You carry a flagon of mead with you as you approach the fireside.

 

Flames lick and lash around charred logs of wood, the occasional ember sputtering out from the stone fireplace. Two comfortable chairs are situated beside the fire. In one of them sits the man in the coat and hat.

"Please, take a seat," he says, gesturing to the empty chair. You oblige and sit down. There's something quite cosy and comfortable about the atmosphere here, even if you are aware it's not entirely real. "There's something important I want to discuss."

"What is it?" you ask, curious as to what this stranger could possibly want.

"My name is Sam Hain," Sam Hain says, "I'm an occult detective. And I need your help." He pauses, swilling the wine in his glass around contemplatively. "Before we go any further, though, I need to check something first..."

He holds out a piece of pristine white paper. A plain typeface reads: I am not a demon. You're used to seeing the "I am not a robot" checks, as well the infuriating task of having to prove you're not lying by identifying every box containing a bicycle or traffic light. Several times over.

But you've never seen an "I am not a demon" check before.

You've never even considered that it would be a necessary check, except maybe during election campaigns.

"Please," Sam reiterates, waving the paper in front of you. There's a blank space next to the words, awaiting you to confirm.