The group has begun to get situated in the tower, that formerly belonged to the earth mage Prelatus.
They decide to pursue a neglected lead at this point; a member of the Sisterhood of the Phoenix had a ring stolen, Ginevra heard about it, knows of the description, and thanks to her occult resources determined it is very likely a ring of magical nature.
One person involved in the theft has been captured but sufficiently useful information hasn’t been gotten out of him yet. The group goes to speak with the prisoner, and finds out who likely presently has the ring, and some of his common hangouts. They decide to give the bar this fellow frequents a visit. Lucky them, the fellow is there, the ladies in the group decide to try seducing him, he’s clearly well on his way to becoming drunk, and well, why not help him out. One thing leads to another… some of the group ends up back at his place. He passes out drunk, and they snag the ring. Mary ends up being the one holding onto it, and even figures out how bonding to it so it can be used works.
Mary agrees to use the magic ring to locate a member of a rival family Ginevra is after (the member of the rival family is apparently heading towards Rome to petition the papacy). After learning about the less than nice side-effects of the ring’s use (it makes Mary suspicious, particularly of her allies, and keeps giving her headaches) Ginevra isn’t too reluctant to let her hold onto it.
The group decides the next course of action is disenchant a magic sword taken from a Chosen of Empusa. The sword is of a necromantic nature, and at present Draxis has it. He decides to seek out a university professor-mage to aid him, and the mage decides he is willing to disenchant the sword in exchange for the jewels it is decorated with.
The next day the group returns to the professor, but on the way Draxis notes someone atop the apartments where Aeliana lives (taking up residence in the tower recently aside). The individual runs and vanishes into black smoke-shadow-stuff.
The group goes up to the apartment and finds Aeliana pinned to the wall, in a way which resembles crucifixion, her head removed, and nowhere to be found. However, nothing else is missing.
A potion is used by Andrea to look back into the past: they see a man, completely hairless, with tattoos (very complicated, tribal?) made of some manner of shining, glowing red material, enter the room, and slice off Aeliana’s head while she sleeps. She reverts to dragon form.
The group, in shock, continues to deal with the evil sword they left with the professor. He is not 100% confident he was successful “evil magic items…. sneaky things you know.”
Mary decided she’d like to watch over it for a time to assure it isn’t being “sneaky”.
The group also notifies the Witchguard of what has happened.
In attempt to Investigate the matter further, the group speaks with the archmage of the University, Velasco and the Witchguard. Through this cast of characters they discover that there’s a group of anti-mages (Inquisitors, Witch-hunters) created by the Church with such tattoos, which have anti-magical powers. There’s supposedly only 13 at any given time. However, the killer’s tattoos were red, and he clearly used magic, while the Witch-hunters have blue tattoos.
They also meet Luca Donati, a smuggler from Rome who fled to Bologna. He tells them that he could get them to Rome if need be. He also notifies them that Severus Gaius (a knight of the Blood of Adam) has followed him to Rome and is hunting him, and Severus vehemently hates lacerta.
The group has also been told to consider who perhaps may have been observing them. They do note that they’ve seen a university student who Aeliana had a fling with a few times at the University pub before… not extremely unusual. However, they do finally note him tailing them. There’s a confrontation at the university, which leads to (due to actions by Mary and Andrea) him manifesting into the form of an Ophanim (a type of angel), and vanishing in a great wave of blinding light. The students panic in response to the sight of such an incredibly alien being of such power. The faculty and player group manages to help calm things.
They consult an expert on celati and other supernatural beings at the university who confirms it very much looked to be an ophanim, a type of angel, likely a grigori, who are those that fell, but not far enough to be cast into hell. However, the professor seems really disappointed that a mere low tier dismiss-illusion spell was what managed to cause it to reveal itself. He suggests that maybe it wasn’t what it seemed… however, it certainly seemed real enough.