Hoffman did a job with Frater Bota of the Hermetic Temple of Light back in the day.
Frater Bota is a well-dressed man with a ponytail. Has a file of a missing purple jewel, the Eye of Mab, an artifact of the Winter Court. “The people we think have it — the Witches — are likely to use it at the next New Moon for nefarious.” Main lead is MoonEagle ShadowWolf, leader of the Witches.
The Crystal Grove is a witchy store. Moon and Lily Nightsky (goth girl).
Hoffman starts creating a grounding device.
Finding Lily on Facebook, Scott learns that she lives in Oakland and is going to a talk on ethnobotany by Wade Davis.
He goes to visit the shop and cases the joint: Easy break-in points are the back door and flimsily secured windows, no electronic security system. So he buys a Wade Davis book from Lily. “Oh, he’s giving a talk tonight.” MoonEagle takes over the register, and they go to the talk. She runs her mouth. They go to Zeitgiest after the talk; she’s flirting a bit. They have a big New Moon ritual coming up, to clear away the dross. This one will be big, but not especially special, somewhere in Marin maybe.
Ivan tries to break in to the Crystal Grove but it’s warded. He tries coming in by way of the second floor, breaking in to an apartment and pulling up floorboards to get access to the shop from above. Steals Moon’s rolodex, the stuff on her altar. Hears spooky whispers.
Ivan returns to meet with Patch. He examines the altar materials with the Sight. Her athame is scary looking, an implement of cold. All of it well used, but the athame is the most powerful. Ivan goes and distributes her altar stuff to the homeless, drops the athame off of a pier.
Hoffman works on the tracers for Lily and Moon and the artifact grounder.
Scott researches Mab. She’s a scary old fairy.
Hoffman goes to Golden Gate Park to summon up a pixie: a circle, a tin of condensed milk. The pixie doesn’t know much that we don’t.
Hoffman visits the Crystal Grove. Moon is not forthcoming.
Hoffman goes to follow up with the pixies. Mab’s knight, Johnny, visits Bourbon & Branch. The witchy people visit with Johnny.
Scott has dinner with Lily, scores a few hairs from her hairbrush. What would she want the Goddess to take? “Before tonight, I would have said my loneliness.”
Jamie the arborist is a half-dryad, Hoffman knows him. “I’m looking for the Eye of Mab.” Makes plans to meet at Bourbon & Branch with a heavier hitter that Jamie will turn up.
Meanwhile Scott wakes up with Lily the gothy witch, then returns to Hoffman’s place with hair for tracking.
Big Thor-ish guy at the door. There’s something off about him, unreal, a glamour. “The Eye is a powerful tool of destruction, bringing cold.” Hands Hoffman a business card for a troll that can make a fake Eye, and a summoning leaf.
Scott goes to visit Ingmar Trollblood, who’s not protected by a glamor. Four hours’ work.
Ivan and Hoffman go to the Hermetic Temple. Vestibule leads to a beautiful inner door. Robed guy shows up. Fr. Bota informs us that Mab’s influence will affect anyone handling it, eventually driving them mad. The Order will have soldiers ready if we have to make a move on Monday (the new moon). Losing the Eye is acceptable, so long as it’s denied of the witches.
Scott asks how convincing the fake Eye will be. Not a strong enough glamour to fool a magician, but very effective.
Scott also checks in on Lily.
Bike messenger delivers the Eye tracking compass from the Thor Guy. Hoffman has trackers for the eye, Moon, and Lily. Ivan has the magic item neutralizer.
Hoffman and Scott get a Zipcar and go looking for the Eye; Ivan follows on a motorcycle. Lily and Moon are both at the store, the Eye is not. We kill the afternoon finding that the Eye is not in San Francisco. We spend the evening in Marin, and it starts pointing vaguely to Mt. Tam. As we get closer, it becomes clear that the Eye is at the West Point Inn. We get two rooms.
Triangulating, we realize it’s in a bear head mounted on the wall. Using the Sight, Hoffman can see the gem in its mouth, with wards on the bear head. And an ice palace, suggesting maybe a portal into the Nevernever.
Monday will be the new moon.