Following the revelation that a Grigori-possessed (Castiel), Mr. Ablewhite, or an Illuminati mage, Michael Winthrop, were behind leaving a copy of A Good Harvest to ensnare the missing Sofia, the group new it needed new help. It arrived in the form of Templar alchemist, Terees Mereau.
finding out the intentions and strength of the new Templar incursion seemed to be the first order of business. On the way there, an attempt at vehicular manslaughter, turned into a riveting chase ended by excellent driving by Alex, and some chaos magic.
At the old navy base, Terees talked to the Nordic commander there, discovering that the Templars were there to monitor the hotel and the extra-dimensional beasties called the Ak’ab burrowed beneath it, and the return of the Phoenicians. Terees got him to agree to a moratorium of violence with the Phoenicians of two weeks, and backup, if needed. Terees agreed to keep him updated on the investigation.
Using Terees’ and Kaisen’s previous relationship to her, they approached Paz, younger sister of Phoenician leader, Rico, and made sure she was recovering from her ordeal from last year, and helped set a meeting with her brother at local Spanish restaurant, Casa Loco. Also, they warned Paz that עֲזָאזֵל was nearby, but “contained.” That sent her running for the fastest way out of the time zone.
At the meeting at Casa Loco, the group met with Rico inside, except for Azariah watching the back door. A tense agreement was reached after posturing and veiled threats.
1) He would hand over details about the Ak’ab beneath, and Izette’s leaving the Phoenicians.
2) The Phoenicians would have a cease fire with the Templars.
3) The threat of Azazel to his sister must be dealt with once and for all.
Meanwhile, Azariah was watching the back door and thinking about the mandragora plants that caused earthquakes, and the Ak’ab trapped underground, and it seemed like too uch of a coincidence. עֲזָאזֵל sensed his name mentioned repeatedly, and decided to take advantage of Azariah’s distraction to take over control. He sneaked inside and placed a note into Rico’s pocket without anyone’s notice, particularly his host’s.
A templar isolation team was place around Sofia’s greenhouse with much concern about them getting too curious.
After much discussion on the next point of action, they went to confront Izette about her knowledge of the mandragora and the Ak’ab, and her motivations around this, and withholding information.
With a little pressure she cracked. She acknowledged that her former cabal summoned the beasties, and she was the one that reported it to the Council of Venice in exchange for giving her the hotel as a safe haven for the secret world’s misfits. She manipulated Sofia to plant the mandragora to act as a potential trigger for releasing the Ak’ab as a deterrent for the factions trying to muscle in on the hotel.
Sofia’s green thumb had the plants growing much faster than anticipated. She also had read A Good Harvest by Sutter Caine, and it is likely her reading that led to the portal in the elevator.
Sofia’s notebooks likely hold the key to the mandragora, and potentially where and how she was taken.