The Bureau - San Francisco 1875

Reunion

The investigators continue up river, eventually coming to the Pomo village. It has clearly been attacked, with most of the buildings burnt to ash. The remaining members of the tribe are all taking shelter in the main lodge, which appears to be untouched. The chief, who introduces himself as Lawrence, welcomes the trio inside.
In the lodge, three other agents are found tied up. They had been kept with the tribe since their arrival two weeks ago, just before the forest creatures started attacking. A quick interrogation reveals that they had been sent by Director Clements to recover ritual components for another investigation. Specifically a bear skin and two red stones from a cave in the Red Wood forest.
The found what they were looking for, but on returning they were attacked by some sort of creature. They dropped most of their equipment including the skin, in order to swim across the Grizzly river to safety.
Also in the lodge is Misha, Vera’s husband, lying naked on the ground. He is in human form and is clearly weak. Vera manages to wake him, after a brief argument, he tells her that his skin has been taken. He had been purifying it in a cave to the north, using two red stones of power. It is likely being possessed by a malicious forest spirit, a manitou or wendigo. Through the skin, the spirit would wield significant power.
The investigators leave shortly afterward, to find the cave, the stones, and most importantly the skin. Lawrence says that he will give them a week’s time, then he must attempt an evacuation.
The investigator take their boat and follow the red taint in the Grizzly river to its source. But by that time, night has fallen and they are forced to secure their spot mid river after being attacked by tainted forest creatures.
In the morning, they manage to scour the riverbed for the source of the red water, and find the two red purifying stones. Securing them, they begin the long trek along a game trail, taking great pains to avoid further attack.
When night begins to fall again, they climb one of the sturdier trees and lash themselves to the thick branches. Unfortunately, they spend the night besieged by forest creatures, bears, squirrels and raccoons. The team take turns alternately trying to sleep and trying to keep each other safe through the night.
Morning finally arrives, but the three red-eyed bears only redouble their efforts. Through their combined strength and powers, they knock the tree down and attack the investigators. The three agents manage to meet the challenge, and after a hard fight, the bears are killed and the investigators continue on.

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