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"Major Arcana Part 3: Seeing Smoke": Spectre asks Madame Xanadu guidance to find the last magical item that went missing from her parlor. The crystal ball was already recovered, although [[Kim Liang (New Earth)|K



Appearing in "Major Arcana Part 3: Seeing Smoke"

Featured Characters:

  • Spectre
  • Natalie (Single appearance)

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Deschanta

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

  • Crystal Sphere
  • Egyptian Amulet
  • Ornate Censer (First appearance)

Synopsis for "Major Arcana Part 3: Seeing Smoke"

Spectre asks Madame Xanadu guidance to find the last magical item that went missing from her parlor. The crystal ball was already recovered, although Kim Liang had been trapped inside along with the demon called "Fingers". The Egyptian amulet was also retrieved by Spectre, but the ornate censer was still missing. Despite being magically restrained from speaking, Xanadu manages to guide Spectre to find more information about the censer and their enemies. While the Spirit of Vengeance goes out looking for the censer, Jim Corrigan remains in the parlor, looking after Xanadu and Kim Liang. At first, Corrigan believes Kim and Fingers are frozen, but he soon realizes they are moving extremely slow and that Kim is actually in grave danger.

Elsewhere, a blind girl called Natalie receives the censer inside a package delivered to her home. After she opens the package and realizes what's inside, she goes out to buy some incense to put inside the censer. Meanwhile, Spectre goes to the previous hideout of the Cult of the Blood Red Moon, as he suspects they are behind everything. After reading some ancient tomes in the place, Spectre confirms his suspicions and starts performing an incantation to locate and retrieve the censer.

At that moment, Natalie starts the incense and smoke comes from the censer. Much to her surprise, she can see the smoke and she regains her sight completely. Although the shock is great, Natalie notices a vision in the smoke. She sees herself kissing a man near a building in the city. Quickly, Natalie investigates to verify if the building exists and after confirming the location of the place, she hurries there and meets the same man that she saw in the smoke. She tries to explain what she saw and the man slowly approaches her and kisses her, just like in the vision. However, the censer stops burning and and as the smoke vanishes, so does Natalie's sight. Blind again, she returns to her apartment in a hurry and realizes that the item might be evil, but she doesn't have the courage to get rid of it.

Meanwhile, Spectre's incantation has failed to deliver him the item, but nonetheless, he now has a mystical trail to follow the item to its current location. At that moment, Natalie decides to use the censer again, to recover her sight and find the man she thinks she loves. Once again, the smoke gives her back her sight and a vision tells her where she can find the man. Unfortunately, Natalie leaves her place without noticing that the smoke is predicting danger from that man. Spectre arrives at the place and when he notices the vision in the smoke, he becomes mist in order to change the vision of the future.

At that moment, the man is in a night club and he takes a woman with him to the back alley, with romantic pretenses. Once they are alone, the man gets violent and takes out a knife to murder her, but she is saved by another man who had followed them to the alley. The woman didn't notice the knife and the would-be killer decides to leave the place for the night. It was then that Natalie comes across him again, unaware that she has run directly into the most dangerous situation, as foretold by the smoke. The man grabs Natalie and pulls the knife to kill her, but suddenly, he feels pain and drops the knife. Natalie runs back home, leaving the man to face the sheer wrath of Spectre, who forces the criminal to confess the murder of six other women. The man pleas for Spectre's help, but the Spirit of Vengeance doesn't know mercy. The pavement of the streets starts crumbling underneath the killer and his entire body is dragged by dark hands into the dark abyss of the underworld. When the deed is done, Spectre restores the pavement and it's all back to normal.

On her way back home, Natalie loses her sight again as the smoke disappears and she comes across Deschanta, the witch of the Cult, who had retrieved the censer from Natalie's home and is taking it back to the cult. When Natalie arrives to her place, she realizes that that the censer is gone and Spectre shows up to tell her that the evil that had approached will no longer bother her again. Sorrowful for her tragedy, Natalie would like to feel the face of her saviour, but she is denied even that.

The Cult of the Blood Red Moon have the censer in their possession and they are ready to perform a dark ritual with it, while Madame Xanadu is slowly losing her vital strength and Kim Liang is still trapped inside the crystal sphere, with a demon that intends to kill her.



Notes

  • This book was first published on February 2, 1988.
  • No special notes.

Trivia

  • The last panel of page four features a sign that reads "Greenberger Realtors". This is a reference to editor Robert Greenberger.



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