shattering ability. Surprisingly, this worked, and the coin was no more.
On his way back to his dorm, Luke was halted by Zhishen who wanted to discuss the Venatori events from earlier in the day. Talk got heated, as Zhishen tried to convince Luke to join and Luke made it clear he wanted nothing whatsoever to do with those assholes, and that he was actually planning on getting the Warden to come and slaughter them all for breaking the Law against Mind Control. But Luke felt bad for plotting the death of Zhishen’s father, and they came to an agreement: Zhishen would work to change the organization from within while Luke worked on creating another group to work with them to protect the city from the many supernatural threats facing it.
The next day, class finally began, and Luke and Zhishen attended Prof. Wong’s chemistry class. “Hey there, Prof. Hitler,” Luke greeted him as he entered, but Wong didn’t seem to notice. As they sat down for class, Zhishen noticed his father was acting very strange, and asked Luke to check it out. Using his magic sight, Luke noticed a magical hex affecting Wong’s mind, but before he could say anything the Professor drew out a gun and began threatening the room. Luke charged down and tackled him, but the gun went off and killed a student, and the Professor Wong put the gun to his own head.
“Class dismissed,” he said, and fired.
Afterwards, Luke, Padrovsky, and Chevsky met with Zhishen to give him their support. Luke explained what he saw and they all decided they should try to solve the Professor’s murder, no matter how much of a bastard he’d been. Oddly enough, Zhishen didn’t seem interested at all, having disowned himself from his father, but the others insisted. Chevsky revealed he was actually the apprentice of the local Warden, Nathaniel Draven, and offered to lead them to him so they could report the magical murder that had occurred.
At first Luke tried to back out, as Sam had warned him to stay away from the Warden on threat of death. But after being accused of being scared, he couldn’t back down, so he asked Chevsky to magically disguise him so he could avoid Sam’s minions who were surely tailing him. Chevsky was unable to help though, so he shrugged and followed along.
Chevsky led them to an abandoned slum on the edge of town, and in short succession both Luke’s motorcyle and Chevsky’s car broke down. Luke noticed a magical mist covering the entire area, visible only to him, and Chevsky explained: his master Nathaniel was a member of a cursed family, afflicted with an endless entropy curse that caused constant bad luck to him and everyone around him. Most people afflicted by it didn’t survive past the age of thirty, but Nathaniel was particularly paranoid and had managed to keep safe so far.
They reached the Warden’s house, which was covered in lightning rods, magical wards, and hundreds of watchful crows. Inside, the Warden himself, and dozens of voodoo doll-like objects soaking up the entropy mist coating the area. Zhishen explained why they were there, but Nathaniel seemed uninterested. Luke began to berate him, and swiftly angered him, as Luke tends to do. Nathaniel then accused THEM of being the murderers, and insisted on a Soul Gaze to test their mettle. Not one to back down from a challenge, Luke took him up on it.
Nathaniel’s soul showed him standing alone atop a massive castle, fortified against an endless horde of monsters below, safe behind his walls and guarded by his crows and magic. He had built himself the perfect fortress to defend himself, and cared little else about anything outside his walls.
Stunned from the Soul Gaze, Luke collapsed and accidentally brushed up against one of the voodoo dolls, breaking it’s defensive spell and infuriating the Warden who threw them all out. With nothing to show for it, Luke and Zhishen began walking back to his motorcycle to return home. On the way, Luke noticed that the man who’d been following him on Sam’s orders had also had car trouble, due to the entropy mist, and Luke chased after him to talk. Zhishen caught him, but the man, a member of Alpha Sigma Sigma named Chaz, drew a gun and threatened them. Unfazed, Luke and Zhishen disarmed him and beat him down. Throwing him against the wall, Luke took out his cellphone, handed it to him, and told him to call his boss. When Sam answered the phone, Luke said “Sam. We need to talk.”